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British Military Aviation in 1943

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Comments and reviews What are comments? Add a comment. Fairfield City Council. High Country Library Corporation. Lake Macquarie City Library. State Library of South Australia. University of Adelaide. During this month Allied air and naval forces sink 41 U-Boats, bringing total losses from the beginning of to Trent for his attack on an Amsterdam power station during which his squadron was attacked by very large numbers of enemy fighters.

An Airborne Lifeboat is used operationally for the first time, when it is dropped from an aircraft of No.


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Royal Air Force maritime patrol aircraft sink three U-boats in one day. A Handley Page Halifax of No. Meanwhile a Lockheed Hudson of No. A Consolidated Liberator maritime patrol aircraft of No. It is originally thought to have been sunk as the result of subsequent attacks by a Short Sunderland of No.

Bombers over Berlin the RAF offensive November 1943 - March 1944

However, it now appears that U was forced to dive by approaching destroyers and then sank because of the damage inflicted by the Liberator. This may properly be said to mark the first successful use of an air-dropped precision weapon in air warfare. The Sunderland and the two warships had actually combined to sink U A force of 19 specially modified Avro Lancasters of No.

Only twelve Lancasters reach the target area. One is forced to return after flying so low that it strikes the sea, which tears away the Upkeep bomb. Five are shot down by enemy Flak anti-aircraft fire and one is so badly damaged by Flak that it is forced to turn back.

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Of the remaining aircraft, three attacked the Sorpe Dam and one the Schwelme Dam, neither of which are breached, and one fails to find its target in misty conditions and returns without releasing its bomb. Three further Lancasters are lost after they release their weapons. The raid is a significant success, creating widespread flooding.

Wing Commander Gibson is subsequently awarded the Victoria Cross, having delivered his attack with great accuracy and afterwards circling very low for half an hour, drawing the enemy fire to his aircraft to clear the way for the attacks that follow.


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  • During a heavy raid on Dortmund, the total weight of bombs dropped by Bomber Command on Germany reaches , tons. Congratulations on having delivered the first , tons of bombs on Germany to refute him". A Short Sunderland of No. The ensuing combat last for 45 minutes and sees the Sunderland shoot down three of the attacking Ju88s.

    The Sunderland is badly damaged, with one of its crew killed and three wounded. Nevertheless, the pilot, Flight Lieutenant C. Walker brings the aircraft safely back and is subsequently awarded the Distinguished Service Order. The combat indicated the seriousness with which the Germans viewed the Allied air threat to their U-boats transiting the Bay of Biscay from their French coastal ports.

    The Germans deployed long range Junkers Ju88s of Kampfgeschwader 40 and shorter ranged Focke Wulf Fw fighters to try to combat the threat of Allied aircraft. The patrols became known as Instep operations. Pantelleria Island is heavily attacked by Allied Forces. The island subsequently surrenders on the following day. Air Force RAF photographic reconnaissance reveals that rockets with an estimated range of up to miles are being developed at the German research facility at Peenemunde on the Baltic coast.

    Serrate operations - fighter interception by homing on to enemy transmissions; combined with airborne interception radar to give range indications - begin against German nightfighters. Duncan Sandys reports to a Parliamentary committee, established to investigate German weapon development, that there is evidence that the Germans might use pilotless aircraft the V1 'flying bomb' and long range guns, as well as rockets V2 for attacks on Britain.


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    • The invasion of Sicily Operation Husky opens with an airborne assault mounted from airfields in North Africa. Poor weather, combined with the inexperience of many of the USAAF transport aircraft crews that participate in the operation, results in only of the 3, US paratroops reaching designated drop zones. The 1st Airborne Division's air landing fare even worse, as 69 out of the gliders released land in the rough seas, drowning large numbers of men.

      Only twelve gliders, all towed by RAF aircraft with crews better versed in night operations, reach the correct landing zones. Fortunately the sea-borne landing fared rather better. Acting Wing Commander J. Nettleton VC is declared missing in action while serving with No. He and his crew have no known graves and are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial. The U fights back and shoots down the airship, one of whose crew is killed by a shark.

      This is the only airship lost to enemy action during the Second World War.

      RAF Raid Holland In Daylight (1942)

      U is damaged and forced to return to base. Bomber Command alone mounts 3, sorties, during which it drops a total of 8, tons of high explosive and incendiaries on the city.

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      Much of Hamburg was devastated by the bombing and the firestorm which follows the attack of July, and approximately 45, German civilians are killed. During the course of the Battle, 87 Bomber Command aircraft are lost, British and Allied airmen are killed, 65 captured and 7 interned in Sweden. The first attack of the Battle of Hamburg on July also saw the first use of Window tinfoil strips dropped from aircraft to simulate aircraft echoes and confuse ground search and nightfighter radars by RAF Bomber Command. The forerunner of modern 'chaff', Window proved very successful - only 12 of the bombers despatched were lost.

      The Germans attempt to land reinforcements by Junkers Ju52 transport aircraft on a coastal strip at Milazzo in the north of the island. Aaron for his actions during a mission to attack Turin in Italy.