Document-32.    


BOBHSOC

The North East Diaries
August 15th in the North of England

This was the day the Luftwaffe attempted to saturate the British Defences.  One of the many areas of attack was Luftflotte 5's flank  attack on the east Coast, they met heavy opposition and suffered serious casualties, most of whom fell into the North Sea.  Luftflotte 5 never attempted a flank attack again.  The man to whom the North-East is indebted for the successful defence of this area has not had very much in the way of recognition, he was the Air Officer Commanding, 13 Group, Air Vice-Marshal Richard Ernest Saul, DFC. 

Despite enthusiastic claims made by the RAF (182 shot down), the true total of German losses was still a crushing blow to them.  Over the whole country, Seventy-five lost and a further fifteen returning to base damaged.  They also lost a further three planes and damaged another five in accidents. 

The majority of people living in the North-East on this August day did not really know much about the events of the day, they just knew about the happenings in their own little part of the world, Miss Flagg's diary gives a true account of the day as the man or in this case, woman in the street saw it.  # The "Battle of Tyneside", in a way the prototype for the "Battle of Britain", did not affect the town (South Shields); indeed, many people had very little idea how momentous an occasion it was.  The roar of planes and heavy gun-fire were heard; there were occasional glimpses of aircraft attacking or taking evasive action but bombs were only dropped in the harbour, on the cliffs and at sea.  Four High Explosive bombs fell at Salmon's Hall and Frenchman's Bay.  A Coast guard on duty had a narrow escape, one bomb falling on each side of his cabin which was seriously damaged.  No casualties. # 

The following is an account of the North-East's part in that day, as described in the book Narrow Margin by Derek Wood and Derek Dempster:

"Then followed an attack which was to be the most interesting of the whole day.  Banking on tactical surprise and conveniently forgetting the radar chain, Luftflotte 5 launched two simultaneous thrusts in the north and the north-east.  They expected little opposition and their reception came as a painful surprise."

"At 8 minutes past 12 radar began to plot a formation of twenty plus opposite the Firth of Forth at a range of over 90 miles.  As the raid drew closer the estimates went up to thirty in three sections flying SW towards Tynemouth."

"At Watnall the approach of 13 Groups first daylight raid was watched on the operations table with particular interest.  With an hours warning the controller was able to put squadrons in an excellent position to attack, with 72 Squadron Spitfires in the path of the enemy off the Farne Islands and 605 Squadron over Tyneside.  Nos 79 and 607 were also put up, but while the latter was in the path of the raid, No 79 was too far north."

"No 72 Squadron from Acklington was the first to make contact and it came as a distinct shock when the thirty materialised as I and III/KG 26 with sixty-five Heinkel 111s, and the entire I/ZG 76 from Stavanger with thirty-four Me 110s.  After a brief pause in which to survey the two massive groups flying in vic formation, Squadron-Leader E. Graham led No 72 straight in from the flank, one section attacking the fighters, and the rest the bombers."

"The Me 110s formed defensive circles, while the Heinkels split up. Some of them jettisoned their bombs and headed back to Norway, leaving several of their number in the sea.  The separate parts of the formation finally reached the coast, one south of Sunderland and the other south of Acklington.  No 79 intercepted the northern group over the water, while a flight from No 605 Squadron caught it over land. Most of the HEs fell harmlessly in the sea."

"The group off Sunderland found Nos 607 and 41 waiting for it and they too bombed to little effect, apart from wrecking houses.  The raiders turned back to Norway, the Me 110s having already departed some minutes before.  Of a total force of about 100, eight bombers and seven fighters were destroyed and several more damaged without British loss.  The airfield targets such as Usworth, Linton on Ouse and Dishforth went unscathed.  One Staffel of III/KG 26 lost five of its nine aircraft in the course of the fighting."

"Farther south, an unescorted formation of 50 Ju 88s from I, II and III/KG 30, based on Aalborg, was heading in to No 12 Group off Flamborough Head.  This group were detailed to wipe Driffield out as a bomber base.  Full radar warning was given and 73 Squadron Hurricanes, 264 Squadron Defiants and 616 Squadron Spitfires were sent to patrol the area, the force being supplemented later by Blenheims from 219 Squadron in 13 Group."

"Both 616 and a flight of No 73 engaged, but the enemy split into eight sections.  Some turned north to bomb Bridlington where houses were hit and an ammunition dump blown up.  The main force, however, flew to the No 4 Group Bomber Station at Driffield, Yorkshire, where 169 bombs of various calibres were dropped on the airfield, four hangars were damaged and many other buildings were either bombed or raked with cannon fire, twelve Whitleys were destroyed and seventeen personnel were killed.  The damage to the airfield was such, that it was non-operational for the rest of the year.

Heavy anti-aircraft fire was directed against the bombers and one was brought down.  Altogether, six of KG 30s Ju 88s were shot down, representing about 10% of the force sent over."

"In all, the northern attackers lost sixteen bombers out of a serviceable Luftflotte 5 force of one hundred and twenty-three, and seven fighters of the thirty-four available".

  This account of the days events have been taken from the book 'Action Stations. Vol 7'. by David J. Smith, in the section that deals with Usworth airfield:
"The airfield at Usworth near Boldon was a training station for most of its wartime career, despite this it was singled out for a major Luftwaffe attack during the Battle of Britain.  On August 15th 1940, a large force of Heinkel He 111s of KG 26, inadequately escorted by Messerschmitt Bf 110s of ZG 76 were detected approaching the east coast.  Spitfires of 72 Squadron, Acklington met them off the Farne Islands and although heavily outnumbered, claimed several destroyed.

The German formation then split into two, one portion making for Tyneside and the other turned south.  The second Acklington Squadron, No 79, encountered the northern group just off the coast and a dogfight with the escort ensued. Reforming, the Hurricanes caught up with the bombers who were approaching Newcastle on their way to their primary target which appeared to be Usworth airfield.

Harried by the Tyne guns and more Hurricanes from Drem airfield near Edinburgh, the Heinkels made off scattering their bombs to little effect, leaving Usworth untouched.  The southerly force, attacked by 14 and 607 Squadrons from Catterick and Usworth, jettisoned their bombs in the region of Seaham Harbour.  The enemy lost eight bombers and seven fighters and since no military target was hit, it could be said to have been a highly successful action on the part of 13 Group and the AA guns".

In the same book, the section that deals with Acklington airfield describes it thus:

"On August 16th 1940, believing that all our fighter squadrons had been committed to the struggle in the south, the Luftwaffe sent about one hundred bombers with an escort of forty Messerschmitt Bf 110s against Tyneside. Unfortunately for them, several Hurricane and Spitfire squadrons had been withdrawn from the battle to rest in, and simultaneously guard the north."

"The pilots had protested that they were not at all tired and then this unexpected consolation came upon the scene.  Nearly thirty enemy aircraft were shot down, many by Acklington based aircraft, for a British loss of two pilots injured.  Never again was a daylight raid attempted, outside the range of the best fighter protection and henceforth everywhere north of the Wash was safe by day".

The New English Library edition of The Battle of Britain gives the following account of today's events ... Fine and warm anticyclonic weather.  All three Luftflotten in maximum effort against airfields, radar stations and factories including heavy attack by KG 26 and ZG 76 (Luftflotte 5) in the Newcastle area. RAF air station at Driffield bombed and ten Whitley bombers destroyed on ground.  Other attacks leave Dishforth, Linton on Ouse and Usworth undamaged.  Bridlington ammunition dump blown up. ..... This day a turning point: its losses convince the Luftwaffe that air superiority is essential before all-out bombing can be successful.  It also marks the virtual end of Luftflotte 5's offensive usefulness, so sparing the north such heavy attacks in future; and the beginning of the end of the Ju 87's usefulness as a dive-bomber and that of the Bf 110 as an escort fighter.  Losses: Luftwaffe: seventy-five, Fighter Command: thirty-four.  It must be pointed out that the final remarks and figures appertain to the whole country. 

This account of the days happenings, are extracts that come from Basil Collier's book 'The Battle of Britain'.  The book also gives an inkling of the flair and boldness of Air Vice-Marshal Saul's tactics, plus a little praise for the outcome which saved the North-East from a lot of attention in the days of war, yet to come. 

"The main feature of the second days (August 15) programme was that, for the first time, fairly weighty attacks across the North Sea were to be made by General Stumpff's Luftflotte 5 in concert with further attacks in the south by Kesselring and Sperrle.  This was an extremely risky innovation .... but he could scarcely refuse the part assigned to him.  His orders were attack aerodromes near Newcastle and in Yorkshire, and he had roughly sixty-five Heinkel 111s, fifty Junkers 88s and thirty-five Messerschmitt 110s with which to do it.  The 110s were far too few to escort a hundred and fifteen bombers, and had barely the endurance to cross the North Sea in both directions.
Making the best of a bad job, he fitted them with supplementary fuel-tanks; ordered them to fly without rear-gunners to compensate for the added weight; sent them to Newcastle with the Heinkels; and ordered the faster and more modern Junkers 88s to fly to Yorkshire unescorted.
It was a desperate gamble, but it might conceivably come off.

The RDF stations on the east coast picked up the Heinkels and their escort when they were still far out to sea.  Their first estimate was that more than twenty aircraft were approaching, but later they raised the figure to more than thirty, and finally to more than fifty.  The stations said, correctly, that the aircraft were flying in three distinct formations. 

Air Vice-Marshal R.E. Saul DFC commanding No 13 Group, was less well known to the public than his colleagues to the south, whose forces were in the thick of the fighting through-out the battle. August 15 gave him his first chance of countering a big attack in daylight.  In spite of the enormous area he had to cover, he made such good use of it that it also proved to be his last, for the Germans never repeated the experiment. 

Saul's position at noon, when the Heinkels of Kampfgeschwader 26 and the Messerschmitt 110s of Zerstorergeschwader 76 were first detected miles away over the North Sea, was that he had three squadrons of Spitfires, one of Hurricanes and one of Blenheims in the two sectors which covered the north of England.  Of the remaining eight squadrons which made up the resources of his group, four and a half were far away in Northern Ireland, Shetland and the north of Scotland.  To supplement the five squadrons he had immediately at hand, he could  count only on two and a half squadrons of Hurricanes near the Firth of Forth and a squadron of Defiants near the Clyde.  The Blenheims were no match even for long-range fighters, while the Defiants had suffered crippling losses in their last encounter with the Germans and were at least a hundred miles from any objective which Stumpff was likely to attack. 

Saul began by sending one of the four single-seater squadrons close at hand to meet the enemy well off the coast.  At the same time he brought down a squadron of Hurricanes from the Firth of Forth to patrol the Tyneside - an almost unprecedented step.  As the threat became more imminent he added the remaining three single-seater squadrons immediately available, keeping back only the Blenheims, the Defiants, and a squadron and a half of Hurricanes near the Forth.  By this time correctly appreciating that he had the greater part of Stumpff's resources on his front, he nevertheless responded to a call for reinforcement from No 12 Group, on his southern flank, by parting with the Blenheims, his only uncommitted squadron within reach.  Like Brand (Air Vice-Marshal Sir Q. Brand AOC of 10 Group) in face of Sperrle's threat on the 13th, at least he ran little risk of being caught by Stumpff with his aircraft on the ground. 

Meanwhile, to seaward of the Farne Islands, the Spitfires of No 72 Squadron from Acklington were closing with Stumpff's escorted bombers at the rate of something like eight miles per minute.  In the absence of a squadron- leader, they were led by Flight-Lieutenant Edward Graham, who thus stepped into the place of honour in one of the most spectacularly successful air combats of the war. 

Thirty miles off the coast, the squadron sighted the enemy - a hundred aircraft to their eleven.  As the RDF stations had predicted, the Germans were flying in three formations - the bombers ahead and the fighters in two waves stepped up to the rear. Misled by the supplementary fuel tanks slung below the fighters, which looked like bombs, Graham and his pilots took the nearer wave for Junkers 88s. 

Stumpff's armada was so vast in comparison with Graham's little force that he hesitated for a moment, uncertain at what point and from what direction to attack it.  Apparently unable to bear the suspense, one of his pilots was asked whether he had seen the enemy. With a slight stutter which was habitual, he replied " Of course I've seen the b-b-b-bastards, I'm trying to w-w-w-work out what to do." The reply was to became famous through-out Fighter Command. 

He did not hesitate for long, The Spitfires had had plenty of time to gain height during their long flight from the coast, and were about three thousand feet above the enemy's mean height.  Making the most of his advantage and of what corresponded to the weather-gauge, he decided to lead the squadron in a diving attack from up-sun, leaving each pilot free to choose his own target.  Two-thirds attacked bombers or supposed bombers, the remaining third the second wave of fighters, correctly identified as 110s. 

The results were startling.  Jettisoning their external tanks, some of the 110s formed the usual defensive circle, while others dived almost to sea level and were last seen heading east.  The bombers, less an indeterminate number destroyed by Graham's squadron, then split into two formations, each accompanied by some of the remaining fighters. One formation headed for Tyneside, apparently with the intention of bombing Saul's sector station at Usworth; the rest turned south-east towards two aerodromes at Linton on Ouse and Dishforth which they had been ordered to attack. 

The first formation, engaged successively by the remaining squadron from Acklington, the Tyne guns and some of the Hurricanes which had come south from Scotland, dropped most of their bombs in the sea.  The second, engaged by a squadron of Spitfires from Catterick, a Hurricane squadron from Usworth and the Tees guns, dropped theirs almost as ineffectively near Sunderland and Seaham Harbour.  From first to last Saul's fighters, backed by the guns of the 7th Anti-Aircraft Division under Major-General R.B. Pargiter, destroyed eight Heinkels and seven 110s without suffering a single casualty.  It is known that in addition to the enemy losses reported in this diary during this period, many German aircraft got back to their bases with battle damage varying from a few bullet holes to a total write-off on crash landing. 

While these excitements were at their height, the fifty Junkers 88s which made up the rest of Stumpff's bomber force were speeding across the North Sea towards their objective in South Yorkshire, a bomber aerodrome at Great Driffield.  About a quarter of an hour before the first shot was fired off the Farne Islands, warning was received in the operations room of No 12 Group at Watnall that German aircraft were approaching the front of the group's Church Fenton sector, but were still a long way out to sea." .... Here the direct quotes from the story end, but a resume of the rest of the action in the north, is that .... Air Vice- Marshal Saul was even able to lend No 12 Groups AOC - Air Vice-Marshal Leigh-Mallory - his squadron of Blenheims to help in the defence of the airfield at Driffield which was bombed, as was Bridlington.  The Blenheims were lent even though Air Vice-Marshal Leigh-Mallory had squadrons nearer to him available to fight, than Air Vice-Marshal Saul had at the beginning of the action. 

Luftflotte 5 was finished in the daylight battle, apart from reconnaissance, and most of its bomber strength and some of its fighters were transferred to Luftflotte 2, based in France, towards the end of August. 

An extract from a German airman's account of the attack on Driffield airfield is given below, it is by Oberleutnant Rudolf Kratz flying a Junkers Ju 88 of Stab/KG 30 stationed at Aalborg in occupied Denmark and it is taken from the book 'The Lufwaffe in the Battle of Britain' by Armand van Ishoven:

"The coast.  The initial point.  No time left for thinking - there lay England, the lion's den.  But the eagles were going to attack the lion in his lair and wound him grievously.

"Fighters to starboard..." Three specks overflew us, disappeared to the rear, and after a diving turn, hung behind us."  "Your turn now". The words disappeared in the rattle of our machine guns.  In short bursts the volleys flew towards the first fighter.  He turned away and the second one took his place.  This one's fire is ineffective as well and both passed below and were shot at by our ventral gunner.  Like hornets they swooshed through our formation, the roundels on their fuselage looking like eyes.

"Five fighters to port above." reported the wireless operator calmly. "Dammit," the pilot said, but did not get agitated.  We kept on flying towards our target.  Staring before us we tried to locate the airfield amidst the ragged clouds.' "There, the field, below us." ......

"The target at last - the fighters were beginning to be a real nuisance.  The time had come now.  I did not give a single Pfennig for the life of those below - drop the HEs, away with the blessing!  The aircraft went into a dive, speed rapidly building up, and the wind roared and howled around us. The hangars grew and grew.  They were still standing.  The AA guns were firing away at us, but they were too late.

'A jolt - the bombs were free, the steel bodies out whistling down. Below all hell was let loose.  Like an inferno, steel hit steel, and stones.  Bomb upon bomb exploded, destroying and tearing apart what they hit.  Hangar walls and roofs crumpled like tin sheets, pieces flying through the air.  Aircraft were shattered by a hail of splinters.  Barracks tumbled down, enormous smoke and dust clouds rose like mushrooms.  Here and there explosions and flames shot up.  The airfield and the hangars were already badly hit but bombs kept falling from the bombers that followed us, kept raining down in a horrible shower.  Fire from exploding ammunition burst upwards like torches. The English AA artillery had been eliminated, their firing positions turned into craters.

"The sun shone into our cabin.  The enemy fighters had been got rid of.  Below us lay the wide sea.  How beautiful the Earth can be. Hands loosened their grip on the machine guns.  What happened just a few minutes ago lay behind us and we relaxed.  The engines were running evenly, we were flying home.  The airfield didn't exist any more; that was the result."

Oberleutnant Kratz who wrote the above report (from which the extract is taken) had joined the Reichswehr in 1934 and had transferred to the Luftwaffe the following year.  In 1937 he had been trained in blind flying, while on Lufthansa routes, as did so many Luftwaffe pilots at that time.  It was a perfect camouflage.  Thirty-nine years after writing the report, he had become a dentist in Bad Salzuflen and he remembered: 'I wrote the report for my own entertainment, but it got in front of Oblt Loebel who gave it to a Kriegsberichter.  From there it found its way into the Jahrbuch of the Luftwaffe.  Today I find it too emphatic and bombastic.  But then those times were filled with heroism, the call of duty and big words. 

Having read what I believe to be the whole report and in view of the heavy losses incurred by KG30 on this day, I find it surprising that no mention is made of German casualties in it whatsoever. 

A Heinkel He 111H from 1/KG26, shot down during a sortie to attack Middlesbrough, crashed into the sea at 13.45 off Druridge Bay / Hemscott Hill, four German airmen brought ashore at Amble, part of enemy aircraft found near Clifton railway crossing.  The aircraft was lost. 

Five Heinkel He 111Hs from 8/KG26 were lost off the North-East coast during a sortie to Dishforth airfield.  All of the crews were listed as killed or missing, and the aircraft lost.  They were all presumed to have been shot down by RAF fighters. 

A 6th Heinkel He 111H from 8/KG26 was also shot down by the RAF and crashed into the North Sea.  One crewman was killed, the rest of the crew were rescued by a German Naval vessel including an injured man. 

A 7th Heinkel He 111H from 8/KG26 was shot down by fighters on a sortie to bomb Dishforth aerodrome.  It crashed into the sea, at 14.00, 30 miles off Middlesbrough.  The crew was captured unhurt. 

Two Junkers Ju 88Cs from I/KG30 failed to return from a mission to bomb Driffield aerodrome, one of them was intercepted and shot down at 13.30.  Nothing is known about the attack on the other.  The crews and aircraft listed as lost. 

A Junkers Ju 88A from 3/KG30 was shot down whilst on a sortie over Flamborough Head , it crash-landed at 13.25 at Hamilton Hill Farm, Barmston, near Bridlington.  The crew were captured unhurt.  The aircraft a write-off. 

A Junkers Ju 88 from 4/KG30 was shot down whilst on a sortie to bomb Driffield aerodrome, It crashed and burnt out at 13.30 at Hunmanby near Filey.  The crew were all killed.  The aircraft a write-off. 

Of three Junkers Ju 88s of III/KG30, one was shot down and crashed into the sea, the four man NCO crew killed and the aircraft lost - the second crash landed in Holland with one crewman injured and the aircraft damaged but repairable - the third crashed on landing at Aalborg-West following operations over the east coast of England and an attack by RAF fighters.  The crew were unhurt but the aircraft was 75% damaged. 

A Junkers Ju 88 from 7/KG30 was shot down whilst on a mission to bomb Driffield aerodrome, it force landed near Hornby at 13.30.  One crewman was killed, the other three were captured.  The aircraft was a write-off. 

Another Junkers Ju 88 from 7/KG30, briefed to attack the airfield at Driffield was shot down by RAF fighters.  One of the crewmen listed as killed and the other three listed as missing.  The aircraft was a write-off. 

A Messerschmitt Bf 110C from Stab/ZG76, last seen in combat with RAF fighters, presumed shot down into the sea.  The crew listed as missing and the aircraft lost. 

A Messerschmitt 110D from Stab I/ZG76, failed to return from a sortie to the east coast of England off or near Newcastle.  Both crew and aircraft lost. 

Another Messerschmitt 110D from Stab I/ZG76 piloted by Hauptmann Restemeyer, the Gruppenkommandeur of 1/ZG76 was killed during combat with Spitfires of 72 Squadron, whilst on a sortie to the east coast of England, the aircraft crashed into the sea off the Durham coast.  The other member of the crew, Hauptmann Hartwich was also lost.  Hauptmann Restemeyer gained fame when together with two other Luftwaffe pilots, he had won first place in the International Alpine Rally for the formation flying of military aircraft at the Zurich/Dubendorf flying meet in 1937.  The three of them were flying the then sensational new Messerschmitt Bf 109s. 

A Messerschmitt Bf 110D from 1/ZG76 was shot down and crashed at Streatlam near Barnard Castle at 13.36.  The aircraft was destroyed, the crew were captured unhurt. 

13.36..  Steathlam..  Enemy plane crashed at Steathlam near to site of New Military Camp.  Both occupants of plane conveyed to Barnard Castle Police Station.  When plane crashed an explosion occurred and a workman on the site received slight injuries. 

A Messerschmitt Bf 110D from Stab 2/ZG76 was shot down whilst on escort duty for bombers attacking East Coast airfields.  It crashed into the sea off Northumberland at 13.00.  One crewman was captured, the other was missing. 

Another Messerschmitt Bf 110D from 2/ZG76 was severely damaged by fighters during the action over the North Sea, off the east coast, and crash landed at Esbjerg.  One crew member killed and one wounded, the aircraft a write-off. 

A Messerschmitt Bf 110D from 3/ZG76 was shot down into the sea during a sortie off the Northumberland coast.  This is possibly the aircraft that at 13.00 crashed into the sea, three miles from Newbiggin, one mile east of Cambois.  Both crew members and the aircraft were lost. 

Another Messerschmitt Bf 110D from 3/ZG76 returned to base after an attack by RAF fighters off the English east coast.  One crewman was wounded and the aircraft repairable. 

A 3rd Messerschmitt Bf 110D from 3/ZG76 failed to return from an operational sortie to the English east coast, believed shot down into the sea.  The crew listed as missing and the aircraft as lost. 

A Hurricane from 79 Squadron based at Acklington airfield in Northumberland returned to base when damaged in combat with enemy aircraft off the North-East coast at 13.00.  The pilot was unhurt and the aircraft was repairable. 

A Blenheim from 219 Squadron based at Catterick airfield in Yorkshire was hit by return fire from enemy aircraft engaged off Scarborough at 14.00, it crash-landed at Driffield.  Sergeant O.E. Dupee was wounded in the right arm, Sergeant T.H. Banister was unhurt, the aircraft was damaged but repairable. 

The following three Hurricanes from 605 Squadron were based at Drem, near Edinburgh, but were called up by Air Vice-Marshal Saul to assist in the defence of Tyneside which was undergoing a heavy enemy air attack at the time. 

1st: Force landed one mile from Usworth following combat off the East coast at 14.10.  The pilot, C.W. Passy was unhurt but the aircraft was a write-off. 

2nd: Was hit by return fire from He 111s off Newcastle at 14.20. The pilot, Flight Lieutenant A.A. McKellar, who was unhurt managed to fly the slightly damaged aircraft back to base. 

3rd: Force landed near Hart Railway Station, near West Hartlepool. Pilot Officer K.S. Law was badly injured and was admitted to West Hartlepool Hospital.  The aircraft was damaged but repairable. 

A Hurricane from 616 Squadron based at Leconfield airfield near Beverley in Yorkshire, landed heavily after a routine practice flight at 17.35, wrecking the undercarriage, which was repairable.  The pilot, Pilot Officer W.L.B. Walker was unhurt. 

A Hurricane from 302 Squadron based at Leconfield airfield near Beverley in Yorkshire, caught fire on a training flight and crashed attempting an emergency landing at Wheel.  Pilot Officer Glowczynski was admitted to Beverley Hospital, seriously burned.  The aircraft was a write-off. 

Here are some of the many incident reports of this momentous day - it must be remembered that the casualty figures quoted in these reports may differ from the final number because the document in question may have been the first of many concerning the same incident, or an injured person may have died in hospital some days later, they would be included in the final summary compiled at a later date:- 

Bombs were reported to have been dropped on Tynemouth in Northumberland, Sunderland, Cockfield, High Etherley, Toft Hill, Woodside, Witton Park, Quarrington Hill, Cassop, Dawdon, Hawthorn, Easington Colliery, Thornley, and Cleadon all in Co Durham. 

Casualties included one person killed at Barnard Castle, one at Bishop Auckland,  one at Bridlington, one at Driffield, one at Durham, eleven at Easington, one at  Scarborough, eleven at Seaham and four at Sunderland. 

Northumberland..  Tynemouth Borough..  Five HE just below the Low Water Mark between Sharpness Point and the castle, and one just south of the North Pier. Some damage reported. 

13.40..  Sunderland..  Newcastle Road - Denbigh Avenue - Sea Road - Tyzack's Yard bombed.  Casualties:- four killed, three seriously and eight slightly injured. 

12.47-13.30..  Co Durham..  Cockfield..  Twenty-eight HEs dropped in Cockfield district between Gibbsneese and Summerson's Quarry.  170 windows in Cockfield were broken and 30 ceilings came down.  A byre, a garage, and a small wooden tool shed were damaged.  No casualties. 

Co Durham..  High Etherley, Toft Hill, Woodside and California.. Approximately sixty HEs and one hundred IBs were dropped in this district.  At High Etherley forty bombs were dropped; one killed a boy and injured another person.  The other bombs dropped in fields where sheep and a number of cattle were injured.  At California, Witton Park, one man was killed and four persons injured. 

13.30..  Co Durham..  Quarrington Hill and Cassop..  Fifty to sixty-eight enemy planes seen flying at great height over the Quarrington Hill and Cassop Village districts.  Approximately sixty HEs and a hundred IBs were dropped.  A dairy at Cassop, the wall of a sewerage bed at Cassop Vale, a water main and the wall of a Churchyard at Quarrington Hill were damaged.  IBs slightly damaged four houses and a haystack was set on fire.  No serious damage. 

Co Durham..  Dawdon..  Eleven dead and forty injured..  Thirty HEs dropped.  In three adjoining streets in the village, eight houses were demolished and seventeen seriously damaged, most of the deaths occurred in Ilchester Street. 

Co Durham..  Hawthorn..  A direct hit was made on an occupied house and a woman who was trapped in the house has not been found.  Another person was killed while riding a horse.  An electric cable damaged at Hawthorn and the A.19 blocked N of the junction with the South Hetton road.  An enemy plane is reported to have been shot down into the sea off the coast at Ryhope, but no trace of the survivors or the plane has been found. 

Co Durham..  Easington Colliery..  Easington Colliery had approximately fifty houses damaged, twelve people were killed, most of the deaths occurring in Station Road, thirty people were injured. Little Thorpe Hospital, Easington also  suffered damage and ten persons were injured. 

Co Durham..  Thornley..  One dead and two injured..  A number of cattle were also killed.  Telephone cables were damaged near the Half-Way House, Thornley.  Five roads blocked, all with the exception of the main road at Haswell Plough are open to traffic. 

12.47-13.30..  Co Durham..  Cleadon..  Approximately forty-eight HEs and twenty IBs were dropped.  Seven persons were injured.  Five houses extensively damaged and twenty-five houses slightly damaged in this district.  A bull was killed on Moor Farm, Cleadon, and cow injured. Electric cables damaged and the road B.1299, from its junction with Underhill Road, Cleadon was temporarily blocked. 

Co Durham..  Washington..  A Hurricane Fighter made a forced landing at Low Barmston Farm.  Pilot did not sustain injury - RAF Usworth informed. 

'SS Brixton' (1,557t) cargo ship, Sunderland to London with a cargo of coal was sunk by a mine off Aldeburgh. 

Part of enemy aircraft found near Clifton Railway Crossing [NZ2182].


The Battle of Britain - 1940 website Battle of Britain Historical Society 2007