Friday, October 5, 2012

Oct

5

1942

‘Coned’ and shot down over Cologne

Short Stirling B Mark I bombers of No 7 Squadron RAF, lined up at Oakington, Cambridgeshire. The squadron became part of the Pathfinder target marking force in October 1942.

The eerie purple light of the radio-controlled searchlight, the master search-light of the Cologne air defence system locked onto us and having seen this happen to other bombers I knew there would be no escaping it. No manoeuvring, no ’jinking’, no diving nor turning nor any amount of speed would shake off that relentless finger. With the range signalled to them from this automatic light the entire search-light complex now locked onto us and we were ‘coned’, the most dreaded thing that could happen to any bomber crew.