Weather: cloudy with a few bright intervals
Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours:
- Blenheim – 46
- Spitfire – 215
- Hurricane – 393
- Defiant – 15
- Gladiator – 8
- Total – 677
In the morning formations of up to 50 aircraft attacked targets in Kent and in London itself. In the afternoon, an attack was launched by Luftflotte 3 on Southampton. Martlesham Heath was also hit. The RAF that day flew 1007 sorties with the RAF losing 10 fighters as against 15 German aircraft destroyed.
At night, Coventry was hit heavily. The Armstrong-Siddeley factory and the Royal Naval Ordnance Store were both heavily damaged. London, Liverpool and Bristol were also bombed.
85 Squadron Operational Record Book – 27 October
Day and night patrols. At 18.00 hours Heinkel III suddenly appeared over Caistor aerodrome flying very low and proceeded to machine gun it. Sqdn Ldr Townsend, PO I.E. La Bouchere and Flt Lt Marshall rushed to their machines and took off. Flt Lt Marshall chased e/a west. Orbiting Kirton Lindsey at 1,000 ft he sighted e/a to the South West some 2,000 ft above him flying West. He climbed to attack and fired 2 one second bursts at 300 yds from slightly below and to the starboard quarter. MG fire was opened at him from the Dorsal turret at 500-800yds but it was low and to the right.
E/a turned right and made for cloud cover to the East. Flt Lt Marshall put in a 3 second burst as he entered cloud and another of 3 seconds from slightly above and astern at 250yds as he emerged. E/a entered second cloud but the next cloud it entered was thin and Flt Lt Marshall was easily able to follow and finished his ammunition with a 6 second burst at 250 yds closing to 200 from astern and to the port quarter allowing ¼ deflection. This burst was particularly effective and he could see bullet holes being torn in e/a’s fuselage. E/a dived for cloud heading east and Flt Lt Marshall being out of ammunition returned to Caistor at 18.20
The e/a was subsequently confirmed as being destroyed, a searchlight near Salt Fleet having reported an e/a down in the sea at approximately 18.10 hours.
Before being engaged by Flt Lt Marshall the e/a dropped 6 sticks of bombs on and near Kirton Lindsey aerodrome. 1 stick fell on no. 7 hangar and demolished the Squadron Orderly room and Adjutant’s Office. Fg Off Molony and the orderly room clerks were not in the office at the time. A runner (AC2 Jordan) who was in the Orderly Room escaped with a shaking.
Reported Casualties (RAF Campaign Diary 27th October 1940):
* Enemy: 10 confirmed, 7 probable, 9 damaged
* Own: 8 aircraft with 4 pilots killed or missing.
Today’s theme: Captains and Commanders - Henry Tizard