The Chronology: Page-24
Sunday August 11th - Monday August 12th 1940

Pilots of 601 Squadron relax at Hawkinge July 1940          The army inspect a bomb crater. A Bf110 is in the background

SUNDAY AUGUST 11th 1940

What had been 'Warfare over the Channel' during the month of July, was really just a prelude as to what was to happen and was planned for August. Goering had masterminded the operation named Adlerangriff (Eagle Attack), this was to be an all out assault on the Royal Air Force. In reality, the Luftwaffe had failed to draw Fighter Command into the air on previous attacks over the Channel. Something now had to be done to destroy the RAF both in the air, and on the ground.

But was the RAF ready and prepared, in just a short space of time, Lord Dowding, known as "Stuffy" to those that knew him, had built Fighter Command into an impressive fighting machine. He insisted that concrete all weather runways be built, and he got this wish granted to six of his airfields. He insisted that for added protection for his pilots, bullet-proof windscreens be incorporated into the canopies of all fighter aircraft, and with his very close friend Lord Beaverbrook, he had fighter aircraft production increased to nearly 500 per month. But Dowding was far from satisfied, was he requesting more assistance from the Air Ministry, or was he the hard to please negative thinker that many thought him to be:
"....the enemy are getting closer each and every day, to succeed in our task we must be there to confront them before they are in a position to inflict any damage. My pilots and my planes are our front line of defence along with our normal defence system which we must agree, must be improved and updated. In recent weeks, my pilots have proved that they can stop the advancement of the Luftwaffe, our radar defence although doing the best they can and must do better. You have to understand, that German aircraft formations are approaching at 200 miles an hour, my fighters need twenty minutes, yes....twenty minutes to reach operational height and to make an interception. With the time that we have, we are intercepting the enemy too late and too low because operational height is not being gained. The way things are, the Germans could lay large areas of our big towns in ruins at any time they wish to do so...."
Lord "Stuffy" Dowding to an Air Ministry official at Fighter Command HQ.

WEATHER:
Fine and clear during the morning, but high cirrus cloud moving in by midday thickening during the afternoon. Dry all day.

OPERATIONS IN DETAIL:

Luftwaffe reconnaissance aircraft that were daily flying on meteorological flights out into the Atlantic Ocean, reported back on August 11th that the barometric pressure was building up in the mid-Atlantic south-west off the Spanish coast and with the wind speed and direction were very confident that fine weather would prevail over the next few days in the Channel area, and in particular over the designated target areas. Goering lamented that provided the weather was in their favour, that the Luftwaffe would destroy the RAF within fourteen days. He had nearly 2,000 serviceable aircraft at his disposal, which consisted of some 800 medium range bombers, 700 Bf109s, 250 Ju 87 dive bombers, and 160 Bf110 twin engine fighters plus a number of reconnaissance aircraft. His pilots were well trained with even the newer pilots going through a strenuous training program, but the events of the previous month during Kanalkamph the battle over the Channel, but the battle had taken its toll.

After France, the Luftwaffe thought that the RAF with its morale at an all time low, the aircraft which many they thought were antiquated and the pilots that flew them even though many may have been experienced pilots, lacked the knowledge needed for fighting in combat. But they were caught by surprise at the skill of the RAF fighter pilots and the performance of the machines that they flew, (Since returning from France, most of the Spitfires and Hurricane underwent a number of modifications that increased the maneuverability and their overall performance. It was also thought that unbeknown to the pilots the British Air Ministry instructed that Hurricanes and Spitfires use 100% high octane fuel instead of the 87% octane that both the RAF and the Luftwaffe were using at the outbreak of the war. Richard Hough and Denis Richard's mention in their book that in September 1939 the U.S Congress invoked the Neutrality Act that prohibited the use of 100% octane fuel, but after some anxious moments, the British Government and the Roosevelt Administration had reached a compromise where the supply of this fuel could be used on a 'dollar on the barrel-head' basis [1]. Funny how we must still abide by the rules, even when at war) in contrast, many of the Luftwaffe pilots were not only tired, but many of them were near to exhaustion.
"We in J52 were very inexperienced, in just two months, our strength fell from thirty-six pilots to four. We really wasted our fighters. We didn't have enough to begin with, and we used them in the wrong way, for direct close escort. We were tied to the bombers, flying slowly - sometimes with flaps down - over England. We couldn't use our altitude advantage nor our superiority in a dive. Of course, the Spitfire had a marvelous rate of turn, and when we were tied to the bombers and had to dogfight them, that turn was very important".
Gunther Ball of 8/JG52
This type of story is confirmed by the statement of Heinrich Meyer of 3/JG26;
"We had been up since early in the morning, escorting the Dorniers to a shipping target in the Channel. Suddenly we were jumped on by a squadron of Spitfires, until we got our flaps up and increased speed we were no match for the RAF. I was hit and smoke bellowed from my plane, I tried to make it back but a Spitfire on my tail would give me no rest, I weaved this way and that but it was not until another 109 came to my rescue that I had a safe passage home. As soon as I landed I was ordered to go up again and escort Dorniers again. I was reluctant to do so, but you have to carry out orders, I was tired and would appreciate sleep, but that would only come after another two escort missions".
In comparison, the RAF had just 650 fighter aircraft, and approximately 1,250 pilots and many of these lacked the proper training, in fact many of them had to complete their training on an operational airfield due to the fact that the RAF drastically needed....more pilots. But the pilots, it did not matter whether they were experienced or not, displayed great courage and determination in the July dogfights over the Channel, but in the proposed next phase of the Battle of Britain this determination would be very much put to the test.

In the meantime, Fighter Command had rearranged its squadron allocations so as to strengthen its defences of the southern coast. Biggin Hill had its Defiant 141 Squadron transferred to Turnhouse in Scotland and was reinforced by 501 Squadron from Kenley, Kenley was allocated a Canadian Squadron in place of 501, 266 Squadron at Wittering in the Midlands was transferred to Hornchurch, Debden received 85 Squadron from nearby North Weald and the Blenheim 604 Squadron at Northolt was transferred to Middle Wallop and 303 Squadron a new squadron since July was allocated to Northolt.

0830hrs: The 11th of August was a Sunday, and the port of Dover in south-east Kent was just like any other Sunday morning. It was early, but many people were either getting ready to go to church or for those non-believers, were having their usual sleep in while the rest looked forwards to the usual good Sunday breakfast. That is until they heard the drone of bombers coming from the direction of the Channel. Many thought it unusual, others who had been making a study of the war so far stood in wonderment as up until now, all of Germany's attacks had been over the sea lanes, why now were they heading towards Dover and the coast of England. It was not long before they found out, most thought that the enemy planes were on their way to the industrial centres along the Thames or even London itself. They were quite surprised when explosions started to erupt in the harbour, tall fountains of water spouted into the air as bombs landed, and many surrounding houses fell victim to the bombing. People ran screaming and shouting and running in all directions, even though the siren had sounded when the aircraft were first heard many ignored the fact that this could well be an air raid because so far the Luftwaffe had not yet resorted to attacking land bases in Britain.

Fighter Command had been warned of the small build up that was moving in towards the coast at Dover, radar had supplied the position and direction of the enemy formation, and the Observer Corps reported the type and strength. Park was informed that the formation consisted of 30+ Bf110 and an equal number of Bf109s.

So the 110s from EprGr 210 and a couple of Bf109 fighter sweeps had Dover all to themselves. Well, for a while anyway. A number of Luftwaffe Squadrons can over in quick succession and it looked as though something could be building and Park had no alternative but to allow some of his fighters from Hawkinge and Manston to "scramble". 74 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) operating out of Manston and 64 Squadron Kenley (Spitfires) were the squadrons released to cover Dover. Official records state that only a few skirmishes took place and that Dover Harbour was the prime target of the German attack. But the Luftwaffe plan was to attract as many of the British fighters into the air as possible at Dover while the main strike of the day was to be concentrated much further west near Portland, this operation being laid on in place of the mass Adler Tag assault which had been postponed. [2]

0945hrs:But again, Keith Park was proved to be absolutely correct in his judgment, because soon after the attack at Dover had ceased, Ventnor radar detected an excessive build up across the Channel just outside of Cherbourg. Park immediately put all of his squadrons in stand-by mode. The AOC of 10 Group AVM Quintin Brand was notified and he too placed all his squadrons at standby. As time went on, it appeared that the build-up was getting bigger and bigger but it now looked as if was the biggest armada of air power yet sent across the Channel.  But fortunately the only build-up was coming in from the direction of Cherbourg. This now, was not an assortment of Ju87s or 110s, but 56 Ju88 heavy bombers from I and III /KG 54, 20 Heinkel He 111s of KG27, 67 Bf110s from II and III/ZG2 and about 30 Bf109s of III/JG2. In total, about 170 German aircraft.

1030hrs: Now the plots that had been tracked by Dover radar were now being picked up by Ventnor CH and detected a large formation heading towards Portland. The radar and the work of the Observation Corps informed Fighter Command that the formation consisted of He 111 and Ju 88 bombers escorted by Bf109s and Bf110s, in total there were 150+ enemy aircraft. Fighter Command relayed the information to the Operations Room at 10 Group and 145 Squadron Westhampnett (Hurricanes), 152 Squadron Warmwell (Spitfires), 213 Squadron Exeter (Hurricanes), 238 Squadron Middle Wallop (Hurricanes),  601 Squadron Tangmere (Hurricanes) and 609 Squadron Middle Wallop (Spitfires) were scrambled to intercept.

Off the coast, and out over the Channel, the dogfights were fierce and numerous. Spitfires in high speed chases weaving over or under other dogfights that were in progress, were either chasing Bf109's or being chased by them, sometimes a pilot would abort an intended attack because once within identification range he found it to be a British fighter.
One had to very careful in mass dogfights where there would be 100+ fighters that it would take only the slightest lapse in concentration for you to shoot down one of your own.
Sgt J.H.(Ginger) Lacey 501 Sqn
The attack on the formation that was heading towards the Portland Naval base and Weymouth was the biggest of the day, with destruction of a number of factories, the gasworks and oil storage tanks, all others being fairly minor and were really of nuisance value more than anything else, the days losses were high. The Luftwaffe lost a total of 38 aircraft made up of 2 Heinkel He 59s, 2 Ju 87s, 6 Ju 88s, 3 Dornier 17Zs, 10 Bf110s and 15 Bf109s. Further to that some 15 aircraft either made forced landings or managed to make it back to their bases with considerable sustained damage. The RAF fared no better with six Spitfires and twenty-one Hurricanes shot down, one Spitfire and five Hurricanes making forced landings and one Spitfire and nine Hurricanes damaged. This did not please Fighter Command especially Keith Park, and when they were informed that 26 RAF pilots were missing Park was ready for a confrontation.

For the squadrons too, it had been a hard day. No sooner had they landed to refuel and rearm, they were up again repeating the performance all over again. Operations Rooms had been stretched to the limit, as the casualties mounted, fresh squadrons were brought to readiness. They didn't know it then, but with Adler Tag yet two days away, that this was only the beginning. Typical of the days events was 74 Squadron Hornchurch:
The squadron took part in no less than four separate combats from dawn to 2 p.m. and accounted for a number of German aircraft with the loss of only two pilots. The first operational order was received at 7.49 a.m. to intercept a hostile raid approaching Dover. The squadron with twelve aircraft, led by Squadron Leader Malan, climbed to 20,000 feet, and surprised approximately eighteen Me 109's flying towards Dover. Pilot Officer Stevenson’s aircraft was hit by enemy fire and he baled out and came down in the sea. He attracted the attention of a motor torpedo-boat by firing his revolver.

The second combat took place between 9.50 and 10.45 when twelve aircraft again took off to intercept enemy fighters approaching Dover. Several small groups of Me 109's were sighted in mid-Channel. Owing to R/T difficulties, part of the squadron did not engage.

The third combat started at 11.45 when eleven aircraft took off to patrol the convoy ‘Booty’ about twelve miles east of Clacton. Forty Me 109's were sighted approaching the convoy from east in close formation just below cloud base. Enemy aircraft formed a defensive circle on sighting the fighters, but Pilot Officer Freeborne led the squadron in a dive into the middle of the circle. Aircraft landed back at Manston at 12.45. The squadron took off for the fourth time at 1.56 with eight aircraft, to patrol Hawkinge at 1,5000 feet and subsequently north-east of Margate where enemy raids were reported.

Ten Ju 87s were sighted passing through cloud at 6,000 feet and twenty Me 109's at 10,000  feet. Fighters attacked the 109's, who dived for cloud and a dog-fight ensued.
Derek Wood & Derek Dempster The Narrow Margin Hutchinson 1961 p270

Pilot Officer Stephenson was one of the lucky ones, many did not live to tell their stories:
I climbed up to him. He must have thought I was an Me 109 but when he suddenly dived away I followed him and gave him a two-second deflection burst.
The enemy aircraft lurched slightly and went into a vertical dive. I kept my height at 15,000 feet and watched. I saw the enemy aircraft dive straight into the sea fifteen miles south-east of Dover and disappear in a big splash of water.

I then climbed to 23,000 feet up-sun and saw a formation of twelve Me 109s 2,000 feet beneath me, proceeding north of Dover. It was my intention to attach myself to the back of this formation from out of the sun, and spray the whole formation. As I was diving for them, a really large volume of cannon and machine-gun fire came from behind. There were about twelve Me 109s diving at me from the sun and at least half of them must have been firing deflection shots at me. There was a popping noise and my control column became useless. I found myself doing a vertical dive, getting faster and faster.

I pulled the hood back. I got my head out of the cockpit, and the slipstream tore the rest of me clean out of the machine. My trouser leg and both shoes were torn off. I saw my machine crash into the sea a mile off Deal. It took me twenty minutes to come down. I had been drifting eleven miles out to sea.
One string of my parachute did not come undone, and I was dragged along by my left leg at ten miles an hour with my head underneath the water. After three minutes I was almost unconscious; then the string came undone. I got my breath back and started swimming. There was a heavy sea running.

After one-and-a-half hours, an MTB came to look for me. I fired my revolver at it. It went out of sight, but came back. I changed magazines and fired all my shots over it. It heard my shots and I kicked up a foam in the water, and it saw me. It then picked me up and took me to Dover.
John Frayn Turner The Battle of Britain 1998 Airlife Publishing pp32-34

Park complained to Dowding that the new pilots were lacking the proper training required that would prepare them for combat. They were taking too many chances, unnecessary chances that not only put their own lives in danger but the lives of all those in the squadron. He told Dowding, "...that if we can lose this many pilots in unimportant minor skirmishes, how many are we expected to lose in a major battle....and that battle is yet to come". he started to raise his voice, "...at the moment they are only picking off convoys, soon they will be attacking our cities.....what are they going to do then".
During August, our squadron was suffering casualties at a rapid rate. At one stage our squadron strength was down to nine pilots. We were sent replacement pilots, young and straight from Operational Training Units and most had had very limited training on Hurricanes or Spitfires. It was normal for us to give new pilots a form of simulated combat training, something they really should have got at OTU, but all they got there was how to fly the aircraft, combat training was left to us fellows at the operational squadron that they had been posted to.

In most cases, especially when operations were at their height there was no time for this, and many a time new pilots would arrive in the morning only to be thrown into combat at midday. Needless to say, quite a few of them did not return from that first combat experience. It was sickening and disheartening and sometimes you get to wonder what chance do these young recruits have of survival.
Squadron Leader John Thompson 111 Squadron

Hugh Dowding, in his usual soft spoken voice almost giving one the impression that he was taking everything in his stride assured Park that these young pilots are giving it all they can, and admitted that they were not spending enough time in basic training, but of all the pilots that they were producing, the four weeks that they had in training was all that they could afford. He told Park that with Goering's planned all out attack on England which had yet to commence, time, was the all important factor....time that we haven't got. We are producing pilots and we are producing planes.
"I sometimes wonder, if the whole war isn't a ghastly nightmare from which we'll wake up soon. I know all of this sounds nonsense, but I'm slightly tight, and it's only an hour to dawn.......To me, it will mean another day of butchery, and it makes me feel sick. Where are we all going and how will it all end?"
Pilot Officer Geoffrey Page 56 Squadron
During the early afternoon the Dorniers of 9/KG2 were sent to attack a merchant convoy off Harwich on the Essex coast and again escorted by the Bf110s from EprGr 210. Another battle ensued as fighters from 17 Squadron Debden (Hurricanes), 74 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) and 85 Squadron Debden (Hurricanes) fought in heavy combat. The convoy code named "Booty" suffered no damage but the RAF lost three aircraft just off of the East Coast while there is no record of German casualties.

Meanwhile, another build up of enemy aircraft was forming in the Thames Estuary, this was picked up by radar, and again the Luftwaffe was heading towards another convoy. This time a medium convoy that had just left the docks in London. The formation consisted of 45 Dorniers of II and III/KG2, 10 Ju 87 Stukas, and about 15 Bf109s. 74 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) were redirected south to make an interception along with 54 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) and 111 Squadron Croydon (Hurricanes). But by all accounts, the weather started to deteriorate rapidly and the mission was aborted.

THE CASUALTIES:
1030hrs: Swanage. Hurricane P2951. 145 Squadron Westhampnet (Crashed into sea)
F/O G.R.Branch Missing in action. (Believed shot down by Bf109s off coast)
1035hrs: Swanage. Hurricane V7294. 145 Squadron Westhampnet (Aircraft crashed on Isle of Wight)
F/O A.Osterwicz Killed.  (Shot down by Bf109s off Swanage coast. Not seen to bale out)
1040hrs: Weymouth. Hurricane P2978. 238 Squadron Middle Wallop
Sgt G.Gledhill Killed. (Shot down over Channel during combat with unknown enemy aircraft)
1045hrs: Portland. Hurricane V7231. 87 Squadron Exeter (Aircraft lost at sea)
F/L R.V.Jeff Missing in action. (Last seen in combat over Channel, failed to return to base)
1045hrs: Weymouth. Hurricane R4097. 238 Squadron Middle Wallop
F/L S.C.Walch Missing in action. (Shot down in combat over Channel two miles E of Weymouth)
1045hrs: Portland. Hurricane P3885. 601 Squadron Tangmere. (Crashed into sea)
P/O J.L.Smithers Killed. (Shot down by unknown enemy aircraft. Buried at St Marie Le Havre, France)
1048hrs: Portland. Hurricane P3819. 238 Squadron Middle Wallop (Crashed into sea)
F/O M.L.Steborowski Killed. (Shot down by unknown enemy aircraft over Channel)
1050hrs: Weymouth. Hurricane P3222. 238 Squadron Middle Wallop (Crashed into sea)
P/O F.N.Cawse Killed. (Shot down in combat by Bf109 off coast)
1050hrs: Portland. Hurricane R4092. 601 Squadron Tangmere. (Crashed into sea)
F/O R.S.Demetriadi Killed. (Shot down by enemy aircraft over Channel. Buried at Cayeuz ser Mer, France)
1050hrs: Portland. Hurricane P3783. 601 Squadron Tangmere. (Failed to return to base)
F/O J.Gillan Missing in action. (Believed shot down over Channel during combat)
1055hrs: Portland. Hurricane L2057. 601 Squadron Tangmere. (Failed to return to base)
P/O W.G.Dickie Missing in action. (Last seen in combat over the Channel)
1100hrs: Sth of Isle of Wight. Spitfire R6614. 152 Squadron Warmwell (Crashed into sea)
P/O J.S.B.Jones Killed. (Shot down by Bf109 in mid Channel., Buried at Le Havre France)
1100hrs: Off Portland. Hurricane P2650. 213 Squadron Exeter (Crashed into sea)
F/L R.D.G.Wight Killed. (Shot down in combat with enemy aircraft. Believed buried at Cayeux sur Mer)
1100hrs: Off Portland. Hurricane P3789. 213 Squadron Exeter (Crashed into sea)
Sgt S.I Butterfield Killed. (Shot down by unknown enemy aircraft over Channel)
1120hrs: Sandown. Hurricane P3172. 1 Squadron Northolt (Aircraft destroyed)
P/O J.A.J.Davey Killed. (Hit by gunfire after combat with Bf110. Attempted forced landing, aircraft burnt out)
1130hrs: Calais. Spitfire R6630. 610 Squadron Biggin Hill (Failed to return to base)
Sgt W.J.Neville Missing in action. (Shot down while on patrol over French coast)
1130hrs: Calais. Spitfire R6918. 610 Squadron Biggin Hill (Failed to return to base)
F/Sgt J.H.Tanner Killed. (Shot down off French coast. Buried at Calais, France)
1150hrs: East Coast. Hurricane P3760. 17 Squadron Debden (Crashed into sea)
P/O K.Manger Missing in action. (Crashed in sea after combat with Bf110 off Suffolk coast)
1215hrs: East Coast. Spitfire R6962. 74 Squadron Hornchurch (Crashed into sea)
P/O D.N.E.Smith Killed. (Crashed into sea 30 miles off Harwich after combat with Bf110)
1215hrs: East Coast. Spitfire R6757. 74 Squadron Hornchurch (Crashed into sea)
P/O D.G.Cobden Killed. (Engaged combat with Bf110 off Harwich, believed shot down)
1300hrs: East Coast. Hurricane N2667. 56 Squadron North Weald (Crashed into sea)
Sgt R.D.Baker Killed. (Mistakenly shot down by unknown Spitfire while on convoy patrol.
1420hrs: Margate. Hurricane P3105. 111 Squadron Croydon (Crashed into sea)
P/O J.H.H.Copeman Killed. (Shot down in  combat with enemy aircraft over Thames Estuary)
1420hrs: Margate. Hurricane P3942. 111 Squadron Croydon (Presumed crashed into sea)
Sgt R.B.Sim Missing in action. (failed to return after combat with Bf109 escorts)
1420hrs: Margate. Hurricane P3922. 111 Squadron Croydon (Crashed into sea)
P/O J.W.McKenzie Missing in action. (Shot down by Bf109 over Thames Estuary)
1425hrs: Margate. Hurricane ? 111 Squadron Croydon (Crashed into sea)
P/O R.R.Wilson Missing in action. (Last seen attacking Bf109 escorts over Thames Estuary)


MONDAY AUGUST 12th 1940

WEATHER:

Fine and clear during the morning, after early morning mist. Light cloud in the north giving way to lengthy sunny periods. Dry all day.

OPERATIONS IN DETAIL:

0840hrs: The day before the official Adlertag was due to commence, radar detected enemy aircraft approaching from the direction of Calais, it was not unusual for German bomber formations to fly directly overhead en route to their target area. But this time it was different, this was a highly skilled Bf110 operation that now attacked the high towers of the British radar stations. Each of the Bf110 carried a single 500kg bomb, and this elite squadron commanded by Hauptmann Walter Rubensdoerffer who split his gruppe into four groups of four Bf110s. At first, he led the section on a westerly course, flying low in an effort to avoid detection, then just south-east of Beachy Head swung northwards and headed towards Eastbourne and the white cliffs of Dover that were now becoming more visible as the warmth of the morning burnt off the haze that was enveloping the British coast. At a pre-determined point, the raiders started to gain height so as to effectively dive bomb their targets, the British radar suddenly picked up the German formation but became bewildered as to where they had suddenly appeared. An excellent descriptive is given by Richard Hough and Denis Richards and is worthwhile quoting here:
Now Erpro 210 broke up into its four sections, and Rubensdoerffer himself set course for a more inland CH station, Dunkirk, north-west of Dover. Hauptmann Martin Lutz had been assigned the first and easiest target, Pevensey CH, right at the start of their run and dead ahead as they raced towards land. Oberleutnant Wilhelm-Richard Roessiger had been ordered to follow the coast east to the towering masts just beyond Rye, while Oberleutnant Otto Hintze with his four fighter bombers was deputed to knock down those provocative towers above Dover.

Lutz's fighter-bombers dropped their eight 500Kg bombs dead on their Pevensey target at the end of a 300+ mph glide. They could scarcely miss. There was no opposition on the ground or in the air. Concrete buildings collapsed and spread their fragments widely, as if made of paperboard. Telephone lines were torn apart, airmen and WAAFs were killed and injured, smoke and dust rose from the craters. The noise was stupefying, and the awful silence and darkness that followed seconds later told of severed power lines - in fact, the main supply cable had gone.

At Rye along the coast, Roessiger's foursome destroyed every hut, but as at Pevensey the reinforced transmitting and receiving blocks and the watch office survived though the personnel were severely shaken. The damage at Dunkirk, too, proved the success of Rubensdoerffer's training: every bomb bang on target.
Richard Hough & Denis Richards Battle of Britain Hodder & Staughton 1989 pp142-143

The Bf109 and 110 formation was flying directly for Dover, then, as soon as they flew over the coast they suddenly turned and immediately attacked the tall towers of the radar installations. In a swift and precise move Dover CH was damaged and put off the air. The formation continued on to Pevensey, then Rye and then Dunkirk. Then Rye radar station also reported the sighting and reported it to Fighter Command. Immediately it was given an "X" code, a code that was used if a sighting was of doubtful origin or could not be properly ascertained. Later, when Fighter Command wanted to know what was happening down there, the radio operator radioed Pevensey and asked the question, to which a gentlemanly voice said "...your bloody unknown origin is kicking the shit out of us, that's what". The same question was put to Rye, where the WAAF telephone operator in a rather pleasant tone of voice simply said "....actually, your "X" code is bombing us "All these radar stations suffered considerable damage and were put out of action. (Dunkirk suffered minor damage but the other three were back on the air after just a few hours).
There was less doubt on the coast. Behind Daphne Griffith's, the station adjutant, Flying Officer Smith, one of several officers who had drifted in to watch, recalled that the Ops hut was protected only by a small rampart of sandbags. He told Corporal Sydney Hempson, the NCO in charge: 'I think it would be a good idea if we had our tin hats.' At that moment the voice of Troop Sergeant Major Johnny Mason, whose Bofor guns defended the six acre site, seemed to explode in their headsets: 'Three dive-bombers coming out of the sun - duck!'

It was split second timing. Along the coast, Test Group 210, split now into squadrons of four, came hurtling from the watery sunlight - Oberleutnant Wilhelm Roessiger's pilots making for the aerials at Rye, Oberleutnant Martin Lutz and his men streaking for Pevensey, by Eastbourne, Oberleutnant Otto Hintze barely a thousand meters above the Dover radar station, flying for the tall steel masts head-on in a vain effort to pinpoint them, Rubensdorffer himself going full throttle for the masts at Dunkirk, near Canterbury.

Suddenly the Ops hut at Rye shuddered, and glass and wooden shutters were toppling; clods of earth founted 400 feet high to splatter the steel aerials. Prone beneath the table, the WAAF crews saw chairs and tables spiral in the air like a jugglers fast flying balls - everywhere the sites were under fire. At Pevensey, tons of gravel swamped the office of the C.O, Flight Lieutenant Marcus Scrogie, only minutes after he left it; at Dover, a bomb sheared past recumbent operators to bury itself six feet beneath the sick quarters. At Dunkirk, one of Rubensdorfer's thousand pounder's literally shifted the concrete transmitting block by inches. All along the coast the tall towers trembled, and black smoke rose to blot out the sun.

But by mid afternoon, General Wolfgang Martini, Luftwaffe signals chief, knew bitter disappointment. Operating with stand-by diesels, every station except Ventnor - a write off for three long weeks - was reported back on the air. To Martini, it seemed now as if radar stations could not be silenced for more than a few hours at a time.

Richard Collier "Eagle day - The Battle of Britain" Early Encounters. p41
The radar stations dotted all along the southern English coastline, easily picked out by the Luftwaffe pilots as the tall lattice-work towers stand out predominately along the coast, so visible, yet at the same time, so vulnerable, but they seemed almost immune to the high explosive. Although considerable damage was done, and the attack played havoc with the communications, but again, the Luftwaffe onslaught did not attain the success that it had anticipated. Dunkirk continued to transmit as did Pevensey and Dover, after only a brief interruption to communications. This was due to emergency stand by systems that had been included in the design of the radar stations. Standby diesel engines were started up to provide the power, while after any line breakage's had been repaired all stations were soon back on the air again. But with the downed towers, the advance warning system had lost a considerable amount of effectiveness, with the Observer Corps doing most of the work.

Then came something very different, it was at Dover, suddenly the silence was broken by a dull whistle getting louder and louder, then a big bang with bricks, framework, dirt and dust going everywhere, military personnel as well as locals in the town nearby were stunned, there was not an aircraft to be seen.....anywhere. These were the first rounds of Germany's long-range artillery fire. These big guns, located on the coast of France, projected their shells twenty-one miles across the Channel and landed right on target.

1145hrs: Rubensdoerffer reported that the mission was seventy-five percent successful, and Kesselring, to make sure that the RAF radar network was in chaos, sent out Ju87 Stukas to attack several small convoy's in the Thames Estuary. Although Fighter Command communications were stretched to the limit, Foreland CHL for some reason escaped the early morning attack by Rubensdoerffer and reported back to HQ that 50+ enemy aircraft had been picked up, with another force of 12+ that although separate from the main force were possibly intending to link up and attack the convoys of "Agent" and Arena" that were cruising in the Estuary. Hornchurch dispatched their 65 Spitfire squadron and Biggin Hill sent out the Hurricanes of 501 Squadron to intercept. It was not a good day for Fighter Command. Convoy "Agent" was attacked by the Ju87s, and the Hurricanes that were trying to stave them off paid a high price. Four of them were shot down and two RAF pilots were killed.

Poling radar detected a large force of raiders over the Channel south of Brighton. This turned out to be a bomber force of Ju88s of KG 51, escorted by Bf110s of ZG 2 and ZG 76. Cover for the formation was provided by twenty-four Bf109s of JG 53. In all, a total of 200+ aircraft. They kept to their westerly course following the coastline of Sussex until they were south of the triangular shape of the Isle of Wight, then the Kommodore of KG51 Oberst Dr Fisser kept his formation on a heading for Portland giving the RAF the impression that he was going to repeat the bombing of the Dorset town as he had done the previous day. But as the balloon defences of Portsmouth came into view on his starboard side, he turned his formation northwards.

But there was still other radar stations operating, notably the important one at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight, and this was to become the next target for the Luftwaffe, and at the same time, because of the major towns of Portsmouth and Southampton were nearby, attacks could be made on these at the same time. Richard Hough and Denis Richards continue:

Almost simultaneously with these convoy attacks off the Kent coast, Kesselring and Sperrle launched a ferocious attack on the centre of England's south coast, comprising - amongst much else - the naval bases of Portsmouth and Portland, the industries of Portsmouth and Southampton, including the Supermarine Spitfire works at Woolston, and the key radar station at Ventnor on the Isle of Wight.

The heart of this force comprised 100 Ju88s of the Eidelweissgeshwader, KG51, based at Etampes, Orly and Melun-Villaroche. This force had taken off shortly before 11am. and made a rendezvous with its fighter escort half an hour later. One hundred and twenty Bf110s of Zerstoerergeschwader 76 and 2, from other French airfields, accompanied the bombers north from the Normandy coast. Another twenty-five fighters, 109s of JG53, were then despatched direct, in order to save fuel, to the target area where they were ordered to give top cover. These pilots, especially, found the long sea crossing a taxing exercise, knowing that they would have little more than ten minutes combat time to spare at their extreme limit of range before having to return, or ditch in the Channel........

.........Electronic magic gave way to to the human eye, therefore, and the admirable, steady Observer Corps posts at Shoreham, Worthing and Middleton, west of Brighton, sent in long range sightings of the 200+ hostiles proceeding like a distant cloud of locusts down-Channel.

The Warning signal was flashed to the Observer Corps centre at Horsham, and thence to 11 Group at Uxbridge and 10 Group at Box. Within minutes more than fifty Spitfires and Hurricanes were airborne and heading for the obvious target of Portsmouth, anxious as always not to make contact with a height disadvantage.......

Richard Hough & Denis Richards Battle of Britain Hodder & Staughton 1989 p145
Dowding, with Keith Park and Leigh-Mallory were on the mezzanine level of the operations room at Fighter Command HQ at Uxbridge, and were looking down on the huge map below. They looked eagerly at the situation and watched intensely as the WAAFs slowly moved the enemy markers towards the Isle of Wight and Portsmouth. Dowding remarked that '.....it's obvious that they are trying to knock out our radar and communications', no one acknowledged, they just kept their eyes glued to the map below. The action continues as KG51's Kommodore Oberst Dr Fisser led his Geschwader west, some fifteen miles off the flat west Sussex coast with the triangular configuration of the Isle of Wight dead ahead:
........... Then he ordered his armada sharply to starboard, just as a man o'war might do, in order to enter Portsmouth harbour through a gap in the balloons. Fisser and fourteen of his crack crews had other plans, though, and as he circled he watched his bombers going in like a huge serpent in line-astern .

The anti-aircraft fire, from every ship in the harbour, firing for once from a steady gun platform, and from the Army's guns ashore, was in its intensity like nothing Fisser, or any of his crews, had seen before - 47 and 4.5 inch, 3 inch, 2 pound pom-poms, Bofors and even 20mm filled the sky with black puffs and criss-crossing tracer. Now Fisser himself turned south-west, losing height and gaining speed rapidly as he raced at 300 mph and at 5,000 feet over Foreland, the eastern tip of the Isle of Wight, heading for the little seaside resort of Ventnor.

There, on a strip of high-level ground close to the town, were sited the tall towers of the CH station which covered the whole mid-Channel area, and whose screens were now scarred with the blips from Fisser's main force and, more ominously, the detachment coming directly for the Station . Fisser wasted no time. Like Rubensdoerffer, he wanted to get in and out as fast as possible, and he aimed the nose of his Ju 88 at the towers and the buildings, all connected by a criss-cross pattern of white concrete paths which would have given away the target in much less favourable visibility. Like most 88 commanders, he favoured the shallow dive approach which gave his bomb-aimer the best visibility and more time to make last split-second adjustments than in the 45 degree or steeper approach. Fisser saw no anti-aircraft fire, and it was almost impossible to miss with the four 250 kg, delayed-action, high-explosives they all carried.

Lighter by a ton, he pulled up steeply above the scattered boarding- houses and small hotels of the seaside resort, over the chalk cliffs and the breakers on the shore, and watched the bombs explode. Fisser was a veteran of the Polish and French campaigns, had dropped bombs across half of Europe (or so it sometimes seemed), but he could never have seen such concentrated devastation. The whole target was engulfed by white-and-black clouds, with more exuding from the inferno as he turned away and ordered his planes to close in, climbing at full throttle, to escape the avenging wrath of the British. But already the first reports were coming in from behind that still distant Hurricanes were diving towards them. And, belatedly, the Bofors anti-aircraft fire had burst into action - or perhaps it had been firing when they were all too preoccupied with their run-in. It was accurate firing, too, and as Fisser continued his turn overland north of Ventnor, he suddenly realised that his whole detached force was in a dangerous position, with a height disadvantage and only a scattering of Bf 110s to give them any support before they could clear the area.

McGregor's Hurricanes were first on the Ventnor scene, as he had predicted, but 152 Squadron's Spitfires came in seconds later, and a whirling fight ensued before Fisser could get his 88s away. McGregor himself got on the tail of a 110, ignoring the rear-gunner's fire, and despatched it with a single burst. Then two more of his squadron began harassing Fisser's 88 and were joined by two more of 152's Spitfires. The Kommodore was killed at the controls. The Junkers, trailing flames, dived towards the ground, was pulled up violently, presumably by one of the crew, and headed towards Godshill Park, yawing and only partly under control. It struck the ground heavily, sending up a cloud of pale earth, and slid to a halt, its back broken but the fire self-extinguished. Leutnant Schad and Oberleutnant Luederitz, both wounded, staggered from the wreckage, and their captors succeeded in extricating the fourth crewman, badly burned, a few minutes later. Most of Fisser's Geschwader were still attacking Portsmouth at 12.25 p.m. as he lay dead in this pleasant park on the Isle of Wight a few miles away. The anti-aircraft fire remained intense and accurate throughout the Portsmouth attack. Ten more 88s fell to the RAF fighters' guns, or the ground gunners (most likely both) besides McGregor's 110 victim, which went into the sea off Foreland. By a curious freak of the tides in these uncertain waters, the body of Fritz Budig was washed ashore near Gosport, while his pilot's body was found on the beach near Boulogne five weeks later. [3]

Portsmouth was hit hard in this battle, shops, buildings and factories were destroyed, fires broke out in many parts of the city and falling walls and masonry became a hazard. This was the first major attack on an English populated area, and to the British, it was a sign of things to come. 100 civilians died, but as far as the air war was concerned, the British were still losing less than the Luftwaffe.

But Ventor radar was a shambles, it was now completely out of action. Dunkirk, Pevensey, Rye and Dover radar stations had suffered damage enough to put them out of action temporally, and this was a plus for the enemy, as both Kesselring and Sperrle were convinced that now the radar station attacks had achieved their purpose and that the RAF was now 'without it's eyes'. The Luftwaffe could now impose the next phase of the battle, and that was the destruction of the RAF airfields in southern England. The first three on the list was, Lympne, Hawkinge and Manston.

1325hrs: The airfield at Manston was the first to be hit. Rubensdoerffer's Erpro210 was back again after the earlier damage it had done to Dover and Dunkirk radar stations. This time dropping bombs and machine gunning the satellite airfield just as 65 Squadron (Spitfires) were taking off on a routine patrol.

‘We had just settled down to the inevitable game of cards in our dispersal hut at Manston (pontoon was the normal relaxation between operations) when the telephone shrilled warningly. How we hated the dispersal telephone; its very note was abnormal and the unexpectedness with which it rang had the immediate effect of producing an awful sick feeling in the pit of one’s tummy. A pin could have been heard to drop as, with cards poised and eyes turned expectantly towards the orderly as he reached for the receiver, we strained to hear the message from the now faintly urgent voice which came over the wire.
“Hornet squadron scramble”.
Table, cards and money shot into the air as the pilots dived headlong for the door.’
AL Deere, 54 Squadron, 12 August.
Manston, or 'Charlie 3' as this airfield was known, was the real prime target, it was the most easterly of all the airfields in the south, and another of the all grass airfields which allowed entire squadrons to take off together thus they were in the air and reaching the enemy quicker than if they had to take off in single file on any of the concrete runways.
"We were just formed up on the ground and waiting Sam's signal to start rolling. I was therefore looking out to my left towards the leading section when I became aware of, rather than actually hearing, a sort of reverberating "crump" behind and to my right. I looked quickly over my right shoulder to see one of the hangar roofs close behind us ascending heavenwards......I caught a glimpse through smoke of what looked like a Bf110 pulling sharply out of a dive and immediately concluded that it was high time for Quill to be airborne"
F/O Jeffery Quill 65 Squadron (Hornchurch) Operating from Manston. 12th August.
54 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) witnessed the whole of the attack from the air. The telephone rang outside dispersal at Hornchurch. "Okay fellas 'scramble'....angels one-five Manston". The same was to happen at Rochford, a satellite station of Hornchurch. A flight from 54 Squadron were lazily sleeping, reading or chatting outside dispersal when the telephone rang. 'Jumbo' Gracie turned and made a grab for the receiver, there was a silence as he listened, then at the same time as he banged the handset down he yelled "Scamble....seventy plus bandits approaching Manston...angels one five." In those few short words of pilots jargon, it painted a vivid picture to the scrambling pilots as to what to do and what to expect. Angels, in pilots language was thousands of feet, bandits was enemy aircraft and scramble was 'drop everything and get to your waiting aircraft'. So the message was clear, get to your aircraft as quickly as possible, start engines, take off, and head in the direction of Manston in Kent where anything between seventy and eighty German aircraft were approaching at fifteen thousand feet.

Flight Lieutenant Al Deere who had been leading a flight out of Manston, a New Zealander was flying at about 20,000 feet when he spotted the attack. He immediately broke radio silence and called Pilot Officer Colin Gray, another New Zealander who was Blue Section leader, 'Do you see them', Gray was looking earthwards 'Too bloody right,' they were preparing to go in. Then, just as 54 Squadron was within striking distance of the mixture of Bf109s and 110s, Deere saw that Blue leader was no longer with them. Gray had sighted a second formation that was approaching Dover and had already engaged them. Deere yelled over his radio, '...where the hell are you?' Then he saw plumes of white smoke that was spiraling upwards from the aerodrome, he thought that the whole airfield was on fire, where instead it was only the white chalk dust from the many craters that were appearing all over the Manston airfield.

54 Squadron had managed to get off safely before the Erpro210 Bf110s and Bf 109's arrived and began an interception of the German formation, but 65 Squadron had an hair raising experience taking off as bombs exploded around them. Only P/O K.G.Hart in Spitfire R6712 was injured and his aircraft damaged in the attack. No sooner had 54 and 65 Squadrons pushed the Bf110s and Bf 109's back over the Channel, a formation of Dorniers from KG2 led by Oberst Fink came in over the Straits of Dover and headed for Manston. The airfield was now a shambles. It is estimated that 150 high explosive bombs fell, destroying hangars, workshops and damaging two Blenheims and the airfield finished up with more holes in the ground than an eighteen hole golf course.

Hawkinge suffered a similar fate with hangars and huts destroyed and twenty five large, and numerous small craters appearing all over the airfield, enough to put Hawkinge out of action for three days. Lympne also suffered in the attack.

Dowding and Keith Park again were in the operations room at Fighter Command HQ watching with great concern as the battle unfolded, they saw the WAAFs move the 'enemy indicators' from the Channel and in the Estuary across the coast and towards the airfields. Park complained that 501 Squadron that had just been 'scrambled' and that 64 Squadron who had already taken off were not yet in a position to attack them '....they're not getting up quick enough, they'll have to do better than that' he said, 'at least we know now what he's after - my bloody airfields'. Dowding took the news on a more serious note, '...gentlemen, I think the battle has begun'.

1350hrs: What happened next in the life of a pilot, was typical of a scramble that could have taken place at any of Fighter Commands airfields, this is how Pilot Officer Geoffrey Page of 56 Squadron attacked the situation:

After the call of "Scramble", there was no time for further reflection. As he pelted the fifty yards to his waiting Hurricane, the suspense was banished and Page's mind was clear and alert, with only physical action to preoccupy him. Right foot in the stirrup step, left foot on the port wing, one short step along, right foot on the step inset in the fuselage, into the cockpit. Deftly his rigger, was passing parachute straps across his shoulders, then the Sutton harness straps....pin through and tighten the adjusting pieces....mask clipped across and oxygen on. He had primed the engine, adjusting the switches, and now his thumb went up in signal to the mechanics. The chocks slipped away, the Rolls Royce Merlin engine roared into life, flattening the dancing grass with their slipstream, and Page was taxi-ing out behind 'Jumbo' Gracie.

The Hurricanes climbed steeply, gaining height at more that 2,000 feet per minute, and the voice of Wing Commander John Cherry, North Weald Controller, filled their earphones, calling 'Jumbo' Gracie: 'Hullo Yorker Blue Leader, Lumber Calling. Seventy plus bandits approaching Charlie Three, angels one-five.' Then Gracie's high pitched voice acknowledged: 'Hullo Lumber, Yorker Blue Leader answering. Your message received and understood. Over.' One of the squadron's pilots chipped in: lack of oil pressure was sending him home. Again Gracie acknowledged, and now ten Hurricanes swept on to intercept seventy German aircraft. Page thought idly, odds are seven to one - no better nor worse than usual. As they followed the serrated coastline of north Kent his altimeter showed 10,000 feet.

From "Eagle Day - Battle of Britain" by Richard Collier p45
56 Squadron started to close in on the departing bombers, as Geoffrey Page later put it, like "an express train overtaking a freight train" and they started to attack. Unfortunately, Page's Hurricane was hit and his aircraft exploded in a ball of flame. He managed to bale out, but badly burned was rescued by the Margate lifeboat.
Geoffrey Page was one of Fighter Command's experienced pilots, that was to be out of the battle for a long time, like many others who had sufferred burns, he was to have a long, long road to recovery. But, survival from severe burns is never going to be an easy one. But it is through such pilots as Geoffrey Page that we can learn what it is really like to experience what every pilot fears most, the thought of being trapped inside a burning aircraft.

This was the first major attack on a British airfield. For two solid hours Manston had been under constant bombardment. Len Deighton outlines the attack:

When Erprobungsgruppe 210's precision specialists, on their second sortie of the day, hit Manston: 150 bombs hit workshops, hangars and aircraft, enveloping the coastal airfield in smoke. Henceforth, Manston was under continual strafing, and was of limited value to Fighter Command. Some officers believed that it should have been evacuated, but Dowding declined to give the order for propaganda reasons. Manston's handful of exceptionally courageous Blenheim night fighter pilots of 600 Squadron worked day after day helping to refuel and rearm fighters that landed there. Most of the ground crews that should have been doing the job were hopelessly shaken by the events of 12th August and after. They went into the shelters and stayed there, defying all pleas to come out.
Len Deighton Battle of Britain Jonathon Cape 1980 p127
Further to the attack on Manston, Mike Spick in Richard Townshend Bickers book Battle of Britain, mentioned that after the Bf110s attacked Manston, it was followed by an attack by Dorniers of KG 2 which done considerable damage. These were recorded in the station diary as being as being wrongly identified as Heinkel's.

It had been a busy day for both the Luftwaffe and the RAF, and maybe it was a sign of things to come. After the bombing of Manston, the Luftwaffe diverted their attacks on the airfield of Lympe and Hawkinge where they were bombed by Ju88s of II/KG76. All the airfields bombed that day were classed as heavy, but was not recorded as officially being critical. The days events were finalized with some heavy bombing raids on a few coastal towns of Kent.

It now seemed that the stage had been set. The Luftwaffe knew of the importance of the British radar, but they knew little about the basic fundamentals of how it was working for Fighter Command. They knew that the radar was the 'eyes' of the RAF, and that before making any attempt at engineering raids on RAF installations and facilities this radar had to be knocked out. They had tried, but only to find out that within hours, the radar stations were back in operational status once more. Even Ventor, where they thought had been totally destroyed, it was much to their surprise that Britain had it back in operation within four weeks.

The early warning Radar chain was, in the main, so arranged that each stations area of detection was overseen by its adjoining stations, and so to cripple the system satisfactorily it was necessary to reduce the efficiency of two or three together. Much depended on how close the stations were to each other, e.g. in the south and southwest they were more widely spaced, making the cover less concentrated. There were mobile reserve units on call to plug gaps where enemy action had put Radar stations out of order or if cover suddenly became necessary in a hitherto unprotected area, but they were less effective than the original.

The Interservices RDF Committee decided at their meeting on 25 April 1940 to have a pool of MB2 equipment's on call for such emergencies. They were fitted into suitable vehicles and provided with their own power generators. Goering’s decision to stop attacks on the stations was fortuitous for the British. It is often said they were difficult targets, the masts supporting the aerials providing protection against low level raids, but the buildings, their land-line telephone communications and power supply were vulnerable.
Peter Flint Dowding and Headquarters Fighter Command 1996 Airlife p106

So, the plan was, that on August 12th they would knock out the radar installations at the key points of Dover, Pevensey, Rye, Dunkirk and Ventor so that the RAF would not be able to see that the next move was to destroy the RAF on the ground by bombing the airfields. With no radar to detect their approach, the way was was clear for them send formations across the Channel, and the only way that they could be detected was by visual sightings, which by the time that this was made, it would be too late for the RAF to muster the aircraft needed to stop them before they had reached their targets.
Thirty-one German aircraft on this day were shot down, but it was not a day that favoured the RAF as twenty-two fighter planes were destroyed and eleven pilots were killed.

CASUALTIES:
1100hrs: OffRamsgate (Kent). Hurricane P3304. 151 Squadron North Weald
P/O R.W.G.Beley Died of wounds. (Shot down by Bf109. Crashed into sea and rescued. Taken to Manston)
1220hrs: South of Isle of Wight. Spitfire K9999. 152 Squadron Warmwell
P/O D.C.Shepley Missing in action. (Last seen in combat with Ju88. Failed to return to base)
1220hrs: South of Isle of Wight. Spitfire P9456. 152 Squadron Warmwell
F/L L.C.Withall Missing in action. (Shot down by gunfire from Ju88, believed crashed into sea)
1230hrs: South of Isle of Wight. Hurricane R4180. 145 Squadron Westhampnett
P/O J.H.Harrison Missing in action. (Shot down over Channel during combat with Ju88s and Bf 109's)
1230hrs: South of Isle of Wight. Hurricane P3391. 145 Squadron Westhampnett
Sgt J Kwiecinski Missing in action. (Failed to return to base)
1230hrs: South of Isle of Wight. Hurricane R4176. 145 Squadron Westhampnett
F/L W.Pankratz Missing in action. (Shot down over Channel during combat with Ju88s and Bf 109's)
1235hrs: South of Portsmouth. Spitfire P9333. 266 Squadron Tangmere
P/O D.G.Ashton Killed. (Aircraft burst into flames from gunfire from enemy aircraft)
1245hrs: Off Bognor (Sussex). Hurricane P2802. 213 Squadron Exeter
Sgt S.G.Stuckey Missing in action. (Shot down over Channel by Bf109s)
1245hrs: Off Bognor (Sussex). Hurricane P2854. 213 Squadron Exeter
Sgt G.N.Wilkes Missing in action. (Last seen in combat with Bf109s. Failed to return to base)
1255hrs: Off Ramsgate (Kent). Hurricane P3803. 501 Squadron Gravesend
P/O K.Lukaszewicz Missing in action. (Shot down in Channel after combat with Bf109s)
1300hrs: South of Portsmouth. Hurricane P3362. 257 Squadron Northolt
P/O J.A.G.Chomley Missing in action. (Last seen engaging Bf109s. Failed to return to base)
 

[1] Richard Hough & Denis Richards Battle of Britain Hodder & Staughton 1989 p387
[2] Derek Wood & Derek Dempster The Narrow Margin Hutchinson 1961
[3] Richard Hough & Denis Richards Battle of Britain Hodder & Staughton 1989 pp146-7



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