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The attack on Wellington "C"

From the Operations Record Book of 205 Group, RAF


Night of 25/26 May 1944

Target: roads in Viterbo


C/40 Sqn. was attacked by one unidentified twin-engined aircraft at 23.47 hours, 8,000ft. near Ponza [Latina]. The E/A opened fire with two bursts of machine tracer at 5/600 yards from astern. The bursts missed the Wellington which took evasive action.

The rear gunner fired 2/300 rounds; no hits claimed. E/A dived away to port and was not seen again.

Several reports of single-engined fighters, thought to be Me 109s, over the target; no combats.

Pinning down the attacker's identity presents something of a problem. It is known that one Bf 110 from NJG 6 was in Italy that day but it is not known whether it was operating. Luftwaffe bombers were operating over the battlefronts at around the right time, so a chance encounter with a Ju 88 is one possibility. Certainly there had been reports of raiding Ju 88s firing on American A-20s n the night of 17/18 May.

Friendly fire from another Wellington cannot be ruled out but Allied night fighters can. The Beaufighters of No. 600 Squadron RAF and the US 415th NFS flew 10 patrols and ecountered jamming (probably from the German bomber force) but made no contacts.


Who fired on this aircraft of No. 40 Squadron?