Sortie 16

Date:  6th December 1944

Target:  Leuna

Crew:  AE Johnson, GB Thomas, H Coulton, RM Jenkins, R Neale, DF Hadland, CA Butler

Aircraft:  PB364 (N)

Role:  Blind Illuminator 

Take Off: 17.24  Landing: 23.57

Crew Report:  

35 Squadron ORB: 15 aircraft took off to attack oil refineries at Merseburg Leuna in 10/10ths cloud which necessitated a sky marker attack. Early impressions suggested a concentrated attack.

Bomber Command:

Aircraft Used:  475 Lancasters and 12 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 3 and 8 Groups.

Losses:  5 Lancasters lost.

Summary:  This was the first major attack on an oil target in Eastern Germany; Leuna, near the town of Merseburg, just west of Leipzig, was 250 miles from the German frontier and 500 miles from the bombers’ bases in England. There was considerable cloud in the target area but post-raid photographs showed that considerable damage had been caused to the synthetic-oil plant.