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[Home] [Articles and Misc] [Dusseldorf  1 August 1942]

Operation – Dusseldorf – 1 August 1942

First 103 Squadron Halifax Operation

103 Squadron Halifax W1188 Flossie Dusseldorf

103 Squadron Halifax W1188 Flossie Dusseldorf

Seven aircraft were detailed to cause maximum damage to a point of aim at Dusseldorf.

Owing to intercom failure one sortie was cancelled. Six took off just after midnight. The captains were Fox, Kennard, Frith, Saxelby, Winchester and Gilby. All were experienced crews. All aircraft carried nickels and cameras and four photographs were attempted. One sortie experienced failure of the starboard outer engine and failed to reach the primary target and another did not attempt a photograph due to premature fusing of the flash bomb.

Cloudless conditions existed throughout the flight. Haze was encountered over the Continent and fog formed over East Anglia which cleared further north.

Over the target inaccurate flak was encountered and defences appeared to be saturated. Some flashless heavy flak was reported by one sortie. Searchlight co-operation was very slight. Crews reported many fires in the target area and all returned safely.

…......

01-Aug-42 – Dusseldorf - Point of Aim – Halifax – W1188 – S/L SH Fox

01-Aug-42 – Dusseldorf - Point of Aim – Halifax – W7705 – F/L JH Kennard – Starboard outer spinner and pitch piston found dented on return

01-Aug-42 – Dusseldorf - Point of Aim – Halifax – W1270 – F/L JR Frith

01-Aug-42 – Dusseldorf - Point of Aim – Halifax – W1219 – S/L CK Saxelby

01-Aug-42 – Dusseldorf - Point of Aim – Halifax – BB204 – P/O KFJ Winchester

01-Aug-42 – Dusseldorf - Point of Aim – Halifax – W1187 – P/O JH Gilby - Unable to reach primary due to failure of starboard outer engine.

103 Squadron Fox

103 Squadron S/L SH Fox

42341 Kennard

103 Squadron F/L JH Kennard

421 Pipkin and Bobby 1942

103 Squadron Len Pipkin who was a DFC and bar and flew as navigator with S/L Saxelby on this operation

….......

31 July/1 August 1942

Dusseldorf

630 aircraft - 308 Wellingtons, 113 Lancasters, 70 Halifaxes, 61 Stirlings, 54 Hampdens, 24 Whitleys. This was another raid in which Bomber Command's training units provided aircraft, though it was not an attempt to reach the 1,000-aircraft figure. It was the first occasion when more than 100 Lancasters took part in a raid. 484 aircraft claimed successful bombing although their photographs showed that part of the force bombed open country. More than 900 tons of bombs were dropped.

453 buildings in Düsseldorf and Neuss, the suburb town over the Rhine, were destroyed and more than 15,000 damaged (12,192 only lightly). 954 fires were started, of which 67 were classed as large. 279 people were killed - 245 in Dusseldorf and 34 in Neuss; 1,018 people were injured and 12,053 were bombed out. (The British Official History, p. 487, gives 379 deaths but this is believed to be an error.)

The casualties of the bomber force were again heavy. 29 aircraft - 16 Wellingtons, 5 Hampdens, 4 Halifaxes, 2 Lancasters, 2 Whitleys - were lost; this was 4.6 per cent of those dispatched. 92 (OTU) Group lost 11 of its 105 aircraft on the raid, a casualty rate of 10.5 per cent.

6 Blenheim Intruder sorties were flown; 1 Blenheim lost.

Compiled by David Fell. Photos from my archive

 

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