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Thread: Lancaster damaged by NF during Mannheim diversion, 20/21.12.43

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    Default Lancaster damaged by NF during Mannheim diversion, 20/21.12.43

    Dear all,

    A small diversionary raid on Mannheim by 44 Lancasters of 1 Group and 10 Mosquitoes of 8 Group on 20-21 December 1943 suffered no losses, only one aircraft returning with damage sustained in a fighter attack. Still, Hptm. Rauh, St.Kpt. of 3./NJG4, was credited with the destruction of a Lancaster over Mannheim at 19.14 hrs. I am looking for any details/combat report of the a/c from the Mannheim diversion that returned with fighter damage, incl. Sqn/serial number of the aircraft.

    Cheers and thanks for any details, Theo

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    Hi Theo,

    The 1 Group Summary of Operations for the Mannheim diversion says '29 Lancasters detailed, 28 took off, 26 attacked Primary and 2 abortive ... Very little trouble was encountered from ground defences, only a little flak being seen on approaching the target. Although few sightings of enemy night fighters are reported our aircraft were engaged in 5 combats which were inconclusive.'

    626/E2 reported 'uneventful trip with terrific fighter activity over Frankfurt area.' None of the rest of 626's 13 a/c reported anything about fighters.

    Oddly, the 1 Group ORB records the Mannheim diversion as 15 aircraft from 12 Squadron and 13 from 166, but it also records 166 as providing 15 for Frankfurt and doesn't mention 626. 626's ORB and the Wickenby ORB confirm Mannheim, so the 1 Group record clearly contains a typo.

    The Bomber Command ORB Appendices for December 1943 record (for 20/21st) a U/I T/E claimed as destroyed by Wellington 'A' of 23 O.T.U., near Caen. Enemy a/c are claimed as damaged by:

    1 Group - Mannheim
    626/O2 (F/S Higgs) - but this isn't mentioned in 626 ORB
    12/H
    12/Q

    1 Group - Frankfurt
    100/V
    101/Z

    4 Group
    77/P
    77/M
    158/S
    51/X

    5 Group
    9/O
    207/B
    106/H

    6 Group
    427/N

    P.F.F.
    7/C
    156/V

    Hope this helps.

    Cheers,

    Richard

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    Hi Richard,

    Wonderful, many thanks for these details. Judging from the available information, the victory claim by Hubert Rauh over Mannheim remains a mystery, since no a/c of the Mannheim diversion were lost or (severely) damaged in ay of the five inconclusive encounters with NF..

    Cheers, Theo

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    Hello,
    The statistical section of The Night raid Report number 491 (AIR14/3411) for 20-21/12/43 suggests a possible answer.Of the 44 Lancasters dispatched to Mannheim,16 came from the P.F.F. to act as Blind Markers.If I am reading the tables correctly,2 of the P.F.F. aircraft were intercepted and one was attacked.By chance,looking on the 156 Squadron website,six of their aircraft were on Mannheim,and one,JB667,F/L.Stewart and crew,was attacked four times by a Ju.88 and twice by an Me.109 and damaged.A combat report by the two gunners,Mills and Horner, for this date appears to be in AIR50/221.
    Hopefully,someone with access to the 156 Squadron O.R.B.or the combat report will be able to confirm the details.
    However,the report also states that 11 of the Frankfurt force attacked Mannheim,so the aircraft in question could also be one of those,or one of the other 10 P.F.F. Lancasters.
    Hope this is of interest,
    Regards,Mark Simpson.
    Last edited by MSIMPSON; 11th June 2013 at 20:33.

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    Hello Mark,

    Cheers & thanks for theese highly interesting details, I will try and get the Combat Report to see if the details fit to Rauh's claim.

    Cheers, Theo

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    Theo,

    From the 156 Sqn ORB the only relevant lines to JB667 are "A/C engaged in combats with JU88 and ME109 on the return route. Owing to burst tyre landed at BUNGAY to take advantage of the long runway

    Regards,

    Dave
    Last edited by alieneyes; 12th June 2013 at 17:02.

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