Fleet Air Arm Archive 1939-1945


 



 
 

FLEET AIR ARM DIVE-BOMBING ATTACK ON THE TIRPITZ APRIL 1944


Successful attack in Operation Tungsten of 3 April 1944 on the Tirpitz in Kaa Fjord, North Norway by 827 and 830 squadron Barracuda dive-bombers from HMS Furious and HMS Victorious and supported by the 7th Naval Fighter Wing including 800, 804, 881, 896, 882, and 898 fighter sqdns

On 30 March 1944, HMS Furious and HMS Victorious of the Home Fleet sailed from Scapa Flow in company with a powerful force of battleships and escort carriers, in Operation Tungsten. Their objective was to attack the German battleship Tirpitz, Germany's last surviving heavy surface unit, moored in the supposedly impregnable anchorage of Altenfjord in northern Norway.

In the early hours of 3 April, having approached to within 120 miles of the Norwegian coast, the carriers launched 42 dive-bombers and 80 fighters in the largest air strike yet undertaken by the Fleet Air Arm.

Tirpitz lay in Kaafjord and was hit by 15 bombs and badly crippled, and although not sunk, was incapable of putting to sea for several months during the crutial Normandy D-Day invasion period of the Allies.

AIRCREW TAKING PART IN THE ATTACK ON THE TIRPITZ APRIL 1944



 
 


Barracudas from 827 and 830 squadron landing on after the Tungsten strike, April 1944

The Operation Tungsten strike was under the air coordination and strike leadership of Lt Cdr RS Baker-Falkner DSC, RN. The main force consisted of two strikes of Barracuda dive-bombers, from No 8 TBR Wing (827/830 sqdns) led by Lt Cdr Baker-Falkner and No. 52 TBR Wing led by Lt Cdr V Rance DSO RN. The Barracudas were operating from HMS Furious and HMS Victorious. 

The fighter cover was provided by Hellcats and Wildcats of the 7th Naval Fighter Wing (800/804/881/896/882/898 sqdns) led by Lt Cdr (A) MF Fell RN from HMS Emperor, HMS Pursuer, and HMS Searcher, along with the 47th Naval Fighter Wing (1834 and 1836 Corsair sqdns) - the first time corsairs had been used in action by the FAA - led by Lt Cdr FRA Turnbull, DSC RN from HMS Victorious. 

HMS Furious's 801 and 880 fighter squadrons provided top cover  whilst an 842Q sdqn detachment provided a/s patrols from HMS Furious. 


Bombs successfully hit their target during the daring dive-bombinbg strike in Operation Tungsten
of 3 April 1944 

Aircrews:

STRIKE LEADER

 

 

 

Baker-Falkner, RS Lt Cdr (A) RN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

FIRST STRIKE No. 8 NAVAL TBR AIR WING

 

 

 

Baker-Falkner, RS Lt Cdr (A) No 8 TBR Wing Leader
Micklem, GN Lt RN 827 sqdn (No 8 TBR Wing Observer)
Kimberley, AM L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

827 squadron

 

 

 

Emerson, MR Lt (A) RNZNVR 827 sqdn
Gibney, KH Lt Cdr (A) RN 827 sqdn
Topliss, C CPO Air 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Darling, PG Lt (A) RCNVR 827 sqdn
Gale, HEK Sub Lt (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
Hoyte, HN L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Herrold, JD Sub Lt (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
Alexander, G Sub Lt (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
Murray, W L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Collett, DW Sub Lt (A) 827 sqdn
Yorke, G C Lt (A) 827 sqdn
Cartmell, T L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Green, EE Sub Lt RNVR 827 sqdn
Jouning, LJ Sub Lt (A) 827 sqdn
Lee, RH L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brown, JR Sub Lt (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
Pullen, DL (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
Reynolds, PA L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gledhill, JA Sub Lt (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
McCormick, J Sub Lt RNVR 827 sqdn
Poole, NAF L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Watson, J Sub Lt (A) RNVR  827 sqdn
Smith, RD Sub Lt (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
Williams, RR L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lock, CM Sub Lt RNVR 827 sqdn
Grieveson, J Sub Lt (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
Matthias, L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robertson, IG Sub Lt (A) 827 sqdn
Pethick, HW Sub Lt (A) 827 sqdn
Coulby, J L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mitchie, AD Sub Lt (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
Sellers, KA Sub Lt (A) RNVR 827 sqdn
Hunter, E L/A 827 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

830 squadron

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kingdon, RD Lt Cdr RNVR 830 sqdn
Armitage, JB Lt (A) RNZNVR 830 sqdn
Carr, AE CPO 830 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Browse, AE Sub Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn
Dobbie, AH Sub Lt RNVR 830 sqdn
Priestley, GF L/A 830 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Clarabut, DS Sub Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn
Knight, ED Sub Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn
Ball, WA L/A 830 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grant, JA Sub Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn
Walling, ACP Sub Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn
Bussey, DP L/A 830 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bell, TC Sub Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn (ftr)
Drennan, RN Sub Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn (ftr)
Burns, GJ L/A 830 sqdn (ftr)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robinson, JB Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn
Eveleigh, RL Sub Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn
Lock, SW A/PO 830 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rowe, DE Sub Lt RNZNVR 830 sqdn
Brown, DA Sub Lt (A) RNZNVR 830 sqdn
Wells, AC L/A 830 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Britton, JD Sub Lt (A) RNVR 830 sqdn
Fairclough, JC Sub Lt RNVR 830 sqdn
Whyte, J L/A 830 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williams, RG Sub Lt (A) RNZNVR 830 sqdn
Burton, RD Sub Lt RNVR 830 sqdn
Thomson, AH L/A 830 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SECOND STRIKE 52nd NAVAL TBR WING

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meredith, Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Rance, V Lt Cdr RN 829 sqdn
Cridland, TL CPO 829 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hamersley, A Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Shipley, ER Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Harding, T L/A  829 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hudson, P Lt RN 829 sqdn
Cooksey, IDC Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Knight, RT L/A 829 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taylor, SC Sub Lt (A) RNZNVR 829 sqdn
Harrison, N Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Sim, AB L/A 829 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Phillips, D Lt Cdr RN 829 sqdn
Ashford, H Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Sherlock, EJW CPO 829 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grindrod, GW Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Hollis, P Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Kitley, I L/A 829 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Farrer, MC Sub Lt (A) RNZNVR 829 sqdn
Erratt, SA Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Bacon, R L/A 829 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hustwick, NB Lt (A) RNZNVR 829 sqdn
Stacey, E Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn
Spencer, T L/A 829 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Towlson, AN (A) Sub Lt RNVR 829 sqdn
Ryan, LT Sub Lt (A) RNZNVR 829 sqdn
Firth, W L/A 829 sqdn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bowles, EC Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn (crashed/died)
Whittaker, JP Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn  (crashed/died)
Colwell, CJ L/A 829 sqdn  (crashed/died)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Richardson, HH Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn (shot down)
Cannon, AG Sub Lt (A) RNVR 829 sqdn  (shot down)
Carroll, E L/A 829 sqdn  (shot down)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

831

 

 

 

Brooks, D Lt Cdr (A) RN 831 sdqn
Miller, DS Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Halhead, D L/A 831 sdqn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hurst, CG Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Lindores, WS Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Robinson, D L/A 831 sdqn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abbott, PH Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Peck, LW Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Gallimore, V L/A 831 sdqn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bovey, NH Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Smith, W Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Watkins, V L/A 831 sdqn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Russell-Jones, G Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Cartwright, J Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
McRae, GA L/A 831 sdqn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Robbins, RN Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Coe, J Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Ward, T L/A 831 sdqn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Henderson, TM Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Hutchinson, V Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Smyth, V L/A 831 sdqn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bebbington, MM Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Burford, GJ Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Rankin, RR L/A 831 sdqn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hunter, P Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
King, EM Sub Lt (A) RNVR 831 sdqn
Allen, WA L/A 831 sdqn

 

 

 

 


 
 
 

FIGHTER AIRCREW

The fighter cover was provided by Hellcats and Wildcats of the 7th Naval Fighter Wing  led by  from HMS Emperor, HMS Pursuer, and HMS Searcher, along with the 47th Naval Fighter Wing (1834 and 1836 Corsair sqdns) led by Lt Cdr FRA Turnbull, DSC RN from HMS Victorious. HMS Furious's 801 and 880 fighter squadrons provided top cover  whilst an 842Q sdqn detachment provided a/s patrols from HMS Furious.

Aircrews:

Wing Leader 7th Naval Fighter Wing (800/804/881/896/882/898 sqdns)

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) MF Fell RN

 

 

 

800

 

 

 

Lt Cdr SJ Hall DSC RN

 

 

 

804

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) SG Orr DSC RNVR

 

 

 

881

 

 

 

Lt Cdr DRB Cosh RCNVR

 

 

 

882

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) J Cooper DSC RNVR

 

 

 

896

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) LA Hordern DSC RNVR

 

 

 

898

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) GR Henderson DSC RNVR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

47th Naval Fighter Wing (1834 and 1836 Corsair sqdns)

 

 

 

Lt Cdr FRA Turnbull, DSC RN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1834

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) PN Charlton DFC RN

 

 

 

1836

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) CC Tomkinson RNVR

 

 

 

801 and 880 fighter squadrons of HMS Furious (later 30th Naval Fighter Wing)

 

 

 

801

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) HF Bromwich RN

 

 

 

880

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) WH Martyn DSC RNVR

 

 

 

842Q sdqn .

 

 

 

Lt Cdr (A) GFS Hodson RNR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

FURTHER INFORMATION

 

Tirpitz by John Asmussen 2000, 2001

Detailed account of Operation Tungsten

The History of the Bismarck and Tirpitz class 

 

The Tirpitz by British Forces.com

 

Mark Styling, Corsair Aces of World War 2, Osprey Publishing, 1995

Barrett Tillman, Hellcat: The F6F in World War II, Naval Institute Press, 1979

Barrett Tillman, Hellcat Aces of World War 2, Osprey Publishing, 1996

Barrett Tillman, Wildcat Aces of World War 2, Osprey Publishing, 1995

Barrett Tillman, U.S. Navy Fighter Squadrons in World War II, Specialty Press, 1997

 

Christopher Shores and Clive Williams, Aces High: a tribute to the most notable fighter pilots of the British and Commonwealth Forces in WWII, Grub Street publishers, 1994

 

Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995) 

Sturtivant, R. & Burrow, M (1995)  'Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939 to 1945'  Published by Air Britain (Historians) Ltd, 1995 ISBN: 0 85130 232 7 

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