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.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences 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.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences 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.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences 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.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences 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.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences 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.

15 Sqn bomb roads near Montreuil

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) XV(B) Squd

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
WYTON 21.5.40 Three Two sections from the squadron led by S.LDR Glen & F/LT Webster and F/O Oakeshott were given orders to find and impede the progress of armoured fighting vehicles believed to be approaching Boulogne from the direction of Montreuil via Étaples. Most of our a/c bombed roads near Montreuil. F/LT Webster failed to return.

(AIR 27/202/3)

15 Sqn bomb roads near Montreuil for second day

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) XV(B) Squd

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
WYTON 22.5.40 At 1730 hrs two sections led F/O Oakeshott and F/O Trent set of to bomb the same roads and area as on the previous day. Little enemy opposition was encountered and all machines returned safely. Fighter escort was in company.

(AIR 27/202/3)

Previous day's bombing was recorded as being near Montreuil.


Aircraft Type and No. Crew. Duty. Time Up. Time Down. Remarks References
L8851 F/O OAKSHOTT 1735 2000 Task allotted was bombing of German armoured fighting vehicles believed to be on main roads leading from ABBEVILLE to BOULOGNE. "A" Flight did not receive this message but perchance bombed the right target. Height at which bombs were dropped 6000'feet high level pattern. All machines returned safely. P/O Henderson's A/C had been hit by an explosive shell between the leading edge and the nascelle of the of the port engine . but no serious damage resulted to either the engine or crew.

(AIR 27/202/4)

2 Sqn carry out bombing raid on roads south of Boulogne

Aircraft Type and No. Crew. Duty. Time Up. Time Down. Details of Sortie or Flight. References
Lysander F/Lt. P.F. EDINGER
Dive Bombing 1950 2040 Bombing raid on roads south of BOULOGNE.
P/O.V.R[?]. KELLY (AG)
-ditto- 19.45 Bombing raid on roads south of BOULOGNE. Aircraft had failed to return.
-ditto- 1930 2015 Bombing raid on roads south of BOULOGNE. Bombs failed to release, until shock caused by landing, when they exploded, LAC. JONES., killed, Pilot wounded.
Lysander P/O. B.W. SMITHERS
-ditto- 2?00 2050 Bombing raid on roads south of BOULOGNE
Lysander P/O. B.K.THOMAS
-ditto- 1950 2035 Bombing raid on roads south of BOULOGNE, Pilot injured by shrapnel in left hand.

(AIR 27/19/10)

OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) No. 2 Squadron RAF

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
BEKESBOURNE 22.5.40. 6 Aircraft took part in a bombing raid on Roads South of BOULOGNE The crews being:-
P/O. L.L.G. HENDERSON & P/O. V.B. KELLY failed to return from this flight.
3 bombs failed from to release from P/O. G. GRANT GOVANS aircraft. The shock of landing released the bombs from their racks and they exploded beneath the airframe LAC. JONES was killed by this explosion, andthe airframe badly damaged. P/O. E.L. WOODRIDGE was was slightly wounded in the left hand.

(AIR 27/9/19)

LAC Horace Gwyn Jones

Leading Aircraftman H G Jones: report of death. Pilot Officer G Grant-Govan: injured; Lysander P1672 exploded on landing at Bekesbourne near Canterbury, Kent, 22 May 1940


PLANE CRASHED AT BASE Sympathetic reference to the death of a former pupil, Horace Gwyn Jones, First Class Aircraftman,who was killed in France (sic) also made by the Headmaster. I understand ' said Capt. Silk, that his aeroplane, which was returning from a raid over enemy territory, crashed on landing at the air base. He was a Governors' scholar of the school and was admitted in September, 1931. He left for the Royal Air Force in July. 1936. He took a keen interest in the usual social and athletic activities of school, and I cherish very pleasant memories of him particularly in junior school Rugby games. He would have been 21 in November next. The Governors decided to send a letter of sympathy to the bereaved Parents

Published: Friday 14 June 1940 Newspaper: South Wales Gazette County: Monmouthshire, Wales


Type: Westland Lysander
Serial number: P1672, KO-?
Operation: Columns south of Boulogne
Lost: 22/05/1940
P/O (Pilot) G. Grant-Govan - safe
Leading Aircraftman (Air Gnr.) Horace G. Jones, RAF 534886, 2 Sqdn., age 20, 22/05/1940, Nantyglo and Blaina (Blaina) Cemetery, UK
Destroyed when unreleased bombs detached at Bekesbourne on return from mission, at 20.30 hrs.


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

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences to Appendices
HawkingeMay 1940
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.