R.A.F. Heroes. Bombed target with crippled 'plane



R.A.F. Heroes. Bombed target with crippled 'plane


Pilot describes the events of the operation, damage to wing, propeller, tail wheel and rudders. Proceeded to target and dropped bomb load.




One newspaper cutting


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One more story of R.A.F. heroism under the most trying of flying conditions was told last night.

The crew of a night bomber which had been severely crippled by anti-aircraft fire over Germany completed the task they set out on and brought their craft safely back to its base.

The bomber’s objective was an important naval target in Germany, but on reaching Emden it met heavy fire by ground batteries.

“We glided down to 1,000ft. over the Ems river,” stated the captain in his report, “and once clear of Emden met only light anti-aircraft fire until we came to the oil depots at Dande, where we ran into anti-aircraft fire that can only be described as ‘terrific.’”

They reached the Jade river with a large hole in the port wing – a shell had gone through it – and, turning south, came down to 50ft. over the Jade basin to make certain of locating their target.


“Within a few minutes we seemed to be the target for every anti-aircraft battery in North-West
Germany,” the report continued.

“One shell went clean through our starboard wing, and another, which caught us close to the starboard engine, dented the starboard airscrew and peppered the fuselage with splinters.

“The tail wheel and both our rudders were hit, and the navigator was twice struck with shell splinters, though, fortunately, they lodged in his clothing.”

The captain climbed with difficulty to just over 1,000 feet, and called up his rear gunner. Getting no reply, he sent his wireless operator aft to investigate.

The operator came back to report that he had tapped the rear-gunner on the back and received the brief reply, “No ammunition left.” Between them the two rear-gunners had peppered military ground targets with thousands of rounds of machine-gun fire.

With his mission still to fulfil, the pilot again descended, this time to 200 feet. After unloading his bombs on the target he nursed the crippled machine back over the North Sea.


“R.A.F. Heroes. Bombed target with crippled 'plane,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 2, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/808.

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