151 Sqn and 501 Sqn attack IV StG 1 off Margate

15 Hurricanes attack 22 Ju 87s returning after attacking convoys Arena and Agent north of Margate. One Stuka is shot down before Adolf Galland's III/JG 26 arrive shooting down two Hurricanes and damaging two more.

Margate motor lifeboat J. B. Proudfoot is launched to pick up the survivors of Admiralty trawlers Pyrope and Tamarisk.

P/O Gibson claims an He 113 destroyed over Lympne

Sector Serial No (A)
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 12.8.40.
Flight, Squadron (D) Flight: "A" Sqdn.: 501
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E)
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) HE. 113.
Time Attack was delivered (G) 17.35
Place attack was delivered (H) Lympne
Height of Enemy (J) 6'000,
Enemy Casualties (K) One. HE.113 (Confirmed) destroyed
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) 1 Hurricane forced landed
Personnel (M) See Below. Nil.
Searchlights: (Did they illuminate enemy if not, were they in front or behind?) (N.1) N/A
A.A. Guns: (Did shell bursts assist Pilot intercepting enemy?) (N.2)

N/A
Range at which fire was opened in in each attack delivered, together with estimated length of bursts. (P) Range opened. 400 - 100yds
Length of Burst. 2 Bursts of 4 seconds
Total No. of rounds fired 1300
Name of Pilot (Block Letters) J.A.A. Gibson.
General Report (R) See Over.
I was No.2. in Red Section when the Squadron was ordered off to Patrol Hawkinge. The enemy was sighted approaching Lympne from the South West. There were about 20 Machines and I think that they were Do. 17s. Behind[?] and above was a very strong formation of fighters. Looking behind our own Squadron I noticed that the rear sections and red section No.3. were not there. I afterwards learned that they had pursued some E/A that were below us. This left only the Squadron Leader any myself and we carried on traveling West climbing into the sun. As we were turning to the right to deliver the attack I noticed in the rear vision mirror an aircraft diving. I called to Red 1 about it and pulled away to the right and saw two Heinkel 113's on my tail. I dived into and got out of a cloud and found the two E/A behind me on the left. From this time on I did not see Red 1. I began steep turning to the right and finally managed to turn to the right inside and catch up one of the E/A. I gave him two burst and suddenly saw him turn over on his back and go down over the vertical. The other E/A had been circling above and came down as I got on the tail of the first. As I dived down following the first E/A I saw white tracer coming from behind. I Immediately dived into another cloud but could not find the other E/A when I emerged again I then returned to base.
Ja Gibson
Red 2 Red Section
501 Sqadron.

AIR/50/162/21

JG 26 bounce 501 Sqn. as they try to gain height over Canterbury

Twelve Hurricanes of 501 Sqn. are gaining height over Canterbury when they are sighted by III/JG 26 in their Bf 109s.

With the rest of the Bf 109s covering from above, Oberleutnant Gerhart Shöpfel, leading the Gruppe in the absence of Adolf Galland, closed in on the formation of Hurricanes. The two weavers are dispatched with one quick burst each from close range, he then slides into position behind the rear vic and dispatches two more before debris from his fourth victim (P/O Kenneth Lee) causes him to break off his attack. The rest of the Bf 109s, which had been covering from above, now join in and an inconclusive dog fight ensues.

Shöpfel recalls:

They were using the English tactics of that period, flying in close formation of threes, climbing up in a wide spiral. About 1,000m above, I turned with them and managed to get behind the two covering Hurricanes which were weaving continuously. I waited until they were once more heading away from Folkestone and had turned northwest and then pulled round out of the sun and attacked from below. The Englishmen continued on, having noticed nothing. So I pulled in behind a forth machine and took care of him but this time I went in too close. When I pressed the firing button the Englishman was so close in front of my nose that pieces of wreckage struck my propeller.

The 501 Squadron Intelligence Report states:

Engagement of No 501 Squadron with large force of Me 109s and Me 100s on the 18th August, 1940 at 13:00 hours.

No 501 Squadron, consisting of 12 Hurricanes, took off from Hawkinge at 12:30 approximately, and patrolled the east Kent area at 12,000 feet. When flying north-west near Sandwich they sighted a large force of bombers with and escort of Me 110s and 109s (about 20 plus) approaching from the east. 'A' Flight on the left attempted to attack the fighters, while 'B' Flight became involved in a general dog-fight with the Me 109s and 110s. P/O Zenker in Green Section managed to damadge the Me 109s which was straggling. Enemy casualties were 1 Me 109 damaged. Our own losses were K N T Lee bailed out (wounded). P/O F.Kzłowski (Polish) baled out (seriously wounded). Sgt D A S Mc Kay baled out (slightly wounded). P/O J W Bland killed.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 501 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Gravesend 1940 AUGUST
18.
PM The squadron was at 15 mins[?]. Available from Dawn to 0830 hours when the aircraft took off for Hawkinge. An engagement took place in the Canterbury area in broken cloud and haze. The engagement developed into a general dog-fight and the following casualties were sustained - P/O.K.N.T.Lee wounded in the leg; P/O.Kozlowski seriously injured; Sgt.McKay slight burns; P/O.J.W.Bland killed. The Squadron returned to Gravesend. All aircraft were ordered off the ground. They were vectored to Biggin Hill which was being attacked. Pilot Officer Dafforn bailed out but was injured.
Seven Hurricanes took off for Hawkinge at 1650 hours to patrol forward Base. An enemy force of 50 bombers and fighters was encountered. Red section attacked 2 Me 110's were shot down. Flight Lieutenant G.E.B.Stonay was killed in this engagement. Red Section were ordered to Night Readiness.