Sortie 6

Date:  14th October 1944

Target:  Duisburg (Ruhr Valley) 

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

Aircraft:  PB199(N)

Role:  Supporter              

Take Off: 23.11  Landing: 03.16

Crew Report:

35 Squadron ORB: Shortly after 07.00hrs 15 aircraft set out to attack targets in Duisburg. Duisburg was again heavily attacked at night with 15 squadron aircraft taking part; all returned safely to base.

Bomber Command:

Aircraft Used: No heavy bombers had flown on operations for 48 hours and 1,013 aircraft – 519 Lancasters, 474 Halifaxes and 20 Mosquitos – were dispatched to Duisburg with RAF fighters providing an escort.

957 bombers dropped 3,574 tons of high explosive and 820 tons of incendiaries on Duisburg.

Losses: 14 aircraft were lost – 13 Lancasters and 1 Halifax; it is probable that the Lancasters provided the early waves of the raid and drew the attention of the German flak before the flak positions were overwhelmed by the bombing.

Summary: This raid was part of a special operation which has received little mention in the history books. On 13 October, Sir Arthur Harris received the directive for Operation Hurricane: ‘In order to demonstrate to the enemy in Germany generally the overwhelming superiority of the Allied Air Forces in this theatre … the intention is to apply within the shortest practical period the maximum effort of the Royal Air Force Bomber Command and the VIIIth United States Bomber Command against objectives in the densely populated Ruhr.’

Bomber Command had probably been forewarned of the directive because it was able to mount the first part of the operation soon after first light on 14 October.