On Thursday 22 June 1944, a member of the 44 Sqdn, Flight Sergeant A M Leonard, took off from Dunholme Lodge 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 23:25.
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type I, serial LL938, code KM-S).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force): Because of the attack on B-17s at Poltava, USSR, on yesterday's shuttle mission, the B-17s at Mirgorod and P-51s at Piryatin are moved farther E; they are to be returned to Mirgorod and Piryatin to be dispatched to bases in Italy as soon as the weather permits; the move is fortunate as German bombers strike both Piryatin and Mirgorod during the night of 22/23 Jun.
Mission 431: In a morning mission 85 of 108 B-17s and 132 of 194 B-24s attack 12 CROSSBOW (V-weapon) installations in the Pas de Calais area; 1 B-17s is lost; 64 B-17s and 59 B-24s are damaged; 10 airmen are MIA.
Escort is provided by 165 P-47s and 97 P-51s; some of the support fighters strafe coastal defenses; 1 P-51 is lost and 2 P-47s are damaged beyond repair; 1 pilot is KIA and 1 MIA.
Mission 432: During the afternoon 797 bombers are dispatched to attack 22 targets in France and Belgium; 9 bombers are lost:
1. Of 319 B-17s dispatched, 76 hit Lille/Fimes marshalling yard, 69 hit Ghent/Maritime marshalling yard, 35 hit Rouen oil depot, 13 hit La Vaubaliers, 13 hit Furnes Airfield, 13 hit Tingry, 12 hit Abbeville, 12 hit a tank area N of Rouen, 12 hit Douai railroad, 11 hit Mazingarbe, 10 hit Pont a Vendin, 1 hits Douai railroad; 3 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 81 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA, 5 WIA and 29 MIA.
Escort is provided by 108 P-47s; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft.
2. Of 149 B-24s, 46 hit Guyancourt/Caudron Airfield, 43 hit St Cyr Airfield, 36 hit Buc Airfield, 13 hit targets of opportunity and 5 hit Tours/La Riche bridge; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 67 B-24s are damaged; 1 airmen is KIA and 3 MIA.
Escort is provided by 187 of 200 P-38s and 36 of 46 P-47s; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 5 P-38s are lost (pilots are MIA) and 1 damaged beyond repair.
3. Of 216 B-17s, 70 hit Nucourt V-weapon site, 38 hit Brie-Comte-Robert Sug, 33 hit Etampes Airfield, 11 hit Lieusant railroad, 11 hit Melun bridge and 11 hit Melun marshalling yard; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft; 4 B-17s are lost, 1 damaged beyond repair and 187 damaged; 2 airmen are KIA and 30 MIA.
Of 113 B-24s, 101 hit an oil dump at Paris and 1 hits Dreux Airfield; 2 B-24s are lost, 3 damaged beyond repair and 37 damaged; 1 airman is KIA, 2 WIA and 23 MIA.
Escort is provided by 78 of 86 P-51s; 3 P-51s are lost (pilots are MIA). 4. 9 of 10 B-24s use Azon glide bombs against the Samur Bridge; escort is provided by 41 of 43 P-51s. Mission 433: 1 B-17 flies a daylight leaflet mission to La Glacrie, France. Mission 434: 9 of 9 B-17s drop leaflets in France and the Low Countries during the night. 10 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions in France during the night.
(Ninth Air Force): In France, around 600 B-26s and A-20s and 1,200+ fighters fly missions during the day; the main effort consists of an attack on the tip of the Cherbourg Peninsula in support of the US VII Corps assault on the port of Cherbourg; beginning 1 hour before the ground attack and continuing until the attack begins fighters and fighter- bombers pound the whole area S of the city from low level; as the ground assault begins, B-26s and A-20s strike a series of strongpoints selected by the US First Army, forming a 55-minute aerial barrage moving N in advance of ground forces; later in the day B-26s attack marshalling yards, fuel dumps and a German HQ; fighter-bombers fly armed reconnaissance over various railroads and bomb rail facilities, trains, road traffic and gun emplacements; 25 fighter-bombers are lost during the day's operations.
Campaign report of the RAF:
21/22 June 1944
133 Lancasters and 6 Mosquitos to attack the synthetic-oil plant at Wesseling; all the aircraft in this force were from No 5 Group except for 5 Lancasters provided by No 1 Group. The weather forecast for the target area (and for the attack on Scholven/Buer which took place at the same time) predicted clear conditions but the bombing force encountered 10/10ths low cloud. The planned No 5 Group low-level marking method could not be used and the reserve method, in which the Lancasters bombed on H2S, was used instead. German night fighters made contact with the bomber force and 37 Lancasters were lost, Nos 44, 49 and 619 Squadrons each losing 6 aircraft. The casualty rate represented 27.8 per cent of the Lancaster force. Post-raid reconnaissance showed that only slight damage was caused to the oil plant but a secret German report quoted in the British Official History records a 40 per cent production loss at Wesseling after this raid. It is possible that the loss was only of short duration.
123 Lancasters and 9 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 5 and 8 Groups (124 aircraft from No 5 Group) to attack the synthetic-oil plant at Scholven/Buer. 8 Lancasters lost. This target was also cloud-covered and the No 5 Group marking method could not be used, the Pathfinder aircraft present providing Oboe-based skymarking instead. Again there is a contradiction in reports on the effect of the bombing. Post-raid photographs appeared to show no new damage but the German secret reports indicate a 20 per cent production loss.
32 Mosquitos to Berlin, 41 Mosquito patrols, 13 Stirlings minelaying off Guernsey, St Malo and St Nazaire, 10 Halifaxes on Resistance operations. 1 Mosquito of No 100 Group lost.
Total effort for the night: 361 sorties, 46 aircraft (12.7 per cent) lost.
22 June 1944
234 aircraft - 119 Lancasters, 102 Halifaxes, 13 Mosquitos - of Nos 1, 4, 5 and 8 Groups to special V-weapon sites and stores. The sites at Mimoyecques and Siracourt were accurately bombed by 1 and No 4 Group forces with Pathfinder marking but the No 617 Squadron force attacking Wizernes failed to find its target because of cloud and returned without dropping its bombs. 1 Halifax lost from the Siracourt raid.
2 Mosquitos flew uneventful Ranger patrols.
22/23 June 1944
221 aircraft- 111 Lancasters, 100 Halifaxes, 10 Mosquitos - of Nos 1, 4 and 8 Groups attacked railway yards at Laon and Rheims. 4 Halifaxes lost from the Laon raid and 4 Lancasters from the Rheims raid. The bombing at both targets was successful.
29 Mosquitos to Hamburg and 8 to Rouen, 15 RCM sorties, 35 Mosquito patrols, 6 Halifaxes and 4 Stirlings minelaying off French ports. No aircraft lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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