You are currently browsing the daily archive for July 14, 2010.

Weather: foggy but clearing later.

In the morning the Luftwaffe made attacks on a convoy rounding the Kent coast. At the same time the airfield near Ramsgate was attacked. A second convoy heading for the Straits of Dover was also attacked. Fighter Command was endeavouring to intercept all attacks made on convoys. But this day proved a difficult one. The RAF flew 597 sorties. However, it lost 4 aircraft whilst the German losses were only 2 aircraft.

A feature of the developing Battle was the use by the Luftwaffe of He59 seaplanes, ostensibly to pick up their pilots who had been forced to ditch in the sea. These aircraft carried Red Cross markings. However, in London there were serious misgivings. It was suspected that these seaplanes were not only being used to rescue downed pilots but also to spot the position of convoys that could then be attacked. The Government announced that it could no longer give immunity to these seaplanes. Fighter Command gave pilots orders to ignore the red crosses – the Air Ministry was, at this stage, still considering the issue.

That night German aircraft launched an attack against Avonmouth and did some damage to the docks and the railway line.

615 Squadron Operational Record Book, 14 July – Kenley
Squadron went down to Hawkinge again at 13.00hrs (13 aircraft). At 15.00hrs Red Section were patrolling convoy near Dover, when convoy was attacked by 40 Ju87s which were escorted by Me109s. Pilot Officer M.R. Mudie (red 3) was shot down, and jumped by parachute. He was picked up by the Navy and sent to Dover Hospital severely wounded. Red 1 and 2 put several bursts into Ju87s but were unable to observe results as they were being attacked. Later our remaining 9 aircraft took off from Hawkinge to assist Red Section.

F/O Gayner shot down one Ju87 (confirmed by Yellow 2)
F/O Collard also shot down one Ju87 (confirmed by Yellow 3)
P/O Hugo shot down another Ju87 which he saw catch fire and fall into the sea.
Blue Section chased the Me109s and escaped, although they were damaged by their machine gun fire. Green Section missed the fun.

2 Ju87s destroyed confirmed
1 Ju87 destroyed unconfirmed
Our casualties: one pilot severely wounded.

This air battle was the subject of BBC news commentary which was broadcast the same evening by Charles Gardner. The Squadron also received congratulations from the Prime Minister. Squadron returned here at19.00hrs and returned to Hawkinge again the following morning.

Today’s theme: Captains and Commanders – Dowding


July 2010
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