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Bomber formations, split from: Re: Ack Ack Formation

mariomike

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Good2Golf said:
The 'loose trail' idea was borne of WWII bomber "Box/Combat box" formations where 'boxes' of three to six bombers would be offset laterally (and to some degree vertically) to counter airborne threats (enemy counter-air fighter aircraft) as well as balance concentration of munitions (from closer formation) with force protective dispersion (to balance against ack-ack/flak/anti-aircraft fires).

The combat box was used by the USAAF ( Europe ).

The RCAF bombed in "streams" until the last days of the war. All aircraft flew a common "track" at the same speed to and from the target. Each aircraft was allotted a height band and a time slot in the stream to minimize the risk of collision. 700 or 800 aircraft regularly passed over the city they were bombing in less than twenty minutes.

 

Good2Golf

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mariomike said:
The combat box was used by the USAAF ( Europe ).

The RCAF bombed in "streams" until the last days of the war. All aircraft flew a common "track" at the same speed to and from the target. Each aircraft was allotted a height band and a time slot in the stream to minimize the risk of collision. 700 or 800 aircraft regularly passed over the city they were bombing in less than twenty minutes.

Combat box was effective because the Americans decided is was worth the risk flying in day time to: a) see and support each other, and b) hit the target.

The RAF/Commonwealth bombing methodology, primarily based on hope as a method both for targeting and for mid-air deconfliction, was far less a method than you are alluding to.  That "common track" was relative to individual aircraft navigation accuracy (minimal at night and with any kind of cloud cover keeping celestial navigation from happening) and the allocated height band and "time slot" went out the window less than an hour after take off due to inaccuracies/error of the airspeed indicators of the bombers resulting in time differences that overlapped the "time slots."  My grandfather was a radar operator on board Mosquito night fighters that would path-find at times for RAF/RCAF bombers and he witnessed more than a few time bombers collide in mid air due to the "stream method".  There is no way 700-800 aircraft were passing over a target on a single track in 20 minutes...maybe multiple "tracks", a single track would result in aircraft separations of 1.7 seconds between (blacked out) aircraft.  My grandfather described the Lancs and Halifaxes as "flying all over the ----ing place, trying not to run into each other", so I wouldn't put much faith into anything you read/copy/paste about the value of the Bomber Command's "stream" (a.k.a. 'hope') method...


Regards
G2G 
 

Old Sweat

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Further to Good2Golf's excellent explanation, the USAAF also used the box to control bombing with the lead aircraft identifying the target and releasing its load as a signal to the other aircraft in the box to also drop their bombs. This was a result of heavy casualties in the early days of the day bombing offensive and the resulting lowered standard of training of navigators and bombardiers.

In practice the night bomber stream became even more congested as the leading aircraft tended to throttle back while the trailing bombers increased their speed. This was done to merge them with the "mob" so as to decrease their vulnerability to night fighters. Bombing results could be haphazard even with the (for the time) sophisticated navigation and target location measures that were introduced mid-war. The bomb pattern tended to move back along the flight path as crews often dropped early so as to be able to turn about and hopefully evade flak and night fighters sooner.

The steam was also used on those occasions when the night bombing force was employed during the day. In his report on an instance of Bomber Command aircraft hitting friendly troops on one of these day bombing raids, "Bomber" Harris explained that the pilot could not see the target as it was obscured by the aircraft nose and the navigator relied on technical means in a compartment that provided no view of the ground. And he added, the bomb aimers were not the cream of the crop, having been deemed to not be good enough to be pilots or navigators. It was these men who were responsible for identifying and hitting the target by day or night. In practice this meant spotting the target markers dropped by the pathfinders and bombing on the lights or smoke.
 

Rifleman62

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Regardless, Bomber Command had 50,000 KIA, and the US Mighty Eighth had half of the total USAAF causalities in WWII ( 47,000, of which 26,000 were KIA). The chance of completing a tour were slim. Brave men.
 

Good2Golf

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Rifleman62 said:
Regardless, Bomber Command had 50,000 KIA, and the US Mighty Eighth had half of the total USAAF causalities in WWII ( 47,000, of which 26,000 were KIA). The chance of completing a tour were slim. Brave men.

Indeed.  Life expectancy in Bomber Command was not long...perhaps not as short as the "20 minuters" of WW I, but not much better.

Regards
G2G
 

Old Sweat

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That Bomber Command fatal casualty figure is more than one third of the BCATP output of 131,533. Admittedly, not all were BCATP graduates, but still it is a staggering figure, and does not include the thousands who fell in other commands/theatres.

Lest we forget.  :remembrance:
 

Old Sweat

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Old Sweat said:
That Bomber Command fatal casualty figure is more than one third of the BCATP output of 131,533. Admittedly, not all were BCATP graduates, but still it is a staggering figure, and does not include the thousands who fell in other commands/theatres.

Lest we forget.  :remembrance:

Mods, we seem to have answered the ack ack formation question quite a while back. Can we put this to bed, or move the discussion about bombing somewhere?
 

mariomike

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Good2Golf said:
Combat box was effective because the Americans decided is was worth the risk flying in day time* to: a) see and support each other, and b) hit the target.

As far as being "worth the risk", not to all Americans: "Morale ( in Bomber Command ) never became a major problem, as it did on some 8th Air Force stations during the terrible losses of 1943 and early 1944. An RAF doctor seconded to study aircrew spirit at one American station reported in dismay, 'Aircrew are heard openly saying that they don't intend to fly to Berlin again or do any more difficult sorties. This is not considered a disgrace or dishonourable.' "

"While Harris ( Bomber Command ) fought the Battle of Berlin by night, the USAAF was reduced to limited penetration blind bombing missions by H2X, the American adaptation of H2S. In reality, if not in theory, the Americans spent much of the winter of 1943-44 engaged in area bombing operations. In the words of the American official historians, 'It seemed better to bomb low priority targets frequently, even with less than precision accuracy, than not to bomb at all.' "
Max Hastings

"The Americans had suffered an overwhelming and traumatic defeat. In the face of the Luftwaffe massed fighter assaults with cannon, rockets and bombs against their formations, the Fortresses and Liberators were taking intolerable punishment. Morale sagged in a manner unknown to Bomber Command at any period of the war. The practice of force landing damaged aircraft in neutral territory became sufficiently common to cause serious controversy - by the summer of 1944 there were 94 8th Air Force crews interned in Sweden and 101 in Switzerland."


That was not to improve until the arrival of huge numbers of long range P-51 Mustang fighter escorts later in the war. Within four months of Schweinfurt, the USAAF had overturned the balance of war in the air.

Good2Golf said:
There is no way 700-800 aircraft were passing over a target on a single track in 20 minutes...maybe multiple "tracks", a single track would result in aircraft separations of 1.7 seconds between (blacked out) aircraft. 

"Improved navigational accuracy, and the withdrawal of older, slower types allowed the bomber stream to be compressed, covering a 70 mile strip, instead of the 300 miles common in 1942. This meant that 800 aircraft could 'feed through' the target in only about 20 minutes, minimizing their exposure to enemy defences."
"Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45" by Jon Lake. 

Old Sweat said:
In his report on an instance of Bomber Command aircraft hitting friendly troops on one of these day bombing raids, <snip>

14 August, 1944
Most of the bombing was accurate and effective but, about half way through the raids, some aircraft started to bomb a large quarry in which parts of the 12th Canadian Field Regiment were positioned. This may have been caused by the yellow identification flares which were ignited by the soldiers. It was unfortunate because the target indicators used by the Pathfinders were also yellow. Bomber Command aircrews claimed the soldiers ignited their yellow flares before any bombs fell on the quarry. 13 soldiers were killed.

Unless you know of another, that was the only occasion Bomber Command hit friendly troops.

We could also include U.S. Lieutenant General ( three stars ) Lesley McNair who "was killed ( 25 July 1944 ) by friendly fire when a USAAF Eighth Air Force bomb landed in his foxhole near Saint-Lô during Operation Cobra as part of the Battle of Normandy."
"( U.S. General ) Bradley was horrified when 77 ( USAAF ) planes bombed short: 'The ground belched, shook and spewed dirt to the sky. Scores of our troops were hit, their bodies flung from slit trenches. Doughboys were dazed and frightened....A bomb landed squarely on McNair in a slit trench and threw his body sixty feet and mangled it beyond recognition except for the three stars on his collar."
"Despite efforts by U.S. units to identify their positions, inaccurate bombing by the Eighth Air Force killed 111 men and wounded 490. The dead included Bradley's friend and fellow West Pointer Lieutenant General Lesley McNair—the highest-ranking U.S. soldier to be killed in action in the European Theater of Operations.":
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Cobra#Main_attack_and_breakthrough_25.E2.80.9327_July

Collateral damage: "Churchill was appalled by initial estimates that bombing the key French railway centres could kill 40,000 French civilians. This seemed to him - the Americans were less concerned - an utterly unacceptable manner in which to begin the liberation of Europe."

If you read about the R(C)AF bombing raids on Revigny in "Massacre Over the Marne" as part of the Transportation Plan for Gen. Eisenhower, you will see the extraordinary measures Bomber Command took to avoid French civilian casualties. And, what a high price our aircrews paid for it.

There was an old saying during the war, "When the Germans bomb the British duck; when the British bomb the Germans duck and when the Americans bomb everyone ducks!"

Edit to add. Regarding day time bombing:
* Day time bombing was at first tried against Japan, but was replaced by night time bombing: "Pathfinding bombers marked the center of Tokyo with napalm bombs that were dropped to make the shape of a huge X of fire across the center of the city. When the bomber stream arrived, it passed over the fiery X in flights of 3 planes each flying at altitudes ranging between 5,000 and 10,000 feet. These flights were spaced to put each one over the X with about 1 minute between flights, which means the bomber stream passed over Tokyo for about 2 hours with each of its planes dropping about 40 incendiary bombs that were 500 pounds each (the B-29 could carry 20,000 pounds of bombs). All the planes had to do was drop their bombs into or near the visible fires."

"LeMay decided that Tokyo would be the first target for a massive raid on Japan itself. The raid was planned for the night of March 10th..."


 

Old Sweat

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While Bomber Command aircaft dropped some bombs on the FMR during the Totalize Phase 1 bombing between 2300 and 2340 hours on 7 August 1944, this did not unduly hamper the operation. See No Holding Back p. 175, the major event was indeed during Tractable on 14 August.

It is interesting that Bomber Harris et al made quite a fuss about the ground troops using yellow smoke and marker panels to identify friendly positions, while yellow was also the colour used by the pathfinders to mark the targets. They self righteously claimed that they should have been informed that yellow was used by Allied forces as a SOP. Several years after the event an internal Bomber Command memo was discovered in the British archives. In it Harris directed his staff to write a strong letter to Eisenhower's headquarters chastising him for not informing Harris of the reservation of yellow to indicate friendly troops. Harris minuted on it as an after thought direction to do a file search to ensure that they in fact had not been informed. It must have been embarrassing all around when one of his principal staff officers replied that a letter to that effect had been received in March 1944, but it had been filed without action. (I have a copy of the memo, which I think was given to me by CLFCSC.) Needless to say, the letter was not written.
 

time expired

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Something I have always wondered about,given the range of the 50 cal. MG,and the B17 had 12,

how many B17s were hit,damaged or even shot down by neighbouring aircraft in their respective

boxes. Any thoughts?.

                                                Regards

 

Good2Golf

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mariomike said:
"Improved navigational accuracy, and the withdrawal of older, slower types allowed the bomber stream to be compressed, covering a 70 mile strip, instead of the 300 miles common in 1942. This meant that 800 aircraft could 'feed through' the target in only about 20 minutes, minimizing their exposure to enemy defences."
"Lancaster Squadrons 1944-45" by Jon Lake. 

Your original quote (below) to which I replied, referred to "track" and implied through an uncited statement shortly thereafter that the 700-800 aircraft flying over the city were (using a stream formation) passing overhead in less than 20 minutes.

mariomike said:
The RCAF bombed in "streams" until the last days of the war. All aircraft flew a common "track" at the same speed to and from the target. Each aircraft was allotted a height band and a time slot in the stream to minimize the risk of collision. 700 or 800 aircraft regularly passed over the city they were bombing in less than twenty minutes.

A "track", as opposed to a "heading" (same direction, but not necessarily the same position), is an imaginary line extended directly above the surface of the earth.  The bombers could not have been flying sequentially on the same "track", for as I noted before, this would have resulted in bombers one behind the other spaced less than two seconds apart.  I think you may have a hard time finding a reference wherein WWII bombers formations included extended lines of bombers 'tailgating' each other two seconds apart. 

The overall result was that the original RAF "streams" were in fact starting to "widen out" towards the lateral spacings of the combat box formations the Americans were using during the day...whether or not the RAF historians maintain that Bomber Command steadfastly stuck with the original linear stream formations, it is clear that the stream was widening and compressing to put more bombs on the correct target and to reduce the overall force exposure against flak.  This correlates with what my grandfather told me about the RAF bombers "spreading out" their formations to pack in more bombers in the same space -- the "stream" was become less of a stream.

Perhaps we will have to fundamentally disagree on this matter, with me using time-space calculations to indicate the improbability of the continuation of the pure sequential stream of the early 40's as well as recalling my grandfather's recounted memories of larger groups of RAF/RCAF bombers as he flew aboard 409 RCAF Sqn Mossies pathfinding for Bomber Command Lancs, Sterlings and Halifaxes, and you with whatever references you are using...

Regards
G2G
 

mariomike

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Rifleman62 said:
Regardless, Bomber Command had 50,000 KIA, and the US Mighty Eighth had half of the total USAAF causalities in WWII ( 47,000, of which 26,000 were KIA). The chance of completing a tour were slim. Brave men.

Bomber Command HQ was particularly concerned about the chances of surviving not just one, but two operational tours. A 4.5% loss rate - the average sustained in 1943 - corresponded to a 25% chance of surviving a first tour of 30 trips and a 10% chance of surviving the additional 20 sorties of a second tour.
Only partial credit was given for "easy" targets. 
Ref: "The science of bombing : operational research in RAF Bomber Command" by Randall Thomas Wakelam
University of Toronto Press, 2009.

Harris himself described the chances of surviving 50 operations as "mathematically nil".

A 5% loss rate meant that on a typical operation involving 750 bombers, the R(C)AF would lose about 37 aircraft – and 260 airmen. Losses of Bomber Command aircraft and crews climaxed over Nuremburg on the night of 30/31 March 1944: 95 aircraft lost out of 795 dispatched (11.9%).
http://www.rafbombercommand.com/tactics_elecwarfare.html

Good2Golf said:
Perhaps we will have to fundamentally disagree on this matter,

I think it was more of a communication misunderstanding than a disagreement. That was my fault.
I understand four-engine night bombers were not flying "bumper to bumper".

I am sure you already know this, but it is worth mentioning:
Time and space calculations were a subject of some debate. Longer night-bomber streams made it easier for the Luftwaffe to locate, but once a night-fighter got into the stream, their destruction of bombers was proportionate to its concentration.

Regards,
mm






 

Old Sweat

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I took a look at the Tractable bombing errors report and the First Canadian Army Operation Instruction detailing the air plan. On 14 August 1944 811 aircraft were despatched against seven targets, all within 2000 yards of friendly forces. The target area was roughly six kilometres long by five kilometres wide and the bombing sequence was to run north to south along the long axis. The approximate layout north to south was one target, three targets roughly perpendicular to the long axis and two targets, again roughly perpendicular. Of these aircraft, most bombed successfully. However 25 aborted and returned to base without bombing while 77 dropped their loads short.

The bombing was scheduled from H plus 120 to H plus 240 minutes. Someone may wish to do a gross check of the number of aircraft past a point per minute, but it isn't that simple. However here are the aircraft directed at each in sequence of attack:

Sequence    Target        No of Aircraft

    1              21                220

    2              22                110

    2              25                112

    2              28                127

    3              23                108

    3              24                105
 

mariomike

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Old Sweat said:
While Bomber Command aircaft dropped some bombs on the FMR during the Totalize Phase 1 bombing between 2300 and 2340 hours on 7 August 1944, this did not unduly hamper the operation.

11 Lancasters were lost:

ND460
7 Squadron
MG-W
Airborne 2208 7Aug44 from Oakington tasked to bomb enemy strong points. Crashed near Bolbec (Seine-Maritime), an industrial town on the le Havre to amiens road. All are buried in Bolbes Communal Cemetery, close to the graves of two english soldiers killed in May40. Both W/O McGrevy and w/O Aspey had flown with 149 Squadron and their awards were published 16May44. F/O Horsborough gained his DFM, Gazetted 12Mar43, while serving with 40 Squadron. F/O L.Kidd RAAF KIA W/O D.McGrevy DFM KIA P/O P.A.Ingrey MiD KIA P/O S.McNabney KIA W/O J.F.Forbes KIA F/S R.G.Law KIA F/O G.Horsborough DFM KIA W/O W.Aspey DFM KIA "
http://www.francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=1183

LL922
50 Squadron 
VN-E
Airborne 2118 7Aug44 from Skellingthorpe to bomb an enemy strong point in the Normandy Battle Area. Crashed at la Frenaye in the Department of Seine-Maritime, 3 km ENE of Lillebonne. Those killed are buried in la Frenaye Churchyard. F/L Palandri KIA Sgt J.B.Firth Pow F/S R.J.Owen KIA F/L E.H.E.Hearn Evd Sgt A.D.Mellish KIA Sgt W.Johnson Evd F/S A.R.Meredith RCAF Evd Ssgt J.B.Firth was interned in Camp L7, PoW No.86332. "
http://www.francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=1175

LM292
103 Squadron 
PM-?
Airborne 2118 7aug44 from Elsham wolds to attack a strong point at Fontenay-le-Marmion. Homebound when an engine took fire. Control soon became difficult and the Lancaster was partially abandoned, with the skipper and engineer remaining in position to hold the aircraft as steady as possible to allow the other five crew-men to bale out before crashing at Lenton, 7 miles SE of Grantham in Lincolnshire. Sgt Corless is commemorated on Panel 227 of the Runnymede memorial, F/O Brown is buried in Harrogate (Stonefall) Cemetery. F/O G.C.Brown RCAF KIA Sgt J.Corless KIA Sgt B.M.Sandberg RCAF F/O R.Robinson RCAF F/S S.Porter RCAF Sgt G.R.Vickery Sgt W.G.Hurley "

NN700
15 Squadron 
LS-Q
Airborne 2147 7Aug44 to attack the German strong-point at Rocquecourt in the Normandy Battle area. Crashed in the English Channel. Six are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial, but F/O Leah is buried in Walsden (St Peter) Church at Todmorden, Yorkshire. At 37 Sgt Barkshire was well above he average age for Bomber command aircrew. F/L J.P.Ball KIA Sgt D.R.Ward KIA F/O E.Leah KIA F/O B.H.Wrenshall RCAF KIA F/O G.W.Bovett KIA Sgt A.L.Barkshire KIA Sgt G.Morrison KIA "

LM262
630 Squadron
LE-G
Airborne 2105 7Aug44 from East Kirkby to bomb an enemy strong point. Three of those killed are buried in St-Valery-en-Caux Cemetery, while Sgt Hewitt is buried in St-Desir War Cemetery. F/S Patterson came from Levuka on Fiji. F/S G.V.B.Patterson RNZAF KIA Sgt R.A.White PoW F/O A.A.Thomas RNZAF PoW Sgt L.B.Hewitt KIA Sgt T.H.East Evd Sgt E.N.Watson KIA Sgt D.wilkinson KIA F/O A.A.Thomas was interned in Camp L3, PoW No.8600. Sgt R.A.White in Camp L7, PoW No.645. "
http://www.francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=1468

KB755
419 Squadron 419
VR-F
Airborne 2122 7Aug44 from Middleton St.George to attack an enemy strong-point in tactical support of the Normandy Bridgehead. Crashed at auberville-la-renauly (Seine-Maritime) apx. 10 km S of Fecamp. all are buried in the churchyard at Auberville-la-Renault. F/O B.D.Walker AFM RCAF KIA Sgt B.Jones KIA WO2 J.C.Durrant RCAF KIA F/O P.W.Merrick RCAF KIA WO1 J.A.R.Schryer RCAF KIA Sgt W.Longmore KIA F/L M.G.Wilson RCAF KIA "
http://www.francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=630

LM641
106 Squadron
ZN-D
Airborne 2130 7Aug44 from Metheringham to bomb an enemy strongpoint in tactical support of the Normandy Battle area. Crashed at Quetteville (Calvados), 23 km NNE of Lisieux. The two killed are buried in Quetteville Communal Cemetery. F/O G.O.Rabone RNZAF Evd Sgt K.Buck PoW F/O A.A.Dilworth RCAF Evd F/O S.R.Bjarnason RCAF Evd F/O J.Taylor RNZAF KIA F/S J.W.MacNicol RCAF Evd Sgt F.G.Ralph KIA Sgt K.Buck was interned in Camp L3. PoW No.70446. "
http://www.francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=1024

ND817
582 Squadron
60-S
Airborne 2211 7Aug44 from Little Staughton to bomb a strong point in the Normandy Battle Area. Came down at St-Vigor-d'Ymonville (Seine-Maritime) on the N bank of the Seine and roughly 12 km E of le Havre. Those killed are buried in the local churchyard at St- Vigor-d'Ymonville. F/O Blaydon had previously served with No.9 Sqdn, his DFM having been Gazetted 11Aug42. He had survived being shot down and Interned and escaping two years previously. See R1244 S/L R.Wareing PoW W/O J.Tourans Evd F/L A.F.Hill Evd F/L R.V.King RAAF PoW W/O E.J.Hawker KIA F/O R.W.Blaydon DFM KIA F/S R.G.Campbell KIA W/O W.Gaughran KIA F/L R.V.King was interned in Camp L1, PoW No.5466 with S/L R.Wareing. No PoW No. "
http://www.francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=1167

HK567
75 Squadron 75
AA-C
Airborne 2202 7Jul44 to bomb a strong point in the F_ret de Lucheux in the Normandy Battle area in support of the ground troops. Crashed in the target area. Both dead Air Gunners, 19 years of age, are buried in St-Valery-en-Caux Cemetery. F/O G.A.Brunton Evd Sgt K.B.Board Evd F/O J.S.Wilkinson RNZAF Evd F/O B.C.Baker RNZAF PoW F/O J.McG Elliotte RNZAF Evd Sgt T.J.Hall KIA Sgt E.J.Hayler KIA F/O B.C.Baker initially evaded but was captured at Pont l'Eveque 18Aug44 and interned in Camps 12A/L1. PoW No.86437. "
http://www.francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=1466

LM111
90 Squadron 
WP-G
Airborne 2135 7Aug44 from Tuddenham to bomb a strong point in the Normandy Battle Zone. Hit by Flak and crashed at Clarbec (Calvados), 13 Km NNW of Lisieux. F/L French is buried in the churchyard at Clarbec. F/L L.A.French KIA Sgt W.J.Henderson Evd F/O G.L.Smith Evd F/O D.Reid RCAF PoW Sgt D.B.Cassell PoW F/S H.M.Kiddie RCAF Evd. Sgt C.Gold Evd. Sgt D.B.Cassell was interned in Camp L7. PoW No.86320. F/O D.Reid in Camp L1, PoW No.85894. "
http://www.francecrashes39-45.net/page_fiche_av.php?id=1467

LM164
90 Squadron 
WP-V
Airborne 2155 7Aug44 from Tuddenham to bomb an enemy strong-point in the Normandy Battle Zone. Lost without trace. All are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. F/O A.C.Brooks KIA Sgt J.C.Wiggin KIA Sgt H.P.Tomlinson KIA F/O F.C.Riley KIA F/S E.J.Ryan RAAF KIA Sgt J.T.Barber KIA Sgt T.D.S.Cairns KIA

Old Sweat said:
On 14 August 1944 811 aircraft were despatched against seven targets, all within 2000 yards of friendly forces.

" 805 aircraft - 411 Lancasters, 352 Halifaxes, 42 Mosquitos - to attack 7 German troop positions facing the 3rd Canadian Division, which was advancing on Falaise. 2 Lancasters lost.
A careful plan was prepared with Oboe and visual marking, and with a Master Bomber and a deputy at each of the 7 targets. Most of the bombing was accurate and effective but, about half-way through the raids, some aircraft started to bomb a large quarry in which parts of the 12th Canadian Field Regiment were positioned. This mistake may have been caused by the yellow identification flares which were ignited by the Canadians. It was unfortunate that the target indicators being used by the Pathfinders were also yellow. Bomber Command crews claimed that the Canadians used the yellow flares before any bombs fell in the quarry; the history of the Canadian units says the bombs fell first. The Master Bombers tried hard to stop further crews bombing in the wrong area but approximately 70 aircraft bombed the quarry and other nearby Allied positions over a 70-minute period. The Canadians took shelter in their slit trenches and most emerged unscathed though shaken, but 13 men were killed and 53 were injured and a large number of vehicles and guns were hit. This was believed to have been the first occasion on which Bomber Command aircraft had hit friendly troops during the Battle of Normandy. The Canadian artillery regiment was machine-gunned by RAF Spitfires and USAAF Mustangs the following day! "

Details of the Canadian side of the bombing come from Into Action with the 12th Field by Captain TJ Bell (published privately in Canada} and from the personal reminiscences of former Lance-Corporal George R Carter of the 12th Canadian Field Regiment. George Carter's brother, Flying Officer Roy E Carter of No 431 Squadron, was a Bomber Command navigator whose Halifax had been shot down over Holland on the Sterkrade raid of 16/17 June 1944. Roy Carter baled out successfully but, while he was being hidden by Dutch civilians in a house at Tilburg, he was discovered by Germans on 8 July and shot, together with a Pathfinder pilot and an Australian airman. The bloodstained Dutch flag which covered the bodies after their death was brought to England in 1983 and placed in the No 83 Squadron Memorial Chapel in Coningsby parish church.

2 Lancasters were lost:
ND613
103 Squadron
PM-R
Airborne 1318 14Aug44 from Elsham Wolds to bomb a strong point in the Normandy Battle Area. Cause of loss not established. Crashed in the target area. Those killed are buried in Banneville la Campagne War cemetery. F/L J.P.D.Bartleet KIA Sgt C.Barnes KIA Sgt D.S.Armstrong KIA F/S D.MacTaggart PoW Sgt F.L.James KIA Sgt K.Chiles KIA Sgt W.K.Jones KIA F/S D.MacTaggart was interned in Camp L7, PoW No.789. "

DV278
300 Squadron
BH-A
Airborne 1331 14Aug44 from Faldingworth to attack an AP at Falaise where german armour was falling back towards the Seine. Hit by Flak and crashed at Pont d'Ouilly (Calvados), a small village roughly 15 km WSW of Falaise. all are buried in the Polish Cemetery at Grainville Langannerie. F/L L.Rebinsk PAF KIA Sgt S.Bujnowski PAF KIA F/S Z.Migaszewski PAF KIA F/L H.Trawinski PAF KIA Sgt F.Wojtulewicz PAF KIA P/O S.Czabanski PAF KIA Sgt S.Grabowski PAF KIA "
http://www.aerosteles.net/fiche.php?code=pontdouilly-lancpolonais&lang=en



















 

GLSmith

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Hi - I'm very late to this post but came across it when researching my Grandfather's bombing mission on 7/8 August 1944. He was the navigator on LM111 WP-G which was shot down and crashed near Clarbec, Calvados. There were 2 Royal Canadian Air Force crew members on-board, D.Reid & H.M.Kiddie, his story is told here https://sites.google.com/site/georgelesleysmith/
 
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