RAF Stranra'er: Feb 1944

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Aplomado
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RAF Stranra'er: Feb 1944

Post by Aplomado » Wed Jun 05, 2019 4:03 am

The Leininger crew was a replacement 8th USAAF B-24 crew. They had delivered a new B-24H via the southern route to Watton in Norfolk during early Feb 1944 and were ordered to N. Ireland for theater training. They and a few other crews traveled by train to S. W. Scotland to the port of Stranra'er on Loch Ryan. Night had fallen and they were taken to a "nearby RAF base" for the night. The logical choice seems Castle Kennedy, but I also see the Wig Bay Sunderland base on the northwest side of the Loch.
Q: Is RAF Castle Kennedy the best choice for the lodging of multiple 10 man crews on a winter's eve? What were the accommodations like at the time? Were any of the Castle's buildings part of the base? My info from the net is that it was used for air gunnery training although details are sparse. My dad, crew navigator, did not mention seeing any particular A/C; they arrived after dark and left in a mist the next morning.
Q: The ferry to Belfast now appears to leave from Cairnryan on the n w side of the Loch. Was this the case in 1944? I assume they left from the wharf at Stranar'er. Would that be correct?

Aplomado
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Re: RAF Stranra'er: Feb 1944

Post by Aplomado » Sat Jun 22, 2019 1:42 am

Anybody know anything about the 2 bases in Loch Ryan? Probably not Short Stirlings-- one's Sunderlands and other is aerial gunnery(?)... I really would like a description of the officers quarters at Castle Kennedy. My father wrote glowingly of the trans-Atlantic hospitality/camaraderie he enjoyed on that cold winter's eve among the airmen present.

Also, who can direct me to a searchable mission summary of RAF Bomber Command? I'm interested in missions that dropped on Ingolstadt during the last months of the war... last year of the war. Ingolstadt was a big ammo town, yet all I get from them is that "the RAF bombed us for no military reason". The US has the munitions info, but I can't find the RAF dates/targets and A/C that put holes in the ground. The 8th USAAF also attacked targets in and around Ingolstadt in '45 and I have those references.

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AlanW
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Re: RAF Stranra'er: Feb 1944

Post by AlanW » Sun Jun 23, 2019 12:52 pm

The Bomber Command War diaries, which lists just about every operation flown by Bomber Command, has no reference of an actual attack on Ingoldstadt. The only reference in the diaries to the town is for the night of 12/13th October 1941 when the village of Lauingen was bombed, and the villagers thought it had been mistaken for Ingoldstadt. Nothing for any other date is recorded, so the attack in the latter months of the war was presumably carried out by the Americans, and mistaken for RAF.
There is no paralell in warfare, to such courage and determination in the face of danger, over so long a period. Such devotion, should never be forgotten.

Aplomado
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Re: RAF Stranra'er: Feb 1944

Post by Aplomado » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:40 pm

Thanks Alan on the Ingolstadt question. I suspected as much. I have seen some Ger. web sites that seem to say that the RAF was everywhere, all the time. I'm glad the Allies decided on the 'round the clock' plan. Did the British have a special committee that provided target info and industrial evaluation for German cities to Bomber Command? Is that info available for Ingolstadt? Any military industry evaluation for Solingen, Ger?

Anybody have info on officer and enlisted accommodations at Castle Kennedy RAF base in Feb, '44?

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