398th Bomb Group

V1's and V2's at Dassels

By Digger Webb
UK Friend of the 398th
February 2003

I read with interest the letter from Ralph Ambrose in the last issue of Flak News as I remember that night in 1944. It was a not a V2 but a V1 (Doodle Bug) that fell at Dassels. I was on Home Guard duty with Horace Cook outside the Adam and Eve Pub at Hay Street when a V1 came over us and carried on. We then heard another V1 coming so we went into the Pub and told the Americans who were there to take cover (men from the Base used to cycle to the Pub on most evenings.) They got under the table lifting it off the ground. We heard the bomb go off when it landed about a mile away at Coles Park. We knew that these bombs usually came over in threes so we went outside and looked to see if another one was coming. After about five minutes we heard and saw the third one. We lost sight of it just before it exploded in the direction of Dassels. We quickly went to Dassels to find the last bus from Hertford (10.20 pm) with nearly all its windows blown out and also many house windows. Luckily no one was killed.

A V2 fell one afternoon up the lane opposite the Adam and Eve at Hay Lodge. A new tin roof had just been put on a big barn at Hobbs Lane Dassels and one moonlight night eight bombs were dropped near it. None exploded and before the Army removed them, my workmate Percy Hart and I had to cut the wheat with a binder over them as the wheat couldn't be wasted. There was an Army Dump at Buntingford so we believed this could have been what they were looking for.

Sincerely, Digger Webb, the only remaining member of Braughing Home Guard. (I still have my Gas Mask)

Digger lives near the village of Anstey, which is of course, near the old Station 131 location in Nuthampstead. He is a very dear Friend of the 398th and is always a joy to visit with during our 398th returns to the old base area.

Wally Blackwell

Note: The above article has been placed on the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association web site to share our history with a wider audience. You may view, download, print, copy and link to our content as you wish as long as the uses are personal or educational. 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association web page content cannot be used for commercial purposes nor placed on other web sites whether commercial, personal or educational, unless authorized in writing by the 398th Bomb Group Memorial Association Official Board and/or the author.