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Thread: 253Sqn and the York Baedeker Raid 29th April 1942

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    Default 253Sqn and the York Baedeker Raid 29th April 1942

    I have obtained Yves Mahé’s combat report for that night from Kew. I would be interested to know how many other aircraft were dispatched that night. His report only includes......"I took off from Hibaldstow at 02:50hrs".
    An account simply says he was "one of the first" to arrive.
    Any information about this squadron on that night would be most gratefully received.

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    12 Hurricanes from 133 Sq., 1 Beaufighter from 406 Sq., 10 sorties with 9 a/c from 253 Sq., 6 Beaufighters from 68 Sq.
    253 Sq. F/Sgt. Joseph Risso (FFAF) first off 1.45, Lt. Beguin (FFAF) 2.15 , Shaw, Landers, Dodson, Seal, Maguire, Mahe (FFAF) 2.45, Darley 3.05, Risso 3.30.

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    This is most interesting.......thank you. I can look up the locations of the other squadrons you mentioned.
    What is puzzling are the comments that you frequently read about the York air raid.............why were the Germans able to bomb for 90 mins without any opposition etc.
    My understanding is that the German aircraft were located at around 02:36hrs crossing the East Coast (although longer range radar must have spotted them earlier). The 90 mins "freedom of action" doesn't make any sense.
    Do you know the t/o times for the other fighters?

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    68 Sq.Mansfeld/Janacek 22.05, Bobek/Kavarik 23.30, Ward/Wilson 00.50, Roe/McAnulty 00.55, Allen/Sandow, Winward/Wood 3.20

    133 Sq. Thomas 2.30, Nelson 2.40, M|orris, Harp, Cook 3.20, Doorly 3.20, King, Jackson, M|cColpin, Pewitt 3.25 Baker, Kimbro 3.50

    406 Sq. Furse/Downes 2.20

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    Similar comments were made about the Norwich attack on 27-28 April 1942. What you have to bear in mind is that unlike the Blitz in 1940-41 these were comparatively short but concentrated raids, each usually lasting only 30-40 minutes and usually involving about 50 aircraft. The odd thing about the Baedeker raids in April 1942 was that the Coltishall night-fighters had little luck intercepting raiders attacking Norwich on 27-28th but made several claims over the N Sea the following night when York was the target. No doubt our Czech contributor Pavel will know more about the 68 Sqn claims.

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    Two questions come to mind..........is there an accurate figure for the German losses against York?
    There are two clear crashes but I wasn't aware of any claims from 68 Sqn. The take off times given by John would seem to indicate that it could only have been one crew.........Winward/Wood at 03.20hrs that match the raid times.
    My second question is regarding the duration time of a Beaufighter.
    406Sqn's take off was 02:20 and the recorded time for the combat over York was 03:25. Is this in line with its performance?
    Thank you for your answers so far.

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    Over one hour in flight before combat is certainly well within the Beaufighter's capabilities.

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    406 Sq. Beaufighter landed at 4.30. The 68 Sq. Beaufighters which took off at 22.05 landed 02.30,23.30 landed 02.40, 00.50 landed 03.35, 00.55 landed 04.55

    German losses don't tally between 'Blitz', Fighter Command War Diaries & Aces High/Those Other Eagles. Some of the claims are well away from York over the North Sea.

    One certain thing is that the lone Frenchman taking on the Luftwaffe was a myth at the time and unfortunately is still being perpetuated round York. The truth is that it was an international effort, Americans, Czechs, British, a Rhodesian, A Canadian and several Frenchmen many (particularly amongst the American contingent)) didn't see the year out.

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    Thank you for this information. Yes, I think I am getting a little suspicious of what I have read.
    Maybe, once I've looked at your information, I can ask some more questions?
    Brilliant help......thank you all.

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    I have read that the German aircraft flew two sorties on the same night to each target........is this true for the York raid? Numbers of raiders varies between 40 and 80.........this would make sense if each plane flew twice.

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