On Wednesday 03 February 1943, a member of the 21 Sqdn, Sergeant J T Price, took off from Methwold 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 9:56.
He flew with a Ventura B-34/B-37/PV-1/PV-2 (type I, serial AE774, code YH-V).
Campaign report of the USAAF:
(Eighth Air Force): VIII Fighter Command Circus 258 (a Circus was a large force of fighters escorting a small force of bombers to entice the Luftwaffe up to fight): 22 Spitfire Mk Vs of the 4th Fighter Group escort 12 Venturas on an uneventful Circus 258. The 4th Fighter Group also flies 25 sorties on uneventful offensive missions.
Campaign report of the RAF:
2/3 February 1943
Cologne attacked by 161 aircraft - 116 Lancasters, 35 Halifaxes, 8 Stirlings, 2 Mosquitos in another experimental raid using a 4-engined bombing force with various forms of Pathfinder techniques. Markers were dropped by both the Oboe Mosquitos and the H2S heavy marker aircraft. Again the results were disappointing, with no clear concentration of markers being achieved and with subsequent bombing being well scattered. Unfortunately, a Pathfinder Stirling on this raid was shot down by a night fighter and crashed in Holland handing the Germans an example of the H2S set on only the second night that this new device was used. The set was damaged but the German firm of Telefunken was able to reassemble it. This gave the Germans an early indication of the operational use of H2S and eventually led to the development of a device, 'Naxos', which would enable German night fighters to home on to a bomber which was using its H2S set. 5 aircraft - 3 Lancasters, 1 Halifax, 1 Stirling - lost, 3.1 per cent of the force.
13 Halifaxes of No 6 Group minelaying in the Kattegat but bad weather was encountered and only 5 aircraft laid their mines: there was 1 OTU sortie. No aircraft lost.
3 February 1943
60 Venturas to various targets in France, Belgium and Holland but only 15 aircraft bombed railway yards at Abbeville and at St Omer airfield. 2 Venturas lost.
3/4 February 1943
263 aircraft - 84 Halifaxes, 66 Stirlings, 62 Lancasters, 51 Wellingtons - provided by all groups on the first 200-plus raid for more than 2 weeks for a raid on Hamburg. Icing conditions in cloud over the North Sea caused many aircraft to return early. The Pathfinders were unable to produce concentrated and sustained marking on H2S and the bombing of the Main Force was scattered. The results in Hamburg were no better than the attack by a much smaller force a few nights earlier. The German night fighters operated effectively, despite the bad weather, and 16 bombers were lost - 8 Stirlings, 4 Halifaxes, 3 Wellingtons and 1 Lancaster, 6.1 per cent of the force.
8 Wellingtons minelaying off Lorient and St Nazaire, 4 OTU sorties. 1 Wellington minelayer lost.
With thanks to the RAF and USAAF.net!
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