Sunday, 7 March 2010

153 Sqn. March 7th 1945 - Dessau

These posts follow 153 Sqn operations from Jan '45 to the end of hostilities in real time.

This being a period of moonless nights, no-one was greatly surprised that on 7th March a further 'Thunderclap' target was selected - the town of Dessau, lying midway between Berlin and Leipzig. 153 Squadron dispatched 14 of its remaining 16 aircraft, which encountered cloud all the way out and back, resulting in a sketchy attack. The outward journey took the Main Force north of the Ruhr on a course seemingly destined for Berlin. There was intense night fighter reaction to the perceived threat; combats occurred all along the route. One fighter, crossing through the stream of bombers, nearly collided with Tom Tobin who recalled - "He was so close that I felt I could shake hands with him, as we whistled past!"

The night recorded a significant milestone, F/O George Bishop, RCAF, and except for the F/Eng, his all-Canadian crew, became the first to complete the new tour requirement of 36 operations, all of which were flown with 153(B) Squadron. They flew the last twelve of these operations in only five weeks.

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