Combat report



Combat report


Relates events during operation to Essen on 12/13 March 1943. Enemy fighter attacked and was engaged and hit by rear gunner. Claimed as damaged. After releasing bombs in heavy anti-aircraft fire and searchlights rear gunner engaged Me 109. Gunner shot out several searchlights.


Temporal Coverage




One page typewritten document


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Target:- Essen. Captain:- Sgt. Finnerty
Squadron:- 115. Area 51.55N 06.05E.

On the night of 12th/13th. March, 1943, Wellington 111 letter ‘gG’ outward bound for Essen, height 11,000 feet, indicated air speed 150 m.p.h. Bombs not dropped, Visibility was good, moon on the starboard quarter, No S/L’s before or during attack. No action with I.F.F. A red flare was noticed on the Port bow at approx. the same height as our aircraft just before the attack.

At 2140 hours our aircraft was weaving gently on a course o [missing word]135 degrees. Mag. When our rear gunner (F/S Page) slighted a 3U 8 [missing word] When first sighted the enemy aircraft was at a range of 100 yds. [missing word] Our aircraft turned to starboard into the attack, out rear gunner [missing word] opening fore at 75 yds. With a 3-4 second burst. The enemy aircra[missing word] opened fire at precisely the same moment as our aircraft and appear [missing word] to be using cannon and machine gun. The enemy aircraft ceased f[missing word] at 50 yds, broke away astern of our aircraft and went into an almo[missing word] vertical dive. Our rear gunner saw and orange glow in the starboard engine of the enemy aircraft and when last seen, black smoke was [missing word]bellowing out from the engine. Claimed as damaged, probably des [missing word] Our aircraft then resumed its course to the target.

At 2155 hours, immediately after dropping its bombs our aircraft was caught in S/L’s and engaged by heavy and accurate flak. Height was then approx. 10,000 feet, Violent evasive action was being taken, when our rear gunner sighted a single engine enemy aircraft, identified as an ME 109 approaching from the starboard quarter, up at a range of 400 years. Our aircraft immediately turned into the attack, the rear gunner delivering a two second burst. The enemy aircraft which did not open fire, broke away as soon as we open fired and disappeared to the Port quarter. No result of our fire was observed. Our aircraft was held in S/L’s and engaged in flak throughout this engagement. Subsequently being forced down to a height of 3,000 feet before leaving the Target area, where F/S Page was successful in shooting out several S/L’s. One master light which he destroyed blew up with a vivid blue flash. Our aircraft did not suffer any damage during the two fighter attacks but was subsequently damaged by flak.

Ammunition expended amounted to 400 rounds during the fighter attacks and approx. 500 rounds art S/L’s. One no 2 stoppage
F/Sgt. Page was trained at 9 A.G.S. Penrhos and 21 O.T.U. Moreton-in-Marsh.

Signed :- G.P Finnerty sgt. Capt of a/c.

R.Howatson, Fl/Lt Gunnery Leader. 115 Squadron

(This aircraft was later confirmed as shot down.)


G P Finnerty, “Combat report,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed May 30, 2024,

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