Hard Lesson to Learn by Adrian Rigby
A Hard Lesson to Learn by Adrian Rigby
Co-signed by Wilf Burnett
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On 18th December 1939, a force of Wellington bombers attacked naval targets on the German coast. On the return journey, they were attacked by enemy fighters, for over half an hour, bringing down 7 of the 22 Wellingtons. A further 5 would be forced to crash land in England. One of the surviving aircraft was flown by Sergeant Frank Petts who, in a futile attempt to shake off his attacker, dived to sea level. Despite sustaining considerable damage and with two of his crew wounded, he brought the bomber safely home. The experience of the raid forced the RAF to switch to night-time sorties, bombers were clearly too vulnerable without fighter escort. Six months later, during the Battle of Britain, the Luftwaffe would learn the same lesson.