On Friday 28 January 1944, a member of the 408 Sqdn, Flight Lieutenant E E Kearl, took off from Linton on Ouse 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 17:50.
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type II, serial DS709, code EQ-P).
Information by Adam Brown
P/O A.C. Brown survived the crash with a bullet in one leg, and broke his other leg when he cut himself down from the parachute that snared in the trees. He was captured by the Germans and spent several months in hospital before having a piggy-back from a German soldier to put him on the train to the prison camp. After the war he went to Canada with his newly wed wife, Olwyn, to spend time with families of the crew who died. He rejoined the RAF and became a fighter pilot, later served in the Berlin Airlift as a Beverley pilot and during the Aden Crisis, and later served with the RAAF in Vietnam flying Hercules. He subsequently spent 12 years in the Sultan of Oman Airforce, being awarded the DSM and retired from SOAF as a Wing Commander in 1983. He lived a remarkable life of adventure, often being shot at, yet often expressed the wish that he'd gone into business. He died November 2005 of Parkinson's disease and his ashes were scattered in the River Stour at Manningtree, Essex, England. RIP
Campaign report of the USAAF:
27 January 1944
(Eighth Air Force): Mission 194: 5 of 5 B-17's drop 1.44 million leaflets on Paris, Rennes, Le Mans and Orleans, France without loss.
(Ninth Air Force): 572d Bombardment Squadron (Medium), 391st Bombardment Group (Medium), arrives at Matching, England from the US with B-26's; first mission is 15 Feb.
28 January 1944
(Eighth Air Force): Mission 195: 54 B-24's in 2 groups are dispatched to the Bonnieres V-weapon site in France; 2 Gee-H equipped PFF aircraft lead each group; due to technical difficulties, the second formation was ordered to follow the lead and bomb the same target as a secondary; 4 minutes before the target the leader of one section accidentally released and the following 11 aircraft did likewise; 31 hit the primary; 1 B-24 is damaged. 122 P-47's provide escort without loss.
Gee-H is more accurate than H2X but is of use only against targets within the 200-mi (320 km) beacon range; later, aircraft are equipped with both devices.
Mission 196: During the evening, 5 of 5 B-17's drop 1.36 million leaflets on Amiens, Rouen, Cambrai, Reims and Caen, France without loss.
Mission 197: During the night, 1 B-17 on an Oboe Mk II test drops 2 tons of bombs on Emmerich, Germany. 748th, 749th, 750th and 751st Bombardment Squadrons (Heavy), 457th Bombardment Group (Heavy), arrive at Glatton, England from the US with B-17's; first mission is 21 Feb.
Campaign report of the RAF:
27/28 January 1944
515 Lancasters and 15 Mosquitos despatched to Berlin. The German fighters were committed to action earlier than normal, some being sent out 75 miles over the North Sea from the Dutch coast. A number of elaborate feints and diversions had some effect; Half of the German fighters were lured north by the Heligoland mining diversion and action in the main bomber stream was less intense than on recent nights. 33 Lancasters lost, 6.4 per cent of the heavy force. The target was cloud-covered again and skymarking had to be used. Bomber Command was not able to make any assessment of the raid except to state that the bombing appeared to have been spread well up and down wind.
Extensive operations were carried out in support of the Berlin raid. 80 Stirlings and Wellingtons flew to the Dutch coast and laid mines there, 21 Halifaxes did the same near Heligoland, both hoping to draw the German fighters up early. 9 aircraft flew RCM sorties and 12 Mosquitos flew Serrate patrols. 18 Mosquito-bomber aircraft dropped imitation 'fighter flares' away from the main bomber routes to and from the target. 140 aircraft were thus engaged in various operations in support of the main raid. 1 Stirling minelayer lost.
9 Mosquitos bombed a flying-bomb site at Herbouville, 8 Halifaxes flew Resistance operations sorties, 10 OTU aircraft dropped leaflets over France. No aircraft lost.
Total effort for the night: 697 sorties, 34 aircraft (4.9 per cent) lost.
28/29 January 1944
Berlin: 677 aircraft - 432 Lancasters, 241 Halifaxes, 4 Mosquitos. Part of the German fighter force was drawn up by the early diversions and the bomber approach route over Northern Denmark proved too distant for some of the other German fighters. The German controller was, however, able to concentrate his fighters over the target and many aircraft were shot down there. 46 aircraft - 26 Halifaxes, 20 Lancasters - lost, 6.8 per cent of the force. The cloud over Berlin was broken and some ground-marking was possible but the Bomber Command claim that this was the most concentrated attack of this period is not quite fully confirmed by German records. The western and southern districts were hit but so too were 77 places outside the city.
63 Stirlings and 4 Pathfinder Halifaxes carried out minelaying in Kiel Bay 5 hours before the main Berlin operation; this was the first time that Pathfinder aircraft helped a minelaying operation. 6 Mosquitos bombed Berlin 4 hours before the main attack and 18 Mosquitos bombed night-fighter airfields at Deelen, Leeuwarden and Venlo. 4 Mosquitos carried out a diversionary raid to Hannover and 6 more Mosquitos flew Serrate patrols at the same time as the main raid. 2 Stirling minelayers and 1 Serrate Mosquito were lost from these operations. 16 OTU Wellingtons carried out leaflet flights to France without loss.
Total effort for the night: 794 sorties, 49 aircraft (6.2 per cent) lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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