22/9/43 Attack Against Targets at Hanover

F/S Allan Johnson Mayfield RNZAF. Pilot
F/O Kenneth Albiston* Second Pilot
P/O Jack Francis David Jarmy. Navigator
Sgt. Robert Douglas  Sommerville. Air Bomber
F/S William Lake. Wireless Operator
Sgt. A. Warburton. Flight Engineer
Sgt. Thomas Darbyshire. Mid Upper Gunner
F/S John Sebastian Hulena RNZAF. Rear Gunner

Striling Mk.III EH939 ‘J’ for Johnny

Up 18.40 22nd September
Down 04.00 23rd September
Total Flight Time 9 hours 20 minutes

75 (NZ) Sqn RAF Operations Record Book (ORB)
Twenty aircraft were detailed to carry out the above attacks with bombs of 1,000lb. and incediaries of 30lb. and 4lb.. Three aircraft returned early, but the remainder dropped their bombs in the target area. This was a very successful and concentrated attack. Numerous fires which appeared to be merging into one large fire were seen, and were still visible as the aircraft were returning over the DUTCH Coast. Heavy A.A. fire and a great number of searchlights were encountered, but proved ineffective. Several enemy aircraft were seen and one of our Stirlings was hit, but the attacker was not seen, damage was received to the tail and mainplane, and the port petrol tanks were punctured. The aircraft, however, was safely flown back to base and a crash landing was made with three engines. It was clear over the target and visibility was excellent. Navigation was very good.
Page 592, 1943. Form 540/ 541 AIR27/ 646  75(NZ) Squadron RAF, Mepal. National Archives.

Bomber Command War Diary
22 September  1943
711 aircraft – 322 Lancasters, 226 Halifaxes, 137 Stirlings, 26 Wellingtons – on the first major raid to Hannover for 2 years; this was the first of a series of 4 heavy raids on this target. 5 American B-17s also took part in the raid, their first night raid on Germany. 26 aircraft – 12 Halifaxes, 7 Lancasters, 5 Stirlings, 2 Wellingtons – lost, 3.7 per cent of the force. Visibility in the target area was good but stronger winds than forecast caused the marking and the bombing to be concentrated between 2 and 5 miles south-south-east of the city centre.

21 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of No 8 Group carried out a diversionary raid at Oldenburg, dropping much ‘Window’ and many flares and target indicators to simulate the arrival of a larger force. The losses on the Hannover raid, lower than the recent average, may indicate that this tactic was partially successful. No aircraft were lost on the diversionary raid.

12 Mosquitos on a further diversion to Emden, 4 Stirlings minelaying in the Frisians, 7 OTU sorties. No losses.

Page 432, 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