Campaign diaries

Battle of Britain campaign diaries

Entries 1 - 10

< Previous 10 | Next 10>

 

 


Wednesday 10 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Showery in south-east England and Channel. Continuous rain elsewhere.
  • Day: Convoy raids off North Foreland and Dover.
  • Night: The east coast, home counties and western Scotland attacked.

Summary of action

During the day the main effort was concentrated in two attacks on shipping. At approximately 1100 hours a convoy was attacked off Manston by 1 Dornier escorted by 10 Me109s but in consequence of timely action by two of our fighter squadrons, the enemy aircraft were driven off. They suffered losses of 1 Me109 confirmed and 4 Me109s probable. At 1325 hours a large force of about 120 enemy aircraft collected behind Calais and approached a convoy between Dover and Dungeness. Fighter interception by 5 squadrons resulted in 6 Me110s, 1 Me109, 1 Do17 and 1 Do215 being confirmed as having been shot down, and 2 Me110s, 5 Me109s and 4 Do215s as probable casualties.

Further enemy harassing raids took place along the West, South and East coasts. This was especially heavy in the West. Towards the evening, owing probably to bad weather, activity decreased. 1 Ju88 was shot down by AA fire. In the east, casual shipping was attacked and a few localities bombed including Raynham Aerodrome. During the course of these attacks 1 Do17 and 1 He111 were shot down and 1 Do17 and 1 He111 are probable casualties. No. 242 Squadron took part and accounted for one certain and one unconfirmed (included in the above). A few sporadic raids took place over the Scottish coast, none of these were intercepted.

Between 2130 and 0530 hours, 12 raids were plotted between Firth of Tay and Beachy Head. Owing to adverse weather, none of our fighters were up. Bombs were dropped on Guisborough, Canewdon, Hertford, Isle of Grain, Tobermory (Isle of Mull, West Coast of Scotland), Colchester, Welwyn and Ely.

Statistics

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 8 confirmed, 11 unconfirmed; Bombers - 4 confirmed, 6 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 2 Hurricanes confirmed. 2 Hurricanes crashed on landing.

Patrols:

  • 200 patrols were flown involving 641 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1087, Casualties 81.

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No. 79 Squadron from Hawkinge to Turnhouse.
  • No. 605 Squadron from Drem to Dyce.
  • No. 72 Squadron operational by day only.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Inspection of an Me109 which was shot down recently, confirmed that this aircraft is armed with 2 cannon, 1 in each wing, and 2 machine guns firing through the airscrew [propeller]. Previous reports that this aircraft carried 3 cannon are incorrect.
  • A reliable source in a neutral country reports a marked change in highly placed Germans in that country during the last ten days, from one of extreme optimism to one of hesitation. Ten days ago the Germans were confident that England would be invaded almost at once and that we should quickly be compelled to seek and Armistice. However, they are now doubtful when invasion will take place and are becoming increasingly doubtful whether, if attempted, the operation would succeed. They stated our constant air attacks [by Bomber Command] were making it difficult to assemble troops and stores.

Home Security Reports

  • Report on Enemy Raids on Aerodromes
  • Martlesham Aerodrome. At 0515 hours, 5 HE [High Explosive] bombs fell on the RAF station. No damage reported.
  • Honington Aerodrome. At 0517 hours, 2 HE bombs (either 100 or 250lbs) one of which fell within 100 yards of Wellington at dispersal point, i.e. 600 yards of hangar and the other within 400 yards of same hangar. (Dornier aircraft concerned was reported shot down by No. 66 Squadron).
  • West Raynham Aerodrome. At 0544 hours, seventeen bombs (type unspecified) estimated between 50 and 100 lbs each, were dropped, causing minor damage to plant and setting a hangar on fire. Three Ansons and one Gladiator were burnt out in the hangar. Three Battles and one Tutor were superficially damaged. The effect on operational ability was nil.
  • Marham Aerodrome. At 0557 hours, about 14 bombs (type unspecified) fell in cornfield 300 yards north-east of the aerodrome. Wires on the road nearby were cut. No damage to the station.

Inspection of shot down Me109Es revealed their true armament of 2 cannon and 2 machine guns Channel convoys came under attack today, aircraft are visible in the top left of this photograph He 111s took part in raids against Portland and Portsmouth P.O. McKnight, Sqn Ldr Bader and Flt Lt G E Ball of 242 Sqn, who took part in this days action 141 Squadron moved to West Malling on this day. Here the Defiant crews await further orders Captured German aircrew required a network of POW centres and camps to be set up

 

Top

 


Thursday 11 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Channel overcast.
  • Cloud base 5,000ft, Visibility fair. Thunderstorms and bright intervals in the midlands and north.
  • Day: Convoys attacked
  • off Suffolk. Portland harbour raided.
  • Night: Activity over
  • south-west England, East Anglia, Yorkshire coast and Portsmouth.

Enemy action by day

Between 0600 and 0900 hours a number of raids by single aircraft were carried out between Yarmouth and Flamborough Head and inland. Bombs were dropped at several places including the Royal Engineer Headquarters at Melbourne in Derbyshire, and at Bridlington where a truck containing ammunition was blown up. Although weather conditions were not good, a Do17 was intercepted by fighters and shot down off Cromer by No. 242 Squadron. One of our Hurricanes was shot down during the combat but the pilot is reported safe. In the South, attacks on shipping were reported off the Isle of Wight and at 0741 hours a raid of six aircraft appeared in the Cherbourg area. Three sections of fighters were ordered to patrol Poole and on the approach of the enemy were reinforced by a further squadron. A fight ensued and 604 Squadron shot down a Ju87 confirmed and possibly a Ju87 unconfirmed.

Between 0900-1100 hours, there was little enemy activity, probably due to bad weather. Of four raids, however, one, a Do17, was intercepted by No 601 Squadron and shot down off Selsey Bill. Another raid bombed Swansea and carried out a shipping reconnaissance of Milford Haven.

After 1100 hours considerable activity started with an attack on Portland and a convoy off the coast, some fifty enemy aircraft taking part. These aircraft were plotted from Cap Hague and Jersey. Five of our squadrons intercepted and succeeded in shooting down 8 Me110s for certain and 8 Me110s and 1 Ju87 probable. In addition, one Hurricane which attacked one of our sections and which bore red and blue checked markings on the wings was shot down.

The AA at Portland shot down three enemy aircraft, one He111, 1 Ju88 confirmed and one unidentified enemy aircraft unconfirmed. As a result of this engagement, a Me110 landed near Weymouth practically undamaged and the occupants arrested before they could destroy the aircraft.

In the afternoon several attacks on convoys off Suffolk were reported. Continuous fighter patrols were maintained over these convoys and no reports of damage have been received. One enemy aircraft carried out a reconnaissance over Aldershot, Upper Heyford and out over Norfolk.

At 1744 hours, a raid of some fifty aircraft attacked Portsmouth. Guided by accurate AA fire, two of our squadrons intercepted the enemy and in the ensuing combat, No 601 Squadron shot down 4 He111s and 1 Me110 for certain and 4 He111s probable. No 145 Squadron shot down 1 Me110 and 3 He111s for certain and lost one hurricane (pilot safe).

Bombs fell on Portsmouth setting fire to the gas works and causing some casualties. Pilots report that during this engagement, enemy bombers threw out various objects which appeared to be metal turnings, plates and wire, in great quantity.

One raid was plotted North of Glasgow at 1913 hours and was tracked east over the Firth of Forth and out to sea. This is considered significant in view of a raid which was plotted at about 2330 hours on the night of 10/11th July going westwards with no trace of its return.

By Night

After 2100 hours several raids penetrated into the West Country and bombs were dropped in South Wales, Somerset, Bristol, Portland, Dorchester and Plymouth areas. A few raids also crossed the East coast and bombs were dropped in the Hull, Ipswich, Harrogate, Doncaster, Colchester and Harwich areas. No serious damage is reported. Reports of bombs which exploded in the air were received.

Our fighters carried out 32 sorties during the night but no interceptions have been reported. Cloud conditions obtained over the West of England.


Statistics

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 10 confirmed, 2 unconfirmed; Bombers -
  • 13 confirmed, 12 unconfirmed; Type unspecified - 1
  • Of the above totals, AA at Portland claims 2
  • confirmed and 1 unconfirmed.
  • Ours: 3 Hurricanes (1 pilot safe), 2 Spitfires.

Patrols:

  • 119 patrols involving 447 aircraft were flown.

Balloons:

  • Deployed 1077, casualties 24.

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No. 609 Squadron (Spitfire) "B" Flight at Warmwell, Red
  • Section at Boscombe Down, Yellow Section at Middle Wallop.
  • No. 79 Squadron (Hurricane) non-operational. Awaiting
  • move to Turnhouse.
  • Nos. 73 and 245 Squadrons operational by day only.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Not available.

Inspection of shot down Me109Es revealed their true armament of 2 cannon and 2 machine guns Channel convoys came under attack today, aircraft are visible in the top left of this photograph He 111s took part in raids against Portland and Portsmouth P.O. McKnight, Sqn Ldr Bader and Flt Lt G E Ball of 242 Sqn, who took part in this days action 141 Squadron moved to West Malling on this day. Here the Defiant crews await further orders Captured German aircrew required a network of POW centres and camps to be set up

 

Top

 


Friday 12 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Mainly cloudy with early-morning fog in the Channel. Thunderstorms in many districts.
  • Day: Attacks on convoy off Norfolk-Suffolk coast, shipping off the Isle of Wight and Aberdeen.
  • Night: South Wales and Bristol areas.

Enemy action by day

The chief features of the day's operations were attacks on shipping and one raid on Aberdeen. The main shipping raid consisted of 2 formations of 12+ and 6+ aircraft which attacked a convoy off the Norfolk-Suffolk coast in the morning. Five fighter sections were despatched to intercept and these were further reinforced by one squadron. The ensuing action resulted in six enemy aircraft being shot down for certain and 2 more probable. One Hurricane is missing and one crashed on landing.

A second, though less intensive raid, on shipping took place in the afternoon off the Isle of Wight. This was intercepted by one squadron and resulted in one enemy aircraft being shot down and two others probable.

Other actions along the coasts brought the total to 10 certain and 4 probable, the aircraft which bombed Aberdeen being included. One other Hurricane was brought down in the sea, but the pilot is safe.

South and West

From 0600-0900 hours, sporadic raids occurred principally in the Portland area, in one of which a combat took place at 10,000 feet in a thick haze, but with no known result.

At 1515 hours, 1 Do17 appeared Portland and was attacked by 501 Squadron. The result was inconclusive. One Hurricane dived into the sea, but the pilot was picked up by a naval unit.

At 1555 hours, bombs were dropped between the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth, and at Southampton, and a He111 was shot down by 43 Squadron. This aircraft was grounded damaged, with a heavy load of bombs.

Five raids were off Cornwall and Devon, Weymouth, Falmouth and St Eval were bombed at about 1640 hours. A Ju88 involved was attacked by 243 Squadron. It was last seen with black smoke coming from the port engine.

South-East and East

During the forenoon and early afternoon, reconnaissances were made of the Thames Estuary and Norfolk coast. At 1642 hours, a trawler off the Essex coast sent out a SOS as it was being attacked by a He111 which ultimately 74 Squadron shot down in the sea.

Scottish Coast

Between 0900 hours and 1300 hours, raids took place off Aberdeen and in the course of one of these a shipyard was bombed. No damage was sustained by HM ships building, or under repair. The raider, a He111 was shot down by 603 Squadron.

By night from 2100 hours

Between 2240 hours and 0102 hours in the west, 7 raids crossed the coast in the Portland area and made for South Wales and Bristol. Bombs were dropped at Newport and at Highbridge (Somerset).

Off the East Coast between 2334 hours and 0117 hours a few raids approached Northumberland and Yorkshire and some were plotted inland. Bombs were dropped at Billingham and Thornaby.

Off the Scottish Coast between 2332 hours and 0017 hours 14 tracks were plotted. These crossed the Fife and Aberdeen coast and bombs were dropped on Cupar, Dunfermline and Helensburgh. No reports of damage have been received. Weather prevented fighter action and enemy activity was also restricted on this account.

Statistics

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 2 unconfirmed; Bombers - 10 confirmed, 2 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 3 Hurricanes.

Patrols:

  • 207 patrols involving 700 aircraft were flown

Balloons:

  • No information

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No. 152 Squadron (Spitfire) from Acklington to Warmwell
  • No. 141 Squadron (Defiant) from Turnhouse to West Malling
  • No. 79 Squadron (Hurricane) from Biggin Hill to Acklington

Air Intelligence Reports

  • A Ju87 operating against shipping the in English Channel was seen to have an extra fuel tank under each wing. These tanks increase the range of the Ju87 to 900 miles with corresponding reduction in its bomb load.
  • German aircraft may make greater use of lengths of cable which are released when fighters make stern attack. Possible that aircraft of KG1 are at least equipped with apparatus for this purpose.
  • An experimental Gruppe equipped with Me110s fitted with bomb racks has been formed and may be used against targets in the British Isles at any time. This is in accordance with German Air Force policy of evasion.

Home Security Reports

  • 12-13th July 1940
  • General Summary
  • Casualties and considerable damage were caused by raids by enemy aircraft on Scotland, South and South West England and parts of Wales.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Bombs fell ineffectively on rural areas in Cornwall, namely Goonhaven (near Perranporth), at Trefusis Point (near Falmouth), South of Truro and near Newquay.
  • Aberdeen was raided by a single aircraft which dropped high explosive bombs. This raid caused twenty-six deaths and seventy-nine casualties and considerable damage to property, including Hall Russell & Co. Iron Works.
  • Enemy aircraft also raided Auchterless at 1053 hours.
  • Bombs were dropped on the naval base at Portland without causing casualties or damage.
  • High explosive bombs were dropped at Hamble near Southampton at 1305 hours, causing slight damage to houses but no casualties.
  • Newport (Monmouthshire) was subjected to a raid by enemy aircraft which caused slight damage to railway sidings at Lysaght's Works but caused no casualties.

Inspection of shot down Me109Es revealed their true armament of 2 cannon and 2 machine guns Channel convoys came under attack today, aircraft are visible in the top left of this photograph He 111s took part in raids against Portland and Portsmouth P.O. McKnight, Sqn Ldr Bader and Flt Lt G E Ball of 242 Sqn, who took part in this days action 141 Squadron moved to West Malling on this day. Here the Defiant crews await further orders Captured German aircrew required a network of POW centres and camps to be set up

 

Top

 


Saturday 13 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Early morning fog in southern England clearing by mid-morning.
  • Day: Shipping attacks off Dover and Portland.
  • Night: Minelaying in Thames Estuary.

Enemy action by day

During the day the enemy focussed his attention primarily on shipping and many bombs were dropped on convoys but no hits are reported. Major fighter engagements were as follows:-

  • i. Off Portland at 1430 hours.
  • ii. In the Dover area at 1730 hours.
  • iii. About 15 miles off Calais at 1800 hours.

Attack on Shipping in Portland Area

At 1420 hours 20 enemy aircraft attacked shipping off Portland. No 238 Squadron (Hurricanes) and No 609 Squadron (Spitfires) intercepted and shot down 3 Me110s and one Do17 confirmed and one Me110 and one Do17 unconfirmed. Our casualties - one Hurricane.

Attack on Dover Harbour

At about 1730 hours a mixed formation of Ju87s and Me109s attacked Dover Harbour and a convoy south of Dover. 64 Squadron (Spitfires) intercepted and shot down 2 Me109s unconfirmed. One Spitfire was slightly damaged by AA fire but landed safely. AA guns claim one Ju87 which was later seen to fall into the sea. This has not been confirmed.

Engagement off Calais

At about 1800 hours, 56 Squadron (Hurricanes) intercepted a mixed force of 6 Ju87s and 12 Me113s about 15 miles off Dover. In the ensuing encounter, 3 Ju87s and 2 He113s were shot down for certain and one Ju87 probable. Our casualties - 2 Hurricanes.

South Coast

During the early morning 2 raids approached the Isle of Wight crossing the Hampshire and Dorset coasts. In spite of heavy clouds 501 Squadron (Hurricanes) shot down a Do17 west of Southampton. At 1114 hours an He111 which appeared over Spithead was shot down by 43 Squadron (Hurricanes).

East Coast

During the day 8 raids were reported off the East Coast, two of which attacked convoys. No hits have been reported.

Bombing

Bombs were dropped in the following areas:- Dundee, Warmwell, 4 miles NE Lulworth Cove.

By night

Fighters were despatched to intercept a few enemy raids but no interceptions were effected. There was little enemy activity. Minelaying is suspected in the Thames Estuary and between Middlesborough and The Wash.

Bombing

No reports of bombing have been received. An explosion occurred at 2310 hours in High Duty Alloys Factory at Slough in which one man was killed and 45 injured (23 slightly). Cause is at present unknown.

Patrols over France

Nil.

Statistics

Casualties:

  • Enemy:
  • Fighters - 6 confirmed 3 unconfirmed
  • Bombers - 6 confirmed, 2 unconfirmed
  • Own:
  • 3 Hurricanes.

Patrols:

  • 143 patrols despatched involving 473 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1091. Casualties 32.

Aerodromes:

  • Dyce and Catterick unserviceable during the hours of darkness.

Organisation:

  • No. 152 Squadron (Spitfire) from Acklington to Warmwell
  • No. 141 Squadron (Defiant) from Turnhouse to West Malling and is non-operational
  • No. 79 Squadron (Hurricane) from Turnhouse to Acklington

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Increasing use is being made of armour plate both in bombers and fighters. An armoured bulkhead conforming to shape of fuselage five feet behind pilot was found on a Messerschmitt 109 which crashed at Elham (Kent). The thickness of the plate is 8mm.

Home Security Reports

  • Period: 11th - 13th July 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the extended period under review the enemy has continued widely dispersed dropping of bombs in different parts of the country. Areas in Central and North-eastern Scotland, County Durham, Devonshire and South Wales have been affected by the attacks but no very serious damage or casualties have resulted except as reported in the previous summary.
  • Detailed Summary
  • St Eval Aerodrome suffered minor damage from HE bombs on the 12th July.
  • Bombs were dropped on the same day in a number of places in South Wales. Traffic was delayed on the main GWR line between Newport and Cardiff on account of a reported unexploded bomb which was subsequently reported to have exploded.
  • Electric cables were damaged at Greatham, approximately 4 miles North-west of Billingham.
  • Portland was raided by nine to twelve enemy aircraft but no damage or casualties were caused.
  • At Dover, several bombs were dropped in an unsuccessful attack on shipping.

56 Squadron Hurricanes took part in the action off Dover Three American pilots of 609 Squadron, who flew against the raid on Portland, report to the adjutant. From left to right they are Pilot Officers Andy Mamadoff, Red Tobin and Shorty Keogh Major Helmut Wick of 3/JG2 prepares for another sortie. The intelligence reports of reward firing cannon on Me109s was entirely false, no such weapons were ever fitted At the bottom right of this photograph, taken this day, a Royal Navy destroyer makes smoke as it escapes two very near misses in one of the convoy raids of the 14th Bombs explode among shipping at anchor on the South coast of England. This day saw bombing raids on shipping all along the coast from Wales to London Vital to the success of Fighter Command were the groundcrews who could re-arm and refuel a fighter with great speed and skill

 

Top

 


Sunday 14 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Fair all day.
  • Day: Shipping attacks off Dover and Swanage.
  • Night: Bristol area, Isle of Wight, Kent and Suffolk raided.

Enemy action by day

Fighter engagements with the enemy were on a smaller scale due to a reduction of enemy activity near our coasts. What activity there was, however, was almost entirely directed towards attacks on shipping. Bombs damaged convoys off Dover and a naval unit was bombed off Swanage. No damage reported. A convoy off the Norfolk Coast was also reconnoitred, and one raid approached the coast of Montrose. Patrols were maintained over convoys at periods during the day; one enemy aircraft in reporting the position of a convoy, mentioned our fighter escort and no attack resulted.

South and South-West Coasts

From 0600 to 0900 hours very little activity occurred. One raid went through the Straits and disappeared north of Boulogne. An intercepting attempt was unsuccessful. One raid near Poole went inland and back over the sea again sections, and at 0900 hours no reports of bombs dropped or interceptions had been made. Between 0900 and 1100 hours five raids were plotted over the Channel from Start Point to Dungenness. Shortly after 1100 hours two raids approached Swanage and a naval unit reported having been bombed. No reports were received regarding any damage. Hostile aircraft were tracked intermittently between Start Point and Land's End searching for shipping, but no convoys were in the area. Between 1300 and 1400 hours several raids were over convoys near Dover. Our fighters were on escort duty and the raiders turned back.

At about 1500 hours, a number of raids were plotted, assembling behind Calais. In consequence, 3 fighter squadrons proceeded to investigate and intercepted an enemy force of 40 Ju87s, escorted by a number of Me109s over Dover and the Channel. Our aircraft shot down 3 Ju87s, 3 Me109s, and probably destroyed 1 Ju87 and 1 Me109. Our loss was one Hurricane. During this combat, a Hurricane which failed to answer a challenge was attacked by our fighters, whereupon it dived towards sea level and flew off towards France. Two merchant vessels were attacked and a naval unit hit during this engagement.

East Coast

Very little activity was reported off the East Coast. A few isolated enemy reconnaissances were made off Cromer, Skegness and Lowestoft areas, and over a convoy east of Harwich. Two squadrons were sent to investigate, but no contact was made.

Scotland

One raid approached the coast near Montrose at 4,000ft and was reported to be a Dornier. This did not cross the coast but disappeared in a south-easterly direction.

South of Ireland

It was reported that enemy aircraft made reconnaissances as far west as a point south-south-west of Mizen Head.

By night

Several raids were reported over the country from 2200 hours. Bombs were dropped in the Bristol area, north- northwest of the Isle of Wight, Kent and Suffolk. Some 18 raids appeared off the Thames Estuary and Harwich and are suspected of minelaying.

Statistics

Casualties:

  • Enemy:
  • Fighters - 3 confirmed 1 unconfirmed
  • Bombers - 3 confirmed, 1 unconfirmed
  • AA claims destruction of one bomber in above totals
  • Own:
  • 1 Hurricane.

Patrols:

  • 163 patrols despatched involving 612 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1097. Casualties 23.

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No. 141 Squadron (Defiant) became operational at 1300 hours at West Malling
  • No. 79 Squadron (Hurricane) at Acklington. Not yet operational.
  • No. 73 Squadron (Hurricane) operational by day only.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • British pilots again report Messerschmitt 109 fitted with cannon firing aft.

Home Security Reports

  • Period: 13/14th July 1940
  • General Summary
  • There was very little enemy activity over Great Britain during the night of 13/14th July but in a number of districts warnings were given owing to the presence of enemy aircraft out at sea, particularly in the Thames Estuary.
  • Detailed Summary
  • All unexploded bombs in the Badminton area gave been dealt with.
  • Subsequent reports on the bombing attack at Hamble (Southampton area) at 1350 hours on the 12th July state that four HE were dropped. It was stated by the military that they were 250 kilo bombs and that many houses were slightly damaged.
  • Hostile aircraft flew over Portland at 1446 hours and Plymouth at 1700 hours on the 14th July but no bombs were dropped.
  • At 2256 hours 14th July, bombs were dropped at Avonmouth causing damage to the railway line and docks line; also a signal box was wrecked. Later, a second raid was carried out when bombs dropped on wasteland within the National Smelting Works.

56 Squadron Hurricanes took part in the action off Dover Three American pilots of 609 Squadron, who flew against the raid on Portland, report to the adjutant. From left to right they are Pilot Officers Andy Mamadoff, Red Tobin and Shorty Keogh Major Helmut Wick of 3/JG2 prepares for another sortie. The intelligence reports of reward firing cannon on Me109s was entirely false, no such weapons were ever fitted At the bottom right of this photograph, taken this day, a Royal Navy destroyer makes smoke as it escapes two very near misses in one of the convoy raids of the 14th Bombs explode among shipping at anchor on the South coast of England. This day saw bombing raids on shipping all along the coast from Wales to London Vital to the success of Fighter Command were the groundcrews who could re-arm and refuel a fighter with great speed and skill

 

Top

 


Monday 15 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Low cloud.
  • Day: Shipping attacked off Norfolk coast and the Channel. Yeovil bombed.
  • Night: Minelaying.

Enemy action by day

There was very little enemy activity, probably owing to bad weather. A few raids occurred in the Cardiff, Swansea, Portsmouth and Southampton areas, off the Thames Estuary and Norfolk Coast. One raid also visited Drem. A certain amount of activity was also experienced over convoys on the south and east coasts.

South and South West

In the early morning a raid crossed the coast near Shoreham and bombs were dropped on Brighton and Hove. Shortly after 0900 hours enemy aircraft passed over Portland, flew direct to Cardiff and bombed Barry. Later a reconnaissance was made over a convoy in the Thames Estuary by a Do215. No. 151 Squadron intercepted, but the enemy escaped. Bombs were dropped at Pembroke Dock and Poling. Shipping in the vicinity of Portland Bill was also visited. Between 1600 and 1800 hours a raid crossed the Cornish coast. Two aircraft were sent to intercept but no details have been received of any contact being made. A raid started near Liverpool and flew over Wales and Gloucester. This raid dropped four unexploded bombs on St Athan. Between 1800 and 2100 hours a raid of two Dorniers flew over Portsmouth and Southampton. One of these aircraft was probably shot down by Blue Section of No. 145 Squadron. Later one raider dropped bombs in the sea of Southend.

East Coast

One raid was made off the Norfolk coast from 0600 to 0800 hours. Fighters were despatched but no contact is reported. Between 0900 and 1600 hours several enemy reconnaissances were made over the Norflk coast and upon shipping off this coast. A convoy was attacked at 1413 hours by ten enemy aircraft, probably Dornier 215s. A fighter escort to the convoy (Blue Section of No. 56 Squadron) shot down one Do215 and probably shot down another.

Scotland

Between 1600-1800 hours one raid was made over Drem. Later in the evening another raid crossed the coast flying east just north of Aberdeen. No further news was reported of this raid.

By night

Very slight activity was encountered during the night, the weather still being very bad. One enemy aircraft, thought to be a Dornier, appeared off Kinnaird's Head. At about 2300 hours, 6 to 8 raids crossed the coast between Newcastle and Flamborough Head, and proceeded to Liverpool Bay. These aircraft are suspected of minelaying. One raider dropped a bomb near Berwick. Later, about 12 raids appeared between the Norfolk coast and the Tyne, 6 of which crossed the coastline and the remainder cruised around as though minelaying. These aircraft later returned to Borkum.

Statistics

Casualties:

  • Enemy:
  • Fighters - nil
  • Bombers - 1 confirmed, 3 unconfirmed
  • AA claims destruction of one bomber in above totals.
  • Own:
  • No. 213 Squadron - 1 Hurricane (in combat off Plymouth).
  • No. 145 Squadron - 1 Hurricane (crashed on landing, Swales Farm, Wickham).
  • No. 249 Squadron - 1 Hurricane (crashed and burned out near York at 0053 hours).
  • No. 249 Squadron - 1 Hurricane (crashed on landing).

Patrols:

  • 154 patrols despatched involving 470 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1122. Casualties 21.

Aerodromes:

  • Acklington unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No changes

Air Intelligence Reports

  • A confirmed report has been received that among the German troops there is a healthy respect for, coupled with a fear of, the RAF due to the ferocity of their fighters and the accuracy of their bombers.

Home Security Reports

  • Period: 14/15th July 1940.
  • General Summary
  • During the 15th July there was a certain amount of enemy activity over Coastal areas of the South and South-West of England and South Wales. There was considerable damage to property in the Brighton and Hove area.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Further reports received after the publication of yesterday's summary state that the Avonmouth area was subjected to attacks on three occasions during the night of 14/15th July. The first attack has previously been detailed, in the second attack, three HE and two IB were dropped on open ground near the National Smelting Works without damage or casualties being caused. The third attack occurred at 0117 hours on the 15th and no incidents have so far been reported.
  • Further information as to incendiary bomb on Dover (see yesterday) is that thirty to fifty bombs were dropped on the Duke of York's School at Guston near Dover, now in military occupation. Damage was slight, no casualties.
  • During the evening of 15th July, bombs were dropped near Carew Cheriton Aerodrome and on St Athan Aerodrome. Also on the RAF Station Llandow where damage was caused to underground internal cables.
  • At 1341 hours on the 15th July, bombs were dropped at Mount Batten, Plymouth.
  • The Naval Air Station at Yeovilton near Ilchester was bombed at 1355 hours on the 15th July, slight damage being caused to hangars and one aircraft.

56 Squadron Hurricanes took part in the action off Dover Three American pilots of 609 Squadron, who flew against the raid on Portland, report to the adjutant. From left to right they are Pilot Officers Andy Mamadoff, Red Tobin and Shorty Keogh Major Helmut Wick of 3/JG2 prepares for another sortie. The intelligence reports of reward firing cannon on Me109s was entirely false, no such weapons were ever fitted At the bottom right of this photograph, taken this day, a Royal Navy destroyer makes smoke as it escapes two very near misses in one of the convoy raids of the 14th Bombs explode among shipping at anchor on the South coast of England. This day saw bombing raids on shipping all along the coast from Wales to London Vital to the success of Fighter Command were the groundcrews who could re-arm and refuel a fighter with great speed and skill

 

Top

 


Tuesday 16 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Fog in France, the Straits and south-east England.
  • Day: Very little activity.
  • Night: Fog in France, the Straits and south-east England.

Enemy action by day

Enemy air activity was greatly reduced, apparently owing to unfavourable weather conditions. The few hostile raids that were plotted up to 1600 hours were probably meteorological reconnaissance and searching for shipping. In the early evening bombs were dropped on two points in North East Scotland and one of the raiders shot down. Off the South and South West coasts activity remained slight, but in the evening a raid appeared off the Isle of Wight, and two enemy aircraft were shot down into the sea.

South and South-West

In the early morning a raid appeared in the Bristol area, crossed the coast near Swanage and headed out to sea. Fighters attempted interception but were unsuccessful. It is reported that this aircraft sent out weather reports of the Aylesbury and Selsey districts. Between 1100 and 1300 hours raids were plotted off the Lizard and Start Point, probably searching for shipping. At 1430 hours a Heinkel was seen over Cardiff; fighters went up but were unable to contact. At about 1700 hours No. 601 Squadron shot down two Ju88s which appeared off the Isle of Wight.

East Coast

A few isolated raids were plotted off the coasts of Norfolk and Suffolk, probably searching for shipping, but bad weather made recognition very difficult.

Scotland

Between 1300 and 1600 hours one raid was plotted about 100 miles east of Montrose and another 10 miles east of Arbroath flying north-west, and at 1600 hours another raid originated near Kinnaird's Head. Peterhead and Fraserburgh were bombed, no serious damage is reported. One He111 was shot down by No 603 Squadron 25 miles north-east of Kinnaird's Head, and two survivors were seen to take to a rubber raft.

By night

Activity during the night remained very quiet. Dundee, Middlesborough, Hull and Grimsby were given red warnings. One raid was plotted over Duncansby Head and two in the Aberdeen area. No reports of any bombs having been dropped have as yet been received. Five or six raids were plotted between Newcastle and the Humber, some of which were probably minelaying, and a few crossed the coast. One of these, after cruising around for over an hour off the Humber, was first given as being friendly owing to its having fired the correct signal, but was later stated to be hostile, as it disappeared towards Germany.

Statistics

Casualties:

  • Enemy:
  • Fighters - nil
  • Bombers - 2 confirmed
  • Own:
  • None

Patrols:

  • 128 patrols despatched involving 320 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1152. Casualties 21.

Aerodromes:

  • All serviceable

Organisation:

  • No. 501 Squadron moved from Middle Wallop to Warmwell.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Period: 14/15th July 1940.
  • General Summary
  • During the 16th July there was little enemy activity over Great Britain. Some bombs were dropped in North East Scotland.
  • Detailed Summary
  • No reports have been received of bombs dropped on Aerodromes during the 16th July.
  • It is still believed that magnetic mines were dropped near Silloth at 0127 hours.
  • Bombs were dropped in the prison grounds at Peterhead, the town and harbour at Fraserburgh and at Portsoy near Banff. It is reported that enemy aircraft were heard over Orkney at 2356 hours on the 16th, but no bombs were dropped.

The respite the weather brought with it allowed vital maintenance tasks to be carried out by the overstretched groundcrews 601 Squadron groundcrew test the radio on a Hurricane. Radio was vital in the Battle, enabling fighters to be accurately positioned and used effectively A variety of Bedford and Austin trucks were modified as armoured Airfield Defence Vehicles Although Dornier Do 17s flew in formation, they most often made attacks in a shallow dive, and operated at low level in small numbers during raids at this time of the Battle A formation of Blenheim bombers attacked Boulogne harbour today, escorted by aircraft from Fighter Command.... the raid was aimed at destroying the invasion barges assembling in the Channel

 

Top

 


Wednesday 17 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Dull with occasional rain.
  • Day: Search for shipping off Scottish and east coasts.
  • Night: Targets attacked in south-west. Minelaying.

Enemy action by day

Weather hampered our fighters in their action against enemy air activity which was again on a reduced scale. Raids were plotted off the Scottish, East and South coasts, apparently searching for shipping. An attack was made on shipping off Dundee and trawlers were attcked off Beachy Head. One or two raids crossed the coast and bombs were dropped in Surrey, Kent, at Portland and in Ayrshire.

South and South-West

A number of raids apparently in search of shipping were plotted during the day and a vessel was reported attacked 13 miles from Dartmouth at 1540 hours. One raid, a Do17, crossed the coasts at 1136 hours and came inland as far as Kenley. It was intercepted and chased out to sea over Pevensey, being damaged by our fighters. This raid dropped bombs near Kenley. Two attacks were reported on trawlers off Beachy Head, and three aircraft plotted South East of this point at 1515 hours are reported to be responsible for the bombs which were dropped near Ashford and Lydd. At 1540 hours three Heinkels were reported over Portland and appeared to attack the Mere Oil Fuel Depot, dropping six bombs. Slight damage was done to a railway and cloud enabled the raiders to achieve surprise. Although our fighters encountered a Junkers 88, which they attacked, off the Isle of Wight. Two of our Hurricanes were damaged during the day and one Spitfire which was on patrol off Beachy Head is reported missing.

East Coast

Up to 2100 hours eight raids were plotted off the East Coast and a reconnaissance of a convoy was made although no subsequent attack on this convoy is reported. Two of the raids crossed the coast in the Humber area.

Scotland

Four raids were plotted off the Scottish Coast and Orkneys. One crossed from Peterhead to the west Coast and dropped bombs at Ardeer ICI factory doing little damage. Of the remainder two carried out a reconnaissance of the Orkneys at 0721 hours and were intercepted but without successful results.

French Coast

Tracks were frequently reported coming into or going out from the Cherbourg peninsular. These tracks were not seen any distance out to see. It seems probable that aircraft are going to and coming from an unknown destination in the west as the tracks frequently start or stop at short distances off the Cherbourg peninsular.

By night

At 2232 hours nine raids, which first of all proceeded towards Cherbourg, having come over the coasts of Northern France, Belgium and Holland, turned northwards heading towards south-west England. Some of the raids crossed the coast covering the Bristol Channel area. At 0026 hours a further number of raids approached South West England, some again crossing to the Bristol Channel area. Bombs are reported to have been dropped at Port Talbot, and near Swansea and near Radstock. Mine laying is suspected in the Bristol Channel and off the Plymouth coast. Between 2200 and 0235 hours some 19 raids were plotted off the east coast, of which probably seven were minelaying. None reported further north than the Wash. A few crossed the coast and bombs are reported to have been dropped at Queenborough near Rochester, Felixstowe, Harwich, Chatham, near Barking and at Gillingham. Not more than 40 in all enemy aircraft are estimated to have operated during the night.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 17 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 67
  • Spitfire - 237
  • Hurricane - 331
  • Defiant - 20
  • Total - 659

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - nil; Bombers - 2 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 2 Hurricanes (Nos. 145 and 615 Squadrons), 1 Spitfire (No. 64 Squadron); category unknown, pilot wounded.

Patrols:

  • 70 patrols despatched involving 266 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1166. Casualties 20.

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No 238 Squadron from Middle Wallop to Warmwell.
  • No 32 Squadron from Biggin Hill to Hawkinge
  • No 65 Squadron from Hornchurch to Manston.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.

Home Security Reports

  • 16th/17th July 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the 17th July there was little enemy activity. Slight bomb dropping was widely dispersed but no serious damage has been reported.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Further information on 3 HE dropped at Fraserburgh is that damage was done to a small naval store and contents. Casualties at Fraserburgh and Portsoy now number 26.
  • No reports have been received of bombs dropped on aerodromes during the 17th July.
  • Near Ashford (Kent) bombs dropped demolished three houses and damaged the railway track which was, however, quickly repaired.
  • Considerable damage was done to the ICI works at Ardeer (Ayrshire) but there is no serious interference with production.

The respite the weather brought with it allowed vital maintenance tasks to be carried out by the overstretched groundcrews 601 Squadron groundcrew test the radio on a Hurricane. Radio was vital in the Battle, enabling fighters to be accurately positioned and used effectively A variety of Bedford and Austin trucks were modified as armoured Airfield Defence Vehicles Although Dornier Do 17s flew in formation, they most often made attacks in a shallow dive, and operated at low level in small numbers during raids at this time of the Battle A formation of Blenheim bombers attacked Boulogne harbour today, escorted by aircraft from Fighter Command.... the raid was aimed at destroying the invasion barges assembling in the Channel

 

Top

 


Thursday 18 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Occasional rain in southern districts. Straits of Dover cloudy. Cool.
  • Day: Shipping off south and east coasts attacked.
  • Night: Very little activity.

Enemy action by day

Less activity centred on attacks on shipping but at 0930 hours a force of some 30 aircraft assembled behind Calais and flew towards Deal. An attack on a convoy did not develop. One fighter squadron was operating off Deal and two other squadrons were patrolling nearby as reserves. Interception took place under cloudy conditions. No enemy aircraft was brought down, but a Spitfire of No. 610 Squadron is missing. Enemy aircraft bombed a coastguard station and sank the East Goodwin Light Vessel.

South and South-West

Between 0740 and 0830 hours, 4 raids crossed the coast between Portland Bill and Bournemouth, penetrating inland to railway junctions at Castle Cary and Bruton (Somerset), Netheravon, Upavon, Abingdon and Upper Heyford. Two of these raids returned via Ventnor and Shoreham. No bombs were dropped.

At about 1145 hours a Ju88 penetrated to Bristol and Cardiff and Penarth was bombed. The aircraft was intercepted and the rear gunner is believed to have been killed. The aircraft escaped across the south coast.

At 1240 hours raids appeared off Selsey Bill and at about 1300 hours No 145 Squadron shot down a He111. Off the Isle of Wight at about 1300 hours No. 609 Squadron intercepted enemy aircraft and two Spitfires are reported as casualties, but the pilots are safe. Further raids were plotted, of which one crossed the coast towards Bristol at about 1715 hours.

Bombs were dropped at Alverstoke (Gosport) and near Ringwood and Newport, but no damage was caused. At St Atham's [?] Aerodrome, however, minor damage and casualties occurred, also at Burnham-on-Sea and Axbridge. At St Atham's [?] one fatal, three serious and several minor casualties took place.

A Heinkel 111 was reported to be brought down near Christchurch, but the report so far lacks confirmation.

South-East Coast

No. 111 Squadron probably brought down one Henschel 126 over the Channel at about 1520 hours.

East Coast

Shipping reconnaissance took place off the East Coast and fifteen enemy aircraft were reported east of Bawdsey at about 1500 hours. There unconfirmed reports of dive-bombing on trawlers.

Scotland

At 0942 hours a Heinkel 111 bombed Montrose Aerodrome, diving as low as 500 feet. Some aircraft received slight splinter damage and five casualties, two fatal, were suffered by RAF personnel. Montrose was bombed at 1030 hours.

Between 1300 and 1800 hours four raids appeared off north-east Scottish coasts while activity was increase up to 2100 hours. A convoy was continuously attacked and minelaying in its vicinity is suspected. No reports have been received of damage to convoy, but Anstruther RDF Station was bombed and the nearby coastal town of Crail (South of Fifeness). No interceptions were made.

Patrols

Twenty-four fighters escorted 18 Blenheims on a raid on Boulogne between 1900 and 1912 hours, and report no enemy aircraft was seen.

By night

Enemy activity began at about 2350 hours and was directed mainly North of a line Humber to Liverpool. Ten to twelve raids at least were plotted in this area. Several crossed the coast proceeding westward and fading off the West coast. Minelaying is suspected off Cumberland, Westmoreland and Lancashire as far south as Liverpool. Several of the raids were picked up returning eastwards.

Belfast was given the Yellow warning on account of one raid traced across from the East coast to the West to St Abb's Head where it faded but was later picked up off West Belfast Lough at about 0105 hours proceeding north-west, and again picked up in about the same position flying south-east at about 0130 hours. Some raids did not cross the coast and minelaying is suspected off the Yorkshire coast and Southwards. There was some activity at about 0030 hours in the Straits of Dover and along the coast of Norfolk and Suffolk, one raid going inland as far as Kings Lynn. Very little activity was reported from the South Coast and no reports have been received.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 18 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 62
  • Spitfire - 232
  • Hurricane - 323
  • Defiant - 23
  • Total - 640

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - nil; Bombers - 1 confirmed, 2 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 3 Spitfires (from Nos. 152, 609 and 610 Squadons).

Patrols:

  • 166 patrols despatched involving 583 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1168. Casualties 34.

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick and Leconfield unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • There is evidence of an increase of bomber-reconnaissance aircraft in Norway, which may indicate that it is the intention to attack seaborne targets out of the range of British fighter aircraft.

Home Security Reports

  • 17th/18th July 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the 17th July there was moderate enemy air activity over coastal areas, chiefly in South East England, South Wales and East Scotland. No reports of very serious damage have been received.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Bombs were dropped on Aerodromes at St Athan and Crail, but did no damage of importance.
  • Montrose Aerodrome was attacked by one enemy aircraft at 1029 hours on July 18th. Eighteen lightweight HE bombs and eight incendiary bombs were dropped, most of which fell on the landing ground. There was some damage to aircraft on the ground and slight damage to the oil store.
  • Four houses were wrecked and others damaged at Gillingham in a raid at 0110 hours on July 18th.
  • At 0200 hours on 18th July bombs were dropped on Jersey Marine, near Swansea. Some damage was done to the railway, level crossing, electric cables and telegraph wires.
  • At 1152 hours bombs were dropped on Penarth causing damage to houses, telephones and water mains.
  • Bombs dropped at Leith at 1927 hours on July 18th caused damage to docks and telephone cables. Traffic is only slightly affected and repairs are being put in hand.

The respite the weather brought with it allowed vital maintenance tasks to be carried out by the overstretched groundcrews 601 Squadron groundcrew test the radio on a Hurricane. Radio was vital in the Battle, enabling fighters to be accurately positioned and used effectively A variety of Bedford and Austin trucks were modified as armoured Airfield Defence Vehicles Although Dornier Do 17s flew in formation, they most often made attacks in a shallow dive, and operated at low level in small numbers during raids at this time of the Battle A formation of Blenheim bombers attacked Boulogne harbour today, escorted by aircraft from Fighter Command.... the raid was aimed at destroying the invasion barges assembling in the Channel

 

Top

 


Friday 19 July 1940

 

  • Weather: Showery with bright intervals in most cases. Channel winds light - fair.
  • Day: Dover raided. Defiant squadron largely destroyed.
  • Night: Some activity between Isle of Wight and Plymouth, Thames Estuary and Harwich.

Enemy action by day

Two major engagements took place off Dover, the first at 1215 hours and the second at 1600 hours. An enemy bomber was shot down off Shoreham in the morning and another in the evening, whilst one Hurricane (pilot saved) was shot down near East Grinstead. Glasgow was bombed in the morning by 2 Do17s and small vessels were attacked east of Clacton and south of the Isle of Wight.

South and South-West

At 0703 hours a Do17 which had carried out a reconnaissance over Croydon, Northolt and Brooklands was shot down by a Hurricane off Shoreham.

At 1431 hours Hurricanes encountered 12 Me109s off Selsey Bill and one Me109 was shot down (unconfirmed). One Hurricane is missing. At about 1735 hours one Hurricane landed in flames at West Grinstead following enemy action. It was a total loss but the pilot is safe.

At 1803 hours a Heinkel 111 which had penetrated inland was shot down off Shoreham.

Other raids were reported in the Bristol Channel, Portsmouth and Swanage areas during the day and minesweepers were attacked off the Isle of Wight.

It is noticeable that approximately six raids of some strength approached our coasts chiefly in the Channel and North Eastern area but when fighters were sent up they turned away before contact as established.

South-East Coast

About 30 enemy aircraft assembled behind Cap Gris Nez and approached Dover at 1215 hours. A squadron of Defiants (No. 141), one of Hurricanes and one of Spitfires took off to intercept. No. 141 Squadron was ordered to a position over Cap Gris Nez where it was attacked by 12 Me109s. Three Defiants were shot down immediately and another three crashed while returning to Hawkinge. (4 pilots killed, 2 injured; 5 air gunners missing). One Me109 was shot down by the Defiants. The Hurricanes shot down 2 Me109s (confirmed) and one Me109 (unconfirmed) and Anti-aircraft at Dover shot down one Do215. The Spitfires apparently failed to make contact with the enemy.

At 1600 hours about 36 enemy bombers and fighters again approached Dover. One squadron of Hurricanes and two of Spitfires were sent up. 6 Me109s and one Ju87 were shot down (unconfirmed). In addition one section of Spitfires shot down 2 enemy seaplanes (unconfirmed) near Calais. One Hurricane crashed (pilot safe).

East Coast

Meteorological reconnaissance was carried out over the North Sea. A raid attacked some naval units 40 miles off Clacton and several reconnaissances were reported.

North-East Coast

One raid of two Do17s crossed the coast north of Aberdeen and bombed Glasgow at 1013 hours. 42 people were injured.

France

The enemy maintained 15 patrols over the Calais/Dunkerque area.

By night

Considerable enemy activity from 2330 until 0230 hours.

33 raids were directed against the coast west of the Isle of Wight as far as Plymouth, 5 or 6 of which crossed to the Bristol Channel. Minelaying is suspected.

There were about 15 raids in the Thames Estuary - Harwich area, many of which are suspected of minelaying. One raid made an attack on Manston Aerodrome in the vicinity of which bombs were dropped, but no serious damage has been reported.

Several raids appeared north of Harwich as far as Aberdeen and minelaying is suspected at various places along the coast including the Hull area, Firth of Forth and a number of aircraft crossed to the Firth of Clyde, presumably minelaying. Bombs are reported dropped north west of Kilmarnock and Abbotsinch.

At about 0030 hours, Blenheims on patrol encountered and shot down an enemy seaplane at 0107 hours (confirmed). It was seen to fall into the sea in flames near Harwich.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 19 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 62
  • Spitfire - 227
  • Hurricane - 331
  • Defiant - 22
  • Total - 642

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 3 confirmed, 8 unconfirmed; Bombers - 3 confirmed, 1 unconfirmed; Seaplanes -1 confirmed, 2 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 6 Defiants confirmed (all No. 141 Squadron), 3 Hurricanes confirmed (Nos. 1, 32 and 43 Squadron) plus one unconfirmed (No. 43 Squadron; crashed on landing).
  • AA claims one bomber confirmed in above totals.

Patrols:

  • 175 patrols despatched involving 735 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1178. Casualties 66.

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick and Dyce aerodromes are unserviceable during the hours of darkness.

Organisation:

  • No. 602 Squadron (Spitfires) "A" Flight at Montrose.
  • No. 615 Squadron (Hurricanes) moved from Kenley to Hawkinge.
  • No. 609 Squadron (Spitfires) moved from Middle Wallop to Warmwell.
  • No. 65 Squadron (Spitfires) moved from Hornchurch to Manston.
  • No. 151 Squadron (Hurricanes) moved from North Weald to Rochford.
  • No. 73 Squadron (Hurricanes) "A" Flight moved from Church Fenton to Prestwick.
  • Nos. 245 and 72 Squadrons (Hurricanes) operational by day only.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.

Home Security Reports

  • 18th/19th/20th July 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the 19th July, enemy aircraft activity was again confined to almost entirely to coastal areas. With the exception of an attack on Glasgow, there is little to report.
  • Detailed Summary
  • It is now learned that six bombs were dropped on July 17th at Nutfield Aerodrome (near Godstone, Surrey) at 1155 hours. No damage was caused.
  • At about 1040 hours on the 19th July, 8 HE were dropped in the Govan and Scotstoun areas of Glasgow. Tenements were seriously damaged and an occupied communal shelter was blown up. Windows of the Royal Ordnance Factory, Cardonald, were broken by splinters and blast, but the factory was not otherwise damaged.
  • At about 0603 hours on the 19th July, bombs were dropped on the Norfolk and Norwich Aerodrome at Norwich. A hangar, used for the storage of AFS appliances, was hit and the clubhouse was burnt out.
  • During the July 19th, bombs were also dropped on Milton Aerodrome (near Pembroke) at 1245 hours and on Manston Aerodrome at 2320 hours. No damage has been reported.
  • At 1720 hours on the 19th July, a boy's school was demolished when bombs were dropped on Polruan, near Fowey.
  • At 0120 hours on July 20th bombs were dropped at Abbotsinch Aerodrome (Renfrew).
  • At 0220 hours on the 20th July, bombs were dropped on Stirling. Two houses were demolished and minor damage caused to adjacent buildings.

The Defiant was supposed to be a bomber destroyer, but was often forced to use defensive tactics to provide mutual support as it was very unmanoeuvrable. 141 Squadron lost six aircraft this day to 109s A small number of Ju87s escorted by a larger number of 109s made a probing raid against Dover at 16:00 hrs today German aircrew shot down over the Channel benefitted from an integrated Air -Sea Rescue organisation using types such as the Heinkel He59. These aircraft were also used for coastal patrol and intelligence gathering Pictured here is a Me110C of ZG26. This is the type often refered to as the Jaguar-Me, thought to be a larger version of the Me110, but in fact did not exist This, the first Phase of the Battle, consisted largely of air raids probing the defences and attacking shipping. Here a pair of 109s fly past Dover Chain Home radar station. Strangely, although aware of the importance of the radar chain, German attacks on the stations were not followed up Spitfires of 54 Squadron took part in the fighting today, protecting a Channel convoy. One was lost in action against raids aimed at the convoy

 

Top

 


    July >>

    1940    

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
  1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12 13
14 15 16 17 18 19 20
21 22 23 24 25 26 27
28 29 30 31      

Text size:
medium|
larger|
largest