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JG300_Manfred

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  1. Hello I don't think there's much interest. But for information, I'm going to self-publish the first volume of a Chronicle about Air War over East Africa (1940 - 1941) with three volumes in total. The first volume deals with the period June - December 1940, i.e. the Italian operations to secure East Africa (June - August 1940) then the progressive reinforcement of the RAF / SAAF to prepare the offensives at the beginning of 1941. The book should contain about 300 pages, 200 photos, few maps, a list of losses/claims and an index. The book will be in French only. I'm sorry for this because I know that it is unfortunately a barrier for potential readers. I hope for a publication by the end of June / beginning of July (the price will probably be around 30 euros). For information: a first draft of the cover.
  2. 23 August 1940 Northern Front On this relatively calm day, several units are experiencing various changes. No.11 (RAF) Squadron sees the arrival of two pilots: Pilot Officer Moore and Sergeant Thornton as well as two Bristol Blenheim Mk I (L1434 and L4910) previously belonging to No.39 (RAF) Squadron. Flight Lieutnant Stevens is promoted to Squadron Leader. The Bristol Blenheim Mk I L1434. The aircraft is in service with No.211 (RAF) Squadron on the Paramythia Airfield (Greece) in February – April 1941. The aircraft will be lost in air combat on 13 April 1941, over Albania. Source : Imperial War Museum Southern Front A Caproni Ca.133 is reported over Garissa, between 04h15 and 05h30, where some bombs are dropped without consequence [1]. Three IMAM Ro.37bis from the 110 Squadriglia RT leave Dire Dawa to join Mogadishu, they will be joined in the following weeks by the rest of the unit [2]. Finally, No.40 (SAAF) Squadron continues to multiply its armed reconnaissance sorties on the borders. According to Major James T. Durrant : « The Hartbees were actually in no-man’s-land outside the barbed wire of the defended perimeter, vulnerable to infiltrating bande (of whom gruesome tales were circulated). Officers and men slept on their aircraft with loaded weapons. The Hartbees were parked, defensively, in a laager in the bush could be patrolled at hourly intervals by pickets from the fort. Airmen were deeply sunburned, salted and blooded in battle and had suffered the various burning itches, open sores and bladder pains caused by brak water and sand flies. They flew in khaki shirts, open at the neck, short trousers and carried sidearms and waterbootle. Standing Orders stated that every pilot should carry a pair of army boots in case of forced landing due to fuel shortage or ground fire. Water at Wajir was rationed to two gallons a day per man. This problem was easily solved for No.40 Squadron. Brigadier C.E.M. Richards of the West African Brigade was informed that well water would affect the engines. Unaware that radiators were filled with glycol coolant the brigadier agreed that the flight at Wajir should have the use of 1 000-gallon tanker from Nairobi. Visitors to the mess related how a scrap of canvas and a few branches of thorn-tree constituted a shelter, of dining on bully beef, black coffee and biscuits. And of peculiar crockery looted from the abandoned Indian dukas. For porrige they used bowls, for tea-cups smaller bowls and when it came to driking it was bowls again. The servant shortage was eased by an offer from the District Commissioner to take over a murdered awaiting trial in the local jail. The D.C. asked the Squadron to take him on and keep an eye on him. Bokari remained with the airmen until the end of the campaign. »[4] The situation of No.1 (SAAF) Squadron in Sudan is hardly better as it has no medical officer and technical officer, while advanced terrain consists only of a vague area with a fuel tank, and without any material. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « 23 august 1940 » 237 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 1450; « 23 august 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, August 1940, op. cit. [2] Håkan Gustavsson, « Generale Romano Palmera », Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War ; http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_palmera.htm [3] Storing aircrafts in a rectangle or circle, in the pure Afrikaner tradition, to constitute a defensive formation. [4] J.-A. Brown, A gathering of eagles, the campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Afica (1940 – 1941), op. cit., p. 69 à 70.
  3. 2 June 1940 Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll is in charge of the reorganization of No.615 Squadron, at Kenley Airfield, following the various losses suffered during May 1940. Flying Officer Lionel M. Gaunce temporarily took over the command of A Flight as Flight Lieutenant. Pilot Officer Horace E. Horne is transferred to No.242 (RAF) Squadron on 2 June, where his presence seemed very short. The rest of his career remains unknown. He does not seem to participate in the Battle of Britain following his transfer to No.242 (RAF) Squadron as his name does not appear in the "Few" list. He was promoted to the rank of Flying Officer (September 1940), then Flight Lieutenant (September 1941), before being transferred to the RCAF on 3 January 1945. At the same time, we note the presence of two new pilots, Pilot Officers David Evans and Cecil R. Montgomery. David Evans was born on 21 November 1919 in Liverpool. He joined the Territorial Army in 1938 in the 38th (AA) Battalion of the King's Regiment. He was transferred to the RAF with an SSU in June 1939. After his training with the 9 E&RFTS in Ansty, he joined No.615 Squadron during May. Cecil Robert Montgomery was born in 1914 in Lisnaskea (Northern Ireland). He joined the RAF with an SSU in June 1939. He trained at 22 E&RFTS (Cambridge), then at the No.2 Flying Traning School at Brize Norton (21 August 1939 - 17 February 1940). After his conversion on Hawker Hurricane, he joined No.615 Squadron in May 1940. These first days of June are then essentially devoted to a series of training sessions to enable the Squadron to return to operational activity as quickly as possible over France. On 2 June, Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2871), Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963) and Cecil R. Young (P2966) performed an alert take-off between 18h20 and 19h55. This period of lull also allowed the pilots to take a little rest after the terrible fighting in France in May 1940. According to Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner : "Terror and exhausion dominate my recollation of that period over France and Belgium. Terror because of all the bloody Huns. There were many more of them than of us, they had better aeroplanes, they were trying to kill us, and they were better at it than we were. They liked war and most os us didn't like war at all. I was exhausted because I was getting up at half-past three or four in the morning and flying three or four sorties a day. Communications and orders from headquarters and our wing were pratically non-existent. Our job was to stop German aircraft attacking our ground forces and gain air superiority over the battlefield. We weren't even able to start the job. There weren't enough of us. The sky was swarming with Bf.109, and we lost over a third of our pilots in twelve days fighting."
  4. 22 August 1940 Northern Front Five Vickers Wellesley of No.14 (RAF) Squadron take off at 05h00 to attack ships reported on Dahlak Bay. However, the bad weather forces the aircraft to divert on the island of Harmil where the formation descends to 300 meters of altitude in order to make the bombardment. If the attack causes only reduced damage, the air defense is relatively intense as Sergeant Albert H.W. Matthews[1] is killed in his gunner position. An aircraft is also damaged and must divert to Aquiq to make the necessary repairs[2]. Vickers Wellesley (left) and Fairey Gordon (right) of N° 14 (RAF) Squadron at Amman (Jordanie), 1938- 1939. Source : No.14 (RAF) Squadron Association The No.223 (RAF) Squadron, split into two Flight (Squadron Leader J.C. Larking and Flight Lieutenant Jack F. Roulston), returns to its base in Summit after a flight of approximately 6 hours[3]. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « Casualty details : Matthews, Albert Harry Walter », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2273878/MATTHEWS,%20ALBERT%20HARRY%20WALTER [2] « 22 august 1940 » 14 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 192 ; M. Napier, Winged Crusaders: The Exploits of 14 Squadron RFC & RAF 1915-45, Barnsley, Pen & Sword, 2013. [3] « 22 august 1940 » 223 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541).
  5. 23 - 30 May 1940 Unfortunately, there is little information available about this period in the squadron ORB, which only starts again in early June. There is only mention of an alert take-off of three Hawker Hurricanes from Kenley Airfield on 30 May at 14h45. However, they returned at 15h07 as the threat turned out to be another Hurricane. However, it appears that Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders, as well as others pilots, participates in Operation Dynamo within a Flight created for the occasion on Gloster Gladiator Mk II. This provisional unit is based at Manston, with No. 604 (RAF) Squadron, between 23 and 30 May 1940.[1] According to No. 604 (RAF) Squadron ORB, the detachment is composed of Flight Lieutenant James B. Sanders, Flying Officer Lionel M. Gaunce and Pilot Officers David Evans, Petrus H. Hugo, Michael R. Mudie and Ralph Roberts. The pilots are then supposed to carry out night patrols over Dunkirk and Boulogne. In practice however the majority of patrols seemed to take place during the day over British ports or off the English coast. According to Håkan Gustavsson, four aircraft are used : the K7928, K7970, K8001 (damaged on 26 May in a ground collision with the Bristol Blenheim L6607 on the Manston airfield) and the K8033.[2] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ [1] FRANKS, Norman. Dowding’s Eagles: Accounts of Twenty-five Battle of Britain Veterans. Pen & Sword Aviation, 2015 ; Christopher SHORES; WILLIAMS Clive. Aces High: A Tribute to the Most Notable Fighter Pilots of the British and Commonwealth Forces of WWII. 2008, Grub Street ; [2] GUSTAVSSON, Hakan. Gloster Gladiator in Fighter service : http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/gladiator_raf_ff.htm
  6. 21 August 1940 Northern Front The day is very quiet on the northern front. No.223 (RAF) Squadron is ordered to prepare for its return to Sudan the next day[1], while No.203 (RAF) Squadron undergoes a change of command with the arrival of Squadron Leader A.L.H. Solano.[2] Southern Front This end of August is especially marked by what the South Africans have described as Bomber Offensive : a vast campaign of bombing (to be relativised by the limited aircrafts available) aimed at Italian airfields in Somalia and southern Ethiopia in order to eliminate the Regia Aeronautica. Thus, from 19 August to 30 November, the SAAF performs about 200 bombing sorties and 800 reconnaissance sorties. It begins on 19 August when SAAF launches sixteen aircrafts of No.11 and No.12 (SAAF) Squadron on four different targets. The second series begins on 21 August, when nine Fairey Battle Mk I of No.11 (SAAF) Squadron take off for Mogadishu in three formations of three aircraft at half an hour apart. Fairey Battle of No.11 (SAAF) Squadron at Archers Post. Collection : SAAF Museum, via Tinus le Roux If the former are forced to cancel the attack due to heavy cloud cover, the other six are able to drop twenty-four 250-lb bombs. The bombardment is a success and the crews claim three Caproni Ca.133 destroyed, six heavily damaged, as well as various material damage on the airfield (five Caproni Ca.133 would indeed have been destroyed). The air defense is however intense and at least two aircraft are damaged: No. 905 and 913 (Lieutenant Cornelius A. van Vliet and W.J.B. Chapman being wounded[3]).[4] Lieutnant Cornelius Arthur van Vliet – No.11 (SAAF) Squadron. The photo is taken later in North Africa, while serving as a fighter pilot in No.1 (SAAF) Squadron. Collection: Tinus le Roux –SAAF WW2 Heritage No.40 (SAAF) Squadron sends three Hartbees to attack Italian positions, on the road to Moyale, where forty 20-lb bombs are dropped.[5] ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « 21 august 1940 » 223 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [2] « 21 august 1940 » 203 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 1198. [3] A noter que les différentes sources diffèrent s’agissant de l’appareil dans lequel le Lieutnant W.J.B. Chapman était présent. Ainsi, selon, J.-A. Brown, A gathering of eagles, the campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Afica (1940 – 1941), Cape Town, Purnell, coll. « South African Forces World War II », 1970, p. 60 ; P.D. Tidy, « Major Cornelius Arthur van Vliet, DFC », in Military History Journal, vol. 2, no 6, Décembre 1976, http://samilitaryhistory.org/vol026dt.html, une fois blessé, celui-ci aurait confié l’appareil photo à l’Air Sergeant Wright. Or, selon l’operation order n°14, l’Air Sergeant Wright était dans un autre appareil, 11 Bomber Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, Kew – TNA, AIR 54 / 3. [4] « 21 august 1940 » 11 Bomber Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, op. cit.; « 21 august 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, August 1940, op. cit.; J.-A. Brown, A gathering of eagles, the campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Afica (1940 – 1941), op. cit., p. 59 à 60; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 56; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 64; P.D. Tidy, « Major Cornelius Arthur van Vliet, DFC », op. cit. [5] « 21 august 1940 » 40 Squadron SAAF, Repport on recce sorties, juillet – decembre 1940, op. cit.; « 21 august 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, August 1940, op. cit.
  7. 20 May 1940 The No.615 Squadron leaves, finally, at 04h30, for the airfield of Norrent-Fontes with thirteen Hawker Hurricane Mk I (as well as one Miles Magister). The day starts very early when at 08h00 a double patrol is organized : the first above Lille (six aircraft), and the second in defense of the airfield (three aircraft). A more ambitious operation begins at 11h00. In this case, a formation composed of No. 504, No.607 and No.615 (RAF) Squadron is responsible for attacking a German convoy on the Cambrai-Arras road. According to Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll : « There was a request from the Army that we should try de delay the German advance towards Arras on the road from Cambrai. We managed to get 12 serviceable aircraft together (three from 615, three from 504 and six from 607), 615 leading. We found a large quantity of German transport on this perfectly straight road and were able to do some damage. Unfortunately we lost three aircraft, including Flying Officer Bob Pumphrey [P3448 AF-H] of 607, who managed to jump out at low level and survived as a PoW. Our mistake was to attack in sections of three in line astern and the German had a concentration of cannon and machine-guns at either side of the road. ». The losses are non-negligible and, besides Flying Officer Robert EW Pumphrey, No.504 (RAF) Squadron loses Pilot Officer Michael Jebb (P3586) and Blair E.G. White, although the two pilots are only injured and can be evacuated from Dieppe, while No.607 (RAF) Squadron loses Pilot Officer Richard S. Demetriadi (P2671 – AF-H), again without consequences. At the same time, the aircraft of Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll is also damaged in the wing, but he can return to Norrent-Fontes [1]. Despite these losses, mainly material, British pilots are able to destroy seven vehicles according to a raconnaissance made by Flying Officer Lionel M. Gaunce around 13h00. In the afternoon, six Hawker Hurricane Mk I take off for a patrol of Arras – Douai – Lens sector. A formation of twelve Heinkel He.111 of I./LG 1 was sighted, at an attitude of about 4 800 meters and a fight commenced, around 16h00, during which Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll and Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo claim a bomber [2]. According to Joseph R. Kayll : « Attacked tail of formation with beam attack which put rear gunner out of action. Then attacked from astern, closing to 200 yards. Port engine stopped and was smoking badly. E/a went into a spin and disappeared through low cloud. »[3]. The Heinkel He.111 (L1 + GK), from 2./LG 1 [4], hit the ground near Lille killing Feldwebel Erich Hackbarth, Unteroffizier Max Bröge and Gefreiter Heinz Schönberg. According to an interrogator report of the sole survivor, the Feldwebel Erich Weber, by the British : « We took off from Dusseldorf at 14h00 to watch troop movements west of Lille. The Heinkel 111 aircraft was armed with four machine guns and carried twelve 50-kilo bombs. We were fired bu several anti-aircraft fire, and shot down by a Morane at 4 800 meters »[5]. This patrol is the last documented sortie of No.615 Squadron from France. The evacuation orders to England are starting to rain on the different British Squadrons. The evacuation of Norrent-Fontes begins around 18h30 when nine Hawker Hurricane Mk I of No.615 Squadron, including L1289 (Flying Officer Anthony Eyre), take off with four others of No. 607 (RAF) Squadron to escort a Sabena’s Savoia-Marchetti S.73P carrying the No.60 (RAF) Wing staff, and some of the ground personnel, heading for Kenley Airfield [6]. Three other Hawker Hurricane Mk I and the last four Gloster Gladiator Mk I (including the N2304 and N2306) take the same path in the evening. Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders makes the crossing with a Bristol Blenheim, while Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo returns with the Miles Magister from Merville. « At 13h00, instructions were received that everyone should be ready to evacuate to England. At 14h30, the ground staff packed up for Boulogne leaving behind eighteen airmen. At 18h25, a SM75 transport aircraft took on board the No. 60 Squadron Commander and his staff as well as the 18 airmen of the squadron, twenty-one airmen of No. 615 Squadron and ten airmen of No.607 Squadron. The plane takes the direction of England »[7]. Pilot Officer John E.M. Collins, Malcolm Ravenhill (aboard Gloster Gladiator Mk II N2308 KW-T) and Victor B.S. Verity return in the evening to No.229 (RAF) Squadron. Pilot Officer John E.M. Collins returning to No.229 (RAF) Squadron, he participated in the fighting over Dunkirk, where he disappeared on a mission, flying the Hawker Hurricane Mk I L1982, on 31 May 1940. Pilot Officer Malcolm Ravenhill returning to No.229 (RAF) Squadron, he participated in the last battles over Dunkirk, then the Battle of Britain. On 1st September 1940, he was hospitalized after being forced to parachute during a battle over Biggin Hill (Hawker Hurricane Mk I P3038). Back in operation, he disappears on 30 September when following a fight with Bf.109 his Hawker Hurricane Mk I P2815 hit the ground near Ightham (Church Road). He is buried in City Road Cemetery, Sheffield. Pilot Officer Victor B.S. Verity returning to No.229 (RAF) Squadron, he participated in the fighting over Dunkirk, then Battle of Britain. At the end of 1940, he volunteered to join the night fighters. In April 1942, he was transferred to North Africa until June 1943. Back in Europe, he take command of No.650 (RAF) Squadron, during the first half of 1944, to ensure British air defense training. After passing through various commands and OTU, he returned home to New Zealand in November 1945. He died on 2 February 1979 in Wellington. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] CULL, Brian ; LANDER, Bruce ; WEISS, Heinrich. Twelve Days in May. The Air Battle for Northern France and the Low Countires, 10 – 21 May 1940, as seen through the eyes of the fighter pilots involved. London : Grub Street, 1999, p.292 à 293 ; CORNWELL, Peter D. The Battle of France, Then and Now : Six Nations Locked in Aerial Combat, September 1939 to June 1940. Old Harlow : After the Battle, 2007. p.332 ; DIXON, Robert. 607 Squadron : A Shade of Blue. 2012. 200 p. [2] CULL, Brian ; LANDER, Bruce ; WEISS, Heinrich. Twelve Days in May. The Air Battle for Northern France and the Low Countires, 10 – 21 May 1940, as seen through the eyes of the fighter pilots involved. London : Grub Street, 1999, p.294 ; TAGHON, Peter. La Lehrgeschwader 1 : L’Escadre au Gruffon. Tome 1. Lela Press, 2017, p.59. [3] Combat Reports. Pilot Officer Joseph R. Kayll (20/05/40). Kew : The National Archives, AIR 50/175/14. (n°27) ; GILLET, Arnaud. La Luftwaffe à l’ouest – Les victoires de l’aviation de chasse britannique (10 mai 1940 – 23 mai 1940). Béthenville : Arnaud Gillet, 2008, p.332. [4] Peter D. Cornwell (The Battle of France, Then and Now : Six Nations Locked in Aerial Combat, September 1939 to June 1940. Old Harlow : After the Battle, 2007, p.337) attribue la victoire au Flying Officer Duus du No.79 (RAF) Squadron à 13h45. [5] GILLET, Arnaud. La Luftwaffe à l’ouest – Les victoires de l’aviation de chasse britannique (10 mai 1940 – 23 mai 1940). Béthenville : Arnaud Gillet, 2008, p.332. [6] CULL, Brian ; LANDER, Bruce ; WEISS, Heinrich. Twelve Days in May. The Air Battle for Northern France and the Low Countires, 10 – 21 May 1940, as seen through the eyes of the fighter pilots involved. London : Grub Street, 1999, p.294 [7] GILLET, Arnaud. La Luftwaffe à l’ouest – Les victoires de l’aviation de chasse britannique (10 mai 1940 – 23 mai 1940). Béthenville : Arnaud Gillet, 2008, p.345.
  8. 20 August 1940 Northern Front Despite the difficult struggles of the previous days, the Aden-based units remain active. Five Vickers Wellesley of No.223 (RAF) Squadron return to Dessie airfield between 08h00 and 13h30. Several buildings are claimed to be damaged despite poor weather conditions.[1] They are followed by five Bristol Blenheim Mk I of No.11 and 39 (RAF) Squadron (one and four) on Dire Dawa between 09h00 and 12h35. If the attack, against the facilities of Ala Littorria, is a success with a Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 and a Fiat CR.32 claimed damaged, the bombers are intercepted by two Fiat CR.42 of the 413 Squadriglia CT . Two victories are then claimed by Capitano Corrado Santoro. The Bristol Blenheim Mk I L8474 of No.39 (RAF) Squadron (Pilot Officer Paul E.O. Jago[2], Sergeant John A. Wilson-Law[3], Coporal John H. Wintle[4]) crashes into flames, killing his crew. In addition, No.11 (RAF) Squadron’s L8535[5] (Pilot Officer William D. Rowbotham, Sergeant Jones and Young) is forced into a forced landing in Aden. The Italian fighter however is also slightly damaged.[6] Capitano Corrado Santoro (413 Squadriglia CT), 20 août 1940. Collection : Håkan Gustavsson – Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War In Sudan, operations are slowed down by bad weather. One Gloster Gauntlet and three Vincent Vickers of No.430 (RAF) Flight were damaged by a powerful gust of wind.[7] At the same time, No.47 (RAF) Squadron sends three Vickers Wellesley to Barentu. The very low cloud cover prevents the bombers from locating the target and they are forced to turn back on the Kassala fort with no probable results.[8] Finally, the Escadrille d'Aden makes a new reconnaissance over Somaliland with the Glenn Marin 167-F No. 82 (Flight Lieutenant Flight Roger Ritoux-Lachand, Flying Officer Pierre Fenot de Maismont, Flight Sergeant Raymond Rolland and Emile Lobato de Faria). Several vehicles are spotted on the roads, as well as a aircraft (IMAM Ro.37bis or fighter) on the ground of Hargeisa.[9] Southern Front The day is relatively calm. No.2 (SAAF) Squadron receives six new Hawker Fury. A Hartbees: No. 864 (Lieutenant Gideon J. de Greef[10], Air Sergeant Mornie A. du Plessis[11]) is nevertheless lost during a reconnaissance mission. Despite intense research, they will never be found.[12] ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ [1] « 20 august 1940 », 223 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 1374. C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, 2e éd., London, Grub Street, 2010, p. 55 ; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, Barnsley, Pen & Sword Military, 2009, p. 64. [2] « Casualty details : Jago, Paul Edwin Osborne », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2273310/JAGO,%20PAUL%20EDWIN%20OSBORNE [3] « Casualty details : Wilson-Law, John Astil », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2273352/WILSON-LAW,%20JOHN%20ASTIL [4] « Casualty details : Wintle,John Herbert », Commonwealth War Graves Commission ; http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2273353/WINTLE,%20JOHN%20HERBERT [5] The damage seems important, and the aircraft no longer appears in the Squadron ORB. [6] « 20 august 1940 » 11 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 162 ; « 20 august 1940 » 39 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 407 ; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 55 à 56 ; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 64 ; Håkan Gustavsson, « Generale di Divisione Corrado Santoro », Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War : http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/italy_santoro.htm [7] C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 56. [8] « 20 august 1940 » 47 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 463. [9] « 20 august 1940 » 8 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 114. [10] « Casualty details : De Greef, Gideon Johannes », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1536436/DE%20GREEF,%20GIDEON%20JOHANNES [11] « Casualty details : Du Plessis, Mornie André », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/1536524/DU%20PLESSIS,%20MORNIE%20ANDRE [12] « 20 august 1940 » 40 Squadron SAAF, Repport on recce sorties, juillet – decembre 1940, Kew – TNA, AIR 54 / 5 ; « 20 august 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, August 1940, Kew – TNA, AIR 54 / 8.
  9. 19 May 1940 At 04h00, six Hawker Hurricane Mk I took off from Moorsele for a patrol of Cambrai - Le Cateau - Cambresis area. At 17h30, six aircraft patrol over Arras, while five patrol the road between Arras and Cambrai. A fight takes place, around 19h40, with about fifteen Bf 109 of 9./JG 26, in the northeast of Cambrai [1]. According to Anthony Eyre Flying Officer (L1289 KW-V) : « I was No 2 in formation of four when Blue 4 warned us over R/T of the approach of e/a. I turned 90° to starboard, then 180° when I attacked from the starboard quarter a 109 which was attacking one of our formation at about 400 feet below. I turned away and, searching, saw an aircraft, which I believe was the one I attacked, diving spirallingly with black smoke pouring from it. I then sighted another 109 below me which I dived on and attacked slightly below with a long burst. I immediately broke away since my ammunition was nearly exhausted. »[2]. According to Pilot Officer William L. McKnight : « During a patrol over Cambrai, seven enemy attacks us from behind followed by eight other aircraft. After alerting the rest of the section by radio, I take altitude very quickly by a left turn. I am behind an enemy aircraft and shoot. Smoke comes out of the enemy plane that I fire until he crash on ground. »[3]. At the same time, the Hawker Hurricane Mk I N2331 is hit. Injured at legs, Flying Officer Richard D. Pexton is forced to parachute into adversary territory. He rejoin Dunkirk where he can embark, on 23 May, aboard the hospital ship Worthing. Returning to England, he is admitted to Barnet Hospital (Hertfordshire) and will not return to the squadron until 10 July. Flying Officer Richard D. Pexton provided a very detailed account of these days through in France : “I was shot down on the evening of 19 May near Cambrai and, after a pretty rough time, I finally came into the hands of the RAMC on 20th late afternoon. Luckily my wounds were only slight but was unable to walk. After being driven, by ambulance, to a CGS I wasn’t there above an hour when I was moved, by another ambulance, to a Red Cross train – somewhere near Armentières – this would be about 21h30 – and was placed on a bunk. About 10 minutes later another pilot was brought in a stretcher and put into the opposite bunk. Sanders [4] was in a terrible state and suffering from severe burns. Face, neck, arms, hands and legs I feel sure that he had no actual bullet wounds. The Sister immediately attended the burns they had previously been dressed at a CCS. Everything that was possible was done to comfort Sanders. The remainder of his tunic and slacks were cut off and his request that his wings should be cut off his tunic and pinned to his shirt was carried out by the Sister. We were given a cooked meal – those who could eat and Sanders was given a warm drink. The train moved off after dusk and the lights were dimmed and those who could slept. The next morning I woke up and found the train was stationary and bombs were dropping somewhere near. I asked what had happened and was informed that the track had been bombed and there were five trains in front of us – full of refugees and we had only travelled a few miles since the previous night. The bombing continued through the day and a feeling of helplessness seemed to be over us. Sanders condition was, by this time, much more serious and, if I may be allowed to say so, he had become practically blind – as he was continually asking for the bandages over them. It was then I noticed his name of his card. I tried to get into conversation with him. About 17h00, that evening there were some bombs dropped very near to the train then the machine came over the train and machine-gunned the whole lenght. There were a few casualties in the next carriage to ours. I shall always remeber how some of the orderlies left to the train and seeked refuge in a near wood whilst the Sister (I believe her name was Davison or Davidson) tried to comfort us all by being so casual and especially Sanders who, naturally, was unnerved by this sudden outbreak of machine gunfire – it was an act of extreme bravery the way she knelt by his bunk and comforted him with words and tender care and will always be one of my treasured memories of what the Millitary nurses really meant to the wounded. Almost another hour passed when some ambulances arrived and all stretcher cases were moved from the train – Sanders was in the same amublance as myself – it was a terrible fight to see the walking and sitting cases sitting on the side by the train. The look of hopelessness and despair on their faces, whilst we were aboard the ambulances, showed as much that they really throught very little of their chances of escaping from the enemies onslought. By the time we arrived at the next hospital, Steenvoorde, it was dark and this is the last time I ever saw Sanders he was carried in front of me and was put in a different ward to myself. We were in this hospital from the evening of the 21st until we were finally moved to Dunkerque on the evening of the 23rd. I enquired several times from the orderlies how Sanders was and was always told he was very seriously ill and there was little hope. After we were carried aboard the Worthing and had set sail I enquired from the Sergeant if Pilot Officer Sanders was aboard. He informed me that he died during the ambulance ride from the hospital but I understood his body had been taken aboard. As a conclusion I should like to mention that I had studied Sanders wounds and, when I returned to my Squadron I gave them the information and the necessity of being prepared against fire. After this it almost became a rule that all pilots wore protective clothing what ever the weather. Also we used our reserve petrol first to lessen the risk of cockpit fire. »[5] According to Donald Caldwell [6], the British pilots reportedly faced 4./JG 26 under the command of Kommandeur, Hautpman Herwig Knüppel (Bf.109 E-3 – W.Nr.1542). The latter is shot and killed during the fight, while the injured Oberleutnant Karl Ebbighausen (Bf 109 E-3) makes a forced landing in the vicinity of Lille. Another Bf.109 E-3 is reported to have made a forced landing in Brussels. Perhaps this is the aircraft that struck the Hurricane of Flying Officer Richard D. Pexton [7]. According to a summary of events on the German side : « Free hunting on the region of Grammont – Lille – Cambrai. The group took off at 19h07 under the command of Hauptman Knüppel. Above Lille, an aerial battle takes place with four Hurricanes in which three enemy machines were shot down. Captain Knüppel is attacked. We did not follow the rest of the fight. The Hurricane was shot down by the Leutnant Krug. The Hauptman Knüppel did not return from this mission. »[8] A last patrol is reported, in the evening, above Oudenaarde – Tournai, without special events. But that’s the end for the No.615 Squadron as explained by Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll : « On the evening of the 19th we were surprised to see a German motrocycle and sidecar driving round the aerodrome and we could hear gunfire to the east. Then we were ordered to move to Merville at first light, only keeping enough ground staff to see the aircraft off. During the night (about 22h00) a Belgian officer arrived and said that he had been ordered to blow up the aerodrome immediately. I took until about 01h00 to persuade him not to do this, owing largely to the efforts of our adjutant and a few drinks. A compromise was reached in that he would dig holes and place the mines, leaving a straight take-off lane for us to use at dawn. One of the results of our frequent moves was that we had not had sufficient time to keep the starter batteries charged. Only one battery was serviceable and had to be used by all aircraft, mechnics being used to start the engines of the less experienced pilots. ».[9] Pilot Officers Robert D. Grassick, William L. McKnight and Percival S. Turner are ordered to join Kenley Aerodrome in the evening to return to No.242 (RAF) Squadron. Pilot Officer Robert D. Grassick eeturning to No.242 (RAF) Squadron, he participated in the various battles over Dunkirk and Battle of Britain, as well as the various British operations of 1941. On 28 September 1941, he joined the OTU of Aden. From now on, the rest of his career will be mainly in Eastern and Southern Africa as an instructor and transport liaison pilot. He joined the RCAF on 1st May 1945, and returned to Canada. He died on 28 October 1978. Pilot Officer William L. McKnight returning to No.242 (RAF) Squadron, he participated in the various battles over Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. On 12 January 1941, he disappeared in combat, with Hawker Hurricane Mk I P2961, during a Rhubarb near Gravelines. His name is commemorated at Runnymede Memorial. Pilot Officer Percial S. Turner returning to No.242 (RAF) Squadron, he participated in the various battles over Dunkirk and the Battle of Britain. He joined No.145 (RAF) Squadron in June 1941 and was awarded the DFC in October of the same year. After a brief rest, he took command of No.411 (RCAF) Squadron, in December 1941, then No.249 (RAF) Squadron in Malta, in February 1942. He remained on the besieged island until November 1943 by exercising various functions. In May 1944, he received the DSO, while integrating the headquarters of the Desert Air Force. He returned to Europe in January 1945 with the rank of Group Captain to take command of No.127 (RAF) Wing. He joined the RCAF after the war until his retirement in 1965. He died on 23 July 1985. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] CULL, Brian ; LANDER, Bruce ; WEISS, Heinrich. Twelve Days in May. The Air Battle for Northern France and the Low Countires, 10 – 21 May 1940, as seen through the eyes of the fighter pilots involved. London : Grub Street, 1999, p.261. [2] Combat Reports. Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (19/05/40). Kew : The National Archives, AIR 50/175/2. GILLET, Arnaud. La Luftwaffe à l’ouest – Les victoires de l’aviation de chasse britannique (10 mai 1940 – 23 mai 1940). Béthenville : Arnaud Gillet, 2008, p.296. [3] Combat Reports. Pilot Officer William L. McKnight (19/05/40). Kew : The National Archives, AIR 50/175/22. GILLET, Arnaud. La Luftwaffe à l’ouest – Les victoires de l’aviation de chasse britannique (10 mai 1940 – 23 mai 1940). Béthenville : Arnaud Gillet, 2008, p.296. [4] Pilot Officer Richard Atheling Sanders has been posted from No.141 (RAF) Squadron to Squadron No.87 (RAF) on 16 May 1940. He is shot down aboard the Hawker Hurricane Mk I N2710. on 20 May, probably victim of a Bf 110 north-west of Arras. [5] Casualty Record : Flying Officer Richard D. Pexton The National Archives, Kew : AIR 81/742. [6] CALDWELL Donald. The JG 26 War Diarry, Vol 1 (1939 – 1942). Grub Street, 1996, p.28 à 29. [7] It should be noted that Peter D. Cornwell matches the loss of Flying Officer Richard D. Pexton with a claim by Hauptman Günther Lützow (Stab I./JG 3) at about 19h15 in the Arras – Cambrai area. [8] GILLET, Arnaud. La Luftwaffe à l’ouest – Les victoires de l’aviation de chasse britannique (10 mai 1940 – 23 mai 1940). Béthenville : Arnaud Gillet, 2008, p.296. [9] CULL, Brian ; LANDER, Bruce ; WEISS, Heinrich. Twelve Days in May. The Air Battle for Northern France and the Low Countires, 10 – 21 May 1940, as seen through the eyes of the fighter pilots involved. London : Grub Street, 1999, p.261 à 262.
  10. 18 August 1940 Northern Front The British evacuation, from Berbera, ends successfully when the rearguard formed by the Black Watch embarks aboard the last ships. Italians, always cautious, prefer to wait for the next day to enter the city, to conclude the conquest of British Somaliland. The fighting has cost about 38 dead, 102 wounded and 120 missing, mainly members of the Northern Rhodesian Regiment captured during the Tug Argan retreat. For the Italians, the losses are slightly higher : 465 killed, 1 530 wounded and 34 missing. Note that it would be necessary, also, to add the irregular troops employed, whose figures are not known with precision, some sources speaking of 2 000 on the Italian sides and 1 000 opposite. The Regia Aeronautica continues to recall its units, however some Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 of 44bis Gruppo BT return to Berbera for an armed reconnaissance, along with Fiat CR.42. In the early afternoon, the Italians attack two Bristol Blenheim of No.8 (RAF) Squadron, above the ships, but without consequences. The RAF is embarking on a last stand by engaging a maximum of aircraft. At dawn (05h35), three Bristol Blenheim of No.8 (RAF) Squadron take off from Aden to bombard enemy troop concentrations towards Laferug. However, above the objective, they are immediately intercepted by two Fiat CR.32 of 410a Squadriglia CT (Sottotenente Alberto Veronese and Sergente Maggiore Gaetano Volpe) and the L1479 is shot down in flame. If all three crew members can jump, only one of them Sergeant Albert T. Gay will survive, the other two: Leading Aircraftman Ernest C. Clarke and Matthew E. Porter will die of their injuries. Three other aircraft of the squadron will also meet with the Italian fighters in the afternoon, but this time without consequence. Shortly after, at 05h40, five Vickers Wellesley of No.223 (RAF) Squadron took off, under the command of Flight Lieutenant Jack F. Roulston, from the temporary airfield of Perim Island toward the Airfield of Addis Ababa. Despite the distance, and the very poor weather conditions, the aircraft can bomb at 09h00 with some success. In addition to material damage, four Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 are claimed damaged, two of them seriously. Indeed, the losses are relatively heavy with one Savoia-Marchetti SM.79, one Savoia-Marchetti SM.75 and three Caproni Ca.133 destroyed, while one Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and one Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 are heavily damaged. The attack takes the Italians by surprise and only a Fiat CR.42 manages to intercept the enemy formation. He made several passes, succeeding to damage at least two aircrafts (L2668 and L2683), but the bombers could escape in the cloud and return. During the battle for British Somaliland, the RAF made 184 sorties and dropped 60 tons of bombs, losing seven aircraft (five Bristol Blenheim Mk I, two Gloster Gladiators), eleven damaged (eight Bristol Blenheim Mk I, two Bristol Blenheim Mk IVF and a Vickers Wellesley), causing the death of eleven men for four claimed victories (two Savoia-Marchetti SM.79, a Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 and a Fiat CR.32). The Regia Aeronautica reportedly lost, at least, three planes (one Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and two Savoia-Marchetti SM.81), eight damaged (two Savoia-Marchetti SM.79, three Savoia-Marchetti SM.81, two Fiat CR.32 and a Fiat CR.42), causing the death of ten men, for twelve claims (six Bristol Blenheim and six Gloster Gladiator). However, these are only hypotheses for the Italian side because of the lack of available archives. Photographs of Addis Ababa aerodrome taken during the bombardment on 18 August 1940 by No.223 (RAF) Squadron aircraft. On the first one, the presence of the various Italian bombers can be seen. Collection: Imperial War Museum
  11. 18 May 1940 Unfortunately, there is no concrete detail on the events of this day. At most, the ORB indicates the preparation of an escort mission, for Bristol Blenheim at 04h00, which is canceled ; while Brian Cull [1] mentions a brief confrontation with Heinkel He.111 of KG 1 without further details. [1] CULL, Brian ; LANDER, Bruce ; WEISS, Heinrich. Twelve Days in May. The Air Battle for Northern France and the Low Countires, 10 – 21 May 1940, as seen through the eyes of the fighter pilots involved. London : Grub Street, 1999, p.225.
  12. 17 August 1940 Northern Front The Italians begin their advance towards Berbera. They are however quickly stopped by the Black Watch, which throughout the day succeed in repelling the enemy, not hesitating to lead several charged with the bayonet. Nevertheless, Major General Alfred R. Godwin-Austen accelerated the evacuation during the day, before ordering the Black Watch to withdraw from their positions at night to retreat to the port. Due to the immediate evacuation of British Somaliland, Regia Aeronautica is starting to make some transfers. Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 of 4bis Gruppo BT leaves Dire Dawa for Shashamane in southern Ethiopia, while Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 of 44bis Gruppo BT are sent to Addis Ababa. No.11 and No.39 (RAF) Squadron can only line up a maximum of five aircrafts. Nevertheless in a final effort, five Bristol Blenheims are sent to Hargeisa, while seven others attack various vehicles and troops on the south and west roads leading to Berbera.
  13. Hello, I discovered his books with the one about Stalingrad. I bought the other volumes published by the British publisher Ian Allan (Barbarossa, Kursk, Bagration). Very good readings. I also bought his book about the Battle of Britain (one of the written sources I use for my research). I am currently finishing reading volume 4 of Black Cross / Red Star (Unfortunately, I was too young when the previous volumes were published). I look forward to reading volume five when it becomes available. I would love to win it (thanks for your generous giveaway).
  14. 17 May 1940 In the morning, several sections of No.615 Squadron take off from Moorsele for various patrols, details of which are known for at least two of them. The three pilots of No.229 (RAF) Squadron (Pilot Officer John E.M. Collins, Malcolm Ravenhill and Victor B.S. Verity) take off at 05h30. According to the combat report of Pilot Officer Malcolm Ravenhill (P2907): « At 0530 hrs 3 sections of 3 aircraft (Hurricanes) of 615 Squadron left Moorsele aerodrome (Nr Courtrai) on a patrol. Three miles (approx) West of Brussels my section leader attacked a Henschel Nos 2 (myself) and 3 in line astern position on him. Heavy anti-aircraft fire forced me to break to the right, no 3 following me, and we lost contact with the leader as we all had a different R/T frequency. A few minutes after I sighted an aircraft below me to the right and proceeded to go down to investigate. I lost sight of this aircraft and, on regaining original ht (4000 ft), I discovered I was alone. I proceeded to patrol the West of Brussels in long zig zag North and South course gradually creeping West. I was flying a zig-zag Westerley course from Brussels when I sighted at 0625 hrs a single enemy aircraft which was at about 150 m.p.h patrolling a line North and South from Mons. The aircraft was camouflaged brown and green above and pale green underneath. I attacked from astern and took the enemy by surprise. The enemy aircraft dived to the ground with black smoke pouring from the engine. Near the ground he flattened his dive and his shadow on the ground merged with aircraft. Whilst investigating I sighted another similar aircraft and proceeded to take up attacking position. No fire was observed from the rear cockpit of the Henschel. On sighting this second aircraft I took a position to attack from astern, at 200 yds the rear gunner opened fire and I watched his tracer bullets going above me about two or three yds. I closed to a hundred yds and having got him in my sights gave a long burst breaking away about 10 yds astern of the enemy. The Henschel immediately spun down and crashed into the ground. After my combat with the two Henschels I steered a course due West. I eventually landed at Compiegne where I was informed by French personnel on the landing ground that I was approximately 30 miles South of Lille. I therefore took off with a view to landing on Vitry aerodrome. I found myself later over very wooded and hilly country and decided to forced land in a ploughed field approx. 600 yds long and into wind. One side of the field is the main Paris-Dieppe road and on the other the Foiet de Bray. I circled the field once, lowered my undercarriage etc. and as I was on the cross wind leg of the approach into the field my petrol supply ran out and I could not restart the engine with the emergency starter on the gravity tank should it have contained any petrol. I therefore only had just enough time to pancake the aircraft on top of the trees and crash through. I left the aircraft in the care of the local Police at Forges Les Eaux, and proceeded to Poix by road and thence to Abbeville by air».[1] The identification of aircrafts concerned is delicate. If Brian Cull [2] refers to an aircraft of 1. (H) / 14 and 1. (H) / 23, Peter D. Cornwell [3] hypothesizes a Henschel Hs 123 of the 3. (H) / 41 who crashed near Mons killing one of the crew members, while the second was injured (Oberstleutnant Graf von der Schulenburg). Shortly after, another section takes off around 09:30. A Junkers Ju.88 is claimed by the Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders between Charleroi and Wavre. Indeed, a Junkers Ju.88 A-1 (L1 + AR) crashes near Flines-lez-Raches, around 10h15, killing all the crew (Oberleutnant Ernst Schwartz, Alfred Dudeck Gefreiter, Oberfeldwebel Bernard Rinke and Gefreiter Georg Fuhrmann) [4]. The Hawker Hurricane Mk I seems, however, hit by defensive fire as the pilot is forced into a forced landing, although his aircraft is repairable. If a few other patrols take place in the afternoon, no special events is noted. Flying Officer Anthony Eyre and Richard D. Pexton joining the Glisy airfield field aboard the Miles Master N7577, to receive two new Hawker Hurricane Mk I. [5] --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] Pilot Officer Malcolm Ravenhill, Combat Report, The National Archives, Kew. AIR 50/86/32. [2] CULL, Brian ; LANDER, Bruce ; WEISS, Heinrich. Twelve Days in May. The Air Battle for Northern France and the Low Countires, 10 – 21 May 1940, as seen through the eyes of the fighter pilots involved. London : Grub Street, 1999. p.186. [3] CORNWELL, Peter D. The Battle of France, Then and Now : Six Nations Locked in Aerial Combat, September 1939 to June 1940. Old Harlow : After the Battle, 2007. p.307. [4] Once again, this claim is controversial since Arnaud Gillet (GILLET, Arnaud. La Luftwaffe à l’ouest – Les victoires de l’aviation de chasse britannique (10 mai 1940 – 23 mai 1940). Béthenville : Arnaud Gillet, 2008. p.243) et Peter Taghon (TAGHON, Peter. La Lehrgeschwader 1 : L’Escadre au Gruffon. Tome 1. Lela Press, 2017, p.56) awarded victory to Flight Lieutenant Ian Soden of No.56 (RAF) Squadron who also claims a Ju.88 at the same time in concordant conditions. In addition, the absence of a combat report signed by Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders prevents more details about this event. [5] CULL, Brian ; LANDER, Bruce ; WEISS, Heinrich. Twelve Days in May. The Air Battle for Northern France and the Low Countires, 10 – 21 May 1940, as seen through the eyes of the fighter pilots involved. London : Grub Street, 1999. p.187.
  15. 16 August 1940 Northern Front If the situation seemed close to disaster, the evening before, Generale Carlo De Simone's decision to suspend the pursuit temporarily allowed the British to organise the evacuation. It is true that the confirmation of this fact by the Regia Aeronautica may have prompted the Italians to limit unnecessary losses and confrontations for a territory whose conquest was only a matter of days. Italian aircraft are mainly employed over Berbera to disrupt maritime evacuation. It is, therefore, no coincidence that the main events of the day take place in this sector. Thus, two Savoia-Marchetti SM.81 and one Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 are damaged by the anti-aircraft defence over the port. The British decided to bomb the advanced airfield of Hargeisa with five Vickers Wellesley of No.223 (RAF) Squadron and three Bristol Blenheims of No.8 (RAF) Squadron. However, the weather deteriorated rapidly preventing the attack. The crews diverted to the secondary objective: Jijiga, but there again the weather conditions interfered, finally forcing the bombers to drop their bombs on the surroundings of Zeila. The French of the Escadrille d'Aden claims a victory. Due to lack of available aircraft, the RAF decided to detach the two Glenn-Martin 167Fs to No.203 (RAF) Squadron to ensure the protection of the ships. During one of the flights, around 13:30, the crew of Flight Lieutenant Roger Ritoux-Lachaud saw three Savoia-Marchetti SM.79s of 44bis Gruppo BT that are immediately engaged. One of them is claimed destroyed, but victory will not be confirmed. According to Flight Sergeant Robert Cunibil : « [Trécan] attacked him and shot him with 240 rounds of ammunition. As he had fired from very close range, he dived to avoid the Caproni, almost vertical, and Portalis, believing that the Glenn had been hit - he had only taken a few bullets which did not cause any damage - jumped out by parachute. He fell near an English unit that was retreating to Aden and was back a few days later. » The 44bis Gruppo BT lost one aircraft: that of the Sottotenente Luigi Conti exploded shortly after the fight according.
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