On Thursday 08 February 1945, a member of the 431 Sqdn, Flying Officer S P Sorenson, took off from Croft 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 an unknown time .
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type X, serial KB818, code SE-G).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force):: 150 B-17s and 264 B-24s dispatched to attack targets in W Germany are recalled before leaving the UK coast due to clouds over bases, routes, and targets.
98 of 99 P-51s fly a sweep strafing rail traffic and parked aircraft; they claim 1-0-0 Luftwaffe aircraft.
11 of 13 P-51s escort photo reconnaissance aircraft over Germany.
(Ninth Air Force): 320+ B-26s, A-20s, and A-26s strike a road junction, marshalling yard, 3 defended areas, and 10 casual targets in Germany.
Fighters fly armed reconnaissance, bomb numerous ground targets, and support the US XII Corps which has, on 7 Feb, crossed the Our and Sauer Rivers between Vianden and Echternach, Luxembourg and established bridgeheads.
HQ 406th Fighter Group and the 512th Fighter Squadron move from Metz, France to Assche, Belgium with P-47s.
The 39th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, Ninth AF, based at St Amand, France with F-5s, sends a flight to operate from Le Culot, Belgium.
Campaign report of the RAF:
7/8 February 1945
Goch: 464 aircraft - 292 Halifaxes, 156 Lancasters, 16 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups. 2 Halifaxes lost. This raid was preparing the way for the attack of the British " Corps across the German frontier near the Reichswald. The Germans had included the towns of Goch and Kleve in their strong defences here. The Master Bomber ordered the Main Force to come below the cloud, the estimated base of which was only 5,000ft, and the attack opened very accurately. The raid was stopped after 155 aircraft had bombed, because smoke was causing control of the raid to become impossible. Considerable damage was caused in Goch but most of the inhabitants had probably left the town.
Kleve: 295 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups. 1 Lancaster lost. 285 aircraft bombed at Kleve, which was battered even more than Goch. After the war, Kleve claimed to be the most completely destroyed town in Germany of its size. The British attack, led by the 15th (Scottish) Division, made a successful start a few hours later but quickly ground to a halt because of a thaw, which caused flooding on the few roads available for the advance, and also because of the ruins which blocked the way through Kleve. Lieutenant-General BG Horrocks, the Corps Commander in charge of the attack, later claimed that he had requested that Kleve should only be subjected to an incendiary raid but Bomber Command dropped 1,384 tons of high explosive on the town and no incendiaries.
177 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos of No 5 Group attacked the Dortmund-Ems Canal section near Ladbergen with delayed-action bombs. Later photographs showed that the banks had not been damaged; the bombs had fallen into nearby fields. 3 Lancasters were lost.
38 Mosquitos to Magdeburg, 16 to Mainz and 41 in small numbers to 5 other targets, 63 RCM sorties, 45 Mosquito patrols, 30 Lancasters and 15 Halifaxes minelaying in Kiel Bay. 4 Mosquitos lost - 3 from No 100 Group and 1 from the raid on Mainz.
Total effort for the night: 1,205 sorties, 10 aircraft (0.8 per cent) lost.
8 February 1945
15 Lancasters of No 617 Squadron dropped Tallboys on the U-boat pens at Ijmuiden without loss.
1 RCM sortie was flown.
8/9 February 1945
Politz: 475 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 5 and 8 Groups. 12 Lancasters lost, l of them coming down in Sweden. The attack took place in 2 waves, the first being marked and carried out entirely by the No 5 Group method and the second being marked by the Pathfinders of No 8 Group. The weather conditions were clear and the bombing of both waves was extremely accurate. Severe damage was caused to this important synthetic-oil plant. It produced no further oil during the war. Speer mentioned this raid, in his post-war interrogations, as being another big setback to Germany's war effort.
Wanne-Eickel: 228 aircraft - 200 Halifaxes, 20 Mosquitos, 8 Lancasters - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups. 2 Halifaxes crashed in France. This raid was not a success. The local report says that the bombing was scattered, with only light damage to the oil refinery.
Krefeld: 151 Lancasters of No 3 Group attacked the Hohenbudberg railway yards but photographic reconnaissance was unable to detect any new damage. 2 Lancasters lost.
47 Mosquitos to Berlin, 9 to Neubrandenburg (a 'spoof' for the Politz raid) and 4 to Nuremberg, 47 RCM sorties, 42 Mosquito patrols, 10 Lancasters of No 5 Group minelaying off Swinemünde. 1 RCM Halifax lost.
Total effort for the night: 1,020 sorties, 17 aircraft (1.7 per cent) lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net
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