2/3/45 ATTACK AGAINST COLOGNE

Crew
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 NG449
“T” for Tare

Remarks
Bomb Load 1 x 4,000 H.C. 14 x 500 ANM.
Abortive.
G.H. Leaders did not bomb, so bombs brought back.

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)
2/3/45
Operations. 
Twenty aircraft were detailed to attack Cologne. No aircraft bombed owing to special equipment failiure. Three aircraft jettisoned due to flak damage to engines, the remainder bringing their bombs back. F/O Woodcock was wounded in the neck and his engineer F/Sgt. Gibb in the legs but landed safely at base.

Page 116, 1945. Form 540/ 541 AIR27/ 647  75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal. National Archives.

F/Sgt. Alan Gibb DFM RAFVR 1826205. FE. 10th Feb to (wounded) 2nd March 1945.
Citation DFM (27 Apr 1945 (Imm)):
This airman was flight engineer in an aircraft detailed to attack Cologne in March 1945. When nearing the target the  aircraft was hit by anti-aircraft fire and sustained much damage. Sergeant Gibb was severely wounded in the leg. The injury bled profusely. Nevertheless the airman applied himself to the task of feathering the propeller of the damaged starboard engine without thought for his own welfare. It was then that other crewmembers became aware of his plight and gave him first aid. Although forced to lie on the floor of the aircraft Sergeant Gibb insisted on remaining near his station in order to advise another member of the crew with regard to the various engineering duties to be performed. This airman set a fine example of courage and devotion to duty.”

Bomber Command War Diary
2 March 1945
Operation Thunderclap
858 aircraft – 531 Lancasters, 303 Halifaxes, 24 Mosquitos – raided Cologne in 2 waves. 6 Lancasters and 2 Halifaxes were lost and 1 Halifax crashed in Belgium. The first raid was carried out by 703 aircraft and the second by 155 Lancasters of No 3 Group. In the second raid, however, only 15 aircraft bombed, because the G-H station in England was not working correctly. The main raid was highly destructive, with the Pathfinders marking in clear weather conditions. This was the last RAF raid on Cologne, which was captured by American troops 4 days later.

Page 673, The Bomber Command War Diaries. 2011. Everitt Middlebrook. Midland publishing

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