16 Squadron Beaufighter strike photographs August 1944


13 August 1944 Attack on SS CAGLIARI, PARENZO harbour, Yugoslavia.

Now called POREC in Croatia.

MORNING attack, 4 aircraft

AFTERNOON attack, 4 aircraft

Google earth image

14 August 1944: Attack on Hotel Excelsior in Dubrovnik (German HQ)

Hotel Excelsior today

17 August 1944 (Attack on St. Petrovo)

After doing some research with Google Earth it was discovered that actually the marshalling yards at the town of Nova Gradiska was attacked and not St. Petrovo. St. Petrovo is 11 Km West of Nova Gradiska and  the navigators made an error.

flight path Biferno tp Nova Gradiska

11 Km difference in registerd target and real target.

target area as on Google Earth. (NOVA GRADISKA)

Identified features from war photographs

Camera shot A with marked features

Camera shot B with marked features

Station building today, Google earth picture

Bridge today

Side building today

17 August 1944 Attack on Marshalling yards at Sibinj.

Comparing the historical images with Google Earth images it was discovered that Sibinj was not attacked with this raid, instead the railway siding of ORIOVAC was attacked. Oriovac is 12 Km west of Sibinj; some navigational error was made.

Oriovac is 12 Km west of Sibinj

Oriovac today showing directions of flight paths A B and C

Rail building today at Oriovac

Church at Oriovac, restoration 2016, Google pic

Another pic of the Oriovac church

18 August 1944: Attack on DEVDELIJA rolling stock.

Could not find a place with this name. Found a place with similar pronunciation in Macedonia called GEVGELIJA but did not succeed to identify the attack location on Google Earth 

19 August 1944: Attack on 5 ton truck

Place could not be found on Google Earth.

20 August 1944: Attack on Rail yard DRAGOLIC.

The images confirm that the target attacked was not Dragolic but again NOVA GRADISKA, same target as 17 August. a New feature was identified: the town church!

The Church in Nova Gradiska today

The railway station building in Nova Gradiska today

17 August 1944: Attack on Power Station building near Zadvarje.

During this attack Lt.(s) Russel and Stanbury were killed.

In 2015 a wreckage piece of the crashed Beaufighter was found by local residents.

The local municipality erected a memorial at the crash site and was unveiled by Lt. Russel's son in 2016.

See the tribute page of Lt. Russell HERE

Flight path of the attack.

Crash site

The building today

Wreckage piece of the crashed Beaufighter, found in the stream 71 years after the incident.

Peter Heathcote (Lt. Russel's son) unveiling the memorial.

People attending the ceremony. The idea to erect the memorial was initiated and organised byTonči Čizmić, 3d from left.

22 August 1944, Attack on rolling stock TREDOVAC.

Unable to find Tredovac on Google Earth, this name is definitely wrong

Followed the coordinates on Google to target as per sortie report but unable to find the attack location for sure.

Possible target location on Google

22 August 1944: Attack on railway line near Klina (today in Serbia)

No rolling stock was found, the railway line itself was attacked

Town of Klina

Unidentified location

Positive identification on Google Earth

24 August 1944: Strike on Bulgarian barracks at Prenjasie (Perrenjas)

The attack position was found on Google in Albania.

The location is now totally urbanised.

On the Google street view one of the barracks is visible

Google image of Prenjasi showing the target location.

Barracks identified

On the right the same building as in the street view image!

28 August 1944: Attacks on shipping in TRIESTE harbour

Liner ship S.S. GIULIO CESARE was sunk with rocket attack

Ship S.S.PLUTO was damaged with 20mm cannon

1 Liner Giulio Caesare

2 Liner Duolio Ceasare

3 SS Pluto

Attack on Giulio Ceasare

Attack on S.S. Pluto

See all the anti-aircraft gun shrouded emplacements on stern and on port.

Reconstruction from photographs

29 August 1944: Attack on fortress and observation post on Uljan Island

It is noted that the island is actually spelled UGLJAN and the building is called " ST MICHAEL FORTRESS"

This fortress is believed to date from the 13th century.

Today it is a tourist attraction.

The fortress was attacked twice by 16 squadron, 29 August and 10 September 1944

As evident the fortress was still in a fairly good condition before the attacks, with two towers visible and an intact house structure inside.

The 16 squadron attack of 10 September photographs are below.

Photographs of how  the fortress look today are placed below.

There must have been additional attacks by other Allied formations as it is mostly destroyed.

It is a great tragedy that this fortress survived for centuries only to be devastatedin a couple of months in the 20th century.

Reconstruction Google Earth

ATTACK on the St Michael Fortress at Ugljan on 10 September 1944

30 August 1944: Strike on Coastal Defense Guns on the Island of Zirje

Only one photograph available

The target location was found on Google Earth

Photograph turned 90 degrees

Close up of gun in concrete emplacement.


31 August 1944: Strike at Ammo stores in Karlobag

Amazing but sad photographs of the last moments of a 18th century church before being destructed believed to be used for ammunition storage.

This church was never rebuilt.

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