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15 October 2014
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The First Flying Bomb to Hit London

by BBC Southern Counties Radio

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Archive List > D-Day+ 1944

Contributed by 
BBC Southern Counties Radio
People in story: 
Major William Henry Smart, Battery Commander; Capt. Wilfred Dudeney, Tactical Control Officer and Lt. Hugh Halsey, Command Post Officer.
Location of story: 
Blackheath, London
Background to story: 
Article ID: 
Contributed on: 
07 July 2005

Night of June 13 1944 approximately 1am stand to. Code word DIVER, DIVER not known to AA. Gun Operations Room explained code word for flying bombs. Activity only in coastal area. Stood down. New alarm approx. 3.30am DIVER, DIVER. Light approaching from SE. I ordered battery to engage and the Bofor gun. Observation Post Officer Halsey "Don't fire, friendly, showing light". I overruled due to its speed and brilliance of the light that could not be an incoming aircraft. We took it on with rockets and Bofor.It was coming in too fast & low to engage on approach. Switched to 180 degrees. Dudeney was ordered to fire a salvo as a receder. Approximately 100 rockets let off. Flying bomb came down in the middle, and a salvo landed in Bow. It killed 8 people. Activity continued for 4 or 5 days. We brought a flying bomb down with the triple Lewis guns, which exploded on a school, but it was Saturday so there were no casualties. All firing in London was subsequently stopped. Guns moved to the Kent coast. Americans supplied proximity fuses. Our best shoot was 97 out of 101 launched with the co-operation with the RAF.

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