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Thread: 514 Sqd Lancaster hit by bombs

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    Default 514 Sqd Lancaster hit by bombs

    On the 3.8.44 Lancaster LL716 was taken down close to Beaumont in France having been struck by falling bombs from above. This was a daylight sortie upon the V1 storage site of Bois De Cassan. Being a daylight op I am wondering how frequently this took place.

    The crew is recorded as including a Mid Lower Air Gunner, was this a fixed gun position or a differing option.

    All comments welcome upon this area of interest for me. Thanks Colin.

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    Colin,

    You may already have the following, taken via No.3 (Bomber) Group Raid Reports.

    BOIS DE CASSAN

    No.3 Group : 113 Sorties
    No. Attacked : 112
    Missing 1
    T.o.T 1403hrs-1410hrs

    " Slight heavy predicted flak was experienced and seven aircraft were damaged, one Lancaster was seen shot down by heavy flak in the area."

    No.3 Group Squadrons.

    No.115 (22 dispatched)
    No.514 ( 19 dispatched)
    No.75NZ (21 dispatched)
    No.622 ( 13 dispatched)
    No.15 (15 dispatched)
    No.90 (25 dispatched)

    Cancelled : 2
    Aborted : 1
    Missing : 1


    I have two reports, M.I.9/S/P.G/Lib 1589 F/O Stuart Baxter* and M.I.9/S/P.G/Lib 1548 for Sgt John Davies Reid of the crew.

    * Baxter states that their Lancaster was hit from above by bombs dropped by a Halifax. **

    ** No.4 (Bomber) Group T.O.T 1401-1414hrs


    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Steve.

    Many thanks for this information. I hope to find out as much as possible on the skippers evasion, he and one other crew member evaded after the crash landing. I think no doubt as a result of bombs dropping from above them whilst on the bomb run.

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    Colin,
    Early Mark 1 Lancasters had a ventral or mid-under turret but it was generally not fitted until later in the war when, to quote from one article on Lancaster armament," it was re-introduced on some aircraft in some units". I'm only guessing but I suspect this may have been on aircraft designated as G-H Leaders. No doubt someone on this forum will have a definitive answer.
    Regards,
    Bill.

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    Default Ventral guns?

    Colin, I think there are all sorts of red herrings put out about ventral guns on Lancs. I read one recently which claims that the crews on 463 and 467 squadrons didn't like H2S (which is true because Naxos-fitted nightfighters could home in on the transmissions) so they removed the dome, fitted a blanking plate and then a downward firing machine gun which was manned by the m-ug when necessary. There are several arguments against this being true, but the most compelling for me was when I rang a friend who was a flight engineer in 463 squadron in 1944/45 to ask him about it, and he replied that he'd never known this to be true.
    Regarding being hit by bombs from above, I recently did a schematic diagram of the Dortmund-Ems canal raid on 3 March based on the 463/467 ORBs which shows, just for these 2 squadrons, how crowded the skies could be around a target area, see here for the schematic:
    http://lancaster-archive.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=4&t=144

    regards
    Max

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    hello Colin,

    I have several cases of collision with bombs in my research area, in northern France, in BC daylight operations :
    25 June 1944, Montorgueil raid, one Halifax hit by a bomb, clipping a wing, and collided with another Halifax, both crashing at Fontaine-L'Etalon (77 and 102 Squadrons, 14 KIAs)
    11 August 1944, Somain raid, one Halifax from 51 Squadron hit by a bomb, 7 KIAs
    11 August 1944, Lens raid, one Lancaster from 514 Squadron hit by a bomb, the bomb aimer in the nose was thrown away from the plane, and killed in action. The plane was flown back to base but scrapped.

    Such collisions must have occured at night, but couldn't be witnessed by the other crews, while in daylight ops, these were clearly seen by the other crews.

    Joss

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    Default Thanks + Under gunner info.

    Thank you all for this interesting information.

    Regarding the mid under gunner. I have located the following. Lancaster VENTRAL TURRET WAS THE FN64 fitted with two .303 faired into the bulged bomb bay doors. It was not popular with some units and in many cases removed in numbers 1 and 5 Groups case.

    I would have thought any extra defensive ability would have been well received. Clearly this position would help with the enemy attacks from below and behind.

    Lancaster LL716 of 514 Squadron the subject of my interest was operating with one.

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    Default Lanc II mid under gun

    This link will show the mid under configuration on a Lanc II flown by 408 Sq in mid 1944. Basically an hole cut in the floor with a .5 on a swivelling mount. On the subject of hit by falling bombs, a 427 Sq Hali was also hit this same day by 2 x 500 lb bombs over Foret de Nieppe. One thru the stbd wing and one thru the fuselage behind the mid upper turret. They were able to bring their crippled Hali home.


    http://www.rcaf.com/6group/408portraits/pages/pl-29742wadeskingle.html

    richard

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    Quote Originally Posted by BillG View Post
    Colin,
    Early Mark 1 Lancasters had a ventral or mid-under turret but it was generally not fitted until later in the war when, to quote from one article on Lancaster armament," it was re-introduced on some aircraft in some units". I'm only guessing but I suspect this may have been on aircraft designated as G-H Leaders. No doubt someone on this forum will have a definitive answer.
    Regards,
    Bill.

    Hi Bill,

    The installation of the Mid-under was not connected to the squadrons use of the G-H device, at the time No.514 (B) Squadron had been operating the Mk.B.II Lancaster since it formation and had only started receiving the GH device in mid July, although No.514 was one of the three No.3 Group squadrons to introduce the bombing aid in November 1943. The original BC directive was dated July 1943 for GH to be fitted to No.115 & 514 (both Mk.B.II Lancaster equipped) and No.218 operating with the Short Stirling.

    The device was removed from No.115 & 514 in mid January 1944, although one flight of 218 squadron continued to trial the device under operational conditions. No.514 was re-equipped with GH in mid to late July, training was carried out by tour expired crews drawn from No.218 squadron.

    A Halifax Mk.III of No.578 s/n MA586 was also struck by bombs dropped from a Lancaster on this date while attacking Bois De Cassan.

    Kind regards


    Smudger,

    PS : I have a document which lists all (sic) a/c hit by bombs from July 44 to May 1945. Will be happy to check for anyone should they need clarification.
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Smith View Post
    Hi Bill,

    PS : I have a document which lists all (sic) a/c hit by bombs from July 44 to May 1945. Will be happy to check for anyone should they need clarification.
    Smudger,

    Just as a matter of interest, roughly how many incidents of this type appear on the list? Is the list for all of Bomber Command or just 'your' 3 Group?

    Errol

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