Operation Athletic

'Athletic' was a British carrierborne air attack by elements of Admiral Sir Henry Moore’s Home Fleet on German shipping in harbours between Narvik and Trondheim along the western coast of German-occupied Norway (24/30 October 1944).

The fleet carrier Implacable was deployed with the light cruiser Mauritius and destroyers Myngs, Venus, Verulam, Volage, and Canadian Algonquin and Sioux of the 26th Destroyer Flotilla. This force raided Bodø and Sandnessjoen, in which the naval ferry barges F 235 and F 236 were damaged; Rorvik, in which the patrol vessel V 5722 and the seaplane tender Karl Meyer were destroyed; and Lødingen and Kristiansand North, in which the minesweeper M 433, minehunter MRS 26 and two freighters (including the 2,498-ton Karmøy) were destroyed.

Another German casualty was Oberleutnant Herbert Brammer’s U-1060, which was damaged in the North Sea by the rocket and depth charge attacks of one Fairey Firefly single-engined attack fighter of No. 1771 Squadron and two Fairey Barracuda single-engined bombers from Implacable: the crippled U-boat was run aground to prevent it from sinking, and was then destroyed by the bombing of two Handley Page Halifax four-engined heavy bombers of No. 502 Squadron and two Consolidated Liberator four-engined heavy bombers of No. 311 (Czech) Squadron.

In the same basic area, on 27 October Oberleutnant Otto Hinrichs’s U-1061 was damaged by a Liberator of the RAF’s No. 224 Squadron and a Vickers Wellington twin-engined anti-submarine aeroplane of the RCAF’s No. 407 Squadron.

The carrierborne aircraft also made attacks on the airfields at Sorreisa and Bardufoss, and spotted the battleship Tirpitz in her new berth near Tromsø.