April 20/21, 1944

    154 Halifaxes from 419, 420, 424, 425, 427, 428, 429, 431, 432, 433, and 434 squadrons were ordered to attack the rail facilities at Lens. The crews were over the target at between 8,000 and 12,000 feet, releasing 1,735,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, the yards were accurately bombed with severe damage.

    P/O R. Leonard, RCAF and crew flying Halifax III LW-692, coded PT-V, from 420 squadron failed to return from this operation.

      Sgt. P. Gough, RAF
      Sgt. A. Warren, RAF
      W/O2 H. Wilson, RCAF
      Sgt. C. Wheelhouse, RAF
      Sgt. J. Bourcier, RCAF–POW
      Sgt. R. Anderson, RCAF–POW
    5 crew members were killed and 2 POWs

    Sgt. J. Landry from 425 squadron did not release the load as the jettison bars were locked.

    F/Lt. C. Ford from 428 squadron was attacked by an enemy aircraft on return. The Halifax caught fire and 3 crew bailed out on the pilot’s orders. F/Lt. Ford was able to get the Halifax under control and the fire was put out. They were able to crash land at Attlebridge with injuries to the rest of the crew. Unfortunately the rear gunner, P/O A. Shaw, RAF died of his injuries.

    F/O E. Howland from 429 squadron landed at Woodbridge on return as the brakes were u/s.

    P/O J. Fetherston from 431 squadron returned early as the stbd outer was u/s. They landed safely at Edgehill on 3 engines.

    While some crews went to Lens, 22 Lancasters from 408 and 426 squadrons were ordered too attack Cologne. The crews were over the target at 19,000 feet, releasing 252,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, the north and west sectors were damaged with the industrial area and some railyards severely damaged.

    F/O D. Ryan from 408 squadron was hit by flak, there were holes in the bomb doors.
    F/Sgt. J. McCaffrey had both stbd engines go u/s on return. They landed safely at Docking on 2 engines.

    F/Sgt. N. Craig from 426 squadron returned early as the stbd inner was u/s. 
    F/Sgt. R. Sellen was hit by incendiaries over the target. The port wing was damaged and stbd outer engine caught fire. The fire was put out and they landed safely at Woodbridge on 3 engines.

    5 Halifaxes from 428 squadron were ordered on a mining operation to Le Havre. The crews were over the garden at 15,000 feet, sowing 8@1500 lb mines.

    S/Ldr. F. McGugan, RCAF, flying Halifax II JP-199, coded NA-O, had an engine catch fire. This quickly spread to the wing. The crew successfully bailed out, except the pilot, who rode the Halifax down. F/O G. England was killed when his parachute failed to open. The Halifax crashed near Didcot.

      Sgt. R. Ellis, RAF
      F/O T. Steele, RCAF
      F/O G. England, RCAF
      W/O2 N. Mason, RCAF
      Sgt. J. Eyre, RAF
      Sgt. L. Lapond, RCAF

    ~Headquarters~  ~Squadrons~  ~Order of  Battle~  ~Airfields~  ~Aircraft~ ~Photos~ ~DailyOps~ ~Noseart~  ~StrikePhotos~   ~Mining Codes~  ~Home~ Orders&Awards~ ~Betty'sBar~ ~Links~ ~What'sNew~ ~SignGuestbook~  ~ViewGuestbook~ ~E-mailMe~