467 Postblog XLV: Thursday 23 March, 1944

No operations for 463 and 467 Squadrons at Waddington today. Crews attended lectures on dinghy drill and there was no flying.[1]

The Mosquitos were out again tonight however, attacking Oberhausen, Dortmund and airfields in Holland and Belgium. Other aircraft laid mines, dropped leaflets and made fighter patrols. The heavy bombers’ effort for the night were a small force of 20 Lancasters from 5 Group which attacked an “aircraft components factory at Lyons with devastating effect”, and a larger force of bombers which went to the marshalling yards at Laon in northern France. Here the first few target indicators had been well laid (within 200 yards of the aiming point, according to the Night Raid Report) and about half the aircraft bombed reasonably accurately. But “all the markers for the second wave failed” and, demonstrating the extra care which was being taken to avoid civilian casualties on French targets, the Master Bomber subsequently ordered those that had not yet attacked to take their bombs home.

Two Halifaxes from the Laon force and one Serrate Mosquito were the only casualties from the night’s operations.[2]

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] Waddington information from Operational Record Books for both 463 and 467 Squadrons, 23MAR44

[2] Operational detail from Night Raid Report No. 561 and RAF Bomber Command Campaign Diary – March 1944

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