5 Group Bomber Command: An Operational Record
During the immediate period before World War Two, the RAF modified its command structure to rationalize for rapid expansion. Bomber Command was divided into six operational groups, each flying the same type of aircraft. In 1939 5 Group was flying the Handley Page Hampden, a fast, modern aircraft that carried a large payload. However, during the early daylight raids into enemy occupied Europe it suffered great losses due to its defensive armament leaving too many blind spots. The Group now turned to night bombing and mine-laying operations. During November 1940, the first Avro Manchesters entered service but were to prove dangerously unreliable. It was not until the Avro Lancaster began arriving in strength that the Group began its proud history of successful and often highly dangerous raids into the Reich, the most famous of which was No 617 Squadron's attack on the Mohne, Eder and Sorpe dams. Between 1939 and 1945 the Group flew 70,351 sorties with the loss of 1,888 aircraft. This book contains a lengthy narrative of the group's operations and contains individual squadron statistics, their commanding officers, stations and aircraft losses. It provides a detailed reference for one of the RAF's most important and successful operational groups.
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A Narrative History
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44 Squadron 5th highest number 617 Squadron 9 Sqn aircraft operational losses attack Bomber Command bombing Category of Operations Cologne Coningsby Converted Crash-landed Crashed in Lincolnshire Crashed on approach Crashed on landing Crashed on take-off damage Davey crew Diisseldorf Dortmund-Ems Canal Duisburg failed to return flak flight commander following night FTR Berlin FTR Bremen FTR Cologne FTR Duisburg FTR Dusseldorf FTR Essen FTR Frankfurt FTR from mining FTR Hamburg FTR Munich FTR Nuremberg FTR St Leu FTR Stuttgart FTR Wesseling Gelsenkirchen Germany Group Hampdens Hemswell highest number Ladbergen Lancaster operational losses Lancaster sorties Lancaster squadrons Lincolnshire losses in Bomber mining sortie Mosquito night fighter number of aircraft number of Lancaster number of overall number of sorties Operation Chastise operations in Bomber Pathfinder raid return from Berlin Scampton Skellingthorpe sorties in Bomber Sqn and back St Leu d'Esserent Swinderby target torpedo bomber Waddington Wilhelmshaven Wing Commander Woodhall Spa