Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 22

Thread: Bomber Command Losses 5-6 June 1944

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    1,626

    Default Bomber Command Losses 5-6 June 1944

    The Bomber Command War Diaries records just three aircraft were lost on the night of 5-6 June 1944; one Lancaster and two Halifaxes. However, Bomber Command Losses records that 97 Squadron lost two Lancasters (I found that in the 97 Sqn ORB) so I'm wondering just how many aircraft were lost that night. Any advice would be appreciated.

    As an aside a Luftwaffe pilot, Hauptmann Eberspächer, claimed to have shot down three Lancasters:

    Early on D-Day 6 June 1944, Hauptmann Eberspächer was ordered to lead four Focke-Wulf Fw 190s of 3/SKG 10 (3rd Squadron of SKG 10) over Normandy. Two hours later, the flight landed at Evreux having achieved the first Luftwaffe aerial victories of D-Day. At 05:01 they had intercepted a formation of Royal Air Force Avro Lancasters, and in the next three minutes, four were shot down. The first fell over Isigny-sur-Mer and the others near Carentan. Three were claimed as downed by Eberspächer, one of them being Lancaster ND739 of No. 97 Squadron RAF, flown by the squadron's commanding officer, W/C Jimmie Carter. Source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helmut_Ebersp%C3%A4cher

    TIA
    Brian

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bewdley, UK
    Posts
    2,332

    Default

    AIR 14/3377 records




    6 missing from direct support targets


    (1 from mission to Longues
    2 from mission to Mt Fluery
    3 from mission to St Pierre du Mont)


    3 from Diversions and Countermeasures.


    Regards
    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 4th December 2013 at 21:44. Reason: Doh" typed 5 meant 6
    Restorer of Canberra PR.9 XH175 and 8249 (front runner at the moment) Anson Mk.II

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    1,626

    Default

    Many thanks Ross.

    brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    307

    Default

    Bomber Command's Summary of damage to aircraft on operations No.37 also says that 77 Squadron lost three Halifaxes taking off, with "S" & "N" involved taxying accidents, while "C" had an engine cut taking off and the bombs exploded. 466 Squadron "W" swung and hit another Halifax taking off. 429 Squadron Hailfax "O" was written off landing, cause unknown. Eight aircraft were damaged by flak on June 5-6.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    1,626

    Default

    Thank you for the additional info, David.

    Ross

    97 Squadron lost just two aircraft on the night of 5/6 June - ND739 (W/C Jimmie Carter and ND815 (Lt F V Jespersen, RNAF) - one other aircraft was attacked, ND501Q. Source http://www.97squadronassociation.co....jan-june-1944/ . I guess Eberspächer's claim was ambitious in the confusion of combat - unless another squadron was over the target (St Pierre du Mont) at the same time.

    Should anyone be interested I've been running a parallel thread on the LEMB forum at http://www.luftwaffe-experten.org/fo...howtopic=19182, which includes a copy of an article by Eberspächer which was published in the Luftwaffen Revue 43. Jahrgang Nr.1 März 1995 - in German.

    One thing that comes out of the thread is that Eberspächer was initially flying at low-level, but saw the bombers silhouetted against the cloud, there being a near full moon that night. I wonder if the crews thought they were safe given the near continuous cloud cover that was over the area?

    Brian

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    307

    Default

    Lancaster squadrons sent to St. Pierre du Mont were 50, 97, 463, 467, & 106. 97 lost two, 50 lost one. 105, 109 and 627 squadrons attacked in Mosquitos. Lancaster crews at this target experienced icing and cloud down to 7'000' and crews were ordered to descend 2,000' after the attack began. Most crews released from 6,500' to 9,500' which is very low compared to normal. The method used here was Oboe ground marking so the main force had to get below the cloud to see the target indicators. It could be that the cloud conditions at St. Pierre were the reason for all the losses happening there. While being above them povided safety, they had to get below them to bomb.
    Last edited by David Wallace; 5th December 2013 at 21:21.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bewdley, UK
    Posts
    2,332

    Default

    Hi Brian,


    The bombing height for St Pierre du Mont was 7,000ft for the 108 Lancs - 1,000 ft for 4 Mosquitos with the remaining 5 Mosquitos at 26,000 ft.


    Weather was declared as 5-10/10ths St.Cu, tops roughly 5,000 ft, Wind at 7,000 ft 310 deg 35 mph. Wind at 9,000 ft 300 deg 40 mph.


    The two main target areas were to the East and West of the invasion beaches which were approached by flying south over the channel. After attack the return track for both was to fly south for a short distance then turn due west and fly beyond Cherbourg before turning north to England.


    This was deliberate to avoid overflying invasion fleet on return but did mean that both streams joined on the return at approx. 1.5 deg W.


    This joining may be the cause of the confusion on claims.


    Regards
    Ross
    Restorer of Canberra PR.9 XH175 and 8249 (front runner at the moment) Anson Mk.II

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    1,626

    Default

    Ross/David, my thanks again for your further advice. I'll dig out the 50 Sqn ORB and see what it has to say - the LEMB folks have been very helpful and it would be satisfying (for me) to be able to identify the third loss for them.

    Your statement about the forecast weather is of interest, Ross, as it is roughly in line with the advice given at the SHAEF briefing during the evening of 4 June, some 35-40 hours prior to the seaborne assault. Unfortunately the 8/10-10/10 cloud between 9000 and 11000 ft wasn't foreseen.

    The 463 and 467 ORBs used to be available on-line at http://www.467463raafsquadrons.com/L...bsTimeLine.htm but that seems to have disappeared.

    Brian

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Bewdley, UK
    Posts
    2,332

    Default

    Brian,


    The night intel reports usually contain the actual weather noted in returned logs rather than the forecast
    .
    Chorley lists the No.50 Sqn aircraft as ND739.


    He also lists in total 13 Cat E losses for this night on Direct or Supporting operations.


    Ross
    Restorer of Canberra PR.9 XH175 and 8249 (front runner at the moment) Anson Mk.II

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    1,626

    Default

    I think Chorley must be in error, Ross. ND739 was a 97 Sqn aircraft, captained by W/C E J Carter, last heard from at 0504 hours (http://www.97squadronassociation.co....jan-june-1944/).

    All the crew reports I've seen in the ORBs record near overcast conditions of altocumulus between 9000 and 11000 ft with varying cloud amounts below.

    The 97 Sqn ORB records winds as between 308/20 and 310/30.

    Brian

    Unfortunately the 463 and 467 Sqn ORBs have disappeared from the Internet but they definitely gave cloud at between 9000 and 11000 FT.

Posting Permissions

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