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Old 14th November 2019, 12:38
murmansk murmansk is offline
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Question about attack on HMS Offa 4/5/1944

Hi
hope this request is in the right place does anyone have any further information as to the aircraft/unit(s) involved in the the attack on the above on the 4th May 1944 off St Catherine's Point
regards
Graham
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Old 14th November 2019, 13:49
RSwank RSwank is offline
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Re: Question about attack on HMS Offa 4/5/1944

Here is a start.

Note that a landing/assault exercise in the Slapton Sands area called FABIUS was being conducted during this time. (This was not Exercise Tiger which had occurred in April.)

This is from the "Report by the Allied Naval Commander-in-Chief, Expeditionary Force on Operation Neptune, Vol 1:
https://www.fold3.com/image/296568508



"No noticeable enemy reaction was shown to the large naval forces at sea during FABIUS. Two incidents, however, occurred in the PORTSMOUTH command patrol line."

"At 0337 in position 50 13 N., 01 27W., H.M.S. OFFA was attacked by aircraft tentatively identified as ME 210. One bomb hit the upper deck under the port after Oerlikon; another was a near miss causing splinter holes in hull. Structural damage to the ship was light. Casualties: three killed, four wounded."

"At about 0350 in position 208 (degrees) ST CATHERINES Pt., 24 miles, M.T.Bs 708 and 720 were attacked by Beaufighters. M.T.B. 708 was set on fire and subsequently sank. Casualties: four officers and seven ratings wounded."

From:
https://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1944-05MAY.htm

Offa, bombing
ALLEN, Michael T, Petty Officer, D/JX 128409, killed
MCBRIDE, James W, Able Seaman, D/JX 171072, killed
MERRILLS, Peter R, Ordinary Seaman, D/JX 418570, killed

Last edited by RSwank; 16th November 2019 at 01:42.
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Old 14th November 2019, 15:38
Nick Beale's Avatar
Nick Beale Nick Beale is offline
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Re: Question about attack on HMS Offa 4/5/1944

From the Bletchely Park Operational Watch report:
CX/MSS/OPD/1162 For 3 May

Offensive

HMS Offa in position 20 miles south of St. Catherine’s Point reported 0339/4 being hit by bombs. Damage to ship was superficial. No intentions in W/T or R/T of this activity.

[Pencilled in: a/c identified tentatively as Me 210. 1 Me 410 of KG 51 …/… Dreux 0200–0210 against attack. (Flk. IX put up 5 Me 410 against raids — Le Mans, Étampes, Meaux, Creil, Évreux …)]
From the Admiralty War Diary:
4.5 Home Commands
OFFA bombed
At 0339 today, while on patrol about 22 miles S by W of St. Catherines, the Destroyer OFFA was hit by a bomb from enemy A/C which killed three ratings and seriously injured four others. But the ship was only superficially damaged and at 0400 she resumed her patrol.
Have been hit by a bomb. (OFFA, 040339 to Portsmouth)
Am resuming patrol. (OFFA, 040400 to Portsmouth)
Damage is superficial. One dead, several seriously injured. (OFFA, 040403 to Portsmouth)
5.5 At 0337/4th OFFA was in 050º 13’ N, 001º 27’ W, steer 067º at 11 knots on a zigzag course. The weather was calm and visibility good, the moon being 12 days old. The whistle of a bomb was heard on the port bow followed by a roar of aircraft engines and then 2 explosions.
An aircraft tentatively identified as a Me 210 had evidently dived in from the dark sector and released 2 bombs of about 250 pounds each. One was a near miss causing a splinter hole in the hull while the other hit the upper deck under the port after Oerlikon. The aircraft was engaged with all arms as it retired. Structural damage to ship was light. Casualties were 3 killed and 4 wounded.
(C. in C. Portsmouth 050948 to Admty.)
From the Seekriegsleitung War Diary (my translation):
4.5.44: In the radio area Portland and Portsmouth, 8 warships were at see, among them 1 destroyer "Onslow", "Volunteer", "Opportune" …

5.5.44: From radio monitoring, 2 Beaufighters attacked 2 MTB's on the morning of 4/5 off St. Catherine's Point. One MTB presumably sunk. On the evening of 4/5 in a harbour in the Portland radio area, 13 presumed LCI are said to have arrived …
Nothing in the "Air warfare" section on either day.
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Old 15th November 2019, 12:06
murmansk murmansk is offline
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Re: Question about attack on HMS Offa 4/5/1944

Hi

thank you both for the information my late Father was part of the ship's company from August 41 to the middle of May 44 and this greatly adds to my limited knowledge of his wartime service.
regards
Graham
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Old 16th November 2019, 01:29
Darius Darius is offline
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Re: Question about attack on HMS Offa 4/5/1944

WEEKLY RESUME OF THE NAVAL, MILITARY AND AIR SITUATION, No. 244:

Quote:
On the 4th H.M.S. Off a (destroyer) was slightly damaged by air attack off
the Isle of Wight; one rating was killed
WEEKLY RESUME OF THE NAVAL, MILITARY AND AIR SITUATION, No. 245:

Quote:
4th May.-M.T.B. 708 sunk in the Channel accidentally.
4th May.-M.T.B. 720 damaged in the Channel accidentally.
Regards


Darius
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