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Post Info TOPIC: Halifax W1053 and the Tirpitz

Halifax W1053 and the Tirpitz

Report in York Press 03.09.08

Veteran airmans Tirpitz memories 7:00pm Tuesday 2nd September 2008

By Press reporter

A VETERAN of the 1942 campaign against the German battleship Tirpitz has returned to recall the raids at his wartime base in North Yorkshire - from which the attacks were launched.

John Morrison, 86, was a wireless operator/air gunner, stationed at RAF Linton-on-Ouse, during the Second World War. He completed 24 missions. The last three were against the Tirpitz which had been secreted in a Norwegian Fjord.

On the second, his crew reached the target and released their bombs, but missed. On the third his aircraft was shot down.

He said: "A farming family rescued us and I remember two little girls helped remove our flying helmets which they later hid in a wood.

"To me they were true war heroes. How they kept that night's events a secret is incredible. The temptation to tell their friends must have been overwhelming, but they told nobody and that gave us the chance to escape."

Even when questioned by the Germans, the family denied all the knowledge of the airmen although they were later captured - incredibly with the words "For you ze war is over".

In 2000, as part of the Government's Heroes Return project, Mr Morrison returned to Norway to search for the spot on which his aircraft had crashed.

Unbelievably he was met by the grandson of one of the girls and given back his flying helmet that the family had kept for the last 66 years.

* The Tirpitz was eventually sunk in November 1944.

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