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Procopius

The first RAF bombers to attack Berlin?

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Are there any good resources on the first "real" Bomber Command raid on Berlin on 25/26 August 1940? I've seen a number of vague statements about it: it was all Hampdens; there were some Wellingtons; etc etc etc. Which squadrons participated? Are there any 1/72 decals out there for any of the bombers involved? 

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Not much help but I've long thought it was supposed to be a mixed force of Whitleys, Wellingtons & Hampdens. Good luck sorting out which.

Steve.

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My first thought about paper source goes to Bomber command war diary, then to the first volume of the Bomber command losses.

Got both, but not handy at the moment, sorry (my bookshelves are in the removal man hands...).

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From "The Other Few":

  • 46 Hampdens, 10 of which claimed to have attacked the briefed target, the Klingenberg power station. Bombs were also dropped on the Henschel factory, Templehof airfield and marshalling yards.
  • 22 Whitleys, detailed to attack the Siemens works - only two claimed to have bombed them, and another attacked "a concentration of part of the defences of western Berlin".
  • 21 Wellingtons, only some of which (it doesn't say how many) were destined for Berlin: in the event, only one attacked the city.

The aircraft lost were all Hampdens (the ditchings are probably accounted for by the fact that Berlin was at the utmost limit of the Hampden's range.....):

  • P4416, 49 Sqn, Scampton. Lost without trace. (Bomber Command Losses: EA-L)
  • P2070, 50 Sqn, Lindholme. Force landed near Lautersheim.
  • P2124, 50 Sqn, Lindholme. Ditched off Scarborough pier.
  • P1354, 83 Sqn, Scampton. Ditched in the Wash. (Bomber Command Losses: OL-Y)
  • P4380, 83 Sqn, Scampton. Ditched off Grimsby. (Bomber Command Losses: OL-Z)
  • X2895, 83 Sqn, Scampton. Crashed at Boldon, Co Durham, while trying to land at RAF Usworth.

For what it's worth, there are two photos in "The Other Few" of the rear fuselage of an 'EA' coded Hampden, less tail section, inverted and buried in a hedgerow. The caption implies they were taken following this raid, in which case it can only be the remains of EA-L, somewhere on the continent (only the upright stroke of the individual letter is visible but it could be 'L'). "EA" is behind the roundel on both sides of the fuselage.

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Guy Gibson's last operational sortie with 83 on Hampdens on 23 September 1940 was indeed to Berlin.

 

Not sure of the serial or individual letter,but he'd named his aeroplane "Admiral Foo-Bang",something

that he carried on and possibly instigated further with 106 Sqn,many of whose Lancasters were named "Admiral XXXXXXX"

Edited by Miggers

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Is this of help . . . . 

 

25/26th August
Berlin, Germany, France, 

Following raids on London and other cities the previous night, the War Cabinet authorised the first raid on Berlin.

Approximately half of the 103 aircraft dispatched were sent to Berlin; mainly Hampdens and Wellingtons. (Bomber Command records for this night are not clear on the numbers dispatched to different targets).The Hampdens were at their limit of their fuel capacity and a head wind was encountered on the return flight, 3 of them were lost and 3 more ditched in the sea on their way back.

Approximately 24 Whitleys and Wellingtons bombed Bremen, Cologne and Hamm and 12 Blenheims attacked airfields in France and Holland. 3 Blenheims were lost.

regards
Ian

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9 hours ago, AWFK10 said:

From "The Other Few":

 

 

This is incredibly helpful, thank you!

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Guy Gibson's book,"Enemy Coast Ahead" may give you a bit more info Edwahdo.

 

'Tis actually Gibbo's account of The Dams raid,but does go into his earlier ops with 83 sqn on Hampdens and his

nightfighter pilot exploits on Beaufighters.

 

When nightfighting on Beaus,he was actually based at a "local" station,RAF Ternhill in Shropshire(still active as a satellite for RAF Shawbury)

for the defence of Manchester and Liverpool during the late 1940/early '41 Blitz.

Edited by Miggers

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On 03/04/2017 at 5:24 PM, AWFK10 said:

From "The Other Few":

  • 46 Hampdens, 10 of which claimed to have attacked the briefed target, the Klingenberg power station. Bombs were also dropped on the Henschel factory, Templehof airfield and marshalling yards.
  • 22 Whitleys, detailed to attack the Siemens works - only two claimed to have bombed them, and another attacked "a concentration of part of the defences of western Berlin".
  • 21 Wellingtons, only some of which (it doesn't say how many) were destined for Berlin: in the event, only one attacked the city.

The aircraft lost were all Hampdens (the ditchings are probably accounted for by the fact that Berlin was at the utmost limit of the Hampden's range.....):

  • P4416, 49 Sqn, Scampton. Lost without trace. (Bomber Command Losses: EA-L)
  • P2070, 50 Sqn, Lindholme. Force landed near Lautersheim.
  • P2124, 50 Sqn, Lindholme. Ditched off Scarborough pier.
  • P1354, 83 Sqn, Scampton. Ditched in the Wash. (Bomber Command Losses: OL-Y)
  • P4380, 83 Sqn, Scampton. Ditched off Grimsby. (Bomber Command Losses: OL-Z)
  • X2895, 83 Sqn, Scampton. Crashed at Boldon, Co Durham, while trying to land at RAF Usworth.

For what it's worth, there are two photos in "The Other Few" of the rear fuselage of an 'EA' coded Hampden, less tail section, inverted and buried in a hedgerow. The caption implies they were taken following this raid, in which case it can only be the remains of EA-L, somewhere on the continent (only the upright stroke of the individual letter is visible but it could be 'L'). "EA" is behind the roundel on both sides of the fuselage.

I've only just found this thread.

 

EA-L was flown by my uncle P/O NB Fawcett. Very little information is available about this raid, or what we/I've been able to find out. He went missing on the way back. As mentioned they were on the return flight, these aircraft (Hampden's) were at the very limits of there range. From the letter my grandfather got form the CO and other info we have obtained there were very strong head winds that night on the return flight. That and navigational issues (which were common) resulted in a lot of aircraft not returning. He was 20yo at the time of this mission.

 

It's very poineant that I found this thread on ANZAC day here in Australia.

 

to those that have fallen but are never forgotten :poppy: P/O N.B. Fawcett 1920 - 1940

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