Weather: cloudy with occasional showers.

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours:

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

This day saw another stock taking exercise by Goering at Karinhall. The Reichmarschall was far from satisfied with recent results from the battle. He had attributed the perceived lack of success to a failure on the part of his fighter pilots to support the bombers with sufficient vigour. He duly replaced some of his older pilots with younger aces like Galland and Molders. By this move, Goering was aiming to sharpen up the attack of his fighter groups.

Meanwhile, at Uxbridge, Keith Park and Dowding were also reviewing the recent fighting. The main thrust of the Luftwaffe had moved from the attacks on convoys to mainland targets, particularly RAF airfields. Park issued instructions to controllers to avoid vectoring squadrons over the sea. Pilots’ safety had to be considered and they were losing too many from drowning.

The afternoon saw desultory attacks by several large formations of enemy aircraft. The Command flew 383 sorties, losing 3 fighters but destroying 6 German aircraft.

At night attacks took place over the Midlands, in particular Coventry, and northern England.

266 Squadron Operational Record Book – 19 August – Hornchurch

Very warm, sky overcast – visibility moderate. Squadron at readiness at advanced base from 13.30 hours until dusk. 2 Spitfire aircraft delivered from no. 6 Maintenance Unit.

Reported Casualties (RAF Campaign Diary 19th August 1940):

*  Enemy: 6 confirmed, 1 probable, 1 damaged
*  Own: 3 aircraft of which two pilots are safe.

Todays’s theme: Unsung Heroes – Balloon Command