On Wednesday 21 March 1945, a member of the 214 Sqdn, Flight Sergeant H M Carter, 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 23:40.
He flew with a B-17 Flying Fortress (type III, serial HB785 , code BU-A).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force):: 5 missions are flown.
Mission 901: Preparatory air operations for the forthcoming (23 Mar) crossing of the lower Rhine River by Allied ground forces begin.
1,408 bombers and 806 fighters, in conjunction with Ninth Air Force and RAF aircraft, attack jet fighter bases; with one exception, all attacks are visual; they claim 58-3-49 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 B-17s and 9 P-51s are lost:
1. 107 of 152 B-17s hit the secondary target, the tank factory at Plauen; targets of opportunity are Reichenbach (34) and other (1); they claim 3-3-3 aircraft; 5 B-17s are lost and 48 damaged.
The escort is 273 of 314 P-51s; they claim 9-0-0 aircraft in the air and 3-0-0 on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
2. 129 of 151 B-17s attack Hardorf Airfield; 14 others hit Vorden Airfield, a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 71 damaged.
Escorting are 94 of 98 P-51s; they claim 0-0-2 aircraft in the air.
3. 214 B-17s are sent to attack the airfields at Zwischenahn (57), Marx (77) and Wittmundhafen (74); casualties for 1., 2. and 3. above are 7 WIA and 56 MIA.
108 of 109 P-51s escort and claim 2-0-8 aircraft on the ground; 1 P-51 is lost (pilot MIA).
4. 518 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Ahlhorn (61), Hesepe (165), Achmer (180) and Mulheim Airfield at Essen (90); 21 B-24s are damaged.
Escorting are 95 of 99 P-51s; they claim 35-0-30 aircraft on the ground; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots MIA).
5. 373 B-17s are sent to hit airfields at Hopsten (159 using Gee-H) and Rheine (180); targets of opportunity are the airfields at Hesepe (13) and Achmer (12); 1 B-17 is lost and 49 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 3 WIA and 9 MIA.
97 of 102 P-51s escort; they claim 6-0-0 aircraft on the ground.
6. 36 P-51s fly a sweep over Giebelstadt Airfield and claim 0-0-6 aircraft on the ground.
7. 13 P-51s escort 9 F-5s, 1 P-38 and 1 Spitfire on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany.
8. 35 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
Mission 902: In a DISNEY operation, 3 B-17s attack the E-boat pens at Ijmuiden, the Netherlands with rocket bombs; 6 P-51s escort.
Mission 903: 1 B-17 bombs Oberursel in a Micro-H Mk II radar test; 4 P-51s escort.
Mission 904: During the afternoon, 90 of 92 B-24s attack Mulheim Airfield at Essen; 60 are damaged and 1 airman is WIA.
Mission 905: 8 of 9 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany during the night.
(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, 580+ A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s strike 6 communications centers and a marshalling yard E of the Rhine River, along with several casual targets, in the interdiction campaign to obstruct enemy movement; fighters fly patrols and armed reconnaissance, attack railroads and bridges, support the US VII Corps as its units reach the Sieg River near Siegburg, cooperate with the XII Corps as more of its elements reach the Rhine River at various points between Boppard and Worms, and support the XX Corps as additional units reach the Rhine between Worms and Mannheim.
Campaign report of the RAF:
20/21 March 1945
224 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked the synthetic-oil plant near Böhlen. This accurate attack put the plant out of action and it was still inactive when captured by American troops several weeks later. 9 Lancasters lost.
166 Lancasters of Nos 1, 6 and 8 Groups carried out an equally effective attack upon the oil refinery at Hemmingstedt. 1 Lancaster lost.
Support and 70 training aircraft on a diversionary sweep over France, 12 Lancasters in a feint raid on Halle, 38 Mosquitos to Berlin, 27 to Bremen and 16 to Kassel, 47 RCM sorties, 55 Mosquito patrols, 9 Lancasters minelaying off Heligoland. 3 aircraft lost - 1 Lancaster from the Halle raid and 1 Fortress and 1 Liberator RCM aircraft.
Total effort for the night: 675 sorties, 13 aircraft (1.9 per cent) lost.
21 March 1945
178 aircraft - 150 Halifaxes, 16 Lancasters, 12 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups carried out an accurate attack upon the railway yards and the surrounding town area at Rheine. 1 Lancaster lost.
160 Lancasters of No 3 Group attacked the railway yards at Münster and a nearby railway viaduct. 3 Lancasters lost. The only information available from Münster is that 17 people were killed.
133 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups attacked the Deutsche Vacuum oil refinery at Bremen .This appeared to be an accurate raid in clear weather conditions. No aircraft lost.
20 Lancasters of No 617 Squadron attacked the Arbergen railway bridge just outside Bremen. 2 piers of the bridge were destroyed. 1 Lancaster lost.
Total effort of the day: 497 sorties, 5 aircraft (1.0 per cent) lost.
21/22 March 1945
151 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked Hamburg. 4 Lancasters lost. The target for this raid was the Deutsche Erdölwerke refinery .The attack was accurate; 20 storage tanks were destroyed and the plant was still out of action at the end of the war.
131 Lancasters and 12 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups carried out an accurate attack on the benzol plant at Bochum. 1 Lancaster lost.
142 Mosquitos in 2 attacks on Berlin (with some aircraft making 2 sorties), 3 Mosquitos to Bremen, 26 RCM sorties, 56 Mosquito patrols, 7 Mosquitos of No 5 Group minelaying in Jade Bay and the River Weser. 1 Mosquito from the Berlin raid and 1 RCM Fortress lost.
Total effort for the night: 536 sorties, 7 aircraft (1.3 per cent) lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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