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North-East Diary

Roy Ripley &
Brian Pears
© Copyright Brian Pears 1994-2011


3rd/4th January 1943 to
12th/13th March 1943

Sunday, 3rd/Monday, 4th January 1943  N1219

20.30.. Hull.. Two HEs fell on the bankside of river Hull and Sissons Wharf, where a length of timber wharf was demolished. No casualties reported. The sirens sounded after the bombs had been dropped.

A Dornier Do 217 E hit by heavy AA fire at 6.000' was brought down to a safe forced landing at Skeffling near Hull at 21.30. The aircraft was set on fire by its crew and destroyed, they were taken prisoner.

Night 1219. All times BST. Blackout begins: 17.20, ends: 09.01
Public Alert (Hull Warning Dist): 20.35, All Clear: 21.32

Saturday, 9th January 1943  D1225

A Halifax bomber operating from Rufforth airfield near York, was taking off on a mining mission, when it lost power and crash landed on the main York to Tadcaster road, just N of Copmanthorpe. The crew were all safe and uninjured.

Day 1225. All times BST. Blackout ends: 08.58, begins: 17.28

Sunday, 10th January 1943  D1226

'SS Ocean Vagabond' (7,174t) cargo ship, Botwood, Canada, to Hull, was sunk by U 186, S of Iceland.

Day 1226. All times BST. Blackout ends: 08.58, begins: 17.30

Monday, 11th January 1943  D1227

Although there was no air raid warning in Newcastle, enemy aircraft were reported over the city, no bombs were dropped. Enemy planes were also reported to have been shot down.

Day 1227. All times BST. Blackout ends: 08.57, begins: 17.32

Wednesday, 13th January 1943  D1229

The call-up age for single girls lowered to 19.

Day 1229. All times BST. Blackout ends: 08.55, begins: 17.35

Wednesday, 13th/Thursday, 14th January 1943  N1229

20.15.. Newcastle.. Unexploded UP AA ammunition at [NZ273658], SE corner Simonside/Addycombe Terraces, six yds from nearest building.

20.30.. Newcastle.. Unexploded UP AA ammunition at [NZ278671], a football pitch in grounds of Henderson Hall, Etherstone Avenue, 70 yds from nearest building.

20.10.. Sunderland.. Bombs fell in the South Dock - Monsanto Works area. Casualties:- Two slightly injured. An eighty year old woman of Mary Street, Southwick, was injured in the house of a friend in the same street, when the ceiling of the passage collapsed on them. They were admitted to Monkwearmouth& Southwick Hospital.

20.25.. Sunderland.. Near the South Docks: Two HE (probably 1000kg), four firepot IBs and two PhIBs. The first HE fell on the LNER line about 100 yards S of the engine sheds doing much damage to two sidings and wagons thereon. One wagon contained 2" mortars and these were thrown in all directions, some falling on the Town Moor. The second HE fell on the same railway line about 150 yards S of the first, but only damaged a surrounding wall. Windows in buildings near to the Town Moor were damaged.

The first firepot fell on the railway at the foot of Barrack Street damaging three tracks. The second fell near the railway approach, in the gardens of two houses in Railway Terrace, immediately W of Hendon Dock, doing little damage. The third fell at the base of the steam chimney of the Monsanto Works demolishing the "induced draught fan house" and causing a fire which was quickly put out. The fourth fell on the LNER Londonderry junction between the main up and down lines but caused no damage.

The first PhIB fell on the East Quay of the South Dock, in front of Bartram's Shipyard; the resulting fire was put out immediately. The second was on the West Quay on the N end of the South Dock, near to British Oil Storage Co Ltd; it caused no damage.

20.15.. Co Durham.. Five HEs were dropped in fields near North Lizard Farm, Whitburn Colliery. Two of these exploded on impact causing craters, but no casualties. The others failed to explode at the time, one of them did explode at 13.15 on the 14th Jan. About the same time two Phosphorus IBs and a large number of 1kg IBs were dropped near Cleadon Hill Farm, without causing damage or casualties.

Night 1229. All times BST. Blackout begins: 17.35, ends: 08.54
Public Alert: 19.53, All-Clear: 20.55
Industrial Alarm: 20.05, Release: 20.47

Friday, 15th/Saturday, 16th January 1943  N1231

21.00.. Hull.. Nine IB clusters and two 500kg HEs fell on Marfleet Lane and Bilton Grove to Stanhope Avenue. There was damage to domestic property. There were no casualties.

Night 1231. All times BST. Blackout begins: 17.38, ends: 08.52
Public Alert (Hull Warning Dist): 20.08, All Clear: 21.33

Saturday, 16th January 1943  D1232

A Hurricane fighter operating from Milfield airfield, near Wooler, Northumberland developed engine trouble and crashed in a field, N of Milfield Village at 14.30. It burst into flames on crashing and the pilot was killed.

'SS Long Bird' (636t) sank in deep water, 10 miles E of Blyth at 55°06'39"N - 01°13'08"W.

Day 1232. All times BST. Blackout ends: 08.52, begins: 17.40

Thursday, 21st January 1943  D1237

After months of fruitless patrols, the first of their kills came to the Mosquito pilots operating from Acklington airfield, when they shot down a Dornier Do 217 near Hartlepool.

Day 1237. All times BST. Blackout ends: 08.46, begins: 17.49

Thursday, 21st/Friday, 22nd January 1943  N1237

Returning from a mining mission, a Halifax bomber operating from Snaith airfield in Yorkshire, flew into a hill at Hebden Bridge also in Yorkshire at 22.25. Two of the crew were killed.

Night 1237. All times BST. Blackout begins: 17.49, ends: 08.45

Friday, 22nd/Saturday, 23rd January 1943  N1238

There were incidents reported in Durham and Yorkshire.

20.45.. Co Durham.. Six HEs fell W of Aislaby Village, four exploded, three of them causing camouflets, two failed to explode. No casualties or damage reported.

20.52.. Co Durham.. Two HEs exploded in a field on Low Stotfield Farm, Elwick, causing neither casualties nor damage.

21.00. Co Durham.. Eight HEs fell in fields near Newton Bewley, three of which failed to explode. No damage or casualties.

Night 1238. All times BST. Blackout begins: 17.51, ends: 08.43

Saturday, 23rd/Sunday, 24th January 1943  N1239

Night 1239. All times BST. Blackout begins: 17.53, ends: 08.42
Public Alert: 20.36, All-Clear: 21.02

Friday, 29th/Saturday, 30th January 1943  N1245

Night 1245. All times BST. Blackout begins: 18.05, ends: 08.32
Public Alert: 23.35, All-Clear: 23.47
Industrial Alarm: 23.42, Release: 23.47

Sunday, 31st January 1943  D1247

14.00.. Newcastle.. Barrage balloon landed at the junction of Oakland Road - Brentwood Avenue. Chimney stacks of 38,42,46 and 47 Oakland Road and Rediffusion cable damaged.

Day 1247. All times BST. Blackout ends: 08.31, begins: 18.09

Monday, 1st February 1943  D1248

A Hurricane fighter operating from Milfield airfield, near Wooler, Northumberland tried to make a landing there, touched down on a field opposite the airfield, crashed through a hedge, bounced over a road and eventually landed on the airfield at 09.57. The Sergeant Pilot was unhurt.

Day 1248. All times BST. Blackout ends: 08.29, begins: 18.11

Wednesday, 3rd/Thursday, 4th February 1943  N1250

20.40.. Sunderland.. A UXB pierced the concrete roadway of the South Dock, 60' from the NW corner of the Hendon Dock. A 10" gas main was fractured and was dealt with by the Gas Company. The bomb exploded at 04.50 on the 4th causing extensive damage to No 31 Staithe and moving the Military Blockhouse about a yard. The 'SS Elizabeth Lysaght' was alongside the Quay in Hendon Dock taking coal from 31 Staithe, but the crew had been evacuated and there was no damage to the ship. Two men some distance from the explosion were slightly injured by flying debris. A few IB fell near to the break-water E of the shipyard of Bartram& Sons Ltd on the E side of the South Dock.

20.45.. Co Durham.. Two 500kg HEs fell near Crookfoot Reservoir, Elwick, one of which caused damage to the stone embankment of the reservoir. At the same time six 50kg (C.50 IB type) bombs (three UXB) were dropped in the same vicinity, causing slight damage to a meter house. There were no casualties.

20.50.. Co Durham.. Six 50kg HEs were dropped near Hart Reservoir, West Hartlepool, causing damage to gas and water mains. No casualties.

A Dornier Do 217E was shot down by a Beaufighter of 219 Squadron, it crashed ½ mile S of Muston near Filey in Yorkshire. It was assumed that the crew had baled out over the sea, as no bodies were found in the wreckage. German records examined after the war showed that its pilot, Oberfw Karl Muller was the holder of the Ritterkreuz, and had over two hundred and eighty missions to his credit.

Night 1250. All times BST. Blackout begins: 18.15, ends: 08.23
Public Alert: 20.22, All-Clear: 21.10
Industrial Alarm: 20.31, Release: 20.59

Thursday, 4th February 1943  D1251

A Hurricane fighter operating from Milfield airfield, near Wooler, Northumberland nose dived into the ground near the Till Bridge at Chillingham New Town at 10.45. The plane's engine was found to be buried to a depth of 15'. The Canadian Sergeant Pilot was killed.

Day 1251. All times BST. Blackout ends: 08.23, begins: 18.18

Thursday, 11th/Friday, 12th March 1943  N1286

Incidents were reported in Sunderland where one died, at Middlesbrough where four were killed. PMs killed four people and caused severe damage in Stockton and Thornaby, PMs were also reported at High Newham Grange and Wynyard Station. HE damaged ten houses in Billingham and HE also fell at Hutton Henry, Sedgefield, Cox Green, Kelloe, Wolviston and Witton Gilbert. IBs were dropped around Middle Rainton, Tanfield, Silksworth, Pittington, South Hylton, Ryhope, Garmondsway, Low Coniscliffe, Trimdon, Simonside and between Houghton and Seaham. Many casualties and much damage was caused by our own anti-aircraft gun projectiles.

00.22.. Newcastle.. Balloon down Lants Quarry, Walker Road.

22.20.. Newcastle.. UXAAS in a front garden in Beaconsfield Street opposite Barrington Road.

22.50.. Newcastle.. Exploded AA shell in Western Avenue, some windows broken and a wooden hut demolished.

22.08.. Sunderland.. Casualties:- One killed, one seriously injured, one slightly injured. An AA shell fell at the junction of Whitburn Street and Dundas Street damaging the windows of three houses.

22.15.. Sunderland.. Two AA shells fell on Durham Road, one in the grounds of the Children's Hospital and the other in the front garden of a house in Humbledon Park. Both shells exploded and the latter caused serious damage to the glass and woodwork of three houses. A female aged 53 years, who was apparently in the entrance of her home, was killed.

Approximately 22.20.. Sunderland.. Two HEs were dropped at South Hylton and many hundreds of IBs fell at Ryhope and Silksworth in the Sunderland RDC area. The interior of the Catholic Church, Burdon Road, Ryhope was damaged by IB and Grange Cottage, South Hylton was slightly damaged by HE. The remainder of the IBs on open ground. Five persons evacuated at South Hylton because of a UXB.

22.40.. Sunderland.. An AA shell exploded on contact with the roof girders of the Tramway Sheds at the Wheat Sheaf causing damage to six tramcars, mostly broken glass. Another AA shell fell at about the same time in the back yard of a house in Dundas Street causing a camouflet 7'6" deep, no damage.

22.00.. Co Durham.. An AA shell struck the Glebe School, Washington, causing damage to the hot water system.

22.00.. Co Durham.. An AA shell exploded in Waller Terrace, Houghton le Spring, seriously injuring one man and one woman.

22.00.. Co Durham.. Five firepot bombs (one UXB) (one made a camouflet) fell near Meadows Colliery, Middle Rainton. No damage or casualties.

22.00.. Co Durham.. A cottage at North Hylton was struck by an AA shell. Much damage caused to a room and furniture, and a woman was slightly injured.

22.05.. Co Durham.. Approximately 500 IBs fell at Silksworth. One female adult was slightly injured. An IB fell through the roof of the Police Station into an upstairs passage, this was extinguished with a stirrup pump. About the same time one Firepot IB exploded and blocked the B.1404 near Warden Law crossroads on the Houghton le Spring to Seaham road. An NFS fireman was injured when he drove into the damage on the highway.

22.10.. Co Durham.. Between 200 and 300 IBs were dropped near the railway line at Pittington causing no damage.

22.10-22.15.. Co Durham.. A single HE (UXB) fell at South Hylton and at 22.15 two IBs fell without causing damage or casualties.

22.15.. Co Durham.. A man was injured by shrapnel in High Street, Jarrow.

22.15-22.30.. Co Durham.. Four IBs were dropped in open fields between Barcus Close and Tanfield Lea Colliery. These were dropped in ABB 500 containers, some were IBs and some IBENs. No damage and no casualties.

22.40.. Co Durham.. A number of IBs were dropped at Ryhope causing fires at the Catholic Schools, dwelling houses and a hay shed. Five persons (four males and a female) were slightly injured.

23.15.. Co Durham.. Two HEs fell in a field at Hutton Henry causing damage to farm buildings.

23.19.. Co Durham.. Three HEs fell near the Council Estate, Sedgefield, causing damage to houses, electric cables and telephone wires.

23.20.. Co Durham.. Three HEs were dropped near Cox Green railway station causing damage to LNER signals and overhead electric grid wires.

23.20.. Co Durham.. One HE fell on a building used as an NCOs Mess in Yarm Lane, Stockton. Three soldiers were slightly injured.

23.22.. Co Durham.. A single HE fell in Lawson St., Stockton, one man was killed, one man seriously injured, one male, two females and three children slightly injured. A water main was damaged.

23.25.. Co Durham.. A Firepot IB fell in a field near Garmondsway, causing no damage or casualties.

23.25.. Co Durham.. Ten HEs (five UXBs) fell at Davy Lamp, Kelloe.

23.30.. Co Durham.. Four IB containers each containing 120kg of ordinary type and IBENs and nine oil bombs were dropped in open fields near Low Coniscliffe causing no damage and no casualties.

23.30.. Co Durham.. Seven HEs (two UXBs) fell at Billingham, completely wrecking two houses, but causing no casualties.

23.30.. Co Durham.. A HE fell at Wolviston damaging farm buildings.

23.30.. Co Durham.. Two parachute mines exploded at High Newham Grange causing widespread damage to property, but no casualties.

23.30.. Co Durham.. One HE (UXB) fell in the backyard of residential property at Stockton.

23.30.. Co Durham.. Three HEs exploded nr Witton Gilbert, breaking windows.

23.40.. Co Durham.. A PM exploded in open ground S of Wynyard station, causing no damage or casualties.

23.45.. Co Durham.. Two PMs (one UXB) fell on Seal Sands, Greatham Creek.

23.50.. Co Durham.. 400 IBs and IBENs fell between Simonside and Hedworth Dene, in open ground.

00.02.. Co Durham.. Five firepot IBs fell near the Houghton-Seaham road causing camouflets.

Co Durham.. Stockton.. PMs fell on Yarm Lane. One behind a watchman's hut at the end of Lawrence Street, a man who lodged in Lawrence Street, was killed. A PM about 200 yds away in the grounds of some houses, many houses in Lawrence Street and Yarm Lane were damaged by blast and Dinsdale's garage was almost demolished. A PM at Newham Grange Farm off Darlington Back Lane seriously damaged the farmhouse and another on the corporation abattoir tip made Piperknowle Lane impassable - damage in Durham Road and to Sparks bakery.

Co Durham.. Trimdon.. Dozens of IBs.

Co Durham.. Billingham.. A single HE damaged ten houses in Sunnybrow Ave; a pair of semis later demolished, both empty at the time of the attack.

23.31.. Yorkshire.. Thornaby.. A PM in Darlington Street at the top of the railway steps. Area bounded by Gilmour Street - Thornaby Road - Westbury Street to the Five Lamps and along Mandale Road, was very badly damaged. Five houses in Thornaby Road and the Britannia Hotel were destroyed and 541 houses near George Street - Princess Street - Mandale Road area were seriously damaged and 81 had to be demolished. George Street C of E School was badly damaged; it did not reopen until 17/4/44.

Yorkshire.. Thornaby.. A PM on the NESCo Power Station (near Five Lamps) caused loss of power for 24 hours to Head Wrightson Teesdale Works. Water, gas and telephone services were disrupted and production affected at Kinnells Foundry, Thos Allan's Bonlea Foundry, Saturn Oxygen Co and John Hoppers. W& M Pumphreys' sugar factory was damaged. Roads throughout the area were blocked including Victoria Bridge and Queen Street. Railway lines were obstructed causing traffic delays for several days. Seventy-two were injured and three killed:- They were a 41 year old female air raid warden on duty outside the Britannia Hotel, a seventy-six year old blacksmith buried in the ruins of his home in Thornaby Road and a sixty-nine year old firewatcher at the NESCo Power Station at Princess Street.

A Dornier Do 217E held by a searchlight, then attacked by a Beaufighter of 219 Squadron, eventually crashed at High Grange Farm, Great Stainton near Darlington at 23.25. The crew all bailed out and were captured, two of them were injured and were detained in the Military Hospital, Winterton, and two were detained at the Police Station, Stockton. RAF Intelligence Officers at Shipton and Pocklington notified. Parts of this aircraft are on display at the North East Aviation Museum.

9/KG6 Junkers Ju 88A-14 (144378). Shot down by fire from a Beaufighter and crashed into the sea off Blyth. Fw A. Wissel, Fw L. Wendel and Uffz W. Gabon missing. Body of Fw L. Walter brought ashore at Blyth.

Night 1286. All times BST. Blackout begins: 19.30, ends: 07.01
Public Alert: 21.40, All-Clear: 22.45
Industrial Alarm: 21.43, Release: 22.41
Public Alert: 23.17, All-Clear: 00.11
Industrial Alarm: 23.13, Release: 00.03

Friday, 12th/Saturday, 13th March 1943  N1287

A few incidents in Northumberland and Co Durham, including, a single HE which fell at The Oval, Walker in Newcastle demolishing eight houses and damaging forty, one person died and seven were injured, Angus Gear Works and Walker Bakery were slightly damaged. IBs fell in North Shields. An incident at South Shields caused a death. HE on Boldon Colliery and West Boldon killed six people. There were IBs at Bournmoor, the Monkton/Primrose/Hedworth area, Butterwick, Fishburn, Trimdon Village, Warden Law Hill, Wynyard Park, Usworth Churchyard and Leam Lane.

21.55.. Newcastle.. A single HE fell in The Oval, Walker. One person was killed and seven were injured. Eight dwelling houses completely demolished and forty damaged. Angus Gear Works, Walker Road, had superficial damage by debris, four injured at works. Broken windows at Walker Bakery.

21.55.. Newcastle.. A UXB outside a house in Oxted Place, confirmed as 250 or 500kg UXB. Further evacuation advised to include Chipstone Avenue. (the bomb was cleared on the 22nd March).

23.00.. Newcastle.. An AA shell reported in the middle of a wheat field of Gillespie's Farm, Little Benton Farm, also a UX AA shell reported in the front garden of a house in Burstow Avenue. No IBs were dropped.

Northumberland.. Tynemouth Borough.. IBs of various types fell around North Shields Gasworks and Tynemouth Cemetery and across a wide area of open ground along the northern extremity of the Borough.

South Shields.. widespread damage was caused, happily casualties were few, but eight houses were totally shattered and twelve others so severely damaged that they had to be demolished. Approximately 250 others suffered less heavily in the Cauldwell area and countless windows were broken even further afield.

Shortly after the air raid warning was sounded, flares were dropped and at 21.25 3 HE bombs fell, one 250kg. on a house at the corner of King George Road and Page Avenue, a 1,000kg. on houses at the junction of Cauldwell Villas and Stanton Avenue, one 250kg. bomb on an allotment near Cauldwell House. The crater in Cauldwell Villas was one of the largest ever made in the Borough; shelters were found on the lip, completely covered with lumps of clay, but the occupants were all rescued alive. One house was obliterated and several more shattered. At the corner of Page Avenue two houses were totally wrecked and others damaged.

About 60 people were made homeless, many of the more severely damaged houses having to evacuated, but all of them were taken in by relatives or friends. The one fatality was not a resident of the neighbourhood; the body of a young man was found under the debris in the roadway of Cauldwell Villas. A water main in Cauldwell Villas and four gas mains were damaged; one electricity mains cable was damaged and the overhead trolley wires were brought down in Mortimer Road. Incendiary bombs were also dropped. Four hay-stacks in a farmyard at Simonside were destroyed by fire caused by one of the flares. Casualties were: 1 man died / 2 men were seriously injured / 2 men and 3 women were slightly injured.

21.06-22.45.. Co Durham.. Five supposed Phosphorus Bombs exploded on the LNER embankment at Bournmoor, causing no damage or casualties.

21.10.. Co Durham.. An AA shell exploded at South Hylton causing damage to a number of dwelling houses.

21.12.. Co Durham.. IBs both ordinary and explosive, fell in Monkton, Primrose and Hedworth, causing fires. One male person was treated for shock.

21.20.. Co Durham.. A number of IBs were dropped at Butterwick and Fishburn, 2½ tons of beans and 5½ tons of potatoes were destroyed by fire.

21.20.. Co Durham.. About 160 IBs fell in fields near Trimdon Village causing no damage or casualties.

21.30.. Co Durham.. Two firepot IBs fell at Warden Law Hill and failed to explode. At the same time a number of 1kg IBs fell in fields at Warden Law.

21.30.. Co Durham.. Six HEs (two UXB) and a number of IBs fell at Boldon Colliery, Twenty houses were demolished and extensive damage caused to other houses and property, including the Police Station. A Police Sergeant, who had run from the Police Station with a stirrup pump to deal with IBs was killed when the property received a direct hit with an HE, a female and an elderly male was also killed and thirty people were injured.

21.35.. Co Durham.. Three PhIBs fell in Wynyard Park, two of which caused camouflets and the other a small crater. At the same time five firepot IBs fell in Wynyard Park all causing camouflets, and one ABB 500 IB container exploded when it hit the ground. Four HEs also fell in the Park, three of which failed to explode.

21.40.. Co Durham.. Nine firepot IBs, one large HE and many IBs fell at West Boldon. Two males and one female were killed. One house was seriously damaged and thirty received minor damage. Five UXBs fell at West Boldon about the same time. This necessitated the closing of the A.152 at Gingling Gate.

21.45.. Co Durham.. Two IBs fell in Usworth churchyard, causing no damage.

21.50. Co Durham.. Two UX IBs fell at Leam Lane, Felling, no damage.

22.00.. Co Durham.. Superficial damage was caused to houses at Felling Shore by a bomb which fell on the north side of the River Tyne.

22.40.. Co Durham.. Two AA shells exploded at Shotton Colliery, causing slight damage to house property. One woman suffered from shock.

22.30.. Co Durham.. Gingling Gate, this is how it is spelt in the official reports. Five HEs fell near the Gingling Gate and did not explode. Also four complete ABB 500 containers fell and burnt out in fields.

Night 1287. All times BST. Blackout begins: 19.32, ends: 06.59
Public Alert: 21.13, All-Clear: 22.43
Industrial Alarm: 21.18, Release: 21.56

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