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RAF Bombers sink the Tirpitz Battleship

RGJ/H. Alan

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Is Banff the airfield that you pass on the way to the nature reserve at the mouth of the river and the roads named after aircraft?


That was RAF Dallachy it was home to four squadrons of Bristol Beaufighters, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Brits each had a Squadron for a total of 2500 personnel and 80 Aircraft, it is near the village of Fochabers and Spey Bay.


RAF Milltown, the now disused satellite airfield to Between RAF Dallachy and RAF lossiemouth was home to RAF Coastal Command Liberators.


We had alot of operational combat aircraft in this area from mid 1944 until VE day.

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Banff was the base for the Strike wings Mosquito's. 4 Mosquito squadrons operated from there.

143, 235 and 248 Squadrons operated Mosquito's from there as did 333 Norwegian Squadron, who used their local knowledge to help the other squadrons find their way around the coast of Norway.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I have just been reading a book about Banff Strike Wing, in it is a bit about the 617 and 9 Sqn lancaster aircraft, they landed at various north east scottish RAF airfields after the Tirpitz raid.


Here is a fantastic extract about an unusual event that occurred when Lancasters landed at RAF Banff after that raid....


"The airfield control officer at Banff had know for some time that a unit of Bomber Command Lancasters were undergoing training at Lossiemouth. On this drizzly day in the afternoon the control room officer received word that a couple of Lancasters were in the circuit, and they landed at Banff one after the other. A fault or mechanical defect had prevented one of the Tallboys (a 12,000 lb bomb developed by Barnes Wallis) being dropped, and it was brought back. This highly explosive load was still hung up owing to the weather conditions during the flight. The crew got safely down; upon switching off the Merlins the Tallboy came away, and the crew without debate made a hasty and undignified exit in front of the control tower. It did not explode otherwise it would have taken half the station away! Everyone beat a quick retreat while a bomb disposal team was called, and the base was out of bounds for two days while they made the 12,000 lb bomb safe. The following day the offending crew had a photograph taken for the squadron scrapbook sitting on the defused Tallboy."


Didnt report that in the papers !

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Supposedley that scource of the story that: 'When the crew bailed into a truck and took off at high speed, they were overtaken by a LAC on a bicycle!':-D


The Bombs were very valuable, and if a target could not be found, Tall Boys and grand Slams were brought back, not just dropped indescriminately.


Tall Boy was not a great problem, but I have read that a Lanc returning with a Grand Slam wrecked its landing gear on landing. The Lanc had used more fuel than planned, because the return leg was flown with 10 ton extra weight and hence the Lanc had to put down short of fuel at another Airfield. The bomb had to be off loaded while the landing legs were changed, and the bomber could fly on to its home airfield. This caused some delay because the field on which the Lanc had landed did not have a bomb trolley with cranes to handle the bomb, and one had to be roaded in.

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