Go To Page:
On 29/10/44 at 1:00 am, nineteen Lancaster's took off from Lossiemouth, all aircraft carrying Tallboys. The German Navy had had insufficient time to move the smoke generating equipment to Tromso. The aircraft travelled to and from the target in good weather only to find the Tirpitz enshrouded in cloud. The crews aimed their bombs into the area where they thought Tirpitz was, but no one claimed any hits. Ron Adams Pilot of IX squadrons X-X Ray was hit by flak on the run in and lost fuel from the starboard tank. The rear gunner Fred Whitfield was hit in the foot and climbed out of the turret, his electric slipper had shorted out causing a stabbing pain, he had been burned. The pilot used anglo-saxon to tell him to return to his post.
In fact one weapon detonated about 80 ft from the ships port side, causing damage to the propeller shaft and rudder, but that was all.
F/O Bill Carey's aircraft was hit by gunfire from the ship knocking out its starboard outer engine and causing a fuel leak. Forced to descend, whist crossing the little fishing village of Andenes where another burst of flak hit the left inner engine. Losing fuel, with his two engines out, they soon discovered-damaged hydraulics had caused the wheels, flaps and bomb doors to drop down. On two engines at maximum revs the aircraft was barely flyable. After putting out a mayday call to Naval destroyers which were standing by on their return route and receiving no reply they were forced to set course for Sweden, where they landed wheels up, after cranking them up by hand near the Lapland village of Porjus.
The Sinking Of The Battleship "Tirpitz"
First Attempt - Lossiemouth
copyright: Kevin Walford, 2002
Updated: January 2008