Operation Offspring (ii)

This was a British naval air attack and minelaying operation in the North Sea and Norwegian Sea by a detachment of Admiral Sir Henry Moore’s Home Fleet (9/15 August 1944).

Under the command of Rear Admiral R. R. McGrigor, the ships involved were the fleet carrier Indefatigable, escort carriers Trumpeter and Canadian Nabob, heavy cruisers Devonshire and Kent, and destroyers Myngs, Scourge, Verulam, Vigilant, Virago, Volage and Canadian Algonquin and Sioux of the 26th Destroyer Flotilla.

In addition to the laying of two minefields between Lepsøy and Haramsa, the operation’s objectives were attacks on the airfield at Gossen near Kristiansand North and shipping off the coast of German-occupied Norway. The operation cost the Germans six Messerschmitt Bf 110 heavy fighters destroyed and one damaged, and three freighters damaged on 10 August. The motor minesweeper R 89 was also damaged in an air attack and later destroyed by an ammunition explosion. Other destruction included two hangars and some storehouses left burning at Gossen and among the many subsidiary targets attacked in the Lepsøy area were three radar and two radio stations, one dredger, gun positions, three armed ships of which two were left burning, and one oil tank which was left smoking. The British losses were two aircraft.