32 Sqn patrol Hawkinge - combat over Dover

32 Squadron Intelligence Report

12 Hurricanes of 32 Squadron took off from Hawkinge at 14.40 hours to patrol; they were attacked by 12 Me109s who were flying at 20,000 feet north of Dover. As the patrol climbed after them the Me109s climbed away, then when an opportune moment arrived they dived on to the Hurricanes. F/Lt Brothers DFC shot one down into the sea. Sgt Aslin saw an Me 109 heading out to sea with smoke pouring from it but does not claim it. F/O Smythe DFC was shot down and crashed - he is in hospital (Royal Masonic) wounded. P/O Pniak was also shot up and bailed out and is injured in hospital.

10 aircraft landed at Hawkinge at 15.41 hours. The other two crashed.

F/Lt Brothers was leading Blue Section when the Me109s dived on them. He fired several short bursts at tow or three and then lost them through 'blacking out'. Climbing up to 20,000 feet he engaged them again and getting on the tail of one gave him two 3 second bursts. Part of the starboard wing came away and he dived into the sea about 10 miles south-east of Dover. F/Lt Brothers followed the e/a down and then returned to base. 1 Me109 destroyed.

P/O Pniak was flying No.3 of Blue Section. He was attacked head on by one of the 12 Me109s from above. Circling round he got on the e/a's tail and gave him two more bursts of 2 seconds; much black smoke poured out. This was probably the Me109 seen by Sgt Aslin. At this moment he was himself attacked and set on fire; he put his aircraft into a dive to land but had to bale out at 5,000 feet. He landed very fast as his parachute did not open properly and was full of large holes. His knee and ankle were injured and he was taken to hospital but has now returned. One Me109 probably destroyed.

Quoted in Battle of Britain Combat Archive v.6

32 Squadron Form 541

Aircraft Type and No. Crew. Duty. Time Up. Time Down. Details of Sortie or Flight. References
N.2921 F/Lt.Brothers. ) Patrol 1430 1530 Ordered patrol Hawkinge. At 20,000' over Dover
V.6572 P/O.Pniak. ) they were attacked by 12 Me.109's F/L.Brothers
P.3936 P/O.Eckford. (1) ) DFC. shot down down which fell into the sea. Sgt.Aslin
P.3679 Sgt.Higgins. ) attacked another which made off and smoke pouring
N.2524 Sgt.Aslin. ) from it. F/O.Smythe was shot down and crashed. Being
taken to the Royal Masonic Hospital, Hammersmith -
N.2458 Sgt.Whitehouse. ) wounded. P/O.Pniak was shot up and had to bale out.
V.6565 P/O.Gillman. ) He was taken to hospital with slightly wounded in
V.6566 P/O.Barton (2) ) knee and ankle from a heavy landing. He claims one
V.6567 F/O.Seghers. ) Me.109 probably destroyed.
V.6547 P/O.Wlasnowalski.)
P.3481 S/Ldr.Crossley. )


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