January 15/16,1943

S/Ldr W. Allison -- 424 Squadron
While on operations to Lorient on January 15/16, 1943, Wellington III Z-1674 coded QB-G flown by S/Ldr W. Allison from 424 Squadron, was attacked by a FW-190 just after crossing the French coast near Lorient. The time was 19:15, visibility was good with a bright moon and 4/10ths cloud below. The height was 12,000 feet and airspeed was 145 mph.

The enemy aircraft was first sighted directly astern, level at 600 yards, by P/O A. Rorke, the rear gunner. As the range decreased to 400 yards the FW-190 took a position on the port quarter level. 

The rear gunner held his fire until the enemy aircraft approached within 300 yards, then gave the evasive action, turn port and opened fire, giving one long burst of about 250 rounds. 

Due to some misunderstanding the pilot of the Wellington carried out an evasive turn to starboard instead of port. This gave the rear gunner a bow view of the enemy aircraft and tracer appeared to enter the starboard wing and fuselage. Evasive action “turn port” was given by the second pilot who had taken up a position in the astrodome. 

The enemy aircraft broke away at about 150 yards range, aide slipping to port and disappeared below. The enemy aircraft did not open fire. The rear gunner fired 250 rounds from 3 guns, one gun ceased to fire after about 3 rounds due to a number 1 stoppage.

At 19:23 a second enemy aircraft was sighted by the rear gunner, who identified it as being a JU-88. The enemy aircraft approached from the direction of a cloudbank on the port quarter below, and was first sighted at a range of 500 yards. 

The JU-88 came straight in to a climbing attack and the rear gunner held his fire till the range closed to 400 yards, after which he gave one long burst of 300 rounds from 3 guns. At 250 yards the enemy aircraft flattened out and broke away to port below. 

The enemy aircraft did not open fire. There was no search light activity or any other indication of attack during either of these encounters. The enemy aircraft carried no identification lights.