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Sqdn-Leader Tony Iveson DFC

Discussion in 'WWII Obituaries' started by GRW, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

    Oct 26, 2003
    Likes Received:
    Stirling, Scotland
    "Squadron Leader Tony Iveson was a decorated pilot of both Spitfires and Lancasters who campaigned on behalf of his fallen comrades

    Squadron Leader Tony Iveson, who has died aged 94, had the rare distinction of flying Spitfires during the Battle of Britain and piloting a Lancaster on the successful attack against the German battleship Tirpitz.

    It was in July 1944 that Iveson joined No 617 (Dambuster) Squadron, which was equipped with a new and very accurate bombsight and capable of carrying the 12,000lb Tallboy bomb.

    Tirpitz had been a target for both the Royal Navy and the RAF for two years, and numerous attacks had been made against the battleship in Norwegian waters. Winston Churchill declared it to be a priority, and in September 1944 Bomber Command was ordered to mount a further attack. At the time the ship was sheltering in Kaa Fjord inside the Arctic Circle, and could not be reached from airfields in Britain.

    It was therefore decided to fly a force drawn from Nos 9 and 617 Squadrons to Yagodnik, an airfield in Russia, and mount the attack from there. On September 11 the Lancasters took off from Lincolnshire, but owing to poor weather the crews had great difficulty locating the small Russian airfield. Short of fuel, Iveson landed in a waterlogged field, where he was soon joined by another Lancaster. Later that afternoon he took off for Yagodnik.

    On September 15 the force of 23 Lancasters launched their attack, and one of the Tallboys hit the bows of Tirpitz, causing considerable damage. The bombers then flew on to Scotland. The battleship was moved south to Tromso for repairs, bringing her within range of Scottish airfields. On October 29 a second attack was mounted but poor weather and a smoke screen made aiming difficult, and the bombers managed only one near miss.
    On November 12 Iveson took off to attack Tirpitz for a third time. On this occasion the weather was clear, and the 32 Lancasters achieved two direct hits and one very near miss. Iveson’s bomb aimer saw their Tallboy land in the middle of the smoke pall. The battleship soon started to list, and within minutes she rolled over and buried her superstructure on the seabed.

    Afterwards Iveson continued his tour with No 617, attacking targets in Germany. Then, on January 12 1945, the squadron headed for the submarine pens at Bergen in Norway. German fighters were waiting for them, and two attacked Iveson’s Lancaster. An engine caught fire and the rear gun turret, tailplane and the rudders were badly damaged. Three of his crew bailed out (to become PoWs) and the fighters broke away. Iveson then came under heavy anti-aircraft fire, but he managed to keep control of the bomber and land his crippled aircraft at a small airfield in the Shetland Islands. It was his final flight in a Lancaster, and he was awarded an immediate DFC for his “great skill, courage and determination”.
    Thomas Clifford Iveson (always known as Tony) was born in York on September 11 1919 and educated at Archbishop Holgate’s Grammar School in the city. He joined the RAFVR in 1938 and was called up a year later.
    Iveson began as a fighter pilot, in September 1940 joining No 616 Squadron in Lincolnshire. On September 16 he and two other pilots were scrambled to intercept a lone Junkers 88 bomber. They chased it out to sea, but Iveson’s Spitfire was damaged and he was forced to ditch alongside a minesweeper."

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