35 Squadron, the Erk and the UXB

Here is a hair-raising story to be found in “Flying Control Historical Record – Gravely 1942 – 1945”. Graveley was the home of 35 Squadron, flying Halifaxes at that stage of the war.

In the early hours of 9 April 1943, Halifax, U-Uncle, was the last to land from operations. This was fortunate, because as soon as it touched down sparks were observed streaming out below the tail. After the aircraft had run a few hundred yards they ceased.

An investigation disclosed a 2,000 lb bomb on the centre of the main runway, near Flying Control. It had been hung up by its tail and when the aircraft touched down its nose was dragged along the runway until the bumps caused it fall off.

At dawn an airman was seen to be sitting on it smoking a cigarette, his job being to keep the inquisitive away.


116 - 35 squadron UXB - cropped