Post by flyboy on Feb 11, 2015 8:51:06 GMT
June 6th onwards
Following the troop landings in Europe there was the requirement for air support for the Allied forces. The pace was fast and furious as raids were pushed home with the Hartford Bridge squadrons playing a most important role in the containment of the German forces.
None is a better example than the attack on the Mondeville steel works in the middle of the month carried out by the based squadrons and described by Jimmy Armstrong of 226 Squadron in his log book as a 'Very good prang'.
The late F/Lt Les 'Ginger' Walker was on this attack and his recollection makes interesting reading:
" The land battle was not going too well. The Germans had pushed back into Caen and had fortified the Mondeville steel works which was located there. This heavily defended position was holding up the advance of the 51st Highlanders as well as a Canadian Division. Air strikes were therefore called for and in a joint operation 72 Mitchell and Boston bombers dropped 500 and 1000lb bombs to batter the factory strong points. Heavy and accurate anti-aircraft fire was encountered as we pressed home the attack. It was very successful and the works were captured the following day.
" The aircraft used in this raid had departed Hartford Bridge between 17.45 and 18.15hrs and on arrival at the target we were at medium level at about 7000 feet. We experienced intense accurate flak on our extended bomb run into the target, which was to give us ample time to position our aircraft to ensure accurate bombing results on the factory area in view of the close proximity of our troops. The bombing was accurate and the attack a complete success.
" It was my 50th bombing operation and having completed it successfully I was only a few days and three operations away from being taken off operational flying. I was at that time feeling mentally exhausted and not a little 'flak happy' and so was pleased to accept this chance of a rest from further operational duties."