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RE: Action This Day - 3/23/2021 1:47:10 AM   
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300 Sqn(Swinderby – Wellington IC) 23.3.41

Seven crews detailed for operations over Berlin from Langham Aerodrome, Bircham Newton. Take-off at 22.00 hrs. Owing to difficulties on the aerodrome, four crews only took off and operated successfully. Three other aircraft were damaged during the take-off; one of them completely destroyed. No casualties. Take-off stopped as a result of the accidents.


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Post #: 541
RE: Action This Day - 3/24/2021 2:08:28 AM   
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82 Sqn(Watton – Blenheim IV) 24.3.41

4 aircraft detailed to attack shipping off the Dutch Coast. Two aircraft attacked small fishing boats, one of which was sunk. One aircraft failed to return, the crew being, F/Lt. H.J.W. Black D.F.C., Sgt. Cooke and Sgt. Archer D.F.M. Three aircraft went out on search but failed to find any of the missing crew.

ADDENDUM – The above crew was shot down while attacking a destroyer. F/Lt. Black is buried in Bergen op Zoom War Cemetery. Sgts. Cooke and Archer were not recovered.

Base Changes

113 Sqn(Blenheim IV) moved to Menidi

First and Last Operational Missions

317 Sqn(Acklington – Hurricane I) flew its first OM of the war


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Post #: 542
RE: Action This Day - 3/25/2021 1:32:20 AM   
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21 Sqn(North Coates – Beaufort I) 25.3.41

4 aircraft on Rover patrol from 1030 hrs to 1500 hrs: no shipping seen and one a/c failed to return. (S/Ldr. Kelly, P/O MacLean RCAF, Sgts. Arrighi and Abraham
ADDENDUM – The above crew was shot by flak off Terschelling, Holland. Sgt. Arrighi rests in Vredenhof cemetery on Schiermonnikoog, the rest of the crew were not recovered.

Base Changes

228 Sqn(Sunderland I) moved to Aboukir

First and Last Operational Missions

316 Sqn(Pembrey – Hurricane I) flew its first OM of the war


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Post #: 543
RE: Action This Day - 3/26/2021 1:50:56 AM   
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59 Sqn(Thorney Island – Blenheim IV) 26.3.41

P/O Sandes, on returning from a recco of Brest, crashed near LITTLE BREDY, near WARMWELL. The crew were killed. Fog and low cloud made visibility at the time very bad. P/O McMillan did not return from a patrol of the French coast. Many Me 109’s were reported in the Channel Area. Four North Sea patrols were carried out.

ADDENDUM – P/O Sandes aircraft flew into a hill. There is no cause for the loss of P/O McMillan and his crew. One of them, Sgt. W.J. Butler rests in Dunkirk Town Cemetery.

Base Changes

209 Sqn(Non-Op) moved to Castle Archdale
307 Sqn(Defiant I) moved to Colerne


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Post #: 544
RE: Action This Day - 3/27/2021 3:16:03 AM   
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609 Sqn(Biggin Hill – Spitfire IIA) 27.3.41

A bad day for the squadron. “B” Flight took off at 16.30 hours and patrolled Dungeness at 25,000 feet. P/O. Curchin’s oxygen tube had broken and he handed lead to P/O. Baraldi his first experience of this. After a vector of 120 degrees 5-Me.109’s were sighted to port and 2000-5000 feet above. These turned behind our aircraft and dived from up-sun. Warned by Sgt. Mercer, our aircraft were ordered to break-up, and gave individual chase, P/O. MacKenzie climbed as high as 36,000 ft. Enemy aircraft which in this case were reported as having square wing-tips, remained out of reach. When the flight landed Sgt. Macsherry was found to be missing, and presently a Spitfire was reported as having crashed near Hawkinge. This proved to be ours, and Sgt. Macsherry was killed. It is known his R/T was not functioned well, and although he was seen to breaking up with the others, he may not have been fully aware of what was afoot. Ground Observers and some of 91 Squadron report that an enemy aircraft dived on him, and that he descended apparently out of control until near to ground level, when he seemed to gain control temporarily and circled a field before finally crashing. A machine gun bullet was found to have penetrated the aluminum piston cover and a cannon shell is thought to have hit the fuselage. Sgt. Macsherry had been in the squadron a little over a month and this was his first combat. He was a promising pilot, and is missing for his pleasant and unassuming personality.

ADDENDUM – Sgt. P.M.A. Macsherry was shot down by Me 109 of I/LG2.


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Post #: 545
RE: Action This Day - 3/28/2021 1:25:52 AM   
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401 Sqn RCAF(Driffield – Hurricane I) 28.3.41

Squadron came to readiness at 0615 hours for purpose of proceeding to Wittering for duty. Owing to thick fog which enveloped sector until early afternoon flight was canceled. Air firing schedule for squadron submitted at Marblethorpe 29-3-41, and Sutton Bridge 31-3-41 but owing to ranges not available at Marblethorpe exercise was canceled later in afternoon. New schedule was submitted for 31-3-41.

Base Changes

240 Sqn(Non-Op) moved to Killadeas

First and Last Operational Missions

118 Sqn(Filton – Spitfire IA) flew its first OM of the war


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Post #: 546
RE: Action This Day - 3/29/2021 3:45:22 AM   
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83 Sqn (Scampton – Hampden I) 29.3.41

Ten aircraft detailed to garden in Brest area. Eight found location of area impossible owing to weather. Two planted their vegetables successfully. One aircraft failed to return.

ADDENDUM: - Hampden AD800 OL-X. Crew P/O E.W. Reynolds, Sgt. C.B. Harrison, Sgt H.R. Northwood, and Sgt. J.T. Owen. Crashed into the sea 36 miles SSE of Start Point, Devon. Crew not recovered.


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Post #: 547
RE: Action This Day - 3/30/2021 8:40:23 PM   
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229 Sqn (Speke – Hurricane I) 30.3.41

The first two aircraft left Base at 09.05 to patrol PRESTATIN at 15,000 ft. and these standing patrols over PRESTATIN, POINT OF AIR and RONUK were maintained by a section of aircraft all day, about one hour and thirty-five minutes. All were without incident as far as enemy aircraft were concerned, but PILOT OFFICER DEWAR and PILOT OFFICER DU VIVIER who left base at 13.35 on the PRESTATIN LINE did not return. R/T communication ceased at 14.20 and at 14.28 OBSERVER CORPS reported a loud explosion in the sky. Search was instituted over patrol area and on a wide sweep over the sea and also on land behind PRESTATIN, but no trace of the aircraft or two pilots had been found up to dark when search was abandoned. It was known what had happened and the two pilots were reported missing.

ADDENDUM: - Pieces of wreckage from one of the aircraft was found on a beach the following day. No trace of the other aircraft or pilots was found.

First and Last Operational Missions

256 Sqn(Squires Gate – Defiant NF) flew its first OM of the war
272 Sqn(Aldergrove) flew its last OM in the Blenheim IVF
315 Sqn(Speke – Hurricane I) flew its first OM of the war


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Post #: 548
RE: Action This Day - 3/31/2021 3:38:52 AM   
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21 Sqn (Watton – Blenheim IV) 31.3.41

Eight crews were detailed to carry out a patrol off the Dutch Frisian Islands. If no shipping was sighted they were further detailed to attack, from low level any military objectives found on the island. This ws the first time this operation (“Fringe” operation) was carried out by the R.A.F. One crew severely damaged a destroyer, five crews attacked various military objectives on the islands, and two crews, P/O.Rogers, P/O.Gourlay and Sgt.Howard and Sgts.Adams, Alston and Nichols failed to return.

ADDENDUM: - Both above missing crews were shot down by naval vessels and were not recovered.

Base Changes

17 Sqn(Hurricane I/IIA) moved to Martlesham Heath
54 Sqn(Spitfire IIA) moved to Southend
64 Sqn(Spitfire IIA) moved to Hornchurch
605 Sqn(Hurricane IIA) moved to Ternhill

First and Last Operational Missions

91 Sqn(Hawkinge) flew its last OM in the Spitfire IIA
111 Sqn(Dyce) flew its last OM in the Hurricane I
118 Sqn(Filton) flew its last OM in the Spitfire IA
213 Sqn(Castletown – Hurricane I) flew its last OM in the ETO, transferred to the MTO


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Post #: 549
RE: Action This Day - 4/1/2021 1:46:28 AM   
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263 Sqn (Portreath – Whirlwind I) 1.4.41

One interception patrol was carried out. Squadron Leader Donaldson and Flt/Lt Crooke intercepted a Do.215 north of the Lizard. Squadron Leader Donaldson attacked from the starboard quarter, firing a short burst at 50 yards and a further burst at 100/50 yards. Pieces flew off the E/A and black and white smoke came from both engines; it then did a half roll and dived into cloud. It was not seen again. F/Lt. Crooke crashed in flames near Halston and was killed. From reports of people on the ground who witnessed the combat it appears that he was shot down by the Dornier. He was not seen by Squadron Leader Donaldson after he gave the “tally ho”.

Base Changes

6 Sqn(Lysander II) moved to Marawa
38 Sqn(Wellington IC) moved to Gambut
208 Sqn(Hurricane I) moved to Kazaklar
238 Sqn(Hurricane I) moved to Pembrey
268 Sqn(Non-Op) moved to Snailwell
612 Sqn(Whitley V) moved to Wick

First and Last Operational Missions

65 Sqn(Kiron-in-Lindsey) flew its first OM in the Spitfire IIA
91 Sqn(Hawkinge) flew its first OM in both the Spitfire VA and VB
306 Sqn(Ternhill) flew its last OM in the Hurricane I


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Post #: 550
RE: Action This Day - 4/2/2021 1:52:58 AM   
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82 Sqn (Bodney – Blenheim IV) 2.4.41

Six aircraft were detailed to attack shipping on Beats E and A. Aircraft X and Y attacked a 80 T fishing boat, near miss being observed. Aircraft C & L attacked 2 – 600 ton tramp steamers accompanied by Flakship to starboard between them moving W. The rear was attacked and near misses observed on port bow. Considerable flak was experienced from Flakship. Aircraft J attacked two flakships of approx. 3000 T, the first being bombed and the second machine-gunned. Bombs were seen to fall on stern and ship went down at stern. Considerable flak was encountered, the Observer being killed and Pilot wounded. Aircraft P is missing.

ADDENDUM – Blenheim IV Z5818 UX-P. Crew Sgt. W.C. Haynes, P/O. A.A. Ford, and Sgt. A. Lee, lost without trace.

Base Changes

3 Sqn RAAF(Hurricane I) moved to Got El Sultan


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Post #: 551
RE: Action This Day - 4/3/2021 1:43:02 AM   
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242 Sqn (Martlesham Heath – Hurricane IIA) 3.4.41

S/Ldr. TREACY engaged and damaged a DO 215. F/Lt. TAMBLYN missing after engaging DO 17. Body recovered from sea. F/O. Engaged DO 17 – lost in cloud.

ADDENDUM – F/Lt. H.N. Tamblyn on convoy patrol, shot down by return fire from Do 17 or Me 110, off Norfolk coast.

Base Changes

3 Sqn (Hurricane I) moved to Martlesham Heath
18 Sqn(Blenheim IV) moved to Oulton
272 Sqn(Non-Op0 moved to Chivenor
306 Sqn(Non-Op) moved to Northolt
3 Sqn RAAF(Hurricane I) moved to Maraua

First and Last Operational Missions

240 Sqn(Killadeas) flew its first OM in the Catalina II


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Post #: 552
RE: Action This Day - 4/4/2021 3:35:09 AM   
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91 Sqn (Hawkinge – Spitfire IIA) 4.4.41

Soon after taking off on patrol this evening Sergeant Spears and Sergeant Mann were jumped by Me 109’s at 7,000 feet north of Dover and were shot down. Sergeant Spears received explosive cannon shell through his right arm and a bullet though the left heel and baled out when his Spitfire went out of control. He landed at Lttle Mongeham, and was admitted to Victoria Hospital at Deal. Sgt. Mann’s aircraft was only partially out of control and he made a belly-landing two miles North-West of Hawkinge, while trying to regain base. His aeroplane was burnt out and in scrambling clear, he received severe burns to the face and both legs.

ADDENDUM – Sgt J. Mann and Sgt. A.W.P. Spears were shot down by Me 109’s of JG26.

Base Changes

55 Sqn(Blenheim IV) moved to Derna
113 Sqn(Blenheim IV) moved to Niamata
3 Sqn RAAF(Hurricane I) moved to Martuba

First and Last Operational Missions

17 Sqn(Martlesham Heath) flew its last OM in the Hurricane IIA
45 Sqn(Helwan) flew its first OM in the Blenheim IV


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Post #: 553
RE: Action This Day - 4/5/2021 1:57:29 AM   
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401 Sqn RCAF(Digby – Hurricane I) 5.4.41

Although the Squadron was 30 minutes available during the entire day and considerable single and sectional training flights took place three of our aircraft were scrambled in the vicinity of Nerncastle to intercept a bandit. However, aircraft returned without incident from this operational <unreadable>.

Base Changes

17 Sqn – moved to Castletown and started its second tour in the Hurricane I
204 Sqn(Sunderland I) moved to Reyjavik

First and Last Operational Missions

223 Sqn(Wadi Gazouza) flew its last OM in the Wellesley I


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Post #: 554
RE: Action This Day - 4/6/2021 2:21:51 AM   
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401 Sqn RCAF(Digby – Hurricane I) 6.4.41

“A” Flight at readiness 0545 hours. A scramble was ordered to patrol Marblethorpe when squadron was preparing to make a practice sweep in that sector and operational order and sweep were carried out. “B” Flight at readiness 1300 hours and two scrambles were ordered and carried out without incident. Sqn.Ldr.P.D. Pitcher returned to the Squadron after an absence through illness of over two months. Considerable single, sectional and flight formations and practice attacks took place during the day.

Base Changes

55 Sqn(Blenheim IV) moved to Gazala North and then Great Gambut
99 Sqn(non-Op) moved to the MTO
3 Sqn RAAF(Hurricane I) move to Gazala East

First and Last Operational Missions

233 Sqn(Aldergrove) flew its first OM in the Hudson II
252 Sqn(Aldergrove – Beaufighter IC) flew its first OM of the war


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Post #: 555
RE: Action This Day - 4/7/2021 2:18:40 AM   
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249 Sqn (North Weald – Hurricane IIA/B) 7.4.41

Eight sections of two aircraft patrolled convoy’s in the Barrow Deep – Sunk Light area. A Wing convoy patrol was carried out during the afternoon. The Wing consisting of 56 Squadron, 242 Squadron and 249 Squadron. At approximately 1930 hours a section of six aircraft were returning from convoy patrol, 81345 P/O RENE WYNN suddenly broke formation and crashed. Hurricane IIB Z.2663 dived into the ground at Langford Bridge 1½ miles East of Ongar Essex, was completely wrecked and P/O WYNN killed. An investigation was carried out immediately, and from witnesses' reports it would appear the engine and airframe were in perfect condition, and it is assumed P/O WYNN must have fainted and temporarily lost control of his machine.

Base Changes

1 Sqn(Hurricane I) moved to Croydon
45 Sqn(Blenheim IV) moved to Gambut
78 Sqn(Whitley V) moved to Middleton St. George
118 Sqn(Non-Op) moved to Colerne
237 Sqn(Hardy/Lysander I/II/Gladiator II) moved to Asmara
302 Sqn(Hurricane IIA) moved to Kenley
3 Sqn RAAF(Hurricane I) moved to Sidi Mahoud

First and Last Operational Missions

3 Sqn(Martlesham Heath) flew its first OM’s in the Hurricane IIA/B/C
23 Sqn(Ford) flew its first OM in the Havoc I
500 Sqn(Carew Cherinton) flew its last OM in the Anson I


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Post #: 556
RE: Action This Day - 4/8/2021 2:13:30 AM   
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29 Sqn(Digby – Beaufighter IF) 8.4.41

Another cold day with no sun, but the weather again was operational in the night and there was again considerable enemy activity. Six patrols went up on the night of the 8th and early morning of the 9th. At 2157 hours F/LT. KITSON with SGT. BELL (who was attached to this Squadron from Squadron 219 for one week) took off W.C.1 on patrol. The flight proved uneventful till they were about to land at W.C.1 at 2348 hours when an enemy aircraft suddenly opened fire upon them from above and from the rear. The Beaufighter was unable to return fire and in fact the pilot never saw the enemy aircraft. The Beaufighter fortunately was not seriously damaged although its brakes were put out of order and upon landing ran through a hedge in the next field. The pilot received no injuries bust SGT. BELL was wounded in the leg, it is hoped not seriously.

Base Changes

3 Sqn RAAF(Hurricane I) moved to LG.79

First and Last Operational Missions

97 Sqn(Coningsby – Manchester I/IA) flew its first OM of the war
266 Sqn(Wittering) flew its last OM in the Spitfire IA


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Post #: 557
RE: Action This Day - 4/9/2021 3:01:45 AM   
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64 Sqn(Hornchurch – Spitfire IIA) 9.4.41

Up early, with the idea of a 0600 “Sphere”! Cancelled owing to cloud, but a “Rhubarb” at 1000. “L.B.” (P/O. Lawson-Brown) and “Chaddy” (Sgt. Chadwick) were frozen-up and achieved nothing. “Crange” massacred a He.59 off Dunkirk, both Cooper and he saw plenty of “Heavy Flak”. The C.O. damaged a 109 off Mardyck – said “Heinie” squirted off one of his pals in error – and “Little John” (P/O. Rowden) claimed another 109 as probable. “Little John” did not return, and the Germans claim a British fighter shot down over Mardyck, which was probably John.

Another “Rhubarb” at noon, in which P/O. Tidman (“Tiddles”) and W/Cdr Farquhar replaced Cooper and Little John, to chivvy a convoy escort off Dunkirk. Nothing happened, except that L-B saw a lot of tracer coming unpleasantly near, but couldn’t see who was firing. In the afternoon convoy patrols in pairs.
Bag: 1 He.59 in sea off Dunkirk (Orange)
1 109 Probable, off Mardyck (Little John)
1 109 damage, off Mardyck (C.O.)
Casualty: Little John, on “Rhubarb” believed shot down on Mardyck

ADDENDUM – P/O. JH. Rowden, crashed on French coast after attack by Me 109 of II/JG51. Buried at Dunkirk.

Base Changes

55 Sqn(Blenheim IV) moved to Maaten Bagush
71 Sqn(Hurricane I) moved to Martlesham Heath
73 Sqn(Hurricane I) moved to El Gubbi
118 Sqn(Non-Op) moved to Warmwell
152 Sqn(Spitfire IIA) moved to Portreath
501 Sqn(Hurricane I) moved to Colerne

First and Last Operational Missions

12 Sqn(Binbrook) flew its first OM in the Wellington II
242 Sqn(Stapleford Tawney) flew its first OM in the Hurricane IIB


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Post #: 558
RE: Action This Day - 4/10/2021 1:44:47 AM   
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401 Sqn RCAF(Digby – Hurricane I) 10.4.41

Squadron at readiness entire day. One scramble ordered and carried out without incident. Ten A/C proceeded by air to Sutton Bridge for air to ground practice firing exercises and a squadron (12 A/C) formation practice took place in the afternoon. F/O Neal shot down a stray balloon which broke away and was heading out to sea. Very few single practice flights took place.

Base Changes

45 Sqn(Blenheim IV) moved to Fuka
263 Sqn(Whirlwind I) moved to Filton

First and Last Operational Missions

65 Sqn(Kirton-in-Lindsey) flew its last OM in the Spitfire IA
306 Sqn(Northolt) flew its first OM in the Hurricane IIA


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Post #: 559
RE: Action This Day - 4/11/2021 2:04:27 AM   
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92 Sqn (Biggin Hill – Spitfire IIA) 11.4.41

Bright and clear today. 92 Squadron at DAWN Readiness at 0500 hours. Our night fighters shot down 15 enemy bombers over ENGLAND last night. At about noon today four aircraft were ordered to sink a seaplane which was being towed back to FRANCE by an enemy ship. The four to go were the C.O., F/LT. KINGCOME, SGT. LLOYD and SGT. GASKILL. The enemy seaplane was shot up and sunk and the tow ship damaged. During this operation 15 ME.109’s attacked and shot down SGT. GASKILL into the sea and he is now missing. He is a great loss to the Squadron and was a very promising Pilot.

ADDENDUM – The Me.109’s were from III/JG51


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Post #: 560
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