His citation read
Flying Officer Kenneth Campbell, 22 Squadron, Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.In recognition of most conspicuous bravery. This officer was the pilot of a Beaufort aircraft of Coastal Command which was detailed to attack an enemy battle cruiser in Brest Harbour at first light on the morning of 6th April 1941. The aircraft did not return but it is known that a torpedo attack was carried out with the utmost daring. The battle cruiser was secured alongside the wall on the north shore of the harbour, protected by a stone mole bending around it from the west. On rising ground behind the ship stood protective batteries of guns. Other batteries were clustered thickly round the two arms of land which encircle the outer harbour. In this outer harbour near the mole were moored three heavily armed anti-aircraft ships, guarding the battle cruiser. Even if an aircraft succeeded in penetrating these formidable defences, it would be almost impossible, after delivering a low-level attack, to avoid crashing into the rising ground beyond.This was well known to Flying Officer Campbell who, despising the heavy odds, went cheerfully and resolutely to the task. He ran the gauntlet of the defences. Coming in at almost sea level, he passed the anti-aircraft ships at less than mast-height in the very mouths of their guns and skimming over the mole launched a torpedo at point-blank range.The battle cruiser was severely damaged below the water-line and was obliged to return to the dock whence she had come only the day before. By pressing home his attack at close quarters in the face of withering fire on a course fraught with extreme peril, Flying Officer Campbell displayed valour of the highest order.- See more at: http://ww2today.com/6th-april-1941-kenneth-campbell-attacks-the-gneisenau?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+WorldWarIIToday+%28World+War+II+Today*+%29#sthash.rNyGiDWr.dpuf
But this photograph blew my mind
This is a vertical photograph of the flak over this area few nights before. These are tracers. And you know that only one in say 10 bullets is a tracer. So the actual amount of lead and exploding shells is actually 10 times of this photograph. And you have to fly through this insane multiple curtains of death, whilst your bombardier is begging you to fly steady and straight because his norton bombsights cannot handle movements.
I dont think I can even comprehend the levels of bravery involved. And then we have bloody students demanding safe spaces. The mind boggles.