On Sunday 06 December 1942, a member of the 226 Sqdn, Pilot Officer J L Fletcher, took off from Swanton Morley 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 11:35.
He flew with a A-20/Havoc/DB-7/Boston/P-70 (type III, serial Z2266, code MQ-S).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force): On Mission 24, 103 heavy bombers are dispatched against France. Nineteen are dispatched against the Abbeville/Drucat Airfield; six bomb the target with one aircraft lost. Sixty six are dispatched against the Atelier d'Hellemmes locomotive works at Lille; 36 bomb the target with the loss of one aircraft. Eighteen other aircraft fly a diversion.
Campaign report of the RAF:
5/6 December 1942
6 OTU sorties were flown to France without loss.
6 December 1942
This was a special raid carried out by all of the operational day-bomber squadrons in 2 Group. Their targets were the Philips radio and valve factories in the Dutch town of Eindhoven. 93 aircraft took part in the raid - 47 Venturas, 36 Bostons and 10 Mosquitos. 1 of the Mosquitos was a photographic aircraft. Eindhoven was well beyond the range of any available fighter escort. The raid was flown at low level and in clear weather conditions.
Bombing was accurate and severe damage was caused to the factory, which was situated in the middle of the town. Because the raid was deliberately carried out on a Sunday, there were few casualties in the factory but several bombs fell in nearby streets and 148 Dutch people and 7 German soldiers were killed. Full production at the factory was not reached again until 6 months after the raid.
The bomber casualties were heavy: 9 Venturas, 4 Bostons and 1 Mosquito were lost over Holland or the sea. This was a loss rate of 15 per cent for the whole force; the Venturas, the aircraft with the poorest performance, suffered 19 per cent casualties. 3 more aircraft crashed or force-landed in England and most of the other aircraft were damaged - 23 by bird strikes!
6/7 December 1942
272 aircraft - 101 Lancasters, 65 Halifaxes, 57 Wellingtons, 49 Stirlings. 10 aircraft - 5 Wellingtons, 3 Halifaxes, 1 Lancaster, 1 Stirling - lost, 3.1 per cent of the force, and 4 more aircraft crashed in England.
The target area was found to be completely cloud-covered. Most of the Pathfinders withheld their flares and many of the 220 crews who bombed did so on dead-reckoning positions. Mannheim reports only 500 or so incendiary bombs and some leaflets. There were no casualties in Mannheim.
14 Lancasters and Wellingtons laid mines in the Frisian Islands without loss.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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