AAR - Escort Bomber Raid on Essen 10/01/10 21:30

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Post  Skip19 on Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:00 am

F/Sgt Dojo lead a full Flight, his number two F/Sgt Speedy lead the second section with F/O Dezey while new boy W/O Steve partnered the CO.

The FaF bomber stream were forming up at Reims, a good 15 minutes flight from Lille, so we headed South East grabbing some altitude on the way. Some excellent formation flying kept the Flight together en route to target.

The plan was for 19 Squadron to fly east, ahead of the bomber stream and sweep or drag targets away from the DB7's. Spitfires of 121 Squadron flew close escort to the main body.

Upon reaching Reims at around 17k feet, the bomber stream were heading north, and 19 RAF Flight headed east, then hooked up north (in front of the bomber stream) over Gedinne at 24k.

Enemy air was light, all bar a solitary 109 at around 17k which was swiftly despatched by F/Sgt Dojo and W/O Steve, with F/.Sgt Speedy's section giving cover.

The bombers passed through the Gedinne area moments later, heading straight for their targets at Essen. W/O Steve had technical issues and had to RTB, so 19 Squadron formed a loose Vic and headed in front of the French Air Force stream to counter any more enemy fighters.

No further resistance was encountered until a pair of 109's were spotted screaming into the sky from Dusseldorf. Knowing they would not reach the altitude of the bombers in time, 19 RAF dropped down to 16k and engaged the two fighters. After 15 minutes of close turning combat in the moonlit clouds, F/O Dezey called low on fuel. With our efforts preventing the 109's being able to come up through the low cloud, and 19 RAF not wanting to play in the heavy flak over Dusseldorf, we wisely disengaged and headed west, for a fairly uneventful RTB and a safe landing at Antwerp for tea and debrief.

19 RAF registered a single kill (109 E4) and several damages.

All in all the bomber mission was a great success, only 1 solitary bomber being shot down (after failing to keep formation)

Commendations to all pilots who took part. Destroying the axis factories and denying their air superiority over their own cities is a demoralising and crushing blow which will be felt high up in the echelons of the German High Comand!

Well done all! Very Happy

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Post  speedy77 on Mon Jan 11, 2010 11:22 pm

Nice report Dojo!

At 80mins it was a long flight, and though at the end I'd lost all feeling in my ears due to my cheapo headset, it was good fun and gave a warm fuzzy feeling to know we helped the bombers hit their target... *wipes away tear, extends arms for a group hug....lots of love in this room*

If anyone was is doubt about the effectiveness of our exploits there is a long thread in the BE forums about last nights raid....*smug mode off*

http://forums.battlegroundeurope.com/showthread.php?t=306767&page=1
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Post  Acroyer on Tue Jan 12, 2010 1:42 am

Sounds like you guys did great! (I was dragged, kicking and screaming, to go grocery shopping and chauffeur the wife to/from her eye doctor appointment...quality time, you know...sigh).

Form all accounts, 19 Squadron made a splendid showing!

<salute!>
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