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Lancaster ED702

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

T/o Dunholme Lodge 1833 Target Duty Mannheim

Missing without trace. Route believed Clacton - 5058N - 49955N 6750E - Mannheim
Part of the station ORB for 5/6 September 1943
23/24 Sepember 1943

The northern part of of Mannheim suffered bombing from 628 aircraft. It cost Bomber Command 18 Lancasters 7 Halifaxes and 7 Wellingtons.

After mid afternoon bus trip from Fiskerton 13 crews had climbed away from Dunholme Lodge by 18.56 hrs. Once over the target, fighters were once aian much in evidence. The use of searchlights in co-ordination with fighters accounted for many losses.

Pilot Ernie Webb's Lancaster became coned with searchlights over the target area and he and the crew knew what to expect next!.. the fighter came in from the rear hitting and causing damage to the aft portion of the Lancaster Percy Horten in the rear turret returned fire, driving off their attacker, whilst evasive action was taken by the pilot. The pilot managed to find dark sky and relative safety. It wasn't until much later that percy revealed that he had in fact been hit by cannon fire.

On return to base Ernie was given a priority landing with his gunner needing urgent attention. The aircraft DV238 O - Oboe, was taken to No. 52 Base pool for repair and later returned to ops with 44 Sqd. Percy was taken to RAF Hospital Rauceby for repair, then he too returned to ops with his old .. and welcoming crew.

Sadly, the luck of two other 49 Squadron crews did not hlod out. Cyril Anderson and his 'Dambuster' crew flying in the winco's aircraft D - Donald , failed to return and were all later reported killed this would have been their 21st operation. The crew are buried at Rheinburg in Germany. F/Sgt Dave Stanton and crew on only their third trip were also missing and they were too later reported killed; their graves are in the Durnbach Cemetery Germany.
extract from
The Bomber Command War Diaries
By Middlebrook & Everitt
23/24 Sepember 1943
lancaster_bombers025002.gif hcnext_b.gif hchome_b.gif
extract from
Beware Of The Dog At War
By John Ward
23/24 Sepember 1943


628 aircraft - 312 Lancasters, 193 Halifaxes, 115 Stirlings, 8 Mosquitoes. 5 B-17's also took part. 32 aircraft - 18 Lancasters, 7 Halifaxes, 7 Wellingtons, - lost 5.1% of the force.

This raid was intended to destroy the northern part of Mannheim, which had not been so serverly hit in the successful raid earlier in the month. The Pathfinder plan worked well and concentrated bombing fell on the inteded area. although later stages of the raid crept back across the northern edge of Ludwigshafen and out into the open country. The following buildings were destroyed in Mannheim: 927 houses, 20 industrial premises, 11 schools, 6 public buildings anda church. A large number of other buildings were damaged and approximately 25,000 people were bombed out of their homes. 102 people were killed and 418 injured. There were more than 2,000 fires.

Local records (provided on this night by Herr Erwin Folz and not from the local authorities) show the ;ater stages of the bombing crept back across the Rhine to the northern part of Ludwigshafen, where th I.G Farben factory was serverly damaged, and then to the smaller outlaying towns of Oppau and Frankenthal. Ludwigshafen suffered 47 people killed and 260 injured. A further 8,000 people were bombed out, of whom 4,289 were foreign workers. The centre of the small town of Frankenthal was completly burnt out and 38 people killed there.