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Lancaster ED445

Sgt B A Gumbley, Sgt C T Anderson, (Typing error in the ORB), P/O A A Greamer, Sgt J W Tarner, Sgt C W Morley, Sgt E Hyde, Sgt J Wood.

T/o Fiskerton 1904 landing 0003 Target Duty Cologne

Bombed primary 2121 hours. 18,000 ft. Hazy, no cloud. Centre of concentration of P.F.F markers (Green) in sight. Bombs seen to explode in triangle of three markers. Losts of incendiaries seen around outside town. 4000lb well concentrated. Several aircraft were seen to fall, probably due to collisions or fighters.
Part of the station ORB for 26 / 27 February 1943
26/27 February 1943

427 aircraft - 145 Lancasters, 126 Wellingtons, 106 Halifaxes, 46 Stirlings, 4 Mossquitoes. 10 aircraft - 4 Wellingtons 3 Lancasters, 2 Halifax, 1 Stirlings - Lost 2.3% of the force.

Most of the bombs from this large raid fell to the south-west of Cologne. Figures from Cologne itself suggest that only a quarter of the force hit the city. Anincreasingly familiar list of destroyed and damaged buildings was provided - much housing, minor indusrty, churches, historic buildings, public utilities and offices. The worst incedent was when 40 - 50 people were trapped in several blocks of flats hit by a 4,000 lb bomb in the Einhardstrasse. The wrekage began to burn before rescue workers could free the trapped people and most of them died. The total casualty list in Colognew was 109 people dead, more than 150 injured and 6,322 bombed ouy.

Minor operations: 2 Mosquitoes to Aachen, 21 aircraft minelaying in the Frisians, 4 O.T. U. sorties. No losses.
extract from
The Bomber Command War Diaries
By Middlebrook & Everitt
26/27 February 1943
26/27 February 1943 Cologne.

At 10.35hrs Group came on the 'blower' requesting 9 aircraft for a raid on Hamburg or Bremen.... But by 11.10 hrs this had been altered to Cologne. Sgt Price (ED431) and crew were the last away leaving Fiskerton at 19.25 hrs. Over 400 aircraft dropped their loads in the south-west aera of the city. Sgt Gumbley (ED445) and crew approached the target at 18,000 ft just after 21.20 hrs; he described the scene:
" The visibility was hazy with no cloud - we could see the green Pathfinder markers in the centre of the concentration and held this in our sights; bombs were seen exploding in a triangle of three markers and losts of incendiaries were seen strewn around outside of the twon; we saw several aircraft fall, probably due to collision or fighters!"
The flak came a little close to Sgt Stables (ED426) and crew in P-Peter. Sgt Stables reported:
" We had bombed from 17,000 ft in good visability. P/O Ken Gibson, our bomb aimer, held the green T.I. 's in teh sights - 11 minutes after leaving the target the port-inner engine failed due to flak damage sustained over the target , but we managed to return to base on the remaining 3 engines."
extract from
Beware Of The Dog At War
By John Ward
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