103 Squadron

Group :     From July 1942 Bomber Squadron with No 1 Group

Location :  11 July 1941-26 November 1945: Elsham Wolds, Lincs

Aircraft  :   November 1942-November 1945: Avro Lancaster I
and III


Sorties:      
Squadron Badge  
 

09-Aug-43

Mannheim

Lancaster

LM343

Operation: 457 aircraft; lost 2.0 per cent*

10-Aug-43

Nuremberg

Lancaster

LM343

Operation: 653 aircraft; lost 2.5 per cent

12-Aug-43

Milan

Lancaster

LM343

Operation: 504 aircraft; lost 0.9 per cent

14-Aug-43

Milan

Lancaster

LM343

Operation: 140 aircraft; lost 0.9 per cent

17-Aug-43

Peenemunde**

Lancaster

LM343

Operation: 596 aircraft; lost 6.7 per cent

22-Aug-43

Leverkusen

Lancaster

LM343

Operation: 462 aircraft; lost 1.1 per cent

31-Aug-43

Berlin

Lancaster

LM343

Operation: 622 aircraft; lost 1.6 per cent

06-Sep-43

Munich

Lancaster

JB152

Operation: 404 aircraft; lost 4.0 per cent

27-Sep-43

Hanover

Lancaster

JB276

Operation: 678 aircraft; lost 5.6 per cent

29-Sep-43

Bochum

Lancaster

JB276

Operation: 352 aircraft; lost 2.6 per cent

01-Oct-43

Hagen

Lancaster

JB276

Operation: 251 aircraft; lost 0.8 per cent

02-Oct-43

Munich

Lancaster

JB276

Operation: 294 aircraft; lost 2.7 per cent

18-Oct-43

Hannover

Lancaster

JB276

Operation: 360 aircraft; lost 5.0 per cent

22-Oct-43

Kassel

Lancaster

JB276

Operation: 569 aircraft; lost 7.6 per cent

03-Nov-43

Dusseldorf

Lancaster

JB528

Operation: 589 aircraft; lost 3.1 per cent

10-Nov-43

Modane

Lancaster

JB423

Operation: 313 aircraft; lost none

23-Nov-43

Berlin

Lancaster

JB530

Operation: 764 aircraft; lost 3.4 per cent

26-Nov-43

Berlin

Lancaster

JB423

Operation: 450 aircraft; lost 6.2 per cent

02-Jan-44

Berlin

Lancaster

JB736

Operation: 383 aircraft; lost 9.0 per cent

05-Jan-44

Stettin

Lancaster

JB736

Operation: 358 aircraft; lost 4.5 per cent

14-Jan-44

Brunswick

Lancaster

JB736

Operation: 498 aircraft; lost 7.6 per cent

27-Jan-44

Berlin

Lancaster

JB736

Operation: 530 aircraft; lost 6.4 per cent

30-Jan-44

Berlin

Lancaster

JB736

Operation: 534 aircraft; lost 6.2 per cent

15-Feb-44

Berlin

Lancaster

JB736

Operation: 891 aircraft; lost 4.8 per cent

19-Feb-44

Leipzig

Lancaster

JB736

Operation: 823 aircraft; lost 9.5 per cent

20-Feb-44

Stuttgart

Lancaster

JB736

Operation; 598 aircraft; lost 1.5 per cent

22-Feb-44

Schweinfurt

Lancaster

JB736

Operation: 734 aircraft; lost 4.5 per cent

25-Feb-44

Augsburg

Lancaster

JB736

Operation: 594 aircraft; lost 3.6 per cent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



 

 

Includes 2 'Early Returns' and 1 'Did Not Take Off'.
 
*Source: RAF Bomber Command 60th Anniversary - Diary.

 

 

103 Squadron at the beginning of March 1943 flew the first of many raids in the Battle of The Ruhr. These were followed in August 1943 by the first of a series of raids referred to as the Battle of Berlin through the winter of 1943/44. As well as Berlin many major industrial cities in Germany were raided but losses throughout were high. [The RAF Elsham Wolds Association.]

**See Peenemunde 17 August 1943 and Peenedmunde 2 for full details of the bombing raid. In August 1943, 103 Squadron contributed 24 Lancasters to the force of 600-odd Bomber Command "heavies" sent to make the first-ever raid on the German V-weapons experimental station at Peenemunde. The launch site was used for the development of the V-1 bomb and the A-4/V-2 rocket and had test-stands capable of accommodating engines for the A-10 intercontinental missile.

 

 

 

History of a Lancaster Crew 103 Squadron
9-10 August to 22-23 October 1943

 
   
   
Courtesy of Mr Harry Brown, cousin of F/Sgt. Bill Brown
 

 

F/Sgt Bill Brown was a member of the crew of Lancaster JB276 shot down on the bombing mission to Kassel on 22-23 October 1943, one of three Lancasters lost that night by No.103 Sqadron. 569 bombers took part, losses were heavy as 7.6% of the attacking planes (48 aircraft and crews) were shot down. Kassel was chosen as a target because of it's aircraft plant and location for the manufacture of locomotives, engines and trucks. Sadly, it was the highest recorded loss of crews and aircraft during the period August 1943 to 25 February 1944, apart from the operation to Leipzig on 19 February 1944 when 9.5% of a force of 823 aircraft were lost.

Five members of the brave crew of Lancaster JB276 were killed: Sqn-Ldr C. S. F. Wood MiD, F/Sgt W. R. Brown, F/Sgt J. F. Craig DFM, Sgt C. Kershaw and Sgt H. R. Wilson. They are buried in Hanover War Cemetery. Two members of the crew who survived the crash, F/L C. L. Grisdale and F/L W. H. Hopkins (who had taken John Lowrie's place), became Prisoners-of-War in Camp L1.

For 13 ops John Lowrie had been a regular member of the crew who were taking part in the mission to bomb Kassel that night. For whatever reason he was not with them, and it must have been a very sad and poignant moment eleven days later to join another crew on a mission to Dusseldorf remembering so many close friends and colleagues who had shared the dangers of ops to Mannheim, Nuremberg, Milan, Peenemunde, Berlin, Hanover, Bochum, Hagen and Munich. John, too, would be killed in action some fifteen months later close to the Dutch-German border.