804 and 605 Sqn. scrambled to intercept aircraft over Orkney

804 Sqn. (Gladiators) patrolling Copinsay intercept Do 17 at 16:40.

804 Sqn's diary, quoted in Sky over Scapa, reads:

A tremendous day for HMS Sparrowhawk, the first and we hope by no means the last. 804 Squadron began their fun at 16.05 hours when Yellow Section flew off to Copinsay. There were a great many plots on the board, the weather fine with layers of cloud varying in density up to about 10,000 feet. about 16.40 hours P/O Sabey saw a Do17 and the section gave chase. Sub.Lt. Fell got in a burst at about 500 yds. as the Do17 disappeared into the cloud but followed him in.P/O Peacock went in above the cloud and as he came out so did the Do17, 400 yds. away. Peackock got in a burst before the enemy aircraft dived away back into the clouds. We were later informed that Do17 was crying SOS with a leaking petrol tank and did not reach his base.

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


Aircraft Type and No. Crew. Duty. Time Up. Time Down. Remarks References
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.

(AIR 27/2106/16)

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) 610 Squadron

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

(AIR 27/2106/15)

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)
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
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


Do 17 of I/KG 2 take off from Épinoy

15 Do 17 Bomb Lympne

15 Do 17s from I/KG 2 escorted by JG 54 come in low over Romney Marsh and rise up over the escarpment and drop 50kg bombs which explode in straight lines, the landing ground is cratered and a hanger is damaged.

Crews report dropping 90 110-lb bombs on hangars and buildings, although they also state that the full effect of their attack could not be gauged due to mist.

54 Sqn Spitfires are scrambled from Manston but are intercepted by JG 54's Bf 109s out of the sun - possibly over Dover - before they can reach the bombers. Two Spitfires force land at Lympne and are forced to swerve to avoid the craters.

All the Do 17s return home 45 minutes later, without radar Fighter Command are unable to find them.

This raid is intended to keep Lympne based interceptors on the ground and not interfere with the attacks on the radar stations.


PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
Weather. Fair. 0800 HRS. STATION attacked by enemy aircraft. 141 Bombs dropped in a few seconds. Damage caused to hangers, offices and landing ground. NO CASUALTIES.

56 Sqn intercept 27 Dorniers with large fighter escort

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 56 (Fighter) Squadron.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
North Weald. 12/8/40 12.45 The squadron went on patrol and then to Rochford, there doing further patrols and returning to North Weald. On one patrol 27 Dorniers with large fighter escort were engaged 10 miles north of Margate. F/O.Weaver destroyed a Dornier 215, Sgt. Smythe destroyed a M.E.109 and F/Sgt.Higginson damaged a M.E.109. Sgt. Smythe gained his success with the extra 400 rounds contained in the extra large tans which he had fitted. P/O.Page baled out but was rescued slightly burned, and 7 other aircraft were slightly damaged by enemy fire. 5 pilots did formation flying, D.H.Q.F.C. attacks and air fighting practice. Weather. Little low cloud, wind north-westerly, light.

(AIR 27/528/15)

Manston attacked

20 Bf 110s and Bf 109s of EprGr bomb and strafe then, 20 minutes later, 18 I/KG 2 Do 17s come in at low level and drop 150 250kg and fragmentation bombs cratering the airfield, destroying the workshops and damaging two hangers.

Crews involved from KG2 state that considerable damage has been inflicted on the target.

54 Sqn had tried to intercept the bombers but hadn't been able to get past the Bf 109 escorts.

65 Sqn (Spitfires) were taxiing out for take off when the bombs started falling. Most managed to get airborne and joined 54 Sqn's melee with the escort fighters.

With the escort tied up the bombers were unprotected as they returned and faced determined attack from 56 Sqn's Hurricanes.

A thin layer of chalk dust lies across the airfield which is declared out of action for more than a day.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) R.A.F. Station MANSTON

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
MANSTON.12.8.401250.The aerodrome was heavily attacked by approximately 15 M.E.110's and some HEINKELS and bombed at low altitude. Some 150 H.E. bombs were dropped. The aerodrome was pitted with approximately 100 craters, and rendered temporarily unserviceable.
Two handers were damaged, and Workshops were destroyed. In the latter building a civilian clerk was killed, this being the only fatal casualty.
The raid lasted approximately five minutes.

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