Aerial violation of Swiss airspace

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MWrightJ[Ser#-DoB]-150527-070002.jpg

Title

Aerial violation of Swiss airspace

Description

Report form the Commander, District 1, Land Division regarding violations of Swiss airspace on night of 12/13 July 1943 when all areas covered by the Territorial Inspectorate of District 1 received alerts which began at 00.06 and continued until 02.09. Large numbers of aircraft were seen overflying this whole area, sometimes at a lower altitude than seen in previous sorties.

The report consists of five sections:

1. Details of bombs which fell in and around Praratoud and action taken.
M. Gauthier, Chief of Police of the Fribourg Canton, had received reports of bombs falling on Praratoud, Oudisfeld and Ueberstorf. He went to Praratoud immediately and confirmed that the above reports were true – 5 bombs had fallen but not exploded. With the help of the local constabulary, he took steps to establish order and ensure the evacuation of one farm especially at risk. The Federal Military Police requested that M. Gauthier, remain in Praratoud to investigate the possible destruction of the bombs or their removal. A Military Service Order was put in place and would remain until the bombs were removed or destroyed. In the locality of Oudisfeld only one bomb fell and exploded: however, it was claimed that there was serious damage to crops and to the rooves of apartment blocks over a radius of 400 – 800 m.

2. Details of bomb which fell on Le Bouveret and action taken.
Information, coming into District 1 from different directions, suggested that a bomb fell in the vicinity of Le Bouveret. A detachment of Fusiliers from the Border Force was immediately sent out to investigate. It was thus established that a 4-engined aircraft had come down in this area. 5 bodies were found and searches continued. Major Corboz of District 10 got in touch with M. Gauthier shortly before 08.00 and requested instructions concerning the collection of the bodies. From 08.00 onwards detachments from District 10 and Border Force Fusiliers continued with the formalities.

3. Details of bomb which fell near Sion. Difficulties encountered and action taken.
Details had come in from various directions regarding the fall of an aircraft in the vicinity of Sion but problems were encountered when trying to contact and obtain reliable information from the relevant authorities during the hours of darkness. In spite of these difficulties, the reports received were eventually thought to be correct and the Inspector of District 1 was able to send the order to District 10 to ask the neighbouring constabularies to proceed with the necessary enquiries. An aircraft was finally located at the end of the road leading to Viryon.

4. Details regarding incendiary bombs.
During the morning, various places were located where the incendiary bombs had fallen, – mainly in the area above Lausanne in the region of Savigny, Normiers and their environs. Steps were taken in each case to proceed with the destruction of the unexploded incendiary bombs. These bombs do not appear to have caused widespread damage.

5. Other bodies contacted and informed regarding the above events.
Various other imprecise observations were confirmed as correct in the early part of the morning by Districts 2 and 11 and the Inspectorate of District 1 was immediately informed. As soon as the facts were sufficiently clarified, each piece of information regarding the 2 afore-mentioned aircraft was also communicated to the Army High Command, Land Division; the Intelligence Service; the Anti-Aircraft Division and the Press Office of District 1. He also requested that all authorities under the control of District 1 participate in the destruction of the incendiary bombs – or, for any other incident, to send in a detailed report.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1943-07-14

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

Two typewritten sheets

Language

Type

Identifier

MWrightJ[Ser#-DoB]-150527-07

Temporal Coverage

Collection

Citation

Switzerland. Armée, “Aerial violation of Swiss airspace,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 8, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/2252.

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