Sortie 8

Date:  25th October 1944

Target:  Essen (Ruhr Valley)

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

Aircraft:  ND933(L)

Role:  Supporter              

Take Off: 13.18  Landing: 17.04

Crew Report:

35 Squadron ORB: 16 aircraft took part in a daylight attack on targets in Essen. A gap in the 10/10ths prevailing cloud made visual identification possible and bombing appeared fairly accurate.

Bomber Command:

Aircraft Used: 771 aircraft – 508 Lancasters, 251 Halifaxes, 12 Mosquitos – attacked Essen.

Losses: 2 Halifaxes and 2 Lancasters lost.

Summary: The bombing was aimed at skymarkers, because the target area was covered by cloud.

The Bomber Command report states that the attack became scattered, but the local Essen report shows that more buildings were destroyed – 1,163 – than in the heavier night attack which had taken place 36 hours previously. A photographic reconnaissance flight which took place after this raid showed severe damage to the remaining industrial concerns in Essen, particularly to the Krupps steelworks. Some of the war industry had already moved to small, dispersed factories but the coal mines and steelworks of the Ruhr were still important. The Krupps steelworks were particularly hard-hit by the two raids and there are references in the firm’s archives to the ‘almost complete breakdown of the electrical supply network’ and to ‘a complete paralysis’. The Borbeck pig-iron plant ceased work completely and there is no record of any further production from this important section of Krupps.