HC Deb 18 February 1942 vol 377 c1774
3. Mr. Gallacher

asked the Secretary of State for Air why, when in a recent raid on the East of Scotland, a single German raider, flying low, was within a few hundred yards of an anti-aircraft gun which could easily have brought it down, no orders were given to fire, and it was allowed to drop its bombs and clear off without interference?

The Secretary of State for Air (Sir Archibald Sinclair)

The aircraft in question appeared suddenly out of low cloud in an area where British aircraft of similar type were known to be present. It passed a light automatic gun at extreme range and was out of range before it could be positively identified as hostile. The men who fire these anti-aircraft guns do not have to wait for orders before engaging hostile aircraft.

Mr. Gallacher

Is it not the case that a civilian came out of a car and drew the attention of some soldiers on guard to the fact that a "Jerry" aeroplane was almost sitting on top of the gun, that they all recognised it as a "Jerry," and that it floated around, dropped several bombs and made off without interference of any kind?

Sir A. Sinclair

I am informed that the aeroplane did not come within 800 yards of the gun.