During World War 2, the Germans launched V1 flying bombs from the coast of France, targeted at London.
The RAF worked out that if a fast fighter, usually a Spitfire or a P51 Mustang, could fly level with the V1, the V1 could be destroyed by placing the fighter`s wing tip beneath the wing of the rocket, and flipping it over, sending it out of control.
A comment by Peter follows:—
“Spitfires were not fast enough to catch them in level flight and we used to watch them (they were based at Kenley) dive down on these, get in close alongside and use their wings to tip the things over, thereby upsetting theit delicate gyro mechanism and causing them to crash. My most scary wartime memory was cycling home from school across a recreation ground and hearing a voice yelling “Get down”, “Get down” It was an air raid warden in a nearby post. He pointed up and my heart stopped becuas literally just a few feet above me was one of these flying bombs in a silent glide. I remember it was all silver and so sleek. I flung myself off my bike and on to the road (not much traffic in those days) and between my fingers I watched it following the contour of the hill as it glided down. Our house was down there and Mum was home on her own. Suddenly there was a mighty explosion and I was lifted up and dumped down again before jumping on my bike and hurtling down the hill as fast as I could. The bomb had crashed at the end of a long garden on the other side of the hill and our house was spared, although all the windows were blown out. Mum and the lady next door were outside crying their eyes out. Two years ago I was chatting with someone on here and it turned out that where the bomb crashed (Coulsdon) was his grandmother’s garden!! How about that???” Peter
A Quote From Jell:-" I actually saw this operation carried out over the SE of England many times when i was very young. Also waiting for the rocket motor to cut out. and then the bang. Lovely work"