II/KG 2 bomb Bekesbourne airfield

54 Sqn and 56 Sqn Hurricanes are vectored towards the 24 Do 17s of II/KG 2, lead by Kommodore Oberst Johannes Fink, who it is assessed are heading for Manston after crossing the Channel from Calais to North Forland. The 30 Bf 109 escorts of I and III/JG 54 fail to see the camouflaged Hurricanes climbing to intercept the bombers.

The bombers throw out confetti, toilet paper and hand grenades to confuse the attacking fighters.

The ensuing combat between the fighters continues back across the Channel with 32 Sqn and 64 Sqn joining in.

Oberleutnant Albert Dressel of III/JG 54's Stabsschwarm belly lands his Bf 109 near Margate and is taken prisoner.

Luftwaffe records state that ‘Canterbury airfield’ and another reported as being west of Manston received a total of five 500kg, four 250kg and 439 50kg bombs. The bombs fall around Bekesbourne and Patrixbourne.

Bekesbourne was a WWI RAF airfield and had been used in May and June 1940 by Lysanders of 2 and 13 Sqns. supporting Operation Dynamo. They were withdrawn on 8 June and the airfield obstructed by stakes to prevent it being used by invading forces.

Sorces: Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust


  1. On that day I was a 9-year-old boy. My parents Albert and Alice Rennells had kept the Unicorn pub at Bekesbourne for about a year after our move from Canterbury. Just before 6 p.m. just ahead of the pub opening, we were sitting on the lawn when these planes appeared from the direction of Dover. We didn't then know what they were and lights started to appear on the planes. "How pretty", my mother said - but almost immediately bombs started to fall on our village. We ran back inside and my mother threw me under the kitchen table and shielded me with her body. The noise and vibration were terrible and I've since heard of people under that sort of attack, scrabbling with their finger-nails as if trying to make a hole to escape. I did that. The bombing continued for about 10 minutes and I can recall my reasoning that if the Germans wasted their energy on that sort of blitz, they had little chance of winning the war!

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