Air power over Europe, 1944-1945 (Australia in the war of by John Herington

By John Herington

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E U R O P E detailed as specialist wind-finders, as with so small a force on a long journey it was essential to advise other navigators of any meteorological change so that all aircraft could arrive simultaneously and deliver a con­ centrated attack. F. squadrons at Waddington sent 2 1 Lancasters and there were nearly a dozen other Australian pilots in this force, which set out in poor weather but met no opposition over France. LE·ROGER. s�� C. ,Evreu2£ e FAuviLl. ST. ANDRE. - Di L'EURE flit.. () CHATEAUDUN A N c • A.

F. A category system similar to that for airfield attacks was adopted, so that after each raid it could be assessed how many "live" targets remained. There was considerable opposition to the plan, partly from political sources which deplored the possible loss of French lives and disruption of French economy, partly from military sources which considered that quick Allied advances towards Germany would equally be thwarted, but principally from within the air forces themselves. Harris fought tenaciously against any diversion of Bomber Command from strategic attack against German industry, denied emphatically the possibility of daylight operations or the ability to hit tactical targets accurately by night, and pointed out the dangers of allowing the enemy to transfer air units to France.

E U R O P E 1944 flown on this occasion, for only the night before three crews, including that of Squadron Leader Smith,5 a particularly well loved veteran flight commander, had failed to return from a raid on Lille. Such losses inevitably affected the spirit of junior crews, and Balmer's action in leading the next sortie was another, and unfortunately the last, act of his fine record of leadership. It was indeed fortunate for No. 467 that Wing Commander Brill, a very experienced officer then serving his second tour with No.

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