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Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours:
- Blenheim – 66
- Spitfire – 241
- Hurricane – 328
- Defiant – 20
- Total – 639
The Air Ministry issued a statement saying that German Red Cross sea planes would not be granted immunity unless they were clearly engaged in rescuing downed pilots. Meanwhile, a raid of 48 Stukas and 80 covering Me109s approached Dover. They were intercepted by 41 and 501 Squadrons. A second raid occurred in the afternoon which was similar in character. Altogether, in the fighting that day, the Luftwaffe lost 6 aircraft and Fighter Command lost 3. 758 sorties were flown by the RAF.
17 Squadron Operational Record Book, 29 July, Debden
Convoy protection patrols were maintained throughout the day, and while on patrol at 15:10 hours Blue Section was ordered to intercept raid. A He111 was sighted at 14,000 feet below cloud and the Section gave chase in line a stern. Flt Lt Bayne, the Blue Leader, delivered a frontal attack out of the sun, followed by a no. 1 attack, firing all his ammunition. The enemy aircraft dropped its undercarriage and jettisoned its bombs, pieces being seen to fall away from it and smoke pouring from both engines. FO Bird-Wilson (Blue 2) and PO Wissler (Blue 3) followed the Blue Leader with frontal and no. 1 attacks, Blue 3 experiencing some fire from the rear gunner but sustaining no hits. After further attack the enemy aircraft crashed into the sea and 3 of the crew were seen to climb into a rubber boat.
Today’s theme: Unsung Heroes – The Royal Observer Corps