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.

II/KG 2 bomb Canterbury airfield

54 Sqn and 56 Sqn Hurricanes are vectored towards the 24 Do 17s of II/KG 2, lead by Kommodore Oberst Johannes Fink, who it is assessed are heading for Manston after crossing the Channel from Calais to North Forland. The 30 Bf 109 escorts of I and III/JG 54 fail to see the camoflaged Hurricanes climbing to intercept the bombers.

The bombers throw out confetti, toilet paper and handgrenades to confuse the attacking fighters.

The ensuing combat between the fighters continues back across the Channel with 32 Sqn and 64 Sqn joining in.

Oberleutnant Albert Dressel of III/JG 54's Stabsschwarm belly lands his Bf 109 near Margate and is taken prisoner.

Luftwaffe records state that ‘Canterbury airfield’ and another reported as being west of Manston received a total of five 500kg, four 250kg and 439 50kg bombs. The bombs fall around Bekesbourne and Patrixbourne.

Bekesbourne was a WWI RAF airfield and had been used in May and June 1940 by Lysanders of 2 and 13 Sqns. supporting Operation Dynamo. They were widthdrawn on 8 June and the aifield obstructed by stakes to prevent it being used by invading forces.

Sorces: Airfields of Britain Conservation Trust

Bf 109 crash lands near Lyminge

Fw Fritz Schewser, white 6 (5327) of 7/JG 54 crash lands his Bf 109E-4 on the south outskirts of Lyminge parish ("Meridan Farm") having had the oil radiator pierced by F/O Eric Thomas of 222 Sqn. He skids across the grass banging his head off the cockpit and armour plate.

As farm workers and troops enter the field he opens a fuel cock and soaks his his maps and papers before lighting a match in cupped hands and throwing the burning papers into the cockpit. He then moves a safe distance from the aircraft and waves a white handkerchief over his head. Thomas, circling overhead, witnesses the entire proceedings.

Reverand Williams later writes in the parish magazine:

Last month I watched a British airman force down a German fighter plane on the outskirts of the parish. The Englishman was merciful, as it seemed to me. He could have blown to pices the German pilot, but he withheld his fire when the Nazi was obviously beaten and was coming down. He afterwards circled round for some time to make sure of his 'bad', and then did something which fairly took my breath away - he quickly rolled his plane over in the air, as you might spin a tennis racket in your hand! It is, I believe, what the RAF call 'The Victory Roll'.

Well, it struck me as typical of the national spirit which is overcoming all kinds of dangers and difficulties with courage and endurance in the full ardour of youth, until its efforts are crowned in Victory.