bombing

Feb

15

1943

Bombed by own aircraft as RAF attack Milan

15th February 1943: Bombed by own aircraft as RAF attack Milan

At that point my job was to stand on the step ahead of the main spar and put my head up into the astro hatch to assist the gunners in keeping a look out for fighters. For some inexplicable reason, I did something I had never done before; I looked directly above and got the shock of my life. In the glow from the searchlights and target I saw another Lancaster 30 feet above us on exactly the same heading and, like us, his bomb doors were open! The 4,000lb bomb looked enormous and I knew it could be released at any second.

Jan

27

1943

‘U.S. bombs, from U.S. airplanes,’ hit Germany

27th January 1943: US 8th Airforce’s first raid on Germany – ‘U.S. bombs, from U.S. airplanes, with U.S. crews’

Germany, for the first time, was bombed with U.S. bombs, from U.S. airplanes, with U.S. crews. … Ten to fifteen ME-109s were observed by the crews and about 30 encounters ensued. There were many claims for aircraft destroyed, and gunners were credited with one destroyed that crashed into the sea and one damaged. All aircraft returned safely with only a few battle scars.

Jan

17

1943

RAF Bomber Command visits the ‘Big City’

17th January 1943: RAF Bomber Command visits the ‘Big City’ two nights running

Then I thought about the message from the Chief of Bomber Command which had been addressed to us tonight and read out at Briefing, ‘Go to it, Chaps and show them the red rose of Lancaster in full bloom.’ Someone behind a desk had given an order to a great organization and here we were a few hours later, one of the pawns in the game, sitting up over the North Sea with the temperature at minus 30° Centigrade, wondering if we would ever see England again.

Jan

9

1943

The RAF start blind bombing with ‘Oboe’

9th January 1943: The RAF start blind bombing with ‘Oboe’

All this we discovered after the end of the war, when German records of the meeting became available. Oboe had not only shattered the targets of Germany, but had also shattered German morale, it continued the process for the rest of the war, and was probably the most effective single instrument of warfare in our entire armoury.

Dec

30

1942

‘Nuisance bombing’ ends the holiday week in Britain

30th December 1942: ‘Nuisance bombing’ ends the holiday week in Britain

We once made a low-level attack near EASTBOURNE. When we got there, we saw a large mansion where they seemed to be having a ball or something; in any case we saw a lot of women in fancy-dress, and an orchestra. There were two of us doing long distance reconnaissance. We turned round and flew towards it. The first time we flew past, and then we approached again and machine-gunned them. It was great fun!

Dec

6

1942

Low level daylight attack on the Philips plant, Holland

6 December 1942:Low level daylight attack on the Philips’ plant, Holland

It was midday, a lovely sunny day, virtually no cloud, so I set off across the Dutch countryside at high speed. I decided not to follow the given route out which was towards the coast of Holland and out into the North Sea. I decided that that’s where the fighters would be and therefore, I turned north, to the Zeider Zee. The fighters would all be directed to the main formation.

Nov

29

1942

Ron Middleton dies saving his crew after Turin raid

29th November 1942: Ron Middleton dies saving his crew after Turin raid

The possibilities of abandoning the aircraft or landing in northern France were discussed but Flight Sergeant Middleton stated his intention to attempt to reach the English coast. After crossing the Channel there was only sufficient fuel for five minutes flying. Flight Sergeant Middleton flew the aircraft parallel with the coast and ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. Five of the crew left the aircraft and two remained to assist him. The aircraft crashed into the sea and all remaining onboard were killed.

Nov

3

1942

El Alamein – the tide turns against Rommel

3rd November 1942: El Alamein – the tide turns against Rommel

The battle is going very heavily against us. We’re simply being crushed by the enemy weight. I’ve made an attempt to salvage part of the army. I wonder if it will succeed. At night I lie open-eyed, racking my brains for a way out of this plight for my poor troops. We are facing very difficult days, perhaps the most difficult that a man can undergo. The dead are lucky, it’s all over for them.

Oct

17

1942

Operation Robinson hits Le Creusot works

17th October 1942: Operation Robinson hits Le Creusot works

Soon the sight was re-aligned. Gerry opened the bomb-doors and the bombing run was on. I looked out of the starboard blister. Opposition from the ground was negligible certainly nothing came our way. Gerry held the Lancaster level and steady at the indicated airspeed required. ‘Bombs gonel’ came confidently from the nose of the aircraft.

Oct

13

1942

British War Cabinet monitors German morale

13th October 1942: British War Cabinet monitors German morale

” Hamburg is unrecognisable. It looks as if an earthquake has taken place.” ” Very soon there won’t be even ruins in our Duisburg.” ” If the Tommies keep on bombing us like this Western Germany will soon cease to exist.” ” I cannot understand what you are doing at the front that we should be bombed four nights in succession.”