So it Began.....Their Finest Hour

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Gage, Jul 10, 2011.

  1. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    9 Sept 1940

    No.42 Sqn Beaufort crashed through a hedge on air test after the port engine failed on the approach to Wick. Both men onboard injured but alive.

    In addition to the Bomber Command operations mentioned in the post before, FAA were in action against shipping near Haugesund, Norway and Coastal Command over the Low countries.

    A series of offensive attacks on invasion shipping concentrations along the entire coast from Norway to Cherbourg.

    Ross
     
  2. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    242 Sqd, Coltishall
    Hurricane P3087.
    Shot down in combat with Do17s and Me 110s over Thames Haven 5.45pm. Crashed at Marden Park Farm, Caterham. P/O K.M Sclanders killed. Aircraft a write off.:poppy:

    Aircraft lost/damaged (repairable):

    20 Hurricanes
    1 Beaufighter
    11 Spifires (first MK II listed)

    24 in Combat - 8 Unknown/MF/Fuel Exhausted/Collision

    8/JG53
    Me 109E (6139). Crashed and burned out at Sundown Farm, Ditcham, Hampshire 6.15pm during combat with RAF fighters. Gefr Becker killed. Aircraft 1+ a write off.:poppy:

    Aircraft lost/damaged (repairable):

    2 Ju W 34
    1 Hs 126
    16 Me 109
    8 He 111
    11 Ju 88
    1 Do 17
    6 Me 110
     
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    WEATHER:

    Clear during the early hours but cloud was expected to move in from the North Sea during the early morning and this would give rain over most areas during the day.
    OPERATIONS IN DETAIL:

    Low cloud and periods of heavy rain over Northern Europe stopped any form of Luftwaffe air activity and any operations planned against England had to be canceled. For Fighter Command the day was nothing but a rest day and pilots and command leaders were trying to work out as to why Germany had decided to turn its attacks against London. If an invasion was Germany's highest priority, why the decision to bomb London. For an invasion to be successful, Germany would have to knock out as many military establishments as possible. As ACM Keith Park stated after the war, "The decision to bomb London was germany's greatest mistake, in those first few days of September our airfields were a shambles, pilot and aircraft strength was still at an all time low. By switching tactics and concentrating on London he will give us the time we need to strengthen our forces." There were many reasons as to why Park could do with some respite from his airfields becoming targets, the aerodromes were now functioning better than they had been for a number of weeks, aircraft factories were still operating as normal and military hardware was still pouring out of the factories. The radar was functioning at full capacity and Fighter Command HQ as well as Bentley Priory were operating normally. These should be the targets if Germany was to continue with its plan to make an invasion of Britain. Even the German Naval Staff could not understand the situation, as described in their diary:
    There is no sign of the defeat of the enemy's Air Force over southern England and in the Channel area, and this is vital to a further judgment of the situation. The preliminary attacks by the Luftwaffe have indeed achieved a noticeable weakening of the enemy's fighter defences, so that considerable German fighter superiority can be assumed over the English area.
    However.....we have not yet attained the operational conditions which the Naval Staff stipulated to the Supreme Command as being essential for the enterprise, namely, undisputed air superiority in the Channel area and the elimination of the enemy's air activity in the assembly area of the German naval forces and ancillary shipping.....It would be in conformity with the timetable preparations for Sealion if the Luftwaffe now concentrated less on London and more on Portsmouth and Dover, as well as on the naval ports in and near the operational area....
    Excerpt from the German Naval Staff Diary [1]
    So why turn its attack on London. True the oil storage tanks at Thameshaven had suffered badly as did the London Docks, but these would have no opposition to any planned invasion. Suffering most were civilian properties and inconvenience caused to the inhabitants, especially those in the East End, all major railway stations had been damaged but had not been completely put out of action. Of the attacks of the previous nights, some newspapers made comparisons to the blitzkrieg attacks on a number of towns and cities in northern Europe, and many of the Londoner's abbreviated the name and called the attacks on their city as "The Blitz" and from then on, the name stuck.
    A few German aircraft were detected in and around the southern and eastern coastline of England, but most of these were on either weather or reconnaissance patrols. Fighter Command decided to leave them alone. Bomber Command sent 248 Squadron (Blenheims) on a mission to Norway but this had to be aborted because of deteriorating weather conditions over the North Sea. A flight from 236 Squadron St Eval (Blenheims) is placed on escort duty for the steamship Scillonian and the mission is successfully completed.

    With cloud cover persisting during the late afternoon, radar picks up various single aircraft coming across the Channel from 1700hrs onwards. With Fighter Command again not responding, a number of attacks were made by the Luftwaffe. A couple of lone bombers ventured into 10 Group territory and made some nuisance drops. Another lone raider attacked West Malling again but causing no serious damage. Tangmere reported that it had come under machine-gun strafing with nearby Portsmouth was attacked by single Do17s.

    72 Squadron Croydon (Spitfires) was one of the few squadrons scrambled and attacked one of the Do215s and one was believed to have been brought down, although one of the Spitfires was hit by return gunfire from the bomber and had to make a forced landing at Etchingham (Kent). Just after 1800hrs, a small formation crossed the coast near Dungeness and targeted Biggin Hill aerodrome, but were intercepted by British fighters and one of the Dorniers of 9/KG76 was shot down and the mission aborted.

    By nightfall, the Luftwaffe was again targeting London and this time they were making full use of the cloud cover. Also taking advantage of the weather attacks were also made on industrial areas of South Wales and on the Lancashire area of Merseyside. London was though, the main target where over 150 bombers pounded the city once again.

    But RAF Bomber Command also took advantage of the weather conditions. 17 Whitleys attack the Pottsdamer railway station at Berlin causing considerable damage, then they went on to attack the Bremen dock area while a Blenheim squadron attacked the important bomber aerodrome at Eindhoven. Eight Heinkel He111 bombers were destroyed, two were badly damaged and another was damaged when it crashed into craters upon landing later.
    September 10th - September 11th 1940
     
  4. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    10 Sept 1940

    No.42 Sqn Anson on ferry flight collided with Anson N5053 and crashed into the sea off Wick Harbour. Both crew killed.
    P/O O O'N Briginshaw :poppy:
    AC2 L T Flavell :poppy:

    No.22 Sqn Beaufort took off at 01:30 hrs from Bircham Newton on a bombing mission to Boulogne and was last heard on w/t at 02:40 hrs. Sgt Gunn is buried in St.Margaret Churchyard, Old Catton, Norfolk, while Sgt Beer's body was recovered from the other side of the North Sea on 28th September near beach pole 13 on Texel and is buried locally in Den Burg Cemetery. Sgt Twitchin and Sgt Murray are both commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
    Sgt R D Gunn :poppy:
    Sgt S G Twitchin :poppy:
    Sgt J Murray :poppy:
    Sgt C S F Beer :poppy:

    The Blenheim squadrons No.236 and No.248 mentioned in the previous post as operating under Bomber Command Control is incorrect.

    No.53, 59, 235, 236, 248 and 252 Sqns had all been transferred from their original Commands to Coastal Command by July 1940 to provide the long range fighter for trade protection which had been identified on 30 Jan 1939.

    The Jan 1939 memorandum identified the cost of airfields and other facilities for the trade protection squadrons as £5,000,000 and annual maintenance costs of £750,000 with an ealiest operational date of Oct 1940. Sanction for the squadrons was given 1st August 1939.

    Ross
     
  5. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Sergeant JAMES MURRAY

    625327, 22 Sqdn., Royal Air Force
    who died age 20
    on 10 September 1940
    Son of John Daniel and Catherine Lilian Murray, of Tunbridge Wells, Kent.
    Remembered with honour
    RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL:poppy:
     

    Attached Files:

  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Sergeant SYDNEY GORDON TWITCHIN

    590984, 22 Sqdn., Royal Air Force
    who died age 22
    on 10 September 1940
    Son of Mr. and Mrs. Sydney John Twitchin; husband of Eileen M. Twitchin, of Taff's Well, Glamorgan.
    Remembered with honour
    RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL:poppy:
     

    Attached Files:

  7. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    No Fatal Fighter Command Losses

    Aircraft lost/damaged (repairable):

    1 Blenheim
    4 Spifires
    1 Hurricane

    1 in Combat - 5 Unknown/MF/Night Flying Training

    Stab II/ZG26
    Me 110C-4 (3625). Shot down in combat with RAF fighters during escort sortie over southern England. Oblt Henken and Fw Radelmeier both killed. Aircraft 3U+HM a write off.:poppy:

    Aircraft lost/damaged (repairable):

    1 Fw 58
    1 Ar 96
    24 He 111
    8 Me 109
    1 Ju 88
    4 Ju 87
    9 Me 110
     
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    WEATHER:

    The heavy cloud cover was expected to disperse overnight giving way to a fine day in most areas, occasional cloud and some local showers in the midlands and the north with the exception of the English Channel and south-eastern England where cloud was expected to continue.
    OPERATIONS IN DETAIL:

    This was the day that Hitler had planned to invade Britain. But in reality, Germany was no where nearer ready for an invasion than they were three or four weeks previous. Britain's coastal defences still stood firm along the southern and eastern coastlines, naval ports and other small seaports that were being used by the Royal Navy along the southern coast of England were still intact and most of Britain's Civil Defence forces were just waiting for the word that would put them into action. On top of this, RAF Bomber Command had been continually bombing ports from Calais to Boulogne and along the Dutch coast destroying many of the barges that were to be used in "Operation Sealion".

    RAF Fighter Command was now known to Luftwaffe Intelligence that it had not been defeated and that most aerodromes were on standby. Adolph Hitler had no option but to re-schedule the warning of the invasion which had been scheduled for September 14th, and by bombing London and other important centres it would be regarded as a strategic as well as a tactical concept, and would break the will of the British people and bring the British fighters out to fight a final pitched battle. Hitler now decided that the next warning of the planned invasion would be September 24th 1940.
    September 10th - September 11th 1940
     
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Pilot Officer FREDERIC NORMAN HARGREAVES

    42502, 92 Sqdn., Royal Air Force
    who died age 21
    on 11 September 1940
    Son of James Frederick Raymond Hargreaves and Annie Hargreaves, of Manchester.
    Remembered with honour
    RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    P/O F.N.Hargreaves of No 92 Squadron was killed on the 11th of September 1940 at 16:15hrs. His Spitfire I (PK9793) was shot down off Dungeness.:poppy:
    Ha-pilots
     

    Attached Files:

  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Flight Lieutenant FREDERICK WILLIAM FLOOD

    37582, 235 Sqdn., Royal Air Force
    who died
    on 11 September 1940

    Remembered with honour
    RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    F/Lt F.W.Flood an Australian of No 235 Squadron was flying escort to Fairey Albacores on the 11th of September 1940 in a Blenheim IV-f (L9396). The Fairey Albacores from the Fleet Air Arm were on a raid on Calais at 17:30hrs and the Blenheim IV-f (L9396) flown by F/Lt F.W.Flood was shot down by a Bf 109. F/Lt F.W.Flood and his crew all died on the mission (N.B.Shorrocks & B.R.Sharp).:poppy:
     

    Attached Files:

  11. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    11 Sept 1940

    The detail in the previous post from Battle of Britain is incorrect. Flood was not onboard L9396.

    The correct loss information is:
    No.235 Sqn Bleheim Z5725, LA-G. Shot down at 17:30 hrs possibly by III/JG26 while escorting FAA Fairey Albacores raiding Calais, France.
    Took off from Thorney Island at 15:55 hrs.
    F/L F W Flood :poppy:
    P/O N B Shorrocks :poppy:
    Sgt B R Sharp :poppy:

    Ni.235 Sqn Blenheim L9396, LA-E. Shot down at 17:30 hrs possibly by III/JG26 while escorting FAA Fairey Albacores raiding Calais, France. Sgt Watts was seen to continue firing until the Blenheim fell into the sea.
    P/O P C Wickings-Smith :poppy:
    P/O A W V Green :poppy:
    Sgt R D H Watts :poppy:

    The Blenheim escort and Albacore raid on Calais was part of a significant milestone in Coastal Command operational capability.

    Prewar Naval planning had identified three effective offensive types of attack on capital and other armoured warships, Dive bomb, area bombing and torpedo.

    Development of multiple barrelled AA guns had been thought to have reduced the effectiveness of dive bombing and, to a lesser extent, area bombing leaving torpedo attack as the only type of aerial attack that gave the most concern to Naval planners. Although extra belts of armour could be added to waterlines to lessen the effects of torpedo hits it was at the expense of sea performance and could not be applied to all types of Naval units.

    At the onset of war in 1939 Both No.22 and No.42 Sqn from Coastal Command and FAA torpedo bombers were of biplane design and severly limited in both range and speed.

    FAA Swordfish and it's replcement, Albacore operating from Kent and East Anglia could be called on to attack enemy invasion transports and escorts but in late August/early Sept 1940 Britain lacked any modern monoplane type of aircraft that could be called upon for this duty.

    Taurus engine failures when flying loaded with torpedo had led to a ban on No.22 and 42 Sqn Beauforts operating in this tasking leaving the limited FAA units as the only capable squadrons deployed.

    On the 7th Sept a solution had been found for the Beaufort engine problem and No.22 Sqn spent the next three days ferrying batches of squadron aircraft to Bristol to have the engine modification installed.
    The first batch of three modified aircraft were loaded with torpedo on the 9th Sept and ordered to standby for operations but were not used in anger.

    By the 11th Sept 1940 five aircraft had been fitted with modified engines and, after standing by for operations all day, they were sent off in the evening against enemy shipping sighted in a convoy off Calais.

    The squadron ORB notes:
    "16:10 hrs all 5 a/c took off from Bircham Newton and proceeded to Detling to rendevous with Fighter Escort. No Escort was met so a/c prceeded to the position in which the convoy was sighted at 14:30 hrs.
    On not finding the convoy the a/c proceeded East to Ostend and attacked shipping. One torpedo was seen to hit a sandbank and explode, but another was seen to score a direct hit and competely destroyed a 6,000 ton grey ship.

    This is the first time No.22 Sqn has operated with torpedos and one of the two dropped scored well. The other three torpedos had electrical release failures. A/c machine gunned flak ships nearby and safely returned to base."

    Coastal Command had visibly declared a new capability to German Invasion planners and four days later would reinforce the fact by torpedoing enemy transport in Ijmuiden harbour.

    Ross
     
  12. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Pilot Officer ALEXANDER WILLIAM VALENTINE GREEN

    78082, 235 Sqdn., Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
    who died age 21
    on 11 September 1940
    Son of Alexander and Marjory Green, of Craigavad, Co. Down.
    Remembered with honour
    RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL
    P/O A.W.V.Green from No 235 Squadron was flying escort to Fairey Albacores on the 11th of September 1940. The Fairey Albacores from the Fleet Air Arm were on a raid on Calais at 17:30hrs and the Blenheim IV-f (L9396) flown by P/O P.C.Wickings-Smith was shot down. A.W.V.Green and all the crew (inc. R.D.H. Watts) died on the mission.:poppy:
     

    Attached Files:

  13. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    F/O A.Cebrzynski from Poland
    Buried Northwood,Middlesex.




    F/O A.Cebrzynski from Poland of No 303 Squadron was shot down and killed on the 11th of September 1940 at 16:15. His Hurricane I (V7465) crashed near Pembury after combat over South London.:poppy:

    Ce-pilots
     

    Attached Files:

  14. nicks

    nicks Very Senior Member

  15. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    46 Sqd, Stapleford
    Hurricane V7232.
    Failed to return from combat over the Thames Estuary 3.30pm. Presumed crashed into the sea. Sgt W.A Peacock missing. Aircraft lost.:poppy:

    Aircraft lost/damaged (repairable):

    27 Hurricanes
    19 Spitfires
    3 Blenheims

    45 in Combat - 4 Unknown/MF

    2/JG51
    Me 109E-4 (1641). Shot down by Sgt Higgins of 253 Sqd in combat over the Sussex coast. Crashed at Houndean Bottom, Lewes 3.30pm. Hptmn Wiggers (Staffel Kaptain) killed. Aircraft a write off.:poppy:

    Aircraft lost/damaged (repairable):

    1 Fw 58
    1 Ar 196
    24 He 111
    8 Me 109
    4 Ju 87 (lost due to collisions)
    9 Me 110
     
  16. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Sergeant WILLIAM ALBERT PEACOCK

    808268, 46 Sqdn., Royal Air Force (Auxiliary Air Force)
    who died age 20
    on 11 September 1940
    Son of Albert and Catherine Rebecca Peacock, of South Bank, Middlesbrough, Yorkshire.
    Remembered with honour
    RUNNYMEDE MEMORIAL

    Sgt W.A.Peacock of No 46 Squadron was killed on the 11th of September 1940 at 15:30hrs. His Hurricane I (V7232) was shot down over the Thames Estuary in combat. :poppy:
     

    Attached Files:

  17. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    Sgt. Wojtowicz from Poland
    Buried Northwood,Middlesex.


    Sgt. Wojtowicz shot down two Messerschmitt Bf 110s before being shot down and killed. :poppy:
     

    Attached Files:

  18. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery

    WEATHER:

    Cloud cover could be expected in all areas and showers turning to rain for most of the country. Low cloud would persist over the Channel areas and most of the south coast could expect showers that could be heavy at times.
    OPERATIONS:

    The morning period is virtually a non-event as far as combat action is concerned. Radar reports that a number of lone aircraft are detected well offshore both over the Channel and the North Sea. Fighter Command decide to leave these aircraft well alone as they are probably reconnaissence patrols and not doing any harm and that valuable fighters should not be placed at risk even to lone aircraft.
    By midday, a few small formations are detected, some of these break up into individual raids sometimes consisting only of one or two aircraft. In 10 Group, Warmwell despatches just one section of 152 Squadron (Spitfires) to intercept a sighting out from Swanage, the bandit is recognised a a lone Ju88 but it makes full use of the low cloud and disappears.

    Shortly after, another enemy sighting is made and 238 Squadron at St Eval (Hurricanes) are scrambled. The squadron records show that one Ju88 is destroyed and another had been damaged.

    605 Squadron (Hurricanes) stationed in the north at Drem also claim one enemy aircraft destroyed, possibly a reconnaissence aircraft that had ventured too close to the coast. 213 Squadron Exeter (Hurricanes) and 602 Squadron Westhampnett (Spitfires) both claim to have damaged at least one enemy aircraft in spasmodic and isolated actions. Looking at these figures, it can be seen that the Luftwaffe at this time was keeping well clear of London and all these isolated incidents took place either in the west country or up north in Scotland.

    One unfortunate incident that happened was with Wing Commander J.S.Dewar who was commander of the airfield at Exeter. Taking advantage of the lull in combat activity, he was to fly over to Tangmere to visit friends there. He never arrived and it seems obvious that his Hurricane had been shot down after he had encountered some enemy aircraft and he decided to bale out. On the way down he was straffed by German plane or planes and shot to pieces as he dangled helplessly underneath his descending parachute.

    The bombers of III/KG51 and I/KG54 did not attack London until late in the evening, and even then was on a far reduced scale than on previous occasions. The night bombers on previous attacks often numbered between two and three hundred, but this time barely fifty made the dismal trek across the Channel in rather murkey conditions. No serious damage was done, although bombs fell in the commercial area of Aldgate, Mansion House and Holborn, but the most serious threat was a H.E. delayed action bomb which fell just to the north of St Pauls Cathedral. It buried itself some thirty feet into the ground and the two officer who defused the bomb, Lieutenant R.Davies and Sapper J. Wylie of the Royal Engineers became the first military personel to receive the George Cross for their actions.

    Other spasmodic and isolated raids occurred at Hull in Yorkshire, an area north of Wolverhampton, Liverpool and a number of small ports along the east coast of Suffolk and Essex.
    September 12th - September 14th 1940
     
  19. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    12 Sept 1940

    No Cat E losses on this day to Coastal Command front line squadrons, only to it's training and support units.

    Ross
     
  20. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    213 Sqd, Tangmere
    Hurricane V7306.
    Failed to arrive at Tangmere on routine flight from Exeter. Exact circumstances not recorded. Wing/Co J.S Dewar killed. (Body washed ashore at Kingston Gorse, Sussex on 30/9/40) Aircraft a write off.:poppy:

    Aircraft lost/damaged (repairable):

    1 Hurricane

    0 in Combat - 1 Unknown

    II/LG1
    Ju 88A-1 (2062). Crashed landed out of fuel at Romorantin following operational sortie. Hptmn Ehrenfordt killed. Aircraft L1+EM a write off.:poppy:

    Aircraft lost/damaged (repairable):

    1 Hs 126
    1 Do 17
    1 Ar 68
    6 Ju 88
    2 Me 110
    2 Me 109
    1 He 111
     

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