On Saturday 25 March 1944, a member of the 97 Sqdn, Flight Sergeant S Nuttall, 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 18:55.
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type III, serial JB671, code OF-A).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force): 406th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy), VIII Air Force Composite Command (attached to 328th Service Group), moves from Watton to Harrington, England with B-24s; the squadron began flying CARPETBAGGER missions in Jan 44.
(Ninth Air Force): 140+ B-26s attack the Hirson, France marshalling yard.
Campaign report of the RAF:
24/25 March 1944
811 aircraft - 577 Lancasters, 216 Halifaxes, 18 Mosquitos - to Berlin. 72 aircraft - 44 Lancasters, 28 Halifaxes - lost, 8.9 per cent of the force.
This night became known in Bomber Command as 'the night of the strong winds'. A powerful wind from the north carried the bombers south at every stage of the flight. Not only was this wind not forecast accurately but it was so strong that the various methods available to warn crews of wind changes during the flight failed to detect the full strength of it. The bomber stream became very scattered, particularly on the homeward flight and radar-predicted flak batteries at many places were able to score successes. Part of the bomber force even strayed over the Ruhr defences on the return flight. It is believed that approximately 50 of the 72 aircraft lost were destroyed by flak; most of the remainder were victims of night fighters. Needless to say, the strong winds severely affected the marking with, unusually, markers being carried beyond the target and well out to the south-west of the city.
This was the last major RAF raid on Berlin during the war, although the city would be bombed many times by small forces of Mosquitos.
147 aircraft from training units carried out a diversionary sweep west of Paris; 27 Mosquitos bombed night-fighter airfields and 15 Mosquitos bombed Duisburg, Kiel and Münster; aircraft of No 100 Group flew 4 RCM sorties and 10 Serrate patrols. 1 Serrate Mosquito lost.
9 aircraft dropped supplies to the Resistance without loss.
Total effort for the night: 1,023 sorties, 73 aircraft (7.1 per cent) lost.
25/26 March 1944
192 aircraft - 92 Halifaxes, 47 Lancasters, 37 Stirlings, 16 Mosquitos - attacked railway yards at Aulnoye in France. No aircraft lost.
22 Lancasters of No 5 Group to an aero-engine factory at Lyons, 10 Mosquitos to Berlin and 2 to Hamm, 7 Serrate patrols, 14 Stirlings minelaying in Brittany to the Frisians, 5 OTU sorties. No losses.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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