11-17 January 1943


At this time, Bomber Command was building up its strength and gradually replacing the older Wellingtons with Lancasters. By this week in January 1943 there were 128 Wellingtons, 104 Halifaxes and 178 Lancasters operational amongst a total of 515 first line aircraft. The larger series of raids, involving hundreds of bombers were not yet happening, but Sir Arthur Harris, Commander in Chief of Bomber Command, was biding his time for the forthcoming battles of the Ruhr and Berlin.

12 Squadron Operations

  • 11/1/43 ESSEN – 8 a/c F/S BAKER F.T.R.
  • 12/1/43 ESSEN – 7 a/c nil casualties reported
  • l3/l/43 ESSEN – 3 a/c ni1 casualties reported (Sgt Atwood and crew were on temporary attachment to 103 Sqn and FTR from this operation. Casualty action was taken by 103 Sqn)
  • 16/1/43 BERLIN – 13 a/c nil casualties reported
  • FTR = Failed to Return
  • a/c = aircraft

Extract from 12 Sqn Operational Record Book Appendix

The following information is taken from the Operational Record Book (RAF F 540) completed immediately after missions – the notes at the end were added later by members of the Wickenby Register:

  • 2nd P = Second pilot – it was normal for a new pilot to fly a mission with an experienced crew prior to flying with his own crew
  • A.H.B. = Air Historical Branch

Flight Sergeant Baker had completed 12 missions flying Wellingtons and this was his 3rd in a Lancaster. He was 21, unmarried and came from Harold Wood in Essex.

12 Sqn Diary – 11 Jan 43

Extract from 12 Sqn Operational Record Book Appendix (RAF F541)

Flight Sergeant Frederick Cecil Marsh (left), the Rear Gunner in PO Fansher’s aircraft – killed on night of 17/18 Jan 43. He was on attachment from 100 Sqn. He was 34 and came from Christchurch, Hampshire

Flight Sergeant Miller RAAF, was a graduate of Melbourne University.

Extract from 12 Sqn Diary

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