18-24 January 1943


This was a quieter week for 12 Sqn due to inclement weather with only 2 operations being carried out and 1 aircraft and crew lost attacking Dusseldorf. This was one of only 2 Lancasters lost on that mission, the other being from 460 Sqn.

Weather was always a major problem for Bomber Command and 10/10ths cloud i.e. complete cloud cover, made finding and marking a target extremely difficult, if not impossible. Equally, the weather over the target might be clear enough for an attack but if there was to be bad weather, for the return leg, over the bomber airfields in the East of England, especially fog, then operations would normally be cancelled. Another factor affecting missions was the state of the moon. As Bomber Command main force (of which RAF Wickenby was a part) only attacked at night, a full or three quarter moon normally meant no flying as it presented too much visibility to the enemy night fighters. Of course, the Germans knew this too, so could estimate on which nights they might be attacked by the RAF, based on the moon and the weather, but they just didn’t know where and what route would be taken.

Extract from 12 Sqn Diary

Extract from Appendix to 12 Sqn Operational Record Book

Comments at the bottom of this page were compiled by members of the Wickenby Register after the war using sources from the National Archives and aircrew recollections:

Funeral services for this crew were initially held at the Stadt Friedhof in Monchengladbach on 27th January 1943, they were subsequently moved to the Rheinberg War Cemetery.

Flight Sergeant Thomas Frank Dimmock was 21 and the son of Thomas & Kitty Irene Dimmock of Yeronga, Queensland, Australia.

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