30th January 1943 – Mossies put the kibosh on Herrs Göering & Goebbels

30th January 1943 was the tenth anniversary of Hitler’s rise to power.

To coincide with the commemorative rallies, the first daylight raids over Berlin took place on that day when Mosquitoes carried out two attacks timed to disrupt speeches being delivered by Reichsmarschall Hermann Göering and Joseph Goebbels, the Third Reich’s Propaganda Minister, at the main broadcasting station.

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The first, in the morning, comprised three Mosquito B Mk. IVs from 105 Squadron, which carried out a low-level attack on the Haus des Rundfunks, headquarters of the German State broadcasting company, at 11:00, when Göering was due to address a parade commemorating the 10th anniversary of the Nazis’ gaining power. It was an hour before Göering could finally take to the lectern, reportedly “boiling with rage and humiliation”. The mission gave the lie to Göering’s claim that enemy aircraft would never fly over the Reich. In the afternoon of the same day, three Mosquitoes from 139 (Jamaica) Squadron went to Berlin to attempt to interrupt a speech by Goebbels, and once again bombed at the exact time he was meant to start speaking, 16.00, although this attack was not quite as disruptive as the earlier one.

Only one aircraft was lost during these raids. Mosquito DZ367 GB-J, of 105 Sqn, flown by Squadron Leader D.F. Darling was shot down near Altengrabow, with both Darling and his navigator, Flying Officer William Wright, being killed.

Göering was not amused:

“ In 1940 I could at least fly as far as Glasgow in most of my aircraft, but not now! It makes me furious when I see the Mosquito. I turn green and yellow with envy.

The British, who can afford aluminium better than we can, knock together a beautiful wooden aircraft that every piano factory over there is building, and they give it a speed which they have now increased yet again.”

— Hermann Göering, January 1943

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The Berlin raids were a major propaganda coup

In the photograph below, Flying Officer A. Whickham (left), a Mosquito pilot, and his navigator, Pilot Officer W. Makin, pose for an official portrait in the imposing setting of the Air Council Room at the Air Ministry in Whitehall on 31 January 1943, the day after their participation on the first daylight raid on Berlin.

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Pilot, F/O A. Whickham (left), and navigator P/O W. Makin

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