On Saturday 22 January 1944, a member of the 97 Sqdn, Flight Lieutenant F J Roberts, took off from Bourn 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 seperately mentioned as a mission. The plane left at an unknown time .
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type III, serial JB299, code OF-W).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force): HQ 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy) arrives at Glatton, England from the US.
(Ninth Air Force): HQ 363d Fighter Group and 382d Fighter Squadron transfer from Keevil to Rivenhall, England with P-51's; first mission is 24 Feb.
Campaign report of the RAF:
21/22 January 1944
648 aircraft - 421 Lancasters, 224 Halifaxes, 3 Mosquitos - on the first major raid to Magdeburg. The German controller again followed the progress of the bomber stream across the North Sea and many night fighters were in the stream before it crossed the German coast. The controller was very slow to identify Magdeburg as the target but this did not matter too much because most of the night fighters were able to stay in the bomber stream, a good example of the way the Tame Boar tactics were developing. 57 aircraft - 35 Halifaxes, 22 Lancasters - were lost, 8.8 per cent of the force; it is probable that three quarters of the losses were caused by German night fighters. The Halifax loss rate was 15.6 per cent! The heavy bomber casualties were not rewarded with a successful attack. Some of the Main Force aircraft now had H2S and winds which were stronger than forecast brought some of these into the target area before the Pathfinders' Zero Hour. The crews of 27 Main Force aircraft were anxious to bomb and did so before Zero Hour. The Pathfinders blamed the fires started by this early bombing, together with some very effective German decoy markers, for their failure to concentrate the marking.
22 Lancasters and 12 Mosquitos of 5 and 8 Groups carried out a diversionary raid to Berlin; 1 Lancaster lost.
111 aircraft - 89 Stirlings, 12 Lancasters, 1O Mosquitos - carried out raids on 6 flying bomb sites in France without loss.
8 Mosquitos to Oberhausen and 5 to Rheinhausen, 8 RCM sorties, 5 Serrate patrols, 8 Wellingtons minelaying off St Nazaire, 16 OTU sorties. No aircraft lost.
Total effort for the night: 843 sorties, 58 aircraft (6.9 per cent) were lost. The number of aircraft lost was the heaviest in any night of the war so far.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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