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Thread: Hampden or Blenheim-raid of Oct 1st/2nd 1940 on Germany

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    Default Hampden or Blenheim-raid of Oct 1st/2nd 1940 on Germany

    I live in Germany and am researching the airwar in my vincinity.
    I hope you can support me regarding the following event?

    In the night from the first to second October 1940 at least nine 500 lbs GP-bombs plus more than 50 stick-type-incendiary bombs hit an open field between the villages Hellenhahn and Hoehn. This attack was most likely triggered by a fake airfield, which was installed west of the village of Hellenhahn.
    (To give a rough orientation, this AREA IS IN THE MIDDLE BETWEEN COLOGNE AND FRANKFURT, APPR. 50 MILES SOUTH OF THE RUHR-VALLEY).

    When bomber-noise was heard, they switched on the decoy-landing path of this fake airfield. I can imagine that the original mission-target was maybe in the Ruhr-valley, however the navigational skills were still poor in this early stage of war, therefore crews dropped their bombs often on targets of opportunity.

    Well this night 88 Bomber Command aircraft flew, mostly over Germany.
    According to the book "The other few", this is the list of targets attacked this night by type:

    Blenheim:
    ports of Boulogne, Calais and Dunkirk in France
    marshalling yards of Mannheim, Ehrang, Köln/Eifeltor, Gremberg and Koblenz
    (comment: Koblenz is 25 miles west, Mannheim is 80 miles east-south-east from here)

    Hampden:
    power station at Köln
    marshalling yards in the Ruhr
    (comment: Köln is 60 miles west, Ruhr-valley is 60 miles north from here)

    Wellington:
    a munitions factory and a power station in Berlin
    marshalling yards at Soest and Gelsenkirchen
    ships at Le Havre

    Whitley:
    synthetic oil plant at Sterkrade-Holten
    shipping at Rotterdam

    So Wellingtons and Whitleys were not supposed to fly here, but more north. The focus falls on Blenheims and Hampdens, which were supposed to fly near Köln.

    I would appreciate any hint, which could help to bring more light into this event?

    Yours sincerely,
    Fafnir

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    The ORBs for the squadrons involved should have some more detail, there may well be an entry some where from a crew who claimed to have attacked an airfield.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Default Hampden or Blenheim-raid of Oct 1st/2nd 1940 on Germany

    Yes, the ORB (operations record books) would be the key, however therefore I need to narrow down the events of that day to a particular squadron.

    My hope was, that I could get support in identifying the relevant Hampden and Blenheim squadrons which flew sorties in the night from the first to second October 1940 over Germany thru this forum?

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    Looking at Chorley's, shows that 44sqdn Hampdens were among those involved in the Cologne raid, 78sdn Whitley's went to Sterkrade, and 9sqdn Wellingtons to Berlin.

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    Default Hampden or Blenheim-raid of Oct 1st/2nd 1940 on Germany

    Thank you for your help gentlemen, it is most welcome!

    Now I am thinking, if I buy "44 (Rhodesia) Squadron Royal Air Force on operations" - an operational record - or if I enter the universe of identifying and ordering the right section of the referring ORB...

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    Hi Fafnir,

    The bomb load of at least nine 500 lbs bombs fits more with a Wellington or perhaps Whitley bomb load. Hampdens and Blenheims weren't capable of carrying such load.

    To narrow down the search you actually need the Night Bomb Raid Sheets in AIR14/2668 of that date. These contain aircraft, groups, target attacked and bomb loads. Good chance that an suspected airfield at roughly that location has been mentioned.
    Once a Group has been identified of being responsible for this bombardment I would be able to help you further out with the squadron ORB's.

    Regards from Holland,
    Hans

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    Just checked ORB 44 Sqdn for night 1/2 October 1941.
    5 Hampdens ordered to bomb synthetic oil plant A.72, 3 did so, 1 bombed B.47 (Keulen-Knappsack power station), 1 did not return. Bombs carried were 6 x 250 lbs or 4 x 500 lbs.

    Hans

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    Default Hampden or Blenheim-raid of Oct 1st/2nd 1940 on Germany

    Hello Hans,

    I am grateful for your precise tip!
    I followed your advice and sent a request for an estimate for a printed copy of AIR14/2668 to TNA.

    I' ll keep you in the loop!

    Kind Regards,
    Fafnir

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    Hello Fafnir,

    That will be an expensive estimate as AIR14/2668 covers the whole month of October and may count 300+ pages!

    A better way is to get in contact with a (paid) researcher who's willing to photograph the reports on 1/2nd October, which I expect to be 10-12 pages only.

    Meanwhile I've found a 75 Sqdn Wellington claiming to have bombed "Zwischeicheur" aerodrome... I guess a typo. No idea what that actually was.

    Regards,
    Hans

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    Default Hampden or Blenheim-raid of Oct 1st/2nd 1940 on Germany

    Hello Hans,

    they are qick! - I got already a reply: £110.00
    Do you know, if I can contact a (paid) researcher thru their website?

    Regarding "Zwischeicheur":
    It must be a massive typo, however there was (and still is) a small aerdrome in our neighborhood called "Ailertchen", which could fit? Any coordinates given?

    Cheers,
    Mario

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