A little after 3:30pm on Thursday March 11th 1943, an estimated 2o Focke-Wulf 190s attacked the town from inland, having cross the Channel at Fairlight. They attacked at high speed and low altitude, dropping at least 25 high explosive bombs. The bombs caused extensive damage across Hastings and St Leonards, hitting Silverhill Junction, St Matthew’s Schools, Strood Road, Alma Terrace, Alma Villas, Perth Road, Adelaide Road, Battle Road, Aldborough Road, Clarence Road, Salisbury Road, King Edward Avenue, Salisbury Road, Bohemia Road, Springfield Road, Combermere Road, Burry Road, Blomfield Road, Holmesdale Gardens & St Helens Road.
The human cost was the worst the town would suffer in a single day, with 38 people dead and 90 others wounded, 39 seriously.
Due to the speed and height of the attacking planes, the bombs they dropped sometimes took unusual paths. One of the passed through the police station in Battle Road (it was located on the now empty space at the end of Perth Road) and detonated in Adelaide Road. It destroyed house numbers 35, 37, 39 and 41, killing four people. At 35 Adelaide road, 27 year old Home Guard Ronald Marchant and his 4 month old nephew Deryck Marchant died. William Symes, aged 51, died at number 37 and 62 year old Emma Hoad died at number 41.