On Thursday 08 March 1945, a member of the 101 Sqdn, Flying Officer R T Cawthorp, took off from Ludford Magna 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 17:08.
He flew with a Avro Lancaster (type I, serial PD268, code SR-O).
The crash location: http://www.backtonormandy.org/the-history/air-force-operations/airplanes-allies-and-axis-lost/lancaster/avro-lancaster-i-pd268-sr-o-finally-found-at-hagen.html
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force):: 3 missions are flown.
Mission 872: 1,353 bombers and 326 fighters are dispatched to hit benzol plants, an oil plant and rail targets in Germany using PFF; NO AIRCRAFT ARE LOST AND THERE ARE NO CASUALTIES!
1. 360 B-24s are sent to hit marshalling yards at Betzdorf (70), Siegen (114) and Dillenburg (73); targets of opportunity are Limburg (10) and Frankfurt (10); bombing is by H2X radar; 3 B-24s are damaged.
Escorting are 99 of 102 P-51s.
2. 526 B-17s are dispatched to hit the Robert Muser (99) and Bruchstrasse (63) benzol plants at Langendreer, the Gneisenau benzol plant at Dortmund (110) and Heddernheim chemical factory at Frankfurt (122); secondary targets are the marshalling yards at Giessen (69) and Frankfurt (18); 13 others hit Wetzlar, a target of opportunity; bombing is with H2X radar; 26 B-17s are damaged.
The escort is 95 of 99 P-51s.
3. 458 B-17s are sent to hit the Emil benzol plant at Essen (114), the Mathies Stinnes benzol plant at Bottrop (37), the August Viktoria benzol plant at Huls (111) and the synthetic oil plant at Buer Scholren (75); 109 hit the marshalling yard at Essen, a target of opportunity; bombing is by Micro-H; 1 B-17 is damaged beyond repair.
93 of 98 P-51s escort.
4. 9 B-17s fly a screening mission.
5. 27 P-51s fly a scouting mission.
Mission 873: 11 B-24s drop leaflets in France, the Netherlands and Germany during the night without loss.
Mission 874: 15 B-24s attack the marshalling yard at Dortmund during the night without loss and 4 of 7 B-24s fly CARPETBAGGER missions.
(Ninth Air Force): 328 B-26s, A-20s and A-26s hit 7 communications centers, 2 marshalling yards, a road overpass, and a military transport depot in the furtherance of the interdiction program; weather prevents fighter operations except for a small alert mission by the XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional).
Operational HQ of the XXIX Tactical Air Command (Provisional), HQ 84th Fighter Wing and HQ 303d Fighter Wing move from Maastricht, the Netherlands to Monchen-Gladbach, Germany; the detachments of the 39th Photographic Reconnaissance Squadron, 10th Photographic Group (Reconnaissance) operating from Gosselies and Le Culot, Belgium with F-5s, return to base at Jarny, France.
Campaign report of the RAF:
7/8 March 1945
526 Lancasters and 5 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3, 6 and 8 Groups raided Dessau. 18 Lancasters lost, 3.4 per cent of the force. This was another devastating raid on a new target in Eastern Germany with the usual town centre, residential, industrial and railway areas all being hit.
256 Halifaxes and 25 Lancasters of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups attempted to attack the Deutsche Erdoel refinery at Hemmingstedt, near Heide, with little success. 4 Halifaxes and 1 Lancaster lost.
234 Lancasters and 7 Mosquitos of No 5 Group carried out an accurate attack on the oil refinery at Harburg. 14 Lancasters lost. No 189 Squadron, from Fulbeck, lost 4 of its 16 Lancasters on the raid. One local report states that a rubber factory was seriously damaged as well as the oil targets.
80 Mosquitos to Berlin, 10 to Frankfurt, 9 to Münster and 5 to Hannover, 56 RCM sorties, 43 Mosquito patrols, 15 Halifaxes and 5 Lancasters minelaying off Eckemforde and Flensburg. 4 aircraft were lost - 2 Halifaxes and 1 Fortress of No 100 Group and 1 Mosquito from the Berlin raid.
Total effort for the night: 1,276 sorties, 41 aircraft (3.2 per cent) lost.
8/9 March 1945
312 aircraft - 241 Halifaxes, 62 Lancasters, 9 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups attacked Hamburg. 1 Halifax lost. The purpose of this raid was to hit the shipyards which were now assembling the new Type XXI U-boats, whose parts were prefabricated in many parts of inland Germany. Thanks to the Schnorkel breathing tube and a new type of battery-driven electric engine, the Type XXI could cruise under water for long periods and was capable of bursts of high speed. Its development in numbers would have posed great problems for Allied convoy defence if the war had lasted longer. The Hamburg area was found to be cloud-covered and the bombing was not expected to be accurate enough to cause much damage to the shipyards.
262 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitos of Nos 1 and 8 Groups carried out the first large raid on Kassel since October 1943; it was also the last large RAF raid on this target. 1 Mosquito lost. This target was also covered by cloud.
39 Mosquitos to Berlin, 33 to Hannover, 7 to Hagen and 5 each to Bremen and Osnabrück, 50 RCM sorties, 36 Mosquito patrols, 23 Halifaxes and 14 Lancasters minelaying in the Rivers Elbe and Weser, 5 aircraft on Resistance operations. 1 RCM Halifax lost. The 5 Stirlings of No 161 Squadron, which were carrying supplies to Resistance units at unrecorded destinations, but probably in Denmark and Norway, were the last Resistance operations flights of the war.
Total effort for the night: 805 sorties, 3 aircraft (0.4 per cent) lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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