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 is headed off and chased by Spitfires of 74 Sqn. (Probably took off from Desvres, near Boulogne.) 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.

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.

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.

As the official start of the Battle of Britain is two days after this, references to this in the sources are limited.

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

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)

Big dogfight over Elham

Nine Bf 109s of II/JG 52 pass over Dover and steer the fight with 12 of 610 Sqn's Spitfires east to clear the way for ErprGr 210.

Harvest of Messerschmitts:

One Squadron of 1/JG 26's Bf 109s crossed the coast wast of Dungeness and circled round nort-east of Dover. They are intercepted by Spitfires of 54 Sqn. One of the Bf 109E-1s with lowered undercarriage, whose pilot Oblt. Friedrich Butterweck - later found dead six miles away - had bailed out, flew in circles over the village chased by Spitfires. It finally zoomed low over the village before crashing into Running hill. Over the next few days the unguarded wreck was a source of souvenirs for locals. The kill was claimed by P/O HKF Matthews of A Flt, 54 Sqn.

Battle of Britain - Then and Now and JG 26 War Diary:

Shot down over Ashford and exploded over Standard Hill Farm, Elham.

P/O Matthews Form "F" combat report reads:

Sector Serial No (A) D.1
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 12/8/40.
Flight, Squadron (D) "A" Flt. 54 Sqn.
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E) 12
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) Me. 109's
Time Attack was delivered (G) 0830 - 0840 hours approx
Place attack was delivered (H) 5-6 Miles South of Dover
7-8 Miles N.W. of Dover
Height of Enemy (J) 16,000-17000 feet
Enemy Casualties (K) Confirmed. destroyed 1 Me.109
Unconfirmed -
Probably destroyed 1 Me.109
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Nil
Personnel (M) Nil
Searchlights (N) (i) N/a
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) Slight A.A. over Dover
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) Range opened. 250 - 150 yards
Length of Burst 7-8 secs 6-7 secs
Rage closed 200 yds.
No. of rounds per gun fired 2358
General Report (R)
The squadron was patrolling Manston and was ordered to investigate aircraft in the Dungeness area. I saw about 12 aircraft at between 1300 and 1500 feet West of Dungeness. There were in Sections (4) line astern, as as we approached the whole enemy Squadron went into line astern.

They came inland and circled round North East of Dover, going into the sun which was very strong. AS we went into attack we became split up owing to this strong sun, and I got on to the tail of one 109 over the sea and gave it a 7 to 8 second burst from astern opening at 250 yards. I saw my bullets entering and the 109 made a very steep dive from about 1200 feet towards the sea. I think mulst out of control although I did not actually see it crash. I then came across 3 or 4 109's in a scattered vic formation. I got on the tail of the rear one and from dead astern opened fire at 250 yards, closing to 150 yards using deflection. This machine went straight down and crashed into the water land about ten miles North West of Dover. The enemy aircraft was camouflaged in the usual way and took no special evasive action.

The pilot of the a/c bailed out.

The destruction of this 109 is confirmed by the guns who reported the crash.

H Matthews. P/O

Mary Smith records in her diary:

Raids nearly all day. Nazi plane down on Running Hill about 8.30am. Horrid add AA bangs all morning.

A Bf 109 was also shot down over New Romney. (Possibly Oblt. H-Werner Regenauer, Bf 109E-4 of 2/JG 26 @ 1220)

Obltn Frieidrich Butterweck

Wreckage of Bf 109, Standard Hill Farm, Elham

Wreckage of Bf 109, Standard Hill Farm, Elham

Wreckage of Bf 109, Standard Hill Farm, Elham

From the pilot's Ausweis it was established that he was probably from JG26, although his pay-book showed he was with I/JG26 on 26th September 1939. He had been in the GAF for two years, previously serving in the German Army

AW: white, Dortmund, 15/1/40, FP: L 35464 Münster.

Frieidrich Butterweck (60014/3) was born on 28/1/1916 in Breslau. He had one known victory, a French Potez 63 at Poppel, south of Tilburg in the Netherlands, 13 May, 1940. He is burred in grave 15 of row 1 of the German section of Hawkinge cemetery.

Grave of Oblt. Friedrich Butterweck, Hawkinge

In August 2018 I took a trip up to Standard Hill farm, which sits on the high ground to the east of the Elham Valley. However, as there are no clear landmarks in the photos so, absent of more information, I was not able to definitively identify the crash site. However, in the photo of the remains of the fuselage from the starboard side the west edge of the valley is visible in the distance which means it must be close to east edge of the valley.

Standard Hill farm, Elham, Kent

The Brenzett Aeronautical Museum investigated the site and recovered many small parts.

P/O Gibson claims an He 113 destroyed over Lympne

Sector Serial No (A)
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 12.8.40.
Flight, Squadron (D) Flight: "A" Sqdn.: 501
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E)
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) HE. 113.
Time Attack was delivered (G) 17.35
Place attack was delivered (H) Lympne
Height of Enemy (J) 6'000,
Enemy Casualties (K) One. HE.113 (Confirmed) destroyed
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) 1 Hurricane forced landed
Personnel (M) See Below. Nil.
Searchlights: (Did they illuminate enemy if not, were they in front or behind?) (N.1) N/A
A.A. Guns: (Did shell bursts assist Pilot intercepting enemy?) (N.2)

N/A
Range at which fire was opened in in each attack delivered, together with estimated length of bursts. (P) Range opened. 400 - 100yds
Length of Burst. 2 Bursts of 4 seconds
Total No. of rounds fired 1300
Name of Pilot (Block Letters) J.A.A. Gibson.
General Report (R) See Over.
I was No.2. in Red Section when the Squadron was ordered off to Patrol Hawkinge. The enemy was sighted approaching Lympne from the South West. There were about 20 Machines and I think that they were Do. 17s. Behind[?] and above was a very strong formation of fighters. Looking behind our own Squadron I noticed that the rear sections and red section No.3. were not there. I afterwards learned that they had pursued some E/A that were below us. This left only the Squadron Leader any myself and we carried on traveling West climbing into the sun. As we were turning to the right to deliver the attack I noticed in the rear vision mirror an aircraft diving. I called to Red 1 about it and pulled away to the right and saw two Heinkel 113's on my tail. I dived into and got out of a cloud and found the two E/A behind me on the left. From this time on I did not see Red 1. I began steep turning to the right and finally managed to turn to the right inside and catch up one of the E/A. I gave him two burst and suddenly saw him turn over on his back and go down over the vertical. The other E/A had been circling above and came down as I got on the tail of the first. As I dived down following the first E/A I saw white tracer coming from behind. I Immediately dived into another cloud but could not find the other E/A when I emerged again I then returned to base.
Ja Gibson
Red 2 Red Section
501 Sqadron.

AIR/50/162/21

Do 17 crashes at Barham

Oblt. Heinz Schlegel's 'Holtzhammer' Do 17Z (U5+KA) comes down the Elham valley on one engine before crashing on the railway line near Barham school, bouncing and slewing into woodland next to the track, the latter being blocked by the separated tail. All the crew survived.

Attacked over the Thames Estuary by a 'Spitfire' that came out of the sun hitting the tail and one engine. Aircraft forced landed and broke in half across the Elham Valley railway line at "Pherbec Bridge", also referenced as Dr. Long's bridge over Greenhill Lane.

The starboard wing clipped a tree, the tail section broke away whilst the fuselage slewed into the scrub and woodland where it came to rest.

Accounts of the crew's capture vary. The Kentish Gazette reports the school cook being startled upon seeing a wounded German airman hobbling down the road towards her whereupon, just as she was wondering what to do, two soldiers suddenly appear and grab him. The newspaper claims the first person to reach the wreckage is Tom Arter who finds the pilot waiting with his hands up and greeting him "Kamerad". Sidney Heathfield (son of Fred) releives the airman of his gun. Schlegel commenting in English: "The Spitfires were much too good for us".

Sergeant Ronald Swann (115th Field Regt. Royal Artillery) was stationed at Beechwood, close to the crash and in charge of the camp guard. Taking the guard with him was first on the scene, disarming and capturing the crew (Obit Schlegal, Obit Oswald (Staffel Füher) Oberfw Babbe and Oberfw Holz) who were extremely dazed and lucky to have survived. Soldiers of the London Scottish Regiment arrived on the scene very soon with fixed bayonets and the aircrew were taken into custody. They are later transferred to a prisoner or war camp.

Pilot: Oberleutnant. Heinz Schlegel. – Captured.
Observer: Oberleutnant. Gerhard Osswald. (Staffelfuehrer) – Captured injured.
Observer 2: Oberfeldwebel. Ernst Holtz. – Captured injured.
Radio/Op: Oberfeldwebel. Gustav Babbe. – Captured injured.

At Barham station Fred Heathfield telephones station master George Caple to report the blockage. At Elham the station master is informed by the railway's factotums, Jack Heathfield and Joe Fox, that an enemy aircraft is blocking the line. The 7.7am [sic] Dover Priory to Canterbury West is terminated at Lyminge on arrival at 7.54, whilst the 7.13 from Canterbury runs as far as Bishopsbourne. Passengers are taken past the closed section of line by bus replacement. The wreckage is removed by 9.15 whilst the district engineer oversaw repairs to the slight damage to the permanent way and the line is reopened at 9.35.

Markings: K in green. Shield: bomb falling from a cloud with man sitting on it, holding a telescope. ID: 58205, AW: grey, Kitzingen, 30/1/40, signed Gamar, FP: -.

Spitfires in action were 74 Sqn but 111 Sqn (Hurricanes) Blue 1 (Sqn Ldr Thompson) is likely to be responsible as his account on page two of his Form "F" combat report (AIR 50/43/85) of damaging both engines of a Dornier that then climbed into the cloud matches that of Schlegel's post war recollection:

Sector Serial No (A)
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 13th August 1940
Flight, Squadron (D) Flight: 'B' Sqdn. No.: 111.
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E) 24
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) Dornier 215 r17.[?]
Time Attack was delivered (G) 0710
Place attack was delivered (H) EASTCHURCH s. Eastwards.
Height of Enemy (J) 3,000'
Enemy Casualties (K) 1 Dornier 215 dest )
1 Dornier damaged )
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Nil.
Personnel (M) Nil.
General Report (R)
At 0550 hours N.111 Squadron took off on a vector of 125° height 12,000'. After 12 minutes we were told to orbit. Shortly after we were ordered to patrol forward base. (HAWKINGE) below clouds and look for enemy aircraft returning from the direction of the ISLE of SHEPPY. No enemy aircraft were seen on this course. On arrival over EASTCHURCH I was unable to contact the ground station by R/T and, owing to poor visibility I went above the clouds. At approximately 0710 hours a formation was observed approaching from the East about 1,000' below us. It was a formation of 3 astern of about 10 aircraft, but owing to the distance they could not be identified. I instructed 'A' Flight leader to remain where he was whilst I took my flight past these aircraft on the port beam to identify them. When I identified them as Dorniers I instructed 'A' Flight leader to carry out a head on attack whilst I took my flight round to the rear. At that moment I observed another formation astern of the first one, so I carried on and executed a head on attack on this from below. Little return fire was observed until the break away. These head on attacks had the effect of breaking up the enemy formation. I then attacked the formation from the rear closing to within 200 yards of the right hand aeroplane. I broke away from this attack and observed another enemy aircraft (Dornier 215) alone over SITTINGBOURNE flying East.(Continued overleaf) / I carried ...
Signature J M Thumpson
Sq/Ldr Blue 1
Section
O.C. Flight
Squadron
111 Squadron No.
Page 2.
I carried out a full deflection attack on this aircraft closing to astern at about 50 yards range. Both engines of this enemy aircraft emitted clouds of white vapour but the pilot pulled up into the clouds which were about 50' above. This enemy aircraft could not possibly have flown more than a few miles. On the return to base over W. MALLING a Dornier 215 appeared out of the clouds ahead of me and I gave him a 2 second burst from about 400 yards dead astern but he immediately went back into the clouds again. Then owing to shortage for fuel I retuned to base and landed.

It is also believed that the aircraft had been attacked by Canadian pilot, and future ace, Flg Off James Walker of No 111 Sqn. As he was also in Blue section he may have also attacked this aircraft but his combat report (AIR 50/43/88) doesn't match as closely as Thompson's.

Sector Serial No (A)
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 13th August 1940.
Flight, Squadron (D) Flight: 'B' Sqdn. No.: 111.
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E) 24
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) Dornier 215.
Time Attack was delivered (G) 0710
Place attack was delivered (H) HERNE BAY
Height of Enemy (J) 3,000'
Enemy Casualties (K) 1 Dornier 215.dest )
1 Dornier damaged )
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Nil.
Personnel (M) Nil.
General Report (R)
I was flying Blue 2, and broke away to intercept a Dornier which was diving under the clouds. I lost this one and returned above cloud and saw enemy aircraft trying to reform, and mad a half and half attack and he disappeared into the cloud. I made a head on attack closing to point blank range and he pulled up sharply and fell away to port. I followed him down but lost him in the haze at about 1500' I noticed rear gunner fire cannon at me as I passed over the top.
Signature JG. D. Walker P/O
Section Blue
O.C. FlightB
Squadron
111 Squadron No.

Do 17 U5+KA fuselage by the side of the Elham Valley Railway with Home-guardsmen inspecting the cockpit.

Do 17 U5+KA wing and tail by the side of the Elham Valley Railway guarded by Police Constable 88 of the Kent Constabulary.

Do 17 U5+KA tail by the side of the Elham Valley Railway. A worker with a fishplate spanner stands beside it.

The incident is recorded in the Barham School diary.

Barham school diary extract from 1940

13th August 1940:
German bomber crashed on railway embankment at top of School Garden at 7.30am.
As there were still live bombs in the plane the Police advised that the school be closed for the day.

16th August 1940:
School closed on Police instructions 13th, 14th, 15th & closed by managers 16th & 19th pending receipt of reply from KEC to representations of parents, that school was no longer to be considered in a safe area and should be closed forthwith and remain closed till suitable air-raid shelters had been provided.

Mary Smith records in her diary:

Nazi bomber overhead about 7:15 a.m. Very sharp AA. It came down across railway just behind Barham Station.

After the war Oblt Heiz Schlegal recalls:

So KG 2 [less I. Gruppe] flew towards the Thames Estuary longing to see a Zerstörer escort. After reaching the Channel, the formation flew into a thick layer of cloud. A single Zerstörer, which presumably was there to draw out attention to the fact that the mission had been cancelled, circled us and disappeared again. It was obviously mistaken for our escort. When, in our estimation, we had reached the target, the clouds became thinner but the target could still not be seen so the formation flew in a wide turn towards London, where we turned around again. Now the formation was on an easterly course.

If I can remember our (Stab) Kette was flying behind the rest of the Geschwader. In the very first plane was a Staffelkapitän who was in radio contact with the Kommodore in our Kette to receive further orders. The whole unit had switched to this wavelength which was the reason that nobody had heard the attack had been cancelled because of bad weather.

The target airfield (Eastchurch) was spotted through a hole in the cloud which was at 800m height - we were flying at 1,500m. After flying another 180° turn, we attacked descending though this hole and dropped our bombs quite accurately. But then, the British fighters came from the east from the direction of the sea where the rising sun prevented us from seeing them. So it came as a complete surprise when their salvoes hit us. Neither the Bordfunker not the Bordmechaniker [flight mechanic] had a chance to shoot. Both were wounded, specifically in their forearms. The aircraft was hit in the fuselage and engines. I succeed in pulling the plane into the thin layer of cloud but soon the port then the starboard engine seized.

I realised that we could not fly back across the Channel again and I did not know if the wounded crew members could operate their parachutes, so the only thing to do was to make a force landing. An open meadow appeared, or it seemed to be open, so was the obvious place. But everywhere in southern Britain, the inhabitants had done things to prevent these meadows from being used by aircraft. Ditches had been dug, earth piled up in ramparts and poles had been rammed into the ground so this friendly meadow turned out to be quite bumpy. The aircraft landed heavily and came to a standstill at a big tree. After we got out and had a look around, some unarmed soldiers appeared. They asked for our pistols – there was no way we could have conquered England with those pistols anyway!

This 1936 aerial photo of Barham station shows the railway bridge over the sunken Greenhills road at the top. Notably it is surrounded by woodland. The school is where Greenhills road meets the Valley road (just off the right of this picture).
Aerial view of Barham station, 1936

Google street view of Greenhills road shows the bridge abutments still remaining and they appear to match the bridge visible behind the Policeman in the photo of the crashed aircraft.

Greenhills road bridge, Barham Kent

Greenhills road bridge, Barham Kent

Pherbec Bridge no longer shows up in the records but there is a mortgage deed from 1997 for "Pherbec Bridge" and a subsequent deed dated 2005 for "Bridge House" - both for the same land certificate title number. Street view shows "Bridge House" next to the old railway bridge on Greenhills:
Bridge House, Green Hills, Barham, Kent

In August 2018 I took a trip to Barham and had a look at the site.

The bridge's ELR is EVL 2056.

Greehnills railway bridge, Barham Kent, with the railway identifier EVL 2056

The tops of the bridge abutments, where the line ran, are now private property so it wasn't possible to closely inspect them, added to which the north side is heavily overgrown. However, the brickwork matches that seen in the contemporary photo with the policeman.

Bridge abutment, Greenhills, Barham, Kent

The line ran in a north-south direction and was singled in 1931 with the removal of the west track. In the above photos the single track is visible indicating that the Policeman is standing on the south west corner of the bride.

As far as I can make out, the picture of the fuselage is skewed - to match the angle of the starboard wing in the picture with the policeman the fuselage would have been on the downslope of the embankment. The stance of the onlookers, and in particular their feet, also support this - as do the tree trunks visible in the background.
Corrected angle of Do 17 U5+KA fuselage by the side of the Elham Valley Railway

It seems from the photos that there was some damage to the south west bridge abutment so linking that with the line being blocked by the severed tail, the obliterated port side of the empennage, the position of the fuselage down the embankment pointing southward, the starboard wing clipping a tree, the approach from the south and I think it's likely the aircraft was spinning when it hit the bridge and that's what removed the tail as shown in this animation:

Barham Do 17 crash animation
Map data taken from the 1939 Ordanance Survey County Series map.

An officer's forage cap and Luftwaffe gravity knife recovered from this aircraft can now be viewed at the Kent Battle of Britain Museum at Hawkinge.

F/O McMullen claims one He 113 damaged over Hawkinge

Sector Serial No (A) D.1
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 15/8/40
Flight, Squadron (D) 12 aircraft 54 Squadron
Number of Enemy Aircraft (E) 130 approximately
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) 40 Ju.87
50 He.113
40 Me.109
Time Attack was delivered (G) 1118 - 1215 hours
Place attack was delivered (H) Dover and Hawkinge
Height of Enemy (J) Fighters 19,000 feet
Bombers 7,000 "
Enemy Casualties (K) Destroyed -
Probable -
Damaged 1 He 113
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) NIL
Personnel (M) NIL
Searchlights (N) (i) N/a
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) None
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) range opened )
Length of burst ) not known
Range closed )
No. of rounds fired )
F/O McMULLEN

The Squadron was ordered to engage the enemy aircraft in the Dover area. We climbed to 16,000 feet and saw a large number of ME 109's at that height. Before we could engage them, they turned tail and headed straight for Calais. We then were ordered to Hawkinge and when at 17,000 feet, encountered a number of HE 113's milling and circling - protecting dive bombers 10,000 feet below. I managed got get onto the tail of one of these and fired a short burst from about 250 yards range, I saw glycol pouring out, but since the enemy aircraft was at that height, he probably managed to get home.

DM McMullen F/o

(AIR/50/21/49)

F/Lt. Deere damages an He 113 over Hawkinge

Sector Serial No (A) D.1
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 15/8/40
Flight, Squadron (D) 12 A/C 54 Sqn.
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E) 130 approx
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) 40 Ju 87
50 He 113
40 Me 109
Time Attack was delivered (G) 1118 - 1215 hours
Place attack was delivered (H) Dover and Hawkinge
Height of Enemy (J) Fighters 19,000 Bombers 7,000
Enemy Casualties (K) Destroyed 1 Me.109
Probable Nil
Damaged 1 He.113
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Nil
Personnel (M) Nil
Searchlights (N) (i) N/a
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) None
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) Range Opened )
Length of burst ) see attached sheet
Range closed )
No. of rounds per gun fired 2720
General Report (R)
F/Lt. Deere

The squadron was ordered to engage enemy aircraft in the Dover area. We were at 16000 feet climbing when we met about 40 ME 109's off Dover. Immediately they sighted us they half rolled and streaked back to Calais in no formation at all.

I shot at two of these and succeeded (with a long range burst from astern - range 300 - 250 yds) in bringing it down in flames. I saw it dive from 17000 feet down to 1000 feet before I had to break away.

I then understood that Hawkinge was being bombed and proceeded there, climbing to 18000 feet where I encountered a number of HE 113's. These were circling about and obviously staying to protect bombers. I managed to get on the tail of one and had no difficulty in overtaking it. I got in a number of rounds from astern and must have damaged him badly as glycol was streaming out. I followed the enemy aircraft back to Calais at 18000 feet before returning. HE 113's has yellow roundels on the main plane upper surfaces.

A C Deere F/L

(AIR/50/21/105)

F/O McMullen claims one He 113 probable over Maidstone

Sector Serial No (A) D 2.
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 15. 8. 40.
Flight, Squadron (D) 12 a/c 54 Squadron
Number of Enemy Aircraft (E) 60 (Approximately).
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) 40 Do.17's.
He.113 ) Unknown No.
Me.109 )
Time Attack was delivered (G) 1826 - 1930
Place attack was delivered (H) Maidstone.
Height of Enemy (J) Bombers 18/19000. Fighters 13/25000.
Enemy Casualties (K) Destroyed. NIL.
Probable. 1 He.113.
Damaged. NIL.
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) NIL.
Personnel (M) NIL.
Searchlights (N) (i) N/A.
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) NIL.
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) Range opened )
Length of burst ) See attached Sheet.
Range closed )
No. of rounds per gun 608.
F/O McMullen

We were ordered on patrol and given a vector straight away. The Squadron climbed to approximately 17000 feet and orbited. Yellow Section gave Tally-ho,. On looking in that direction I saw a large formation of bombers resembling DO 17's.

I was No. 2 to the C.O. We went into line astern and came round behind the DO 17s. Echelon left was then ordered and I found one He 113 in front of me. I closed range to about 250 - 300 yards astern and fired short bursts. Bits fell off this aircraft and he appeared to be going down out of control. I saw my fire bursting on him. I was then attacked myself and was forced to break off the engagement. I fired one short burst at one HE 113, which I think was the one which fired on me.

DM McMullen F/o

(AIR/50/21/49)

F/Lt. Deere D.F.C. claims He 113s

Sector Serial No (a) D2
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (b) --
Date (c) 15th August 1940
Flight, Squadron (d) 12 a/c 54 Squadron.
No. & type of Enemy Aircraft (f) 40 DO 17s
HE 113s numers unknown
ME 109
Time Attack was delivered (g) 1826-1930
Place attack was delivered (h) Maidstone.
Height of Enemy (j) Bombers 18/19,000 feet
Fighters 23/25,000 feet
Enemy Casualties (k) Destroyed 1 HE 113.
Probable 1 HE 113.
Damaged ----
Our Casualties Aircraft (l) ONE
Personnel (m) NIL.
Searchlights (n) (i) N/A
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) NIL
Fire for Fighters (p) Range opened. See attached report.
Length of Burst
Rage closed
No. of rounds fired 2720
The Squadron was ordered to investigate enemy formations in the Maidstone area. I saw a large formation of enemy bombers heading towards London; and almost 50 fighters in front of them and about 4000 feet above. I warned the rest of the Squadron and climbed to engage the fighters - HE 113s at 19,000 feet. I managed to get in a short burst at one (200 yards range) before I had to break away. I then followed two HE 113s and after a very long chase (which I found later had taken me over France) caught up with them. This was at 17,000 feet and I had to use 12 boot. I fired at the first one from 300 yards; I do not think the enemy aircraft could have seen me, because it took no evasive action. My burst must have killed the pilot, because the machine went down into the sea , glycol and smoke poured from it - but I did not actually see it crash, although it stood little chance of getting back. The cloud was 10/10 all over the Channel and when I came through it, I found I was over Calais Marck Aerodrome. At the same moment, 5 HE 113s appeared from nowhere and chased me back over the Channel. They were very fast and must have been within range most of the time, as my instrument panel and hood were shot about and the machine probably sustained over damage. I was only 800 feet above the sea, when the enemy aircraft left me at Folkestone. I continued inland, but my engine stopped and the plane began to catch fire. I managed to gain a little height (up to 1500 feet) when I baled out. I just felt the jerk of my parachute openeing, when my fall was broken by some tall trees. My machine crashed 50 yards away from me. My only injury was a sprained writes. The HE 113s not only had yellow in the wing tips, but also on the top of the tail.
A C Deere F/Lt

(AIR/50/21/105)

F/O McMullen claims an He 113 over Hornchurch

Sector Serial No (A) D 1.
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B) -
Date (C) 16/8/40
Flight, Squadron (D) 9 aircraft 54 Squadron
Number of Enemy Aircraft (E) 80 approx.
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) 40 Do.215's
40 Me.109's and He.113's
Time Attack was delivered (G) 1214 - 1327 hours
Place attack was delivered (H) E. of Hornchurch and over the Coast.
Height of Enemy (J) Fighters 19,000 - 25,000
Bombers 16,000 feet
Enemy Casualties (K) Destroyed 1 He 113
Probable -
Damaged -
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) NIL
Personnel (M) NIL
Searchlights (N) (i) N/a
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) Behind bombers : in front of our fighters at16,000 ft.
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) Range opened )
Length of burst ) See attached Sheet.
Range closed )
No. of rounds fired ) 1540
F/O McMULLEN

The Squadron were engaging enemy bombers East of Hornchurch, when we were attacked by protecting ME 109's and HE 113's. I chased an ME 109 and found myself near Deal, where I came upon four HE 113's. I was at 28,000 feet and dived on one of these four; the enemy aircraft could not have seen me until I was right on him. I attacked from slightly astern and above, range 200 yards, giving enemy aircraft a 4 seconds burst. The enemy aircraft dived steeply and I followed it down and saw it crash into the sea just off Calais.

DAP McMullen F/o

(AIR/50/21/49)

F/O McMullen claims an He 113 damaged over Dover

Sector Serial No (a) D.2
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (b) -
Date (c) 18/8/40
Flight, Squadron (d) 12 aircraft 54 Squadron.
Type of Enemy Aircraft (f) Me.109 )
He.113 ) very large formations
Do.17 )
Do.215 )
Time Attack was delivered (g) 1240 -1342 hours
Place attack was delivered (h) KENT
Height of Enemy (j) 15,000 to 25,000 feet
Enemy Casualties (k) Destroyed -
Probable -
Damaged 1 He 113
1 Do 17 (?215)
Our Casualties Aircraft (l) Nil
Personnel (n) Nil
Searchlights (n) N/a
A.A. Guns Assistance Nil
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(p) Range opened )
Length of burst) see attached sheets.
Range closed )
No. of rounds fired ) 935
F/O McMULLEN

I was Yellow Leader. We were ordered off to patrol Dover at 25,000 feet. At that height Red and Green sections intercepted 5 or more HE113. A short dogfight appeared to go on.

I found I was by myself when I saw two large formations of bombers escorted by fighters. I attacked the rearmost escort fighters, about 12 HE 113's. I picked one in the middle of the formation and large bits fell off him. I am sure he was badly damaged. I opened fire at 250 yards, sprayed the remainder and broke them up. I continued my dive towards the sea. I saw what was probably a DO 17 and engaged him at close range, making one engine catch fire. I broke off the engagement because I was a long way out to sea. On my way home I sighted six enemy twins and could not catch them up.

DAP McMullen F/o

(AIR/50/21/49)

S/L Leathart D.S.O. claims a probable He 113 over Kent

Sector Serial No (a) D.2
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (b) -
Date (c) 18/8/40
Flight, Squadron (d) 12 aircraft 54 Squadron
No. & type of Enemy Aircraft (f) Me.109 )
He.113 ) very large formations
Do.17 )
Do.215 )
Time Attack was delivered (g) 1240 - 1342 hours
Place attack was delivered (h) KENT
Height of Enemy (j) 15,000 to 25,000 feet
Enemy Casualties (k) Destroyed
Probable 1 He 113
Damaged 1 Me 109
Our Casualties Aircraft (l) Nil
Personnel (m) Nil
Searchlights (n) N/a
A.A. Guns Assistance Nil
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(p) Range opened )
Length of burst) see attached sheets.
Range closed )
No. of rounds fired 2272
S/L Leathart, D.S.O.

Sighting some smoke trails I led the Squadron up to 28,000 feet in pursuit. I saw 3 He 113's painted a dark colour and with yellow wing tops. I fired at No.3 of the "V" who went into a vertical dive and was still in it at 4000 feet when I pulled out. Climbed up again and encountered a ME 109 and shot one of his slats off.

On the way home at 300 feet I saw A.A. fire over Tilbury which turned out to be about a mile behind a long DO 17 (215?) at 1000 feet. I have him the remainder of my ammunition at 200 - 100 yards. Bullets entered the fuselage and wings without apparent effect.

J A Leathart.

(AIR/50/21/48)

F/O McMullen encounters He 113s and Bf 109s escorts over Folkestone and Dover

Sector Serial No (A) D.1.
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B) -
Date (C) 24.8.40
Flight, Squadron (D) 12 a/c 54 Squadron
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) 30 JU 88's
20 - 30 ME 109's
HE 113's & ME 110's
Time Attack was delivered (G) 0950 - 1120
Place attack was delivered (H) Dover - Folkestone.
Height of Enemy (J) 20,000 ft - 25,000 ft
Enemy Casualties (K) Destroyed. 1 Me 109
Probable. -
Damaged. -
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Nil
Personnel (M) Nil
Searchlights (N) (i) N/A
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii) Nil
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) Range opened )
Length of Burst ) see attached sheet
Range closed )
No. of rounds fired)
F/O McMullen (2303 rounds)

I encountered 4 M E 109's circling at 26,000 feet above the coast at Dover. I thought that they were waiting for the bombers to come back so that they could form the protective escort. I followed these round until one became separated from the flour and let him get well away. I then followed.

The ME 109 could not have seen me because I attacked from above and astern (range 100 yards closing to 50 yards), and enemy aircraft took no evasive action. Large pieces fell off the 109 and black smoke poured from the engine. I followed it down and it crashed into the sea just short of the French Coast near Calais.

DAP McMullen F/o

(AIR/50/21/49)

P/O Karol Pniak

Polish P/O Karol "Cognac" Pniak (76707, born 26/1/10 Szczakowa) of 32 Sqn flying from Hawkinge bails out of his burning Hurricane after it is shot down by a Bf 109. The aircraft lands on Longage Hill between Lyminge and Rhodes Minnis and Pniak lands nearby with injuries to his ankle and knee.

He may have been in combat with Bf 109s from III./JG 3 escorting 20 Ju 88s from III./KG 4 on their way to attack Hornchurch.

There are many sources that state he was shot down twice in one day but the evidence I have found does not support this account.

His combat record contains the following (AIR 50/16/25):

Sector Serial No (A)
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B)
Date (C) 24/8/40
Flight, Squadron (D) Flight: B Sqdn.: 32
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E) 12
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) Me. 109
Time Attack was delivered (G) 1?001 hrs
Place attack was delivered (H) near Dover
Height of Enemy (J) 20,000'
Enemy Casualties (K) 1 Me 109, probable
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) 1 Hurricane
Personnel (M) 1 Slightly injured
Searchlights: (Did they illuminate enemy if not, were they in front or behind?) (N.1) N/A
A.A. Guns: (Did shell bursts assist Pilot intercepting enemy?) (N.2)

N/A
Range at which fire was opened in in each attack delivered, together with estimated length of bursts. (P) 150 yds.
4 two second bursts.
Total No. of Rounds fired --

1280
Name of Pilot (Block Letters) -

P/O Pniak.
General Report (R) See Over.
Signature Pniak P/O
Section
O.C. Flight
Squadron
blue
B.
Squadron No.32
I was flying No 3 of Blue Section when we met 12 Me. 109's at about 2000' they were above us and attacked us. I was attacked by a Me 109 from head on and above. I circled round on this tail and closing to 150 yards gave him 2 two second bursts, he started to smoke from the engine, I followed him and gave him two more bursts, much black smoke came from the aircraft and he was diving. Just after this I felt my machine vibrating and saw smoke coming from the engine and right wing, flames also appeared from the right wing, I switched everything off and put my aircraft into a dive to land, but when I reached 5,000' the flames were so big, that I turned my plane on one side and jumped. I landed very fast because my parachute was not properly open and full of big holes, I landed 3 miles N.W. of Hawkinge, my ankle and knee were injured and I was taken to hospital.

1. On the original this is a 5 and 6 overtyped.

The casualty record for P/o Pniak (AIR 81/257) contains two telegrams - one from Hawkinge and one from 32 Sqn. at Biggin Hill:

NME
6559

Telegram en clair.

To: A.M. (C.1.Accidents and P.4.Cas.), A.M. (D.M.D.) Repeated H.Q.F.C., 11 Group, 43 Group, and Biggin Hill.

From: Hawkinge

Received M.M.C.S. 0210 hrs. 25.8.40

Z NR16 NOT W/T
AM WHI
Pass to AM Depts
GR68
A.256 24/8.
F.B. Casualty.
(A) Hurricane number unknown
(B) 32 Squadron
(C) Sibton Park, Lyminge 585605 24/8/40. Approx 1530 hours.
(D) P/O Pniac (Polish) slight foot injury after bailing out
(E) Unknown
(F) N/A
(G) N/A.
(H) Cat. three.

Time of Origin 2010 hrs. 24.8.40

Advance copies passed to:- P.4.Cas. D.R.M. M.A.P. Millbank.

Crash Circulation.. + D.A.A.C.

HPP B
GR68?? CC R0132 DT KK

CGN
6512

Telegram en clair.

To :- A.M. (C.1.Accidents, P.4.Cas) Repeated H.Q.F.C, 11 Group, 43 Group, Polish Embassy.

From:- 32 Squadron. Biggin Admin

Received A.M.C.S. 2310 hours.
24.8.40

Biggin Admin NR8 IMEDIATE SECRET NOT WT
AM WHI
Pass to (C1 Acc and P4 Cas) Polish Embassy.
GR77

A.359. 24/8.

FB
(A) Hurricane V.6572
(B) 32 Squadron
(C) Over Hswkineg Hawkinge area at approx. 1600 hours 24/8. Aircraft one mile north of Lyminge
(D) P/O K.Pniak (Polish) slight foot injury after bailing out
(E) Returning to Biggin Hill
(F) N/A
(G) Enemy action
(H) Cat three.
(J) N/A.

Time of Origin:- 2224 hours 24.8.80

Crash Circulation. D.A.A.C. (for Polish Emb:)
Advance copies passed to :- P.4.Cas. D.R.M., M.A.P. Millbank.

DF B PIP
IMI WA OVER (C) CC WA OVER ...HAWKINGE +
R....2250....R.A....AV+....K+

Local resident Arthur Wootten said of the incident:

It was one of the neatest things I’ve ever seen.

The pilot hit the ground heavily in a corn field near Ottinge, the silk canopy settling over the prostrate figure. After a pause, the hump sprang into life and a flailing man, cursing in Polish, struggled to get into the sunlight. Being Sunday, people appeared very quickly until there were about a hundred attending the tall Pole who spoke very little English and gesticulated wildly in an endeavour to explain that he'd baled out over the district the previous day. When a car came to take him back to Hawkinge, the local people formed a passage for him to reach the car and spontaneous clapping broke out - just as if he were a batsman returning to the pavilion after a spirited innings.

Shot down twice in one day

The Battle of Britain - Then and Now records the following details:

Huricane [unknown serial no]. Shot down in combat with Bf 109s and believed crashed in Dover Harbour 3.15pm. Pilot officer K. Pniak bailed out slightly injured. Aircraft lost.

Hurricane V6572. Shot down in combat with Bf 109s over Folkestone 4.20pm. Crashed at Rhodes Minnis near Lyminge. Pilot officer K. Pniak bailed out and injured ankle and knee in heavy landing. Admitted to hospital. Aircraft a write-off.

Excavated in October 1979 by the Brenzett Aeronautical Museum, which recovered a propeller boss and reduction gear and other minor components.

Hawkinge 1912-1961 records a story of Pinak being shot down into Dover harbour:

Plt Off Pniak was shot up by a Bf 109 and was forced to abandon his Hurricane over the town [Dover]. His aircraft dived into the sea just outside the breakwater. He floated down to splash into the harbour, where he was found by the crew of a naval launch, calmly sitting astride a buoy. An extremely confident and determined young man, Pniak, a Polish pilot who had joined the squadron only sixteen days before, was back at Hawkinge within the hour and was flying that afternoon when the squadron scrambled. By 16.20 hrs he had been shot up again over Lyminge and fell out of his inverted Hurricane before it crashed on the outskirts of the village. But this time he was wounded and spent the remainder of the month in hospital.

Counter arguments

His combat record only has an account of one combat on 24 August in which he was shot down. However, not all combats in which pilots participated are in the archives so the lack of a second combat is not conclusive.

Karol Pinak RAF

Subsequent actions

F/L Deere encounters HE113s over North Foreland

Sector Serial No (a)
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (b)
Date (c) 28/8/40
Flight, Squadron (d) Red Leader 54 Squadron
Type of Enemy Aircraft (f) Large formations of HE.113, ME.109 and Dorniers
Time Attack was delivered (g) 1230
Place attack was delivered (h) North Foreland
Height of Enemy (j) 20,000 to 28,000
Enemy Casualties (k) Destroyed
Probable 1 ME 109
Damaged
Our Casualties Aircraft (l) 1 a/c category 3
Personnel (m) nil
Searchlights (n) (i)
A.A. Guns Assistance (ii)
Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(P) Range Opened
Length of burst see attached sheet
Range closed
No. of rounds fired
[sheet missing]

(AIR/50/21/105)

F/Lt Deere encounters He 113s near Thameshaven

Sector Serial No (a)
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (b)
Date (c) 30/8/40
Flight, Squadron (d) Green leader 54 Sqdn
No. & type of Enemy Aircraft (f) Approx 50 Do 215's and Me 110's
Time Attack was delivered (g) 1650
Place attack was delivered (h) Near Thameshaven
Height of Enemy (j) 18,000
Enemy Casualties (k) Destroyed
Probable 1 Do 17
Damaged
Our Casualties Aircraft (l) 1 a/c category 3
Personnel (n)
Searchlights (ni)
A.A. Guns Assistance (nii)

Fire for Fighters
(Measured or Estimated)
(p) Ranged opened )
Length of burst ) see attached sheet
Range closed )
No.of rounds fired 2695
F/Lt Deere, D.F.C.

Green Leader

I sighted a large formation of Dorniers escorted by a large formation of He 113's and ME 109's approaching N. Foreland. Enemy bombers were at 20,000 feet in in vics of fives and sixes.

I gave sighting position to Rabit Leader and led my section into attack seven ME 109's. I fired one long birth at 250 yards, closing into 100 yards and immediately broke way ??? left. Enemy aircraft appeared to be out of control, and smoke was coming from it. (Confirmed from Red 2). I was subsequently engaged in a series of dog fights. I got in another burst at another ME 109 at close range, but was unable to observe any result. When at 23,000 feet, I was shot down by a Spitfire (no markings observed). Mu control wires to the rudder were shot away and I had to bale out. I came down at Detling.

A C Deere

(AIR/50/21/105)

P/O Pniak claims 1 and a half BR.20s

Sector Serial No (A) F9 (HH)
Serial No. of order detailing patrol (B) 85
Date (C) 11/11/40
Flight, Squadron (D) Flight: B Sqdn. No.: 257
No. of Enemy Aircraft (E) 9
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) Bombers
Time Attack was delivered (G) 1330
Place attack was delivered (H) East of the Naze
Height of Enemy (J) 15,000 feet
Enemy Casualties (K) 1½ BR20 bombers destroyed (½ shared with green 1)
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Nil
Personnel (M) Nil
General Report (R)
I attacked enemy bomber (N.7 in formation) from below and behind from the distance 200 yards. I gave him 1 burst four second long. Just after enemy plane began to smoke and fire. He turned over on his back and dived straight into the sea. One of the enemy crew bailed out with parachute. I attacked another enemy bomber and I gave him two 4-5 second long bursts. He began to smoke and glided to the coast. At the same time another of our fighters fired at him. We followed him until he forced landed in the wood near Woodbridge. I was in Blue Section as No. 2.
Pniak P/O
Signature K. Pniak, P/O.
Section Blue
O.C. FlightB
Squadron
257 Squadron No.

(AIR 50/100/130)