Coastal Command continue offensive

Coastal Command was now taking over the aged Whitley aircraft as Bomber Command received newer aircraft. When a Whitley developed engine trouble 20 miles off Lands End on 22nd October 1941 the crew had to ditch and spent a precarious few hours in a small dingy. They were lucky to be rescued by a Sunderland that located them by radar.

Coastal Operations.

Coastal Command flew 191 patrols (289 sorties) and provided 52 convoy escorts (165 additional sorties). Shipping protection patrols by Fighter Command totalled 484 (1,025 sorties).

Operations against enemy shipping were carried out by aircraft from the three Commands whenever weather permitted.

Two Spitfires attacked a ship off Havre, leaving her listing. Eight Blenheims, escorted by fighters, sighted a convoy of seven vessels and four Flakships off Ijmuiden. Four of the merchant ships were attacked but with unobserved results, and two others of 3,000 and 1,000 tons respectively had smoke, issuing from them when last seen.

A Hudson made a determined attack on a 5,500 ton merchant vessel (one of a convoy of twelve with two escort vessels) off Terschelling and scored a possible hit or very near miss. A Spitfire attacked four ships of 100 to 200 tons each off Ostend, and many hits were seen. Hurricanes set on fire two armed trawlers off Zeebrugge.

Three Hudsons on patrol off the North Danish coast attacked a factory at Thisted Bredning and scored hits on sheds. At Thisted sea-plane base, buildings and a seaplane were set on fire and dispersed aircraft were machinegunned.

Seventeen aircraft were despatched to lay sea-mines off Lorient, Brest, St. Nazaire, Kiel and the Frisian Islands

From the Air Situation Report for the week ending 23rd October as reported to the British War Cabinet.

Sunderland flying boat in flight

The huge Short Sunderland flying boat had a crew of 9 but could accommodate as many as 80 men when used as a transport. Radar had only been introduced to the Sunderland in October 1941.

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