On this Day in…

St. Pauls Bombed

10th October 1940

In a show of defiance, Evensong was sung in the crypt of bombed St Pauls Cathedral. The choir assembled in the shadows of the crypt beneath the ruined high altar which was hit during a night time Nazi bombing raid. Canon Alexander who was sleeping in the crypt when the bomb hit and had miraculously escaped injury.

St Pauls Cathedral

Canon Alexander told reporters “After the crash I hurried up the stairs, but the place was so thick with dust that for a while I couldn’t see anything.” “I suppose the damage could have been worse, but it was quite bad enough.”

Air Arm Hit Nazi Sea Lane

10th October 1941

Halifax Bomber of Coastal Command

Naval aircraft attacked German shipping and communications along the Soviet battlefront. The attack took place over the Vestfjord area of Norway leaving a 1,000 ton supply ship burning, a 1,500 ton ship abandoned, and two escort vessels were also hit. The attack also targeted pylons supplying the Germans on Grond Island.

The mission was deemed a success, no British aircraft were damaged, and all returned home safely.

Great Air Blitz Opens on Rommel

10th October 1942

Allied air forces carried out one of the heaviest concentrated blitzes ever known in the Western desert. During the day/night offensive they destroyed two advanced enemy aerodromes plus a German supply train carrying guns and ammunition. The attack was carried out by light bombers escorted by hundreds of fighters flown by British, Canadian, American, Australian, and South African pilots.

Kittyhawk (L) and Spitfires on the Ground in the Desert (R)

Hundreds of tons of high explosive ordnance was dropped without the loss of a single bomber. The bombers were protected by formations of Kittyhawk fighters, and Spitfires which successfully fought off repeated attempts to intercept the allied formations.

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