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Victorious personnel fusing bombs prior to the 3 April 1944 attack on Tirpitz
Hellcats on Emperor, also ships Furious, Puruer, Jamaica
HMS Furious armourer with bomb message (IWM image A 22640)

On this day 3 April 1944

Published: 03 Apr 2014

On this day 3 April 1944 Operation Tungsten - FAA attack on Tirpitz

On 2 April 1944, Force 1, HMS Victorious with HM Ships Anson and Duke of York, joined with Force 2, composed of the aging carrier HMS Furious and the escort carriers HMS Emperor, Fencer, Pursuer, and Searcher as well as numerous cruisers and destroyers and tankers.

On 3 April 1944, the combined force launched an attack (Operation Tungsten) on the Tirpitz in Altafjord, Norway . This involved Fairey Barracuda bombers, escorted and covered by Supermarine Seafire, Chance-Vought Corsair, Grumman Hellcat, and Grumman Wildcat fighters in two waves. The battleship was hit  fourteen times and the ship's defences strafed. Although near-misses caused flooding and there was serious damage to the superstructure, the ship's armour was not penetrated. Nonetheless, the attack put Tirpitz out of action for some months. During the operation, Victorious became the first aircraft carrier to use the Vought Corsair fighter operationally.


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