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Thread: Wellingtons in Bomber Command

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    Default Wellingtons in Bomber Command

    Can anyone tell me when was the last time Bomber Command used Wellington bombers in raids on Germany, and what squadron those Wellingtons were from (and their home base at that time)? And was that a late one-off raid, or were they all withdrawn at the same time? Thank you.
    hellcat1839

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    Hi,

    I do not know how this source is reliable but you can verify it simply:

    By mid-1942 it was becoming obvious that the Wellington's usefulness as an effect bomber in the European Campaign was reaching its limit. Its role in this theatre of operations finally coming to an end when the last offensive sorties against Hannover on October 8/9, 1943 were carried out.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=cs&q=Wellington+last+sortie+on+Germany&b tnG=Hledat&lr=

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    According to 'Bomber Command War Diaries' by Middlebrook and Everitt, 26 Wellingtons took part in the last raid of 8/9 Oct 43. They were from two squadrons - Nos 300 and 432.

    Errol

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    Hello,

    A little more for Mr.H.

    The raids on Hannover were not so damaging but the visit on 8-9 October (1943), which left the central part of the city in ruins, is noteworthy in that it was the last time that Wellingtons were employed in a Main Force operation. Twenty-six participated, drawn from 300 Squadron and 432 Squadron. One failed to return and its crew, a mixture of Canadians and Royal Air Force personnel rest in the Hannover War Cemetery.

    8-9 October 1943
    432 Sqn.
    Wellington X LN451 QO-W
    Op: Hannover

    Took off 2254 Skipton-on-Swale. All are buried in Hannover War Cemetery.

    F/S D C Baker RCAF +
    F/S C N Hurl RCAF +
    F/S G W Thompson RCAF +
    Sgt J Black +
    Sgt J Taylor +

    Note: This was the last Wellington to be reported missing from a Main Force bombing operation, flown under the authority of Bomber Command in World War 2. Delivered to 432 Squadron on 1 August 1943, it appears to have had a trouble free life until its demise; flying hours not recorded. One squadron remained equipped with the type, 300 Squadron based at Ingham and its use on mine laying duties was assured for some months to come.


    See:
    Royal Air Force Bomber Command Losses of the Second World War Vol.4 1943
    Chorley,W.R.
    Earl Shilton:Midland Counties Pubs.,1996.
    pp.278 & 356

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 10th April 2009 at 08:45. Reason: minor addition

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    In early -mid 1944 104 Sqdn RAF ,at Foggia Main base in Italy, used Wellingtons but I think later in 1944 changed to Liberators.

    Anne

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    hello,

    I have a Wellington from an O.T.U. crashing near St Pol-sur-Ternoise in May 1944. They were not bombing, but dropping leaflets.

    Does this count ?

    Joss

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    Default Wellingtons in Bomber Command

    Many thanks for all your information. Very helpful.

    hellcat1839

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    Wellingtons did not stop being useful bomber in 1943, they successfully carried on well into 1945 as part of 205 Group operating in the Mediterranean Theatre. It's no wonder that this was often known as the forgotten bomber group.

    104 Squadron converted to Liberators at the beginning of March 1945 leaving 40 Squadron as the last unit operating Wellington Xs over enemy territory. The last raid was planned for 14th of March and apparently there was keen competition to be on the last Wimpy raid. As it turned out the raid was cancelled. 40 Squadron was based at Foggia Main in Italy

    So the last raid was on the 13th of March to Trevisco N.E. marshalling yards. Six crews took part as part of a force of 69 put up by 205 Group. Maurice Lihou ( Out of the Italian Nights Airlife Classic) was credited with dropping the last 4000lb cookie that night from a Wellington.

    LP 331 Flt/Sgt Brookfied
    LP 362 Flt/Sgt Lihou
    LP 646 W/O Webb
    LP 658 P/O Burnett RAAF
    LP 718 Sgt Argile
    LP 720 Sgt Whitter

    "Sweeping the Skies" David Gunby

    40 Squadron had operated Wellingtons from November 1940 until March 1945
    Last edited by Wimpy; 12th April 2009 at 21:03.
    An American airman, was told at Briefing to ‘Go in at 30,000 feet and keep out of the flak.”
    “If I go in a 20,000 feet, what will happen?’ asked the airman.
    “You’ll probably be mentioned in despatches”, answered the officer.
    “If I go in at 10,000 feet ?“ he asked.
    “In that case you will probably get the Congress Medal”, he was told.
    "And if I go in at 5,000 feet?’ he inquired excitedly.
    “Don’t be a fool, man”, replied his superior, “you’ll go and bump into the R.A.F. at that height.”

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