the 14th - The 30th Mission
the 14th, was the date that the Lancaster crew had reached it’s
30th mission, at this stage the crew could come off operations
for 6 months or they could decide to carry on and commence until
they reached 45 missions, then their time would be finished on
operations. Half of the crew, 3 members did decide to rest but
the other 4 including Bill and his Captain Ian Ross made the
decision to carry on hoping to finish their tour of 45 missions….
and then take the rest that they most certainly and surely deserved.
operations began again and they were given the order to bomb
the U-Boat pens again at La Pallice which they did on the 16th
and 18th of August. Another bombing mission was to take them
to Ymuiden on the 24th.
11th the crews mission was to take them on a long flight
to Yagodnik, Northern Russia,
in preparation for
an attack on the huge, 832 feet long, 50,954 tonne German battleship “Tirpitz”.
The armaments it possessed was eight (380mm) 15” guns,
twelve (150mm) 5.9” guns,
sixteen 105mm (4.1”) guns, sixteen 37mm guns, and sixteen
20mm guns all for anti-aircraft use, and eight 533mm (21”)
battleship was found to be at anchor in Altenfiord, Norway.
This target was far too
distant from Britain
to make the return trip, so bombers would wait at Yagodnik for
favourable weather conditions. But after being in the air for
more than 13 hours, and due to the severe weather conditions
they were not able to find the airfield, the decision was made
that they would have to make a crash landing, so the crew braced
themselves for it as the Lancaster hit the ground, as it did
so the 12,000 lb “Tallboy” bomb
that they were carrying broke its tail off and
shot past the front of the crashed aircraft. The crew were
uninjured by the crash landing, and a few days
later on September 16th, 1944 flew back to England in another
fate of the “Tirpitz” was eventually sealed on
November 12th 1944, when a force of Lancaster bombers dropped
28 “Tallboy” bombs each weighing 12,000lb, on the
battleship, two found it’s target scoring direct hits
causing the massive ship to capsize, it was finished.
months of October and November, captain Ian Ross and his
crew found themselves mainly on flying exercises and bombing
But in December
the operation was to return to Ymuiden and attack it on the
15th. Orders were given to the crew to bomb Politz, which was
attacked on the 21st, Rotterdam on the 29th, and back to Ymuiden
on the 30th. Enemy ships were sighted in a fiord in Oslo, Norway
and so an operation was called, and the ships were attacked
and bombed on the 31st.