Weather: cloud and rain
Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours:
- Blenheim – 60
- Spitfire – 216
- Hurricane – 356
- Defiant – 19
- Gladiator – 8
- Total – 659
That day Goering held a conference with his commanders in France at which he announced a return to a policy of hitting Fighter Command and its airfields. At the same time, he said that bomber formations were to be reduced and the covering fighters increased. The key was to draw up RAF fighters and destroy them. He envisaged that in four to five days the job would be done and the RAF fighter strength eliminated.
At Uxbridge, Park was trying to tighten up the battle procedures of 11 Group. Despite the achievements of the previous day, in his opinion there was still more that could be done. For instance, to intercept the second and third waves of the German attacks, he wanted to ensure that squadrons should be in pairs, or if there was time, to be formed into wings of three squadrons. In Germany in the meanwhile, it was announced that that day the Reichsmarschall had flown over London in a Ju88. To accommodate his rather large girth this would have necessitated a massive modification to the air frame. There was some doubt in England anyway as to whether this had actually happened.
Due to the bad weather there were only a number of small incursions mainly over Kent. 9 German aircraft were destroyed at the cost of one RAF fighter.
That night some 170 bombers launched an attack on London. Liverpool and some other provincial cities, including Coventry, also came under attack.
266 Squadron Operational Record Book – 16 September
Average temperature, drizzle afternoon and evening. Visibility poor. Practices included formation flying – Fighter Command attacks. PO A.H. Humphrey, PO H.A.R. Prowse and Pilot Sgts L.C. Allton, R.A. Boswell, R.A. Breeze, J.T. Dunmore and A.N. MacGregor reported for flying duties from no. 7 Operational Training Unit.
Reported Casualties (RAF Campaign Diary 16th September 1940):
* Enemy: 2 confirmed, 0 probable, 1 damaged
* Own: One Spitfire of which the pilot is safe.
Today’s theme: Unsung Heroes – Airfield Repair Services