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Thread: 'Highball' Operations to France, April 1944

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    Default 'Highball' Operations to France, April 1944

    I wonder if anyone can shed any light on a log-book I have had a copy of for some years.

    As most will be familiar, the 'Highball' was a smaller version of the 'bouncing bomb', designed by Barnes Wallis and to be carried by Mosquito to attack shipping and other similar targets. History has it that the Squadron formed to use it was 618, but despite much testing and a later deployment to Australia, 618 Squadron never used Highball in anger, and in fact Highball was never used in anger by anyone.

    I have a copy of the log book of Squadron Leader William Richard Cuffe-Smith DFC, Croix de Guerre, when serving with 21 Squadron at Gravesend (he was apparently with 21 Squadron between 1/1/44 and 5/2/45, initially at Hunsdon, then Gravesend (17/4/44 to 18/6/44) and then Thorney Island), before going to France, I assume with the same unit.

    For April 30th he has an entry, 'Mosquito W, (pilot) Self (2nd Pilot, Pupil or Passenger) F/Sgt Spooner, 'Highball', Railway Junction near Abancourt, OK'.

    A couple of days later on May 2nd 1944, he has 'Mosquito A, (same crew), 'Highball' ops as detailed. Rly Junction Nr Serqueux, B.B.B. could not find Blackchief'. I assume 'B.B.B.' means 'brought back bomb.

    No other mention. Does anyone know what he was doing?
    Last edited by Unverified 9395; 30th March 2011 at 09:40. Reason: additional information

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    Could have got his 'Noballs' and 'Highballs' mixed up as there was a V1 modified site at Chateau Bernapre near to Abancourt. Beaubec-la-Rosiere, Le Bois de Laon and Le Fosse, Foret de Montadet are close to Serquex.

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    This sounds logical, but would he have known about Highball? Probably not.

    Interpreting this another way, he simply got "high" and "Lo" mixed up and it is just a coincidence that it came out as another Mosquito-relevant codename.

    I thnk we can be certain that "Highball" was not used twice as an official codename, but another possibility may be that it is a local (unit?) usage for some variant of their usual Noball mission.

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    Thank you gents, both interesting replies and I think probably the answer. Its one of those things Ive had unanswered for years, but such a coincidence that if it were a mistake, that flying a Mosquito it comes out as something totally unconnected with the really Highball programme. Although Highball, and indeed Upkeep, were tested overland and into railway tunnels and the like, I'm sure if they were ever used in anger in that way it would have been documented before now.

    The log shows no other 'Highball' or 'Noball' ops, just 'Intruder' sorties.

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