Top Secret – Operation Corona
In 1943, losses of Allied aircraft over Germany were increasing due to German night fighters being directed to their targets by instruction via high frequency radiotelephony.
A method of interfering with these German RT instructions was devised and ready for action by late 1943. Thus Operation CORONA was born. Transmissions were sent from Rugby and Leafield Radio Stations at sufficiently high power to appear to the German night fighters to be coming from their own controllers.
Operation CORONA worked like this:
- With each Allied air raid over Germany, the stations would be on standby
- When RAF Kingsdown heard the German RT come ‘on air’ they noted the frequency
- Rugby was informed of the frequency required, via the RTT at Faraday,
- Rugby had less than two minutes to line up its transmitter on that frequency
- Rugby would then radiate just enough power so that the Frequency Checking Station could confirm everything was correct
- When RAF Kingsdown was ready, instructions were given for high power
- German speakers at RAF Kingsdown would communicate to the German pilots supplying them with misleading instructions
Operation CORONA went live on the night of 22nd October 1943. Its success meant that it was then used for all air raids from 3rd November 1943 onwards. How many Allied aircrew were saved we will never know, but it’s fair to say that Rugby Radio Station did its bit.