An He 111 of 8/KG 1 ditches off Lydden Spout, the crew of 5 swim ashore and are picked up by an AA gun crew. They are taken to Hawkinge and locked up in the guard room by the main gate and become objects of curiosity for people on the base.
2./KG 1's V4✙GK force lands on Romney Marsh after bombing Biggin Hill.
Yesterday evening the Gruppe was briefed for another daylight raid on Biggin Hill. At 1736 hrs this afternoon we took off and formed up over Calais. We crossed the Channel in close formation, heading directly for the target area. Our fighter escort did an excellent job. They prevented the English fighters from getting anywhere near us, allowing us to lay a carpet of bombs right across the airfield. Despite the heavy flak my navigator, Oberleutnant Heinrich Prinze ze Sayn-Wittgenstein, managed to take several photos of our stick of bombs "walking" across the target. At 2010 hrs we landed back at Rosieères. We had suffered no casualties, just some minor flak damage.
OPERATIONS RECORD BOOK of (Unit or Formation) S.H.Q. BIGGIN HILL
|Place||Date||Time||Summary of Events||References to Appendices|
|Biggin Hill||31/8/40||1730||A high level bombing attach was made on the Station and further extensive damage was caused to buildings, Hangers in the South Camp were badly damaged. In the North Camp, the Triple Bay Hanger was damaged, the operations Block received a direct hit and was burnt, the Officers Married Quarters were all severely damaged by blast and rendered unsafe. The Officers Mess was also damaged. The temporary lash up of telephone lines and power cables which had ben made after the previous evening's raid was completely destroyed.|
On 4 September the Gruppe carried out a daylight raid on the aircraft works at Rochester. Although lasting only 150 minutes (from 1240 hrs until 1510 hrs), it was a tough mission at the target lay at the very limit of our Me 109s' effective escort range.
The Spirfires first attacked from out of the sun, each picking a target before diving away. Some then climbed back up again to make a second attack from below. We were very much reliant on our own collective defensive fire. The few Me 109s that were still hanging on to us could do little. If they became involved in a dogfight they would either be shot down or use up their last remaining fuel and be unable to make it back across the channel.
For us it was most unpleasant to have to watch the English roundels wheeling about at close range right in front of our noses. But we were lucky. The presence alone of our few escorting fighters, however passive their behaviour, seemed to have a deterrent effect and stopped the enemy from mounting a coordinated attack - presumably they were unaware of the Me 109s' problems. Once again we all returned safely to base with nothing but flak damage. But other units were not so fortunate.
"other units" refers to the fighters as the only He 111 casualty was one from 4./KG 26 that was lost over the North Sea.