Ken Marshall has a Facebook Page honouring Bomber Command. He has written a book in 1996 and a revised edition which I have been reading since January.
I have now a different view of the role Bomber Command played during World War Two. Ken Marshall has to be commended for his research on Bomber Command and Sir Arthur Harris who has been vilified much much too long.
Lest we forget.
Bomber Command Operations 1942.
75 years ago.
Night Ops, February 14/15th, Monday night and early Tuesday:-
1) Mannheim – 98 aircraft dispatched. 67 claimed to have bombed the city in difficult conditions. Mannheim reports only a light raid with 2 buildings destroyed, 15 damaged, some railway damage and 1 man wounded (he was outside his shelter) and 23 people bombed out. A machinery works employing 15 people had to close down until an unexploded bomb was cleared. No aircraft were ‘lost’, but three came down either in England or close to the coast:-
49 Sqdn, Hampden I, AE397, EA-G, P/O. Allsebrook (why does his name ring a bell?) and crew ran out of fuel and with both engines cutting out, the pilot ditched the bomber off the Isle of Wight. No injuries reported.
49 Sqdn, Hampden I, AT112, EA-?, Sgt. R. N. Hamer and crew also ran out of fuel and crashed while trying to make an emergency landing near Upwood airfield. Again, no injuries reported.
78 Sqdn, Whitley V, Z9320, EY-?, Sgt. J. C. Stevens and crew, while returning to base at Croft with its wireless equipment u/s, the a/c strayed off track and came down in the sea 20 miles S of Bournemouth. All were picked up and taken to RN Hospital Haslar for treatment to their injuries.
2) Minor Ops – 15 a/c to Le Havre and 1 Manchester on a Nickelling trip to France. All returned safely.
Just to keep up the Blenheim crews rest, there were no Daylight Ops on Tuesday 15th February.
I hope you all noticed that yesterday’s new Area Bombing Directive arrived at High Wycombe almost 10 days before Bert Harris!
Painting by Joe Crowfoot