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Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours:
- Blenheim – 50
- Spitfire – 218
- Hurricane – 407
- Defiant – 21
- Gladiator – 8
- Total – 704
The first attack was on Eastchurch producing 6 craters on the runway but causing no casualties. In the early afternoon, a massive attack, several hundred aircraft strong, crossed the south coast. They were met by 14 RAF squadrons and a large scale aerial combat ensued. However, 20 enemy aircraft managed to leave the fight and made their way up the railway line to Brooklands where Wellingtons were produced. The Me110s attacked from a very low level. Their bombing was extremely accurate. Much damage was done and there were heavy casualties, 88 people were killed. Other pockets of enemy aircraft attacked Eastchurch, Rochester, Shoeburyness, Canterbury, Faversham and Reigate. The target at Rochester was the Short Brothers’ factory.
Fighter Command flew 678 sorties losing 17 aircraft but destroying 25 of the enemy.
73 Squadron Operational Record Book – 4 September – Church Fenton
Poles arrived at 14.30hrs and seem a very good crowd, their manners being apparently unimpeachable – an individual bow on entering the mess and salutes at every turn.
Reported Casualties (RAF Campaign Diary 4th September 1940):
* Enemy: 52 confirmed, 19 probable, 22 damaged
* Own: 17 aircraft with 6 pilots killed or missing.
Todays’s theme: Top Gun Gallery – Max Aitken