Map of V1 attack on Manchester

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Christmas Eve, 1944. 45 missiles air-launched from He-111s of KG53 approximately 40 miles off the east coast between Hornsea and Mablethorpe between 0500 and 0600.

In no particular order;

1. Spennymoor, County Durham
2. Rossington, Doncaster
3. Barmby Moor, near York
4. South Cliffe Common, near Hull
5. Epworth, Lincs.
6. Sturton-le-Steeple, Nottinghamshire
7. Willerby, Hull
8. Read’s Island, Humber estuary
9. Beighton, Sheffield
10. Howden Moor, Derbyshire
11. Redbourne, Lincs.
12. Woodford, Northamptonshire
13. Newport, Shropshire
14. Brindle, Lancashire
15. Grange Moor, near Huddersfield
16. Sowerby, near Halifax
17. Oswaldtwistle, Lancashire
18. Oldham
19. Edgworth, Lancashire
20. Tottington, Bury
21. Radcliffe, Bury
22. Worsley, near Salford
23. Didsbury, Manchester
24. Stockport
25. Matley, Hyde
26. Ollerton, near Knutsford
27. Henbury, Macclesfield
28. Macclesfield Forest, Cheshire
29. Black Edge, Buxton
30. Burbage Edge, Buxton
31. Kelsall, Cheshire

See here for an overview of this attack.

Map courtesy of

25 comments on “Map of V1 attack on Manchester
  1. Al says:

    Great map bud, I think I’ll visit one or two for you.

    There’s one we won’t get to though (8)

  2. John T Fletcher says:

    Hi Ian DB what a great find, I can recall that early morning as an 11 year old .My bed room faced to the East and I was a woken by this harsh engine noise and the fact that my bed room was glowing a bright orange/red as these V1’s passed over Winterton going West.
    Our bungalow was very Aircraft orientated as Dad was a member of the Royal Observer Corps so in those early days I knew a little about aircraft with model making and recognition cards.Dad was on night shift at the ROC Post when that raid took place when he came home in the morning he said they had been busy had we heard the Doodlebugs.
    He did not mention the one on Reads Island but I am sure they would have seen it, it’s only about 3 miles from the Post.I have searched for years for the Post Logs but it appears they were destroyed.
    I joined the Corps and served for 40 odd years through out the Cold War until we were Stood Down in 1991.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi John, thank you for taking the time to add your memories of this attack.

      I’ll bet your dad had an anxious morning wondering if there would be any more attacks. Being in Winterton you were right in line to see them coming over! According to a civil defence worker from Winterton, a Mr K. May, the V1 at Reeds Island did not explode, he watched it from Ferriby Sluice go into a powered dive into the mud on the eastern side of the island. Presumably it’s still there.
      (book ref “Air Launched Doodlebugs by Peter J Smith)

      There are a few other war related things in your area on this site which might interest here plus a couple of pages about ROC posts;

  3. Peter Riley says:

    A few years ago I read a book on farming in Cheshire during the war years and the author mentioned that someone local was killed by a V1. I thought this must be an error as I knew that V1s launched from mainland Europe did not have the range. But now you have explained how it was possible and I now have no doubt that the author was correct.
    Thanks for the information.

    • Ian D B says:

      Glad to have helped clear that up Peter, thanks for visiting and commenting. It is an understandable thing to think, especially when there are so many incorrect stories about regarding the war, e.g the one about a Luftwaffe fighter over Liverpool (Bf109s could get as far as Liverpool but would not have been able to get back!)

  4. Mikel says:

    I’m the historian for my father’s WWII unit. They were at Delamere Park Camp when the V-1 heading for Kelsall went over. It left such an impression on them that they even marked it on the battalion map:

    If you ever find any more information on the Kelsall strike I’d love to know about it! My email address is posted on the contact page at:

    Thanks and love the map you made! I sent it to the veterans of the 284th.

  5. Bob Collis says:

    Peter Smith did an excellent book “Air-launched Doodlebugs” covering the campaign (and the Manchester attack) in some detail. There were 93 V-1s in Suffolk and 13 (all but one air-launched) in Norfolk 1944-45.
    Interesting map.


  6. Rob Ludlow says:

    The cricket ground in Tudhoe Village about a mile from where I lived in Spennymoor received the most northerly V-1. Fortunately, nobody was killed but the local vicarage, orphanage and surrounding homes were damaged. From what I can gather the V-1 was tracked by the Royal Observer Corps on crossing the coast at Teesside and further inland at Sedgefield before coming down in Tudhoe.

  7. Richard says:

    Interesting map. My 89 year old neighbour told me about how horrific it was growing up in Hull during the war. He also mentioned about Hull being attacked by aircraft launched doodlebugs which I now know to be the Christmas Eve Manchester raid. He remembered raid. The V1 that hit Barmby Moor next to the RAF base at Pocklington luckily landed in a gravel pit and caused minimal damage to the village. It did however right off a Halifax bomber which was parked near by. The crater is still there and is now a duck pond.

    • Ian D B says:

      Interesting detail Richard. If there is still a visible trace on the ground, a visit to photograph it may be in order. Have you a grid ref for the crater?

      • Kevin Murphy says:

        On google Earth, Looks like a gravel pit with a pond east of Bar farm Antiques on North side of York Road, between Sutton Lane and B1246. However, it’s the other side of Barmby village from the airfield, so if it damaged a plane, it will have also caused lots to village.

  8. Bob Fish says:

    I am writing a book about Epworth and have a short section on the V1 that fell close to the town. Would you allow to use the map on here in my book to show the spread of the V1s


    Bob Fish, Burnham Rd, Epworth.

    • Ian D B says:

      hi Bob, I am happy for you to use the map, thank you for asking.

      I’d normally just ask for a credit to but the base map was used courtesy of so I guess they’d need give permission too?

  9. Richard Bays says:

    I was told by my neighbours that the windows were blown out of my house (and all the others in the same terrace) by the V1 which landed at Springhead, Willerby.

    The exact impact area is now part of a housing estate, so as far as I am aware there is no trace today. At time it was open fields in a narrow green belt between the city of Hull and the village of Willerby.

    • Margaret Reyner says:

      I was 5 years old at the time & was loving in one of the houses badly damaged by the v1 . I remember climbing over debris with my father who was a fireman to go next door to see if our neighbour & children were hurt. We moved out for a time but my parents remained there until 1998

  10. John Robbins says:

    I saw the well-documented ‘Beighton doodlebug’ on the morning of 24/12/44 as I was setting out on my paper-round, not far above the house-tops and stuttering badly which made it rather more unnerving. It came obliquely down Alexandra Road, Swallownest and disappeared towards Beighton, or more accurately, Bedgrave and exploded near a farm, reportedly killing some pigs. Alleged shrapnel fragments appeared in the days afterwards in the possession of small boys .

    An earlier sighting appears to be unrecorded probably because it was in transit. This was heading up Alexandra Road at a reasonable height but its outline was very clear and the rocket flare illuminated he adjacent sky (generally in line with the A57 which links Lincoln, Sheffield, Manchester and Sheffield) It was accompanied by an RAF fighter which we presumed to be attempting to tip it (another unnerving observation since we were unaware of the likely trajectory of the V1 when tipped). We did speculate on whether this was returning the next morning but this was obviously out of the question. It could have been any of the recorded hits to the west of us but I have seen no timings. It was certainly dark though this would have been the case from about 5 pm in winter and unlikely to be as late as 9 pm which was my bed-time (9 years old)

  11. Shared! I’m pretty sure a few friends would like to read this, Ian.

  12. Harry Jack says:

    This may well be rubbish, but it’s what we believed at the time. In 1944 there was a very big explosion near Blackrod, Lancs., said to be caused by a V2. (Maybe a V1 is more likely.) The position was just north of Blackrod village, where the A6 bypass rejoins the old road (Grid ref 36104117). I was just a kid, but we cycled 8 miles to see the spectacular damage. I’ve often wondered why this one doesn’t seem to be listed.

  13. R.S. McAneary says:

    We used to have a couple of pieces of the V1 that landed in Didsbury. Last time I saw them they were wrapped in newspaper in my mothers garage.Will have to have a good look for them when I’m next there.

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