On Thursday 23 March 1944, a member of the 97 Sqdn, Flight Sergeant R Hinde, 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 18:50.
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type III, serial ND351, code OF-P).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
21 March 1944
(Eighth Air Force): Mission 270: 56 of 65 B-24s hit V-weapon sites at Watten, France; 7 B-24s are damaged; escort is provided by 48 P-47s without loss.
Mission 271: 41 P-51s carry out a sweep of the Bordeaux, France area; they claim 12-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft in the air and 9-0-4 on the ground; 7 P-51s are lost and 2 damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 7 MIA.
Mission 272: 6 of 6 B-17s drop 300 bundles of leaflets on The Hague, Amsterdam, Leeuwarden, Rotterdam and Utrecht, The Netherlands at 2102-2133 hours without loss.
(Ninth Air Force): All B-26s dispatched to bomb NOBALL (V-weapon) targets in France are recalled because of bad weather.
22 March 1944
(Eighth Air Force): Mission 273: 474 B-17s and 214 B-24s are dispatched to bomb aviation industry plants at Oranienburg and Basdorf, Germany but 8/10 to 10/10 cloud cover prevents an attack; the bombers hit the secondary target, Berlin, and targets of opportunity; the bombers also drop 6.368 million leaflets; 1 bomber is damaged beyond repair and 347 bombers are damaged; casualties are 20 WIA and 135 MIA.
1. 460 of 474 B-17s bomb Berlin; 7 B-17s are lost.
2. 196 of 214 B-24s bomb Berlin and 1 bombs Heide; 5 B-24s are lost. Escort is provided by 125 P-38s, 496 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 196 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s. There is no air combat and the only claim is for 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground by P-47s. Details are:
1. 3 P-38s are lost and 7 damaged; 3 pilots are MIA.
2. 5 P-47s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 9 damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 5 MIA.
3. 4 P-51s are lost and 2 damaged beyond repair; 4 pilots are MIA.
Mission 274: 6 of 6 B-17s drop 263 bundles of leaflets on Paris, France; and The Hague, Amsterdam and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands at 2135-2207 hours without loss.
23 March 1944
(Eighth Air Force): Mission 275: 524 B-17s and 244 B-24s are dispatched to attack airfields in W Germany and aircraft factories in the Brunswick area; due to unfavorable weather conditions, only 68 B-24s hit a primary target and 639 bombers hit secondary targets and targets of opportunity; the bombers claim 33-8-11 Luftwaffe aircraft; 22 B-17s, 6 B-24s and 4 P-51s are lost; details are:
1. 205 B-17s hit Brunswick and 3 hit targets of opportunity; 16 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 221 damaged; casualties are 3 KIA, 6 WIA and 158 MIA.
2. 47 B-17s hit the secondary target at Munster, 83 hit Hamm, 67 hit Ahlen and 19 hit Neubeckum; 6 B-17s are lost and 56 damaged; casualties are 1 KIA, 3 WIA and 61 MIA.
3. 68 B-24s hit the primary target, Handorf Airfield; 36 hit Achmer City, 21 hit Achmer Airfield, 12 hit Munster, 52 hit Osnabruck and 14 hit other targets of opportunity; 6 B-24s are lost and 45 damaged; casualties are 1 WIA and 59 MIA.
Escort is provided by 119 P-38s, 539 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-47s and 183 Eighth and Ninth Air Force P-51s; details are:
1. P-38s: no claims or losses.
2. P-47s claim 4-0-10 Luftwaffe aircraft; 1 P-47 is damaged beyond repair and 1 damaged.
3. P-51s claim 18-1-6 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 P-51s are lost and 1 damaged; 4 pilots are MIA. The fighters also claim 2-0-10 Luftwaffe aircraft on the ground.
Mission 276: 5 of 5 B-17s drop 262 bundles of leaflets on Grenoble, Vichy, Lyon, Toulouse and Limoges, France at 2227-2304 hours without loss.
(Ninth Air Force): 220 B-26s on a morning mission bomb Creil marshalling yard and airfields at Beaumont-le-Roger and Beauvais/Tille; in an afternoon raid, 146 bomb Haine-Saint-Pierre marshalling yard.
31st Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, III Reconnaissance Command, arrives at Chalgrove, England from the US with F-5s; first mission is 10 Apr.
Campaign report of the RAF:
22/23 March 1944
Frankfurt: 816 aircraft - 620 Lancasters, 184 Halifaxes, 12 Mosquitos. Again, an indirect route was employed, this time crossing the Dutch coast north of the Zuider Zee and then flying almost due south to Frankfurt. This, and the Kiel minelaying diversion, confused the Germans for some time; Hannover was forecast as the main target. Only a few fighters eventually found the bomber stream. 33 aircraft - 26 Lancasters, 7 Halifaxes - were lost, 4.0 per cent of the force.
The marking and bombing were accurate and Frankfurt suffered another heavy blow; the city's records show that the damage was even more severe than in the raid carried out 4 nights earlier. Half of the city was without gas, water and electricity 'for a long period'. All parts of the city were hit but the greatest weight of the attack fell in the western districts. The report particularly mentions severe damage to the industrial areas along the main road to Mainz. 162 B-17s of the Eighth Air Force used Frankfurt as a secondary target when they could not reach Schweinfurt 36 hours after this RAF raid and caused further damage. The Frankfurt diary has this entry: "The three air raids of 18th, 22nd and 24th March were carried out by a combined plan of the British and American air forces and their combined effect was to deal the worst and most fateful blow of the war to Frankfurt, a blow which simply ended the existence of the Frankfurt which had been built up since the Middle Ages."
20 Mosquitos bombing night-fighter airfields, 128 Halifaxes and 18 Stirlings minelaying in Kiel Bay and off Denmark, 22 Mosquitos on diversion and harassing raids to Berlin, Dortmund, Hannover and Oberhausen, 16 RCM sorties and 16 Serrate patrols. 1 Halifax minelayer lost.
20 OTU Wellingtons carried out leaflet flights to France without loss.
Total effort for the night: 1,056 sorties, 34 aircraft (3.2 per cent) lost.
23/24 March 1944
143 aircraft - 83 Halifaxes, 48 Stirlings, 12 Mosquitos - of Nos 3,4,6 and 8 Groups to Laon. 2 Halifaxes lost. The weather in the target area was clear but the Master Bomber ordered the attack to be stopped after 72 aircraft had bombed. The local report states that about half of the bombs hit the railway yards but the remainder were scattered in an area up to 3 km from the target. The bombing did cut the through lines but these were repaired the following day. 83 houses around the station were hit but only 7 civilians were killed and 9 injured because most of the people who lived near the station moved to other parts of Laon at night.
20 Lancasters of No 5 Group, including No 617 Squadron, bombed an aero-engine factory near Lyons without loss.
13 Mosquitos to Dortmund and 2 to Oberhausen, 5 RCM sorties, 4 Serrate patrols, 2 Stirlings minelaying off Brittany, 6 OTU sorties. No losses.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
This record can also be found on the maps of Back to Normandy with Google coordinates. You can find the maps by clicking on this link on this location.
There are several possibilities to investigate the flight records on Back to Normandy. All the flights are plotted on maps, sorted "day by day", "by squadron", "by type aircraft", "by year or month", "by location" and much more! Don't miss this!!!
If you have any information that you want to share, please add your comment at the bottom of this record. Or send your information to . This information will be added to the record.
Your photos and your information are very welcome! The young do care and with your help we keep up the good work.