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Loch Striven Highball bombs search

Discussion in 'Information Requests' started by GRW, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Apparently this loch in the Firth of Clyde was used for testing Highball bouncing bombs, the smaller version of the Upkeep ones, and right now there is a search going on for any remaining practice bombs in the loch.
    Trouble is, I've only heard this mentioned in Secret Scotland and can't find a news link anywhere. Anyone else found one?
     
  2. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

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    Argyll News: Highballs in Loch Striven :Argyll,Barnes Wallis,Maersk,bouncing bombs, | For Argyll any good gordon?

    http://news.scotsman.com/news/Teams-to-search-Scottish-loch.6282951.jp

    http://www.thisislincolnshire.co.uk/news/article-2155497-detail/article.html one more for luck, gordon.

    [​IMG]
    http://www.experiencepembrokeshire..../military-heritage/maenclochog-railway-tunnel

    Produced by: Aberystwyth Online Town Guide

    Fragment Of The Casing Of A "Highball" Bouncing Bomb
    Fragment of the casing of a "Highball" Bouncing Bomb aimed at the Maenclochog Railway Tunnel during an exercise on October 7th 1943.

    Exhibit refurbished by TEXACO and erected by PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL on behalf of the PEMBROKESHIRE AVIATIO GROUP.

    hope you don't mind me adding this piece gordon..
     
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  3. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Cheers, Ray. Turned up trumps again. :cool:
    I searched the bloody Scotsman site too, but it's not up to much these days. :mad:
     
  4. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Just an update, Ray. The dive ends today, having found eight Highballs on the loch bed, quite closely grouped.
    Some still have the white stripe painted on them for timing, and a couple have dents from contact with the target.
     
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  5. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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  6. sniper1946

    sniper1946 Expert

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    cheers for posting gordon..appreciated, ray..
     
  7. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    An update on this one. One of the boffins at Secretscotland found this youtube footage of the Highball tests at what we think is Loch Striven-
    YouTube - Dam busters or bouncing bomb
    It was posted in a thread on lumberjills, because the ones at Loch Striven were confined to camp for the day for security reasons and lost a day's pay as a result.
     
  8. jon-haigh

    jon-haigh New Member

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    hi every body, new to forums especially this one......trying to peice together details of my friends war career, he is now 93 years old and i am trying slowly to ease out of him his war career as he is reluctant to talk too much. i have filled the forms out for his veterans medal and artic medal this week .. he was on the furiuos then illustrius then was on the malaya in a scotland with a hand full of others when... they was using the malaya for bomb practice with the bouncing bomb.... any help with this? regards jh
     
  9. LRusso216

    LRusso216 Graybeard Staff Member Patron  

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    Hi Jon. Welcome to the forum. At the moment, I can't help you, but I would suggest that you start your own thread rather than appending to an old one. It will get more traffic that way. Good luck.
     
  10. Takao

    Takao Ace

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    Greetings Jon,

    You might want to see this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JqBiMgC2Wg
    Beginning at 1:53 is the first of two drops on the HMS Malaya.

    If you Google the terms - HMS Malaya, bouncing bomb - you will find plenty of material, although few pictures.

    Edit - the old French battleship Courbet was used in some of the early tests as a target. Once the Courbet was selected to be used as a Mulberry at Normandy, the HMS Malaya took her place.
     
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  11. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    *BUMPED* FOR AN UPDATE-
    A total of 11 British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) scuba divers from all over the UK are preparing to raise two of the bombs (in Loch Striven) this summer.
    Among them is Lindsay, a member of Dundee Sub-Aqua Club.

    Lindsay, 48, previously captured underwater footage of the Highballs during a dive to research them in 2010.

    "It's a special project which is why I was so desperate to be part of it again," she says.

    "It's fascinating particularly when you get into understanding how they tested them out. Even with all the technology we have now could we do it any better? I'm not so sure."

    There are currently no complete examples of Highballs on display to the public and the aim is to place two of the giant spherical bombs in British museums, in time for the 75th anniversary of the Dam Buster raid, in 2018."
    Daring divers to rescue Dam Busters 'bouncing bombs' from loch
     
  12. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    *bumped* for another update-
    "For more than seven decades, they have lain in the cold, murky depths of a Scottish sea loch.

    But on Wednesday, one of the most innovative weapons developed during the Second World War was recovered from the bed of Loch Striven in Argyll by a dedicated team of divers.

    A Highball bouncing bomb, tested on the loch in 1943, was retrieved 'in perfect condition' from the depths following a major operation by diving enthusiasts and the Royal Navy."
    Scottish divers find bouncing bombs at bottom of a loch | Daily Mail Online
     
  13. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Two of the Highball bombs have been allocated, one to the Barnes Wallis Collection at Brooklands in Surrey, and the other to the Mosquito Museum.

    I'm delighted to report that the Mosquito Museum one has been safely delivered and is now under restoration. The danger here is that it will dry out too quickly which after 70+ years in sea water would lead to uncontrolled corrosion, so the bomb has been placed in a large tank of fresh water and chemicals. This is breaking down the large amounts of silt , rust and marine life which is encrusting the bomb.

    After just four weeks, the results are very encouraging and we're already discussing ways in which it can be best displayed. Even at this early stage, interest from our visitors is very high......
     
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  14. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    That's great news, Martin.
     
  15. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    And after an interval during which both Photobucket & I temporarily disappeared - here's a 'Highball' update !

    [​IMG]

    The bomb was momentarily drained and refilled with treated water a couple of weeks ago.

    What can just be seen in the 'flat' end is the Mk. XIV Depth Charge Pistol ( fired, fortunately ).

    This bomb was used against the hulk of HMS Malaya in Loch Striven to test the operation of the pistol. The inert bomb was aimed and released against the side of the battleship - the back-spin then propelled the bomb down and under the keel, to be exploded by a standard depth-charge fuze.

    Simple !

    Oh - and I've been nominated as 'keeper of the bomb' at the Mosquito Museum. Any hints and tips gratefully received......
     
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  16. jagdpanther44

    jagdpanther44 Battlefield wanderer

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    Yes, I have a tip - don't try and spirit it away for your own personal militaria collection :)

    BTW Good to see you back here, Martin.
     
  17. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Thanks John !

    Don't worry - when they told me that I was 'keeper' I straightaway said - just so long as I don't have to take it home ; it weighs 1,000lb......o_O
     
  18. GRW

    GRW Pillboxologist WW2|ORG Editor

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    Good grief, hello stranger! Was about to post you MIA, old boy.
     
  19. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    Just taking a bit of a rest.....:)
     
  20. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

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    With the Mosquito Museum due to reopen next month, I've been putting some elbow grease into the Highball, finally getting it ready for full display.

    Nice sunny day today, so retrieved from the loft a box of rust & mud-encrusted bits which fell off the bomb when it was being water-blasted over 2 years ago.

    A bucket of Deox-C, a 3-hour soak followed by a good scrub, and the full set of balance weights came out looking almost as-new. Not bad when you think that they've skipped over Loch Striven at 360mph before hitting HMS Malaya and sinking to the bottom of the Loch where they remained for over 70 years.....here's a quick pic before they go back up to the Museum on Thursday....


    [​IMG]
     
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