So it Began.....Their Finest Hour

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Gage, Jul 10, 2011.

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  1. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Well-Known Member

    Nigel Bowen - from a family tree on Ancestry:

    Nigel Greenstreet Bowen
    1919–1940
    BIRTH 1919 • Wallingford, Berkshire, England
    DEATH 16 AUG 1940 • Adisham, Kent, England

    Death
    16 Aug 1940 • Adisham, Kent, England
    Pilot Officer (41984) with 266 Sqn RAF flying Spitfire 1 N3095 at 1245hrs

    TD
     
  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    upload_2017-8-19_10-31-11.png upload_2017-8-19_10-31-32.png upload_2017-8-19_10-31-47.png upload_2017-8-19_10-31-58.png
    STUDD, JOHN ALNOD PETER
    Rank:
    Pilot Officer
    Trade:
    Pilot
    Service No:
    41491
    Date of Death:
    19/08/1940
    Age:
    22
    Regiment/Service:
    Royal Air Force
    66 Sqdn.
    Grave Reference:
    South of Church. Row 8. Grave 15.
    Cemetery:
    TOUCHEN END (HOLY TRINITY) CHURCHYARD
    Additional Information:
    Son of Vivian M. Studd and M. L. Olivette Studd, of Paignton, Devon.

    August 19th - August 24th 1940
     
  3. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    “The gratitude of every home in our island, in our Empire, and indeed throughout the world, except in the abodes of the guilty, goes out to the British airmen who, undaunted by odds, unwearied in their constant challenge and mortal danger, are turning the tide of the world war by their prowess and by their devotion. Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few. ”
    Battle of Britain - 20 August 1940: 'The Few' - RAF Association

    [​IMG]
     
  4. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    PATTERSON, PETER JOHN
    Rank:
    Midshipman (A)
    Date of Death:
    20/08/1940
    Age:
    19
    Regiment/Service:
    Royal Navy
    H.M.S. Daedalus serving with 242 Sqdn. Royal Air Force
    Panel Reference:
    Bay 1, Panel 3.
    Memorial:
    LEE-ON-SOLENT MEMORIAL
    Additional Information:
    Son of Horace John and Nellie Terry Patterson, of Southbourne, Hampshire.

    August 19th - August 24th 1940
     
  5. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Well-Known Member

    UK, British Army and Navy Birth, Marriage and Death Records, 1730-1960
    Name: P. J. Patterson
    Event: Death
    Birth Date: abt 1921
    Death Date: 20 Aug 1940
    Death Age: 19
    Death Place: Nr Winterton
    Ship: R. N. Air Stations and Fleet Air Arm

    The other sheet says "Flying Accident"

    TD
     
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  6. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    . . . . . . . this day for instance, a lanky, nineteen year old boy called Cocky Dundas* flew with the wing for the first time. Exactly a month earlier Dundas had been with 616 Squadron at Kenley; they were waiting at readiness for an evening visit from Winston Churchill when they had been scrambled and ran into a flock of 109s over Kent. It was Dundas's first fight and a 109 had "jumped" him, shot his controls to bits and put bullets in his engine and glycol tank. Smoke and glycol fumes filled the cockpit and he could not get his hood open. He spun out of control from 12,000 feet till finally he was able to jettison the hood and baled out at 800 feet, breaking his collar bone at the same time. Now only two of the old pilots were left in the squadron, and Dundas, still shaken, shoulder still weak, was going back for more. . . . .
    Paul Brickhill - Reach for the Sky, Collins 1954 p227

    * Flying Officer H.S.L. Dundas 616 Squadron RAF.



    August 19th - August 24th 1940
     
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  7. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    MONDAY AUGUST 26th 1940

    WEATHER:

    Most of the country could expect a cloudy day, but little or no rain was expected. The north should be dull, but dry while in the south brighter conditions with higher cloud , good visibility and dry. Mild condition should persist throughout the day in all areas.
    OPERATIONS IN DETAIL:

    From first light, German aircraft on reconnaissance patrols had been picked up by radar throughout the Kent and Sussex areas. 11 Group kept a watchful eye but they came to the conclusion that these aircraft were only on photographic missions and posed no threat.August 25th - August 29th 1940
     
  8. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Every pilot that flew his fighter aircraft into battle, and every aircraft that flew in the skies against this formidable enemy was supported by thousands of civilian and military personnel in the support teams. Without them, these fighter aircraft and their pilots would never have left the ground on operational duties. For every Spitfire or Hurricane to become airborne and fly of into battle, nearly two hundred people would have been responsible for keeping it in the air and getting it safely back to its base. These support teams were the unsung heroes of the Battle of Britain. They worked behind the scenes, many of them throughout the nights to keep Britain's defence system working.


    Support Services of Fighter Command
     
  9. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    THURSDAY AUGUST 29th 1940

    WEATHER:

    Low cloud and showers would persist for most of the morning in most areas, but was expected to clear and most of the country could expect some cloud with sunny periods with the exception of the Channel areas where cloud was expected to continue. Most areas were to expect a continuation of cooler temperatures.
    OPERATIONS IN DETAIL:

    Because of the weather, enemy activity was very light with only the occasional reconnaissance aircraft along the east coast and Fighter Command decided to leave them alone leaving the map boards at both headquarters completely clear.


    1445hrs: A radar plot was picked up by south coast radar of a formation that again was coming in from the Channel towards the Kent coast. A mixture of Bf109s and Bf110s from JG3, JG26, JG51, ZG26 and ZG76. At first, the radar sent through the message of 700 plus bandits approaching, and Park ordered no less that 13 fighter squadrons of 11 Group into the air. This figure was later amended and confirmed by the Observer Corps that it was in fact a formation of some 650 aircraft.
    1530hrs: 85 Squadron Croydon (Hurricanes) was the first on the scene and straight away got caught into combat with the Bf109s. Three of their Hurricanes were shot down with two of them destroyed although no pilots were lost. 603 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) were also on the scene and two of these were damaged by German fighters. 610 Squadron Biggin Hill (Spitfires) also lost two aircraft with one of their pilots killed. Park immediately saw that the British fighters would have no choice that to mix it with the huge number of 109s and could see no point in fighter to fighter combat and called for all Squadrons to abort.

    1915hrs: Again a number of squadrons were dispatched to intercept German fighters again trying to lure RAF fighters into combat. Again, Keith Park would not fall to the bait and sent only minimal squadrons to meet the German fighters. 85 Squadron Croydon (Hurricanes), 501 Squadron Gravesend (Hurricanes) and 603 Squadron Hornchurch (Spitfires) were involved and although all squadrons suffered casualties, four Bf109s were shot down.

    F/L Richard Hillary of 603 Squadron made his debut with the squadron in spectacular fashion by destroying one Bf109 over Manston and claiming a probable Bf109 over Deal. Unfortunately, losing sight of his own squadron he came upon a formation of Hurricanes of 85 Squadron and decided to tag along as a "tail end Charlie", but an unseen Bf109 fired a volley of shots at him and damaged his engine. He tried to make it to Lympne, but with smoke pouring out of his engine and missing badly he decided to make a forced landing in a field in Kent.

    2430hrs: The usual night raids over many parts of Britain including The Tyneside area, Hartlepool, Swansea in South Wales and the Merseyside cities of Manchester and Liverpool but no serious damage was recorded. In an attempted raid on Liverpool, a Heinkel He111 was shot down by a Spitfire of 92 Squadron stationed at Pembrey. It is believed that the bomber crashed into a house in or near Fordingbridge.

    CASUALTIES:
    1815hrs:
    Rye Sussex. Hurricane V6623. 85 Squadron Croydon
    F/L H.R. Hamilton killed.
    1600hrs:
    Hurst Green Spitfire R6629. 610 Squadron Biggin Hill
    Sgt. E. Manton killed. (Shot down during combat with Bf109s over Hurst Green and crashed)
    RAF Casualty Records state that Sgt E. Manton was killed on August 28, 1940 which is incorrect.
    610 Operations Record Book shows that Sgt E. Manton was killed on August 29, 1940 which is correct.



    The last two days of the month of August were to stretch Fighter Command to the limit, and although it was not known then, but this was to be the shape of things to come. For not only was the RAF going to be hit hard on the ground and in the air, the night air raids were to begin in earnest and for the first time, the people of London were going to wage war on their own. They were not going to fight their war with guns, bullets and bombs, but they were going to fight it with stubbornness and a tenacity of a silent army that was to make a mockery out of the German bombing of their city.
    Albert Kesselring had placed his military reputation on the line as he had stated that he would have the defence system of Britain broken by September. But he was running out of time, already we were at the end of August and the defences of Britain were still intact. Now, he was to throw everything that he had in a last ditch effort to hammer the British into submission.

    [1] Vincent Orange Sir Keith Park Methuen 1984 p103
    [2] Vincent Orange Sir Keith Park Methuen 1984 p120


    August 25th - August 29th 1940
     
  10. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Woods-Scawen Brothers (Battle of Britain)


    Peter Townsend - Duel in the Dark (Harrap London 1986)



    ....Two further pilots have come to us straight from a Lysander squadron with no experience whatsoever on fighter aircraft. Apparently demand has now outstripped supply and there are no trained pilots available in the Training Units, which means that we will just have to train them ourselves. However, it remains to be seen whether we can spare the hours, as we are already short of aircraft for our own operational needs. It seems a funny way to run a war.......
    Squadron Leader A.V.R.(Sandy) Johnstone 602 Squadron Fighter Command RAF *
    September 2nd - September 3rd 1940
     
  11. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Forgotten Heroes: 75 Years Since The Battle of Britain
    [​IMG]Among the thousands of British and Allied airmen who defended Britain in those months were 145 Polish pilots serving in British fighter squadrons as well as in two Polish squadrons formed at that time – No. 302 Poznań Fighter Squadron and No. 303 Thaddeus Kościuszko Warsaw Fighter Squadron.

    For the first time since the end of World War II, a Polish museum presents a comprehensive exhibition on the Battle of Britain. The extensive collection of British, Polish and German air force uniforms on display includes the uniform of the first 303 Squadron CO F/Lt Zdzisław Krasnodębski – shown in public for the very first time – as well as uniforms of Polish aces Stanisław Skalski, Witold Urbanowicz and Jan Falkowski. Also for the first time in Poland, the Polish Army Museum in cooperation with leading German museums present visitors with a collection of Luftwaffe uniforms, including the uniform of famous Luftwaffe ace Adolf Galland. Other unique exhibits displayed include the engine of a Messerschmitt Bf 110 and the tail of a Junkers 87, both shot down in the Battle of Britain.


    Muzeum Wojska Polskiego w Warszawie
     
  12. Gage

    Gage The Battle of Barking Creek MOD

    Great book. One of the first I ever read on the Battle.
     

    Attached Files:

  13. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Battle of Britain Memorial ,Embankment,London
     

    Attached Files:

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  14. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    The "hour of destiny" was September 15th, a date thereafter commemorated as "Battle of Britain Day". The title has been disputed; Alfred Price, for one, says that September 15th "has singularly little to commend it.....the day when the British victory claim was furthest from the truth....." Yet, forgetting the "numbers game", it is hard to dispute Churchill's verdict that it was, in fact, "the crux of the Battle of Britain". He made that judgment in the light of his knowledge of what happened to Operation SEALION - which was, of course, from beginning to end, what the Battle of Britain was really about. The Official History sums up with clarity:
    "If 15th August showed the German High Command that air supremacy was not to be won within a brief space, 15th September went far to convince them that it would not be won at all."


    John Terraine The Right of the Line Hodder & Stoughton 1985 pp210-211

    Paul Brickhill Reach for the Sky Collins 1954 pp213-4http://www.battleofbritain1940.net/0038.html
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017 at 1:13 AM
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  15. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Speech to the Nation Winston Churchill - September 11th 1940





    ‘Whenever the weather is favourable waves of German bombers, protected by fighters, often three or four hundred at a time, surge over this Island, especially the promontory of Kent, in the hope of attacking military and other objectives by daylight. However, they are met by our fighter squadrons and nearly always broken up, and their losses average three to one in machines and six to one in pilots.
    This effort of the Germans to secure daylight mastery of the air over England is of course the crux of the whole war. So far it has failed conspicuously. It has cost them very dear, and we have felt stronger, and actually are relatively a good deal stronger, than when the hard fighting began in July. There is no doubt that Herr Hitler is using up his fighter force at a very high rate, and that if he goes on for many more weeks he will wear down and ruin this vital part of his Air Force. That will give us a great advantage.

    On the other hand, for him to try to invade this country without having secured mastery in the air would be a very hazardous undertaking. Nevertheless, all his preparations for invasion on a great scale are steadily going forward. Several hundreds of self-propelled barges are moving down the coasts of Europe, from the German and Dutch harbours to the ports of Northern France, from Dunkirk to Brest, and beyond Brest to the French harbours in the Bay of Biscay.

    Besides this, convoys of merchant ships in tens and dozens are being moved through the Straits of Dover into the Channel, dodging along from port to port under the protection of the new batteries which the Germans have built on the French shore. There are now considerable gatherings of shipping in the German, Dutch, Belgian and French harbours, all the way from Hamburg to Brest. Finally, there are some preparations made of ships to carry an invading force from Norwegian waters.

    Behind these clusters of ships or barges there stand large numbers of German troops, awaiting the order to go on board and set out on their very dangerous and uncertain voyage across the seas. We cannot tell when they will try to come; we cannot be sure that in fact they will try at all; but no-one should blind himself to the fact that a heavy full-scale invasion of this Island is being prepared with all the usual German thoroughness and method, and that it may be launched now — upon England, upon Scotland, or upon Ireland, or upon all three.

    If this invasion to going to be tried at all, it does not seem that it can be long delayed. The weather may break at any time. Besides this, it is difficult for the enemy to keep these gatherings of ships waiting about indefinitely while they are bombed every night by our bombers, and very often shelled by our warships which are waiting for them outside.

    Therefore we must regard the next week or so as a very important period in our history. It ranks with the days when the Spanish Armada was approaching the Channel, and Drake was finishing his game of bowls; or when Nelson stood between us and Napoleon’s Grand Army at Boulogne. We have read all about this in the history books; but what is happening now is on a far greater scale and of far more consequence to the life and future of the world and its civilisation than those brave old days.’

    Document-48: Churchill speech - September 11th 1940
     
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  16. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    The "hour of destiny" was September 15th, a date thereafter commemorated as "Battle of Britain Day". The title has been disputed; Alfred Price, for one, says that September 15th "has singularly little to commend it.....the day when the British victory claim was furthest from the truth....." Yet, forgetting the "numbers game", it is hard to dispute Churchill's verdict that it was, in fact, "the crux of the Battle of Britain". He made that judgment in the light of his knowledge of what happened to Operation SEALION - which was, of course, from beginning to end, what the Battle of Britain was really about. The Official History sums up with clarity:
    "If 15th August showed the German High Command that air supremacy was not to be won within a brief space, 15th September went far to convince them that it would not be won at all."


    John Terraine The Right of the Line Hodder & Stoughton 1985 pp210-211


    September 15th 1940 (morning)
     
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  17. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    When Beaverbrook became Minister of Aircraft Production on 14 May, the planned production of fighters for that month was 261 machines. The actual output for the month was 325. For June the planned programme was 292; the actual output was 446. In July and August the improvement still continued: the total planned production was 611 but the total actual output was 972. Already by early July the supply of fighters had become so satisfactory that it was decided to allocate an additional four aircraft to each of thirty Hurricane and six Spitfire squadrons — though, unfortunately, there were not the pilots to go with them.
    Hough & Richard's The Battle of Britain - A Jubilee History Hodder & Stoughton 1989 p102


    Page 44: September 17th 1940
     

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