To mark the 60th Anniversary of the start of the Battle of the Ruhr we are releasing a commemorative cover to mark this important time in Bomber Command's history. The top part of the artwork shows two Mosquitoes of No 109 Squadron PFF which for the first time on a major raid used OBOE precision marking to target Essen on the 5/6 March 1943, while below a Lancaster of No 156 Squadron PFF is shown performing the vital task of dropping back up markers for the following waves of RAF bombers. The raid was a great success OBOE allowed the pathfinders to mark the targets blind (without having to see them) and was extremely accurate, the back up markers also marked well resulting in a successful start to the Battle of the Ruhr, and these tactics were the basis for many of the future raids to follow.
Each cover bears a British Forces Post Office special handstamp, dated the 5 March 2003, which shows a Mosquito and commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Raid on Essen. The covers have been flown in Lancaster PA 474 to the 2003 Royal International Air Tattoo, RAF Fairford where the Lancaster was part of the 100 Years of Flight static display.
Hand signed by Group Captain Geoffrey Womersley DSO* DFC
100 Signed, Numbered and Certified
Group Captain Geoffrey Womersley DSO* DFC, one of Bomber Command's outstanding pilots and was a Flight Commander and Lancaster pilot with No 156 Squadron during the Battle of the Ruhr and was later the Commanding Officer of No 139 Squadron from February 1944 to October 1944 flying Mosqutioes.