On the night of November 4/5 1944, Bomber Command attacked Bochum. Dad was on this op, flying KB.722 and commented how frightening it was. The “Y” report for this operation records the crew of KB722 “A” saw 3 aircraft crash from the target area and homeward. At 1941 Hrs [incorrectly identified as 1841] and at 18,500’ over the target area, “U/I A/C SEEN SPINNING DOWN IN FLAMES AT 8000 FT 1 MILE ON STBD QUARTER.” Further along the route at 50o40’N and 06o15’E at 2001 and 14000’ “U/I/ A/C AT 13000 FT 1 MILE DISTANT PORT QUARTER BEHIND [SEEN] FALLING IN FLAMES EXPLODED ON GROUND.” And then at 50o35’N and 06o10’E and 2003 Hrs and 14,000’ “U/I A/C AT 10000 FT [] 2 MILES ON STBD QUARTER BEHIND [FALLING IN] FLAMES AND EXPLODE ON GROUND”

In his book “Bitter Ends” Ralf Blank records the bombing extended to Gevelsberg, 20 km from the target, but very near the return route from the Target. There, “two mine bombs” and several explosive bombs hit the plant of Herdfabrik Wilhelm Krefft AG. Three halls burned out and considerable damage to buildings and warehouses had occurred on the entire site, which paralyzed the production of the plant. This plant was evidently involved in the production of various parts used in the assembly of the V-1 flying bomb. This is an amazing revelation (to me anyways) and not contained in Bomber Command’s Night Raid reports. I have shown the location of Gevelsberg on my Googled Map of the route:


I have a theory on this: Dad told me that following bombing, the Bomb Aimer shone an Aldis lamp through a port into the bomb bay to see if there were any hangups. If these were found, they were often jettisoned just past the target, provided they were east of the Bomb-line. Sometimes the time and location of jettisoning is recorded in the ORB. Dad’s ORB for Chemnitz records they jettisoned a 500 lb bomb at 50 Degrees 18’N and 12 Degrees 06’E at 2207. I am uncertain as to how accurate these times and locations were, for as long as they did it east of the Bomb line, there may not have been that much attention to the details. Another possibility could have been that an aircraft may have been damaged or engaged in combat over the target and they just got to hell out of there. The pilot or the navigator could have just let the whole lot go. A review, albeit tedious, of all of the ORBs for this raid may be in order.