On Tuesday 21 December 1943, a member of the 78 Sqdn, Flight Sergeant B L Purvis, took off from Breighton 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 16:29.
He flew with a Handley Page Halifax (type II, serial LW271, code EY-S).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Ninth Air Force): 84 B-26's bomb V-weapon sites and other targets in France.
Campaign report of the RAF:
20/21 December 1943
Frankfurt: 650 aircraft - 390 Lancasters, 257 Halifaxes, 3 Mosquitos. The German control rooms were able to plot the bomber force as soon as it left the English coast and were able to continue plotting it all the way to Frankfurt. There were many combats on the route to the target. The Mannheim diversion did not draw fighters away from the main attack until after the raid was over but the return flight was quieter. 41 aircraft - 27 Halifaxes, 14 Lancasters - lost, 6.3 per cent of the force. The bombing at Frankfurt did not go according to plan. The Pathfinders had prepared a ground-marking plan on the basis of a forecast giving clear weather but they found up to 8/10ths cloud. The Germans lit a decoy fire site 5 miles south-east of the city and also used dummy target indicators. Some of the bombing fell around the decoy but part of the creepback fell on Frankfurt causing more damage than Bomber Command realized at the time. Part of the bombing somehow fell on Mainz, 17 miles to the west, and many houses along the Rhine waterfront and in southern suburbs were hit.
44 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of 1 and No 8 Groups carried out a diversionary raid on Mannheim but most of the bombing fell outside the city. No aircraft lost.
8 Lancasters of 617 Squadron and 8 Pathfinder Mosquitos attempted to bomb an armaments factory near Liege but the Mosquito marking was not visible below the clouds and the Lancasters did not bomb; 1 Lancaster lost. 6 Mosquitos to Rheinhausen and 5 to Leverkusen, 8 RCM sorties, 2 Beaufighters on Serrate patrol, 23 Stirlings minelaying in the Frisians, 38 OTU sorties. 1 Stirling minelayer lost.
21/22 December 1943
9 Oboe Mosquitos to the Mannesmann factory at Düsseldorf and 4 to the Knapsack power station, 4 OTU sorties. No losses.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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