World War Two hero John Moffat fulfils ambition of visiting The Falkirk Wheel

Second World War hero John Moffat (centre) at The Falkirk Wheel, with Provost Pat Reid (right) and Baillie Billy Buchanan. Picture: Craig Halkett
Second World War hero John Moffat (centre) at The Falkirk Wheel, with Provost Pat Reid (right) and Baillie Billy Buchanan. Picture: Craig Halkett

The Royal Navy veteran credited with sinking the Nazi warship the Bismarck was given a VIP tour of Falkirk today.

Lieutenant Commander John Moffat fulfilled a long-term ambition of visiting The Falkirk Wheel, where he was greeted by a delegation from Falkirk Council led by Provost Pat Reid.

The 95-year-old was invited by Baillie Billy Buchanan, who was told of Moffat’s interest in the district by amateur historian Jim Keir of Reddingmuirhead, who met the war hero earlier this year.

He was later given a tour of the Kelpies.

Moffat, who grew up in the Borders, was a pilot in the Fleet Air Arm in 1941 when he was credited with dropping the torpedo bomb that crippled the Bismarck, a 41,700 tonne battleship that was the pride of Hitler’s navy.

The resulting explosion destroyed the ship’s steering, bringing it to a halt in the Atlantic Ocean where it was later destroyed by the pursuing British navy.

It was a significant blow to the Nazis’ maritime power and provided a huge morale boost to the Allies.

Following his wartime service, Moffat retained a keen interest in flying and engineering, which led to his Falkirk Wheel visit.

An in-depth feature and interview with the veteran will appear in next week’s edition of The Falkirk Herald.