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Old 15th March 2005, 15:51
everard everard is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2005
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everard
the raid to Lanveoc Poulmic/ Brest 25th Oct 1943. Dutch 320.

My name is Everard Bakker and I am coming from Holland. Since 2001 I am writing the life-story of a airgunner of Dutch 320 Squadron RAF.
This veteran is 88 years old and is living in the house for Dutch veterans called Bronbeek in Arnhem. On the 25th Oct 1943 Mr Jonker became very heavily wounded on a raid of the Dutch 320 Squadron to Lanveoc Poulmic Brest. His Mitchell (FR 169 42-32514) made that day a emergency landing at Exeter.

In the month October 1943 the 2nd TAF (with the Mitchells B-25) made a several raids on the airfield Lanveoc Poulmic (Brest). On the 25th Oct 1943 there was a raid of the Dutch 320 and the Br. 98th Squadron RAF together.

I am very interested about information of the raid on 25th Oct 1943. This date one Dutch Mitchell exploded in the sky (FR 178 W 42-64788) and another Dutch Mitchell (FR 166 R 42-32352) ditched in the sea. Five Dutchmen were killed that day. One of them is still missing.
His name is Flying Officer C.J. Bank. He was born on the 27-08-1943 and killed on the 25-10-1943. Do you have information about the Flying Officer?

Are there monuments around Brest in relation to this raids?

I am also very interested what happened of the airfield Lanveoc Poulmic on that 25th Oct 1943.
I have heard that on that 25th Oct day, a lot of high level German officers were on the base. Is that true?

Three survivors of the ditched Dutch Mitchell escaped with a French Fisherboat. After the arrival in the harbour all of them were captured by the Germans. Does some one know what has happened with the Fishermen?

Is there a (aerial) picture of the airfield of Lanveoc Poulmic?

Could you help me with information about what has happened on the 25th Oct 1943 on the airfield Lanveoc Poulmic?

Does some one has information about what has happened with the 98th Squadron (B-25), that day?

In May this year I would like to visit Lanveoc Poulmic Brest.

With kind regards,

Everard Bakker
Holland


25 oktober 1943
"Twenty-four aircraft of 98 and 320 Squadrons were despatched to bomb
the Brest/Lanvioc Poulmic airfield. All went well until 320 began to lead
them in on the bomb run. To the surprise of 98's leader the Dutchmen
were flying straight and level despite the flak which was soon accurate.
There was suddenly a tremendous flash as Sgt. C. J. Bank's machine
received a direct hit. Then another, as Cdr. Bakker's Mitchell dis-
integrated in a welter of fragments and flame. Roosenburg found that
his hydraulics were out of action, instruments too, and that oil was
streaming from his starboard engine. Worse, he had an arm wound.
He managed to hold the aircraft level long enough for the bombs to be
dropped. Soon after he found he had lost 3,000 feet, wrestled to regain
control and steered for home alone. He skidded to a belly landing at
Portreath.
The tremendous force of the explosions had thrown the aircraft of the
leader, J. H. Maas, on to its back, then it too received a direct hit
between the radio operator's position and the dorsal turret. At once the
machine went into a dive from which recovery was miraculously made
since the controls were badly damaged. The air gunner (this is Leendert Jonker) had been seriously wounded and was given immediate first aid. Then all movable
gear was taken to the rear of the Mitchell until trim was adjusted.
Crippled, it staggered back to Exeter for an excellent landing despite
two tyres punctured and extensive structural damage.
There was a major enquiry into what had gone wrong. It was the
considered opinion of the survivors that the leader might have sooner
begun evasive action, and that the second box was too close to the first.
Nevertheless the raid was not a failure, for 98 Squadron had scored
accurate bombing on ammunition stores, hangars and dispersals."

Michael J.F. Bowyer
2 group R.A.F.
A Complete history, 1936-1945
Offensive Crescendo p. 336
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