Account of 144 Squadron attack on Scharnhorst



Account of 144 Squadron attack on Scharnhorst


Account of training for and carrying out a daylight attack or Scharnhorst in Brest France in May of June probably 1941. Tactics were to use cloud cover but cloud dissipated before target and many aircraft lost. On the reverse part of a diagram of an unidentified object.





Cutting from a printed document


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SChattertonJ159568v10014, SChattertonJ159568v10015


Account of 144 Squadron attack on Scharnhorst
“Another non-routine event took place in May or June. We were warned for a daylight bombing attack on the Scharnhorst in Brest. The word 'daylight' went round the Squadron like wildfire and no-one liked the idea very much, never having done any – and having seen the disastrous examples of the No. 3 Group Wellingtons. These were thought to have clinched the case against day bombing in small, ill-defined unescorted groups to areas where fighters abounded. However, we practised formation flying and soon, loaded with four 500 lb armour piercing bombs each, we went to St. Eval to refuel and await the order to go. Bill Gardiner, now commanding 144 Squadron, was to lead the combined formation of sixteen aircraft from the two Squadrons. Our instructions were to bomb below cloud and retire immediately into it. After waiting a week for suitable weather the formation took off for Brest, but on the climb we entered dense cloud and became separated. Individually a number went on until the cloud stopped well short of Brest, then turned back. Several went on to attack and of these I do not think one survived.”

[page break]

[on reverse part of a hand drawn diagram, with numbers as labels, of unidentified object including a wheel with a tyre]


“Account of 144 Squadron attack on Scharnhorst,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 14, 2024,

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