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Bombs could have been meant for barracks

PUBLISHED: 22:50 04 April 2006 | UPDATED: 06:46 02 March 2010

UNEXPLODED bombs found at a Suffolk high school could have been dropped by Germans who believed they were targeting army barracks, an expert claimed today.

UNEXPLODED bombs found at a Suffolk high school could have been dropped by Germans who believed they were targeting army barracks, an expert claimed today.

Gordon Kinsey, president of Martlesham Heath Aviation Society, said the layout of Kesgrave High School could have led bombers to believe they were attacking a military target.

Mr Kinsey, a former pupil at the school, said: “I understand the bombs were of German origin but what they were aiming for I don't know. Perhaps the school looked like barracks because it used to be a quadrangle with buildings around it.

“They could have gone to Coventry or Manchester and have been on the way home and instead of carrying them back they just dropped them. We did exactly the same in the Royal Air Force. We had a prime target and then subsidiary targets and, if all failed, we would drop them in any place that looked Germanic.

“Another possibility is the aircraft could have been attacked and jettisoned its bombs.”

Mr Kinsey, who attended the school between 1934 and 1936, said he believes the bombs were found at the site of the old school garden where the soil was very sandy.

He said they may not have exploded because of the soft landing and then sunk into the soil, getting gradually deeper over the years.

He added: “There could have been a defect in the bombs or they might not have gone off because of the way they hit the ground. If they went into soft ground the impact might not have set them off.

“The Germans also had slave labourers and there was a certain amount of subterfuge.

“Countless bombs were dropped that didn't go off.

“There are unexploded bombs all over the place, who knows where they are.”

He said the bombs found on Friday and Saturday were large 1,000lb devices which could have caused major explosions.

He added: “These are nasty but the impact depends on if they go into soft ground and the blast goes upwards or if they land on the surface and the blast goes across - then it takes everything with it.

“If they had gone off they would have broken a hell of a lot of windows and chucked some sand around.”

Both bombs were taken to Orford Ness for controlled explosions on Sunday.

Mr Kinsey said the site had always been used and had been a base for bomb and armament testing since 1914.

He said aircraft would drop there during the war and there were likely to be several unexploded bombs at the site, though they would be too deep to be of any danger.

N Have you ever found an unexploded device? Write to: Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail: eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

CASE STUDY

A LIFETIME resident of Kesgrave today told of his belief that the German bombs found near the town's high school are the same devices he saw being dropped during the Second World War.

Retired builder Bob Wilding, of McKenzie Drive, was a paperboy in the town when he saw a German pilot drop bombs on the same spot where the two 1,000lbs devices were found.

Mr Wilding, 78, said: “I reckon I was about 14. There were more or less just fields here then.

“The sirens went and when the sirens went you looked out of the window. The plane came from Playford way and the bomb doors were open and out came the bombs.

“One of them exploded on the Main Road in a ditch opposite St Olaves Road but there was at least four that came out of the plane.

“As soon as I heard about these bombs I thought 'at last somebody has found them'.”

The RAF veteran and aircraft enthusiast believes the bombs found near Kesgrave High School are from that particular flight, which he says was in either in 1942 or 1943, because they were found in the line of flight he saw the aircraft take.

Mr Wilding said: “Going by the one that exploded on the Main Road opposite St Olaves it was dead in line with how the plane flew over here.”


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