On Monday 27 April 1942, a member of the 114 Sqdn, Pilot Officer J R N Molesworth, took off from West Raynham 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 22:30.
He flew with a Bristol Blenheim (type IV, serial T2430, code RT-Q).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(8th Air Force): Advanced echelon (ADVON) of HQ 8th Air Force and bomber, interceptor and base commands, along with 15th Bombardment Squadron (Light), 2d Air Depot Group, and a weather detachment totalling about 1,800 men, sail from Boston, Massachusetts for the UK.
Campaign report of the RAF:
26/27 April 1942
106 or 109 aircraft (there are conflicting figures) of 7 different types, approximately half to the town and half to the Heinkel factory. 3 aircraft - 1 Stirling, 1 Wellington, 1 Whitley - lost. Successful bombing was recorded by both parts of the force.
The 4 raids in this series resulted in the destruction of 1,765 buildings and serious damage to 513 more buildings in Rostock. Bomber Command estimated that 130 acres were destroyed, 60 per cent of the main town area. Casualties were 204 people killed and 89 injured.
Minor Operations: 24 aircraft to Dunkirk, 2 Blenheim Intruders to Leeuwarden, 4 aircraft minelaying, 7 OTU sorties. No losses.
27 April 1942
18 Bostons to Ostend and Lille; 1 Boston lost.
27/28 April 1942
97 aircraft - 76 Wellingtons, 19 Stirlings, 2 Halifaxes. 6 Wellingtons and 1 Halifax lost.
Bombing conditions were favourable and this small force claimed good results. Cologne reports 9 industrial premises and 1,520 houses hit or damaged, and 19 other premises affected. 11 people were killed, 52 injured and 1,683 bombed out. A considerable number of bombs, however, fell outside the city to the east. 150 hectares of the Tannenwald destroyed by fire.
31 Halifaxes and 12 Lancasters to attack the Tirpitz and other German warships in Trondheim Fjord. The Tirpitz was found and bombed but no hits were scored. 4 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster lost.
One of the lost Halifaxes was piloted by Wing Commander D. C. T. Bennett, later the commander of the Pathfinders; Bennett escaped to neutral Sweden and returned to England 5 weeks later.
Another Halifax lost on this raid, W1048 of 35 Squadron, was damaged by Flak and its pilot, Pilot Officer Donald Mclntyre, crash-landed it on the frozen surface of a nearby lake, Lake Hoklingen. The crew all survived and the Halifax, a new aircraft on its first operational flight, sank gently. In 1973 this aircraft was salvaged from the bed of the lake and, after restoration by airmen at R.A.F. Wyton, was placed on public display in the R.A.F. Museum at Hendon.
Minor Operations: 12 aircraft to Dunkirk, 8 aircraft minelaying off Gennan coasts, 3 Lancasters from 5 Group and 5 OTU Wellingtons on leaflet flights. 2 Halifaxes from the Dunkirk raid, 1 Stirling and 2 OTU Wellingtons were lost to make the casualties for this night 17 aircraft, 10.1 per cent of the forces dispatched. The 2 Whitleys dispatched by 58 Squadron to Dunkirk represent the last Whitley operations flown by a front-line Bomber Command squadron; their last operation to Germany had been by 5 aircraft against Rostock the previous night. OTUs would continue to use small numbers of Whitleys on leaflet flights for some time.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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