Air power over Europe, 1944-1945 (Australia in the war of by John Herington

By John Herington

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J, 1 �� \ / ,. , . �"'---- �..... "'\ [ \ ,. J�II ) II \ \ 1 1 .... ". �. 1 5-28 Apr RAID ON F R I E D R I CH S HA F E N 19 more than half of the residential and business areas. The experiences of crews on this eight hours and a half flight varied widely, many captains reporting a quiet trip while later arrivals had to face fighters over the target. Three Lancasters of No. 460 were among the 21 shot down, and Pilot Officer Cullen'" of the same squadron, off course on his outward journey was heavily engaged by the Strasbourg gun defences but continued on to Friedrichshafen and brought his crippled aircraft safely home.

463 and 467 each lost one flight commander and two other crews, or 20 per cent of the crews sent out. The last raid of the series, against Trappes near Paris on 2nd-3rd June, was again well executed but once more enemy fighters were waiting over the target; with the aid of moonlight and special flares they found many opportunities to attack. Two Halifaxes of No. 466 were shot down; another piloted by Flight Lieutenant J. H. Stevens was severely damaged by an Me-2 1 0 and at one stage of the homeward journey lost height until it was almost at ground level, although Stevens managed to keep his aircraft under control and reached base.

Squadrons was on 1 0th-1 1th May when Waddington provided 3 1 of the total force of 8 6 Lancasters which attacked Lille, near the B elgian border. Squadron Leader H. B. Locke of No. 97 Squadron controlled this force and the bombing was very concentrated and effective. Gun defences were not unduly heavy but in numerous combats with enemy fighters Nos. 463 and 467 each lost one flight commander and two other crews, or 20 per cent of the crews sent out. The last raid of the series, against Trappes near Paris on 2nd-3rd June, was again well executed but once more enemy fighters were waiting over the target; with the aid of moonlight and special flares they found many opportunities to attack.

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