On Friday 28 July 1944, a member of the 78 Sqdn, Flight Lieutenant W G Hoffman, 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 16:04.
He flew with a Handley Page Halifax (type III, serial MZ340, code EY-X).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force): Mission 501: 1,057 bombers and 753 fighters are dispatched to bomb targets in Belgium, France and Germany; 7 bombers and 2 fighters are lost:
1. 291 B-24s in 2 forces are dispatched to hit signal depots, fuel dumps and V-weapon supply sites and a bridge in Belgium and France but the forces are recalled because of cloud cover over the targets; the first force of 180 B-24s is dispatched to NW France V-weapon sites, fuel dumps and a railroad bridge; 1 B-24 is damaged beyond repair and 8 are damaged; 10 airmen are KIA; escort is provided by 235 P-47s and P-51s; 1 P-47 and 2 P-51s are damaged (pilots are MIA).
The second force of 111 B-24s is dispatched to hit Brussels and Vilvorde fuel and supply depots; 8 B-24s are damaged; escort is provided by 40 of 53 P-51s.
2. 766 B-17s are dispatched to bomb the synthetic oil plant at Merseburg, Germany; 652 hit the primary while 36 hit Leipzig/Taucha oil refinery, 18 hit the Wiesbaden marshalling yards and 8 hit targets of opportunity; they claim 1-2-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 7 B-17s are lost and 217 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 7 WIA and 67 MIA.
Escort is provided by 386 P-38s and P-51s; they claim 4-1-1 Luftwaffe aircraft; 2 P-51s are lost and 3 are damaged; 3 pilots are MIA.
Mission 502: 6 of 6 B-17s drop leaflets in France during the night.
(Ninth Air Force): In France, the IX Bomber Command operates in support of the US First Army, bombing rail bridges, supply dumps and ammunition dumps in the Foret de Conches, Dreux, and Le Mans areas; fighters escort bombers, fly armed reconnaissance in the Le Mans, Laval, and Dreux areas and furnish cover over assault areas and armed columns; and HQ IX Air Defense Command moves from Hampstead Borough, England to Ecrammeville and Brigadier General Ned Schramm assumes command.
In England, the 586th and 587th Bombardment Squadrons (Medium), 394th Bombardment Group (Medium), move from Boreham to Holmsley with B-26s.
Campaign report of the RAF:
27/28 July 1944
30 Mosquitos to Stuttgart and 12 aircraft on Resistance operations. No aircraft lost.
28 July 1944
199 aircraft - 159 Halifaxes, 20 Mosquitos, 20 Stirlings - of Nos 3, 4 and 8 Groups attacked two launching sites and made two further separate raids on the Forêt de Nieppe storage site. All bombing was through cloud but the various methods used were believed to have led to accurate results. 1 Halifax lost from one of the Forêt de Nieppe raids.
28/29 July 1944
494 Lancasters and 2 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 5 and 8 Groups in the last raid of the current series on Stuttgart. German fighters intercepted the bomber stream while over France on the outward flight; there was a bright moon and 39 Lancasters were shot down, 19 per cent of the force.
307 aircraft - 187 Halifaxes, 106 Lancasters, 14 Mosquitos from Nos 1, 6 and 8 Groups - to Hamburg. German fighters again appeared, this time on the homeward flight, and 18 Halifaxes and 4 Lancasters were lost, 12 per cent of the force. The Halifax casualties were 9.6 per cent; No 431 (Canadian) Squadron, flying from Croft airfield in Co. Durham, lost 5 of its 17 aircraft on the raid. This was the first heavy raid on Hamburg since the Battle of Hamburg just a year earlier. The bombing on this raid was not well concentrated. The Germans estimated that only 120 aircraft bombed in the city area, with no recognisable aiming point, though western and harbour areas received the most bombs.
119 aircraft of Nos 1, 4 and 8 Groups attacked the flying bomb stores area at Forêt De Nieppe again. No aircraft lost.
Support and 95 training aircraft on a diversionary sweep over the North Sea, 13 Mosquitos to Frankfurt, 41 RCM sorties, 50 Mosquito patrols, 5 Halifaxes minelaying in the River Elbe. No aircraft lost.
Total effort for the night: 1,126 sorties, 61 aircraft (5.4 per cent) lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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