Saturday 30 April 2022

Last bombing raids over London, 'Baby Blitz' 18-19 April 1944 (Obstlt. Karl Kessel Kommodore KG 2)


 ..a few comments on a recent FB group concerning the last raid over London mounted by the Kampfgeschwader of the Luftwaffe. Did Luftwaffe bombers raid London in 1944, when was the last mission flown over London ? 

Luftflotte 3 put up nearly 125 bombers for a mission over London for the last time on the night of 18-19 April, 1944. Junkers Ju 188 and Dornier Do 217 bombers from KG 2 may have reached the target area (Tower Bridge - London Docks) in small numbers ...

Below; Obstlt Karl Kessel, Stab/KG 2, Soesterberg (Holland) - preparing for a mission over the UK during the so-called 'Baby Blitz'.  Official photos probably taken to mark the award of the RK to the Geschwaderkommodore KG 2 in early 1944..

Based on the various ORBs, RAF night fighters had a successful night and some 18 bombers were downed. In No. 25 Sq. " a Ju 188 was shot down by F/Lt Carr. P/O Travers chased a Do 217 to the Dutch coast. The enemy aircraft, with an engine on fire, was losing altitude and is claimed as a 'probable'. P/O Panter unsuccessfully pursued a very agile Ju 188 which eluded him but in return shot down a Me 410 encountered off the Dutch coast.." In No. 85 Sq.  " W/C Miller flying with Norwegian Captain Lovestad headed for an aircraft caught in the searchlights, saw the crosses and shot it down. A gunner fired but the rounds passed under the Mosquito. The bomber came down at Dymchurch on the Kent coast. Two prisoners were taken. Sq/Ldr Burbridge, on his return, spotted a Ju 188 before firing a three second burst. One engine caught fire and the bomber hit the sea..." Elsewhere two 125 Sq. aircraft "were dispatched towards Greater London but no contact was made...." 

( in "Opération ‘Steinbock’ La dernière grande offensive de la Luftwaffe sur l’Angleterre - Janvier-juin 1944" by Bernard Roland in 'Batailles Aériennes')


Above;  targeting London - a Do 217 crew prepares for a mission over England during 1944, Stab-KG.2, Soesterberg (images via DB @ "Luftwaffe Fliegerhorste" on FB). 

Below; Kessel and his crew in front of their Do 217 K