A walk in the woods with Easy Elsie

On the 29th October 1944, Easy Elsie took off from Lossiemouth, one of 37 Lancasters on a bombing run to hunt and sink the Battleship “Tirpitz”. The round trip was in excess of 2250 miles so all the Lancasters were modified to reduce weight and these modifications included removal of the mid-upper turrets and other non-essential equipment, plus the installation of additional fuel tanks giving a capacity of 2406 gallons. At the time of the attack, cloud had hidden the Tirpitz, so all the Lancasters dropping their Tallboy bombs on the estimated position, but no direct hits were achieved. Easy Elsie attempted six separate bombing runs over the target before releasing its bomb missing the Battleship, but was damaged by flak. Losing fuel, the crew and Pilot set course for Sweden, releasing a return to Lossiemouth was not practicable and after jettisoning weapons and more fuel near Porjus, Flying Officer Carey skilfully landed the Lancaster in a clear section of forest. Although the landing gear dug into the soft bog the Lancaster stood end up before falling back – allowing all the crew to escape safely – they were subsequently repatriated to the UK.

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