- Nicholls, Bob
- Naval Aviation, WWII operations, History - WW2
- RAN Ships
- None noted.
- September 2010 edition of the Naval Historical Review (all rights reserved)
And the Highballs themselves? In early July the inhabitants of Sydney heard a massive explosion as the Top Secret ordnance was destroyed at the RAN’s Newington Arms Depot.
And so ends the story of an invention the development of which might have led to a decisive event in the prosecution of the Second World War.
In January 1945, a USAAC A-26B Invader was adapted at the Vickers experimental facility at Foxwarren, near London, to carry two inert Highball weapons almost completely enclosed in the bomb bay, using parts from a Mosquito conversion. After brief flight testing in the UK, the kit was sent to Wright Field and installed in an A-26C Invader. Twenty-five inert Highball weapons, renamed ‘Speedee’ bombs, were also sent for use in the USAAF trials. Drop tests were carried out over the sea near Eglin Air Force base, Florida, but the programme was abandoned after the bomb bounced back at the A-26 causing loss of the rear fuselage and fatal crash on 28 April 1945.