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Lancaster ED999

P/O 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 2002 landing 0336 Target Duty Berlin

Berlin 2359 hrs 20,000 ft. Thin cloud, good vis. Large explosion observed giving orange glow about 15 miles S.of target. 2351 hrs Monica used, window 168 bundles ff. PFF track markers of utmost assistance. wether and route good.
Part of the station ORB for 31 August - 1 September 1943
31 August - 1 Sepember 1943

On the last night of August 1943, the Squadron dispatched 16 Lancasters to Berlin, but Sgt Blackmore was soon forced to return when JB139 developed intercom problems.

Strong German defences plus difficulties encountered by the H2S equipped Pathfinders combined to make this raid a failure. Once again the force of 622 raiders suffered heavily, with 47 of their number going down.

All 49's aircraft came home unscathed, although F/O Thomas (ED438) and crew in R - Robert, tangles with a night fighter over the target. Both gunners, Sgts Minns and Boxer managed to drive this attacker off.
extract from
The Bomber Command War Diaries
By Middlebrook & Everitt
31 August - 1 Sepember 1943
lancaster_bombers025002.gif hcnext_b.gif hchome_b.gif
extract from
Beware Of The Dog At War
By John Ward
31 August - 1 Sepember 1943

622 aircraft - 331 Lancasters, 176 Halifaxes, 106 Stirlings, 9 Mosquitoes.
 47 aircraft - 20 Halifaxes, 17 Stirlings, 10 Lancasters - were lost 7.6% The Stirling casualties were 16.0%! Approximately two thirds of the bombers were shot down by German fighters operating over or near Berlin. The use of 'fighter flares', dropped by German aircraft to 'mark' the bomber routes into and awy from the target, was noted for the first time in Bomber Command records.

This raid was not successful. There was some cloud in the target area; this together with difficulties with H2S equipment and probably the ferocity of the German defences, all combined to cause the Pathfinder markers to be dropped well south of the centre of the target area and the Main Force bombing to be even further away. The main bombing area eventually extended 30 miles back along the bomber's approach route. 85 dwelling houses were destroyed in Berlin but the only industrial building hit classed as damaged - 4 serverly and 3 lightly. The only important public buildings hit were the headquarters of the Berlin Inland canal and Harbour system The state police hospital and some market halls. 66 civilians and 2 soldiers were killed. 109 people were injured and 2,784 bombed out.

After this raid Gauleiter Geobbels ordered the evacuation from Berlin of all children and all adults not engaged in war work to country areas or to towns in Eastern Germany where air raids were not expected.

Minor Operations: 30 O.T.U. Wellingtons with 6 Mosquitoes and 5 Halifaxes of the Pathfinders bombed an ammunition dump in the Foret de Hesdin and 6 Mosquitoes were sent to Brauweiler. No aircraft lost.