Sheffield WW2 crashed bomber fly-past campaign starts

Member for

20 years 1 month

Posts: 985

Freeman doesn’t mention ‘diversions’, rather ‘Primary’, ‘secondary’ or ‘targets of opportunity’.

On 22 February 1944, 289 B-17s from 1st Bomb Division were despatched to attack a number of targets.

Aschersleben (Primary) 34 aircraft, Bernburg (Primary) 47 and Halberstadt (Primary) 18.

‘Targets of opportunity’ were Bunde 32, Wernegerode 19, Magdeburg 15 and Marburg 9, plus 7 other T/Os.

I’m fairly certain these are all in Germany.

It’s not possible to work out where the 305th BG and “Mi Amigo” went. The 305th would have flown from RAF Chelveston.

Member for

13 years 5 months

Posts: 9,690

The 'targets of opportunity' may have all been in Germany but it seems that, in the bad weather of a European winter, some of the bombers were not where they thought they were when they bombed.....or were they?

According to Wikipedia this seems to have been more the case with the 177 B-24 bombers of the 2nd Bomb Division than with the 289 B-17 bombers of the 1st Bomb Division. However, reading between the lines, there are an awful lot of bombs that don't seem to be accounted for; were they all safely jettisoned at sea or brought back to base?

I had never heard of the 'accidental' bombing of Nijmegen that day; and now it seems that it wasn't as accidental as was suggested at the time. The more you look into this history the more interesting it becomes!

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bombing_of_Nijmegen

Member for

20 years 1 month

Posts: 985

Freeman - 22 February 1944 - 2BD 177 B-24s dispatched. 74 effective. 3 MIA. Targets of opportunity, Enschede, Arnhem, Nijmegen and Deventer.

“2BD was recalled when 100 miles inland [weather], and since they were over Germany they sought T/O; however, strong winds caused the formation to drift over Holland and four targets were bomb unintentionally.”

Member for

10 years 5 months

Posts: 140

Great news update on the BBC with a flypast now planned weather permitted being provided by the USAF.

Profile picture for user D1566

Member for

13 years 10 months

Posts: 2,025

Brilliant, what a tribute and what a turn out by the people of Sheffield.

Profile picture for user Wyvernfan

Member for

12 years 4 months

Posts: 5,816

Very moving - what an incredible effort by Tony and the RAF / USAF !

Profile picture for user RAFRochford

Member for

14 years

Posts: 911

Superb! Brought a lump to my throat. Amazing to see such an incredible turn out for this memorial. Well done tony and all involved...and also the many that turned up. Quite a sight to see. Would have been lovely if Sally B had been available.

Profile picture for user PeterVerney

Member for

10 years 9 months

Posts: 1,020

This moistened my eyes, and also brought back strong memories that I have of seeing a Fortress go down on top of the inland cliff which now stands above the Eurotunnel terminal near Folkestone. They had been attacking the Doodlebug sites in the Pas de Calais and we had been able to see them being shot down by the Jerry flak over there. Now 86 I still have vivid memories of those days but no PTSD which the papers are saying many people suffer from today, incredible.

Profile picture for user Ant.H

Member for

20 years 1 month

Posts: 2,953

I have to admit I was very surprised to see the BBC make such a headline of the event, it makes you realise just how important these things still are to people and that the memory of guys like these isn't in the least bit dead. I think if we are honest, there are many people on a forum such as this who end up wondering if such past events are all forgotten and/or that nobody cares, but it's events such as this that just go to illustrate how quietly important these things are.

Congratulations to everyone who pulled this event together, not least Mr. Foulds for tending to the memorial so devotedly over the years. Inspirational.