17/3/45 ATTACK AGAINST AUGUSTE VIKTORIA (Marl-Hüls) – Benzol Oil Plant

F/S Vernon John Zinzan. Pilot
W/O James Sydney George Coote. Navigator
F/Sgt. R. Clarkson. Air Bomber*
Sgt. Miles Parr. Wireless Operator
Sgt. A. Ackroyd. Flight Engineer
Sgt. H. Hutchinson. Mid Upper Gunner
F/Sgt. James Henry Murphy. Rear Gunner

* It was only later in my research that I discovered the Zinzan crew had flown this raid. Based only on the assumption that Bob flew all remaining raids with the crew and that his logbook would provide the ‘definitive’ list of ops to work from for the crew, I totally overlooked this one. No current explanation why Dad missed this raid.

Lancaster Mk.I RF157
“X” for X-Ray

Bomb Load 1 x 4,000 H.C., 14 x 500 ANM.
Primary target – Auguste Viktoria
Good run in but visibility very poor. Good formation.

Up 11.54 17th March
Down 17.06 17th March
Total Flight Time 5 hours

75 (NZ) Sqn RAF Operations Record Book (ORB)
Nineteen aircraft took off to attack the Auguste Viktoria Benzol Oil plant. Cloud and vapour trails limited visibility to 50yds over the target, but the aircraft remained in light formation and bombs were released together. No results were seen. Opposition was slight H./F.

Page 149, 1945. Form 540/ 541 AIR27/ 647  75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal. National Archives.

Bomber Command War Diary
17 March 1945
167 Lancasters of No 3 Group carried out G-H attacks through cloud on benzol plants at Dortmund and Hüls. Both raids appeared to be accurate. No aircraft lost.

Page 682, The Bomber Command War Diaries. 2011. Everitt Middlebrook. Midland publishing.

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