British Military Aviation in 1944

11 January
Operation Overlord: the beginning of the air operations designed to support
the Allied invasion of France.

21-22 January
The Luftwaffe launch Operation Steinbock, a bomber offensive against targets
in the United Kingdom, primarily London, in retaliation for RAF Bomber
Command attacks on Berlin. Although attacks on the capital continued until
the night of 20/21 April 1944, the results of this ‘Baby Blitz’ were poor
and Luftwaffe losses at the hands of RAF Fighter Command’s nightfighters
were heavy.

From late April, German attacks switched to the ports of southern England,
in which shipping for the forthcoming Allied invasion of north west Europe
was already massing. However, once again the offensive yielded little
tangible results for the Luftwaffe, at a high cost in men and machines.

22 January
Operation Shingle: Allied amphibious landings take place at Anzio in Italy,
in an effort to outflank the strong German defensive line known as the
Gustav Line. Allied air forces made heavy attacks on airfields and communications,
dropping 12,500 tons of bombs in three weeks. However, the Allied ground
forces failed to grasp the initiative and made little progress.

22 January

Luftwaffe attacks with Fritz-X radio guided glide bombs sink the cruiser
HMS Spartan and the destroyer HMS Janus.

15 February

United States Army Air Force (USAAF) bombing of the ancient monastery at Monte
Cassino in central Italy fails to dislodge the defenders but causes severe
damage to the monastery. The battle at Monte Cassino waged on until 18
May when exhausted Germans evacuated the stronghold and Allied forces
moved in. At least 20,000 soldiers were killed in the course battle.

18 February

Jericho: de Havilland Mosquitoes of Nos. 21, 464 and 487 Squadrons led
by Group Captain P.C. Pickard attack Amiens Prison in a bid to release

French Resistance workers held by the Germans. The raid was successful,
releasing 258 of the 700 prisoners held in the prison – although a further
102 were killed by the bombing. Two Mosquitoes were shot down during the
attack, including the aircraft flown by Group Captain Pickard and his
navigator, Flight Lieutenant J.A. Broadley. Both men lost their lives.

5-6 March

Thursday commences: Royal Air Force (RAF) and Unites States Army Air Force
(USAAF) transport aircraft fly in the leading elements of two Long Range
Penetration ‘Chindit’ brigades, under the command of Major General Orde
Wingate, to landing zones deep behind the Japanese lines in Burma. The
initial fly-in of the Chindits was completed on 11 March, by which time

Operation 9,000 men, 1,350 animals and 250 tons of supplies had been landed behind
Japanese lines.

Such a large assault was only possible due to the high degree of air superiority
established by the RAF and USAAF over Burma. Subsequently, as Wingate’s
troops, under the command of Brigadier Lentaigne following Wingate’s death
Operation in an air crash on 24 March, established blocking positions across the
Japanese lines of communication.

RAF transport squadrons assisted Wingate’s own ‘private air force’, the
USAAF’s 5318 Air Force Unit, generally known as

the ‘Air Commando’, in
supplying the Chindit force. The Chindits were withdrawn from April 1944.

6-7 March

RAF Bomber Command commences a series of attacks on French rail centres,
in preparation for the invasion, with a raid by 261 Handley Page Halifaxes
and six de Havilland Mosquitoes on the marshalling yard at Trappes. Railway
tracks, rolling stock and buildings were all heavily damaged, with no
aircraft lost.

19 March

Following Japanese Army attacks aimed at isolating British troops at Imphal and
Tiddim, the Douglas Dakotas of No.194 Squadron RAF and twenty Curtiss
C-46 Commando transport aircraft of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF)
airlifted a complete division to Imphal – a feat accomplished in 748 sorties.

Subsequently, during the siege of Imphal Allied transport units, reinforced
by units despatched from the Mediterranean, successfully kept the garrison
supplied until the siege was lifted on 22 June.

19 March

Allied air forces begin a comprehensive air interdiction campaign against
enemy lines of communication in Central Italy (Operation Strangle). However,
the continuity of the attack was hampered by bad weather; moreover, there
was no concurrent assault by Allied ground forces. As a consequence, the
logistical requirements of the German forces in Italy could still be met
even though the campaign reduced the ability to transport supplies. Operation
Strangle ended on 11 May 1944.

21 March

17 de Havilland Mosquitoes of Nos. 21, 464 and 487 Squadrons, with one
camera-equipped aircraft of the Royal Air Force (RAF) Film Production
Unit, attacked the Gestapo Headquarters in the Shellhaus building in Copenhagen.
The six-story building was wrecked but, tragically, one aircraft crashed
into a nearby school, causing heavy casualties.

24-25 March

Royal Air Force (RAF) prisoners in Stalag Luft III Prisoner of War Camp
at Sagan in Poland stage a mass breakout. Using a tunnel codenamed Harry,
76 prisoners escaped before the camp guards detected what is going on.
15 of the Prisoners of War were recaptured and returned to the camp, but
the escape so incensed Hitler and Himmler that 50 others were handed to
the Gestapo following their recapture and were subsequently shot in cold
blood. Those murdered included the leader of the escape, Squadron Leader
Roger Bushell. 8 PoWs were detained by the Gestapo and sentenced to death
but were not shot. 3 prisoners succeeded in evading the massive German
manhunt and escaping to neutral territory. This exploit later served as
the inspiration for the film The Great Escape.

Post-war, RAF war crimes investigators traced and brought to trial 18
former members of the Gestapo responsible for the murders and two others
committed suicide rather than face trial. 14 of the 18 accused were found
guilty and hanged, 2 were sentenced to life imprisonment and two received
sentences of 10 years.

24-25 March

In the last major raid of the ‘Battle of Berlin’, 811 aircraft of RAF
Bomber Command attack the German capital. However, an extremely powerful
north wind affected the manner in which the attack was conducted. This
wind carried the attacking force south, scattering the bomber stream and
the target markers dropped by the pathfinders. As a result no fewer than
126 towns and villages outside Berlin were bombed in error.

Nevertheless, during the attack the south-western suburbs of the city
were heavily damaged. Attack aircraft on the return leg of the mission
were forced to fly over some of the most heavily defended areas of Germany
and casualties were heavy with 72 aircraft lost. Although comparatively
small numbers of de Havilland Mosquitoes from No.8 Group’s Light Night
Striking Force would mount frequent raids on the German capital throughout
1944, Berlin would not be attacked again by the main force until the night
of 14-15 April 1945.

30 March
Victoria Cross

A posthumous Victoria Cross is awarded to Pilot Officer C.J. Barton for
his actions during the mission to bomb Nuremberg. Barton’s aircraft was
a Handley Page Halifax (LK797 ‘E’) of No.578 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command.

30-31 March

RAF Bomber Command suffers its heaviest losses during a single raid. On
the night in question, 795 aircraft (572 Avro Lancasters, 214 Handley
Page Halifaxes and 9 de Havilland Mosquitoes) were despatched to attack
the city of Nuremburg. Although the raid fell within the date of the normal
moon stand-down period, it was initially planned on the basis of an early
meteorological forecast of high-level cloud cover. However, this forecast
was incorrect and the bomber stream had to struggle to and from the target
in bright moonlight. Moreover, all deception attempts failed to confuse
the Luftwaffe nightfighter control network as to the identity of the target.
As a consequence, the attackers were faced with intense nightfigher opposition.

95 aircraft (64 Lancasters and 31 Halifaxes) were lost, a casualty rate
of 11.9%. Moreover, the raid was a failure, with some 120 aircraft attacked
Schweinfurt, 50 miles north-west of Nuremburg, in error due to incorrectly
forecast winds and those that reached the target inflicted little damage
on the city. A total of 545 British, Commonwealth and Allied airmen were
killed during the course of the raid.

5 April

Japanese troops besieged the garrison of Kohima in Burma – some 2,500
men – in a triangular area some 700 yards by 900 yards by 1,700 yards.
During the two-month siege, all supplies for the defenders were air-dropped
by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the United States Army Air Force (USAAF).

14 April

Allied strategic bombing forces in the North-west European theatre are
placed under the control of the Supreme Commander Allied Expeditionary
Force, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, for operations in support of the
invasion of Europe (Operation Overlord).

26 April
Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross is awarded to Sergeant N.C. Jackson, a flight engineer,
for climbing onto the wing of his aircraft in order to extinguish a fire
during a bombing mission on Schweinfurt in Germany. He subsequently parachuted
to the ground and became a Prisoner of War. The aircraft involved was
Avro Lancaster ME669 ‘ZN-O’ of No.106 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command.

3-4 May

During preparations for the Normandy invasion (Operation Overlord), 346
Avro Lancasters and 14 de Havilland Mosquitoes of RAF Bomber Command attack
the German military camp situated near the French village of Mailly-le-Camp.
Although the target was accurately marked, communication difficulties
led to a delay in the Main Force attack, during which the force was intercepted
by Luftwaffe fighters.

Subsequently, 1,500 tons of bombs were dropped on the camp, causing considerable
damage to the weapons and equipment held there and heavy casualties, 42
Lancasters – some 11.6% of the attacking force – were shot down. No French
civilians were killed in the bombing, although there were a small number
of casualties when one of the Lancasters shot down crashed on their house.

3-4 May

RAF Bomber Command mounts its first attack on Luftwaffe airfields within
fighter range of the beaches selected for the invasion of Normandy, when
84 Avro Lancasters and 8 de Havilland Mosquitoes attacked the airfield
at Montdidier, 4 Lancasters were lost.

1 June

The RAF’s Balkan Air Force (BAF) is forms under command of Air Vice Marshal
W. Elliot. The main focus of BAF operations was to provide support for
Marshal Tito’s Yugoslav partisans, particularly through attacks on communications.
North American Mustang and Supermarine Spitfire squadrons of the BAF claimed
262 locomotives destroyed in its first month of operation.

5-6 June

The Allied invasion of North West Europe (Operation Overlord) commences with
a parachute assault, prior to the amphibious landings. The British 6th
Airborne Division and United States 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions
were delivered to dropzones in Normandy by the Royal Air Force (RAF) and
United States Army Air Force (USAAF).

The RAF also dropped dummy parachutists and firework devices in a dummy airborne
landing at Yvetot, some 30 miles North of Le Havre. Allied bombers dropped
5,000 tons of bombs on enemy coastal batteries in France.

6 June

D-Day for Operation Overlord. Allied ground forces begin landing in Normandy,

Allied air forces generated 14,674 sorties in support of the invasion,
5,656 of which were flown by the Royal Air Force. By contrast, the Luftwaffe
flew approximately 100 sorties during the course of this day.

7 June

The first Allied airstrip in Normandy (B1) is completed at Asnelle, North-east
of Bayeux.

8-9 June

The first 12,000 pound DP Bombs (‘Tallboys’) are dropped by No.617 Squadron,
RAF Bomber Command, on a railway tunnel near Saumur, in an effort to block
the tunnel and prevent the railway line from being used by German reinforcements
en route to the invasion area. One bomb scored a direct hit, blocking
the tunnel for months.

10 June

Allied aircraft begin operating from airfields built since D-Day in Normandy.
Within the first 3 weeks of the Normandy Campaign, no fewer than 31 Allied
squadrons had been transferred to airfields in North Western France.

12 June
Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross is posthumously awarded to Pilot Officer A.C. Mynarski
of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF), a mid-upper gunner who gave his
own life in an attempt to save that of a fellow crew member during a low
level attack on marshalling yards at Cambrai. The aircraft involved was
Avro Lancaster X KB726 of No.419 (RCAF) Squadron, RAF Bomber Command.

12-13 June

June RAF Bomber Command commences a new bombing campaign against German
oil targets, when 303 aircraft (286 Avro Lancasters and 17 de Havilland
Mosquitoes) attack a synthetic oil plant at Gelsenkirchen. The attack
was extremely accurate, halting oil production for several weeks. During
the latter months of 1944 and early 1945, RAF Bomber Command and US 8th
Army Air Force raids on oil refineries and production facilities crippled
German fuel production, severely limiting the fighting ability of the
German armed forces – particularly the Luftwaffe.

26 April
Victoria Cross

The Victoria Cross is awarded to Sergeant N.C. Jackson, a flight engineer,
for climbing onto the wing of his aircraft in order to extinguish a fire
during a bombing mission on Schweinfurt in Germany. He subsequently parachuted
to the ground and became a Prisoner of War. The aircraft involved was
Avro Lancaster ME669 ‘ZN-O’ of No.106 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command.

13 June

The V1 flying bomb campaign opens. During the course of this day, Flakregiment
155(W) launched the first ten V1 flying bombs (codenamed Divers by the
Allies) against Britain from launch sites in the Pas de Calais.

The designated target for the missiles was Tower Bridge, however, due
to technical failures only four weapons crossed the coast. Three exploded
on open ground some distance from the centre of London and caused no casualties
and the fourth fell at Bethnal Green, 2 miles from the aiming point, killing
six people and injuring a further nine.

16 June

A total of 144 V1 flying bombs cross the English Channel, 21 are shot
down by fighters or anti-aircraft fire and 73 reach the London area. During
the next 10 days, an average of 100 V1 Flying Bombs fell on England every
24 hours.

23 June

The first V1 flying bomb is destroyed by being ‘toppled’ by the wingtip
of a defending fighter, causing the missile to dive out of control. This
attack is attributed to a Supermarine Spitfire XIV No.91 (Nigeria) Squadron,
RAF, flown by Flying Officer Collier.

Victoria Cross

24 June

The Victoria Cross is posthumously awarded to Flight Lieutenant D.E. Hornell
of the Royal Canadian Air Force (RCAF) for his action in sinking a U-boat
north of the Shetlands. The aircraft involved was Consolidated Canso 9754
‘P’ of No.162 (RCAF) Squadron, RAF Coastal Command.

1 July

The Royal Air Force (RAF) reaches its peak personnel strength of 1,185,833
(1,011,427 men and 174,406 women).

6 July

Prime Minister Winston Churchill announces that 2,754 flying bombs have
been launched against Britain since 13 June, causing 2,752 fatalities.

7 July

RAF Bomber Command mounts its first attack against enemy troop positions
in support of Allied forces in Normandy (Operation Charnwood). A total
of 467 aircraft (283 Avro Lancasters, 164 Handley Page Halifaxes and 20
de Havilland Mosquitoes attacked German positions in front of the Canadian
1st and British 2nd Armies north of Caen – much of the northern suburbs
of the town was destroyed.

9 July

A second phase of the V1 campaign commences with the firing of the first
air-launched V1. The weapons were launched at night by specially modified
Heinkel He111 aircraft, operated initially by the third Gruppe of Kampfgeschwader
3 (KG 3) and subsequently by Kampfgeschwader 53 (KG 53). Air-launched
V1 attacks continued until KG 53 ceased operations due to fuel shortages
on 14 January 1945.

In an attempt to frustrate this campaign, the Royal Air Force (RAF) patrolled
possible launch areas in a concerted effort to destroy the V1 carriers
before the missiles could be launched. 77 He 111 launch aircraft were
lost and 16 of these had been shot down by Allied nightfighters.
12 July

The Royal Air Force’s first operational jet aircraft, the Gloster Meteor,
enters service with No.616 (South Yorkshire) Squadron, Royal Auxiliary
Air Force (RAuxAF), then based at RAF Manston in Kent.

Victoria Cross
17 July

The Victoria Cross is awarded to Flight Lieutenant J.A. Cruickshank for sinking
the U-boat U-347 north-west of Norway during an operational patrol. The
aircraft involved was Consolidated Catalina JV928 ‘DA-Y’ of No.210 Squadron,
RAF Coastal Command.

18 July

The Royal Air Force (RAF) Test Pilots School is renamed the Empire Test
Pilots School.

27 July

The first operational sortie was made by an RAF jet fighter. An anti-Diver
(V-1) patrol was flown by a Gloster Meteor of No.616 Squadron piloted
by Flying Officer McKenzie.

4 August

The Victoria Cross is posthumously awarded to Squadron Leader I.W. Bazalgette
for his action during a daylight bombing raid on the V1 storage depot
at Trossy St Maximin. The aircraft involved was Avro Lancaster ND811 ‘F2-T’
of No.635 Squadron, RAF Bomber Command.

4-5 August

Following the start of an uprising against German forces in Warsaw by
the Polish Home Army on 1 August, the Chiefs of Staff despatch a signal
to Air Marshal Slessor, Air Commander in Chief Mediterranean Allied Air
Forces and Commander in Chief RAF Mediterranean and Middle East, requesting
that he comply with Polish appeals for assistance if operationally practicable.

Supply dropping operations begin on this night, and continue until 21-22
September. The majority of resupply operations were flown by Polish and
Royal Air Force (RAF) special duties units, together with RAF and South
African Air Force heavy bomber squadrons, operating from Italian bases.
Operations were hampered by the full moon period, prevailing weather conditions
and the refusal of the Soviet authorities to permit the use of Soviet-controlled
forward airfields by Allied supply aircraft before 10 September 1944.
As a consequence of the latter, only one supply operation was mounted
(by the US Army Air Force) from the United Kingdom.

Allied casualties were heavy. Between 8/9 August and 21/22 August, 31
aircraft were lost, together with 248 aircrew, of whom 203 were killed.
Polish resistance in Warsaw ceased on 2 October 1944 with the surrender
of the Home Army units

13 August

Hitler authorises the retreat of German forces in north-west France.

14-15 August

Operation Dragoon: the Allied invasion of the south of France, begins
with a parachute assault at night, in thick fog, to the west of St Raphael.

23 August

Dakota transport aircraft of No.267 Squadron RAF and the United States
Army Air Force (USAAF) 60th Troop Carrier Group evacuate 1,078 wounded
Yugoslav partisans from a landing strip at Brezna in Yugoslavia. Escort
for the evacuation was provided by the North American Mustangs of No.213
Squadron, RAF.

1 September

The first and most destructive phase of the V1 campaign, the bombardment
of the United Kingdom from bases in the Pas de Calais, came to an end
with the launch of the final weapon at 0400hrs. Between 13 June and 1
September 1944, no fewer than 8,617 V1s had been fired at the United Kingdom
from northern France.

8 September

The first German V2 missile fell in Chiswick in London at 1840hrs. Three
people were killed and seventeen injured.

Victoria Cross
8 September

One only two Victoria Crosses awarded in recognition of an extended period
of operational flying and outstanding prowess during the Second World
War is won by Wing Commander G.L. Cheshire (4 such awards were made in
the First World War). “In 4 years of fighting against the bitterest
opposition he has maintained a record of outstanding personal achievement,
placing himself invariably in the forefront of the battle.” No.617
Squadron, RAF Bomber Command.

15 September

Operation Paravane: 27 Avro Lancasters of No.9 and No.617 Squadrons, armed
with 12,000 pound ‘Tallboy’ bombs and 500 pound ‘Johnny Walker’ anti-shipping
bombs and led by Wing Commander J.B. Tait, attack the German battleship
Tirpitz at anchor in Altefjord in Norway. In order to reach the target,
the attacking force had detached to the Soviet airfield at Yagodnik near
Archangel. Although the target was obscured by cloud, 17 ‘Tallboys’ were
dropped; one struck the foredeck of the Tirpitz, causing severe damage.

17 September
© Imperial War Museum

Operation Market Garden: a mass parachute and glider (sailplane) assault by three
divisions of the First Allied Airborne Army takes place to seize bridges
in the area of Eindhoven (United States 101st Airborne Division), Nijmegen
(United States 82nd Airborne Division) and Arnhem (British 1st Airborne

A simultaneous ground assault by 30 Corps, British 21st Army Group, was
intended to use the bridges held by the parachute troops in order to create
a bridgehead from which the German West Wall defensive line could be outflanked.

However, this plan was frustrated by the presence of the 9th and 10th SS Panzer
Divisions in the area selected for the assault. Elements from these formations
slowed the attack by 30 Corps to a crawl and drove much of 1st Airborne
Division into a pocket some distance from both its dropzones and its objectives,
the road and rail bridges at Arnhem.

Attempts to reinforce and resupply the airborne divisions were also badly
disrupted by poor weather. Eventually, on 25 September the survivors of
1st Airborne Division were withdrawn across the Rhine. In attempting to
drop reinforcements and supplies to the British paratroopers at Arnhem,
RAF Transport Command lost 57 aircraft shot down or destroyed in crashes.

Victoria Cross
19 September

A posthumous Victoria Cross is awarded to Flight Lieutenant D.S.A. Lord
for his action during an airdrop of supplies at Arnhem, during Operation
Market Garden. The aircraft involved was Douglas Dakota III KG374 of No.271
Squadron RAF Transport Command

19-20 September

Wing Commander Guy Gibson VC and his navigator, Squadron Leader J.B. Warwick,
are killed while returning from a raid on the twin towns of Mönchengladbach
and Rheydt. Wing Commander Gibson, then serving at RAF Coningsby as Base
Operations Officer, was acting as the Master Bomber for this raid. The
aircraft he was flying, a de Havilland Mosquito of No.627 Squadron, crashed
near the Dutch coast. Both he and his navigator are buried in the Roman
Catholic Cemetery at Steenbergen-en-Kruisland, 13 kilometres north of

24 September

Following the liberation of Araxos airfield on 23 September, the first
Royal Air Force (RAF) unit to return to Greece, No.32 Squadron (Supermarine
Spitfire), flies into the airfield on this date.

12-14 October

Operation Manna: the Allied liberation of Athens commences with a parachute
assault on Megara airfield by No.2 Independent Parachute Brigade Group,
carried to the dropzone by the 51st Troop Carrier Wing United States Army
Air Force (USAAF). British paratroops subsequently entered the Greek capital,
Athens, on 15 October.

15 October

Air Defence of Great Britain is renamed RAF Fighter Command.

18 October

The Combat Cargo Task Force is formed within Air Command South-East Asia.

21 October

The Luftwaffe commences V1 attacks against targets in Belgium. The primary
target for this bombardment was the key port of Antwerp, with attacks
continuing until March 1945.

28 October

RAF Central Navigation School is renamed Empire Air Navigation School.

31 October
Twenty-four de Havilland Mosquitoes of Nos. 21, 464 and 487 Squadrons,
escorted by 8 North American Mustangs, carry out a successful low-level
attack on the Gestapo Headquarters at Aarhus in Denmark in order to destroy
German records relating to the Danish resistance groups.

12 November

Following an earlier attack, which was unsuccessful due to poor weather
over the target, the battleship Tirpitz is finally sunk in Tromso Fjord
in Norway, during a raid by 30 Avro Lancasters from No.9 and No.617 Squadrons,
RAF Bomber Command, using 12,000 pound ‘Tallboy’ bombs. The Tirpitz capsized
after being hit by at least two ‘Tallboys’ and approximately 1,000 of
the 1,900 crew aboard the battleship were killed.

4 December

Following growing unrest, demonstrations in Athens by the communist-based
National Liberation Front (EAM) and National Popular Liberation Front
(ELAS) on 2 December result in British troops being forced to fire on
the demonstrators. Two days later, police stations were attacked and Royal
Air Force (RAF) units operating from Hassani began flying sorties against
EAM and ELAS targets in the Athens area.

9 December

The Home Secretary, Mr Herbert Morrison, announces that the ‘black out’
would become a ‘dim out’ as most of the attacks on Britain were being
made by V1 flying bombs or V2 missiles.

16 December

Operation Wacht am Rhein (Watch on the Rhine): the final offensive by
the German Army in the West, commences with a surprise assault on United
States Army positions in the Ardennes area of Belgium by 200,000 men,
including seven Panzer (armoured) divisions.

Although the offensive succeeded in carving out a dangerous salient
in the United States’ line, the German advance lost momentum as fuel supplies
were exhausted and ground to a halt. US forces then successfully counter-attacked.

To support the offensive, the Luftwaffe had assembled some 2,460 combat
aircraft, including 1,770 single-engine fighters. However, both the Allied
air forces and the Luftwaffe were initially prevented from intervening
by poor weather conditions. When the weather began to clear from 23 December,
the United States Army Air Force (USAAF) and the Royal Air Force (RAF)
rapidly established air superiority over the battlefield and were able
to provide extensive close air support to the defenders.

19 December

AHQ Greece at Kifisia is attacked by ELAS troops. Despite the best efforts
of No.2933 Squadron RAF Regiment, the headquarters was overrun on 20 December
and a large number of British prisoners were taken and marched north.
Supplies were dropped to the column by No.221 Squadron RAF (Vickers
Wellington XIII).

23 December

The Victoria Cross is posthumously awarded to Squadron Leader R.A.M. Palmer
for gallantry displayed during a daylight bombing raid on Gremburg marshalling
yards in Cologne. Palmer’s aircraft was an Avro Lancaster (PB371) of No.109
Squadron, RAF Bomber Command.