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Thread: 20/21 April 1943 - Minelaying operation off Brittany

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    Default 20/21 April 1943 - Minelaying operation off Brittany

    Hello/Bonjour Gents,

    I am looking for the Squadron or Squadrons fitted with Wellingtons which carried out Minelaying operation off Brittany (Brest, Lorient and Saint-Nazaire) during the night of 20/21 April 1943. One of the Wimpy was certainly badly hit as I found a German claim for that night - Uffz. Heintze, 10./NJG 5 - unit which was at that time scattered on several airfields of Brittany. It seems this claim is not justified...right?

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Frederic

    The ORB of 199 Squadron indicates that 12 Wellington aircraft took off from Ingham and were sea mining on 20/21 April 1943. The Wellington piloted by F/O Archer reported as being attacked by a JU 88 South East of De Morlaix. All the crew were reported safe but damage was caused by the night fighter to the hydraulics of the rear turret and the emergency hydraulic system.

    Martin Middlebrook’s Bomber Command War diaries reported 18 Wellingtons to be minelaying off the Brittany coast that night.

    Regards

    Douglas

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    Frederic,
    According to 6 Group RCAF ORB that night 6 Wellingtons from 429 Sqn were sent for gardening operation near Brest (Jellyfish).
    All aircraft returned to base without any problems although one a/c was not able to pinpoint its position and brought the mines back.

    Hope it helps,
    Greg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Grexx View Post
    Frederic,
    According to 6 Group RCAF ORB that night 6 Wellingtons from 429 Sqn were sent for gardening operation near Brest (Jellyfish).
    All aircraft returned to base without any problems although one a/c was not able to pinpoint its position and brought the mines back.

    Hope it helps,
    Greg
    Hello,

    Not according to BCL4/121, or this site: http://www.6bombergroup.ca/April43/April20~2143.html

    Col.

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    Hello Douglas,

    Thank you for your answer and the details provided. This pilot's claim is therefore not valid. Elements of IV./NJG5 operated under control of a mobile Himmelbett train (settled at Plounerin near Morlaix) called "Sumatra I" in the spring of 1943, before moving at the end of June to the Eastern Front. They were engaged in the protection of the U-Boat bases of Lorient and Saint-Nazaire.

    Greg, in accordance with Col. Bruggy, I don't think bombers of No.429 Squadron have been involved.

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Frederic

    To be fair to Greg, 429 Squadron were involved in mining operations that night. I think what Col meant was that Greg said that all 429 Squadron aircraft returned safely but actually, as recorded in Bomber Command Losses 1943, one Wellington of 429 Squadron was damaged by flak and crash landed at Exeter airport.

    Therefore, the 18 Wellingtons indicated in Martin Middlebrook’s book as operating on, or more accurately, ordered for mining operations, would appear to have consisted of a total of 12 from 199 and the remainder from 429. Not all aircraft from both squadrons were successful in their allotted task

    Regards

    Douglas

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    Hello/Bonjour,

    Greg, I hope to not have offended you by casting doubts upon what you wrote regarding bombers of No.429 Sqdn. Thank you Douglas to have rectified.

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Guys,
    It`s all OK.
    Indeed it seems that I have missed the following info from 6 Group ORB which was added below on the page: "One aircraft crashed on landing at EXETER, without injury to the crew."

    Regards,
    Greg

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