Dave Leicester - The Nuremberg Raid

Running time
2 min 26 sec
Date made
Department of Veterans' Affairs


The Nuremburg raid was actually our last trip on Halifaxes, our 31st op, but it was a historical night as far as the RAF was concerned and the worst night for casualties in the history of the RAF. It was about 96 aircraft ended up being lost which is close to 500 men on that one night. We'd had a particularly bad night. We'd been shot at, lost the nose cone of our aircraft and it was a really tough night but we made it back. That's the main thing.

Of course you're going at a fair speed and the aircraft fills with air, it's very hard to handle, very hard to land, of course. Well we were trained for it, didn't really prove any serious problem except that we had got hit, it was a bad night as far as that was concerned. On that particular night of Nuremberg we did see a fighter, got attacked by a fighter, and we actually shot it down.

It was very hard for an RAF aircraft to confirm the shooting down of a fighter. Not only did we have to say that we think we got one, but we had to give the exact time and the longitude and the latitude also. But as well, other planes on the raid had to see a fighter being shot down and confirm, write down, again, the time and latitude and longitude.

If it didn't agree with other factors, we weren't allowed to claim it. But on this particular night, we did claim it and it was approved. That was a feather in our cap.

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