75 years ago, Mosquitoes from 140 Wing 2TAF carried out one of the famous precision bombing raids of the war.
Operation Jericho saw 18 Mosquito FB.VI aircraft from 464 Squadron RAAF, 487 Squadron RNZAF and 21 Squadron RAF, along with a single PRU Mosquito, escorted by Hawker Typhoons from 198 and 174 Squadrons, strike Amiens prison.
The raid, which has been subject to detailed analysis and investigation ever since, proved the efficacy of low level strikes by Mosquitoes.
For further details of the raid, click here.
In addition, the excellent book Jail Busters by Robert Lyman looks at the legacy of the raid and the myth and controversy regarding its ultimate planning and sanction.
Among those lost on the raid were Group Capt Percy Charles Packard DSO, DFC and his navigator F/Lt Alan Broadly, DSO, DFC, DFM.
Acclaimed artist, Mark Postlethwaite captured Pickard’s Last Moments in this stunning painting. The following map shows the final path of Mosquito HX922 as Pickard sought to shake off his pursuer, Feldwebel Wilhelm Mayer in his FW190.
Local farmers recovered two bodies from the crash site and both are now buried at Saint-Pierre cemetery outside Amiens.
Mayer, who went on to be credited with 27 confirmed victories during WW2, was himself killed in a FW190 D-9 on 4 January 1945, when the flight he was leading was bounced by RAF Spitfires near Lohnerbruch, Germany.
Today we remember all those who lost their lives on the Amien raid, an Operation that played a pivotal role in establishing the Mosquito’s legendary status.