SECURING THE SKIES

Campaign diary


July 1940

Wednesday 10th
  • 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.

Thursday 11th
  • Weather: Channel overcast.Cloud base 5,000ft, Visibility fair. Thunderstorms and bright intervals in the midlands and north.
  • Day: Convoys attackedoff Suffolk. Portland harbour raided.
  • Night: Activity over south-west England, East Anglia, Yorkshire coast and Portsmouth.

Summary of action

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.

 


Friday 12th
  • 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.

Summary of action

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.

Saturday 13th
  • Weather: Early morning fog in southern England clearing by mid-morning.
  • Day: Shipping attacks off Dover and Portland.
  • Night: Minelaying in Thames Estuary.

Summary of action

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.

 


Sunday 14th
  • Weather: Fair all day.
  • Day: Shipping attacks off Dover and Swanage.
  • Night: Bristol area, Isle of Wight, Kent and Suffolk raided

Summary of action

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.

Monday 15th
  • Weather: Low cloud.
  • Day: Shipping attacked off Norfolk coast and the Channel. Yeovil bombed.
  • Night: Minelaying.

Summary of action

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.

Tuesday 16th
  • Weather: Fog in France, the Straits and south-east England.
  • Day: Very little activity.
  • Night: Fog in France, the Straits and south-east England.

Summary of action

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.

Wednesday 17th
  • Weather: Dull with occasional rain.
  • Day: Search for shipping off Scottish and east coasts.
  • Night: Targets attacked in south-west. Minelaying.

Summary of action

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.

Thursday 18th
  • Weather: Occasional rain in southern districts. Straits of Dover cloudy. Cool.
  • Day: Shipping off south and east coasts attacked.
  • Night: Very little activity.

Summary of action

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.

Friday 19th
  • 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.

Summary of action

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.

Saturday 20th
  • Weather: Occasional thunderstorms. Straits of Dover cloudy clearing to bright intervals.
  • Day: Convoys off shipping at Dover attacked.
  • Night: Widespread minelaying from the Needles, Isle of Wight, to Land's End; Bristol Channel and eastern coastal waters.

Summary of action

Our fighters were again mainly engaged in the south against enemy formations despatched to attack convoys and shipping in Dover Harbour. These attacks were preceded by reconnaissance flights up to mid-day. Our fighters engaged the enemy, inflicting casualties and turning him away from his objective before serious damage could be done. On several occasions, however, the enemy did not wait to meet our fighters but turned back on sighting them or on hearing our RT.

South and South-West

Several raids were plotted along the south coast during the morning. Fighter patrols were flown over the convoys and two attacks were made on convoys in this area during the afternoon. The enemy were engaged by our fighters on each occasion. 3 Me109s and one seaplane were shot down for certain and 3 Me109s probable. 3 of our aircraft are missing. In addition, one He59 was probably shot down off the Isle of Wight during the afternoon. One raid plotted from Shrewsbury out over the Isle of Wight was reported as a four-engined Dornier.

South-East Coast

At 0900 hours, 4 raids, each consisting of 3+ aircraft approached the Kent coast. Fighters were despatched and the tracks became confused. No combat reports have been received. Just after 1500 hours dive-bombers escorted by Messerschmitts carried out an attack on Dover Harbour. These were intercepted and one Jaguar-ME was shot down for certain and one probable. Pilots of No. 32 Squadron responsible for this success report that they caught up the enemy aircraft in a straight chase at 2-3,000 feet within 12 miles. Our aircraft were flying at full boost at about 300 miles per hour and were not fitted with Rotol Air Screws. The enemy aircraft were camouflaged pale and dark blue and silver. Later in the afternoon 2 raids of 30+ and 20+ approached Dover from Calais but turned back on perceiving our fighters. One, however, made a quick attack on a convoy and was engaged. 2 Me109s were shot down for certain, 3 Me109s and 3 Jaguar-ME's were possible casualties. 3 of our own aircraft were lost.

East Coast

Up to mid-day, several reconnaissance flights were made off the Norfolk coast and one Ju88 was shot down. At about 1315 hours, three raids apparently attacked a convoy but no bombing reports have been received. Fighters were despatched and one Do17 was a probable casualty.

North-East Coast

Only three raids were plotted in this area. One approached Peterhead and turned back on the arrival of our fighters. The remaining two were probably meteorological flights. One was intercepted and a Do17 shot down off Kinnaird's Head.

France

Normal activity in the Cap Gris Nez area was reported during the day.

By night

Very extensive mining operations were carried out by the enemy between 2200 and 0200 hours, and included the areas of the Needles to Land's End - Bristol Channel - Norfolk - Suffolk - Humber, Tees with special concentration upon Harwich and the Thames Estuary. One raid crossed to the Mersey. Some enemy activity took place between the Orkneys and Kinnaird's Head, probably in search of shipping, but no reports of attacks have been received. A few raids came inland and bombs were are reported to have been dropped on Hartlepool, Silloth, Rochford, Eastchurch, Swansea and near Wells, Lechlade and Chatham; but no reports of serious damage have been received. One enemy aircraft is reported shot down 3 miles off Margate.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 20 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 62
  • Spitfire - 224
  • Hurricane - 308
  • Defiant - 11
  • Total - 605

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 6 confirmed, 10 unconfirmed; Bombers - 2 confirmed, 1 unconfirmed; Seaplanes -1 confirmed, 1 unconfirmed; Type unknown - 1 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 5 Hurricanes confirmed (Nos. 32 (2 aircraft), 43, 238 and 501 Squadrons), 1 Spitfire confirmed (No. 610 Squadron).
  • AA claims one bomber confirmed in above totals.

Patrols:

  • 191 patrols despatched involving 655 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1168. Casualties 44.

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick aerodrome unserviceable during the hours of darkness.

Organisation:

  • No. 229 Squadron (Hurricane) moved from Wittering to Turnhouse.
  • No. 3 Squadron (Hurricane) "B" Flight moved from Wick to Sumburgh.
  • No. 64 Squadron (Spitfire) Red and Blue Sections are non-operational at Kenley.
  • No. 245 Squadron (Hurricane) moved from Turnhouse to Aldergrove.
  • No. 141 Squadron (Defiants) non-operational at West Malling.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.

Home Security Reports

  • 19th/20th July 1940

General Summary

  • Enemy activity during the day of the 20th July was mainly in the Straits of Dover and over Dover Harbour, where bombs dropped, fell in the harbour and sea and only minor damage was caused.
  • During the night 20th/21st July, enemy aircraft were reported at West Hartlepool, and in the Sunderland area, near Lowestoft, Harwich and Barling (Essex). In South Wales, Mountain Ash and Jersey Marine were targets attacked. In no case has serious damage been reported.

Detailed Summary

  • With reference to the bomb attacks on 19th July in the Plymouth area, it is now believed that a total of 24 HE bombs were dropped, of which five did not explode.
  • Further reports of damage by bombs which fell on Stirling at 0220 hours on 20th July, state that damage was done to three sheds and some vehicles at the Royal Ordnance Factory, Forthside.

Sunday 21st
  • Weather: Fine and fair early, clouding over during the morning. Fair in the evening.
  • Day: Raids on convoys in Channel and Straits of Dover.
  • Night: Targets chiefly at Merseyside.

Summary of action

The main activity of the day was centred in the Channel and the Straits of Dover, convoys being the objectives. A few isolated raids penetrated inland.

South and South West

In the morning, the enemy carried out shipping reconnaissance in the Channel and shortly afterwards made two unsuccessful attacks on convoy "Peewit". At 1458 hours another large raid approached this convoy but retired when three squadrons were despatched to intercept. On Spitfire is reported lost whilst on convoy patrol at about 0930 hours.

At 1520 hours, 9+ aircraft were approaching Portland; this formation turned 90° and attacked "Peewit". In the engagement one Me109 was shot down certain and one Hurricane of the escorting flight is missing. Meanwhile, one flight of Hurricanes sent to Portland to intercept, chased and shot down 10 miles from the French coast 1 Me110 confirmed, and 1 Me110 unconfirmed.

Several other large formations approached convoys but retired after our fighters had been sent up.

Of the raids which penetrated inland, on Me110, which shot down a Hector near Old Sarum, was shot down by Hurricanes near Goodwood. Hurricanes also shot down a Do17 near Blandford.

North and East Coasts

There was little enemy activity off the North and East coasts. The enemy carried out reconnaissance work off Wick and East Anglia.

France

Numerous patrols were maintained over the Calais - Dunkerque area, particularly over Calais.

By night

Enemy operations appear to have been on a smaller scale than usual, but cover a large area. Minelaying was suspected in Plymouth area, Thames Estuary and immediately north of it and in the Tyne area.

Attacks on the West Country seem to have started mostly from Cherbourg district. Some 6 or 8 raids crossed the coast between 2330 and 0300 hours at various places. Two raids went as far as Barrow-in-Furness and returned via Liverpool and over Yorkshire. Other isolated raids went over Leeds, Church Fenton, Tyneside, over Norfolk and Wiltshire. Bombs are reported to have been dropped in Tyneside, near Derby, Driffield and Hornsea, but no serious damage has been so far reported. It is reported at 0520 hours that an unsuccessful attempt was made on a convoy off the Lincolnshire coast.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 21 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 65
  • Spitfire - 236
  • Hurricane - 309
  • Defiant - 21
  • Total - 620

Casualties:

  • Enemy:
  • Fighters - 3 confirmed, 1 unconfirmed; Bombers - 1 confirmed.
  • Anti-Aircraft at Plymouth claims one aircraft (type unknown) unconfirmed.
  • Own:
  • 1 Hurricane confirmed (No. 43 Squadron), 1 Spitfire confirmed (No. 54 Squadron).

Additional Information From information since received, enemy casualties reported yesterday are now:

  • 15 confirmed and 8 unconfirmed [fighters and bombers]. In addition, 1 He111, 1 Do17 and one Ju88 were shot down by anti-aircraft fire.

Patrols:

  • 190 patrols despatched involving 596 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1142. Casualties 60.

Aerodromes:

  • All serviceable

Organisation:

  • No. 152 Squadron (Spitfire) has moved from Warmwell to Middle Wallop.
  • No. 64 Squadron (Spitfire) "Blue" Section now operational, "Red" Section non-operational.
  • No. 229 Squadron (Hurricane) has not yet moved to Turnhouse.
  • No. 263 Squadron (Hurricane) 4 aircraft only operational.
  • No. 605 Squadron (Hurricane) 3 aircraft only operational.
  • No. 253 Squadron (Hurricane) moved to Turnhouse.
  • No. 3 Squadron (Hurricane) 8 aircraft moved to Sumburgh.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil

Home Security Reports

  • 17-20th 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.

Monday 22nd
  • Weather: Straits fair; Channel cloudy. Light westerly winds in both. Bright intervals between showers in the east.
  • Day: Shipping off the south coast attacked.
  • Night: Minelaying the whole length of the eastern seaboard.

Summary of action

Enemy activity by day was on a considerably reduced scale. Just prior to the opening of the period covered by this summary, two convoys were attacked by enemy aircraft off the East Coast. One of these attacks was referred to in the previous summary (21st July) but it is now reported that fighters intercepted and claim one Do17 as a probable casualty.

Thereafter some 14 raids were detected. These appear to have been mainly engaged in meteorological and shipping reconnaissance flights off the East and South coast; although convoys were approached, no resultant attacks were reported. Convoy and shipping protection patrols were flown by our fighters and possibly accounted for the apparent reluctance on the part of the enemy to attack by daylight. A few raids crossed our coasts; one was plotted between Bristol and the Sussex coast, flying very high. Another Do17 crossed the coast near Selsey Bill and was intercepted and shot down off Tangmere. A raid of three aircraft was plotted 10 miles off Selsey Bill and appeared to have been intercepted but no combat reports have been received.

France

A number of hostile raids were plotted in the Calais - Boulogne - Dunkirk - St Omer areas and several raids went from Cherbourg to mid-Channel in the late evening, but these faded and nothing more was heard of them.

By night

Considerable enemy activity again took place over a wide area. Shortly after 2100 hours, raids commencing down Channel from the Boulogne/Calais area turned north, north of Cherbourg towards Portland and Land's End, minelaying being suspected, and some crossing the coast. From 2200 hours until about 0200 hours, a number of raids approached the North-East, East and South-East Coasts. Another group, presumably from Norway, attacked objectives in Scotland. Minelaying throughout the whole of the East coast is suspected, particularly in the Thames Estuary, and to a lesser extent, in the Tees, off the Norfolk coast, Humber and Tyne areas. A number of raids came inland and bombs were reported to have been dropped in the following districts:- Thames Estuary, North Kent, near Manston, South Essex, Norfolk, Kidderminster, Welshpool, Brough, Edinburgh, near Drem and South Wales. At about 2347 hours, it is reported that a Do 17 was shot down off Selsey Bill. No reports of serious damage or casualties have been received.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 22 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 63
  • Spitfire - 228
  • Hurricane - 357
  • Defiant - 21
  • Total - 669

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - nil; Bombers - 2 confirmed, 1 unconfirmed.
  • Own: Nil.

Anti-Aircraft at Plymouth claims one aircraft (type unknown) unconfirmed.

Patrols:

  • 208 patrols despatched involving 637 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying - 1193. Casualties - 36.

Aerodromes:

  • All serviceable.

Organisation:

  • No. 238 Squadron (Hurricanes) is at Warmwell
  • No. 141 Squadron (Defiants) is at West Malling and is operational.
  • No. 615 Squadron (Hurricanes) is at Hawkinge.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • The German Air Force (GAF) is up against an efficient fighter defence organisation for the first time, and in the face of this it constantly varies the composition of its tactical forces.
  • The present scale of operations against this country can be accounted for by the following facts:

i. The GAF is not fully prepared for major operations
ii. In order to maintain service and civilian morale it is necessary to carry out operations on some scale
iii. This interim period is an opportunity for tactical experiments against efficient air defence.

Home Security Reports

  • 22nd/23rd July 1940

General Summary

  • Reports in addition to those mentioned show that bombs also fell in East Yorkshire and Suffolk and on Leith, early on 22nd July.
  • During the day and the night of 22nd/23rd July, bombs fell in Banffshire, where casualties resulted, in the neighbourhood of Edinburgh, and in the coastal areas of Kent, Suffolk, Essex and Monmouthshire.
  • Fifeshire, South Wales, South Hampshire and Lincolnshire were among the widely separated areas where bombs fell during this period, but no material damage or casualties have been reported from these areas.

Detailed Summary

  • Slight damage to property was caused at Cramlington (Northumberland) where 2 HE fell at 0030 hours on the 22nd July.
  • Bombs which fell on a farm at Skipsea (East Yorkshire) at 0145 hours, 22nd July, causing damage to electricity supply, are described as a "supposed new type containing petrol, paraffin and other oils."
  • Nine HE bombs fell in a field at Troston (2 miles from Honington) at 0225 hours, 22nd July, causing damage to windows and glasshouses.
  • Four HE and many IB were dropped at Leith at 0559 hours, 22nd July, causing considerable damage to a fire station and a pressure main. A 1,000lb bomb fell near the Albert Dock, and some sidings and mains were damaged, but main traffic is unaffected and rolling stock was not hit. One dead and six injured people are reported.
  • Six German prisoners were killed, and eighteen injured, by HE bombs which fell on Duff House, Banff, at 0922 hours. The house was severely damaged.
  • Margate reported eight HE bombs at 2235 hours, one house being demolished. The electricity supply failed and gas mains were fractured. It is reported that 15-20 HE fell near Manston aerodrome at 2230 hours.
  • The Maldon district of Essex was attacked with HE bombs at 2340 hours but no reports of damage have been received.
  • Edinburgh reported bombs early 23rd July and damage by fire to store buildings was caused.
  • Slight damage to Sheerness Pier was caused by bombs at 0128 hours, 23rd July, and bombs fell at Pembrey, Milford Haven, near Emsworth and Cleethorpes, but no damage or casualties are reported.

Tuesday 23rd
  • Weather: Slight haze in the Straits of Dover. Cloudy with occasional rain in other districts.
  • Day: East coast shipping raided.
  • Night: Minelaying from Dover to the Tyne and Forth Estuary.

Summary of action

Enemy activity appeared to have further decreased and those aircraft with few exceptions approaching the coast seemed to devote their attention to reconnaissance of shipping and to attacks when opposition was not immediately encountered but turned away when fighters were in the vicinity.

While patrolling a convoy off Yarmouth in the early morning, Hurricanes shot down a Ju86[?] and it is a probable casualty.

A 'help' message from a convoy some distance off Lowestoft was received at about 0809 hours but only one bomb is reported to have been dropped from a great height.

Later, a raid penetrating inland as far as Kenley dropped bombs during the flight. It at once retraced its track on the approach of fighters. At 1120 a force of six aircraft approached North Foreland and bombed trawlers. Two fighter squadrons intercepted without conclusive results. During the morning, various other aircraft were detected around the coast from the North of Scotland southwards. No contact was made by fighters.

During the afternoon activity was still further reduced but in a raid near Kinnaird's Head a Do215 was intercepted and is confirmed as having been shot down by Spitfires at 1540 hours.

At 1530 hours a raid of nine aircraft appeared without being tracked in RDF 50 miles east of Harwich. A naval vessel is reported to have been bombed. Another raid appeared inland near Yarmouth at 1640 hours and re-crossed the coast near Bawdsey after dropping bombs at Pulham Market. It evaded fighters in the clouds. Fighters were sent up to a raid which appeared inland over North Scotland after 1800 hours but the enemy aircraft escaped east at great speed.

France

Hostile tracks were plotted along the French coast and to mid-Channel but few approached nearer to our coasts.

By night

Enemy activity again was again at somewhat on a lesser scale and almost exclusively confined to coastal flights, presumably minelaying. The chief activity was along the east coast from Dover to the Tyne and Forth Estuary, with one or two raids as far north as Kinnaird's Head and considerably less concentration in the Thames Estuary and the South Coast.

It is reported that one He111 was shot down for certain at 0040 hours by a Spitfire near Dunbar. About eight raids visited the West Country picking out Falmouth, Plymouth and Bristol and four raids were lost going north off the Welsh Coast., but were picked up in the Liverpool area where anti-aircraft guns were in action and they claim one enemy aircraft (type unknown) unconfirmed.

At about 0043 hours a smoke screen about 100 yards long and thirty feet high was reported by the Observer Corps off Dover.

From information received during the late evening it would appear that attempts were being made to intercept our bombers, an attack upon one having been reported.

It was noticeable too that that throughout the night there were only two or three isolated raids which crossed the coast, one over Middlesborough proceeding south of Catterick and one over Cornwall and South Wales.

The only report of any bombs having been dropped is near Hartlepool.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 23 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 62
  • Spitfire - 243
  • Hurricane - 282
  • Defiant - 12
  • Total - 599

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 1 unconfirmed; Bombers - 2 confirmed.
  • Own: Nil.

Patrols:

  • 182 patrols despatched involving 495 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying - 1205 Casualties - 34.

Aerodromes:

  • No changes.

Organisation:

  • No. 43 Squadron (Hurricanes) has moved from Tangmere to Northolt.
  • No. 1 Squadron (Hurricanes) has moved from Northolt to Tangmere
  • No. 264 Squadron (Defiants) has moved from Duxford to Kirton in Lindsey.
  • No. 141 Squadron (Defiants) have arrived at Prestwick and are non-operational.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date

General Summary

  • Additional reports of districts affected by enemy bomb attacks early on July 23rd show that East Yorkshire, Berwickshire, Isle of Wight, Gloucestershire and the Swansea area were all visited, but very little damage was caused and casualties were slight.
  • During the day and night of 23/24 July, enemy bombing activity was very slight, but some bombs were dropped in parts of Norfolk, Kent and West Sussex; apart from structural damage at Pulham (Norfolk), the effects were negligible.

Detailed Summary

  • Montrose aerodrome reports one HE bomb which fell in the landing ground at 0043 hours without causing damage or casualties.
  • Eleven HE bombs were dropped near Ternhill Aerodrome at 0133 hours, the only damage caused being the partial blocking of a road for which repairs are now in hand. No casualties are reported.
  • HE and IBs fell at Tetney near North Coates in the early morning, without causing damage or casualties.
  • Bombs fell at Yarmouth and Brightstone (Isle of Wight) at 0045 hours causing slight damage to one house.
  • The HE did considerable damage to six houses in Willerby (East Yorkshire) at 0122 hours, and a signal arm on the railway was wrecked. The track was undamaged and four slight casualties resulted.
  • At 0838 bombs fell on the beach and inland at Worthing, and at 0935 whistling bombs were dropped in a field at Itching Field (Horsham). In neither of these incidents was there any damage.
  • Air Ministry property at Pulham (Norfolk) suffered structural damage at 1648 hours when sixteen HE fell, but there were no casualties.
  • There are unconfirmed reports of bombs at West Hartlepool at 0100 hours (24 July).

Wednesday 24th
  • Weather: Channel and Straits of Dover cloudy. Coastal and hill fog in western districts spreading east. Rain in most districts.
  • Day: Convoys and shipping in the Channel attacked.
  • Night: Nil.

Summary of action

The main activity was centred in the Channel. A combat involving approximately 90 aircraft took place at midday off Deal and North Foreland. Convoys and shipping were the main objectives. A few raids penetrated inland and dropped bombs without inflicting any serious damage except near Glasgow where a printing works was practically demolished.

North and North-East

At 0630 hours, hostile aircraft appeared over Glasgow and bombed the Hillingdon district where a printing works was seriously damaged. Some windows of the Rolls Royce factory were broken and a few minor casualties are reported. This aircraft was intercepted and it is reported that the rear gunner was killed and one engine put out of action. The enemy aircraft dived into clouds and was lost but it is doubtful if it will reach home. In the afternoon, several reconnaissances were plotted in the Aberdeen area.

East and South-East

Numerous hostile reconnaissances were carried out off the East and South-East coasts and in four cases were followed by attacks on shipping. One Do215 was shot down.

Just before midday, a large force of enemy aircraft assembled behind Calais and then approached two convoys off the North Foreland and the Downs. Three squadrons were up ready to intercept. A battle ensued in which approximately fifty enemy aircraft were involved with thirty-six of our fighters. The enemy aircraft were driven off after - it is reported - having sunk two trawlers and damaged two more. Enemy losses reported in this combat are reported as 10 confirmed (including one by AA) and sixteen unconfirmed against the loss of two of our Spitfires.

At 1503 hours, an enemy aircraft crossed the coast west of Shoreham and dropped bombs on the Vickers landing ground at Weybridge and on the gas works at Walton on Thames and at Byfleet. Little damage is reported and production has not been affected. There was no interception by our fighters.

At 1727 hours, three enemy aircraft bombed ships off Dover. No 74 Squadron report that one Do215 was shot down (unconfirmed) off Manston.

At 1950 hours, a hostile track appeared 20 miles south of Hastings and is reported to have machine-gunned inshore patrols. Weather conditions were too bad for fighter action to be taken.

At 2050 hours, one Spitfire of No 66 Squadron whilst on patrol, came down in the sea 30 miles north-east of Cromer but the pilot was rescued.

South and West

At 0730 hours, a Ju88 which approached Portcawl and bombed shipping was shot down by No 92 Squadron. Several raids approached Bournemouth and Portland but faded without and attack being made. Considerable enemy reconnaissance activity was plotted in the Channel.

By night

No enemy activity is reported with the exception of one track which was possibly minelaying off Bamburgh.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 24 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 56
  • Spitfire - 238
  • Hurricane - 294
  • Defiant - 15
  • Total - 603

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 9 confirmed, 13 unconfirmed; Bombers - 3 confirmed, 4 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 2 Spitfires 1 Hurricane.
  • AA claims one Do215 confirmed.
  • In addition it is now reported that a further four Spitfires are unserviceable owing to enemy action.

Patrols:

  • 191 patrols despatched involving 591 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying - 1211 Casualties - 30.

Aerodromes:

  • All serviceable.

Organisation:

  • No. 607 Squadron is now operational by day only at Usworth.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • A Me110 brought down near Goodwood on 21 July belonged to a reconnaissance gruppe and carried a camera in place of cannons.

Home Security Reports

  • 23rd/24th July 1940

General Summary

  • During the early morning of July 24, enemy bombing attacks were confined to the Scottish areas of East Lothian, Fifeshire, Aberdeenshire and the Glasgow district. Only in the last-named was material damage caused.
  • During the day, bombs were dropped on Suffolk and Norfolk without effect, but an attack was made on the Walton and Weybridge district, details of which follow.
  • Enemy bombing attacks during the night of July 24/25 have been negligible.

Detailed Summary

  • It is now reported that the HE bomb that fell on Montrose at 0043 (23 July) damaged one aircraft considerably and two aircraft slightly.
  • At 0640 hours, an attack was made by a single enemy aircraft on the Scottish Industrial Estate, Hillington, Glasgow, where 4 HE and 40 Ibs did considerable damage. A small printing and stationary factory was almost destroyed and a sugar and oilcake factory was damaged. Many windows were broken. Casualties were confined to 18 injured, one seriously.
  • At 1515 hours, one enemy aircraft dropped 18 HE bombs in the Weybridge-Walton-Byfleet district. Six bombs fell near the Wandsworth Gas Company's containers, Walton, causing four slight casualties and broken glass, but production was not affected. Six, of which one did not explode, fell on the Vickers-Armstrong landing ground without causing any damage, and six were dropped at St George's Hill without effect.
  • Great Yarmouth report two bombs at 1818 hours; these failed to explode.
  • At 1820 hours, 17 small HE bombs were dropped at Wherstead near Ipswich without causing damage or casualties.

Thursday 25th
  • Weather: Fine day with haze in the Straits of Dover. Winds north-westerly and light.
  • Day: Convoys and shipping in the Channel raided.
  • Night: Minelaying in the Firth of Forth and Thames Estuary. Reconnaissance over Bristol and Channel area.

Summary of action

Enemy activity by day was again concentrated on attacks on shipping and convoys in the Channel, the major engagement taking place off Dover. A few raids penetrated inland and dropped bombs without inflicting any serious damage.

North and North-East

A meteorological flight was plotted in the Wick area at 0730 hours. A WT [wireless/telegraphy - radio] intercept suggested that this flight had a dual purpose, reference being made to "dropping carried out" at 0704 GMT. Later a He111 was shot down between the Orkneys and Kinnaird's Head. In the evening, an unidentified raid was plotted over Scapa.

East and South-East

During the early morning, an attack was made on a convoy off Spurn Point. This raid was intercepted and the He111s are claimed as probable casualties. Another attack was made on this convoy in the evening but no damage is reported.

From about 1127 hours, when a large raid was plotted approaching Dover from the Calais area, attacks interspersed by reconnaissances continued in waves against Dover harbour and shipping until 1930 hours. Bombs were dropped in the harbour and near a RAF experimental station. Ships in convoy and naval units are reported to have been hit. The first attack at 1207 hours was directed against Dover harbour and plotted as 50+ aircraft. This was quickly followed up by an additional raid of 40+ - probably the escorting fighters. Three and a half squadrons of our fighters engaged the enemy. Later, an attack of two or three waves of some 12+, 20+ and 30 aircraft was made on a convoy off Dover at approximately 15-minute intervals. Fighters again intercepted and inflicted casualties. No sooner had the tracks indicate that these raids had returned to France than other enemy aircraft commenced to congregate behind Gris Nez and a further attack on the convoy was made. Large formations of enemy aircraft continued to be plotted in the Channel up to 1930 hours.

During the period of these attacks, our fighters successfully accounted for 14 enemy aircraft confirmed and an additional 11 probable against a loss of only four Spitfires. In addition, AA claim one confirmed enemy casualty.

Ten or eleven fast coastal motor boats with fighter escort were spotted by a pilot of No 111 Squadron off Gris Nez in the afternoon.

South and West

In the early morning, two raids approached Portland but turned back - possibly on hearing the volume of our fighter's RT engaged in escorting naval units. Later, two raids of 30 and 12+ approached Portsmouth and three fighter squadrons were despatched to meet them. These raids approached the Needles and then moved westward towards Portland; trawlers were reported to have been bombed. Our fighters intercepted and shot down six enemy aircraft with the loss of one Spitfire. A later raid off Portsmouth was intercepted and one enemy aircraft was confirmed as being shot down and another is probable.

In the afternoon, two raids - probably of single aircraft - crossed the coast near Poole and were intercepted in the Stroud area. One Hurricane was shot down by a Ju88 which in turn was shot down by a training aircraft and the other enemy aircraft was accounted for by AA fire. Bombs were dropped at about this time near Cowley, Gloucestershire, and near South Cerney but no damage is reported. Later a raid of 12+ approached Ventnor, but turned south on the despatch of our fighters.

France

The usual Gris Nez patrols were reported between 0900 and 1100 hours. These raids totalling 15+ aircraft were unusually active north of Cherbourg between 1200 and 1230 hours.

By night

Several raids started from the Cherbourg district and crossed the coast of Dorset en-route for the Bristol Channel and South Wales but no bombing has been reported from this area. AA claim an enemy aircraft shot down in flames near Milford Haven.

There appeared to be considerable minelaying activity in the Firth of Forth (where some 28 were also dropped into the sea) and the Newcastle area. Harwich and Lowestoft were also visited by raiders, bombs being dropped at Bungay (Norfolk) and near Harlestown. Minelaying was also being carried out in the Thames Estuary and the Downs by approximately ten aircraft.

Two aircraft appeared off Trevose Head and were tracked down the west coast of Cornwall and faded south west of Land's End. These aircraft may have laid mines in the Bristol Channel.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 25 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 56
  • Spitfire - 234
  • Hurricane - 316
  • Defiant - 25
  • Gladiator - 8 (1 Flight only)
  • Total - 639

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 14 confirmed 11 unconfirmed; Bombers - 11 confirmed 3 unconfirmed. 1 unknown aircraft type also confirmed as shot down.
  • Own: 5 Spitfires 1 Hurricane.
  • AA claims 3 confirmed in the above totals.

Patrols:

  • 171 patrols despatched involving 684 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying - 1237 Casualties - 30.

Aerodromes:

  • All serviceable.

Organisation:

  • No 141 (Defiant) Squadron is now operational by day and night at Prestwick.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Chance-Vought dive-bomber aircraft (ex French Air Force) were operating against shipping on the 24th July. One or probably two were shot down.

Home Security Reports

  • 24th/25th July 1940.

General Summary

  • With reference to the report of 24th July, it is now reported that a further six HE bombs one one unexploded were dropped in the Glasgow area in open fields by an aircraft which had arrived without being plotted. This was at 0640 hours on the 24th July. On the previous day an unidentified aircraft was over Glasgow and not plotted until over the city.
  • There has been very little enemy activity over the land, but extensive raids have been made on convoys in the Channel in the neighbourhood of Dover.

Detailed Summary

  • At 1530 hours bombs were dropped off St Catherine's Point (Isle of Wight) which struck a steamer beached there on 21st July.
  • Bombs were dropped at Dover Harbour but no damage was done, and at Swing Gate aerodrome near Dover, where posts at the aerodrome were machine-gunned, windows and fences were damaged but no casualties have been reported.
  • Bombs were also dropped near South Cerney aerodrome, Cowley (Gloucestershire) and Scarning (Norfolk) but all fell in fields and no damage has been reported.

Friday 26th
  • Weather: Heavy cloud with rain and poor visibility.
  • Day: Shipping off the south coast attacked.
  • Night: Minelaying in Thames Estuary and off the Norfolk coast. Bristol area.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a much-reduced scale. Reconnaissances were made of shipping and the few raids which penetrated inland only inflicted minor damage. The chief feature was the lack of determination of the enemy to press home attacks. Several times, raids - whether small or large size up to 50 aircraft - turned away when 10-20 miles from the coast when our fighter squadrons were sent up.

North and North-East

A meteorological flight took place in the early morning off the Orkneys. Of two other raids plotted, one crossed to Glasgow and dropped bombs near Kilmarnock.

East and South-East

Two raids occurred off Orfordness, one of which successfully bombed a naval unit. Four other raids were in the Yarmouth-Cromer area flying at about 18,000 feet. One of these raids approached to within 20 miles of the coast and the others to about 50 miles.

South and West

At about 0603 hours, a single aircraft crossed the coast at Beachy Head and flew inland via Uckfield, Maidstone, Crowborough, Lingfield, Sevenoaks, East Grinstead and back to Hastings and Abbeville. Bombs were dropped at Mayfield and Hastings. Fighters failed to intercept.

At about 0900 hours, three raids consisting of 21+ aircraft in all approached Swanage. In each case as the fighters were sent to intercept, the raiders turned away not less than 10 miles from the coast.

At about 0945 hours, No 601 Squadron when on patrol off the Isle of Wight, intercepted a formation and a Me109 is a probable casualty. One Hurricane fell into the sea and the pilot is lost.

Between 1100 and 1300 hours, twenty enemy aircraft approached Portland but turned back when some distance from the coast on the approach of our fighters. No 238 Squadron shot down one Me109 (confirmed).

At 1530 hours, eight raids consisting of fifty aircraft assembled in the Bay of Seine and flew towards the Isle of Wight. Three fighter squadrons ordered to patrol at heights between 10,000 - 20,000 feet turned the enemy force which split and flew to within 30 miles of the Isle of Wight whence it returned to its rendezvous area. One raid crossed the coast north of Dungeness and No 65 Squadron shot down one Me109 (confirmed) off Dover.

A force of 24+ aircraft (and probably considerably more) appeared in the Cherbourg area at 1848 hours. The formation was plotted on a 10-mile front, flying in layers at an average height of 16,000 feet. It turned west towards Portland and then broke into separate raids and returned direct to Cherbourg. Squadrons off Portland failed to sight the enemy.

West Coast

Two unidentified raids appeared off the Pembroke coast and at 1700 hours, No 92 Squadron whilst on patrol off this coast, shot down one Ju88 (unconfirmed).

France

Early in the day there were the normal enemy reconnaissances off the French coast bit later, a continuous patrol was kept up, but a few aircraft ventured out to sea.

By night

At 2128 hours, an enemy aircraft was plotted from 12 miles south of Dunkirk to North Foreland, Shoeburyness, Kent and north over Hornchurch and to within 8 miles of North Weald, re-crossing the coast at Mersea Island. It crashed into the sea of Brightlingsea. This raid is reported to have dropped bombs in Kent and Essex. No definite report as to why this enemy aircraft crashed has yet come to hand.

At 2205 hours, a hostile raid of one aircraft at 10,000 feet was plotted 50 miles east-north-east of Hazeburgh. This raid eventually faded without crossing the coast and was either a meteorological flight or hoping to intercept our out-going bombers. One raid of 2+ aircraft was plotted on patrol from east-north-east of North Foreland to south of Rye. No convoys were in this vicinity.

Between 2230 and 0100 hours, enemy aircraft were active over a widespread area. Thirteen raids approached and crossed the coast in the vicinity of Portland, flying north-north-east and some continued to the Bristol area. Bombs are reported to have been dropped without causing serious damage. Ten raids were plotted in the Thames Estuary between Deal and Harwich and the majority appeared to be minelaying. Three raids were plotted near the Tyne in the vicinity of two convoys and were probably mainelaying. Seven raids appeared near Aberdeen of which the majority flew over convoys in the vicinity and some minelaying is suspected. Bombs are also reported to have been dropped at Rosehearty, south of Frazerburgh and on Dyce aerodrome, but no damage is reported. Peterhead is reported to have been machine-gunned by low-flying aircraft. Single tracks were also plotted over the coast between the Humber and Whitby and may also have been engaged in minelaying.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 26 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 61
  • Spitfire - 242
  • Hurricane - 318
  • Defiant - 26
  • Gladiator - 8 (1 Flight only)
  • Total - 655

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 3 confirmed 1 unconfirmed; Bombers - 1 confirmed 1 unconfirmed. 1 unknown aircraft type also confirmed as shot down.
  • Own: 1 Hurricane.

Patrols:

  • 144 patrols despatched involving 612 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying - 1239 Casualties - 19.

Aerodromes:

  • Abbotsinch, Sumburgh and Hartlepool serviceable by day only.

Organisation:

  • No. 111 Squadron from Hawkinge to Croydon.
  • No. 54 Squadron from Hornchurch to Catterick.
  • No. 41 Squadron from Catterick to Hornchurch.
  • No. 501 Squadron from Middle Wallop to Gravesend.
  • No. 56 Squadron is now at North Weald and is operational.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • It is reliably reported that the RAF's night bombing of Germany is most effective and is worrying the German High Command. It is also reported from another source that the RAF raids are causing serious damage. The Germans are stated to be considerably worried by these raids and our delayed action bombs are particularly unpopular.

Home Security Reports

  • 25th/26th July 1940

General Summary

  • Enemy activity overland was again on a small scale. Bombs were dropped in East Sussex and over a considerable area in Essex, but casualties were few and damage slight. At Hastings, it is reported that some of the bombs dropped were of the "whistling" variety.

Detailed Summary

  • On 26th July, bombs were dropped at Hastings and neighbouring portions of East Sussex. At Hastings five houses were demolished and others damaged, and small damage was also caused to gas and water mains and electric cables. Casualties were slight.
  • Small quantities of bombs were also dropped over a wide area in Essex but the damage reported to be negligible.
  • Bombs were also dropped at Poole (Dorset), Weymouth and in Monmouth and Gloucestershire, but no damage has been reported.
  • At 0030 hours on 27th July, bombs were dropped on Dyce aerodrome, Aberdeen, but it is reported that no damage was caused.

Saturday 27th
  • Weather: Fair Straits, cloudy in Channel. Slight rain in the midlands and the North Sea.
  • Day: Raids on shipping and naval units in Dover harbour and Straits.
  • Night: Attacks on south-west England.

Summary of action

During the afternoon, several raids attacked shipping and naval units in the Straits and in Dover harbour. Two enemy aircraft were shot down and we lost one Hurricane.

One raid approaching a convoy off Swanage was intercepted and driven back, two enemy aircraft being shot down and one Spitfire missing. Other raids approaching shipping and ports on the South Coast retired before our fighters could intercept.

North and North-East

Five raids of one aircraft each were reported off the east coast of Scotland and the Orkneys.

South and West

During the day, six raids approached the South Coast between Selsey Bill and Portland. One of these, which was attempting to attack a convoy off Swanage, was intercepted and driven off. One Me109 (confirmed) and one Ju87 (confirmed) was shot down by Hurricanes of Nos. 145 and 238 Squadrons respectively. The other raids retired before fighters could intercept.

Enemy aircraft made a reconnaissance of Belfast, Isle of Man and the area south-west of Anglesey to Cardiff.

Spitfires of No 234 Squadron shot down one Ju88 (unconfirmed) off Land's End.

Dover Area

At 1430 hours, ten Me109s which had been patrolling the Calais area, crossed the Straits and dropped bombs which caused damage to dock equipment. Fighters chased the enemy aircraft towards France but did not make contact.

At 1602 hours, one raid of 6+ flew towards Dungeness, turned west and bombed a steamer (which was damaged) off Sandgate.

At 1730 hours, three Squadrons were sent up to patrol the Dover area and No 41 Squadron shot down one He113 (confirmed) and No 615 Squadron shot down one He59. No 501 Squadron lost one Hurricane.

Off East Anglia

At 0930 hours, one raid attacked a convoy off Lowestoft. Our fighters failed to intercept.

At 1706 hours, a convoy and naval units off Orfordness were attacked. RDF lost track of this raid and it was not intercepted.

Approximately six other raids approached the east and south-east coasts but did not penetrate inland.

By night

At 2230 hours, about 20 enemy aircraft were plotted out of Cherbourg and the Channel Islands to Cornwall and other western counties as far as Anglesey, Bala, Kidwelly, Upton-on-Severn, west of Gloucester, Cardiff and Bristol area. In some instances fighters were despatched but no interceptions are reported.

Between 2348 and 0130 hours, four raids approached the coast near St Abb's Head - apparently minelaying - and went north as far as the Firth of Tay where explosions were heard. Three further raids appeared to carry out minelaying from the Tay to Kinnaird's Head.

By 0300 hours, most of the raiders had returned from the west to northern France, but not all landed in the Cherbourg area.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 27 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 63
  • Spitfire - 242
  • Hurricane - 331
  • Defiant - 24
  • Gladiator - 8 (1 Flight only)
  • Total - 668

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 2 confirmed; Bombers - 1 confirmed 1 unconfirmed. 1 seaplane also confirmed as shot down.
  • Own: 1 Spitfire, 1 Hurricane.

Patrols:

  • 141 patrols despatched involving 522 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying - 1274 Casualties - 70.

Aerodromes:

  • Abbotsinch, Sherburn and Hartlepool serviceable by day only.
  • Evanton is unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No 604 Squadron moved from Gravesend to Middle Wallop.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.

Home Security Reports

  • 26th/27th July 1940.

General Summary

  • With reference to yesterday's report, it is now established that no bombs were dropped at Poole on July 26th.
  • Bombs were dropped in many localities during the early hours of the morning of July 27th, but casualties and damage reported are negligible, the majority of bombs falling in open country.

Detailed Summary

  • Early on July 27th, bombs were dropped near Faversham (Kent), in the Wimborne and Dorchester sections of Dorset and at Weymouth, without any damage being reported.
  • Bombs were also dropped at Elie, Kinglassie and Falkland in Fifeshire and at North Berwick.
  • In all, reports of bomb droppings were received from nearly thirty points but only one slight casualty has been reported.
  • An unexploded bomb at Westerleigh (Gloucester) has now been established as a petrol bomb.
  • All the above incidents occurred during the early hours of the morning, and the remainder of the day of July 27th has been quiet.
  • Late at night on the 27th of July and early in the morning of the 28th July, bombs were dropped at Swansea Docks, Upton-upon-Severn and Kidwelly (Carmarthen). No damage has been reported except at Swansea where a railway line was displaced.

Sunday 28th
  • Weather: Fine early. Fair for the rest of the day, clouding over in the evening.
  • Day: Shipping attacked off Dover and south coast ports.
  • Night: Minelaying from Thames Estuary to Humber. Scattered raiders over England and Wales.

Summary of action

There was less enemy activity in the morning, and it was not until the afternoon that the major engagement of the day took place in the Straits, off Dover.

Our fighters shot down seven enemy aircraft at a cost of two Spitfires.

Other raids approached shipping and ports on the south and west coasts, either doing no damage or retiring before our fighters could intercept.

North and North-East

At 1029 hours, one aircraft was plotted 15 miles north-east of Montrose but a section of fighters sent to investigate did not make contact.

At 1522 hours, a further raid was plotted in this area.

South and West

At 0640 hours, a raid was plotted out of Cherbourg in the direction of Plymouth but our fighters failed to make contact.

At 1110 hours, a raid of three aircraft was plotted from Baie de la Seine to Swanage, where sound plots were recorded overland. Fighters were despatched without effect and the raid eventually faded south in mid-Channel at 1250 hours.

Another raid approached Portland with no results and no interception.

At 1237 hours, three aircraft appeared 15 miles north of Cherbourg and approached Bournemouth. No contact was effected.

Off Dover

At 1204 hours, a large number of aircraft assembled and circled over the Calais-Boulogne district and then set course for Dover. When the enemy aircraft had reached a position half way across the Straits they turned back to the French coast where they gradually dispersed.

At 1335 hours, five raids involving approximately 100 aircraft, crossed the Straits and were engaged by four Squadrons of our fighters off Dover. No 74 Squadron accounted for three Me109s (confirmed) with the loss of two Spitfires. No 41 Squadron shot down two Me109s (confirmed) and No 11 Squadron shot down two He59s (confirmed).

At 1552 hours, one raid was plotted 40 miles south of Dungeness to within 30 miles of Selsey Bill where it turned south-east and faded in the Le Havre area at 1630 hours.

At 1708 hours, two raids involving 9+ aircraft where plotted flying east from the direction of Portland. These raids turned north and approached Swanage, but retired on approach of our fighters. Another raid originated over Portsmouth and faded in Baie de la Seine without interception.

At 1735 hours, a "help" signal was received by a convoy near Milford Haven; fighters were despatched without result.

East and South-East

At 0620 hours, a hostile aircraft approached Cromer but was not intercepted.

At 1424 hours, a possible meteorological flight was plotted sixty miles east of Haisboro flying north-west.

At 1503 hours, another raid was plotted eighteen miles east of Bawdsey and faded over Foreness.

At 1600 hours, a raid of 1+ was plotted fifty miles east of Mablethorpe, turned south and appeared to orbit in an area about fifty miles east of Cromer. A "help" signal was received from the naval unit which this raid had attacked.

At 1853 hours, a hostile reconnaissance of 3+ aircraft started from Dunkirk and flew to within fifteen miles east of Lowestoft where it turned south on the approach of our fighters and faded inland of Gris Nez. The aircraft appeared to return to St Inglevert.

At 1948 hours, seven raids assembled in the Gris Nez area and at one time one of these raids was plotted at not less than 40 aircraft on a ten-mile front at 30,000 feet. Six squadrons were detailed to meet this attack, which, however, did not materialise.

France

The usual patrols were flown over the Calais-Boulogne area.

By night

There was considerable enemy activity in most areas. The main feature of the earlier part was the intense activity of the minelaying type from the Thames Estuary to the Humber, extending later as far north as Aberdeen. Inland raiding over the south and east coasts was very pronounced and nearly all areas of England, Scotland and Wales were involved. By 0130 hours, raids were mostly withdrawing and at 0145 hours the country was clear north and east of a line from Chester to London. By 0245, all inland raids had withdrawn to the coast.

During the night about 150 hostile, or "X" tracks were plotted. Bombs were reported to have been dropped in the following places: - Edinburgh district, Perth, Rochford, Tyne, Thames Estuary, Crewe, Newcastle, Alnwick, Hungerford, Staplehurst, near Long Eaton, Holywell (Flintshire), Sealand, north of Gatwick aerodrome, Edenbridge, west of Beachy Head, north-east of Maldon (Essex), Glenkindie, near Sittingbourne, Seaford, near Neath, Brixham, Shaeftesbury, near Lydd, south of Colchester, Otmore (Vivinity), Lichfield, near Derby, Salford, near Swansea and other locations in South Wales.

At Staplehurst a searchlight post was bombed and put out of action.

Fighters were despatched in some instances but results are not reported.

An enemy aircraft is reported to have crashed at Wooton Hill (4 miles south-west of Newbury) at 0200 hours. Occupants baled out and are still at large.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 28 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 66
  • Spitfire - 245
  • Hurricane - 328
  • Defiant - 26
  • Total - 665

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 5 confirmed; Bombers - 2 confirmed 1; Floatplanes - 2 confirmed.
  • Own: 3 Spitfires 1 Hurricane.

Patrols:

  • Day: 220 patrols despatched involving 840 aircraft.
  • Night: 35 sorties.

Balloons:

  • Flying - 1437 Casualties - 28.

Aerodromes:

  • Sherburn is unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.
  • Addendum - information which arrived too late for yesterday's report.
  • One Ju88 landed intact north of Bexhill at 0520 hours owing to a shortage of petrol. The crew are unwounded and are prisoners. All instruments are intact. The aircraft carried five guns - one in the nose and four free.
  • Another Ju88 was shot down east of Plymouth at about 0520 hours by Spitfires of No 234 Squadron.

Home Security Reports

  • 27th/28th July 1940

General Summary

  • During the early morning of July 28th, raids were reported over south-west England and Wales but did practically no damage.
  • There were no enemy raids reported during the hours of daylight but Kent and Sussex were bombed late at night on July 28th.
  • Further raids took place early in the morning of July 29th over Cornwall, Essex, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Kent, South Wales and various scattered positions. Little damage was done anywhere and few casualties caused.

Detailed Summary

  • It is now reported that Dover Harbour was raided twice on July 27th. At 1435 hours, one bomb was dropped in Camber and one in the Harbour without effect. Between 1755 hours and 1847 hours, a further attack was made when a naval vessel was severely damaged and a store ship holed. Some bombs fell near the Marine Railway Station and the Survey Dock without doing damage.
  • Early in the morning of July 28th, bombs were dropped in Cornwall, in the neighbourhood of Truro and Penzance, but did no appreciable damage.
  • During the same period, bombs were also dropped near Cardiff and Newport (Monmouthshire) but did no damage.
  • Late in the evening of July 28th, numerous small villages in the Weald of Kent were bombed but no damage has been reported. Near Edenbridge, houses and gas and water mains were slightly damaged.
  • During the early morning of July 29th, bombs were dropped at Glenkindie (Aberdeenshire), and in Essex without causing damage.
  • Newcastle-on-Tyne was bombed at 0030 hours on July 29th and some damage is reported to houses and gas and water mains, but few casualties.
  • Bombs were also dropped at Newcastle-under-Lyme, near Brixham and Shaftbury without causing any damage.
  • South Wales was also bombed on July 29th and the railway track near Neath was damaged, and a road blocked at Pontaliw near Swansea.
  • It is also reported that Sealand Aerodrome was bombed at 0230 hours on July 29th. No report of damage has been received.

Monday 29th
  • Weather: Fair all over Britain. Thames Estuary and Dover hazy.
  • Day: Convoy off Dover raided.
  • Night: Activity on a reduced scale over land.

Summary of action

The main activity was as follows:

a. At 0730 hours, Dover Harbour was heavily attacked.
b. In the afternoon, a hostile reconnaissance aircraft was shot down off Portsmouth.
c. Of two enemy aircraft making a shipping reconnaissance east of Southwold, one was shot down and a second is possibly a casualty.
d. A raid which was attacking a convoy off Harwich was intercepted and driven off.

Region

South and West

At 0906 hours, a raid was plotted a few miles west of Varne Light Vessel. The number of aircraft varied from 20+ to 2+ but no attack materialised.

Several enemy reconnaissances were plotted in the Channel, and of these, one Ju88 was shot down off Portsmouth by No. 145 Squadron.

At about 1815 hours, some 30-40 aircraft flew from Cherbourg towards Lyme Bay but turned away when 20 miles out. Part of this raid turned north-west again to within ten miles of Portland where it is reported to have bombed a naval unit. Fighters were despatched but did not intercept.

East and South-East

At 0718 hours, preceded by one sortie over Dover at 24,000 feet, four raids assembled in the Calais-Boulogne-St Omer area and at 0734 hours were consolidated as one raid of 80+ aircraft which flew from just east of Cap Gris Nez to attack Dover. Reports received indicate that the damage was comparatively light with few casualties. One merchant vessel (already damaged) and one small yacht were sunk and one naval unit was damaged. The actual number of bomber aircraft engaged in the attack is estimated at 40 Ju87s, and these approached in two waves of 20 aircraft each, covered by approximately the same number of Me109s. Four fighter squadrons were sent up and shot down eight Ju87s (confirmed) and seven Me109s (confirmed) and five Ju87s (unconfirmed) and two Me109s (unconfirmed). AA accounted for two Ju87s. Our losses were two Spitfires and one Hurricane.

At 1300 hours, trawlers were bombed off Dungeness and No 610 Squadron probably accounted for one Do215.

Several enemy reconnaissances were plotted off the East Coast and one of these, one He111 which was reconnoitring a convoy off Harwich, was shot down by No 17 Squadron and one Do17 is a probable casualty by No 85 Squadron.

At about 1720 hours, 32+ aircraft were plotted as approaching a convoy off North Foreland. Seven squadrons were despatched to intercept this raid, but only one (No 151) made contact and this squadron accounted for two Me110s (confirmed) and another probable. One Hurricane crashed on landing. The convoy suffered no casualties through air action.

North and North-East

Two raids approached the Aberdeen area during the morning. One of these was intercepted and fighters engaged two Heinkels which, however, evaded them in clouds.

France

The usual patrols were flown in the Calais-Boulogne-Gris Nez areas and several reconnaissance flights took place in the Channel. No interceptions were effected.

By night

Enemy activity appeared to be on a reduced scale inland, but there was considerable minelaying activity on the Dover, Thames Estuary and Harwich areas. Observer Corps posts report that seaplanes were operating.

Later, nine raids of small numbers approached the East Coast between Scarborough and St Abb's Head. Some of these raids crossed the coast. Minelaying operations are reported along the coastline from Hartlepool-Newcastle-Firth of Forth.

Bombs are reported to have been dropped at Brigg, Gilestone (about a mile south of St Athan), near Leys, east of Highbridge and at Acklington.

At 0010 hours, one Ju88 crashed just north of Bury St Edmunds. This aircraft was plotted in over Bristol as an unidentified raid but later it was stated to be friendly and Bedford ceased plotting. 16 bombs are reported dropped near Norwich.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 29 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 66
  • Spitfire - 241
  • Hurricane - 328
  • Defiant - 20
  • Total - 639

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 7 confirmed, 2 unconfirmed; Bombers - 15 confirmed, 8 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 2 Spitfires (Nos. 41 and 64 Squadrons; 1 pilot), 2 Hurricanes (Nos. 56 and 151 Squadrons).
  • AA at Dover claims 2 confirmed bombers in above totals. Also includes the Ju88 crash near Bury St Edmunds.

Patrols:

  • 205 patrols involving 798 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying - 1445 Casualties - 35.

Aerodromes:

  • All serviceable.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • A Do18 with a moveable cannon in forward position has been encountered.

Home Security Reports

  • 28th / 29th July 1940

General Summary

  • Further raids have been reported during the early hours of July 29th, which did little damage.
  • Except for a big raid on Dover, there was no enemy activity on July 29th during the hours of daylight. Few fresh raids have been reported during the morning of July 30th.

Detailed Summary

  • With reference to the report of 28th July, it is now reported that 25 HE bombs were dropped at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and six houses were destroyed, and a school and other houses damaged. There were few casualties.
  • Referring to the same report, it is now reported that 115 incendiary bombs fell in Newcastle-under-Lyme with a radius of 1/4 mile. Nineteen houses were set on fire but the damage caused was slight and there were no casualties.
  • During the early morning of July 29th, bombs were dropped at Altcar (Lancashire), near Crewe, in Essex, Gloucestershire, Cheshire, Midlothian and Berwickshire, causing little or no damage.
  • Bombs were also dropped near the aerodromes at Yatesbury and Hawarden.
  • The only raid reported during daylight on 29th July was at Dover, where a naval auxiliary was sunk, and the oil pipeline broken. Buildings were damaged by splinters and blast.
  • There was only slight enemy activity during the night of 29th/30th July and no damage has been reported.
  • It is reported that Acklington aerodrome was bombed at 0235 hours on 30th July.

Tuesday 30th
  • Weather: Unsettled, with drizzle and low cloud.
  • Day: Raids on convoys off Orfordness, Clacton and Harwich.
  • Night: South Wales and midlands.

Summary of action

Activity in general was on a restricted scale, owing to weather conditions. Our fighters made two successful interceptions, shooting down a He111 off Montrose and a Me110 off Southwold.

South and West

Attacks were reported on convoys off Orfordness, Clacton and Harwich. No. 85 Squadron shot down one Me110, 10 miles east of Southwold at 1532 hours.

North

Five raids were plotted during the course of the day between Flamborough Head and the Orkneys, one of which was reported to be a meteorological flight. Another of these raids was identified as a He111 and was shot down by No. 603 Squadron off Montrose at 1212 hours.

France

The usual Calais-Boulogne-Cherbourg enemy patrols were maintained and there were several hostile flights in the direction of the Varne Light Vessel. There were no interceptions.

By night

Enemy activity was on a much reduced scale, no doubt owing to the weather.

In the early part of the evening, a raid was plotted over Surrey. A balloon barrage was attacked and bombs were dropped at Esher, Chessington, Woldingham, Tolworth and Merstham.

Later, raids originating in the Baie de la Seine, and Cherbourg were plotted in the Plymouth area making for Devon and Dorset coasts and thence inland to South Wales and the Midlands. One or two isolated plots travelled as far north as Colwyn Bay.

Bombs were dropped at Heysham (five miles south of Lancaster) from a raid plotted as coming in from the west. Other reports of bombs were received from Barry Docks and near Cwm Bargoed, where a railway track was damaged.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 30 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 74
  • Spitfire - 232
  • Hurricane - 333
  • Defiant - 23
  • Gladiator - 8 (1 Flight only)
  • Total - 662

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - nil; Bombers - 2 confirmed.
  • Own: Nil.

Patrols:

  • 185 patrols despatched involving 724 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1443. Casualties 44.

Aerodromes:

  • Abbotsinch, Sherburn, Hartlepool and Exeter are unserviceable during the hours of darkness.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.

Home Security Reports

  • 30th/31st July 1940.

General Summary

  • During the early hours of 30th July, bombs were dropped in South Wales, South-Western England, Hull and Norwich, and during the night of 30th/31st July bombs were again dropped in South Wales and in Surrey.

Detailed Summary

  • At 0010 hours on 30th July, bombs were dropped on Hull causing some damage to shops.
  • St Athan aerodrome was bombed early in the morning of 30th July, the married men's quarters demolished and other buildings damaged. No casualties have been reported.
  • Twelve HE bombs were dropped on Norwich at 0600 hours on 30th July. A bus station was hit and buses destroyed and damaged. Houses and a water main were also damaged and some casualties were caused.
  • After the Norwich raid, no bombs were reported all the day of 30th July until 2212 hours, when bombs were dropped at Esher and Farleigh in Surrey, but no damage has been reported.
  • During the night of 30th/31st July, Barry Docks were bombed, no damage has been reported; bombs were also reported to have been dropped at Cwm Bargoed (Glamorgan) where damage was done to the railway track.

Wednesday 31st
  • Weather: Fair all over the country with temperatures slightly above average. Channel and Straits hazy.
  • Day: Widespread attacks on shipping in south, south-east and south-west coastal waters. Dover balloon barrage.
  • Night: South Wales and Thames raided.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a reduced scale; this may have been partly due to the lack of cloud cover when operations were attempted on the South Coast, but it was also noteworthy that enemy aircraft not infrequently turned away as soon as our fighters were sent to intercept. Successful interceptions, however, were made, resulting in one Ju88 and one Do215 being regarded as probable casualties off Dungeness and the Isle of Wight respectively, and one Me109 being shot down near Dover.

South and South West

Reconnaissances of shipping took place off the Cornish coast eastwards to the Straits. A "special" convoy was particularly investigated, and, as an addition to the escort, two extra sections were detailed to reinforce, resulting in the Do215 being shot down (unconfirmed) by No 1 Squadron (Hurricanes). Later, a raid of fifteen aircraft approached Dover and in the subsequent combat No 74 Squadron shot down one Me109, but we lost two Spitfires. No 64 Squadron, also detailed to intercept, did not make contact.

South East

At 0635 hours a raid appeared off Berck and made for Dungeness, it was intercepted by No 111 Squadron (Hurricanes). At 1700 hours the Dover Balloon Barrage was attacked. Various other raids originating in the Calais-Gris Nez areas approached, but as in previous days, turned away on seeing our fighters. At no time did these aircraft come nearer than 5 to 10 miles off the English coast.

East

At about 0615 hours a raid approached a convoy off Harwich without attacking it but bombs are reported to have been dropped near four ships off Lowestoft and near a naval unit in Yarmouth Roads. Three sections despatched at various times failed to make contact.

North and North-East

Activity in this area was confined to three meteorological flights off the North Scottish coast.

France

Numerous tracks were plotted off Cherbourg, Calais and Boulogne, but only a small proportion ventured far from the French Coast.

By night

Enemy activity has been on a heavy scale and raids occurred in most parts of the country south and east of a line Liverpool to Newcastle.

Minelaying appeared to be the object from Berwick to the Thames Estuary and about fifty aircraft appear to have been involved. Very few raids appeared to cross inland in these areas. One enemy aircraft is reported shot down into the sea at about 0015 hours by No 29 Squadron (Blenheims), between North Coates and Spurn Head.

Many raids proceeded from the Channel Islands and Cherbourg, crossing the coast and proceeding north and west to the South Wales area. Bombs are reported at Monk Nash, south-east of Swansea. An unplotted raid appeared from the west over Milford Haven.

A procession of raids, which appeared to emanate from Le Havre area, crossed the coast between Beachy Head and Shoreham, and proceeded to the Thames area. There are reports of bombing at north-east of Hornchurch near Shoeburyness, Southminster, near Southend, near Brentwood, Rochester, Croydon, Rochford, near Gravesend, near Ipswich, near Wattisham and near Martlesham.

One hostile raid first appeared south of Liverpool as a sound plot and passed south via Bristol Channel over the coast in the Portland area. Another hostile raid was first plotted flying west of Liverpool Bay. Only a few plots were obtained of this raid.

Addendum

It has since been reported by Headquarters Balloon Command that one aircraft attacked with machine-gun fire, balloons in south-east London between 2200 and 2212 hours on 30 July, 1940. Balloons were flying at operational height in 10/10th clod. One balloon was brought down by enemy action. No personnel casualties reported.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 31 July 1940

  • Blenheim - 63
  • Spitfire - 239
  • Hurricane - 348
  • Defiant - 25
  • Total - 675

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - 1 confirmed; Bombers - 2 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 2 Spitfires (both 74 Squadron)

Patrols:

  • 130 patrols despatched involving 416 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1480. Casualties 54.

Aerodromes:

  • Abbotsinch, Catterick, Sherburn, Hartlepool and Exeter all unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 650 Squadron (Hurricanes) now operational at Drem by day only.
  • No 73 Squadron (Hurricanes) operational by day only.
  • No 607 Squadron (Hurricanes) operational by day only.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • It is reported by a believed reliable source that raids have been causing serious damage to stocks of petrol, liquid fuel and mineral oils, and the General Staff are concerned as to whether the existing stocks would be sufficient for an invasion of the United Kingdom should it prove to be a lengthy operation. The General Staff admitted that the damage done at Hamburg has been serious.
  • It is reported that as a result of overwork, poor food and inadequate air raid protection for any but Party officials, workers in the Cologne district are so discouraged and exasperated with the [Nazi] regime that if we hold out till October anything might happen

Home Security Reports

  • 30th/31st July 1940

General Summary

  • At about midnight on the 30th July and during the early hours of 31st July enemy aircraft were active over South-West England and South Wales, then proceeding as far north as Lancashire via Hereford where there was particular activity.
  • During the day of 31st July there were no reports of bombs being dropped but activity recommenced about midnight when enemy aircraft visited South-West England, South Wales and the Thames Estuary.

Detailed Summary

  • With reference to the bombing of Barry Docks on the night of 30th/31st July reported in yesterday's summary, it has since been reported that a further four HE bombs were dropped at various points on the docks, derailing three wagons, two of which were completely wrecked. Windows were shattered at the Naval Control, Great Western Railway offices and some neighbouring shops.
  • It is now reported that four HE bombs were dropped in the Hinchley Wood and Thames Ditton area during the bombing at Esher referred to yesterday, and these bombs damaged three motor cars, a warden's post and injured one person.

August 1940

Thursday 1st
  • Weather: Fair in most districts with Straits and Channel overcast. Low cloud dispersing during the day. Warmer.
  • Day: East and south coast shipping attacked.
  • Night: South Wales and midlands targets. Minelaying in Thames Estuary and north-east coast Scottish coast.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a reduced scale and mostly consisted of reconnaissances and raids by single aircraft or small formations. Shipping was attacked and one land target was bombed. Our fighters shot down four enemy aircraft (one confirmed and three unconfirmed).

South and West

Trawlers south of Selsey Bill were attacked early in the morning. Our fighters failed to intercept.

During the day small formations approached Beachy Head and the Isle of Wight, but turned away on the sighting of our fighters. Enemy reconnaissances in the Channel extended to North-West of Cornwall.

South and South-East

Several raids of three plus aircraft flew towards Dungeness; one of these raids was intercepted at 1450 hours by No 145 Squadron (Hurricanes) and one Hs126 and one Ju88 (both unconfirmed) were shot down. We lost one Hurricane.

Off the East Coast four enemy reconnaissances for shipping were reported during the morning and three calls for help were received from convoys. Unfavourable weather prevented interceptions.

In the afternoon following several reconnaissances, a convoy was attacked off Yarmouth and our fighters contacted the enemy successfully. No 242 Squadron (Hurricanes) shot down one Ju88 (confirmed) and one He111 (unconfirmed).

At 1512 hours bombs were dropped on Norwich by one aircraft. From the reports available there is little doubt that this was a hostile Blenheim. Some damage was done in a railway goods yard and two timber yards were set on fire.

North East

Only two raids were plotted - probably Zenit flights.

France

The usual tracks were plotted off the coast between Cherbourg and Boulogne.

By night

Activity has not been heavy, only sporadic raids being plotted. Raids have, however, been over more widespread areas than usual, many parts of the country having been either under red or purple warning at some time during the night.

There appears to have been minelaying in the Thames Estuary and off the North-East and Scottish coasts. Some of the raids off the Scottish coast crossed inland and dropped bombs at or near Montrose, Dundee, Haddington, Armadale and Duns.

Single raids crossed the East Anglian coast, bombs being dropped near Peterborough, Stradishall and Newmarket. [Enemy aircraft] reached the Midlands, bombs being dropped near Leeds, and penetrated to Sealand, Liverpool and Coventry. One raid which appeared over Glasgow, passed south over Cumberland. Others passed in over Weymouth towards Bristol and Cardiff areas.

Other bombs are reported at or near the following: -

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 1 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 57
  • Spitfire - 245
  • Hurricane - 341
  • Defiant - 21
  • Total - 664

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighters - None; Bombers - 1 confirmed, 2 unconfirmed; Reconnaissance -1 unconfirmed.
  • Own: 1 Hurricane (No 145 Squadron)
  • Corrections to 1 August report:
  • The Do215 is now reported to have been a Do17.
  • Enemy casualty by No 29 Squadron at 0015 hours has since proved to be a Fairey Battle of No 1 Group.

Patrols:

  • 207 patrols despatched involving 694 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1468. Casualties 41.

Aerodromes:

  • Abbotsinch, Catterick, Sherburn, Hartlepool all unserviceable during the hours of darkness.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 1 August 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the early hours of the morning of 1st August enemy aircraft were active over Essex and Suffolk and also visited Somerset, Cheshire and Lancashire.
  • There was no activity during the day of 1st August until 1510 hours when Norwich was bombed. Further activity occurred over South Wales and parts of Scotland about midnight and early morning of 2nd August.
  • Detailed Summary
  • A HE bomb was dropped on the site of a military camp at Ince (Cheshire) at 0015 hours on 1st August, causing slight damage to huts and telephone wires.
  • It was reported that two bombs were dropped between North Newton and Lyng near Taunton at 0045 hours on 1st August, and it is now believed that both of these were parachute magnetic mines.
  • Norwich was bombed at 1510 hours on 1st August and this resulted in considerable damage to the works of Boulton and Paul which were hit by HE and IB causing a fire which was eventually brought under control by 1700 hours. A railway pedestal crane was destroyed and steel erectors belonging to Messrs Dawney and Co. were damaged. HE bombs weighing 500lb are believed to have been used. Six people are reported killed and fifty four injured.
  • At about 2300 hours on the night of 1st August enemy aircraft dropped leaflets of Hitler's Reichstag speech over Southampton and Backwell (Somerset).
  • Llanion Barracks, Pembroke, were bombed during the night of 1st/2nd August when one soldier was killed and six injured.
  • A German flare parachute was found on the roof of a house in Carshalton.

Friday 2nd
  • Weather: Mainly fine in the north but cloudy in the east. Channel cloudy. Drizzle in Dover Straits.
  • Day: Shipping attacked in Channel and east coast.
  • Night: South Wales and the Midlands.

Summary of action

South and South-East

Until 1630 hours only three tracks were plotted, of which one approached to within 5 miles of Dover. At 1630 hours two raids amalgamated and flew towards Clacton and over a convoy which was well out of its area 10 miles north of Herne Bay. The convoy was bombed but seems not to have been damaged. A fighter squadron did not intercept. Between 1827 and 1853 hours, seven raids concentrated in the Calais - Boulogne area and flew various courses in the Straits of Dover. Four squadrons were detailed but did not make contact.

East

In the Humber, a convoy was reported on by enemy aircraft, but no attack developed. Two sections of our fighters failed to contact.

In a raid off Haisborough a section of Spitfires armed with cannon attacked, but lost the enemy aircraft in cloud. This raid ineffectually bombed shipping off Yarmouth.

Three raids were made in the early evening off the East Anglian coast but soon faded.

North East

There was no activity in this area.

France

Between 0700 and 0900 hours enemy patrols were very active in the Gris Nez area. This activity was renewed at about 1200 hours and continued spasmodically throughout the day.

By night

Activity has not been heavy, although attacks have been widespread.

The usual visits were paid to South Wales, coming in over the Weymouth area, and some of these raids penetrated up as far as Sealand, Liverpool and Lancashire. One continued across to Hartlepool, turned back and flew home via Liverpool, Wales and the south coast to Cherbourg, but originated from Baie Seine and Cherbourg itself.

Several raids crossed in over East Anglia, (searchlight post north of Bury St Edmunds was reported machine-gunned) and penetrated to the Midlands generally.

Bombs were reported at Ternhill but the nearest fell 4 miles away from the aerodrome.

A raid which crossed in near Beachy Head came north to North Weald and circled the London Artillery Zone. This was later joined by a further raid which came in near the North Foreland, up the Estuary and also circled in the London Artillery Zone.

Minelaying is suspected in the Thames Estuary, off East Anglia, Tees to St Abb's Head, Aberdeen and North East coasts.

Some raids which flew in over Edinburgh passed over to Glasgow, turned south over Cumberland and flew out east.

Several raids of some strength were plotted towards the Orkneys and Shetlands at about 2200 hours.

Addendum to August 1st report

A report has been received from SS Highlander that she was attacked by two enemy aircraft at about 2345 hours on 1st August, 6 miles south of Stonehaven. She claims that one He115 was brought down by a Holman projector and crashed on the poop deck, and that the other aircraft crashed into the sea in flames due to Lewis gun fire. Both aircraft are stated to have made aerial torpedo and low machine gunning attacks.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 2 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 63
  • Spitfire - 238
  • Hurricane - 352
  • Defiant - 22
  • Total - 675

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Nil.
  • Own: Nil.

Patrols:

  • 147 patrols despatched involving 492 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1237. Casualties 44.

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No 1 Squadron (Hurricanes) moved from Tangmere to Northolt.
  • No 43 Squadron (Hurricanes) moved from Northolt to Tangmere.
  • No 73 Squadron (Hurricanes) at Church Fenton - operational by day only.
  • No 607 Squadron (Hurricanes) at Usworth - operational by day only.
  • No 79 Squadron (Hurricanes) at Acklington - operational by day an by night from 0900 hours, 2nd August.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.

Home Security Reports

  • 2nd/3rd August 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the day of 2nd August the only enemy aircraft activity was a visit to parts of Hampshire.
  • Further activity occurred during the night of the 2nd/3rd August over Essex, Buckinghamshire, Derbyshire, parts of South Wales, Scotland and the Orkneys.
  • Detailed Summary
  • With reference to yesterday's report, leaflets of Hitler's Reichstag speech were also dropped over the Brecon - Talyllyn district, Breconshire.
  • Swansea was bombed at 2330 hours on 2nd August when house property and motor vehicles sustained considerable damage. There were five casualties.

Saturday 3rd
  • Weather: Mainly dull with bright patches. Cloud base 4,000ft. Visibility two to five miles.
  • Day: Mainly shipping reconnaissance in Channel.
  • Night: South Wales, with some raids continuing to Liverpool, Crewe and Bradford areas.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was again confined to reconnaissances of shipping off the south and south east coast, and only a few raids approached near coasts; of these only two crossed inland.

Interceptions were attempted but none were successful. Low cloud and poor visibility was prevalent up to midday.

South and West

Four raids approached the coast between Swanage and Land's End in the morning and one of these crossed the coast at St Alban's Head. It flew to Bristol and Cardiff by the usual route and returned on the same track. This aircraft is reported to have bombed a trawler which claims to have shot it down off St Alban's Head. The type is unknown.

One reconnaissance was made of the Isle of Wight; two tracks were reported south of Beachy Head, and in one case inshore coastal patrols are reported to have been bombed. One track was plotted over Wexford.

Sections of our fighters were ordered to intercept various raids.

South East

Reconnaissances were made off Pevensey and Dover in the forenoon, and four raids of 15+ aircraft in all approached Dover at various times in the afternoon, fading before reaching the English Coast. Other indeterminate reconnaissances were made in the Straits, none of which came further than halfway across. Interception was not effected.

East

The East Coast was approached at Harwich, Cromer and Orfordness where a convoy was inspected. Off the Tyne a meteorological flight took place in the early morning.

North East

Two meteorological flights took place between 1100 and 1600 hours, one near the Orkneys and one off St Abb's Head. In the late evening a raid was detected 25 miles east of Aberdeen.

France

Various tracks were plotted throughout the day mostly in the Baie de la Seine and Cherbourg areas.

By night

Although enemy raids were again widespread there does not appear to have been an exceptional number of enemy aircraft involved, since in several instances one aircraft was responsible for a succession of areas to go "red7quot;.

At 2135 hours a raid came in via Southend to North Weald, and a split off this raid turned towards Chelmsford. London Central was "purple" as a result.

At 2245 hours the usual activity developed along the East Anglian coast and some raids crossed inland. Similarly the usual raids crossed in over Weymouth area and proceeded to South Wales. As on the previous night some of theses passed on to Crewe, Liverpool, Manchester and Bradford areas. At about 0100 hours a further raid was sound-tracked on the same course to Crewe and Liverpool. It then turned east to Leeds and flew a track over Digby, North Weald and out over Beachy Head towards a point between Dieppe and Le Havre.

Heat fog was reported between the Thames and Duxford, which made interception difficult.

Activity between Kinnaird's Head and the Forth was rather heavier than usual, and in addition to minelaying, many raids crossed inland. Other minelaying is suspected in the Thames Estuary, East Anglia and Humber to Berwick.

Two raids appeared over the Pembroke area, but few plots were obtained.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 3 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 61
  • Spitfire - 244
  • Hurricane - 365
  • Defiant - 24
  • Total - 694

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Nil.
  • Own: Nil.

Patrols:

  • 144 patrols despatched involving 437 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1485. Casualties 30.

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 3rd/4th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • In the early hours of the morning of the 3rd August enemy aircraft activity was of a general nature, several individual raiders making extensive flights south-west and north-west of England, also Derbyshire and Scotland.
  • There was no activity during the day but it was renewed on the night of the 3rd/4th August by visits to Essex, Kent, South Wales, Cheshire and Scotland.
  • Detailed Summary
  • At 2155 hours on the 3rd August unexploded bombs were reported to have been dropped at the military camp at Laindon Hills (Essex).
  • Further dropping of leaflets of Hitler's recent speech is reported from Epping, Tonbridge and Waltham Cross (Essex) during the early hours of the 3rd August.

Sunday 4th
  • Weather: Fair to fine early. Cloudy with bright intervals at midday, clearing in the evening.
  • Day: Reconnaissance along the south coast and Bristol Channel.
  • Night: Little activity.

Summary of action

Enemy activity has been slight during the day, possibly because of the bad weather conditions in various areas. A number of enemy reconnaissances have been made over the sea, mainly along the south coast and in the Bristol Channel area. No attacks have been reported. Several of the raids approaching the south coast were probably concerned with a convoy which was anchored in St Helen's Roads, Isle of Wight, owing to fog.

Interceptions were hampered by weather conditions. One raid over the Isle of Wight was reported by the Observer Corps to have been intercepted.

North and East Coast

Only three raids were reported in this area during the day, two of which were probably Zenit flights. The third was plotted 50 miles east of Kinnaird's Head, approached to within 15 miles of the of the coast, and then turned back.

East Coast

One raid appeared off Whitby at 1446 hours, proceeded over Thornaby, re-crossed the coast over Flamborough Head, flew over a convoy and faded eastwards.

South East Coast

Four raids, all of which faded on the east coast, were reported. Fighters were despatched, and on one occasion they reported seeing a raid but were unable to contact the enemy.

Southern Area

Several raids approached the Isle of Wight during the day, of which four flew towards the convoy at anchor at the entrance to Spithead. These turned back when fighter patrols were despatched. Two raids crossed the coast; one near Poole passed over Southampton and out to sea again over Portsmouth; the other near Bournemouth, passing Middle Wallop and Upavon, re-crossed the coast near Poole, fading in the Baie de la Seine.

West of England

Six reconnaissance flights were plotted across Cornwall to the Bristol Channel and South Wales area, and five reconnaissance flights were plotted in the Cornwall and Devon areas searching for shipping and giving weather reports.

One unidentified aircraft was detected patrolling for an hour on various courses between seventy and one hundred miles north east of Dunkerry Head.

France

Patrols were detected in the Calais and Dunkirk areas during the day.

By night

Widespread fog was reported. Less than half a dozen hostile raids were plotted.

At about 2300 hours two raids crossed the coast near Immingham; Hull and Grimsby were under "red" warning. At the same time two raids crossed over Harwich, which went up through the Midlands as far as Derby, returned near London (purple), and passed out over the Kent coast having fired the correct signal.

A further raid crossed in over East Anglia and appeared to attempt to locate aerodromes in the Cambridge area.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 4 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 66
  • Spitfire - 249
  • Hurricane - 375
  • Defiant - 21
  • Total - 711

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Nil.
  • Own: Nil.

Patrols:

  • 90 patrols despatched involving 275 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1484. Casualties 30.

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick is today reported to be unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • Middle Wallop Sector came under the control of No 10 group at 1300 hours, 4th August. No 604 Squadron (Blenheims), No 238 Squadron (Hurricanes), No 609 squadron (Spitfires) and No 152 Squadron (Spitfires) are therefore now operating under No 10 Group control.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Several reports have been received of the general success of our [bombing] raids, which are reported to have been considerably more effective in the last week of July. The quality of our pilots and aircraft are now being openly commented upon and the public are nervous as to what will happen in the Spring, when we may have air superiority. They are at present buoyed by the hope, so frequently promised, of the rapid defeat of England, and if this should not happen, the patience of the public, already sorely tried, may well become exhausted and internal difficulties follow. It is reported that the raids have been particularly felt at Kiel and Aachen.
  • A highly placed neutral passing through Berlin reports that the indifference of the population to the German victories has to be seen to be believed.
  • In Holland, a highly placed neutral reports that our attacks on aerodromes have been most effective and the inhabitants of Amsterdam got no sleep at all towards the end of June.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 3rd/4th/5th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Shortly before midnight on the 3rd August enemy aircraft visited Gloucestershire and in the early hours of the morning of the 4th August South Wales and Scotland.
  • There was no activity during the day of the 4th August but at about midnight and in the early hours of 5th August enemy aircraft were active over Lincolnshire, Cambridgeshire and Leicestershire.
  • Detailed Summary
  • At 0014 hours on the morning of the 5th August the military camp at Kennett (Cambridgeshire) was bombed which resulted in one soldier being killed and twelve being injured.
  • Further leaflets of Hitler's speech were dropped during the early morning of the 4th August at Langstone, Raglan, Glais (near Swansea), Helmsley, Wass (Yorkshire), Elan Valley (South Wales), Clydach (Glamorgan), Rogerstone and Christchurch (near Newport, Monmouthshire).

Monday 5th
  • Weather: Temperatures high. Fine weather with slight haze in the Channel.
  • Day: Shipping in Straits attacked.
  • Night: Minelaying between the Wash and the Tay.

Summary of action

A number of enemy shipping reconnaissance flights were plotted off the east and south east coasts during the day; although convoys in these areas were reported no attacks on them developed. Raids approached Dover but were driven off with losses.

Large formations patrolling the Straits and Gris Nez area was a feature of the afternoon.

North and North East

One raid was detected in this area. It approached the Firth of Tay and proceeded to the Turnhouse area. Reports were received of a Heinkel with white roundels on the fuselage but without the usual German markings.

Some ten raids were plotted off the East Coast. Two raids crossed the coast, one over Bempton, fading 100 miles east of Whitby; the other between Hartlepool and Tees. The remainder were possibly shipping reconnaissances and several approached convoys off East Anglia.

South East

A raid approaching Dover turned when fighters were ordered to intercept. This was followed by four raids which formed in the Calais-Gris Nez area and approached Dover at about 0830 hours. These raids were plotted as a total of fifty-three plus aircraft. Four squadrons and one section were despatched to intercept and the enemy turned for home when our fighters were approaching. Two squadrons of Spitfires managed to catch up with the enemy; they claim three Me109s (certain) and four Me109s (probable); one Spitfire has failed to return.

Later in the day other raids approached a convoy during its passage between Hastings and the North Foreland but no attack developed.

South and West Coasts

One raid approached the Isle of Wight but turned back when 45 miles from Ventnor. Another approached to within 10 miles of Bournemouth but turned south before an interception could be made.

W/T [radio] intercepts indicated enemy activity in the Bristol Channel area but no reports of plots off the West Coast have been received.

France

Between 1300 and 1700 hours eleven raids totalling eighty-three plus aircraft were detected in the Gris Nez area. Later, aircraft in this area appeared to be massing for an attack on a convoy off the Downs, but this did not develop. A squadron of Hurricanes intercepted a raid in this area, and claim one Me109 (certain).

By night

Activity has only been slight. Minelaying appears to have been the main objective and only a few raids were plotted as crossing inland.

At 2125 hours a raid crossed inland near Dover, over Kent up to the Estuary (London purple), and back on a similar course. Two other raids later followed on similar tracks.

The main area of activity appears to have been between the Wash and the Tay where minelaying is suspected. Five raids were tracked down Channel towards Cherbourg and later plotted towards Dorset, but only two appeared to carry on towards Cardiff and Swansea.

Four other raids were plotted for short periods off the Pembrokeshire coast.

At 2210 hours one of our bombers reported seeing an Me110 in position 77 degrees North Walsham 18 miles at 10,000 feet.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 5 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 63
  • Spitfire - 257
  • Hurricane - 373
  • Defiant - 26
  • Total - 719

Casualties:

  • Enemy: 4 confirmed (2 by No 65 Squadron, 1 each by Nos. 64 and 151 Squadrons), 2 unconfirmed (1 each by Nos. 64 and 65 Squadrons); Bombers - nil.
  • Own: 1 Spitfire (No 64 Squadron)

Patrols:

  • 99 patrols despatched involving 423 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1479. Casualties 25.

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • None.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 3rd/4th/5th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • With reference to yesterday's report, it has since been reported that enemy aircraft also visited Essex shortly before midnight of the 4th August and Nottinghamshire early in the morning of the 5th August.
  • During the day of 5th August there was no enemy activity over Great Britain but shortly after 2200 hours South East Kent and in particular the Dover area was visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Leaflets similar to those reported during the last three days were dropped at Great Oakley (near Harwich) during the night of 4th/5th August.
  • It was reported that a small explosive charge was found attached to the leaflets at Tonbridge during the early hours of 3rd August.

Tuesday 6th
  • Weather: Generally cloudy with fairly strong winds. Cloud ceiling 3,000 - 5,000 ft.
  • Day: Little activity
  • Night: Minelaying off east and south-east coasts.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a small scale. In the early morning the RAF station at Llandow was bombed.

An enemy aircraft reconnoitring shipping was shot down off Lowestoft.

A number of individual raids were plotted along the South and East Coasts. Misty weather and cloud conditions made interceptions difficult.

South and West

One enemy aircraft crossed the South Coast near Portland and flew to South Wales where it bombed the RAF station at Llandow. There was a ground fog in places and some haze; conditions which accounted for the failure to intercept. Damage caused to the station was slight and there were no casualties.

Nine raids of single aircraft or small formations were plotted off the South Coast between Dungeness and Portland and in mid-Channel. Fighters sent up to intercept some of these raids failed to do so since cloud and mist favoured the enemy's tactics.

South East and East

At about 0630 hours No 85 Squadron (Hurricanes) intercepted and claim one Do17 (confirmed). This enemy aircraft had reported the position of a convoy east of Lowestoft.

No 72 Squadron (Spitfires) intercepted one He111 off Blyth (Northumberland) and chased it out to sea.

Individual raids were plotted off Harwich and the Humber. Fighters sighted one Ju88 off Flamborough Head which evaded combat in favourable cloud conditions.

France

During the afternoon enemy patrols were plotted in the Calais area.

By night

Despite the fact that our own aircraft reported low haze and poor visibility in the south east, enemy activity has been exceptionally light overland.

The usual raids developed off East Anglia, but few were plotted crossing inland. Minelaying or attempts to intercept our outgoing bombers is suspected.

About twelve raids flew from the Cherbourg area to the West Country. Some appeared to lay mines off the Cornish coast. Of the others, one was plotted as far as Liverpool Bay and back, and the rest operated in the Bristol Channel area.

A few raids were plotted from Norway towards North East Scotland, and two crossed inland in the Firth of Forth area.

Other minelaying is suspected in the Thames Estuary and Beachy Head to Isle of Wight areas.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 6 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 67
  • Spitfire - 257
  • Hurricane - 370
  • Defiant - 23
  • Total - 717

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Fighter - nil; Bombers - 1 Do17 confirmed (by No 85 Squadron)
  • Own: Nil.

Patrols:

  • 134 patrols despatched involving 438 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1505. Casualties 38.

Aerodromes:

  • Usworth - obstruction on west boundary of north-south runway.

Organisation:

Air Intelligence Reports

  • "From accounts of people returned from Germany things are in a very bad way indeed. The R.A.F. raids are causing terrible damage. The Huns need more of this kind of thing to show them who are the masters of the air. They must be blown off the face of the earth."
  • A Portuguese writes from Lisbon:

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 5th/6th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Early in the morning of the 6th August, enemy aircraft visited Glamorganshire and, at about midday, Northumberland, otherwise there was no activity until shortly after midnight when South Wales and Scotland were visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Llandrow RAF station was bombed at 0540 hours on 6th August, when damage was done to a hangar and two aircraft on the landing ground.
  • Further to the bombing of Gustom at 2210 hours on 5th August, it is now reported that a searchlight was extinguished and two of the crew injured.

Wednesday 7th
  • Weather: Mainly fair with cloud and thunderstorms in eastern districts. South-eastern districts cloudy. Winds variable.
  • Day: Convoy reconnaissances. Convoy off Cromer attacked.
  • Night: Widespread raids from Thames Estuary to Aberdeen and from Poole, Dorset, to Land's End and Liverpool.

Summary of action

There was very little enemy activity during the day. A few raids reconnoitred convoys and one convoy was bombed. One raid approached to within 30 miles of Aberdeen but fighters were unable to intercept.

In many cases enemy aircraft turned back on sighting our fighters.

South and West

In the morning, two raids were plotted in the Isle of Wight area. Raids were also plotted over Start Point and the Lizard and an isolated raid was picked up inland north of Bournemouth whence it was tracked over Gloucestershire and the Oxford and Reading districts before fading out to sea over the Isle of Wight.

In the evening, a raid of 9+ aircraft approached the Isle of Wight but turned south before a squadron from Tangmere and a flight from Middle Wallop which were waiting to intercept, could make contact.

Later, two further raids - one of 6+ and one of 3+ aircraft - were some miles off Beachy Head and the Isle of Wight respectively but again turned south before fighters could contact.

East

At 0635 hours, Hurricanes of No 46 Squadron saw bombs bursting around a convoy off Cromer but interception by fighters from Coltishall was frustrated by thick cloud from 5,000 to 10,000 feet.

Scotland

At 1040 hours, a raid of 11 aircraft approached to within 30 miles of Aberdeen where the track was lost.

Later, one aircraft was plotted 90 miles east of St Abb's Head.

Fighters were despatched to both raids but no interception resulted.

France

In the afternoon, continuous enemy patrols were in evidence in the Dunkirk-Calais-Gris Nez area, of an average strength of about 3 aircraft each. Some of our fighters on patrol in the Dover Straits approached the Calais district where they were fired on and damaged by AA, but no casualties have been reported.

By night

Enemy raids during the night were over a widespread area extending from the Thames Estuary up to Aberdeen on the East Coast and from Poole to Land's End up to Liverpool.

Four raids, which were plotted intermittently off the Norfolk coast between Cromer and Southwold, were not picked up until close to the Coast and are thought to have been fighters trying to intercept our outgoing bombers.

Eight raids were plotted approaching 13 Group area from the south-east; three raids on westerly courses down the Channel; two raids approached Portland from Jersey and five or more raids approached Harwich where they were obviously involved in minelaying. Minelaying also appears to have been in progress between the Forth and the Humber. Several raids were tracked inland in the Yorkshire area.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 7 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 66
  • Spitfire - 256
  • Hurricane - 368
  • Defiant - 24
  • Total - 714

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Nil.
  • Own: Nil.

Patrols:

  • Figures not yet available.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1518. Casualties 23.

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 7th/8th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • 7th August
  • In addition to the areas where bombs were dropped in the early hours Gloucestershire was also visited and magnetic mines were dropped.
  • For the period 0600 to 1800 hours, no enemy action over land was reported and there was nothing of interest to report.
  • 8th August
  • During the early hours bombs were dropped in Buckinghamshire, Dorsetshire, Devonshire and Glamorganshire; also in the north in the Firth of Clyde area and districts some miles from Glasgow.
  • Detailed Summary
  • 7th August
  • Large batches of leaflets have been found at Fairwood Common, Bishopston (225º Swansea, 6 miles).
  • Two magnetic mines were dropped at Bickenhall near Taunton; both exploded but no casualties are reported. Portions of parachute were recovered.
  • Two unexploded bombs were discovered in cornfields during harvesting - one at 315 degrees Boston (Lincs) 8 miles and one at Meonstoke (135º Winchester 11 miles). Time of occurrences unknown.
  • Shortly after midnight, 7th/8th August, several HE bombs were dropped between Wendover and Bierton. It is not yet reported if the exact location warrants the assumption of an intended attack on Halton Aerodrome. Some windows are reported broken but no casualties or further damage.
  • Poole (Dorset), Exeter and St Donats were subjected to bombing attacks but only minor damage and one person injured at Exeter are reported.
  • In the Firth of Clyde area, bombs are reported at Ardgowan, in Lunderston Bay and in the sea near the boom defence. Reports of the number of bombs vary from 7 to 12. Loud explosions were reported near Airdrie and north-west of Stirling. No material damage except to windows and no casualties are so far reported.

Thursday 8th
  • Weather: Showers and bright intervals. Channel cloudy.
  • Day: Three major attacks on a Channel convoy.
  • Night: Small raids and minelaying.

Summary of action

The enemy's main effort, which developed into three successive attacks involving about 300 aircraft, was directed against one convoy off the South Coast. In the course of combats with these forces, our fighters achieved very considerable success in inflicting 66 casualties (confirmed and unconfirmed) upon the enemy against a loss of 18 aircraft.

There was, in addition, a minor attack towards Dover and this may have been made to create a diversion from one of the above convoy attacks which occurred further west shortly afterwards.

South and West

At 0541 hours, a convoy off the Isle of Wight was reconnoitred by an enemy aircraft flying at 20,000 feet. The reconnaissance was followed at 0840 hours by an attack upon the convoy from two raids totalling 60+ aircraft. The convoy was being escorted by three sections of fighters which were then reinforced by two squadrons and in the course of the engagement 9 enemy aircraft are claimed as confirmed casualties against our loss of two fighters. Two ships are reported to have been sunk. Fighters report that waterborne balloons above the clouds would appear to have disclosed the position of the convoy.

At 1205 hours, two raids originating from Cherbourg (as did the previous attack), and consisting of 100+ aircraft appeared as a mass raid on a 20-mile front and made a second attack on the convoy. Six squadrons were detailed to this attack and as a result, 23 enemy aircraft are claimed as confirmed and 4 as unconfirmed. We lost five aircraft.

Between 1300 and 1400 hours, 3 raids of one aircraft each approached the Isle of Wight and in one case an enemy seaplane was reported. It is suggested (but not confirmed) that this seaplane was being used to pick up survivors from aircraft previously shot down.

Between 1400 and 1500 hours, reconnaissances were made off Falmouth and the Lizard, and a Ju88 is claimed as an unconfirmed casualty.

At about 1615 hours, a third attack developed against the convoy off Bournemouth. This consisted of five raids numbering some 130 aircraft which emanated from the Cherbourg area and fanned out as they approached our coast. By this time the convoys is said to have scattered as a result of the previous raids. Five of our squadrons operated against this attack and accounted for 18 aircraft claimed as confirmed and 9 as unconfirmed casualties. Our losses were 6 aircraft.

South East

At about 1145 hours, a raid originating in Le Touquet area and consisting of 20+ aircraft, approached Dover and eventually turned west along the coast to Beachy Head where it circled and the flew south east. It was intercepted by 3 squadrons and they claim two enemy aircraft as confirmed. Our losses were five aircraft, one of which was a Blenheim undergoing a training flight which got mixed up in the battle.

Two other raids approached the coast in the morning but did not materialise.

Between 1500 and 1600 hours, two raids were engaged by fighters off Dover, and one of these raids preceded the third attack on the same convoy.

East

No activity took place until 1600 hours when an aircraft flew towards the Tyne and a Ju88 was reported near Cromer. A trawler was bombed off Yarmouth at 1656 hours.

France

From 1300 hours onwards, patrols were unusually active in the Calais - Boulogne area.

By night

Raids of one aircraft and 4+ aircraft from Cherbourg approached Portland and Start Point. Minelaying was presumed to be in progress off Falmouth/Plymouth/Lyme Bay and the Bristol Channel. Several raids approached Poole, Birmingham and Manchester and the mouth of the Mersey River and 15 miles north of Barrow-in-Furness. Further minelaying is suspected in the Humber and Thames Estuary and off the East Anglian coast. During the night, one aircraft of No 219 Squadron (Blenheims) intercepted an enemy raider in the Humber area but with no apparent result. One raid came in the Newcastle area. Raids crossed the Devonshire coast, proceeded up to North Wales, then to Liverpool and Leeds and across to the Catterick district and probably went out to sea north of Flamborough Head. Enemy aircraft were also active over Bristol, St Margaret's Bay and Birmingham.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 8 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 66
  • Spitfire - 257
  • Hurricane - 370
  • Defiant - 20
  • Total - 713

Casualties:

 

 

Own:

  • No 145 Squadron - 5 Hurricanes
  • No 64 Squadron - 1 Spitfire (pilot wounded)
  • No 257 Squadron - 3 Hurricanes
  • No 65 Squadron - 3 Spitfires (1 pilot unhurt)
  • No 43 Squadron - 3 Hurricanes (1 pilot wounded)
  • No 600 Squadron - 1 Blenheim
  • No 238 Squadron - 2 Hurricanes

Patrols:

  • 152 patrols despatched involving 689 aircraft.
  • Sorties by night
  • No 10 Group - 8
  • No 11 Group - 9
  • No 12 Group - 13
  • No 13 Group - 3

Balloons:

  • Flying 1501. Casualties 43.

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No reports.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 7th/8th/9th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • In addition to those areas already reported, where bombs were dropped in the early of this day, enemy aircraft were active in parts of Lancashire, Cheshire and Yorkshire, in the North and in Somersetshire, Cornwall and near the Scilly Isles in the South-West. Comparatively little damage was done, except to a Sanatorium at Stannington (Northumberland) - previously reported - and only one person is said to have died from amongst the few seriously injured.
  • Three soldiers were injured at St Donat's.
  • Leaflets were dropped at Salford, Manchester.
  • From 0600 to 1800 hours no reports were received of the dropping of any bombs on land but there was considerable enemy air activity off the South Coast with convoys as the supposed objectives.
  • During the night 8th/9th August, bombs were dropped in somewhat widely separated areas including Cheshire, Warwickshire, Monmouthshire and on the South-east Coast, East Sussex and Kent.
  • Detailed Summary
  • 7th August (not previously reported)
  • A number of bombs were dropped in Somersetshire between 2330 and 2345 hours, notably at Hewish near Crewkerne, at West Coker near Yeovil and near Milbourne Port.
  • 8th August
  • At 0040 hours a number of HE bombs were dropped at Boothstown, Worsley and Astley, near Manchester and at Appleton, Arley and near Plumley between Warrington and Northwich. Damage was slight and there were no casualties.
  • In Buckinghamshire, six bombs were reported in the Wendover - Bierton area. It is now stated that 16 bombs were dropped in this County and the area extended to Hoggeston and Swanbourne. Nine boimbs were dropped in the Bierton area, not six as previously reported.
  • Two bombs fell near a searchlight station about 90 degrees Winslow (Buckinghamshire) 3 miles. No damage was caused and there were no casualties.
  • With reference to the last entry of yesterday's report, it is now learnt that mines were dropped at Stannington (Northumberland) not HE bombs. Parachutes have been found beside each crater.
  • Two objects attached to parachutes fell at Ramsgate at about 1135 hours. They are about 3 feet long and 18 inches in diameter and are reported to be message canisters. When first seen they were emitting smoke.
  • At 2230 hours, one bomb was dropped at Severn Tunnel Junction (Monmouthshire). Road and railway not affected but two slight casualties reported.
  • At Fairlight, near Hastings, what was first reported to be a bomb is now said to have been a magnetic mine. Fragments of silk have been recovered and Coastguards report having seen a parachute. Crater 12 feet by 20 feet in a field.
  • 9th August
  • At 0005 hours two HE were dropped at St Margarets-at-Cliffe (north-east of Dover). Several unoccupied houses were damaged - two extensively - and telephone wires down. No casualties.
  • Nine HE were reported dropped in Cheshire between 0002 and 0030 hours, four at Prenton near Birkenhead and five at Carden near Malpas. Damage to telephone wires only is reported.
  • In the Birmingham area, five HE are reported dropped between 0100 and 0123 hours and preliminary reports suggested that several people have been trapped in damaged houses.

Friday 9th
  • 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

Many small raids approached the East Coast during the morning and were probably searching for shipping.

In the afternoon, several raids concentrated in mid-Channel but turned when our fighters were sighted.

One enemy aircraft was shot down off Sunderland.

In the evening, about 6 raids approached the Dover area and made an unsuccessful attack on the Balloon Barrage.

Enemy activity was generally on a much-reduced scale.

South and West

Between 1300 and 1700 hours, a hostile reconnaissance was made from the Isle of Wight are up the Channel to Dungeness. Further reconnaissance flights were in the Falmouth area and there were test flights in mid-Channel south of Start Point and Portland Bill.

At 1650 hours, two Messerschmitts machine-gunned Dover Harbour. Fighters intercepted and fired at the enemy aircraft but without results.

Later, 4 raids approached Dover and attempted to shoot down the Barrage Balloons without success. Two squadrons which were sent to intercept, saw no enemy aircraft.

Several raids were scattered all over the Channel and appeared to represent portions of reconnaissance flights.

East Coast

In the early morning, several raids were reported off the Yorkshire and Norfolk Coasts searching for shipping. A section of fighters was sent up to intercept a raid about 25 miles east of Southwold but the enemy turned away before interception could be effected.

 At 1140 hours, one He111 crossed the coast near Sunderland, but after being active over Sunderland was shot down by No 79 Squadron (Hurricanes) at 1145 hours. There is a report that 1 boat was dropped by this aircraft but there is no confirmation of the crew having been saved.

Between 1400 and 1420 hours, there was one hostile reconnaissance off Spurn Head and later, one enemy aircraft, which may have been the same raid, reported on a convoy and suggests the possibility of a rendezvous with submarines 70-90 miles north east of Haisboro'. Enemy aircraft have been known to circle in this vicinity on the 1st and on the night of 8th/9th August.

By night

Increased enemy activity was noticeable during the night.

About 2100 hours, one raid came in over Kent and was active over Chatham. Six raids approached the coast between Plymouth and Portsmouth from the Cherbourg area. Several raids - apparently minelaying - were in the Thames Estuary and north of Harwich and probably between Cromer and Yarmouth. About seven raids were off the coast between the Tyne and the Wash steering in a north-westerly direction.

Between 001 and 0100 hours, approximately 12 raids - thought to be minelaying - were off the coast between Aberdeen and the Wash. Several raids came over East Anglia and one over the North London area. Further raids were over Mersey, Weymouth and Gloucester and also North Devon.

Between 0100 and 0200 hours, enemy aircraft were very active near two convoys off Amble and Hartlepool respectively.

 

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 9 August 1940

  •     Blenheim - 64
  •     Spitfire - 228
  •     Hurricane - 370
  •     Defiant - 23
  •     Gladiator - 2
  •     Total - 687

Casualties:

  •     Enemy: Enemy: Fighters - nil, Bombers - 1 He111 confirmed (by No 79 Squadron).
  •     Own: Nil.

Patrols:

  •     142 patrols despatched involving 431 aircraft.
  •     Addendum
    • With reference to yesterday's report, the following enemy casualties have been  reported:
    • By No 43 Squadron (Hurricanes) - 1 Ju87 unconfirmed) and 1 Me109 (unconfirmed).

Balloons:

  •     Flying 1475. Casualties 52.

Aerodromes:

  •     No reports.

Organisation:

  •     On 8th August
    •         No 41 Squadron from Hornchurch to Catterick.
    •         No 54 Squadron from Catterick to Hornchurch.
  •     On 9th August
    •         No 266 Squadron from Wittering to Tangmere.

Home Security Reports

  •  Date: 9 August 1940
    • General Summary
      •  Enemy air activity was slight. Early in the morning, bombs were dropped near Ilchester (Somerset) and also in Sunderland and its environs later in the morning. (The plane in this district was reported to be subsequently shot down).
      •  Bombs were dropped over a fairly wide area covering parts of Lancashire, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Kent, (including the Isle of Grain and Islae of Sheppey), Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Gloucestershire, Cornwall and Monmouthshire.
  •  Detailed Summary
    •   No summary available.

 

 


Saturday 10th
  • Weather: Squally and thundery, some bright intervals. Channel cloudy.
  • Day: Shipping and overland reconnaissance.
  • Night: Minelaying.

Summary of action

There was little activity; spasmodic raids were made off the South West, South East and East Coasts searching for shipping and a trawler was attacked of Lowestoft. Fighters were sent to intercept several of these shipping reconnaissances but the weather was favourable for evasion and as far as is known, only in one case was contact made.

South and South West

In the early morning, a raid reported a convoy at Swanage; the raid then turned and faded south of Shoreham. There were reports of machine-gunning off trawlers near Beachy Head and a little later, two further raids appeared in this area.

At 0730 hours, one raid crossed the coast at Pevensey and attacked the aerodrome at West Malling where AA guns went into action. One raid of three aircraft crossed the coast at Shoreham and re-crossed going south east over Dungeness.

Later, it was reported that an enemy aircraft had been active over a ship 40 miles south west of Pembroke. Enemy patrols were active from the Lizard to Dungeness, evidently searching for shipping.

East Coast

During the morning, attacks were reported on trawlers off the Norfolk coast.

Later, several raids appeared off the Yorkshire and Norfolk coasts and one enemy aircraft attacked a trawler off Lowestoft.

During the afternoon, several shipping reconnaissances were made off Yarmouth and Cromer and a Dornier was active over South Norwich. This raider was intercepted by a Spitfire which fired all its ammunition into it but the enemy aircraft turned out to sea and escaped.

By night

Eight raids - presumably minelaying - were plotted between North Foreland and Orfordness; some of these raids were off Harwich and others well into the Thames Estuary.

A liner is reported to have been attacked approximately 20 miles west of Achill Head (County Mayo).

Four raids approached the Bristol Channel and were probably minelaying as were also raids off the coast of Plymouth.

Four raids approached the coast between Flamborough Head and the Humber and activity was reported south-west of Catfoss and south of Flamborough Head. One raid was reported north east of the Orkneys and one from south of Wick to near Rosehearty.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 10 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 60
  • Spitfire - 245
  • Hurricane - 382
  • Defiant - 22
  • Gladiator - 2
  • Total - 711

Casualties:

  • Enemy: Nil.
  • Own: Nil.

Patrols:

  • 116 patrols despatched involving 354 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1359. Casualties 176.

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • Debden (Nos 17 and 85 Squadrons) has passed from control of No 12 Group to No 11 Group.
  • Church Fenton (Nos 73 and 249 Squadrons) has passed control from No 13 Group to No 12 Group.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 9th/10th/11th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • 9th/10th August
  • Further information on enemy air activity late on the 9th and early on the 10th extends the field of enemy bombing to Northumberland and Yorkshire. In several places, attacks seem to have been directed against aerodromes.
  • Considering the number of bombs dropped, material damage was very slight and casualties comparatively small.
  • During the early part of the day on the 10th, bombs were dropped on and near Malling Aerodrome, Kent, but through the day air activity over Great Britain was slight.
  • 11th August
  • In the very early hours of this day, a salvo of bombs is reported to have been dropped on Landore viaduct, near Swansea, where major damage to the GWR track was caused but several important local works are said to be undamaged.
  • Detailed Summary
  • At 0154 hours on August 10th, 12 HE bombs were dropped on the Skinningrove Iron and Steel Works. Casualties were caused to men working at the blast furnaces but output was only very slightly affected.
  • At 0227 hours on the 10th, 3 HE bombs fell near Cullercoates and the hole in this neighbourhood is believed to contain an unexploded magnetic mine.
  • Between 0045 and 0200 hours on the 10th August, 31 HE bombs were dropped in the Warkworh area and between this place and Amble and at Helsay Point, all in Northumberland.
  • At 0215 hours on the 10th, three HE bombs fell at Marske, near Saltburn.
  • A number of bombs were dropped in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex notably at Weybread, near Pulham, near Norwich, in the Ipswich area, but no damage of serious consequence is reported.
  • At 2255 hours on 9th August, bombs fell on the landing ground of the Marston Aircraft factory, near Swindon. No damage of consequence was caused.
  • At 0730 hours on August 10th, some HE bombs were dropped on or near Malling Aerodrome, Kent. Considerable damage was reported to old laundry block of the Institution and surrounding buildings. There were about ten civilian casualties. It is said that two sticks of bombs, 12 in all, were dropped, one stick in one direction and the other across it.
  • Other aerodromes which have been attacked include Hatfield and Rochester (both previously reported).
  • In addition, bombs were dropped in Wiltshire late on the night of the 9th, near Upavon Aerodrome, near Wootton Bassett, at Avebury, Knighton and Minety near Swindon. Also during the night of the 9th/10th August, nine HE bombs were dropped at Gilwern near Abergavenny.
  • A further number of bombs were reported late on the night of the 9th, over an area of Cornwall in the Camelford and Launceston districts.
  • With reference to bombs reported late on the night of the 9th at Rookley, Isle of Wight, it is now stated that splinters indicate the use of the concrete type.
  • Billingham Manor nearby, which is used as a military HQ, may have been the target.

Sunday 11th
  • Weather: Fair in morning, cloudy for most of the day.
  • Day: Heavy attack on Portland, feints by fighter formations over Dover. Convoy attacks in Thames Estuary and off East Anglia.
  • Night: Harassing attacks on Merseyside. Minelaying.

Daily audio broadcasts, taken from the official Fighter Command Daily Summaries, giving the news highlights of each days action in the Battle of Britain are now available FREE and streamed direct to your PC every day. Find out more information on Radio1940, download the software and hear daily the Battle of Britain news as it happened 60 years ago to the day.

Summary of action

here was very considerable activity during the day, the main features of which were a heavy attack on Portland at 1030 hours, four attacks on the Dover Balloon Barrage between 0730 and 1210 hours and attacks by large formations on convoys in the Thames Estuary and off East Anglia at about 1130 hours.

Sixteen squadrons were in action (some as many as four times) and shot down 32 (plus 46 unconfirmed) enemy aircraft while AA guns shot down a further 5 (plus one unconfirmed). In addition, a further 28 enemy aircraft are reported damaged. Our losses were 25 aircraft (20 pilots missing and 2 killed).

Portland Area

At about 1030 hours, 5 raids totalling approximately 200 aircraft approached Portland and Weymouth Bay on a 20 mile front and of these about 150 crossed the coast and caused considerable damage to Portland. The attack was made both from high level and by dive bombers. These raids were met by 7 fighter squadrons which shot down 23 (plus 22 unconfirmed) enemy aircraft against our losses of 16.

At 1920 hours, one enemy aircraft visited Portland evidently on reconnaissance. AA guns opened fire but no results are reported.

Dover Area

The Balloon Barrage at Dover was attacked on four occasions between 0730 and 120 hours by enemy fighters in formations of 15 aircraft and upwards. Seven balloons were shot down

Attacks on Convoys

At 1148 hours, an attack on a convoy in the Thames Estuary developed and spread to a second off Harwich. This attack came over in two waves and about 100 aircraft were plotted. A number of ships are reported to have been hit.

Other Activity

At about 1455 hours, a raid of six aircraft appeared 15 miles south east of Clacton flying west; a section was sent up but the raid turned away.

At 1705 hours, a raid appeared 10 miles off Yarmouth and patrolled off the coast from Cromer to Lowestoft. This raid was not intercepted.

From 1705 hours onwards, several raids were plotted off the Norfolk and Suffolk Coasts and reports were received of single hostile aircraft shadowing convoys in the vicinity but no attacks materialised.

At 1915 hours, a Ju88 approached Church Fenton and then returned to just north of Whitby where it was shot down on the shore.

By night

Four raids approached Start Point from the south east but did not cross the coast. Seven raids crossed the South and South East Coasts at Portland, Isle of Wight, Southwold and Deal. Further raids were in the Cardiff area, mid Wales, Liverpool and Market Harborough.

Three raids approached the Tyne area at about 2300 hours which were probably minelaying. A raid also patrolled the Downs and may also have been minelaying. Considerable minelaying activity occurred between Flamborough Head and Farne Island. One raid crossed the coast at Farne Island and continued up to Carlisle. Further raids were over Cardiff, Bristol, Newport and Gloucester and the number of enemy aircraft in this vicinity indicated a concentrated attack which, however, did not materialise. One raid crossed the coast near Portland, proceeded over Gloucester to Liverpool thence down to Reading and out to sea by Shoreham.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 11 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 60
  • Spitfire - 247
  • Hurricane - 373
  • Defiant - 24
  • Gladiator - 2
  • Total - 706

Casualties:

Own:

  • No 145 Squadron - 3 Hurricanes
  • No 1 Squadron - 1 Hurricane
  • No 601 Squadron - 4 Hurricanes
  • No 74 Squadron - 2 Spitfires
  • No 17 Squadron - 1 Hurricane
  • No 111 Squadron - 4 Hurricanes
  • No 610 Squadron - 2 Spitfires
  • No 56 Squadron - 1 Hurricane
  • No 238 Squadron - 2 Hurricanes
  • No 152 Squadron - 1 Spitfire
  • No 87 Squadron - 2 Hurricanes
  • No 213 Squadron - 2 Hurricanes

Patrols:

  • 165 patrols despatched involving 767 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1389. Casualties 101 (including 7 shot down by enemy).

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No reports.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 10th/11th/12th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Night 10th/11th August
  • Enemy activity was light in comparison with the preceding nights and was confined to the south-west of England and South Wales areas. In what is presumed to be an attempt to sever the Landore Viaduct at Swansea, considerable damage was caused to private houses and casualties, a number of which proved fatal, are reported.
  • 11th August
  • There was considerable enemy activity over the south east, in the Dover area and in the south west at Weymouth and Portland. Minor damage and small fires were caused in the former area but extensive damage to railways and property occurred at Weymouth and in the district.
  • At 0535 hours, a mine exploded on the beach at Saltburn, Yorkshire.
  • Early in the morning of this day, bombs were dropped at Bovey Tracey.
  • Night 11th/12th August
  • Bombs were reported at Dinas Powis (Glamorgan) and in the vicinity of Cromer Lighthouse shortly before midnight and just after in the Bristol areas where a railway signal box and instruments were damaged.
  • At 0111 hours, mains were fractured and set alight by HE bombs at Lancing (West Sussex).
  • At Mount Batten (Plymouth), two mines exploded on the land at 2240 hours on the 11th. This may be connected with a report "estimated 10 hostile aircraft entered Plymouth area between 2325 and 0108 hours, 10th/11th August. No bombs were dropped but possibly minelaying".
  • Other areas where bombs were dropped included - near Avonmouth - in the Heaton district of Newcastle - at Battersby Moor (Yorkshire) - in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.
  • Note: In South Wales on the night of 10th/11th August the bombs dropped are said to total 48, of which 11 were unexploded.
  • In the Weymouth - Portland area on the 11th August, over 70 bombs were dropped of which 21 did not explode.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Supplementing the information given in yesterday's report, it is now advised that a total of 26 bombs exploded in the Swansea area - plus 5 unexploded. Extensive damage to property was caused - not slight as first stated - and a water main was burst, damaging a main road. Casualties are reported as 17 killed and 8 injured - excluding a number of minor injuries. There was one direct hit on an Anderson shelter in which five occupants were killed. The viaduct will be closed for three to four days.
  • Further reports on the bombing attacks on Cornwall state that 12 bombs dropped in the Stithians area (135 degrees Redruth, 5 miles), were found to have caused craters in line over a mile of country. Two craters reported to be semi-circular with sides as if cut by a spade.
  • Amongst the bundles of leaflets reported dropped in this country, one lot at Pontesbury, near Shrewsbury, had attached to it one spent and one live cartridge. Further leaflets reported to have been dropped in Somersetshire and in Shropshire near Shrewsbury.
  • At 0734 hours on the 11th August, fires were caused at Dover as a result of enemy aircraft attacks on our balloons, some which were shot down. Some slight damage was caused to houses and it was reported a gas holder was punctured by Messerschmitt shrapnel.
  • A heavy bombing attack was made on Portland and Weymouth at 1040 hours on the 11thAugust, when over 70 bombs were dropped of which 21 unexploded. Considerable damage was caused. Signal box and lines at railway station completely demolished, rail services to Weymouth blocked, telephone dislocated, oil tanks burning and serious damage to houses. A public house and two breweries were severely damaged. Seventeen houses were demolished and about 150 damaged. One killed and 22 injured.
  • It would appear from reports received that in the other areas attacked, as mentioned in the general summary above, there was no serious damage caused of a major nature with the possible exception of the main line at Annesley (Nottinghamshire) where the line was apparently seriously affected with a consequential disorganisation of traffic.

Monday 12th
  • Weather: Fine with some mist patches
  • Day: Heavy raid on Portsmouth. Convoy in Thames Estuary, radar stations and coastal airfields attacked.
  • Night: Widespread harassing raids.

Summary of action

Great activity was experienced, the main features of which were a heavy attack on Dover between 0720 and 0840 hours; attacks on convoys in the Thames Estuary at about 1100 hours; a strong attack on the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton at noon; an attack on Manston Aerodrome at 1245 hours; an extensive search in force off the mid-Straits of Dover at about 1400 hours; a further attack on Dover and also on Hawkinge and Lympne at about 1730 hours.

Thames Estuary

At 1101 hours, two raids were plotted approaching Deal. They combined to form a raid of 25+ aircraft which turned north and entered the Thames Estuary where two convoys were attacked. The enemy were intercepted by our fighters and casualties were inflicted.

Attack on Manston Aerodrome

At 1245 hours, the aerodrome at Manston was attacked by 50 enemy aircraft and damage done to the aerodrome and hangars. Four squadrons and one section of fighters engaged the enemy.

Dover Area

At 0720 hours, a large-scale attack began to develop on Dover and continued until about 0840 hours. There were 11 raids in all, consisting of about 200 aircraft, some of which are reported to been camouflaged in a manner similar to our fighters. RAF establishments at Dover, Rye and Pevensey were attacked but not seriously damaged. The four squadrons sent up to intercept shot down several enemy aircraft. Our own casualties were extremely slight.

From 1400 to 1500 hours, a strong reconnaissance was plotted in the Straits of Dover and carried out and extensive search without approaching the English Coast.

From 1700 hours onwards, about 17 raids were concerned in a further attack on Dover and district. A considerable battle developed during which enemy aircraft were active over Hawkinge and Lympne. Our fighters again intercepted and destroyed many enemy aircraft.

During the period of these attacks on the South East Coast, two patrols of about 20 aircraft each were maintained by the enemy in the Straits about 10 miles south of Dover.

Portsmouth Area

Shortly after 0930 hours, one raid unsuccessfully attacked an RAF establishment at Poling.

At 1151 hours, a raid of 150+ aircraft was plotted 30 miles north of Cherbourg. This raid split into a number of smaller raids which approached on a wide front. Some reached Portsmouth and Southampton where damage was done. Others flew over convoys off the Isle of Wight but no damage to shipping is reported. An RAF establishment at Ventnor was bombed and damaged at about 1300 hours.

In the above raids the enemy were engaged by our fighters and suffered further losses.

Reconnaissances

There have been a number of reconnaissances searching for shipping off the East Coast. The was one reconnaissance from Shoreham up to Northolt and one over South Wales and Somerset and it is reported that one aircraft flew over the north of Scotland to 250 miles out into the Atlantic thence down the West Coast of Ireland.

By night

Widespread raids in small numbers occurred over the country. Minelaying was suspected off the North East and East Coasts and in the Thames Estuary and Bristol Channel. Enemy aircraft were active near Bircham Newton, towards Nottingham and in the Blackpool district. About 6 raids approached Norwich but did not appear to penetrate far inland.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 12 August 1940

  •     Blenheim - 60
  •     Spitire - 248
  •     Hurricane - 363
  •     Defiant - 24
  •     Gladiator - 4
  •     Total - 699

Casualties:

    Own:

  •         No 501 Squadron - 2 Hurricanes, 1 pilot safe
  •         No 145 Squadron - 3 Hurricanes
  •         No 257 Squadron - 2 Hurricanes
  •         No 266 Squadron - 1 Spitfire
  •         No 152 Squadron - 2 Spitfires
  •         No 213 Squadron - 2 Hurricanes
  •         No 64 Squadron - 3 Spitfires

Patrols:

  •     196 patrols despatched involving 798 aircraft.

Balloons:

  •     Flying 1466. Casualties 44.

Aerodromes:

  •     No reports.

Organisation:

  •     No 607 Squadron operational by day only.

Air Intelligence Reports

  •     No reports.

Home Security Reports

  •     Date: 12th/13th August 1940
    •         General Summary
      • The raids on the 12th August were on a considerably larger scale than any yet  attempted on this country.
      • Apart from those during the night of 11th/12th August, of which there are further particulars in yesterday's report, the main objectives appear to have been aerodromes, RAF establishments, Portsmouth Harbour and in particular the county of Kent has received much attention from the enemy, not only in aircraft attacks but by shelling.
      • Considering the extent of the raids, casualties, although fairly serious, were not actually numerous. Portsmouth in this respect suffered rather heavily
      • In the Isle of Wight widespread damage was done but as so far reported, not of a major nature. In this area, machine-gunning was reported in addition to a large number of bombs being dropped.
      • Amongst the aerodromes attacked, Manston and Hawkinge appear to have suffered the most.
    •         Detailed Summary
      • In the south-eastern region, Lympne Aerodrome was attacked on two occasions on the 12th and considerable damage was done to hangars and premises.
      • Hawkinge Aerodrome also suffered considerable damage from an attack at 1743 hours when seven hangars and several lorries, services and telephone phones, quarters and buildings were seriously affected.
      • Manston Aerodrome was also visited by the enemy when two hangars were damaged and the aerodrome rendered temporarily unserviceable by a number of craters. Workshops were also damaged and it was reported that various offices and quarters were affected. Casualties are said to be four dead killed and eight injured.
      • Four bombs were reported on Bircham Newton Aerodrome at 2215 hours.
      • Other attacks on or near aerodromes and RAF establishments include:- Pevensey, Dunkirk (Kent), Brookland (Sussex), Poling (sussex), near Thorney Island, at Bosham, near Canterbury, at Bekesbourne, at Ipswich airport, north-west of Martlesham, east of Coltishall, near Wattisham and south of Sutton Bridge.
      • With reference to the Canterbury area, it is reported that between 2250 and 2310 hours on the 12th, over 200 HE and 3 DA as well as some IB bombs were dropped and the main Dover line is blocked. Further details not yet to hand.
      • Other areas which have been visited by enemy aircraft are somewhat widespread in the counties of Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Suffolk, Somerset, Devonshire and in South Wales at Cardiff and Neath.
      • Portsmouth
        •  At about 1201 hours on the 12th August, a raid by a large number of enemy aircraft was made on Portsmouth and district. The harbour railway station was badly damaged, the pier was demolished, a pontoon dock holed and badly strained and fires, which we later got under control, broke out in several buildings including a brewery in the old town. Casualties are reported to number eight killed and seventy-five injured.
        • Gosport district was also bombed and although details of the full extent of the damage are lacking, casualties are reported to amount to fifteen killed and twenty-four injured, including twelve RAF personnel killed.
        • In the Isle of Wight bombs were dropped at approximately midday on the 12th in the Ventnor area and a total number of 72 HE and 10 DA are reported. Damage was done to houses in Ventnor and Bonchurch and the railway line at Shanklin and Wroxhall was damaged. The number of injured is reported as six.
      •  Enemy Attacks by Shell-fire
        • Reports have been received of shells falling on the South East Coast between 1020 and 1115 hours on the 12th when the railway line near Sandwich was damaged, some house property and telephone wires at Dover, houses demolished and damaged at Folkestone and barracks hit and minor damage to property at Deal and Walmer.

 

 


Tuesday 13th
  • Weather: Mainly fair. Early morning mist and slight drizzle in places and some cloud in the Channel.
  • Day: Opening of 'Eagle Day' misfires. Heavy raid on Eastchurch followed by afternoon raids on Portland, Southampton and airfields in Kent and Hampshire. 1,485 German sorties.
  • Night: Light attacks on Midlands, Wales and the West Country.

'Adler Tag' ('Eagle Day') - the original date set by Hitler for the invasion of Britain.

Daily audio broadcasts, taken from the official Fighter Command Daily Summaries, giving the news highlights of each days action in the Battle of Britain are now available FREE and streamed direct to your PC every day. Find out more information on Radio1940, download the software and hear daily the Battle of Britain news as it happened 60 years ago to the day.

Summary of action

The main effort of the enemy was directed to attacks all along the South Coast from Weymouth to the Thames Estuary. Heavy attacks were made:

i. About 0530 hours on the South East Coast. Aircraft crossed the coast from Dungeness to North Foreland and some penetrated to the Thames Estuary.
ii. At 0600 hours, when the coast was crossed west of Beachy Head. These raids split up into several sections which flew about 25 miles inland.
iii. At 0612 hours on Southampton and its vicinity. The attack lasted for one hour.
iv. Commencing at 1525 hours from Portland along the coast to the Thames Estuary. Massed attacks appear to have been timed to take place simultaneously at 1600 hours.

All these raids were intercepted by our fighters which suffered very few losses but inflicted heavy casualties on the enemy.

South West and South

At 0612 hours, four raids totalling 250 aircraft made for Portsmouth on a front stretching from the Isle of Wight to Selsey Bill. The attack lasted for one hour and the aircraft finally dispersed at 0720 hours. Fighters intercepted and casualties were inflicted.

At 1205 hours, a raid of ten aircraft came in east of Portland at 20,000 feet and was joined by another raid of 12 aircraft and went inland for about five miles. Casualties were again inflicted by our fighters.

At 1600 hours, six raids, consisting of some 150 aircraft, approached Poole, Portland and Portsmouth. These aircraft flew towards Middle Wallop and around the district and one raid flew on to Bristol. These raids were made in conjunction with other s further east (see South East below). A big battle ensued and the enemy suffered severely.

Southampton is reported to have been heavily bombed and an attack was also made on Andover Aerodrome.

South East

At about 0530 hours, raids crossed the coast between Dungeness and North Foreland, some aircraft flying up the Thames Estuary and towards a convoy.

At 0600 hours, other raids crossed the coast west of Beachy Head where they split up into sections which flew inland some 25 miles on a northerly and north-westerly course.

At 0951 hours, a reconnaissance was made off Dungeness.

At 1600 hours, some 150 aircraft in conjunction with the raids further west (see South West and South above) made for Deal and Dover. Many aircraft passed inland and were active over the East Kent area. Detling Aerodrome was attacked by dive bombers and Eastchurch Aerodrome was also bombed. Damage was also caused to both places.

Elsewhere inland, material damage was also inflicted. Oil bombs with a splash of 75 yards are reported to have been dropped at Ramsgate. Fighters intercepted these raids with good effect.

At 1839 hours, a raid was tracked into the Thames Estuary as far as Sheppey but the aircraft, after being pursued by fighters, evaded them in clouds.

At 1920 hours, a report was received that seaplanes were flying very low in the neighbourhood of Dover, probably searching for surface vessels.

East

Between 0935 and 0955 hours, the reconnaissance flights were plotted off East Anglia.

At 1725 hours, a convoy was shadowed off Flamborough Head but the enemy aircraft evaded fighters in the clouds.

At 1936 hours, enemy aircraft which attacked a convoy off East Anglia were engaged by our fighters.

By night

Many small raids of 1 and 1+ aircraft were distributed over most parts of the country. One raid crossed the coast near Cromer and made an extensive patrol over North Norfolk and Digby districts. There were about 11 raids in an area north east of Duncansby Head to Kinnaird's Head and Aberdeen and about 10 raids were in the Thames Estuary and the area south of Harwich. Raids were also over Wiltshire and the Birmingham districts and one or two penetrated into Wales. At 035 hours, a "Help" signal was received from a convoy 5 miles north of Kinnaird's Head.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 13 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 71
  • Spitfire - 226
  • Hurricane - 353
  • Defiant - 26
  • Gladiator - 2
  • Total - 678

Casualties:

 

Own:

 

  • No 74 Squadron - 2 Spitfires, pilots safe
  • No 43 Squadron - 1 Hurricane, pilot safe
  • No 601 Squadron - 1 Hurricane, pilot safe
  • No 56 Squadron - 4 Hurricanes, 2 pilots safe, 2 pilots wounded
  • No 238 Squadron - 3 Hurricanes, 2 pilots safe
  • No 87 Squadron - 1 Hurricane
  • No 213 Squadron - 1 Hurricane

Patrols:

  • 192 patrols despatched involving 916 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1501. Casualties 41.

Aerodromes:

  • Abbotsinch and Hartlepool are unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 602 Squadron has moved from Drem to Tangmere
  • No 607 Squadron is operational by day only

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 13 August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Since early on the 13th August, enemy aircraft activity over this country has been on a scale far in excess of anything hitherto carried out. It extended over a wide area from Aberdeenshire to Wigtownshire as far west as Stranaer - possibly to Belfast - to Yorkshire, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, Kent, Sussex, Surrey, Hampshire, Berkshire, Oxfordshire, Warwickshire, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Devonshire and South Wales.
  • Attacks continued from the first hours of that day throughout the early morning and were renewed in the afternoon and again renewed at approximately 2200 hours and continued into the early hours of the 14th August.
  • Aerodromes, shipping and industrial centres have been the principal targets and attacks have been attended with probably more enemy success than hitherto, although not considered to be proportionate to the reported number of aircraft engaged.
  • Apart from aerodromes attacked, it would appear that the most serious effect of bombing has occurred at Southampton and in the neighbourhood of Birmingham where the Nuffield Aero Works has suffered considerable damage.
  • Detailed Summary
  • The absence of fully detailed information precludes a reliable account of the effect of enemy attacks.
  • Southampton
  • At 1623 hours on the 13th August, major damage was caused to the docks and several fires were started in which were involved Pickford's Depository, Raleigh Cycle Works and the cold storage depot at the Old Docks; the latter is understood to be completely destroyed. Casualties so far reported to be very slight.
  • Erdington (Birmingham)
  • The Nuffield Aeroplane Factory was hit by several bombs reported to have been dropped by 10 Heinkel aircraft at 2310 hours on the 13th. Considerable damage was caused to three blocks of buildings but to what extent is not yet fully known nor is the result on production yet ascertained. Casualties reported to be approximately 30.
  • Aerodromes
  • It would appear from reports to hand that Detling suffered the most severely. Several buildings were hit - 8 Blenheims are reported to have been destroyed and the casualties are said to be 10 killed and more than 40 injured.
  • Andover was also attacked at 1700 hours on the 13th when approximately 12 bombs were dropped. Headquarters offices and officer's quarters were extensively damaged. One aircraft also damaged. The casualties are reported to be 2 killed and 1 injured.
  • Eastchurch
  • A heavy scale attack was reported and approximately 12 large craters and 6 small ones were made on the aerodrome. Aircraft at dispersal points were undamaged.
  • Further reports will be issued as and when details are to hand.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 12 killed, 41 injured.
  • To others - 23 killed, 177 injured.

Wednesday 14th
  • Weather: Mainly cloudy with bright patches and cloud in the Channel.
  • Day: Targets in south-east England, airfields and communications facilities along with airfields in the west.
  • Night: Little activity.

Daily audio broadcasts, taken from the official Fighter Command Daily Summaries, giving the news highlights of each days action in the Battle of Britain are now available FREE and streamed direct to your PC every day. Find out more information on Radio1940, download the software and hear daily the Battle of Britain news as it happened 60 years ago to the day.

Summary of action

In the early hours activity was limited to small patrols off Gris Nez, and one or two reconnaissance flights off the coast. At about midday, large raids approached the Kent coast and attacked Manston, Dover, Folkestone and Deal areas. These raids were intercepted and casualties inflicted. There was again a lull until 1600 hours, when a large number of small raids crossed the coast in the region of Weymouth and Lyme Bay and proceeded to the South Wales, Gloucester and Middle Wallop areas.

North and East Coasts

Only two raids were plotted in this area during the day, one of which crossed inland in the vicinity of Whitby, but flew out to sea again and faded shortly afterwards. Two sections of fighters failed to intercept.

South East Coast

At 1200 hours, five raids totalling some 300 aircraft approached the Kentish Coast between North Foreland and Dover, and it was reported that Dover and Folkestone were dive-bombed, and an attack was made on Manston Aerodrome. Eight balloons were shot down at Dover, and a Lightship was sunk off Folkestone. Our fighters intercepted these raids and inflicted casualties. The Bofors Guns at Manston shot down two Me110. After these raids had retired a considerable number of plots were detected in the Channel, which appeared to be enemy aircraft engaged on salvage operations. It was reported that an enemy surface craft and two hospital planes escorted by fighters were seen in a position off the North Goodwins Light Vessel. Of other raids plotted in this area, one appeared to make a reconnaissance of Manston and another bombed the RAF Station at Pevensey. Other raids penetrated to Kenley and Maidstone areas. One of these raids was intercepted on its way back off Dungeness, but without conclusive results.

South and West

In the morning, reconnaissances were made of Portland and Weymouth and several between Cherbourg and The Lizard. From 1600 hours, a large number of small raids of one to three aircraft came from the Cherbourg area and crossed the coast to South Wales, Gloucester and Middle Wallop areas.

By night

There was very slight enemy activity, but a He111, which appeared in North Wales, was subsequently shot down near Sealand by anti-aircraft fire. There were a few raids in Aberdeenshire and over convoys off Kinnaird's Head.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 14 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 59
  • Spitfire - 219
  • Hurricane - 342
  • Defiant - 25
  • Gladiator - 2
  • Total - 647

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • No 151 Squadron - 1 Hurricane, pilot wounded.
  • No 615 Squadron - 2 Hurricanes, pilots missing.
  • No 610 Squadron - 1 Spitfire, pilot wounded.
  • No 32 Squadron - 1 Hurricane, pilot safe.
  • No 43 Squadron - 1 Hurricane, pilot missing.
  • No 609 Squadron - 1 Spitfire, pilot missing.
  • No 65 Squadron - 1 Spitfire, pilot killed.
  • In addition, three Blenheims of No 600 Squadron were destroyed by bombs at Manston.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 132 patrols despatched involving 520 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 600 enemy aircraft were engaged in operations over Great Britain between 1800 hours on 13th August and 1800 on 14th August.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1465. Casualties 32.

Aerodromes:

  • Abbotsinch, Hartlepool, Manston and Hawkinge are unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 602 Squadron has moved from Drem to Tangmere
  • No 607 Squadron is operational by day only

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 14th/15th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Daylight raids were on a somewhat reduced scale during this period, but a number of attacks were made mainly in the coastal districts of Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Dorset and in South Wales. Some factories were hit and railway tracks suffered some damage but casualties were small and production does not seem to have been affected.
  • Many attacks were made on aerodromes during this period, and some damage is reported to hangars, W/T installations and landing grounds. Casualties to RAF personnel were, however, small.
  • During the small hours of August 14th/15th little activity took place, but enemy aircraft are reported to have dropped bombs on the Banffshire and Kincardineshire coasts and at Montrose early on August 15th.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Manston Aerodrome was raided at 1215 hours, and two hangars are reported to have been badly damaged, and some cottages and a farmhouse nearby partially destroyed by blast.
  • Bomb craters have been found in a field near Swingate Aerodrome, and some telephone wires are damaged.
  • Two HE bombs fell on Cardiff Airport at 1730 hours but only craters were caused and no casualties are reported.
  • At 1750 hours, a single enemy aircraft dropped 5 HE bombs on Colerne Aerodrome, causing severe damage to the canteen and some to a storehouse. 1 airman was killed.
  • Kemble Aerodrome reports 14 HE and 4 IB at 1803 hours, but damage reports have yet been received.
  • Yeovilton Aerodrome was attacked at 1815 hours, six HE being dropped by a single enemy aircraft. Material damage was slight.
  • Hullavington RAF Station is reported to have been attacked at 1853 hours, 12 HE bombs being dropped. A hangar was hit and set on fire - several casualties being trapped in the wreckage. Seven dead and six seriously hurt are reported.
  • Middle Wallop Aerodrome was attacked four times between 1707 and 1935 hours. About 20 HE were dropped and two hangars are reported to have been seriously damaged. Three airmen and one civilian were killed. During the same period, Andover Aerodrome was also attacked, 15 HE bombs being dropped which destroyed a transmitting set in the centre of a group of W/T masts, and killed a civilian operator.
  • Kemble RAF Station is reported to have been attacked, but no details are available.
  • About 20 HE were dropped in the St Denys area of Southampton at 1705 hours causing damage to the main railway tracks and to rolling stock. The main line is blocked but it is expected that normal working will be restored this morning. Some damage to property is known but only four slight casualties are reported.
  • At 1705 hours, 14 HE caused damage over a wide area in the Portland - Weymouth district including the Naval base. Only one casualty is reported, but damage was done to some roads, the jetty, gas and water mains and post office cables.
  • About 250 IB were dropped at the Blaenavon Iron and Steel Works at 1800 hours causing a fire at the Napthalene plant and at a house. Both fires are under control and the output is not likely to be materially affected.
  • A number of HE bombs were dropped at 1803 hours at Yate near Bristol, causing damage to Newman Industries Plant which will stop production for three or four days.
  • Between 2040 and 2100 hours, HE bombs fell on the landing ground and RAF Station Sealand, Flintshire. Serious damage was done to the Sergeant's Mess, Sick Quarters and the Guard Room; military casualties are known to be one killed, seven injured.
  • Six HE bombs dropped at 1800 hours near Frome (Somerset), one of which hit the GWR avoiding line. Both tracks were blown up but main line traffic is proceeding via Frome station.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 4 killed, 4 injured.
  • To others - 12 killed, 41 injured

Thursday 15th
  • Weather: High pressure giving fine, warm weather although some cloud remained in the Channel area.
  • Day: Decisive raids by German aircraft during their most intensive period of the battle to date. Seventy-five aircraft are lost during the day with airfields as their main targets.
  • Night: Little activity.

Summary of action

 

    There were five major actions as follows:

  • i. At 1100 hours over the coast between Dover and Hawkinge where about 100+ enemy aircraft were involved.
  • ii. At about 1200 hours in the Newcastle - Sunderland - Driffield area where 70+ enemy aircraft were involved.
  • iii. At 1430 hours over Martlesham, Dover, Deal and Lympne involving 200 enemy aircraft.
  • iv. From 1720 to 1810 hours in the Portsmouth, Weymouth and Middle Wallop areas involving 300 - 400 enemy aircraft.
  • v. From 1810 to 1930 hours from Dungeness to Kenley and Biggin Hill involving 60 to 70 enemy aircraft.

Aerodromes appeared to be the principal objectives. Industrial targets and coastal towns were also attacked. In the combats resulting from the above actions the number of enemy aircraft destroyed reached the record figure of 161.

North and East Coasts

From 0751 to 0900 hours, a hostile reconnaissance was plotted east of the Wash. This aircraft circled for some time over a position about 30 miles north-east of Cromer. At 1300 hours about 64+ enemy aircraft crossed the coast near Newcastle and attacked the aerodrome at Newcastle and targets in Sunderland. At the same time, 17 aircraft flew in from Flamborough Head and attacked Driffield RAF Station. In ensuing combats, our fighters destroyed about 40 enemy aircraft including 10 Ju88s. These latter aircraft were destroyed out to sea off Flamborough Head soon after the termination of the attack on Driffield.

South East and East Coasts

A hostile reconnaissance of the Thames Estuary was followed at 100 hours by two reconnaissances of the Dover Downs area. No contact was effected. At 1100 hours, about 100 aircraft attacked Hawkinge aerodrome. RAF wireless stations in this area were out of action for a time owing to the electric mains having been cut by enemy bombs. At about 1430 hours, some 200 enemy aircraft concentrated in the Calais - Boulogne area and at 1500 hours simultaneously attacked the RAF Station at Martlesham, RAF establishments at Bawdsey, Dover, deal and Lympne, but with comparatively little success. Eight squadrons met this attack and 15 enemy were destroyed.

At about 1800 hours, four raids of 70+ aircraft crossed the coast at Dungeness and attacked targets at Rochester and RAF stations at West Malling and Croydon. Seven squadrons intercepted and destroyed about 17 enemy aircraft.

At about 2100 hours, eight raids came in from the Dutch Islands, penetrated inland to the North Weald area and are reported to have bombed Harwich.

South and South West Coasts

During the morning enemy reconnaissances were carried out in the Portland, Bristol, Cardiff and Newport areas and also in the Bristol Channel and off Falmouth, while from 1300 to 1400 hours enemy patrols were maintained in the Channel.

At about 1720 hours, formations totalling 150+ aircraft approached the Isle of Wight and Weymouth areas. These raids penetrated inland as far as Middle Wallop and were followed by other raids until enemy raids in this area totalled from 200 to 300. Targets were attacked at Portsmouth, Portland, Middle Wallop and in other scattered areas. Ten of our squadrons succeeded in destroying some 60 enemy aircraft.

Between 1800 and 2000 hours, formations totalling 100+ massed over Calais - Boulogne and flew to Dover. Of these, a number penetrated as far as Croydon and attacked. This raid, which turned London Central 'Red', cost the enemy 14 aircraft.

By night

Enemy activity was comparatively slight.

Between 2200 and 2330 hours, a number of small raids crossed the coast between The Wash and Scarborough. Attacks on aerodromes in this area are reported and one raid penetrated as far as Wittering. There were also a few raids in Somerset and the Bristol Channel.

Between 0020 and 0100 hours, diminished hostile activity was confined to the coast between Lincolnshire and the Isle of Wight.

Between 0100 and 0400 hours, some raids penetrated inland to Liverpool, Birmingham, Shrewsbury, Hereford and the Leconfield area.

 

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 15 August 1940

  •     Blenheim - 61
  •     Spitfire - 233
  •     Hurricane - 351
  •     Defiant - 25
  •     Gladiator - 2
  •     Total - 672

Casualties:

  • Own:
    •         34 aircraft of which 18 pilots are killed or missing.

Patrols:

  •     Own
    •  227 patrols despatched involving 1,320 aircraft.
  •     Enemy
    •  It was estimated that about 2,000 enemy aircraft were engaged in operations over Great Britain between 1800 hours and on the 14th August and 1800 hours on the 15th August.

Balloons:

  •     Flying 1472. Casualties 48 (11 by enemy action and 37 repairable).

Aerodromes:

  •     No reports.

Organisation:

  •     No 257 Squadron moved from Northolt to Debden.
  •     No 74 Squadron moved from Eastchurch to Wittering.
  •     No 249 Squadron moved from Church Fenton to Boscombe Down.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • It is reported that work in Essen factories continues during the air raids but that off-duty men arrive late in the morning owing to lack of sleep. It is also stated that lack of nourishment and nervous strain are telling on production. (Source: H.M. Minister, Belgrade)
  • The 'Kolnische Zeitung' of 3/8/40 publishes the fact that those who lose wages through air raid warnings and cannot make up for this by putting in overtime must make efforts under the ordinance of 6th July to avoid such loss of wages by employing themselves in salvage and reconstruction work. It states that this work may be undertaken at their own place of employment or elsewhere.
  • The following information is from a RAF Officer captured by the Germans in France towards the end of May who subsequently escaped:
    • "I was most impressed by the work of the night bombers. I formed the opinion that they must on occasions have found their objectives and their operation throughout the night must have detrimental effect on German morale. I had an opportunity of inspecting a railway station and marshalling yard on the Somme shortly after it had been bombed and there is no doubt the damage was terrific. Trucks and engines had been lifted bodily off the track, thrown on their sides, many of them had been set on fire and the permanent way had been torn up, railway lines buckled and point communication broken. The general appearance was utter chaos and confusion and reminded one of H.G. Wells' film 'Things to Come'."

Home Security Reports

  •     Date: 15th/16th August 1940
    •         General Summary
      • During the day large forces of enemy aircraft were active over the coastal districts of Southern England, and some raids penetrated inland to drop bombs on aerodromes and industrial targets.
      • The north-east coast was visited, but apart from some success attacking aerodromes, no military and very little industrial damage was caused, though there were some casualties.
      • During the night of 15th/16th August, bombs were dropped in Essex, Suffolk and the Birmingham and Bristol districts where scattered damage to property was caused but as yet there are no reports of serious industrial damage.
      • South Wales experienced raids during this period but these appear to have been ineffective.
      • Some reports of parachutists have been received during the period under review, but these lack confirmation and it is thought that in many cases the observers have seen crews of aircraft baling out.
    •         Detailed Summary
      • Hawkinge Aerodrome was attacked at 1130 hours, 15 to 20 bombs being used. Some damage was done to hangars and buildings and a few fires started which soon came under control.
      • At Lympne Aerodrome, heavy calibre bombs were dropped at 1130 hours causing considerable damage to hangars and hutments. Water supply, telephones and electric supply are affected.
      • Driffield Aerodrome was bombed at 1330 hours by 17 enemy aircraft which dropped about 32 HE bombs causing extensive damage to four hangars and three blocks of buildings. Fires were started, seven Whitleys and one Magister were destroyed, with damage to a further five Whitleys. A farmhouse nearby was partially demolished. Casualties to RAF personnel were six killed, twenty injured.
      • Martlesham Aerodrome was attacked by enemy dive-bombers at 1515 hours, and a number of HE bombs caused damage to hangars, the Officer's Mess and to some aircraft on the ground. Fires were started but these were quickly extinguished. Eight Service casualties are reported.
      • At Rochester very severe damage was caused when 20 enemy aircraft made a dive-bombing attack at 1558 hours. Pobjoy's Aircraft Factory and Short's Works were hit and a fire was caused at the latter by HE bombs. Serious damage to the plant and office buildings and to aircraft under construction took place and production is likely to be seriously affected.
      • At Worthy Down Aerodrome about six bombs were dropped between 1730 and 1830 hours but no casualties were caused and no damage has been reported.
      • Middle Wallop Aerodrome was attacked by four Ju88s at 1800 hours, about 24 bombs causing damage to two hangars and destroying one aircraft, damaging five others.
      • At 1905 hours, a bombing attack was made upon Croydon Aerodrome which resulted in the destruction of the H.E. Rollason Aircraft Works and severe damage to the British N.S.F. Factory. The terminal airport buildings were partially destroyed but no damage was caused to the aerodrome surface or to aircraft on the aerodrome. Casualties to RAF personnel were five killed and a number of injured not yet assessed.
      • Twenty-four houses at Sunderland were demolished when sixty HE bombs fell soon after noon. Many other houses were damaged but no industrial premises were hit.
      • At 1300 hours, HE bombs caused fires near an ammunition dump at Burton Agnes near Bridlington. Some ammunition was ignited and a few army cars were destroyed.
      • In the Folkestone, Cheriton and Sandgate district serious damage was done to property and mains at about 1540 hours. Some casualties took place and there was a failure of the electricity supply.
      • At Easington (180 degrees Seaham harbour, 4 miles) HE bombs fell on the fever hospital. Electric mains were blocked at Easington Colliery and a road was blocked. Only 10 minor casualties were caused.
      • At Marsden near South Shields, 10 HE bombs caused serious damage to the Coastguard's hut and to telephone communication. One HE bomb was reported at the Bristol Aeroplane Company's works but as far as can be ascertained no serious damage resulted. The time of the occurrence was 0025 hours on 16th August.
      • At 0149 hours, 16th August, damage is reported from Saltley, Birmingham, where bombs fell in close proximity to the Morris Commercial Car works. Overhead cables are down and mains damaged but further details are not yet available.
      •  Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
        •  To RAF Personnel - 7 killed, 25 injured.
        •  To others - 25 killed, 145 injured

 


Friday 16th
  • Weather: Mainly fair and warm with haze over the Channel.
  • Day: Airfields in Kent, Hampshire and West Sussex attacked with widespread damage. Radar station at Ventnor put out of action. Other targets in Oxfordshire, Essex and Suffolk hit.
  • Night: Numerous light attacks.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a reduced scale compared with that of the previous day. The main activity consisted of two attacks:-

i. Attacks launched between 1200 and 1430 hours against Portsmouth, Kent and East Anglian areas.
ii. A series launched between 1630 and 1830 hours against Dover and the Thames Estuary and along the South Coast between Shoreham and Selsey Bill.

Several of these raids penetrated towards London which received two red warnings.

During engagements, our fighters destroyed 72 enemy aircraft.

North and North-East Coasts

No plots were received in this area.

East and South-East Coasts

In the early morning and isolated raid was plotted in the Kirton area. At about 1240 hours, raids totalling some 250 aircraft approached between Dungeness and Yarmouth. A split of these raids proceeded up the Thames Estuary, then passed south-west towards Biggin Hill and Kenley. Another raid of 20+ approached Croydon but turned back. These raids continued until about 1430 hours.

At 1630 hours, a raid of 100+ approached the Dover area and at 1710 hours a raid of 70+ was plotted between the Isle of Sheppey and Hornchurch and on towards Debden. This raid returned down the Thames Estuary at 1730 hours and back to the Calais area.

Between 1830 and 1920 hours, enemy search patrols were active between Cherbourg and the Straits of Dover.

South and South-West Coast

Between 1000 and 1100 hours, two small reconnaissances approached the Isle of Wight area but turned back before reaching the coast.

At 1240 hours, a raid of 30+ approached Portsmouth and a raid of 50+ approached Tangmere. A further raid of 70 followed towards Tangmere at 1300. At 1315 hours, heavy raids were still reported in the Portsmouth and Tangmere areas.

At about 1700 hours, 100 enemy aircraft crossed the coast at various points between Poole and Shoreham and penetrated to Southampton, Hanwell and Guildford, returning over Beachy Head to the Cherbourg area.

By night

Enemy activity was slight. Between 2200 and 2330 hours, a few raids appeared off the East Anglian coast. Attacks were reported on Martlesham and Harwich. At about 2300 hours, two raids were reported in the Thames Estuary, and about seven small raids off the Isle of Wight, probably minelaying. There were also a few small raids in the Western area which penetrated to the Bristol Channel and South Wales. Between 0100 and 0300 hours, some raids penetrated inland to Bury St Edmunds, Oxford, Shrewsbury, Derby and North London.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 16 August 1940

  • Blenheim - 64
  • Spitire - 216
  • Hurricane - 345
  • Defiant - 24
  • Gladiator - 4
  • Total - 65

 

  • Own:
  • 22 aircraft of which14 pilots are safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 163 patrols despatched involving 895 aircraft.

Enemy

 

  • It is estimated that about 600 aircraft were engaged in operations over Great Britain between 1800 hours on the 15th August and 1800 hours on the 16th August.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1500. Casualties 49 (34 repairable and 15 lost due to enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No 1 (Canadian) Squadron moved from Croydon to Northolt.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 16th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • During daylight, two main attacks were made by strong forces of enemy aircraft. The first took place soon after noon when the Thames Estuary and aerodromes in Southern England were the principal targets. Some success was achieved by these raids, and much material damage was caused, though casualties were comparatively moderate.
  • The second attack was delivered at about 1730 hours when hostile aircraft penetrated to the South London districts and caused damage to property and loss of life in the Wimbledon district.
  • Bombs were also dropped during this period at several points in Essex, Suffolk, Hampshire, Oxfordshire and the Isle of Wight and aerodromes again appeared to be the main targets.
  • During the night August 16th/17th bombs have been reported in many districts including South Wales, Cornwall, Dorset, Hampshire, Kent and Suffolk and in the Isle of Wight, but the damage appears to have been comparatively slight and fires caused by incendiary bombs have been quickly extinguished.
  • Detailed Summary
  • At 0145 hours, bombs fell on the landing ground at Brough, but the only damage reported was to telephone communications.
  • Filton, Bristol, was attacked when 13 HE bombs dropped at 0332 hours and demolished 3 houses, damaging 10 others. No industrial damage was reported and casualties were slight.
  • At 1230 hours, 5 HE bombs were dropped at Tilbury. A vessel and the dock in which she was berthed were damaged and some casualties took place.
  • At 1300 hours, Tangmere Aerodrome was heavily attacked by about 15 Ju87s which dropped about 20 bombs, scoring hits on hangars and buildings. Five Hurricanes were burnt out in their hangar and all the other hangars more or less damaged; it is estimated that about 15 aircraft in all have been destroyed. Damage was done to stores and to the sick quarters, and there are several large craters on the landing ground which should be filled in by today. Casualties are reported as 12 dead and five injured.
  • At 1300 hours, a heavy dive bombing attack was made on Lee-on-Solent Naval Air Station; several hangars were destroyed and other building suffered damage by fire and blast. Some aircraft were lost and the water main cut in three places. At about the same time, Grange RAF Station, Gosport, was bombed and a series of fires destroyed one hangar and damaged two others. All fires are now under control but casualties are reported to be seven killed and fifteen injured.
  • Ventnor was also bombed at about 1300 hours when five salvoes of bombs fell near pylons, and six unexploded DA bombs were reported to be near a railway tunnel.
  • At 1300 hours, 10 HE bombs were dropped at Northfleet (Thames Estuary) causing heavy damage to Bowater's Paper Mills and casualties amounting to 25 killed and 32 injured.
  • Thorney suffered damage when four HE bombs were dropped on No 3 Hangar and destroyed three aircraft by fire. No casualties are reported.
  • At 1720 hours, HE and Incendiary Bombs were dropped at Wimbledon, Merton, Mitcham, Esher, Malden and Coombe, the principal damage being caused in the Wimbledon and Merton areas. An electric transformer was burnt out at Shannon Corner, temporarily cutting off supply to two factories. At Wimbledon a factory and sub-station were demolished and casualties are reported to be 18 dead and 57 injured.
  • Bombs were dropped near Basingstoke at 1730, and some damage was done to railway tracks but single-line traffic has been arranged.
  • At Eastbourne 18 HE bombs fell at 1730 hours in the residential district but damage was very slight and casualties were confined to three dead and 1 injured.
  • At Farnborough two wooden structures in the Royal Aircraft Establishment were destroyed by HE bombs which were dropped at 1745 hours.
  • Harwell Aerodrome near Abingdon was attacked twice, at 1750 hours and 0035 hours, August 17th. The first attack was apparently unsuccessful but in the second fires were started. Further details are lacking.
  • Brize Norton Aerodrome was attacked at 1804 hours when HE and incendiary bombs caused fires at two hangars and damage to the barrack block and institute building. Five RAF personnel were wounded.
  • At 1815 hours, 8 Me109s dived-bombed Manston Aerodrome and machine-gunned aircraft on the ground with incendiary. One Spitfire and two Blenheims were destroyed by fire. No casualties.
  • Two HE were dropped in Central Cardiff at 2350 hours causing one fire which was quickly extinguished.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 16 killed, 19 injured.
  • To others - 72 killed, 192 injured

Saturday 17th
  • Weather: Fine in the Channel, haze and some cloud in the east.
  • Day: Activity limited to reconnaissance sorties. Fighter Command faces pilot shortage.
  • Night: Light raids on the Midlands, Merseyside and South Wale

Summary of action

Apart from a few isolated reconnaissance flights on the South and East Coasts, and over one or two aerodromes, there has been little enemy activity over Great Britain today.

East Coast

Reconnaissance flights were plotted from Calais to North Foreland and along the coast to Yarmouth over convoys. At 1305 hours, one hostile raid crossed the North Sea 30 miles off the East Anglian Coast within sight of two convoys, but did not attack. At 1508 hours, one hostile reconnaissance was plotted near a convoy, but faded going south to Dunkerque. At about 1700 hours, a raid of 1+ aircraft appeared in the Thames Estuary where anti-aircraft guns opened fire. This raid entered the Central London area, and bombs were reported near Hornchurch. At 1820 hours, a hostile reconnaissance was reported over the Thames at 35,000 feet.

South Coast

In the very early morning and enemy aircraft was shot down by anti-aircraft fire at Southampton.

After 0900 hours, reconnaissance flights were plotted along the coast to south of Newhaven and to Bembridge, Isle of Wight. At 1204 hours, 3+ aircraft appeared flying north towards Portsmouth, but turned away on sighting our fighters. At about 1230 hours, six enemy aircraft appeared flying from Shoreham towards Selsey Bill. Fighters were despatched but no interception was reported.

Between 1300 and 1600 hours, about 3 small raids of 1 aircraft made reconnaissance flights between Thorney Island and Isle of Wight. One raid of 8+ aircraft flew from Cherbourg towards Isle of Wight but turned back on sighting our fighters.

Between 1700 and 1800 hours, four high-level reconnaissance flights were plotted near the coast between North Foreland and Selsey Bill.

West Coast

One raid was plotted well out to see in Cardigan Bay, and a ship is reported to have been sunk near Strumble Head. A raid was plotted in mid-Wales moving east and returning. It is reported that leaflets were dropped in the Welshpool area.

By night

Enemy activity was slight during the early part but increased later. At about 2100 hours, a raid of 3+ flew north to Isle of Sheppey. Between 2100 and 2300 hours, a few single aircraft were active off the Norfolk Coast. At about 2130 hours, a single aircraft flew up the Thames Estuary and out across the Essex Coast near Southend.

Between 2300 and 0100 hours, there was rather more activity in the Western region. About 7 raids went north to Wales and the Midlands and some penetrated to Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Chester. Between 2330 and 0030 hours, raids were plotted near Lyme Bay and between Beachy Head and Hastings. At 0042 hours, a raid over the Mersey area flew to Crosby, Oswestry, Birmingham, Nottingham and then south to Poole, crossing the coast at 0253 hours. At 0115 hours, a raid penetrated to Reading, Windsor and Henley. At 0244 hours, a raid was plotted near Hucknall then to Newark and Lincoln and out to sea where it was shot down by a Blenheim.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 17th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 50
  • Spitfire - 208
  • Hurricane - 345
  • Defiant - 28
  • Gladiator - 0
  • Total - 631

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 100 patrols despatched involving 303 aircraft.

Enemy

  • It is estimated that probably not more than 115 aircraft operated over Great Britain between 1800 hours on the 16th and 1800 hours on 17th August.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1484. Casualties 42 (28 repairable, 1 written off and 7 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No 1 (Canadian) Squadron is now operational.
  • No 145 Squadron has moved to Drem.
  • No 602 Squadron has moved to Westhampnett (Nr. Tangmere).

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 17th/18th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Enemy bombing was negligible during the daylight hours, but about midnight 17th/18th August, the attack was renewed when hostile aircraft dropped bombs in East Suffolk, Warwickshire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire, notably in the Coventry and Birmingham districts. Not much damage was done in these areas but one raid reached Liverpool where damage was done in the docks area.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Aerodromes.
  • Brize Norton Aerodrome. Additional information on the bombing reported in yesterday's report indicates that 2 hangars were gutted by fire, and 47 aircraft were destroyed. Three petrol bowsers were damaged and the electricity and water supplies interrupted and slight damage was done to other buildings. No service casualties were reported.
  • Harwell Aerodrome. Additional information on the bombing reported yesterday show that three Wellington aircraft were destroyed by fire and other rendered unserviceable. Three tractors and two bowsers were destroyed but the aerodrome itself is not affected.
  • Further information of damage at Stanton Harcourt satellite aerodrome which is not yet occupied, shows that 30 small bombs were dropped at 1740 hours, 16th August, causing small craters mostly near or outside the boundaries. Casualties to staff were 5 killed and 6 injured.
  • 17th August, 1940
  • At 0130 hours, ten HE bombs fell at Swansea causing some damage to property and 10 minor casualties. The town electricity supply was interrupted for 20 minutes.
  • At 0450 hours, incendiary bombs dropped across Hullavington Aerodrome but further details have not yet been reported.
  • Seven HE bombs were dropped in the Hodge Hill Common area of Birmingham at about 2345. Several houses were damaged, as were gas and water mains, but only two casualties were caused.
  • 18th August
  • At 0032 hours, bombs dropped in the residential area of Aberavon causing damage to house property. There were no casualties.
  • Coventry reports that 8 HE bombs dropped on the south east of the city at 0040 hours. A few houses were damaged, but there were no casualties.
  • Liverpool. At 0041 hours, 4 HE bombs caused considerable damage to Yeoward's Coburg Avenue Shed, Queen's Road No 1 Graving Dock, East Brunswick Granary and to East Brunswick Avenue railway siding. Only one casualty is reported.
  • Woodley Aerodrome is reported to have been bombed at 0125 hours but no details are available.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 13 killed, 15 injured.
  • To others - 10 killed, 66 injured

Sunday 18th
  • Weather: Fine and fair early, cloudy for rest of day.
  • Day: Massed German formations return attacking airfields in the south and south-east.
  • Night: Light bombing in Bristol, East Anglia and South Wales. Minelaying.

Summary of action

Enemy activity resumed an extensive scale after the lull of the previous day.

Two main attacks developed in the South-East at about 1230 and 1700 hours. In the former case, the attacks spread over the South-Eastern Home Counties and in the latter case over Essex and Kent. London Central received 'Red' warnings in each instance.

Another big attack was directed on the Portsmouth-Southampton area at 1400 hours. Interceptions were effected by fighters and 126 enemy aircraft shot down.

East Coast

One raid was plotted off Great Yarmouth and at 1700 hours crossed the coast, flew inland across England to Birmingham, Worcester and Cardiff and then south Weymouth.

South and East Coasts

Between 0908 and 0935 hours, three reconnaissances were made over Dover and The Straits. Three further reconnaissances were made between 1042 and 1102 hours at about 20,000 feet to 25,000 feet up the Thames Estuary.

At 1230 hours, a heavy attack was launched between North Foreland and Dungeness and comprised some 300 enemy aircraft. It penetrated as far as South and South-East London, returning to the Calais area in scattered groups. The enemy aircraft came in three waves; the third, however, appeared to turn back near the coast. Kenley, Croydon, Biggin Hill, Manston and West Malling were attacked.

At 1430 hours, a secondary attack consisting of about 50 aircraft was directed towards Dover, but only about 12+ crossed the coast and these are reported to have attacked Dover balloons.

At 1700 hours, eight raids numbering 200 aircraft approached the coast between Harwich and Dungeness. The majority flew up Black Water and the Thames towards Rochester, Hornchurch and North Weald. The raids broke up on being intercepted and were forced out to sea by 1810 hours. The aircraft taking part in this raid assembled near St Omer and are thought to have come from Antwerp.

South and West Coasts

At 1415 hours, six raids approached the Portsmouth area and were estimated to number 150 aircraft. RAF establishments were attacked at Thorney Island, Gosport, Ford and Poling. The enemy aircraft dispersed at about 1500 hours.

By night

There was only slight enemy activity.

At 2200 hours, a single enemy aircraft approached the Thames Estuary and is reported to have dropped bombs near Dunkirk RAF Station. Between 2200 and 0100 hours, a number of small raids appeared off the East Anglian Coast and three or four raids in the Thames Estuary. Minelaying was suspected in both areas. Between 2300 and 2330 hours, three single aircraft raids penetrated inland to the Digby-Grantham area. Between 2100 and 0200 hours, about 14 raids were plotted in the South Wales and Bristol areas. A few of these penetrated as far north as Shrewsbury and Liverpool. At about 0225 hours, a single aircraft made landfall near Skegness.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 18th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 50
  • Spitfire - 228
  • Hurricane - 396
  • Defiant - 27
  • Gladiator - 5
  • Total - 706

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 22 aircraft with 12 pilots safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 155 patrols despatched involving 914 aircraft.

Enemy

  • It is estimated that about 700 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain between 1800 hours on the 17th and 1800 hours on the 18th August.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1459. Casualties 37 (34 repairable, 3 written off).

Aerodromes:

  • Catterick, Hartlepool and Filton unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No 310 (Czech) Squadron is operational at Duxford.
  • No 607 Squadron is operational by day.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 18th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Two main attacks by the Luftwaffe took place during the daylight hours, the first being made by about 250 aircraft soon after noon, the second in the evening by about 400.
  • In the first South London, Kent, Sussex, Surrey and the Portsmouth area were involved. Some serious fires were started at several aerodromes and damage was done to buildings and stores; some service casualties were occasioned.
  • In the evening, raids activity again seems to have been confined to South East England, and many districts in Kent, Essex and Sussex report bombs, but no serious damage has been caused, most of them falling into open country.
  • After dark, sporadic raids took place over Suffolk, Essex, Thames Estuary and Kent. Some hostile aircraft reached the Midlands and parts of Somerset but no material damage has been reported from any of these districts.
  • A number of DA [delayed action] bombs have been reported in the last day or two, notably in the Birmingham and Wolverhampton areas. One at Hook, Hampshire, exploded when a demolition party had gone to deal with it and five were killed. Near Daventry, four bombs are reported to have been dropped on the night of 17th/18th August, either DA or HE unexploded.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Biggin Hill Aerodrome was attacked at 1330 hours with HE and several DA bombs which went off periodically but caused no interference with routine.
  • Kenley Aerodrome was bombed at 1400 hours and serious damage was done hangars and buildings by blast and fires, one of which was still burning at 1800 hours. Twelve Service deaths were caused and many injuries. The pumping station and waterworks were also hit and temporarily put out of action.
  • Ford Aerodrome was attacked by thirteen to fifteen dive-bombers at 1445 and extensive damage was done to two hangars and other buildings. About one third of the men's living huts were destroyed and a large fire was caused to the oil and petrol stores. Four Service deaths are reported as well as ten civilian casualties.
  • Poling RAF Station was heavily bombed at 1445 hours. Forty-four HE bombs were dropped inside the RAF compound and forty-three outside and around the station. Two pylons were down and extensive damage to stores was caused by fire. Several houses were damaged.
  • At 1252, Malling Aerodrome received some HE and incendiary bombs but no further reports have been received of this incident.
  • Grange Aerodrome, Gosport. A fire in the oil tanks and buildings was caused by HE and incendiary bombs dropped at 1430 hours.
  • Thorney Aerodrome. Twenty-five Junkers' approached the Aerodrome at 1430 hours, but only three were able to effect dive-bombing. A hangar was hit and fires caused. Six service casualties are reported.
  • Serious fires were caused when Croydon Airport was attacked at 1330 hours, and major damage was done to Purley Way and gas mains' in the area. The Rollason Works was hit again.
  • At Sevenoaks, the gas works were hit by several HE bombs at 1330 hours and the gas holder set alight, but the fire was soon under control. The gas supply was interrupted and some damage was caused to property. There were some casualties.
  • At Paddock Wood, twelve railway wagons were set on fire in the goods yard and interference with the electricity supply was caused by HE bombs which fell at 1300 hours.
  • Many gas and water mains as well as electricity services were damaged in the Coulsdon and Purley districts by bombs which fell at about 1330 hours and railway damage is widespread; some lines will be blocked for sometime.
  • At 1802 hours, Deal was attacked by 21 Ju86s using HE and IB. A storeroom was wrecked at the Royal Marine Infirmary and many windows were broken at the barracks.
  • Between 1740 and 1800 hours, HE and incendiary bombs fell on Shoeburyness and four houses were wrecked. Damage was done to water mains and a signal box on the railway as well as to the tracks.
  • The residential district of Canterbury was bombed at 1835 hours but only three houses were damaged and no casualties were caused. HE bombs are reported to have been dropped in the Dorchester and Sherborne at about 2230 hours, but no further details are available.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 16 killed, 6+ injured.
  • To others - 44 killed, 108 injured

Monday 19th
  • Weather: Mainly cloudy, occasional showers in the east.
  • Day: Isolated raids on Britain. Heavy reconnaissance activity.
  • Night: Widespread harassing raids and minelaying.

Summary of action

During the morning enemy activity was reduced to a few reconnaissances by single aircraft over the Southern Counties and off the East Coast.

In the afternoon single aircraft carried out widespread bombing attacks on objectives in South Wales, South and South-Eastern England.

North and East Coasts

Reconnaissances were reported off the East Coast of Scotland, near convoys off the Yorkshire Coast and off Great Yarmouth. Later, single aircraft attacked Coltishall, Honington, Stowmarket and Chelmsford.

At 1809 hours, 1 Me110 was intercepted and destroyed off Great Yarmouth.

South East Coasts

During the day approximately 15 reconnaissance flights were plotted in the Thames Estuary and The Straits. Barracks near Dover were attacked by single aircraft at 1500 hours.

South and West Coasts

Frequent reconnaissances were plotted in the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth areas, some of which penetrated inland towards South Wales and Middle Wallop. At 1345 hours, a Ju88 was intercepted and destroyed near Taunton; at 1500 hours, 1 Ju88 was destroyed near Southampton and at 1715 hours, 1 Ju88 was destroyed near the Isle of Wight. Oil tanks at Llanreath (Pembroke); aerodromes at Harwell, Little Rissington and Shrivenham, and targets near Oxford, Swindon, Wroughton and Burley were attacked. One aircraft attacked the balloon barrage at Southampton.

By night

Enemy activity was widespread but for the most part confined to raids by single aircraft. At midnight some 60 raids were plotted. Enemy aircraft were active off the coast and minelaying is suspected from the Thames Estuary to Northumberland. Two raids of 6+ penetrated inland, one to Derby and one to Middle Wallop. Single aircraft raids were mainly active in the Midlands and East Anglia, but raids were also reported in the Portsmouth, Bristol, South Wales, Liverpool, Hull, Newcastle and Edinburgh/Glasgow areas. Humber anti-aircraft guns claim to have destroyed and enemy aircraft at 2315 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 19th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 49
  • Spitfire - 219
  • Hurricane - 388
  • Defiant - 27
  • Gladiator - 6
  • Total - 689

Casualties

  • Own:
  • 3 aircraft of which two pilots are safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 130 patrols despatched involving 403 aircraft.

Enemy

 

  • It is estimated that about 100 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain between 1800 hours, 18th August and 1800 hours on the 19th.
  • Balloons:
  • Flying 1529. Casualties 54 (35 repairable, 6 written off and 13 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Manston, Hawkinge, Biggin Hill, Kenley, Hartlepool, Abbotsinch are all unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 232 Squadron - the whole squadron is now at Sumburgh.
  • No 25 Squadron - the whole squadron is now at Martlesham.
  • No 17 Squadron - the whole squadron is now at Tangmere.
  • No 601 Squadron has moved from Tangmere to Debden.
  • No 64 Squadron has moved from Kenley to Leconfield.
  • No 616 Squadron has moved from Leconfield to Kenley.
  • No 615 Squadron has moved from Hawkinge to Kenley.
  • No 610 Squadron has moved from Hawkinge to Biggin Hill.
  • No 65 Squadron has moved from Rochford to Hornchurch.
  • No 74 Squadron has moved from Manston to Wittering.
  • No 85 Squadron has moved from Martlesham to Croydon.
  • No 111 Squadron has moved from Hawkinge to Debden.
  • No 32 Squadron has moved from Hawkinge to Biggin Hill.
  • No 56 Squadron has moved from North Weald to Rochford.
  • No 151 Squadron has moved from Rochford to North Weald.
  • No 607 Squadron is operational by day only.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 18th/19th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Raiding by single aircraft, or at most two or three, in contrast to previous days, the enemy attacked military objectives and aerodromes in Southern England in the afternoon. Service casualties were caused at Dover and Chatham, and a serious fire was started when oil tanks were hit at Pembroke.
  • Small raids also bombed many districts in Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent, Sussex, Hampshire and Isle of Wight, but little material damage was caused although there were some civilian casualties.
  • After dark, bombs have been reported from Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire and many other districts in the southern half of England but these attacks seem to have been at random and only light damage is reported.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Little Rissington was bombed at 2300 hours on 18th August and one Anson was destroyed. One service casualty is reported.
  • St Athan RAF Station was bombed with 3 HE at 0003 hours and a hangar was hit and one aircraft damaged.
  • At Broughton, near Swindon, 2 HE and some IB were dropped on Air Ministry property at 1340 hours. No reports of damage or casualties have been received.
  • At 1350 hours, bombs were dropped at Shrivenham (Watchfield) Aerodrome. They fell outside the boundary and no damage resulted.
  • Worthy Down Aerodrome suffered a dive bombing attack at 1424 hours by a single He111. Three 500lb bombs dropped, one damaging a hangar, one on the apron and one near another hangar causing considerable damage to buildings, cables and telephone wires and minor damage to four or five aircraft outside hangars. There were six minor casualties to personnel.
  • At 1420 hours, a Ju88 attacked Harwell Aerodrome in steep dive releasing three heavy bombs and setting fire to three Wellingtons, which were totally destroyed.
  • Coltishall Aerodrome was bombed at 1456 hours and an unfinished hangar was hit and slightly damaged. Several civilian casualties were caused, but the aerodrome itself is intact and no aircraft were damaged.
  • Honington Aerodrome was subject to two attacks, the first at 1615 hours by a single aircraft using HE and incendiaries. Slight material damage was done and four Service dead and many injured are reported. The second attack was delivered by one Do17 at 1825 hours and resulted in heavy damage to one barrack block, two Wellingtons and one Magister. Six craters were formed on the aerodrome and one hangar roof was holed.
  • At 1815 hours, nine HE and incendiaries were dropped on Air Ministry property at Brettenham. No casualties were caused.
  • A hangar at Driffield Aerodrome is reported burning as a result of bombs dropped at 2258 hours.
  • A single enemy aircraft raided Chelmsford at 1345 hours and dropped 23 HE in the residential area. Two houses were destroyed and casualties were 2 killed and 5 injured.
  • At 1515 hours, an attack was made on the Llanreath oil tanks at Pembroke. Two hostile aircraft delivered salvoes which hit the tanks and started a serious fire which did not come under control until 0030 hours, 20th August. Of fifteen tanks, eight are involved containing many thousands of tons of petrol.
  • Colchester was bombed twice at 1525 and 1745 hours. No damage was occasioned in the first raid, but in the second electric cables and telephones were hit.
  • At Dover, five HE fell near the castle and three more inside the barracks at Guston, causing damage to huts and houses and several casualties.
  • Five HE were dropped at Portland at 1610 hours by a single He111, apparently directed at the Mere Oil Fuel Depot. All fell on the Chesil Beach side of tanks and there are no reports of damage.
  • At 1635 hours, a single aircraft raided the dockyard at Chatham, one building was wrecked by bombs.
  • At Ablington, four HE fell at 1415 hours damaging two aircraft on the landing ground. One aircraftsman was killed.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 5 killed, 40 injured.
  • To others - 23 killed, 74 injured

Tuesday 20th
  • Weather: Generally cloudy, rain spreading from the north. Channel mainly fine.
  • Day: Scattered raids in the morning. Kent and Essex airfields attacked during the afternoon.
  • Night: Very little activity. One or two raids in the south-west.

Summary of action

Enemy action was again on a reduced scale, consisting mostly of reconnaissances and a number of raids by single aircraft which attacked targets in East Anglia.

One raid of 190 aircraft penetrated to the Thames Estuary where it was successfully driven off.

Manston was attacked without success by twelve enemy fighters at 1455 hours.

North and East Coasts

In the morning, one raid of 3+ flew to Orfordness and attacked objectives near Chelmsford and Lowestoft. This raid was intercepted and one Me110 destroyed.

In the afternoon, four small raids approached East Anglia some of which penetrated inland. Interceptions were not favoured by weather conditions. Later, a convoy East of Dunwich was attacked and also objectives at Great Yarmouth, Southwold and Wattisham. Two raids were intercepted and one Ju88 destroyed.

South East Coast

During the morning a number of small raids, mostly reconnaissances, were plotted in the Straits of Dover and the Thames Estuary.

At about 1445 hours, 80+ aircraft were concentrated behind Calais and this was plotted as 190 aircraft when it crossed the coast between Dover and Manston and flew to the Estuary and Canterbury areas. It was intercepted and five aircraft were destroyed. It has not been reported that this raid dropped any bombs.

At 1550 hours, 12 Me109s attempted to make a dive machine-gunning attack on Manston. They were successfully driven off by ground defences and three Blenheims.

South and West Coasts

A number of reconnaissances were plotted during the day in the Channel off the South and West Coasts and in the Bristol Channel, and a single aircraft attacked targets in Llanreath (Pembroke), Neath and Port Talbot.

An enemy aircraft attacked a ship off Anglesey with two aerial torpedoes at 1840 hours.

By night

Weather was cloudy with poor visibility round most of the coast. Enemy activity was negligible. A few raids were plotted off the South West Coast and one of these penetrated several miles inland north of Portland.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 20th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 53
  • Spitfire - 240
  • Hurricane - 396
  • Defiant - 22
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 718

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 3 aircraft of which two pilots are safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 166 patrols despatched involving 477 aircraft.

Enemy

  • It is estimated that about 150 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 19th/20th August and 200 during the day of 20th August.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1472. Casualties 41 (31 repairable, 6 written off and 4 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Eastchurch is unserviceable. Abbotsinch and Hartlepool are unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 20th/21st August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Before dawn, hostile aircraft were active chiefly in the Midlands where bombs were dropped at Derby and Coventry and near Sheffield, without, however, causing serious industrial damage.
  • During daylight, the East Coast districts of Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex were raided, and RAF aerodromes in these areas were unsuccessfully attacked. Pembroke and Port Talbot in South Wales were also visited during this period, but little damage resulted.
  • The night of 20th/21st August has been quiet, but there are reports of a few incendiary bombs dropped on rural districts in Devon, Dorset, Worcestershire and Suffolk; there is also some railway and road traffic dislocation owing to the presence of unexploded bombs.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Driffield Aerodrome was attacked by some enemy aircraft at 2245 hours, 19th August, four bombs being dropped from a low height, the first of which burst inside a hangar and severely damaged two Whitleys. The three others caused large craters on the aerodrome.
  • Hatson Aerodrome. One heavy bomb is reported to have been dropped on the foreshore close to the aerodrome at approximately 0200 hours.
  • Bircham Newton. At 0255 hours, HE and incendiaries were dropped which caused craters but did not affect the serviceability of the aerodrome. No other damage was caused.
  • Porthcawl was attacked at 1020 hours, but the bombs fell on a beach near the hangars and only craters were caused.
  • Manston Aerodrome. Twelve Me109s made a diving attack at 1550 hours; no bombs were dropped. Two of the enemy aircraft were able to get in burst of machine-gun fire before being driven off, but no damage or casualties resulted.
  • Wattisham Aerodrome. One Do215 dropped twelve incendiaries at 1850 hours, but damage was very slight and no casualties resulted.
  • Pembroke. Two further attacks were made on the oil tanks at Llanreath, at 0140 hours and again at 1155 hours, but only slight further damage was done. It is believed that six out of fifteen tanks are still intact.
  • About midnight on the 19th/20th August, about 40 HE and 100 incendiaries fell on derby and surrounding district. Seventeen houses were completely wrecked with damage to many others and to roads and mains.
  • Chelmsford was again raided at 0950 hours by a single aircraft and twenty-four houses were damaged and some casualties caused.
  • At 1010 hours, HE bombs were dropped on Port Talbot where slight damage was done to railway sidings and at Neath where slight railway dislocation was caused and some casualties. Ten HE dropped on the Air Ministry Experimental Station at Great Bromley. No damage or casualties resulted.
  • Serious damage to water mains and sewers occurred during a raid on Great Yarmouth at 1740 hours. Seventeen HE fell and an electric sub-station was wrecked.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - nil.
  • To others - 23 killed, 135 injured

Wednesday 21st
  • Weather: Cloudy, occasional rain.
  • Day: Small raids on airfields in the east and south.
  • Night: Slight activity including Scotland.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a widespread scale and operations were carried out in most instances by single aircraft.

During the period some 200 raids of which one or two plus aircraft were plotted across our East and South Coasts. These raids made short runs inland, seldom penetrating more than 20 miles. Bombs were dropped and reports indicate the main objective of these raids was aerodromes in East Anglia and along the South Coast. The only raid greater than two plus plotted during this period was a raid of six plus which approached a convoy south of the Isle of Wight. A number of these raids were intercepted by our fighters and casualties were inflicted with the loss of one Hurricane (pilot safe) to ourselves.

The main areas of activity were East Anglia and along the South Coast between Dungeness and the Isle of Wight. The Cornish Coast was also visited by several raids and aerodromes were attacked.

Of the thirteen certain casualties inflicted, seven were in the eastern areas between Harwich and Scarborough, four were off the South Coast between the Isle of Wight and Beachy Head and two were off the North Cornish Coast in the St Eval area.

By night

Enemy activity was extremely slight. Four raids were plotted crossing the Sussex coast penetrating to Northolt, South London, Reigate, Maidstone and Weybridge. Further enemy raids, mostly of single aircraft, were plotted off Harwich, Aberdeen, the Humber, Firth of Forth and near Drem.

Small-scale minelaying was suspected from Kinnaird's Head to St Abb's Head, Humber to Yarmouth and Dungeness to Selsey Bill.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 21st August 1940

  • Blenheim - 58
  • Spitire - 239
  • Hurricane - 400
  • Defiant - 25
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 729

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 1 Hurricane - pi

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 181 patrols despatched involving 620 aircraft.

Enemy

  • It is estimated that about 150 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain (120 during daylight).

Balloons:

  • Flying 1460. Casualties 118 (84 repairable, 30 written off and 4 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Abbotsinch, Acklington, West Hartlepool, Hawkinge, Lympne and Exeter unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 302 Squadron (Polish) operational by day at Leconfield.
  • No 264 Squadron has moved from Kirton to Hornchurch.
  • No 266 Squadron has moved from Hornchurch to Wittering.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 21st August 1940
  • General Summary
  • There have been a large number of raids by small numbers of enemy aircraft, chiefly in the South and Easter districts. The objectives appear to have aerodromes but indiscriminate bombing and machine-gunning of open towns was apparent.
  • Detailed Summary
  • The following aerodromes were bombed, resulting ion little damage to report: Horsham St Faith, Elton, Watton, Catfoss, Eastleigh, West Malling, Pulham, Exeter and Bircham Newton where there were several casualties. Two hangars at St Eval Aerodrome were set on fire and at Binbrook and Stormy Down aerodromes there was a certain amount of damage to buildings.
  • Presumably an attempt was made to bomb Brooklands Aerodrome, Weybridge, but only damage to the Southern Railway line was reported, resulting in stoppage of all traffic.
  • HMS 'Royal Arthur', Ingoldmells, Royal Naval Training Station, was bombed resulting in severe damage.
  • HE fell at Canterbury demolishing seven houses and at Hastings a certain amount of damage was caused to houses and water mains.
  • At Falmouth, a drifter was sunk and two others damaged by HE and IB.
  • HE were dropped south of Brentwood station causing obstruction to the line.
  • Bournemouth and Poole were attacked, which resulted in road blockages and superficial damage.
  • The Scilly Isles were bombed and machine-gunned and damage was caused to a wireless station.
  • HE fell in Leicester, demolishing seven houses and damaging sixteen others.
  • HE fell in Southwold, wrecking three houses.
  • Bombs were dropped near Thorneycroft's Works, Woolston, Southampton. A dredger was sunk clear of the fairway and water mains fractured.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 2 killed, 40 injured.
  • To others - 4 killed, 178 injured.

Thursday 22nd
  • Weather: Cloudy and squally.
  • Day: Shipping reconnaissance and attacks on two Channel convoys.
  • Night: Increased activity particularly in the Midlands, north and west. Some minelaying.

Summary of action

Enemy activity consisted chiefly of a number of shipping reconnaissances off the South and East Coasts and two major attacks, one on a convoy in the Straits of Dover, the other in the Manston/Dover area. Interceptions were effected by fighters and enemy aircraft were destroyed.

North Coast

One reconnaissance flight was plotted towards Arbroath.

East Coast

One raid of three aircraft was plotted from St Abb's Head and was reported over a convoy in that area. Another raid was plotted over Orfordness; this aircraft was chased out to sea by our fighters but escaped after jettisoning its bombs.

At 1830 hours, a raid of 30+ crossed the coast near Deal and bombing is reported. Between 1900 and 1945 hours, a number of aircraft approached the coast in waves and bombs were reported at Dover, Deal and Manston. Six squadrons were sent to oppose these raids but a few interceptions were effected.

South East Coast

The were a number of reconnaissance flights to convoys off the Estuary and in the Straits and one enemy aircraft is reported to have been 'spotting' for guns shelling a convoy off Deal. Shortly after the shelling ceased a raid of 30+, which massed in the Gris Nez area, attacked the convoy between 1240 and 1315 hours. Two and a half squadrons of fighters were sent up to protect the convoy. Thereafter, several hostile formations were plotted in the Straits, but these turned back without engagement.

South and West Coast

Some eleven raids were plotted on reconnaissance flights along the South Coast; of these, one penetrated to Bristol, another crossed inland to the Thames Estuary and East Coast and a third was shot down over Somerset.

Between 2100 and 0100 hours, enemy aircraft visited Aberdeen, Pontefract district, Hampshire, Bristol, South Wales and a convoy of Kinnaird's Head. Minelaying is suspected in the Thames Estuary and to a lesser degree up to Flamborough Head and off the Firth of Forth.

By night

Enemy activity has been on a considerably larger scale and more widespread than for some time past, and continued throughout the hours of darkness. Raids have consisted almost entirely of single aircraft.

Raids were also plotted in the Bradford, Hull and Middlesborough areas.

Later, one raid of three aircraft flew over North Wales toward Liverpool and Manchester. Manston was again attacked.

London Central twice received the 'purple' warning and the 'red' warning at 0325 hours when 4 or more enemy aircraft were reported in the area. Later, Harrow was attacked.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 22nd August 1940

  • Blenheim - 58
  • Spitire - 219
  • Hurricane - 412
  • Defiant - 26
  • Gladiator - 6
  • Total - 721

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Five aircraft (2 pilots lost).

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 141 patrols involving 536 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • Estimated approximately 190 aircraft of which 140 during the day (sunrise to sunset) and by night 230.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1433, Casualties 99 (88 repairable, 8 written off and 3 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Manston unserviceable until dawn, 23 August.
  • Eastchurch totally unserviceable.
  • Abbotsinch and Hartlepool.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 21st/22nd/23rd August 1940
  • General Summary
  • A number of enemy aircraft appeared during the day, principally over the southern half of the country. Bombs were dropped in the Aldeburgh district in Suffolk and in the Scilly Isles, causing little damage. During the night of 22nd/23rd reports have been received of enemy activity against RAF stations and in the London area.
  • Detailed Summary
  • 21st August
  • Catfoss RAF Station. It has now been reported that damage was done to runway and landing ground. It is also reported that one of the unexploded bombs is suspected to be a 2,000lb bomb.
  • At the Royal Naval Station at Eastchurch it is reported that eight craters, approximately 10 feet in diameter, were made at the south end of the landing ground.
  • 22nd August
  • Manston RAF Station was heavily bombed at 1910 hours on the 22nd and at 0125 hours on the 23rd. Approximately thirty bombs were dropped during the first raid resulting in the destruction of two hangars and two Blenheim aircraft. Some buildings were damaged and the aerodrome made unserviceable.
  • Filton RAF Station was bombed at 2358 hours and the Bristol Aero Factory was hit, but the ensuing fire was extinguished.
  • Guildford. At midnight, a train between Wanborough station and Tongham (Guildford rural area) was attacked with HE and IB and set on fire. One casualty so far reported.
  • Barnstaple. At Umberleigh, a train was machine-gunned at 1615 hours.
  • Brighton. HE were dropped in the Kemp Town area, 100 yards from a gun battery, which, however, was not put out of action.
  • Peterhead, near Aberdeen, was bombed at 2200 hours. Damage was caused to one house, water and gas mains. A signal cabin and engine were damaged, resulting in blockage of line.
  • 23rd August
  • It was reported that HE were dropped at approximately 0310 hours on Harrow, Edmonton and Willesdon districts.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 0 killed, 3 injured.
  • To others - 3 killed, 36 injured
  • Enemy Attacks by Shell Fire
  • Reports have been received that approximately thirty shells of unknown calibre have fallen in the Dover area between the hours of 2100 and 2210 on the 22nd. Considerable damage was caused to houses and a church. Gas and water mains were seriously affected. At 1255 hours, St Margaret's Bay, near Folkestone was also reported to have been shelled causing slight damage.

Friday 23rd
  • Weather: Showers with bright intervals. Cloudy in Straits, Channel and Thames Estuary.
  • Day: Single raids in the south and reconnaissance flights.
  • Night: Main attacks in South Wales.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a restricted scale. In the morning a few reconnaissances were reported off the East Coast and a few raids penetrated inland, bad weather conditions prevented interception.

In the afternoon, a number of single raids crossed the South Coast and attacked isolated targets causing little damage.

North and East

A meteorological reconnaissance was plotted east of Scotland. One raid penetrated inland to the Rugby and Warwick areas and attacked targets with bombs and machine guns at these towns, causing slight damage.

A number of reconnaissances were plotted off the East Coast, probably looking for shipping; weather conditions were bad in this area.

One He111 was destroyed by fighters near Sumburgh.

South Coast

One reconnaissance, which crossed the coast at Clacton, was brought down by AA at Duxford and the crew of five made prisoners.

Two reconnaissances flew over the Walton, Harwich and North Foreland areas and attacked objectives near Harwich without result.

South and West

During the morning, five reconnaissances were reported in the Bristol Channel.

In the afternoon, nine raids of single aircraft, one of which was reported to be a meteorological flight, approached the coast between Selsey Bill and Lyme but turned away. Later, eleven individual aircraft penetrated inland and attacked scattered targets in Devon and Hampshire.

One Ju88 was destroyed in the Weymouth area by fighter action.

By night

Enemy activity was widespread although not on the scale of the previous night.

The largest of the raids were in the Bristol and South Wales area, Cardiff receiving several visits.

Raids were reported over East Anglia and northwards along the coast to Middlesborough, Harrogate and York. Kent was also visited.

Five raids were also plotted in the Birmingham area where AA guns were in action.

Convoys off Wick and Cromer were visited.

Five raids were plotted between Land's End and Falmouth. Minelaying was suspected in areas Portsmouth, Lizard-Land's End, Bristol Channel and Carmarthen Bay.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 23rd August 1940

  • Blenheim - 55
  • Spitire - 236
  • Hurricane - 410
  • Defiant - 26
  • Gladiator - 6
  • Total - 733

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 200 patrols involving 507 aircraft.

Enemy

  • 320 aircraft, of which 250 between 2100 hours on 22nd August and 0900 hours on 23rd August, and 70 between 0900 hours and 2100 hours on the 23rd.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1442, casualties 63 (50 repairable, 12 written off and 1 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Filton, Hartlepool, Abbotsinch, Manston and Exeter are unserviceable during the hours of darkness.

Organisation:

  • No 141 Squadron moved from Prestwick to Montrose and Dyce.
  • No 603 Squadron moved from Montrose and Dyce to Turnhouse.
  • No 253 Squadron moved from Turnhouse to Prestwick.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 23rd/24th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • The approximate number of HE bombs dropped in this country from 3rd September 1939 to 3rd August 1940 inclusive is 5,800. These figures are based on reports received from all sources and where later reports indicate that the original figures were incorrect, necessary adjustments have been made. Of these, between 2% and 4% were 250-kilo, the remainder being 50-kilo. This figure does not include bombs dropped on convoys or other ships at sea.
  • The majority of daylight raids were carried out in the South and the Midlands and damage on the whole was slight. There are several reports of machine-gunning by enemy aircraft, which resulted in little damage. It is reported that Birmingham and South Wales were attacked by night.
  • Detailed Summary
  • 23rd August
  • It was reported from Durham that enemy aircraft machine-gunned a searchlight and wardens' post at Whitburn (360 degrees Sunderland, 3½ miles). It was reported from the same area that an enemy aircraft was shot down by AA fire at 0056 hours on the 23rd.
  • Daventry. The BBC wireless station was machine-gunned at 1150 hours. One person was injured.
  • A factory in the progress of being built at Kites Hardwick, near Rugby, was machine-gunned resulting in several workmen being wounded. The village of Grandborough was also machine-gunned by the same aircraft.
  • Witney, Oxon. Leafield wireless station was machine-gunned with no damage reported.
  • Bridlington in Yorkshire was bombed at 0250 hours and suffered considerable damage, particularly to a café where several people were trapped. Casualties - 4 killed and one injured.
  • Bristol area was raided three times during the night of 22nd/23rd over a period of 2½ hours. Property suffered considerable damage and the main road (the A38) was blocked between Almondsbury and Woodlands Lane.
  • New Milton (Hampshire) was attacked in the early evening and serious damage was done. Telephone and high-tension cables were damaged, putting the air raid siren out of order. Casualties - 23 killed and 20 injured.
  • 24th August
  • Birmingham. It has been reported that at 0315 hours enemy aircraft attacked the city and IB were dropped near the Nuffield Factory at Castle Bromwich.
  • At 0535 hours, HE fell on Fort Dunlop, causing damage to buildings, steam and gas mains. It is reported that the fire has been extinguished. Two casualties.
  • It is also reported that HE fell on the Repairable Equipment Depot No 1, Castle Bromwich. Some damage, no casualties.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - nil.
  • To others - 34 killed, 107 injured

Saturday 24th
  • Weather: Fine and clear in the south, drizzle in the north.
  • Day: Airfield attacks in south-east; Manston evacuated. Heavy raid on Portsmouth.
  • Night: Heavier attacks over wide area. Minelaying.

Summary of action

The main enemy activity consisted of six large raids which crossed the Kentish coast and in two cases flew up the Estuary towards London. A large number of enemy aircraft attacked targets in the Portsmouth area.

Preliminary reports state that our aircraft destroyed 40 enemy aircraft at the cost of 20 to ourselves but only six of our pilots were lost.

North East

Reconnaissance aircraft were reported off the East Coasts of Scotland and the Orkneys during the afternoon.

In the early morning there were two small raids off East Anglia and a target at Gorleston was attacked.

South East

Between 0600 and 0800 hours, a series of raids totalling 80+ aircraft crossed the coast in the Dover-Dungeness areas and flew towards North Foreland and Gravesend. Fighters intercepted and dispersed these raids, destroying four enemy aircraft.

At 1000 hours, Dover was shelled and a little later about 100 enemy aircraft were plotted to Dover and Manston in which places were heavily attacked. Fighters again drove off the enemy inflicting a reported loss of three enemy aircraft.

At 1230 hours, about 50 enemy aircraft again approached Dover and Manston and were engaged by fighters. Enemy losses were estimated as seven aircraft.

Between 1300 hours and 1400 hours, about 30 enemy aircraft were engaged over the North Foreland and Deal areas.

At 1500 hours, four raids crossed the Kentish Coast and one of these penetrated to the eastern outskirts of London, attacking targets in Upminster, Dagenham and Essex areas. These raids were heavily engaged and it is reported fighters destroyed about 20 hostile aircraft.

At 1845 hours, 110+ hostile aircraft crossed the coast near Dover and Dungeness and penetrated to Maidstone but turned away on despatch of our fighters apparently without attacking any objectives.

South and West

Activity up to 1600 hours was limited to reconnaissance in the Channel and in the Middle Wallop district. At 1600 hours, 50+ enemy aircraft approached Selsey Bill in a wide front and attacked objectives at Portsmouth.

By night

Enemy activity was on a widespread and continuous scale over Southern and Western England, South Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia and Yorkshire.

London Central was under 'Red' warning for nearly two hours, and the City of London, Millwall, Tottenham, Islington, Enfield, Hampton, Kingston and Watford were attacked.

Birmingham was visited continuously for over four hours and there were repeated raids in the Devon, Bristol, Gloucester and South Wales areas.

Raids were also reported in the Liverpool, Sheffield, Bradford, Hull and Middlesborough districts, and in Kent, Hampshire, Reading, Oxford and East Anglian districts.

Minelaying is suspected off the Lancashire coast, in the Channel off Lyme Bay and Weymouth, and extensively off the Thames Estuary, East Anglia, the North Foreland and Flamborough Head.

Enemy aircraft also attacked Newcastle and the London area received a second visit.

It is reported that one He111 was destroyed by fighter action +1 probable.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 24th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 63
  • Spitfire - 238
  • Hurricane - 408
  • Defiant - 23
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 740

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 20 aircraft with 6 pilots and 4 air gunners lost or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 187 patrols involving 985 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that during the night of 23rd/24th August, 200 aircraft were in action, and during the day of 24th August about 500 aircraft.
  • Balloons:
  • Flying 1462, casualties 88 (82 repairable, 4 written off, 2 by enemy action)

Aerodromes:

  • Manston unserviceable
  • North Weald, Abbotsinch and Hartlepool unserviceable during the hours of darkness.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 24th/25th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Heavy attacks have been made by enemy aircraft on Ramsgate and Portsmouth today, and damage to these towns has been extensive, but casualties were fewer than expected. Several RAF stations have been attacked during the day and night with varying results.
  • From midnight on the 24th onwards, London and southern counties in particular Surrey have been bombed.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • 24th August
  • Manston Aerodrome was attacked at 1311 hours and set on fire; a further attack was delivered at 1539 hours, resulting in the evacuation of the RAF.
  • Ramsgate. A number of bombs were dropped resulting in damage to airport buildings and houses. ARP personnel were machine-gunned by two low-flying aircraft. Casualties not reported.
  • North Weald was attacked in the afternoon and a wireless station slightly damaged. Electric, gas and water mains suffered and road A122 blocked. Many casualties reported.
  • St Athan was attacked at 2100 hours. Several HE demolished part of the RAF hospital.
  • It is also reported that Castle Bromwich, Hornchurch and Gravesend have been attacked, but no details are available.
  • 25th August
  • Driffield was reported to have been bombed at about 0130 hours. The Sergeant's Mess was hit and a searchlight bombed and put out of action. No casualties reported so far.
  • Other Areas
  • 24th August
  • Ramsgate. At 1138 hours, an attack was made which resulted in severe damage to the gas works and sulphur plant. Direct hits were made on military headquarters and Customs House. Mains were fractured and houses demolished with many casualties.
  • Portsmouth was attacked at 1623 hours and the damage in the city was heavy and widespread. Local rail services were affected and two naval units in the harbour were badly damaged. Approximately two hundred are homeless and it is reported that there are at least 55 killed and 225 injured.
  • 25th August
  • London and suburbs were attacked in the early hours and the following districts are reported as having been bombed: Canonsbury Park, Tottenham, Highbury Park, Leyton, Wood Green, Stepney, Islington, Enfield, Hampton Court, Millwall and others. A large fire was started at Fore Street spreading to London Wall. Neill Warehouse, West India Dock, was badly damaged by fire, and Warehouse Nos 3 and 4 are now reported to be ablaze. At 0240 hours, it was reported that the Imperial Tobacco Factory and Carter Patterson's Works in Goswell Road were on fire but only slight damage has since been reported.
  • The following places were also bombed: Malden, Coulsdon, Feltham, Kingston, Banstead and Epsom.
  • Birmingham. It is reported that the Nuffield and Dunlop Factories have again been bombed at 0003 hours, but no damage reported. Castle Bromwich Aeroplane Factory at Erdington was hit but no damage reported. The Moss Gear Co Ltd was hit with very slight damage.
  • Cardiff. It is reported that the main GWR line is unserviceable between Cardiff and west Wales owing to a train being bombed at Cardiff.
  • A gun site at Datchet, Buckinghamshire, was bombed at 0100 hours and the ammunition blown up.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - no killed, 1 injured.
  • To others - 102 killed, 335 injured.
  • Enemy Action by Shell Fire
  • Reports have been received that Dover and Folkestone were shelled at approximately 1000 hours on the 24th August. Four shells fell near Hawkinge Aerodrome (Folkestone), but little damage reported otherwise. The interval between the shells fired was about 8 minutes.

Sunday 25th
  • Weather: Early morning fair but remainder of day cloudy.
  • Day: Slight activity in the morning, main raids by Luftflotte 3 in the south-west during the afternoon.
  • Night: Continued widespread attacks with the main concentration in the Midlands.

Summary of action

Enemy activity up to 1700 hours was on a restricted scale but later, mass raids assembled in the Cherbourg and crossed to Weymouth and Warmwell. A large assembly was plotted near Calais resulting in an attack on East Kent, the Isle of Sheppey and Thames Estuary.

North and East Coast

Two reconnaissance flights were plotted off the Scottish Coast and several off East Anglia.

South East Coast

There was little activity in this area until 1815 hours when raids of 50 and 30+ circled over Calais and proceeded to Dover and Hawkinge. Of these aircraft, 30 crossed to the Isle of Sheppey and after passing Eastchurch split - one raid being plotted along the north side of the Estuary and the other the south. These raids were followed by a further 12+ approaching Dover, but by 1940 hours the activity in this area had ceased. Enemy casualties were estimated at five.

South West Coast

In the morning, two raids were plotted over Portsmouth, Portland Bill and Start Point. In the afternoon, isolated reconnaissance flights were made east of Selsey and in the west inland of Yeovil and over Lyme Bay. Other raids were plotted between the Lizard and Land's End and off the West Cornish Coast.

West Coast

A number of reconnaissance flights were made toward Milford Haven and four further raids were plotted in this area.

It is reported that merchant ships were attacked off St David's Head.

By night

Enemy activity was on a large scale until 0200 hours, after which time the number of attackers was gradually reduced.

The whole of England and Wales south of a line from the Humber to Cardigan Bay was under either red or purple warning for a great part of the night. Large numbers of enemy aircraft coming from Holland and Best, crossed the British Coast at numerous points between Land's End and Skegness.

The most visited districts were South Wales, Bristol, Birmingham, Coventry and other Midland districts, Middlesborough, Newcastle and East Anglia.

A few raids were plotted off Wick and Aberdeen.

London Central was twice under read and five times under purple warning.

Minelaying was suspected from the Isle of Wight along the entire coast to Flamborough Head and near Montros

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 25th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 54
  • Spitfire - 233
  • Hurricane - 416
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 6
  • Total - 727

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 16 aircraft with 10 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 150 patrols involving 506 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • Estimated during the night of 24th/25th August, 300 aircraft. Estimated during the day of the 25th August, 250 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1506, casualties 45 (30 repairable, 3 written off, 12 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Manston unserviceable, expected to be serviceable some time on the 26th August. Has not yet been evacuated as reported in an earlier paragraph.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date:24th/25th/26th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the day, there has not been a great deal of enemy activity. Bombs have been dropped on the Scilly Isles and South Wales. During the night, enemy aircraft have attacked the Midlands and southern areas.
  • Detailed Summary
  • 24th August
  • London. It is reported that all fires have been extinguished now and the city is free of unexploded bombs. Casualties are reported as 9 killed, 58 injured and over 100 persons in Bethnal Green were rendered homeless.
  • Ramsgate. It has now been ascertained that seventy-eight houses have been completely wrecked, three hundred are not fit for habitation and seven hundred are damaged. The gas works were destroyed, but all fires are out.
  • Portsmouth. The general position is now satisfactory, but a great deal of damage has been done. There are approximately seven hundred person homeless, and casualties are 83 killed and 191 injured.
  • 25th August
  • Catterick, Acklington and White Waltham RAF Stations were attacked but there are no details of results.
  • Warmwell RAF Station was bombed at 1725 hours, and some damage was done to the roof and wall of one hangar. The sick quarters were burnt out and the telephone exchange temporarily put out of order. No casualties have been reported and the aerodrome is serviceable. One Battle and one Wellington were slightly damaged.
  • Scilly Isles. Large numbers of IB and HE bombs were dropped causing fires which are, however, under control. A direct hit was obtained on the RAF wireless station, but damage was only slight.
  • Billingham (Durham) was attacked at 0200 hours and the ICI Factory hit. A small fire resulted which, however, did not interfere with production.
  • Pembroke Dock was attacked at 1345 hours and bombs were dropped near the oil tanks which resulted in very slight damage.
  • Plymouth. Six bombs were dropped on the dockyard at 2125 hours. Minor damage and five casualties in the naval barracks.
  • Coventry was bombed at 2205 hours and a large theatre and other property damaged. A fire was reported at Rootes Securities Ltd, No 2 Engine Factory, Ryton-on-Dunsmore. Extent of damage not known.
  • Newcastle-on-Tyne. An explosion occurred of an unsuspected bomb which caused damage to Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd, Hepturn Works. Effect on production not yet known.
  • 26th August
  • Croydon was bombed at 0150 hours and minor damage caused. Roads were blocked and the Whaddon Estate Factory site was hit. It is also reported that the north-west corner of the airport was bombed.
  • Birmingham was bombed early in the morning and it has been reported that City Market Hall was damaged together with other property in the city centre. At 0538 hours, the Birmingham Electric Furnace Co Ltd (Parent Company Mond Nickel), Birdlee Works, Erdington was hit. No information received yet re extent of damage. It is also reported that the British Timken Ltd of Chesten Road was hit by HE bombs and suffered extensive damage. Effect on production not yet known.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - none killed, 4 injured.
  • To others - 84 killed, 233 injured.

Corrigendum

  • As referred to earlier, Manston Aerodrome has not yet been evacuated and is expected to be serviceable again on 26th August 1940.

Monday 26th
  • Weather: Mainly cloudy but dry. Brighter in the south.
  • Day: Dover, Folkestone and airfields in Kent and Essex attacked. Lesser raids in the Solent.
  • Night: Widespread raids, Industrial areas and airfields the main targets.

Summary of action

After a number of reconnaissance flights between Harwich and Land's End, some of which penetrated inland, three major attacks by large formations developed in the following areas:

i. Dover - Folkestone area at 1137 hours.
ii. Kent and north of the Thames Estuary at 1422 hours.
iii. Portsmouth - Southampton area at 1600 hours.

These raiders were engaged by our fighters and casualties inflicted.

East Coast

At 1252 hours, a raid plotted near Martlesham flew along the coast and was active in the Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth area. A number of reconnaissance raids were plotted between the North Foreland and Cromer.

South East Coast

During the day, reconnaissance flights were plotted in the Straits and round to Beachy Head.

At 1137 hours, five raids, totalling some 100 aircraft collected in the Gris Nez area. They approached to attack objectives in the Folkestone-Dover area and inland at Biggin Hill and Kenley. By 1250 hours, the attack was dispersed.

A second attack on the South-East of England developed at approximately 1422 hours when some eight raids totalling 190+ collected in the Calais - St Omer area. They crossed the coast in waves between Lympne and the mouth of the Blackwater and appeared to have as their objectives aerodromes in South-East England from Duxford southwards. At 1540 hours, some 250 aircraft were estimated to be north and south of the Estuary between Bury St Edmunds and Dungeness.

South and West

A number of reconnaissance flights were plotted along the South Coast to Land's End. One raid penetrated towards Oxford and is reported to have had Harwell as a target. Other raids were engaged on reconnaissances of the Portsmouth - Southampton, Shoreham - Tangemere and Middle Wallop - Yeovil areas.

At approximately 1600 hours, a major raid approached Portsmouth on a 30-mile front at 15,000 feet. This was followed by two other raids, and attacks developed in the Portsmouth - Southampton area. These raids were engaged and by 1700 hours commenced to disperse. A raid of 9 aircraft, reported to consist of a flying boat with fighter escort, was later plotted on various courses south of the Isle of Wight, probably looking for casualties; a twin-engined seaplane was intercepted and destroyed by our fighters about this time.

By night

Enemy activity has been on an exceptionally heavy and continuous scale all night. The main route of enemy aircraft has been from Beachy Head, over London and on to Birmingham and Coventry, starting at about 2125 hours and continuing until after 0300 hours. During all this period, London Central was under red warning.

As the night progressed, enemy aircraft crossed from France at many other points all along the South Coast.

Although the main attacks appear to have been on Birmingham and Coventry, there have been almost continuous raids over the Midlands area generally, Devon, Bristol and South Wales. Visits to the Newcastle and Middlesborough areas are also reported.

Enemy aircraft from the Dutch coast have been repeatedly active off the East Anglian Coast, presumably minelaying, and this is also suspected off Plymouth, Whitby and Tyne, between the Orkneys and the Mainland and off Kinnaird's Head, where a convoy was attacked.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 26th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 56
  • Spitfire - 240
  • Hurricane - 408
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 6
  • Total - 728

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 28 aircraft with 4 pilots and 2 air gunners killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 197 patrols involving 828 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • Estimated during the night of 25th/26th August - 300 aircraft. Estimated during the day of 26th August - 400 aircraft.

Balloons:

Flying 1578, casualties 30 (27 repairable, 1 written off, 2 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No changes.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 25th/26th/27th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the day, a raid was made on Folkestone, but damage was not extensive. Further raids were made on areas in the South.
  • It is apparent that heavy attacks have been made in the Midlands, and particularly the Birmingham district. London suburbs have also been bombed.
  • Detailed Summary
  • 25th August
  • At 1348 hours, one aircraft attacked Llanreath oil tanks. Bombs were dropped in the vicinity causing no further damage. The fire which has been burning since the 19th August is more under control, and it is reasonable to hope that it will be extinguished by tomorrow.
  • 26th August
  • RAF Stations
  • Harwell was attacked at about 1100 hours. Four HE were dropped damaging a building in the course of construction. Casualties are 6 killed and 10 injured. Two Wellington aircraft were damaged.
  • Cottesmore was bombed at 0031 hours and slight damage was done to the road north-east of camp and to three Hampden aircraft.
  • Debden was bombed at 1519 hours. The end of the NAAFI building was and MT workshops wrecked. A direct hit was obtained on one hangar and another one damaged. One Hurricane in flames on the ground.
  • Cleave Camp, Bude was machine-gunned at 0850 hours and huts and eight buses received damage.
  • St Eval was bombed at 2130 hours and 2158 hours.
  • Hawkinge was bombed at 1600 hours. No damage to report.
  • Middleton St George was bombed at 0145 hours and Feltwell at 0015 hours, but little damage in both cases.
  • Elsewhere
  • Folkestone was bombed at 1151 hours. Railway and private property damaged and a laundry demolished. Casualties - 2 killed and 22 injured.
  • Scilly Isles were attacked and machine-gunned at 1455 hours. No casualties reported and the fires caused yesterday are now under control.
  • Stockton-on-Tees was attacked at 0254 hours and damage was done to an engine shed, locomotives, food store and small munitions factory. At Thornaby on the other side of the river, damage was done to property and Dorman Long's Cleveland Works, but there is no interruption of production.
  • Portsmouth was bombed at 1600 hours. Fort Cumberland was damaged and small fires at Hilsea gas works are believed to have been extinguished.
  • 27th August
  • London. It is reported that the following districts have been bombed: Wood Green, Tilbury, Dartford East, Wormwood Scrubs and Tottenham. The damage at these places is not yet known, but at Southgate it is reported to be serious.
  • Birmingham. Very severe damage has been caused during the night and it is reported that Bordersley Junction, GWR marshalling yard, is very badly damaged. A large fire is blazing in the Smallheath Goods Yards and in an adjacent timber yard. BSA Tools Ltd, Montgomery Street, is reported to be burning fiercely. The Nuffield Factory at Castle Bromwich has also been hit again, but the damage is not known as yet.
  • It is reported that West Hartlepool, Sunderland and Lincolnshire have been bombed, but the damage has not yet been ascertained.
  • Driffield. It is reported that the RAF station was bombed at 0204 hours, and that Bicester and North Coates also attacked, but no reports of damage have been received.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 4 killed, 19 injured.
  • To others - 21 killed, 72 injured.

Corrigendum

  • With reference to yesterday's report (25th August), bombs were not dropped at White Waltham Aerodrome.

Tuesday 27th
  • Weather: Rain in central and eastern England. Some cloud in the Channel and haze over Dover Straits.
  • Day: Reconnaissance mainly in the Portsmouth - Southampton area.
  • Night: Widespread attacks on industry and airfields from Lincolnshire to Portsmouth.

Summary of action

During the day hostile activity was limited to a number of reconnaissance flights chiefly in the Portsmouth - Southampton area.

Three of these reconnaissance aircraft were interrupted and destroyed by our fighters.

North and East

Reconnaissance flights by single aircraft were plotted east of Kinnaird's Head, near a convoy off Harwich and in the North Sea. One of these aircraft was shot down near Chelmsford.

South East

In the morning a small formation crossed North Foreland and turning south, was interrupted near Dover and one Do215 was destroyed.

Later, reconnaissances passed over Dover and Ramsgate.

South and West

During the day, six reconnaissances appeared in the Portland - Portsmouth areas, one of which is suspected to have been on a photographic mission and also two reconnaissances over Plymouth. One enemy aircraft was destroyed near Warmwell.

By night

Enemy activity, although considerable, was not on the extensive scale of the two previous nights. There were scattered raids on the greater part of the country, except in the North where activity was slight.

Raids were reported throughout the Midlands, on East Anglia, Kent and Surrey, Lincolnshire, Norfolk, South Wales, Middlesborough, the Aberdeen district and at Chatham and Portsmouth.

London Central received two read warnings.

AA guns are reported in action at Southampton, Tangmere, Driffield, Tees, Bristol, Falmouth, Cardiff, Derby, Nottingham, Leeds and Manchester.

The only minelaying suspected is between the Wash and the Tees.

Addendum

Six to eight raids were reported in the Thames Estuary between 0400 and 0440 hours, possibly minelaying.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 27th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 55
  • Spitfire - 228
  • Hurricane - 420
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 728

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 1 aircraft. No pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 134 patrols involving 303 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • Estimated during the night of 26th/27th August - 280 aircraft. Estimated during the day of 27th August - 75 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1538, casualties 25 (18 repairable, 7 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • No reports.

Organisation:

  • No 603 Squadron moved from Turnhouse to Hornchurch.
  • No 65 Squadron moved from Southend to Turnhouse.
  • No 32 Squadron moved from Biggin Hill to Acklington.
  • No 79 Squadron moved from Acklington to Biggin Hill.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 26th/27th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • Enemy activity was small during the day. Bombs were again dropped in the Scilly Isles and in the Isle of Wight.
  • During the evening, London and the South East Coast were attacked and it appeared that these increased later and extended to the Midlands.
  • Detailed Summary
  • 26th August
  • Further to yesterday's report, St Eval Aerodrome was under intermittent bombing attack between 2100 hours 26th August and 0410 hours on the 27th. The only damage reported was a stack of timber ignited.
  • North Coates was attacked twice on the night of the 26th. Fires are under control.
  • Bagington, Cleave and Somersham, near Wyton were also raided but there is no damage to report.
  • Birmingham. Further details show that the city was raided continuously from 2323 hours until 0354 hours of the 27th. Casualties appear to be 10 killed and 51 injured. Surprisingly little damage was done except in the case of BSA (Small Arms), Smallheath which burnt fiercely. The following factories and works were hit: Dunlop Rubber Company, Castle Bromwich Aero Factory, Humber Works, James' Cycle Works, BSA Tools, Nuffield Factory, Daimler Works and Smith's Stamping Works. All fires were reported out at 0655 hours on the 27th, apart from damping down. Later, it was reported that James George Ltd of Lionel street Foundry was hit by IB. the works were entirely gutted and loss of production is 100%.
  • Plymouth. Further details show that the city was raided at frequent intervals between 2135 hours of the 26th until 0400 hours of the 27th, and it was estimated that over 50 HE's were dropped on the co-ordinated area. Minor damage to Millbay Dock was reported but the fire soon put out.
  • Over 380 IB were dropped in Cornwall during this attack but little damage done.
  • 27th August
  • RAF Stations
  • Bombs were dropped on or near the following, but damage, where known, is slight: Edzell, Montrose, north of Dyce, Gravesend, Cranfield, Biggin Hill, Bentley Priory, Cottesmore, Kirton, Catfoss and Harlaxton which is the relief landing ground of Grantham where three bombs fell, two in the flare path and one on the beacon.
  • Elsewhere
  • Bombs are also reported to have fallen on Edgeware near Hendon.
  • The Scilly Isles were again attacked, but no damage to report.
  • Portsmouth was attacked by a single enemy aircraft which machine-gunned the dockyard signal tower - no casualties.
  • Rochester, Chatham and Gillingham districts were attacked and dive-bombing resulted in damage to houses. Sixteen fires were started and are reported to be under control. It is learned that this attack was made at 0145 hours on the 28th, Gillingham apparently being the chief objective. Hundreds of IB bombs were dropped, the casualties so far are nine killed together with seven believed killed.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - none.
  • To others - 37 killed, 102 injured.

Wednesday 28th
  • Weather: Fine and fair but cold. Cloud in Dover Straits.
  • Day: Three-phase attack on airfields in Kent, Essex and Suffolk.
  • Night: First major attack on Liverpool (150 bombers). Further harassing attacks over London, the Midlands and north-east coast

Summary of action

During the day the enemy made four major attacks in the Kentish area, some of which penetrated to the Thames Estuary.

Our fighters destroyed twenty-seven enemy aircraft plus one by anti-aircraft fire while our casualties were twenty aircraft (nine pilots plus three air gunners missing or killed).

North and East

In the evening, a single aircraft was plotted east of Yarmouth.

South East

At 0640 hours, three enemy aircraft flew along the coast from Lympne to North Foreland, possibly making a photographic reconnaissance of the Royal Air Force stations in that area.

At 0830 hours, about sixty enemy aircraft penetrated inland between Dover and North Foreland on a westerly course followed shortly afterwards by a second wave of about sixty enemy aircraft, some of which turned north to Essex. Fighters intercepted and shot down five aircraft.

At about 1300 hours, approximately one hundred enemy aircraft flew inland between North Foreland and Dungeness to the Thames Estuary, their objective being aerodromes. Rochford was attacked. Our fighters destroyed nine aircraft.

Between 1550 and 1645 hours, the enemy launched seven raids totalling over one hundred aircraft over Kent and the Estuary. Our fighters destroyed twelve aircraft.

At 1900 hours, another sixty enemy aircraft again flew inland over Kent, some heading west and some north to the Estuary following a course similar to previous attacks. Fighters intercepted and shot down one enemy aircraft.

South and West

During the morning, hostile reconnaissances were reported off Cornwall and Pembroke. Later, two small raids passed over Cardiff and flew south east to Yeovil and Swanage and returned to France.

Northern Ireland

A hostile aircraft was reported passing near to Aldergrove.

By night

Enemy activity was very heavy but more confined to specific areas than usual.

The Midlands was clearly the main objective and there were very few raids outside an arc based on Shoreham to Selsey Bill up to Liverpool, across to Sheffield and thence down to London.

At 2050 hours, a few raids commenced to cross the Kentish Coast, some passing over London and up to the Birmingham, Coventry, Derby, Sheffield, Manchester and South Yorkshire areas. Successive raids developed towards the same areas crossing the coast at many points between Beachy Head and Selsey Bill. Many of these returned over the London area keeping London 'Red' for the record period of seven hours.

Some raids flew to Bristol Channel area but activity here was lighter than usual.

Several of the raids which passed over the Midlands carried on to Sealand and this area seems to have received marked attantion.

Minelaying appears to have been taken place in the Wash, off East Anglia, Thames Estuary, Beachy Head, Shoreham, Lyme Bay and possibly Bristol Channel and Liverpool Bay.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 28th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 55
  • Spitfire - 225
  • Hurricane - 413
  • Defiant - 23
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 723

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 20 aircraft. Seven pilots and three air gunners killed or missing. (NOTE: Since writing of narrative which mentions nine pilots killed or missing, this has been reduced to the above.)

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 187 patrols involving 778 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • Estimated during the night of 27th/28th August - 200 aircraft. Estimated during the day 28th August - 400 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1549, casualties 32 (26 repairable, 2 written off, 4 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Rochford unserviceable during hours of darkness. Serviceable for single aircraft by day with care.

Organisation:

  • Nil.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • While there is an absence of any specific reference in official communiqués to the raids on Berlin, information received from Spanish press sources confirms the success of the raids [by RAF Bomber Command] and that their effect on the population is noticeable. Those sources pay high tribute to the daring and efficiency of the British aircraft crews, who flew over the centre of the city while dropping bombs only on their targets in the suburbs. Spanish public opinion is much impressed.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 28th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • A number of aerodromes were attacked during the period including, amongst others, Dyce aerial lighthouse site where a number of HE were dropped by low flying aircraft. No damage of importance is reported.
  • Rochford was subjected to heavy attack by fifteen He111 and it was estimated that 15 tons of bombs were dropped in and around the aerodrome. Short fires were caused to buildings and the surface of the landing ground was cut up but it is serviceable for single aircraft with care.
  • Avonmouth Docks were bombed, two HE falling on the "Shell Mex" Can factory and two HE also seven IB near the plant belonging to the National Smelting Company.
  • Bombs were dropped on the factory of Messrs S Smith and Sons at Cricklewood.
  • A new type of incendiary bomb was reported to have been dropped at Ulceby.
  • Eleven fires were reported from Coventry, all of which were extinguished in due course.
  • The absence of full reports does not make it possible to give an accurate detailed summary of the latest raids.
  • During the night 28th/29th August, a 50,000-gallon oil tank was on fire at Anglo-American Oil Depot, Broad Heath, Altrincham, Cheshire. It is not reported if this is due to enemy action.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action: (The details given below are quoted with considerable reserve owing to the lack of accurate information).
  • To RAF Personnel - nil killed, 5 injured.
  • To others - 37 killed, 78 injured.

Thursday 29th
  • Weather: Showers and bright intervals. Cloud in the Channel and Straits.
  • Day: Quiet in the morning, airfield attacks in the south and south-east later in the day.
  • Night: Further attack on Liverpool with diversionary raids in the Midlands.

Summary of action

During the afternoon, the enemy made one major raid. Although the objective appears to have been the South London aerodromes, no reports of bombing have been received. This raid was followed a few hours later by a smaller raid to the Rochester area.

Nine enemy aircraft were destroyed; our casualties being nine aircraft and two pilots.

North and East

One meteorological and one reconnaissance aircraft were plotted east of the Firth of Forth and Spurn Head respectively.

South East

Soon after midday, a single aircraft made a reconnaissance of the line Shoreham to Stanmore and returned by approximately the same route.

Two separate aircraft reconnoitred the Thames Estuary.

At 1510 hours, nine enemy aircraft flew over Dover towards Tangmere; this raid was immediately followed by about 170 aircraft which appeared to head for Biggin Hill. These raids were intercepted and driven off, four aircraft being destroyed by our fighters and one anti-aircraft. Strong hostile patrols were maintained off Calais until 1725 hours.

At 1725 hours, a raid of twenty plus aircraft passed over North Foreland and flew towards Rochester. It was intercepted and four enemy aircraft were destroyed.

South and West

During the morning, hostile aircraft reconnoitred the Guildford area and Weymouth Bay and a small raid attacked Warmwell Aerodrome.

In the afternoon, one aircraft reconnoitred Portsmouth and shortly afterwards twelve plus aircraft flew towards this area, but, when fifteen miles south of Selsey Bill, turned back on sighting our fighters.

At 1600 hours, a small raid attacked a RAF establishment in the Scilly Isles causing little damage.

By night

Enemy activity was again heavy, Scotland being the only area neglected.

Dusk raids penetrated East Anglia, main objectives apparently being Debden and Duxford, but from 2300 hours onwards, there was singularly little activity east of a line Brighton to Flamborough Head until 0230 hours when fresh raids appeared along the East Coast, apparently minelaying, but a few crossing inland.

Three main areas were attacked:

i. South West and up to South Wales.
ii. Industrial Midlands up to Liverpool and Manchester - a few raids going as far as Carlisle.
iii. Tees and Tyne area.

The raids on items (i.) and (ii.) crossed the coast in a steady stream, mostly one aircraft each, but between Shoreham and Lyme Bay some were of greater strength. A few of these appeared to concentrate on the Portsmouth area.

Minelaying is suspected off Plymouth.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 29th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 53
  • Spitfire - 230
  • Hurricane - 412
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 720

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 9 aircraft with 2 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 125 patrols involving 524 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • Night 28/29th August - estimated 200 aircraft. 29th August - estimated 360 aircraft of which no more than 200 appear to have crossed the coast, and of these, only a few penetrated any distance inland.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1541, casualties 55 (49 repairable, 4 written off, 2 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Rochford temporarily unserviceable owing to delayed-action bombs.
  • Manston unserviceable for fighters.

Organisation:

  • No 253 Squadron moved from Prestwick to Kenley.
  • No 615 Squadron moved from Kenley to Prestwick.
  • No 222 Squadron moved from Kirton-in-Lindsey to Hornchurch.
  • No 264 Squadron moved from Hornchurch to Kirton-in-Lindsey.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 29th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • There was little enemy aircraft activity during the day with the exception of two raids over the Kentish Coast.
  • At 2100 hours, activity recommenced when the following areas were visited: South-West England, South Wales, the Midlands industrial areas as far north as Liverpool and the Tyne and Tees districts.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • 28th August
  • At 0855 hours, Eastchurch Aerodrome was attacked when two Battles were destroyed and two were damaged.
  • 28th/29th August
  • Bombs were dropped near the following stations:- Debden, Duxford, Grantham, Weston-on-the-Green and Felixstowe.
  • London Area
  • 28th/29th August
  • London suburbs were bombed in many places, but generally speaking damage was not of a serious nature with the exception of Cricklewood (already reported in August 28th summary).
  • Gas and water mains were damaged in Enfield and East Ham and a road was blocked by a crater at Lambeth.
  • Elsewhere
  • Coventry was bombed between the hours of 2136 and 2210 on the night of 28th August, as a result of which major damage is reported. Thirteen HE and many IB were widely distributed over the town causing considerable damage to 31 working class houses and minor damage to other shop and houses property. Water and gas services were affected.
  • At about 0200 hours on the 29th August, several IB and HE bombs were dropped on Liverpool, when some houses were demolished and damage caused to electricity and water mains. Fires were started but soon brought under control.
  • Tresco in the Scilly Isles was attacked at 1558 hours on the 29th August, when HE and IB were dropped by low flying aircraft who also used machine guns. Several fires broke out and two casualties occurred. The public are reported to be showing signs of panic and expressing strong desire to be evacuated.
  • Churchdown (Gloucestershire) was bombed at 2330 hours on the 28th August, when an important water main was damaged affecting Gloucester city seriously and the RAF station at Quedgeley.
  • The main Liverpool - Exeter railway line was damaged between Silverton and Bradnich making it necessary to suspend traffic.
  • 29th/30th August
  • Manchester and Liverpool were severely bombed - property, gas and water mains being severely affected. IB and HE bombs are reported to have been dropped in many places including the factory of Messrs Rootes Ltd and others in the Speke district.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action: (The details given below are quoted with considerable reserve owing to the lack of accurate information).
  • To RAF Personnel - nil.
  • To others - 20 killed, 257 injured.

Friday 30th
  • Weather: Fair.
  • Day: Dummy raids on shipping then heavy attacks on south-eastern airfields. Luton attacked.
  • Night: Third raid on Liverpool. Single raids over wide area.

Summary of action

The enemy delivered one major attack during the morning and three in the afternoon in South West England. Aerodromes appeared to be the principal objectives. Sixty-two enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus twenty-one probable and twenty-nine damaged), and our casualties were twenty-five aircraft and ten pilots killed or missing.

North and East

In the early morning, one hostile aircraft was reported over Leicester and crossed the coast near Cromer. Interception was not successful.

A small raid reconnoitred over a convoy off Cromer.

South East

Between 0740 hours and 0820 hours, two raids of twenty plus each cruised in the Straits and Calais areas. Two squadrons sent up over the Straits did not sight either raid. Hostile patrols remained active in the Calais - Boulogne area.

At 1106 hours, one hundred plus enemy aircraft passed over Dungeness and Dover, quickly followed by another wave of one hundred plus. These formations split up over Kent and Surrey, sub-divisions attacking targets in the Estuary and the aerodromes at Biggin Hill and Eastchurch. At 1200 hours, another wave of one hundred plus came in over Dover but did not penetrate far inland. Throughout the attack numerous hostile aircraft patrolled the Channel and French Coast, evidently waiting to cover retreating bombers.

Sixteen fighter squadrons met the attack and destroyed twenty-seven enemy aircraft plus three by anti-aircraft at a cost of ten aircraft and five pilots, and by 1230 hours all raids had been driven off.

At 1420 hours, sixty plus enemy aircraft crossed the coast between Dover and Dungeness and some flew towards Kenley and Biggin Hill. Four squadrons were sent up and by 1500 hours all raids had retreated out to sea. Two enemy aircraft were destroyed plus one by anti-aircraft.

At 1555 hours, about three hundred aircraft entered Kent, some crossing the Estuary to Essex. The concentration remained greatest over East Kent but formations of ten to twenty aircraft each spread to Kenley, North Weald, Hornchurch, Debden, Sheerness, Harwich, Bentley Priory and as far west as Oxford at an average height of 10,000 feet. Lympne, Detling and Biggin Hill were attacked.

Thirteen squadrons destroyed twenty-nine hostile aircraft and by 1715 hours had cleared the sky.

At 1800 hours, about seventy enemy aircraft flew up the south side of the Thames Estuary. Some turned south and south-east over Kent and one formation of twelve passed over Biggin Hill at 7,000 feet. By 1830 hours, raids had dispersed.

By night

Activity was again heavy. Dusk raids crossed into Cornwall apparently searching for aerodromes. Main objective of the night was industrial Midlands up to Liverpool and as far as Bradford and Leeds. South Wales received less attention than usual.

With few exceptions, raids (mostly one aircraft but some of three plus) again crossed the coast in a continuous stream between Beachy Head and Lyme Bay, some of those which flew over the Bristol area carrying on to the Midlands.

Raids passing to and fro over London Central kept it at 'Red' between 2110 and 0345 hours. The East Coast was largely neglected. Only a few raids crossed inland over East Anglia and some minelaying is suspected in the Humber.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 30th August 1940

  • Blenheim - 52
  • Spitfire - 234
  • Hurricane - 410
  • Defiant - 14
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 717

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 25 aircraft (10 pilots killed or missing).

Addendum to report for August 29th

  • At about 2350 hours, on 29th August, one Spitfire of No 92 Squadron intercepted and shot down a He111 near Yatesbury (Wiltshire). This casualty was not included in the casualty totals.
  • Patrols:

  • Own
  • 208 patrols involving 1,054 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • By night 29th/30th August - 250 aircraft. By day 30th August - 600 aircraft.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1,552, casualties 66 (44 repairable, 2 written off, 20 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Manston unserviceable for fighters.
  • Biggin Hill - serviceability unknown.

Attacks on Aerodromes

  • Biggin Hill, Detling, Luton, Lympne.

Organisation:

  • No 145 Squadron moved from Drem. 'A' Flight to Montrose, 'B' Flight to Dyce.
  • No 141 Squadron moved to Turnhouse. 'A' Flight from Montrose, 'B' Flight from Dyce.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Neutral attaches leaving Belgium were taken in a car to Switzerland by a roundabout route of 1,100km instead of the direct route of 600km, as the direct route might have permitted then to see too much of the damage caused by in the Rhein-Ruhr area.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 29th August 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the day, enemy aircraft made a series of raids in considerable numbers over South East England including the Thames Estuary and also Luton and Dunstable. A few aircraft reached the London region.
  • At about 2100 hours, activity was renewed and was principally concentrated on the industrial Midlands as far north as Liverpool and across country to Bradford and Leeds. London was also revisited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • 28th August
  • Eight HE unexploded bombs were dropped 1200 yards south of the hangar at Staverton. The main water supply was cut but it is anticipated that the supply will be partially restored in 36 hours.
  • 30th August
  • RAF Hospital at Ely was attacked early in the morning, one small incendiary bomb being dropped which was quickly extinguished.
  • A type of paraffin incendiary bomb was dropped on the parade ground at West Kirby causing slight damage to drill shed.
  • At 1735 hours, 60 HE bombs were dropped on Detling Aerodrome causing many craters.
  • Biggin Hill Aerodrome was attacked at 1245 hours and again at 1815 hours. During the second attack, heavy calibre bombs were dropped on the camp, but not on the landing ground, causing major damage and fires. Some aircraft are believed to have been destroyed.
  • Nine bombs were dropped at Lympne Aerodrome destroying a hangar and an air raid shelter. There were five civilian casualties but the aerodrome is reported to be serviceable.
  • Seaplanes
  • It is reported that one or more seaplanes landed on the water off Mablethorpe during an air raid on 30th August and took off again at 2233 hours. The time of the landing is unknown but the aircraft are believed to have remained on the water for a considerable time. As it took off a verey light was seen out at sea.
  • Factories
  • 30th August
  • At 2250 hours, the factory of Messrs Hobson (aircraft motor components) at Oldham was hit by incendiary bombs but there was no damage to the plant.
  • Messrs Stewart and Lloyd's factory at Bilston was bombed causing some casualties, numbers not yet known. Water mains and electric light cables were affected and there was some damage to a locomotive shed.
  • At about 1643 hours, Messrs Vauxhall's Motor Factory at Luton was bombed causing considerable damage and many casualties. Eight fires were started in the district.
  • London Area
  • During the night of 30th/31st August, the following parts of London were bombed:- Pimlico, Belgravia, Finchley, Hornsea, Paddington, Highgate, Hendon and Willesdon. Little news of damage is so far available, but an unexploded bomb is reported to have dropped at 0205 hours in the Bank close to Brondesbury Park Station on the Hampstead Branch. The Kilburn High Road is also reported blocked.
  • Hull
  • Bombs were dropped causing damage to the permanent way and some sheds at Victoria Docks and also a wooden quay.
  • Casualties on Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - nil killed, 5 injured.
  • To others - 68 killed, 327 injured.

Saturday 31st
  • Weather: Mainly fair with haze over the Thames Estuary and Dover Straits.
  • Day: Fighter Command suffers its heaviest losses. Airfields in the south and south-east raided.
  • Night: Liverpool once again the main target with lesser attacks covering the north-east coast to Plymouth.

Summary of action

Three major attacks developed in the East Kent and Thames area, and spread towards South and North East London. Aerodromes were again the main objectives.

70 enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus 34 probable and 33 damaged). Our casualties were 37 aircraft and 12 pilots killed or missing.

North and East

At 0600 hours one aircraft made a reconnaissance off Spurn Point. At 1155 hours a reconnaissance was made at 23000 feet over aerodromes in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex and of shipping in the Thames Estuary. Between 1400 and 1530 hours three reconnaissances were made in East Anglia.

South East

At 0755 hours formations appeared in the Deal, Dover and Thames Estuary area. Some two hundred and fifty aircraft attacked in five distinct waves. Aircraft were flying at between 1500 and 20000 feet but one formation crossed the Essex Coast in a dive at 2000 feet. Dispersal commenced at about 0900 hours. Ten Fighter squadrons were detailed for these attacks and accounted for a number of enemy aircraft. The objectives were North Weald, Debden (where some damage is reported), Duxford and East Kent area. At 0845 hours Me109's shot down all (23) of the Dover Balloon Barrage.

At 0930 hours single aircraft made reconnaissances of:

Martlesham, Debden and Duxford.
Bircham Newton and Norfolk Coast.

At about 1100 hours ninety plus aircraft crossed the Coast at Dover but this attack was not pressed home.

At 1235 hours fifty plus aircraft approached Dover of which thirty aircraft flew inland towards Biggin Hill and Kenley at 10,000 feet. The remaining twenty turned back at Dover but reappeared at Deal as fifty aircraft and crossed the Coast in three waves followed by two smaller formations flying towards Biggin Hill and Kenley. Biggin Hill suffered some damage. At about 1320 hours fifty plus aircraft were over Hornchurch and Debden plus aircraft were over Hornchurch and Debden at 15/20,000 feet. Two further raids followed in Kent and two in the Thames Estuary. By 1350 hours the attackers began to disperse.

Successful interceptions were made and many aircraft were shot down. During this attack strong enemy patrols were maintained in the Straits until after the raids had withdrawn.

At 1630 hours a small raid reconnoitred the Thames Estuary at 15,000 feet, passed over Hornchurch, then flew to Kenley and South to the Coast. It may have been assessing damage done during previous raids.

At 1800 hours six raids crossed the Coast between North Foreland and Hastings. One of these attacked Hornchurch and the others Biggin Hill, Northolt, Kenley and other objectives in Kent. Another raid of fifty aircraft flew into the Estuary. Altogether some two hundred enemy aircraft wee involved. The raids drew off at 1900 hours.

The patrols covering the retreat of these bombers in the Straits were not so strong as usual. Fighter squadrons were again successful in destroying a number of enemy aircraft.

During the day No 12 Group moved Squadrons into No 11 Group area to assist in the battles.

By night

The enemy programme appeared to be very similar to that of the last few nights both in volume and in targets.

Dusk attacks were made on Liverpool and Birkenhead. Up to 0030 hours a stream of raids crossed the Coast between Shoreham and Lyme Bay towards the Industrial Midlands which together with Liverpool and Leeds areas seemed to be the main targets. There was comparatively little activity over South Wales. Mine-laying is suspected in the Thames Estuary, off East Anglia, Humber, Durham and Northumberland Coasts, but some raids also penetrated inland in each of these areas.

London Central was "Red" between 2150 and 2213 hours, 2225 and 2359 hours and 0057 and 0354 hours. Attacks on this area appeared to be much less severe than those of recent nights and passing to the Midlands across the South West edge of the inner artillery zone and returning across the North East edge.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 31st August 1940

  • Blenheim - 54
  • Spitfire - 212
  • Hurricane - 417
  • Defiant - 13
  • Gladiator - 4
  • Total - 700

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 37 aircraft with 12 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • 192 patrols involving 1016 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 300 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 30th/31st August and 800 during the day of 31st August.

Balloons:

  • Flying 1545, casualties 38 (33 repairable, 3 written off, 2 by enemy action).

Aerodromes:

  • Hornchurch is unserviceable by night.

Attacks on Aerodromes

  • Hornchurch, Croydon, Debden, Biggin Hill and Eastchurch.

Organisation:

  • No 310 Squadron has moved from Duxford to North Weald.
  • No 151 Squadron has moved from Rochford to Duxford.
  • No 72 Squadron has moved from Acklington to Biggin Hill.
  • No 610 Squadron has moved from Biggin Hill to Acklington.
  • No 601 Squadron has moved from Debden to Tangmere.
  • No 17 Squadron has moved from Tangmere to Debden.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 31st August 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the day enemy aircraft activity was again centred mainly round the London area, East Anglia and South East England.
  • Night activity commenced about 2100 hours when the areas visited were very similar to those of the previous night and included South Wales, Midlands (extensively) as far north as Liverpool, Manchester and Leeds.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Biggin Hill Aerodrome was twice bombed during the day first at 1200 hours and again at 1838 hours when a serious fire broke out. Aerodrome, buildings were wrecked, gas and water mains affected and aircraft damaged.
  • At 1315 hours Croydon Aerodrome was heavily bombed and the Rollason Aircraft Works were destroyed. Other industrial buildings and houses including the Redwing Aircraft Factory were damaged, but at the latter there were no casualties and it is reported that production is not affected.
  • There were two attacks on Hornchurch Aerodrome, one at 1300 hours and the other at 1800 hours. As a result of this raid six aircraft were destroyed and four damaged. There was no material damage to essential buildings but the power cable was cut.
  • The town and Aerodrome of Debden were raided at 0900 hours. Damage was caused to houses, hangers and shelters and fire fighting equipment was destroyed.
  • Hucknell, Eastchurch and Fowlmere Aerodromes were also bombed.
  • Elsewhere
  • Date: 27th August 1940
  • St Merryn: Six unexploded bombs dropped three miles from the Royal Naval Station.
  • Date: 31st August 1940
  • Willesden: It is now reported that as a result of bombing during the early morning 43 houses were demolished or rendered uninhabitable. Gas and water mains were damaged and there were many casualties.
  • Salisbury: At 2251 hours a raid on the City caused major damage. A lumber yard was destroyed and a Co-operative Stores gutted.
  • Liverpool: A severe raid commenced at 2040 hours and many HE and IB were dropped in the centre of the City, several important buildings were hit. A shelter was destroyed causing the death of 20 people and there were many other casualties. Bombs fell in the Nelson and also the Clarence Dock, a trawler being hit while in the latter.
  • Eastbourne: Telephone reports state that Eastbourne was shelled from the sea at 1740 hours. One house was demolished and two persons seriously injured. Other shells fell harmlessly in the sea and in open country.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 40 killed, 28 injured.
  • To others - 44 killed, 250 injured.

September 1940

Sunday 1st
  • Weather: Fair with cloudy patches during the morning, clearing during the afternoon.
  • Day: Heavy damage to Fighter Command airfields following four major attacks.
  • Night: Liverpool attacked again. Smaller raids in the Midlands and South Wales.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a reduced scale compared with the previous day and fewer aircraft were employed, but three attacks of importance developed in the East Kent area. During these and in other operations twenty-five enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus 10 probable and 24 damaged). Our casualties were 15 aircraft and six pilots killed or missing. Aerodromes again appeared to be the objectives.

North and East

Reconnaissances by single aircraft were made between Humber and Lowestoft in the forenoon, and in the latter area five plottings were recorded. There were six other reconnaissances in the Harwich - Cromer zone. In the afternoon two reconnaissances were made and in one of these the position of a convoy off Yarmouth was reported. Thick cloud prevented further action. At 1040 hours interception was made of the reports transmitted by enemy aircraft over Derby.

South East

At 1050 hours about fifty enemy aircraft crossed the coast near Dover and other raids followed. By 1100 hours about one hundred enemy aircraft were over Kent and Thames Estuary. Some penetrated to Biggin Hill, Kenley, Gravesend, Hornchurch and North Weald. Two Balloons of the Dover Barrage were shot down. Fighter squadrons intercepted and shot down several enemy aircraft.

At 1340 hours some seventy enemy aircraft crossed the Coast between Dover and Dungeness. A second wave of about eighty aircraft followed. Biggin Hill and Kenley were the objectives. Four squadrons from No 11 Group were sent to intercept; meanwhile No 12 Group provided one squadron from Duxford to patrol North Weald. Casualties were inflicted on the enemy.

At 1530 hours five raids totalling seventy aircraft again crossed the Coast between Dover and Dungeness. Of these abut twenty circled on the Coast line but others penetrated towards Maidstone and the Thames Estuary, and attacked Dunkirk. Further enemy casualties were inflicted.

As in the previous raids hostile patrols were maintained in the Channel whilst the enemy raids were in progress over England.

South West

Reconnaissance aircraft transmitted reports on our Naval Units South West of Lands End at 1050 hours. The position indicated was correct.

By night

Enemy activity was much reduced compared with that of the previous nights and the areas attacked were quite different. Only a small number of isolated raids went to the Industrial Midlands. Main raids were confined to three areas only:

  • Kent
  • Bristol Channel and South Wales
  • Tyne/Tees

Many early raids were plotted over Kent and into the Thames Estuary. Attacks were reported on Detling Aerodrome, Dunkirk and Rye. This area was however, clear by midnight.

A continuous flow passed to the Bristol Channel and South Wales, some aircraft believed to be on mine-laying. This area appeared to be the main target of the night. A few of these raids passed North as far as the Sealand area.

Shortly after midnight a number of raids appeared off the Norfolk Coast and flew North West to the Tyne/Tees area. Mine-laying is suspected but several raids crossed inland before returning home in the direction of the Dutch Islands.

Other mine-laying is suspected off the Humber, Thames Estuary and Dungeness to Poole.

Statistics


Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 1st September 1940

  • Blenheim - 57
  • Spitfire - 208
  • Hurricane - 405
  • Defiant - 24
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 701

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 15 aircraft with 6 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 31st August/1st September - 29 patrols involving 29 aircraft.
  • During the day of 1st September - 118 patrols involving 661 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 250 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 31st August/1st September and 450 during the day of 1st September.

Balloons:

  • No reports.

Aerodromes:

  • Manston, Hawkinge, Rochford and Lympne are unserviceable by night due to bomb craters.

Attacks on Aerodromes

  • Hawkinge, Biggin Hill, Lympne, Detling and Sherburn.

Organisation:

  • No 46 Squadron has moved from Boscombe Down to North Weald.
  • No 249 Squadron has moved from Digby to North Weald.
  • No 56 Squadron has moved from North Weald to Boscombe Down.
  • No 151 Squadron has moved from North Weald to Boscombe Down.
  • No 504 Squadron has moved from Castletown to Catterick.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 1st September 1940
  • General Summary
  • Enemy aircraft again visited South East England, Thames Estuary and the outskirts of London during the day.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Date: 30th August 1940
  • At 0200 hours 100 incendiary bombs were dropped on Hawarden Aerodrome, slightly damaging one aircraft.
  • Date: 31st August/1st September 1940
  • The landing ground at Tholthorpe was twice attacked, firstly at 2245 hours on 31st August, and the second at 0230 hours on 1st September. The station is still operational although there is a crater 25 feet deep.
  • Hornchurch was bombed with incendiary bombs at 1140 hours on 1st September but no damage or casualties occurred.
  • At 1540 hours on 1st September Hawkinge and Lympne Aerodromes were dive bombed by 12 Me109. No buildings at Hawkinge were damaged and the aerodrome is still serviceable with care.
  • Two attacks were made on Detling Aerodrome on 1st September at 1630 hours and 2300 hours, the wireless mast was damaged, Officers' Mess demolished, and the aerodrome at present is reported to be unserviceable.
  • HE bombs were dropped at Newton Downs, Porthcawl Aerodrome at 2240 hours on 1st September, there is no report of damage.
  • Two bombs were dropped on Hooton Park Aerodrome on 1st September.
  • Elsewhere
  • Date: 1st September 1940
  • Llandarcy: On the night of 1st/2nd September the Naval oil depot was hit and was reported to be burning so furiously that no action could be taken until daylight.
  • Tilbury: At 1105 hours on 1st September Tilbury was attacked and considerable damage was done. The railway station was hit and both up and down lines blocked; gas and water mains were broken; the premises of Harland & Wolff received a direct hit; dockside buildings and workshops were also affected; a number of private houses were demolished and 10 shops damaged. Casualties so far reported are 5 dead and 28 injured.
  • Orpington: At 1405 hours on 1st September some HE and incendiary bombs fell at Orpington, slightly damaging the boiler house and nurses quarters at the Hospital. Some other property was damaged and a shelter hit. Casualties, 3 dead, 11 injured.
  • Bradford: A raid commenced at 2235 hours on 31st August, and concluded at 0300 hours on 1st September. Extensive damage to property and water and gas mains occurred in the centre of the city. Considerable damage was caused to shop property and also a cinema and two large mills, also the corporation gas works at Birkshaw Lane; other property damaged included dwelling houses and the railway siding signal box. There were many casualties.
  • Denton (Gravesend): A raid commenced at 1105 hours 1st September as a result of which three houses were demolished and fifty damaged. Gas and water mains were fractured and there was slight damage to the gas and electricity works but the production was reported not to have been affected.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - 3 killed, 11 injured.
  • To others - 110 killed, 585 injured.

Monday 2nd
  • Weather: Continuing fine and warm. Early-morning mist and fog patches.
  • Day: Once again, four main phases of airfield attacks.
  • Night: Scattered raids on Liverpool, the Midlands and South Wales.

Summary of action

The enemy's effort consisted mainly of five attacks in the East Kent - Thames Estuary area and during the course of those operations Fighter Squadrons destroyed 41 enemy aircraft (plus 18 probable and 32 damaged). Our casualties were 20 aircraft and 10 pilots killed or missing. Aerodromes appeared to be the targets.

North and East

Little activity took place. Four reconnaissance flights were made off the Norfolk Coast by single aircraft flying at about 10,000 feet between 1629 and 2055 hours.

South East

At 0750 and 0752 hours the Coast was crossed at Dover and Lympne by forty and thirty aircraft respectively at 20,000 feet while a small formation came in at Deal at 8,000 feet. The raids split inland and proceeded to Eastchurch, North Weald, Ochford and Biggin Hill. A further raid of thirty aircraft flying at 10,000 feet was intercepted near Hawkinge and turned back. Seven squadrons were detailed for this attack and inflicted casualties.

At 1220 hours two waves of 12+ and 30+ aircraft crossed the Coast at Folkestone and North Foreland and flew into the Estuary. Other raids penetrated to Maidstone. The battle was confined to East Kent from Rye to Shoeburyness. About one hundred aircraft were involved and dispersal to France took place at 1330 hour. Several enemy aircraft were shot down. Strong hostile formations continued to cruise in the Straits for about an hour.

At 1612 hours raids crossed the Coast at points North of Dungeness and Deal. One raid flew towards Biggin Hill and the remainder to the Thames Estuary and Essex flying over Hornchurch, North Weald and Colchester to Harwich. Some thirty enemy aircraft appeared to concentrate 10 miles South East of Central London where they turned back. In all some hundred aircraft took part. Four Fighter squadrons were in the air and successful interceptions were made.

Immediately after the above attackers had returned to France further raids amounting to seventy aircraft came in over Sheppey, Thames Estuary and East Kent at 1720 hours. This attack was of short duration and ended at 1750 hours.

At 1800 hours other raids totalling eighty enemy aircraft approached the Coast between North Foreland and Dungeness. They did not penetrate inland and after patrolling the Coast returned to France at 1830 hours. Strong patrols were maintained on the French side of the Channel.

West

At 1045 hours a single aircraft made a reconnaissance over South Wales and at 1400 hours one raid of two aircraft was plotted in the Bristol Channel.

By night

Enemy activity was extensive and was not so confined to specific areas as on recent nights. A feature was the early termination (0130 hours) of all the main attacks.

By dusk the enemy was operating along the East Coast, Wash to Tyne (mostly believed to be mine-laying), over Derby, in the Liverpool and in the Barrow-in-Furness areas. From 2200 to 0030 hours a steady stream of raids crossed the Coast between Beachy Head and Swanage and flew to the industrial Midlands as far as Liverpool, Manchester and Sheffield. Many enemy aircraft passed to and from these areas over London Central. Others flew in over the Wash. The number of raids towards South Wales was rather less than recently. Off North East Scotland there was increased activity and a number of raids were plotted between Rattray Head and as far north as Scapa. A convoy off Kinnairds Head called for help at 2240 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 2nd September 1940

  • Blenheim - 60
  • Spitfire - 204
  • Hurricane - 398
  • Defiant - 21
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 690

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 20 aircraft with 10 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 1st/2nd September - 29 patrols involving 29 sorties.
  • During the day of 2nd September - 100 patrols involving 741 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 100 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 1st/2nd September and 850 during the day of 2nd September.

Balloons:

  • No reports.

Aerodromes:

  • Biggin Hill day landing lanes available only.

Attacks on Aerodromes

  • Detling, Eastchurch, Hornchurch.

Organisation:

  • No 263 Squadron has moved from Turnhouse to Drem. 'A' flight non-operational. 'B' flight operational.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 2nd September 1940
  • General Summary
  • Enemy aircraft activity was again centred over South East England and the Thames Estuary during the day, some aircraft reaching the London area.
  • At about 2200 hours extensive activity was renewed and the following areas were visited: South Wales, London, the Midlands, as far as Liverpool in the North West. There was also activity along the North East Coast from the Wash to North East Scotland.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Date: 1st September 1940
  • Subsequent information states that there is no confirmation of bombs having been dropped on Porthcawl Aerodrome on 1st September.
  • Date: 2nd September 1940
  • At 1328 hours, dive bombers attacked Detling Aerodrome.
  • Gravesend Aerodrome was attacked at 0805 hours, when 11 HE bombs were dropped causing damage to gas, electricity and telephone services.
  • There were two attacks on Eastchurch Aerodrome, the first taking place at 1233 hours, and the second at 1726 hours. No damage is reported as resulting from the first raid but later reports state that one runway only is usable with care by day, the rest of the aerodrome being unserviceable.
  • A formation of enemy aircraft (Do17) bombed Hornchurch Aerodrome at 1640 hours on 2nd September. Only six bombs fell on the landing ground causing no damage to buildings or personnel. But there was some damage (extent unknown) suffered by the AA Brigade Headquarters nearby.
  • It is reported that a bomb similar in appearance to an oil drum, believed to be a 100 kilo incendiary bomb fitted with air pressure with direct control action was dropped near Catterick Aerodrome at 2027 hours.
  • Elsewhere
  • Date: 2nd September 1940
  • Llandarcy: Further information received shows that no damage was done to the Naval oil tanks but that five commercial tanks, each holding 10,000 tons and belonging to the National Oil Refineries Ltd. are being left to burn out, which it is estimated will take some considerable time. The refinery works are closed down.
  • Cuxton: At 1630 hours on 2nd September an HE bomb was dropped on the drawing offices of Shorts Aircraft works.
  • Tilbury: At 1100 hours on 2nd September, HE bombs were dropped on the New Dry Dock causing damage to the premises of the London Graving Dock Company and Messrs. Green and Silly Wears. No 17 Shed has been demolished and bombs fell on the other sheds, buildings and the riverside station and yard.
  • Maidstone: severe Bombing took place at about 1300 hours on 2nd September, causing considerable damage to house property and 25 families have been evacuated. The morale of the town is reported as being unimpaired.
  • Swansea: During the night of 1st/2nd September extensive bombing was carried out over the town when 134 HE and a large number of incendiary bombs were dropped, causing considerable damage and many fires. It is further reported that the new Great Western Railway station was seriously damaged, necessitating the diversion of traffic. Four wheat warehouses belonging to the Weaver Flour Mill Co. were damaged, two being completely gutted, the loss of stock is reported to be 8,000 tons. Incendiary bombs also fell on the Imperial Chemicals Industries factory at Upper Bank, where there was little damage, but a hold up in production of twelve hours. Many casualties resulted from this raid.
  • Blyth: Fires were caused at the Import Dock at 2310 hours on the 2nd September due to incendiary bombs. All fires were extinguished.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, Nil injured.
  • To others - 51 killed, 247 injured.

Tuesday 3rd
  • Weather: Fine and warm. Some cloud and drizzle in the north, haze in the Channel and Straits.
  • Day: Further heavy airfield attacks.
  • Night: Liverpool bombed once again. Harassing raids on South Wales and the south-west coast.

Summary of action

The enemy's effort was directed to one main attack in East Kent and the Estuary in the morning, and to one minor attack in the early afternoon. In these engagements twenty-five enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus 11 probable and 10 damaged). Our casualties were 15 aircraft and 7 pilots killed or missing.

North and East

At 1610 hours two reconnaissances took place off East Anglia reporting on convoys, and at 1700 hours two other single aircraft reported on convoys East of Skegness and East of Yarmouth.

South East

At about 0830 hours one aircraft at 22,000 feet made a reconnaissance to North Foreland, along the Kentish Coast to Eastchurch, and out by Dungeness. At 0915 hour, 40 minutes after assembly south and East of Calais, 20+ aircraft at 20,000 feet approached Deal but appeared to be intercepted by one squadron off North Foreland. A further formation of about eighty aircraft flew up the North side of the Estuary at 25,000 feet. These were followed by other raids composed by thirty Dos and fifty Me110's and the objective was North Weald where damage was caused. One of our squadrons had just landed there from a previous patrol and was refuelling. Pilots were unable to gain height in sufficient time to attack the enemy. Splits from this raid flew towards Debden, Hornchurch and Thames Haven. One small raid made towards Maidstone and one of fifteen aircraft towards Biggin Hill but no definite objective was singled out.

At 1115 hours when the attacking forces were dispersing two other raids consisting of thirty aircraft in all went inland at Deal and North Foreland. They penetrated only a short distance before returning. Manston however was bombed at this time but no damage was caused. Casualties were inflicted by fighters.

At 1300 hours two raids of 12+ aircraft flew from Calais towards Foreness but were driven off by one fighter squadron. At 1400 hours six enemy raids were active off the Kent Coast and one of these entered the Estuary. Four squadrons engaged them and enemy aircraft were destroyed.

South and West

At 0830 hours one aircraft made a reconnaissance flight to within 15 miles South of the Needles. At 1130 hours three high level reconnaissances by single aircraft were tracked in the Bristol, Liverpool, and Birmingham areas. At 2055 hours aircraft approached Start Point and Portland. No interceptions were made.

By night

Enemy activity was on a similar scale to that of recent nights but confined almost entirely to the Liverpool, South Wales and Kentish areas. Very little attention was paid to the Industrial Midlands. From 2100 hours a steady stream of raids from the Brest and Cherbourg areas was plotted to South Wales and Bristol. Many aircraft flew on to Liverpool and a few as far as Barrow-in-Furness. Successive waves followed to Liverpool and whilst the rest of the country was almost clear by 0100 hours raids were still passing towards Liverpool at 0230 hours.

Extensive mine-laying is suspected along the whole of the East Coast from Aberdeen to the Thames Estuary and along the South Coast as far as Poole. Some of these raids penetrated a short distance inland in the Tyne, Tees, Yorkshire, and Kent areas. Others were suspected of mine-laying in the Bristol Channel and in Liverpool Bay.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 3rd September 1940

  • Blenheim - 53
  • Spitfire - 221
  • Hurricane - 400
  • Defiant - 25
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 707

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 20 aircraft with 10 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 2nd/3rd September - 29 patrols involving 29 sorties.
  • During the day of 3rd September - 123 patrols involving 729 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 150 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 2nd/3rd September and 600 during the day of 3rd September.

Balloons:

  • No reports.

Aerodromes:

  • North Weald, Biggin Hill. Unserviceable during hours of darkness.

Attacks on Aerodromes

  • North Weal, Manston, West Malling.

Organisation:

  • Whole of No 92 Squadron is now at Pembrey.
  • No 501 Squadron is now at Gravesend.
  • No 257 Squadron is now at Debden.
  • (Czech) No 310 Squadron is now at Duxford.
  • Whole of No 229 Squadron is now at Wittering.
  • Whole of No 41 Squadron is now at Hornchurch.
  • Whole of No 219 Squadron is now at Catterick.
  • No 64 Squadron is now at Leconfield.
  • No 66 Squadron is now at Kenley.
  • No 616 Squadron is now at Coltishall.
  • No 54 Squadron is now at Catterick.
  • No 85 Squadron moved from Croydon to Castle Camp.
  • No 111 Squadron moved from Castle Camp to Croydon.
  • No 312 (Czech) Squadron (Hurricanes) is now forming at Duxford with effect from 29th August.
  • No 306 (Polish) Squadron (Hurricanes) is now forming at Church Fenton with effect from 29th August.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 3rd September 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the day enemy aircraft made attacks on South East England and the Thames Estuary.
  • Activity was renewed at about 2100 hours when attacks were made on the following areas: South East England, Bournemouth, Southampton, Bristol Channel, South Wales, Liverpool, Newcastle, Firth of Forth and the East Coast of Scotland.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • North Weald was bombed at 1045 hours by twenty five to thirty Do215 or Do17 with an escort of fifty Me110. Two hangars, several MT lorries, two Hurricanes and one Blenheim were damaged by fire and the main stores and living quarters received a certain amount of damage. A part of the old Operations Room was demolished, but there was no damage when a direct hit was registered on the new Operations Room. A certain amount of damage is reported to communications. The landing ground is serviceable but for the South and South West areas where craters and unexploded bombs remain.
  • Manston was bombed at 1140 hours by three enemy aircraft which dropped five bombs but did no damage. There was one unexploded bomb in the middle of the aerodrome.
  • Great Shefford, an Emergency Landing Ground, was hit by eight small HE but not damage is reported.
  • West Malling is reported to have been bombed at 1555 hours, but there is no damage to report as yet.
  • Elsewhere
  • Birmingham: it is reported that the explosion of a delayed action bomb which fell 400 yards from the works of the Dunlop Rubber Co at Erdington destroyed the Company's telephone communications, but production is not affected. The blast from the same bomb damaged the roof of the premises of Messrs. Arthur Scrivenors Ltd, Tyburn Road and has temporarily stopped production, but there is no damage reported to plant or machinery.
  • Llandarcy: Further information received regarding the recent oil tank fires shows that there are three distinct fires which were started as follows:
  • No 1 Middle tank in group of 3 which contained 600 tons of benzol. Fire is almost out.
  • No 2 No 1 Tank, which is smoking at top and is burning out nicely. It is expected to burn out tomorrow. The surrounding earth is very hot.
  • No 3 Tank 405, which is burning fiercely. Two other tanks holed by splinters are feeding this fire. This is the most dangerous fire of the three.
  • Bristol: The Manager of the ICI Works at Metham reports that five bombs were dropped on the site during the raid on 1st September. Part of the boundary wall was demolished but material damage was confined to the heating chamber and sulphuric acid store tank, which was hit by splinters. One area was evacuated owing to an unexploded bomb, involving temporary suspension of work of certain plants and in certain workshops, but it will not seriously affect supply of product.
  • Dunchurch: Night 2nd/3rd September 1940. Two HE bombs were dropped on the LMS Leamington - Rugby line near Dunchurch station causing damage to the track and a goods train was derailed.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, Nil injured.
  • To others - 37 killed, 112 injured.

Wednesday 4th
  • Weather: Fine and warm with haze in the Channel and Straits. Occasional rain and strong winds in the north.
  • Day: Two major attacks on airfields. Serious damage to the Vickers Works at Brooklands.
  • Night: Further raid on Liverpool.

Summary of action

The enemy's main effort consisted of two attacks in East Kent and Thames Estuary areas. There was also a considerable amount of high flying reconnaissances of convoys, especially round the North and East Coasts and Wales. Our fighters destroyed 52 enemy aircraft (plus 19 probable and 22 damaged). Our casualties amounted to 17 aircraft and six pilots killed or missing.

North

At 1140 hours one Ju88 was identified in the Dunbar area although no track was plotted. At 1610 hours and 1809 hours two high altitude reconnaissance flights approached Montrose and Aberdeen. The second of these reported the position of a convoy. Fighters went up but did not intercept.

East

Some high altitude reconnaissances were flown by enemy aircraft off the Coast of Norfolk.

South East

Between 0600 and 0700 hours one aircraft at 17,000 feet was over a convoy off North Foreland. It was engaged by fighters but the result was inconclusive.

At 0915 hours activity developed into an attack by about 150 aircraft. One group of 80 flew into the Estuary and on towards Eastchurch, Hornchurch, North Weald and Debden, and the other of 70 crossed near Lympne and flew towards Biggin Hill. Most of the aircraft soon turned and by 0945 hours were recrossing the coast. During their withdrawal a force of 30 aircraft patrolled off North Foreland in addition to the usual hostile patrols in the Straits. Casualties were inflicted on the enemy.

At 1235 hours 5 hostile bombers were over Dover and at 1258 hours an attack developed. By 1305 hours some 200 aircraft crossed the coast on a wide front between Dover and Littlehampton at 20,000 feet. The bulk flew over Kent and Sussex but had commenced to disperse by 1400 hours. Some however flew over the Thames Estuary and near Gravesend but drew off at 1340 hours. A third section of about 50 aircraft flew along the Coast to West of Shoreham as if making for Kenley but quickly turned back. Damage was done at Weybridge. Fighters inflicted considerable casualties on the enemy. During the period of these raids about 80 enemy aircraft remained on patrol in the Straits.

At 1635 hours one enemy aircraft at 5,000 feet flew towards Dover. One section of fighters did not make interception. Between 1730 and 1750 hours small raids and two of six aircraft and one of 12 approached Dungeness but did not cross the coast.

South

Between 0700 and 0800 hours four hostile raids were in the Channel off the Isle of Wight, Portland and Beachy Head. At 1615 hours 2+ aircraft flew over the Isle of Wight. A section sent up did not made interception.

West

At 1132 hours a hostile reconnaissance was made over a convoy at Milford Haven.

By night

Enemy activity commenced earlier at 2000 hours and later concentrated on South Wales and the Midlands including Manchester and Liverpool whence some raids crossed to Newcastle. The number of enemy aircraft involved on the route Cherbourg-Poole-Midlands up to 2345 hours is estimated at 100.

In addition there were widespread isolated raids involving at least a further 100 aircraft over the Eastern half of the country including the London area, and at various points round the Coast indicating probable mine-laying. These raids continued to come in up to approximately 0300 hours by which time the majority of raids inland had begun to move away in a South Easterly direction.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 4th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 50
  • Spitfire - 218
  • Hurricane - 407
  • Defiant - 21
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 704

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 17 aircraft with 6 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 3rd/4th September - 27 patrols involving 34 sorties.
  • During the day of 4th September - 123 patrols involving 677 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 100 -120 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 3rd/4th September and 650 during the day of 4th September.

Balloons:

  • No reports.

Aerodromes:

  • Abbotsinch and Hartlepool unserviceable by night.

Attacks on Aerodromes

  • Brooklands, Eastchurch, Lympne, Rochford and Rochester.

Organisation:

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 4th September 1940
  • General Summary
  • During the day, two raids were made by enemy aircraft, during which bombs were dropped - the first being between 0950 and 1015 hours, when attacks were made on Eastchurch, Lympne and Bradwell-on-Sea Aerodromes and in other places in Essex and Kent. No reports have been received of serious damage or casualties resulting from these raids. In the second raid, between 1300 and 1400 hours, more serious consequences resulted. Bombs were dropped on the Vickers Armstrong Works at Weybridge and Pobjoys Factory at Rochester. At the former, considerable damage was done to the erecting shop and plant and very serious casualties occurred. The figure quoted is 55 killed and approximately 250 injured.
  • During the night of the 4th/5th September, attacks were carried out in Dorsetshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, London, Monmouthshire, Norfolk, Northumberland, Pembrokeshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Staffordshire, Suffolk, Sussex, Worcestershire and East Lothian.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Weybridge: The attack on Vickers Armstong Works was carried out by an unspecified number of aircraft but from reports received it appears that five or six direct hits on buildings were made and other heavy calibre bombs dropped outside hangars causing some damage but it is considered that casualties would have been greater but for the fact that the attack was made during the lunch hour. It appears that bombs dropped before the red warning was received. The full extent of the effect on production is not yet ascertained, but it is gathered that considerable delay will occur.
  • Rochester: Full reports are not yet to hand of the effect of the bombing of the Works and Aerodrome of Short Bros.
  • Lympne: The Aerodrome which was attacked at 0934 hours on the 4th September, does not appear to suffered any damage of importance.
  • Tilbury: A serious fire resulted from a bombing attack when the Orient Line Offices were set alight but it was reported at a later hour that the fire was under control.
  • Bristol: Damage was caused to a section of the main line at Temple Meads Station.
  • Bournemouth: Some serious damage was caused to houses, a railway line and a road.
  • Eastchurch: Eastchurch was subjected to two attacks during the day of the 4th and Dunkirk (RAF Station) to one attack but no major damage has been reported.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, Nil injured.
  • To others - 67 killed, 330 injured approximately.

Thursday 5th
  • Weather: Continuing fine and warm with cloud developing later.
  • Day: Airfield attacks in two phases. Park (CinC No 11 Group) orders special cover for fighter factories.
  • Night: Continuous activity over southern England.

Summary of action

The enemy launched two attacks in the East Kent and Thames Estuary area. Activity apart from this was limited to a few reconnaissance flights mainly off the East Coast. During engagements with the enemy our fighters destroyed 36 aircraft (plus 22 probable and 17 damaged). Our casualties amounted to 23 aircraft of which 11 pilots, killed or missing.

East

One raid passed near a convoy off East Anglia and then flew inland as far as Newmarket. Later in the day and during the second attack in the South east, an aircraft reported as a four engine bomber was plotted from the Harwich area across the Estuary and out over Ramsgate. In the evening some six raids were plotted off the Coast between the Wash and the Humber.

South East

After two early reconnaissance flights in the Dungeness/Deal area, raids began to mass behind Calais. At 0935 hours these aircraft, some 70 in all, crossed the cost at Dungeness and proceeded towards Biggin Hill, returning via the Maidstone district. These aircraft were closely followed by some 50 aircraft, which flew to the Isle of Shelly and split towards Hornchurch and Harwich. At 1050 hours 12 Me109 attacked the Dover Balloons. Dover guns opened fire destroying one enemy aircraft and damaging another. Scattered raids were active inland in east Kent until about 1215 hours.

After a high reconnaissance over the North Foreland, another attack in force was made on Kent. This was opened at 1456 hours by two raids of some 112+ aircraft. Some 100 of these approached Biggin Hill but appeared to turn back short of this objective; another small split raid approached Hornchurch. A mass of plots containing elements of these raids and our fighters was tracked eastwards from the Estuary at 1530 hours. At this time another raid of 50+ aircraft was intercepted when attempting to cross the coast near Dungeness. Thereafter up to 1630 hours strong enemy formations (up to 70+) patrolled the Straits of Dover and a seaplane was reported to have rescued a German crew off Ramsgate. Nos 10 and 12 Groups assisted No 11 Group during this attack by providing patrols over Tangmere and North Weald.

South

An early reconnaissance of 3+ aircraft approached Worthing but turned back when fighters were despatched to intercept. One raid from Cherbourg flew on reconnaissance to the Bristol area and another made a reconnaissance over the Isle of Wight.

West

A "help" signal was received from a convoy off Anglesey.

By night

Enemy activity commenced soon after 2030 hours. Raids to the South Wales/Midlands/Manchester and Liverpool and West Riding areas came in between Portland and Bournemouth, and there was also activity in the South East of Scotland, and in the Tees district as far inland as Catterick. A number of raids coming from the Thames Estuary and from the South Coast, over a considerable period, remained within the London area. There were also scattered raids in Essex/Kent/Surrey and Sussex. At 0100 hours two raids were being plotted in the Irish Sea between Dublin and Belfast and between Kintyre and the Irish Coast.

By 0230 hours activity had decreased and less than a dozen raids were still being plotted inland.

Mine-laying was suspected in Lyme Bay, Thames Estuary and between Amble and St Abb's Head. Also increased activity of this nature in the Firth of Forth.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 5th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 49
  • Spitfire - 214
  • Hurricane - 422
  • Defiant - 25
  • Gladiator - 9
  • Total - 719

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 23 aircraft with 11 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 4th/5th September - 20 patrols involving 20 sorties.
  • During the day of 5th September - 121 patrols involving 672 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 4th/5th September and 450 during the day of 5th September.

Balloons:

  • Barrage will be flying at Kingston-upon-Thames, as from 2230 hours, 5th September 1940.

Aerodromes:

  • Biggin Hill, Abbotsinch and Hartlepool serviceable by day only.

Attacks on Aerodromes

  • Aston Down, Detling, Biggin Hill.

Organisation:

  • No 73 Squadron moved from Church Fenton to Debden.
  • No 85 Squadron moved from Debden to Church Fenton.
  • No 504 Squadron moved from Catterick to Hendon.

Home Security Reports

  • Date: 5th September 1940

General Summary

  • Raids were again made on two separate occasions during the day and bombs were dropped in South Eastern districts.
  • During the first raid between 1015 and 1100 hours bombs were dropped on some South Eastern suburbs of London and in parts of Kent. The main line from Charing Cross South via Chislehurst was temporarily blocked at this place.
  • During the second raid from about 1515 to 1630 hours oil fires started but at a late hour this morning it was reported that fires were under control and only one tank was then burning.
  • An attack was made on Detling Aerodrome without damage of a serious nature resulting. Not many casualties have been reported as a result of the day raids.
  • During the night of 5th/6th September raids extending over a number of hours have taken place and according to reports it would appear that the London area has received a large proportion of the enemy attacks.

Detailed Summary

  • Liverpool Area: Damage has been caused at Walton where one HE fell on Dunlop Works which it is reported has resulted in production being affected 50%. One week is said to be required to repair. The Mersey Docks and Harbour Board have suffered some damage of a fairly widespread nature but not reported to be very serious.
  • Gloucestershire: The number of bombs confirmed as having been dropped during the 24 hours ended 2140 on 5th September was 162 HE and a number of IB.
  • Flintshire: Considerable damage was done to Courtaulds Works by a direct hit of a "Flamenburg". All work suspended, road blocked and buildings and supplies in the vicinity have been affected. This was at Greenfield.

London Area:

  • Hammersmith: Damage was caused during the night of 5th/6th September to a water main which it is reported may affect parts of West London.
  • Woolwich: Major damage is reported to houses, roads and services but details are not available.
  • Dartford: The County Hospital was hit, two wards being damaged, three houses destroyed and casualties believed to exceed 50 resulted.
  • Leyton: Several fires were caused and water mains damaged causing flooding at Lea Bridge Road.
  • Ilford: The Up and Down Railway lines were blocked owing to debris.
  • Edith: Many houses were damaged and water, gas, electricity mains and sewers also damaged.

Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:

  • To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, 2 injured.
  • To others - 35 killed, 282 injured approximately.

Friday 6th
  • Weather: Fine, but cooler. Haze in the Straits and Thames Estuary.
  • Day: Three main attacks, largely broken up.
  • Night: Harassing raids.

Summary of action

Three main attacks were launched during the day, all in the South Coast of England, and the Thames Estuary area. During the morning, a raid approached Portland, but no attack developed. A few small raids in the Bristol/North Wales/Liverpool areas and one raid appeared near Leicester and flew out to sea near Tangmere. During engagements with the enemy, our fighters destroyed 44 enemy aircraft (plus 20 probable and 17 damaged). Our casualties amounted to 22 aircraft, of which 7 pilots are killed or missing.

East

Two small raids from the Dutch Cost inland from Harwich, one penetrating to Northampton, and in the afternoon one raid 10 miles out to sea along the Norfolk coast towards the Wash.

South East

First Attack: 0840-0950 hours, raids totalling some 300 enemy aircraft crossed the Coast between Dover and Dungeness and spread out fanwise, some raids penetrating to Biggin Hill and one as far as North Weald. The raids were intercepted by our fighters and most of the day's enemy casualties were inflicted during this attack.

Second Attack: 1255-1400, raids totalling some 200 enemy aircraft crossed the coast again between Dover and Dungeness, followed by further raids. The majority of raids did not penetrate beyond Kent and Sussex, but some appeared to go as far as Debden and Hornchurch. No 11 Group was reinforced by 4½ Squadrons during this attack.

Third Attack: 1745-1845 hours. Two raids each of some 50 enemy aircraft, crossed the coast between Maidstone towards the Thames Estuary. The main target towards Hornchurch but turned back via Maidstone. Seventeen Squadrons were detailed to meet this attack by 11 Group, and one Squadron over North Weald and Hornchurch from 12 Group. It is reported that after this attack two ME110's landed almost undamaged, at Manston and Hawkinge.

South

One early reconnaissance from Cherbourg to Portland, Swanage and Selsey Bill.

One raid of 20+ aircraft from Cherbourg at 1147 hours approached Portland on a ten mile front, and a further raid of 6+ aircraft was plotted at the same time, but an attack did not develop, and only two aircraft were seen near Portland. Between 1400-1500 hours, small hostile patrol in Lyme Bay.

West

At 1700 hours, a small raid flew over North Wales to Liverpool.

North

At 1600 hours, two high reconnaissance raids off the coast at Aberdeen.

By night

Enemy activity was on a very reduced scale.

From 2015 hours, a few raids flew towards London via the Thames Estuary and Kent. There were no raids in this area after 0030 hours.

Scattered raids were plotted through the Midlands and in South Wales, but no raids were plotted into this country after 0100 hours, and up to 0400 hours activity was very slight.

Suspected mine-laying raids on East Coast as far North as the Humber.

At 2115 hours two raids were plotted off Aberdeenshire Coast in vicinity of two convoys.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 6th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 52
  • Spitfire - 200
  • Hurricane - 410
  • Defiant - 29
  • Gladiator - 9
  • Total - 700

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 22 aircraft with 7 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 5th/6th September - 50 patrols involving 50 sorties.
  • During the day of 6th September - 144 patrols involving 987 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 250 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 5th/6th September and 720 during the day of 6th September.

Balloons:

  • No reports.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Night of 5th/6th September 1940
  • It is estimated that about 190 aircraft took part in the raids during this night but except in London and Liverpool, the number of bombs dropped and damage done appears to have been less than usual. It is reported that the main damage was to railway communications. The bombing of a hospital at Dartford (Kent) was reported yesterday. Bombs were dropped in many districts in Southern England but apart from some damage in London and Lancashire, reports show that elsewhere it was not considerable.
  • Date: 6th September 1940
  • The enemy again made two raids on this country during the day, the first from 0900 to 1000 hours and the second from 1300 to 1345 hours. A number of bombs were dropped. The Southern Railway lines to Caterham and Oxted were temporarily blocked and very slight damage was done to the Hawker-Hurricane Aircraft Factory at Weybridge and to Pobjoy's Factory at Rochester. For the rest, the bombs were remarkably ineffective and there were very few casualties.
  • Date: Night of 6th/7th September 1940
  • Extensive raids have been carried out during this night but a summarised account is not yet available.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Bristol: A report received late on 6th September refers to damage caused to the Works of the Bristol Aeroplane Co during the night raid on 4th/5th September. One HE and one fire bomb caused some damage but apparently not of a major nature and production was not affected. No casualties.
  • Date: Night of 5th/6th September 1940
  • An enemy aircraft crashed on a house in Sunderland causing fires which were soon extinguished. The roof of Central Station collapsed and traffic was dislocated. Other fires were caused in parts of Durham but were also soon extinguished.
  • Slight fires occurred in parts of Yorkshire.
  • Lincolnshire: Damage to property was caused by HE at Horncastle and many IB were dropped in other parts of Lincolnshire but no material damage or casualties have been reported.
  • In Essex, a number of HE and IB were dropped and damage was mainly to overhead electric cables, a small amount to property and the main road near Rayleigh.
  • Surrey, Oxford, Bucks, Somerset, Dorset and Devon were subjected to attacks but nothing of a major nature has been reported.
  • The same applies to South Wales.
  • Midlands: Bombs were dropped over a limited areas but with the exception of some damage to gas, water, electric light and telephone services, which in cases affected the roads, nothing of a serious nature was reported.
  • In the North Western area, Liverpool was bombed and some houses were demolished and water mains were severed. At Spellow Station all lines were blocked by HE explosions and at Lime Street Station, Liverpool, all lines were affected.
  • Prescot, St Helens, Rainhill (Mental Hospital), Wallasey, Birkenhead, Bolton and Wigan were also bombed and with the exception of some casualties, some of which were fatal, no major damage is said to have occurred.
  • Buckinghamshire: Fifty incendiary bombs were dropped near a military camp at Iver at 0010 hours but only slight damage to property is reported.
  • Kent: Service mains were damaged in the early morning at Orpington and Shoreham.
  • Worcestershire: Damage to mains and other property is reported from Dudley.
  • Scotland: It is reported that a mine was dropped near Kinghorn without causing any damage.
  • In the South Eastern region, areas near Hastings and Brighton were subjected to bombing attacks, also near Wye and near Ashford, with only slight damage to property and telephone wires. Other bombs are reported in parts of Sussex and Kent.
  • In the London area, damage is briefly recorded as follows:-
  • Eltham: A Woolworth's store set on fire.
  • Stepney: HE bombs in Lydia Street caused extensive damage to water mains and electric cables and there were some casualties.
  • In Kensington, Paddington, Hayes, Southall, Willesden, Tottenham, Southgate, Wood Green, Enfield, Heston, Coulsdon, Purley, Bromley, Beckenham, Walthamstow, Bexley (twice bombed), Plumstead, Yiewsley and Twickenham, bombs wrecked a certain number of houses and some casualties occurred but otherwise the damage is not considered to have been of an unduly serious nature.
  • At Croydon: 16 fires were caused by IB and there were 10 casualties of which 2 were fatal.
  • In Hampshire: some serious grass and bush fires were started - believed due to bombs - and which it would appear from later information, are still raging and causing some anxiety. In the area near Lyndhurst where these fires occurred, several soldiers are reported to have been buried in Allum Green House (near Bank) on the explosion of HE bombs. Later, four reported killed and 14 injured.
  • In Worcestershire, large forest fires reported near Stourport. Several hundred acres involved. Enemy aircraft were believed to be over this area in the early hours of 6th September.
  • Southampton: At 0410 hours, 3 HE were dropped in west end of town. No damage or casualties resulted.
  • Thames Haven and Coryton: A further attack was delivered at 0220 hours and fresh oil tank fires were started which were still reported burning in the early hours of 7th September. Another attack was delivered at 1800 hours on 6th September and yet another at 0024 on the 7th September.
  • Date: 6 September 1940
  • 0920 hours: HE and an aerial torpedo (sic) were reported dropped at Caterham.
  • 0930 hours: HE at Weybridge - Slight damage to Hawker Aircraft Factory.
  • 0938 hours: HE near BBC Station at Tatsfield near Oxted - At Leatherhead and Chertsey - Slight damage to property and overhead cable.
  • 1300 hours: Several HE at Dymchurch. A small fire and two bungalows and a road damaged. The bombs may have been intended for Littlestone Landing Ground.
  • RAF Stations
  • Attacks by Enemy aircraft.
  • Quedgeley (Glos): At 0250/5. One direct hit on a fully protected building which suffered only slight damage to roof and stocks. Three cottages wrecked. No casualties.
  • Biggin Hill: At 1003/5. By 40 bombers accompanied by 50/60 Fighters. HE and IB were dropped but all fell in woods off the Aerodrome. No damage to aerodrome or aircraft.
  • Heston: At 1100/5. Two photographic aircraft damaged but no other effect of bombing reported.
  • Hemswell: At 2205/5. Flare path machine-gunned while flares were on.
  • Upwood: At 0255/6. Three HE caused three craters on landing ground and land drain damaged.
  • Scampton: At 0248/7. One HE reported on aerodrome.
  • Biggin Hill: Details of reported attack on 6th September not yet to hand.
  • Parachutist: At 1720 hours on 6th September, a German soldier dressed in civilian clothes, was captured at Denton, (Northants). He was in possession of a loaded automatic, receiving and transmitting wireless set, Swedish passport and British identity card. He reported that on landing at 0300/6 he was injured by crashing on his wireless set. Was discovered in a ditch by a farmer. Was detailed for reporting on damage to airfields and aerodromes.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, nil injured.
  • To others - 58 killed, 298 injured approximately.

Saturday 7th
  • Weather: Fair with some haze.
  • Day: Day bombing switched to London with a heavy attack on the capital.
  • Night: Raids on London continue from dusk till dawn. Main objectives are the East End and Docks.

Summary of action

Enemy activity did not develop until mid-morning when some thirty aircraft crossed the coast near Lympne but did not penetrate far inland. Dover and Hawkinge were attacked.

The main attack of the day started at 1635 hours and came over in two waves totalling some 350 aircraft which spread over Kent, making for the Thames Estuary, East London and aerodromes North and South of London. By 1814 hours all raids were homing. While the above raids were in progress some 24 aircraft approached the South Coast near Spithead but turned back. Reconnaissance flights were made over Liverpool and Manchester areas, Bristol Channel, Norfolk and Yorkshire.

During engagements with the enemy, our fighters destroyed 74 enemy aircraft (plus 34 probable and 33 Damaged). Our casualties amounted to 27 aircraft of which 14 pilots killed or missing.

East

In the early morning, one aircraft, picked up among returning bombers, flew across the Wash to Lincoln and out at Skegness, no interception effected. At 0920 hours, one Do215, plotted inland in Norfolk, was intercepted and shot down off the Dutch Coast. Two reconnaissance raids over convoys. One raid of some 6 aircraft 25 miles East of Lowestoft; fighters failed to intercept. A raid of one aircraft patrolled Yorkshire and was intercepted on its way out but escaped into cloud.

A further raid crossed the coast at Southwold and penetrated to Duxford.

South East

A number of early reconnaissance flights off the South East Coast and one overland between Harwich/Biggin Hill and Maidstone were made in the early morning.

First Attack: 1100-1200. After massing on the French Coast, some 70 enemy aircraft crossed the coast near Folkestone. A split from this raid flew along the coast to Hastings, the remainder spreading over East Kent. Dive bombing attacks were carried out against Hawkinge and Dover.

From 1300-1500 hours constant patrols averaging 6 aircraft in Calais/Boulogne district. At 1515 hours 10 aircraft patrolled the Straits and appeared to cross the coast near Lympne.

Second Attack: 1625-1814. First wave totalling some 100 aircraft crossed the coast but activities were confined to Kent. A second wave commenced to cross the Coast at 1718 hours, some 250 aircraft being plotted in five raids, the activity spread to an area from East of Kenley covering the Thames Estuary to as far North as Duxford. No 12 Group provided 5 Squadrons to assist No 11 Group during this engagement. A strong enemy patrol was maintained in the Straits down to Dungeness for about an hour after the attack.

South

At 0915 hours a raid of 3+ flew from Le Havre to Portsmouth. It was intercepted off the Isle of Wight and one Me110 shot down. A further raid of 2+ aircraft in this area was intercepted but decisive action by our fighters was prevented owing to our AA fire. During the period of the second attack in the South East, a raid of 12 aircraft approached Portsmouth but turned back before reaching the coast.

By night

Enemy activity commenced at 2010 hours when raids came out of Fecamp/Caen area, crossing the Coast near Shoreham. One raid went to Northolt and others to Kenley and Biggin Hill area. There was then a steady stream of raids mostly crossing between Beachy Head and Dungeness, spreading over Sussex/Kent/Essex and penetrating into Greater London area including Northolt where between five and eight raids were continuously plotted up to 0300 hours. By about 0430 hours the last raids had left Greater London area and were homing. Very slight activity over the remainder of the country. Isolated raids reached Liverpool/Birmingham and South Wales, and there was suspected minelaying activity off the Norfolk Coast before midnight.

By 0500 hours the whole country was clear of enemy raids.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 7th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 44
  • Spitfire - 223
  • Hurricane - 398
  • Defiant - 20
  • Gladiator - 9
  • Total - 694

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 27 aircraft with 14 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 6th/7th September - 34 patrols involving 44 sorties.
  • During the day of 7th September - 143 patrols involving 817 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 120 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 6th/7th September and 700 during the day of 7th September.

Balloons:

  • Balloon Barrage at Weybridge operational as from 2200 hours 6th September 1940.

Aerodromes:

  • Rochford unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No 213 Squadron from Exeter to Tangmere.
  • No 601 Squadron from Tangmere to Exeter.
  • No 605 Squadron from Drem to Croydon.
  • No 111 Squadron from Croydon to Drem.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Up to 1700 hours on 7th September 1940, enemy air activity was slight, a few bombs were dropped at Bristol and at Hawkinge, Kent.
  • Soon after 1700 hours, however, the enemy launched a very big attack and the principal objectives seem to have been industrial and dock property on both sides of the Thames, bombs were dropped at Woolwich, Purfleet and the Dockland area of London.
  • Fires broke out and some damage was done to the Arsenal and to Siemen's Bros. Works at Woolwich and to Harland & Wolff's factory at North Woolwich. Serious damage was caused to a main sewer in Woolwich and there has been considerable interference with rail and road communications in the area.
  • At Purfleet, serious fires occurred at the Anglo-American Oil Works and other industrial buildings were hit and fires broke out. In Dockland, principally in the East India, West India, Surrey Commercial and Milwall Dock very serious fires broke out, due to the a large number of bombs.
  • The Gas Works at Beckton was seriously damaged and great interference will be caused to gas supplies in many parts of East London.
  • A number of bombs were also dropped at different points of South-Eastern London where also serious interference was caused to rail and road traffic.
  • During the night of 7th/8th September, attacks extending over many hours covered a considerable area of London and were of an intense nature. Preliminary reports do not permit an accurate review of the full extent of the places hit or of the damage. Possibly the most serious effect has been in Silvertown which has been described as a 'raging inferno' and complete evacuation became necessary. Over 600 fire appliances were in use during the night.
  • In the Battersea area, as in many others, major damage is reported, including the Battersea Power Station and London Power Company's property.
  • Southwark, Bermondsey, East and West Ham, Poplar, Plaistow, Barking, Hackney, Rotherhithe and Stepney are amongst those districts quoted in the category where major damage has occurred. Finsbury and Lewisham are also added to this category at a late hour.
  • Fires in many places are still raging at the close of this Summary.
  • RAF Stations
  • Cottesmore: At 2233 hours on the 6th September, a small number of IB were dropped approximately 100 yards from the tarmac.
  • Waddington: At 0310 hours on 7th September, an enemy aircraft fired a burst from a machine-gun at an aircraft from Scampton whilst landing here and afterwards a burst on the aerodrome from approximately 1,000 feet. No damage reported.
  • Hawkinge: At 1126 hours on the 7th September, an attack was carried out on this station by two waves of Me109 resulting in 12 to 15 craters on the perimeter near the Officers' Mess.
  • Rochford: It is reported that an attack was carried out on this station on 7th September but no details are available.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • No detailed report of the numerous raids during the night of 7th/8th September is possible owing to insufficiency of information and the total of casualties cannot be quoted with accuracy. The preliminary figures are given as:
  • To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, Nil injured.
  • To others - 51 killed, 180 injured approximately.

Sunday 8th
  • Weather: Fair early morning and evening, cloudy for the remainder of the day.
  • Day: Slight activity. Some small attacks on airfields.
  • Night: Heavy raid on London, mainly in the east.

Summary of action

Two attacks were made against the South East of England, the first by some 100 aircraft, mainly on the Kentish Coastal districts with a sub-section to Central London; the second by some 30 aircraft which penetrated to the London area and was a prelude to the night attacks in this district.

Some 16 reconnaissance flights were reported round the coast between Kinnaird's Head and Start Point, few of which penetrated inland.

During engagements with the enemy, our fighters destroyed 4 enemy aircraft (plus 3 probable and 8 damaged), and Anti-Aircraft accounted for three. Our casualties amounted to 4 aircraft of which 2 pilots killed or missing.

North

At 1300 hours a raid appeared 30 miles South East of Kinnaird's Head, flew South and faded North East of the Wash.

East

A few reconnaissance flights were made off East Anglia and the Estuary. One raid at 20,000 feet flew along the coast between Sunderland and Flamboro' but fighters failed to intercept. Two other reconnaissance flights of the Wash and Flamboro' were made.

South East

After two high flying reconnaissance flights of South London and the Thames Estuary in the early morning, there was little activity until 1105. At this time a sustained attack during which some 100 aircraft crossed the coast, commenced on objectives in Kent. At first the raids remained in the Coastal district from the North Foreland to Rye but were later plotted northwards over Kent to Sheppey and the Estuary. Two splits of a raid of 20+ aircraft headed towards London area. At 1311 hours the enemy began to withdraw.

The second attack was on a smaller scale, and commencing at 1930 hours, was directed to the London area. It appeared to be the prelude to the night operations; some 30 aircraft were involved and crossed the Coast between Beachy Head and Shoreham. This was followed by two reconnaissance raids, one of which penetrated Northwards to Bedford and the other to Hornchurch and Biggin Hill.

South and South West

Activity in this area was limited to a small number of reconnaissance flights off Start Point, Portland, and Isle of Wight and Beachy Head.

By night

Enemy raids continued to penetrate the London area from dusk onwards in a steady stream, originating from Cherbourg. There were continuously about 5 raids in this area. There was a lull about 0100 hours, but by 0200 hours activity had increased, there being about 20 raids in the South Eastern counties, including the London area, also several approaching the cost. These later raids appeared to be originating from Cherbourg and Dieppe.

One enemy aircraft is reported to have been shot down by Erith Guns at about 2100 hours, but not yet confirmed.

Balloons have been reported shot down, one mile South East of Hyde Park and at Wandsworth. Gun Sites reported attacked at Dulwich and Wanstead. Very little activity over the remainder of the country. Two raids in the Liverpool area, one to the Humber, and one over the Thames Estuary and out over Lowestoft.

Enemy activity continued later than usual up to 0500 hours. Later raids appeared to concentrate on East London and the Inner Thames Estuary and then flew Eastwards on their homeward course.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 8th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 50
  • Spitfire - 197
  • Hurricane - 381
  • Defiant - 23
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 697

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 4 aircraft with 2 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 7th/8th September - 18 patrols involving 23 sorties.
  • During the day of 8th September - 65 patrols involving 215 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 230 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 7th/8th September and 170 during the day of 8th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • Manston/Hawkinge/Biggin Hill unserviceable.

Organisation:

  • No 43 Squadron from Tangmere to Usworth.
  • No 79 Squadron from Biggin Hill to Pembrey.
  • No 92 Squadron from Pembrey to Biggin Hill.
  • No 607 Squadron from Usworth to Tangmere.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: Night of 7th/8th September (supplementary)
  • A very large number of incidents are reported but the areas mainly affected were the Docks at West Ham, Poplar and Stepney on the North side of the river, where very serious fires were caused and Southwark and Bermondsey on the South side where there were many casualties. Elsewhere there was considerable damage to communications and electricity supply is partially affected. Casualties in the London area including those provisionally reported are said to number 320 killed and 349 injured.
  • Date: 8th September
  • Enemy air activity over this country was on a very small scale during the hours of daylight. Some bombs were dropped in Kent, particularly in rural areas near Dartford where a fire broke out at a station. Otherwise little serious damage was caused and casualties were small.
  • Date: Night of 8th/9th September
  • From about 2000 hours and for several hours almost continuous bombing attacks were delivered over the London area and there was some activity over the South-Eastern counties but there was little over other parts of the country.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Detling was bombed at 1300 hours.
  • West Malling. A large number of bombs were apparently directed at the Aerodrome at 1234 hours but details of damage, if any, are not to hand. In the neighbourhood telephones, water and gas services, 50 houses and the Southern Railway line were damaged and road A20 was blocked.
  • Elsewhere
  • Date: 8th September
  • Dagenham: Some damage was done at the Ford Works but there were no casualties and production was not affected.
  • Westminster: At Victoria Station a train was hit and driver killed. Failure of a part of current supply has restricted services considerably.
  • Southern Railway: All tracks blocked between London Bridge and New Cross. No trains between Waterloo and Clapham Junction, all due to presence of unexploded bombs.
  • Woolwich (Royal Dockyard): Two or three buildings gutted and stores lost - practically no machinery affected.
  • Woolwich (Royal Arsenal): Considerable damage to plant but some sections untouched. Many HE and unexploded bombs - approximately 12 fires. Severe casualties.
  • Crayford: Gas mains set on fire.
  • Erith: Services badly affected.
  • Bethnal Green: HE on the Columbia Market Shelter. Heavy casualties.
  • Date: 8th/9th September 1940
  • Several serious and major fires are reported in districts including - Commercial Road East, Twickenham (a timber yard), Borough High Street (next to Gunpowder Factory), Surrey Commercial Docks, Greenwich, Wandsworth (Vacuum Oil Co) and at Wimbledon Station (train fired).
  • Major damage is reported from the City at The Minories and at Nine Elms Goods Yard, at Edmonton and Grosvenor Bridge Railway Line (Victoria).
  • In London the following are reported to have been hit: County Hall, London Hospital, St Thomas' Hospital, London Fire Brigade Station (Whitechapel), LMS Junction at East Ham and a public shelter at Islington.
  • No further reports to hand.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • Supplementary Report for 7th/8th September.
  • To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, 3 injured.
  • To others - 292 killed, 1285 injured approximately.
  • Casualties for 8th/9th September are not yet reported.

 


Monday 9th

Weather: Scattered showers, thundery in the east. Channel fair.
Day: Unsuccessful attacks on London, Thames Estuary and aircraft factories.
Night: Main target is London, including the City and West End.

Summary of action

One main attack was made in the afternoon by some 300 aircraft in direction of Thames Estuary/South London and Biggin Hill but only a section penetrated to Central London. During the resulting engagements our fighters destroyed 50 enemy aircraft (plus 9 probable and 13 damaged) and Anti-Aircraft fire accounted for 2 destroyed and 2 probable. Our casualties amounted to 20 aircraft of which 5 pilots killed or missing.

There were also a number of enemy reconnaissances, mostly over Convoys on East Coast.

East

One raid is reported to have made an early morning attack on a Trawler, 25 miles East of Lowestoft. Four raids made a reconnaissance of convoys off East Anglian Coast, of which one also penetrated to Bury St Edmunds. Two raids crossed Lincolnshire Coast. Interception was made by without success.

South East

One early raid to Clacton and another from Beachy Head to Central London and back over Hastings. Later in the morning a raid of three aircraft approached the Kent coast. Fighters unsuccessfully attempted interception. Apart from patrols in Calais/Boulogne area, there was little enemy activity until 1605 hours when formations began to mass in Calais/Boulogne area. From 1655 hours an attack in force on the South East crossed the Coast between North Foreland and Cover. Enemy strength is estimated at some 300 aircraft amongst which there are reported to have been 6 four-engined aircraft with strong fighter escort. Up to 1730 hours the main trend was towards the Estuary and South London, though one raid of about 35 aircraft penetrated to Central London.

A general drift Westwards then developed, and small raids were plotted as far West as Salisbury. The enemy withdrew in small groups and during this period Dover was shelled. 24 Squadrons of fighters were detailed to this attack, inflicting heavy casualties, and an intercepted instruction from Gruppe Headquarters read "Break off task if fighter opposition is too strong". Later it was reported that shipping off Dover was attacked by enemy seaplanes with fighter escort.

By night

The usual stream of raids started to come out of Cherbourg and the Somme about 2000 hours, crossing the coast between Isle of Wight and Dungeness, all proceeding to the London area, where again four to five raids were maintained for most of the period.

From about 0230 hours the method of approach changed and activity increased. Raids had by this time practically ceased to come out of French Coast and were replaced by a larger series of raids from the Dutch Islands via the Thames Estuary into the London area, homing over Dungeness.

Soon after 0430 hours the last raids were leaving the London Area and by 0455 hours the country was clear of enemy raids.

There were a few raids before midnight in South Wales, Bristol, Midlands and one to Liverpool, and later raids spread up the East Coast with a few penetrations inland. Minelaying was suspected between Newcastle and Middlesborough.

Dover was reported to have been shelled several times during the night.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 9th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 55
  • Spitfire - 220
  • Hurricane - 392
  • Defiant - 22
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 697

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 20 aircraft with 5 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 8th/9th September - 24 patrols involving 25 sorties.
  • During the day of 9th September - 68 patrols involving 466 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 8th/9th September and 400 during the day of 9th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 229 Squadron from Wittering to Northolt.
  • No 1 Squadron from Northolt to Wittering.
  • No 616 Squadron from Coltishall to Kirton.
  • No 74 Squadron from Kirton to Coltishall.
  • No 303 (Polish) Squadron (Hurr) is now operational at Northolt.

Air Intelligence Reports:

  • Press sources report that all Berlin householders have received printed instructions urging them to stay at home and retire early to enable them to sleep for several hours before midnight. They are asked to set their alarm clocks for midnight and to remain dressed.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: Night of 8th/9th September (supplementary)
  • Reports show that very considerable damage has been done to rail and road communications and many serious fires occurred. Three hospitals were hit and Fulham Power Station was set on fire. The heaviest bombing was in the Riverside districts but minor indiscriminate bombing was widespread.
  • Sixty Local Authority areas, including every Metropolitan Borough, were bombed during that night. Major damage was dine at Acton, Leyton and Poplar. All lines were blocked at Broad Street station. The Embankment is flooded by a burst main at Chelsea. Serious fires occurred at Chiltern Court and Madame Tussauds (Baker Street). At Southgate the Metal Box Company's factory and the Lindley Aircraft Company's Works were damaged, affecting Government contracts and a Paint Works at Homerton was hit.
  • Date: 9th September
  • There was very little enemy activity during the day until after 1700 hours when a large force of aircraft approached London. Some bombs wee dropped but for the most part in Suburbs South of the River. Bombs were also dropped in Kent, notably at Canterbury. No reports of serious damage have been received and casualties appear to have been few.
  • Date: Night of 9th/10th September
  • Enemy aircraft visited the areas of Birmingham, Liverpool, Derby and Nottingham about midnight but no reports of any major damage have been received. The Lancashire Steel Corporation's Works were hit and a Blast Furnace damaged but work is proceeding.
  • Bombs were dropped in the New Forest area North of Ringwood where large fires are reported to have been started.
  • Another intense attack was made on the London Area and lasted several hours. A large number of bombs ere dropped mainly in the City - in the East End - in the South-Eastern and Southern districts. Many very serious fires were started and it is feared that some were spreading. Attacks appear to have been directed again at railway centres as well as industrial areas.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Date: 8th/9th September 1940
  • Mildenhall: Ten IB were dropped nut no damage has been reported.
  • Hawkinge: It is not yet ascertained that any damage was done when an attack was made and two HE bombs were dropped in the neighbourhood.
  • Date: 9th/10th September 1940
  • Cottesmore: Eight HE bombs were dropped nut no damage resulted.
  • Elsewhere
  • Date: 8th/9th September 1940
  • City: There were major fires in Great Arthur and King William Streets, and serious fires resulting in extensive damage to property near Bank of England and Mansion House.
  • Shoreditch: Railway lines blocked - Public Shelter hit - slight casualties - severe fires.
  • Stepney: Very dangerous fire at British Oil and & Cake Mills at Sun Wharf. Telephone exchange hit and roads blocked.
  • Hackney: Two factories were hit and seriously damaged.
  • Stoke Newington: Serious flooding.
  • Islington: Major damage to roads, cables, gas and water mains and sewers.
  • St Pancras Station: Line blocked.
  • Westminster: Severe fire at Odham's Press. Law Courts hit.
  • Knightsbridge: Barracks hit.
  • Green Park and St James's Park: Unexploded bombs in Constitution Hill and in the Gardens of Buckingham Palace.
  • Battersea: Delayed action bombs exploded putting out of use all up and down lines between Queens Road and Clapham Junction.
  • Kensington: Natural history Museum fired.
  • Reduced gas pressure due to bombing has seriously affected production at Desoutter's and Osram's Works.
  • Date: 9th September 1940
  • Kingston: By-pass has been blocked in four places and small fires broke out in Richmond, Barnes, Epson, Malden and Purley. Bombs were also dropped in Wandsworth, Norbiton, Surbiton and Lambeth. A few HE bombs were also dropped North of the River, notably at West Ham, at Fulham and at Chelsea.
  • Date: 9th/10th September 1940
  • City: Major fires reported in Barbican, Ludgate Hill, Cheapside to Cannon Street (where building collapsed), Bow, Blackwall and Southwark.
  • Lambeth: Major damage reported - water mains - road blocked - railway lines - Nine Elms Goods Yard and Embankment.
  • Canning Town: 20 houses demolished.
  • Greenwich: Bridge blocked.
  • Southwark: Serious fire in Boro' High Street, St George's Road and New Kent Road.
  • Westminster: Some major damage.
  • Charing Cross: Station hit. Bomb penetrated platform to street below.

Tuesday 10th
  • Weather: Generally cloudy, some rain.
  • Day: Single-aircraft raids on airfields during the afternoon.
  • Night: Main attacks against London. Some lesser raids on Merseyside and South Wales.

Summary of action

Small scale attacks on Portsmouth, Tangmere, Poling and West Malling. Only isolated aircraft appeared in the London area also scattered raids along the South Coast and over Kent. Reconnaissance flights over Convoys.

East

One early morning reconnaissance of Humber and Digby and out over Yarmouth. Two reconnaissances of convoys off Norfolk and Lincolnshire, of which one crossed the coast near Mablethorpe. Two raids, of which one identified as a Ju88 along Norfolk Coast, Yarmouth to Harwich, and a further raid reported to have attacked Yarmouth. Cloud conditions prevented fighter contact. At 1550 hours, one aircraft flew West, North of Thames Estuary, crossed London from North to South and then out over Sheppey.

South

One early raid penetrated inland near Tangmere. Fighters failed to intercept. Two raids just inland near Hastings and Shoreham during the morning. At 1230 hours one Dornier crossed the coast near Hastings, penetrated to Central London, and flew out East near Clacton. At 1715 hours six small raids coming in between Beachy Head and Dungeness approached London area. Fighters intercepted and two enemy aircraft were destroyed and one probable. The remainder flew out by the same route to Dieppe area.

1740-1835: Three small raids via Poole to Middle Wallop where track faded.

Between 1700-1800 hours some raids originating from Cherbourg appeared to attack Poling, Tangmere and Portsmouth, but only two penetrated inland to any extent.

By night

Enemy activity commenced with an attack of about 12 raids, coming from Cherbourg via St Catherine's Point and Selsey to Hampshire, some of which penetrated to London area. This wave had all dispersed by 2200 hours.

A further wave of six raids came from the Somme area crossing the coast between Dungeness and Beachy Head, over Kent and Sussex up to London area. There was a lull in hostile activity between 220 and 2230 hours, at which time raids again came in between Selsey and Dungeness. Between 2100 and 0100 hours, it is estimated that 80 raids crossed the South Coast. Enemy raids gradually ceased to come in over the South Coast, but by 0100 hours a stream of about 30 raids started to come in from the Dutch Islands up the Thames Estuary into the London area, thence out over the South Coast. By 0430 the last of these raids had left the cost by the North Foreland and the whole country was then clear.

In the West several raids entered between the Needles and Portland, proceeding to South Wales, Western Midlands and Liverpool. One raid reached Liverpool area flying East from the Irish Sea and a further raid came in near Whitby and flew West as far as Kendal, then out East over Hartlepool.

Minelaying is suspected in the Mersey, South of the Isle of Man, Harwich, Portsmouth area and Thames Estuary.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 10th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 47
  • Spitfire - 225
  • Hurricane - 375
  • Defiant - 21
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 676

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 1 Spitfire, pilot safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 9th/10th September - 34 patrols involving 41 sorties.
  • During the day of 10th September - 73 patrols involving 224 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 9th/10th September and 50 during the day of 10th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 66 Squadron from Kenley to Gravesend.
  • No 510 Squadron from Gravesend to Kenley.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: Night of 9th/10th September (supplementary)
  • Further information on damage done by enemy bombs on this night shows that apart from attacks on railways, bombing appeared wholly indiscriminate and extensive damage was done to private property. Large fires were caused in the City and other fires elsewhere. Charing Cross Station and Fenchurch Street Station were both put out of action and lines were blocked in other places. There was a serious fire at Woolwich where Greenwood & Batley's Ltd cordite shed was blown up and the Royal Arsenal a large building fired. At Westminster part of the Embankment had to be closed and major damage is reported from Lambeth, Southwark, East Ham and West Ham. There were also large fires at warehouses at the Docks.
  • Date: 10th September
  • Enemy air activity was confined during daylight to scattered raids and bombs were dropped at a few places mostly on the coast, in the South East of England. Damage was done to the Southern Railway's Electricity sub-station at Newhaven and bombs were also dropped at Yarmouth, Hastings and West Malling Aerodrome.
  • Several enemy aircraft passed over the London area at different times during the day but except at Woolwich it does not appear that any bombs were dropped.
  • An enemy aircraft machine-gunned Tangmere Aerodrome.
  • Date: Night of 10th/11th September 1940
  • Prolonged raids were again carried out by enemy aircraft. Whilst the London area was again the main target, South and South Eastern England and Cardiff were also visited.
  • Reports indicate a great deal of major damage and many serious fires in and near London.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Date: 9th September 1940
  • Cambridge: At 2250 hours three incendiary bombs were dropped on the South East side of the landing ground and two KB in open fields outside. No damage.
  • Date: 10th September 1940
  • West Malling: Bombs were dropped on the Aerodrome at 1732 hours; a slight fire resulted and there was one casualty to personnel.
  • Tangmere: At 1605 hours an enemy aircraft Me110 or Do17 fired a few machine-gun rounds along the tarmac.
  • Elsewhere
  • Date: 10th/11th September 1940
  • The major damage in the London area caused by bombs during this night, is reported to be St Katherine's Dock where a raging fire is reported to be out of control, at Islington, in the City (Golden Lane and Aldgate Avenue) at Shadwell where East End Maternity Hospital set on fire, at Stepney a major fire in Cable Street, at London Docks (2 large warehouses on fire), at Milwall (Hydraulic Mains burst), in the Mile End Road a major fire at Durrell's Timber Yard, at Paddington, St Marylebone and Bayswater Road.
  • At Brentwood over 1,000 incendiary bombs are reported to have been dropped and serious fires were started at a Convent and a Woolworth's Store.

Wednesday 11th
  • Weather: Mainly fine with some local showers. Cloud in the Channel and Thames Estuary.
  • Day: Three large raids in the south-east, including London. Portsmouth and Southampton attacked. German invasion postponed again (till the 14th).
  • Night: London and Merseyside attacked.

This page is respectfully dedicated to Sergeant Pilot Stanley ANDREW, 46 Squadron, killed this day in the Battle of Britain. One of the few.

Summary of action

One major attack was made on the Kent Coast and inland at about 1530 hours by some 250 enemy aircraft, and of these about 30 penetrated Central London. Other activity was confined to an attack on the Portsmouth area simultaneously with that on East Kent, and to reconnaissance flights round the Coasts with a few penetrating inland.

During the day's operations 80 enemy aircraft were destroyed plus 34 probable and 44 damaged. Anti-aircraft shot down 9 enemy aircraft plus 9 damaged.

Our losses were 28 aircraft and 17 pilots killed or missing.

North and East Coast

Two reconnaissances were made in the Firth of Forth, one off the Humber and one off Yarmouth.

South

Up to 1200 hours there were six patrols by single aircraft in the East Kent area, one of which was identified as a Henschel, and there were two reconnaissances in the Thames Estuary.

At 1505 hours two raids consisting of 20 aircraft at 25,000 ft. and six plus at 11,000 ft. crossed the Coast at Dover and flew north to the Estuary and to Essex.

At 1534 hours, some 150 to 200 aircraft at 15,000 and 20,000 feet crossed at Folkestone and flew North West to Maidstone. Of these, 30 penetrated to Central London but a split, however, turned and flew towards Brooklands. These 30 were intercepted by four Squadrons.

At 1545 hours, a second wave of 100 enemy aircraft crossed the Coast between Dungeness and Dover and followed a course similar to that of the previous raid. Sixteen Squadrons were detailed to patrol aerodromes and to intercept and considerable casualties were inflicted. During the attack Dover was bombed and at 1545 hours was shelled by shore batteries from France.

At 1700 hours, a raid of five enemy aircraft at 15,000 ft. approached London from the South-west and may have formed part of the raid attacking Portsmouth. It finally turned South-easterly towards Maidstone.

South and South West

At about 1130 hours one aircraft at 15,000 ft. crossed the coast at Beachy Head and flew near Biggin Hill and on towards Central London returning on a reciprocal track.

Reconnaissances were made off the Isle of Wight, Start Point and the Bristol Channel.

At 1610 hours, at the same time as the attack was being made on London, 75 enemy aircraft came in over Portsmouth and Southampton and flew inland over Hampshire and Sussex. Three Squadrons were sent to intercept and enemy aircraft were shot down.

By night

Enemy activity commenced at about 2020 hours, when the first raids, originating from Le Havre and Dieppe, crossed the Coast between Beachy Head and Shoreham. These early raids approached London but failed to penetrate the AA Barrage and turned South again.

From 2150 to about 0130 hours, a stream of raids of one or one plus aircraft from Cherbourg flew to the Bristol Channel and then across Wales to the Liverpool area. At the same time there were scattered raids in the Midlands.

At 2345 hours, raids of single aircraft crossed the Coast at Dungeness and penetrated the London area, returning over Tangmere. By 0145 hours raids were becoming more numerous in the London area, but had practically withdrawn from the rest of the Country.

At 3000 hours, raids ceased coming to London from the South, but started approaching from the North-east, originating from the Dutch Islands and returning over Beachy Head. This activity continued until about 0500 hours, and by 0530 hours the whole Country was clear.

Minelaying was suspected in the Thames Estuary, off the Costs of Northumberland and Aberdeenshire, off the Sussex Cost and South of the Isle of Man.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 11th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 61
  • Spitfire - 214
  • Hurricane - 387
  • Defiant - 21
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 691

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 28 aircraft with 17 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 10th/11th September - 38 patrols involving 41 sorties.
  • During the day of 11th September - 114 patrols involving 678 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 10th/11th September and 500 during the day of 11th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • Biggin Hill is unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 238 Squadron from St Eval to Middle Wallop.
  • No 234 Squadron from Middle Wallop to St Eval.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 11th September 1940
  • During the morning and early afternoon enemy activity over land was confined to reconnaissance, but at about 1530 hours a large number of aircraft crossed the coasts of Kent and Hampshire and made an attack on Dover, and on the Southampton area where a number of casualties were inflicted.
  • Only a small part of the enemy forces penetrated to the London area, where communications were again attacked but little real damage appears to have been done during the daylight raids, although some fires were stated in the dock area and many people were injured.
  • After dark, and throughout the night of September 11th/12th, many reports of minor bombing, as well as a few of a major character have been received from the Southern and Eastern Districts of the Capital; more fires were caused but in the most cases these appear to have been brought quickly under control.
  • Elsewhere bombs have been dropped during the night in parts of Lancashire, South Wales, Devon and Cornwall, Buckinghamshire and Hampshire, but in no case has the damage been severe or the casualties heavy.
  • Detailed Summary
  • London Area
  • Warehouses and sheds were set on fire and heavy damage done at the Surrey Commercial Docks as a result of an attack with HE and Incendiary bombs at 1623 hours.
  • The Central Telegraph Office, St Martins Le Grande was hit by HE bombs at 2042 hours the upper storeys being heavily damaged. The emergency telegraph and telephone schemes are in operation.
  • At Greenwich the Telcon Works was reported to have been set on fire about 2130 hours but details of this incident are not yet available.
  • At 2234 hours 3 HE bombs caused serious damage to the London Docks. Sheds were fired and a fire float was sunk at the quay.
  • The Star Works, Thomas de la Rue Ltd, Bunhill Row EC was gutted by fire at about 2320 hours. No casualties reported.
  • At Poplar, major damage was caused to the Manganese Bronze and Brass Company's Wharf by HE bombs at 2333 hours.
  • The main London-Brighton railway line is reported temporarily closed during a search for suspected unexploded bombs near Merstham Tunnel.
  • A major fire was caused by incendiary bombs at the Finsbury Works of the Ormond Engineering Company at 0100 hours on 12th.
  • The Southern Railway line at Bickley is blocked as a result of 5 HE bombs at 0130 hours 12th September.; this Company's line is also obstructed between Holborn low level and Farringdon Street Station, stopping all traffic from North of the Thames to the South on this system.
  • The Crystal Palace low level station has sustained major damage by bombs at 0210 hours, 12th September.
  • At Camberwell a serious fire broke out at the Works of the Anti-Attrition Metal Company and surrounding factories were reported to be involved.
  • Elsewhere
  • Eastleigh - Enemy aircraft made a dive-bombing attack on Eastleigh Naval Air Station at about 1613 hours without causing any damage, but the Cunliffe Owen Aircraft Factory nearby was hit and a fire was started. This was soon under control but many casualties were caused by a direct hit on a shelter.
  • Shelling Attack - Dover was shelled between 1552 hours and 1601 hours, 26 shells landing in salvoes of three and causing considerable damage to property and some to the railway station. Seven persons were killed and twelve seriously injured.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, Nil injured.
  • To others - 53 killed, 321 injured.

Thursday 12th
  • Weather: Unsettled, rain in most districts.
  • Day: Reconnaissance and small raids in the south.
  • Night: Lesser raids on London.

Summary of action

There was a marked increase in the number of hostile reconnaissances especially in the South-eastern and Southern areas, otherwise enemy activity was on a much reduced scale. Our fighters destroyed one enemy aircraft plus three damaged. Our Casualties nil.

East

One reconnaissance aircraft reported shipping off Spurn Head, while another over the Humber area was intercepted and damaged by No 151 Squadron.

One enemy aircraft reconnoitred Harrogate, Manchester and Liverpool and attacked a target at Harrogate.

In the afternoon, an aircraft was reported off Yarmouth and in the Wash but attempts to intercept were unsuccessful.

South East

In the morning, several reconnaissances were plotted in the Estuary and over the Coast near Dover.

Early in the afternoon, three aircraft crossed the Coast near Dover and reconnoitred South London aerodromes.

From 1500 to 1700 hours, reconnaissance aircraft were reported in the Thames Estuary and six small raids approached South London from the Estuary, Beachy Head and Dungeness. Targets near Beckenham were attacked.

South and West

In the morning, there was a noticeable increase in the number of reconnaissance aircraft in the Channel between Start Point and Dungeness. One raid penetrated inland and attacked targets near Reading and Banbury and one Ju88 which was returning from the Aldershot area, was intercepted and claimed as damaged by No 213 Squadron.

A merchant ship was attacked South of the Isle of Man.

In the afternoon, reconnaissance aircraft flew over the Southampton area, Beachy Head and Swanage. One Do215 was destroyed by No 605 Squadron South of Cap Gris Nez and No 603 Squadron damaged one Do17 over Beachy Head.

One aircraft crossed over Bournemouth and flew on to Birmingham and Liverpool, returning via Birmingham and Shoreham. Another aircraft reconnoitred the Salisbury Plain area.

By night

Night activity was also on a much reduced scale compared with recent nights.

Hostile raids which were mostly plotted as single aircraft, originated from the Channel Islands, Cherbourg and Dieppe areas. Some raids crossed the Coast between Portland and Plymouth and penetrated to South Wales, West Midlands and Liverpool areas. Others crossed the Coast between Selsey Bill and Dungeness and flew up through Sussex and Kent to the London area.

The greater number of raids left the French Coast between 2100 and 2200 hours, after which there was a gradual decrease in activity until about 0330 hours when raids ceased to approach this Country. All raids had finally withdrawn by 0415 hours.

A series of raids flying from Dieppe to London appeared for the most part to use identical tracks and several were plotted as turning at Whitehall whence they flew back on reciprocal tracks.

One enemy aircraft is reported shot down by AA guns in North London, another enemy casualty is claims by the Balloon Barrage at Newport (Monmouthshire) and a third enemy aircraft is reported to have been badly damaged by AA guns in the West Country and was last seen flying very low over the sea.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 12th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 50
  • Spitfire - 208
  • Hurricane - 392
  • Defiant - 21
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 679

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 11th/12th September - 54 patrols involving 58 sorties.
  • During the day of 12th September - 81 patrols involving 247 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 125 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 11th/12th September and 50 during the day of 12th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • Manston is unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 616 Squadron from Kirton in Lindsey to Ford.
  • No 264 Squadron (1 Flight) from Kirton in Lindsey to Northolt.
  • No 141 Squadron (1 Flight) from Turnhouse to Biggin Hill.
  • No 23 Squadron (1 Flight) from Wittering to Ford.
  • No 23 Squadron (1 Flight) from Wittering to Middle Wallop.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 12th September 1940
  • Enemy bombing activity during the day was on a much reduced scale, but a few localities in Yorkshire, Oxon, Berkshire, Kent, and Sussex were attacked, without however, any industrial damage of importance being caused.
  • In the early evening South London was visited by a small number of enemy aircraft, and minor bombings are reported from Battersea, Wandsworth and Beckenham during this period.
  • During the night of 12th/13th September, bombing, while still on a reduced scale, was more widespread than of late and attacks were made in the Midlands and in South Wales, as well as on the London areas, of which the Northern and Western Districts were singled out for attention.
  • The night attacks appeared to have been quite ineffective, and apart from some damage to road and rail communications, no target of major importance was hit.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Hornchurch - A single enemy aircraft dropped seven HE bombs at 1740 hours, one of which fell near to the emergency Operations Room, and another overturned a tender. The rest caused damage to civilian property but no casualties have been reported.
  • Elsewhere
  • Harrogate: At 1251 hours 3 HE bombs were dropped on and near the Majestic Hotel. Mains were damaged, a house nearby was demolished, and fifteen casualties resulted.
  • Hastings: At 1440 hours, 6 HE bombs and some IB wrecked two houses and badly damaged three others. The enemy aircraft machine-gunned those who were engaged in rescue work.
  • Tunbridge Wells: At 1725 hours 12 HE bombs and a large number of incendiary bombs demolished a warehouse, a private house and the casualty reception Depot of a Hospital. Damage was done to the local Headquarters of the American Ambulance and a major fire and many smaller fires were started. These are now extinguished.
  • GWR: Some dislocation of traffic and damage to the GWR track was caused at Reading by HE bombs at 1315 hours, and at Banbury a little later during an unsuccessful attack on the Northern Aluminium Factory. Track damage is also reported to have been caused by bombs at Neston, Cheshire, at 2100 hours.
  • Fulham: A direct hit by HE Bombs at 2140 hours on the telephone exchange caused the death of three operators, and the exchange is completely out of action.
  • Kensington: At 2310 hours HE bomb fell on a small building and a water tower, which has fallen on the railway line at West Brompton Station.
  • Liverpool: One HE bomb fell near Wavertree Station during last night, and two houses were wrecked, Many other bombs were dropped in the Liverpool area but little damage was done.
  • Blackpool: The North Station was hit by HE during the night and superficial damage was done but no diversion of traffic is necessary.
  • Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
  • To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, Nil injured.
  • To others - 168 killed, 689 injured.

Friday 13th
  • Weather: Unsettled.
  • Day: Small raids mainly against London. Hitler in conference, discussing the German air offensive and invasion plans.
  • Night: Renewed attacks against London.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a light scale, but during the morning small raids were continuously active over Kent and the London area. Bad visibility hindered interception by our fighters, but one enemy aircraft was destroyed and three others were damaged.

East

As a result of an SOS a fighter sweep was carried out 20 miles North-east of Kinnairds Head, but no reports of interception have been received.

South East

From 0730 hours, a number of raids, mostly by single aircraft, crossed the Coast between Hastings and Beachy Head and penetrated to the Thames Estuary and London area. Up to 0930 hours some six such raids were reported, but thereafter a steady stream of raids developed, most of which originated from the Dieppe area. It was reported that enemy aircraft crossed the Coast at the rate of one about every 8 minutes. One raid penetrated to Chelmsford, but practically all the others proceeded to the South London area, returning to Dieppe.

Between 1300 and 1500 hours, these scattered raids continued and appeared to have as their objectives, Biggin Hill and targets in mid Kent. One raid was plotted towards Rochford, and one raid, reported to be a long-nosed Blenheim, attacked Dover Harbour.

From 1500 hours until night operations began, enemy activity consisted chiefly of reconnaissance flights between North Foreland and Beachy Head.

South and South West

In the early morning, one raid flew parallel to the Coast from 15 miles South of Selsey Bill, westwards into Lyme Bay.

Between 1300 and 1500 hours, three raids were active from Selsey Bill to Tangmere, and there were three reconnaissances in the Straits between Dungeness and Foreness.

At 1800 hours, one reconnaissance was made from Boulogne along the Coast to the Isle of Wight.

West

A vessel was attacked off Copeland Light (Near Belfast) at 0650 hours, by an aircraft reported to be a four-engined bomber.

By night

Enemy activity commences at about 2045 hours when hostile raids were plotted leaving the Cherbourg area. From 2100 to 0030 hours, raids originated from the Cherbourg, Dieppe and Calais/Boulogne areas. The main objective was London but a few raids were active over East Anglia and Duxford area. One raid was plotted in the Firth of Forth.

Between 2300 and 0100 hours, about four raids from the Channel Islands flew to Bristol Channel and South Wales.

By 0130 hours, activity had practically ceased, but at 0200 hours a second wave originating from the Dutch Islands approached London from the North-east, having crossed the Coast between Clacton and Harwich. Enemy activity continued over London and North of the Thames Estuary until 0525 hours when all raids had finally withdrawn.

One enemy aircraft was destroyed by a Blenheim of No 25 Squadron near North Weald, and another was shot down by AA near Hendon.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 13th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 51
  • Spitfire - 208
  • Hurricane - 393
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 678

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 1 Hurricane of which the pilot is safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 12th/13th September - 5 patrols involving 5 sorties.
  • During the day of 13th September - 98 patrols involving 209 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 120 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 12th/13th September and 90 during the day of 13th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • Corrigendum: Cancel the move of No 616 Squadron from Kirton in Lindsey to Ford recorded on 12th September.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 13th September 1940
  • Throughout the day enemy bombing activity was concentrated on the London area, and on the counties of Essex, Surrey, Kent and Sussex where damage was spread over a wide area, without being in any case severe.
  • In London, West Ham, Battersea, St Pancras and Marylebone were among the districts attacked, and several casualties resulted; bombs fell just before noon at Buckingham Palace, and at Whitehall, but only superficial damage was done.
  • During the night of 13th/14th September, bombs again fell on the London area, Westminster, Battersea, Mitcham, Clapham Junction, Wembley and Hammersmith being chiefly affected. Bombs are also reported to have fallen during the night in districts of Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Essex and Cambridgeshire, where little damage was done and in Cardiff, where a cold storage plant was gutted by fire, and other industrial damage caused.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Northern Ireland
  • At 0700 hours a single enemy aircraft unsuccessfully attacked shipping in Belfast Lough, and then dropped incendiary bombs on Bangor, County Down. Two small fires were started but were quickly put out.
  • RAF Stations
  • A single enemy aircraft dropped bombs at Hornchurch early in the morning without inflicting serious damage.
  • At 1530 hours an unsuccessful attack was made on Colerne.
  • Nazeing was also bombed at this period but no report of damage has been received.
  • London Area
  • Buckingham Palace: HE bombs fell at 1110 hours in the quadrangle, on the chapel, and outside the forecourt, without damaging the palace itself, while the Victoria Memorial was slightly damaged. Four slight casualties were caused.
  • Whitehall: Just before noon incendiary bombs caused slight damage at Scotland Yard, the Admiralty and the War Office.
  • St Pancras and Marylebone: A fire at Great Titchfield Street was started, and the Euston Road was blocked as a result of HE bombs which fell at 1550 hours. Fifty-nine casualties are reported.
  • Battersea: At 1134 hours a public library was wrecked and water mains damaged by HE bombs, and incendiary bombs were dropped early on 14th September at the Borough Council Electricity Generating Station, Lombard Road. A Delayed Action Bomb exploded at the Telephone Exchange at 0255 hours, 14th September but the Exchange is reported functioning at 0400 hours. Major damage is reported at the GPO Sorting Office Lavender Hill, by HE bombs at 0300 hours.
  • West Ham: At 1043 hours Ravenshill School which was occupied by families evacuated from their homes was demolished by HE bombs. Fifty casualties have so far been reported.
  • Mitcham: At 2140 hours HE bombs fell near the Town Hall, as a result of which, the London Road is closed to traffic.
  • Wembley: Severe damage to the Carrier Engineering Company's Works by fire resulted from incendiary bombs dropped at 2211 hours.
  • Westminster: Victoria Street was blocked by debris caused by an HE bomb at 2200 hours.
  • Clapham Junction: HE bombs were dropped early on 14th September, near the station demolishing three houses; the station's closed owing to the presence of unexploded bombs near the track.
  • Hammersmith: At 0250 hours HE bombs fell at Westway and the road is blocked by debris.
  • Elsewhere
  • Eastbourne: At 1535 hours ten HE bombs were dropped in the centre of the town, and a large fire at a school as well as several smaller fires were started. Utility mains were damaged and one person was killed and 19 injured.
  • Maidstone: Nine houses were demolished and four people were killed by HE bombs which fell at 1445 hours.
  • Cardiff: At 0030 hours 14th September, the Cardiff Pure Ice and Cold Storage Plant was hit by HE bombs and gutted by the fire that resulted. Curran's Works were also hit but only slightly damaged and bombs also fell in the Docks Area partially demolishing the Albion Box Works.

Saturday 14th
  • Weather: Showers and local thunder. Cloud in the Straits, Channel and Thames Estuary.
  • Day: Hitler postpones the German invasion until September 17th. Fighter-bomber attacks during the afternoon on London.
  • Night: Reduced activity but main attacks against London.

Summary of action

Two attacks were directed against London via Kent and the Thames Estuary. In the first, 150 enemy aircraft operated, some of which penetrated the Inner Artillery Zone. In the second attack, about 100 aircraft were involved and the Inner Artillery Zone was again penetrated by certain elements. Successful interception was made by fighter Squadrons and casualties were inflicted.

Other activity consisted of Coastal Reconnaissance which were more numerous than of late, and a few patrols inland. Some of these reconnaissances were intercepted with successful results.

During the Day's operations, the total number of enemy aircraft destroyed was 16 (plus 3 probably destroyed and 12 damaged).

North and North-East

A reconnaissance by single aircraft was made from Duncansby Head to Firth of Forth at 1300 hours.

East

The coast from the Wash to Cromer was reconnoitred six times during the day and interception was effected in one instance with inconclusive results. At about 1900 hours, six enemy aircraft appeared off Cromer, flew to the Humber and then to Liverpool. On two occasions convoys were inspected.

South East

From 1000 to 1500 hours, reconnaissances were made in the Estuary, the Straits and Westwards to Beachy Head. At 1000 hours, an He111 flew over North-east Kent and towards South London and was eventually shot down. Another aircraft is believed to have been successfully intercepted off Selsey Bill.

There was considerable activity from 1300 to 1500 hours in the Beachy Head - Dungeness area.

Between 1520 and 1545 hours, the Coast was crossed between Deal and Dungeness by some 150 enemy aircraft. One formation attacked London via the Estuary and another from the South-east. Fighters intercepted and inflicted casualties.

Second attack commenced at 1810 hours, and seven formations of between 12 and 30 aircraft successively crossed the coast at Dover and Lympne until 1835 hours. The objectives appear to have been Kenley, Biggin Hill, Hornchurch, Northolt ad London. In the last case the attack was made from the South-west. Ten fighter Squadrons were in the air when the first part of this attack crossed the Coast and the enemy suffered casualties. No hostile reserves were maintained in the Straits during this attack.

Between 1900 and 2000 hours, five raids of one or one plus aircraft were made over East Kent, Thames Estuary and South Essex.

South and West

From 0700 to 1700 hours, there were some ten reconnaissances from the Isle of Wight westwards. An enemy aircraft at 0900 hours made a long reconnaissance from Portsmouth inland and flew easterly to London, Detling, Rochester and out by North Foreland.

Reconnaissances were made in the South Wales area during the day.

By night

Enemy activity was slight in spite of favourable weather conditions.

Between 2000 and 2200 hours, several small raids originating from the Dieppe and Le Havre areas, flew erratic courses over Sussex and Kent and penetrated to London and North of the Thames Estuary. One raid of 6 plus aircraft approached from the North Sea to Cromer and flew North-west. This raid split and sections penetrated to the North Midlands.

Between 2200 and 0100 hours, raids of single aircraft were plotted in the Thames Estuary, some approaching London and others penetrating into Essex. About three raids crossed the coast between the Wash and the Humber, and appeared to be active over Lincolnshire.

Raids suspected of minelaying, were plotted off Aberdeen, Firth of Forth, Holy Island and Hartlepool.

Minelaying is also believed to have taken place off the Humber, Milford Haven and in the Bristol Channel.

A few enemy aircraft were operating in the London area until about 0300 hours. There was some activity in East Anglia where enemy aircraft in ones and twos attempted to penetrate in company with our returning bombers. By 0400 hours the Country was clear.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 14th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 52
  • Spitfire - 215
  • Hurricane - 403
  • Defiant - 16
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 693

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 12 aircraft with 4 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 13th/14th September - 51 patrols involving 55 sorties.
  • During the day of 14th September - 172 patrols involving 860 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 175 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 13th/14th September and 400 during the day of 14th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 609 Squadron from Middle Wallop to Turnhouse.
  • No 3 Squadron from Castletown to Turnhouse.
  • No 141 Squadron (B Flight) from Turnhouse to Biggin Hill.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 14th September 1940
  • With the exception of a bombing incident at Warrington, Lancashire, where 57 casualties were caused daylight raiding was again confined to the London area, and various towns in Hampshire, Sussex, Kent and East Anglia.
  • The principal attack on London was made at 1600 hours when bombs were dropped in Camberwell, Lambeth and in Battersea, where a gasometer was hit and slight damage was done to the Power Station.
  • After dark, bombs were dropped in many districts in the Southern half of England, but the night raids were on a small scale and no serious damage or casualties have been reported.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Cottesmore: At 2350 hours on 13th September, four HE bombs were dropped on the Sports Field near the Officers' Mess. No damage was done to RAF Property.
  • London Area
  • Lambeth: At 1603 hours Camberwell New Road was blocked by flooding from a burst water main, and the LCC Main Sewer was damaged, as a result of HE bombs.
  • Battersea: At 1600 hours a gasometer was hit and set on fire, and the Southern Railway Bridge between Victoria and Clapham Junction was penetrated by an HE bomb; a hit was also registered on the Battersea Power Station but only minor damage was caused. A further attack was made at 1820 hours when major damage was done to a flour mill.
  • Elsewhere
  • Southampton: At 1510 hours bombs fell in the Woolston District and caused damage to property and to a local railway, which was soon repaired.
  • Warrington: At 1705 hours two HE bombs were dropped at the Recreation Ground of the Thames Board Paper Mill, where a gala was in progress. One bomb fell in the canteen and 150 people were buried in the wreckage, of these 14 were killed and 21 seriously injured.
  • Eastbourne: Two attacks were made on the town with HE bombs, at 1330 and 1514 hours, in the first of which extensive damage was done to property and three deaths caused.
  • Brighton: At 1550 hours twenty-one HE bombs and some incendiaries fell in the Old Borough, and some of these hit a cinema causing 35 deaths and many injuries.
  • Leicester: At 2020 hours seven HE bombs were dropped in the City and four houses were demolished.

 


Sunday 15th
  • Weather: Fair with some cloud patches. Fine during the evening.
  • Day: Heavy attacks on London, broken up by Fighter Command. Highest German losses since 18 August [185 claimed by the RAF] force a serious rethink by the German High Command.
  • Night: Heavy damage to London.

Summary of action

The enemy delivered two major attacks on London during the day. Later smaller formations attacked both Portland and targets in the Southampton area.

Our fighters destroyed 176 enemy aircraft (124 bombers and 53 fighters) plus 41 probable and 72 damaged.

AA destroyed 7 enemy aircraft plus 4 probable.

Our casualties are 25 aircraft and 13 pilots killed or missing

Enemy patrols were plotted between 0900 and 1100 hours in the following areas:

  • In the Straits.
  • Off Harwich.
  • Between Lympne and Dungeness.
  • 20 miles East of line Lowestoft to Spurn Head.
  • In the Estuary.
  • South of Shoreham and the Isle of Wight.

Attempts to intercept the above were not successful. One He 111, flying west, was intercepted and destroyed near Start Point.

First Major Attack

At 1100 hours enemy aircraft began to mass in the Calais/Boulogne area and at 1130 hours the leading wave of about 100 aircraft crossed the coast between Dover and Dungeness, followed by a second wave of 150 aircraft. Objectives appeared to be in the London district.

No 11 Group sent up 16 Squadrons to meet the attack, and No 12 Group provided 5 Squadrons to patrol Debden and Hornchurch.

Approximately 100 enemy aircraft succeeded in reaching Central London.

Second Major Attack

At 1400 hours a wave of approximately 150 enemy aircraft crossed the coast near Dover, followed by a second wave of 100 aircraft. These formations spread over South-east and South-west Kent and the Maidstone area, and about 70 penetrated Central London.

No 11 Group sent up 16 Squadrons and No 12 Group 4 Squadrons. Targets in South London and railways in London and Kent appeared to be the chief objectives.

Attack on Portland

At 1530 hours a formation of 25 enemy aircraft attacked Portland. It was engaged and successfully driven off by our fighters.

Attack on Southampton

At 1725 hours about 50 enemy aircraft flew over the Isle of Wight and attacked objectives in the Southampton district. This formation was intercepted and driven off by 6½ Squadrons.

By night

The first hostile raids were plotted leaving the French Coast at Le Havre at about 2000 hours. They crossed the Coast at Shoreham and penetrated to the London area which appeared to be the main objective throughout the night. At about 2230 hours raids to London started to come from the Dieppe area crossing the coast between Selsey Bill and Dover. Between 0100 and 0300 hours raids were coming in via the Thames Estuary and Essex. About fifteen raids were plotted out of the Cherbourg area to South Wales and the Bristol Channel, some of which penetrated to the Midlands and others to Liverpool. By 0130 hours these raids had withdrawn by the activity over London and the South-east continued until about 0500 hours.

Two raids were plotted in the Digby and Church Fenton areas and two were plotted in the Irish Channel. Some ten raids were suspected of minelaying between Montrose and Flamborough Head.

During the night on He111 was destroyed (plus one probable) by a Defiant of No 141 Squadron.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 15th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 47
  • Spitfire - 192
  • Hurricane - 389
  • Defiant - 24
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 660

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 25 aircraft with 13 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 14th/15th September - 28 patrols involving 28 sorties.
  • During the day of 15th September - 115 patrols involving 705 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 80 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 14th/15th September and 600 during the day of 15th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 15th September 1940
  • The London area was again the chief objective of enemy aircraft during the day, and the attack on the Capital was maintained at intervals from about noon until the early hours of 16th September 1940. A certain about of damage and casualties resulted, mainly in the districts South of the River Thames, where several factories were hit by bombs and many fires started. Communications and utility services are also affected.
  • Elsewhere, bombs were dropped in Kent, Sussex and East Anglia during the day, and attacks were made on Southampton, and on the Portland area where slight damage was done in the dockyard.
  • After dark, London continued to bear the brunt of the attack, which was intensified in the early hours of 16th September, and many reports of major damage have been received. Isolated raids were also made during the night in the Southern and South- Eastern coastal Districts, and in the Bristol Channel area but damage from these appears to have been moderate.
  • Detailed Summary
  • London Area
  • Battersea: At 1210 hours railway bridges between Victoria and Clapham |Junction were hit and bombs also fell on the West London extension Line, and at 2325 hours HE bombs fell on the Projectile Engineering Company's Works causing major damage. Damage has been done to Utility Mains and roadways in this District.
  • Lambeth: At 1215 hours Water and Gas mains were damaged by HE bombs, and Norwood Road and Brixton Hill were blocked. An unexploded bomb at the Telephone Manufacturing Company caused production to be suspended. At 2029 hours a major fire was caused at the Brixton School of Building and other extensive fires as well as damage to Gas and Water Mains resulted from bombing with HE and IB.
  • Beckenham: At 1200 hours the Electricity Station was hit but damage was not serious and distribution is not affected.
  • Islington: At 0030 hours KB fell close to GPO Stores and to Mount Pleasant Post Office, but no reports of serious damage have been received.
  • Mitcham: The roof of Smith's Meters Factory was badly damaged by a bomb during the night but it is reported that the machinery escaped damage.
  • East Croydon: The railway track is closed and damage has been done to the property in the vicinity by HE bombs which fell at 0030 hours, 16th September.
  • Shepherd's Bush: HE bombs have fallen on private property near the Electric substation, which has been put out of action by the resulting blast. There is no current on the Hammersmith City Line.
  • Barnes: At 0238 hours 16th September, HE bombs fell on a council house necessitating the evacuation of the Control Centre of temporary premises.
  • Kilburn: HE bombs fell at Kilburn High Road which is blocked as a result, and damage was done to the railway bridge which crossed it.
  • Hammersmith: At 2253 hours HE bombs fell outside Cadby Hall damaging Gas and Water Mains and completely blocking Hammersmith road. At 0220 hours further HE bombs fell at the junction of Uxbridge Road which is also blocked. Utility Mains were damaged and a LCC Sewer was fractured.
  • Strand: Shell Mex House suffered heavy damage at 0047 hours by HE bombs. The central tower was demolished and the top storey is in danger of collapse. The Strand was blocked from Adam's Street to Aldwych. Bombs also fell near the Gaiety Theatre and serious flooding took place as a result of burst water main.
  • Westminster: HE bombs fell at Vauxhall Bride Road which was blocked by craters and debris.
  • Hospitals: St Thomas's, Guys and Lambeth Hospitals were all hit by bombs but no serious damage or casualties have been reported.
  • Elsewhere
  • Southampton: At 1750 hours three fires were caused by bombs near the Super Marine Aviation Works and damage was done to house property and mains nearby. Slight damage was also done to Thorneycroft's and a further attack at 2132 hours caused a fire at a furniture depository in the High Street.
  • Portland: At about 1530 hours HE and IB were dropped at Portland causing heavy damage to four houses and several small fires. Bombs also fell in the dockyard but damage was not extensive.
  • Cardiff: At 2245 hours five HE bombs were dropped in a residential district causing casualties. A number of unexploded bombs have fallen near the Docks.

Monday 16th
  • Weather: General rain and cloud.
  • Day: Goering in conference following the previous day's losses. German effort to be switched against Fighter Command. Only minor air activity.
  • Night: Continuous attacks against London. Smaller raids on Merseyside and the Midlands.

Summary of action

An attack by some 350 enemy aircraft developed in Kent at about 0800 hours and formations flew in the direction of London, but the attack was not pressed home.

Other activity during the day consisted of a large number of reconnaissances off and over the Coast mostly by single aircraft, but one raid totalling 30 aircraft approached Dover. No attack, however, developed.

Weather largely hindered fighter action.

North and North-East Coast

One raid appeared off Fifeness in the early afternoon, turned South and crossed the Coast at Amble, flying to Carlisle and Cockermouth. It returned by the same route.

East Coast

Reconnaissances were made from Whitby to the Wash and off Cromer, where a Ju88 was intercepted with inconclusive results. One convoy was approached on two occasions and an aerodrome was attacked.

South-East Coast

A mass raid by 350 enemy aircraft crossed the Kentish Coast in waves between 0735 and 0805 hours. Formations spread out from Dover to Rye and to the Isle of Sheppey. One raid crossed the Estuary into Essex and towards London but soon turned back. By 0832 hours all the aircraft had re-crossed the Coast. No interception was made. 21 Fighter Squadrons were in the air, and it may have been on this account that the enemy turned away so soon.

Throughout the day enemy aircraft were actively engaged on reconnaissances, especially towards London and the Estuary.

South and West Coast

One aircraft crossed the Coast near the Needles and flew North-easterly to Northolt, Duxford and Debden, while a second crossing at the same place flew North-westerly to Middle Wallop and Cheltenham.

Other reconnaissances were made in the Bristol Channel. Between 1700 and 2000 hours some 15 raids were plotted in the Isle of Wight area, some of which flew inland. Some of these were the leading aircraft of the night operations.

By night

Hostile activity was of greater intensity than on recent nights and was of two distinct phases.

At 1940 hours raids were plotted out of Cherbourg and Le Havre areas followed by a steady stream from the Dieppe area. Raids crossed the Coast between the Isle of Wight and Dover, some flying North west to Bristol channel whence they spread out and penetrated to North Wales, Midlands and up to Liverpool. Other raids flew over South-eastern Counties to London and North of the Estuary.

From 2350 hours raids concentrated on London, East Anglia and the South-eastern Counties. At 0020 hours fresh raids originating from the Dutch Islands approached East Anglia and the Thames Estuary, some of them penetrating to London. At about 0242 hours all raids had withdrawn and the Country was clear.

The second phase commenced at 0330 hours, aircraft being plotted out of the Dieppe area towards London and out of the Ostend area towards the East Coast. The latter were probably mostly minelaying. This second phase continued until 0530 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 16th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 60
  • Spitfire - 216
  • Hurricane - 356
  • Defiant - 19
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 659

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • One Spitfire of which the pilot is safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 15th/16th September - 67 patrols involving 68 sorties.
  • During the day of 16th September - 78 patrols involving 428 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 175 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 15th/16th September and 350 during the day of 16th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • Exeter is unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • Corrigendum: Cancel the move of No 609 Squadron from Middle Wallop to Turnhouse recorded on 14th September.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 16th September 1940
  • Enemy bombing activity overland during daylight was scattered and ineffective. Bombs were dropped in some districts of the capital, and attacks were made on several RAF stations, but on the whole very little damage and few casualties were caused during this period.
  • As soon as darkness fell, the attack on London was renewed, and many heavy HE bombs were dropped in the West End and the City, starting serious fires, most of which however, came under control after a time. Minor bombing is reported from most districts in Greater London, and communications have been interrupted, but it would appear that no vital targets have been hit, and damage is comparatively light.
  • Bombing over the rest of the country during the night was rather more widespread, and reports have been received from many counties in Southern England and also from South Wales and the Birmingham, Coventry, Newcastle Districts, but in no case has very serious damage occurred.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Bombing attacks were made on Hampstead Norris at 1750 hours, Honington at 1550 hours, at Yatesbury at 0300 hours, at Alconbury at 1235 hours, at Feltwell, at Woodley, where production at Philips and Powis is temporarily suspended owing to unexploded bombs at 1600 hours, at Oulton at 1630 hours and Henlow at 1400 hours, and Speke before noon; in all these attacks only craters and superficial damage was caused and there are no reports of casualties to RAF Personnel.
  • London Area
  • Thameshaven: A fire was started at the Oil Wharf by HE and incendiary bombs at 2104 hours and two tanks are involved.
  • Hackney: At 2300 hours HE Bombs fell at the Victoria Park LMS Signal Box, damaging the track and stopping all traffic. Bombs also fell on the railway bridge at Homerton causing heavy damage.
  • Poplar: HE bombs caused damage to the East Ferry Crane and Engineering Company at 2340 hours.
  • Southwark: At 0020 hours, 17th September, a direct hit was made on the Southern Railway Arch at Guildford Street, Union Street Junction.
  • St Pancras: The Reception Ward of St Pancras Hospital was demolished by HE but nobody was hurt. Unexploded bombs are suspected in the building.
  • Fires: The following fires were reported during the night; but the majority have been reported under control.
  • Ordell St Bow (30 pumps)
  • Farrington St Station and Market (30 pumps)
  • West Smithfield (80 pumps)
  • Old Bond Street (30 pumps)
  • Bermondsey (50 pumps)
  • Great Portland Street (30 pumps)
  • Clerkenwell (40 pumps)
  • Eastcheap (30 pumps)
  • Tower Hill (20 pumps)
  • Old Broad Street (20 pumps)
  • Elsewhere
  • Coventry: HE and Incendiary Bombs fell in the North part of the City at 2345 hours and caused extensive damage to working class houses; casualties have not yet been reported.
  • Newport (Monmouthshire): Two HE bombs were dropped at 2143 hours, one in the Dock, one at a coalhoist. No interference with working caused.
  • Newcastle-on-Tyne: At 2006 hours bombs fell in the Gosforth, Heaton and Hebbern districts, but damage was only slight.
  • Wakefield: At 2000 hours bombs fell in the city area and fires were started in the Prison and at Williams and Womersley's Engineering Works, but production there will not be affected.
  • Birmingham: HE bombs fell at 2300 hours in the Kingsheath and Hall Green Districts, wrecking houses and causing about ten casualties.
  • Skinningrove: At 1610 hours two HE bombs were dropped outside the Ironworks, causing damage to mains and to the Electric Power Line, but production will not be materially affected.

Tuesday 17th
  • Weather: - Squally showers with thunder and bright intervals.
  • Day: Reduced activity again with only one large fighter sweep during the afternoon. German invasion cancelled indefinitely.
  • Night: Heavy attacks against London. Merseyside and Glasgow also raided.

Summary of action

eemingly on account of weather conditions, reconnaissance activity was on a reduced scale, but a big attack was launched in the East Kent area about 1530 hours. This was met by 23 Fighter Squadrons some of which made successful interceptions and casualties were inflicted.

During the day our fighters destroyed 5 enemy aircraft (plus 4 probable and 2 damaged). In addition AA destroyed 2 enemy aircraft.

Own casualties 5 of which one pilot.

East Coast

Reconnaissances by single aircraft were made off the Wash and East Anglian Coast, and one of these aircraft approached North-East London.

South-East

Between 0730 and 1300 hours thirteen reconnaissances by single aircraft were made in East Kent, four of these up to 0930 hours flew towards Kenley, Biggin Hill and London. At about 1530 hours a series of formations totalling about 300 aircraft crossed the Coast at Lympne, Dover and Deal. The leading raid of 110 plus aircraft flew as far West as Maidstone, the remainder spread out over East Kent. The area of activity was bounded on the West by a line running North and South through Maidstone, and on the North by the Estuary which was not crossed. The Inner Artillery Zone was not penetrated. No 11 Group detailed 23 Squadrons to meet the attack while No 12 Group had 5 Squadrons patrolling at 15,000 to 20,000 feet north of the Estuary. From 1700 hours reconnaissance activity continued in the Dungeness area.

South and West

A few reconnaissances were made along the South Coast. In the course of these an inconclusive interception was made at 123 hours near Brighton, while a Ju88 which flew North to Filton from Portland was intercepted and shot down near Warminster.

One enemy aircraft flew across the Bristol Channel to North Wales and Liverpool area. Its return flight was made via Stoke and Oxford.

By night

Enemy activity was again concentrated mainly on the London area and the South-eastern Counties, with a few raids penetrating to Wales.

At about 1930 hours, the first hostile raids were plotted out of Cherbourg, Seine Bay and Dieppe areas, after which a steady stream of raids, mostly single aircraft, crossed the Coast between Selsey Bill and Dungeness. The majority flew towards the London area, but many of them turned South again without penetrating the AA barrage.

Between 2100 and 0030 hours, a number of raids flew to South Wales, some of which penetrated to the Liverpool area.

Raids were also plotted over East Anglia and in the Digby, Middlesborough and Glasgow areas.

Minelaying was suspected in the Thames Estuary and off Southwold and Foreness.

After 0100 hours, activity was almost entirely confined to London area, East Anglia and the South-eastern counties. Intensity slackened at 0230 hours but increased again at 0345 hours when further raids became active originating from the Dieppe area.

Some of the night raiders were plotted returning in the direction of Ostend and the Dutch Islands.

During the night, one Ju88 was destroyed by a Defiant of No 141 Squadron. AA guns claim to have destroyed 5 enemy aircraft but only two of these have so far been confirmed.

The Country was not free of raids at the close of this report.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 17th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 49
  • Spitfire - 222
  • Hurricane - 362
  • Defiant - 23
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 659

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Five aircraft of which four pilots are safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 16th/17th September - Nil.
  • During the day of 17th September - 121 patrols involving 544 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 248 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 16th/17th September and 356 during the day of 17th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • Biggin Hill is serviceable with caution.

Organisation:

  • Nil

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 17th September 1940
  • Enemy bombing activity was on a small scale during the day, the only notable incidents being an unsuccessful attack on Speke, Liverpool, and some civil damage at Portsmouth and at Caterham (Surrey).
  • During the night of 17th/18th September, bombs fell in many districts in Central and greater London causing damage to buildings and communications and some fires broke out; many of these have since come under control, an exception being the fire at Thameshaven, control of which is difficult owing to strong wind.
  • Bombs were also dropped during the night in most of the Southern Counties of England, in Glasgow, South Wales and in Liverpool where some damage and casualties were caused.
  • Several large bombs, or mines, about 8 ft. long and 2 ft. in diameter, have been dropped by parachute n various districts in London, Kent and Essex during the night. Most of these are unexploded and the Admiralty, which is investigating, advises that no metal be brought near, and all vibration avoided in their vicinity. The explosion of one of these appears to produce very severe blast and one report states that plate glass was broken over a mile away.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Caterham: AT 0850 hours, five HE bombs seriously damaged a food store, and a house was demolished.
  • Portsmouth: At 1321 hours HE bombs caused 15 casualties and damage to a church, property and mains.
  • Speke: At 1505 hours a single enemy aircraft attacked Roote's Factory, but without success. Two houses were hit but no casualties were caused.
  • Greenwich: During the night of the 17th/18th a direct hit by an HE bomb was made on the telephone exchange; the staff were safe in the shelter and damage has not yet been ascertained.
  • Woolwich: At 0004 hours, September 18th, two HE bombs fell on Siemen's Works, and a fire started. No further details are available at present.
  • Liverpool: Between 1943 and 2350 hours many HE bombs and incendiaries were dropped in Central and surrounding districts causing considerable damage to property and mains. Twenty-four medium fires were started but these were extinguished by about mid-night.
  • Fires: The following fires were reported in progress in London during the night:
  • Bermondsey (20 pumps) in hand at 2125 hours.
  • Old Kent Road (20 pumps)
  • Stockwell Road (10 pumps)
  • Poplar (40 pumps)
  • Millwall Dock (20 pumps) under control
  • East India Dock Gate (30 pumps)
  • Deptford (20 pumps) under control
  • Lewisham (15 pumps)
  • D H Evans Oxford Street (40 pumps)
  • John Lewis Oxford Street (30 pumps)
  • Islington (20 pumps)

Wednesday 18th
  • Weather: Bright and squally.
  • Day: London and Merseyside bombed.
  • Night: Heavy damage to London.

Summary of action

3+ enemy aircraft appeared off Dover and after approaching Yarmouth, flew in and out along the coast line to Clacton finally escaping eastwards. At 1640 hours one section of Fighters was despatched to a convoy of Orfordness.

South-East Coast

Between 0700 and 0800 hours one aircraft entered by Shoreham and flew over London. Between 0800 and 0900 hours one aircraft, first noticed over Kent flew over London and returned out to sea by Dungeness.

First Major Attack

At 0900 hours 150 enemy aircraft were plotted concentrating in the Calais area. At 0927 hours 50+ aircraft crossed the coast near Hythe followed by another 50+. A further 50+ crossed the coast at North Foreland and entered Thames Estuary. One raid split and made North West across Kent, was driven back North East towards East Kent except for one portion which entered the London area. Another raid remained mostly in Kent with a split over Herne Bay going to Essex. The third raid split behind North Foreland, part being intercepted and driven back and part going across the Estuary to Hornchurch.

Second Major Attack

At 1215 hours enemy aircraft were again concentrating in the Calais area. At 1237 a raid of 100+ crossed the coast North of Dover and penetrated to Maidstone.

Another raid of 50+ followed, then further raids crossed the coast at Deal and also proceeded to Maidstone. These three movements constituted the first wave. At 1245 hours the second wave consisting of three raids of 54 aircraft crossed the coast near Dover leaving 12+ aircraft circling in the Straits. At 1300 hours, two raids totalling approximately 60+ aircraft were already in the London area with another 120+ distributed from Rye to the Mouth of the Thames. At 1300 hours enemy aircraft started to return home and by 1345 hours, the majority had left.

Third Major Attack

This attack started with about 100 enemy aircraft entering East Kent. At 1545 hours one half passed via the Thames Estuary and Shoreham to Detling, the other half went East to Maidstone leaving the coast at 1630 hours. By 1640 hours about 100 enemy aircraft crossed the coast in the Dover/Deal area and by 1700 hours seven more raids totalling about 200+ had followed, covering the Sheppey mid-Kent and Medway areas. These were rapidly repulsed by our fighters and driven back to the South-east coast by 1730 hours.

South and West

One enemy raid of 1+ aircraft left Cherbourg at 0900 hours and entering East of Portland flew to Bristol and left by the Needles. A convoy off Selsey Bill asked for help at 1711 hours and at 1735 hours the raid was intercepted and one enemy aircraft was destroyed.

By night

At 1955 hours London Central was given a "red" warning. Approximately 200 aircraft were plotted approaching Dungeness. This is the first time that such formations of aircraft have been plotted at night. Two raids came from the Dutch coast and proceeded to the North East Coast where they split three raids entering between Humber and Newcastle and two raids continuing to the East Coast towards Scotland. From 2100 hours onwards a steady flow of enemy aircraft were mainly concentrated on the London area. Enemy aircraft were plotted from many directions and not only from the usual areas. It is estimated that a greater number than usual were operative. The Liverpool area and the North East Coast had a number of raids, the Bristol area fewer than usual. Minelaying was suspected off the Norfolk Coast to the Wash and Spurn Head to St Abbs. At 0307 hours the London district was clear of enemy aircraft but at 0325 hours a fresh stream of enemy aircraft were approaching London from the Le Havre/Dieppe area.

At 0434 hours a further phase developed in the Thames Estuary from the Ostend area and at 0530 London received the "all clear". The rest of the country was also free of raids at this same time.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 18th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 51
  • Spitfire - 212
  • Hurricane - 362
  • Defiant - 25
  • Gladiator - 5
  • Total - 655

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Twelve aircraft of which nine pilots are safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 17th/18th September - 44 patrols involving 45 sorties.
  • During the day of 18th September - 200 patrols involving 1210 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 17th/18th September and 800 during the day of 18th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 232 Squadron moved from Sumburgh to Wick on 17th September.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 18th September 1940
  • Enemy bombing activity during the day of September 18th was confined to the Thames Estuary, where attacks were made on Tilbury (twice) and Port Victoria (Isle of Grain), and on several towns in Essex, Kent, Surrey and Sussex. The important targets at these points were not hit, but some civil damage and casualties resulted.
  • After dark, and during the night of September 18th/19th, the attack was again concentrated on the capital, where many HE bombs and incendiaries were dropped in Central London and the surrounding districts. Little industrial damage such as would interfere with production has been caused, but some damage to buildings and communications, and some fires have been reported. Increasing use is being made by the enemy of parachute mines, the explosion of which produces an exceptionally severe blast, but casualties caused by this weapon appear to be comparatively moderate.
  • Bombs also fell during the night in the Home Counties and isolated raids were made in Lincolnshire, Northumberland and Durham, and in Cornwall, but the damage caused in these attacks does not appear to have been heavy.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Tilbury: The town was heavily bombed at 0953 hours, when some houses were demolished, and again at 1720 hours when HE bombs fell in the civic square and further damage was done to property and utility services.
  • Isle of Grain: The Medway Oil Company, Port Victoria, was attacked at 1615 hours; no damage was done to the Oil Company's premises, but an Admiralty Tank was set on fire and soon under control.
  • Gillingham (Kent): Seven houses were demolished by HE bombs at 1255 hours, but casualties were confined to two killed and six seriously injured.
  • London Area
  • Ilford: The Plessey Company Works were hit by HE bombs at 2130 hours, and a fire was started, extensively damaging plant. No casualties were caused.
  • Waltham Holy Cross: A fire in the Cordite section of the ICI Gunpowder Factory was caused by bombs at 2114 hours, but control was obtained at 2240 hours.
  • Southall: At 2030 hours bombs fell at the Gas Light & Coke Co.'s premises, causing the fracture of a 30" coal gas main.
  • Enfield: At 2058 hours unexploded HE bombs fell near the Royal Small Arms Factory and near a gun position.
  • Acton: At 2230 hours a fire was caused by incendiary bombs at the I B Beaton & Sons' works. HE bombs caused some damage at the G A V Factory, but this is not considered serious.
  • Westminster: A 30 pump fire was started at The County Hall, and it is believed that this was caused by a parachute mine which exploded at about 2330 hours. The fire was brought under control soon after midnight.
  • Battersea: Incendiary bombs fell at the Morgan Crucible Co. at 2330 hours, but the only damage caused by the resulting fire was to a dust filter, which will have no effect on production.
  • Fires
  • Taylor's Depository, Pimlico (30 pumps)
  • County Hall, Westminster (30 pumps) - in hand
  • Hackney (20 pumps)
  • Millwall (20 pumps) - in hand
  • Waltham Holy Cross (8 pumps) - in hand.

Thursday 19th
  • Weather: Showery.
  • Day: Reduced activity, attacks mainly over Thames Estuary and East London.
  • Night: Raids on London and Merseyside.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a much reduced scale. There were no major attacks, but a considerable number of single enemy aircraft reconnaissances were made over South East England, South Wales and the Liverpool area, and also over convoys. It has been noticed that raids often appeared to originate in the Liverpool area without having been previously plotted. Furthermore raids are sometimes lost some 60 miles North of Milford Haven. During the day our fighters destroyed four enemy aircraft (plus one probable) and a Ju88 force landed complete with bombs and crew undamaged at Oaklington.

South and East

At 0950 hours a raid crossed the coast at Beachy Head flew North over London to as far as the Sutton Bridge area and was shot down near Newmarket at 1050 hours.

At 1045 hours one raid which flew to Harwich and North West inland was intercepted and shot down near a convoy off Orfordness.

At 1442 hours a raid appeared 60 miles South of Tangmere crossed the coast there and went North to Kenley, Northolt and the Wittering area, thence to Peterborough. Fighters followed this enemy aircraft, which was a Ju88 and which force landed intact at Oaklington, east of Peterborough, owing to engine trouble.

Throughout the day many single reconnaissances were active in the Kent and Sussex areas, two of which were destroyed by our fighters (plus one probable).

South West and West

In the morning two raids were plotted in the Liverpool area.

At 1930 hours, two raids appeared in the Liverpool area and at that time ten enemy aircraft were off the coast of Wales approaching Liverpool. The tracks of these raids appeared to have been completely lost between South West and North Wales.

At 2005 hours 13 raids, each of one single aircraft, came from the North West corner of the Cherbourg Peninsular and went inland from the Needles to Selsey Bill.

By night

At 1956 hours London received the "red" warning as raids commenced to come from the mouth of the Scheldt. They were flying at about 20,000 feet straight up the Thames Estuary to the London area.

At 2100 hours there were about six raids operating over London. A similar number of raids was in the Isle of Wight area, in Kent and in Wales, making a total of some 30 enemy aircraft inland with many more on their way.

At 2130 hours enemy aircraft were still crossing the coast in fair numbers, but only in the sector between the Isle of Wight and Harwich. The Wales area was clearing and enemy aircraft were going South to Devon and Somerset and at 2200 hours the West Country was practically clear and enemy activity was confined to Kent, London and the Thames Estuary, off the Suffolk and possibly the Sussex Coasts. During the night considerable enemy activity occurred in the East Anglian area.

At 0023 hours it was reported that a Dornier had crashed near Kenley as a result of AA fire.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 19th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 51
  • Spitfire - 211
  • Hurricane - 364
  • Defiant - 21
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 654

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 18th/19th September - 63 patrols involving 65 sorties.
  • During the day of 19th September - 108 patrols involving 237 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 275 enemy aircraft operated over Great Britain during the night 18th/19th September and 70 during the day of 19th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 234 Squadron moved from Warmwell to St Eval.
  • No 238 Squadron moved from St Eval to Middle Wallop.
  • No 257 Squadron whole Squadron at Martlesham.
  • No 25 Squadron 1 Flight at North Weald and 1 Flight at Martlesham.
  • No 222 Squadron moved from Hornchurch to Rochford.
  • No 41 Squadron moved from Rochford to Hornchurch.
  • No 600 Squadron moved from Hornchurch to Redhill.
  • No 264 Squadron whole Squadron at Northolt.
  • No 266 Squadron whole Squadron at Wittering.
  • No 64 Squadron 1 Flight at Leconfield and 1 Flight at Ringway.
  • No 610 Squadron moved from Croydon to Acklington.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 19th September 1940
  • Enemy bombing activity on the 19th September was not so intensive as of recent days, but bombs were dropped in the London area and in Surrey, Sussex, Kent and Essex. A number of casualties were reported but damage was not severe.
  • During the night of September 19th/20th, London was again the centre of attack and there are reports of varying damage to buildings and communications. Bombs were also dropped in Cheshire, Lancashire and Lincolnshire.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Scampton: Three craters were reported on the landing ground as a result of bombing at 0050 hours.
  • Lyneham: Two HE and on oil IB were dropped at 1610 hours resulting on a direct hit on one hangar. Eight civilian casualties reported.
  • Chivenor: Twenty-five IB were dropped at 2010 hours but damage, if any, not known.
  • London Area
  • Edmonton: Major damage reported on the night of the 18th/19th September. An unexploded bomb is suspected at De La Rue, Thomas & Co's factories, necessitating all production being stopped.
  • Battersea: The windows of the Projectile & Engineering Co of Acre Street, have been shattered and production held up in three shops.
  • Willesden: Bombing took place at 2156 hours on the 19th September and George Kent Ltd of the North Circular Road was hit but there was no damage to production machinery. However, and unexploded bomb is suspected in the East Wing.
  • Tottenham: It is reported that at 2250 hours on the 19th September, an HE struck an escape hatch of a public trench shelter situated in Lordship Lane. Reports so far suggest about 60 casualties.
  • Walthamstow & Hackney: These areas were machine-gunned at a low altitude at about 1455 hours on 19th September. No casualties nor damage reported.
  • It is reported that there are two unexploded bombs in the quadrangle of the War Office, a fire on the roof of the Foreign Office and a burst main at the Scottish Office. The two latter incidents have been dealt with satisfactorily.
  • As a result of HE bombing at 0219 hours on 20th September, Whitehall is blocked from Parliament Square to Whitehall Place.
  • Elsewhere
  • Liverpool: HE & IB were scattered over a wide area in the City on the night of 18th/19th September, causing damage to a church, private property, shops, gas, electricity and water mains. Fire was caused on the roof of the Electricity Power Station but it was extinguished and no interruption of supply was sustained. An unexploded bomb is reported in the Automatic Telephone Company's factory which necessitated sending 800 workers home.
  • Birkenhead: HE & IB damaged railway sheds and tracks near Morpeth Docks. A barge loaded with steel billets was sunk and a hydraulic main fractured.
  • Southend: HE were dropped at 1000 hours and seven houses were wrecked and several damaged. Electric, water & gas mains were fractured, the latter catching fire.
  • Tilbury Fort: Damage was done to the Military Quarters at 1025 hours but no details are available.
  • Lewisham: A parachute mine is reported to have been dropped at 0240 hours on the 20th September, in the grounds of the Ladywell Institution and evacuation of some 900 people is involved.

Friday 20th
  • Weather: Fair with bright periods, showery.
  • Day: One major fighter sweep towards London, otherwise reconnaissance only.
  • Night: Raids concentrated on London.

Summary of action

One major attack at 1100 hours by a force of about 100 enemy aircraft, consisting mostly of fighters, was made on East Kent with apparently London as the final objective. The attack was broken up and casualties were inflicted. Reconnaissance flights round the Coasts were also carried out.

During operations, four enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus one probable and two damaged).

Our losses amounted to seven aircraft, four pilots killed or missing.

North and North East Coast

One raid was plotted off the Aberdeenshire Coast in the afternoon.

East Coast

A reconnaissance aircraft off East Anglia reported on a convoy at 1600 hours.

South East Coast

From 0600 hours to 1030 hours enemy aircraft made reconnaissance in the Estuary, round North Foreland, Dover and westwards to Beachy Head.

At 1040 hours enemy aircraft started to mass in the Calais area. At 1100 hours a formation of 20+ aircraft at 15,000 feet apparently led in by a single aircraft at 21,000 feet, flew inland at Dungeness. Other formations of from 12+ to 30+ aircraft crossed the coast at Dover, Lympne and Deal, between 1100 and 1110 hours. One raid flew up the Estuary without crossing the coast.

The enemy aircraft converged on East London and the attack reached Biggin Hill, Kenley, the Inner Thames Estuary and Hornchurch. 20 Squadrons were detailed to meet the attack while four Squadrons were patrolling. The enemy turned back at 1135 hours.

Between 1300 and 1700 hours, various reconnaissances were made in the Straits and in the Kent and Sussex areas, penetrating in some cases inland up to 10 miles. Throughout the day observation balloons were flying over long range guns on the French Coast.

South and West

From 0600 to 1500 hours slight activity by single aircraft took place as far West as the Lizard. Three small raids were plotted off Anglesey in the late afternoon but they did not threaten Liverpool.

By night

At 1950 hours London Central received a 'red' warning. This was occasioned by raids of single aircraft from Le Havre crossing the coast between Beachy Head and Selsey Bill. Activity was on a very much smaller scale than on the previous night.

From 2100 to 2300 hours enemy aircraft started to approach in fair numbers from Cherbourg/Calais/Ostend entering this country over Shoreham and Dungeness and North of the Thames Estuary. The number of enemy aircraft operating soon diminished and at midnight the country was clear; London was given the 'all clear' signal at 0014 hours.

Minelaying activity was fairly certain off the North East Coast, St Abb's Head to the Tees, also from the Humber to the Norfolk coast as far as Cromer.

At 0100 hours a further stream of enemy aircraft started to come over Beachy Head and Dungeness from Dieppe, and London Central received a 'red' warning at 0119 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 20th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 55
  • Spitfire - 237
  • Hurricane - 391
  • Defiant - 21
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 711

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 7 aircraft with 4 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 19th/20th September - 12 patrols involving 16 sorties.
  • During the day of 20th September - 124 patrols involving 540 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 19th/20th September and 150 during the day of 20th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 20th September 1940
  • Enemy activity again appeared to be on a reduced scale but the London area was penetrated by a few aircraft.
  • Counties in the South received some attention but very little material damage is reported save for road blockages. However, it is interesting to note that in nearly every case bombing was in the vicinity of major or minor railways.
  • London districts were again visited after nightfall and several serious fires were started in the South of the City including dock areas.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Kirton: HE were dropped on the landing ground at 0213 hours. No damage reported.
  • Biggin Hill: IB were dropped at 2250 hours but the resulting fires were soon extinguished.
  • Sudbury: Bombs were dropped at 1019 hours near the RAF Wireless Station but no damage was reported.
  • Heston: A large explosion was reported at 2300 hours on the 19th, possible caused by a mine but confirmation of damage is not to hand. At 1210 hours on the 20th, an HE bomb exploded killing 6 men of the BD Section RE and further UxBs were discovered near All Tools Factory and Firestone Tyre & Rubber Factory. Both factories have been evacuated.
  • London Area
  • Southwark: HE & IB were dropped at 2145 hours resulting in damage to telephone, gas and water mains.
  • The railway bridge collapsed blocking Gt Suffolk Street and Pocock Street. Holborn Viaduct Station and St Paul's Southern Railway Station have been closed. Fire reported at HM Stationery Office.
  • Bermondsey: Major damage reported and fires from Dock Head to London Bridge, including Kitchen's Wharf, Shad Thames.
  • Camberwell: A land mine exploded at Waterloo Square, Lomond Grove, damaging a block of flats where many casualties are reported.
  • Lambeth Palace: It has now been reported that the Palace has been damaged by HE.
  • The following firms are known to have been affected by the fires:
  • Spillers Ltd, Mill Street
  • Hay's Wharf
  • Scott's Wharf
  • Mark Brown's Wharf, Tooley Street
  • Kitchen's Wharf, Shad Thames
  • Yardleys, Braddon Street
  • Talbot & Lugg, Tower Bridge Road.
  • Elsewhere
  • Brighton: HE were dropped at 1155 hours near the viaduct on the Lewes Road. Eleven persons were killed and several injured. Water supply will be affected for a short time.
  • Hastings: Several small fires were quickly dealt with and caused no damage. An unexploded bomb has stopped railway service between Hastings and Rye.
  • Thames Board Milles: Suspected unexploded bomb resulted in the evacuation of the works and the main railway line has been closed.
  • Skinningrove: It is reported that full production has now been resumed but the estimated loss of production, up to 0600 hours on the 20th, is - Pig-iron 460 tons and Finished Steel 1150 tons.

Saturday 21st
  • Weather: Mainly fine.
  • Day: Some fighter sweeps in east Kent.
  • Night: London and Merseyside attacked.

Summary of action

Enemy reconnaissances were active along the East, South and South West Coasts during the day and attacked some isolated objectives.

In the evening a strong formation, consisting mainly of fighters, made a sweep over Kent and the Estuary, some penetrating to the eastern boundary of Central London. During the day our fighters destroyed 2 enemy aircraft (plus 1 probable plus 6 damaged). Our casualties were nil.

Major Attack

Between 1750 and 1800 hours seven formations crossed the coast between Dungeness and North Foreland, flying North West. These were followed by others until about 200 enemy aircraft in all were over the country. Twenty Squadrons were sent up, while others patrolled Hornchurch, North Weald, and Guildford. Combats do not appear to have been numerous and only one enemy aircraft is reported damaged.

North and East

Reconnaissance aircraft were reported off North East Scotland in the Castletown area, 20 miles South of Scapa, and East of Flamborough Head. In the afternoon the Royal Air Force Station at Waltham was attacked and suffered minor damage.

South East

At 0823 hours enemy aircraft attacked Weybridge and one of these is believed damaged. Later targets near Ramsgate and Rye were unsuccessfully attacked. Reconnaissance aircraft flew over the Hastings, Dungeness, Redhill and Tonbridge areas during the day. Attempts to intercept did not succeed.

South and West

Hostile aircraft reconnoitred Thorney Island, Tangmere, Kenley, Middle Wallop, Spithead and districts in South Wales. Of these two were destroyed, one near Tangmere and one in South Wales (plus one probable and four damaged).

By night

London Central received a RED warning at 2009 hours. A steady stream of enemy aircraft came from Holland and Le Havre. Those from Holland crossed the coast between Thames Orfordness and went to London from the North; those from Le Havre crossed the coast near Shoreham and went to London and then returned to the South. Later hostile raids continued to come from the direction of the Belgian Coast and later still from the direction of Le Havre and Dieppe entering between Beachy Head and Dungeness and covering South London, Biggin Hill and Kenley districts.

On the whole, it would seem that the enemy activity was not quite so intense as of late.

Just after dust East Anglia received a good deal of attention and some of the raiders flew down to the London area. Many enemy aircraft flew over the Bristol Channel and up over Wales to Liverpool which was given more notice than for some time past.

Minelaying was suspected in the Estuary also off the North-East coast of Yorkshire, in the Tyne area, possibly off the Firth of Forth and off the entrance to Stranraer. Raiders also visited the Lancashire Coast, North of the Tyne and the Midlands near Derby and Sheffield, and two raids were plotted off the Scottish Coast South of Aberdeen.

Four or five raids flew over two convoys North of the Tyne and it is reported that two aerial torpedoes were dropped.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 21st September 1940

  • Blenheim - 56
  • Spitfire - 215
  • Hurricane - 394
  • Defiant - 27
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 700

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 20th/21st September - 40 patrols involving 46 sorties.
  • During the day of 21st September - 118 patrols involving 563 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 170 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 20th/21st September and 250 during the day of 21st September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Attacks on Aerodromes:

  • Middle Wallop - not hit.

Organisation:

  • One Flight of No 264 Squadron (Defiants) has moved to Luton.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 21th September 1940
  • During the day Surrey, Sussex, Kent, Essex and the East End of London were indiscriminately bombed, but very little damage was done and few casualties reported.
  • After dark London was again attacked and bombing seems to have been chiefly directed against the East End and the Dock areas where very serious fires have resulted.
  • Liverpool and adjoining areas were also the scenes of bombing resulting in several fires.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Middle Wallop: HE bombs were dropped at 1429 and 1450 hours, but no damage was done to aircraft or aerodrome.
  • Hunsdon: At 2310 hours HE were dropped but no damage has been reported.
  • Hornchurch: An unexploded mine was reported on the land field of the aerodrome near the Southend Road, which has been closed to traffic.
  • It is reported that an unexploded bomb was discovered in the Fairey Aviation Factory Aerodrome at Heath Row.
  • London Area
  • Grand Union Canal was bombed at 1030 hours on the 21st September and the explosion cracked the wall of Limehouse Cut and also damaged part of a warehouse. Navigation is therefore closed from the Thames to Britannia Bridge.
  • Bethnel Green: Major damage is reported at Allen & Hanbury's. It is not possible to estimate when production will recommence as machinery is useless. It is hoped to re-open surgical instruments and appliances department on Monday.
  • Poplar was bombed at 0016 hours on the 22nd September and it is reported that an 80 pump fire is in progress at Howard's Timber Yard.
  • Lambeth: A serious fire occurred at 0040 hours on 22nd September at the South Metropolitan Gas Co, where it is reported that there are more than fifty casualties.
  • West Ham: Fire was caused by a bombing attack at 0125 hours on 22nd September at J Rank's flour mills and also at the Corporation Electricity Supply.
  • Shoreditch: It is reported that HE were dropped at 0207 hours on the 22nd September and one railway arch was completely demolished and a direct hit on the track attained. Forty yards of bank by Kingsland Road Bridge is reported to have fallen into the canal.
  • Elsewhere
  • Weybridge: The Hawker Aircraft Factory was bombed and machine-gunned at 0833 hours. The boiler house was hit and unexploded bombs are believed to be in the dope shop and main shop. The effect on production is small and only slight casualties are reported to have been caused.
  • Hookwood (Near Horley): At 1140 hours an enemy aircraft dive-bombed the military camp. The store was set on fire. Fifteen casualties have so far been reported.
  • Brentford: An unexploded bomb has been discovered on a shelter with a capacity for 350 people, 180 yards East of Simmons Aerocessories.
  • Malden: Unexploded bombs are reported between Malden and Raynes Park Station, and consequently traffic has been suspended. HE have also been dropped on the Southern Railway West of Kingston-by-Pass.

Sunday 22nd
  • Weather: Dull with fog in the morning. Cloud clearing during the afternoon. Some rain.
  • Day: Reduced activity.
  • Night: London attacked.

Summary of action

Several enemy reconnaissances were plotted along the coasts from Portsmouth round to Harwich, but activity was on a comparatively small scale with no mass raids or important engagements.

East

A reconnaissance was flown over a convoy off Lowestoft at 0700 hours. At 1545 hours two enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Harwich and flew to Debden and Duxford and were engaged by Fighters. At 1720 hours a further raid by one aircraft touched the coast near Harwich.

South East

Between 0700 and 1100 hours and again between 1300 and 1500 hours enemy aircraft flew several reconnaissances and patrols in the Straits of Dover and over a convoy in the area. Between 1500 and 1700 hours six or seven enemy aircraft operating singly, flew from Dieppe over Biggin Hill, Northolt, Central and West London and back to France over Sussex.

One aircraft crossed the coast near Bognor flew to Northamptonshire.

At 1900 hours three raids crossed the coast at Rye en route for London and after 1930 hours a steady stream of raids was plotted from between Beachy Head and Dungeness, also from the Dutch Islands over East Anglia to London and from Cherbourg over Selsey Bill to London.

South and West

At 0700 hours a hostile reconnaissance was flown from Calais to West of Shoreham. At 0800 hours one enemy aircraft crossed the coast near Lyme Bay, flew to Gloucester, Liverpool and Burnley and then turned South again flying over Wolverhampton and South Wales and out over Lyme Bay to the Channel Islands. Fighters unsuccessfully attempted to intercept.

Between 1130 and 1330 hours several raids from Cherbourg and Baie De La Seine approached the Isle of Wight, but turned back before reaching the coast.

A Ju88 was destroyed by Spitfires near the Lizard at about 1700 hours.

North West

At 0750 hours it was reported that a convoy was being attacked off North West Ireland. Fighters attempted interception without success.

By night

The usual night activity started at an early hour, the first raids having been plotted arriving during the hours of daylight.

By 2030 hours there was very considerable activity concentrated almost exclusively on the London area. Enemy aircraft entered from the South, South-East and East Coasts the raids originating from many points ranging from Cherbourg to the Dutch Islands. By 2135 hours single raiders had appeared in the Bristol area and over Wiltshire, Hampshire and Norfolk but otherwise all raids seemed to make London their objective. By 0200 hours most raids had left, and London which had received the 'Red' warning at 1904 hours, went 'White' at 0230 hours. Two raids were still operating in the area of the Humber, and one in South Wales, which at 0300 hours flew on to the Liverpool area.

Activity recommenced over London and East Anglia at 0330 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 22nd September 1940

  • Blenheim - 58
  • Spitfire - 237
  • Hurricane - 384
  • Defiant - 20
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 707

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 21st/22nd September - 43 patrols involving 46 sorties.
  • During the day of 22nd September - 65 patrols involving 158 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 130 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 21st/22nd September and 60 during the day of 22nd September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Attacks on Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • Nil.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 22nd September 1940
  • There was not a great deal of enemy activity during the day, but bombs were dropped in London, Essex, Kent and Sussex without causing much material damage. Railways again appeared to be a primary objective but on the whole the damage was not serious.
  • London was again the main target after dark and South of the River several fires were started but in most cases these were quickly extinguished. However, it is reported that there are very large fires raging at Dagenham and Woolwich.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Fowler: At 1430 hours on the 22nd 9 HE were dropped on the landing ground. There were no casualties but one Spitfire was wrecked.
  • Digby: At 0230 hours on the 23rd IB were dropped on a hangar but no damage reported.
  • Kirton-in-Lindsey: At 0245 hours on 23rd IB were dropped on the flare path, near a hangar, and near the married quarters, but bombs were extinguished and no damage resulted.
  • Waddington: At 0245 hours on 23rd IB were dropped but no damage reported.
  • London Area
  • Woolwich: The fire in the Royal Arsenal Timber Field was the result of last night's bombing, but at 0328 hours on the 23rd this increased to two major conflagrations, involving the Arsenal. However, it is reported that the fires are in hand at 0432 hours, but damage not known.
  • Lambeth: At 2330 hours on the 22nd HE damaged the S R Generating Station by Canterbury Theatre, Westminster Bridge Road. This cannot be attended to until daylight.
  • Ilford: A mine exploded at 2140 hors on the 22nd, and it is reported that 100 houses were demolished and 100 damaged. So far only 12 casualties reported.
  • Poplar and Lambeth: Direct hits were registered on two Air Raid Shelters and it is reported that between thirty and fifty people were killed in addition to numerous others injured.
  • J Rank Flour Mills, Victoria Dock, report that the Factory will be out of commission for the duration, and 1800 employees will be affected.
  • Elsewhere
  • Basingstoke: At 1645 hours on the 22nd three HE and one UXB were dropped on the Southern Railway Line which is now blocked North of the junction.
  • Hastings: HE were dropped at 1605 hours and again at 1720 hours on the 22nd, causing a certain amount of damage to property.
  • Eastbourne: Several HE caused a few casualties and damaged some 20 houses, gas and water mains.
  • Dagenham: The fire at Briggs Body Works is still raging and not yet reported to be in hand.

Monday 23rd
  • Weather: Fine.
  • Day: Fighter sweeps towards London.
  • Night: Attacks on London and Merseyside.

Summary of action

A major attack by some 200 enemy aircraft developed over East Kent, the Estuary and South Essex at 0930 hours. It was broken up by Fighters and the London area was not penetrated.

At about 1730 hours a second attack of lesser importance and covering a more restricted area, involving about 100 enemy aircraft, took place in East Kent.

Reconnaissance activity was on a minor scale and was confined to the East Anglian Coast and Southwards to Cornwall.

During the day's operations 11 enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus 6 probable and 6 damaged). In addition AA guns at Dover claim 1 probable and 1 damaged. Our losses amounted to 11 aircraft and 3 pilots killed or missing.

East Coast

Between 1030 and 1300 hours reconnaissance flights were made off the East Anglian Coast.

South East Coast

Between 0600 and 0900 hours three reconnaissances were made in the North Foreland - Dungeness area.

At 0926 hours a formation numbering 100 enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Dover. This was joined at 0941 by 3 other raids totalling 80 enemy aircraft.

At 0935 hours a section of 9 aircraft detached itself from the main body and flew West along the South Coast to Hastings.

The remainder spread out from Dover towards Maidstone and over the Estuary into Essex.

At about 1015 hours a formation of 12 enemy aircraft came out from Dunkirk heading for the North Foreland but turned South West joining other enemy aircraft leaving Rye. None of the above raids entered the London area. Twenty-four Fighter Squadrons were detailed to the attack and casualties were inflicted.

At 1330 hours an Anson spotting for big guns firing from Dover and escorted by two Spitfires, was attacked by 9 Me109s. The Anson was compelled to land, but the fighters shot down one Me109 and damaged another.

At 1730 hours 40 enemy aircraft flew to the North Foreland, turned into the Estuary, crossed inland at Sheppey and flew South to Rye. At about the same time 55 aircraft crossed the coast between Folkestone and Dover.

The attack lasted for only a short time and was confined to the area East of a line Sheppey - Rye.

Twelve Fighter Squadrons were detailed to the attack, but no casualties on either side were reported.

At 1930 hours two raids by single aircraft flew to Northolt from Beachy Head, recrossing the coast at Shoreham.

South Coast

Between 0900 and 1030 hours four tracks were plotted in the Devon - Cornwall area flying North.

At 1300 hours reconnaissances were made in the Isle of Wight area Eastwards, including a single aircraft reported to have been active in the Beachy Head area.

At 1605 hours a reconnaissance by one aircraft was made over Portsmouth.

Channel and Straits

In the early morning and again between 1300 and 1700 hours considerable activity took place off the French Coast and as far North as the Dutch Islands.

By night

At 1945 the usual stream of enemy aircraft started from East of Baie De la Seine area, crossing coast at Beachy Head. At the same time a number of enemy tracks also appeared from the direction of Antwerp, crossing coast at Harwich and spreading out inland towards Bury St Edmunds where they turned South West towards London area.

From 2100 - 2300 hours intense hostile activity continued from the French, Belgian and Dutch Coasts. During this period, 10 raids originated from Cherbourg, 22 from Le Havre and 10 from Dieppe, all crossing the coast between Beachy Head and Selsey Bill, and converging on West and Central London via Kenley and Biggin Hill.

From the Belgian coast about 10 raids and from Antwerp area 12 raids originated, mostly entering North of Harwich and spreading over most of East Anglia, penetrating to Digby, Duxford, East and North London.

After 2300 hours there was a lull in raids originating from Belgium but others began to come across from Holland, the tracks being intermingled with our returning bombers. One raid is reported to have attacked Newmarket. Activity from the French Coast also decreased in intensity, but a constant stream was maintained from this direction.

About 2030 hours there were about 6 raids in the Liverpool area.

Subsequently isolated raids visited this area and also the Midlands, including one or two as far as Preston.

Only minor activity occurred in South Wales and the West Country.

Minelaying from Humber to Firth of Forth is suspected.

By 0345 hours only one raid remained in the London area, and a few between London and the South Coast.

Elsewhere activity had almost ceased.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 23rd September 1940

  • Blenheim - 60
  • Spitfire - 237
  • Hurricane - 401
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 723

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 11 aircraft with 3 pilots missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 22nd/23rd September - 46 patrols involving 50 sorties.
  • During the day of 23rd September - 116 patrols involving 710 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 22nd/23rd September and 300 during the day of 23rd September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Attacks on Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 312 (Czech) Squadron (Hurricanes) becomes operational at Duxford.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 23rd September 1940
  • Enemy activity during the day was confined chiefly to the South East Coast. Attempts were made to reach the Capital but enemy aircraft were driven off without dropping any bombs.
  • After dark widespread attacks and indiscriminate bombing were again resumed, with London as the chief objective. However, it also appears that Surrey received rather more attention than is usual.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • The following were attacked but little or no damage has been reported: Feltwell, Oulton, Methwold, Redhill and Northolt.
  • It is also believed that Hornchurch was bombed, but communications have temporarily broken down and no details can be obtained.
  • London Area
  • Wandsworth: At 2107 hours the Stevenage Wharf was hit and it is reported that petrol is leaking into the river from tanks of the National Benzol Co. During a later attack HE were dropped on Wandsworth Common Station, resulting in a complete blockage of the London - Brighton line.
  • Walthamstow: The Mills Equipment Co was hit again at 2230 hours. A fire completely gutted the ARP Transport Store and Garage, at Lowhall Farm, but all the vehicles were saved.
  • Note: before this attack on Mills Equipment Co it is reported that "Nos 3 and 4 Factories cannot continue production. However, Nos 1 and 2 factories hope to recommence production in a few days."
  • Poplar: At 2325 hours Clarnico's Factory was set on fire and it is reported that approximately 100 people are believed trapped in a shelter under the Factory.
  • West Ham: At 0007 hours on the 24th, serious fires were caused at LNER running shed, and at various factories (including Dextrine Ltd.) and at Upton Lane School.
  • Stepney: It was reported that at 0300 hours on the 24th a direct hit was registered on the Mile End Road Underground Station.
  • Further bombings are reported at Chelsea, Islington, Hackney, Stratford, Camberwell, Hornsey, Ilford, Hendon, Finchley, Willesden and Surbiton.
  • Elsewhere
  • Eastbourne: Twenty eight HE were dropped at 1150 hours and 24 casualties have so far been reported. Damage to gas and water mains are believed to be extensive.
  • Hastings, Bexhill and Seaford were also attacked, but casualties were few and damage confined to property.
  • Salfords (Near Redhill): At 2209 hours an oil bomb caused a fire at the Monotype Factory, considerably damaging records but production will not be affected.
  • Hertford: It is reported that a mine exploded at 2119 hours demolishing three houses and causing approximately 30 casualties.

Tuesday 24th
  • Weather: Early morning fog in northern France. Channel cloudy with haze in the Straits and Thames Estuary.
  • Day: Tilbury and Southampton raided.
  • Night: Continued bombing of London and Merseyside.

Summary of action

During the morning, the enemy made two major attacks over Kent and the Thames Estuary.

In the afternoon, two smaller attacks were carried out against objectives in the Southampton district.

During the day, our fighters destroyed seven enemy aircraft (plus eight probable and thirteen damaged), while our losses were five aircraft of which two pilots are killed or missing.

First Major Attack

At 0830 hours, the leading formations of nine raids totalling about 200 aircraft, crossed the coast between Dover and Dungeness. The main body flew across Kent to attack objectives at Tilbury and Gravesend, while a diversion of fighters crossed East Kent to the Isle of Sheppey.

Fifteen Squadrons were sent up in connection with this attack and one enemy aircraft was destroyed (plus five probable and seven damaged). Weather conditions were very hazy. The proportion of enemy fighters to bombers was approximately two to one.

Second Major Attack

At 1115 hours, a primary wave of about one hundred enemy aircraft flew in over the Dover Area. A secondary wave of eighty aircraft came in over the Estuary and turned South into Kent. Objectives were towns on the South East Coast and in the middle of Kent.

Eighteen Squadrons were sent up but interceptions were few, probably due to weather conditions. Again there were approximately two enemy fighters to each bomber.

First Southampton Attack

At 1320 hours, fifty enemy aircraft of which about half were bombers, approached the Isle of Wight and attacked Woolston in the Southampton area.

Six Squadrons were despatched but failed to effect any conclusive interceptions.

Second Southampton Attack

At 1610 hours fifty enemy aircraft (half of which were again bombers) flew in over the Isle of Wight and penetrated inland to the borders of Oxfordshire.

Seven Squadrons were sent up and four enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus two damaged).

Reconnaissances

During the day, hostile reconnaissances were plotted over East Anglia (four), Kent, Biggin Hill, and the RAF Station at Rye and along the coast from Beachy Head to Shoreham.

In the West of Scotland, a target at Oban was attacked.

Escorts

Three Squadrons were detailed to escort one Squadron of Blenheims which attacked enemy shipping in the Channel. In an attack by enemy fighters, two Spitfires were lost.

Night Operations - 24th/25th September 1940

At 1930 hours, raids started coming out of Le Havre making for Shoreham and London. These were followed by a sequence of other raids on the same course which were not, however, as numerous as usual. At about the same time, raids from the direction of Holland crossed the North Norfolk coast and for the most part remained in East Anglia except for two which penetrated more deeply Westwards. None of these raids appeared to proceed to the London area.

At about 2230 hours, there was a temporary lull and after 2300 hours owing to returning friendly bombers, it became difficult to distinguish hostile tracks. However, enemy activity in the London area continued and appeared to increase after 0300 hours. The approach was mainly from the South Coast but a few raids flew in from East Anglia.

Early in the evening, several raids proceeded up the Irish Sea in the direction of Liverpool but turned away South East across Wales. One raid remained in the Anglesey area for a considerable time.

Later in the night, Liverpool was visited by several raids and there was also some activity in the Dundee area, the Midlands and South Midlands.

In the London area, activity further increased after 0400 hours and only at 0538 hours had the last raid recrossed the coast.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 24th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 58
  • Spitfire - 233
  • Hurricane - 380
  • Defiant - 19
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 698

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Five aircraft with two pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 23rd/24th September - 70 patrols involving 70 sorties.
  • During the day of 24th September - 126 patrols involving 880 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 225 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 23rd/24th September and 530 during the day of 24th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Attacks on Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 24th September 1940
  • During the day enemy activity was on a far larger scale than yesterday, and bombs were dropped in the dock areas, but damage was not large and casualties were few. Sussex and particularly Kent were subjected to widespread bombing and the objectives appeared to be Aerodromes, but very little damage was done.
  • During the night London was again the chief target and was continuously bombed from nightfall onwards. Many fires were started and hits obtained on railways. A certain amount of indiscriminate bombing was observed in Essex and Surrey, but these particular raids do not appear to have caused much damage or casualties.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Wittering: Attacked on the night of the 23rd, and one UXB was discovered on the Aerodrome, but no damage was done. Two further craters were found 2 miles South West of Aerodrome near road A47.
  • Hemswell: At 0230 hours on the 24th, the flare path was machine-gunned just after the flares were extinguished. Shortly after midnight a Hampden aircraft crashed whilst taking off, and a bomb exploded injuring (1 fatal) six members of the picket who were in attendance.
  • Feltwell: Several HE were dropped at 0314 hours and slight damage was done to walls and windows of one hangar. One Wellington aircraft was burnt out and another was damaged.
  • Lympne: 25 HE, some of which were unexploded, were dropped at 1145 hours, but no damage was reported.
  • Luton: At 0030 hours on the 25th, HE were dropped but damage not yet known. Urgent flying cancelled pending further investigation, probably due to 5 IB dropped across the flare path.
  • Attacks were made in the vicinity of the following:
  • Cranfield
  • Ramsgate
  • Shoreham
  • London Area
  • Kensington: At 2100 hours IB fell on the Sunbeam-Talbot Motor Works, the offices of which were damaged by fire but production is not likely to be affected. It is reported that Warwick Road is blocked and Earls Court Railway Station closed.
  • Westminster: Bombs are reported near the West End Central Police Station - fires at Boyle Street and Saville Row. It is also reported that the Hungerford Bridge and Signal Box is on fire, together with St Margaret's, Westminster.
  • Battersea: Bombs dropped on the SR track at Broughton Street, and the line from Battersea to Clapham Junction is blocked.
  • Lambeth: Major damage is reported at No 10 Platform Waterloo Station, involving approximately 30 casualties.
  • Edmonton: IB are reported to have fallen on the West Wings of the North Middlesex and St David's Hospitals.
  • Ilford: At 2115 hours HE slightly damaged Plessey & Co's. There were no casualties, but effect on production is not yet ascertained.
  • City: Major damage at 0217 hours on the 25th was reported at Blackfriars Station, 'Times' Office, Queen Victoria Street, and Upper Thames Street.
  • Further bombings are reported at Hammersmith, Wood Green, Hendon, Tottenham, Wimbledon, Hornsey, Wandsworth, Richmond, Barnes, Southall and Ealing.
  • Elsewhere
  • Southampton: Bombs were dropped on and near the City at 1330 hours and at 1626 hours. One direct hit was made on a shelter of the Supermarine Aviation Works, resulting in heavy casualties, but it is reported that production has only been slightly affected. Major damage is reported to Railway between Bitterne and Woolston.
  • Brighton: 3 HE and 1 oil bomb were dropped at 1545 hours, causing approximately 50 casualties and seriously damaging 100 houses. In addition damage was done to telephone, electric light, gas and water mains.
  • Luton: At 0027 hours on the 25th, HE caused several fires in the town, and many casualties are reported. An unexploded mine is reported to be inside the Percival Aircraft Factory, and it should be noted that there are several other key points. In the vicinity.

Wednesday 25th
  • Weather: Fair to fine in most areas. Cool.
  • Day: Bristol and Plymouth bombed.
  • Night: London, North Wales and Lancashire attacked.

Summary of action

With the exception of attacks on Filton and Portland during the morning and an attack on Plymouth in the afternoon enemy activity has been confined to small raids chiefly in the South Eastern area. About one hundred aircraft had massed in the Calais area by 0900 hours but an attack did not materialise.

During the day our fighters destroyed twenty-two enemy aircraft (plus eight probables and ten damaged). In addition anti aircraft destroyed three enemy aircraft (plus two damaged). Our losses were four aircraft with one pilot missing and one died of wounds.

In the main attacks, the proportion of fighters to bombers appears to have been approximately equal.

Attack on Filton

At 1148 hours, about sixty enemy aircraft consisting of twenty seven bombers with fighter escort, which had crossed the coast near Weymouth, attacked the Bristol Aeroplane Company's Works at Filton. The attack was made from 11,000 feet and all bombs were dropped simultaneously. Three Squadrons plus one section were despatched to intercept and all of them engaged, though only one Squadron succeeded in doing so before the enemy aircraft reached the target. Eighteen enemy aircraft - chiefly bombers - were destroyed (plus six probables and seven damaged). Anti aircraft destroyed three enemy (plus two damaged). Our losses were four aircraft and one pilot (died of wounds).

Attack on Portland

It is reported by AA Command that seven Ju88s broke away from the main body flying to Filton, and made an unsuccessful dive bombing attack down to 500 feet on the oil tanks at Portland.

Attack on Plymouth

Approximately twenty-four enemy bombers with an escort of twelve Me110s crossed the coast at Start Point and attacked the Plymouth area at 1647 hours. Two sections of fighters intercepted and dispersed this formation. One enemy bomber was destroyed (plus two aircraft probably destroyed and one damaged) without loss to our fighters.

Reconnaissances and Patrols

Hostile reconnaissances - mostly of single aircraft - were plotted during the day as follows:

  • Over three convoys - one of which is reported to have been attacked.
  • London (three), Thames Estuary, Luton, Hatfield, Farnborough, Northolt, Kent, Sussex Coast, Bristol Channel, Somerset, Wiltshire, Hampshire and east of Yarmouth.

Some interceptions were effected and casualties inflicted.

Patrols by enemy aircraft were frequent in the Straits.

Night Operations - 25th/26th September 1940

Enemy activity in the London area was widespread and steadily maintained throughout the night.

1930 to 2100 Hours

Shortly after 1930 hours, raids began doming out of Le Havre towards Portsmouth and made for London. These were followed by others from Cherbourg which entered along the coast Westward from Beachy Head. Other raids from Holland came in over the Norfolk Coast and the Wash. Some of the later made a wide sweep and approached London from the North West.

During this period, about twenty-five raids crossed our Coast, some of which flew to South Wales and one over Derby.

Anti-aircraft in the Rochford area claim to have destroyed on JU88 at 1940 hours which is reported to have fallen into the sea.

2100 to 0100 Hours

About 100 enemy aircraft came inland, nineteen of which proceeded to the Midlands (as far North as the Mersey) and to the West Country and South Wales.

After 2300 hours, raids ceased to approach London from East Anglia, the points of entry being between Dungeness and the Isle of Wight. Many raids appeared to return via the Estuary to the Dutch Coast.

After midnight, about nine aircraft from the Dutch Coast circled in the outer Thames Estuary and may have been engaged on a shipping search or minelaying operations.

0100 to 0500 Hours

At 0115 hours, a new series of about twenty raids started approaching from Holland and made for the London Area, but some remained in the Thames Estuary and these, to, may have been minelaying.

By 0530 hours, the last raids from the London area had recrossed the South Coast.

In addition to the activity mentioned above, there have been a few raids in Lincolnshire, the Humber area and in the South West. There has been no activity in the North of England or in Scotland.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 25th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 48
  • Spitfire - 218
  • Hurricane - 376
  • Defiant - 19
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 669

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Four aircraft with two pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 24th/25th September - 46 patrols involving 50 sorties.
  • During the day of 25th September - 137 patrols involving 668 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 150 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 24th/25th September and 280 during the day of 25th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • Prestwick is unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • A reliable source reports that in South Germany and Austria some malicious satisfaction is being expressed at the bombing of Berlin.
  • Italy: Transfer of Italian aircraft to German occupied territory.
  • 36 CR42 Fighters and 36 G50 Fighters are being transferred as complete units (2 Gruppos) to Melsbrouck on the Western Front.
  • 72 BR20 Bombers and 5 Cant1007 Bombers are also being transferred and a number of transport aircraft are to accompany them.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 25th September 1940
  • During the day enemy activity was principally centred over Bristol and South West England, and in the evening indiscriminate bombing took place at Coastal Towns from Margate to Worthing and the South East area of Essex.
  • Night activity commenced at 2020 hours, the main force of the attack being directed against London, East and South East England, and the Midlands as far North as Liverpool, South Wales and the Bristol Channel areas were also visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Filton: at 1148 hours a heavy attack was delivered by enemy aircraft, when many HE, IB and Delayed Action bombs were dropped, in spite of which there were no casualties amongst RAF Personnel and serviceability was not affected.
  • Worthy Down: HE bombs were dropped near the married quarters at 2200 hours, damaging the camp water main. There were no casualties.
  • North Weald: It is reported that there were that there is an unexploded bomb on the Aerodrome.
  • London Area Night of 25th/26th September 1940
  • It would appear that railway property in and around London was one of the enemy's main objectives during this period. Damage and traffic interference being caused as follows:
  • At 2240 hours a crater was made on the GWR Line near Ruislip Garden Station.
  • HE bombs were dropped on the GW and LMS (London Joint) Railway at Kensington at 0500 hour, lines being completely blocked by debris.
  • The railway bridge over Thames Road, Chiswick, was hit by HE at 0055 hours.
  • A small crater is reported on the LMS down track near Acton Central Station, electric cables were severed and the presence of an unexploded bomb was suspected.
  • The track and an overhead footbridge, belonging to the Southern Railway Company, between Kew Bridge and Grove Park Stations was damaged.
  • Hendon was attacked at 2045 hours and again at 2250 hours, resulting in the Station at Collingdale being hit.
  • Fires.
  • Major fires were started at Wandsworth, Edmonton, Tottenham, Old Kent Road and Hammersmith.
  • During these fires damage was caused to British Oxygen Co's plant at Edmonton, and the GWR sheds at Hammersmith.
  • Elsewhere
  • Bristol: A severe attack was made by a large force of enemy aircraft soon after 1130 hours, considerable damage being caused at the Rodney Works of the Bristol Aeroplane Company, where the casualties so far reported amount to 60 killed and 150 injured. The Aeroengines Factory and Flight shed were also hit and production seriously affected. Damage to house property, gas and water mains was experienced over a wide locality including Filton village, Westbury-on-Trim, South Mead and Chipping Sodbury.
  • Portland: A large amount of damage was caused to house property, water mains, electric supply and telephone wires when an attack was made by enemy aircraft at 1120 hours. It is further reported that owing to the fractured water mains a serious situation would develop should water be needed for fire-fighting.
  • Plymouth: At 1700 hours four HE bombs were dropped, causing an oil main to burst and the destruction of a crane; also damage to railway trucks, jetty and carriage shed.

Thursday 26th
  • Weather: Mainly fair to cloudy.
  • Day: Supermarine factory at Southampton attacked and wrecked.
  • Night: Raids on London and Merseyside.

Summary of action

A major attack by formations totalling about 100 enemy aircraft was made on Southampton at 1630 hours. Heavy bombing resulted causing severe damage to the Supermarine Works.

Fighter Squadrons intercepted and casualties were inflicted on the enemy.

At dusk, 25 enemy aircraft, originating from the Bay of Biscay, attacked Crewe.

Reconnaissances by small formations and single aircraft were made along the South Coast and inland, increasing in intensity particularly between 1600 and 1700 hours.

During the day's operations, fighters destroyed 32 enemy aircraft (plus 10 probable and 11 Damaged), and AA claim 1 destroyed (plus 1 probable and 2 damaged). Our casualties amounted to 10 aircraft with three pilots killed or missing.

East Coast

Activity in this area was confined to the morning. Enemy aircraft approached Skinningrove and Whitby where bombs are reported to have been dropped. Harwich and Orfordness were also visited.

Intense activity took place off the Dutch Coast.

South East Coast

Reconnaissances in the Estuary and over East Kent were made during the morning and 4 aircraft operating singly, penetrated to London.

Great activity prevailed in the Straits and off the French Coast.

During the afternoon, activity increased and coastal towns were bombed by single aircraft. Landfalls were made at Harwich and Hastings, the aircraft in the former case penetrating to London via Debden and Northolt and departing via Kenley and Biggin Hill.

Interceptions were attempted without conclusive results.

South and West Coasts

Between 1500 and 1700 hours, reconnaissances were made from Selsey Bill to Cornwall.

At 1630 hours, about 40 enemy aircraft approached the Isle of Wight from Cherbourg and these were followed by a second wave of bombers and fighters amounting to about 60 aircraft.

At the same time, single aircraft approached Beachy Head possibly as a diversion. The objective was Southampton where the Supermarine Works were extensively damaged. Dive-bombing as well as high-level bombing is reported. 12 Squadrons were in the air of which 8 were engaged in the defence of Southampton. No interception was made prior to the attack. 31 enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus 10 probable and 10 damaged) as a result of combats during this attack with a loss of 8 of our aircraft (plus one probable and 2 damaged).

At about 1800 hours, a reconnaissance by 3 aircraft was made over Southampton and Middle Wallop, while a further 3 aircraft came in at Christchurch.

Midlands

At 1950 hours, 23 enemy aircraft attacked Crewe having flown from the Bay of Biscay up the Irish Sea and across Wales. After leaving Crewe, the raids split up and returned via Bristol and Poole Bay.

Night Operations - 26th/27th September 1940

Enemy activity was first widespread over the whole country South of a line Liverpool to Humber. Raids did not approach London until 2030 hours and then continued until 0300 hours. A lull until 0500 hours followed when 12 further raids visited London.

1930 to 2100 Hours

40 raids crossed our Coasts originating from the Dutch Coast, Le Havre and Cherbourg and entering between Cromer-Humber, Beachy Head - Selsey and Selsey - Swanage, respectively. Many of the raids from the Dutch Coast flew due West to the Midlands.

At 1950 hours, a convoy in the Firth of Forth reported that it was being attacked.

2100 to 0100 Hours

Hostile activity was continuous and was concentrated on the London area although some raids visited Liverpool, the Midlands, Cambridge, Mildenhall, Newmarket and Duxford, and enemy aircraft from Cherbourg flew coastwise from Lyme Bay to Start Point.

There was suspected minelaying in the Thames Estuary and off North Foreland.

0100 to 0600 Hours

Enemy raids originating from Dieppe and proceeding to the London area, mostly entered between Beachy Head and Folkestone. One raid entering at the Wash, penetrated inland to Digby and flew back over King's Lynn.

There was a lull from 0300 to 0500 hours and the Country was entirely clear for 1 hour, when about 12 raids - some of which were at first thought to be returning friendly bombers - came out of Dieppe and were plotted to London. These were all homing by 0450 hours and the Country was again clear by 0600 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 26th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 56
  • Spitfire - 203
  • Hurricane - 392
  • Defiant - 15
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 673

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 10 aircraft with 3 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 25th/26th September - 37 patrols involving 39 sorties.
  • During the day of 26th September - 120 patrols involving 417 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 275 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 25th/26th September and 200 during the day of 26th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • Grangemouth is unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 504 Squadron has moved from Hendon to Filton.
  • No 25 Squadron - whole Squadron now at North Weald.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 26th September 1940
  • During the day, there was no enemy air activity over the Capital but other parts of the Country were visited, the most important attacks being made on Southampton, the South Coast from Chatham to Shoreham and in the North of England at Skinningrove.
  • Night activity commenced at 1945 hours and was widespread over the whole country South of Liverpool.
  • London received the "Red" warning at 2030 hours and the "All Clear" at 0355 hours, but the warning was renewed about an hour later.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 25th September
  • Northolt: At 2315 hours, about 5 bombs were dropped on the North-East corner of this Station. Two or three fell very close together near Barrack Block 1. The water main was broken. Another hit the North-East wall of Block 1 and at a very steep angle passed through both floors into the ground. No aircraft were damaged or destroyed.
  • Pembrey: At 2100 hours, a stick of incendiary bombs fell across the perimeter of the aerodrome - approximately from North-East to South-West. Fires were extinguished. Three HE were also dropped on the landing ground making craters 15 ft by 6 ft deep. One delayed action bomb exploded at 0530 hours on the 26th September. The craters have been filled in and no other damage was sustained.
  • RAF Stations - 26th September
  • Henlow, Cranfield, Harwell, Uxbridge, West Malling, Leighton Buzzard, Bramcote, Shawbury and Northolt were all attacked but in no case is any damage of importance reported.
  • London Area
  • Reports so far received indicate the damage in the London area is not so severe as on the previous night, but railway communications are affected at Carlton Hill and part of the track between Park Avenue and Palace Gate Stations is damaged. Castlehaven Road Railway Bridge is badly damaged and there is also a large fire on the Southern Railway Crystal Palace line.
  • In the Westminster district, one bomb fell outside the Houses of Parliament and another in front of the steps leading from King Charles Street to St James Park.
  • Elsewhere - 26 September
  • Coventry: At 1734 hours, HE and IB were dropped causing a fire and damage to the Works of the Standard Motor Co, but aircraft production will not be affected. There were 20 casualties.
  • Southampton: At 1628 hours, enemy aircraft attacked the town and scored direct hits on the Works of the Supermarine Aviation Co, Messrs Vickers Armstrong and the premises of the Gaslight & Coke Co. A grain warehouse on the docks was also hit.
  • At the Supermarine Works, there was a direct hit on two shops and production is indefinitely suspended. The casualties are estimated at 10 killed and 30 injured.
  • The production of the Gas, Light & Coke Co was totally suspended for a number of hours.
  • A warehouse full of grain was destroyed.
  • Portsmouth: At 0930 hours, a fire not caused by enemy action, broke out at the Works of Messrs Vosper in which a motor torpedo boat was involved causing 1,500 gallons of petrol to explode. The damage to the boat is estimated at £5,000.
  • Dover: At 1435 hours shell fire caused considerable damage which included 100 houses and shops. The casualties are 2 killed and 13 injured.
  • Enfield: At 2336 hours, a large number of incendiary bombs were dropped on the Royal Small Arms Factory causing several fires. No estimate of the extent of interference with the production has yet been reported.
  • Skinningrove: Four HE bombs were dropped on the Skinningrove Iron Co's Works causing damage to part of the Plant which may reduce production of pig iron by 33%.
  • Crewe: At about 1952 hours, HE and IB were dropped causing damage to property and Coppenhall Junction. At the latter, all four lines are reported out of action.
  • Birkenhead: At about 1945 hours, incendiary bombs were dropped between Central Station and Morpeth Docks and fires were started at the Great Western Railway warehouse, the Customs Offices, a theatre and shop property. The tunnel between Birkenhead Park Station and Hamilton Square Station has been damaged by a bomb.
  • Liverpool: At 2100 hours, HE and IB were dropped causing very considerable damage to property and starting severe fires in the Dock areas where ships and warehouses are burning. There would appear to be considerable loss of stocks of food, copra and palm kernels.

Friday 27th
  • Weather: Fair in the extreme south and south-west. Cloudy in the Channel with light rain over southern England.
  • Day: Heavy attacks on London and Bristol.
  • Night: Further raids on London, Merseyside and the Midlands.

Summary of action

During the day, there were three major attacks on London and South-East England, and one smaller attack on Filton. Balloons were attacked at Dover.

Our fighters destroyed 131 enemy aircraft (plus 33 probable and 52 damaged) and AA guns shot down two (plus two probable). Our losses were 27 aircraft of which 18 pilots are killed or missing.

First Major Attack

About 0900 hours, some 180 enemy aircraft (100 fighters and 80 bombers) crossed the Coast between Folkestone and Dover in six formations at heights varying from 15,00 to 20,000 feet. No 11 Group sent up 13 Squadrons to meet this attack and 11 of these Squadrons intercepted. No 12 Group provided 4 Squadrons to patrol North Weald and Hornchurch. The attack was halted in the Maidstone - Tonbridge area but some enemy aircraft penetrated to Central and West London. By 0943 hours, raids were dispersing over the Coast from Shoreham to Dungeness.

Second Major Attack

Between 1147 and 1215 hours, six formations totalling 300 enemy aircraft crossed the coast between Dover and Lympne at heights varying from 12,000 to 29,000 feet, and headed towards the Chatham area. Twenty Squadrons were sent up and the main engagements took place over Kent and East Sussex. Enemy formations encountered were principally composed of fighters. Enemy dispersal commenced at 1230 hours and was practically completed by 1300 hours.

Third Major Attack

Between 1500 and 1526 hours, nine formations totalling about 160 enemy aircraft, of which probably half were bombers, crossed the coast between Dover and Brighton at an average height of 22,000 feet, and flew towards South London. The enemy formations were intercepted but about 20 aircraft appeared to penetrate to the Central London area. The last raids had recrossed the coast by about 1600 hours.

Attack on Filton

At 1120 hours two formations consisting of about 25 bombers escorted by 45 Me110s and some Me109s, crossed the coast near Swanage and flew to Filton. At Frome, the Me109s turned back. Eight Squadrons were despatched to meet the attack, one of which intercepted and dispersed the enemy formations before they reached the Bristol Aeroplane Co's Works, but Filton RAF Station was attacked from 11,000 feet. Formations were also intercepted on their return journey.

Dover

At 1143 hours, Dover Balloons were unsuccessfully attacked by three Me109s.

Patrols and Reconnaissances

During the greater part of the day, the enemy maintained patrols in the Channel.

In the evening, there was some reconnaissance activity off the South-East Coast, in the Estuary, and off East Anglia, the last probably being shipping reconnaissances over a convoy.

Night Operations - 27th/28th September 1940

Enemy activity was chiefly directed towards London from the French Coast and lasted from 1940 hours to 0600 hours, with a brief lull from 0215 to 0315 hours. Edinburgh was visited just after dusk and there were scattered raids in the Liverpool District, Birmingham and Nottingham, mostly up to midnight.

1930 to 2100 Hours

There were 18 raids to the London area which originated from Dieppe and Le Havre. Nine raids from Cherbourg crossed the Coast between Swanage and Selsey and made for the Bristol Channel area, some proceeding to Liverpool.

Four raids from the direction of Denmark crossed the coast North of St Abb's Head and proceeded to Edinburgh, after visiting a convoy.

2100 to 0100 Hours

55 raids were plotted of which the majority proceeded to London from Cherbourg and Dieppe. A few of these went as far North as Duxford.

Two or three raids visited the Liverpool district as well as one each to Birmingham and Nottingham.

No minelaying operations are suspected.

By 2300 hours the Western half of the Country was clear.

0100 to 0600 Hours

Raids continued to come in fairly steadily from the French Coast to the London area until 0215 hours.

Activity in the remainder of the Country was very slight.

At 0315 hours, there was renewed activity from the Abbeville area to London crossing the coast between Bexhill and Hastings. This stream continued until about 0600 hours when the last raids were recrossing the coast.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 27th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 53
  • Spitfire - 214
  • Hurricane - 391
  • Defiant - 19
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 684

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 27 aircraft with 18 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 26th/27th September - 34 patrols involving 34 sorties.
  • During the day of 27th September - 138 patrols involving 939 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 350 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 26th/27th September and 850 during the day of 27th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • The Fuhrer has expressed a personal wish that all damage from future bombing should be made good immediately. It is stated that citizens suffering most must be the first to be freed from their material troubles and that all signs of bomb and fire damage should be removed as quickly as possible. This work was to be regarded as important war work (Source AA Stockholm).
  • A neutral official recently returned from Berlin stated that night life has been considerably affected by the recent bombing, and all transport services both above and underground now cease at either 11 or 11.30 pm (Source AA Stockholm).

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 27th September 1940
  • During the day, enemy aircraft activity was on a much larger scale than usual, London, South East Coast and Bristol being the areas principally attacked. Night activity commenced at about 2017 hours, the Capital receiving most attention. South East England, Bristol Channel, South Wales, Liverpool, Birmingham, Nottingham and Edinburgh were also visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 25th September
  • Hendon: At 2245 hours approximately 300 incendiary bombs were dropped on the aerodrome which were promptly extinguished, causing only slight damage. An oil bomb weighing approximately 100 lbs was dropped and rebounded off a hangar and exploded but did not ignite. There was some damage.
  • RAF Stations - 27th September
  • Filton: A large enemy force attacked this aerodrome at 1136 hours, 2 bombs falling near the Operations Room, one on perimeter of dispersal tack and 5 in fields near the North corner of the landing ground. Serviceability was not affected and only damage was to one hangar, water pipe to hydrant and the field telephone. There was no damage to service aircraft.
  • Penhurst, Speke, Burtonwood, Ringway and Mount Batten were also ineffectively attacked.
  • London Area - Night 27th/28th September 1940
  • It appears that damage was of a less serious nature than on previous night although communications were again affected and several fires started, but all these are now reported to be out or under control. A fire was started at The Thames Ammunitions Works but the damage was negligible.
  • Dover
  • At 1340 hours shelling commenced as a result of which 20 fell in the Harbour and along the sea front, causing little damage and only one casualty.
  • Elsewhere - 26th/27th September 1940
  • Southampton: Further information received regarding the attack made on 26th September indicates the following:-
  • The Gas, Light and Coke Co: At best the production of gas will be suspended till Monday. After that time hope for 40-50 per cent of normal output half of which will be reserved for key points, bakeries, and installations of national importance. This will supply them with all they require.
  • The Supermarine Aviation Co: Damage to both Woolston and Itchen Works sheds very widespread. However damage to plant, aircraft in course of construction and stores not estimated at more than 33 per cent. Restricted production however is continuing in subsidiary workshops.
  • Birmingham: At 1735 hours on 27th September HE bombs were dropped in the grounds of the Dunlop Rubber Co Ltd, but very slight damage to the Works is reported.
  • Coventry: Further to the attack made on the Standard Motor Co on 26th September, details now received state that the enamelling shop was completely wrecked and the car assembly and finishing shops temporarily affected. Other workshops suffered slight damage and the production of armoured cars and mine sinkers will probably be suspended for a considerable time. 200 employees are laid off and the damage is estimated at £100,000.

Saturday 28th
  • Weather: The Channel, Straits and Thames Estuary cloudy otherwise generally fair to fine.
  • Day: Raids on London and the Solent area.
  • Night: Continued attacks on London.

Summary of action

Enemy activity consisted of a few isolated raids and three main attacks, of which two were delivered over Kent towards London and one was directed against the Portsmouth area. Two attacks on convoys are reported.

The number of enemy fighters employed appears to have greatly exceeded the number of bombers. Enemy aircraft are reported to have been stepped up to a great height and to have attacked our fighters from above and out of the sun. In some cases, slight haze hindered interception of raids.

Our fighters destroyed 6 enemy aircraft (plus 4 probable and one damaged). 16 of our fighters are lost or missing but 7 pilots are safe.

First Main Attack

At 0955 hours, raids totalling 120+ aircraft approached the Kent Coast, of which 70 penetrated inland in two waves. The first wave of 30 aircraft flew to Biggin Hill and about 6 of these reached Central London. The second wave did not penetrate further West than Maidstone. 17 Squadrons ere despatched to intercept these raids which finally dispersed at about 1040 hours. Enemy patrols were unusually active in the Straits during this attack.

Second Main Attack

At 1330 hours, about 160 aircraft of which about 35 were bombers, crossed the coast between Dungeness and Lympne and flew towards Maidstone and the Thames Estuary. These raids spread out over Kent but did not penetrate further West than a line Beachy Head - Maidstone - Isle of Sheppey. All operational squadrons of No 11 Group were employed against this attack and five Squadrons of No 12 Group patrolled Hornchurch and North Weald. By 1410 hours, enemy aircraft were flying back towards France.

Third Main Attack

At 1415 hours, some 60 enemy aircraft flew from Cherbourg towards Portsmouth. Some turned towards the Tangmere - Thorney Island area. The raids were met by five Squadrons of No 11 Group which were diverted from the Kent attack, and by four Squadrons of No 10 Group. Four Squadrons sighted the enemy. It is reported that none of the enemy crossed the Coast and that they jettisoned their bombs into the sea.

Other Activity

At about 1000 hours, raids of 1 and 1+ aircraft were plotted over Liverpool and a single enemy aircraft crossed the Coast at Shoreham and flew over Uxbridge. This latter track faded South of Kenley.

At 1515 hours, an attack on a convoy off Spurn Head was reported.

At 1610 hours, a raid of one aircraft was plotted over Bristol.

At 1730 hours, an attack on a convoy near the Thames Estuary was reported.

At 1732 hours, A Naval Unit is reported to have been attacked.

At 1920 hours, a single enemy aircraft attacked Dover.

Patrols and Reconnaissances

During the morning and again between 1700 and 1930 hours, patrols were active in the Straits.

Reconnaissances were plotted off St Abb's Head, North Foreland and the Thames Estuary, Beachy Head and the Isle of Wight.

Night Operations - 28th/29th September 1940

Enemy activity commenced at about 2000 hours when the first raids crossed the Sussex Coast and approached London. At the same time, raids which appeared to originate from the Dutch Islands crossed the Coast in the Wash area and penetrated over Lincolnshire and Norfolk to Digby, Peterborough and Nottingham. Raids were also plotted into the Liverpool area, returning over Wales.

At 2100 hours, a concentration of raids on London was plotted, crossing the Coast near Portsmouth and also between Beachy Head and Shoreham.

After midnight, activity spread westwards to include an area Selsey Bill - St Albans Head and North to Middle Wallop, but the main objective of most raids still appeared to be London and its Western suburbs. Two isolated raids were plotted in Oxfordshire, and two in the Bristol Channel.

By 0230 hours, raids were less in number but were still approaching London from the Coast of Sussex. Two raids were plotted in the Derby area.

At 0345 hours, a fresh stream of raids came from Dieppe towards London and activity over this area continued until 0550 hours.

During the course of the night, considerable minelaying was suspected off North Foreland and in the Thames Estuary.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 28th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 57
  • Spitfire - 214
  • Hurricane - 390
  • Defiant - 12
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 681

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 16 aircraft with 9 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 27th/28th September - 27 patrols involving 27 sorties.
  • During the day of 28th September - 110 patrols involving 770 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 27th/28th September and 300 during the day of 28th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 28th September 1940
  • Enemy aircraft activity was on a much reduced scale, but a small number penetrated to London and bombs ere dropped in Poplar, Deptford and Woolwich shortly after 1000 hours.
  • Three other efforts of little consequence were made during the afternoon over Hastings, Ramsgate, Folkestone, Eastbourne, Portsmouth and Southampton, and no bombs are reported as having been dropped at the last two mentioned places.
  • Night activity commenced at about 2000 hours which was widespread, although London appeared to be the main objective, but the following areas were also visited, South and South East of England, East Anglia as far North as Lincolnshire, Nottingham, Derby, Liverpool and South Wales.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 28th September
  • Digby: An attack was made at 2234 hours when six incendiary bombs were dropped near the married quarters and Sergeants' Mess. The fires were extinguished and there was no damage.
  • Railway Communications - Night 28th/29th September 1940
  • These appear to be one of the main objectives and damage occurred as follows:-
  • Crater between Twickenham and Strawberry Hill. Down line blocked.
  • Suspected unexploded bomb stopping freight trains between Feltham and Neasden.
  • Main up and down lines blocked by HE between Brentford and Chiswick.
  • Up and down lines between Mortlake and North Cheam blocked by crater.
  • HE blocking both lines at Hounslow.
  • Guildford to West Clandon closed owing to mine.
  • Southern Railway Crystal Place line blocked at Drewstead Road owing to HE.
  • One track on Dorking-Horsham line blocked by incendiary bomb.
  • Acton Lane Bridge damaged. Up and down electric line blocked.
  • Down line from Barkson East - Honington unsafe to work owing to damage by HE.
  • IB between Leatherhead and Effingham. Traffic suspended.
  • Four railway tracks uprooted and bridge over railway rendered unsafe at Eastbourne.
  • Southern Railway blocked West of Twickenham Station.
  • Unexploded bomb affecting GWR main line at Acton.
  • Factories - Night 28th/29th September 1940
  • Major damage is reported at the factory of Messrs W Ottway & Co Ltd, Orion Works, Ealing, through an incendiary bomb which was dropped at 0008 hours and caused a fire, which is now believed to be under control.
  • 200 IB and 20 HE bombs were dropped opposite the works of Messrs Vickers Armstrong at Weybridge, causing the road to be blocked, but it is reported that there is no damage to the factory.
  • At 2340 hours HE was dropped at the Acton works of Messrs S & G Brown Ltd, causing severe damage to the offices and the destruction of part of the factory roof. No information is yet available as to the effect on production.
  • Hospitals - Night 28th/29th September 1940
  • Several hospitals were hit including West Middlesex Heston, Staines Emergency, St Bernards (Uxbridge) and Barnes Isolation.
  • Elsewhere - 26th/27th September 1940
  • At 0100 hours on 29th September 6 HE were dropped between Somerford Bridge and The Air Defence Experimental Establishment.

Sunday 29th
  • Weather: Fine at the start and end of the day, cloudy in-between.
  • Day: Reduced activity in the south-east and East Anglia.
  • Night: Raids on London and Merseyside.

Summary of action

Apart from a sweep by enemy fighters through Kent westwards, and as far as Reading by one element, the day's activities consisted of reconnaissances, attacks on shipping and some inland flights.

Our fighters destroyed 3 enemy aircraft (plus 3 probable and 2 damaged), and in addition one was destroyed by Lewis Guns at Dover.

East Coast

Reconnaissances were made throughout the day off East Anglia, and in one instance to Duxford, and between 1300 and 1700 hours one convoy was attacked and two inspected by enemy aircraft.

Bombs are reported to have been dropped at Felixstowe.

At dusk an enemy aircraft with British markings is reported to have been minelaying near Farne Islands and to have fired at a Naval Unit with a torpedo.

South-East Coast

In the morning extensive reconnaissances took place off-shore in the East Kent and Thames Estuary areas. One Do215 flew inland at Ramsgate to Maidstone and Northolt and was shot down at Taplow.

At 1610 hours three formations of 50, 20 and 20 enemy aircraft crossed the Coast West of Dungeness at 10 minute intervals, while a further 12 aircraft went inland at Dover. The first raid flew westwards of the London area before wheeling South. A split however, flew towards Central London. The remainder penetrated only some 25 miles inland. All the enemy aircraft appeared to be fighters flying at a great height.

Between 1700 and 1800 hours reconnaissances by single aircraft were made in Kent, in one case Eastchurch and Detling being visited.

South & West Coasts

At 0910 hours one aircraft crossed the Coast at Lyme Bay and flew through Somerset to Wiltshire. At about 1127 hours one convoy was attacked in the Portsmouth area, and at 1135 hours a "Help" message was received from another off the North Wales Coast. Fighters failed to intercept.

Between 1800 and 1900 hours three small raids of 9+, 3+ and 3+ aircraft were plotted in St George's Channel, and intercepted. One enemy aircraft being destroyed.

Night Operations - 29th/30th September 1940

At 1930 hours the first enemy raids were plotted approaching the Coast at Shoreham from the direction of Dieppe. From 2000 hours onwards, a steady stream of raids crossed the Coast between Portsmouth and Beachy Head, the majority having London as their objective. A few, however, coming in over Portsmouth, flew North-west to the Middle Wallop area.

Between 2100 and 0200 hours, raids of 1 or 1+ aircraft crossed the Coast between Poole and Start Point and flew to the South Wales area, some continuing North to Liverpool.

A number of raids crossed the Coast at points between Clacton and the Wash. A few of these approached London from the North-east, whilst the others were active over East Anglia and the Midlands.

Raids were also plotted off Kinnairds Head, in the Aberdeen area and in the Firth of Forth.

At 0250 hours it was noticed that there was a definite tendency with the London raids to fly home Eastwards along the Estuary.

After 0200 hours activity was almost entirely confined to the South Eastern Counties and the London area. At 0230 hours, raids were approaching London both from the South and from the East.

Activity continued until 0305 hours when the last raids were plotted leaving this Country.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 29th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 59
  • Spitfire - 227
  • Hurricane - 387
  • Defiant - 16
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 697

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 5 aircraft with 3 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 28th/29th September - 53 patrols involving 65 sorties.
  • During the day of 29th September - 121 patrols involving 451 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 28th/29th September and 180 (120 overland) during the day of 29th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • The following is an extract from the report of a reliable source recently in Amsterdam:- The people of Holland are tremendously impressed at the bravery, strength and extraordinary accuracy of the RAF bombings. Particular mention is made of the bombing of a factory about 3 weeks ago. The 'plane circled over the factory for half an hour and then dropped one single bomb which scored a bull's eye and completely wrecked the drafting department and the main machine shop. From all over the country reports of similar accuracy are passed about by word of mouth. (Source: Foreign Office)

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 29th September 1940
  • Between 0650 and 0900 hours enemy aircraft visited Berkshire, Essex, Kent and Surrey, but no incident of importance took place.
  • Later in the morning East and South East England were subjected to an attack during which Lowestoft suffered the most damage.
  • Several aircraft endeavoured to reach London during the afternoon but only a few were able to do this, and there were no major occurrences, but in the evening Sittingbourne was subjected to heavy bombing.
  • Night operations commenced at about 2000 hours and it appears that the capital was again the main objective, but considerable activity took place over South and South East England, South Wales, the Midlands s far North as Liverpool, East Anglia, Aberdeen and the Firth of Forth area.
  • Detailed Summary
  • 29th September 1940
  • Lowestoft: At 1120 hours 18 HE bombs were dropped near the naval base. A land mine was detonated and some ammunition exploded causing damage to property, water mains and telegraph wires. There were several casualties.
  • Night 29th/30th September 1940
  • Liverpool: An attack was made at about 2235 hours on this area which resulted in fires being started at Duke's Dock and Salthouse Dock. Four warehouses, including one containing grain, caught on fire.
  • Sandhurst: HE bombs were dropped at 2120 hours at the Royal Military College, resulting in the bursting of a water main.
  • Railway Communications
  • These again received attention from the enemy but not on such a large scale as on the previous night. The principal incidents were as follows:-
  • Willesden LMS Railway on siding.
  • GWR main up and down lines between Acton middle signal box and Acton middle starter.
  • The Southern Railway lies were blocked between Ashford and Feltham, also down line between St Margaret's and Twickenham.
  • A severe fire either side of railway line between Ascot and Bagshot.
  • Factories
  • The following occurrences are reported:-
  • An unspecified type bomb at Messrs Hoopers (Coach Builders) Ltd, Acton.
  • Suspected unexploded bomb in the fitting shop at Messrs Napier & Son Ltd, Acton.
  • Serious fire at Bryant Carton Factory, Mitcham.
  • Damage at Messrs S Smith & Sons (MA), Waterloo Road, NW2.
  • An unexploded bomb at Messrs Johnson & Sons Ltd, Hendon Way, which may have since exploded but this has so far not been verified.
  • The City
  • Bombing took place at 0015 hours causing several fires, the most serious being in Upper Thames Street. An unexploded bomb is also reported to have dropped in the South East corner of St Paul's Churchyard, as a result of which the traffic position is acute. Cheapside and Queen Victoria Street are already closed. Horse Shoe Wharf, Cannon Street and Carter Lane were also affected.

Monday 30th
  • Weather: Generally fair but cloudy with light winds.
  • Day: Fighter sweeps towards London, but few bombs dropped.
  • Night: London attacked.

Summary of action

Four attacks of considerable weight were made over East Kent, one of which spread westwards, and two others took place in the Portland area. The second of these synchronised with the fourth attack (which spread westwards) in Kent.

Other activity consisted of reconnaissance flights along the Coasts, and investigation and attacks on shipping were again reported.

Our fighters destroyed 45 enemy aircraft (plus 32 probable and 29 damaged), and in addition one destroyed by AA.

Our losses amounted to 20 aircraft with 8 pilots killed or missing.

North and North-East Coast

At 1030 hours single enemy aircraft approached the Firth of Forth but turned away when 40 miles to sea.

East Coast

At Ju88 which made a reconnaissance of Chesterfield at 0630 hours re-crossed the Coast at the Humber and was shot down.

Later a Naval Unit was bombed off Harwich. Reconnaissance of two convoys off Yarmouth and later off Cromer, were made at 0900 and 0930 hours.

At 1010 hours a hostile reconnaissance was made over Bedford, Cardington, Duxford, Debden and Eastchurch.

Between 1200 and 1300 hours other reconnaissances were made and a convoy reported that it was being shadowed.

At 1700 hours a single enemy aircraft crossed the Coast at Bawdsey penetrating only a few miles inland.

South-East Coast

From 0635 hours single enemy aircraft were active from the Estuary to Beachy Head and inland in two cases to Farnborough and Worthing.

Kent - 1st Attack

At 0900 hours formations of 30 aircraft including 12 bombers and 50 aircraft all fighters, crossed the Coast East and West of Dungeness respectively. They were preceded by a single aircraft which flew in over Rye. The attack penetrated to Biggin Hill and Kenley. Meanwhile another raid of 12 aircraft patrolled Dungeness eastwards of the attack, just inland, and 50 additional aircraft remained off-shore at Dover.

Kent - 2nd Attack

At 1010 hours 75 enemy aircraft composed of bombers with fighter escort crossed at Dungeness and again flew to Biggin Hill - Kenley area where the formations were broken up. 25 enemy aircraft patrolled the Straits. By 1030 hours the raids had turned South.

Kent - 3rd Attack

At 1310 hours some 100 enemy aircraft with 18 others in advance, flew inland at Lympne. A second wave brought up the total to about 180 aircraft in all, with 40 more patrolling at Dover. The formation of 18, followed by the main body, spread inland on a general for London. It was principally held up 20 miles from Central London, but 9 aircraft consisting of JU88s and Me109s penetrated while others approached the South-Western suburbs. The aircraft were recrossing the Coast at 1345 hours.

Kent - 4th Attack

At 1608 hours four raids totalling about 200+ enemy aircraft flew from Dungeness to Biggin Hill and scattered over East Kent from Kenley to Hornchurch. Some flew West and approached Weybridge from the South. These again turned West down the Thames Valley as far as Reading. Dispersal continued and aircraft were over Middle Wallop, North of Tangmere and near Winchester. Bombers predominated in this attack which finished at about 1730 hours. 1700-1900 hours - Patrol activity continued in the Estuary, Straits and Beachy Head to Dungeness.

South & West Coasts

Portland - 1st Attack

At 1055 hours 100 enemy aircraft crossed the Coast at St Albans Head of which 50 came from Cherbourg and 50 from the Seine. A split of 25 flew across Dorset and Devon to the Somerset border, but the remainder penetrated inland only some 15 miles. The raid was over by 1200 hours. No 10 Group detailed one squadron to patrol Bristol, while the other Squadrons were detailed to counter the attack. No 11 Group sent four Squadrons to patrol Portsmouth-Southampton.

Portland - 2nd Attack

At 1635 hours, while the East Kent raid was in progress, 50 aircraft flew over Portland, a further 50 following the Coast to Lyme Bay. These joined the first formation and flew inland some 20 miles. Weymouth was bombed and damage is also reported in the Yeovil area. By 1700 hours the aircraft were returning to France. At 1730 hours a reconnaissance of Southampton was made by a single aircraft.

Night Operations - 30th September to 1st October 1940

There was considerable enemy activity over a widespread area during the earlier part of the night, but after 2330 hours raids were less in number and from 0100 hours onwards, were confined almost entirely to an area South of a line from the Wash to St David's Head.

At 1900 hours, the first night raiders were plotted leaving Seine Bay. These crossed the Coast at Selsey Bill and headed for London. Raids from the Dutch Coast crossed between Orfordness and Harwich, and some of them penetrated through Duxford/Debden areas to approach London from the North.

From 2100 hours onwards, raids from Cherbourg and Havre flew to the Isle of Wight and then to Bristol Channel, spreading to South Wales and the Midlands and up to the Liverpool and Mersey area.

From 2200 hours, raids approaching from the East crossed the Coast between the Wash and the Thames Estuary, some heading for London, whilst others spread over East Anglia, penetrating through Lincolnshire to the Nottingham area.

It was estimated at 0530 hours that 275 enemy aircraft had operated over or around this Country of which 175 penetrated to Central London.

Minelaying was suspected in the Firth of Forth, Thames Estuary and off Harwich.

Activity continued until about 0600 hours, when the last raids were leaving the Country.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 30th September 1940

  • Blenheim - 45
  • Spitfire - 218
  • Hurricane - 403
  • Defiant - 13
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 687

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 20 aircraft with 8 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 29th/30th September - 25 patrols involving 25 sorties.
  • During the day of 30th September - 168 patrols involving 1,173 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 180 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 29th/30th September and 650 during the day of 30th September.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 312 Squadron has moved from Duxford to Speke.
  • No 308 Squadron has moved from Speke to Baginton (Coventry).
  • No 257 Squadron has moved from Martlesham to Debden.
  • No 263 Squadron has moved from Drem to Grangemouth.
  • No 71 Squadron (Brewsters) is at Church Fenton.
  • No 234 Squadron has moved from St Eval to Middle Wallop.
  • No 238 Squadron has moved from Middle Wallop to St Eval.

Air Intelligence Reports

  • Italy
  • Italian aircraft previously reported transferring to German occupied territory are now known to have arrived in Belgium.
  • The Italian Air Force was completely inactive on all fronts on September 28th.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 30th September 1940
  • There was considerable enemy aircraft activity during the day and three attacks were directed against the Capital including a dive-bombing attack on Uxbridge (Greenford area).
  • The South and South-West of England were also visited, the main concentration being on Bexhill, Hastings, Sherborne and Weymouth.
  • Night operations commenced at about 1945 hours and were wide-spread during the earlier part of the night, but London again appeared to be the main objective. Activity was on a slightly larger scale than on the previous night and the following areas were visited - South and South-East England, Bristol Channel and South Wales, the Midlands as far North as Liverpool, and East Anglia.
  • Aircraft were also in the vicinity of Aberdeen and the Firth of Forth.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations
  • Manston: An attack was made at 1550 hours when bombs were dropped on the South-West corner of the Aerodrome. There was no damage to personnel or aircraft.
  • Bodney: At 0425 hours four HE and forty incendiary bombs were dropped but no damage was reported.
  • Factories - 29th/30th September 1940
  • The following information has been reported:-
  • Messrs. Bowden (Engineers) Ltd and Messrs G Beaton & Sons Limited of Acton. Production affected by failure of electric supply.
  • A fire occurred at Renaults Factory, Acton.
  • LEP Transport, Chiswick. Roof of Bond Warehouse and 1 lathe damaged.
  • Gas Light & Coke Co, Nine Elms. Slight damage.
  • Messrs Strachans Factory, North Acton. Damage to glass, but production will not be affected if weather holds.
  • Tate & Lyle's Factory at Silvertown. Damage to Offices and Laboratory. Production not affected.
  • The Celotex Factory, Wembley. Fire caused by incendiary bomb. 500 tons of wood pulp destroyed.
  • Factories - 30th September 1940
  • At 2045 hours a fire was started at CAV Ltd, Acton but this is under control and it is believed that production will not be affected.
  • An unexploded bomb is reported at the AEC Works, Southall.
  • Railway Communications - 29th/30th September 1940
  • The following information is available regarding recent attacks:-
  • HE on locomotive shed at Nine Elms.
  • Crystal Palace main level line blocked.
  • Woolwich Dockyard and Station, unexploded bomb on Embankment and at Wellhall Station, as a result of which most services are suspended.
  • Fire at Stonebridge Park Siding.
  • HE at Horn Lane Bridge.
  • Central line service suspended between North Acton and Ealing Broadway.
  • Ealing Common Station out of use owing to escape of gas due to bomb damage.
  • Metropolitan Railway closed between Kings Cross and Moorgate and suspended between Latimer Road and Addison Road, also Fenchurch Street and Marylebone.
  • Railway Communications - 30th September 1940
  • Incendiary bombs dropped at 2005 hours. Set alight to rollingstock at Willesden.
  • Elsewhere - 30th September 1940
  • Bexhill: Two attacks were made, one being at 0810 and the second at 1030 hours. These resulted in considerable damage to house property, gas and water mains. Trolley bus cables were severed and fires started which are not reported under control.
  • Grantham: At about 2045 hours HE bombs were dropped on the Works of Messrs, Ruston, Hornsby & Co Ltd, causing extensive damage to water, gas and electricity mains. The part of the Works on the East Side engaged in the manufacture of ship fittings will be out of production for a considerable length of time. The Section on the West Side working on tank parts and depth charges will be in production again in a day or so.
  • The casualties are reported as being five killed and eighteen injured.
  • Uxbridge (Greenford Area): A dive bombing attack was made by six aircraft at 1350 hours when 100 bombs were dropped causing very severe damage which included 400 houses. A sub-station of the Uxbridge Electric Supply Co received a direct hit and there was extensive damage to mains which affected 1,000 small consumers. The casualties so far reported amount to 13 persons killed and 106 injured.
  • Dover: Between 1124 and 1148 hours the Town was again subjected to shell fire. One house and a garage were wrecked and 210 houses damaged, including a Bank and the Police Station. The casualties are reported as being one killed and 11 injured.
  • Coventry: Production on the Bristol Aircraft Section as the Standard Motor Co, is being held up by the strike which still continues, although 50 tin smiths today restarted work.
  • London: The Metropolitan Water Board reports that 42" diameter and 48" diameter mains from Kempton Park to Cricklewood were broken at about 2030 hours. Positions of breakages are at present unknown and the matter is under immediate investigation. The supplies at North and North-West London will be seriously affected and the supplies to West London will be affected to a less extent.

October 1940

Tuesday 1st
  • Weather: Mainly fair, but generally cloudy.
  • Day: London is the main target with additional raids on Southampton and Portsmouth.
  • Night: London, Liverpool and Manchester are the main targets.

Summary of action

Three attacks were made in the Kent area and one towards Poole and the Isle of Wight, in each case the numbers of aircraft employed were fewer than of late. Reconnaissance flights and patrols were less active.

Our fighters destroyed 4 enemy aircraft (plus one probable and 5 damaged). Our losses were 5 aircraft with 4 pilots killed or missing.

North and North-East Coast

Between 0900 and 1300 hours three reconnaissances were made off the Aberdeenshire Coast and three in the Moray Firth.

East Coast

One reconnaissance off the Norfolk Coast and of a convoy was reported between 1630 and 1730 hours.

South-East Coast

Between 0600 and 1300 hours some 16 raids by single and in one case by 6 aircraft, were made in the Estuary and round the coast to Beachy Head.

At 0613 hours one of these flew inland from Sheppey to Croydon and bombed and machine-gunned the latter place.

1st Attack

At 1312 hours two raids numbering 50 enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Dover. Of these 30 flew to Maidstone and Biggin Hill. The attack, against which 11 Squadrons were sent up, was of short duration by at 1403 a second attack developed.

2nd Attack

50 enemy aircraft appeared flying North West towards Biggin Hill. A second formation of the same strength followed but withdrew very soon. The first formation returned to France shortly after but single aircraft maintained patrols in North Kent and North Surrey until 1520 hours. 13 Squadrons were detailed to the attack.

3rd Attack

At 1610 hours 70 enemy aircraft in three successive waves flew towards Kenley. 40 of these approached the South East edge of the Inner Artillery Zone but immediately turned South East. The remainder turned away before reaching London. The aircraft had recrossed the Coast by 1640 hours.

During this attack reconnaissance aircraft were active along the Coast from Selsey Bill Eastwards and continuous patrols were maintained in the Straits until 1800 hours.

South & West Coasts

At 1045 hours 20 enemy aircraft flew to Swanage and over Poole and inland for 10/15 miles. They were met by three Squadrons from No 10 Group and recrossed the Coast at 1100 hours.

At the same time 50 enemy aircraft approached the Needles and were met over the sea by 5 Squadrons from No 11 Group. The enemy aircraft did not cross the coast and withdrew.

During the morning a single enemy aircraft flew from North Wales to Bristol Channel, Exeter and St Malo.

In the late afternoon 1 aircraft flew North from NNW of Lands End to Milford Haven.

Night Operations - 1st October / 2nd October 1940

Enemy activity was on a reduced scale, but raids were scattered over a wide area during the earlier part of the night.

The first night bombers came out of Le Havre and Cherbourg area and crossed the Isle of Wight at 1940 hours. Raids from Dieppe and the Somme crossed the coast between Beachy Head and Dungeness with London as their objective. A number of raids originating from Cherbourg crossed at Portland and flew to Bristol Channel whence they spread to South Wales, West Midlands and up to Chester, Liverpool, Manchester and Preston areas. A few raids were plotted over East Anglia and inland as far as Leicester.

At 2145 hours there was a marked lull in the number of fresh raids entering the country. Central London was clear for a time, but at 2340 hours fresh raids approached from the East and a number were plotted in and out of the Thames Estuary. Some minelaying was suspected.

At 0145 hours a raid was plotted in the Glasgow area but apart from this the activity was almost entirely confined to London and the South East Counties.

Raids continued to come out of Dieppe and cross near Beachy Head, but appeared to be active more over the suburbs than over Central London itself.

Reduced activity continued over South East England and East Anglia until 0528 hours when the last raids were leaving the country.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 1st October 1940

  • Blenheim - 37
  • Spitfire - 225
  • Hurricane - 368
  • Defiant - 17
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 655

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 5 aircraft with 4 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 30th September / 1st October -
  • 48 patrols involving 50 sorties.
  • During the day of 1st October - 122 patrols
  • involving 673 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 250 enemy aircraft
  • operated over or near our coasts during the night 30th September / 1st October and 450 during the day of 1st October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 808 Squadron at Castletown released for embarkation.
  • Further to the report on 30th September No 312
  • Squadron, No 308 Squadron and No 71 Squadron are non-operational.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 1st October 1940
  • Several attacks were made during the day but only a small number of enemy aircraft were able to reach London.
  • At about 0645 hours bombs were dropped in the Bromley area and in the afternoon an attack was made on Camberwell, Lambeth and Wandsworth.
  • The Counties of Kent, Sussex and Essex were the main areas visited outside the Capital.
  • Night activity commenced at about 2000 hours and whilst being on a reduced scale was spread over a wide area including London, South and South-East England, South Wales, the Midlands as far North as Manchester & Birkenhead and East Anglia.
  • Glasgow was also visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 29th/30th September 1940
  • West Drayton: Two attacks were made, one at
  • 2330 hours on the 29th September and the other at 0110 hours on the 30th September. Buildings were slightly damaged.
  • RAF Stations - 30th September 1940
  • Scampton: Five HE were dropped in a field near
  • the Aerodrome at 2205 hours.
  • St Eval: At about 2300 hours 5 HE were
  • dropped, two landing on the aerodrome and three outside. No damage is reported.
  • RAF Stations - 1st October 1940
  • Carew-Cheriton: An attack was made by two
  • aircraft at 0655 hours when one hangar was wrecked, two slightly damaged, one hut completely demolished, one defence post demolished, two Anson aircraft burnt out but the aerodrome is serviceable. The casualties amounted to 1 airman killed and ten injured. Nine unexploded bombs are reported.
  • Factories - 1st October 1940
  • Successful activity against factories appears to be considerably less during the period but it is reported that some damage was caused to the Works of the Standard Motor Co and the Sussex Rubber Co at Acton between 0110 and 0230 hours.
  • Railway Communications
  • Further details of damage are now available as follows:-
  • An unexploded bomb fell through the platform at Leytonstone Station, causing the stoppage of all services.
  • HE bombs were dropped at 0235 hours on the 1st October 1940 causing all lines to be blocked between Malden and Raynes Park but three have since been opened.
  • An unexploded bomb at Shepperton
  • Station has necessitated the termination of services at Sunbury and the services at Malden are terminated by the presence of an unexploded bomb at Norbiton.
  • Both tracks of the West London Extension Railway (No 1 Branch) between Latchmore Road and Latchmore Grove have been completely wrecked.
  • Early in the morning of 2nd
  • October, oil and incendiary bombs were dropped at Streatham Common Station where the electric sub-station was completely burnt out.
  • At 0145 hours on 2nd October, the
  • lines between Canonbury and Western Junction were damaged by a bomb and all traffic has been stopped.
  • Two unexploded bombs near the
  • Maidenhead Signal Box has caused all traffic to be stopped.
  • Early in the morning of 2nd
  • October, the Whiteman Road Bridge between Crouch Hill and Harringay Park was bombed and collapsed on the Tottenham Line putting it out of action.
  • Elsewhere - 1st October 1940
  • Purfleet: At 2358 hours incendiary bombs
  • caused a fire at the premises of the Anglo American Oil Co but no details are so far available.
  • Tulse Hill: A fire is reported at the
  • Telephone Exchange.
  • Tower of London: At about 2118 hours,
  • three HE bombs wee dropped causing damage to water mains.
  • Birkenhead: At 1937 hours HE bombs were
  • dropped in the Central district and near the entrance of the Mersey Tunnel, also near the No 3 Dock belonging to Cammel Laird Ltd. Casualties so far reported amount to 6 dead, and 56 injured.
  • Manchester: Between 2130 and 2250 hours,
  • @HE and incendiary bombs were dropped causing widespread damage in the Western, Southern and South-eastern districts of the City. Forty fires are reported are reported including one at a Joinery Works at Trafford Park. Casualties so far reported amount to 10 dead and 34 injured.
  • Elsewhere - 2nd October 1940
  • Wembley: Late information received states that at 0016 hours He bombs were dropped at the Berisford Depot where some personnel were trapped. The number of casualties is at present unknown.

Wednesday 2nd
  • Weather: Blue skies during the day with cloud building up later.
  • Day: Fighter sweeps on south-east London and Biggin Hill.
  • Night: London once again is the main target. Manchester, Usworth and Aberdeen also raided.

Summary of action

Six sweeps by enemy fighters (Me109 and Me110) were made through Kent towards London, and during these operations, although bombing is reported to have taken place during some of these raids, in only one were bombers (6) identified as taking part.

Very considerable reconnaissance activity continued throughout the day in the Channel.

Our fighters destroyed 10 enemy aircraft (plus 1 probable and 2 damaged).

We lost one aircraft, pilot safe.

First Attack

At 0900 hours, 30 aircraft crossed the coast at Dungeness and flew towards Central London, twelve of them penetrating to the Inner Artillery Zone but all quickly made for home. During the raid thirty aircraft were patrolling round Dover and joined up with the inland formation when they recrossed the Coast at 0920 hours.

Eight fighter squadrons were sent up to intercept.

Second Attack

At 0955 hours about 50 enemy aircraft crossed the Coast at Dungeness, the leading formation of twenty aircraft coming into the Inner Artillery Zone. The remainder approached no further than Kenley. Meanwhile ten enemy aircraft flew inland at Brighton northwards to Biggin Hill, joining the other formations flying South at 1015 hours.

During the raid strong patrols were maintained in the Straits. Bombs were dropped at Woolwich and Hastings.

Third Attack

At about 1130 hours 12+ enemy aircraft approached Maidstone. These were followed by fifty aircraft flying towards Biggin Hill. Some of the latter approached the Inner Artillery Zone in the Crystal Palace area.

By 1220 all the aircraft were flying South of Maidstone returning to France.

Eight Fighter Squadrons were detailed to this attack.

Margate and Lympne were reported to have been bombed.

Fourth Attack

At 1320, two raids totalling thirty enemy aircraft flew towards Kenley - Biggin Hill from Dover and Dungeness, while a further fifteen aircraft approached Sheppey. Twenty aircraft reached the East of London.

By 1335 all the enemy aircraft were returning to France, although until 1400 hours considerable activity continued in the Straits with small raids penetrating into East Kent.

Bombs were dropped at various suburban places including Camberwell, and at Rochester.

Fifth Attack

At 1455 thirty enemy aircraft flew inland from Dungeness to Biggin Hill - Kenley but only one aircraft penetrated further towards Central London.

By 1518 the aircraft had turned away.

During the attack five enemy aircraft flew round North Foreland to Sheppey returning by the same route at 1520.

Camberwell was reported to have been bombed again.

Sixth Attack

At 1630 hours about seventy-five enemy aircraft following the same route as previous raids flew to Biggin Hill where they split, one formation of eight aircraft flying over South East London. The bulk remained in the Biggin Hill area but by 1650 hours had turned South.

Other Activity

Reconnaissances were made off Aberdeenshire, the East, South East and South Coasts, with very considerable activity throughout the day in the South East. In two instances convoys were approached. Inland flights were made over Somerset and South Wales, and in the late evening to Nottingham and Derby from the East.

During the course of these a Do17 was shot down near Dunwich at 0840 hours and at 1830 hours an He111, which had circled Digby was shot down near Skegness.

A Ju88 landed intact at 0630 hours at Brightlingsea (Essex Coast). It had left Amsterdam at 0300 hours on a Meteorological and reconnaissance flight and got lost.

At 2015 hours a convoy off Peterhead was attacked and interception was effected with the result that one He115 was destroyed and a further one badly damaged.

Night Operations -2nd/3rd October 1940

Enemy activity was again on a reduced scale. At about 1915 hours the first night raids left bases between Cherbourg and Dieppe to cross the coast between Selsey Bill and Dungeness to approach the London area. Between 2100 and 2200 hours London and the South East counties were clear of raids, but a steady stream originating from Cherbourg crossed the coast between the Isle of Wight and Bournemouth flying North to the Midlands and up to the Manchester area and in one case as far North as Newcastle. These raids continued until about 0100 hours and returned in most cases over Wales and the Bristol Channel.

Between 2200 and 2300 hours a fresh wave of raids approached London after crossing the coast between Selsey Bill and Shoreham.

At 0015 hours raids originating from the Dutch Islands approached the London area, some entering the Estuary and a few by way of the Norfolk Coast, but all these raids had withdrawn by 0230 hours and for a time the whole country was clear.

At 0300 hours fresh raids approached London from the Dutch Islands and a few from the Dieppe area.

A few early raids were plotted in the Aberdeen area and one raid was inland between Middlesborough and Newcastle. Minelaying was suspected at various points off the North East Coast between the Firth of Forth and the Humber.

Activity continued until 0600 hours when the last raids were leaving the country.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 2nd October 1940

  • Blenheim - 41
  • Spitfire - 224
  • Hurricane - 383
  • Defiant - 19
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 674

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • One Spitfire of which the pilot is safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 1st/2nd October - 29 patrols
  • involving 29 sorties.
  • During the day of 2nd October - 125 patrols
  • involving 807 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 210 enemy aircraft
  • operated over or near our coasts during the night 1st/2nd October and 250 during the day of 2nd October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 808 Squadron has moved to Donibristle.
  • No 238 Squadron from Middle Wallop to Chilbolton.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 2nd October 1940
  • The enemy made several attacks during the day but it appears that only a comparatively small number of aircraft has been employed. The South-east Counties have received most attention and bombs were dropped at Rochester, Margate, Dover, Hastings, Eastbourne and Worthing. Some damage was done to property and a few bombs were dropped in South London.
  • Night activity started at approximately 19345 hours, and was spread over London, the Midlands and the North, causing a number of fires at Manchester the worst of which appears to have been at Didsbury.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 1st October 1940
  • Ingham: Five HE were dropped on the landing ground at 2314 hours but they caused no damage.
  • RAF Stations - 2nd October 1940
  • Penhros: An attack was made at 0715 hours and considerable damage was done to the carpenters shop, armoury workshops, drug store, fabric workshop, Clerk of Works office and stores and transport sheds. Maintenance hangar was only slightly affected.
  • Lympne: At 1126 hours, several HE and Oil Incendiary bombs were dropped on the aerodrome. One shelter was hit and an Army lorry was set on fire, otherwise there is no further damage to report.
  • Rochester: An HE fell at 1330 hours on the field of the airport but no damage was caused.
  • Wembley: Further to the attack on the Beresford Avenue Depot on the night of the 1st/2nd it is now reported that the School of Interpretation is closed and in consequence interpretation is temporarily slowed up.
  • Cleave: At 0820 hours, a Junkers 88 bombed the aerodrome and caused slight damage to four 'planes and also a hole in the roof of one of the hangars.
  • Factories - 1st/2nd October 1940
  • Three HE were dropped on Fobel Industries Ltd (ICI) Factory at 0424 hours at Slough, causing damage to overhead cables, gas and water mains and the canal bridge. Full operations are resumed today but production may be slightly affected for a few days until stocks are replaced.
  • MacMichael Radio Ltd also suffered damage to their shop and plant but full production will be resumed within a week.
  • The Gramophone Co of Hayes have an unexploded bomb near the aircraft production and sound locator works which will be closed down,. Twelve shelters are out of action.
  • Owing to the low pressure of gas, production has been affected at the Osram Works.
  • H E Cow & Co of Stanmore received considerable damage to their plant and machinery but production is not affected.
  • Considerable damage was caused to a paper mill at 132 hours at Aylesford by an HE.
  • An incendiary bomb caused a fire at Cook's Box Factory in Hatfield but no further information is yet available.
  • A fire broke out at Carrick & Co's Metal Works during the night of 2nd / 3rd October in Glasgow. Production in the affected section is likely to be suspended for a few days.
  • Factories - 2nd October 1940
  • At approximately 1715 hours 2 HE were dropped near BSA Guns at Redditch and there were two slight casualties. The enemy machine-gunned the workers but apparently without result and the 'plane suspected of being a French make.
  • Railway Communications
  • One HE one Oil Incendiary bomb fell on the railway at Hoddesdon at 0411 hours on the 2nd October and at least one railway line is blocked.
  • Serious damage has occurred at St Marylebone as a bomb fell at 0008 hours on the 2nd October and penetrated the LNER tunnel and has blocked the line for approximately 30 feet.
  • All traffic is suspended on the LMS railway between Canonbury and Western Junction owing to damage caused by a bomb which fell at 0145 hours on the 2nd October.
  • An HE bomb dropped at Bayford in the early morning on the 2nd October causing damage to both railway tracks but traffic on one line should now be resumed.
  • Weybridge - Virginia Water Railway Lines are blocked owing to one HE having been dropped on the line West of the Station at 2320 hours on the 1st October.
  • Elsewhere
  • Portland: An attack was made by a single 'plane at 0843 hours, 2nd October, and 1 HE which failed to explode fell between four Admiralty tanks but no damage was caused.
  • Surbiton Water Works: Has been damaged by an HE bomb and there is extensive flooding. It is also reported that one unexploded bomb is in the vicinity.
  • Forest Gate Hospital: Was bombed on the night of 1st / 2nd October and one wing was demolished and the structure fractured.

Thursday 3rd
  • Weather: Rain and drizzle in the Channel. Visibility down to 500 yards in places.
  • Day: Scattered raids on East Anglia and southern England.
  • Night: London and its suburbs attacked.

Summary of action

There were no attacks by enemy formations, probably due to adverse weather conditions, but in place especially after mid-day, a fairly continuous succession of raids by single aircraft crossed the coast and in some cases dropped bombs in various parts of the country. Many of the places have no military importance.

No enemy aircraft were brought down by Fighters not did we suffer any casualties.

Light AA shot down one Ju88.

North and North East Coasts

Two meteorological flights were plotted in the afternoon 100 miles East of Firth of Forth.

East Coast

From 0630 to 1230 hours some nine reconnaissances by single aircraft were made between the Yorkshire Coast and Harwich. In two cases aircraft penetrated far inland, one flying to Worcester, where bombs were dropped, to Birmingham and Wellingborough which was also bombed. The second crossed the coast at Bawdsey, flying to North Weald and Debden. Bombs were dropped near North Weald from 1000 feet.

Between 1300 and 1500 hours fifteen raids were plotted between Harwich and the Estuary. Two aircraft in one raid flew across England to South Wales.

South East Coast

Between 0630 and 1000 hours, one aircraft approached London from the Estuary and flew to Oxford and back, while other reconnaissances were made in the Estuary and at Hornchurch.

At 1126 Light AA shot down a Ju88 which had bombed an Aircraft factory at Hatfield.

Between 1300 and 1500 hours a succession of raids by single aircraft crossed the Coast from Isle of Wight to Skegness, the principal lane of entry being Kenley - Biggin Hill, Northolt - North Weald, and Debden.

Twelve raids coming from Le Havre crossed between Selsey Bill and Beachy Head and six raids from Dieppe and Calais flew mostly to the London area.

Between 1500 - 1700, sixteen raids coming from Dieppe and crossing between Beachy Head and Dungeness flew to London and the Estuary.

South and West Coast

At about 0700 hours enemy aircraft attacked St Eval from a low height but little damage was done either by bombs or machine gun fire.

Reconnaissances were made by aircraft flying from the South West towards the Bristol Channel, Filton and then to Bournemouth, from Poling to Swindon and back, and off the Anglesey Coast.

From 1500 hours raids crossed the Coast between Beachy Head and Selsey Bill flying inland and in one case to the Bedford area. This aircraft on its return flight located a convoy near Selsey which it bombed. A further track was plotted near Fishguard flying North East to Speke thence via Wales and the Bristol Channel to Dorset.

Weather

East of Portland, it was overcast with rain or drizzle. Cloud 500-1000'. Visibility poor. Wind slight to moderate.

West of Portland, mainly cloudy 5/10 - 9/10, 2000' to 3000'. Visibility good, wind light to moderate, North East.

Night Operations - 3rd/4th October 1940

Enemy activity was on a very reduced scale compared with previous nights.

Up to 2100 hours only eleven raids of single aircraft had entered the country, nine from Dieppe to the London area, and two from Calais to North of London and on to Bedford.

At 2100 hours there were no hostile raids inland, but between 2130 and 2300 hours, seven aircraft from Dieppe covered most of South East England penetrating to London. One raider also flew from the Dutch Coast to over Norfolk.

Between 2300 hours and 0100 hours a further eighteen enemy aircraft from Dieppe flew to the London area, one of which proceeded past London as far as Debden.

Later three more enemy aircraft visited London and Northolt. At 0200 hours the country was again entirely clear.

Complete inactivity continued, not a single enemy aircraft being plotted over this country between the hours of 0200 and 0530, when a single aircraft flew from Cherbourg to Selsey Bill and on toward Biggin Hill, but turned South again and by 0605 hours the country was again free of enemy raiders.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 3rd October 1940

  • Blenheim - 31
  • Spitfire - 226
  • Hurricane - 403
  • Defiant - 12
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 680

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 2nd / 3rd October - 35 patrols
  • involving 35 sorties.
  • During the day of 3rd October - 68 patrols
  • involving 138 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 180 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 2nd / 3rd October and 80 during the day of 3rd October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Grangemouth is unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 3rd October 1940
  • London and the Midlands appear to be the main objectives of the enemy during the day but mention must be made of the number of aerodromes that have been attacked. St Eval Aerodrome appears to have received most damage. The De Havilland Aircraft Factory at Hatfield suffered considerably and slight damage was also done to the BBC Station at Tatsfield. During the night enemy activity was on a very much smaller scale by comparison with raids of previous nights. London was visited and also the South East of England, but there is no report of the Midlands or the North having been bombed.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 3rd October 1940
  • Brockley Wood was attacked at 0437 hours and a few craters on the landing ground is the only damage reported.
  • Wembley: An unexploded bomb fell at 0455 hours in the RAF Depot, Place of Industry.
  • St Eval: This aerodrome was attacked between the hours of 0655 and 0710. Two Spitfires and one Anson were completely destroyed and two hangars were also hit and there was also some minor damage.
  • Upwood Aerodrome: The enemy attacked at 1333 hours but failed to hit their objective.
  • Woodley: Six bombs were dropped at 1505 hours three of which are of delayed action. No damage is reported.
  • Gravesend: An IB was dropped near to the Aerodrome during the night but no damage is reported.
  • Stanton Harcourt: Six HE were dropped on the landing ground but caused no damage.
  • North Weald: A number of bombs were dropped in the early morning but there was no damage.
  • Cosford: Attacked at 1517 hours but enemy failed to hit their objectives.
  • Wyton: Attacked at 1520 hours but no damage is reported.
  • Skegness: The training station was attacked at 1613 hours. No further information is available.
  • White Waltham: Was bombed at 1654 hours. There was no damage.
  • St Merryn: An attack was made at 1750 hours and three aircraft were slightly damaged.
  • Hatfield: the aerodrome was bombed. No further information is available.
  • Ford: The aerodrome was attacked at 1940 hours and one Government building was damaged.
  • RAF Stations - 4th October 1940
  • Heathrow: An attack was made at 0100 hours and the tail of an Albacore was smashed but no further damage.
  • Factories - 3rd October 1940
  • The De Havilland Factory was bombed at approximately 1130 hours. A large assembly shed and Technical School received direct hits and were set on fire, and a Sheet Metal shop was destroyed.
  • The Mining and Engineering Co of Worcester was attacked at 1232 hours. The damage was not extensive and full production should be resumed in about seven days.
  • The Gas Light and Coke Company was bombed at Banbury at 1440 hours and production is suspended for four days.
  • Major damage occurred at 2350 hours at Feltham to the main hangar of General Aircraft Limited.
  • A fire at the works of F A Lodge & Sons, Winke, Armley caused severe damage and production will be suspended for a few days.
  • Factories - 4th October 1940
  • At 0242 hours an unexploded bomb was dropped inside Briggs Bodies Works at Dagenham which will hold up aircraft production.
  • De Souter Brothers was bombed at 0313 hours but production is expected to recommence tomorrow.
  • Elsewhere - 3rd October 1940
  • Enemy aircraft machine gunned a searchlight at Whitburn at 0020 hours but there was no damage.
  • At 0940 hours ten HE fell near the premises of Shell Mex BP Ltd in the Isle of Gray. The premises are intact but slight damage was done to the railway.
  • Eighteen bombs were dropped at Rushden at 1018 hours. A school, boot factory and Electricity Sub-Station were damaged. The railway also suffered and traffic is temporarily suspended.
  • At 1530 a bomb dropped at Tatsfield and slight damage was done to the BBC Station.

Friday 4th
  • Weather: Mist, rain and poor visibility throughout the day. Fog at night.
  • Day: Stream of single raiders on London and the south-east.
  • Night: Continuing raids on London. Liverpool also bombed.

Summary of action

Throughout the day activity was confined to raids by single aircraft or very small formations, the area concerned being the South East of England and London, and the time of principal concentration about 1500 hours. A few reconnaissances were made elsewhere.

During operations our fighters destroyed two enemy aircraft (plus three probable and four damaged). Our losses were three aircraft, and one pilot missing.

East Coast

Reconnaissances of shipping were reported: during one of these an interception was made with inconclusive results, the enemy escaping into cloud.

South East Coast

Inland and coastal flights and a few reconnaissance of convoys were made from 0600 to 1100 hours.

At about 0830 hours an Air Ministry Establishment at Fairlight was attacked.

At 1100 hours numerous single aircraft started crossing the Coast between Beachy Head and Dover, flying towards London. The activity gradually increased until about 1500 when it reached its peak, after which it decreased until 1645 hours, when a fresh stream started coming in. The majority of these flew only as far as Biggin Hill and Kenley but some penetrated the Inner Artillery Zone. This activity ceased at 1730 hours. A few sporadic raids occurred until dusk.

Bombing was fairly extensive in Outer London, Kent, Surrey and Suffolk.

At 1725 hours all fighter Squadrons in 11 Group were grounded on account of weather.

South and West Coast

Between 1000 and 1100 hours two raids entered Lyme Bay; one flew to the Bristol Channel and Liverpool, and the other to the Bristol Channel, thence to Hereford and South East to Selsey.

At 1000 hours a single aircraft flew in at Selsey Bill to Farnborough where it circled for some time.

Night Operations - 4th/5th October 1940

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

At about 1905 hours a stream of raids commenced from the Abbeville region on the most intense scale yet observed after dark. The enemy aircraft were shown as crossing the Channel in lines ahead spaced at 3 to 5 mile internals. A few raids also came from Baie de Seine over Shoreham. The stream from Abbeville was maintained and it is estimated that over 100 raids passed over the route in the two hours to 2100 hours, while at the same time the stream from Baie de Seine narrowed and became more active, with 20 or more raids passing during the hour 2000 to 2100. The target of all the above raids was London.

One raid also visited Bristol and two or three were apparently minelaying in the Thames Estuary. One raid also visited Liverpool.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

34 raids were plotted in between Beachy Head and Dungeness to London, but only eight pierced the central zone, the remainder spreading to South West and North West London and up to North Weald and Debden.

A further 24 raids followed to the same area, but spreading further and covering the whole of the South East, and as far West as Swindon.

Minelaying was suspected between Orfordness and Lowestoft.

Two raids from the North Dutch Coast visited Berwick and Newcastle, and Eyemouth and Dunbar.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours

A further 12 raids from the South followed the usual route to South East England and 16 raids from the Dutch Coast flew in between Cromer and Harwich, across East Anglia, and then South over North West and West London and out at Beachy Head.

One raid entered at Solway Firth, to near Carlisle and then flew South the whole length of England and out at Weymouth.

By 0100 hours the country was clear.

At 0200 small activity recommenced and ten raids from Dieppe had flown to London by 0245 hours.

No further raids followed, and by 0330 hours the whole country was again clear.

There was no subsequent enemy activity reported during the period to 0600 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 4th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 49
  • Spitfire - 230
  • Hurricane - 400
  • Defiant - 20
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 707

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 3 aircraft with one pilot missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 3rd / 4th October - No patrols.
  • During the day of 4th October - 61 patrols involving 171 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 65 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 3rd / 4th October and 75 during the day of 4th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 4th October 1940
  • The enemy started the day by dropping bombs indiscriminately in Kent, Surrey, Essex and East Anglia, and damage was mainly confined to private property.
  • In London the New Cross Telephone Exchange was hit and there was a certain amount of damage done to the railways.
  • The night attack started at 1900 hours. London was the main objective and it will be noticed that certain towns received more than one visit. Kent again suffered very considerably. There are also reports to the effect that Liverpool and Newcastle were visited by enemy aircraft but no bombs were dropped.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 4th October 1940
  • Penrhos: This Aerodrome was attacked at 0645 hours. The office was demolished and nearby farm buildings were damaged.
  • Factories - 3rd October 1940
  • The Fairey Aviation Co was bombed at 2355 hours. A hangar and several aircraft are reported to be damaged.
  • Factories - 4th October 1940
  • An HE bomb caused a fire at Hawkers Aircraft Factory at Kingston. The shelter and stores were hit but only minor damage is reported.
  • Some HE bombs were dropped in Erith and damage was done to the premises of Burt, Bolton and Heywood.
  • Enfield Rolling Mills Cable Co received major damage from an HE at 2100 hours. The water supply is temporarily curtailed and production is slightly interrupted.
  • Houghton Butcher's Factory was attacked at 2343 hours. Fire caused severe damage to 2 buildings but the effect on production is not yet known.
  • Railways
  • Some HE bombs were dropped at 1420 hours between Acton - South Acton Stations on the LMS Line. Traffic to Richmond and Kew Bridge has been affected.
  • Euston Station was attacked at 1445. There was some minor damage and certain lines were temporarily blocked.
  • Major damage occurred at Enfield at 2015 hours on the LNER track near Crews Hill Station. Both lines are damaged and traffic is stopped.
  • An HE bomb exploded near Brentwood Station at 2340 hours and has caused damage to the permanent way. One engine is derailed and two trains are unable to proceed.
  • A suspected delayed action bomb is situated to the East of the Station.
  • Elsewhere - 3rd October 1940
  • King George V Dock was bombed at 0445 hours but only No 3 Shed is slightly damaged.
  • Major damage was caused by an HE bomb at Deptford at 1350 hours to the New Cross Telephone Exchange.
  • An HE bomb fell at 2150 hours at Westerham causing a crater which partially blocked Road A25 and a considerable by-pass will be involved.
  • Dover was shelled at 0601 hours - 0608 hours and 4 shells landed outside the Harbour.

Corrigendum

With reference to yesterday's report, it is now reported that the School of Interpretation is not closed and Interpretation is quite normal.


Saturday 5th
  • Weather: Local showers in most parts, bright periods. Winds light and variable.
  • Day: Targets in Kent and Southampton attacked.
  • Night: Raids on London and East Anglian airfields.

Summary of action

Six attacks were made by the enemy in formations of varying size, of which four were in the South East of England, (three of them developing towards London), and two in the Portsmouth-Southampton area.

Reconnaissance activity was fairly marked in the early morning, but decreased later.

Our fighters destroyed 22 enemy aircraft, plus 5 probable, plus 16 damaged. We lost 9 aircraft, but only 2 pilots.

Attacks

First Attack

At 0930 hours a small scale attack by thirty Me109s was made on Dover from 1000 feet. Interception was effected at Maidstone and the enemy aircraft were soon recrossing the Coast.

Second Attack

At 1045 hours 150 enemy aircraft crossed the coast at or near Lympne and spread fanwise through Kent. A formation of 100 enemy fighters flew towards London, but only some ten penetrated the Inner Artillery Zone. A second formation of fifty enemy bombers remained near the Coast.

Third Attack

At 1345 hours, 120 enemy aircraft flew inland between Eastbourne and Folkestone and 70 aircraft of these continued towards London, fifty penetrating the Inner Artillery Zone and twenty getting no further than South London. Twenty aircraft cruised about in East Kent and the Estuary, while the remainder patrolled the Coastal area from Deal to Beachy Head.

Fourth Attack

At 1545 hours, twenty enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Hastings and flew towards Kenley; a split from this raid went to Tangmere and Maidstone. At the same time twenty other enemy aircraft crossed at Dungeness flying towards Biggin Hill.

Until 1630 hours strong patrols were maintained in the Straits.

Portsmouth - Southampton

First Attack

At 134 hours a raid of thirty enemy aircraft approached the Needles and flew to Southampton and inland for about 25 miles. At the same time fifty enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Swanage and flew mostly over Poole and Weymouth but some elements penetrated some 30 miles before they retired. Seven Squadrons were detailed to intercept this raid. (This attack synchronised with the Third Attack on East Kent - see above.)

Second Attack

At 1715 hours fifty enemy aircraft crossed the Isle of Wight and flew inland covering Portsmouth - Southampton - Tangmere. By 1730 hours they had turned South.

Reconnaissances

Between 0645 and 0900 hours there was marked activity by single aircraft in the Straits at heights from 10,000 to 15,000 feet. Some of these flew inland and up the Estuary to Sheppey and Gravesend. In one case attacks were made at Fairlight and Hastings.

At 1245 a single aircraft attacked Dover.

There were very few reconnaissance flights in the afternoon.

Night Operations - 5th / 6th October 1940

Enemy activity although considerable, was more diluted than on the previous night.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Forty enemy aircraft crossed our coasts during this period, twenty-six from Abbeville, twelve from Le Havre and two from Cherbourg areas. Practically all concentrated on London.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

Further raiders were plotted originating as follows:- Dutch Coast 17, Le Havre 4, Cherbourg 9, Baie Seine 10, Dieppe-Boulogne 8. The main objective continued to be London, but raids were also widespread in Essex and Cambridgeshire. Two enemy aircraft were plotted over Liverpool and minelaying was suspected in the Thames Estuary, in the Humber and off Flamborough Head.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours

Thirty-six additional enemy aircraft entered during this period, the majority still heading for London, although Cambridgeshire and Norfolk were also widely covered.

Seventeen of these raids came from the Dutch Coast, the remainder from the usual French sources. One raider was reported burnt out near Colmworth, Beds, cause unknown.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

Activity continued on a similar scale until 0130, but by 0200 hours had noticeably lessened, only six enemy aircraft being then plotted inland over England.

At 0245 hours, increased effort was resumed, with about twenty enemy aircraft, operating almost entirely to the London area. Single raiders however visited Oxford, Northampton and Leicester areas. Activity then ceased, but resumed at 0350 hours on a small scale in South East England.

At 0555 hours the last enemy aircraft was reported going South from London, and no fresh raids were approaching.

The whole country was clear at 0602 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 5th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 59
  • Spitfire - 232
  • Hurricane - 419
  • Defiant - 16
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 734

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 9 aircraft with 2 pilots missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 4th / 5th October - 1 patrol involving 1 aircraft.
  • During the day of 5th October - 136 patrols involving 1074 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 4th / 5th October and 540 during the day of 5th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 5th October 1940
  • The enemy attacked with larger formations of aircraft than has been their custom during the last few days. Most of their activity was again concentrated on Kent and Sussex and some of the coastal towns that suffered on the 4th October were again bombed on the 5th. Owing to indiscriminate bombing, most of the damage was mainly confined to house property, although the railways at Gillingham and Lewes received slight damage.
  • In the evening, London was again the main objective and a large fire was started a the West India Dock.
  • Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire were also visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 5th October 1940
  • Kenley: An HE bomb was dropped on the border of the aerodrome but no damage was reported.
  • Ford: An attack was made on the aerodrome at 2216 hours but there appears to have been little or no damage.
  • Factories - 5th October 1940
  • An HE bomb near the Tecalemit Factory at Brentford caused extensive damage to glass and frames. Production was, however, only suspended for a few hours.
  • Luxfer Ltd of Willesden was slightly damaged by an HE bomb but production was only affected in a very small way.
  • Numerous bombs were dropped on the Borax Works at Erith which caused a fire. No further details are available.
  • A thirty pump fire occurred at C & E Morton's Factory at Millwall but the extent of the damage is not yet known.
  • A fire broke out at the premises of Amos & Smith King George Dock, Hull, but this was not caused by enemy activity.
  • It is reported that Willesden Power Station had received a direct hit which has caused the Works to be closed for the second time in a week. Damage is feared to be extensive.
  • Railways
  • Major damage was done to the LMS yard at Cricklewood. The carriage sheds and goods siding suffered most. A signal cabin and the down line was destroyed by an HE bomb at 1025 hours at Gillingham, Kent.
  • At Lewes, the railways services are suspended owing to the presence of an unexploded bomb.
  • Elsewhere
  • Portland Naval Dockyard was bombed at 2035 hours, 5th October. The extent of the damage is not yet known but the telephone communications between Portland and Weymouth have been cut.
  • It was reported that just after midnight, 5/6th, a serious fire occurred at the West India Docks.

Sunday 6th
  • Weather: Dull with continuous rain all day.
  • Day: Small formations attacked London and East Anglia.
  • Night: Very quiet.

Summary of action

Operations by enemy aircraft by day have been on a small scale and were generally carried out by single aircraft; several attacks on aerodromes are reported.

Three threatened attacks in force did not materialise and degenerated into patrols in the channel.

Our fighters destroyed one enemy aircraft plus one damaged. We lost one aircraft and the pilot is missing.

Reconnaissances

A reconnaissance of Kenley and Biggin Hill was carried out during the morning and a convoy off Southwold was shadowed.

Attacks on Convoys

At 1330 hours two raids were over a convoy. Two sections of our fighters were despatched to intercept and at 1430 hours a raid of 12+ flew over the same convoy and crossed in and out over the coast near Aldeburgh. No interceptions have been reported.

Raids

Raids by single aircraft were carried out over South and South-East England, London and the Thames Estuary. During the morning these raids were particularly directed against the Dover/Deal area, whereas, in the afternoon, they were concentrated more particularly on the Inner Artillery Zone. Some penetrated s far as Reading, Bedford, Bicester, Duxford, Bury St Edmunds, Attleborough and Brighton.

Patrols

Patrols were frequently flown in the Straits during the hours of daylight.

Night Operations - 6th / 7th October 1940

At 2000 hours only one enemy aircraft was over England. It flew from Dieppe, over Shoreham, towards Kenley and Northolt, and then out East.

At 2100 hours another flew in to near Reading, on to the Birmingham area, Bury St Edmunds, Duxford and North Weald, across the Inner Artillery Zone, and out over Romney at 2320 hours.

One further raid flew in at Beachy Head at 2120 hours over London to Waltham Abbey and Hatfield and then South and out at Romney at 2230 hours.

The navigation of these two flights was a remarkable feature, carried out in conditions reported at 10/10 cloud, base at 100/500 feet.

At 0515 hours four raids from the Dutch Islands approached London. One entered the Inner Artillery Zone at 0548 hours, with others over Debden, Blackwater, and Brighton. These raids were still in progress at 0600 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 6th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 48
  • Spitfire - 229
  • Hurricane - 411
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 714

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • One Spitfire with the pilot missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 5th / 6th October - 4 patrol involving 4 aircraft.
  • During the day of 6th October - 67 patrols involving 181 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 215 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the night 5th / 6th October and 130 during the day of 6th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Caistor is unserviceable by day and night.
  • Sherborne is unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 23 Squadron moved from Middle Wallop to Ford.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 6th October 1940
  • Owing to weather conditions the enemy carried out most attacks by singly flying aircraft, which operated chiefly in East Anglia, Kent and Sussex. A number of attacks were made on various aerodromes in the country but there was very little damage to report.
  • Quite a feature of the day has been the number of attacks which have been made on small towns with machine-gun fire - Wickham Market, Felixstowe and Shirley (a suburb of Southampton) suffered chiefly, but very little damage was done.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 5th October 1940
  • Hendon: A hangar received considerable damage owing to a direct hit during an attack at 2115 hours. The LMS was also affected.
  • RAF Stations - 6th October 1940
  • Ford Naval Air Station was attacked on the night of 5/6th, but there was no damage.
  • Middle Wallop: Attacked at 1130. No damage.
  • Sawbridgeworth: Several IB's were dropped at 0115 hours, but the damage was only slight.
  • Northolt: A Ju88 attacked at 1210 hours, and bombed and machine-gunned the aerodrome. One Hurricane was burnt out, another severely damaged and one Blenheim also suffered.
  • Biggin Hill: Several bombs were dropped at 1245 hours. There is nothing to report beyond the possibility of damage to one Spitfire.
  • Farnborough: A Ju88 machine-gunned at 1635 hours the Southern perimeter of the Camp. No damage.
  • White Waltham: The Aerodrome and adjacent houses were machine-gunned at 1700 hours by the enemy, but no damage occurred.
  • Tangmere: Attacked by a Ju88, but no hits are recorded.
  • Uxbridge: This station was raided, but there was only slight damage to the Airmen's Married Quarters.
  • Hornchurch: It was also reported that an attack was made, but there are no details.
  • Factories - 6th October 1940
  • Fires have occurred at 0145 hours at Siemens Bros, Woolwich, but no damage is yet reported.
  • A fire is reported at Loders & Nuceline Factory at Silvertown. No details.
  • The Hawker Aircraft Factory at Slough was attacked at 1650 hours. There was slight damage to one of the shops. An unexploded bomb is reported in one of the concrete floors.
  • Fire broke out at Shell Mex BP premises at Purfleet at 1712 hours. Five tanks of oil were involved but the position is not serious. One office is damaged.
  • Turner's Asbestos Works at Erith were set alight by enemy aircraft with the result that three blocks of buildings and some cutting machines were destroyed.
  • The enemy attacked the Standard Telephones & Cables Ltd Works at North Woolwich and caused slight damage to the buildings.
  • The Vauxhall Works at Luton were also bombed but no damage is reported.
  • Railways
  • Owing to enemy action three rail tracks are out of use at Gidea Park.
  • As a result of bombing both lines are blocked at Woolwich Arsenal Station.
  • Bombs were dropped on Brentwood Station Yard and some carriages were burnt.
  • Elsewhere
  • The Royal Arsenal at Woolwich was bombed during the night of 5/6th, and a packing case store room was burnt out, but production was not affected.

Monday 7th
  • Weather: Occasional showers.Visibility fair with variable cloud.
  • Day: Mixed force of bombers and fighters attacked Yeovil.
  • Night: Major raids onLondon and Merseyside. Lesser attacks from Harwich to Newcastle and the Firth of Forth.

Summary of action

Five main attacks developed during the day, four towards the London area and one over Dorset. Patrols were active in the Straits and Channel and several reconnaissances were flown chiefly over East Kent and the Thames Estuary. Our fighters destroyed 28 enemy aircraft plus 5 probable plus 14 damaged.

Attacks on Kent and London

First Attack

Between 0920 hours and 1040 hours ten raids, totalling about 120 aircraft, flown over South East England, some of them penetrating as far as Gravesend and East London. It is reported that they were in the proportion of three fighters to one bomber. 11 Group despatched 16 Squadrons to meet this attack, which had terminated by 1105 hours.

Second Attack

At about 1250 hours waves of enemy aircraft totalling 130+ crossed the coast between North Foreland and Beachy Head. They penetrated to Biggin Hill and South and South East London, and the last of the raiders had not returned to France until 1400 hours. 11 Group ordered 13 Squadrons to oppose.

Third Attack

At 1530 hours 50+ enemy aircraft were plotted crossing the coast near Romney. They flew again to Biggin Hill and East London. The country was again clear by 1620 hours.

Fourth Attack

At 1630 hours a further flight of 30 enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Dungeness, penetrated to Central and North East London, but quickly turned back to France at 1645 hours.

Attack in South West England

At about 1530 hours 50+ enemy aircraft from Cherbourg flew to St Alban's Head and on over Dorset as far as Yeovil. By 1615 hours this part of the country was again clear of enemy aircraft.

Patrols and Reconnaissances

Patrols were maintained in the Straits and in the Channel throughout most of the day.

Between 0700 and 0800 hours a number of reconnaissance flights were plotted around the coast especially between Dover and the Thames Estuary. A further reconnaissance of Weymouth Bay, Lyme Bay and the Western area was flown at 0900 hours, and one over South Sussex at 1100 hours.

Between 1745 and 1900 hours activity continued off Orfordness, Hastings and Poole in addition to the usual Straits patrols, and one raid of three aircraft crossed the coast near Tangmere and flew to the Northolt area.

Night Operations - 6th / 7th October 1940

Hostile activity was on a large scale, and continued with brief pauses, for a long period. While considerable forces concentrated on London, raiders were much more widely dispersed than for some time past, and large sections of the country were attacked.

Minelaying was suspected in the Thames Estuary, Firth of Forth, off Flamborough Head, Newcastle area and Merseyside.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

No less than 80 enemy aircraft were plotted in during this period, coming from various French districts, the Dutch Coast and Denmark. Some 7 raids penetrated to the Midlands and Lancashire, two visited Newcastle and several ranged over East Anglia, but the bulk concentrated on the London area. The raids from Denmark flew to Scotland, four being plotted in the Firth of Forth district and three around Arbroath.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

A further 40 raiders were employed during this period, 15 of which operated over South East England and London. The remainder was widely scattered over South Wales and the Bristol Channel areas, the Midlands and Lancashire, East Anglia, Sunderland and Firth of Forth districts.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 8.10.40

Enemy activity slackened, only about 10 incoming tracks being plotted. Operations continued over Kent and Sussex to London, and the West Country and Wales to Merseyside and the Potteries, with one raid over Montrose.

0100 Hours to 0300 Hours

At the beginning of this period enemy activity increased again, chief concentrations being apparently on aerodromes in East Anglia, 11 raids being plotted at one time in Essex and Suffolk alone. The London area was quieter and no raiders were plotted either in the West or North West. The Firth of Forth continued to receive attention.

0300 Hours to 0600 Hours

Activity was restricted to the East Coast and London, with single aircraft widely scattered as far North as Kinnairds Head, some enemy aircraft entering into East Anglia with our returning bombers. By 0545 hours all enemy aircraft appeared to be on homing courses, and at 0600 the Country was clear.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 7th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 33
  • Spitfire - 226
  • Hurricane - 416
  • Defiant - 9
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 692

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 16 aircraft with 6 pilots missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 6th / 7th October - 3 patrols involving 3 aircraft.
  • During the day of 7th October - 129 patrols involving 822 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • No report.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Caistor is now serviceable.

Organisation:

  • No 25 Squadron from North Weald to Debden.
  • No 257 Squadron from Debden to North Weald.
  • No 17 Squadron from Debden to Martlesham.
  • No 56 Squadron from Boscombe Down to Exeter.
  • No 87 Squadron from Exeter to Colerne.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 7th October 1940
  • Most of the raids today by the enemy came in formations of fifty and one hundred aircraft, but in spite of these numbers comparatively few bombs were dropped, So far as London was concerned Dockland received most attention, and a fire was started at Rotherhithe, and there was also a certain amount of bombing done at Tidal Basin. During the afternoon a number of raiders appeared in the West Country, and bombs were dropped in Yeovil.
  • At night the raiding was fairly widespread over the country, with special attention being paid to the Firth of Forth.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 7th October 1940
  • Hendon: Was bombed at 2120 hours, and No 24 Squadron Hangar received a direct hit, and some ammunition exploded. No further details yet available.
  • Speke Aerodrome was attacked at 2350 hours, and an Audax aircraft was completely wrecked and a Douglas DF7 was damaged. Some windows in the hangars were broken, but the aerodrome is serviceable.
  • Factories - 7th October 1940
  • A fire broke out at the Silvertown Lubricants Ltd at North Woolwich. A Shelter and a shed containing oil drums were damaged, but there is no effect on production.
  • Railways
  • The bridge between Woolwich Arsenal and Charlton has been damaged by a bomb, with the result that the line will be closed for 2 or 3 days.
  • LNER report an unexploded bomb between Pesterford Bridge, Stansted and Bishops Stortford, which held up traffic for a period, but it is now understood that the line is clear.
  • Two HE fell on the railway crossing at Horsham. The bridge was undamaged, but a train was wrecked and is blocking the line.
  • Major damage was done to the LNER line at Mill Hill East, which has caused the line to be blocked.
  • Elsewhere
  • There were two large fires at Portsmouth - one at a furniture depository, and the other at Government House, but both of these have been dealt with satisfactorily.
  • A fire broke out at the Surrey Commercial Docks at 1700 hours, but there is little damage to report beyond stating that Bellamy's Wharf was the chief Sufferer.
  • Major damage occurred to the Tottenham Gas Works when a fire broke out at 2045 hours, but there is no further information available.

Tuesday 8th
  • Weather: Cloudy in the south-east but fair. High winds.
  • Day: Further raids on London.
  • Night: Widespread raids on London and its suburbs.

Summary of action

There were four main attacks during the morning, of which two penetrated to London and two operated in Kent.

In the afternoon small raids by single aircraft attacked towns on the East Sussex Coast.

It is believed that all the attacks in force were made by Me109s.

Reconnaissances were chiefly carried out in the afternoon and evening and were most active in East Anglia; a few were, however, made in Somerset, Dorset, Kent and East Sussex throughout the day and four convoys were shadowed.

Enemy patrols in the Straits of Dover appear to have been less active than usual.

Weather conditions between 1230 and 1600 hours confined our fighters of No 11 Group to operating from only two aerodromes.

Reports so far received indicate that our fighters destroyed four enemy plus 2 probable plus 3 damaged. We have lost four aircraft and four pilots.

Main Attacks

At 0833 hours 50+ enemy aircraft crossed the coast near Dungeness and, flying in close formation, attacked London at 0850 hours. They then split into small sections and flew out, being met by a raid of 100+ which reached the South London - Biggin Hill - Kenley area by 0915 hours. This was followed by a smaller raid of 10+ which flew 10 miles inland from Beachy Head and out at Dungeness.

11 Squadrons were despatched to intercept these raids.

30+ aircraft crossed the coast at Lympne at 1025 hours and after reaching the Hornchurch area left by Folkestone at 1058 hours.

A raid of 30+ from Cap Gris Nez came in at Lympne at 1115 hours and penetrated to South and East London.

At 1225 hours two raids of 20+ each flew inland from Folkestone to the Kenley - Biggin Hill area and out again.

Small attacks on the East Sussex Coast

Isolated attacks were reported on Bexhill, Eastbourne (twice) Hastings and Fairlight between 1300 and 1830 hours.

Reconnaissances

Kent and Sussex

At 1040 hours two aircraft flew from Beachy Head to Biggin Hill and Dungeness, another circled Rye, and one coming inland at Eastbourne flew to Biggin Hill and Kenley.

Between 1300 and 1700 hours reconnaissances were made of Hastings, Biggin Hill, Beachy Head, Dungeness, Deal, Faversham, Selsey Bill and the North Foreland.

Dorset and Somerset

Reconnaissances of Portland and Dorset were made at 1030 hours; of Portland, Start Point, between 1300 hours and 1500 hours. One of these turned back on interception.

East Anglia

Between 1300 and 1500 hours enemy aircraft reconnoitred Lowestoft (twice) Yarmouth and Harwich. Two of these raids turned back on interception.

There was increased activity in the North Sea and off the East Anglian Coast between 1500 and 1700 hours.

Convoys

Two convoys were reconnoitred in the Thames Estuary at about 1640 hours and one off Dover at 0650 hours. The latter was fired at from Cap Gris Nez between 0800 and 0900 hours and there was also considerable air activity in the Straits at this time.

At 0919 hours three naval units are reported to have been dive-bombed off South Foreland.

A convoy reported that it was being shadowed at 1550 hours.

Night Operations - 8th / 9th October 1940

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Following on reconnaissances during the early evening, hostile night activity commenced from Cherbourg. These sorties, rather unusually, took the form of a concentration of about 20 enemy aircraft on a wide front between Portland and Southampton which penetrated just inland to the Portsmouth - Southampton area. Other raids entered the country from the areas Le Havre; Dieppe and the Dutch Islands, the majority having the London area as their objective, while a few were operating in East Anglia and towards Liverpool. Approximately 100 enemy raids entered during this period.

Minelaying was suspected off the North East Coast between Hartlepool and St Abb's Head and between Flamborough Head and Humber.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

Enemy aircraft activity was maintained during the early portion of this period but later showed a distinct slackening. The areas covered were practically identical with earlier ones, many of the outgoing aircraft homing to Cherbourg.

Minelaying was apparently continued off the North East Coast.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 9.10.40

Raids continued intermittently during this period although activity was somewhat reduced during the latter part, London being the objective almost exclusively.

Minelaying had apparently ceased.

0100 Hours to 0300 Hours

Activity was intensified and still confined to the London area. The enemy appeared to enter from the Le Touquet area and the majority were plotted homing via the Estuary to Ostend. Later, a few were tracked as far North as Peterborough, via London, and returned on reciprocal tracks, while a single enemy reached the Church Fenton area from the West, circled for some time and flew out to sea over the Humber.

0300 Hours to 0600 Hours

Although London continued to be the main objective, a feature of this period was a succession of raiders entering over the Essex Coast from the Dutch Isles and penetrating into East Anglia and the Eastern Midlands. This influx was maintained and increased in strength while the rest of the country, including London was clear.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 8th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 50
  • Spitfire - 228
  • Hurricane - 423
  • Defiant - 14
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 723

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 4 aircraft with 4 pilots missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 7th / 8th October - 77 patrol involving 78 aircraft.
  • During the day of 8th October - 203 patrols involving 639 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • No report.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Dyce unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 3 Squadron from Turnhouse to Montrose.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 8th October 1940
  • The enemy made a series of raids during the day, and confined their activity almost entirely to London and the south East of England. Shortly before 0900 hours bombs were dropped in the Whitehall area and Government Offices suffered in consequence. The Paymaster General's Office received a direct hit, and the Ministry of Agriculture and Great Scotland Yard were also damaged. Charing Cross Station District Railway and Tube Station were also targets for the enemy and have been closed.
  • During the night raids were continuous and a number of fires were started, the worst of which were at Bermondsey and the LEP premises at Chiswick. At about 0500 hours the enemy made a concentrated attack on East Anglia and proceeded Northwards.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 8th October 1940
  • West Hampnet: Was attacked by low flying aircraft which machine-gunned the aerodrome but did not drop any bombs. No damage.
  • Ford Aerodrome: Was attacked with bombs and also machine-gunned. One Boston aircraft of 23 Squadron was written off. In addition one Blenheim was damaged, and the Aerodrome was rendered unserviceable.
  • Shoreham: Was attacked by three enemy aircraft with bombs and machine-gun fire. Aerodrome rendered unserviceable.
  • Brize Norton: Was attacked at 2035 hours, but no further information is available.
  • West Malling: Aerodrome was also attacked with 2 HE and hundreds of incendiary bombs but no other information has come to hand.
  • Hendon: With reference to the recent raid on the 7th October, it has been ascertained that a complete Flight was demolished and also offices and hangars, and a further number of aircraft was destroyed.
  • Factories - 8th October 1940
  • Three fires occurred at Trafford Park, the most serious being at the Rubber Regenerating Works, but this was soon under control.
  • An HE exploded on the private railway line of the Royal Ordnance Factory at Euston. Some buildings were damaged through blast, and the rail track also suffered, but there is no interference with production.
  • A slight fire occurred at Fairey's Aviation Works at Sale, but it was quickly dealt with.
  • Railways
  • LNER report that there is a complete block at Enfield Lock on both lines.
  • There was a direct hit on the railway line at Sevenoaks, but the down line is still operating.
  • Owing to enemy action, there is also a complete stoppage on the Edgware Tube Line at Colindale.
  • Elsewhere
  • An HE Shell fell near the Rippleway Telephone Exchange, which has affected 200 lines.
  • Tower Bridge was attacked at approximately 0900 hours and the hydraulic mains were damaged, and it is understood that the bridge is out of action.
  • With regard to the aforementioned fires, those at Chiswick and Bermondsey both necessitated 50 pumps each, and at the moment the former is under control, but it is believed that the latter is extending.

Wednesday 9th
  • Weather: Cloudy in the Channel with rain in northern France and the Straits of Dover.
  • Day: London and airfields bombed.
  • Night: Heavy raid on London.

Summary of action

There were three main attacks, of which two penetrated to London and one crossed over Kent to the Thames Estuary and Cranbrook.

During the morning, three small raids attacked coast towns in East Sussex and two raids were plotted on the South East Coast in the evening.

It is believed that all the larger attacks were made by Me109s.

Reconnaissances were made over South East England, East Anglia and the Midlands and one from Selsey Bill to Portsmouth during the morning. In the afternoon two convoys were reconnoitred.

Some enemy patrols were active in the Straits of Dover.

Reports so far received indicate that our fighters destroyed four enemy aircraft plus four probables and five damaged. We have lost one aircraft and no pilots.

Main Attacks

At 1108 hours, enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Folkestone, and 20+ penetrated to South East London thence flying out by North Foreland.

At 1133 hours 30+ aircraft came in at Rye and flew to Gravesend, Hornchurch and Canewdon, and left by the Thames Estuary. At the same time, a raid of 12+ entering at Folkestone passed over Maidstone and went South. Two other raids, one of 12+ and one of 20+ flew inland from Lympne and another raid of 12+ passed over Dungeness on a North Easterly course to Dover. A raid of 30+ enemy aircraft entered the country at Eastbourne and turned south at Cranbrook.

All these raids originated in the Calais area.

At 1430 hours enemy aircraft were massing for an attack from the Boulogne/Gris Nez/Calais area and approximately 160 to 180 aircraft crossed the coast near Lympne at 1438 hours and attacked East London. They were active in an area bounded by Hornchurch, Biggin Hill, Dungeness, Dover and the Thames Estuary. No 11 Group despatched 9 Squadrons and No 12 Group 3 Squadrons to meet this attack.

The enemy maintained patrols in the Straits of Dover throughout this period.

Small attacks on the East Sussex Coast

Between 0900 and 1100 hours, two small raids from Dieppe attacked Bexhill and another attacked Rye.

At 1730 hours 2+ enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Dungeness and flew out via Rye, and at 1750 a raid of 12+ entered at Dungeness and went Northwards over the coast to Romney.

Reconnaissances

Between 0600 and 0700 hours one aircraft from Holland flew to Hatfield and one to Bedford. One aircraft crossed the coast at Harwich and was at Leighton Buzzard at 0821 leaving by Shoeburyness and at about the same time one aircraft flew from the Dutch Islands to Bury St Edmunds and out via Southwold.

Reconnaissances between 0900 hours and 1100 hours were carried out on Debden leaving by Blackwater; from Dieppe via Hastings to Biggin Hill, Northolt and Kenley leaving by Dover.

An unidentified aircraft (possibly a Ju88) flew from the Wash to Boston, Nottingham, Burton on Trent, Shrewsbury and Crewe where it was lost.

At 1133 hours, one enemy aircraft from Gris Nez reconnoitred from Selsey Bill to Portsmouth and was successfully intercepted on its return flight.

Of four small raids tracked out to sea between Start Point and Lands End from 1300 to 141 hours, two reconnoitred two convoys.

Patrols

Between 1300 and 1415 hours, there were twelve small raids in the Straits of Dover between Beachy Head and the North Foreland and from 1700 to 1830 hours, patrols of about 12+ aircraft were maintained in the Straits of Dover.

Night Operations - 9th / 10th October 1940

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Night activity commenced at about 1850 hours, raids crossing the coast towards two main objectives. The first was the Liverpool/Manchester area, the enemy crossing near Swanage from the Cherbourg area. About 6 aircraft were involved in this attack and they returned on reciprocal tracks. About 90 aircraft crossed the coast from Baie De La Seine, Dieppe and Holland, between Selsey and Cromer toward the main objective of London. Minelaying was probable from the Wash to St Abb's Head and there was also slight activity over East Anglia.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

There was little activity except around 2300 hours. Minelaying, however, increased and extended from Montrose to the Estuary. There were also small raids by single aircraft in the West County and near Catterick.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 10.10.40

By 2330 hours activity had almost ceased and throughout the period only isolated enemy aircraft were operating towards London. 1 raid was reported near Derby.

0100 Hours to 0300 Hours

Very slight activity confined entirely to London except for one raid reached to Peterborough. Aircraft were plotted from the Dutch Islands and Dieppe.

0300 Hours to 0600 Hours

Increased activity was maintained constantly towards the London area and penetrated as far as Debden. Sorties continued to arrive both from the East and South.

Statistics


Thursday 10th
  • Weather: Showery with bright intervals. Haze in the Thames Estuary and East Anglia.
  • Day: Raids over Kent, London suburbs and Weymouth.
  • Night: London, Manchester and fifteen airfields attacked.

Summary of action

There were four main attacks, three during the morning and one in the afternoon. Two of these operated over Kent, one of which split en route to London. One attacked London and the fourth raid went slightly inland over Dorset.

Reconnaissances were chiefly flown in the afternoon and early evening in the North Sea. A few others operated along the South Coast and one flew via Hastings to South London and another in the Straits.

One convoy was shadowed in the evening.

Patrols were maintained in the Straits of Dover during the main attacks at other times, patrol activity was slight.

Reports so far received indicate that our fighters destroyed four enemy aircraft plus five damaged. We have lost three aircraft and one pilot by enemy action. One enemy aircraft has been destroyed by AA fire.

Main Attacks

At 0835 hours 20+ aircraft flew from Boulogne North-West over Dover and split near Shoeburyness. One section went towards London and the remainder, after approaching London, flew South East from Hornchurch and out over Kent.

At 0952 hours a raid of 20+ crossed the coast at Lympne and another of 12+ crossed at Dover. Both flew over Kent and went out over Dover. These were followed at 1017 hours by two raids totalling 26+ aircraft which flew over Kent, one leaving at Dover and the other over North Foreland.

Between 1203 and 1230 hours 100+ enemy aircraft penetrated slightly inland at Lulworth. 9 Squadrons were detailed to counter this attack.

At 1510 hours the first wave of the fourth attack consisting of 65+ aircraft, crossed the coast into Kent. A single aircraft from this wave flew to South London. The second wave of over 80 came inland over Deal and Dover at 1525 hours and does not appear to have penetrated far inland. No 12 Group despatched three Squadrons to assist in meeting this attack.

Small attacks

At 0709 hours two He111s are reported to have attacked Dover.

Reconnaissances

Between 0600 and 0700 hours one reconnaissance was made over the North Sea and one to Harwich. At the same time, four or five single aircraft reconnoitred from Selsey Bill to Beachy Head.

Between 1300 and 2100 hours patrols were active in the Straits. Reconnaissances were flown in the North Sea and in large numbers off Harwich, and a convoy was shadowed off the East Coast.

Night Operations - 10th / 11th October 1940

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

About 1915 hours, the first enemy aircraft was plotted from the Dutch Islands, being augmented shortly afterwards by others from the Dieppe and Le Havre areas. All raids were apparently en route to London. Plots were also shown in the Liverpool area about this time, the aircraft having been tracked from off Caernarvon Coast, while later, other aircraft were plotted in the South Wales area. Minelaying probably took place between Flamborough Head and Newcastle. Towards the end of the period, raids also appeared from Cherbourg towards Portsmouth and London.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

There was no diminution in the scale of attacks on London, and the area covered extended in the form of isolated raids to Birmingham, Gloucester, Shrewsbury, East Anglia and South Wales. Raids entering from the Dutch Islands appeared to make a sweep of the Debden and Duxford area before turning South West to London. Minelaying extended to Harwich.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 11.10.40

All activity diminished considerably and raids from the Dutch Islands ceased.

0100 Hours to 0300 Hours

Activity towards London increased and extended Northwards to Bedford during earlier part of period. By 0230 hours however, it had temporarily ceased apart from two raids which passed over London to Birmingham/Coventry area.

0300 Hours to 0600 Hours

By 0330 hours, isolated aircraft were again penetrating London area and returning on the same tracks. Activity was maintained over the Bristol Channel and extended to Mid Wales and Stoke. Apart from slight activity in Northern England, raids had practically ceased by 0400 hours. London and its approaches were clear by 0452 hours and at 0530 hours, apart from an isolated raid over Bristol, there were no enemy aircraft over the country.

Statistics


Friday 11th
  • Weather: Mainly fair apart from showers in coastal areas. Fog developed during the night.
  • Day: Targets in Kent, Sussex and Weymouth attacked.
  • Night: Raids on London, Liverpool, Manchester and Tyne and Tees.

Summary of action

There were 7 main attacks and several small raids during the day. Of the main attacks two consisted entirely of Fighters, the remainder being composed of about 75% Fighters to 25% Bombers. Only one of these raids penetrated to Central London.

Many reconnaissances were flown today and small patrols were maintained continuously in the Straits. Three convoys were reconnoitred.

Reports so far received indicate that our Fighters destroyed 8 enemy aircraft, plus 4 probable and one damaged. We have lost 7 aircraft and 2 pilots by enemy action, plus 2 aircraft and one pilot in collision.

Main Attacks

At 0720 hours 6+ enemy aircraft penetrated to Central London from Dover and left by the same route.

At 1020 hours a wave of 36+ aircraft formed over the Gris Nez area. This was followed by a second wave of 90+ at 1050 hours, a third wave of 38+ at 1100 hours and a fourth wave of 29+ at 1130 hours. The first penetrated into Kent, the second flew to Dungeness and Dover, the third to Hastings, Dover and the North Foreland, and the fourth to Dover, the Thames Estuary and Whitstable. There were, in addition, several tracks of 1+ and 2+ aircraft in this area.

At 1138 hours 2 raids of 55+ crossed the Coast at Poole from Cherbourg but only penetrated a short distance inland and appeared to have been dispersed.

At 1150 hours a raid of 50+ aircraft crossed the Coast at Hastings and split up inland. One split went to Biggin Hill, the remaining aircraft retired after flying only a few miles inland.

At 1420 hours raids started to form in Northern France and at 1430 hours 60+ were plotted in the Calais/Cap Gris Nez area and crossed the Coast between Deal and Dungeness. Flying North-west towards London. Only one raid flew further West than a line from Hornchurch to Biggin Hill, and penetrated about 5 miles westward of this line. 12+ of these aircraft were plotted up the Thames Estuary and one of them, a four-engined Dornier, flew from Clacton to near North Weald and then South-east over the Estuary and out by Dover. No 11 Group detailed 13 Squadrons to meet this attack and No 12 Group patrolled from Eastchurch to Canterbury with 3 Squadrons.

At 1435 hours 50+ enemy aircraft from Cherbourg flew North and then veered North-westwards to Portland and penetrated about 10 miles inland. No 10 Group despatched 5½ Squadrons to intercept this raid.

At 1600 hours a raid of 25+ approached Dungeness, and splitting up, went towards the Hornchurch, Biggin Hill, and Kenley areas.

Small attacks

At 0632 hours 3 raids, two of 3+ and one of 1+ aircraft flew inland for 10 miles between Dover and the North Foreland.

At 0900 hours 3 aircraft flew up the Thames to the South of North Weald.

At 1340 hours a raid of 9+ went inland near Foreness and returned almost immediately to the Calais area. Two Squadrons were up from Biggin Hill to meet this raid.

Reconnaissances and Patrols

Between 0500 and 0650 hours a reconnaissance was made from Swanage, eastwards to Sherbourne and out over Portsmouth.

At 0632 hours one enemy aircraft patrolled the outer Thames Estuary and from then on patrols were active in the Straits of Dover. Several patrols passed over two convoys off Dover and Deal.

At 0900 hours, two single aircraft reconnoitred off Selsey Bill, another flew to North Weald, Stanmore and Hornchurch, and a fourth entered at Orfordness and went via Martlesham, Debden, Southend, Rochester, and Brighton to Dungeness and out at Dover at 1000 hours.

At 0940 hours, one aircraft flew over Dungeness and Hastings and another over a convoy off the North Foreland.

During the afternoon, one aircraft reconnoitred East Anglia and two towards Newcastle from Denmark. One crossed the Coast at Beachy Head at 1735 hours and recrossed at 1740 hours. A section was despatched from Tangmere.

At 1845 hours, a reconnaissance was flown 100 miles East of Aberdeen by 3 aircraft and at 1900 hours 2+ aircraft crossed the Coast of Aberdeen and patrolled the vicinity for 45 minutes.

At 1945 hours one aircraft entered the Firth of Forth, went North and left the Coast at 1954 hours.

Night Operations - 11th / 12th October 1940

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Night raids commenced at 1835 hours, and between that time and 2100 hours approximately 55 raids from Cherbourg, Le Havre, Dieppe and Belgian and Dutch Coasts crossed the Coast towards London, which was again the main objective.

Other raids appeared over Liverpool during the period and attacks on this area were maintained. Enemy aircraft were also plotted over Aberdeen and the Firth of Forth. Minelaying probably took place between Flamborough Head and Berwick.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

There was little alteration in the scale of operations during the greater part of this period but a slackening was indicated at about 2245 hours on the London area. Enemy aircraft continued to be plotted over Liverpool, Manchester and Bristol areas. Minelaying diminished.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 12.10.40

A slackening in the attack on London was continued during the early part of this period and was confined to isolated raids operating from the Baie De La Seine. There was continued operation towards Liverpool up to 2330 hours, after which time the Country was clear except in the London area and its approaches from the South-west. Activity slightly increased later in this area.

0100 Hours to 0300 Hours

Raids gradually diminished in number operating towards London only and by 0220 hours, the Country was clear of enemy aircraft. Operations were doubtless curtailed on account of fog.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 11th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 40
  • Spitfire - 240
  • Hurricane - 384
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 690

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 9 aircraft with 3 pilots lost.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 10th / 11th October - 49 patrols involving 49 aircraft.
  • During the day of 11th October - 154 patrols involving 900 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 480 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 11th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Caistor unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • 9th October 1940
  • No 3 Squadron (1 Flight) from Turnhouse to Dyce.
  • No 3 Squadron (1 Flight) from Turnhouse to Montrose.
  • 11th October 1940
  • No 302 Squadron from Leconfield to Northolt.
  • No 303 Squadron from Northolt to Leconfield.

Home Security Reports

  •  
  • General Summary
  • Date: 11th October 1940
  • Raids during daylight were again mainly confined to the South and South-East coasts, where bombs were dropped on several towns causing damage to utility services and to house and shop property. Many unsuccessful attempts were made to penetrate to the London areas, but the enemy forces, largely composed of fighter aircraft, only succeeded in dropping a few bombs on the Southern outskirts of the Capital.
  • The usual night attack on London was heaviest between 1940 hours and 2300 hours; the activity then died down and ceased altogether soon after midnight. Some further damage has been done to railways and public utilities, and a few fires occurred, but factories have escaped damage and casualties, except for an incident at Leyton, were small.
  • Other districts visited during the night include Southampton, Portsmouth, towns in Dorset, Berkshire, Surrey, Kent and Norfolk, and parts of Scotland, but damage was all of a minor category.
  • A new type of incendiary bomb is reported from Barnes. It is slightly larger than the usual 1 kilo type, and an explosion takes place after the usual burning period.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 11th October 1940
  • Cardington: At 0120 hours two HE bombs were dropped about half a mile North of the Station, causing damage to telephone wires.
  • Factories
  • Lever Bros Works at Port Sunlight suffered structural damage by HE bombs at 1900 hours, 10th October, but vital plant is unaffected.
  • At 1935 hours HE bombs fell at the City of London Electric Light Co, Bankside Power Station, causing some damage to feeders. Further details will not be available until daybreak.
  • At 2100 hours an unexploded bomb fell at the Metal Box Factory, Southgate, near the private trench shelters.
  • Railways
  • At 2200 hours an HE bomb fell through the SR arch (Waterloo/Vauxhall main line), causing all lines to be blocked outside Waterloo Station. Some of these may be cleared by daybreak.
  • The SR service at Heston was interrupted owing to an unexploded bomb on the line between Syon Lane and Isleworth Station.
  • Other damage
  • HE bombs fell at Leyton at 1953 hours. A bus was hit and wrecked, property was damaged, and a 24" water main was fractured. Casualties amount to approximately 30 killed and 20 injured. Several factories nearby are without water pending repairs to the mains.
  • At Hammersmith severe damage was caused to water and gas mains by HE bombs at 2125 hours. Shepherds Bush Rd and Uxbridge Rd were blocked.
  • The Portsmouth Road was blocked s a result of HE bombs which fell at Esher at 2140 hours.
  • A 30-pump fire was caused by incendiary bombs at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Roehampton Lane; a slight fire also took place at Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton.
  • The building housing the Hop and Waterloo Telephone Exchanges was slightly damaged by HE bombs which fell at 2146 hours.

Saturday 12th
  • Weather: Widespread mist and fog during the day, clearing later.
  • Day: London and suburbs are again the main targets.
  • Night: Generally quiet, but some damage to the National Gallery

Summary of action

There were seven main attacks during the day of which five penetrated, via Kent, to London; the sixth flew as far North as Hatfield and the seventh raid was confined to Kent, South of Biggin Hill. The first raid consisted entirely of fighters and the others employed about 75% fighters to 25% bombers. There was continuous activity over the Kent Coast between 1300 and 1700, but during the morning, large numbers of aircraft which flew into the Straits at various times, faded without crossing the Coast.

Reconnaissances were active between 0650 and 0900 hours, three of them visiting convoys in the Channel.

Reports so far received indicate that our fighters destroyed 10 enemy aircraft plus 11 probables and 7 damaged. Our casualties were 10 aircraft and 4 pilots. In addition, AA guns shot down one enemy aircraft.

Main Attacks

At 0900 hours, 20+ aircraft crossed the Coast at Dungeness and were followed at 0913 hours by 9+ which entered at Lympne. These two raids flew as far as Biggin Hill.

At 0955 and 1000 hours, two raids totalling 80+ crossed the Coast At Dungeness and at 0958 hours another raid of 20+ crossed the Coast at Lympne. These raids flew into Kent and some penetrated to Central London.

At 1055 hours, 64+ aircraft from Cap Gris Nez passed over Lympne to London-Biggin Hill-Hornchurch areas. 18 of these reached Central London.

At 1204 hours, 80+ aircraft crossed the Coast at Hastings and flew towards London, some aircraft entering the Inner Artillery Zone.

At 1255 hour, a raid of 30+ split over Deal and 20+ of them penetrated as far as Hatfield via Kenley and Biggin Hill, returning on a reciprocal course.

At 1400 hours, some 100 raiders penetrated to South London from the Kent Coast.

At 1615 hours, 150 aircraft entered near Dover. Of these, 50 flew North to the Isle of Sheppey whence they turned up the Estuary to Gravesend and went out Eastwards. The remainder flew to Biggin Hill and to the South-East of the IAZ, but quickly withdrew and were flying towards the Coast by 1630 hours. At 1640 hours, a second wave of 50 passed near Biggin Hill to South London where they turned South and left via Beachy Head at 1655 hours. During this attack, small raids, totalling about 100 aircraft, were active over South-East Kent between Dover and Dungeness. These small raids persisted until 1715 hours.

Other Incidents

Between 0845 and 0941 hours, about 150 enemy aircraft assembled in the Calais/Boulogne area but did not cross the Coast.

At 1190 hours, 4 aircraft flew along the Coast between Dover and Lympne but did not penetrate inland.

At 1312 hours, a raid of unstated size flew from Cherbourg to St Albans Head, going inland at Portland to Yeovil and out by Lyme Bay at 1358 hours.

Reconnaissances

At 0650 hours, one aircraft from Antwerp reconnoitred the Thames Estuary and the Isle of Sheppey, and five aircraft reconnoitred the Straits, three of them visiting two convoys.

At 0700 hours, three reconnaissances were made from Cherbourg to Selsey Bill and Beachy Head and at 0702 hours, another flew to Southwold, Sheerness and the North Foreland.

Between 0800 and 0900 hours, five reconnaissances were flown from Holland to the Norfolk coast, one of which was reported to be a Ju88. Fighters went up from Coltishall.

At 1710 hours, one enemy aircraft flew parallel to and 10 miles off the Coast from Dungeness to the Thames Estuary. This aircraft - an Arado 95 - was destroyed 12 miles South of St Catherine's Point at 1725 hours.

Addendum to Summary of 11th October 1940

During the evening of 11th October, enemy aircraft attacked the Liverpool area and of these 3 Do17s or Do215s were destroyed by No 611 Squadron over Anglesey and the same Squadron probably destroyed 2 more over Point of Air. Our casualties were one aircraft, and one pilot wounded.

Night Operations - 12th / 13th October 1940

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

At 1840 hours, several raids were plotted leaving the Dutch Islands, and shortly afterwards, the leading aircraft from the Dieppe area left the French Coast. No raids came from Cherbourg to the London area during this period.

At about 2030 hours, a strong force (15 tracks) of raiders appeared from Cherbourg, flying North. They continued on this course until South of Bristol when they fanned out North and North-east. The tracks finally led to the Birmingham - Coventry area which appeared to suffer a severe attack.

Minelaying was apparent from Humber to Farne Island.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

Enemy activity continued to be intense against the two objectives of London and the Midlands, the influx to London from the Dutch Islands being rather greater than that from Le Havre/Dieppe.

Activity in the Midlands continued in force but showed signs of diminishing over London at about 2130 hours. Slight activity was also apparent in East Anglia.

By 2245 hours, there were no enemy aircraft either approaching or in the London area, while activity over the Midlands had almost ceased.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 13.10.40

By 2300 hours, the Country with the exception of the London area where activity was very slight, was clear of enemy aircraft. The London activity, however, did not cease but was maintained by small numbers of aircraft throughout the period.

In the areas from Portland to the Needles, and Selsey Bill to Coquet Island, and from North Foreland to Southwold, minelaying was reported.

0100 Hours to 0300 Hours

By 0130 hours, raids over the London area were returning and the Country was clear of enemy aircraft by 0222 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 12th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 46
  • Spitfire - 217
  • Hurricane - 368
  • Defiant - 16
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 655

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 10 aircraft with 4 pilots lost.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 11th / 12th October - 41 patrols involving 41 aircraft.
  • During the day of 12th October - 144 patrols involving 756 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 400 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 12th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Caistor unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • 12th October 1940
  • No 219 Squadron left Catterick for Redhill.
  • No 111 Squadron moved from Drem to Montrose.
  • No 3 Squadron moved from Montrose and Dyce to Wick.
  • No 600 Squadron (1 Flight) moved from Hornchurch to Catterick.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 12th October 1940
  • During the daylight period, enemy forces, again composed largely of fighter aircraft carrying bombs, staged several attacks upon the South-eastern corner of England and bombs were dropped in Kent, Sussex, Surrey and the Isle of Wight, damage being slight except in Hastings. Some of the enemy penetrated to London, where incidents, none of any great importance, occurred in Mayfair, Woolwich and Deptford, and in the Dockside area.
  • After dark, Greater London was attacked intermittently from 1920 hours to 2300 hours, and damage which was not heavy was mainly confined to the Railway system.
  • A heavy attack on the Coventry area developed between 2037 hours and 2150 hours, and several serious fires were started; many other scattered localities, mostly in Southern England were bombed during the night, but the scale of the attack was light and no material damage was caused in these districts.
  • The new explosive incendiary bomb referred to in yesterday's report, claimed a victim when a man was pouring sand over a specimen which was burning. The bomb then exploded and the man was killed.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 12th October 1940
  • Biggin Hill: No material damage was caused when a high flying ME109 dropped 1 HE bomb in the centre of the aerodrome and four others near disused buildings.
  • Throckmorton: 30 incendiary bombs were dropped at 2130 hours, but all fell in nearby fields and no damage was caused.
  • Factories
  • The Sterling Metal Co and Cornercroft factories at Coventry were reported to have been bombed at 2037 hours, but details of damage have no yet been received.
  • Railways
  • An express train from Rugby to London overturned at Wembley LMS Station, blocking both lines. The incident was not due to enemy action and it is feared that there are casualties, some fatal.
  • HE bombs fell at Southall, at 2000 hours, blocking the GWR branch line to Brentford.
  • HE bombs fell at 2020 hours on the Uxbridge Road Station Bridge, but the bridge is safe and single line working has commenced.
  • A goods train was hit at Barnes Station, and the tracks were torn up.
  • Other damage
  • Hastings: Two attacks were made, at 1010 hours when 4 houses and 5 warehouses were damaged, and at 1350 hours. In the second attack a major fire was started at the Gas Works and 7 houses were wrecked.
  • Coventry: Coventry was attacked twice at 2037 hours and again at 2150 hours, and there is considerable damage to property. A Gas Works, the factories of Sterling Metal Co and Cornercroft are reported hit, and the telephone system has been interrupted. Serious fires were started but the situation was said to be well in hand.
  • Trafalgar Square: A HE bomb fell at 2045 hours near King Charles' Statue and penetrated to the Hall at the bottom of the escalator at Trafalgar Square Station, where it exploded, killing seven people, whilst injuring 30.

Sunday 13th
  • Weather: Early fog clearing to blue skies. Cloud later.
  • Day: Targets in Kent and London raided.
  • Night: London, Bristol, Wales, Liverpool, Birmingham and Birkenhead all bombed.

Summary of action

There were four main attacks during the day and portions of all but the first, penetrated to Central London. The remaining portions of these attacks and the first attack confined their operations to Kent. Very few of the enemy aircraft employed were bombers. A few reconnaissances were made in the South-east and off the South Coast in the early morning, and again between 1045 hours (when a convoy was visited) and 1130 hours, and off the East Coast between 0900 and 1300 hours. There were considerable reconnaissances off the North-east Coasts in the afternoon. A convoy is reported to have been attacked.

Our fighters destroyed 2 enemy aircraft plus 4 probably destroyed. Our casualties were 2 aircraft. One enemy aircraft was probably destroyed by AA fire.

Main Attacks

At 1248 hours, 25+ enemy aircraft came inland at Hythe to Lympne and left at 1300 hours.

At 1335 hours, two waves of 30+ flew up the Medway. The first wave penetrated to Central London but the second did not proceed beyond Dartford.

At 1406 hours, three waves of 30+ crossed the Coast near Dungeness, flying North-west. The first two waves employed the same tactics as the raids at 1335 hours, only the first penetrating to Central London. The third wave appeared to concentrate on the Biggin Hill - Kenley area. 14 Squadrons were despatched to meet this attack.

At 1535 hours, a raid of 50+ entered between Dover and Dungeness and flew over Maidstone and along the Thames. This raid split, one part towards Hornchurch and the other via Dartford to Central London. Two smaller raids followed but did not, however, penetrate far inland. Enemy aircraft were leaving London by 1554 hours and small sections were flying within the triangle Maidstone - Tunbridge Wells - Ashford at 1600 hours, finally crossing the Coast at 1610 hours.

Reconnaissances and Patrols

At 0643 hours, a reconnaissance was made from Dungeness to 10 miles North of Rye and to Dover, another at the same time remaining in the Straits.

At 0713 hours, an attempted interception of a reconnaissance from the Isle of Wight to Dungeness was unsuccessful.

Between 0900 and 1130 hours, small numbers of enemy aircraft reconnoitred on a line 50 miles east of Whitby and Cromer; the Straits over a convoy; to the North Foreland; to Poole and inland to Portland to Swanage; to Poole and inland to Swanage and thence over Somerset.

At 1130 hours, one aircraft flew South of the Isle of Wight to Southampton and Portsmouth. At the same time, patrols were active in the Straits near Dungeness, and one reconnaissance was made from Beachy Head to the North Foreland.

At 1139 hours, a convoy is reported to have been attacked off the South-east Coast.

Between 1230 and 1300 hours, single aircraft reconnoitred the North Sea, the Hornchurch area and Harwich.

Between 1500 and 1700 hours, there was marked reconnaissance activity by single aircraft all along the East Coast from the Firth of Forth to East Anglia, particularly off the latter area.

Night Operations - 13th / 14th October 1940

The first enemy raids were plotted leaving the Dieppe, Cherbourg, and Seine Bay areas and the Dutch Islands at about 1830 hours. The scale of attack was heaviest between 1900 and 2300 hours, after which it decreased, finally ceasing at 0600 hours. The main concentration was on London, but Liverpool area received considerable attention, and raids were also plotted in Bristol area, Wales, the Midlands, East Anglia, Lincolnshire and over the North-east Coast as far North as Newcastle.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Approximately 60 raids were plotted inland, the majority to the London area via the South Coast between Selsey Bill and Dover. Several raids from the Dutch Islands crossed between Harwich and the Thames Estuary, penetrating over East Anglia and to London from the North-east. About 5 raids were plotted off the Yorkshire Coast from the Humber to near Newcastle, and inland around Scarborough. 5 raids crossed in the Swanage-Portland area and flew north towards Liverpool.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

Activity continued on a heavy scale, still mainly directed against London area, the main entry being between Beachy Head and Dungeness. A number of raids entered the Thames Estuary, some penetrating to London and others withdrawing after apparently minelaying. Raids continued to cross in this Portland area, flying North to the Midlands and Liverpool. About 5 raids to the Liverpool area originated from the Channel Islands. Minelaying was suspected between Flamborough Head and the Wash, and off Harwich. The flow of fresh raids slackened considerably towards the end of this period.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 14.10.40

A reduced number of raids, mostly against London, crossed the South Coast. A few continued to approach from the Thames Estuary. Three fresh raids from the Channel Islands penetrated to Wales and up to Liverpool area. Isolated raids were plotted in the Debden - Duxford area.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

Raids continued to cross between Selsey Bill and Dungeness at about 15 minute intervals, with London as objective. Some raids were still active in Liverpool area. Minelaying suspected between West of Liverpool and Blackpool. At 0530 hours, raids were leaving the Country but one fresh raid was plotted over Bristol, flying North and one crossed at Dundee. All clear at 0600 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 13th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 38
  • Spitfire - 221
  • Hurricane - 359
  • Defiant - 13
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 639

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 2 aircraft which the pilots are safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 12th / 13th October - 39 patrols involving 39 aircraft.
  • During the day of 13th October - 121 patrols involving 552 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 180 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 13th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Hartlepool is temporarily unserviceable owing to wet patches.
  • Caistor is now serviceable by day and night.

Organisation:

  • 13th October 1940
  • No 111 Squadron (B Flight) is now at Dyce.
  • No 72 Squadron moved from Biggin Hill to Leconfield.
  • No 64 Squadron moved from Leconfield to Biggin Hill.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 13th October 1940
  • Enemy bombing activity during the day was on a smaller scale than usual, only a few incidents taking place in Kent and Sussex, from which damage was negligible and casualties slight. Scattered bombing in the Southern and Eastern Boroughs of London resulted in some damage to railway property, and a fire at a gas works which blazed furiously for an hour before being extinguished.
  • After dark, and until an early hour on 14th, bombs were being dropped in most districts of the Capital, causing much damage of a minor character; major incidents were confined to the destruction of a small factory at Wandsworth, and a direct hit on a basement shelter at Stoke Newington, in which 250 casualties occurred.
  • Activity in the North of England was more pronounced during the night, and bombs fell in Middlesborough, Hull, Huddersfield, Grantham, Liverpool and Manchester, where property suffered damage and some casualties occurred, but industrial production does not appear to have been affected. Rural districts in the Southern half of England were also visited during the period of darkness, but only minor damage is reported.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 13th October 1940
  • Swinderby: 5 HE and 1 incendiary bombs were dropped at the Station at 2014 hours, and one aircraft is reported damaged.
  • Factories
  • The Thames Ammunition Works at Erith was hit by HE bombs at 2130 hours, October 12th, and one workshop building was demolished. The full extent of the damage and the effect upon production are not yet known.
  • The C C Voke factory at Wandsworth suffered a direct hit by HE bombs and is reported to be demolished. The roof spotters warned the staff in time for all to take cover, and only five were injured.
  • A bomb which did not explode fell at the Chrysler Motors Ltd, Kew and a water main in the works was damaged.
  • Railways
  • At 1355 hours the LMS Railway Bridge at Waterson Street, Shoreditch was demolished by HE bombs.
  • At Dalston Western Junction all lines were blocked as a result of HE bombs at 1358 hours.
  • The Metropolitan Railway Station, Praed St, Paddington, was hit by HE bombs at 2333 hours, and many people are feared to be trapped.
  • LNER local traffic at London Fields, Hackney, was stopped owing to HE bombs at 2223 hours, but the fast lines are not affected.
  • Other damage
  • Stoke Newington: A basement shelter under a flat building was hit by a heavy HE bomb at 2130 hours. The building collapsed and buried about 250 people who were sheltering underneath, and it is feared that few will be rescued alive.
  • Middlesborough: 20 houses were demolished and many others damaged by HE bombs at 1935 hours. A number of small fires were quickly dealt with and superficial damage, chiefly glass, occurred at Dorman Long's Britannia works.
  • Sculcoates, Hull: Six HE bombs fell at 2040 hours, causing damage to house property, to the British Gas Co Works and to a railway embankment. The roof and windows of Reckitt and Colman's Factory suffered damage which will interfere with production, but to what extent is not yet know.

Monday 14th
  • Weather: Occasional rain or drizzle spreading to the south-east.
  • Day: Widespread limited attacks.
  • Night: Serious and widespread damage to London. Coventry also damaged.

Summary of action

Enemy activity, which was on a small scale, consisted of scattered raids by individual aircraft and one attack by a formation of 34 bombers in the Portsmouth area. Hostile patrols and reconnaissances were maintained in the Channel and Straits of Dover. Our fighters damaged 3 enemy aircraft, without loss to themselves.

North-East and East

At 1015 hours a raid of 1+ originating from the Dutch Islands flew up the Blackwater and penetrated inland as far as St Albans. A few isolated raids crossed the East Anglian Coast and reconnoitred aerodromes. Between 1500 and 17100 hours three reconnaissance flights were plotted over Kirton-in-Lindsay.

South-East

From 1015 hours onwards small raids crossed the Coast between Selsey Bill and the Thames Estuary and penetrated inland. During the morning some 45 raids were plotted, but after 1300 hours less than 20 raids crossed the Coast. Isolated aircraft penetrated inland as far as London, Hatfield, Aylesbury, Upper Heyford, and in some cases to the South Midlands.

South and South-West

Apart from isolated raids during the morning, the only attack of any strength occurred at 1635 hours when 34 enemy aircraft, identified as Dorniers, flying at 20,000 ft flew to Selsey Bill, where thy split, one formation to the Portsmouth area, and the remainder fanned out over an area about 12 miles inland. By 1645 hours these raids had turned back towards France.

Reconnaissances

At 0645 hours the first reconnaissance flight was plotted in the Straits. Slight activity continued in the Channel, the Straits and the Thames Estuary throughout the day.

Night Operations - 14th / 15th October 1940

Enemy activity was on a reduced scale and was concentrated chiefly on London, but Birmingham and Coventry were also attacked, and a few raids were active over East Anglia. The first raids were plotted leaving the Dutch Islands at 1830 hours, and the Somme at 1850 hours.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

About 27 raids from the Dutch Islands entered the Thames Estuary and crossed the Coast between Shoeburyness and Orfordness. The majority flew over London from the north, but a few appeared to be active over East Anglia. About 40 raids from the direction of the Somme and Fecamp Crossed the Coast between Shoreham and Dungeness and flew to the London area. Raids from the Channel Islands crossed the Coast between Poole and Portland and flew to the Birmingham and Coventry areas. Isolated raids were plotted over Liverpool, Blackburn and Preston.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

About 6 raids came in from the Dutch Islands, but after 2200 hours no fresh raids originated from this area. About 30 raids from the French Coast between Dieppe and the Somme area crossed between Shoreham and Dungeness. London was still the main target, but raids continued to cross between Portland and Poole and fly to Birmingham and Coventry. Slight activity was noticeable in East Anglia.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 15.10.40

Reduced activity from the French Coast continued towards London, and a few raids were still being plotted towards Birmingham. Isolated raids appeared over Peterborough, Wittering and East Anglia.

0100 Hours to 0400 Hours

After 0100 hours incoming raids concentrated on London and the South-East, and from 0230 hours the rest of the Country was clear.

0400 Hours to 0600 Hours

Solitary raids from the French Coast continued to London until 0533 hours, when the Country was clearing of raiders.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 14th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 41
  • Spitfire - 222
  • Hurricane - 391
  • Defiant - 19
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 681

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 13th / 14th October - 19 patrols involving 19 sorties.
  • During the day of 14th October - 81 patrols involving 253 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 90 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 14th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Leconfield is unserviceable at night.

Organisation:

  • 14th October 1940
  • No 232 Squadron (B Flight) moved from Castletown to Skitton.
  • No 3 Squadron moved from Wick to Castletown.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 14th October 1940
  • During the day, small numbers of enemy aircraft operating singly or in small groups, dropped bombs in many scattered regions in Southern England. Apart from an attack on Luton, in which a Hat Factory was damaged, and some damage to residential property at Canterbury and Bournemouth, these raids had little effect, and the enemy did not penetrate to Central London.
  • A full scale attack on the capital was launched after dark, and bombs were falling in most districts including the West End until an early hour on October 15th. Fires were caused by Oil Bombs, and the Railway system again suffered track damage by HE bombs; a factory was gutted and another damaged by fire and an electricity supply failure occurred at Ealing. Most of the damage, however, was of a minor character.
  • Outside London, the attack was concentrated upon Coventry, where damage was done to utility services, and many fires started; vital industrial plant, however, appears to have escaped serious damage. Elsewhere scattered bombing took place in rural districts in South England, but no important targets were hit.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations - 14th October 1940
  • Brize Norton: Was attacked at 1504 hours but damage was confined to out buildings. Seven Service casualties, one serious, were caused.
  • Duxford: Three HE bombs were dropped adjacent to the aerodrome, which was not damaged at 1324 hours.
  • Hawkinge: The aerodrome is reported to have been bombed at 1530 hours but there are no details of damage.
  • St Eval: At 2111 hours, 6 HE bombs and 20 Incendiary bombs were dropped on the Station, but reports of damage are not yet available.
  • Weston-Super-Mare: HE and Incendiary bombs were dropped near the Station at 2120 hours without causing damage.
  • Factories
  • The Gretti and Zambra factory at Barnesbury, N1 was gutted by fire caused by an oil bomb.
  • Rollasons Aircraft Instruments Ltd, Mitcham was severely damaged by HE bombs at 2155 hours; the plant and machinery is involved and production will be suspended for some days.
  • Radio Transmission Equipment Ltd, Wandsworth was set on fire by bombs and the South Wing was damaged.
  • One section of the Siebe Gorman factory, Old Kent Rd, was destroyed by fire, and a fire also occurred at Austins (Metal Refiners) Factory at Hackney.
  • Public Utilities
  • HE bombs fell at the Croydon Gas works at 2115 hours causing one large and two small fires and demolishing one gas holder. The adjacent electricity works was undamaged.
  • The Electricity Distributing Station, Popes Lane, Ealing, was hit by HE bombs at 2100 hours, and part of the switchgear and some transformers were damaged, causing a temporary failure in the electric light supply to the whole of the Ealing area.
  • Railways
  • A HE bomb fell in Balham High Road at 2115 hours and penetrated to the Tube Station below. There are 12 known fatal casualties.
  • At 0139 hours, October 15th, a HE bomb fell at Lismore Circus, St Pancras, through the crown of a tunnel exploding on the LMS line which is blocked.
  • Other damage
  • A serious fire was started at Houndstone Camp near Yeovil by HE and Incendiary Bombs at 1900 hours. Several huts, a garage and part of the YMCA were destroyed. The ammunition store was fired, but all the ammunition was removed safely and no casualties resulted.
  • The attack on Coventry was made by relays of enemy aircraft which dropped HE bombs in the first wave, following up with incendiary and oil bombs. Man fires were started, and direct hits were made on Forde Hospital and a large store with public shelters in the basement. A 24 inch gas main was badly damaged by HE and caught fire; it will be necessary to reduce the pressure considerably which will affect industrial production and civil supplies. Triumph Engineering and Alfred Herbert Factories were amongst those damaged by fire, but the full extent of the damage and the number of casualties is not yet known.

Tuesday 15th
  • Weather: Fair but cloudy in the Straits. Clear, moonlit night.
  • Day: London, the Thames Estuary and Kent all attacked.
  • Night: Unusually heavy attack on London and Birmingham.

Summary of action

During the day the enemy made five fighter sweeps over Kent and Sussex, some aircraft penetrating to Hornchurch and Central London. One formation of fighters flew over the Portsmouth-Southampton area. It is estimated that about 550 enemy aircraft were employed on these sweeps.

Our fighters destroyed 17 enemy aircraft, (plus 5 probable and 10 damaged). While our losses were 15 aircraft and 6 pilots killed or missing.

First Two Attacks

At 0815 hours three raids totalling about 50 aircraft flew in over Dover and Dungeness and penetrated to the Biggin Hill and Kenley areas and then retired. This attack was quickly followed by another of about 30 bomb carrying fighters which attacked targets in East and South London.

Third and Fourth Attack

At 1130 hours two raids, totalling about 60 aircraft, flying North-West from Maidstone reached the Hornchurch area. At the same time two formations of 50 aircraft flew up the Estuary from North Foreland but turned South at Sheppey Island. Shortly afterwards about 120 enemy aircraft crossed the Kentish coast and some of these reached Hornchurch and Gravesend districts before turning back.

Fifth Attack

At about 1550 hours two formations, each of about 60 aircraft, flew in, one up the East of Kent to the Estuary and the other West of Maidstone to East London; between these several smaller raids followed and attacked the railways radiating from Ashford.

Southampton Sweep

Shortly after raids had flown in over Kent, a formation of ME110s heavily escorted by Me109s approached the Isle of Wight at about 1215 hours, and passing over the Western suburbs of Southampton returned to Cherbourg without dropping any bombs.

Reconnaissances

In the morning hostile reconnaissances were reported off East Anglia and in the Bristol and Wet-Super-Mare districts. Later single enemy aircraft reconnoitred in the Channel and Isle of Wight to Portland areas. One hostile reconnaissance was destroyed by fighters near Rochester.

Night Operations - 15th / 16th October 1940

Activity began at 1830 hours when raids were plotted leaving Holland and Dutch Islands, Somme/Fecamp area, Le Havre and Cherbourg. The main attack was delivered on London, but a steady stream of raids was plotted over the Bristol Channel up to the Midlands, where Birmingham appeared to be the principal target.

Raids from Holland and the Dutch Islands approached between Harwich and the Thames Estuary. Many of these appeared to be engaged in minelaying off Clacton and Walton. The remainder crossed the Coast and approached London from the North.

Raids from Cherbourg area to the Midlands crossed the Swanage and Lyme Bay and flew over the Bristol Channel and Western counties to Birmingham, Wolverhampton and Stoke-on-Trent areas.

Isolated raids were plotted over Glasgow and Aberdeen.

After 0200 hours, activity was on a reduced scale, and was mainly concentrated on London.

A Blenheim of No 23 Squadron shot down an He111 near Cuckfield and a Defiant of No 264 Squadron destroyed a Ju88 near North Weald. It is reported, but not yet confirmed that 3 enemy aircraft were shot down by AA guns during the night.

The Country was finally clear of enemy aircraft at 0515 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 15th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 53
  • Spitfire - 208
  • Hurricane - 405
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 692

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 15 Aircraft of which 9 pilots are safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 14th / 15th October - 42 patrols involving 45 sorties.
  • During the day of 15th October - 106 patrols involving 598 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 550 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 15th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 64 Squadron moved from Biggin Hill to Coltishall.
  • No 74 Squadron moved from Coltishall to Biggin Hill.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 15th October 1940
  • Small scale attacks during the day were confined to London and South-East England. Some interference with railway traffic was caused, particularly at Waterloo Station, and damage was done to factories in West Ham and to sheds in the King George V Dock. Towns in Kent and Essex suffered slight damage during the daylight attack but casualties were not numerous.
  • From nightfall onwards London was subjected to a very heavy attack, which appeared to be directed mainly on railway communications and on the City and dockyard area, where several factories suffered damage by fire. Major damage reports have been received from many districts of the Capital, and many other fires were started; it is notable that the enemy has resumed the use of the parachute mine, which has caused considerable devastation and casualties.
  • Outside London the main objective was the Birmingham area, and this attack, which was maintained intermittently for over six hours, resulted in numerous fires, and damage to railway tracks as well as to house property and utility services; industrial damage, however, seems to have been comparatively slight. Bombs also fell in Bristol and Avonmouth, causing damage chiefly to roads and utility mains, as well as in Essex, Kent and Sussex, where no important damage has been done.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Factories
  • At West Ham fires took place at Silvertown Lubricants (40 pumps), Pinchin Johnson Ltd (25 pumps) and Venesta Ltd.
  • At East Ham the despatch department of Burgoyne Burbridges Ltd, Manufacturing Chemists, was damaged, but this will not cause more than one day's delay in production.
  • The Handley-Page Factory at Hendon was slightly damaged by incendiary bombs, but no reduction in output is expected.
  • The Fisher & Ludlow Factory at Birmingham was damaged by HE and incendiary bombs at 2341 hours, but full details are not yet available.
  • Public Utilities
  • At 2050 hours HE bombs caused a fire at an Electric Transformer near Falcon Wood Railway Station, Woolwich.
  • The Southern Railway power station at Wimbledon was hit by HE bombs at 2150 hours, and one chimney stack was brought down.
  • At 2000 hours HE bombs fell adjacent to the South Metropolitan Gas Works at Greenwich, damaging a gas holder. The gas ignited but the fire was out by 2100 hours.
  • Railways and Docks
  • Waterloo Station was attacked twice during the day at 0916 hours and at 2010 hours. Serious track damage resulted from the first attack, and in the second, numbers 3 and 4 platforms were hit, and a train was wrecked. A slight fire took placed in the roof of the Station.
  • HE bombs fell at Queens Park Station, Willesden LMS at 2030 hours. A large crater on the line was made into which an express train from Euston overturned. Three coaches were derailed but only two casualties were caused.
  • HE bombs fell at Chalk Farm and demolished part of the station platforms. The up and down lines were severely damaged.
  • At Hendon, LMS lines were damaged at 2330 hours by HE bombs.
  • At 0130 hours HE bombs fell in the GWR Goods Depot at Lambeth, causing a large fire.
  • The Metropolitan Underground Railway at Whitechapel High Street was penetrated by HE bombs at 2005 hours.
  • Brighton Road Station, Birmingham, LMS and Wylde Green Station were damaged by HE bombs at 2125 hours, and damage to the tracks caused interruption of services.
  • At Victoria Dock, L Warehouse was gutted by fire, and HE bombs fell inside No 2 Shed and on a garage; No 10 Shed, Surrey Commercial Docks was damaged by HE bombs at 2035 hours.
  • Other damage
  • At 1940 hours HE bombs fell on Morley College, Westminster Bridge Road, which is used as a rest centre. 185 people have been rescued, but many are injured, and 90 are still trapped in the debris.
  • A 40 pump fire was in progress at Ranelagh Road, Westminster.
  • Considerable devastation and many casualties were caused by a mine which fell on the Pimlico area at 0215 hours.

Wednesday 16th
  • Weather: Fog widespread in Germany and France. Wet and misty night.
  • Day: Quiet.
  • Night: Limited attack on London by single aircraft.

Summary of action

Enemy activity, which was on a very small scale, was confined almost entirely to sporadic raids by single aircraft, the majority of which operated in the South-East. Several of these raids approached the Inner Artillery Zone but only one is reported to have penetrated to London. An isolated raid was plotted near Arbroath where an attempt to intercept was made without success, and others were plotted in the Liverpool, Swansea, Cardiff and Gloucester areas.

A few reconnaissances were made to the South and South-East Coasts and into the Thames Estuary.

Patrols were maintained in the Channel and Straits and off the Dutch Coast.

Our fighters damaged one enemy aircraft near Ashford. We lost one aircraft, but the pilot is safe.

Night Operations - 16th / 17th October 1940

Enemy activity was on a heavy scale until midnight, after which only a few isolated raids entered the Country. The main attack was directed against London and suburbs, but a small number of early raids visited Wales and the Midlands. A large proportion of raids originated from the direction of Holland.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Raids from the Dutch Coast entered the Estuary and crossed near Harwich, the majority flying due West to approach London from the North. A few spread out North over East Anglia and up to the Wash and Humber areas. Enemy aircraft from the Somme area crossed the Coast near Beachy Head and those from Baie de la Seine crossed near Shoreham, all with London as their objective. A number of raids from Cherbourg crossed near Portland and flew to Bristol, South Wales, Midlands and in a few cases to Liverpool. Two raids were plotted in the neighbourhood of the Orkneys. One enemy aircraft crashed near Bishops Stortford at 1920 hours and another South-West of Denbigh at about 1930 hours. The cause is at present unknown in either case.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

Heavy activity continued, with a large number of raids from the Dutch Coast, crossing between Southwold and the Estuary, most of which flew to London. A few raids appeared to be active over East Anglia, and some were suspected of minelaying off Harwich. Rids from the French Coast crossed between Beachy Head and Dungeness and flew towards London. Some raids were still operating over the Midlands but few fresh incoming raids were plotted in this area. One raid from the direction of Norway or Denmark crossed the Coast South of Leuchars, flew inland to Perth, and after circling recrossed the Coast at Montrose.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 17/10/40

A number of fresh incoming raids decreased considerably. Activity appeared to be confined almost entirely to London and the suburbs, and the majority of raids originated from the direction of Dieppe.

0100 Hours to 0500 Hours

Isolated raids continued to approach London. At 0600 hours three raids were plotted travelling in an Easterly direction from the Inner Artillery Zone the rest of the Country being clear of raids.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 16th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 46
  • Spitfire - 225
  • Hurricane - 421
  • Defiant - 17
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 717

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 1 Hurricane of which the pilot is safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 15th / 16th October - 40 patrols involving 41 sorties.
  • During the day of 16th October - 73 patrols involving 234 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 40 enemy aircraft operated overland during the day of 16th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 16th October 1940
  • Only slight enemy activity was observed during the day and no bombs were dropped in the London area. Slight damage reported in Kent, Midlands & Scotland.
  • After nightfall, attacks on Central London were not of the same intensity of late probably due to adverse weather conditions; however, bombing is reported over a widespread area in the suburbs together with attacks in South Wales, Perth and Birmingham.
  • It is reported that the bombs which fell on the Great Western Railway Goods Depot at Lambeth are of extremely light material with a very high penetrating power. According to pitting of walls and buildings, fragments appear to spread low over the ground as well as up into the air. They appear to be a combination of very high explosives and incendiary bombs of a small type.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 16th October 1940
  • North Weald: At 0300 hours on 16th October, HE, IB and OB were dropped. One UXB necessitates care in landing and one heavy calibre bomb was dropped in the ground of the Cable and Wireless Station to the East of the Aerodrome. No damage to building reported.
  • Ternhill: At 0721 hours on the 16th, 4 HE and 6 IB were dropped., destroying one hangar and slightly damaging two others together with adjacent buildings. Eight Ansons were destroyed and 2 Blenheims and un-named other aircraft damaged. Five casualties resulted, including one civilian who was seriously injured.
  • Attacks were also made on Biggin Hill and Kirkwall. No details to hand.
  • Other damage
  • Dagenham: Fires were reported at Mays & Baker, Ford Motor Works, Briggs Motor Bodies and Pritchard Gold & EPS Company. Effect on production of those companies is not yet known.
  • Owing to interruption of gas supply, production of Non-Ferrous Die Casting Co of North Circular Road is reported to have ceased.
  • The Air Ministry Intelligence at Ritchings Park was severely damaged by a mine and it is reported that another unexploded mine is in the vicinity.
  • An unexploded HE is reported in the Slaughter Houses of Caledonian Market which it is believed will vitally affect distribution of meat in North London.
  • An enemy aircraft machine-gunned the streets of Brockworth (Glos) without effect and it is also reported that a goods train was machine-gunned on two occasions at Yockleton near Shrewsbury.
  • St Pancras: Traffic is at a standstill owing to unexploded mine. Interruptions to traffic are also reported at Crayford, between Orpington and Chelsfield, Sutton and Wimbledon (residents alongside evacuated), Chadwell Heath (LNER Station).
  • An unexploded bomb is reported at Beckton Gas Works, East Ham.

Thursday 17th
  • Weather: Bright intervals with some showers.
  • Day: Fighter-bomber attacks on London and Kent.
  • Night: Raids on London, Liverpool and Birmingham.

Summary of action

During the day the enemy made four fighter sweeps over Kent, some reaching the London district and the Thames Estuary. Approximately 300 fighter aircraft were employed, some of which carried bombs.

Our fighters destroyed four enemy aircraft (plus six probable and five damaged), while our losses were three aircraft and three pilots killed or missing.

First Sweep

At 0820 about 15 aircraft flew over Dover, the Thames Estuary and reached Hornchurch, where they turned South-East and were intercepted without conclusive results by our fighters. At 0900 a second wave of about 60 enemy aircraft North to the Estuary and then home Eastwards, the other penetrated to Central London and then dispersed. Six Squadrons were sent up but did not intercept.

Second Sweep

At 1305 two raids of 50 aircraft in all crossed the coast at Lympne and after passing over Gravesend divided, some retiring South Eastwards, others reached Hornchurch before turning back. Of the seven Squadrons sent up, four sighted the enemy and one intercepted (One Me109 probable).

Third Sweep

At 1510 four raids totalling about 80 enemy aircraft approached East London and the Kenley-Biggin Hill areas. Some of these aircraft penetrated to Central London. Fourteen Squadrons met this attack, six sighted the enemy and four intercepted (four enemy aircraft destroyed, plus four probable and three damaged).

Fourth Sweep

At 1630 about 60 enemy aircraft in three waves approached the Kenley and Biggin areas, and attacked Kenley Aerodrome. Of the five Squadrons sent up, one intercepted (one probable, two damaged).

Reconnaissances

Hostile reconnaissance aircraft were active in the Thames Estuary and the Channel during the day. During the afternoon a number of enemy aircraft reconnoitred and reported shipping off Lands End and in Falmouth Harbour.

Night Operations - 17th / 18th October 1940

The first night raiders were plotted leaving the Dutch Islands and the Somme area at 1825 hours. London was the main objective, but some raids from Cherbourg flew to the Midlands, Birmingham in particular, and later to Liverpool, which received considerable attention. Some minelaying was suspected.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Raids from Holland to the Estuary flew mainly to London, but a few were plotted over East Anglia and up to the Humber. Raids from Somme/Dieppe crossed near Hastings, and raids from Le Havre crossed between Shoreham and Beachy Head, all approaching London. Raids from Cherbourg via Weymouth Bay to Bristol and the Midlands appeared to concentrate on the Birmingham area. Slight minelaying was suspected in the Thames Estuary and off Southwold.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

No fresh raids appeared from Holland, but raids from France, Dieppe in particular, continued to approach London. Raids to Midlands continued North to Liverpool area, where considerable hostile activity was plotted.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 18/10/40

Activity appeared to be slackening, but a few fresh raids appeared from Holland, while of those from France the majority originated from Dieppe. A few raids were returning from the Midlands, but otherwise activity was confined to London and the South-East.

0100 Hours to 0300 Hours

A small number of raids continued to approach London from the Dutch Islands and from France, but the rest of the country was clear.

0300 Hours to 0600 Hours

Solitary raids continued to the London area.

Statistics


Friday 18th
  • Weather: Fog in Straits of Dover and Thames Estuary. Visibility poor.
  • Day: Relatively quiet.
  • Night: Raids on a reduced scale.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a very reduced scale and consisted mainly of reconnaissance flights and raids by single aircraft. Our fighters damaged one enemy aircraft.

At 0645 hours a single aircraft was plotted from Holland to Malden and back to Ostend. At 0730 hours another track was plotted along the coast from Beachy Head to Dover, Rye and Dungeness.

At 0900 hours a convoy off Deal was visited by one enemy aircraft.

At 1025 hours two sections of fighters unsuccessfully attempted to intercept an enemy aircraft which appeared 70 miles East of St Abb's Head and flew on to the Forth Estuary.

At 1049 hours two raids approached Harwich, and at 1134 hours a raid circled the Thames Estuary and another carried out reconnaissances in the Channel.

At 1330 and 1700 hours single enemy aircraft crossed the coast and were active over London and East Anglia.

At 1627 hours one aircraft, crossing the coast at St Albans Head flew over Wincanton and Gillingham and back over the same course.

At 1700 hours one raid came in at Southwold, to stay for a short period, and another entered at Dungeness and flew to Kenley and Northolt and out at Pevensey at 1825 hours. Two further raids came inland and out again at Brighton and Pevensey respectively and at 1733 hours a raid flew in at Selsey and out over the Isle of Wight.

Night Operations - 18th/19th October 1940

Activity commenced at 1830 hours when the first raids were plotted leaving France.

1900 Hours to 2000 Hours

28 raids were plotted from the Somme to Pevensey, seven from Baie de La Seine to Shoreham, twenty-five from Cherbourg to Poole and sixteen from Holland to Harwich. The Cherbourg raiders proceeded to Bristol, Liverpool and Birmingham areas in approximately equal numbers, the remainder of the raiders from France flying to the London area. Some of those from Holland came inland to London, but about eight remained in the Estuary presumably minelaying.

2000 Hours to 2100 Hours

Activity during this period was somewhat reduced, six raids entering from the Somme over Pevensey to London, four from Cherbourg over Poole to Bristol, two from Holland to East Anglia and three from Baie de la Seine to the Southampton district.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

A steady stream of raids was maintained during this period, eight crossing the coast from France between Selsey and Beachy Head, fifteen between Beachy Head and Dungeness, while thirty entered the Estuary from Holland. These raids confined their activity almost entirely to London, Kent and Essex with occasional tracks to Buckinghamshire and East Anglia.

2300 Hours to 0100 Hours 19/10/40

During this period activity gradually declined, only eight incoming tracks being plotted, all to the London area, Liverpool, the Midlands and the West Country were by now completely clear of enemy raiders.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

By 0100 hours no hostile raids were left over this country, until 0355 hours when six aircraft from Holland at various intervals visited London. The country was again clear at 0550 hours but a further raid was plotted leaving Holland.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 18th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 43
  • Spitfire - 218
  • Hurricane - 408
  • Defiant - 16
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 692

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 17th / 18th October - 9 patrols involving 9 sorties.
  • During the day of 18th October - 36 patrols involving 135 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 40 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 18th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Sherburn and Leconfield unserviceable by night.
  • Caistor unserviceable by day and night.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 18th October 1940
  • A small number of enemy aircraft operating during the day dropped a few bombs in Kent, Surrey and London where damage was of a minor character and casualties low.
  • Night activity directed against London was on a far smaller scale than recently. Liverpool and particularly Birmingham were subjected to raids, the latter receiving considerable damage.
  • Information is to hand of a new type of bomb which is of considerable interest. It appears that eight HE are strung together by wire and dropped by parachute, the material of which is non-inflammable. A wire trailing behind exploding the first bomb when contact is made with an object. The explosive force from this drives the parachute up again and the procedure is repeated as each bomb explodes.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 18th October 1940
  • Hatfield: Attacked at 2330 hours on the 16th. Three mushroom craters and one unexploded bomb across centre of Aerodrome. There was slight damage to a wing of one aircraft.
  • Heston: Attacked at 1950 hours on the 17th. One long-range Spitfire was completely destroyed by bomb.
  • Wembley: Attacked at 2130 hours on the 17th. The Drawing Office was wrecked, windows blown in and structure cracked.
  • North Weald: Bombs were dropped at 0330 hours on the 18th. These dropped outside the perimeter causing no damage.
  • Null Head (Orkneys): Sixteen bombs were dropped near Station and seven unexploded bombs are reported on Shapinsay causing, as yet, no damage.
  • Hooton Park: It has been reported that heavy bombing occurred at 2100 hours on the 18th. No damage reported.
  • Other damage
  • Birmingham: Raids commenced at 2008 hours on the 18th. And the Aston and Bordesley areas appear to have been the principal targets. Considerable damage was done to property including Verity's Ltd, Wood Carving Co, LMS Goods Yard and Windsor Street Gas Works. At 2100 hours several fires were observed in the centre of the City, which include the GPO Corporation Bus Depot, Birmingham School of Art, 2 timber yards at Aston, 2 paper factories and several other buildings. However, it is reported that all fires are well in hand.
  • Lambeth: The Rose and Crown Public House was completely demolished at 2025 hours by a direct hit. So far casualties are 2 dead, 6 injured with a further 40 trapped, for whom little hope of survival can be entertained.
  • Harrow: It is reported that at 2200 hours a bomb dropped near the corner of the Air Ministry Unit annexe on the main road. Four airmen were killed and their bodies taken to Harrow Weald Mortuary. Telephones are out of action but Operations are safe and an emergency line from main shelter is in order. The gas main is broken but no serious damage is reported to main buildings.
  • Northwood: It is reported that a few bombs fell in the vicinity of Coastal Command Headquarters at about 2125 hours, 18th October.
  • Streatham: At approximately 2135 hours on the 17th a direct hit was registered on the fire station. Two heavy appliances were wrecked. Twelve fatal AFS casualties together with eight injured.
  • Enemy Shelling
  • Dover: Between 1137 and 1311 hours on the 18th, ten shells fell in the Dover area, of which only two exploded on land. Slight damage was caused to dye works and it is reported that there were three minor casualties.

Saturday 19th
  • Weather: Cloudy in Channel, mist in northern France clearing later.
  • Day: Isolated patrols and reconnaissance.
  • Night: Raids on London, Liverpool, the Midlands and Bristol.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a reduced scale, being limited to one attack by fighters on London and reconnaissance activity off the South and East Coasts, a few of which penetrated inland. Our fighters destroyed two aircraft (plus one damaged) and we lost two aircraft and one pilot missing.

Attack on London

At 1430 hours, two enemy raids totalling abut 60 aircraft flew over Dungeness and Maidstone and into the Inner Artillery Zone, some penetrating to Central London, with plots also at Biggin Hill and near Hornchurch. The raids are reported to have been composed of fighters, some carrying bombs. They turned about and returned to France on a reciprocal course, the country being again clear at 1510 hours. Five Squadrons were despatched to meet this attack; three reported having sighted the enemy. Our losses were two aircraft and one pilot missing.

Reconnaissances

East: In the morning several reconnaissances were plotted off East Anglia and one flew across Suffolk to Coventry area. A section of fighters sighted this aircraft, but it escaped in cloud.

South East: During the morning reconnaissances were plotted at intervals in the Straits, a few penetrating inland, and one Ju88 was destroyed near Maidstone. After the attack on London reported above patrols in the Straits were particularly active.

South and West: A few reconnaissances appeared between Cherbourg and the Isle of Wight, one of which was damaged by fighters. Slight activity continued, and late in the afternoon a Ju88 was destroyed near Falmouth.

Night Operations - 19th/20th October 1940

Activity commenced at dusk and for the first four hours was abnormally heavy, then continuing on a large but more usual scale. The main attacks were against the London area, but Liverpool, Manchester and Coventry districts received considerable attention.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Hostile raiders were extremely active, 14 from Le Havre, 33 from Dieppe, 20 from Belgium, 14 from Holland, and 18 from Baie de la Seine concentrating on London and its suburbs during this period. In addition, at least 10 raids from Cherbourg penetrated to Liverpool and Manchester, Birmingham and Coventry, with plots also showing over Bristol and South Wales. Three raids from Holland also visited North Eastern areas.

2100 Hours to 2200 Hours

17 raids from France over Kent and Sussex, and 23 from Holland and Belgium via the Thames Estuary, concentrating on London, with a few raids in East Anglia. Seven further raids from Cherbourg flew to the Coventry and Liverpool areas, with plots as far North as Barrow, and at Bradford.

2100 Hours to 2300 Hours

A few additional raids entered from Cherbourg, the Midlands and Lancashire, 12 from France and 9 from Holland to London, and six from Holland to East Anglia and Lincolnshire.

2300 Hours to 0200 Hours 20/10/40

During this period no fresh raids were plotted to the Midlands, all new activity concentrating on London and East Anglia. About 40 raids were plotted, 26 from France and 14 from Holland. From considerable initial volume numbers gradually decreased and at 0100 only three fresh incoming raids were plotted. The South-East gradually cleared and at 0200 hours all hostile aircraft were leaving.

0200 Hours to 0600 Hours

Activity was resumed at 0220 hours, single enemy aircraft alternating from the Somme and Belgium every twenty minutes. Those from Belgium flying by the Estuary, over London, and to the Somme, those from the Somme reversing the procedure. This well organised activity continued steadily until 0550 hours, when the country was reported clear.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 19th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 47
  • Spitfire - 233
  • Hurricane - 412
  • Defiant - 22
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 721

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Two aircraft. One pilot missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 18th / 19th October - 2 patrols involving 2 sorties.
  • During the day of 19th October - 63 patrols involving 286 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 230 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 19th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 19th October 1940
  • There has been little enemy air activity during the day except for one ineffective attack on London. A number of houses were damaged in Coventry and the By Pass Road machine-gunned. There are only minor incidents to report in Essex, Surrey and Kent.
  • As soon as darkness fell, a particularly vicious attack was launched against London and surrounding suburbs. Railway communications appeared to be the main objective and considerable damage was done. The Dockyards were attacked by damage was not as great as at first thought, owing to a large number of bombs falling either on empty sheds or on warehouses already destroyed. There were numerous fires But all are now under control.
  • In the Midlands attacks were concentrated on Coventry. Districts in and around Liverpool & Birkenhead were also attacked but on the whole damage to factories and residential quarters was not as great as at first feared.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 19th October 1940
  • Hatfield: attacked at 2210 hours on the 17th. Four incendiary bombs which dropped on the Aerodrome were immediately extinguished.
  • Kidbrooke: Attacked at 0030 hours on the 18th and slight structural damage was caused but no casualties.
  • Heston: Attacked with HE and IB at 2155 hours on the 19th and these bombs fell on the Airport Field. All fires are extinguished.
  • Bombs were dropped in the vicinity of Pembrey and Luton.
  • Other damage
  • Coventry: At 1205 hours on the 19th a single enemy aircraft dropped 10 HE in the Coundon and Keresley District. Gas mains and 27 houses were damaged but no casualties are reported. The Coventry By Pass was machine gunned presumably by the same machine. After dark, attacks caused considerable damage and people have been evacuated in Built-up areas owing to the presence of approximately 40 unexploded bombs. The centre of the town was not affected and business premises and shops have not suffered greatly in consequence. Reports of slight damage appear to have been sustained by Dunlop's and the Riley Motor Co and Armstrong Siddeley, Parkside received a direct hit on the Surgery but it is also reported that there are two unexploded bombs located outside the works.
  • A fire was reported at the Humber Works but it appears that there was a great deal of smoke and with no apparent flame. However, there are twelve pumps in attendance.
  • Margate: Eighteen HE were dropped in the Central District at 1145 hours on the 19th. Four houses and two workshops were demolished. Fourteen houses and water mains badly damaged. A few casualties are reported.
  • Southwark: The South Eastern Post Office was damaged. The loading bank and sorting rooms on the first and second floors in Swan street were mostly affected. It is reported that the ordinary mail was damaged but registered mail is intact.
  • Acton: The Dubilier Condenser Co was badly damaged. The Electrolytic Condenser shop was completely wrecked by a direct hit. The spray shop, impregnation shop and other departments were less severely damaged. No casualties reported.
  • Stepney: At 2125 hours on the 19th HE partially demolished 'D' Block of the Mile End Hospital.
  • Railways
  • Euston Station: Damage by fire was caused to Large Hall on the Station and bombs fell on Nos 2 and 3 roads. Coaches were derailed but some electric services are available.
  • Hampstead Heath Station: A direct hit was obtained on the station which is strewn over the tracks blocking all lines.
  • Wimbledon: Bombs fell near Durnsford Power Station and 30 casualties have been reported, some of which may be trapped in passenger train.
  • Poplar: A direct hit was registered on the District railway at Foot Bridge.
  • Deptford: Bombs fell through SR Arch at Filwood Street causing major damage.
  • Brentford: HE fell on the SR track south of Chiswick Station.
  • Woolwich: Wellhall Station damaged by fire.
  • Sundry Damage
  • Two coaches overturned blocking all tracks between Richmond and North Sheen.
  • Lines blocked between Kentish Town Junction and Canonbury Station.
  • The Southern Railway arch at Windmill Walk damaged.
  • GWR bridge adjacent to Central London Railway Bridge reported to be unsafe.
  • No damage was caused when eight IB fell on Lordship Lane SR Station and permanent way.
  • Docks
  • London Dock: Bombs fell on the Western end of Denmark Shed and No 9 Warehouse. The bridge between No 9 Warehouse and 'F' Warehouse collapsed in Nightingale Lane. Fires are under control.
  • St Leonards Wharf: It is reported that owing to damage to Olisal Oil tank, oil is running into the roadway and entering sewers.
  • Royal Albert Dock: No 17 Shed (empty) was partially demolished.
  • Surrey Commercial Dock: HE dropped in the ruins of Nos 2 and 15 Warehouses and also in water of Greenland Dock and South Dock.
  • Bombs were also dropped in St Catherines, King George V No 12 Shed, Lavender Yard and Downing Wharf.
  • Fires
  • Reports of a 20 pump fire at Smeed Road, Bow.
  • Reports of a 50 pump fire at Goswell Road, Clerkenwell.
  • Reports of a 30 pump fire at Gas Works, Poplar.
  • Reports of a 20 pump fire at Hopton Street, Southwark.
  • Reports of a 20 pump fire at Medical College, Charterhouse Square.
  • Reports of a 20 pump fire at College Hall, St Bartholomew's Hospital.
  • It is now reported that all these fires are all either out or well under control.

Sunday 20th
  • Weather: Mainly cloudy in most districts.
  • Day: Fighter-bomber raids on London and the south-east.
  • Night: Heavy attacks on London and industrial targets in the Midlands

Summary of action

There were five main attacks during the day, all in South East England, with some penetration to London. The bulk, if not all, of the enemy aircraft engaged would appear to have been fighters and fighter-bombers.

Patrols were maintained in the Channel and Straits, and several reconnaissance flights were made.

Reports so far received indicate that our fighters destroyed seven enemy aircraft, plus five probable and six damaged. Our casualties were three aircraft (pilots safe).

Main Attacks

At 0935 hours, a raid of 20+ aircraft from Cap Gris Nez flew over Biggin Hill and Kenley to Central London and Harrow, and out again over Dover at 1035 hours. Eight Squadrons were despatched to intercept.

At 1100 hours, 50+ aircraft crossed the coast at Folkestone, flew to Maidstone and Biggin Hill and out again on a reciprocal course at 1140 hours. At the same time 30+ flew in at Lympne, on to Biggin Hill and Croydon and out again over the South Eastern route. Again eight Squadrons took off to intercept.

At 1315 hours, raids totalling 45+ aircraft came in at Dover and flew across Kent to South London. The raids split into two parts, one from South of Hornchurch going out by the Estuary and North Foreland, and the other over Kent and Dungeness, at 1350 hours.

While the latter attack was in progress further enemy aircraft were massing in the Straits, and at 1420 hours a wave of 50+ made landfall at Dover and headed for Maidstone and South East London. The attack was split up, part flying from Biggin Hill and out at Dungeness at 1450 hours, the remainder veering to Hornchurch and out by the Thames Estuary at 1445 hours.

A second wave of 40+ at 1430 hours flew behind the North Foreland into the Estuary, but did not penetrate inland and left by the same route at 1440 hours.

At 1500 hours, a raid plotted as 50+ came in near Dungeness and fanned out over Kent and the Estuary in five sections, the last finally leaving the country at 1600 hours.

Patrols

Patrols were plotted in the Channel and the Straits of Dover from 0730 hours to 0900 hours. Between 0910 and 1029 hours three small groups crossed the coast, two at Dungeness and one at Folkestone, but penetrated only a few miles inland. At 1100 hours, 6+ enemy aircraft flew in at Hastings and out at Dungeness and 3+ flew parallel with the coast from Beachy Head to Shoreham. From 1145 hours, when shipping off Dover was visited, Channel patrols were almost continuously maintained until 1730 hours.

Reconnaissances

At 0630 hours a single enemy aircraft from Le Havre flew North over the Isle of Wight, Bristol and onwards over Sealand and out into the Irish Sea. It made landfall again at Kendal turned South over Lancashire and Shrewsbury and back to Le Havre. During the morning reconnaissances were made in the North Sea to a point 60 miles East of Spurn Head. During the afternoon a single raider was plotted from 100 miles East of the Firth of Forth over the Coast into West Perthshire and out over Kinnairds Head. This aircraft is reported to have attacked one of our trainers south of Wick. Enemy reconnaissance aircraft were also active off East Anglia, Portland and the Dutch coast.

Night Operations - 20th/21st October 1940

The first enemy night raiders were plotted leaving France at 1830 hours. The main concentrations were on London and the Midlands, notably the Birmingham District. Activity was heavy, and steadily maintained until about 0100 hours, when the numbers engaged against London began to diminish rapidly. Minelayers were active off East Anglia, and from the Humber to the Tees. It is reported that by 0300 hours AA had accounted for one enemy destroyed plus two probable; additionally one Do17 was destroyed near Shaftesbury, cause unknown.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

The first raiders from France crossed the coast at about 1900 hours, and those from Holland at 1918 hours. During the period 45 enemy aircraft crossed the South Coast and eleven flew to the Essex Coast, of which only two appeared to penetrate inland. The majority of raids from the South went to the London area, a few, however, passing West of London to the Northampton/Bedford area. Seen raids had Birmingham and Derby as their objective. Minelayers were very active from Shoeburyness to the Tees.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 21/10/40

Raids from the South Coast continued, 30 flying to the London area and Northern environs, and approximately a further 30 to the Midlands, with special concentrations on Birmingham, Coventry and neighbouring towns. Between 2350 and 0100 hours about 25 raids crossed the Essex Coast and also appeared to go to North London. Minelaying enemy aircraft continued active as before.

0100 Hours to 0300 Hours

Activity over London was slight, and by 0245 hours no new incoming tracks to the Inner Artillery Zone were showing. The stream to the Midlands continued unabated, with special concentration on Birmingham and Coventry. Individual raids were also plotted in the Catterick, Peterborough, Manchester and Cambridge Districts. It is noted that raids to the Midlands flew in due North, between Portland and Selsey Bill, but many return flights were on a more easterly course, over London and Beachy Head.

0300 Hours to 0600 Hours

The London area was practically clear throughout this period. Activity in the Midlands continued on a gradually lessening scale until 0530 hours, when the last raider left. In addition to Wolverhampton and Coventry, some activity was plotted over Manchester, Merseyside, Sheffield, Nottingham and Leicester.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 20th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 44
  • Spitfire - 226
  • Hurricane - 411
  • Defiant - 20
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 708

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Three aircraft. Pilots safe.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 19th / 20th October - 15 patrols involving 18 aircraft.
  • During the day of 20th October - 87 patrols involving 457 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 300 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 20th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Air Intelligence Reports:

  • Italy: Indications that Italian aircraft now in Belgium may soon operate over South East England. Types include BR20 bombers, G50 Fighters and CR42 fighters. Small number of Cant Z1007 long range bombers also believed to be in Belgium.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 20th October 1940
  • During the day, bombs were again dropped in the London area but only a few casualties occurred, and property, mostly private, was little damaged. A number of incidents are reported in Surrey, Sussex, Essex and Kent, and although widespread, did not on the whole cause much damage.
  • Eastbourne & Hove were machine-gunned by an enemy aircraft.
  • As is now customary, London was attacked as soon as darkness fell and the surrounding suburbs were again bombed indiscriminately but not so heavily as on the previous night. Several districts in the Midlands were attacked and Coventry was again the primary objective.
  • Dover was shelled during the day and considering the number of shells fired the results were mediocre.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 20th October 1940
  • Lindholme: It is reported that at 0015 hours on the 21st a magnetic mine was discovered on the Aerodrome preventing five aircraft of No 50 Squadron taking off.
  • Other damage
  • Coventry: Severe raids commenced at 2252 hours on the 20th and were at least as heavy as the night of 19th/20th. A number of fires were caused and considerable damage done. Rescue parties are being heavily tested as several people are known to be trapped.
  • Damage is reported at Singer Motors, Armstrong Siddeley Mechanisation & Aero Ltd, Motor Fittings (Gosford Street), Alfred Herbert's and Coventry Transport Depot. A slight fire is reported at Courtaulds but a severe fire is still raging at the Ordnance Works together with another of major character at Gosford Green, LMS Railway Wharf. An infants' school containing a Warden's Post was badly damaged and over the whole area casualties so far are reported as 20 dead, 78 injured with at least 15 trapped.
  • Birmingham: Raids commenced at 2230 hours and have been on a small scale. Erdington Institution, where children evacuated from London are installed, was hit and of the 20 casualties it is reported that no children are injured.
  • Wanstead: Two HE fell on the Royal Wanstead School which is occupied by the Military. One fell near the Officers' Mess causing only minor injuries to men. The other fell on the quarters occupied by other ranks of the Royal Corps of Signals resulting in five dead and a number of wounded.
  • Eastbourne: An enemy aircraft cruising over the town about midnight machine-gunned the town and dropped one incendiary bomb - one AFS mar was wounded. About the same time, Hove was also machine-gunned with negligible results.
  • Railways
  • London
  • Addison Road: Three craters on GWR track dislocating four running roads. Booking hall, parcels office and other buildings damaged.
  • Willesden: permanent way of Metropolitan Railway blocked by debris and power cable displaced near Neasden Station.
  • Brentford: Track and station at Turnham Green damaged. Bridge over Turnham Green Terrace partially collapsed blocking road.
  • Enfield: HE on tracks at Painters Lane - train service suspended.
  • Lambeth: Bridge and track damaged on the St Paul's to Herne Hill line.
  • Sundry Damage
  • Upminster Electric Railway blocked.
  • Brentwood Station unserviceable.
  • HE on SR just South of Morden Tube Station.
  • Unexploded bomb near signal box of Uxbridge Road Station.
  • Country
  • Damage to up-line between Tadworth tunnel and Kingswood Station.
  • HE on track near Barracks. Up and down line between Maidstone and Rochester blocked.
  • Debris on track between West Hallam Station and Morley Tunnel (Derby).
  • Enemy Shelling
  • Of 51 shells which fell in the Dover area between 1108 and 1310 on the 20th only 15 exploded on land. One shell hit a garage adjoining an auxiliary fire station and damaged a 5,000 gallon dam. One man is reported killed and two seriously injured.
  • It is also reported that at 1805 hours shells fell, without causing any damage, at St Margarets.

Monday 21st
  • Weather: Mainly cloudy with fog and intermittent rain. Poor visibility.
  • Day: Sporadic raids on London, Liverpool and the West Country.
  • Night: London, Wolverhampton, Coventry, Birmingham and Liverpool bombed.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a small scale. During the morning and early afternoon a series of raids, mostly of single aircraft, approached the London area. A few raids were also plotted to the Midlands and Liverpool. Many of our aerodromes were unserviceable early owing to weather conditions, but fighters were able to take off from Kenley, Biggin Hill, Tangmere and Speke after 1100 hours. Low clouds made interception difficult.

Our fighters destroyed one enemy, plus three damaged. Harwich AA destroyed one. We suffered no loss.

South East

From 0700 to 1100 hours about eight single aircraft entered the triangle North Foreland - Hornchurch - Beachy Head, the majority flying to the Estuary. One crossed South and West London.

Between 1100 and 1400 hours activity increased, approximately 60 raiders flying from between Calais and Le Havre northwards to London, a few continuing on to Bedford, Northampton, Duxford and Cambridge.

After 1500 hours activity decreased and only a few raids were plotted in the Straits. Two flew to the Kenley-Biggin Hill districts.

South and West

In the morning two raids entered the Liverpool area, one of which flew on to Blackburn and returned over Derby. Several single aircraft entered the Midlands.

In the afternoon one enemy aircraft flew over Portsmouth to Gloucester then turned South and was destroyed near Old Sarum.

Later on occasional raid was plotted in the Bristol Channel-South Wales area.

Night Operations - 21st/22nd October 1940

Activity on a considerable scale was concentrated on London, the Midlands and Liverpool areas. Irregularity of communications between some stations affected the reports of plottings over the eastern part of the South Coast after 2230 hours.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

The first raiders crossed the coast at about 1900 hours, and during this period 39 left Dieppe, 8 Baie de la Seine and 5 Cherbourg. Approximately half of these flew to London, 14 to Birmingham, Coventry and Wolverhampton, and the remainder to Liverpool and South Wales area.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 22/10/40

12 raids from Cherbourg concentrated on the industrial Midlands and Liverpool until 2300 hours, when activity to these areas appeared to cease. 16 raids were plotted from France, and 25 from Holland, via the Estuary, to London; approximately 6 raids from Denmark flew in over Yorkshire (one visiting Sheffield) and on to the Preston and Barrow areas.

0100 Hours to 0300 Hours

There were no raids in the midlands and fog restricted activity in the South East. 18 raids from Holland flew to the Thames, some proceeding to London, others probably minelaying. Three raids were plotted from Denmark to Yorkshire, on to Preston and Barrow, and back.

0300 Hours to 0600 Hours

All incoming raids ceased at 0300 hours and London was clear after 0400 hours, but at 0410 hours, 6 raiders flew from Brittany over Devon, Somerset and the Bristol Channel to Cardiff and Swansea, returning at 0545 hours. Two reconnaissance flights were plotted from Ostend to Harwich and back between 0430 and 0600 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 21st October 1940

  • Blenheim - 32
  • Spitfire - 227
  • Hurricane - 410
  • Defiant - 13
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 689

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 20th / 21st October - 12 patrols involving 13 aircraft.
  • During the day of 21st October - 113 patrols involving 262 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 80 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 21st October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Air Intelligence Reports:

  • A correspondent from America writes: "I met an American oil chemist who had been employed in Germany by a German oil firm for 14 years. He had just come back because all 12 plants of this firm had been put out of existence by the RAF and there is nothing for him to do."

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 21st October 1940
  • During the day considerable activity by single aircraft and small formations was noticeable over widespread areas. London boroughs were bombed, resulting in a few casualties and damage to property. Incidents were reported in the following counties: Lancashire, Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, Oxfordshire, Sussex and Kent. Chief objectives were aerodromes, but it was also noticeable that the enemy indulged in a certain amount of promiscuous machine-gunning without any apparent damage or casualties.
  • The night attack on London was not so intense as of late, but the attack on Coventry was very severe and fires and damage were extensive. Elsewhere, enemy activity was on a small scale.
  • Dover was again shelled during the day.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 21st October 1940
  • Hornchurch: attacked at 2330 hours on the 20th. 2 HE fell near a hangar and on landing ground and further bombs fell in the vicinity. Very slight damage and no casualties.
  • Docking: At 2030 hours on the 20th a land mine was dropped near the flare path, and has since been successfully destroyed. Aerodrome serviceable.
  • Catterick: HE bombs and hundreds of IB reported South of the Aerodrome on the night of 20th/21st.
  • Manston: At 1040 hours on the 20th 3 bombs were dropped near the Aerodrome buildings. One Hampden was slightly damaged by splinters, and one Lysander is unserviceable but damage not yet ascertained.
  • Heyford: bombs are reported to have fallen on the Aerodrome at 1240 hours on the 21st but there are no details.
  • Old Sarum: An enemy aircraft machine-gunned the aerodrome at 1340 hours on the 21st. No damage reported, but one airman slightly injured.
  • Attacks on Hendon and North Weald are reported, but no details available. An unexploded parachute mine lies approximately half a mile from the RAF Experimental Station at Old Shotton.
  • Elsewhere
  • Coventry: The attack commenced at 1945 hours on the 21st and appears to be quite as severe as last night. Dicken Leather Works, GEC Stores, Morris Bodies, and Cheylesmore Schools are all gutted. There are other fires at Courtaulds, Riley's and shops in the centre of the town. However, these are under control. The Staff Canteen at Alfred Herberts is completely wrecked, and hits have been registered on the Gaumont Cinema, King's Head Hotel, and the London Road institution, causing 41 casualties and 23 trapped. It is reported that BTH Company will be completely out of action for three days, owing to unexploded bomb and failure of gas and electric supply. Damage to Armstrong Siddeley was extensive and production delayed considerably. The Aero Finished Stores, Tool Stores and Office and Canteen are gutted; the water tower is down and the main fractured. There are 22 minor roads blocked in the district and many houses have been demolished, rendering 4-500 persons homeless.
  • Weymouth: Bombs were dropped near the railway station at 1215 hours on the 21st. South National Bus Depot was partially demolished and a number of buses damaged. Four HE were also dropped in Portland Harbour.
  • Hull: At 0140 hours on the 22nd 2 parachute mines caused extensive damage, but no particulars available.
  • Southwark: A bomb hit the edge of an underground shelter in the New Kent Road, where 26 people were sheltering. Of this number 3 dead have been brought out.
  • St Pancras: A heavy HE making a crater of 40 feet in diameter, fell at the junction of Eversholt Street and Phoenix Road. A large water main was fractured allowing the water to enter the Northern Line railway tube 50 feet below. A 36" gas main is on fire but under control.
  • Machine Gun Attacks
  • At 0800 hours - area round Bala Junction.
  • At 1100 hours - An Open Air School at Blackburn.
  • At 1130 hours - workers in field at Iden.
  • At 1345 hours - A convoy on the Tillshead to Lavington Road.
  • No casualties - No damage.
  • Enemy Shelling
  • Dover was shelled between 1403 and 1557 hours; Six shells falling in all, inflicting no casualties nor damage.

Tuesday 22nd
  • Weather: Widespread fog in the south, clearing to rain later.
  • Day: Quiet morning and afternoon.
  • Night: London, Coventry and Liverpool attacked.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was confined principally to limited coastal reconnaissances in the forenoon, with slightly increased activity later in the day, due to better weather conditions. It culminated in two fighter sweeps, one over Kent and the other toward South-East London and the Estuary.

Inter-communication irregularities, referred to in yesterday's report, continued to affect the reports of plottings over the eastern half of the South Coast. Our fighters destroyed three enemy fighters, plus one damaged. We lost six aircraft but only four pilots.

Main Attacks

At 1425 hours a formation of 30 enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Dungeness and flew towards Redhill and Kenley, where it circled. Three other raids totalling 40 remained in the Straits: of these 9 aircraft eventually flew to North Foreland and Hornchurch passing over two convoys. Both formations turned South and the area was clear by 1520 hours.

At 1615 hours one raid of 18 aircraft again made a landfall at Dungeness while 4 other raids amounting to 60+ aircraft remained in mid-Channel. Those crossing the coast pursued a course for Hornchurch finally turning South to Biggin Hill, re-crossing the Coast at about 1655 hours.

Eight fighter squadrons were despatched to meet these attacks.

Reconnaissances

North East and East Coast

Reconnaissances by single aircraft were made in the morning off Berwick and the Wash, the latter flying inland towards Wittering.

South East Coast

Up to 1230 hours some 30 tracks were plotted round North Foreland to Beachy Head. In one case a Dornier flew low inland and over Manston.

Interceptions were much hampered owing to fog and low cloud. Enemy patrols continued in the afternoon, two penetrating inland, one towards Redhill and one towards Northolt.

Between 1700 and 1730 hours considerable activity developed in the Straits by patrols of from 2 to 6 aircraft but no attack or penetration inland was made.

South and West Coasts

A few raids were tracked off the South Coast, while others were plotted off Lands End and Cardigan Bay. Single aircraft also appeared in the North West and in the Midlands.

Night Operations - 22nd/23rd October 1940

Raids were on a very much reduced scale. London and the Home Counties, the Midlands, Liverpool and South Wales were attacked.

1830 Hours to 2100 Hours

The first enemy aircraft crossed the coast at 1830 hours, and 40 raiders were tracked in up to 1900 hours, coming from France and Holland; thereafter activity slackened. It was noted that several enemy aircraft turned back before reaching the coast. The majority concentrated on London, and the Birmingham-Coventry area; a few raids penetrated to the Liverpool, Bristol and South Wales areas. One attacked a convoy in the Thames Estuary. By the end of the period there were very few new tracks entering the country.

2100 Hours to 2330 Hours

Activity continued on a small scale. 11 raids from France and seven from the Scheldt were plotted to London and the environs, one to Bicester and one to Amersham. Three raids visited Liverpool, six were in the Birmingham area, and three in South Wales. At 2330 hours the country was clear of enemy aircraft.

2330 Hours to 0600 Hours 23/10/40

At 0038 hours one enemy aircraft left the Scheldt and flew to the Thames Estuary and London, leaving at 0125 hours.

There was no further activity until 0515 hours, when two raids from Brittany flew to South Wales, and one was plotted over Devon at 0550 hours. These were still in progress at 0600 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 22nd October 1940

  • Blenheim - 40
  • Spitfire - 234
  • Hurricane - 402
  • Defiant - 19
  • Gladiator - 7
  • Total - 702

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 6 aircraft with 4 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 21st / 22nd October - 24 patrols involving 24 aircraft.
  • During the day of 22nd October - 70 patrols involving 360 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 70 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 22nd October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Luton, Gatwick, Debden and Biggin Hill unserviceable owing to fog.

Organisation:

  • No 242 Squadron moved from Coltishall to Duxford.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 22nd October 1940
  • During daylight several small scale bombing attacks were reported in Devon, Sussex, Surrey and Kent. No bombs fell in London.
  • After dark the enemy considered London of secondary importance, and launched their main attacks against the Midlands causing considerable damage in Coventry. There were also some minor incidents reported in Essex.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 22nd October 1940
  • Brockworth: Bombs were dropped at 1435 hours on the 21st. One oil bomb fell on the roof of a tool shed and 3 HE fell on the airfield doing no damage. Casualties reported are 2 killed and 32 injured. It is now reported that at 1645 hours on the 16th an enemy aircraft dropped bombs and machine-gunned balloon sites. No Home Office warning was received.
  • Coventry: 2 IB were dropped at 1941 hours on the 21st causing no damage.
  • Stapleford: One 750lb bomb was dropped at 2030 hours on the 21st. It fell inside the perimeter 100yds from Southern boundary, causing no damage to aircraft or personnel.
  • Cranfield: An enemy aircraft attacked the Aerodrome at 0001 hours on the 22nd but was driven off by Lewis gun fire.
  • Elsewhere
  • Coventry: Raids commenced at 1958 hours and ceased at 2155 hours causing widespread fires and considerable damage. Fires are reported at Cornercroft Ltd, Armstrong Siddeley, Morris Bodies, Smith Molesworth, Coventry Brace Co, Rotherham's Ltd, GEC, LMS Goods Yard, shops and residential property. St Mary's Hall, the Queen's Hotel, and a Public Shelter were hit by HE and a number of people trapped, but all have since been extricated alive. The spare parts department of the Daimler Works was hit, and an unexploded bomb is also suspected. A further unexploded bomb was removed from Riley's and full production resumed. The situation is well in hand and all fires (150) were brought under control by 2200 hours. It is reported that during this raid about two hundred persons have been rendered homeless.
  • Birmingham: A few HE were dropped in the City and suburbs at 2100 hours, causing fires and slight damage.
  • Eastbourne: One HE and 10 anti-personnel bombs were dropped at 1025 hours, causing 18 casualties of which 2 were fatal. Five houses were demolished and other extensive damage to property caused.
  • Folkestone: Attacks were delivered at 1152 hours, 1330 hours and 1616 hours. There were a few casualties, and the gas and water mains were damaged.
  • Hull: The 2 parachute mines dropped last night exploded with characteristic results. 10 houses were seriously damaged, 400 damaged in one way and another, and 70 persons injured.
  • Windsor Castle: At 1920 hours on the 22nd one oil bomb and a suspected unexploded bomb fell in the grounds 300yds South of the Castle, near Frogmore House. No damage and no casualties.
  • Seal: At 1500 hours on the 22nd an officer was attempting to remove the fuse from an unexploded bomb which fell about three weeks ago, when it exploded, and no trace of him has since been found.
  • The following roads are now open:
  • Chelsea Embankment.
  • Gunnersbury Avenue.
  • Cheapside.
  • Baker Street, at York Street.
  • Whitechapel High Street.
  • Watford By-pass.
  • Enemy Shelling
  • Between 0750 and 0904 hours Dover was again shelled. Two shells fell on the land and one in the sea. Thirty houses were slightly damaged and four persons slightly injured. Road A259 to Folkestone is partially blocked but is reported to be available for single line traffic.

Wednesday 23rd
  • Weather: Low cloud and drizzle. Visibility poor.
  • Day: Mainly reconnaissance.
  • Night: Attacks on London and Glasgow. Minelaying off the Yorkshire coast.

Summary of action

Enemy activity was on a small scale, no raids being reported between 0600 and 1200 hours. All those plotted during the day, except one, appear to have been made by single aircraft. Our fighters damaged one enemy aircraft, but themselves suffered no loss.

Reconnaissances

South East

At 1240 hours an aircraft from Calais flew from Dover to Dungeness and Hastings, where it turned North and crossed the Inner Artillery Zone. This aircraft is reported to have attacked the Stanmore before returning across the IAZ and going across Kent. At 1245 a reconnaissance was flown off the North Foreland.

At 1323 hours a raid from Holland came into the Estuary over a convoy off Clacton, circled Harwich for ten minutes and returned to the Scheldt; this was followed at 1331 hours by another from Holland into the Estuary, over two convoys North West of Herne Bay and then to South East London and back to the Scheldt.

Between 1424 and 1522 hours a reconnaissance was made from the South of Orfordness to Luton, North of North Weald and Clacton.

At 1522 hours an unidentified aircraft crossed the coast between Southwold and Orfordness and flew to Peterborough, Grantham, Wittering, Duxford and Bury St Edmunds and faded North of Martlesham.

At 1547 hours a raid flew into the Estuary as far as Hornchurch.

At 1610 hours an aircraft from the Scheldt flew over a convoy in the Estuary and then via the Blackwater to Hornchurch, Gravesend and Rochester and back to Holland.

Between 1630 and 1700 hours two aircraft crossed the coast at Beachy Head but did not penetrate far inland. At 1700 hours an unidentified aircraft was off Southwold and a single enemy aircraft entered the Estuary and flew to Hornchurch, round the London area and out over Sheppey.

Between 1700 and 1800 hours a reconnaissance was made from the Dutch Coast to the Mouth of the Estuary.

South and West

At 1210 hours a single enemy crossed the coast near St Alban's Head, passed near Swindon and turned South to the Isle of Wight and Le Havre.

Between 1359 and 1440 hours a raid from the East of Cherbourg passed between two convoys off Portsmouth but did not cross the coast.

At 1536 hours a reconnaissance from the Caen areas flew over Portsmouth and Southampton.

Night Operations - 23rd/24th October 1940

1800 Hours to 2100 Hours

The first aircraft engaged on night operations was plotted leaving the Abbeville area at 1807 hours and between that time and 2100 hours activity developed on a moderate scale only, 10 tracks being plotted from the Dutch Islands via the Estuary to London, and 17 from the Somme area towards the same objective. At 2100 hours there was only one raid inland, flying East down the Estuary.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 24/10/40

Although slight activity was continued towards London, mainly from Eastern points, throughout this period, about 12 enemy aircraft began to penetrate the Yorkshire Coast from the East. These held their course until they reached the Western seaboard and were tracked a short distance out to sea off the Lancashire Coast. It is conjectured that these aircraft were minelaying as their speeds varied between 150 and 180 mph only. The majority returned on reciprocal courses, while other tracks returned on reciprocal courses, while other tracks indicated probable minelaying off the Lincolnshire and Yorkshire coasts. A few enemy aircraft may also have been minelaying in the Estuary.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

A series of 13 raids approached Montrose at 0150 hours, continuing West and returning reciprocally. South England was clear by 0152 hours, but new waves appeared from Dieppe at 0440 hours, and from Holland at 0500 hours heading for London. These raids were still in progress at 0600 hours.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 23rnd October 1940

  • Blenheim - 47
  • Spitfire - 225
  • Hurricane - 412
  • Defiant - 26
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 718

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 22nd / 23rd October - 9 patrols involving 11 aircraft.
  • During the day of 23rd October - 32 patrols involving 79 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 35 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 23rd October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 85 Squadron is now at Kirton-in-Lindsey.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 23rd October 1940
  • During the day enemy aircraft activity was on a very small scale and was confined to a few isolated raids by single aircraft.
  • Night activity commences at 1830 hours and was much less severe than for some long time. London appearing to be the main objective.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 23rd October 1940
  • Kemble: An attack was made at 2100 hours but there was only negligible damage to one hangar.
  • Fires - Nights of 22nd/23rd and 23rd/24th October 1940
  • The number of fires reported during the last two nights in the London Region showed a considerable decrease and only one incident was serious, namely a 30 pump fire which was started at Messrs Whiteleys on the night of 22nd/23rd but was under control soon after midnight.
  • A fire occurred at the saw mills belonging to Messrs Jones and Co Larbert, Stirlingshire, on the same night, causing damage estimated at £20,000 and production is reduced by 80 per cent.
  • Elsewhere
  • St Pancras: An attack was made at 1847 hours on the 23rd of October, causing considerable damage, including a large crater on the London main line, 2 holes through a bridge; also property and rolling stock suffered severely.
  • National Gallery: A delayed action bomb exploded at 1340 hours, causing extensive structural damage.
  • King George V Dock: An attack was made at about midnight and Shed No 14 was hit but details of damage are not yet available.

Thursday 24th
  • Weather: Overcast and hazy in the Channel, clearing to a starlit night.
  • Day: Very quiet.
  • Night: Raids on London and Birmingham.

Summary of action

During the morning, enemy activity was slight being limited to a few reconnaissances; later in the day reconnaissance activity was on a somewhat increased scale.

Our fighters destroyed two enemy aircraft (plus two damaged). Our casualties were nil.

East

At about 1100 hours, one enemy aircraft flew West over Southwold and penetrated to within 20 miles of Coventry before turning back. This aircraft was intercepted and destroyed near St Neots.

South East

Between 0700 and 1100 hours, five single aircraft were plotted in the Channel, one in the Estuary and one flew from Deal to Kenley, Farnborough, Middle Wallop and Southampton. Later a few aircraft penetrated to the Maidstone areas, two to Kenley and Northolt and one to Debden and Duxford. During the morning, a Do17 was destroyed between Dover and Ostend and a Me109 damaged near Ashford.

South and West

In the morning, one enemy aircraft reconnoitred the coast from Portland to Beachy Head and one was reported in Cardigan Bay. In the afternoon, single aircraft flew inland to Taunton and Weston-Super-Mare, one to Guildford and one from Portsmouth to Northolt, Reading and Leighton Buzzard.

Night Operations - 24th/25th October 1940

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Enemy aircraft began to appear from the Dutch Islands, from the Somme area and from Cherbourg at about 1900 hours, the majority flying towards London and the remainder - about six tracks - towards St Alban's Head. London and Birmingham appeared to be the main objectives, but activity towards the former was not on a large scale, many aircraft apparently turning away after reaching the outer suburbs. One raid was plotted in the Liverpool area.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 25/10/40

The moderate intensity of the raids on London appeared to diminish at the commencement of this period, and up to 2330 hours had been maintained only by isolated aircraft. Raids continued to be plotted towards Birmingham via Bristol, but this attack had ceased by 2200 hours.

It is reported but not confirmed that an enemy aircraft was shot down near Oxford at about 2110 hours.

At about 2330 hours, a repetition of last night's activity from the Yorkshire Coast to Liverpool Bay was apparent, though on a smaller scale, the aircraft again returning on Easterly courses. Other enemy aircraft were plotted from a South Easterly direction towards the Clyde.

Minelaying was probable in the Estuary and between the Wash and the Firth of Forth.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

By 0100 hours, the Southern half of the country was clear of enemy aircraft, while in the Northern half only isolated raids were plotted, mostly returning from Liverpool. At 0130 hours however, a single enemy aircraft approached London via the Estuary and penetrated to South West of Northolt.

Minelaying was again apparently extensive, chiefly in the Estuary, off the Essex Coast and between Scarborough and the Tyne.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 24th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 38
  • Spitfire - 229
  • Hurricane - 420
  • Defiant - 12
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 707

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 23rd / 24th October - 11 patrols involving 11 aircraft.
  • During the day of 24th October - 119 patrols involving 463 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 30 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 24th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Skitten is unserviceable by night.

Organisation:

  • No 232 Squadron moved from Castletown to Drem.
  • No 312 (Czech) Squadron is now operational.

Air Intelligence:

  • The following extract from correspondence is of interest:
  • "The RAF seem to be shaking up Berlin. We heard today that the Berlin underground has stopped running because the power station has 'gone west'".
  • From Hamburg on 11 September 1940

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 24th October 1940
  • During the day enemy aircraft activity was again on a small scale and was principally carried out by single aircraft.
  • At night, activity commenced at about 1920 hours and was not severe with the exception of Birmingham which received the main force of the attack. Elsewhere, including London, bombing was of a minor nature.
  • Detailed Summary
  • Elsewhere
  • Birmingham: At 1953 hours an attack commenced during which many HE and incendiary bombs were dropped causing 90 fires, some of which were serious.
  • New Street Station suffered considerable damage, fires breaking out on five platforms. Damage included a passenger train, 3 signal boxes, loaded parcel vans, and the roof of the station was badly affected.
  • Bombs are also reported to have been dropped on the following buildings:
  • Snowhill Station.
  • Dunlop Rubber Co's Works.
  • Frankenburg's.
  • Lawrence Bros.
  • Cinema.
  • Woolworth' in New Street.
  • Casualties so far reported amount to 5 dead and 28 injured.
  • Hayes: Bombs were dropped at 1434 hours and a serious fire was started at the works of the Fairey Aviation Co, where the main store was damaged. There were five casualties and production is expected to be temporarily affected.
  • Basingstoke: At 1445 hours an attack was made during which several HE bombs were dropped causing considerable damage to house property.
  • It is reported by the Bomb Disposal Officer that one bomb was of a new type weighing 2 tons.

Friday 25th
  • Weather: Fair but overcast.
  • Day: Fighter-bomber raids on Kent and London.
  • Night: Italian Air Force carries out an attack on Harwich.

Summary of action

Considerably greater activity took place than of late. Reconnaissances were made from the Orkneys Southwards to the Estuary, thence along the South Coast to Lands End.

Four enemy fighter sweeps were made in Kent and these developed towards London. During the day's operations 14 enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus 12 probable and 16 damaged). Our losses amounted to 10 aircraft and 3 pilots.

Main Attacks

First Attack 0845 Hours

50 enemy aircraft crossed the coast at Dungeness and flying towards Maidstone and Biggin Hill split into five sections. A sweep followed over South East London to Kenley. While this attack was in progress two other formations flew inland - one of 12 aircraft at Dungeness and the other of 40 aircraft at Hastings. At 0920 hours, the raids, increasing to 65 aircraft concentrated towards Biggin Hill but a split of some 20 aircraft flew to Central London. At 0930 hours, these enemy aircraft had turned South but at 0925 hours, two further raids numbering 90+ aircraft were plotted in at Dungeness. The leading raid of 50 aircraft flew towards Biggin Hill and penetrated to Central London at 0955 hours. The second formation of 40 aircraft remained in the Maidstone area. By 1010 hours, the attacks had spent themselves. During the period, patrols estimated at 100 aircraft were maintained in the Channel.

Second Attack 1154 Hours

Enemy aircraft numbering 100 crossed the coast near Dover at 20,000 feet and flew on a Westerly course past Maidstone. The formation split into many small sections and covered the South East from Hornchurch to South of Biggin Hill. By 1215 hours, the attack had become still further split up and spread from Gravesend to Hastings. Three Squadrons from 12 Group which we in the air at Duxford were sent to the Maidstone patrol line.

Third Attack 1305 Hours

50 enemy aircraft flew inland at Dungeness followed by 20 others. A split remained near Dover while the main body flew to Central London at 1330 hours splitting into small formations en route. The IAZ was clear at 1345 hours.

Fourth Attack 1515 Hours

Enemy aircraft which had been massing from 1440 hours and flying in gradually extended circles, flew inland following the usual route. Of the 60 aircraft, 30 penetrated Central London. While this attack was in progress two formations - each of 20 aircraft - crossed the coast at Beachy Head and flew in, turned near Kenley and spread out over an area between Tangmere and Maidstone. The enemy aircraft were returning to France in small sections by 1540 hours.

Reconnaissance

At about 0800 hours patrols were active in the Channel and Estuary.

Between 1040 and 1200 hours, these had increased in the South Eastern area and had extended to flights off the Cornish Coast. Central London was reconnoitred twice by single aircraft.

At 1400 hours further reconnaissances were being made over Lands End, one was made over Pembrey and three plottings were recorded in the Orkneys.

At 1600 hours hostile reconnaissances were again reported over the Orkneys, South of Inverness, off Aberdeen and over East Anglia with continuous activity around Lands End.

Attack on Shipping

At 1740 hours some 20 enemy aircraft in two formations were in the vicinity of a convoy off North Foreland and at 1744 hours the convoy was attacked. In response to a 'help' message, four Squadrons were despatched but no interception appears to have been made.

Night Operations - 25th/26th October 1940

1800 Hours to 2100 Hours

The attack on London commenced at about 1830 hours from the mouth of the Scheldt and from Dieppe in moderate strength, while at the same time a minor attack was carried out in the Montrose area. Raids also appeared from Cherbourg flying Northwards. 33 were tracked over the coast between Selsey and Portland, 22 of which continued to Birmingham and the Midlands and 11 to Pembroke, Cardiff and Liverpool.

Meanwhile, 45 raids approached London from the East and South and the attack was sustained, although in gradually diminishing strength, throughout the period.

Minelaying was also probably carried out between the Firth of Forth and Aberdeen, in the Estuary and off Liverpool.

During the period, it is reported that an enemy aircraft was shot down by an aircraft of No 219 Squadron off Seaford.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 26/10/40

Enemy aircraft continued to penetrate to the Midlands and to a lesser extent to Liverpool, and in the former area the attack was maintained until about 2300 hours, while in the latter area, it had ceased by about 2230 hours. The attack on London was maintained spasmodically, never completely ceasing but reviving towards the end of the period when enemy aircraft were also plotted flying West of London in a North Westerly direction towards Slough and returning on reciprocal tracks. About the same time tracks were followed across Yorkshire Westwards to the coast of Lancashire, probably indicating further minelaying in that area.

0100 Hours to 0400 Hours

Apart from a continuance of 'nuisance' raids on London, the main feature of this period was an extension during the entire period of minelaying activity which appears to have extended from the North Foreland to Aberdeen.

A few of the London raids went far beyond their objective, one penetrating to Wittering and another to Middle Wallop before returning.

0400 Hours to 0600 Hours

At the commencement of this period, activity to London had practically ceased but a succession of raids approached the Aberdeenshire coast at heights between 5000 and 12000 feet. The majority of these having penetrated some short distance inland, it is possible that an attack was made on the area. At 0600 hours, single raiders were still flying towards London at lengthy intervals.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 25th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 38
  • Spitfire - 232
  • Hurricane - 413
  • Defiant - 12
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 703

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 10 aircraft with 3 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 24th / 25th October - 33 patrols involving 33 aircraft.
  • During the day of 25th October - 131 patrols involving 775 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 440 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 25th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Caistor is serviceable by day and night.

Organisation:

  • No 601 Squadron moved from Warmwell to Exeter.
  • No 56 Squadron moved from Exeter to Boscombe Down.
  • No 229 Squadron moved from Northolt to Heath Row.
  • No 29 Squadron moved from Digby to Wittering (1 Flight) and Ternhill (1 Flight).
  • No 607 Squadron moved from Montrose to Turnhouse.
  • No 804 Squadron moved from Hatton to Skeabrae.
  • No 422 Squadron is at Tangmere.
  • No 611 Squadron is at Ternhill.
  • No 600 Squadron moved from Redhill to Acklington (1 Flight) and Catterick (1 Flight).
  • No 87 Squadron moved from Colerne to Exeter (1 Flight) and Bibury (1 Flight).
  • No 232 Squadron (consisting of 1 Flight) is now operational.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 25th October 1940
  • During the day enemy aircraft activity was on a larger scale than during the last few days and was almost continuous, most of the effort being centred on London and the Home Counties.
  • At night - activity recommenced at about 1830 hours, when London and Birmingham again appeared to be the main targets, but South Wales and the Midlands as far north as Liverpool were also visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 24th October 1940
  • Tholthorpe: A few incendiary bombs were dropped at 2000 hours but no damage is reported.
  • RAF Stations 25th October 1940
  • Montrose: At about 1920 hours an attack was made causing a fire and considerable damage to one hangar, the Officers' Mess and certain electrical equipment. The casualties are reported to be 6 killed and several injured.
  • Cardington: HE and incendiary bombs were dropped at about 2000 hours but so far no further details are available.
  • Arbroath: This aerodrome received two very low attacks and it was suspected that two unexploded time bombs were dropped. Details of damage and casualties, if any, are not so far available.
  • Birmingham
  • A raid started at 2000 hours, the districts of Deritend, Highgate and Balsall Heath being chiefly affected but bombs were also dropped over a wide area.
  • A large number of incendiary bombs were used causing about 100 fires, the largest of which was in the Balsall Heath area where a number of small factories were set alight.
  • The following key points are reported to have suffered damage:
  • Fisher Ludlow.
  • Deritend Stamping Co.
  • United Wireworks.
  • Birmingham Batteries and Metal Corporation.
  • Windsor Street Gas Works.
  • Forwerd Radiator Co.
  • Many gas and water mains were damaged, and at Bordesley this is reported to have flooded the Great Western Railway and the lines are said to be unusable.
  • House property and the Municipal Bank suffered damage, but details of the extent of this are not yet known.
  • The casualties so far reported are 22 persons killed and 39 injured, but these figures should be treated as preliminary and with reserve.
  • Battersea
  • An unexploded bomb was dropped on Dorman Long's yard at 0930 hours on 25th October, causing delay to important Government work.
  • Westminster
  • The Air Provost Marshal's department was hit by an HE bomb at 1330 hours, killing four RAF personnel and injuring eight.

 


Saturday 26th
  • Weather: Cloudy with local showers chiefly in the north and east.
  • Day: Fighter-bomber raids on London and Kent.
  • Night: Raids on London, the Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool.

25th/26th October 1940

It is confirmed that an aircraft of No 219 Squadron destroyed an enemy aircraft off Seaford at 1910 hours on 25th October.

26th October 1940

Summary of action

Enemy activity during the day appears to have consisted chiefly of raids by small formations of Me109s on the South Eastern areas. On only one occasion - in the morning - were the raids sufficiently close together to constitute a major attack and few enemy aircraft penetrated to Central London.

There was some enemy activity in the straits of Dover and the Channel, extending as far West as Poole.

In the morning, shipping in the Estuary and in the Channel appears to have been visited.

Reports so far received indicate that our fighters destroyed 4 enemy aircraft, plus 4 probable and 8 damaged. Our casualties were 2 aircraft and pilots.

Main Attack

At 1136 hours, formations varying in size from 3+ to 30+ and totalling 80+ aircraft, crossed from the Gris Nez and Boulogne areas to Lympne. Some of these did not penetrate far inland, whilst others flew to Tonbridge and some on to London.

Small Attacks and Reconnaissance

South East and the Channel

Between 0600 and 0658 hours, the night raids on London continued. Between 0600 and 0820 hours, many single aircraft were active in the Straits of Dover and a section was despatched to intercept one of them believed to be reconnoitring a convoy.

Between 0700 and 0800 hours, one enemy aircraft reconnoitred from Selsey to Northolt, Newmarket, Bristol, Christchurch and the Needles.

At 0915 hours, 15+ aircraft visited a convoy in the Estuary.

At 0945 hours, a raid of 6+ aircraft from Gris Nez crossed the Coast at Lympne and penetrated about 30 miles into Kent.

At 1127 hours, a raid from Dieppe went in and out again almost immediately at Rye, and another raid - later shown as 15 aircraft - flew to London.

At 1245 hours, 1+ enemy aircraft came in near Tangmere, going North West and 12 unidentified aircraft were plotted from Eastbourne to Biggin Hill.

Between 1300 and 1700 hours, 12 small raids crossed at various points on the Sussex and Kent Coasts. Penetration behind Brighton, Beachy Head and Dungeness was shallow but some raids went to Guildford, Kenley, Sheppey, the Estuary and Essex. One of these small raids is reported to have attacked Ventnor.

Between 1741 and 1808 hours, a single aircraft from the Somme area patrolled off Beachy Head, and between 1743 and 1835 hours, another reconnoitred from mid-Channel to Beachy Head.

South and South West

At 1045 hours, a reconnaissance was made from the Bristol Channel South to St Eval and out by the South Coast. One to six enemy aircraft were plotted between Poole and the Straits of Dover. Several tracks were plotted off Start Point and a number off the Coast of Cornwall.

East

During the afternoon, two reconnaissances were flown along the coast of East Anglia to the Mouth of the Humber and back over the Thames Estuary.

At 1713 hours, a Dornier which went inland North of Lowestoft flew to Martlesham and then back up the Coast, going out North of Orfordness. It passed over a convoy and made towards Dunkirk.

At 1748 hours, a single aircraft appeared 50 miles East of Mablethorpe, patrolled to about 50 miles Eat of the Coast and faded off Flamborough Head at 1850 hours. It is possible that this aircraft was looking for out outgoing bombers.

At 1757 hours, an aircraft approached the Firth of Forth from a point 50 miles East of St Abb's Head and was lost off Fifeness. It reappeared at 1848 hours going South East and two sections of fighters were sent up.

At 1745 hours, an unidentified aircraft - later reported as two enemy aircraft - attacked the RAF Station at Lossiemouth and a site at Wick. One of these aircraft crashed on the aerodrome at Lossiemouth and exploded.

Night Operations - 26th/27th October 1940

There has been little variation from the usual procedure, the main attacks being directed against London, the Midlands and Liverpool. The attack was moderately heavy during the earlier part of the night, but later, only London was kept on the 'Alert' by a succession of single aircraft.

1800 Hours to 2100 Hours

Operations commenced at 1806 hours with raids plotted from points on the French Coast and from the Scheldt at 1815 hours. Early phases showed the greatest intensity and 95 raids were plotted entering the Country towards London, the majority reaching the Capital. Several others fanned out towards Bedford, Northampton and two to Chesterfield.

Between 1800 and 1900 hours, 18 raids crossed the South Coast in the Swanage area and these - with some entering at Shoreham - went to Bristol, the Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool. One raid was tracked from the Tay to Glasgow and Eastwards via Firth of Forth. Minelayers were probably operating off the Essex Coast.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 27/10/40

There was a gradual decrease of effort against London, until by 0100 hours it had developed into a 'Nuisance' attack. The attack on the Midlands had ceased by 2330 hours. Enemy minelayers again crossed the Yorkshire to the Lancashire Coast, returning on same courses. Other minelaying activity was apparent from Flamborough Head to Firth of Forth and in the Estuary. A more unusual feature was the plotting of eight raids from Denmark at about 2345 hours. These approached within 50 miles of Scarborough, maintaining this distance from the Coast while flying North to Firth of Forth before returning to Denmark. 13 Group report (unconfirmed) that an enemy aircraft exploded off the Tees Mouth at 0011 hours.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

The attack on London was maintained by small numbers of enemy aircraft in relays during this period and there was probable minelaying on a small scale in the Estuary.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 26th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 46
  • Spitfire - 216
  • Hurricane - 405
  • Defiant - 10
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 685

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 2 aircraft with both pilots missing.

Addendum:

  • Since the above was written, it has been reported that another Me109 was damaged and that we have lost an additional fighter but the pilot is safe. The total of Me109s damaged is, therefore, 8 and our total losses are 3 aircraft of which two pilots are missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 25th / 26th October - 54 patrols involving 54 aircraft.
  • During the day of 26th October - 134 patrols involving 678 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 200 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 26th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 26th October 1940
  • During the day enemy aircraft again made continuous attacks on this country, London and South East England being the objectives.
  • Night activity commenced at about 1800 hours, the Capital again receiving most attention, and Birmingham suffered its third night in succession of heavy attack.
  • The Bristol Channel area and the Midlands as far North as Liverpool and Manchester were also visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 25th October 1940
  • Kidbrooke: An attack was made at 0912 hours, but the damage was negligible.
  • Montrose: With further reference to the attack reported yesterday, further information to hand shows that 6 HE and many incendiary bombs were dropped causing the following damage:-
  • 33% of Officers' sleeping quarters destroyed.
  • 12 airmen's huts damaged.
  • Flying training school damaged.
  • Sick quarters damaged.
  • Night flying store burnt out.
  • Small arms store damaged but equipment saved.
  • 2 hangars badly damaged.
  • 6 Master aircraft destroyed.
  • 7 Master aircraft damaged.
  • 1 Oxford aircraft destroyed.
  • 3 Oxford aircraft damaged.
  • 1 Blenheim aircraft destroyed.
  • RAF Stations 26th October 1940
  • Cardington: Incendiary bombs were dropped at (illegible) hours.
  • Wick: At 1800 hours 5 HE bombs were dropped, 2 falling on the Aerodrome and 3 nearby demolishing several houses and causing 15 civilian casualties, 3 of which were killed. The attack was made by two He111s flying very low and flashing correct recognition signals. One hangar was hit and a Hudson aircraft burnt out, two others being damaged, and another hangar was also damaged.
  • Lossiemouth: The Aerodrome was attacked at 1830 hours by two enemy aircraft approaching from the sea at 100 feet and a third from the West of the Aerodrome. Bombs were dropped on the edge of the landing ground and one Blenheim was burnt out, two others being damaged. One He111 crashed, and it is believed that this was due to the explosion of its own bombs. The casualties reported are 2 dead and 12 wounded.
  • Boscombe Down: Bombs were dropped near the Aerodrome at 0425 hours.
  • Birmingham
  • For the third night in succession the city was attacked commencing in this case at 2010 hours. A large number of heavy calibre HE and many incendiary bombs were dropped. Widespread fires were started, four of which were major, but most of these were under control by about 0300/27.
  • Bombing was mainly directed against the centre of the city, where large blocks of offices and commercial buildings were hit. In addition the Midland Homeopathic Hospital had to be evacuated.
  • The New Street (LMS) Station is closed to all traffic owing to HE on No 1 platform.
  • A fire was started on top of the GPO in Paradise Street.
  • Casualties so far reported total 50 dead and 200 injured, but these will probably be exceeded.
  • The factories of Stratton & Co Ltd and Bulpitt and Son were gutted.
  • London
  • The following were the major incidents in or near London:
  • Oil
  • Anglo American Oil co at Silvertown. 1 large tank smashed and pipes damaged.
  • Fire caused the loss of 5 Diesel oil tanks containing 180 tons each at Leatherhead.
  • Railways
  • Communications were attacked, the four most outstanding features being:
  • Line from Chorley Wood to Chalfont blocked.
  • Line from Leatherhead to Bookham closed.
  • Line from Eat Dulwich to Herne Hill torn up.
  • Lines from Dagenham to Barking blown out.
  • Fires
  • The major fire was started at Saffron Hill, Clerkenwell, necessitating the employment of 50 pumps.
  • Chelsea
  • The Royal Hospital suffered a direct hit but there were no casualties.
  • Brentford
  • The Sperry Gyro Co was damaged but from information so far received there is reason to believe that production will not be affected.

Sunday 27th
  • Weather: Cloudy all day except for brighter weather in the late morning.
  • Day: Mainly fighter and fighter-bomber sweeps.
  • Night: Widespread raids with London the main target.

Summary of action

During the day, the enemy made four attacks in South East England and in the afternoon, one attack in the Portsmouth/Southampton area.

Enemy formations were almost entirely composed of fighters, but in some cases a few bombers were observed.

Our fighters destroyed 8 enemy aircraft, plus 7 probable and 9 damaged; and our losses were 9 aircraft and 5 pilots.

First Attack

Between 0740 and 0900 hours, three waves, totalling about 60 aircraft, flew in t the Kenley and Biggin Hill areas, and about 10 enemy aircraft reached Central London. 14 Squadrons were sent up and 6 Me109s were destroyed. At 1020 hours, about 10 enemy aircraft flew 10 miles inland from Beachy Head but then turned back.

Second Attack

At 1125 hours, 60 enemy aircraft in three formations crossed the Coast to the Dartford and Biggin Hill districts. 12 Squadrons were sent up, of which 7 sighted the enemy.

Third Attack

At 1320 hours, one raid of 14 aircraft approached Faversham from Dungeness and then turned East; simultaneously another raid of 20 aircraft reached the Central London area and a secondary wave turned back over Ashford.

Fourth Attack

At 1615 hours, a raid of 60 aircraft came in over the North Foreland. Some remained in East Kent, but the majority crossed the Estuary to the Martlesham and Harwich areas, and Martlesham was attacked. 5 Squadrons were detailed to this raid.

At the same time, 55 aircraft flew in over Dungeness to Biggin Hill and 7 Squadrons were sent up to this raid. There were no interceptions.

Southampton Attack

Concurrent with the fourth attack above, about 50 fighters and a few Ju88s flew from Cherbourg towards Southampton. 10 Squadrons were sent up and the main raid was turned back near the Coast, a few only penetrating to Southampton/Portsmouth area. Our fighters destroyed one Ju88, plus one probable.

Night Operations - 27th/28th October 1940

Night operations were mainly on lines similar to those of last night but at slightly reduced strength. An extensive dusk attack on aerodromes and a widening of the areas covered by enemy aircraft were unusual features.

1800 Hours to 2100 Hours

As a preliminary to night operations, a dusk attack was launched against aerodromes in East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. By the time the first of the night raiders appeared off the French Coast (1840 hours), those attacks had ceased.

The main objectives were again London, the Midlands and Liverpool. By 2100 hours, 52 raids had flown towards London and 8 had crossed the Coast en route to Liverpool or the Midlands.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 28/10/40

During the early part of this period, the attack on London was maintained at fair strength but later became sporadic, assuming the single 'relay' character. These enemy aircraft operated mainly from Le Havre, Somme and the Dutch Islands.

The attacks on Coventry and Liverpool increased in strength and over the former were still being plotted at 010 hours, although they had ceased over the latter about midnight. A marked feature was wide dispersal of raiders, practically all districts South of a line Barrow to Middlesborough being visited at some time during the period. The route Selsey - Oxford - Midlands, with fanning out both East and West, seemed particularly favoured.

It has been confirmed that AA guns shot down an He111 near Coltishall at 1810 hours, and a Ju88 South East of Malton at about the same time. Tees guns also claim a victim destroyed at 0300 hours, but this is not yet confirmed.

Minelaying activity was fairly continuous throughout his period, extending from the Estuary to the Firth of Forth, and being more intense in the Forth to Hartlepool area.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

Activity was very slight and confined to a few straggling raids in various parts of the Country, one or two being maintained in the London area, probably with the object of maintaining the 'Alert'.

Minelaying was carried out in the Thames Estuary and off Harwich.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 27th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 46
  • Spitfire - 215
  • Hurricane - 393
  • Defiant - 15
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 677

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 9 aircraft with 5 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 26th / 27th October - 40 patrols involving 40 aircraft.
  • During the day of 27th October - 166 patrols involving 967 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 500 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 27th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 27th October 1940
  • During the day, enemy aircraft activity was centred over London, Kent, and Sussex and Portsmouth was attacked in the late afternoon.
  • The commencement of night activity was at 1800 hours when the South East and East Coast aerodromes were attacked. Later London, Bristol Channel area and the Midlands as far North as Liverpool were visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 25th October 1940
  • The enemy's main objective appeared to be RAF Stations, attacks being made on no less than 16 of these.
  • Heston: At 0320 hours, an attack was made but so far no details of damage are available.
  • Catfoss: A machine-gun attack was carried out by the enemy at 1815 hours but no damage resulted.
  • Lindholme: At 1732 hours, a Heinkel 111 made a low-flying attack and dropped 6 HE light bombs scoring two direct hits, one on the sick quarters and the other on the Barrack Block, causing 8 casualties; and there were 8 small craters made on the North West side of the aerodrome.
  • Leconfield: At dusk, and He111 flying at 4,000 feet dropped bombs, one of which made the RT Station unserviceable for a short period, and caused damage, the extent of which is at present unknown, to five aircraft.
  • Coltishall: At 1745 hours, an attack was made by a Do17 at 5,000 feet and a further low-flying He111, which machine-gunned the aerodrome, causing very little damage and no casualties. A second attack took place at 1810 hours by high-flying aircraft, which dropped bombs but caused no damage, but No 3 Post was dive machine-gunned by a Me109 from 100 feet.
  • Feltwell: At 1815 hours, bombs were dropped causing a small fire which was quickly extinguished, and some structural damage to buildings, a Maintenance Hangar and the Water main. Dispersed aircraft were machine-gunned.
  • Dishforth: Nine bombs were dropped at 1806 hours, causing damage to married quarters and 8 casualties.
  • Mildenhall: At 1805 hours, bombs were dropped causing damage to the Men's Mess, two Barrack Blocks and one Hangar. There were 4 casualties 2 proving to be fatal.
  • Newmarket: Bombs were dropped at 1758 hours, when the Power house was damaged but power is still available, and 7 craters were made on the edge of the aerodrome.
  • Horsham St Faith: At 1758 hours, an attack was made by a Do17 which it is believed acted as decoy as five minutes later another enemy aircraft approached flying at about 150 feet. Bombs estimated to be 50 Kilo type were dropped causing slight damage to a hangar and 8 small craters.
  • Hawkinge: At 1715 hours, the aerodrome was bombed by some Me109s, four bombs dropping inside the boundary of the aerodrome, causing little damage, except to the old Officer's Mess, and two more bombs were dropped outside the perimeter.
  • Honington: Between 1810 and 1830 hours, three or possibly more Do17 aircraft dropped 36 HE bombs. Three aircraft were damaged and one destroyed, one hangar set on fire, and there was damage caused to other buildings throughout the Camp but it is believed that this damage is not extensive. The landing ground is unfit until daylight inspection has been carried out.
  • Caistor: A He 111 made a machine-gun attack down to 100 feet firing tracer bullets, but no damage was done and there were no casualties.
  • Kirton in Lindsey: At 1800 hours, and He111 approached the aerodrome and came down to 2,500 feet and carried out a machine-gun attack before dropping two bombs which exploded on the roof of No 1 Hangar. A further three bombs were dropped on the South West building and four buildings under construction, one of which was a new explosive store. The aerodrome is serviceable and fully operational by day and night.
  • Martlesham: Nine Me109s dive-bombed the aerodrome at 1642 hours. Between 9 and 12 - 50 Kilo bombs were dropped and three delayed action bombs are reported on the East side of the aerodrome. The only damage is one workshop, and the aerodrome is serviceable during daylight on the West side.
  • North Weald: HE bombs were dropped 0735 hours, the only damage was slight to property.
  • Night of 27th/28th October 1940
  • Coventry
  • The raid lasted from 2023 to 2130 hours and during this period 75 fires were started, but these were all under control by 2220 hours. Considerable damage was caused to shop property, Central Market Hall and to house property, and the following factories were affected by fire:-
  • Armstrong Siddeley Ltd, Parkside.
  • Alfred Herbert Ltd, Foleshill.
  • Royal Naval Ordnance Store, Red Lane.
  • Valves Ltd, Quinton Road.
  • A second raid commenced at 2308 hours when He bombs were dropped but no details of damage are yet available.
  • Hayes
  • Slight damage was caused to the Tinsmith Shop at the factory of the Fairey Aviation Co and production has temporarily ceased owing to the believed presence of an unexploded bomb.
  • London (Area)
  • The main damage was the blockage of the LMS line at Tottenham and the Kingston Southern Railway Line at Malden due to flooding caused by a main bursting.
  •  

Monday 28th
  • Weather: Misty in northern France. Fog over the Thames Estuary and Straits clearing later.
  • Day: Convoy off Dover and shipping in the Thames Estuary attacked. London attacked during the afternoon.
  • Night: Widespread attacks across the country.

Summary of action

Two minor sweeps and one major attack were made in the South East area, the latter in conjunction with a demonstration in the Portsmouth area. In none of these did enemy aircraft penetrate to Central London.

Reconnaissances were fairly active in the Estuary and the Bristol Channel during the period.

During the day's operations, four enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus 7 probable and 8 damaged). Our losses were nil.

Enemy Attacks

First Attack 1300 Hours

20 to 30 enemy aircraft crossed the Coast to Dungeness and flew on a 5 mile front towards Biggin Hill but split into several sections and turned away before reaching it. They were recrossing the Coast by 1315 hours.

Second Attack 1427 Hours

18+ enemy aircraft flew in from Dover to Maidstone and the Biggin Hill area. As in the previous sweep, penetration was not made further North West. The enemy were heading South East by 1440 hours.

Third Attack 1605 Hours

While 65+ aircraft were circling off Calais, a raid of 30+ flew Northwards from Le Havre towards the Isle of Wight. They were over Portsmouth at 1630 hours and remained there until 1650 hours. Meanwhile, of the Calais formations which had increased, 20 made a landfall at Dungeness and flew to Maidstone, and 80 - crossing at Beachy Head - made for Biggin Hill. Neither raid penetrated further than the Biggin Hill - Kenley area and they were recrossing the Coast by 1635 hours.

At 1642 hours, fresh formations of 50, 30+ and 50 aircraft came inland between Beachy Head and Dungeness, one raid going to Hornchurch and the others to Biggin Hill. They were all retiring Eastwards down the Estuary and across the South Coast by 1710 hours.

Bombs are reported at various localities although only Me109s appear to have been operating.

Two Squadrons were despatched to the Portsmouth feint and 9 Squadrons to the Kentish attack.

Reconnaissances

Activity was slight in the early morning but had increased by noon. Flights were made over convoys in the Straits and Estuary and off the Cornish Coast, and 8 single aircraft were plotted in the Bristol Channel.

Several reports on shipping off the East Coast were made by enemy aircraft.

Inland flights were made to East London, Luton, Debden, Maidstone and to Birmingham (twice).

In all 8 interceptions were made of which two were successful (plus 2 probable and 4 damaged).

Attacks on Shipping

At 1152 hours, a 'Help' signal was received from a convoy off Dover. Fighters were on the spot almost at once.

At 1310 hours, a drifter was sunk off Southwold by an enemy aircraft.

At 1450 hours, 14 enemy aircraft were plotted off Harwich. Three of these flew inland for a short distance, while the others remained near a convoy.

Night Operations - 28th/29th October 1940

Enemy activity was again on the reduced scale of recent nights. Early raids were widespread over most of the Country and the main objectives were London and its suburbs, and the Midlands where Birmingham received most attention.

The first raids showed strengths of 1+ to 3+ aircraft, but later raids were plotted as single aircraft. The first raider reached Beachy Head at 1843 hours from the direction of Abbeville.

One enemy aircraft was shot down by AA guns near Poole and another was damaged by No 85 Squadron, near Binbrook.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

31 raids were plotted from the Cherbourg and Le Havre areas, crossing the Coast between Swanage and Beachy Head. From other French sources - in particular, Dieppe - 44 raids were plotted to the Coast between Selsey Bill and North Foreland. 15 raids originated from the Dutch Coast. Activity was fairly widespread over most of the Country, but the majority of raids made London and its suburbs their objective, although many appeared to turn back without penetrating the Inner Artillery Zone. In the Midlands, Birmingham was the principal target but raids were also plotted over Liverpool, Manchester, Coventry and Reading. One or two raids appeared in the Sunderland area while others were plotted near aerodromes in Lincolnshire and East Anglia. Minelaying was suspected by about 6 raids in the Estuary.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 29/10/40

43 incoming raids were plotted from the French Coast, and about 12 from the direction of Holland. London and Birmingham continued to be the main objectives. Between 2100 and 2300 hours, there was considerable activity along the Coast Between Newcastle and Aberdeen but no penetration inland of more that a few miles. Enemy activity lessened considerably towards the end of this period.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

A few sporadic raids from the Dutch Coast continued the attack on London via the Estuary. One raid penetrated towards Bedford before recrossing the Coast at Southwold.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 28th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 44
  • Spitfire - 219
  • Hurricane - 385
  • Defiant - 18
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 674

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • Nil.
  • With reference to yesterday's report, one pilot and aircraft reported missing on 27th October are now known to be safe, thereby reducing the casualties for the day to 8 aircraft and 4 pilots.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 27th / 28th October - 33 patrols involving 33 aircraft.
  • During the day of 28th October - 117 patrols involving 606 aircraft.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 250 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 28th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No 421 Flight from Gravesend to West Malling.
  • No 141 Squadron from Gatwick to Gravesend.
  • No 264 Squadron (1 Flight) Luton to Hornchurch, (1 Flight) Martlesham to Hornchurch.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 28th October 1940
  • During the morning enemy aircraft were active on a small scale over East Anglia.
  • In the afternoon Kent and East Sussex were the areas affected and in the evening a large scale attack was attempted on London which failed, but bombs were dropped in Surrey and Kent.
  • Night activity commenced at about 1840 hours and was widespread during the early part of the night with Birmingham and the Capital appearing to be the main objectives.
  • From midnight onwards the concentration was on the London suburbs and South East England.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 26th October 1940
  • Farnborough: It is now reported that this station was attacked at 1345 hours by a single aircraft presumed to be a Ju88 which passed over the aerodrome and dropped 3 bombs in the residential area east of the Station.
  • RAF Stations 27th October 1940
  • Binbrook: At 1755 hours, an attack was made by 3 Ju88 aircraft flying low from the North East and was preceded by 5 minutes by one reconnaissance He111 at 4,000 feet. Bombs were dropped causing 19 craters across the aerodrome and damage to hangar. The aerodrome is partly unserviceable by day and at present unserviceable for night flying.
  • Driffield: At 1800 hours, bombs were dropped causing the following damage:-
  • Water mains which will be repaired with 12 hours.
  • Sgt. Pilot's quarters.
  • Shelter trench demolished.
  • One heating duct badly damaged.
  • Night-flying equipment store damaged.
  • 6 craters on the aerodrome.
  • Station Headquarters damaged.
  • Slight damage to Guard Room and other buildings.
  • Direct hit on No 2 Hangar.
  • Altogether 24 bombs were dropped and a machine-gunning attack was also made. The bombs used were found to be of concrete and aluminium construction.
  • Massingham: At 1900 hours, 20 He bombs were dropped causing slight damage to a building and to two aircraft. The casualties were 4 killed and 7 injured.
  • Linton on Ouse: At 1815 hours, an attack was made by three enemy aircraft believed to be Ju88s and bombs were dropped causing 14 craters on and around the aerodrome and damage to three aircraft, one motor bus, and buildings. It was expected that the whole aerodrome surface would be serviceable by noon on the 28th October.
  • RAF Stations 28th October 1940
  • Digby: Incendiary leaves were dropped close to the aerodrome at 2050 hours. They appeared to fall from a container, spreading over a fairly large area and were alight in the air but extinguished before reaching the ground.
  • Hawkinge: Bombs were dropped just outside the Camp at 1030 hours but there were no casualties and no damage.
  • Biggin Hill: At 1947 hours, approximately 300 incendiary bombs fell on the aerodrome. All fires were extinguished and there were no casualties.
  • Night of 28th/29th October 1940
  • Birmingham
  • The City again received fierce attack and there were altogether 230 incidents reported about 32 of which involved damage by high explosive bombs, the remainder being fires caused by incendiary bombs including several oil bombs. The most serious fire was New Street Station where a fire started on No 3 platform and spread to platforms No 4 & 5, Midlands Parcel Office, Refreshment Room and offices and other building on the Station. The latest report regarding this fire is that he whole station is enveloped in flames.
  • The Cathedral, Woolworth's and the Army and Navy Stores were amongst the many other buildings which were affected by fire.
  • Ipswich
  • A new type of bomb is reported to have been used by the enemy during an attack at about 1800 hours on the evening of the 27th October when 200 of these were dropped. The description of this bomb is as follows:- The complete case and bomb are small in size approximating to a CD respirator container 3½" diameter. The outer case enclosing the bomb is coloured a very dark green (typical German Field Service) and is ribbed. The interior bomb is almost a black lead grey. The case halves opening into flaps acting on powerful springs. When it bursts on percussion it makes a small crater but the resultant violent explosion may be felt up to 50 feet.
  • London
  • A 50 pump fire broke out at the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich but was under control by about 0200 hours on the morning of the 29th October.
  • The only other serious incident reported was major damage at Southwark which occurred at 0140 hours on the 29th October when a Public Shelter was hit containing 400 people, the casualties being 100.

 


Tuesday 29th
  • Weather: Channel overcast. Haze in northern France and Dover Straits.
  • Day: London and Southampton raided.
  • Night: Heavy raids on London and the Midlands.

Summary of action

Enemy activity consisted of five main attacks in the South East, two attacks in the Portsmouth area and an attack at dusk on aerodromes in East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. Hostile patrols were maintained in the Straits and Channel, and a number of reconnaissances of shipping were made.

During the day our fighters destroyed 27 enemy (plus 8 probable and 10 damaged). Our casualties were 7 aircraft, of which 5 pilots are safe.

South East

First Attack

At 1025 hours 15+ enemy aircraft crossed the Coast at Folkestone and split North of Maidstone, one part penetrating to West and North West London, the other flying to Central London. These aircraft returned over Kenley and recrossed the coast at Beachy Head and Deal.

Second Attack

At 1045 hours 9+ enemy aircraft crossed at Deal and swept over Manston, flying out along the Estuary.

Third Attack

At 1220 hours 2 raids of 30+ and 20+ crossed the Coast at Dungeness and Dover respectively. The former raid flew over Biggin Hill area to West London and then turned East, returning home via Rochester area. The other raid split near Canterbury, one part flying over the Isle of Sheppey to Hornchurch and the other part to Rochester, returning over Maidstone.

Fourth Attack

At 1255 hours, 12+ crossed near Dungeness and flew to Maidstone, where they turned and recrossed the Coast at Dungeness. While this raid was in progress 15+ flew over Dover and penetrated to Central London, returning over Dover at 1340 hours.

Fifth Attack

At 1255 hours, 12+ crossed near Dungeness and flew to Maidstone, where they turned and recrossed the Coast at Dungeness. While this raid was in progress 15+ flew over Dover and penetrated to Central London, returning over Dover at 1340 hours.

Portsmouth Area

First Attack

At 1430 hours, 50+ enemy aircraft approached the Isle of Wight, where they split, one part approaching Portsmouth, while the other part flew to Thorney Island area. All raids were returning to Le Havre at 1500 hours.

Second Attack

At 1700 hours, 30+ enemy aircraft off Selsey Bill turned to attack Portsmouth but were dispersed without penetrating inland.

Attack on Aerodromes in East Anglia, Lincolnshire & Yorkshire.

At 1740 hours, a number of raids showing strengths of 1+ to 3+ crossed the East Coast at various points, and approached aerodromes in East Anglia, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire. About nine raids crossed between Orfordness and Southwold, and about twelve between the Wash and the Tees. Most of these raids were returning home by 1850 hours.

Patrols and Reconnaissances of Shipping

At 0830 hours, 2 enemy aircraft flew over a convoy near Selsey Bill, but turned away before fighters from Tangmere could intercept.

Small patrols were maintained in the Straits and Channel between 0900 and 1300 hours, but strengths of up to 30+ were plotted between 1700 and 1800 hours.

A convoy off Dover was visited by enemy aircraft at 0945 and 1025 hours.

Between 1515 and 1540 hours, 2 convoys in the Thames Estuary were shadowed, and one of them asked for help at 1640 hours.

At 1735 hours, a convoy off Lowestoft is reported to have been attacked.

Night Operations - 29th/30th October 1940

Enemy activity was on a reduced scale, but a larger proportion of raids visited the Midlands, where the Birmingham/Coventry area was the main target. London received less raids than usual but activity was widespread over the Home Counties. The majority of raids appeared to originate from the French Coast.

1900 Hours to 2100 Hours

Many raids in South East England turned back before reaching the Inner Artillery Zone. Raids from Seine and Cherbourg areas penetrated to the Midlands and concentrated on Birmingham and Coventry areas; a few were plotted over Liverpool. Four raids crossed the Country from Flamborough Head to Barrow area. Minelaying was suspected in the Thames Estuary.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 30/10/40

Raids from Cherbourg and Channel Islands continued the attack on Birmingham and Coventry. Plots also appeared over Oxford and Reading areas. Activity in the South East continued to be widespread over the Home Counties. Minelaying was suspected between the Forth and Hartlepool.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

Isolated raids continued to visit the London and Coventry areas, but at 0450 hours London was given the "All Clear" and the only raid over the Country was returning home from the Midlands.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 29th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 40
  • Spitfire - 211
  • Hurricane - 403
  • Defiant - 13
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 675

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 7 aircraft with two pilots killed. Of these, 2 aircraft were destroyed and one pilot killed by bombs when taking off from North Weald aerodrome.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 28th / 29th October - 20 patrols involving 20 sorties.
  • During the day of 29th October - 148 patrols involving 649 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 460 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 29th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • Skitten is unserviceable.
  • North Weald unserviceable by night 29th/30th October; serviceable by day with caution.
  • Lossiemouth serviceable only with extreme caution when landing on North East corner.

Organisation:

  • No 66 Squadron from Gravesend to West Malling.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 29th October 1940
  • During the day between 400 and 500 enemy aircraft took part in six attacks on this country. Two raids were directed against Portsmouth area, the remainder having London as their objective.
  • Some of the attackers succeeded in reaching the London area, but the resultant damage and casualties appear to have been slight.
  • Night activity commenced at about 1850 hours and was widespread over London and the Home Counties. The Midlands, East Anglia and Yorkshire were the other principal areas visited.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 27th October 1940
  • North Coates: At 1750 hours the Aerodrome received a machine-gunning attack by three low flying enemy aircraft, but no serious damage is reported.
  • Norwich: The Maintenance Unit was bombed at 1755 hours and one hangar was partly destroyed, the Stores also being damaged.
  • West Raynham: An attack was made at 1815 hours by six aircraft believed to be Junkers 88, and bombs were dropped ranging from 50 kilos to 250 kilos. Eight aircraft were damaged, but are capable of being repaired, and a hangar was also damaged. Other buildings received damage and the Aerodrome was rendered unserviceable.
  • RAF Stations 29th October 1940
  • Heston: at 0300 hours bombs were dropped causing extensive damage to works and buildings, also gas an water mains and telephone communications.
  • Wattisham: Approximately 12 bombs were dropped at 1800 hours, causing damage to one aircraft, motor transport and equipment section, the hospital and other buildings.
  • Leeming: At 1805 hours a large number of apparently light calibre HE bombs were dropped on and around the Aerodrome. No damage is reported.
  • Newmarket: HE bombs were dropped and a machine-gunning attack took place at 1800 hours on the Aerodrome and also the town. The only casualties and damage so far reported appears to have taken place in the town.
  • Honington: It is reported by the Police that the Aerodrome was bombed at about 1830 hours.
  • North Weald: The aerodrome was dive-bombed by Me109s at 1645 hours, but the damage appears to be not extensive, although one bomb fell on one of the runways running East and West. Aerodrome unserviceable by night.
  • Matlask: An attack took place by three enemy bombers at 1810 hours, when the Aerodrome was bombed and machine-gunned from 50 feet. Hits were superficially damaged and the casualties amounted to 5 Civilians and 1 Soldier.
  • West Raynham: At 1810 hours the Aerodrome was again attacked by four enemy aircraft, and as far as can be ascertained no damage was caused, but the Aerodrome is still unserviceable.
  • Linton on Ouse: One enemy aircraft, believed to be a Ju88 made an attack on the Aerodrome at 1805 hours, but the damage is reported as being practically nil.
  • Naval Stations 28th October 1940
  • Aberdeen: It is reported from the Naval Base, and their opinion is shared by Dyce, the two objects which exploded were acoustic mines which exploded at 40-50 feet above the water, causing a terrific flash of light and blast.
  • Naval Stations 29th October 1940
  • Coventry: At 2003 hours a large number of incendiary bombs, some of which caused a fire at Royal Naval Ordnance Store, were dropped.
  • Army Stations 28th October 1940
  • Beacon Hill Camp: At 1123 hours one high explosive bomb was dropped.
  • Army Stations 29th October 1940
  • Deal: At 1640 hours three HE bombs were dropped in the barracks, the casualties being 1 Officer and 7 other ranks killed, 6 Officers and 6 other ranks wounded.
  • Major Damage 29th October 1940
  • Coventry
  • Fires are reported at several industrial works including Messrs Humber Ltd and also the Isolation Hospital.
  • Portsmouth
  • An attack took place at 1750 hours, causing 39 casualties, including 3 killed. Four shops were demolished and 50 houses badly damaged, also one high explosive bomb fell on the railway, demolishing ten wagons. Two new wings of the works of Messrs Evans & Sons were seriously damaged.
  • Dover
  • Bombs were dropped at 1635 hours when two shops were demolished and 31 houses damaged, and the railway track between Dover and Canterbury.
  • London
  • A severe fire was caused at the works of Messrs Wrays Optical Works Ltd by incendiary bombs which were dropped at 1940 hours. The centre part of the factory was completely gutted, the whole of the factory heating system is damaged, the boilers probably being destroyed, and the store containing all raw materials for glass work was burnt out. Production will be seriously curtailed.
  • Other Incidents
  • A new type of bomb made of brass 2¾ inches long and 2 inches in diameter was dropped by aircraft on night of 28th October.

Wednesday 30th
  • Weather: Low cloud and continuous drizzle in all regions.
  • Day: Nuisance raids on a reduced scale.
  • Night: Activity reduced.

Summary of action

The enemy made two fighter sweeps over South East England, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. A few single reconnaissance aircraft were reported in other parts of the Country.

Our fighters destroyed 9 enemy aircraft (plus 8 probable and 7 damaged), and our losses were 5 aircraft and 4 pilots killed or missing.

First Attack - 1130-1245 Hours

It is estimated that about 150 aircraft operated in three waves. In the first wave about 60 aircraft came in over North Foreland to Shoeburyness, where they turned South and flew out over Kent. This was followed by a second wave of about 40 aircraft which turned south over North Foreland and passed out over Hawkinge. A third wave crossed the Coast at Hastings but turned back at Ashford. Some bombs were dropped in Kent by these raids. Ten bombs were dropped in Kent by these raids. Ten Squadrons of 11 Group were sent up, of which 6 sighted the enemy; three Squadrons intercepted and destroyed 3 enemy aircraft (plus one probable and 6 damaged).

Second Attack - 1540-1650 Hours

This attack was divided into two phases. In the first about 80 enemy aircraft approached Maidstone of which 40 continued North West to South East London, where a few bombs were dropped; these latter aircraft were then intercepted and split up by two of our Squadrons. In the second phase five small formations totalling about 50 aircraft crossed the Coast between Dover and Beachy Head, and one formation of 12 reached Harwich. Several of these formations were intercepted and quickly retired. In all, ten Squadrons were detailed to meet these raids and 5 enemy aircraft were destroyed (plus 7 probable and one damaged). 12 Group were grounded on account of bad weather conditions.

Reconnaissances

During the morning the usual reconnaissances were reported in the Straits and Channel. In the afternoon single aircraft were plotted off Exeter, Portland and in the Firth of Forth. Attempts to intercept these aircraft were not successful. One He111, which dropped bombs near Skegness, was destroyed.

Night Operations - 30th/31st October 1940

During the early evening London and the South East Counties were the recipients of a major attack, with minor raids in the Midlands; whilst in marked contrast, the remainder of the night passed comparatively quietly, activity at times sinking to zero. The "All Clear" was sounded in Central London at 0337 hours.

1830 Hours to 2100 Hours

Enemy activity began with the converging on London district of approximately 60 raids from the usual sources. Only a remarkably small proportion penetrated to Central London area, however, and the major activity was over South Eastern Counties.

Approximately 4 raids made landfall in Portsmouth district and proceeded to Nottingham/Sheffield areas, returning via London.

Minelaying is suspected off North Foreland, the Estuary and Harwich; 12 raids in all.

By 2100 hours, hostile activity was decreasing rapidly.

2100 Hours to 0100 Hours 31/10/40

During this period Midlands area continued to receive some attention.

About 20 sporadic raids from the Somme/Dieppe area visited the environs of the Capital and the South East Counties, only odd ones penetrating to Central London. A few of these raids continued North to the Duxford/Debden areas. All returned on approximately reciprocal courses.

A few minelaying raids flew into the Estuary, ex Belgian and Dutch Coasts.

0100 Hours to 0600 Hours

Activity declined to practically nothing by 0100 hours, and by 0400 hours the Country was clear of raids.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 30th October 1940

  • Blenheim - 39
  • Spitfire - 213
  • Hurricane - 391
  • Defiant - 11
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 662

Casualties:

  • Own:
  • 5 aircraft with 4 pilots killed or missing.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 29th / 30th October - 44 patrols involving 45 sorties.
  • During the day of 30th October - 91 patrols involving 533 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 300 enemy aircraft operated over or near our coasts during the day of 30th October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Air Intelligence:

  • Further reports have been received of complaints about the ineffectiveness of the German AA defences. A joke current in Berlin is:- "A prisoner condemned to death was asked to choose the method of his execution. He requested that is should be by an AA gunner." (Source: Home Office)

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 30th October 1940
  • Enemy raids during the day have been on a small scale and little serious damage has been reported. A few bombs were dropped on the outskirts of South East London, but Kent and Sussex have been the chief victims of the enemy, especially the former county. The Farington Steelworks in Lancashire also received a visit, whilst the Armstrong-Siddeley and Humber Works in Coventry were both machine-gunned.
  • During the evening the enemy concentrated on London, but a few minor raids are reported from the Midlands. There was, however, very little activity and London received the "All Clear" signal at 0337 hours.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 29th October 1940
  • Feltwell (Norfolk): Aerodrome was subject to attacks by the enemy in three waves, at 1801, 1812 and 1818 hours. One hangar of No 75 Squadron was hit and one aircraft set on fire, but this was quickly extinguished. Some damage was done to the structure and several craters were created, and it is understood that one enemy aircraft was shot down.
  • Bagington (Warwickshire): Was attacked at 1955 hours. Parachute flares were seen which were followed by showers of IB which were quickly dealt with. About eight HE bombs were dropped at random outside the aerodrome limits and no material damage was done.
  • Wattisham (Suffolk): During the day a number of new type small bombs were found in fields near the aerodrome.
  • Abridge (Essex): An HE was dropped three quarters of a mile North of the aerodrome. This time is not known.
  • RAF Stations 30th October 1940
  • North Weald (Essex): An oil bomb was dropped at 1940 hours near the aerodrome, but no damage has been reported.
  • Army Stations 30th October 1940
  • Islington: At 2037 hours 5 HE dropped on the Kings Royal Rifle Drill Hall but the extent of the damage is not yet known.
  • Major Damage 29th October 1940
  • Battersea
  • At 1930 hours an AA shell burst at the Projectile and Engineering Co and damage was done to the roof, electric cables and air compressor, but production is not in any way affected.
  • Major Damage 30th October 1940
  • Leyland (Lancs)
  • At 1352 hours 2 UXBs fell in Farington Steelworks near Leyland, which has caused the building to be temporarily evacuated.
  • Stepney
  • An HE destroyed a new five-storey block of flats at 1955 hours. Fortunately most of the tenants were in public shelters and consequently casualties were small.
  • Other Incidents 29th October 1940
  • Gatwick
  • A number of bombs fell on the railway track between the Racecourse and the Airport Station at 1929 hours. Traffic was temporarily suspended whilst an examination of the damage sustained was carried out, details of which are not yet available.
  • Speke
  • As the result of an IB some fires were caused at 2100 hours at the railway sidings at Speke Station, but the amount of the damage caused is not yet known.
  • Other Incidents 30th October 1940
  • Hythe, Margate and Coventry have all been machine-gunned by enemy aircraft, and at the last mentioned town the Armstrong-Siddeley and Humber works were the chief victims of the attack.
  • Reports have been received concerning small objects about the size of a Mills bomb, possibly with wire attached, being dropped by enemy aircraft. The public are warned not to handle such objects which may be dangerous, but such matters should be reported immediately to the Police or Wardens.

 


Thursday 31st
  • Weather: Drizzle in the Channel, haze in the Thames estuary and Dover Straits.
  • Day: Fighter-bomber and fighter sweeps.
  • Night: Activity greatly reduced.

Summary of action

Hostile activity was very reduced in the morning. In the afternoon it was a little more marked and this increased in the late afternoon to flights inland especially in East Anglia. The objective would appear to have been reconnaissance of aerodromes. The activity resembled night operations on a reduced scale.

There were no interceptions and no casualties to the enemy or ourselves.

North and North East Coast

At about 1100 hours a ship off Rattray Head and the Bell Rock Lighthouse were machine-gunned. While this ship was being salvaged in the afternoon it was again attacked.

East Coast

Between 1300 and 1700 hours, five tracks were plotted of single aircraft in the East Anglian area. Between 1700 and 1800 hours one aircraft flew inland at Mablethorpe to Kirton-in-Lindsey, and a second at 10,000 feet from Cromer to Spurn Head, Driffield and Hull thence South again to Kirton-in-Lindsey. Four other single aircraft made flights in the neighbourhood of Lowestoft, Norwich, Dereham, Mildenhall, Downham Market and Bassingbourn, the last named is reported to have been bombed at 1300 hours. Reconnaissance of or attacks on aerodromes may have been the objective.

South East Coast

At 0720 hours one aircraft flew inland from Dover to Detling and is reported to have dropped bombs at Martlesham. Other reconnaissances took place in the Straits up to 0900 hours. Between 1300 and 1700 hours, three raids were plotted inland to Hornchurch, Debden and Kenley areas.

South and West Coast

At 1145 hours one aircraft crossed the coast at Worthing and flew to Bristol, Monmouth and Newport. Glascoed is reported to have been bombed.

At 1230 hours one aircraft flew along the coast and bombed an RAF Station at Poling. At 1235 hours an enemy aircraft was plotted over Liverpool.

Between 1300 and 1700 hours, eight raids crossed the coast to Wittering, Spurn Head, Nottingham and East Anglia. In addition other raids were plotted from the Isle of Wight to Salisbury and Swindon, to Middle Wallop - Warwick and then South East to London.

Night Operations - 31st October/1st November 1940

Enemy activity was divided into two phases, one in the early evening and the other in the early morning. Adverse weather conditions accounting for intervening absence of any enemy operations.

First Phase - 1825 Hours to 2100 Hours

At 1825 hours the first night raiders (approximately 30) were leaving Dieppe on the usual North Westerly route. Strong westerly gales blew them off course so that landfalls were made in the Hastings/Dungeness area. These raids were joined by two from Calais and all proceeded towards West and Central London, though only a few achieved their objective.

In addition two raids were suspected of minelaying off Spurn Head. All raids returned on reciprocal courses.

By 2020 hours the London area was quite clear and by 2100 hours no enemy raiders were plotted in or near the country.

The "All Clear" was sounded at 2100 hours.

Second Phase - 0245 Hours to 0600 Hours 01/11/40

Two attacks developed with London and the Midlands as their respective objectives. The Midland raids of approximately six aircraft made landfall in the Weymouth area, the majority proceeding to Birmingham and in one or two cases further North. Approximately 25/30 raids from Dieppe/Le Havre Coast were concerned in the London attack. At 0500 hours the attack on London began to slacken and the last raids on the Midland area were leaving the country. A few raids were still active at the close of this report.

Statistics

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 31st October 1940

  • Blenheim - 40
  • Spitfire - 227
  • Hurricane - 399
  • Defiant - 10
  • Gladiator - 8
  • Total - 684

Casualties:

  • Enemy:
  • Nil.
  • Own:
  • Nil.

Patrols:

  • Own
  • During the night of 20th / 31st October - 6 patrols involving 6 sorties.
  • During the day of 31st October - 53 patrols involving 145 sorties.
  • Enemy
  • It is estimated that about 65 enemy sorties operated over or near our coasts during the day of 31st October.

Balloons:

  • No report.

Serviceability of Aerodromes:

  • No report.

Organisation:

  • No report.

Home Security Reports

  • General Summary
  • Date: 31st October 1940
  • Enemy air activity during the day took the form of aircraft operating singly in widespread parts of Great Britain. Very little damage was done but a characteristic feature of the raids was the machine-gunning of many towns. Birmingham & district appeared to receive most attention from the enemy.
  • The evening raids started at 1830 hours but the "All Clear" was received in London at 2100 hours and there was no further activity until 0030 hours when London and Birmingham again became the main objectives of the enemy bombing.
  • Detailed Summary
  • RAF Stations 30th October 1940
  • Fowlmere: Two HE were dropped on the landing ground at 2245 hours and one Spitfire was damaged.
  • RAF Stations 31st October 1940
  • Bassingbourn: the enemy attacked the Aerodrome at 1300 hours with HE bombs and five craters were formed but otherwise there is no damage to report.
  • Lawford Heath: The Aerodrome, which is under construction, was attacked at 1345 hours and five HE were dropped and 16 wooden huts were badly damaged.
  • Ingham: Four HE bombs fell at dusk on the edge of the Aerodrome but no damage occurred.
  • Horsham St Faith: Five HE were dropped during the evening on the landing ground but there was no damage.
  • Newton: The Aerodrome was attacked at 1745 hours and two unexploded HE were dropped. The enemy aircraft then proceeded to machine-gun an adjacent main road.
  • Duxford: At 1948 hours 5 HE fell East of the Aerodrome. No further details available.
  • Gravesend: A number of incendiary bombs fell near the Aerodrome at 2018 hours but no fires have yet been reported.
  • The following Aerodromes are reported to have been bombed but no further details are yet available:-
  • Scampton.
  • Hemswell.
  • Kirton-in-Lindsey.
  • Sutton Bridge.
  • Martlesham.
  • Henlow.
  • Major Damage 31st October 1940
  • The Royal Ordnance Factory at Glascoed was attacked by a single enemy aircraft at 1250 hours. The attacking aircraft dropped 12 bombs, three of which are still unexploded and then proceeded to machine-gun the factory from a height not greater than 200 feet. The roof of the building was damaged and whilst the unexploded bomb is being removed there will be a slight interference with production.
  • The LMS Goods Siding at Washwood Heath received serious damage from HE bombs which will cause interference with rail traffic.
  • Other Incidents
  • With regard to the recent bombing of the Pobjoy Ammunition & Aircraft Ltd it is likely that production will be affected for two days owing to damage done to the gas, water and electricity mains.
  • Cambridge
  • At 1325 hours, an HE fell on the Works of the British Portland Cement Co and damaged the electricians' shop but production is not likely to be affected.
  • Castle Bromwich
  • At 1444 hours, five enemy aircraft machine-gunned many houses in the vicinity and some damage was done to roofs and glass from AA guns and blast. The Repairable Equipment Ltd Factory was the chief sufferer but the extent of the damage is not yet known.