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Thread: 8.000 lb HC bomb

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    Default 8.000 lb HC bomb

    Hi,

    in the ORB of 106 Squadron I have found the entry of Lancaster R5604. The aircraft did not come back. The bomb load was a 8.000 lb bomb - "the first ever to have been carried".

    Can anybody confirm that this was the first time in the RAF ever, or do you think it was the first time ever in this squadron?

    Thanks.

    Best wishes.

    Marcel

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    Hi Marcel,

    According to the Bomber Command War Diaries, Middlebrook and Everett, the first 8000 lb was dropped by P/O M Renaut from a Halifax of 76 Sqn on the night of 10/11 April 1942.

    Halifax from Hell to Victory and Beyond says this was R9487 and describes the report of the pilot who dropped on Essen despite flak damage.



    Peter

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    Hello,

    I think you will find the honour of dropping the first 8,000-lb bomb, rightfully belongs to 1152316 Sgt (Pilot) John William Holbrook HARWOOD RAF (later 126025 A/S/L DFC, DFM, MiD, also of No.76 Sqn), not P/O Michael RENAUT. Not by much, but he was first.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th May 2017 at 08:15.

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    Thanks Col,

    Is that from the 76 ORB ?

    Peter

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    Peter,

    No, my information is derived from the following source:

    During the night of 10/11 April (1942), Pilot Officer Mike Renaut and Sergeant Harwood wrote their names and that of the squadron into the history books when they successfully delivered the first 8,000-lb bombs on Germany. Appropriately for the occasion the Krupps works at Essen was the target for this latest addition to Bomber Command's increasing arsenal of weapons.

    Sergeant Harwood was first to attack, his run from 17,000 feet above the Ruhr being timed eight minutes before the midnight hour. A satisfying glow of fire marked its point of impact.

    For the next thirty minutes bombers arrived over Essen, and amongst those in the closing stages of the attack, was Mike Renaut. The defences had by this time warmed to their task and Renaut's Halifax was shaken repeatedly. This was the most dangerous time as the bomb-aimer guided his pilot towards the aiming point. Far below the spurt of fire could be seen chasing through several areas of the darkened city, while all around the air vibrated from bursting shells.

    Inside the unlit fuselage Renaut's crew busied themselves with the task at hand. To be occupied help close the mind to the inherent dangers from without. Near the end of his run the half expected blow fell, and it came just as the nose, relieved of the weight of 8,000-lbs of explosives, rose momentarily from its course. A particularly close burst of flak had sent red-hot splinters of steel through the forward fuselage,. The carnage could have been dreadful, but in the event only his wireless operator needed medical attention and Renaut limped across the North Sea to land at the coastal aerodrome of Docking near Hunstanton in Norfolk.

    See:
    To See The Dawn Breaking 76 Squadron Operations.
    Chorley,W R.
    Ottery St. Mary:Author,1981.
    pp.36-7
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th May 2017 at 11:29.

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    Thanks Col for all that, much appreciated.

    Its said that with 4000 or 8000 lb fitted the bomb doors did not fully close and this was covered over with doped canvas. Do you know how that was done ?

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    Peter,

    I have read about the process, but don't know much about it. Can't help I'm afraid.

    Col.

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    Hi,

    sorry for coming back so late. I am very thankful for reading your information.

    Thanks.

    Marcel

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