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Thread: Bombing Raids in Pas de Calais

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    Default Bombing Raids in Pas de Calais

    I am trying to identify raids on V sites and Luftwaffe airfields in the vicinity of Fruges. Beaumetz Les Aire, Lisbourg and Verchocq are places on which there seems to be limited information. Can anyone provide any more detail?

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    Hello,

    If you can read French, there is an extensive collection of books by a French authour, Mr Ducellier, about the air war over Northern France.

    See the list here:
    http://www.somme-aviation-39-45.fr/pages/Livres.html

    Each book is very detailler, covering every raid and sweep on the dates given, and also every loss.

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    Hello

    Another book covering the allied campaign against the V1 sites was published last year by Hugues Chevalier :
    http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/article2428.html

    Not sure all the targets you're looking for are listed in it, because the author had to make a geographical selection (the title is slightly misleading, as the book is not covering the whole of the Pas-de-Calais département).

    Jean-Pierre Ducellier's volumes are very detailed indeed, but each one usually cover one day (or night), or a couple of days (nights). Hence if you are looking for a specific target, you'll have to buy several books to cover the differents attacks (and obviously he hasn't written about each day/night.

    Hugues Chevalier's book covers the area around Thérouanne, south of St Omer, but covers from December 1943 to the liberation, and he has highlighted some missions. He also covers the V1 launches as well, taken from German archives.

    Both books are in French.

    Otherwise there are several references at The National Archives in Kew about these missions. Enter either "crossbow" or the name of the target in the search box. The latter option will mostly show you the U.S. raids (in the AIR 40 section).

    Joss

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    Hi!
    You can also try to find some information in the book "Sledgehammers for tin-tacks" by Stepehn Darlow, which covers the subject of the RAF Bomber Command battle against
    V-1 menace in the area of northern France.

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    Thank you all very much - merci beaucoup a tous et je comprend francais, so will check those books referred to to see what I can find out as well as the Kew records.

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    Now that I am at home, I can check Hugues Chevalier's book (that I have):
    http://www.aerostories.org/~aerobiblio/article2428.html

    Fruges. Beaumetz Les Aire, Lisbourg and Verchocq is in the area studied with details.

    Here is a summary for one site:

    Heavy site Lisbourg Le Groseiller XI/A/121: 7 raids
    picture taken on 27 January 1944
    24 Feb 1944: 11 Mitchell II missed
    28 Feb 1944: 16 Mitchell missed
    2 Mar 1944: 35 Typhoon of 183,197 and 257 Sqn dive-bombed the site and scored 4 hits, doing some damage. A Typhoon lost, pilot POW.
    3 Mar 1944: 5 Mitchell of 226 Sqn sent to bomb Linghem attacked Lisbourg as an opportunity target but missed.
    20 Apr 1944: 7 US heavy bombers bombed. Site still considered only damaged after this raid.
    22 Apr 1944: 12 Bostons of 88 and 342 Sqn and 6 Mitchell of 226 Sqn missed again
    23 Apr 1944: 18 Bostons of 88 and 342 Sqn and 6 Mitchell of 226 Sqn finally bombed accurately the site
    In fact the only building hit on 2 Mar was the more important, and stopped the building of the site at 75%.

    There is more, but the book is not very well organized, so it is hard to tell you how much there is about the area you're interested in.

    Page 160, there are description (from French point of view) of two raids on Fruges on 12 and 13 May 1944 (1 and 3 dead), then page 163 a bomb on a farm near Lisbourg on 27 May (1 dead). Page 167 there is a paragraph about a Falk site set at Verchocq, on which a shot down RAF bomber crashed in the night of 12 to 13 (sic) June, but the details of the bomber (Halifax III LV995 of 427 Sqn RCAF) are given in pages 171-173. And so and so..

    From page 160 to page 260 it seems to me that one of your places is cited at least every 2-5 pages, so there is a lot to say. This parts describes both V1 firing and Allied raids in the small area around yours from May 1944 to 2 September 1944 (when German left), with far more details from 15-16 June 1944 (start of the V1 offensive).

    Hope it helps. It you can read French, I think buying this book will be a good idea.

    If you're interested in precise dates, I may scan some pages to show you how is this book.

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    Thank you for that detailed reply. It would be onerous to ask you to scan pages because there is clearly a large amount of material in the book. I will search for a copy and treat myself - thanks again for your help.

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