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Thread: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

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    Default Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Hello/Bonjour,

    I am looking for which RAF Squadron was involved in the attack on the Quimper railway station, around noon on May 21, 1944. There were some casualties among the railway employees. Merci beaucoup for any assistance.

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Default Re: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Hello Fred

    I've just checked 2nd TAF daily log for 21 May 1944 and I can find no raid against Quimper that day. It could be a U.S. raid maybe, 9th Air Force B-26s likely.

    Joss

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    Default Re: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Thanks Joss. I also checked in these books, but I was thinking more of RAF units like No.1 Squadron (which belongs to No.10 Group), which operated several times in the month in this area. I viewed at several Squadrons ORBs so far, without success.

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Default Re: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Hi

    John Foreman in his "Fighter Command War Diaries 7/43 to 6/44" states that on 21/5/44 "The Allies launched Ramrod No 905 the first of several fighter and fighter-bomber attacks on radar sites and railway targets..." but he does not provide any detail on individual targets... might be a lead?

    Steve

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    Default Re: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Similar in Shores/Thomas 2nd TAF

    "During the day, the Spitfire squadrons were involved in a series of attacks on the transport system in France, but the results were little short of catastrophic. Sixteen Spitfires were shot down"

    Losses listed include Spitfire IX from 66, 132, 308, 310, 312, 313, 317, 340, 349, 403, 416, 421, 453 squadrons.

    cheers Peter


    PS. Have checked the listed crash locations against Google to see if any were near Quimper, but nearly all well to the east of Paris, so no help there.
    Last edited by PeterColwill; 26th April 2021 at 16:09. Reason: added PS

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    Default Re: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Hello

    I have checked the sub-elements of Ramrod 905 in AIR37/713, and while some mention "St Malo" in the heading, which is in northern Brittany, the description of the raid is clearly in Normandy. As described above, most attacks are aimed in Normandy, Paris area and the Pas-de-Calais area. The only Squadron which only gives coordinates is No. 313 Squadron, with rail targets attacked at T7004, T3309, T2909, T4868 and T8414. I haven't checked these locations against echodelta translator, as I think that the Spitfire of No. 313 Squadron didn't have the range to attack Quimper, but I stand corrected.

    The Squadron involved could be, as suggested by Fred, not part of 2nd TAF, so indeed it may pay to check No. 10 Group ORB. No way it could have been a Coastal Command operation ?

    Joss

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    Default Re: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Thanks gents for these answers. Quimper being located at the end of a river - the Odet river - which is under influence of tides, is it possible that the raid was made by Coastal Command planes? As suggested by Joss.

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Default Re: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Hello Frederic,

    An excerpt from the book Air War Europa - Chronology 1942-1945 by Eric Hammel.

    "May 21, 1944

    An estimated 500 Ninth Air Force P-47s and P-51 attack locomotives and rail cars throughout France."

    It may be worthwhile to investigate.

    Regards

    Finn Buch
    Last edited by Argus; 26th April 2021 at 22:33.

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    Default Re: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Hello Finn,

    I have a doubt about the involving of American aircraft. Many French authors talk about R.A.F. airplanes, particularly authors known for the serious of their research work. Excerpt: […] However, on May 21, 1944, around noon, R.A.F. planes straffed the Quimper railway station, killing two S.N.C.F. employees, Yves LE BIHAN, from Ergué-Armel, and René LE DOARÉ, from Penhars, wounding three others, damaging a dozen locomotives, the water towers, with the bullets even piercing the rail in some places. At the gas factory, near the towpath, the three gasometers were perforated. […] Now, everyone can be wrong but until an evidence to the contrary…

    Best regards,
    Frederic

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    Default Re: Quimper, Brittany, France - 21 May 1944

    Hi Frederic

    I know that researching 9th AAF is not easy. In his history of 9th AAF Kenn Rust writes on page 72:

    "One notable day stands out, 21 May 1944, which came to be known by the appropriate title, "Chattanooga Day" relating to the popular song of the day, "Chattanooga Choo Choo". Thirteen group missions were despatched on this day and eleven carried out attacks... on rolling stock in France north of the Loire River. A total of 500 fighters found and attacked the type of target assigned..."

    If you search on "Operation Chattanooga" and "Operation Chattanooga Choo Choo" you will find a few confirming hits but, sadly, none of them go into much detail.

    Steve

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