La mission de la nuit du 4 au 5 novembre 1944

Cette mission est celle où le bomb aimer Louis-Marcel Houde a reçu sa immediate DFC.


On the night of November 4th, 1944, along with his crew, this officer was detailed to attack Bochum, Germany. On the approach to the target, the mid-upper gunner reported an aircraft above and shortly after his own aircraft was showered with some 33 incendiaries. One of these ripped the nose of the aircraft, at the same smashing the bomb aiming instruments. The starboard inner engine was set afire by one of these bombs and the bomb aimer was hit on the head by another.

A thousand pound bomb grazed the rudder, tearing away part of the tail assembly. Other incendiaries buried themselves in the wings. Three of them burst through the fuselage and remained in the aircraft. Despite all this, Flying Officer Houde kept absolutely cool and showed outstanding determination and efficiency and the target was successfully bombed. The flight back to base was made on three engines without any further incident.

On trouvait de l’information sur cette mission sur le site de la RAF.

RAF Novembre 1944

La RAF voulait souligner le 60e anniversaire du Bomber Command. J’avais conservé quelques pages just in case

On ne les retrouve plus sur leur site malheureusement.

RAF 4-5 novembre 1944

Mario Allard voulait en savoir plus sur l’aviateur Louis-Marcel Houde dont il avait des photos achetées chez un brocanteur.

Il a bien fait de m’écrire.

J’étais aussi curieux d’en apprendre plus sur cette mission où le Flying Officer Louis-Marcel Houde a reçu une immediate DFC.

On a eu deux missions principales cette nuit-là du 4 au 5 novembre 1944. Celle du 425 Alouette est la mission sur Bochum


Le 425 fait partie du Bomber Group 6.

749 bombardiers!

23 Halifax descendus! (pas seulement du 425 Alouette)

Les pertes furent surtout causés par les chasseurs de nuit allemands.

L’escadrille 346 perd 5 bombardiers.


749 aircraft

– 384 Halifaxes, 336 Lancasters, 29 Mosquitos

– of Nos 1, 4, 6 and 8 Groups.

23 Halifaxes and 5 Lancasters were lost;

German night fighters caused most of the casualties.

No 346 (Free French) Squadron, based at Elvington, lost 5 out of its 16 Halifaxes on the raid.

This was a particularly successful attack based upon standard Pathfinder marking techniques. Severe damage was caused to the centre of Bochum. More than 4,000 buildings were destroyed or seriously damaged. Bochum’s industrial areas were also severely damaged, particularly the important steelworks.

This was the last major raid by Bomber Command on this target.

L’autre mission est sur Dortmund-Ems Canal:

174 Lancasters and 2 Mosquitos of No 5 Group. 3 Lancasters lost. The Germans had partly repaired the section of the canal north of Münster after the No 5 Group raid in September, so this further attack was required. The banks of both branches of the canal were again breached and water drained off, leaving barges stranded and the canal unusable. A report from Speer to Hitler, dated 11 November 1944, was captured at the end of the war and described how the bombing of the canal was preventing smelting coke from the Ruhr mines reaching 3 important steelworks – 2 near Brunswick and 1 at Osnabrück. In his post-war interrogation, Speer stated that these raids on the Dortmund-Ems Canal, together with attacks on the German railway system, produced more serious setbacks to the German war industry at this time than any other type of bombing.

43 Mosquitos to Hannover and 6 to Herford, 39 RCM sorties, 68 Mosquito patrols. No aircraft lost. The No 100 Group Mosquitos claimed 4 Ju88s and 2 Me 110s destroyed and 2 other night fighters damaged, possibly their most successful night of the war.

Total effort for the night: 1,081 sorties, 31 aircraft (2.9 per cent) lost.

On trouvait aussi beaucoup d’information sur le site de Richard Koval qui n’est plus accessible. J’en avais conservé une partie dans mes archives, mais je n’ai rien trouvé sur le Flying Officer Louis-Marcel Houde et son équipage.

Heureusement j’ai certains ORBs du 425 Alouette. Je connais donc l’équipage avec lequel Louis-Marcel Houde a volé.


On s’en reparle la prochaine fois.

En attendant, cliquez sur ce lien pour comprendre pourquoi les vétérans ne parlent pas de la guerre.


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