Target Essen



Target Essen


Transcription of extract from a recording made in a Lancaster bomber while over target. Gives crew intercom commentary including bombs gone and reports on defences.




Temporal Coverage




One page typewritten document


This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit and





[underlined] TARGET ESSEN – [deleted] 1943 [/deleted] [/underlined] [inserted] 3.4.1943. [/inserted]
The following is an extract from a genuine recording made in a Lancaster bomber whilst over the target:-
Bomb Aimer: O.K. bombs gone!
Pilot: O.K.
Flight Engineer: Bomb doors closed
Bomb Aimer: I can read my watch in the searchlights – 21.54 hours
Mid Upper Gunner: Flack coming awful close
Navigator: We’ll have to get out of this mess as best we can
Pilot: Speed’s the answer now
Navigator: The idea is to steer about 0.2 zero
Pilot: Put 0.2 zero on will you?
Flight Engineer: 0.2 zero, O.K.
Bomb Aimer: Flack directly beneath us
Pilot: Right!
Bomb Aimer: And searchlights underneath us too
Pilot: Come on ‘T’ for Tommy, get cracking!
Navigator: Now watch your height [deleted] skipper [/deleted]
Pilot: (weaving the aircraft, breathing heavily) I’m watching everything
Flt. Engineer How many searchlights would you call them:
Pilot: Too many I reckon
Flt. Engineer: Couple of thousand
Pilot: They’re searching for us – bastards! Oh hell! Certainly illuminates things doesn’t it?
Flt. Engineer: Sure does
Pilot: I could do with a pint; keep your eyes peeled
Mid Upper Gunner: Yeah!
Pilot: They’re firing at us now
Navigator: Are they?
Flt. Engineer: Yes
Mid Upper Gunner: Flack coming close
Pilot: O.K.
Mid Upper Gunner: Sure coming close – I can feel it
Pilot: I can see it!
Flight Engineer: Round to port a bit this heading skipper
Pilot: O.K.
Navigator: If we press on a bit this way we might get out
Mid Upper Gunner: WHOW!
Bomb Aimer: You can light your fag on any of those
Flight Engineer: That was a bit close
Gunner: I think we have been hit personally
Flight Engineer: Lose a bit of height skipper
Gunner: That was close
Bomb Aimer: Searchlights looking for us now.



G Dunmore, “Target Essen,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 15, 2024,

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: Pathfinder crew