Barrage Balloon Collisions

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have been looking at the piece written by Shelia Freeman and she mentions the barrage balloons in Portsmouth Harbour.

I believe my grandfather's RAF Whitley Bomber aircraft might have collided with a balloon cable at the Gosport Balloon Barrage, before flying on and crashing near Eastleigh Aerodrome (HMS Raven) after colliding with another cable at Eastleigh at about 3.30am in the early hours of the 15th August 1940. The cable was damaged and had to be replaced later that day. The Whitley lost about 14 feet of its wing somewhere.

The Germans came over later on in the day (also 15th August 1940) and shot about 6 Balloons down.

I should be very interested to hear from anyone who was in the area and might recall Balloon Barrage collision incidents.

Regards and best wishes


If you have any information about Gosport Barrage Balloons, I will add it here. Thank you   Ian Jeffery

I have just discovered your web-site, and the entry  about barrage balloons durinhg the war. 

My father served in the RAF Barrage Balloon  Squadron, having volunteered in the early days of the war. He spoke little of  his war, but two facts he did tell me.

First he was on duty in Gosport during the  Portsmouth blitz. Second his balloon only ever brought down one plane, and that  was British.  I wonder if it was my father's balloon what was  involved with the crash of Mark's grandfather?  

I attach a photo of his balloon team taken possible  at Gosport - certainly about that time in his life. He finished his war service on balloons in Cairo  and then Palestine. Paul Catcheside

I have suggested to Paul that the photo may have been taken between Grove Road Park (Tide Field) and San Dieago Road, where the pre-fabs were built after the war and now has St Vincent Road. Ian Jeffery

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Ian Jeffery

11 Harcourt Road


Hants  PO12 3NR

Tel: 023 9252 3358

Mobile: 078 1751 7995


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