Striking Through Clouds : The War Diary of 514 Squadron RAF
Formed on 1st September 1943 as part of the expansion of Bomber Command's No. 3 Group, 514 Squadron specialised in blind bombing techniques in the drawn out and bloody campaign against Nazi Germany. For the vast majority of its war, 514 Squadron was stationed at RAF Waterbeach, Cambridgeshire, operating Lancaster bombers. Aircrew members were drawn not just from Britain but also Canada, Australia and New Zealand amongst others. Over four hundred members of the squadron were to lose their lives in the two years of the squadron's existence, which saw the loss on operations of 66 aircraft, with another 14 being written off in accidents. Thrown into the Battle of Berlin in the winter of 1943/4, 514 Squadron also played a pivotal role in supporting the Allied bridgehead in Normandy after D-Day, before reverting to attacks on German infrastructure, including transport facilities and oil production plants. Drawing on the squadron's Operational Record Book, previously only available as microfiche or poor quality print, Simon Hepworth and Andrew Porrelli have produced the first comprehensive record of 514 Squadron's war.