Sergeant R. T. Bailey: 7 July 1944

Sergeant R. T. Bailey took part in that raid on July 7th, 1944.

7 July 1944

467 aircraft – 283 Lancasters, 164 Halifaxes, 20 Mosquitos – of Nos 1, 4, 6 and 8 Groups in a major effort to assist in the Normandy land battle. The Canadian 1st and British 2nd Armies were held up by a series of fortified village strongpoints north of Caen. The first plan was for Bomber Command to bomb these villages but, because of the proximity of friendly troops and the possibility of bombing error, the bombing area was moved back nearer to Caen, covering a stretch of open ground and the northern edge of the city. The weather was clear for the raid, which took place in the evening, and two aiming points were well marked by Oboe Mosquitos and other Pathfinder aircraft. The Master Bomber, Wing Commander SP (Pat) Daniels of No 35 Squadron, then controlled a very accurate raid. Dust and smoke soon obscured the markers but the bombing always remained concentrated. 2,276 tons of bombs were dropped.

It was afterwards judged that the bombing should have been aimed at the original targets. Few Germans were killed in the area actually bombed, although units near by were considerably shaken. The northern suburbs of Caen were ruined. No German fighters appeared and only 1 Lancaster, of No 166 Squadron, was shot down by flak. 2 further Lancasters and 1 Mosquito crashed behind the Allied lines in France.

How do I know he took part in that raid?

Simple, I have some pages of the Operational Record Book for 425 Squadron. Not all the pages, but I was able to find who were the other crew members who flew with Sergeant R. T. Bailey, a flight engineer, in the R.A.F.

Who was the pilot?

I wonder if Ronald Bailey remembers…

You can use this contact form to reach me.

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