LANGFORD VAR
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LANGFORD, VICTOR

Aircraft Information
Aircraft Lancaster III
Serial Number ND505
Markings OL-T
Memorial information
Burial/Memorial Country Netherlands
Burial/Memorial Place Flushing (Vlissingen) Northern Cemetery
Grave Reference Row H. Grave 3.
IBCC Memorial Information
Phase 2
Panel Number 196
Enlistment information
Service Number 158023
Service Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Group 8
Squadron 83
Trade Pilot
Country of origin if different United Kingdom
Last Operation information
Start Date 19-Feb-1944
End Date 20-Feb-1944
Takeoff Station Wyton
Day/Night raid Night
Operation Leipzig. 823 aircraft, 78 losses (9.5%). Excluding early returners, the Halifax loss rate was 14.9%. As a result, Halifax Mks II and V were permanently withdrawn from service over Germany. The Kiel mine laying diversion was successful in drawing off fighters, but the German controllers only sent half of the available aircraft. As soon as the bomber stream crossed the Dutch coast they were confronted by the remaining half of the fighters and, moreover, the ones sent to Kiel were returned to join the fray. As a consequence, the fighters steadily picked off bombers all the way to this distant target. The winds were strongly than had been predicted and many bombers arrived early and had to orbit the target awaiting the Pathfinders, further increasing the likelihood of being picked off, either by flak or fighters. Leipzig was cloud covered and sky-marking had to be used. Early bombing appeared to be concentrated but later bombing less so. There was no local report nor a reconnaissance flight the following day. An American raid the following day then made it impossible to judge the effectiveness of the raid.
Reason for Loss Shot down by a night-fighter and crashed near Wolphaartsdijk, Holland