Sortie 28

Date:  14th January 1945

Target:  Leuna

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

Aircraft:  PB364(N)

Role:  Blind Secondary Marker  

Take Off: 20.13  Landing: 03.42 (Exeter)

Crew Report:

35 Squadron ORB: 13 aircraft took part in an attack on Merseburg / Leuna. Though conditions were difficult, the attack seemed most effective. All the aircraft were diverted to Exeter owing to bad weather over the base.

Aircraft “B” was hit by a bomb from a friendly over the target area; the rear turret was smashed and later broke away taking with it, the body of the rear gunner F/O RT Salvoni, who, it is believed, was probably killed by the impact of the bomb.

Bomber Command:

Aircraft Used:  573 Lancasters and 14 Mosquitos of Nos 1, 5. 6 and 8 Groups

Losses: 10 Lancasters lost.

Summary: Carried out two attacks, 3 hours apart, on the synthetic oil plant at Leuna. The attacks caused severe damage throughout the plant. Albert Speer, in his post-war interrogations, stated that this was one of a group of most damaging raids on the synthetic-oil industry carried out during this period.