April 28/29th 1942 Tirpitz Raid
|The ground crews worked hard all day to patch up the aircraft that had returned from the 27th April attack on Tirpitz in order to have as many of them as possible serviceable for the attack on the 28th.
It had been established after debriefing from the 27th that there had been too long a time scale between the first and second phases of the attack. The plans for the attack on the 28th were to remain the same as those made for the 27th with the exception of a change of timing between the first and second phase of the attack. This time the first phase would commence bombing between 0030 and 0040 hrs with the Lancasters from 44 and 97 Squadrons being joined by the Halifaxes of 76 Squadron to drop the 4,000 lb bombs. The fourteen serviceable Halifaxes from 10 and 35 Squadron would carry out the second phase, this time carrying five 1,000 lb mines each. They were to commence their attack between 0041 and 0050 hrs.
Again it was a bright moonlit night as the aircraft started to take off from the various airbases in the North East of Scotland to make their way over the North Sea to Norway. On reaching the Norwegian coast the visibility was good, however, the Germans were on their guard and soon the smoke barrels and vessels were emitting their screen and the targets vanished beneath it.
Bombing from 6,000 feet, and above, again the aircraft in the first phase were not all able to locate Tirpitz. Some bombed the ships in Lofjord and many of them also attacked AA and searchlight positions in the area and aerodromes.
The second phase went in and once more was flying over the fjord at 150 feet to drop their mines. Once again they encountered serious heavy flak from above and below them. The last aircraft left the area at 0130 hrs.
Two of the 34 aircraft that took off failed to return, both were from 35 Squadron.
W1053 TL-G flown by Flight Sergeant Johnny Roe and crew was hit by AA fire while flying over Tirpitz and caught fire. The pilot managed to crash land the aircraft on some farmland just east of Lake Movatnet and it came to a halt in a small wood. One member of the crew was killed, the others attempted to escape to Sweden but were captured and taken POW.
W7656 TL-P flown by F/L Petley and crew. The aircraft crash landed in Åsenfjord three miles from the shore. Two of the crew were killed in the crash while the rest were captured and taken POW.
In the days following the attack, it again became clear that no lasting or serious damage had been inflicted on Tirpitz.
On the 29th and 30th April the crews and remaining serviceable aircraft left Scotland and returned to their home bases.
|The map below shows the location of Tirpitz in Fættenfjord and the positions of flak guns, smoke vessels, searchlights and other German shipping.
The 10 Squadron Aircraft and Crews
The 35 Squadron Aircraft and Crews
The 44 Squadron Aircraft and Crews
|F/Sgt Rowan Parry
The 76 Squadron Aircraft and Crews
The 97 Squadron Aircraft and Crews
|Sgt Smith M R
|F/Sgt Jones C A
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© Linzee Druce 2001-2012