II./JG 52 arrive at Peuplingues

Since late June Hauptmann von Kornatzki’s II./JG 52 have been deployed along Germany’s North Sea coastal belt, during which time it has been able to claim two RAF Blenheim IVs off the Friesian Islands.

610 Sqn attack Do 17s and Bf 109 escorts south of Hythe

DETAIL OF WORK CARRIED OUT By:610 SQUADRON.

Aircraft Type and No. Crew. Duty. Time Up. Time Down. Remarks References
8-7-40.
SPITFIRE.
Q. P.9545 P/O.W.H.C.WARNER. Patrol convoy 1345 1639 Blue section order to patrol convoy off DOVER. Attacked 9 Do.215s, 10 miles out to sea. No.2 silenced the rear gunner of one of the enemy aircraft . No 3 saw a Spitfire on fire in the sea, 6 miles off Dover. This was probably No.2 of the section, P/O.A.L.B.RAVEN, who failed to return. The pilot was seen to leave the aircraft and swim.
N. R.6806 P/O.A.L.B.RAVEN
L. P.9495 SGT.ELSE,P.
B. L.1009 P/O.S.C.NORRIS. Patrol. 1456 1639 Red and Green sections ordered on patrol. 5 miles South of HYTHE, saw 7 Do.215s, escorted by 12 Me.109s. Attacks carried out but without apparent result. P/O.PEGGE after breaking away encountered 3 Me.109s. He attacked one and saw it dive for the sea, emitting black smoke, and over the vertical.
H. L.1064 P/O.CO.J.PEGGE.
P. R.6694 SGT.PARSONS.H.
T. R.6755 P/O.P.LITCHFIELD.
K. P.9495 SGT.ARNFIELD.S.J.
P. R.6695 SGT.RAMSAY.

(AIR 27/2106/16)

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) 610 Squadron

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
BIGGIN HILL 1940
8th.July
P/O A.L.B.RAVEN (91089) reported missing after an engagement with Do.215s off DOVER.

(AIR 27/2106/15)

65 Sqn Intercept raiders off Dover

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) 65 SQUADRON.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
HORNCHURCH. 8.7.40 P/O COUZINS carried out flying practice in the Magister. At 15.30 hours 9 aircraft were detailed to intercept enemy raiders off DOVER. Several enemy aircraft were observed in pairs and threes and the Squadron broke into Sections line astern. F/SGT. FRANKLIN observed an ME.109 stalking Blue 1 below him, he attacked beginning with deflection and ending dead astern and after a 3 second burst he saw the flaps out and one leg of the undercarriage come out followed almost above by an explosion behind the cockpit, and a few seconds later the enemy aircraft crashed into the sea about eight miles off DOVER. S/LDR. SAWYER was attacked by 4 ME.109 simultaneously, and by using evasive tactics was able to score a long burst on enemy aircraft which probably crashed. S/LDR.COOKE who was leading the patrol, took his Section through cloud, and when the rest of his Section emerged he was nowhere to be seen, attempts were made to contact him over the R/T but he was neither seen or heard of again.
Another nice effort by F/SGT. FRANKLIN, but it is certainly shaky losing the C/O in this way, it is very doubtful if anything more will be heard of him but we hope for the best. S/LDR.SAWYER now assumes command.

(AIR 27/592/4)

INTELLIGENCE PATROL REPORT.

Combat of 65 Squadron on 8th July 1940. At 15.29 hours on the 8th July, 2 Sections of 65 Squadron were detailed to intercept enemy raiders off DOVER; on approaching Coast, the clouds were in layers from 4,000 to 2,000 feet and to get better observation, the Squadron broke up into Section in line astern. Several enemy aircraft were seen, mostly in pairs and threes dodging in and out of cloud, but there seemed to be no formations and pilots believe they must have been previously engaged. The Sections attempted to close in on several enemy aircraft which continuously lost them in clouds. Flight Sergeant Franklin sighted an ME.109 stalking Blue 1 below him, he attacked and brought enemy aircraft down into the sea. Squadron Leader Sawyer was attacked by 4 ME.109's simultaneously, and by using evasive tactics, was able to score a long burst at one enemy aircraft, which in all probability crashed. Squadron Leader Cooke leading the patrol took his section through a cloud behind which he had seen some enemy aircraft, but on emerging the rest of the SEction were unable to sight him or pick him up on the R/T. From all enquiries there has been no available news. The remaining 8 of Squadron landed without casualties at 16.41 hours. RESULT Flight Sergeant Franklin - Rounds Fired 800. - One ME.109 Confirmed. Squadron Leader Sawyer - Rounds Fired 1040. - One ME.109 Unconfirmed. Squadron Leader Cooke MISSING.

(AIR 27/595)

Lt. Johann Böhm shot down near Elham

The Bf 109 E3 (WNr 1162) White 4 of 4./JG51 flown by 18 year old Lt. Johann Böhm which crash lands in a sheep field on Hillhouse Farm at Bladbean.

A Schwarm of Josef Fözö's 4. Staffel (Probably took off from Desvres, near Boulogne) is headed off and chased by Spitfires of 74 Sqn. In a formation of four aircraft, flying in line astern chasing a Spitfire, this aircraft is caught from below by another Spitfire which shot into the engine. The pilot puts the aircraft into a dive to escape but is hit in the non self-sealing fuel tank and crash lands with undercarriage retracted.

The form 'F' combat report (AIR/50/32/91) from Sgt E A Mould of 74 Sqn (Hornchurch) reads:

Sector Serial No (A) D.
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B) 159
Date (C) 8/7/40.
Flight, Squadron (D) Red Section 'A' Flt. No. 74 Squadron
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E) FOUR.
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) Me. 109.
Time Attack was delivered (G) 1600 hrs. approx
Place attack was delivered (H) Dover and District
Height of Enemy (J) 5,000 ft.
Enemy Casualties (K) Confirmed. ONE Unconfirmed. Nil.
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Nil.
Personnel (M) Nil.
Searchlights (N) (i) Nil.
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) Nil.
Fire for Fighters (Measured or Estimated) (P) Range opened. 300 yds. Length of Burst. 5 x 3 secs. Rage Closed. 100 yds. No. of rounds per gun
General Report (R) See Report appended.
P Mould.741299 Sgt. Red Leader "A" Flt. 74 Squadron.
I was Red Leader of "A" Flight No 74 Sqn, with No 2. of Blue Section also in company. The four of us were on interception patrol over Dover when I sighted four Me 109s flying in line astern on my starboard beam. I gave the order 'Line Astern' and turned to starboard climbing up under the tail of the rear Me 109. I gave him a short 30° deflection shot and he immediately half-rolled and dived to ground level followed by Red 2. In trying to follow him I blacked myself out and lost sight of him, but I saw another Me 109 also flying at low level so I dived on him from about 3,000 ft. He immediately dived to ground level and used evasive tactics by flying along the valleys behind Dover and Folkestone, which only allowed me to fire short deflection bursts at him.After two of these bursts smoke or vapour came from the radiator beneath his port wing and other bursts appeared to enter the fuselage. He eventually landed with his wheels up as I fired my last burst at him in a field near Elham. The pilot was apparently uninjured and I circled round him until he was taken prisoner.

The form 'F' combat report (AIR/50/32/108) from P/O Stevenson of 74 Sqn (Hornchurch) reads:

Sector Serial No (A) 'D'.
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B) 159
Date (C) 8/7/40.
Flight, Squadron (D) "A" Flight, 74 Squadron
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E) Four.
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) Me. 109.
Time Attack was delivered (G) 1600 hrs. approx
Place attack was delivered (H) Dover-Folkestone (towards Ashford)
Height of Enemy (J) 5,000' to 20'
Enemy Casualties (K) ONE (most probable). Confirmed. NIL. Unconfirmed
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Crashed on landing (ONE)
Personnel (M) Nil.
Searchlights (N) (i) N/A.
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) N/A
Fire for Fighters (Measured or Estimated) (P) Range opened. 400 yds. Length of Burst. 2 x 5; 8 x 3 secs. Rage Closed. 200 yds. No. of rounds per gun 350.
General Report (R) See Report appended.
P Stephenson. P/O. (33521) "A" Flt. No. 74 Squadron.
I was on patrol over Dover as Red 2 No.74 Squadron at 6,000 ft. when FOUR Me.109's were sighted at 5,000 ft. approaching from the south, in line astern. Two enemy aircraft broke away and flew towards the East. I gave chase, following Red Leader. Read leader gave the enemy aircraft a short 30° deflection burst. The enemy aircraft then did a vertical stall down to the right and as it dived down I flew on to its tail as I saw red Leader was unable to do so. I followed the enemy aircraft down to ground level from 5,000 ft. to 50 ft. I fired at it on the way down. I noticed the enemy aircraft firing his guns on the dive and also when we flew along a road. I gave several long bursts and hit both the radiators in the first burst. The enemy aircraft was enveloped with black oil smoke. I followed the enemy aircraft for 5 mins. low flying the whole time a fill speed. I broke away when I saw a machine flying behind me. When I had broken away I saw it was a Hurricane. I returned to Manston. Since Confirmed.

In the evening 81-year-old local farmer George Palmer was taken to see the aircraft, ignoring the guard and the cordons he went up to it and prodded his stick. With his curiosity satisfied he helped Walter Keeler, who farmed the land and had lost ten ewes to the plane as it skidded across the field, round up the rest of his sheep that were still wandering around.

Bf 109 under guard after forced landing at Bladbean

Bf 109 under guard after forced landing at Bladbean

Bf 109 under guard after forced landing at Bladbean

Bf 109 under guard after forced landing at Bladbean

Bf 109 under guard after forced landing at Bladbean

Johan Böhm is taken to Broome Park.

Lt. Böhm is escorted by the London Scots
Johann Böhm being escorted by Pte. R. W. Miles, Prov. Sgt. W. F. Waterman and Piper W. McDougal of the London Scottish at Broome Park.
Johan Böhm under guard at Broome Park, August 1940 Reverse of photo of Johan Böehm in captivity at Broome Park, August 1940
Broome Park Nr Canterbury
German pilot of plane age 20 taken at Broome Park Denton near Canterbury was fetched down in a field near here.  The man was arrogant and kept saying that they would be winning the war in two or three weeks time  The plane on other two snaps

The aircraft was brought through the main road in Elham the next evening. Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 4./JG 51, White 4, Johann Böhm, WNr 1162 being recovered from Bladbean, Kent, August 1940

Air Intelligence Report (9/8/1940)

The aircraft carried a 4 - in white with a Red border. It had a Staffel sign of a Raven with Spectacles, and an Umbrella under its arm. The aircraft was Works No. 1162 built by ERLA Maschinenwerke, fitted with a D.B.601 engine. The armament consisted of two synchronised 7.92mm M.G.s, firing through the airscrew disc, and two 20mm wing cannons. On primary interrogation, the pilot would give away no information, but a paper in his possession shows he was at Desvres (near Boulogne) on July 5th. There was a permit, dated 29/6/40 from Luftgau Kommando VI, which also referred to II/JG51.

AI(K) Report (10/8/1940)

This aircraft was one of a formation of four, flying in line astern, chasing a Spitfire. Other Spitfires were climbing towards them from below, and as they approached the pilot turned off, and was hit by one of the Spitfires in the engine. He went into a dive and reached a speed of of 700 kilometers per hour (435mph) but the Spitfire followed him in a dive, firing continually. He pilled out when withing 1,500 feet of the ground. Böhm had been two years in the German Air Force. On the outbreak of war, he was at the Jagdfliegerschule, Schiesheim, and was posted to his present Staffel (4/JG51) on December 6h. Since that time he has done some 95 War Flights, many of which, however, were ordinary patrols along the frontier.

Johan Böhm's awards: EK 2, Wound Badge, Fighter Operational Clasp The aircraft had a complete circle of armour plate built to the shape of the fuselage just behind the pilot's seat. ID: 65176, AW: pink, Menningen, 27/2/20. FP: L04579

Under interrogation the pilot would not give away any information. A piece of paper found on him showed he was in Desveres on 5th July 1940, also he had a permit dated 29th June 1940 from Luftgau Kommando VI which referred to II/JG51. The pilot had been in the German Air Force for two years and had carried out ninety-five War Flights. At the outbreak of war he was at the Jagdfligerschule Schliesheim and was posted to his present Staffel on 6th December 1939.

In his post-war memoirs R.W. Bailey of Ladwood Farm east of Elham recalls:

I well remember the first German fighter I saw which was close enough to identify and it was bery close indeed. I was cleaning off the dropping boards of our old black house as we called it in Barn field. I had been out with the first load of manure and I could see the usual mass of vapour trails in the sky in the Dover area and heard the whine of the planes. Then, quite suddenly, there was a deafening roar of planes and a loud burst of machine gun fire and a German fighter appeared just over the beeches, with a Spitfire right on its tail. The firing came from the Spitfire and the German, I could plainly see the crosses on its wings, weaved and twisted, to avoid the Spitfire's bullets. They disappeared in a matter of seconds over Henbury. I knew the German was down because the Spitfire pilot circled round once or twice more and did a victory roll. The German pilot actually landed at Bladbean, he was unharmed he said he was only 18.

Depending on the account, this is either the first Messerchmitt, the first Bf 109 or the first fighter shot down over England or Britain. Aircraft Salvage in the Battle of Britain and the Blitz has another aircraft on the same day as this as the first Bf 109 to be shot down onto British soil but that seems to have been shot down several hours after this aircraft.

Messerschmitt Bf 109E-3 4.JG51 White 4 (Kagero)

In August 2018 I took a trip to Bladbean and, by referencing the photos of the crash site, found the field.

Bladbean farm behind Hillhouse

Bladbean farm behind Hillhouse

Viewed from the valley road the field is on the relatively flat crest of the west side of the Elham Valley and there's a scarp slope dropping into the valley itself.

Bladbean farm viewed from the Elham Valley road

Viewed from the south of the field there's a reasonable space to put down a fighter but with a hedged road on the left and the scarp on the right there wasn't much room for error.

Bladbean farm viewed from the south

Scale map of the crash site, details taken from the OS County Series: KENT 1939 1:2,500.
Map of Bf 109 crash site at Bladbean, Kent

74 Sqn. engage Bf 109s

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 74 Squadron. Hornchurch. Essex.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
Hornchurch 8.7.40 At 11 hrs. Blue Section took off from Manston to intercept hostile raid. 1 He.111 was sighted. F/Lt. Measures attacked first. inflicting serious damage. P/O Dowding arrived and carried on the attack silencing the rear gunner. Sgt. Skinner closed the combat and observed enemy aircraft dive into the sea in flames. At 1600 hrs. Sgt.Mould attacked one enemy aircraft and by accurate gunfire forced it to land at Elham. Pilot of enemy aircraft was uninjured and taken prisoner. P/O. Stevenson attacked 1 enemy aircraft which soon showed signs of distress and dived to ground. Nothing further to record.

(AIR 27640/21)

Leutnant Albert Stribney shot down near Sandwich

The Bf 109 E-3 (WNr 2964) of 3./LG2 flown by Leutnant Albert Stribney is shot down by Spitfires over Dover and crashes at Buckland Farm between Sandwich and Eastry. Stribney bails out and is taken POW.

"In spite of our efforts to try and gain more speed, in no time they were on us and the battle was short. Whilst I was behind a Spitfire, another was behind me. I hear the sound as if one throws peas against a metal sheet and my cabin was full of dark smoke. I felt splashes of fuel on my face so I switched off the electrical system, dived back into the cloud and threw off the cabin roof. The smoke disappeared and I could breathe freely and noticed that from the wings there came white streams of glycol. Whilst diving, I tried several times to start the engine, switching on the electrical system, but in vain. When I came out of cloud, I decided to bale out and undid the clasp of my seat belt and was about to climb onto the seat and jump when I thought of the high speed of the aircraft and I was afraid to be thrown against the tailplane so I pulled back the stick and slowed the aircraft down. This took a matter of seconds; I did a half roll and fell out."

A party from 49 Maintenance Unit, RAF Faygate, recovered as much of the aircraft as they were able.

Wreckage of Bf 109 E3 WNr 2964 being recovered by 49 Maintenance Unit

The unit emblem of Mickey Mouse carrying an umbrella can be seen.

Wreckage of Bf 109 E3 WNr 2964 being recovered by 49 Maintenance Unit

The DB601 engine was buried too deep for 49 MU to recover and this was excavated by the Brenzett Aeronautical Museum in the late 1970s.

LG 2 were based at St. Inglevert/Pihen.

On 6/1/1942 I/LG 2 was redesignated I/JG77 and 3 staffel retained their insignia.

3./JG 77's Mickey Mouse with umbrella insignia

Sources: Dunkirk 1940, ww2.dk

JG 26 Arrive in the Pas-de-Calais

JG 26 Stab and First Gruppe arrive at a former grain field at Audembert on the Channel coast near Calais.

They are equipped with Bf 109E-4s but many older Bf 109E-1s with additional seat and back armour are still on strength.

III./JG 52 arrives at Coquelles

It joins Major von Bernegg's Geschwaderstab (based at Le Touquet) on the Channel coast.

F/Lt. Deere encounters He 113s escorting bombers over the Thames Estuary

Sector Serial No(A)D 2.
Serial No. of order detailing patrol(B)
Date(C)24/7/40
Flight, Squadron(D)Flight A Squadron 54
No. of Enemy Aircraft(E)42 (Approx.)
Type of Enemy Aircraft(F)Do.215 ME. 109
HE 113
Time Attack was delivered(G)12.25
Place attack was delivered(H)Thames Estuary
Height of Enemy(J)7,000 Feet
Enemy Casualties(K)Confirmed One Me109 destroyed identified
Three Me109s fired at
Our Casualties Aircraft(L)NIL
Personnel(M)NIL
Searchlights(N)(i) NIL
A.A. Guns Assistance(ii) NIL
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) Range Opened 350 Yards
Length of burst Various
Range closed 150 Yards
No. of Rounds per Gun 1331
General Report(R)
While patrolling Deal at 7,000 Feet a large formation of enemy bombers was observed flying up the Thames Estuary, behind and above Bombers were 3? ME 109's and further 12 above and in cloud. I told Blue leader to go for the first three and I would take my section above and after the nine above. At that moment nine HE. 113's came from behind and I saw them in time to avert being shot at. I managed to stall turn into their tails and fire a burst into the centre of the formation which broke up. 109's then came down from above and a Dog Fight ensued. I had general wild bursts at various aircraft, but was unable to get a decent bead because of constant attacks from behind. I managed however one decent long burst at a 109 at close range and he went down with glycol pouring from his machine.
Rabbit Red Leader.
Sgd. A.C.Deere. F/Lt.
A C Deere

(AIR/50/21/105)

F/O McMullen attacked by He 113s over the Thames Estuary

Sector Serial No(A)D 2
Serial No. of order detailing patrol(B)
Date(C)24/7/40
Flight, Squadron(D)12 aircraft 54 Squadron
Number of Enemy Aircraft(E)Big Formation
Type of Enemy Aircraft(F)ME.109's HE.113's
Time Attack was delivered(G)12.25
Place attack was delivered(H)Thames Estuary
Height of Enemy(J)7,000 Feet
Enemy Casualties(K)Confirmed One ME. 109 destroyed unconfirmed
Unconfirmed 1 ME109 Probable
Our Casualties Aircraft(L)NIL
Personnel(M)NIL
Searchlights(N) (i)NIL
A.A. Guns Assistance(ii)NIL
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) Ranged opened 200 Yards.
Length of burst Various
Ranged closed 100 Yards
No. of Rounds per Gun 2057
General Report. (R) I was patrolling with Red Section as Red 2. Blue Leader reported Bombers to our North as we were over Deal. Whilst turning off to attack the fighters, 12-15 HE.113's came up alongside from our rear. We took evasive action and finished up behind them, at the same time a squadron at least of 109's appeared. I sprayed the enemy formation as did Red1. This proving very effective. The section broke and I went into cloud. When I came out I saw approximately 6,000 feet below two ME.109's in a tight V. I attacked from above and behind, and the leader went into the sea. I turned my fire on to No. 2. Large clouds of Black Smoke came out, and bits fell off, enemy aircraft staggered. I then went home.
Sgd. D.A.P. McMullen F/O.
DAP. McMullen F/o.

(AIR/50/21/49)