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The two detailed, day-by-day reference works shown below make no mention on any raids or attacks on Rochester 16, 17, 18 October 1940. So, there are several possibilities: (1) some bombs were jettisoned over Rochester by bombers en-route to London or other targets, possibly while under attack by RAF night fighters; or, (2) Rochester was indeed a night target by some bombers from Luftflotte 2. Unlike Luftflotte 3, the mission records for Luftflotte 2 for October are missing and were probably destroyed toward the end of the war. [P.S. - I was born and raised in Rochester, but the other Rochester in New York State across the pond, as they say. .]
Mason, Francis K. Battle Over Britain: A history of the German air assaults on Great Britain, 1917-18 and July – December 1940, and the development of Britain’s air defences between the World Wars. London: McWhirter Twins Ltd, 1969. SBN: 901928 00 3. Hb. Dj. 636p. Illus. Maps. Numerous appendices. Bibliography. Index.
Ramsey, Winston G. (ed.). The Blitz, Then And Now. Volume 2: September 1940 – May 1941. London: Battle of Britain Prints International, Ltd., 1988. ISBN: 0 900913 54 1. Hb (oversize). Dj. 656p. Profusely illus. Maps. Dwgs. Glossary. Index.
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"On the 17th October 1940 at 2142 hours a fire bomb made a direct hit on the bridge over the moat, where several vehicles were parked in front of the Fort at the shift changeover. It is estimated that 320 enemy aircraft operated over Britain’s coasts that day during the bright weather and with the wireless station so close to the dockyards, it was an easy target.
According to the local paper: ‘Three A.T.S girls who had just arrived on duty were killed by a bomb which fell in another part of the district, at the same time. The bomb fell near a lorry (at the Fort) which was burnt out and a soldier and civilian were also killed and, there were others injured.’
Source - https://btckstorage.blob.core.windows.n ... ron16m.pdf
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Larry got in touch
Hope that this will help although there is only so much information available.
This is what I have found so far:-
Reading the Bombing Britain survey it records 14 casualties at Rochester on the night of 17-18.10.40. 4 dead, 3 injured and 7 unclassified. The source is HO203 5/183 which is from the UKNA at Kew but unfortunately is not digitised so only a visit will do.
In Lagebericht No 408 18.10.40 10.00 hrs for 17.10.40 and night 17.-18.10.40 there is no mention of Rochester or Chatham. There is mention of two LMB 1000 being dropped at Sheerness which is 15-20 km away from Rochester. There was a significant raid on London that night and the Lagebericht goes into some detail on this. However, what is lacking is anything of any significance on aircraft attacking alternative targets.
Note regarding the London raiders and Sheerness - none of the units listed below were carrying LMB 1000s. There were lot of SC 1000 and some SC 1800s but no LMB 1000s - However, see the Luftflotte 2 comments at the end*. The other comment regarding Sheerness is that the Bombing Britain survey does not appear to have any entries for Sheerness or the surrounding areas on that night.
I also checked Lagebericht 409 in case there was anything extra recorded in the following report - unfortunately, there was nothing.
Eingegangene Meldungen Generalstab Luftwaffe während des 18.10.40 (which covers 17-18.1040) - only gave a summary of what was in the Lagebericht for the London raid and that on Liverpool-Birkenhead.
The Luftflotte 3 Einzelmeldungen Nr 3 18.10.40 recorded units involved in the London raid.
KG 26 - 27 He 111
KG 76 - 12 Do 17
Fl. K. IV
I./LG 1 - 12 Ju 88
II./LG 1 - 11 Ju 88
III./LG 1 - 12 Ju 88
I./KG 27 - 13 He 111
II./KG 27 - 14 He 111
III./KG 27 - 3 He 111
I./KG 51 - 10 Ju 88
II./KG 51 - 4 Ju 88
III./KG 51 - 11 Ju 88
I./KG 54 - 4 Ju 88
II./KG 54 - 4 Ju 88
St.St./KG 55 - 2 He 111
I./KG 55 - 9 He 111
II./KG 55 - 18 He 111
III./KG 55 - 8 He 111
K.Gr.806 - 4 Ju 88
According to a report from Führungsabteilung Gruppe I c 18.10.40 19.15 hrs 204 aircraft were to attack London of which 184 confirmed over London, 3 aircraft attacked alternatives, 9 aircraft abandoned the sortie due to technical issues, 1 aircraft missing and 9 crashed on return..
Same report - 1 Ju 88 der II,./KG 51 missing
The following units had aircraft crash on return: - 1 Ju 88 of I./LG 1; 4 Ju 88 of I./KG 54; 2 Ju 88 of II./KG 54; 1 Ju 88 of K.Gr.806 and 1 He 111 of I./KG 55. It is unclear if the 9 recorded as having technical difficulties are the same 9 that crashed on return.
So at the end of all of this I cannot identify who bombed Rochester.
*Lagebericht Nr 408 also has the following:
“In der Nacht zum 18. 10. griffen starke Kräfte
- 254 Kampfflugzcuge - London in der Zeit von 2015 bis 0655 Uhr mit etwa 322 t Sprengbomben und Flambo (10 SC 1800, 12 SD 1400, 44 SC 1000, 101 SC 500, 1 SD 500, 303 SC 250, 117 Fl 250, 48 LZZ, 626 SC und SD 50; 7 LMA, 40 LMB) sowic 134 BSK an."
This confirms Luftflotte 2s involvement to the extent of the difference between the total number quoted here and that from the relevant Luftflotte 3 Einzelmeldung. It also indicates the possible source of the LMB 1000s recorded as being dropped on Sheerness.
1. It may have been a separate Luftflotte 2 unit - either part of the London raid, or on a separate sortie, which we cannot identify due to the lack of surviving documentation.
2. BlitzTaN - indicates that the raiders routed via Beachy Head and Hastings and also from the Thames Estuary so one or two coming via that last route could have decided to drop their load on Rochester.
3. It could have been a plane in difficulty dumping its load.
I hope that this is of some assistance.