Ian Ross and his Lancaster crew had a special briefing from
Bomber Command; their targets would now be special ones requiring
accuracy and nerve, as they would often be carrying the very
large “Tallboy” 12,000 lb bomb, which was normally
carried by just this one squadron.
Crews prepare for the next mission using the "Tallboy".
target with 617 Squadron was the railway marshalling yards at
Juvisy, in France. The mission was carried out on the 18th April
followed by a raid on La Chapelle on the 29th. Factories at Brunswick,
Germany were attacked and bombed on the 22nd. The final bombing
mission for April was carried out flying to Milan in Italy on
|From May 3rd
to May 31st 1944, much navigational practise was undertaken in
preparation for “D-DAY”, June 6 th. The crew were
briefed for a new mission that was to be “special and accurate” a
course was flown by the squadron for several hours over Germany
dropping radar-jamming material to make the enemy think that
the bombers were invading in a different area.
Pens Brest - 5th August 1944.
Codenamed “Window” it
consisted of thin strips of aluminium foil cut to the special
size of 265mm (10 ½” long) half the wavelength
of the German radar, then dropped at height in hundreds of
bundles from the aircraft when they reached the German defences,
as it broke up it drifted miles to the ground thus creating
a ”snowstorm” effect blinding the radar operators
of any visual display of allied bombers on their radar screens.
The flak defences and the German night fighter control headquarters
were completely disrupted and confused by this strange phenomenon.
It was a brilliant success and outstandingly clever at deceiving
all enemy radar stations.
||One such raid
using “Window” was to Hamburg, Bomber Command knew
that the shipyards of Hamburg were producing fleets of U-Boats
that were still causing untold losses to Allied shipping in the
Atlantic, and that massive concentrations of war industry armaments
was being produced there. On the night of 24/25 July 1943, and
the following nights “Operation Gomorrah” would be
carried out, it was designed to obliterate the city with massive
bombing raids using high explosives, and incendiary bombs.
secret of Bomber Command was used, millions of tin foil strips
were thrown from the bombers by the allied air crews, to the
effect that the radar stations of the ground and night fighter
crews of the Luftwaffe were completely “Blinded” and
confused by it’s use, there-by giving a clear unmolested
run for the allied bombers to destroy the city in a “Firestorm” … like
the force of a “Hurricane” the bombs exploded and
enveloped the city in fire-ball, a cauldron of destruction… suffocating
thousands to death.