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78TH ANNIVERSARY OF DOODLEBUGS STRIKING NEWPORT – REMEMBERING THE CASUALTIES OF THAT NIGHT

DoddlebugmapIt was 78 years ago that a pair of V-1 flying bombs – more commonly known as doodlebugs – exploded in the Newport area on the night of 25th/26th June 1944.

The 1st flying bomb exploded in North Fairlee causing little damage and no casualties. However, the 2nd fell and exploded near what is now the junction of Wellington Road and Carisbrooke Road.

According to a Women’s Voluntary Service report at the time, the doodlebug that landed on Carisbrooke Road:

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“caused vast amount of damage to the houses and … miraculously few casualties: only one death through blast and 14 persons needing First Aid attention.”

The doodlebugs had probably been intended to hit Southampton but had run out of fuel over the Island.

There are neither press reports nor photographs of the damage caused by the doodlebugs. This is because the national policy at the time was a total news blackout of V1 hits, damage and casualties.

British intelligence had ‘turned’ German agents in the UK, who falsely reported where the doodlebugs had landed back to Berlin. The misinformation provided led to those targeting British cities to overshoot or undershoot their targets, so that the flying bombs would fall harmlessly in open countryside.

British RAF pilots also learned to ‘flip’ the doodlebugs before they hit their intended targets.

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Spitfire V1 With Exhaust
An illustration of a Spitfire attempting to ‘flip’ a doodlebug

The V1 ‘vengeance’ weapons were launched by Hitler in 1944 as a response to the D-Day landings in Normandy. Approximately 10,000 targeted England, causing over 6,000 casualties.

The sole casualty on the night in question was that of a pedestrian, George Henry Woodmore, manager at John Sheath corn merchants of Upper St James’s Street, Newport (now the site of McDonalds), who died on Carisbrooke Road.

However, buried on the same day as George Woodmore was Emily Chiverton, housekeeper to Percy and George Long of 136 Carisbrooke Road, who died in St Mary’s Hospital, having been taken there suffering from shock.

There were further possible casualties …

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  • Percy Long died in Brighstone in August 1944. He had gone to stay at Brighstone because his residence at 136 Carisbrooke Road had been damaged by enemy action.
  • Ada Maria Pittis died in May 1946. She had had a miraculous escape when a flying bomb landed near her home (145 Carisbrooke Road).
  • Alfred Percy Knight of 139 Carisbrooke Road died in August 1946 and had been in poor health since his home had been wrecked by a flying bomb 2 years earlier.
  • George Robert Barrett of 153 Carisbrooke Road – who died in 1948 – had had his home damaged by enemy action.

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Rough Justice
Rough Justice
1 month ago

My late father once told me that he remembered being up on Culver down at about age 9 when the sky suddenly turned “black” with German planes, probably bound for London. He lived in the Broadway in Sandown and said that he had run back home faster than an Olympic sprinter!

John
John
1 month ago

I was born in the morning on this day. My mother went into labour and had to be taken by a police car from Carisbrooke to the Blue Jenny in Crocker Street, Newport, which was a nursing home then. They had to take a detour around Cedars Hill, and Castle Road to avoid the damage from the doodlebugs.

Mrs. T
Mrs. T
1 month ago

As with London, back then almost all the casualties would have been decent folk.

Now that would be less likely.

Baby head
Baby head
Reply to  Mrs. T
1 month ago

At least any London attack now would be far less likely to kill, maim or injure anyone British, as despite the BBC’s trying to convince the UK opposite our nations people have changed drastically and not for the better since those days, when most all back then pulled together for ‘their’ beloved country where their families had a long linage and history.

Now the UK is just seen a cushy place to come to to take all you can from using an easy, soft free NHS, education and housing Benefit society, with weak laws, soft punishments IF you are caught.

I doubt many come for the weather.

Zog the merciless
Zog the merciless
Reply to  Baby head
1 month ago

Sure thing Adolf.

Dr. Jollop
Dr. Jollop
1 month ago

Such a shame that Jerry was 78 years to early.

 

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