Raid on Wanne-Eickel, Germany: 09 November 1944

On the morning of November 9th, 1944, Warrent Officer Woods, an Australian, was the Air Bomber of a Lancaster aircraft detailed to attach the synthetic oil plant at Wanne-Eickel.

On the run up to the target at a height of 20,000 feet, the aircraft was hit by heavy flak and fragments entered teh cockpit and one splinter caused a severe wound on the Captain's face.

Warrent Officer Woods assumed control of the aircraft after the target had been bombed and flew it back throughtout the entire arduous journey to this Country, where the Captain was assisted back into the pilot's seat to execute a fine landing at Manston at 12:00 (The first bomber command plane down after us was at 12:40). This Warrent Officer Bomb Aimer has no previous practical flying experience, his only assistance in the art had been gained from a few hours spent in the Link Trainer. During the journey to this Country high cloud and icing were encountered and this cuased a temporary unserviceability of the Air Speed Indicator and artificial horizon. At no time was the Bomb Aimer flustered and he displayed skill, initiative and determination of a high order. His course flying and ability to maintain height were extremely accurate and in consideration of his inexperience the who performance was remarkable.

Had it not been for me saving six people on our final raid to Wanne-Eikel, there would have only been two of us left. I became only the fourth non-pilot in the whole of the American and British Air Forces to have flown the plane back to England after the pilot was severely wounded.

For my efforts on this sortie I was commissioned and immediately awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross on 23 November 1944.

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