April 26/27, 1944

    24 Lancasters from 408 and 426 squadrons were joined by 94 Halifaxes from 420, 424, 425, 429, 431, 432, and 433 Squadrons on an attack at Essen. The crews were over the target at between 20,000 and 24,000 feet, releasing 71,000 lbs of high explosives and 500,000 lbs of incendiaries. According to reports, the weather was clear and severe damage was caused.

    P/O N. Sutherland from 408 squadron returned early as the port inner was u/s. They landed safely at base on 3 engines.
    W/O2 W. Kasper was hit by flak, not serious.
    F/Sgt J. McCaffery was coned by searchlights for 3 minutes over the target.
    F/O E. Rognan RCAF and crew flying Lancaster II DS-719 coded EQ-U failed to return from this operation.

      Sgt J. Gilbert RAF
      1St/Lt F. Shove USAAF
      W/O2 G. Butson RCAF
      W/O1 J. Potter RCAF
      P/O R. Hendry RCAF
      P/O D. Greatrex RCAF
    All were killed.

    F/Sgt G. Pritchard did not bomb as the load hung up over the target.

    F/O E. Kirk from 425 squadron returned early as the under carriage was u/s.
    Sgt J. Landry was attacked by an enemy aircraft, it was claimed destroyed.

    P/O D. Berry from 426 Squadron had the stbd outer go u/s outbound. They bombed from 17,000 feet and returned safely to base on 3 engines.

    W/O2 L. Mitchell from 429 Squadron returned early as the stbd outer was u/s. They landed safely at base on 3 engines.

    P/O A. Tinmouth from 431 Squadron returned early as the oxygen to the rear gunner was u/s.
    P/O W. Craig was attacked by an enemy aircraft, there were holes in the wings, fuselage and the stbd tire was flat. The under carriage collapsed on landing but the crew was unhurt.
    P/O I. Gilchrist was hit by flak, the stbd inner caught fire and was u/s. There was also a fire in the fuselage that Sgt E. Myers RAF, the Flt/ engineer battled for 20 minutes successfully without oxygen.  

    F/O H. Smith from 432 squadron was hit by flak, not serious.

    F/Sgt G. Hall from 433 Squadron returned early as the oxygen system was u/s.
     
     

    While part of the group attacked Essen, 47 Halifaxes from 419, 427, 428, and 434 Squadrons were ordered on an attack of the rail yards at Villeneuve St. Georges. The crews were over the target at between 10,000 and 11,000 feet, releasing 426,000 lbs of high explosives. According to reports, the attack was successful. 

    F/O W. Barclay from 419 squadron did not bomb as there were no T.Iís.

    P/O H. Frith from 434 Squadron returned without bombing as they were too late at the target.
    F/O W. Wright was attacked by a JU-88, it was claimed damaged.

    6 Halifaxes from 434 Squadron were ordered on a mining operation to Texel. 
    All crews were recalled to base as there was no Gee coverage.
     


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