William Walters Story
In The Past.........
1 Index
2 Roy Chadwick
3 William Walters
4 R.A.F
5 Operations Begin
6 Lancaster Bomber
7 "Big City" Berlin
8 Danger all Round
9 No Comforts
10 Bombs Gone
11 Occupied Europe
12 Whirlwind
13 Special Opps
14 Peenemunde
15 Aphrodite
16 30th Mission
17 Final Mission
18 Rescue Attempt
19 Final Chapter
 
 
 
 
Code Named “Aphrodite”
Bomber Command and the USAAF came up with a spectacular but hazardous idea of destroying the V1 and V2 sites in France, these missions code named "Aphrodite" used old war weary B24 Liberators and B17 Flying Fortresses.

Barnes Wallis created the "Tall Boy" a 22,000-pound Grand Slam bomb. The Grand Slam was so big that only one at a time could be carried by a heavy four-engine bomber - specially re-fitted for the purpose.
The aircraft were packed with 3,000 lbs of Torpex high-explosives and piloted by a crew of two, who before crossing the channel would set the fuses and bale out, the aircraft would then be remote-controlled by it’s base in England, who set out it’s flight path and distance, once set the laden packed bombers would be guided to their target and explode on impact, destroying the intended rocket sites.

The only hope to halt this menace was by the R.A.F who would bomb the launching sites or the trains and vehicle convoys that were transporting them.
It soon became a main priority of Bomber Command to destroy as many V1 and V2 sites as soon as they were recognised and reported by the French Resistance, and by the photo- reconnaissance missions of the R.A.F.

The new operations that the Lancaster crew now had were to bomb all and every V1and V2 site found. Therefore the next mission for the crew was the V1 flying bomb storage depot at Creil, France, it was attacked and bombed on the 2nd July 1944.

As a last resort when the launch sites had been bombed, the Luftwaffe decided to launch V1s from Heinkel bombers on targets in England, right up to 6 weeks before the end of the war over 1,000 were launched in this fashion, only when the Luftwaffe was finally defeated would this menace be stopped.

The massive walls of theV1 & V2 Rocket site at Watten.

Photo by kind permission of - Pascal Heyman
 The massive walls of theV1 & V2 Rocket site at Watten

Two more missions to France for the Lancaster crew as they bombed V1and V2 rocket sites. The site at Watten, France was a massive concrete complex built in October 1943 using Russian slave labour, of which many hundreds died during the construction. The massive V2 rockets arrived by rail transport which ran directly underground to the storage chambers, there they were assembled using a production line basis. On completion of fitting it’s war head and the necessary parts the rocket would continue on the railway line to the outside launch area where its operational crew would elevate the rocket to firing position on it’s special launch pad and carry out the long dangerous procedure of filling the rocket with its 9,726 kg's of highly-explosive fuels, six hours later it would be ready to launch at the designated target given… London!!!

V2 rocket site at Watten

launched V2

The V2 site at Watten never launched any V2’s against London as it was bombed on the 25th July, 1944…. had it been able to launch it’s terror weapons, it is estimated that it would have most definitely fired a minimum of 50 V2’s at London every day…

The destruction for the people and the city would have been incomprehensible!!!

After the bombing of Watten, the Lancaster crew were ordered to bomb another site at Rilly La Montagne on the 31stJuly, 1944

One of the major V1 sites at Siracourt was bombed on August 1st, and one large site at Etaples on the 4th.

Bomber Command issued new orders to the Lancaster crew, they would now have the task of bombing the “Kriegsmarine” U-Boat pens hidden away in massive concrete underground caverns scattered along the coast of France. Their first mission was carried out on 6th August at Lorient, followed by an attack on La Pallice, both targets were bombed using 10 tonne “Grand Slam” bombs, these massive bombs designed by Barnes Wallis were to be dropped from a height of 40,000 ft (12,000 m) and would penetrate the target to 100ft (30 m) before exploding. The resulting underground shock wave, like an earthquake would bring down the sturdiest of concrete structures and destroy it.

After the initial 9th August attack, a succession of bombing raids were carried out on the U-Boat Pens at Brest, on the 12th, 13th, 14th August 1944, using 6 tonne “Tallboy” bombs, and 10 tonne “Grand Slam” bombs.