Remembering Operation Jericho 75 years on

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.

7 thoughts on “Remembering Operation Jericho 75 years on”

  1. Pingback: A rare opportunity to add your name to Mosquito history - The People's Mosquito

    1. People's Mosquito

      Hi David,

      Apologies for the late reply to your question. You are quite correct. Jericho was not called as such until a French film based on the raid was produced with this title in 1946. The correct RAF designation for the mission was ‘Ramrod 564’, as Ramrod was the codename for this type of low level raid. The VHS radio call sign to identify aircraft on the operation for RAF Air Traffic Control was ‘Renovate’, which some have assumed to be the mission’s codename. Indeed, an RAF training film of the mission was called Operation Renovate. However, the raid at time of launch had no operational codename.

      Thanks to our friend Dr Robert Lyman for the excellent info on this. For anyone interested in more details on this legendary Mosquito raid we would heartily recommend Robert’s book, The Jail Busters.

      The TPM Team.

  2. Andrew Toulson

    hi Christopher if you were referring to the pilots as crew, they were in fact New Zealanders.

  3. Christopher Packard

    Seem to recall that one of the pilots on Jericho was the pilot in the 1941 film “Target for tonight”. Was it Group Captain Pickard.

    1. People's Mosquito

      He was indeed Christopher. Grp Capt Pickard was one of the RAF’s most experienced and recognised aircrew at the time of the Jericho raid. His loss was keenly felt.

  4. Christopher Packard

    What a daring and very successful raid in freeing all those imprisoned there. My father spoke to me about this raid often, he was ground crew Merlin engines and posted to the squadron a few months before the raid. He remembered the Canadian crews with great enthusiasm later moving on to 405sqn PPF at Greadston Lodge.

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