Personnel Index - Detail
F/L Cornish flew 21 operations with 49Sqn between 30th March-12th June 1944.
Awarded the DFC and DFC & Bar
Photograph taken before departing Australia
Written by Peter Cornish in April 1999:
The following is a brief account of the Nuremberg Raid as I experienced it.
The Nuremberg Raid on the 30th March 1944 was the first operational trip our crew did over Germany. We were rank amateurs. We did not know what would happen and the sights we saw were very sombre.
Our main force Squadron was 49 Squadron which was based at Fiskerton, Lincoln. My flying hours at this stage were less than 25 hours in heavy bombers. On that trip we were flying 'W for William'.
During the afternoon we had a flight test to see everything was working and to refuel. At the appropriate hour we went to briefing and then to 'W for William' where we waited our turn for take off.
I had difficulty in reaching 18,000 Ft. but we did reach our ceiling before we crossed the Belgium coast, short of Ghent. It was at the Belgium western border we saw the first plane shot down. We kept on track, north of Coblenz. We saw so many of our aircraft shot down to the left of us by enemy night fighters.
It was about this time my navigator sensed there was a wind change. He was getting a different heading of "Gee" and also from our radar. I also had noticed that Polaris was in a different position from my compass. Because of all these things, my navigator decided he would get a star fix, which he did. He altered our course and we arrived at Nuremberg on time. We did not see any flares as we expected, but there was thin cloud over Nuremberg. As we were certain we were at Nuremberg, we dropped our bombs. It was only after we reached the outskirts of the city that we saw the first of the Pathfinder flares over the town.
Our return trip back to our base was uneventful. We found 49 Squadron had lost 2 aircraft and their crews. Only when we read the newspapers over the next few days did we realize 96 aircraft were lost.
From Peter's time with the PFF.
Peter Cannon Cornish died on the 18th August 1999 aged 81.
The Association would like to thank Ashley Hales for this contribution.