20/2/45 ATTACK AGAINST DORTMUND

20-feb-dortmundCrew
F/S Vernon John Zinzan. Pilot
P/O James Sydney George Coote. Navigator
F/O Robert Douglas Sommerville. Air Bomber
Sgt. Miles Parr. Wireless Operator
Sgt. A. Ackroyd. Flight Engineer
Sgt. H. Hutchinson. Mid Upper Gunner
F/Sgt. Herbert Steele. Rear Gunner

Aircraft
Lancaster Mk.I ME450
“W” for William

Remarks
Bomb Load 1 x 4,000 H.C., 6 x 750 LB. Cluster, 5 x 500lb cluster
Primary target Dortmund
Good concentration of fires with aa good red glow.

Flight
Up 20.58 20th February
Down 03.41 21st February
Total Flight Time 6 hours 43 minutes

75 (NZ) Sqn RAF Operations Record Book (ORB)
20/2/45
Operations.
Ten aircraft attacked Dortmund as detailed. AA”E” captained by F/L. E. Abrahams returned early through engine failiure. Cloud was 9-10/10ths, tops 5-6,000’. Some moderate H/F was met over the target. No fighters were seen. Crews reported seeing many small fires . A successful raid was reported.

Page 84, 1945. Form 540/ 541 AIR27/ 647  75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal. National Archives.

Bomber Command War Diary
20 February 1945
Operation Thunderclap
514 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups attacked Dortmund in Bomber Command’s last large-scale raid on this target. 14 Lancasters lost. The intention of this raid was to destroy the southern half of Dortmund and Bomber Command claimed that this was achieved.
173 aircraft – 156 Halifaxes, 11 Mosquitos, 6 Lancasters – of Nos 4 and 8 Groups attacked the Rhenania Ossag refinery in the Reisholz district of Düsseldorf. The raid was accurate and it was later established that all oil production was halted. 4 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster lost.
128 aircraft – 112 Halifaxes, 10 Mosquitos, 6 Lancasters – of 6 and 8 Groups attacked the Rhenania Ossag refinery at Monheim with similar results to the Reisholz raid. 2 Halifaxes lost.
154 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos of No 5 Group were ordered to attack the Mittelland Canal near Gravenhorst but the raid was ordered to be abandoned by the Master Bomber because the area was covered by cloud. No aircraft lost.
Diversionary and 91 aircraft from Heavy Conversion Units in a sweep over the North Sea, 66 Mosquitos to Berlin and 16 to Mannheim, 65 RCM sorties, 45 Mosquito patrols, 6 aircraft on Resistance operations. 1 aircraft of No 100 Group (type not recorded) lost.
Total effort for the night: 1,283 sorties, 22 aircraft (1.7 per cent) lost.

Page 666, The Bomber Command War Diaries. 2011. Everitt Middlebrook. Midland publishing.

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