Life of Wisbech second war hero who was involved in crucial raid 70 years ago celebrated

A WISBECH Second World War hero who withstood heavy German fire while armed with nothing more than a tool kit was honoured at the Wisbech Institute.

A packed room remembered Charlie Cox, who was awarded a Military Medal for his role in the successful Operation Biting 70 years ago, at an evening organised by the Friends of the Institute.

Charlie’s son David and daughter Pat were in attendance along with Jon Baker, the Curator of the Airborne Assault Museum at Duxford, who brought the medals from the museum for everyone to see.

Operation Biting was the airborne raid on Bruneval on the northern coast of occupied France to steal vital parts of a German radar.

Charlie, who died in 1997 aged 84, had the critical job of identifying and removing the parts which were essential to identifying how the radar worked, a task that normally took half an hour but he was expected to complete in a scarce few minutes.


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He found that his tool kit did not have a screwdriver long enough to reach the screw securing the pieces he wanted so he resorted to using cold chisels, big hammers and crow-bars.

The job completed, the raiders made a hasty exit to the beach only to find the Navy was not there to pick them up. When the Navy did arrive everyone crowded aboard the landing craft and sailed for home.

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The regiments exploit was on the front page of The Times the next day.

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