263 Sqn. at Grangemouth receives delivery of Whirlwind P6966 flown by Sqn Ldr Harry Eels (Officer commanding) from 25 Sqn. at Martlesham Heath. L6845 and P6967 joined over the next days and three more arrived before the end of the month.
263 Sqn's P6966 flown by Canadian PO Irving McDermott crashes at Lanton farm near Stenhousemuir after a burst tyre on takeoff jams the undercarriage leg. As advised by ground control McDermott bails out between Grangemouth and Stirling, sprains his ankle on landing or is uninjured (depending on the account), and is arrested by the Stenhousemuir home guard - only being released when Sqn Ldr Eels vouched for him.
OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) 263 Squadron
|Place||Date||Time||Summary of Events||References to Appendices|
|Grangemouth||7/8/40||P/O Mc Dermott, taking off in ? Whirlwind, burst the port tyre and damaged the undercarriage. After circling for some time the pilot bailed out between Grangemouth and Stirling. The aircraft was a total loss. The pilot was uninjured
Flight Lieut. A.T.Williams, F[?]/O E.F.?.??? and P/O L.H.J?????? have been awarded the D.F.C. Sargeant Pilot ?.?.???????? has been awarded the D.F.M.
Squadron Leader J.G.Munro posted to 263 Squadron from Air Ministry.
The plane was excavated in October 1979. Both engines and all major components were recovered. This was the first production Whirlwind.
263 Sqn (Whirlwinds) moves from Grangemouth to Drem.
Hurricanes are relinquished and the ten serviceable Whirlwinds leave Drem for Exeter two days later.
Morning, flown by Eels, Smith and Huges of 263 Sqn from Exeter. One section (flight?) of the squadron is declared operation with the aircraft two weeks later.
Stein of 263 Sqn attacks a lone Ju 88 40 miles SW of the Scilly Isles. Diving out of the sun he damages the fuselage with cannon fire and it dives into the cloud. He claims it as damaged.
In confusing circumstances, the coastguard report two aircraft crashed into the sea three miles offshore. One Whirlwind (Graham) from 263 Sqn and one Ar 196A-4 (Hptm Adolf Berger - Staffelkapitän, Lt.z.S Hans-Erich Hurts) from 5/BFGr. 196 are recorded as missing.
Baker, Mogg, Snalam and Blacklock of 263 Sqn flew a patrol looking for Ju 52 MS (mine destroying) from 1/Minensuchgruppe I believed to be operating in the channel off Normandy and Brittany. The patrol is aborted due to cloud and rainstorms down to sea level and they return to Warmwell by 11:00.
The Ju 52/3m MS (Magnetspule) was equipped with a ring that generated a magnetic field that set off mines when flown at 120km/h at 30m.
Sixteen aircraft are still serviceable, 14 with 263 Sqn, and are withdrawn to 18MU at Dumfries over the next two months. No non-operational use was found for them and in July the airframes are declared non-effective, being struck off charge in September and stored at Lennxolove until they are scrapped in 1946.