Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Rocket attack on Lancaster over Dusseldorf 2 Nov 1944?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Rocket attack on Lancaster over Dusseldorf 2 Nov 1944?

    During an attack against Düsseldorf Lancaster B III, PB197 (TL-O) piloted by S/L (then F/L) K C Gooch, D.F.C. and bar reports the following:

    "About 20 seconds before bombing, aircraft was followed by believed rocket shell. Did corkscrew and de-selected flares, opened bomb doors and jettisoned bombs. (...) Rocket shell fell the ground and exploded."
    (35 Sqn ORB, cf. http://www.danishww2pilots.dk/sorties.php?id=1006)

    Would anyone have evidence on similar incidents in late and could this be an example of the use of R4M rockets or the like by Luftwaffe?

    Regards

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    250
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Mikkel,

    firstly, no creditable evidence has ever emerged of the night-time deployment of the R4M.

    The incident that you refer to occurred during what became (with hindsight) a Bomber Command "silly season" for sightings of phantom night-time Me262s, Me163s, and other jet-/rocket-phenomena. That these sightings were linked to the appearance over West Europe of some type of German technical aid is not in dispute; it's just a question of what it was that the Bomber Command crews were actually witnessing.

    The spate of sightings began in October 1944 and peaked in November 1944, leading to night-time claims against jet-rocket-aircraft in the latter month of 34 destroyed, 6 prob destroyed, and 1 damaged. The majority of these claims occurred on the nights of 1-2, 2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6, 10-11, and 11-12 November 1944 - almost all of the sightings and "combats" occurred in the area between Amsterdam, Osnabrück, Köln, Marche-en-Famenne, and Antwerp. It was during this period that the Germans were firing V2s from the Netherlands, but who knows if this accounts for some of the sightings. The German had also begun deployment of signals munitions aimed at visually guiding night fighters in lieu of jammed radio communications, plus there was the continued use of Scheinsignalrakete sites for firing dummy target markers etc (three such SSR sites in the general Ruhr area were in the areas where Bomber Command crews reported encounters with jet-/rocket-phenomena). What is clear is that the Luftwaffe was not combatting Bomber Command with droves of Me262s and Me163s. Bomber Command Headquarters understood this, and, while it could not find concrete evidence that identified what the Bomber Command crews were witnessing, all the night-time air combat claims against jet-/rocket-propelled phenomena were not officially recognised, as they were believed to be against objects other than actual aircraft.

    Night-time encounters and claims against jet- and rocket-phenomena as reported by returning Bomber Command crews, early November 1944:

    1-2 Nov
    Sightings: 8
    Initial Claims: 2 dest, 1 damaged

    2-3 Nov
    Sightings: 20
    Initial Claims: 5 dest

    3-4 Nov
    Sightings: 1
    Initial Claims: nil

    4-5 Nov
    Sightings: 51
    Initial Claims: 21 dest, 3 dam



    Cheers

    Rod

    Sources: TNA AIR 14/1912, TNA AIR 14/365, and AIR 14/3433

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Northumberland
    Posts
    355
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Mikkel,

    Although I don't have 'evidence', I do have a remark written in a log book from a 100 Squadron W/Op. The attack was on Lyons on 01/05/1944, the remark saying 'Rockets fired at us (the next bit is illegible)'.

    Probably not much help, sorry but the word 'Rocket' is used.

    Russ

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Rod
    Thank you for the elaborate answer. The reference to R4M was mine alone as this was were my search Luftwaffe rocket projectiles ended. I guess the only thing we can be certain of is that to the crew the threat was so real that they made evasive action. The a/g of the crew seem to remember to have called for this once or twice, but talked about tracer bullets.

    Russ
    Your reference seems to be very much like the one I have.

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •