RAF Timeline 1945
Back to 1944
1 Jan 1945 - The Allies are caught by surprise German fighter-bombers strikes on airfields in Europe (Operation Bodenplatte (Baseplate)). A total of 465 aircraft are destroyed on the ground, but the Luftwaffe loses 62 aircraft to Allied fighters and 172 to light AA (including RAF Regiment gunners). Whilst Allied losses are quickly replace, the Luftwaffe fighters arm is effectively destroyed.
1 Feb 1945 - Allied forces cross the Irrawaddy River and take the crucial airfield of Meiktila in central Burma. The airfield is defended against strong Japanese counter-attacks by the RAF Regiment, enabling supplies and reinforcements to be flown in.
22 Feb 1945 - Allied Air Forces launch Operation Clarion, a concerted effort to wipe out all forms of transport available to the Germans in 24 hours. Nearly 9,000 aircraft, operating from bases in England, France, Holland, Belgium and Italy attack over 250,00 square miles of territory, targeting railways, bridges, ports and roads.
14 Mar 1945 - No. 617 Sqn drop the first 22,000lb (9,980 kg) Grand Slam bomb on Bielefeld viaduct in Germany.
24 Mar 1945 - Operation Varsity, the crossing of the Rhine begins. The operation, involving 1,500 aircraft and 1,300 gliders was successful - the harsh lessons of Market Garden had been learned. Fighter cover was provided by 2nd TAF, but less than 20 enemy aircraft were sighted.
April 1945 - By the second week of the month, Japanese resistance had virtually crumbled in light of devastating attacks by Allied fighter-bombers. On the 3 May, the Burmese capital finally fell to the Allies.
10 Apr 1945 - An Arado Ar234 makes the last recorded mission by a German aircraft over Britain; its reconnaissance mission takes it from Scapa Flow in the Orkneys to the Firth of Tay, Scotland.
26 Apr 1945 - The first of some 75,000 ex-prisoners of war are flown back to the UK by aircraft of Bomber Command.
29 Apr 1945 - The start of Operation Manna. Bomber Command aircraft air drop 6,500 tons of food and clothing to Dutch people. The operation continued until 8 May.
2/3 May 1945 - Bomber Command carries out its last offensive action of World War II when Mosquitoes of No. 8 Group attack enemy airfields.
3 May 1945 - Typhoons and Tempests of 2nd TAF carry out devastating attacks on enemy shipping in the Baltic. Large numbers of flying boats and transport aircraft, attempting a massed evacuation to Norway, are also destroyed.
4 May 1945 - The last day of air operations in north-west Europe; 2nd TAF aircraft claim to have shot down 141 enemy aircraft during anti-shipping operations in the Baltic.
8 May 1945 - VE Day. Germany surrenders unconditionally, and the war in Europe ends. The Royal Observer Corps is also stood-down from its war footing and assumes its peacetime role. At this time there were 32,000 observers based at 1,420 posts around the UK.
15 Jul 1945 - The 2nd TAF is reformed as the British Air Force of Occupation, Germany.
21 Jul 1945 - Ten thousand Japanese troops are killed whilst trying to escape from Burma in an attack lasting nine days by aircraft of 3rd TAF.
6 Aug 1945 - An American B-29 bomber, Enola Gay, drops the worlds first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima in Japan. The device produced an explosion equal to 15,000 tons of TNT and killed 75,000 people.
9 Aug 1945 - A second atomic bomb is dropped by the B-29 Bocks Car on the city of Nagasaki in Southern Japan; 35,000 people were killed.
15 Aug 1945 - VJ Day. The Second World War finally ends with Japans unconditional surrender.
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