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

60 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.

        • Ian D B says:

          will have a look, thanks Kevin

        • Andrew Hart says:

          I was brought up in Pocklington and was always led to believe it landed at the airfield side of the road as you travel into Barmby Moor from Poclington. It was right on the airfield perimeter there and a holding point for the Halifax bombers. We often visited that site as you could still salvage live rounds from the pond/crater which were dumped there after the war.

    • Andrew says:

      But it did break all the windows in my Grandma’s house “Church Farm.

      But very little damage as you say, as it was only ~100 yards away.

  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

    • Robert pickering says:

      I have found your site most fascinating thank you for all your research.
      I am interested in the location of No 7 Spring Bank, Willerby a few miles west of Hull in Yorkshire
      I am hoping that you may be able to pinpoint the actual location of the impact of the V1
      Spring bank is a generic area and Willerby is or was a village some 3 miles west of Springbank
      My interest in where it landed is because my parents and myself and my brother lived at 22 Beech Avenue Willerby at that time. The impact caused roof and ceiling damage to our house and other semidetached houses very close by and in Palmer Avenue some 75 yards east towards Springbank and in a similar location to ours where the rear gardens abutted the base of the Hull and Barnsley railway embankment I recall a pair of semidetached houses were in very bad way

      My parents at the time assumed that the GAF were trying to damage the railway line and as far as Iam aware never knew that it was an aeroplane launched V1. Myself and my childhood friends used to go into the adjacent fields after a sleepless night spent in the shelter, brick built with a heavy concrete slab roof , and search for shrapnel and small incendiary bombs. No H and S then! These would then be swapped!

      at 22 Beech Avenue Willerby

      • Ian D B says:

        Hi Robert,

        According to Peter J C Smith (1988) the Willerby flying bomb came down “…in a grass field 150 yards from Springhead water pumping station.” The nearest house was 130 yds away but new houses have been built since as noted above.

        Smith notes that windows were broken across western Hull and one woman injured. A witness – Brian Hansby – was outside his parents house on Ridgeway Rd when it passed over and “impacted just beyond a track leading from Kingston Rd to the pumping station.” Brian’s father threw himself and his son to the ground, just before it impacted “six or seven hundred yards away.”

        From that you may be able to find the approximate location on Google maps. However as the crater was broad and shallow (12 feet across but only 18 inches deep), I doubt there would be any visible sign of it on the ground. Given the proximity to civilisation, a metal detector sweep would probably be picking up signals from discarded ring pulls, tin cans and coins etc dropped in the field over the years. It looks like the field is now used for football.

        It could possibly have landed in the area circled in this image. But equally, it could well be in the area now covered by new housing (The Ridings) as Richard suggests.


  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.

  14. Nigel T says:

    The Kelsall landing is the nearest to where I live.I would like to visit the site, to see if there is an existing crater but apart from this website I cannot find any information to the exact location in Kelsall.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Nigel, in his book ‘Flying bombs over the Pennines’ Peter J C Smith provides this description, if it’s of any help? Not sure if the crater exists still.

      “The most westerly V1 to fall exploded at 6.22 in a field belonging to Lower Farm, Kelsall… A large crater 20 feet across and 10 feet deep was made in a remote field which abuts the land of Street Farm. Both farms stand to the left of the A556 Northwich to Chester Road.”

      • Ian D B says:

        Not sure if Smith has that right? Looking at maps – even old maps – of Kelsall, I can see a Street Farm near the junction of the B5393 and the A54 but not off the A556.

        Maybe he has confused the A54 with the A556?

        And I cannot see Lower Farm at all but I haven’t looked that hard to be honest.

        Suggest you knock on at Street Farm and ask the present owners if they know where it came down?

        Let us know how you get on?


  15. James Sorrie says:

    A fascinating and informative website Ian.

    … But I would just query location 12 – given as “Woodford Northamptonshire”.
    This is not far from me but I as far as I know the only V1 to hit Northamptonshire was the one at Creaton, much earlier, on July 22nd 1944.

    Could it be that the Woodford in Northamptonshire is being confused with the Woodford in Cheshire?

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi James,

      Thank you for your comment. There is not much about the Woodford missile and all of my info came from two books, both by Peter J C Smith; ‘Flying Bombs Over The Pennines’ (1988) and ‘Air-launched Dodlebugs – The Forgotten Campaign’ (2006) which provides the same details. I have copied the paragraph about the Woodford V1. So I don’t know if these sources are accurate, but they are all I have.


      Map showing the farm – the bomb apparently came down in the big field above and to the left of Woodford Grange Farm.


      I wonder if you might want to visit the library at Kettering and view the microfiche files of local newpapers from New Year 1945? Although censored, there should be some reference to it.

      I did find a reference in a forum (link below) which provides;

      Gibson’s “Aviation in Northamptonshire” lists 4 V1 impacts in the county:

      22nd July 1944 11.00pm: Orchard at Creaton. 5 people injured.
      24th December 1944 5.30am: Grange Fm, Woodford. 1 sheep killed.
      3rd January 1945 6.57pm: West of Castor, near the railway station.
      13th January 1945 6.35pm: Irthlingborough Sewage Works.

      The last 3 were all were air-launched from He111s of KG53 flying from Holland.

      Forum link


  16. James Sorrie says:

    Thank you for your response Ian.

    Those details you provide for the Woodford V1 would confirm that you were correct that it was the Woodford in Northamptonshire.

    Those later two V1 hits that you discovered for Northamptonshire are also a bit of a surprise. – Castor 3rd January 1945 and Irthlingborough 13th January 1945.

    At that stage of the war I’d guess those would also have had to have been air launched but other than the Christmas Eve Manchester attack is there much information to be found on other air launched V1 attacks on the UK?

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi James, sorry for the late reply.

      About the only book I have on the subject of Air Launched V1s is Peter Smith’s book;



  17. Keren Gilfoyle says:

    Fascinating info to add to the ‘bible’ on the subject, Norman Longmate’s ‘The Doodlebugs’. I hadn’t realised that there were so many from the Christmas launching that dropped so short, apart from the Read’s Island one – Norman Longmate confirms the report of a power dive into the mud. I didn’t know about the Willerby one, or the other Yorkshire ones bar the one at Beighton. There is/was a crater allegedly caused by one at High Green, to the north of Sheffield, but as neither of my parents (both from the area, Dad in the Home Guard) ever mentioned it, nor has a friend from High Green heard of it, I take it this to be wishful thinking by local kids at the time?

    I was amused (if that’s the right word) to discover yesterday that I bought a planter from someone in Whitstable whose road occupies a former V1 crash site!

    I used to live over the road from a RCAF Lancaster crash site in Leicestershire: I knew the lady whose husband subsequently farmed the land: when ploughing he was continually picking up live ammo and flares which he used to put in his pocket, and carry on ploughing!

  18. Don Pickford says:

    Was No18,in Oldham,the one that killed the wedding party in Glodwick?

  19. Paul Reynolds says:

    Fascinating information! I remember, after a storm, in 1965 finding a complete V1 uncovered on the rocks between Hollywell and Beachy Head near Eastbourne. A V1 landed at the top of Brassey Avenue in Hampden Park near Eastbourne in 1944. We bought a house half a mile away in 1976, which still showed bad repairs from the blast.

    • Ian D B says:

      Thanks Paul. Did you take any photos of the V1? A scary thing to come across!


      • Paul Reynolds says:

        Unfortunately not, I was loaded with fishing gear at the time. I do not know what happened to it. The area was also covered in unexploded shells from the war as well. About eight miles west there used to be a WW1 submarine washed up near Belle Toute lighthouse under the cliffs.

  20. Andy says:

    I was brought up in Kelsall, my late father obviously heard that one go over and go bang. He cycled down there and retrieved a propaganda leaflet, which I still have. I think it killed a few cows and flattened some nearby farm greenhouses..

  21. Steve says:

    My mother was 8 years old when she was awakened by one of the v1 rockets passing overhead. She lived in Triangle near Ripponden in 1944.It came from the east over Ladstone rock clearing the valley to crash and explode damaging a farm in Soyland.

  22. Margaret Newton says:

    I was wakened at 06.05 Christmas morning 1944 by my Mother shouting to run downstairs. I heard the doodle bug engine stop.I pulled the bedclothes over my head and saw the flash through the blankets. I waited then the earth shook. The roof lifted and fell back down. I fell out of bed with the ceiling on top of me. Unhurt and so lucky. Unlike the Foulkes family at the farm. Matly Hyde.25.

    • Ian D B says:

      Such a close thing Margaret, must have been a difficult Christmas for your family. Thank you for adding your memory here.

  23. Jeremy Sullivan says:

    Hello Ian,

    Thank you for your reply. I have some information regarding the V1 attacks of December 24th, 1944 but not sure if it is relevant. My mother passed away a few years ago and just recently I have been going through her PC, where I found some notes, she had written about her time in the WAAF, stationed at RAF Stoke Holy Cross near Norwich. She was working on the then “new radar” and tracked the first V1 early that morning. Please let me know if you would like to see the article she had written. If this can be done away from this chat it would be nice to share this with you.


    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Jeremy, that would be very welcome, always good to add to this story and provide a better understanding of what happened. It sounds fascinating! Thank you very much for the offer. Anything you provide will be added to the main narrative with a credit to you and your mother.

      My email address is


  24. Peter Delahunty says:

    I came across the V1 site at Brindle on a walk during lockdown. On telling others I was cross examined about the dubious information as the V1 didn’t have the range. How satisfying to have found your site and the fascinating information it contained. Thankyou

  25. Ken Stevens says:

    My Uncle worked at Lysaghts steelworks during WW2 and was in the Home Guard. I presume they had been disbanded by the time of the Christmas raid. He mentioned that a lot of V1’S went astray that day,about 2/3 if they were all for Manchester, not counting those lost at sea according to the map. He said the V1 when in flight sounded like a two stroke motorcycle at full pelt. I think a lot of the German bomber crews knew that the war was lost by this time and may have just launched and turned back home without too much attention to the accuracy of the weapon. On a lighter note my Uncle was a lifelong non drinker and often stood guard outside the Flixborough Inn while the rest of the Home Guard were inside having a pint!

    • Ian D B says:

      Thank you for your comment Ken. I think people knowing what these missiles sounded like, having seen newsreels at the cinema of attacks on London, saved a lot of lives. Parents were quickly able to recogise the put-put sound and get their kids to take shelter under beds etc.

  26. Liam Daley says:

    My dad lived in Bammber Bridge and arrived at the crater of the Brindle site shortly after it landed. His story was he had to kick a shell-shocked cat at the rim in order to get it moving. There were V1 magazines scattered everywhere. They were officially not allowed to be kept but the local policeman was giving them out and laughing about the contents – stories of how great life was in Germany with VWs and Autobahns. As there wasn’t a lot of bombing locally my dad, then a teenager, was excited and was looking for shrapnel.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi Liam, thanks for your comment. On this page are examples of the magazines contained in the V1s, if you haven’t seen it already.

  27. D.Wileman says:

    Thanks for publishing this article, I was 5½ at the time. I remember lying in bed hearing some of them go over. Hoping that the engine did not stop. I was not aware of the date at the time so this article as been a great help has, I am writing (as best as I can) my Life story for my Grandchildren.

  28. David Garton says:

    Hi. Read with interest the comments on the bomb falling on Woodford, Northamptonshire and the queries as to whether this was the right Woodford. I can confirm that a Doodlebug did fall on Woodford Northamptonshire about this time. My mum (Mary Garton, nee Jackson) still remembers it. She was 8 years old at the time.

    She remembers being in bed (consistent with the reported 5.30am timing) and hearing the noise of the bomb falling and suddenly going quiet. It landed near the river but did not immediately explode. She remembers it exploding the following day or the next. It blew the windows out of numerous buildings in the village including the CO-OP. She had an evacuee (surname Aldridge) staying with her at Club Lane. The evacuee’s mother had come up to visit her daughter at Christmas. When the bomb exploded the mother fell down the stairs (so much for sending her daughter to safety in rural Northamptonshire!). My mum’s father (Ted Jackson) needed to put a tie into the house as the explosion left one of the walls bowing.

    • Ian D B says:

      Hi David, some very clear recollections there from your mum! Thank you for adding them to this history.

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