Grumman 4F4 Wildcat VI Kilbotn Harstad

882 Squadron Fleet Air Arm HMS "Searcher" JV809 04.05 1945

"Operation Judgement". Lieutenant Hugh 'Hughie' Morrison (27) senior pilot and 2nd in command of 882 Squadron. He was from New Zealand and was killed during this attack on the U-boat base at Kilbotn near Harstad. His Wildcat was hit by AA-fire and crashed into the sea. He was brought a shore, but died shortly after. He is buried at Narvik New Cemetery. Operation Judgement" was initiated in order to destroy the U-boat base and store ships used in the U-boat offensive against convoys to Russia. This was to be last offensive naval operation in the war against Germany. A total of 45 airplanes participated in the attack.

photo © harald isachsen

The depot ship "Black Watch", supply ship DS "Senja" and the submarine U-711 were both sunk.

An Avenger (JZ217 "C") of 846 Sqdn. was also shot down and crashed on a field and burned. Lt. Francis John Gahan (22), S/Lt. Alasdair Donald Hay Elder (20) and L/A Peter Bernard Mansfield (22.) All three are buried at Sørvik Church yard

Below: aircraft part caught in a fisherman's net some years ago.

The strike force consisted of 8 Avengers and 4 Wildcats of 846 sqdn (Trumpeter). 882nd squadron from (Searcher) consisted of 20 Wildcat, and the 853rd squadron (Queen) of 8 Avengers and 4 Wildcats. The carriers were supported by the cruisers "Norfolk", "Diadem" and five destroyers.
Kilbotn © 03.08 2007 kjell sørensen