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Thread: Goch, February 7, 1945

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    Default Goch, February 7, 1945

    I have completed essays on all of Dad's ops for 1944 and now turn to resume essays for the rest of his tour (Dortmund, Feb 20; Pforzheim Feb 23 and Dessau March 7 are all ready complete).

    I am starting with Goch, Feb 7, 1945 and note that the Master Bomber that night was S/L "Cocky" Cochrane and his Deputy, F/Lt Harris, both with 156 Squadron. I would appreciate the "Code" names for these two gentlemen. Also interested in the flight plan if anyone has it. Dad couldn't hear the Master Bomber so did not bomb. The "briefing documents" for this operation are "brief" and not particularly informative, although on the subject of German fighters, it does say that "It is considered unlikely they will be warned in time to be able to intercept with such shallow penetration." While only 2 bombers were shot down, they were chased all the way to the Belgian coast on the return route.

    There is a comment on another thread that Richard Dimbleby was on this operation and made a recording of it. Is this available somewhere?

    Thanks!

    Jim

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    Default Re: Goch, February 7, 1945

    Hello,

    Richard Dimbleby was aboard (60763 DFC)) S/Ldr John Wattman Gee's No.153 Sqn Lancaster (NG184) attacking Kleve on 7/8 February, 1945.

    The liner notes accompanying the commercially available recording*, state:

    TRACK 27: RAID ON KLEVE 7/8 FEBRUARY 1945 5.30.

    This extract is taken from a recording made by Richard Dimbleby during a bombing raid on Kleve in February 1945, in a Lancaster of 153 Squadron. The raid involved 295 Lancasters and 10 Mosquitoes, in preparation for the attack by the British XXX Corps across the German frontier into the Reichswald, though the damage caused by the 1,384 ton of high explosive served to hamper the advance on the ground. By the end of the war Kleve claimed to be the most badly damaged German town of its size. Towards the end of the recording anti-aircraft fire causes the cutting head to jump on the recording disc. This is not a technical fault on the CD.

    Richard Dimbleby was the first BBC war correspondent to accompany and operational RAF bomber raid, flying to Berlin on 6 January 1943 in a Lancaster piloted by Guy Gibson. The broadcast proved a success, and by the end of the war Dimbleby had completed twenty such missions, despite the fact that he was frightened of flying and frequently sick. In 1944 he was appointed head of BBC War Reporting Unit. Dimbleby was a passionate advocate of the bomber offensive, in spite of the fact that the BBC laid down firm (if optimistic) guidelines about how the bombing of Germany should be reported: "It is a scientific operation, not to be stunted, to be gloated over, or to be dealt with in any other way than the most factual reporting arising from the communiques and from material obtained from the Air Headquarters of Bomber Stations."

    *
    RAF BOMBER COMMAND AT WAR 1939-45 (VOL 1). (CD41-013) Google.

    The individual recording is available from Spotify (for a price!), have no details on this:

    https://open.spotify.com/album/32MuwYoWgqcmeDULpqGyrB

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 5th February 2021 at 02:23.

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    Default Re: Goch, February 7, 1945

    Thanks Col. I had thought Dimbleby was on Goch. My mistake. My "Secret Santa" dropped off a couple of documents that include the Code Names as well as the flight plan for the raid to Goch. The call sign for the Master Bomber was HOTSPUR. The Deputy Master Bomber’s call sign was HOTSPUR II and Main Force, BOMBLOAD. The code word for abandoning the mission was “CALLITOFF” (Call it off). A “Longstop” may broadcast on the same frequency as the Master Bomber, drawing attention to any dangerously wide bombing or badly placed T.I.’s which he will cancel with Yellow Markers. Longstop’s call sign was BLACKLEG. Crews were briefed not to drop bombs unless they fully understood the Master Bomber’s Instructions and could positively identify the T.I.’s to which he referred.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Goch, February 7, 1945

    Hi Jim,

    I have the log book of F/L P E Cawthorne 414049 RAAF who was on that operation on 7/8 February 1945 as a Pathfinder with 635 Sqn. His entry is as follows;

    29. Operations to Cleve
    7 Reds. 8 Greens 5000’ Vis Cen

    John.

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    Default Re: Goch, February 7, 1945

    Hi Jim,

    As a coda to the Goch raid, I was an urban warfare instructor at the Combined Arms School in 91-92. We sometimes used three SSVC films on WW2 urban ops - Calais 1940, Ortona 1943 and Goch 1945. The theme of the Goch film was the difficulty of ground ops in a city destroyed by bombing. I've checked and it's made it to YouTubby - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MmyXchtGP88 May have some esoteric interest!

    Richard

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    Default Re: Goch, February 7, 1945

    Thanks Richard and John. The briefing notes point to Lt General Crerar’s request for the bombing of Goch and Cleve rallying the crews to support their comrades on the ground. Following what was stipulated in the briefing, Dad’s crew did not bomb as “Master Bomber not heard”. Evidently many crews did not hear the MC because of of jamming.

    Dad came back and landed with a full bomb load.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 5th February 2021 at 15:41.

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