East Yorkshire UK

Hedon History: Saltend – site of first daylight air raid in World War two!

HULL WAS a major target for air raids during World War II.

However, according to North East Coast Town: Ordeal & Triumph: The Story of Kingston-upon-Hull in the 1939-1945 Great War it was Saltend that experienced the first ever daylight raid to take place in the country.

On 1st July 1940 an enemy plane had flown across Hull making random attacks on barrage balloons and not causing any serious damage – until at 5:30pm its bombs found the oil tanks at Saltend.

Shrapnel from one bomb pierced a tank holding about 2,500 tons of petrol which leaked, caught fire and threatened to explode all the nearby tanks.

It took courageous efforts of the fire brigades and site workers to prevent a major disaster. The struggle to overcome the crisis, led to two fireman and two Saltend staff being awarded the George Medal for acts of great bravery.

1 reply »

  1. Jim Uney, as a 9 year old, was playing in the streets of Paull on the 1st July 1940. He was taking pretend pot-shots with a toy gun… including at the aeroplane that appeared in the sky overhead. Little did he know that this was a real enemy plane!

    Read Jim’s account of the Saltend bombing at the BBC’s WW2 People’s War website.

    Thanks for sending this through Jim.

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