Monday, January 11, 2021

Blastoffjorden Act 2 --- Scene 3

Date: August 14, 1943, 0630 hours
Location: Blastoffjorden, Norway {Imagineered}
Weather: 81° Fahrenheit, westerly wind rising, choppy sea
Situation: Dive Bomber Squadron #3's Mission

ACT 2 --- SCENE 3

Four Douglas SBD-3 Dauntless Dive Bombers escorted
by two Grumman F4F-3A Wildcats flying top cover

"St. Julian to Bomber 3. Cloud cover dissipating. Blastoffjorden entrance below. Time to find the freighter spotted by our PBY yesterday docked at Blastoffheim. It should eventually be visible at eleven o'clock."

"Wildcat 1. Vinny, can you see the port?"

"Jules, this is Wildcat 1. Negative, but Henry just spotted a pair of bogeys flying on the deck right of center in the fjord. He thinks they're Me-109s. You might be able to see them any second."

"This is Utah. I don't see them."

"Russo here. Me neither."

Eddie said, "I caught a glimpse before they passed under the clouds. They're flying away. I doubt they saw us way up here blocked the clouds." 

"Our cats will stay with you Jules unless the Krauts come up for you."

"Affirmative Vinny. There could be other enemy fighters around. Meanwhile, let's find our target at Blastoffheim. St. Julian out."


Argonaut Unloading Cargo

"What did you say Tiny?"

"I asked, did you hear faint explosions down the fjord?"

"Not me. Too much noise with the crane and winch motor. C'mon let's finish."

Forward hold unloaded and ready to secure.
The aft hold was another matter.

"What is the problem Uwe?"

"The winch motor shorted out. Useless. I'm going for the spare now."

"How much time before it is operational again?"

"Under two hours, less if things go well,  Kapitäin."

"Bend it on in half that time. This cargo has to go ashore fast. There is trouble down fjord maybe coming here. Sparks got an SOS from the Wilhelmina. She was torpedoed by allied planes, is afire, foundered and sinking. The crew lowered boats and is rowing ashore."


"Wildcat 1, Vinny what do you see below?"

"Cat 1 here, Jules. A freighter badly on fire."

"Flames are shooting out, heavy smoke, hung up on rocks and sinking by the stern."

"That's Torpedo 2's doing. C'mon back up."

"Will do. --- Vinny out."

Twenty minutes later Blastoffheim came into view. The freighter reported by the PBY yesterday was still docked. St. Julian, the commander of Bomber 3 radioed first. 

"There she is boys. One fat freighter riding high in the water. Bomber 3 form line astern and follow me down. Cat 1, keep watching in case the Luftwaffe shows up again."

"Bomber 3. There's a cloud bank coming in from the right. My wingman, Henry, thought he saw a bogey darting in and out of it coming our way. We're already descending to look."

"Okay Cat 1. If anything appears, keep 'em away from us."

"Roger that Bomber 3. Henry, follow me. Vinny out."

"Bomber 3. This is Cat 1 again. Two 109s are headed up toward you. We'll engage."

"Cat 1. Are they the same 109s?" 


"Okay Vinny. Good luck. --- St Julian out."

Meanwhile, when Argonaut's crew heard and spotted incoming allied planes, their anti-aircraft guns were manned and loaded. The armoured car ashore also sprang into action.

The aft gun though not necessarily designed to engage aircraft could propel a shell and shock wave that if close enough, could knock down a plane.

The armoured car hoped to contribute to the mayhem. Everyone wondered why there were no flak batteries in position.

While the commander of Operation Nordhimmel, Colonel von Schill, prudently retreated from the dock into the safety of the village.

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tidders said...

Superb, nice to see some air/naval action

jurgenation said...

absolutely riveting,those aerial shots are awesome..Great job.

Chris Gregg said...

Sorry I'm late getting round to looking at this. Terrific photos and very different subject matter, very well done Sir!
Chris G