2.9 'Baby Blitz' - March to May 1944

Bristol had not been bombed by the Luftwaffe during 1943, but early in 1944 there began the new series of Steinbock retaliation attacks. To counter this 'Baby Blitz', on March 26th No.219 Squadron equipped with Mosquitos was moved to Colerne, just in time for the first raid on Bristol, which took place the following night. The Luftwaffe returned on the night of April 23rd, but by this time Colerne was so much involved in the build up for the intended invasion of Europe, that Zeals airfield, in Wiltshire, was pressed into service as a temporary satellite. It was intended that it should house two night fighter squadrons and the first, No.488 (New Zealand) equipped with Mosquitos, arrived just in time for the raid on Bristol which was carried out on the night of May 14th, the only occasion during the Steinbock series when a German bomber even succeed in reaching the city. With the unsustainable attrition rate now being suffered during attempts against Bristol, coupled with the concentration of invasion forces in the South Coast ports which offered easier targets for the inexperienced German aircrews, the night of May 14th proved to be the last occasion on which Luftwaffe aircraft ventured over the city.