January 29/30,1943

Sgt A. Cochrane -- 408 Squadron
At 20:48 while taking part in an attack on Lorient on January 29/30,1943, Halifax II DT-676 coded EQ-B flown by Sgt A. Cochrane from 408 Squadron was attacked by a JU-88 while approaching the target area on a course of 185 degrees and at 150 mph.
The aircraft was flying at approximately 16,000 feet and the bomb load was still on board. 

Cloud was considerable and our aircraft was flying immediately above the tops of the clouds, which were illuminated from below by search lights. When the enemy aircraft opened fire at approximately 200 yards and as the visibility was very poor, the enemy aircraft was not seen or identified by the mid upper gunner until the attack was broken off at 50 yards. About 50 rounds were fired at out aircraft which did not sustain any damage. The attack came from the port quarter below and after the attack was broken, the enemy aircraft was not seen again. 

Owing to the suddenness and very short duration of the attack, our gunners had no time to open fire on the enemy aircraft, but evasive action was taken in a violent corkscrew. It would appear that our aircraft was seen from above, silhouetted against the illuminated clouds by the enemy aircraft which then positioned itself for the attack from below. A little heavy flak was experienced during the attack and the I.F.F was used, which had no apparent affect on the search lights or flak.

From the angle at which the tracer came toward the Halifax in relation to the direction of flight of the enemy aircraft, our gunners do not think that the enemy aircraft was lined up on the bomber to fire with its fixed guns, and suggest that one or two machine guns on a free mounting were used.

Previous to the attack the bomber had been followed by another aircraft, type unknown, which had a white light on the nose. This aircraft made several attacking approaches, but never came closer than 1,000 yards. Our bomber took violent corkscrewing evasive action which however, did not shake off the other aircraft. This aircraft was not seen after the bomber had been attacked by the JU-88

Sgt G. Duffield -- 424 Squadron
Aircraft Wellington III BJ-658 coded QB-Q flown by Sgt G. Duffield of 424 Squadron was detailed to attack Lorient on January 29/30,1943. The aircraft took off at 16:48 and proceeded as ordered. Our aircraft was at 13,000 feet, 147 mph on a course of 213 degrees when an unidentified aircraft was sighted at 20:00, approximately over the town of Pluiban, flying 600 yards above and to port. There was no moon and only slight patches of stars could be seen. Our aircraft was in thick patchy cloud about 8/10ths. 

The enemy aircraft did a tight turn to port away from our aircraft and continued around to attack on the port quarter. Sgt C. Paddock RCAF, the rear gunner, opened fire at 600 yards and the enemy aircraft broke off and disappeared into the cloud. Later he appeared in his original position above the Wellington’s tail. He repeated the same manoeuver twice and broke off when the rear gunner opened fire. The enemy aircraft then approached on a similar attack but came in on the port beam. He came in to 250 yards where the rear gunner opened fire. 

Strikes were observed by the rear gunner and Sgt Duke in the astrodome, on the nose of the aircraft. The enemy aircraft then broke off. The Wellington at this time was at the primary target and bombed from 13,000 feet. The enemy aircraft was lost entering the flak. Five minutes later, after leaving the target, an aircraft was seen in a similar position to the first enemy aircraft over on the starboard quarter. The enemy aircraft made an identical attack on the starboard quarter and broke off when the rear gunner opened fire. He then climbed back to his original position where it was joined by another unidentified aircraft which remained there while the first commenced another attack breaking away as before. 

The two aircraft were joined by a third, fourth and fifth aircraft at approximately the French coast. They flew together for a short distance, then two broke off and a third disappeared. The two remaining aircraft shadowed the Wellington, one breaking off at the English coast and the other proceeding and losing height with the Wellington. 

At about 6 miles inland this enemy aircraft disappeared and was not seen again. The enemy aircraft did not open fire on any of there attacks on the Wellington. The rear gunner fired about 2,500 rounds from all guns without any stoppages. No claims were made. 

The enemy aircraft were clearly seen by the Wellington crew who reported they were able to follow its course because of a peculiar whitish grey glow which completely enshrouded the whole aircraft. On opening fire on all attacks the rear gunner instructed the pilot to turn into the attack immediately. Heavy weaving was carried out from the French coast on the outward journey until after the English coast on the homeward journey. 

F/Sgt A. Jackson -- 425 Squadron
While on operation to Lorient on January 29/30,1943, the rear gunner, Sgt G. Chaput of 425 Squadron, flying in Wellington III X-3648 coded KW-R flown by F/Sgt A. Jackson sighted an enemy aircraft just after crossing the French coast near Lorient, which he identified as a JU-88. The time was 20:20, visibility was moderate with bright moonlight and 10/10ths cloud below. The height was 12,000 feet and airspeed was 150 mph. 

The JU-88 was first sighted by the rear gunner from the port quarter below at 300 yards. The JU-88 opened fire at the range with a long burst, the rear gunner replied with a short burst of 150 rounds at 250 yards range. 

Evasive action "dive to port" was given by Sgt Chaput and our aircraft dived into the cloud. The evasive action put the JU-88 astern and above and was never seen again. No result of fire was seen and we did not sustain damage. Sgt Chaput fired 150 rounds from 3 guns as the port inner did not fire due to a #3 stoppage. 

There was search light activity on the clouds below which seemed to plot a course of our aircraft for the JU-88 to follow, as it was following for a couple minutes. The JU-88 carried no identification lights.