19/3/45 ATTACK AGAINST HAMM – Railway Yards

19 mar HammCrew
F/S Vernon John Zinzan. Pilot
W/O James Sydney George Coote. Navigator
F/O Alexander Annandale Sommerville. Air Bomber*
Sgt. Miles Parr. Wireless Operator
Sgt. A. Ackroyd. Flight Engineer
Sgt. H. Hutchinson. Mid Upper Gunner
Sgt. E Smith. Rear Gunner**

* The second incorrect listing of the A/B in the ORB. Again, this was Bob, though perhaps the mistake is understandable as it appears there was another Sommerville in the Squadron. F/O Alexander Annandale Sommerville RNZAF NZ425459 was actually a navigator , flying with the Squadron between 10th March to 24th July 1945. Crewed with Leslie Gordon Sinclair.

**Not sure about the identity of Sgt. E. Smith. There is only one Smith in the Nominal Roll with a first initial E, however this individual is listed as a Pilot, though his time with the Squadron does make him present at the time of this raid.

Lancaster Mk.I RF127
“W” for William

Bomb Load 6 x 1,000 ANM., 9 x 500 ANM., 1 x 350 Munro
Primary Target – Hamm M/ Yard.
Formatting fair over target.

Up 10.11 19th March
Down 17.41 19th March
Total Flight Time 5 hours 30 minutes

75 (NZ) Sqn RAF Operations Record Book (ORB)
Twenty one aircraft were detailed to attack the Marshalling Yards at Hamm. There were 6-7/10ths cloud over the target with tops at about 10,000ft. Some confusion was caused by the preceding squadron leading this squadron off track and scattering the formation. However a fair concentration was attained in the end. Some H/F was encountered.

Page 156, 1945. Form 540/ 541 AIR27/ 647  75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal. National Archives.

Bomber Command War Diary
19 March 1945
153 aircraft – 125 Halifaxes, 16 Lancasters, 12 Mosquitos – of Nos 4 and No 6 Groups attempted to hit the railway yards at Recklinghausen but cloud and a strong wind spoiled the Pathfinder marking and the bombing was well scattered. No aircraft lost.
99 Lancasters of No 3 Group attacked the railway yards at Hamm and 14 Lancasters of No 9 Squadron attacked the railway bridge at Arnsberg. Bombs were seen to explode in the target area at both targets. No aircraft lost.

Page 684, The Bomber Command War Diaries. 2011. Everitt Middlebrook. Midland publishing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s