On Thursday 22 March 1945, a member of the 214 Sqdn, Flight Lieutenant W D Allies, 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 1:30.
He flew with a B-17 Flying Fortress (type III , serial KJ112 , code BU-P).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force):: 2 missions are flown.
Mission 906: Air attacks in preparation for the lower Rhine River crossing by Allied ground forces continue; 1,331 bombers and 662 fighters attack barracks and military encampments in the Ruhr and airfields in Germany visually; they claim 27-1-12 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 B-17 and 3 P-51s are lost:
1. 99 of 114 B-17s hit Ahlhorn Airfield; 13 others hit the marshalling yard at Oldenburg, a target of opportunity; 1 B-17 is lost; 9 airmen are MIA.
Escorting are 95 of 99 P-51s.
2. 457 B-17s are sent to hit military camps at Bottrop (36), Dorsten (74), Barningholten (111), Westerholt (116), Feldhausen N (74) and S (39); 3 B-17s are damaged beyond repair and 111 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA and 8 WIA.
The escort is 95 of 99 P-51s.
3. 297 B-17s are sent to hit military camps at Hinsbeck (67), Geresheim (73), Ratingen (75) and Mulheim (74); 114 B-17s are damaged and 3 airmen are WIA.
48 P-51s escort; they claim 0-0-1 aircraft on the ground.
4. 342 B-24s are dispatched to hit airfields at Kitzingen (168), Giebelstadt (75) and Schwab Hall (82); 8 others hit Wurzburg, the secondary target; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged; 8 airmen are KIA.
The escort is 138 of 153 P-51s; they claim 3-0-1 aircraft in the air and 13-0-7 on the ground.
5. 109 of 113 B-17s hit the Rhein Main Airfield at Frankfurt; 31 B-17s are damaged.
Escorting are 56 P-51s.
6. 6 B-17s fly a screening mission.
7. 19 of 22 P-51s escort 19 of 22 F-5s on photo reconnaissance missions over Germany; they claim 11-1-3 aircraft in the air.
8. 2 B-17s and 31 of 32 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
9. 150 of 153 P-51s escort Fifteenth AF bombers from Italy.
Mission 907: 9 of 10 B-24s drop leaflets in the Netherlands and Germany.
(Ninth Air Force): In Germany, nearly 800 A-20s, A-26s, and B-26s bomb 9 communications centers and a marshalling yard E of the Rhine River (plus 7 towns, flak positions, and a target of opportunity) as part of the interdiction program to impede the movement of supplies and troops; fighters escort the bombers, attack railroads and other assigned targets, fly patrols and armed reconnaissance, support the US 1st and 9th Infantry Divisions SE of Honnef and along the Wied River, cooperate with the XII Corps as it begins crossing the Rhine River in the Mainz-Oppenheim areas and with the XX Corps which begins an attack on Ludwigshafen.
HQ 69th Tactical Reconnaissance Group and the 10th Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron arrive at Nancy, France from the US with F-6s; HQ 474th Fighter Group moves from Florennes, Belgium to Strassfeld, Germany; the 31st Tactical Reconnaissance Squadron, Ninth AF [attached to 9th Tactical Reconnaissance Group (Provisional)], arrives at Maastricht, the Netherlands from the US with F-6s; the 72d Liaison Squadron, Ninth Air Force (attached to Sixth Army Group), moves from Buhl to Sarreguemines, France with L-5s.
Campaign report of the RAF:
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.
22 March 1945
227 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups to Hildesheim. 4 Lancasters lost. The target was the railway yards; these were bombed but the surrounding built-up areas also suffered severely in what was virtually an area attack. This was the only major Bomber Command raid of the war on Hildesheim and the post-war British survey found that 263 acres, 70 per cent of the town, had been destroyed.
Attack on Dülmen by 130 aircraft - 106 Halifaxes, 12 Lancasters, 12 Mosquitos - of Nos 4 and 8 Groups. No aircraft lost. This was an area attack and the town was soon burning after a concentrated raid in clear weather conditions. No other details are available.
124 aircraft - 100 Halifaxes, 12 Lancasters, 12 Mosquitos - of Nos 6 and 8 Groups bombed Dorsten. Dorsten was a rail and canal centre and also the location of a Luftwaffe fuel dump. All these targets were believed to have been hit but the town probably suffered as well. No aircraft were lost.
100 Lancasters of No 3 Group carried out a G-H attack on the town of Bocholt, probably with the intention of cutting communications. The town was seen to be on fire. No aircraft lost.
102 Lancasters of No 5 Group attacked bridges at Bremen (82 aircraft) and Nienburg (20 aircraft of No 617 Squadron). The bridge at Nienburg was destroyed; the bombing at the Bremen bridge appeared to be accurate but no results were seen. No aircraft lost.
Total effort for the day: 708 sorties, 4 aircraft (0.6 per cent) lost.
22/23 March 1944
56 Mosquitos to Berlin, 8 to Paderborn and 6 to Bochum, 39 RCM sorties, 30 Mosquito patrols, 21 Lancasters and 8 Mosquitos minelaying in Oslo Fjord. 2 Intruder Mosquitos of No 100 Group lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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