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Essen
Lancaster ED416

Sgt C T Anderson, Sgt R C Paterson, Sgt J P Nugent, Sgt W D Bickle, Sgt A W Buck, Sgt G J Green, Sgt E Ewan

T/o Fiskerton 1946 landing 0014 Target Duty Essen

Bombed primary 2133 hours. 19,000 ft. Vis goog, no cloud, slight haze. Red T.I marker built up area seen. Ground marker in sight.
Exceptionally large explosion seen 1 minute before "Bombs gone" - Port inner engine cut on return and couldnot restart.
Part of the station ORB for 12/13 March 1943
12/13 March 1943
Essen

457 aircraft - 158 Wellingtons, 156 Lancasters, 91 Halifaxes, 42 Stirlings, 10 Mosquitoes. 23 aircraft - 8 Lancasters, 7 Halifaxes, 6 Wellingtons, 2 Stirlings Lost 5.0% of the force.

This was another very successful Oboe marked raid. The centre of the bombing area was right across the giant Krupps factory, just west of the city centre, with the later bombing drifting back to the north-western outskirts. Photographic interpretation assessed that Krupps recieved 30% more damage on this night than on the earlier successful raid of 5/6 March. Nearly 500 houses were also destroyed in the raid. The number of people killed is variously reported between 169 and 322, with 198 probably being the most acurate figure, made up of 64 men 45 women, 19 children, 4 soldierss, 61 forign workers and 5 prisoners of war.

German records say that one third of the bombs dropped on this night did not hit Essen and that 39 people were killed in other towns with Bottrop, just north of Essen, being the worst hit, but these towns were all close to Essen and there was often no clear divison between overlapping built up areas.

Minor operations: 9 Stirlings minelaying in the Frisians, 7 O.T.U. sorties. No losses
extract from
The Bomber Command War Diaries
By Middlebrook & Everitt
12/13 March 1943
12/13 March 1943 Essen.

A large force of 457 bombers approached a well marked Essen, The Oboe Mossies had done their work well. Of the 10 crews from 49 Squadron, 6 had been to Stuttgart the previous night. For Sqt Cyril Anderson (ED416) and crew this was their first trip together... On leaving the target the port inner engine cut out, forcing them to return on 3 engines.
Just 11 days later, they along with another 49 Squadron crew (Sgt Townsend) wouls be selected by W/Cdr Guy Gibson for the new 617 Squadron; but below them on this night was the giant Krupps works which was in the centre of wide scale destruction.

The defences were stronger than the previous visit and resulted in 23 planes failing to return; 49's were all safe.
extract from
Beware Of The Dog At War
By John Ward
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