E-boats and E-boat shelters, Le Havre, narrative



E-boats and E-boat shelters, Le Havre, narrative


Account of operation against sheltered E-boats in Le Havre harbour. Tasks to assist Navy in their fight against E-boats who were operating against allied invasion forces. States pens would be invulnerable even to 12,000 lb bombs therefore, bombs would be dropped at entrances, Goes on with account of marking and bombing. Mentions heavy anti-aircrat fire and that three aircraft were hit, with one slight casualty, but all returned safely to base.

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One-page typewritten document


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[underlined] E-BOATS AND E-BOAT SHELTERS, LE HAVRE. [/underlined]

[underlined] NARRATIVE. [/underlined]
This attack against Le Havre was ordered so as to assist the Navy in their fight with enemy E-Boats operating against our Invasion Forces in the English Channel.

It was known that the E-Boat Pens were of such strength that they would be proof against direct hits with the new type of 12,000lb. bomb. It was decided, therefore, to drop these 12,000lb. bombs at the entrance to the Pens, and by this means, create such a wave and underwater disturbance that the E) Boats would be smashed to pieces against their own shelters. The E-Boats moored alongside the Quai Jeanne Couvert were also to be attacked by dropping bombs in the water alongside the Quay. The attack was planned to take place at dusk and 617 Squadron was to attack just ahead of other aircraft from the Command which had been detailed to bomb the Harbour Installations.

The Force Leader, W/Cdr. Cheshire, put down four red spot fires to act as a guide to the approaching bombers. These markers were assessed by S/Ldr. Shannon as approximately 1000 yards from both the Aiming Points. In spite of a smoke screen the bombing was very accurate. A good concentration fell around the Pens and there were at least three direct hits on the Pens themselves. Four to six bombs were seen to burst alongside the Quai Jeanne Couvert but towards the end of the attack the smoke from the bombing and from the screen obscured any further observation of results except a very large explosion which occurred at 2235/6 hours.
Throughout the attack flak was intense and very accurate. The aircraft piloted by F/Lt. Clayton, Lt. Knilans, and F/O. Stanford were all hit but were able to return to Base without further mishap. Sgt. Crosby, Mid Upper Gunner in Lt. Knilans’ crew, was slightly injured.



“E-boats and E-boat shelters, Le Havre, narrative,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 23, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/16529.

Item Relations

This Item dcterms:relation Item: Royal Air Force file cover - Le Havre 14/15 June 1944