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Thread: 11 May 1943 attack on east coast

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    Default 11 May 1943 attack on east coast

    Does anyone have details of an attack made by FW aircraft on the seafront of the Caister/Yarmouth area on 11 May 1943 when casualties included approximately 25 ATS women and at least one hotel was badly damaged/destroyed?

    Regards
    Malcolm Macdonald

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    Malcolm

    There is a Whole article covering this raid in 'The Blitz then and Now' part 3, pps 257 on. If you don't have access to a copy PM me and I will scan it for you.

    regards

    DaveW

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    I was the author of that piece in 'The Blitz: Then And Now'. I have quite a bit of gen on this raid, including the AWAS report on the raid, and the account in 'Front Line Town'. The actual death-toll in this particular incident was 28, 26 ATS and two soldiers. The FW 190s were pursued by Mustangs and one was shot down in the sea.
    What specifically are you looking for ?

    BC

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    I was specifically looking for information on where, when and how the ATS personnel met their death. One of the casualties, Anna Macleod, was the sister of the Stornoway Town Clerk, but nobody in Stornoway seems to no exactly what happened to her.

    Regards
    Malcolm Macdonald

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    Hostile raid 497 was a daylight low-level attack by 18 FW 190s of II/SKG.10 on the Gt Yarmouth area at 0845 hours on 11 May 1943. This was a frontal attack out of the sun and early morning mist. The raiders followed a reverse course of that taken by an earlier raid on 7 May, crossing in flying W just N of Britannia Pier and attacking the N part of Gt Yarmouth, exiting over the Winterton area.

    Gorleston ROC post made a sound only report identifying the incoming FW's about a minute before the attack. Caister ROC post gave the alarm to Gt Yarmouth Police and the crash alarm was sounded only a few seconds after the first bombs fell.

    14 x 500 kg HE bombs fell in various scattered residential areas in the N of the town. Some of the bombs bounced over the ground due to the low-level of their release. There was widespread destruction from bombs and cannon-fire, and with 49 people killed and 41 injured, this was the worst air-raid Gt Yarmouth endured in WW 2.

    A squad of about 30 ATS girls had been exercising that morning and had just marched back to their billet at Whitfield House, a large hostel at No.8, North Drive, when it received a direct hit from an HE bomb. L/Cpl Anna Mcleod aged 23, was one of the 28 fatal casualties in this incident.

    Four Mustangs from 613 Sqn which had just taken from Coltishall on an armed rece over the Dutch coast were vectored onto the fleeing FW 190s and pursued them out to sea at low-level, F/O Townsend managed to shoot one down, confirmed in German records.

    Hope this helps,

    Regards,

    BC

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    Exactly the information that I was looking for - much,much appreciated indeed.

    I knew her late sister who was a teacher and her brother-in-law very well.

    Regards
    Malcolm Macdonald

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    Anna Macleod (CWGC is wrong with Mc) had joined the ATS in 1942 after working for the Slater Insurance Company in Glasgow and then the Lewis Food Office. She had been recommended for a commission just weeks before her death. Anna’s brother Alasdair was the Stornoway Town Clerk (1931-68). She had two other brothers. William, a Major with the RAMC who experienced Dunkirk before being Mentioned in Despatches, twice in Italy. Kenneth was in the Royal Corps of Signals and was later Manager of the Bank of Scotland in Stornoway (1957-67). She had three sisters, Janet, Ina and Chrissie and was the daughter of the contractor Angus Macleod and his wife Mary Ann Macleod (nee Morrison). Her father had died on 23 April 1938 aged 65. Anna was interred at Aignish Cemetery (WG) W/171933. Detachments of WRNS and Girl Guides were present as well as senior officers from the Home Guard and the Army.

    With kind regards
    Malcolm Macdonald

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