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WUPPERTAL RAID ONE OF
HEAVIEST OF WAR
LONDON, Monday. -By thc time the R.A.F. attack on Wuppertal (Prussia) was over on Saturday night, smoke from fires burning in thc citv had reached a height of 15,000 ft. Scores of ficrccly-biirning fires had merged, one pilot said, into a single, huge conflagration. Thc laid was one of thc heaviest of thc war, thc load of bombs dropped being well over 1500
Tho Germans did everything they could to stop tho hom hors. As soon as thov roached the Ruhr scores nf searchlight's tried to black them out, heavy and light A.A. guns put up an intense barrage, and night lighters were In force. But over Wuppertal thc air defences gave out. Ono pilot said there were only about a dozen heavy guns and one or two searchlights, and later arrivals said there was no oppo
sition at all.
Sgt. John M'Crossen was on his way to tho target when Ino Lanena 1er was hit by a burst from a heavy shell. Thc starboard outer ongino gave out, aud although thc Lancas ter Inst tiOOO ft., M.' Crossen went on and bombed tho target. On the way home the Lancaster was again hit, and Ibo port outer ongine virtually put out of action. The bomb doors would not close, and the plano began to lose height.
M' Crossen ordered tho crew to get ready to Jump and to jettison thc guns, anuminition, armored plating, and even tho rest bed.
Then, with only two engines working properly, he managed to keep the Lancaster flying at 3000 ft. He dared not go any lower and hedgehop the rest of the way across Germany; for then ho would have had no margin for
MORE NIGHT FIGHTERS.
Tho Germans put up moro night fight ers than our pilots had seen for some time. The rear gunner of a Hnliiax shot down a twin-engined enemy air rait wliich attacked soon »fur.' ike.
bomber had turned' for borne. The crew saw it burning on the ground. Another Halifax rear Runner claims to have shot down a .TUS8. A third fighter was probably destroyed by a Stirling, whoso crew saw it divine to wards the ground.
J. D. Hocking, of Sydney, who went to Wuppertal, added another gruyihie description to the R.A.F.'s raid his tories. He was surprised to find there were no searchlights at Wuppertal and little flak. I do not know whether wc surprised thc ground gunners, or -who thor the Germans had taken Wupper ¿al's guns tn Kssen.
"Fires were well alight when we arrived; tho place seemed on lire from end to end, and smoke came rolling up to us. It must have reached a height of three miles. The smoke was mostly colored red from tho fives be neath. I dropped my bombs, and was just thinking of returning home, when there was a huge explosion.
"A great mass of flames rush ing upwards was followed by smoke. We soon saw additional ex plosions. They v;ere too big to be made by any 4000 lb. bomb. The raid obviously was a successful show. The whole placo must havo
been left ablaze."
Hocking's story is just one of many indicating afresh what the R.A.F. means when it says ;.. heavy foreo of bombers made n concentrated and suc cessful attack ou the target.