Strike on Gestapo prison at Amiens

The RAAF’s No 464 Squadron was one of two units which carried out a daring raid on this day to strike a prison outside Amiens, France, where the German Gestapo was planning the imminent execution of members of the French Resistance among the prison’s 700 inmates. The second wave of attackers comprised five Mosquito fighter-bombers from 464 Squadron led by Wing Commander Robert Iredale, accompanied by a sixth flown by the RAF operation leader, Group Captain Percy Pickard. Striking with surprise and precision at midday, the raid succeeded in breaking the outer prison wall, and also breaching the main prison building and destroying the guards’ living quarters. Although 174 prisoners were killed or injured in the attack, 258 had escaped (including 50 Resistance members). Lost in the operation were two aircraft from the second wave (including Pickard’s) and two Typhoons of the fighter escort.

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