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15 October 2014
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Raid on Peenemunde

by nottinghamcsv

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People in story: 
Dennis Slack
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Background to story: 
Royal Air Force
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Contributed on: 
16 August 2005

This story was submitted to the People's War site by CSV/BBC Radio Nottingham on behalf of Dennis Slack with his permission. The author fully understands the site's terms and conditions.

I joined the RAF in 1941, with 5 of my friends. We were all only 18 years old.
I finished my training and was 20 when I started operations. I was sent to 158 Squadron in the summer of 1943, the squadron had huge losses when I joined and I was immediately put on raids on Essen, Turin, Hamburg, and Berlin.
On 17th August 1943 we were sent on an important raid on Peenemunde and we did not know what was there. When we were given briefings before the raid we had got used to the destinations, but when we were given this briefing we knew this was a new target and the squadron were speechless.
The CO did not even know what was there but we were told that this area needed destroying ASAP. If we did not succeed this night we were told we had to keep going until we had destroyed it.
We normally bombed at 19000 feet, but for this raid we went in at 6000 feet to make sure we were successful.
We went on the first evening and destroyed the target but had huge losses (41 aircraft)
We did not find out about the importance of the raid until one week later when we were told that this was the factory and launch facilities of the V1 and V2 rockets.

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