Saturday, 27 March 2010

153 Sqn. 27th March 1945 - Paderborn


low level bombing.

These posts follow Sqn operations from Jan '45 to the end of hostilities in real time. My father served in this squadron.

For 153 Sqn, the final operation of the month took place on 27th March when 14 aircraft were sent to Paderborn. (There should have been 15 but RF 205(P4-2ndW), on its first operation, lost an engine on take off and had to abort after jettisoning its load). There was little opposition from either air or ground forces but dense cloud necessitated bombing only on sky markers.

During the Third Reich the town was used as a military loading station, and the railway station shows signs of this - there are facilities for loading military vehicles onto trains which are still regularly used by the British and German armies. The Catholic order of the Salvatorians, who were based in the still-standing Heilandsfrieden House, was disbanded and driven out of nearby Sennelager by the Nazis in 1941, and were forbidden to settle anywhere in Westphalia or in the Rhineland.

At the end of World War II, the historic military base passed first briefly into the administration of the United States Army, before a more long-term handover to the British who retain control to this day, using the area as a training facility.
Currently some 10,000 British citizens live in the area, members of the armed forces stationed there, or as dependants.

5 comments:

Chelle said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog. :)

The picture and the story in this post are really neat. Where did you get the picture? Isn't it fun to look back on things our fathers did and know the history behind them? Heritage and history are so important. Thanks for sharing!

Kat_RN said...

These posts always make me feel like I should write more of my own military memories down. Will anyone want to know in days to come? (It has been a long day at work and I am tired, have a lovely evening)
Kat

Alistair said...

I think you should Kat.

I have spent a fair bit of time lately in an on line archive called 'The People's War' where tales and reminiscences of almost anyone; combatant, adult or child, have been collected and stored as almost a virtual memory. It's a very touching and thought provoking place to go in many ways As generations move on I think its important that they leave behind a tangible link to the past, make connection easier and more relevant. Its easy to see these experiences as isolated, belonging to books or to those who write about history, to forget that history is very real human experience. It's important to give someone the potential of making that link.

They say too that history is 'written by the victors' adnd that perspective is skewed accordingly - we only know many religious heresies by the records of the inquisition. How would we feel if we only knew the story of The French Resistance for example, through the records of the Gestapo.

They say we all have a book in us. Perhaps it's a history book.

Alistair said...

Hi Chelle,

thanks for stopping by here too.

The photo is from the web. Judging by the low level attack in daylight, lack of defense and from the field patterns it could well be part of Germany late in the war.

Ivor Blight said...

My family were in Paderborn when the strike hit. It was a country market town with no military significance. the attack was purely revenge as were many during this period of bombing. my family's house was destroyed along with many many others and the Dom.
My family were not members of the Nazi party and, though my grandfather was then in his 70s, his one small act of defiance was to say "Drei Liter" when people greeted him with the normal Nazi salute of Heil hitler

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