Sortie 23

Date:  29th December 1944

Target:  Gelsenkirchen

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

Aircraft:  PB364(N)

Role:  Blind Secondary Marker  

Take Off: 16.00  Landing: 20.42

Crew Report:

35 Squadron ORB: 12 aircraft attacked a synthetic oil plant at Buer (Gelsenkirchen); although 10/10ths low cloud prevailed, TI’s could be seen. Bombing was very concentrated and accurate; two very large explosions were observed with smoke rising to 12,000 feet.

Bomber Command:

Aircraft Used:  324 Lancasters and 22 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 6 and 8 Groups.

Losses: 4 Lancasters lost.

Summary:  The raid took place in difficult conditions. There was thick cloud over the target but Oboe skymarkers were accurately placed and the oil refinery was badly hit. The local report says that 300 high-explosive bombs fell within the oil-plant area. There were two large and 10 small fires and much damage to piping and storage tanks.