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Avro Lancaster P1. P2. P3.

On the night of 8th May 1944 Avro Lancaster Mk III TL-J of 35 Pathfinder Squadron was engaged on a raid to attack military targets at Haine.

During that raid, the Lancaster was attacked three times by enemy aircraft. The first time the attack was carried out by a Ju88 from an unknown squadron.

The Lancaster pilot, John Forde was able to corkscrew the Lancaster violently enough to shake off and lose the Ju88 attacker in the dark.

As was normal, the Lancasters gunners did not fire, as the flash of the guns was likely to reveal their position to other marauding enemy aircraft. In sstead, they passed information to the pilot so that he could take avoiding action.

However, despite Fordes efforts, a second enemy aircraft, an Me110, located TL-J but once again Forde was able to shake it off.

Luck just was not with the crew of Lancaster TL-J that night and they were picked up again, by another Messerschmitt Me110 night fighter which, with the aid of radar, persisted with the attack.

The rear gunner, Victor Roe was injured and his turret put out of action by cannon fire from the enemy aircraft.

Despite his injuries and unserviceable turret, the captain was able to manoeuver the Lancaster in such a way that the rear gunner was able to bring his guns to bear and the enemy aircraft was seen to be hit by fire from Roes guns.

With its starboard engine ablaze, it descended rapidly into cloud and was lost.

Victor Roe, the rear gunner was awarded an immediate DFM for his skill and courage in fighting off the enemy.


Avro Lancaster ME333 TL-S Pathfinders
avro Lancaster me333 TL-S 35 Squadron
All images Copyright Avery Little