This mission was to Louvieres, RRB. I had been there twice already and had superior and a good result. This time I'd destroy it! Or so I thought. The weather changed from good to bad, flak was strong, fair. Two ships left over the Channel and two were shot down by flak, one of them was Lead, Box 2, I was also in Box 2, #4, Low.
I took three hits to the left wing. First hit in the main tank, and without a lucky charm it would have been a fuel tank fire. I had one lucky charm left and used it to negate that hit.
The second hit was on the outboard flap, superficial damage. The third, again to the main tank and this time - fuel tank fire! I left formation in a dive, but the fire continued, so my only option was to dump the bombs and bail out.
Five parachutes were seen, the pilot did not get out. In bad weather the plane went out of control before he had a chance to bail out. The five crew men landed, but due to the bad weather, the radio operator and the bombardier-navigator were killed when they landed. The armorer had also a bad landing and was injured (light wound). The engineer became a prisoner of war. The co-pilot landed safely but is now MIA. Perhaps he landed in the River Seine and drowned. The armorer is also MIA.
The bridge is still standing. neither box could find the aim point in the bad weather.