467 Postblog XXIV: Wednesday 16 – Friday 18 February, 1944

Following the previous evening’s Berlin trip, the crews of the two Waddington squadrons could have expected a rest on Wednesday. But in the morning, despite the poor weather, they found that a raid had been planned for the evening. Consequently the weekly dance was cancelled. But though the weather cleared up towards the afternoon, at 14.30 hours, operations were cancelled and the crews were stood down. The dance stayed scrubbed.[1] The story was much the same on Thursday.

Another day of bad weather, another big effort planned.

Another day of “the usual bustle with the prospect of Ops”.[2]

Another late scrubbing.

And again on Friday. As the 467 Squadron ORB put it:

18 on – scrubbed – bed, and we wait the ‘morrow.

There are no Night Raid Reports covering this period of time. But one raid that was carried out in daylight is well worth a mention. On Friday, 18 February, a small force of Mosquitos from 487 (RNZAF) Squadron, 464 (RAAF) Squadron and 21 (RAF) Squadron made an extremely low level precision attack, code-named Operation Jericho, on a prison in the French town of Amiens. Among the prisoners being held there were twelve members of the French Resistance who were due to be executed the following day. The Mosquitos succeeded in blowing down a wall of the prison. Though 102 prisoners were killed, several hundred managed to escape, among them the condemned men. Two Mosquitos and two escorting Typhoon fighters were lost, with three aircrew killed and three captured,[3] but it had been an impressive demonstration of low-level precision bombing.

Next post in this series: 19 February

This post is part of a series called 467 Postblog, posted in real time to mark the 70th anniversary of the crew of B for Baker while they were on operational service with 467 Squadron at RAF Waddington, Lincolnshire. See this link for an in-depth explanation of the series, and this one for full citations of sources used throughout it. © 2014 Adam Purcell

Sources:


[1] 463 and 467 Squadrons ORBs, 16FEB44

[2] 467 Squadron ORB, 17FEB44

[3] Amiens Raid, Australian War Memorial web page

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