On Thursday 15 March 1945, a member of the 214 Sqdn, Flight Lieutenant H Rix, took off from Oulton in the United Kingdom. His mission is mentioned elsewhere on Back to Normandy. You can find the other details of this mission by searching here. Training and cargo flights are not separately mentioned as a mission. The plane left at 17:20.
He flew with a B-17 Flying Fortress (type III , serial HB802 , code BU-O).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force):: 2 missions are flown.
Mission 889: 1,353 bombers and 833 fighters are dispatched to hit German Army HQ and a marshalling yard at Oranienburg; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 9 bombers and 4 fighters are lost:
1. 308 of 372 B-24s and 276 of 300 B-17s hit the Germany Army HQ at Zossen, near Berlin visually; targets of opportunity for the B-24s are the Gardlingen rail center (31), the rail bridge at Parey (11) and other (3) and for B-17s, the marshalling yard at Stendal (13) and other (3); 1 B-24 is lost, 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 32 B-24s and 20 B-17s are damaged; 4 airmen are KIA, 8 WIA and 21 MIA.
Escorting are 397 P-51s and P-47s; they claim 1-0-0 aircraft in the air; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
2. 612 of 675 B-17s attack the marshalling yard at Oranienburg visually; targets of opportunity are Wittenberg (31), Havelberg (12), the marshalling yards at Durstadt (1) and Mellendorf (1), Schmarsau (1) and Dedelstorf Airfield (1) some of which are hit with H2X radar; 8 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 288 damaged; 8 airmen are WIA and 66 MIA.
320 of 352 P-51s escort; 1 is lost.
3. 6 B-17s fly a screening mission without loss.
4. 29 of 30 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
5. 9 P-51s fly a sweep of the Bonn-Koblenz area.
6. 9 of 12 P-51s escort 24 F-5s and 4 Spitfires on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
Mission 890: 14 of 16 B-24s bomb the rail station at Munster during the night using PFF methods.
(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 9th Bombardment Division A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s attack communications centers at Neunkirchen and Pirmasens, marshalling yards at Turkismuhle and Erbach, 3 flak positions, and several other targets, as well as dropping leaflets on Koblenz; fighters hit the Overberge marshalling yard and other targets, escort the bombers, fly sweeps and armed reconnaissance, and support the US XII Corps crossing the Mosel River in an offensive toward the Rhine River, and the XX Corps E of Trier and Saarbrucken.
HQ 10th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) and the 15th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron move from Doncourt Airfield, Conflans and Giraumont, France respectively to Evren Airfield, Trier, Germany with F-6s; the 393d and 394th Fighter Squadrons, 367th Fighter Group, move from St Dizier to Conflans, France with P-47s; and the 411th Fighter Squadron, 373d Fighter Group, moves from Le Culot, Belgium to Venlo, the Netherlands with P-47s.
Campaign report of the RAF:
14/15 March 1945
244 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked the Wintershall synthetic-oil refinery at Lützkendorf. Photographic reconnaissance showed that 'moderate damage' was caused. 18 Lancasters were lost, 7.4 per cent of the Lancaster force.
230 aircraft - 121 Lancasters, 98 Halifaxes, 11 Mosquitos - of Nos 6 and 8 Groups to Zweibrücken. No aircraft lost. This attack was directed on to the town area to block the passage through it of German troops and stores to the nearby front line, The raid took place in good visibility and was very effective. The local report shows that every public building and inn and 80 per cent of the houses in the town were destroyed or damaged. Most of the civilian population had been evacuated; those remaining took shelter in 2 large caves in the north and south of the town or in the normal basement shelters of their houses.
161 aircraft - 127 Halifaxes, 23 Lancasters, 11 Mosquitos - of 4 and 8 Groups on the same task as the Zweibrücken raid proceeded to Homburg. No local report is available but it is believed that this attack was equally successful. 2 Halifaxes lost.
75 Mosquitos to Berlin and 6 each to Bremen and Brunswick, 52 RCM sorties, 27 Mosquito patrols. No 100 Group lost 2 Mosquitos and 1 Fortress.
The last Stirling operation of Bomber Command was flown on this night when Stirling LJ516, from No 199 Squadron at North Creake, flew a Mandrel screen operation; Squadron Leader JJM Button, the Australian pilot, and his crew landed safely.
Total effort for the night: 812 sorties, 23 aircraft (2.8 per cent) lost.
15 March 1945
188 aircraft - 150 Halifaxes, 24 Mosquitos, 14 Lancasters - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups attacked oil plants at Bottrop and Castrop-Rauxel. Both raids were believed to have been successful. 1 Halifax of No 4 Group lost from the Bottrop raid.
16 Lancasters of Nos 9 and 617 Squadrons attacked the viaduct at Arnsberg. Two aircraft of No 617 Squadron each carried a Grand Slam; the 14 aircraft of No 9 Squadron carried Tallboys. The viaduct was not cut. No aircraft lost.
15/16 March 1945
267 aircraft - 134 Lancasters, 122 Halifaxes, 11 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups attacked Hagen. 6 Lancasters and 4 Halifaxes lost. This area attack took place in clear visibility and caused severe damage; the local report estimated that the bomber force was 800 aircraft strong! The main attack fell in the centre and eastern districts. There were 1,439 fires, of which 124 were classified as large.
257 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups attacked the Deurag refinery at Misburg, on the outskirts of Hannover. Visibility was good and some fires were started but the main weight of the raid fell south of the target. 4 Lancasters lost.
54 Mosquitos to Berlin, 27 to Erfurt, 16 to Mannheim and 5 each to Jena and Weimar, 53 RCM sorties, 37 Mosquito patrols. 1 RCM Fortress lost.
Total effort for the night: 729 sorties, 14 aircraft (1.9 per cent) lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
This record can also be found on the maps of Back to Normandy with Google coordinates. You can find the maps by clicking on this link on this location.
There are several possibilities to investigate the flight records on Back to Normandy. All the flights are plotted on maps, sorted "day by day", "by squadron", "by type aircraft", "by year or month", "by location" and much more! Don't miss this!!!
If you have any information that you want to share, please add your comment at the bottom of this record. Or send your information to . This information will be added to the record.
Your photos and your information are very welcome! The young do care and with your help we keep up the good work.