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.

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.

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.

54 Sqn. engage stragglers from large formation

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

Place Date Time Summary of Events References to Appendices
Hornchurch 1940
august
18th
12.40 By this time the first big attack of the day had developed. At least 600 enemy aircraft - an probably a good many more - were plotted all over Kent. The Squadron was unable to approach the main formations but dealt satisfactory with a large number of stragglers. The following enemy causalities were claimed:-

S/Leader Leathart - 1 He 113 (probable) 1 Me 109 (damaged).
F/Officer McMullen -1 He 113 (damaged) 1 Do17 (?215) (damaged). This pilot also split up a formation of 12 He 113.s
P/Officer Matthews -1 Me 109 (probable).
F/Lt. Gribble - 1 Me 109 (destroyed).
P/O Gray - 1 Do 215 (damaged).
F/Sgt. Tew - 1 Me 109 (destroyed). Tew had the good fortune to secure this enemy causualty without firing a shot. Enemy aircraft was persuing him and Tew pulled out at a low altitude and the 109 failed to follow and crashed straight into the ground.
P/Officer Campbell- 1 Me 109 (destroyed) 1 Do 17 (damaged)

These achievements were gained without loss - either of pilots or aircraft.