A new model diorama has been added to the exhibits in the Heritage Centre, depicting the preparations for launching a V-I Flying Bomb, against England in 1944, “Moving a V-I to the Launch Ramp”. These early pilotless cruise missiles were attacked by Canadian Mosquito FB VIs, based at Holmlsey South, both by day and by night, and by Spitfires and other fast Allied aircraft. The V-1 flying bomb, also known to the Allies as the buzz bomb, or doodlebug, and in Germany as Kirschkern or Maikäfer, was the only production aircraft to use a pulse jet for power. The V-1 was the first of the so-called “Vengeance weapons” series designed for terror bombing of London. The first missiles fell to earth on 13th June 1944, after which up to 100 per day were launched against England, a total of 9,521 between then and October 1944, when the last launch sites, within range of England, were captured by the Allied advance. A further 2,448 were launched against the port of Antwerp and other targets in Belgium, up to March 1945.
This new diorama compliments the Holmsley South Mosquito FB VI model already on display in the Centre. It is interesting to note that full credit for shooting down a V-I was only given to pilots who destroyed a V-I over the English Channel. Those confirmed as destroyed over land only gained the pilot half a ‘kill’.