Main air raid on Orkney starts

Estimates vary, possibly as many as 60 aircraft, Junkers 88s and Heinkel 111s, 7-10,000ft. One wave approaches from the east and another from the south-east.

605 Sqn. Hurricanes are scrambled from Wick and 804 Sqn. Gladiators are scrambled from Hatston.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 605 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
WICK. 10.4.40. Fine day with little wind. No activity in the morning and patrols were ordered over South going convoy from Kirkwall. At approx. 1545 hours P/O.Muirhead while on convoy patrol sighted enemy aircraft and carried out two attacks before losing him in cloud. An hour later F/O. Leeson leading red section saw two enemy aircraft at 14000 ft. climbed and brought the one down and two of crew jumped with parachute. It is unknown for certain whether the first machine encountered by F/O. Muirhead was brought down or not. For the next six hours there was intense activity far greater than anything seen previously. The released Squadron was brought to Stand-By; at one time we had three sections at Stand-By and it was still said there there were not sufficient fighter aircraft. Four pilots fired rounds at enemy aircraft and made out reports. F/O Lesson P/O. Carter, P/O. Muirhead and Sgt.Moffatt. Red section were available for 2¼ hours. "A" Flight were supplying the night phase pilots at at approx. 2045 hours Wick Air Raid Warning sounded; two of Red and Yellow section took off together with others from 43 and 111 Squadrons there were about 10 aircraft in the air after dark to encounter a raid on Scapa of about 40 enemy aircraft who came over in successive waves. Anti-Aircraft fire was intense and there were one or two loud reports of bombs one on the Pentland Skerries but no damage at all was reported. P/O. Edge and Flying Officer Austin P/O Currant and Sgt Mainland took part; F/O. Edge attacked three separate enemy aircraft and P/O. Current used all his ammunition on one enemy aircraft but neither pilots was able to say definitely with what results. It was reported that this station together with Hatston and anti-aircraft had accounted for seven enemy aircraft during the day.

Source: @Ness_Battery

Sgt. Pilot Robert Marwick Mainland

Sgt. R.M. Mainland is killed in a training accident.

566418 Sgt Robert Marwick Mainland

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 605 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
WICK. 25.4.40. It is with regret that a report is made on the death of 566418 R.M. MAINLAND, Sgt.Pilot killed on a flying accident on a non-operational flight. His Section leader instructed Yellow 2 and 3 to break formation to allow him to do a barrell roll. It appears that this airman did not break away sufficiently when the leader had completed 270° the back of his cockpit hood struck the starboard mainplane breaking off 4-5 ft from the tip. The aircraft went into a spin from 5000 ft the pilot did not jump until about 500 ft from the ground, his parachute only partly opening and was killed instantly - position 6 miles due west of Thurso - Forss House on Thurso-Melvick road. P/O. Currant Yellow 1. returned safely to to [sic] his base - aircraft badly damaged. R/O. P. Danielson damaged his aircraft at 2200 hours by accidentally taxying into the Floodlight due to confusion of lights. At the time it was reported that German aircraft were over the aerodrome. Whether good and warm.

His funeral is postponed twice before being buried with full military honours.

His grave is located in Grave 411, Section O, in Wick Cemetery, Caithness.

Grave of Robert Mainland in Wick Cemetery

Robert Marwick Mainland was born on September 9th 1916 at 11 Broad Street, Kirkwall. He was the son of Robert Mainland, Essaquoy, and Jessie Marwick, Scockness. His name was added to the Rousay War Memorial in the Spring of 2017, and a dedication service was attended by his cousin, niece and nephew, and representatives of the Kirkwall Branch of the Royal British Legion Scotland.

Rousey war memorial

Sources: Rousay remembered

Sgt Mainland's funeral postponed

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 605 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
WICK. 27.4.40. Funeral of 566418 R.M. Mainland altered three times finally fixed for 29/4/40 at Wick. The Officer Commanding has incurred displeasure at H.Q.F.C. and No. 13 Group. by omitting to render a report on the accident to 645484. AC. Taylor - also by not reporting on accident to Hurricane aircraft which was placed on its nose by F/O. B. Hillcoat when taxying on a high wind on March 31st. Weather Fair, nothing to report. P/O PASSY joined Unit.

Sgt Mainland's funeral postponed again

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 605 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
WICK. 29.4.40. Owing to the difficulties of Railway transport and a misunderstanding by Sergt MAINLAND father of Sgt Mainland Killed on 25/4. The funeral arrangements for 1500 hours to-day had to be changed three times and finally postponed until 1000 hours tomorrow owing to Father not arriving until 1730 hours. F/O Austin having to take a Magister to INVERNESS to collect him. Weather very cold, no operations.

Sgt Mainland buried with full military honours in Wick cemetary

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 605 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
WICK. 30.4.40. With full Military Honours Sgt Mainland was carried from the Bignold Hospital at 0930 hours and interred at Wick Cemetery at 1030 hours. Weather bad, cold and poor visibility.

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.

Formation of Care And Maintenance Party, Lympne

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) Care and Maintenance Party, Lympne

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Lympne 1940
June 9th
Formation of CARE AND MAINTENANCE PARTY at R.A.F. STATION, Lympne.
ESTABLISHMENT:- NINE OFFICERS.  234 AIRMEN.  14 CIVILIANS. (WAR/F.C/164 dated 7/6/40)  Arrival of four airmen for essential duties prior to arrival of personnel.

 

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.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) R.A.F. STATION, LYMPNE.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
LYMPNE. AUGUST
12TH.
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.

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

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
MANSTON. 12.8.40 1250. 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.

501 Sqn. patrol from Hawkinge

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

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Gravesend 1940 AUGUST
12.
PM The Squadron (12 aircraft) took off from Hawkinge at 1725 hours and landed at 1840 hours. Pilot Officer Gibson landed at Hawkinge after shooting down a Me 109. The Squadron were unable to operate from Hawkinge owing to the damage caused by bombing by enemy Aircraft.
POSTINGS. Squadron Leader Holland was posted to 55 Squadron to command and ceased to be attached to 501 Squadron w.s.f [?] 15/8/40 - Auth. -No.11 Group.

KG 76 bomb Hawkinge

At Hawkinge the personnel on the base are taken by surprise as the Do 17s (KG 2 and KG 76) and Bf 110s (EprGr 210) come in over Folkestone at medium height and the AA crews aren't able to man their guns - with the exception of two Hisapnios.

Number three hanger at Hawkinge receives direct hits and the iron doors come off their runners killing one airman and two civilian employees - Brisley and McCaister. Inside the hanger two Spitfires under repair were wrecked and two others seriously damaged. Four airmen are killed and six seriously wounded.

The workshops, clothing store and two married quarters were destroyed and the main store was on fire and the ammunition there was exploding.

Luftwaffe records state that Hawkinge was attacked in two waves, with 280 110-lb bombs being dropped first, followed by 16 1100-lb and eight 551-lb bombs.

64 Sqn's Spitfres engaged the Do 17s over Hawkinge and remarked on the lack of AA fire. American PO Donahue bailed out of his burning Spitfire over Sellinge.

Hurricanes from 32 Sqn returning to the airfield to refuel have to negotiate the 28 craters on the landing field. Flt. Lt. Michael Crossley requests permission to land, the response from the controller being "Hello Jacko Red Leader. We've had a spot of bother here. Permission to pancake granted. Good Luck." Sgt. Lacey's undercarriage collapses and F/Lt Gibson's aircraft ends up on it's nose. PO Barton opts to crash-land in a nearby field. The aircraft are refuelled and returned to Biggin Hill.

Firemen from Folkestone arrive to help out at the airfield. Section Leader R. R. Fry is accompanied by his team of Bill Willis, Percy Sutton, Ted Beeching, George Rumsey and George Kelly are fighting the multiple blazes at No 3 hanger where saving the aircraft isn't possible.

49 MU lost a number of vehicels, including a Ford V8 staff car and a Commer low-loader.

Fry said of the incident:

A chaotic scene greeted our arrival. There were fires in several places. The water tower, supplying pressure for the hydrants, had been holed by splinters in may places and water cascaded from it, reducing our mains supply to a trickle as we watched.

The main priority was getting the landing field operational and soldiers, airmen and civilians worked through the night filling in craters, sustained by a mobile canteen serving tea and sandwiches.

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

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Hawkinge August 1940
12th
WEATHER. fine. The I.G. of the R.A.F, Sir E.A LUDLOW-HEWITT, K.C.B., C.M.G., D.S.O., M.C. inspected the Station. An Enemy Bombing attack by J.U. 88's against the Station was carried out at 17.30 hours and lasted for approximately 10 minutes. One hanger, No. 3, was almost completely wrecked whilst on other, No. 5, was partially wrecked. A number of Bombs of heavy caliber, including incendiary, were dropped. The aerodrome and buildings were machine-gunned during the attack. The main stores were partly damaged by fire, the clothing store almost completely. The fire was quickly brought under control by R.A.F. personnel aided by local A.F.S. The Station Workshops were wrecked. Two houses in the Airmen's Married Quarters , occupied by airmen, were destroyed. Twenty-eight craters were made on the aerodrome, the largest being 76' x 72' x 28' deep, and the smallest 10' x 10' x 8' deep, but the aerodrome was not rendered completely unserviceable. Repairs to the surface were immediately commenced by the R.E.s. already attached for such work. Ground Defenses were surprised and no guns, except two HISPANO were fired. The altitude of the attacking aircraft was such that it was impractical for the P.A.C.U. to be brought into action. Two civilians, MR. BRISLEY and MR. CAISTER, employed by contractors of the Works Directorate, were killed and three airmen, CORPORAL Mc. COLL attached from R.A.F. Station, YEADON, A.C.2. SYMES attached from R.A.F. Station, KENLEY, and A.C.1. LANGDON of R.A.F. Station, HAWKINGE, were killed. Six airmen received severe injuries and were admitted to the KENT and CANTERBURY HOSPITAL, CANTERBURY. TheCasulaties occurred to personnel employed in No 3 hanger. Two SPITFIRE aircraft, under repair, were seriously damaged, whilst one or two others were struck by splinters. The two non-operational aircraft on charge were damaged but repairable. P.O. N.G. DURHAM reporting on posting from R.A.F. Station, WICK for duty at A.M.E.S., DOVER. F.O. J.D. GABB and F.O. J.H. READ reported on posting for operations room duties.
AIR RAID WARNINGS.
RED 08.35, WHITE 09.25, RED 11.38, WHITE 12.37, RED 23.37, WHITE 23.59

The identification of the attackers as Ju 88s seems incorrect.

Inspector General Sir Edgar Ludlow Hewitt visits Lympne

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) R.A.F. STATION, LYMPNE.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
LYMPNE. AUGUST
12TH.
1735 HRS. INSPECTOR GENERAL SIR EDGAR LUDLOW HEWITT arrived by air visiting Station.

Lympne bombed for the second time today

Lympne has 242 craters rendering it out of service. Six of the original hangers are destroyed, including 13 private aircraft that had been locked up inside number 2 hanger at the start of hostilites, as well as domestic accommodation. Repairs to the hangers are hampered by delayed action bombs.

Station personnel are moved out and are accommodated in the village and local area. Port Lympne becomes the temporary officers' mess, French House the sergeants' mess and Lympne Palace the airmen's mess.

Casualties

342519 LAC Bell, Sydney Herbert W/Op killed - multiple injuries enemy bomb during raid.
979309 Cpl J Anderson, Died of heart failure following shrapnel wounds in Ashford General Hospital on August 21st.
979269 AC.2 Clarkson Charles fracture base of skull.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) R.A.F. STATION, LYMPNE.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
LYMPNE. AUGUST
12TH.
1740 HRS. Enemy aircraft attacked aerodrome. TWO SQUADRONS were engaged in this attack. At 1800 HRS (approx) 242 Bombs were dropped in two runs across the aerodrome. Bombs fell in a line almost two miles long. Many fell outside aerodrome boundaries. CASUALTIES. ONE AIRMAN KILLED TWO SERIOUSLY INJURED. by bomb which fell outside aerodrome. Aerodrome surface rendered unserviceable.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) R.A.F. STATION, LYMPNE.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
LYMPNE. AUGUST
21ST.
Weather. Cloudy. Squall & showers in evening. ONE AIRMAN DIED IN HOSPITAL DUE TO INJURIES RECEIVED IN BOMBING ATTACK 12/8/40.

Hawkinge bombed by IV.(St)/LG 1

Attacking Hawkinge using 50kg fragmentation bombs, IV.(St)/LG 1 lost two machines to 501 (Hurricane) Sqn. who has been scrambled 30 minutes earlier. They attacked as the Stukas were forming up into their pre-dive echelon.

L1+EV of 10/LG1 is shot down by P/O John Gibson of 501 Sqn. and crashes into 78-82 Shorncliffe Crescent in Folkestone. The pilot Uffz Franz-Heinrich Kraus and observer Uffz Herman Weber are both killed. Kraus bails out and lands outside 81 Harcourt Road with head and leg injuries. He later dies of his injuries in the Royal Victoria Hospital.

Stuka crash at 78-82 Shorncliffe Crescent Folkestone 14.08.1940

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

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Hawkinge August 1940
15th
WEATHER. fine. Inspector General of the R.A.F. visited the station.
Isv. a bombing attack, 11.32 to 11.45 by about 20 DORNIERS, HEINKEL III's and JUNKERS 87 flying at various heights from 300 to 2,000 ft. attack came from all angles. Ground defence guns fired as follows:- V.1. 27 rounds, 1 hit claimed; V.2. 23 rounds, 2 hits on HEINKEL III's claimed; L.M.G. 160 rounds; V.3. 2 rounds, gun jammed; V.4. 18 rounds; L.M.G. 2 rounds. One 'plane hit and seen falling, believed DORNIER, and the hit was confirmed by V.1. about 20 bombs were dropped, two of the heaviest (about 250 Kilos) hit hangers, and smaller (25 or 50 Kilos) on aerodrome surface. One small barrack block destroyed. There were no casualties.

II./(St.)LG 1 Bomb Lympne

50 Ju87B of II./(St.)LG 1 escorted by Bf 109s attack Lympne. Hangers are damaged and two wooden huts used as paint stores were destroyed and an arms store were all burnt out. Power and water was cut. There is a direct hit on the sick quarters which is evacuated to empty houses near the airfield in the evening. Another direct hit on an air raid shelter injured five pilots, one who later died from his wounds.

The airfield is only usable for emergencies until mid-September.

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) R.A.F. STATION, LYMPNE.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
LYMPNE. AUGUST
15TH.
Weather. Cloudy - fair. 1040 HRS. AERODROME subjected to dive-bombing attack by enemy aircraft. Heavy bombs were dropped in repeated dive-bombing attacks. Hangars damaged. Two wooden buildings used as paint stores and an aramadillo were burnt out. All power and water services cut. A direct hit was made on Station Sick Quarters. The Orderly Room, Accounts Section and Sick Quarters were evacuated to empty houses near the aerodrome in the evening. Civilian Fire Fighting Forces were employed in putting out fires caused by the raid.

54 Sqn. engage raid over Dover and Hawkinge

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 54 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Hornchurch 1940
august
15th
11.18 Large formations of Me 109.s scattered before the Squadron's approach over Dover; proceeding to HAWKINGE further He 113.s were met; their tactics of "milling" and "circling" did not bring our pilots into the trap set for them. Sgt. Lawrence showed his genuine hatred of the Ju 87 by shooting down three of them in flames before himself falling a victim to an enemy fighter. He had a fortunate escape when his machine crashed into the sea, taking him down with it. Rescued by the Navy he is now in Dover Hospital suffering from shock. Sgt. Klozensy, our other casualty, was showt down near Ashford, but is making progress in hospital there. For these losses we claim 4 enemy aircraft destroyed (including a new type (Ju 87) to our list) and three damaged. F/Lt. Deere claiming a Me 109 destroyed, F/O McMullen, F/Lt. Gribble, P/O Hopkin were responsible fr the damaged enemy aircraft.

Hawkinge bombed by Dorniers

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

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Hawkinge August 1940
15th
2nd. Hostile attack at 15.25 hours by aeroplanes at considerable height, lowest 8,000 ft. ranging up to 20,000 ft. Too hight for light A.A. 20 to 30 small bombs were dropped over an area, a few on the aerodrome surface. These aircraft were engaged by 3" A/A. The attack lasted 10 minutes. There were no casualties. No record of hits by ground defenses were recorded. The detachment of R.E's immediately after the raid commenced work on the aerodrome surface which has not been seriously damaged.

AIR RAID WARNINGS
RED 10.00. WHITE 10.15. RED 11.27. WHITE 12.45. RED 14.55. WHITE 17.45. RED 18.30. WHITE 20.00.

54 Sqn. engage raid heading towards Hornchurch

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 54 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Hornchurch 1940
august
15th
18.28 The second engagement was against large formations of Do 17s heading west towards HORNCHURCH aided by the usual escort fighters. The Squadron inflicted but little damage on the bombers, but their persistent efforts may well have preserved Hornchurch for yet another day. Two pilots force landed at West Malling just after it had been bombed. Our "bat" - 1 He 113 (F/Lt. Deere) and 1 Me 109 (F/Lt. Gribble) destroyed, and 2 He 113 (F/Lt. Deere and F/O McMullen) probable was gained for the loss of F/Lt. Deere's machine when he was shot down in Kent after a flight which had taken him (unwittingly) over Calais Marck!! He suffered only a sprained wrist after making a parachute jup at 1500 feet.
During the engagement we had the first genuine local air warning for many a long month. The Station's defences were fully manned. Over 36,000 rounds of ammunition were expended by the Squadron during the day's activities.
Yet another decoration for the Squadron. Colin Gray's D.F.C. is fully deserved and the Squadron offers him their heartiest congratulations.

P/Os Pfeffer and Piniak transfer to 257 Sqn

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) 257 (BURMA) SQUADRON

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
16.9.40 Arrivals: P/O PFEIFFER 32 Squadron P/O PNIAK 32 Sqdn.
Posted: P/O G.C.FRIZELL & P/O A.C.COCHRANE DEBDEN.
At 07-15hrs there was a scramble to CHEMLSFORD to join 17 Sqdn. but no contact was made.
SGT. HULBERT took off for HENDON but force landed en route. His machine was placed CAT.2.

AIR 27/1526/5

54 Sqn. engage raid near Hornchurch

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 54 Squadron.

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Hornchurch 1940
august
16th
12.14 Another engagement with the enemy when a large formation of Do 215.s escorted by He 113.s and Me 109.s was encountered very near Hornchurch. 2 Me 109.s (by Colin Gray in celebration of his D.F.C.) and 1 He 113 (F/O McMullen) all destroyed and 2 bombers and a fighter damaged for no loss on our part was a most satisfactory hour's work.