Fairey Firefly Mk.I Småvær, Brønnøysund Nordland

FAA 1771 Sqdn. Royal Naval Air Service 4H: Z1978 "HMS Implacable" 27.10 1944

Four Firefly's were flying reconnaissance along the coast from Rørvik and further north towards Torget, west of Brønnøysund.
They attacked the minesweeper M443 which was escorting U-boat U1060 through a minefield. M443 was badly damaged while the U-boat managed to shoot down a Firefly.

Only one parachute was observed.The navigator on the aircraft, S/Lt Colin Greenwood Weir was rescued by crews from the U-boat and brought onboard. That was far from a safe place for him to be though, while the U-boat tried to tow M433, thirteen Barracudas and three Firefly's attacked the vessels. The Germans cut the towing rope and ran the U-boat ashore on the skerry Fleina because the waters were too shallow for them to dive. The U-boat was badly damaged in the attack and M433, on fire, drifted out into Vegafjord where it subsequently sank.
A total of 61 German sailors lost their lives.

The pilot, Sub.Lt.Samuel Arthur Wentworth Waters probably went down with the aircraft and got killed. The body of an unknown airman was found in the sea at Husværøyan a month later.Two Czech Liberators from 311 Squadron made an attack on the U-boat on the 29th of November, and two Halifaxes from 502 Sqdn caused further damage to the U-boat on 4th November 1944. The wreck was later blown up by the Germans.
S/Lt.Weir (who was suffering from burns) was sent to Mosjøen onboard the local steamer "Droningen" after his capture.
He spent the rest of the was as PoW in Germany. The wreck of the Firefly was discovered by divers, 46 years after it crashed
(1970), the engine was recovered.
sources: "Mennesker og fiender" by Dag Skogheim. "Flyalarm" by Hafsten,Larsstuvoll, Olsen and Stenersen. Norwegian magazine "Vi Menn". Morten Moe & Linzee Druce.
Graham Boak

View from Vikran towards Torget. 14.07 2012 © kjell sørensen