25/26 June 1942
Wellington Mk III - X3554 - KO-Q
|T/O Marham 2325. Target Bremen, Germany.
Reported "Landed in sea" but ASRS failed to locate crew.
Source: 115 Squadron Roll of Honour by D. Bruce, W. R. Chorley, J. G. J. de Haan.
The 'Thousand Force' was reassembled for this raid, although only 960 aircraft became available for Bomber Command use. Every type of aircraft in Bomber command was included, even the Bostons and Mosquitos of 2 Group which, so far, had only been used for day operations. The force was composed as follows: 472 Wellingtons, 124 Halifaxes, 96 Lancasters, 69 Stirlings, 51 Blenheims, 50 Hampdens, 50 Whitleys, 24 Bostons, 20 Manchesters and 4 Mosquitos.
A further 102 Hudsons and Wellingtons of Coastal Command were sent to Bremen. 5 further aircraft provided by Army Co-Operation Command were also added to the force. The final numbers dispatched, 1,067 aircraft.
Parts of the force were allocated to specific targets in Bremen. The entire 5 Group effort - 142 aircraft - was ordered to bomb the Focke-Wulf factory; 20 Blenheims were allocated to the A.G. Weser shipyard; the Coastal Command aircraft were to bomb the Deschimag shipyard; all other aircraft were to carry out an area attack on the town and docks.
The tactics were basically similar to the earlier 'Thousand' raids except that the bombing period was now cut to 65 minutes. Bremen, on the wide River Weser, should have been an easy target to find and the inland penetration of the German night-fighter belt was only a shallow one. There were doubts about a band of cloud which lay across the Bremen area during the day, but this was being pushed steadily eastwards by a strong wind. Unfortunately the wind dropped in the evening and the bomber crews found the target completely covered for the whole period of the raid. The limited success which was gained was entirely due to the use of Gee, which enabled the leading crews to start fires, on to the glow of which many aircraft of later waves bombed. 696 Bomber Command aircraft were able to claim attacks on Bremen.
572 houses were completely destroyed and 6,108 damaged. 85 people were killed, 497 injured and 2,378 bombed out.
The actual losses of the Bomber Command aircraft involved in the raid were 48 aircraft, including 4 which came down in the sea near England from which all but 2 crew members were rescued.
Source: nationalarchives.gov.uk - Bomber Command - Campaign Diary June 1942.
|Croxton William Leslie - Pilot
P/O - Service No 107486
Son of William and Jessica Croxton, of Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia.
Runnymede Memorial - panel 69
|Bales Leslie Percy - Observer
P/O - Service No 113352
Age: 25 - °1916
Son of Percy James Bales and Isabel Jane Bales, of Enfield, Middlesex.
Runnymede Memorial - panel 68
Source: CWGC - photo: geni.com
|Howard-Williams Leslie - WOP
P/O - Service No 108831
Son of Evan Howard Williams and Ethel Violet Williams.
Runnymede Memorial - panel 72
| Abbott Hezekiah - W.Op./Air Gnr
Sgt - Service No 1326329
Age: 27 - Was found in the sea 31 July 1942.
Son of Hezekiah and Elizebeth Abbott, of Leeds, Yorkshire.
Kiel War Cemetery - 2. G. 18.
| Tolmie John Lester - RG
Sgt - Service No 1287043
Runnymede Memorial - panel 95