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JG300_Manfred

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  1. 8 September 1940 Northern Front On this day, the Escadrille d’Aden suffered a tragedy when the Glenn Marin 167-F n° 82 (Flight Lieutenant Roger Ritoux-Lachaud [1]; Flying Officer Pierre Fenaux de Maismont ; Flight Sergeant Raymond Rolland [2] and Emile Lobato de Faria [3]) is sent on a reconnaissance over the Djibouti – Addis Ababa railway. While the aircraft makes several passes on the airfield of Moggio, it is intercepted and shot down by a Fiat CR.42 of 413a Squadriglia CT (based in Addis Ababa). The Flying Officer Pierre Fenaux de Maismont is the only survivor among the crew [4] (captured, he is initially sentenced to death, as a Partisans, then pardoned by the Duca Amedeo di Savoia-Aosta [5]) [6]. Roger Ritoux-Lachaud. Source : Ordre de la Libération Pierre Fenaux de Maismont. Source : Ordre de la Libération The Italians ended the day with an attack on Port Sudan with four bombers around 23h50. One of the jetties of the port is reported slightly damaged [7]. Southern Front The Italians are also active on the southern front as three Caproni Ca.133 attack the airfield of Garissa around 15h35, however without significant damage. ------------------------------------------------------ [1] « Roger Ritoux-Lachaud », Ordre de la Libération : https://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr/compagnons/roger-ritoux-lachaud [2] http://www.francaislibres.net/liste/fiche.php?index=93904 [3] http://www.francaislibres.net/liste/fiche.php?index=81784 [4] Note that Shores and Ricci indicates, strangely, that only the Flying Officer P.C. Rupert would have managed to jump. However, the name of the latter does not appear anywhere on the equipment of the aircraft on this day, or more generally in the ORB of 8 (RAF)Squadron. C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 59. [5] « Pierre de Maismont », Ordre de la Libération : https://www.ordredelaliberation.fr/fr/compagnons/pierre-maismont-de [6] « 8 september 1940 » 8 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; Christian-Jacques Ehrengardt, « Le Glenn Martin 167-F, de la Corne d’Afrique à la pointe de Grave. », Aéro Journal, no 39, 2014, p. 6; Y. Morieult, « Les French Flights : des escadrilles françaises au sein de la RAF », op. cit., p. 14. [7] « 8 september 1940 » 14 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.
  2. 7 September 1940 Northern Front The No.430 (RAF) Flight is active during this day as a Vickers Vincent (a second is damaged on takeoff) and two Gloster Gauntlet take off from Azzoza, at 11h20, to attack the airfield of Metemma. After the bombardment at 13h05, a Caproni Ca.133 is sighted by Flight Lieutenant A.B. Mitchell (Gloster Gauntlet K5355). The latter immediately attacks the Italian aircraft and damages it seriously, forcing it to a forced landing. In order to destroy it permanently, Flight Lieutenant Mitchell dropp his bombs (two 11 kg incendiary bombs). However, the few Italian documents do not mention any loss of Caproni Ca.133 for this day [1]. Now the issue of Vickers Wellesley becomes a real problem for the No.254 (RAF) Wing. Indeed, losses and maintenance problems become difficult to support for an aircraft that is no longer in production. Two decisions are then made. First, as far as possible, attacks will be made at high altitude and at night. This is the case on 7 September, as three Vickers Wellesley are sent to Massawa between 16h50 and 22h00. Note that the crews report malfunction for the use of the bombsight under these conditions. Then, No.14 (RAF) Squadron will be transformed on Bristol Blenheim (on 14 September), while the Vickers Wellesley still available will be grouped in a common stock for No.47 and No.223 (RAF) Squadron [2]. Southern Front No.11 (SAAF) Squadron returns to Mogadishu, with four aircraft, to bomb the old vehicles already reported as well as several Caproni Ca.133 of which one is claimed destroyed. Once again at least three IMAM Ro.37bis of 110 Squadriglia RT take off. Lieutenant Corrie van Vliet succeeds in placing himself within six hours of an Italian but his machine gun jams, while Air Sergeant Van Heerden (machine gunner of Captain Johan L.V. de Wet on No. 905) claims one. In any case, the higher speed of Fairey Battle greatly limits the danger of IMAM Ro.37bis [3]. -------------------------------------------------------------- [1] C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58 à 59; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 66 ; Håkan Gustavsson, « Gloster Gauntlet », op. cit. ; Håkan Gustavsson, « Flight Lieutenant A. B. Mitchell », Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War , http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/commonwealth_mitchell.htm [2] « 7 september 1940 » 14 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; « 7 september 1940 » 47 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; « 7 september 1940 » 223 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; M. Napier, Winged Crusaders: The Exploits of 14 Squadron RFC & RAF 1915-45, op. cit. [3] « 7 september 1940 Operation Instruction 52 + Operation Order No 20 » 11 Bomber Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, op. cit.; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 59; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 66; P.D. Tidy, « Major Cornelius Arthur van Vliet, DFC », op. cit.
  3. 6 September 1940 Northern Front Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 of 44bis Gruppo BT are back to attack Aden and convoy BS 31/2. The No.94 (RAF) Squadron’s Gloster Gladiators responded and the N5757 (Sergeant F.E. Hendy) and N5787 (Pilot Officer A. Darling) were able to intercept Italian bombers over Khor Umera around 08h30. Several attacks are made, but the British pilots are not able to appreciate the result. However two Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 are damaged, the first land in emergency in Adigala following a leak of fuel, while the second is reported victim of a tree during landing on the ground of Dire Dawa.[1] A victory will be validated soon after by the RAF, after an Italian aircraft is spotted damaged on the ground in Zeilah. This may be the bomber mentioned above, although the two zones do not match [2]. In any case, this attacks authorizes two observations. It illustrates the reduced results of the RAF air campaign against Eritrea aerodromes. Because of the vastness of the territory, the Italians simply needed to return their aircraft inland to avoid bombing and then redeploy them to the aerodromes in question, when necessary. In addition, the limited resources available do not allow to prohibit their use. It can be noted, thus, that Dire Dawa will not be worried during these days. Conversely, the mediocre results of the Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 and SM.81 prove the extremely reduced danger of a closure of the Red Sea by Italians. More during these few days, Regia Marine will be totally absent. Here again, the issue of available material resources also arises for Regia Aeronautica to prolong nuisances. ----------------------------------------------- [1] « 6 september 1940 » 94 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 65. [2] « 6 september 1940 : Information was recieved that an S 79 was damaged by our fighters during the raid on Aden, and had forced landed between Assab et Zeilah. (…) This S.79 was later found to have landed at Zeilah. » 203 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.
  4. 5 September 1940 Northern Front Following the events of the day before, No.203 (RAF) Squadron is responsible for providing air cover for a maritime convoy accompanied by H.M.A.S. Hobart. HMAS Hobart – Source : Wikipedia Around noon, the Blenheim Mk IVF L9042 (Pilot Officer Heslop M.F. Barnitt, Sergeant Albin J. Finch, Leading Aircraftman Blackburn) attack five Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 from the 44bis Gruppo BT. He is, however, quickly hit by the defensive fire of the bombers and forced to break the fight to return after a pursuit of thirty minutes. British ships are attacked three times in the morning, but seem to be unscathed [1]. In the evening, Kamaran’s field is visited by two Italian aircraft [2]. The day before, six Bristol Blenheim Mk I of No.11 and 39 (RAF) Squadron were sent to Perim Island to conduct a raid on Dessie airfield. However, at dawn, the mission is canceled due to a lack of available fuel and the aircraft are diverted to a secondary target: the port of Assab where a 120-mm coastal artillery is destroyed, as well as a stock ammunition [3]. Southern Front Around 07h00, a IMAM Ro.37bis of 110a Squadriglia RA is reported over the various advanced airfields along the Kenyan border [4]. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « 5 september 1940 » 203 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 65. [2] « 5 september 1940 » 203 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [3] « 5 september 1940 » 11 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; « 5 september 1940 » 39 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58. [4] « 5 september 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, September 1940, op. cit.
  5. 4 September 1940 Northern Front After several false alarms the day before, several Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 of 44bis Gruppo BT, based in Dire Dawa, attack Aden with some efficiency and the ship SS Velko is damaged, the advanced terrain of Kamaran strafed by eight aircraft, as well as various damage in the harbor. Two Gladiator Glosters: N5757 (Pilot Officer Bartlett) and N5787 (Sergeant Buchanan) of No.94 (RAF) Squadron take off to intercept at least three bombers around noon. If the first can not intervene, Sergeant Buchanan manages to catch an Italian aircraft over Khor Umera. He makes two passes without being able to appreciate the result before being outdistanced. A victory is claimed by the Italian crews, but the two fighters land at their bases. On the other hand, a Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 is slightly damaged [1]. No.8 (RAF) Squadron sends three Bristol Blenheim Mk I to bomb the Aiscia station (near the border with Djibouti) [2]. However, contrary to what is asserted by Shores and Ricci [3], the attack of Kassala envisaged by No.14 (RAF) Squadron is canceled [4]. Southern Front No.11 (SAAF) Squadron decides to vary its objectives after a long series on Mogadishu and four Fairey Battle Mk I take off from Archer’s Post to bomb the airfield of Baidoa (southern Somalia) around 13h30. Four Caproni Ca.133 are claimed on the ground by the crews (two destroyed and two heavily damaged). Then crews continue on Bardera where the radio station is attacked [5]. At the same time, four other aircraft carry out an armed reconnaissance of the Afmadu – Jelib – Gobwen sector, but without result [6]. -------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « 4 september 1940 » 94 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 755; « 4 september 1940 » 203 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 65. [2] « 4 september 1940 » 8 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [3] C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58. [4] « 4 september 1940 : Three aircraft stood by to bomb Kassala, but the operation was not carried out. » 14 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [5] « 4 september 1940 +Operation Instruction No 51 + Operation Order No 18 » 11 Bomber Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, op. cit.; « 4 september 1940 + Operation Order » Narrative northern operations SAAF, September 1940, op. cit.; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58. [6] « 4 september 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, September 1940, op. cit.
  6. 3 September 1940 Northern Front The RAF has more and more difficulty organizing “massive” attacks, except by regrouping all its Squadrons. For example, No.47 (RAF) Squadron aligns only two Vickers Wellesley during a bombing raid on Kassala, where bombs are reported falling on several buildings. However, an additional aircraft (K7729) is flown from Egypt by Flight Lieutenant J. Stewart [1]. Finally, No.8 (RAF) Squadron loses Pilot Officer Derek N. Janes [2], transferred to India [3]. The latter was injured when the Bristol Blenheim Mk I L8506 was severely damaged ,and forced to a forced landing in Djibouti on 11 July 1940, by two Fiat CR.32 of the 410 Squadriglia CT. It is interesting to note that the the crew had, therefore, been authorized by the local French authorities to return to Aden. Southern Front After a long break, No.12 (SAAF) Squadron sends three Junkers Ju.86 to bomb Yabelo airfield in southern Ethiopia. The anti-aircraft defense is, however, intense as No. 654 is hit and crashes, killing all of its crew (Lieutenant Robert G. Donaldson[4] ; Warrant Officer Patrick W. Byrnes[5] ; Air Sergeant Cornelius F. Maritz[6] et James V. Penberthy[7] ; Air Gunner Alexander A. Cusens[8], Francois P. du Toit[9] and Air Mechanic I.D. du Plessis[10]). This is the first losses of the Squadron since its deployment in Kenya [11]. A Fairey Battle of No.11 (SAAF) Squadron is sent shortly thereafter for photographic reconnaissance, confirming the destruction of three Caproni Ca.133 on the airfield [12]. ------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « 3 septembre 1940 » 47 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [2] « Casualty details : Janes, Derek Norman », Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2259494/JANES,%20DEREK%20NORMAN [3] « 3 septembre 1940 » 8 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [4] « Casualty details : Donaldson, Robert Graham », Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2160138/DONALDSON,%20ROBERT%20GRAHAM [5] « Casualty details : Brynes, Patrick William Westley », Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2160042/BYRNES,%20PATRICK%20WILLIAM%20WESTLEY [6] « Casualty details : Maritz, Cornelius », Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2160824/MARITZ,%20CORNELIUS [7] « Casualty details : Penberthy, James Victor », Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2157459/PENBERTHY,%20JAMES%20VICTOR [8] « Casualty details : Cusens, Alexander Adolphus », Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2160095/CUSENS,%20ALEXANDER%20ADOLPHUS [9] « Casualty details : Du Toit, Francois Petrius », Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2160151/DU%20TOIT,%20FRANCOIS%20PETRIUS [10] « Casualty details : Du Plessis, I D », Commonwealth War Graves Commission http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2160150/DU%20PLESSIS,%20I%20D [11] « 3 septembre 1940 et Operation Order No 30 » 12 Bomber Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, op. cit.; W. Brent, 85 tears of South African Air Force (1920 – 2005), op. cit., p. 62; J.-A. Brown, A gathering of eagles, the campaigns of the South African Air Force in Italian East Afica (1940 – 1941), op. cit., p. 64; S. McLean, Squadron of the South African Air Force and their aircraft (1920 – 2005), op. cit., p. 130 à 131; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 65. [12] « 3 septembre 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, September 1940, Kew – TNA, AIR 54 / 8. The Junkers Ju 86 No. 641, former ZS-ANI. This aircraft is the only copy of the K-1 version purchased by SAAF. The belly gunner position specific to this version will be quickly adapted to the other Z-5 models. This aircraft, having served with No. 13 (SAAF) Squadron for maritime patrols and join No.12, then to No. 16. He will be lost following an accident to Debra Tabor on 23 September 1941, with No. 5 (SAAF) Coastal Flight. Source : SAAF WW2 Heritage Site – Lawrie Shuttleworth, via Tinus Le Roux.
  7. 2 Septembre 1940 Northern Front Following the loss of the previous day, No.14 (RAF) Squadron performs six sorties to search for the missing aircraft. The latter is finally spotted around 18h00 on the island of Harmil, while listening Radio Roma confirms the fate of the captured crew and death of rear gunner Aircraftman Charles D. Lampard. On the Italian side, several Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 of 44bis Gruppo BT decide to return the favor to the British by targeting the port of Aden [1] where two torpedo boats are very badly damaged [2]. Finally, the No.430 (RAF) Flight joins the advanced ground of Azzoza on the Sudanese border, where is already based a detachment of No.1 (SAAF) Squadron, with three Vickers Vincent and four Gloster Gauntlet [3]. Southern Front No.11 (SAAF) Squadron has a slight change when Captain Hans H. Borckenhagen is recalled to South Africa, the command of A Flight is temporarily taken by Lieutenant Piet J. Robbertse, while Captain Johan L.V. de Wet occupies that of C Flight. Captain Johan Louis Venter de Wet, No.11 (SAAF) Squadron. Source : SAAF Museum ------------------------------------------------------------------------ [1] Curiously, the 203 (RAF) Squadron does not mention any attack  : “A.H.Q. received more information an attack by 7 S79’s, scheduled for today. (…) The information must have been wrong, as no attack materialized during the day. 203 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [2] C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 65. [3] C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 58; Håkan Gustavsson, « Gloster Gauntlet », op. cit
  8. 1st Septembre 1940 Northern Front The day is mainly marked by a massive raid against the naval base of Assab. The RAF engages all its Bristol Blenheim Squadrons based in Aden. Thus, no less than ten, five and six sorties are performed, respectively by No.8, No.11 and No.39 (RAF) Squadron. The attack is a success as the Italians report the loss of twelve men (and three hundred wounded), as well as significant damage against several naval installations. A bomber is claimed by the DCA, however, no significant loss or damage is mentioned in the British documents [1]. The Vickers Wellesley L2689 (Sergeant Harold N. Norris, Sergeant Bernard M. D’Arcy, Aircraftman Charles D. Lampard) of No.14 (RAF) Squadron disappears early in the morning on a reconnaissance mission over the Island of Harmil, victim of Tenente Luigi Baron, Raimondo Di Pauli and Mario Visintini (412 Squadriglia CT) [2]. According to Sergeant Norris: « Halfway down the third leg,” reported Norris, “we were attacked by three CR42s. The first burst of 20mm cannon fire hit Lampard in the leg and damaged the engine controls and hydraulics… I had no engine and nowhere to go except down. Ahead was a quite small island, rocky and uneven. I set up a classic forced landing approach, but there was a danger of overshooting into the oggin. With no flaps, we almost stalled over the shoreline and I shoved the port wing and bomb carrier into the rocky ground a quickly came to a rest. Before I could undo my straps and chute, the aircraft was surrounded by an unruly mob of Italians … I left the aircraft and tried to reach the rear gunner’s position but was prevented from doing so. D’Arcy was unable to escape until Lampard had been lifted out and carried away. His leg was almost severed and he was bleeding profusely. »[3] The latter dies the next day[4]. Aerial photograph of an Italian aerodrome on the island of Harmil. There is a silhouette of a Vickers Wellesley on the first picture. These were taken on September 2nd, 1940 during the searches made by No.14 (RAF) Squadron to find the L2689 shot the day before. Source : Imperial War Museum Southern Front No.40 (SAAF) Squadron has a busy day when three Hartbees are sent to patrol the border (Buna – Korindil – Ajao sector) under the command of Captain C.M.S. Gardner. Several concentrations of men and camels are bombed, however two gunners are injured (Air Sergeant Crowther and Petzer), while the three aircraft are slightly damaged.
  9. 9 June 1940 As the day before, nine pilots left Kenley at 10h15 to join Tangmere for an offensive patrol, with No.111 and 601 (RAF) Squadron, over the Le Tréport - Aumale - Poix sector (12h00 - 13h30). Again, one Hawker Hurricane (Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders) had to abandon the mission due to technical problems. This time, however, the stopover was not in France, but at Hawkinge airfield, from where a second patrol was carried out over the same sector in the afternoon (15h35). The eight remaining aircraft returned to Kenley at 19h15. The pilots flew 04h40, once again without encountering the Luftwaffe. Visibility was reported to be very poor, while the pilots noted large columns of smoke rising from the cities of Rouen and Beauvais. Pilots and Aircrafts : Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2966) ; Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768) ; Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963) ; Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P2871) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young (N2337) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery (L1584) ; Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders (P3487) ; Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts (P2793) ; Pilot Officer John R. Lloyd (2801). Losses : Hawker Hurricane Mk I P3487 (Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders) : returns to Kenley due to a technical problem.
  10. 31 August 1940 Northern Front If the last day of the month is relatively calm, the No.14 (RAF) Squadron ORB provides a very interesting document summarizing the action since June 1940. It can be noted that : « After nearly 3 months operations against Italian East Africa a brief summary of the work carried out will be of interest. During this period a total of 24 bombing raids have been carried out involving a total flying time of 627 hours. One of these raids was with 9 aircrafts, 12 with 5 and the remainder with 4, 3 and single aircraft. These figures do not include the Convoy and General reconnaissance flyinf carried out by C Flight which specially detailed for this work. This flight escorted three North and South bound convoys most successfully and carried out 257 hours flying during the quarters. During the passage of each convoy most pilots did over 12 hours flying per day. The average duration of each raid was 06h10 and the average load was the maximum permissible all up weight (11 100 lbs) plus an overload of approximetely 1 500 lbs. The total weight of bombs dropped was 43 tons of all types of bombs, the most usual being the 250 lbs bomb. During these operations a total of two raids failed to reach their objectives owing to weather conditions and one failed owing to enemy actions. One airmen was killed, two officers and two airmen were posted as missing and two airmen were wounded. One aircraft forced landed in the sea whilst on convoy duties and its crew were rescued by a destroyer. Two aircraft only were lost over enemy territory. Apart from damaged known to have been done to targets by bombs, one S.81 bomber was shot down, five enemy aircraft are known to have been destroyed on the ground and one fighter has been shot down (confirmed) whilst two further fighters are belived to have been shot or driven down. Damaged done to our own aircraft by A/A and Fighter action amounted to three aircraft damaged beyond repair, nine damaged necessiting major repairs and five damaged necessiting ninor repairs. In spite of the vintage of the aircraft and these losses, the average percentage of serviceavility for the poast quarter has been 76 %. The climate at Port Sudan deserved mention owing to its trying nature. It is hot, humid but healthy (from the point of view of malaria). The average daily temperature at mid-day during July and August has been between 43°C and 48°C in the shade.”[1] ---------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « Summary» 14 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. Interior views of a Vickers Wellesley. Source: Imperial War Museum.
  11. 30 August 1940 Northern Front An Italian bombing on Hayya station is reported at dawn. Again, as on the southern front, these attacks by two or three aircraft are more like nuisance raids [1]. At 05h05, three Vickers Wellesley of No.223 (RAF) Squadron take off from Summit to bomb Agordat airfield, where a Caproni Ca.133 is claimed damaged, then make a reconnaissance around Kassala. Aircrafts return at 09h50 [2]. Finally, in the afternoon, the French make a new reconnaissance, this time over Eritrea (Assab – Dessie) with the Glenn Marin 167-F No. 82 (Flight Lieutenant Roger Ritoux-Lachaud, Flying Officer Pierre Fénot de Maismont; Flight Sergeant Raymond Rolland, Sergeant Portalis) between 13h38 and 17h42. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 1] « 30 august 1940 » 47 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [2] There is a slight date problem with this mission. While Form 540 and Shores - Ricci indicates 29 August, Form 541 mentions the next day, a hypothesis supported by the reports of the crews involved, all dated 30 August. C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 57; 223 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.
  12. 29 August 1940 Northern Front Six Bristol Blenheim Mk I of No.8 (RAF) Squadron take off, between 06h05 and 09h30, to attack Tandaho (Ethiopia). The first three attack the target at low altitude, while the other three are performing a dive bombing. Several bombs are reported on the buildings housing Italian troops without it being possible to evaluate the results [1]. No.203 (RAF) Squadron receives the reinforcement of three Bristol Blenheim MkIV (T2072 ; T2075 ; T2112) [2] with crews. However, it is surprising to note that while the Squadron is specialized on the MkIVF version, they are configured as bomber [3]. ------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « 29 august 1940 » 8 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [2] « 6 september 1940 » 203 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [3] « 29 august 1940 » Ibid.
  13. 28 August 1940 Northern Front Three Vickers Wellesley of No.223 (RAF) Squadron are sent bombing the airfield of Barentu between 05h00 and 09h00. The attack seems a success with several direct hits on hangars. However, Italian air defense is relatively effective as two aircraft (K8526 and K8528) return damaged to Summit (Soudan) and are returned to the rear for repair, reducing the Squadron to only five aircraft [1]. Between 05h30 and 10h30, the French take off for a reconnaissance over Somaliland with the Glenn Marin 167-F No. 102 (Flight Lieutenant Jacques Dodelier, Warrant Officer Yves Trecan, Flying Officer Pierre Fenot de Maismont, Flight Sergeant Emile Lobato de Faria ). During the flight, a Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 was sighted on the Berbera airfield [2]. Southern Front The day is marked by the great success of No.11 (SAAF) Squadron. Ten Fairey Battle, divided into three formations, are sent to Mogadishu. Once again, the IMAM Ro37bis of the 110 Squadriglia RT try to intervene, but the speed of the Fairey Battle allows them to escape without major damage. A large concentration of vehicles is attacked. If the crews report several shots, the reconnaissance photograph confirms the success of the bombing and at least 800 vehicles appear destroyed. Congratulatory telegrams from London and Pretoria are raining down immediately, and crews are getting a weekend of permission in Nairobi. The truth will, however, be discovered when capturing the city. According to Major Robert H. Preller : « The big joke was the collection of vehicules which we had once bombed so splendidly in Squadron formation (…) we had been told to bomb it [in die lug te laat spring !]. Now we saw that it was a collection of ancient derelict vehicles abandoned since the Abyssinian war »[3]. After a long series of monotonous missions, the No.237 (Rhodesia) Squadron knows some excitement when the Hardy K4319 (Flying Officer Stan E. Flett Corporal John Gray) see three Caproni Ca.133 during a reconnaissance above the Tana River. The crew decides to attack bombers, but Italians are lost sight, when approaching Garissa. They attack, shortly after, Buna airfield, with no results around 18:00 [4]. Finally, four Junkers Ju.86 of No.12 (SAAF) Squadron bomb the airfield at Jimma, but poor weather conditions, as well as inaccurate maps, prevent crews from finding the target [5]. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « 28 august 1940 » 223 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [2] « 28 august 1940 » 8 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [3] « 28 august 1940 » 11 Bomber Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, op. cit.; « 28 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.; Ibid., p. 60 à 61; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 57; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 65. [4] « 28 august 1940 » 237 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [5] « 28 august 1940 » 12 Bomber Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, Kew – TNA, AIR 54 / 4.
  14. 8 June 1940 After a short period of reorganization, No. 615 Squadron is quickly returned to operation over France. Nine Hawker Hurricane Mk I take off from Kenley toward Hawkinge at 09h45. After the necessary preparations, the formation take off, at 12h50, with No.111 (RAF) Squadron for an offensive patrol over the sector Le Tréport – Aumale. At the end of the mission (14h15), order was to land on the French airfield of Dreux in order to refuel and rearm planes. Unfortunately, Pilot Officer David Evans damaged the P3380 propeller on landing. [1] He will have to wait until 14 June to return to Kenley via the island of Jersey. The eight remaining Hawker Hurricanes left in the evening (19h30) for a second sector patrol before returning to Kenley, where they landed at 21h00 [2]. Pilots and Aircrafts : Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963) ; Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768) ; Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (P2966) ; Flight Lieutnant James G. Sanders (L1992) ; Pilot Officer John R. Lloyd (P2003) ; Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts (P2578) ; Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P2793) ; Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P2801) ; Pilot Officer David Evans (P3380). Losses : Hawker Hurricane Mk I P3380 (Pilot Officer David Evans) : propeller damaged on landing at Dreux aerodrome. ------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] 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.446. [2] No.11 (Fighter) Group ORB. Kew : The National Archives, AIR 25/193.
  15. 27 August 1940 Northern Front This day sees part of No.14 (RAF) Squadron engaged in a special mission. Indeed, in mid-August 1940, the local command of the RAF is contacted by the intelligence services. According to them, the Regia Aeronautica has planned to try, around 20 August, a shipment of aircraft toward East Africa. To this end, several Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 have to leave Benghazi to land in the evening on an airfield in the middle of the desert, from where they have to leave at dawn towards Eritrea. After a long search, one of these airfield is identified near the border between Libya and Sudan : Jebel Uweinat. However, the neutralization of these aircrafts appears very difficult : Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 flying night, an interception by fighters is impossible and a prior destruction of the airfield is useless. The only solution is to surprise the Italians during the refueling by bombing. Again, the difficulties are many as to identify, at night, an aifield in the middle of the desert and attack for a short time of about an hour. No.14 (RAF) Squadron is then consulted and a group of five crews is formed. The detachment leaves for the advanced airfield of Wadi Halfa on 24 August. On 27 August, the code “Gin and Tonic”, announcing the immediate order of attack, is received at 13h00. The five Vickers Wellesley take off immediately to take the direction of the target. Aircrafts are equipped with a mix of 40lb incendiary and fragmentation bombs. A problem arises, however, immediately. Indeed, the target is located about 650 km from Wadi Halfa is about eight hours of flight, which corresponds more or less to the autonomy of Vickers Wellesley. According to Flight Lieutenant Deryck C. Stapleton : « The weather was kind,” recalled Stapleton, “clear blue skies, visibility good, some ominous streams of sand scuffing the surface. In the last fifty miles the flight dropped down to low level to make an approach. At the going down of the sun, the silhouette of the conical mountain came up on cue – a jagged pile of an extinct volcano, sandblasted to a core of red and beige vertically cracked rocks. The aircraft slotted into line astern, all safety switches locked to ‘off’ and the airfield in the lee of the mountain appeared dead ahead in the centre of the windshield. The navigators had done their stuff. » It is, then, planned a first pass with machine gun to damage Italian aircrafts, a second to drop the bombs, and an immediate return to the base. Still according to Stapleton : « the windsock – a somewhat tattered edition… the refuelling pumps… the landing strips, but no aircraft. All this grinding flight and there was nothing, not even a building, a shed or any transport on the place to receive explosive frustration.” The Vickers Wellesley return at 21h30 at the limit of their autonomy, the engines of an aircraft stopping when landing. Finally, if five Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 seem to have left Benghazi, a violent sandstorm would have forced the formation to turn back, one of them crashing in the desert [1]. Southern Front Regia Aeronautica continues its raids of nuisance and at least two Savoia-Marchetti SM.79 attacked Garissa, as well as two unidentified aircrafts on El Katulo, without consequence [2]. If the SAAF activity is still limited to some reconnaissance flights of No.40 (SAAF) Squadron, some welcome reinforcements arrive in Kenya. If the first two Fairey Battle Mk I (No. 917 and 918) and a Hawker Hurricane (No. 272) are highly appreciated [3], the second are more criticized. Indeed, No.2 (SAAF) Squadron receives six additional Hawker Fury. According to the War Diary : “Six new ??? Fury are assembled and ready to fly. They must come out of Noah’s ark. The numbers: K5663 (207), K6669 (210), K3733 (208), K3735 (209), K5670 (212) and K5672 (211). They are so old that they still turn to 77 octanes. “[4] ------------------------------------------------------------- [1] « 27 august 1940 » 14 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; M. Napier, Winged Crusaders: The Exploits of 14 Squadron RFC & RAF 1915-45, op. cit. [2] « 27 august 1940 » 237 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; « 27 august 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, August 1940, op. cit. [3] Order No 23, 24 August 19401 Fighter Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, op. cit. [4] « 27 august 1940 » Ibid.; W. Brent, 85 tears of South African Air Force (1920 – 2005), op. cit., p. 45; A. Crawford et P. Listemann, Hawker Fury, Allied Wings, 2010, p. 43.
  16. 6 June 1940 Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P2801) and Pilot Officer John R. Lloyd (P3487) take off between 12h15 and 12h50 for a short patrol over Kenley (Raid X.38). The suspect contact turns out to be a civilian training aircraft.
  17. 26 August 1940 Northern Front Since his return to Sudan, No.223 (RAF) Squadron tqke off for its first mission when five Vickers Wellesley leave to attack the Asmara airfield between 06h00 and 10h00. The opposing reaction is intense with a strong anti-aircraft defense, as well as two Fiat CR.42 from the 412 Squadriglia CT. During the fight, a fighter is claimed damaged, while Tenente Mario Visintini claims a bomber [1]. Indeed, the Vickers Wellesley K7731 (Pilot Officer Joseph C. Smitheram [2], Sergeant Denis F. Shaller [3], Leading Aircraftman Meads [4]) crashed without the crew being able to jump. [5] Pilot Officer Joseph Colin Smitheram, No.223 (RAF) Squadron. Source : Ancien Combattants Canada – Mémorial Virtuel du Guerre du Canada. A little earlier in the morning, at 05h30, the Bristol Blenheim Mk IVF L9218 (Flying Officer Stanley C. Pendred [6], Flying Officer Frank M. Hunter [7], Leading Aircraftman Walter Love [8]) is sent for a reconnaissance of the Assab – Mille sector. However, the aircraft not returnn and the Glenn Marin 167-F No. 82 (Flight Lieutnant Jacques Dodelier, Warrant Officer Yves Trecan, Flying Officer Pierre Fenot de Maismont, Flight Sergeant Robert Cunibil) is sent on research, though without success. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] H. Gustavsson et L. Slongo, Gladiator vs CR.42 Falco (1940 – 1941), Oxford, Osprey Publishing, 2012, p. 42. [2] « Casualty details : Smitheram, Joseph Colin », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2272220/SMITHERAM,%20JOSEPH%20COLIN ; « In memory of Pilot Officer Joseph Colin Smitheram, who died on August 26, 1940 », Canadian Virtual War Memorial : http://www.veterans.gc.ca/eng/remembrance/memorials/canadian-virtual-war-memorial/detail/2272220 [3] « Casualty details : Shaller, Denis Frederick », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2272215/SHALLER,%20DENIS%20FREDERICK [4] The latter may have survived since his name does not appear on the website of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission. [5] « 26 august 1940 » 223 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 57; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 65. [6] « Casualty details : Pendred, Stanley Clifton », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2272185/PENDRED,%20STANLEY%20CLIFTON [7] « Casualty details : Hunter, Frank MacDonald », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2272103/HUNTER,%20FRANK%20MACDONALD [8] « Casualty details : Love, Walter », Commonwealth War Graves Commission : http://www.cwgc.org/find-war-dead/casualty/2272130/LOVE,%20WALTER
  18. 25 August 1940 Northern Front Six Bristol Blenheim Mk I of No.11 and No.39 (RAF) Squadron (three and three), having joined the advanced airfield on the island of Perim the day before, are sent to bomb concentrations of vehicles, near Dessie, between 06h00 and 09h30. It is, however, not possible to know the result. The adverse reaction is reduced and is limited to a few shots of the anti-aircraft defense [1]. Note that the Bristol Blenheim Mk IVF L9173 of No.203 (RAF) Squadron (Flight Officer Nelson and Holmes, Leading Aircraftman Ffoulkes) take off for a patrol over the airfield of Perim between 08h30 and 09h30 [2]. The French of the Escadrille d’Aden continue their reconnaissance flights. Glenn Marin 167-F No. 102 (Flight Lieutenant Jacques Dodelier, Warrant Officer Yves Trecan, Flight Officer Pierre Fenot de Maismont, Flight Sergeant Robert Cunibil) makes a reconnaissance, between 06h25 and 10h55, over the north of ‘Éthipoie. Among the observed elements, we can note three Caproni Ca.133 at Mieso [3]. Southern Front At 07h00, the Bristol Battle Mk I No. 909 (Lieutenant B.L. Hutchinson, Air Sergeant S.H. Hipkin, Air Corporal P.C. Sewell) took off from Archer’s Post for a photo reconnaissance of the El Wak airfield at an altitude of about 2 200 meters. Once the mission is completed, the aircraft lands at Nanyuki to send photos to No.40 (SAAF) Squadron [4]. No.237 (Rhodesia) Squadron receives some reinforcements with the arrival of six Hawker Hardy [5]. If the Squadron continues to have a relatively large activity (three to four sorties per day), these are still reconnaissance flights without significant events. ------------------------------------------------------------------- [1] Contrary to what is written, notably by C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 57, the bombing of Dessie did not take place on the 24th, but on the 25th. Although the formation had reached the forward field at Perim the day before, the documents relating to 11 and 39 (RAF) Squadron clearly confirm that the bombardment was not carried out until dawn the next morning. Moreover, it was not only 3 Blenheims from 11 (RAF) Squadron, but a joint operation with 39 (RAF) Squadron. “Three of our aircraft and 3 of No.11 Squadron took off and landed at Perim to refuel. At first light on 25 August, 1940, the formation took off to attack (…),« 25 august 1940 » 39 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 407 and “24 : Three aircraft and crews proceeded to Perim prior to raid on Dessie (…). 25 : The above aircraft bombed (…), three aircraft of No 39 Squadron (…),« 24 and 25 august 1940 » 11 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), Kew – TNA, AIR 27 / 162. . [2] « 25 august 1940 » 203 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [3] « 26 august 1940 » 8 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit. [4] « 26 august 1940 » et « Operation Order no.16 » 11 Bomber Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, op. cit.; « 25 august 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, August 1940, op. cit. [5] « 26 august 1940 » 237 Squadron RAF : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541), op. cit.
  19. 5 June 1940 Nine Hawker Hurricane Mk I took off from Kenley between 21h00 and 21h45 for a patrol over Mayfield (Raid X36). Once again, the unidentified aircraft turns out to be a British bomber. Pilots and Aircrafts Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders (P3487), Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P2793), Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts (P2578), Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll (P2871), Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P2801), Pilot Officer John R. Lloyd (L2003), Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2966), Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963) et Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (2768).
  20. 24 August 1940 Northern Front No.430 (RAF) Flight is sending two Gloster Gauntlets and two Vickers Vincents from Al-Qadarif Airfield to bomb Fort Galabat.[1] Southern Front Following the 21 August attack, No.11 (SAAF) Squadron returns to Mogadishu. The four Fairey Battle Mk I, under the command of Captain Johan L.V. de Wet[2] leave Archer’s Post at 08h00. After a refueling at Habaswein, they arrive above the target where the bombs are dropped on the fuel depot. However, photographs taken by Lieutenant Edward G. Armstrong (No. 906) confirm the failure of the bombing. Three IMAM Ro.37bis from 110 Squadriglia RT take off to intercept South Africans, but they can not catch up with them.[3] ------------------------------------------ [1] C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 57; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 65; Håkan Gustavsson, « Gloster Gauntlet », Biplane Fighter Aces from the Second World War : http://surfcity.kund.dalnet.se/gauntlet.htm [2] Again, the documents inside the War Diary differ. Thus, the entry of 24 August summarizes the attack by indicating that aircrafts were under the orders of Lieutenant Piet J. Robbertse. By contrast, Operation Order n°15 indicates that it is Captain Johan L.V. de Wet who is in charge, while Robbertse does not appear on the list of crews. Archival problems are not unique to this Squadron. In fact, No.1 (SAAF) Squadron has no War Diary for the period August – December 1940, while that of No.40 (SAAF) Squadron presents surprising omissions, fortunately partially offset by the reconnaissance reports. [3] « 23 august 1940 » 11 Bomber Squadron SAAF, War Dirary, op. cit.; « 23 august 1940 » Narrative northern operations SAAF, August 1940, op. cit.; C. Shores et C. Ricci, Dust Clouds in the Middle East, op. cit., p. 56 à 57; J. Sutherland et D. Canwell, Air War East Africa, the RAF versus the Italian Air Force, op. cit., p. 64.
  21. 3 June 1940 Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768) and Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (P2337) are ordered to take off from Kenley between 11h55 and 13h10 to intercept the X.43 raid. Once again, this one turns out to be a Bristol Blenheim.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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."
  25. 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).
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