Sortie 7

Date:  23rd October 1944 [ABORTED]

Target:  Essen (Ruhr Valley)

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

Aircraft:  PB529(M)

Role:  Supporter              

Take Off: 17.07  Landing: 19.31

Crew Report:

35 Squadron ORB: Of 13 aircraft detailed to attack Essen, one failed to take off and two returned early through technical defects. The remainder attacked in poor conditions and returned safely to base.

Bomber Command:

Aircraft Used: 1,055 aircraft – 561 Lancasters, 463 Halifaxes, 31 Mosquitos – to Essen.

Losses: 5 Lancasters and 3 Halifaxes were lost.

Summary: This was the heaviest raid on this target so far in the war and the number of aircraft dispatched was also the greatest number to any target so far; these new records were achieved without the Lancasters of No 5 Group being included.

4,538 tons of bombs were dropped. More than 90 per cent of this tonnage was high explosive (and included  509 4,000-pounders) because it was now considered that most of the burnable buildings in Essen had been destroyed in earlier raids. The greater proportion of high explosive, against all the trends in earlier area-bombing raids, was now quite common in attacks on targets which had suffered major fire damage in 1943.