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THE FIGHT BACK TO SCAMPTON – Two More Lancasters are lost

F/Sgt. Ken Brown (left); King George VI (right).

S/L Maudsley’s Lancaster had been seriously damaged while attacking the Eder. It managed to travel 133 miles towards Scampton before it was shot down by anti-aircraft fire. The last Lancaster to go down was Young’s. He had helped to breech the Mohne and then carried on to the Eder in his capacity as Deputy Leader. His aircraft was struck by flak near Amsterdam and crashed into the sea.

As Canadian Ken Brown approached the coast dawn was breaking and the aircraft came under heavy fire. It was holed behind the wireless operator’s seat and the fuselage was riddled like a sieve on the starboard side where a shell had exploded, piercing the bomber’s skin with shrapnel.

“There was one thing that sort of bugged me. When we went to the Mohne Dam one of our aircraft (P/O Hopgood’s) had been shot down there and I felt we owed the fellow a visit. So I went back. We opened up at about 500 yards. . . The rear gunner depressed his guns and we raked the thing. There was no fire coming from that tower when we left.”

– F/Sgt. Ken Brown

“We were flying very low during the return journey and at the Dutch coast the terrain rose under us. Les pulled up, over, and down. On the sea side of this rise in terrain and invisible to Les was a large cement block many feet high. The block passed under our tail not three feet lower. As the rear gunner I was the only one to see it.”

– Sgt. Harry O’Brien (F/L Knight’s rear gunner)

“The cannon shells started to go through the canopy, the side of the aircraft was pretty well blown out, and there was only one thing to do. That was go lower. We came across (the sea wall) so they were firing slightly down on us.”

– F/Sgt. Ken Brown