Lysanders of 2 Sqn support troops defending Calais

Flying from Hawkinge eight Lysanders took off at ten minute intervals without fighter cover to drop supplies to troops defending Calais. Canisters containing water, food and ammunition were dropped from 50 feet but this exposed the aircraft to ground fire - two were lost and, whilst the remaining six returned to Hawkinge, they were all damaged.

Dynamo Air operations run from Hawkinge

AVM C.H.B. Blount arrives at Hawkinge and starts running the RAF operations in support of Dynamo from the Haskard Target Building - this HQ was called 'Back Component'. It was collecting evidence to assist with evacuation, as a lot of the wireless equipment was inadequate it relied heavily on debriefs from returning aircrew supplemented with information from German short wave radio traffic intercepted by WAAFs of the experimental wireless section based in Maypole Cottage.

Aircraft of all types returning from action were landing at Hawkinge, many to be refuelled then immediately moving on to inland airfields but those that were too damaged to fly were patched up before being moved on.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) RAF. Station Hawkinge

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Hawkinge May 1940
27th
WEATHER. Fine, some cloud in thick patches. S.Q.FC Staff Engineer visted the station in connection with the formation of Maintenance, re-fuelling and re-arming party which has now assembled. A.V.M.C BLOUNT visited the station.

II/KG 2 bomb Canterbury 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 camoflaged Hurricanes climbing to intercept the bombers.

The bombers throw out confetti, toilet paper and handgrenades 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 widthdrawn on 8 June and the aifield obstructed by stakes to prevent it being used by invading forces.

Sorces: Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust