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Thread: RAF air raid on Sofia, Bulgaria, on 29/30.3.1944

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    Default RAF air raid on Sofia, Bulgaria, on 29/30.3.1944

    Hi all,

    I know quite a lot about the daylight bombing by the allies on 30.3.1944 but as far as I was able to find out the RAF attacked the down already during the night, for example 8 Liberators of No. 178 Squadron were sent to attack the marshalling yard.
    I am interested if there were more RAF squadrons taking part in the raid during the night 29/30.3.1944 and how many aircraft in total.

    TIA

    Pavel
    Last edited by CZ_RAF; 18th April 2019 at 09:59.
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    Hello,
    The Answer is - none.
    You made a typo, but there were 205 Group's raids on 15/16.3.44 (67 planes), 16/17.3.44 (21), 24/25.3.44 (77) and 29/30.3.44 (72).
    At that time most 205 Group's planes were Wellington Xs and some IIIs of 37, 40, 70, 104, 142 and 150 Sqns.
    Zoran

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    Pavel,

    The one known loss for the raid was:

    29/30-3-1944
    No.37 Sqn
    Wellington X ME879
    Op: Sofia Marshalling Yards

    Took off 1855, Foggia No.2/Tortorella, detailed to attack the marshalling yards at Sofia. On return the aircraft ran out of fuel on reaching the Italian coast, and at 0003 the crew baled out near Cerignola.

    F/Sgt K J Kenyon
    Sgt G A F Maddick
    F/Sgt G H Frampton
    F/Sgt W H Manwaring RAAF
    F/Sgt G H Parkin
    Sgt K M Buckley

    See: BLME2/Gunby & Temple/p.109

    Following the attack on Milan-Lambrate yards on 28/29 March (1944), Sofia was the target again on the 29/30th. Illumination was on time, but the first flares seemed to have fallen slightly too far to the east, and the bombing was concentrated mainly on the south-east section of the city. Bursts were seen on and around the east end of the marshalling yards, in the vicinity of the freight yard and railway junction, and near the military school. Three 4,000-pounders appeared to have burst in the built-up area between the centre and east side of the city. Two large fires were reported to be still visible forty to fifty miles away. On the same night the rail bridges at Fano and Cesano were also attacked*, but only one bomb was seen to fall near enough to have damaged the bridges and photographs failed to reveal any damage on either of them.

    * By 10 aircraft.

    See:Bombers Over Sand And Snow 205 Group RAF in World War II/Granfield/p.252.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 17th April 2019 at 13:44.

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    Hi Colin, thank you. So there were definitely more squadrons involved.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    So far I can see that Pavel has requested details of possible raids in March 1945, but all the replies seem to assume he is after details about March 1944! Confusion reigns!
    David D

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    David, thank you very much for your post - all chaps are correct, it is my typo! I am interested in raid on 29.-30.3.1944.
    I have corrected the title and original post.

    Please accept my apology for this misuderstanding.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    And I have forgot to thank to Zoran for his post - your info 29/30.3.44 (72) is what I was looking for.

    Thank you

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    Raid on Sofia 29/30.3.1944 :
    37 Sqn: 14 Wellingtons (-1 early return). Squadron code was LF, not used on aircraft late March 44.

    70 Sqn: also 14 Wellingtons, coded K, W, V, F, H, P, G, B, X, S, Q, E, Z, A, no serials in orb. Squadron code (DU) not used on aircraft.
    Of these above I can identify LN498/P. Bombed Vicenza 26.3.44, Sofia 29.3., Budapest 3.4. Coded later W: Brod 14/15.7., Rijeka (Fiume) 19.7.44. Shot down near Hegyeshalom, Hungary 20/21.9.44.
    LN851/Y did not took part in this attack, but flew to Sofia 15.3.44.

    40 Sqn flew two missions on 29/30.3.44: to Fano (like LN769/G) and Sofia (HE878/X etc.). Squadron code was BL, but not confirmed as used on aircraft late March 44.

    104 Sqn also flew two missions: to Cesano (like LN494/L) and Sofia (HF586/N, JA512/E, LP151/G etc.). Squadron code EP was probably still carried at that time.

    142 Sqn flew to Sofia (JA127/QT-H, MF198/QT-D etc.).
    LN748 also flew, quoted as QT-E on a previous raid to Sofia 15/16.3.44., but could be QT-K. There are also some other discrepancies about LN748, as it is quoted as shot down by 8./NJG 6 during attack on Shell Koolag, Budapest, 25/26.6.44., but it's on lists for raids to Brod 8.7.44 and 14.7.44 and Smederevo 16.7.
    Known as Cuttie Squadron (for QT code), and sister No 150 Squadron was nicknamed Jane (for JN).
    150 Sqn also flew to Sofia (LN858/JN-Y, LN919/JN-C, LP118/JN-V etc.).

    614 Sqn with Halifax IIs did not fly on 29/30.3.44, but flew on previous raid(s).
    I did not check 178 Sqn (liberator).
    Zoran

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    Thanks for additional info Zoran,

    I know already that 178 Sq has despatched 8 Liberators to Sofia on the night in question. According to the ORB preview (no individual letters stated):
    Liberator II BZ928, BZ892, BZ930, BZ947, BZ929, BZ946
    Liberator VI EV820, EV825

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    My pleasure, Pavel
    And those Liberators were coded:
    Liberator II BZ928-B, BZ892-E, BZ930-S, BZ947-N, BZ929 unknown (to me), BZ946-Z
    Liberator VI EV820-R, EV825-D
    Zoran

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