Friday, 30 June 2017

Messerschmitt ME 109 Bullet Marks in Truro Station Footbridge

German Luftwaffe Messerschmitt ME 109 Bullet Marks in bridge panel of Truro railway station footbridge


                        Bullet indentations on exterior footbridge panel (Ringed in red)      Photo: Charles Moorhen



At around 7:30 on the evening of Thursday the 6th August 1942, Truro railway station, Cornwall, came under attack from a lone German Luftwaffe Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter aircraft - better known as the Messerschmitt ME 109.


The physical results of this terrifying incident can still be seen in one of the east-facing side panels of the platform footbridge spanning the tracks where two bullets slammed against the bridge metal; one almost penetrating it.



Bullet indentations on interior of footbridge panel   Photo: Charles Moorhen



Truro Railway Station footbridge across platforms 1 and 2 containing World War Two German bullet marks

                      Bullet marks on panel just above roof gutter      Photo: Charles Moorhen


At the time of the attack the mail train from Penzance to London was standing in the station, and it is widely believed that it was the presence of the train which momentarily distracted the attention of the German pilot away from his main target - the city of Truro itself.

As the ME 109 flew on towards Truro, to join the raid which killed 14 people and resulted in the injury of another 100, it left behind two fatalities and a number of wounded.



Messerschmitt ME 109



Those who died were railway worker, Mr. P. Williams, 52, and postman, Mr. E. Pentecost, 41.


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While on the subject of Cornish railways and WW2, it is worth noting that many children were evacuated by train to Cornwall at some point during the years of hostilities.

Two give just two examples:

On Friday the 1st September 1939, 544 evacuee children and their teachers arrived at St. Austell station, Cornwall, on the 6:30 from Paddington, London, on Evacuation Train No.103.
On the 3rd September 1939 a train with the identification number 116 painted across the front of the engine boiler brought 230 children and mothers to Truro station from Acton, London, to be billetted in Truro and the surrounding area.




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