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 Robert Law DSO DFC MA AE
300 Signed, Numbered and Certified
Group Captain Robert Law DSO DFC MA AE, who joined No 109 Squadron PFF in July 1943 as a pilot having spent three years as a flying instructor. He took command of 'A' Flight in March 1944 and commanded No 109 Squadron PFF from December 1944 through to August 1945. He then commanded RAF Little Staughton until its closure. Awarded the DFC in November 1944, followed by the DSO in 1945 and completed 82 operations.