So it Began.....Their Finest Hour

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

  1. CL1

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

    Tuesday 22 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline

    22nd October 1940
    Quiet morning and afternoon.
    Night: London, Coventry and Liverpool attacked.

    Weather: Widespread fog in the south, clearing to rain later.

    Main Activity:

    With No. 12 Group now receiving the same indications of hostile activity as No. 11 Group, it must have been galling for the Duxford Wing to be grounded by a thick fog which closed all but Tangmere, Kenley and Biggin Hill and the airfields of No. 10 Group.

    The morning was therefore quiet with the Luftwaffe content to despatch a few small fighter-bomber raids. At 2 p.m., however, a big formation began to form up over north-east France and three raids totalling thirty-six aircraft were plotted. The expected raid on London did not materialise, but a convoy off Dover and two in the Estuary were unsuccessfully attacked.

    At 4 p.m. four small raids of about thirty-three machines were plotted flying high. Convoy ‘Fruit’ off Dover called for help and Uxbridge diverted two squadrons to cover it. Six other squadrons intercepted the main German formation and a dog-fight developed over Dungeness.

    The Luftwaffe lost eleven aircraft—four in combat, the rest in operational accidents. Fighter Command lost six planes.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 28 | Aircraft: 12

    British Losses
    Airmen: 4 | Aircraft: 6

    Hurricane R4074, No. 46 Squadron
    Sgt. J.P. Morrison killed. Shot down in combat with enemy fighters over Dungeness.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/MorrisonJP.htm

    Spitfire P7431, No. 74 Squadron
    F/O P.C.B. St.John killed. Shot down in combat with Bf 109s.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/St.John.htm

    Hurricane R4195, No. 257 Squadron
    P/O N.B. Heywood killed. Hit by anti-aircraft fire whilst in combat with Bf 109s over Folkestone.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Heywood.htm

    Hurricane V6851, No. 257 Squadron
    Sgt. R.H.B. Fraser killed. Shot down in combat with Bf 109s over Folkestone.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Fraser.htm
     
  2. CL1

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

    Wednesday 23 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline
    23rd October 1940
    Mainly reconnaissance.
    Night: Attacks on London and Glasgow. Minelaying off the Yorkshire coast.

    Weather: Low cloud and drizzle. Visibility poor.

    Main Activity:

    For Fighter Command this was the quietest day of the Battle of Britain. Hampered by the weather, the squadrons flew ninety sorties. They lost six planes, however. The Germans, who made some minor raids on London, the midlands and the Thames estuary, lost four machines.

    London Bridge, St. Pancras Station, Victoria Docks, East Ham and Watford were hit by night raiders. In the north Glasgow was bombed by Stavanger-based aircraft. One fouled a balloon cable and crashed into the sea.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 5 | Aircraft: 4

    British Losses
    Airmen: 1 | Aircraft: 1

    Blenheim L1272, No. 600 Squadron
    P/O P.R.S. Hurst killed. Crashed into hillside at Kirkby Malzeard, Yorkshire during practice flight through cloud.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Hurst.htm
     
  3. CL1

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

    Thursday 24 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline
    24th October 1940

    Very quiet.
    Night: Raids on London and Birmingham.

    Weather: Overcast and hazy in the Channel, clearing to a starlit night.

    Main Activity:

    Apart from a few reconnaissance patrols, the morning was quiet. A single raider crossed the coast at Southwold, Suffolk, and penetrated as far as the midlands. It was shot down at St. Neots, Huntingdonshire, on its return flight.

    During the afternoon nuisance raids over the southeast and East Anglia kept British pilots on the alert. They flew 476 sorties without loss and shot down two hostile aircraft. The Germans, nevertheless, lost eight operational machines.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 21 | Aircraft: 12

    British Losses
    Airmen: 3 | Aircraft: 3

    Hurricane V7303, No. 43 Squadron
    Sgt. D.R. Stoodley killed. Dusk-flying accident at base. Made six attempts to land cross-wind and finally stalled at 250ft.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Stoodley.htm

    Hurricane P3404, No. 87 Squadron
    P/O D.T. Jay killed. Collided with P/O Cock during routine patrol. Pilot baled out but believed to have hit the tailplane as he did not pull ripcord.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Jay.htm

    Hurricane V6807, No. 303 Squadron
    P/P J. Bury-Burzymski killed. Crashed during dog-fight practice.
     
  4. CL1

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

    Friday 25 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline
    25th October 1940
    Lighter-bomber raids on Kent and London.
    Night: Italian Air Force carries out an attack on Harwich.

    Weather: Fair but overcast.

    Main Activity:

    Signs of activity showed on the radar screens as the first business commuters were disgorging from London’s deepest shelters—the Underground railway stations. High over Kent they flew, only to be dispersed by Hurricanes and Spitfires, several of them newer and more powerful than those which had borne the brunt of the earlier battles.

    Kent took the full force of the bombs released indiscriminately as the RAF dived on the German bombers and fighters, although London came in for a share.

    Raids continued throughout the day, during which 809 Fighter Command sorties were flown. Twenty German machines were destroyed. Ten RAF machines were lost.

    In Belgium, meanwhile, an excited band of Italians of the Reggia Aeronautica’s Corpo Aereo Italiano prepared for their first direct action against Britain. They were there more as a political gesture than as a serious military effort, and had been despatched by Mussolini as a reply to the embarrassing raids Bomber Command were flying against industrial targets in northern Italy.

    The two Fiat BR.20 bomber units, Nos. 13 and 43 Stormos, were allocated the bases of Moelsbroek and Chievres. No. 18 Gruppo with Fiat CR.42 biplane fighters went to Moldegchen and No. 20 Gruppo with Fiat G.50 fighters was sent to Usel. A fifth unit, No. 172 Squadrillia, equipped with CZ.1007 Bis aircraft was allocated Chievres. On this October Friday 16 BR.20S were despatched to bomb Harwich. One of them crashed on take-off and two were abandoned over the sea after running out of fuel.

    According to Milch, Mussolini’s contingent was more of a liability than an asset. The men themselves were not to blame. They were excellent pilots, but they had not been trained to fight.

    That their presence was unheralded is understandable. They were indistinguishable from the streams of German night bombers that crossed into Britain from bases in France, the Low Countries and Scandinavia.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 30 | Aircraft: 24

    British Losses
    Airmen: 6 | Aircraft: 14

    Hurricane V6804, No. 46 Squadron
    P/O W.B. Pattullo died 26/10/40. Shot down by enemy aircraft. Crashed into house in Woodstock Avenue, Romford after attempting forced landing at Maylands Golf Course.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Pattullo.htm

    Hurricane N2708, No. 79 Squadron
    P/O S. Piatkowski killed. Crashed near Carew Cheriton after routine patrol. Cause unknown.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Piatkowski.htm

    Hurricane V7593, No. 302 Squadron
    F/Lt. F. Jastrzebski killed. Failed to return from patrol over the Channel. Last seen gliding toward the enemy coast.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Jastrzebski.htm

    Hurricane P2903, No. 501 Squadron
    P/O V. Goth killed. Collided with P/O MacKenzie during combat over Tenterden.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Goth.htm

    Hurricane V6917, No. 601 Squadron
    Sgt. L.D. May missing. Crashed into sea off Exmouth after mid-air collision with Sgt. Mills-Smith during section training flight.

    Hurricane P3709, No. 601 Squadron
    Sgt. F. Mills-Smith missing. Crashed into sea off Exmouth after mid-air collision with Sgt. May during section training flight.
     
  5. CL1

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

    Saturday 26 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline

    26th October 1940
    Fighter-bomber raids on London and Kent.
    Night: Raids on London, the Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool.

    Weather: Cloudy with local showers chiefly in the north and east.

    Main Activity:

    The whole of London was now under the lash of Göring’s night blitz and as the German News Agency put it inadvertently at the time: ‘Bombs fell all over the place.’ The New York Herald Tribune summed up the situation more accurately, ‘What appears to be happening,’ it said, ‘is that the Germans have found the defences too strong for their daylight attack, permitting accurate fire, and so are putting their effort into night attack … But against a people with courage it is unlikely to prove fruitful … and there is no doubt of British courage.’

    The Luftwaffe was keeping up the pressure in daylight, but now it has to reckon with a greater measure of coordination between Park and Leigh-Mallory.

    On the 26th the Luftwaffe kept the whole of southeast England on the alert. Raids started early in the morning and began to intensify after 10 a.m. when high-flying fighter sweeps started to penetrate from the Channel. Maidstone, London and convoys in the Thames estuary were bombed, and off the north-west coast of Ireland a FW 200 bombed and set fire to the 42,000 ton liner Empress of Britain.

    Fighter Command mounted 732 sorties. Ten German and two British planes were destroyed.

    Although airborne in reasonable numbers British night-fighter pilots again had the galling experience of failing to intercept the raids which disturbed the Saturday-night pleasures of thousands all over Britain.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 19 | Aircraft: 10

    British Losses
    Airmen: 5 | Aircraft: 8

    Hurricane V7434, No. 151 Squadron
    Sgt. D.O. Stanley died of injuries 27/10/40. Crashed and burst into flames on take-off from Coleby Grange on practice night flight.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/StanleyDO.htm

    Hurricane R4184, No. 151 Squadron
    Sgt. R. Holder killed. Crashed attempting left-hand turn shortly after take-off from Coleby Grange.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/HolderR.htm

    Hurricane V6704, No. 229 Squadron
    P/O D.B.H. McHardy captured. Shot down by Bf 109s off the French coast during attack on Heinkel He 59.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/McHardyDBH.htm

    Hurricane W6669, No. 229 Squadron
    F/O G.M. Simpson missing. Shot down by Bf 109s whilst attacking Heinkel He 59 moored off the French coast.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/SimpsonGM.htm

    Spitfire R6839, No. 602 Squadron
    Sgt. D.W. Elcome missing. Failed to return from routine squadron patrol.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Elcome.htm
     
  6. CL1

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

    Sunday 27 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline
    27th October 1940

    Mainly fighter and fighter-bomber sweeps.
    Night: Widespread raids with London the main target.

    Weather: Cloudy all day except for brighter weather in the late morning.

    Main Activity:

    The two Luftflotten made an early start and by 7.45 a.m. were raiding London and convoys in the estuary with a series of formations of as many as fifty aircraft.

    By 9 a.m. the London suburbs had been hit and the docks damaged. Further sweeps were flown later in the morning and early in the afternoon. At 4.30 p.m. the Germans raided Southampton, London and Martlesham Heath simultaneously.

    To repulse the attackers Fighter Command pilots flew 1,007 sorties. Ten British aircraft were shot down, but only five of the pilots were killed. The Germans lost fifteen machines.

    Unknown to Fighter Command, however, they had driven off the penultimate major assault in the Battle of Britain.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 11 | Aircraft: 16

    British Losses
    Airmen: 6 | Aircraft: 14

    Hurricane L1963, No. 43 Squadron
    Sgt. L.V. Toogood killed. Crashed vertically from height during high-altitude aerobatics. Cause unknown but probably oxygen failure.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Toogood.htm

    Spitfire P7539, No. 66 Squadron
    P/O J.R. Mather killed. Crashed and burned out at Half Moon Lane, Hildenborough north-west of Tonbridge. Cause unknown but possible anoxia victim.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/MatherJR.htm

    Spitfire P7526, No. 74 Squadron
    Sgt. J.A. Scott killed. Shot down in combat with Bf 109s over Maidstone.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/ScottJA.htm

    Hurricane P3168, No. 145 Squadron
    P/O A.I.R.G. Jottard missing. Shot down by Bf 109 five miles south-east of the Isle of Wight.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Jottard.htm

    Spitfire P7439, No. 603 Squadron
    F/O C.W. Goldsmith died 28/10/40. Shot down by Bf 109s south of Maidstone.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/GoldsmithCW.htm

    Spitfire P7365, No. 603 Squadron
    P/O R.B. Dewey killed. Shot down in a surprise attack by Bf 109s south of Maidstone.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Dewey.htm
     
  7. CL1

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

    Monday 28 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline
    28th October 1940
    Convoy off Dover and shipping in the Thames Estuary attacked. London attacked during the afternoon.
    Night: Widespread attacks across the country.

    Weather: Misty in northern France. Fog over the Thames Estuary and Straits clearing later.

    Main Activity:

    Mist in northern France restricted the Germans to nuisance raids by single aircraft which also attacked some ships in the Channel.

    They were more active in the afternoon when two raids of twenty and one of forty aircraft flew in over Kent. At 4.30 p.m. fifty more planes crossed the coast at Folkestone and headed for London. They were followed by more than 100 German machines which flew in four waves.

    British fighters, which flew 639 sorties, fought off the Messerschmitts and lost two planes in the fighting. Eleven German aircraft were destroyed.

    That night Nos. 85 and 247 squadrons intercepted and fired on two bombers caught by searchlights. The daylight battle was dying out but Fighter Command was only just beginning to get the measure of the task it had to undertake at night.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 18 | Aircraft: 14

    British Losses
    Airmen: 0 | Aircraft: 0
     
  8. CL1

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

    Tuesday 29 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline

    29th October 1940
    London and Southampton raided.
    Night: Heavy raids on London and the Midlands.

    Weather: Channel overcast. Haze in northern France and Dover Straits.

    Main Activity:

    In what seems in retrospect like a last convulsive spasm, the Luftwaffe pilots gave of their best. By 11 a.m. thirty of them were fighting it out with British fighters over Kent, although some managed to escape the net to attack Charing Cross bridge.

    In the second phase of the day’s assault ninety minutes later. No. 602 City of Glasgow Squadron distinguished themselves by shooting down eight Messerschmitts in ten minutes. With three other squadrons No. 602 were given a tactical advantage by their positioning and height. Moreover, they were able to achieve greater success by working in pairs.

    The encounter developed thus: No. 222 Squadron climbed to deliver an attack on the enemy from the rear. No. 602 attacked simultaneously from above, just as Nos. 615 and 229 Squadrons were climbing for height. Outmanoeuvred, the invaders turned for home, whereupon No. 602 gave chase and shot a further four down into the Channel.

    While Luftflotte 3 were raiding Portsmouth with two groups of fifty and twelve machines, fifteen Italian BR.20 bombers and seventy-three Fiat fighters attacked Ramsgate.

    By the end of the day Fighter Command had recovered its old ratio of victories and destroyed nineteen of the enemy for a loss of seven of its own machines.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 30 | Aircraft: 28

    British Losses
    Airmen: 5 | Aircraft: 12

    Spitfire P7423, No. 19 Squadron
    Sub/Lt.(FAA) A.G. Blake killed. Believed ‘picked-off’ by Bf 109 whilst acting as a ‘weaver’ during squadron patrol over south London.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/BlakeGA.htm

    Hurricane P3066, No. 46 Squadron
    Sgt. H.E. Black killed. Shot down in combat with Bf 109s and believed crashed in Hothfield Park near Ashford.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/BlackHE.htm

    Hurricane P2720, No. 213 Squadron
    P/O R.R. Hutley killed. Shot down in combat off Selsey Bill.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Hutley.htm

    Hurricane V6852, No. 257 Squadron
    Sgt. A.G. Girdwood killed. Caught taking-off during low level bombing attack on base by Bf 109s of II(S)/LG 2.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Girdwood.htm

    Hurricane P3889, No. 310 Squadron
    P/O E. Fechtner killed. Crashed near base following collision with P/O Maly during ‘wing’ patrol.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Fechtner.htm
     
  9. CL1

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

    Wednesday 30 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline

    30th October 1940

    Nuisance raids on a reduced scale.
    Night: Activity reduced.

    Weather: Low cloud and continuous drizzle in all regions.

    Main Activity:

    It was not until 11.30 a.m. that the first plots began to appear on the operations rooms tables. They were comparatively small. At midday eighty raiders flew into the Estuary and at 12.15 two waves of fifty and sixty machines penetrated via Dymchurch. Ten RAF squadrons were on patrol at the time, and of these six sighted the raiders. No. 81 Squadron shot down two of them.

    Luftflotte 3 fighters were responsible for the next flurry of activity when they despatched a succession of raids totalling 130 machines. These started to cross the coast at 4.15 p.m. and some reached London.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 3 | Aircraft: 8

    British Losses
    Airmen: 9 | Aircraft: 9

    Blenheim L6721, No. 1 Squadron
    Crashed at Orchard Way Road, South Berstead having suffered R/T failure in deteriorating weather conditions following routine night patrol.
    F/O H.J. Woodward killed.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/WoodwardHJ.htm
    P/O A.A. Atkinson killed.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/AtkinsonAA.htm
    Sgt. H.T. Perry killed.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Perry.htm

    Spitfire P7375, No. 41 Squadron
    Sgt. L.A. Garvey killed. Shot down in combat with Bf 109s over Ashford.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Garvey.htm

    Beaufighter R2065, No. 219 Squadron
    Hit trees trying to locate base in bad visibility. Crashed and exploded 150yds south of Balcombe Place.
    P/O K.W. Worsdell killed.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Worsdell.htm
    Sgt. E.C. Gardiner killed.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/GardinerEC.htm

    Spitfire N3119, No. 222 Squadron
    P/O A.E. Davis killed. Wing shot off during combat with Bf 109s.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/DaviesAE.htm

    Spitfire K9939, No. 222 Squadron
    P/O H.P.M. Edridge died of injuries . Aircraft severely damaged in combat with Bf 109s. Crashed in flames attempting to land at Longwood Farm, Ewhurst.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Edridge.htm

    Hurricane V7536, No. 249 Squadron
    P/O W.H. Millington missing. Failed to return from sporadic action with enemy fighters over the Channel.
    http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Millington.htm
     
  10. CL1

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

    Thursday 31 October 1940 | The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline

    31st October 1940
    Fighter-bomber and fighter sweeps.
    Night: Activity greatly reduced.

    Weather: Drizzle in the Channel, haze in the Thames estuary and Dover Straits.

    Summary:

    The rains came, as it were, to douse the last remaining embers of a bonfire. A few of them spat, however, into sixty half-hearted incursions across the Channel. By nightfall the Battle of Britain was over.

    For all the effort put into this phase the Germans achieved singularly little of strategic value. They were no nearer invasion and the sky was no less fraught with danger for the long-range daylight bombers than it had been in earlier phases.

    Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

    German Losses
    Airmen: 0 | Aircraft: 2

    British Losses
    Airmen: 0 | Aircraft: 0
     

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