Pic: Lisa Clayton
Lisa Clayton, who lives in Herne Bay on the north coast of Kent, got a surprise when out for a walk at Reculver beach on Wednesday. She came across a complete endcap from one of the test ‘bouncing bombs’ dropped there during training for the Dams Raid in May 1943.
[Report and pictures: Kent Live]
Other parts of the concrete-filled bombs have turned up over the years since, but it is unusual to find such a large piece.
Reculver was used by the crews of 617 Squadron for low-level test drops of the bombs, including a full scale dress rehearsal on Friday 14 May 1943. Some of the test bombs were half-size but this would seem to be a full-size version. The photograph below shows a still from the film made of one of the test drops. Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bomb, is the bareheaded man on the left of the group, with his arms outstretched.
Pic: IWM FLM 2343
It would be nice to think that the endcap will be recovered and put on display somewhere! Any suggestions?
[Hat tip: Susan Paxton]