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Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours:
- Blenheim – 50
- Spitfire – 197
- Hurricane – 381
- Defiant – 23
- Gladiator – 8
- Total – 697
There was little activity this day. During the day Detling and West Malling were hit and in London an air raid shelter at Colombia Market was hit.
In Germany Goering took over personal command of the air battle against Britain. As for the RAF, the system of rotating squadrons after they had been in action was being accelerated. Dowding had started a new system by which squadrons were being divided into three categories, those seriously fit for operations, those that needed careful handling and those that required to be taken out of combat altogether. The latter group was being stripped of its successful pilots who were transferred to the first group.
The RAF flew 305 sorties and shot down 7 enemy aircraft, at a cost of 4 aircraft lost.
That night London was attacked again, in particular the docks. This time by over 200 bombers. The casualties this second night were 400 dead.
73 Squadron Unofficial War Diary – 8 September
A large “flap” has developed! “No. One Alert” is declared. After much seeking after knowledge we found that the aforesaid means that the great invasion is probably imminent. Everyone is confined to camp and armed to the teeth.
Reported Casualties (RAF Campaign Diary 8th September 1940):
* Enemy: 7 confirmed, 3 probable, 8 damaged
* Own: 4 aircraft with 2 pilots killed or missing.
Todays’s theme: Captains & Commanders – Adolf Hitler