Bismarck sinking pilot recalls attack
- 27 May 2011
- From the section Cornwall
It is 70 years since the sinking of the German warship the Bismarck.
The last surviving member of the air attack has been remembering his role on a visit to his old squadron at RNAS Culdrose in west Cornwall.
Jock Moffat, 92, from Dunkeld, is believed to have fired the torpedo that hit the Bismarck's rudder, affecting its steering.
The order came from Winston Churchill to destroy the ship, after it had sunk HMS Hood three days earlier.
Mr Moffat, who was born and grew up in the Scottish Borders, is the last surviving member of the air attack, carried out by 820 Squadron, the oldest in the Navy.
The night before the Bismarck's sinking, a plane from Naval Air Squadrons based on HMS Ark Royal launched a torpedo that hit the Bismarck's rudder.
This action made it possible for the British ships and planes to inflict damage on the heavily-armoured Bismarck.
Remembering his orders while he was in the air, Mr Moffat said: "All of a sudden they said to let her go. I pressed the necessary and my torpedo left my aircraft.
"I can't honestly turn around and say I changed it. But I would like to think I did. They decided it was my torpedo that managed to hit it."
Hundreds were killed on both sides during the sinking of HMS Hood and the German ship.