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Weather: fair with some rain.

Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours:

  • Blenheim – 53
  • Spitfire – 214
  • Hurricane – 391
  • Defiant – 19
  • Gladiator – 7
  • Total – 684

The first main attack this day was by Me110s, acting as bombers accompanied by a large number of Me109s. The plan was for the Me109s, having escorted their charges, to remain over the capital and provide cover for a second wave of bombers Do17s and Ju88s. The plan misfired. The bombers came on alone. The Me109s with their fuel running low made for home. The bombers were intercepted by the RAF fighters. The same combination of aircraft attacked aircraft works at Filton and Yeovil.

Later that day, 80 German aircraft flew towards Bristol but were intercepted and forced to drop their bombs on the suburbs. Around midday nearly 300 aircraft made for London but most got no further than mid Kent having been intercepted by a number of 11 Group squadrons.
Eventually, some 20 aircraft made it to the centre of London. The day had been full of action. The RAF had shot down 54 German aircraft and had lost 28 themselves.

303 Squadron Operational Record Book – 27 September
09:00 hours

11 Hurricanes left Northolt at 09:00hours. Squadron working with No. 1 Canadian Squadron were sent out and encountered the enemy in the Horsham area at 15,000 feet. The enemy consisted of 30 He111 protected by 50 to 60 Me109s. Bombers in vics of 3 line astern stepped up behind. It was noticed that the majority of the He111s had a vertical white stripe on the tail fin and from a distance they gave the impression of friendly aircraft. The squadron attacked the bombers from astern and were themselves engaged by enemy fighters which fled in disorder. In the meantime the bombers had wheeled and were heading south and the squadron went in to attack from astern. Vics of bombers maintained formation throughout, closing up when one or more were shot down. Other Hurricanes came in to attack the bombers and immediately afterwards the squadron noticed about 40 Do17s approaching head on in single line astern formation supported by Me109s above. Upon going in to attack the bombers formed a defensive circle and the enemy fighters formed a similar circle above. Only one pilot attacked Hes and Dos and succeeded in shooting one down on land. Two other squadrons of Hurricanes came in and attacked the Dos as far as is known broke them up and inflicted heavy casualties. Our fighter did not follow down the individual e/a claimed as destroyed but it is believed that almost all were shot down on land.
Enemy casualties: 4 Me109, 4 He111, 1 Do17, 1 Me 110 – destroyed
1 Me109 – probable, 1 He111 damaged.
Our casualties: FO Paszkiewicz crashed at Borough Green, pilot killed in the air. Sgt. Andruszkow crashed at Cowden, pilot killed in air. FO Zak baled out near Leatherhead and taken to Leatherhead Hospital suffering from burns to face and hands. 1 Hurricane cat. 3.
As on 26 September, just before going in to attack the Squadron received orders on the R/T “apany leader pancake”. This was not given by controllers at this station but was given in good English and in an authoritative manner.

249 Squadron Operational Record Book – 27 September
3 very successful sorties carried out with 46 Squadron. Our casualties were POs Burton and Meaker killed. Although 2 of our most gallant comrades were lost, to-day was a glorious day in the history of the Squadron. From reports later received it appears that PO Meaker attacked a close formation of 5 Ju88s on his own and his aircraft was completely shot up by the heavy cross fire from the cannons now fitted in the rear of these aircraft. From reports from the Hailsham district Observer Corps, it appears that PO Burton has been attacking an Me110 for some time and was seen to climb above it and dive down on to it, he rammed it and cut it’s tail off and both aircraft crashed. PO A G Lewis, DFC on this day destroyed 6 aircraft himself and was subsequently ordered a bar to his DFC.
Enemy casualties: 21 destroyed, 6 probable, 3 damaged.

266 Squadron Operational Record Book – 27 September
Squadron ordered to patrol in Duxford Wing and investigate activity North Weald-Biggin Hill area as near cloud base as possible (17,000 feet). No enemy aircraft or AA fire seen. Another wing of Hurricane and Spitfire aircraft seen over Sheppey area. Wing was then ordered to return and land at Duxford.

Cyril Shoesmith, 14 years old, Bexhill-on-Sea, Diary – Friday 27 September
The next raid came at 3pm. We heard heavy machine-gun fire and 4 bombers came over the trees. As they came closer we could see six fighters on their tail. One of the German bombers had been set alight by our fighters for there was black smoke pouring out of its tail. We watched them until they were out of sight heading towards Galley Hill. Three of the Germans were shot down in the sea. Many fighters circled round and a formation of 24 went over. There was more machine gun fire and the “raiders passed” came at 4.10. At 11.30 there was a raid which ended at 6.15am.

Reported Casualties (RAF Campaign Diary 27th September 1940):

*  Enemy:  133 confirmed,  55 probable,  52 damaged
*  Own: 27 aircraft with 18 pilots killed or missing.

Today’s theme: The Squadrons – 601 Squadron


September 2010
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