Aircraft losses at Stavanger

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Andy H
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Aircraft losses at Stavanger

Post by Andy H » 12 Feb 2004 00:17

On April 17th 1940 two Coastal Command Hudsons dropped flares and incendary bombs on the German held airfield at Stavanger,Norway. This was to help the British heavy Cruiser Suffolk (8x8") bombard the airfield and destroy the reported large numbers of Luftwaffe planes there.

Does anyone have any further details of this action, specifically German losses?

Andy H

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Richard Murphy
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Post by Richard Murphy » 12 Feb 2004 00:38

Hooton's Phoenix Triumphant only mentions a raid at the end of April, I have some other sources (From both sides.) to check (I know StG 1 was based there.), and will get back to you.

Regards from the Park,

Rich

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Post by Kirill » 12 Feb 2004 07:26

According to http://www.luftwaffe.no/SIG/Losses/tap40.html
17 April 1940 4 He-115 / KuFlGr 106 were destroyed by "enemy fire" on ground on the Sola airfield.

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Bjørn from Norway
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Post by Bjørn from Norway » 12 Feb 2004 15:58

Andy, if you post this at the Forum at http://www.nuav.net , you will get lots of info. There are many experts on that Forum that never visit this one (or other Forums)

B

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 12 Feb 2004 16:40

Hello Andy!

I have the whole attack in details!

The photos I posted From Sola (With all the wrecks) were taken the day after!

There is also written a book by a former pilot, Gron Edwards, which were flying one of the two planes you mentioned. The book is called "Norwegian patrol".

Since I`m stuck on a oilrig in the middle of the North-sea, I can`t give you more details, but hopefully I will be home during the weekend!
Look for updates :)

Erik E

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 13 Feb 2004 20:17

Operation Duck:

The British cruiser ”Suffolk” were just finished disembarking a unit at Torshavn on the Faroe islands, when an order to attack Sola airfield outside Stavanger came. The airfield was frequently used by German bomber units as base for their attacks northwards in Norway. The British plan to send a landingforce to Aandalsnes and Namsos could be much more difficult if the Luftwaffe had full air superiority.

In order to try to disable as many planes as possible, the cruiser, which had an rendesvouz with the 4 destroyers, “Kipling”, “Juno”, “Janus” and “Herwark”, should bombard the airfield before sunset on the 17th April.
As airsupport, 12 Beaufighters from 107sqn Bomber command were ready to follow as soon as the cruiser were starting it`s retreat. In addition to “Suffolk`s” two Walrus scoutplanes, it was decided to send 2 Hudson`s from 233Sqn Coastal command carrying navy artillery observers and radio operators. Just after take-off at 01:15 from Lossiemouth, one of the Hudsons suffered a technical problem, and had to return. The last Hudson continued on it`s own.

Hudson N-7254
Pilot : G. Edwards (RAF)
2nd pilot: Tacon (RAF)
Radio/gunner :Purves (RAF)
L.A.C :Middle (RAF)

LT.Cdr Fleming (Royal navy artillery observer)
T.A.G Rine (Royal navy telegraphist)

In order to avoid some reported German destroyers, Suffolk decided to take an northen approach, thus missing the meeting with the destroyers.

The lone Hudson took the German flak batteries totally by surprise. Edwards was able to drop his load of 9 25Lbs Incendiary bombs in the middle of the airport. As they were heading for the observation line, Oberfeldwebel Jescke in his Ju88C (Z./KG30) attacked them. After a 20 minute dogfight between the two aircrafts, the Ju got away with a damaged engine.
The Hudson then noticed rather heavy AA fire, only to find out that it was the cruiser which were shooting at them! They dropped a few “friendly” flares, and the bombardement begun.

Suffolk was completely alone some 20 Km`s from one of the most used German airfields in Norway. The fires started by the Hudson were not easy to differ from the heavy flak barage over the airport. The radiocommunictation between the 3 scoutplanes and Suffolk prooved to be useless, and only a few words came through. Suffolk started the bombardment allmost on pure luck at 05:13. The first 4 grenades hit a hillside south of the airport. Several civilian houses were damaged along with Sola church, causing the death of one civilian. It is unclear how many grenades Suffolk fired, but the number is most likely between 100-150 8” grenades.

Most of the grenades were way too short to damage the airport, but as the ship was starting it`s retreat, their targeting had become more accurate. The last broadside fired, hit the seaplane harbour north of the airport (Sola-See). 5 He59 and a Bv138 from KGzbv 108, 4 He 115 from 106 Kü.Fl.Gr., two fueldrum stores, one truck and the German commanders house was destroyed. The Hudson and the two Walruses all arrived safe in Lossiemouth and Aberdeen.

As Suffolk returned home, the Germans started their retaliation. At 08:25, 10 He111 from I./KG26 bombed the cruiser from high altitude, but without results. Several Dornier 18 recon planes followed the cruiser at safe distance. Ca 10:00, 28 Ju88`s from II./KG30 started a low level attack. At 10:27, one of the planes scored a direct hit. The officersmess was blown to pieces, jammed two of the main turrtes and damaged the engine room. The cruiser partially lost control over the rudder, and had to manouver with her propellers. 33 British sailors were killed, 38 wounded. The ship was taking in rather much water, and the situation became crictical when another 22 He111`s from III./KG26 arrived at the scene. Again, none of the Heinkels were able to hit the ship directly. Additional 22 He 111`s from III/KG4 had left their bases in Germany, but never found their target.
At this stage, the British battleships Renown and Repulse assisted by several destroyers and planes were able to chase away the German planes. Suffolk arrived at Scapa Flow with most of the aft deck under water. She stayed under repair for several months and later participated in the hunt for Bismarck. She had no more AA ammunition onboard!

The 12 Beaufighters from 107sqn continued all the way to Sola to Attack the Germans planes on ground. Several more German planes were destoyed at Sola, but also two Beaufighters were lost (L-9041 and N-6185)

Sources:

Kampen om Sola
Sola 1930-2000
Norwegian Patrol
Bomber commad losses of ww2

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Post by John T » 12 Jul 2006 15:21

Erik E wrote:Operation Duck:
...
Thanks Erik, nice article.

I just got hold of "Naval operations of the Campaign in Norway"
And that account says that the Destroyers where used for mineclearing but nothing about losing contact with each other
(Official histories tends to ignore the own service failings...)

Also added some info on Sheffields course home, 270 for 95 minutes and then North, searching for German destroyers.
That is contrary to your source saying she avoided the Detroyers.. :?
(Your source sounds more likely if this was a hit and run raid
while RN's adage "Hit first....keep hitting on" goes to the official history )

After the hit at 1037 she turned back to course 270.
The steering motors where temporary damaged for 20 minutes at 1305 and that was the only serious damage done by 32 He111 in level bomber attacks.

Also found some info at http://www2.bc.edu/~emerypa/254/history.html

But the reason I found this thread is that I'm looking for more info in LW bases in Norway during Weserübung.
Do anyone have any good sources?


Cheers
/John T

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 12 Jul 2006 19:50

Thanks for additional info John!

I'm looking for more info in LW bases in Norway during Weserübung.
Not aware of much online, but if you specify. Maybe we can help......?

Erik

John T
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Post by John T » 19 Jul 2006 18:09

Erik E wrote:Thanks for additional info John!

I'm looking for more info in LW bases in Norway during Weserübung.
Not aware of much online, but if you specify. Maybe we can help......?

Erik

I found another description of the opration,(after direction from another member at this site)
Adding a lot of information from the British Air(RAF-FAA)-Point of View and as I said in my initial post
Official histories tends to ignore the own service failings...
It looks like the Navy forgot to tell the fighter escorts that they changed their routing...
You find it at http://www.world-war.co.uk/index.php3
Menu "Actions - Actions2 - Duck" ( easier to understand when you open up the page rather than describe in words)

I am looking for info on the Luftwaffe buildup in Norway and how they managed to start operating so fast with such large number of planes.
I have the outline from Hübatsch but if you got some really detailed sources I'd be happy.
Printed sources are fine too.

Question -
The terrain around Sola - how flat is is?
Suffolk held her at 20 000 yards and due to the communication problems never spotted aircrafts on the ground.
Would she had a chance if she came closer or is the airport area hidden from the sea?


Sola Sea - thats in Hafrfjord just north of the airfield?
http://kart.eniro.no/query?what=map&stq ... &delivery=


Cheers
/John T.

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 19 Jul 2006 22:13

Question -
The terrain around Sola - how flat is is?
Suffolk held her at 20 000 yards and due to the communication problems never spotted aircrafts on the ground.
Would she had a chance if she came closer or is the airport area hidden from the sea?
The beaches infront of the runways are quite flat, but in 1940 the runways were atleast 200 meters from shore.
It should be possible to see atleast the control tower and the mainhangar built in 1937 from a fair distance I belive.
Planes however could be a problem both due to dunes and camoflage.

Sola See is indeed the lake north of the airport.

This photo is taken from the westside. The runway ending at the beach was made afer the attack by Suffolk, byt the area was used as parking.
Image


As for your main question.... Have you seen the book "Flyalarm" by Hafsten?
Recomended by many here in Norway...

EE

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Pips
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Post by Pips » 19 Jul 2006 22:53

Erik, in the account you posted you mention that Beaufighter's were to follow up the attack by Suffolk. Only problem is the initial version's of the Mk.1 Beaufighter (night fighter model) were not delivered to the RAf until 7 July 1940. Perhaps you mean Bristol Blenheim's?

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Erik E
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Post by Erik E » 20 Jul 2006 00:17

Perfectly right there Pips! And a very good observation form your side :wink:
No idea why I wrote it, as it clarly says Blenheim in the book....
Sorry for that!

EE

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stril
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Post by stril » 20 Jul 2006 09:19

Hello
Noticed that this discussion was up again, and im posting a picture of one of the shells from Suffolk
regards
stril

robertmlaws
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Re: Aircraft losses at Stavanger

Post by robertmlaws » 27 Jul 2011 14:37

I know this discussion is quite old now, but I thought I would just add that my father was the radar officer on HMS Suffolk at the time of operation Duck. He escaped with his life (just) and afterwards was moved to HMS Trinidad for convoy PQ13 where also escaped with his life (just).

If anyone knows of any photographs taken during operation Duck, especially of HMS Suffolk, I would be very interested to see them.

Robert
laws@bcs.org.uk

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Cutstone
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Re: Aircraft losses at Stavanger

Post by Cutstone » 16 Aug 2011 11:53

I have never seen any photos from this operation, and I have searched.
There are information in british archives about the operation, and as Erik wrote, many articles written.
At the Imperial War Museum they even have interviews with people that participated in the attac or worked onboard the Suffolk.
By the way there were on known sivilian cassualty. An older lady refused to leave her house just north of the airport and later died from injuries she sustained when her house was hit.
These are the interviews I found:

http://tinyurl.com/3uygdmo

http://tinyurl.com/3w5kk2r

http://tinyurl.com/3ffccnt

http://tinyurl.com/44pmvrs

Atle

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