|Wangerooge: 482 aircraft - 308 Halifaxes, 158 Lancasters, 16 Mosquitos - of Nos 4, 6 and 8 Groups. 5 Halifaxes and 2 Lancasters lost. The raid was intended to knock out the coastal batteries on this Frisian island which controlled the approaches to the ports of Bremen and Wilhelmshaven. No doubt the experience of Antwerp, when guns on the approaches had prevented the port being used for several weeks, prompted this raid. The weather was clear and bombing was accurate until smoke and dust obscured the target area. The areas around the batteries were pitted with craters but the concreted gun positions were 'hardly damaged'; they were all capable of firing within a few hours. Part of the bombing hit a camp for forced workers and the holiday resort and many buildings were destroyed, including several hotels and guest houses, the Catholic church and two children's holiday homes, although these do not appear to have been occupied at the time of the bombing. |
6 of the 7 bombers lost were involved in collisions - 2 Halifaxes of 7No 6 Squadron, 2 Lancasters of No 431 Squadron and 2 Halifaxes of Nos 408 and 426 Squadrons (both from Leeming airfield). There was only 1 survivor, from one of the No 76 Squadron aircraft. 28 Canadian and 13 British airmen were killed in the collisions. The seventh aircraft lost was a Halifax of No 347 (Free French) Squadron, whose crew were all killed.