54 Sqn transfer from Hornchurch to Manston

Aircraft Type and No. Crew. Duty. Time Up. Time Down. Details of Sortie or Flight. References
R 6893 P.O. Gray 0515 0540 To Manston 12.8.40
R 6893 P.O. Gray 0515 0540 ,, ,,
R 6815 P.O. Kemp 0515 0540 ,, ,,
R 6914 P.O. Turley George 0515 0540 ,, ,,
R 7021 P.O. Hopkin 0515 0540 ,, ,,
R 6981 F/Lt. Deere 0520 0540 To Manston 12.8.40
X 4019 P.O. Coleman 0520 0540 ,, ,,
R 7017 P.O. Campbell 0520 0540 ,, ,,
R 7019 P.O. Matthews 0520 0540 ,, ,,
R 6814 P.O. Howes 0520 0540 ,, ,,

54 Sqn Scramble

Spitfires of 54 Sqn scramble from Manston.

Aircraft Type and No. Crew. Duty. Time Up. Time Down. Details of Sortie or Flight. References
R 7021 P.O. Hopkin 0730 0835 Patrol as Ordered 12.8.40
R 6893 P.O. Gray 0730 0845   ,, ,,
R 6708 F/Sgt. Tew 0730 0800   ,, ,,
R 6899 Sgt. Robbins 0730 0855   ,, ,,
R 6815 P.O. Kemp 0730 Patrol as Ordered, Force Landed at Lympe
R 6914 P.O. Turley George 0730   ,, ,, ,, ,,
R 6981 F/Lt. Deere 0735 0950 Patrol, Landed at Hornchurch
X 4019 P.O. Coleman 0735 0950 Patrol, Landed at Manston
R 7017 P.O. Campbell 0735 0905 Patrol, Landed at Hornchurch
R 7019 P.O. Matthews 0735 0900   ,, ,, ,,
R 6814 P.O. Howes 0735 0855 Patrol, Landed at Manston

Most later returned to Hornchurch.

Aircraft Type and No. Crew. Duty. Time Up. Time Down. Details of Sortie or Flight. References
X 4019 P.O. Coleman 0920 0940 To Hornchurch 12.8.40
R 6814 P.O. Howes 0920 0945 ,, ,,
R 6708 F/Sgt. Tew 0930 0950 ,, ,,
R 6898 Sgt. Norwell 0930 0950 ,, ,,
R 7021 P.O. Hopkin 0930 0950 ,, ,,
R 6899 Sgt. Robbins 0930 0950 ,, ,,
R 6893 P.O. Gray 0930 0950 ,, ,,

P.O. Gray is credited with 2 Bf 109s and P.O. Matthews is credited with one certain and one probable.

P.O. Kemp and P.O. Turley George are both injured. (It is notable that they force land at Lympne which, by the end of the day, has been bombed out of action.)

54 Sqn. engage raid over Dover and Hawkinge

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

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences 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.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences 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.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences 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.

PlaceDateTimeSummary of EventsReferences 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.