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.
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