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Airman 1st Class
Jul 26, 2005
12 May 1940 - In an attack on the Maas bridges, four out of five Battles are shot down. Fg Off Garland and Sgt Gray are later posthumously awarded the first air VCs of the War.


6 Apr 1941 - Six Beaufort torpedo-bombers attack the German cruiser Gneisenau, anchored in Brest harbour. One, piloted by Fg Off Kenneth Campbell, makes a successful attack before being shot down, inflicting serious damage that took six months to repair. For this, Campbell was awarded a posthumous VC. Also on this day, German forces simultaneously invade Yugoslavia and Greece.


4 Jul 1941 - A low-level daylight raid on Bremen, Germany by 15 Blenheims of Nos. 105 and 107 Sqns, results in the award of the Victoria Cross to the formation leader, Wing Commander H I Edwards.


9 Dec 1941 - Japanese aircraft attack Alor Star airfield, Malaya. From the two squadron of Blenheims based there, only one aircraft survives; its pilot, Flt Lt A S K Scarf single-handedly overcame strong enemy defences to attack Singora airfield in the North. After recovering to Alor Star, Flt Lt Scarf died from his wounds, and was posthumously awarded the Victoria Cross five years later when the full facts of his heroism were established.


30-31 May 1942 - The first 1,000-bomber raid. 1,047 aircraft were des patched to Cologne, of which 868 attacked the main target dropping 1,455 tons of explosives, two-thirds of which were incendiaries. The city suffered severe damage and 469 people were killed. About 250 factories and 18,400 houses were destroyed or damaged. Half of the city's power supply was out of action, and some 12,000 fires started, many of which burned for days. Forty one aircraft were lost, and Fg Off T Manser was posthumously awarded the VC for remaining at the controls of his No. 50 Sqn Manchester to allow his crew to bale out.


17-25 Sep 1944 - Operation Market Garden, the airborne invasion of Holland begins. During the morning of 17 Sep, some 3,887 Allied aircraft, including 1,053 Dakota transports and 500 gliders towed by Stirling and Halifax bombers, were involved in supporting or airdropping 35,000 men behind enemy lines in three areas; Arnhem to the North, Eindhoven some 65 miles further south and Nijmegen in the centre. During the initial phase of the operation not one RAF transport was lost. The attempted capture of bridges over three rivers met with fierce resistance on the ground, and air support from 2nd TAF Typhoons was needed to take out enemy gun positions. Over the following 7 days, aerial resupply by Dakotas, Stirlings and gliders resulted in the loss of 238 aircraft and 139 gliders, but the bridges at Nijmegen and Eindhoven were captured. Of some 10,00 men dropped at Arnhem, more than 7,500 were killed and the remnants evacuated after nine days of bitter conflict. Flight Lieutenant D S Lord of No. 271 Sqn, was posthumously awarded a VC for his conspicuous bravery during the resupply mission on 19 September; the only one awarded to a Transport Command pilot during the Second World War.


short stirlings,arnhem bridge,flt lie d.s.lord

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