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No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron


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6 July 1940

 

A new pilot joins No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron, Pilot Officer Douglas H. Hone. Douglas Harold Hone (80816) was born on 30 September 1917, at Purley. After studies at Jesmond College and the Wallington County Grammar School, he worked as a bank clerk when he joined the RAFVR in September 1938 where he trained at No.19 E&RFTS Gatwick. Mobilized, following the declaration of war, he joined No.1 ITW Cambridge (11 November 1939) then No.12 FTS Grantham (30 December 1939) before being transferred to No.6 OTU Sutton Bridge (3 June 1940) to begin his conversion on Hawker Hurricane. He joined No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron on 6 July 1940[1].

 

Hone-portrait2-opt.jpg?resize=193%2C300&ssl=1

Source : Battle of Britain London Monument

 

In the late afternoon (20:15 – 21:55), Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768?), Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963?) and Pilot Officer Sydney J. Madle patrol over a maritime convoy.

 

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[1] Battle of Britain London Monument, The Airmen’s Stories – P/O D H Hone : http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Hone.htm ; BREW Steve. Blood, Sweat and Valour : 41 Squadron RAF 1942 – 1945. Fonthill, 2012, p.800.

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8 July 1940

 

 

Following his injury in France (15 May 1940), Pilot Officer David J. Looker is discharged from Shenley Military Hospital and allowed to join the squadron. He is not, however, allowed to resume flying.

 

Once again, pilots are tasked to patrol over a shipping convoy (off Beachy Head) between 15:35 and 19:10.

 

 

Pilots and Aircrafts :

  • Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2966), Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery (N2328) et Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (P2768): 15:35 et 16:55 ;
  • Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts (P3111), Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P2801), Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders (P3487), Sergeant Derrick W. Halton (N2479), Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (L1983) et Pilot Officer David Evans (P2578) : 16:25 et 16:55 ;
  • Sergeant Derrick W. Halton (N2479), Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (L1983) et Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P2801) : 17:30 et 19:10 ;
  • Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P2966), Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (P2871) et Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery (P2768) : 18:25 et 20:00.
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9 July 1940

 

Contrary to the previous days, some pilots patrol Kenley at night and at dawn. This is the case of Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders, which takes off twice: first individually between 01:35 and 02:45, then with Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts and Pilot Officer David Evans (04:15 – 05:30). They are followed by Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings, Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts and Sergeant Derrick W. Halton (05:00 – 06:00). Weather conditions appear to be deteriorating as pilots have to divert to the Northolt and Croydon airfields in order to land.

 

In anticipation of future operations, No.615 Squadron is ordered to use Redhill as a forward airfield.

 

 

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JG300_Manfred

10 July 1940

 

 

After Pilot Officer David J. Looker, it is the turn of Flying Officer Richard D. Pexton to return to No.615 Squadron after his misadventures in France. However, unlike the former, he is allowed to resume flying.

 

As on previous days, the pilots are in charge of a long series of patrols with no particular events : nine aircraft providing air coverage of Kenley between 10:55 and 11:55, followed by six others between 15:00 and 17:00.

 

 

Pilots and Aircrafts :

  • Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2966) ; Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (P2871) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery (P2963) ; Pilot Officer Sydney J. Madle (L1584[1]) ; Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P3380) ; Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768) [10h55 – 11h55 : Patrol Kenley]
  • Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders (P3487) ; Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P3111) ; Pilot Officer David Evans (P2578) [11h00 – 11h45 : Patrol Kenley]
  • Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts (P2578) ; Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (P1983) ; Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P2801) [15h00 – 16h50 : Patrol Keleny]
  • Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll (P3109) ; Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young (P2963) [15h25 – 17h00 : Patrol Kenley].

It should be noted that the details provided by the ORB make it possible to reconstruct the probable organisation of No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron :

  • Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll
  • A Flight : Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce ; Flying Officer Peter Collard ; Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner ; Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Mongtommery ; Pilot Officer Sydney J. Madle ; Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo.
  • B Flight : Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders ; Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings ; Flying Officer Antony Eyre ; Flying Officer Richard D. Pexton ; Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts ; Pilot Officer David Evans ; Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts ; Sergeant Derrick W. Halton.
  • Pilot Officer David J. Looker (in convalescence – in charge of training new pilots at Kenley).

 

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[1] Form 541 of the ORB of No.615 Squadron refers to L1684. This is probably a typographical error as this serial no longer appears in the document, unlike L1584.

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JG300_Manfred

11 July 1940

 

Twelve Hawker Hurricanes take off from Kenley to reach Hawkinge in the afternoon for a series of patrols. All the pilots return at 21h50.

 

 

Pilots and Aircrafts :

  • Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2963) ; Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (P2871) [Interception : 15h20 – 15h40]
  • Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll (P3109) ; Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P2328) ; Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768) ; Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2963) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery (N2337) ; Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (L1854) [Patrouille Hawkinge : 18h20 – 19h50]
  • Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P2801) ; Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (N2479) [Patrol Deal – Hawkinge : 19h00 – 19h15]
  • Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders (P3478) ; Pilot Officer David Evans (P2578) ; Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts (P3111) [Patrol Deal – Hawkinge : 20h00 – 20h25]
  • Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P2801) ; Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (N2479) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young (L2003) [Patrol Lympne – Hawkinge : 20h45 – 21h00]
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JG300_Manfred

12 July 1940

 

Twelve aircraft take off between 15:45 and 16:20 for a new patrol, again without any particular event.

 

Pilots and Aircrafts : Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders (P2801) ; Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts (P3111) ; Pilot Officer David Evans (P2578[1]) ; Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (N2479[2]) ; Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (L1829) ; Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll (P3109) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young (N3337) ; Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2963) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery (N2328) ; Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (L1584) ; Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768) ; Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P3380) [15:35 – 16:20 : Patrol]

 

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[1] The form 541 seems to mention a serial P2567, which seems to be a Hawker Hurricane, of No.607 Squadron, lost in France. This is probably a typographical error with the regular P2578 used by Pilot Officer David Evans.

[2] Here again form 541 mentions a serial N2487, which corresponds to an aircraft used, among others, by No.245 Squadron. An error with the N2479 flown several times by Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts seems likely.

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JG300_Manfred

14 July 1940

No.615 Squadron joined Hawkinge airfield with 13 aircraft at 13h00 to provide protection for the CW.5 sea convoy off Dover. Unfortunately the ships are also the target of the Luftwaffe. Forty Junkers Ju.87B of IV/LG 1, escorted by Bf 109E of 8/JG 3, are in charge of the attack, while II/JG 51 had to provide coverage[1].

 

The Red Section (Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll, Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery and Michael R. Mudie) patrol when they see several Ju.87 Junkers diving on the ships from an altitude of about 3 600 metres. The first two pilots are able to fire a few shots on the German bombers, although without being able to observe the result, before having to withdraw under pressure from the Bf.109s.

 

Unfortunately the Hawker Hurricane Mk I L1584 of Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie is hit during the fight off Dover (St Margaret Bay) and caught fire. The pilot managed to jump on parachute and is picked up by a speedboat. Seriously injured and burned, he died the next day in hospital.[2]. He was 24 years old. Tragically his brother, Flight Lieutenant Arthur F. Mudie was also killed in action on 14 November 1940 with No.84 (RAF) Squadron over Albania. They both lie in Molesey Cemetery (Surrey, England).[3].

 

Mudie-grave2-opt.jpg?resize=600%2C498&ssl=1

 

It is difficult to determine the reasons for his loss: victim of the defensive fire of the Junkers Ju.87 or the Bf.109 in escort. Three victories (15.10 – 15.25) are claimed off Dover by II./JG 51 (Hauptman Horst Tietzen, Oberleutnant Josef Priller and Walter Krieger), while Oberleutnant Wilhelm Stange of 8./JG 3 claimed another one north-east of Folkestone (15.15). While some sources attribute the victory to Oberleutnant Josef Priller [4], others refer to a fratricidal blow from the anti-aircraft defence of the ships.

 

The events are followed live by one of the BBC journalists, Charles Gardner.

 

 

« Now the British fighters are coming up. Here they come. The Germans are coming in an absolute steep dive, and you can see their bombs actually leave the machines and come into the water. You can hear our guns going like anything now. I am looking round now. I can hear machine gunfire, but I can’t see our Spitfires. They must be somewhere there.”

Oh! Here’s one coming down. There’s one going down in flames. Somebody’s hit a German and he’s coming down with a long streak, coming down completely out of control… a long streak of smoke. And now a man’s baled out by parachute. The pilot’s baled out by parachute. He’s a Junkers 87, and he’s going slap into the sea… and there he goes. SMASH! A terrific column of water and there was a Junkers 87. Only one man got out by parachute, so presumably there was only a crew of one in it.

Now, then, oh, there’s a terrific mix-up over the Channel!! It’s impossible to tell which are our machines and which are Germans. There was one definitely down in this battle and there’s a fight going on. There’s a fight going on, and you can hear the little rattles of machine gun bullets.

Grump! That was a bomb, as you may imagine. Here comes one Spitfire. There’s a little burst. There’s another bomb dropping. Yes. It has dropped. It has missed the convoy. You know, they haven’t hit the convoy in all this. The sky is absolutely patterned with bursts of anti-aircraft fire, and the sea is covered with smoke where the bombs have burst, but as far as I can see there is not one single ship hit, and there is definitely one German machine down. And I am looking across the sea now. I can see the little white dot of parachute as the German pilot is floating down towards the spot where his machine crashed with such a big fountain of water about two minutes ago. 

You can hear the anti-aircraft bursts still going… Well, that was a really hot little engagement while it lasted. No damage done, except to the Germans, who lost one machine and the German pilot, who is still on the end of his parachute, though appreciably nearer the sea than he was. I can see no boat going out to pick him up, so he’ll probably have a long swim ashore.»[5]

 

 

What Gardner described as a downed Junkers Ju 87 is in fact the Hurricane of Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie.

 

The Yellow Section (Flying Officer John R.H. Gayer and Peter Collard; Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo) patrolling in the vicinity, at an altitude of about 900 metres, quickly intervened when the first bombs fell on the ships. They then engage a Kette of Junkers Ju.87. Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P2966) fired a long shot at the third aircraft of the formation, which he finally saw clear to the left before hitting the sea. The same happened to Flying Officer Peter Collard who attacked the second bomber of the formation. After a first shot, the Junkers Ju.87 turns to the left and starts to descend towards the sea. Peter Collard is then able to get closer and to fire another burst. The German aircraft tips over on its back and falls into the sea. However, he had to immediately clear towards Hawkinge under the pressure of two Bf.109s, which damaged the P2768. For his part, Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963) aimed at another enemy, quickly eliminating the machine gunner, who seemed to be starting to descend. After a second pass, it was the turn of the right wing of the Junkers Ju.87 to catch fire before crashing into the sea. On his way back towards the English coast, he observed another formation of about fifteen Junkers Ju.87s, which he immediately engaged. He had, however, to break off the fight for lack of ammunition. Three victories were then claimed by the three pilots. The Luftwaffe seems to recognise the loss of two Junkers Ju.87 B-1. The first was reported lost off Dover (Oberleutnant Kurt Sonnberg; Unteroffizier Fritz Donath), while the second was shot down in flames during the attack on the ships (Unteroffizier Sebastian Hüber and Heinz Hecke)[6].

 

 

 

 

The B Flight took off immediately to take the direction of the fight, but the Blue Section (Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders, Flying Officer Anthony Eyre and Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts) is violently attacked by the Bf.109s and narrowly escaped with their damaged Hawer Hurricanes on Hawkinge. For its part, the Green Section (Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings; Pilot Officer Richard D. Pexton; Sergeant Derrick W. Pexton ; Sergeant Derrick W. Pexton) returned to land without seeing anything.

 

 

No.615 Squadron is not the only squadron present. 10 Hawker Hurricane Mk I of No.151 (RAF) Squadron and 12 Supermarine Spitfire Mk I of No.610 Squadron are also reported. The pilots of No.610 Squadron are then tasked to conduct a patrol over Hawkinge at 14:50 when they are called over the ships. The Spitfires appear to be primarily engaging the Bf.109s.

 

Thus according to Pilot Officer Peter Litchfield (R.6765) :

 

« At 15:15, 610 Squadron, in Vic formation, with Green Section on the left, was approaching the north of Dover, when the leader’s attention was drawn to three or more aircraft diving very steeply in line astern from approximately 18000′ and passing to the right rear of the Squadron which was then at 15000′. Section leaders put their sections into aircraft astern and wheeled to starboard. As I turned, I saw at least two and perhaps more Messerschmitt 109s over the land below proceeding east and then turning south, at a height of perhaps 8000′. I told my section that they were 109s and dived steeply on to their tails, almost blacking out as I pulled out. Nos.2 and 3 did black-out and lost the target. I attacked one Me 109 as he crossed the coast ; his evasive tactics consisted of diving and climbing, but after the third bursts he dived steadily and at the fourth there was a burst of flame and then smoke covered the target, leaving only the wing tips visible. At this, a second 109 came to this assistance, and received two good bursts and was last seen climbing away to France with smoke coming from this tail (altought this may have been normal exhaust gases). I then set off back to my base. »[7]

 

 

A victory is claimed by Pilot Officer Peter Litchfield, while the rest of the Spitfires seemed to operate in high cover without being able to engage the Germans. Two Bf.109 E-1s of the 8./JG 3 are reportedly damaged during this confrontation. The pilot of the first (wounded) had to parachute into the vicinity of Boulogne, while the second landed damaged on the Wissant airfield[8].

 

Meanwhile, the Hawker Hurricane of No.151 (RAF) Squadron took off at 15:00 from Rochford to intercept the opposing formation west of Dover. They faced a formation identified as Bf.110s and Bf.109s at about 15:20, at an altitude of about 4 500 metres. Three unconfirmed victories are claimed by Squadron Leader Edward M. Donaldson, Flight Lieutenant Roddick L. Smith and Pilot Officer Jack R. Hamar.[9].

 

As far as the sea convoy is concerned, the German bombardment caused some damage. Thus, the coal merchant SS Island Queen is seriously damaged and sinks before being able to reach the port (with three sailors), the SS Mons is damaged, as well as the Norwegian steamer Balder. Finally, one of the escort destroyers: the HMS Vanessa has to be towed to the port of Dover due to damage to the propulsion system[10].

 

All the pilots of No.615 Squadron return to Kenley at 19:00 where they receive a congratulatory telegram from Prime Minister Winston Churchill.

 

 

Pilots and Aircrafts :

  • Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll (P3109), Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery (P3160) ; Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (L1584), Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768), Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P2966), Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963), Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders (P3487), Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P3151), Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (P3161), Flying Officer Richard D. Pexton (P3158), Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P3111), Sergeant Derrick W. Halton (P2678) [CW.5 sea convoy protection off Dover (13:05 – 16:15)].
  • Flight Lieutenant James G. Sanders (P3161), Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P3111), Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P3151) [Patrol Hawkinge et Kenley (16:30 – 18:15)]?

Loses :

  • Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie (L1584) : Shot down during the battle, he parachuted (seriously wounded and burned) off the coast of Dover, and died the next day in hospital.

Claims :

  • Peter Collard (P2768) : one Ju.87B-1 (IV./LG 1) off Dover (15:20 – 15:45),
  • Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P2966) : one Ju.87B-1 (IV./LG 1) off Dover (15:20 – 15:45),
  • Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo : un Ju.87B-1 (IV./LG 1) off Dover (15:20 – 15:45).

 

 

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[1] PARRY, SIMON W. Battle of Britain Combat Archive, n°1 (10 July – 22 July 1940). Red Kite. 2015. p.62.

[2] PARRY, SIMON W. Battle of Britain Combat Archive, n°1 (10 July – 22 July 1940). Red Kite. 2015. p.65 et 66. The Battle of Britain Historical Timeline – 14 July 1940 : https://battleofbritain1940.com/entry/sunday-14-july-1940/

[3] WYNN, Kenneth G. Men of The Battle of Britain: A Biographical Dictionary of The Few. Frontline Books, 2015. Précisions toute fois que son frère ne dispose d’aucune tombe connu, il est uniquement commémoré au Alamein Mémorial ainsi que sur une plaque apposée sur le tombe de Michael R. Mudie.

[4] KACHA, Petr. Aces of the Luftwaffe – Josef Priller : https://www.luftwaffe.cz/priller.html

[5] Pour une version complète du texte (en anglais) : The Spitfire Site – A Tribute to Britain’s Finest Fighter, Stories of the Battle of Britain 1940 : http://spitfiresite.com/2010/07/battle-of-britain-1940-charles-gardner-broadcast.html ; NORTH, Richard. The Many Not The Few – The Stolen History of the Battle of Britain. Continuum. 2012. p.1 à 3.

[6] PARRY, SIMON W. Battle of Britain Combat Archive, n°1 (10 July – 22 July 1940). Red Kite. 2015. p.65.

[7] BAILEY, David J. 610 (County of Chester), Auxiliary Air Force Squadron (1936 – 1940). Fonthill : 2019. p.226.

[8] BAILEY, David J. 610 (County of Chester) Auxiliary Air Force Squadron (1936 – 1940). Fonthill : 2019. p.226 à 228 ; PARRY, SIMON W. Battle of Britain Combat Archive, n°1 (10 July – 22 July 1940). Red Kite. 2015. p.65 et 66.

[9] PARRY, SIMON W. Battle of Britain Combat Archive, n°1 (10 July – 22 July 1940). Red Kite. 2015. p.62 et 64.

[10] NORTH, Richard. The Many Not The Few – The Stolen History of the Battle of Britain. Continuum. 2012. p.3.

Edited by JG300_Manfred
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JG300_Manfred

Hello,

 

After a (very) long delay..., but a lot of obligation with the work these last months. Difficult to find free time. I propose the continuation this Chronicle about No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron, if some are still interested.

 

15 July 1940

Flying Officer Anthony Phillip Gray joins No.615 Squadron as a reinforcement where he is assigned to A Flight. He was born on 9th November 1912 in Maidenhead (Berkshire, England) where he was educated at the Dragon School (Oxford) and the Uppingham School (Rutland). After a year’s study in France (Paris) where he played mainly rugby, he joined the No.601 (County of London) Squadron thanks to his godfather Sir Philip Sassoon (Honorary C.O. and Secretary of State for Air) in November 1932. However, he joined the reserve of the Auxiliary Air Force in November 1937. Recalled when the war broke out, he initially served as a controller before being reintegrated into the flying personnel. After a brief stint at No.7 (RAF) OTU, he joined No.615 Squadron.[1]

 

GrayAP-portrait2-opt.jpg?resize=214%2C300&ssl=1

Flying Officer Anthony Phillip Gray. Collection : Battle of Britain London Monument

 

The B Flight takes off at 08:30 to reach Hawkinge airfield once again. Several patrols are carried out over Dover between 10:30 and 11.55, with no particular events to report. These flights probably took place as part of the protection of the maritime convoy F.N.223 (Pilot), in the vicinity of which several German reconnaissance aircraft are reported. The pilots returned to Kenley in the early afternoon.

 

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[1] WYNN, Kenneth G. Men of The Battle of Britain: A Biographical Dictionary of The Few. Frontline Books, 2015 ; Battle of Britain London Monument – Flying Officer A.P. Gray : http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/GrayAP.htm ; 601 (County of London) Squadron – Gray, Anthony Phillip : http://601squadron.com/men-of-601-squadron/f-through-j/gray-anthony-phillip/ ; The London Gazette – 29 November 1932 : https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/33887/page/7591 ; The London Gazette – 19 June 1934 : https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34061/page/3908 ; The London Gazette – 1 March 1938 : https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34488/page/1352

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JG300_Manfred

16 July 1940

 

The day is relatively calm due to the bad weather. However, No.615 Squadron underwent several changes: Herbert S. Giddings is promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant (retroactive to 6 June) and three new pilots joined the squadron.

 

Pilot Officer John Arthur Peter McClintock (91064) is born on 25 April 1920 in Birchington-on-Sea, Kent. His father, Ronald Sinclair McClintock joined the RFC on 4 April 1916 as an observer with No.2 (RFC) Squadron before undergoing pilot training. He married Mary Gordon Laird on 20 December 1916. He joined France in October 1917 with No.64 (RFC) Squadron. He claimed five victories between March and April 1918. Awarded the Military Cross on 21 June 1918, he obtained a permanent commission in the RAF on 1 August 1919 and joined the No.3 (RAF) School of Technical Training. Unfortunately, he is killed on 22 June 1922 aboard the Sopwith Snipe F2409. He leaves behind two children: the young Peter (2 years old) and his sister Pamela (4 months old).[1]

 

The young John A.P. McClintock is educated at Eaton House School and Wellington College (London) between 1933 and 1937. He join the Auxiliary Air Force and No.615 (County of Surrey) Squadron in the summer of 1939. He joined No.5 (RAF) Elementary Flying Training School on 21 October 1939 and No.3 (RAF) Flying Training School on 25 March 1940 (No.33 Course). He returned to No.615 Squadron on 16 July 1940, in A Flight.[2]

 

1.jpg?resize=600%2C556&ssl=1

Pilot Officer John A.P. McClintock with one of his friends next to him: Diana Barnato (future member of the Air Transport Auxiliary and the first British woman to break the sound barrier on 26th August 1963). Collection : Battle of Britain London Monument.

 

Pilot Officer Anthony John Jamieson Truran (91019) is born on 28 April 1920 in Andover, Hampshire. He is educated at the Rugby School between 1933 and 1937. He subsequently worked for the prestigious Crawford advertising agency. He joined the Auxiliary Air Force on 7 May 1939 and No.615 Squadron in the summer of 1939. He joined No.5 (RAF) Elementary Flying Training School on 21 October, 1939, and No.3 (RAF) Flying Training School on 25 March, 1940 (No.33 Course). He returned to No.615 Squadron on 16 July 1940, to the B Flight.[3]

 

2.jpg?resize=600%2C459&ssl=1

Collection : Battle of Britain London Monument

 

 

Sergeant Peter Kenneth Walley (819018) is born in Barnes on the outskirts of London on 29th November 1919. He is educated at Wandsworth School. He began his apprenticeship as a toolmaker in Croydon, which led him to join the Auxiliary Air Force as a mechanic/gunner in March 1938, then No.615 Squadron in August. At that time the squadron is still specialised in cooperation with ground troops on Hawker Hart and Hector. However, by mid-1939 he managed to join pilot training. Like the previous two, he joined the No.5 (RAF) Elementary Flying Training School on 21 October 1939, then the No.3 (RAF) Flying Training School on 25 March 1940 (No.33 Course). He returned to No.615 Squadron on 16 July 1940, to A Flight.[4]

 

3.jpg?resize=214%2C300&ssl=1

Collection : Battle of Britain London Monument

 

 

However, the three pilots are immediately sent to No.5 (RAF) OTU for training on the Hawker Hurricane Mk I before returning permanently to No.615 Squadron at the end of July.

 

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[1] GLEESON, Joe. Irish Aces of the RFC and the RAF. Fonthill, 2015. ; FRANKS, Norman. Fallen Eagles: Airmen Who Survived The Great War Only to Die in Peacetim. Pen and Sword, 2017 ; Ronald McClintock. Wikipedia : The Free Encyclopedia :  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronald_McClintock

[2] WYNN, Kenneth G. Men of The Battle of Britain: A Biographical Dictionary of The Few. Frontline Books, 2015 ; The Airmen’s Stories – P/O J A P McClintock. The Battle of Britain London Monument : http://bbm.org.uk/airmen/McClintock.htm ; The London Gazette, 8 September 1939 : https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34674/supplement/6136/data.pdf 

[3] WYNN, Kenneth G. Men of The Battle of Britain: A Biographical Dictionary of The Few. Frontline Books, 2015 ; The Airmen’s Stories – P/O A J J Truran. The Battle of Britain London Monument : http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Truran.htm ; The London Gazette, 22 August 1939 : https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/34657/page/5760/data.pdf

[4] WYNN, Kenneth G. Men of The Battle of Britain: A Biographical Dictionary of The Few. Frontline Books, 2015 ; The Airmen’s Stories – Sgt. P K Walley. The Battle of Britain London Monument : http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Walley.htm

 

 

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JG300_Manfred

17 July 1940

 

No.615 Squadron returns to Kenley at 13:30. However, Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll (P3109) and Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963) must take off on alert (11:45 – 12:30) to intercept an intruder between Kenley and Beachy Head.[1]

 

This one turns out to be a Dornier Do.17, which is attacked by Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo, albeit unsuccessfully. It could be a Dornier Do.17Z from Stab KG 2, which lands on the Saint-Inglevert airfield with various damages in air combat.[2]

 

This event would also have caused the Spitfire Mk I L1065 of No.64 (RAF) Squadron to take off between 11:49 and 12:35. Sub-Lieutenant John Sykes would also have damaged a Dornier Do.17 in the vicinity of Kenley [3] Here again, the opposing aircraft escaped in the cloud cover.[4]

 

At the same time, Pilot Officer David J. Looker, who is still recovering, is in charge of setting up a training course for the many new pilots who have joined the various Squadrons based in Kenley.

 

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[1] No.11 (Fighter) Group ORB. Kew : The National Archives, AIR 25/193.

[2] PARRY, SIMON W. Battle of Britain Combat Archive, n°1 (10 July – 22 July 1940). Red Kite. 2015. p.76.

[3] No.64 (RAF) Squadron, Operations Record Book. Kew : The National Archives, AIR 27/589.

[4] CULL, Brian. Battle for the Channel: The First Month of the Battle of Britain 10 July – 10 August 1940. Fonthill, 2017.

 

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JG300_Manfred

18 July 1940

 

Twelve Hawker Hurricane [1] take off towards Hawkinge to escort, together with twelve others from No.111 (RAF) Squadron [2], eighteen Bristol Blenheim on a bombing mission against the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer between 18:20 and 19:25.

 

 

According to Brian Cull :

« At 19:30, nine more 2 Group Blenheim escorted by 20 fighters attacked Boulogne under cover of low clouds, five being claimed by flak, as was a Spitfire (according to German records). A Bf 109 of 9./JG 54 carried out an amergency landing nearby with engine damage, possibly a result of friendly fire, though Leutnant Wamdemar Wübke was unhurt. »[3]

The Bristol Blenheim Mk IV belong to No.15 and 40 (RAF) Squadron. At the end of the afternoon (17:00 – 19:43), three sections (eight aircraft) from each of the two squadrons take off to attack ships in the port of Boulogne-sur-Mer from an altitude of 1 500 to 2 000 metres. The bombardment is indeed a success, despite a strong anti-aircraft defence (several aircraft were damaged) and the port facilities were reported on fire when the British left. [4]

 

According to the French documentation: the bombings damage the ferry terminal definitively unusable and destroy 3000 m² of hangars in the port.[5] According to the German documentation, the fuel tanks are also severely damaged. Unfortunately, several civilian victims are also to be deplored. Several bombs fell on the Saint-Pierre district, killing the three members of the Galant family: the mother and her two children André (twelve years old) and Pierre (eleven years old). Fifteen other people are also wounded, victims of the bombs or the Flak shells.[6]

 

According to Flight Lieutenant William H. George of No.15 (RAF) Squadron :

« I led a large formation of two squadrons of Blenheims (XV and 40) with a fighter escort in a high level attack on the harbour at Boulougne, where there was said to be a concentration of shipping, though when we got there this turned out to be duff gen. We plastered the dock installations instead and scored direct hits on a factory. This raid was notable for the fact that I did a lot of no good to a pair of Do 18s which were moored close to one another, by dropping a 250lb bomb between them, having reserved it on the run in for that purpose. This caused much merriment on the way home. This was a daylight raid of three hours including one hour in cloud. »[7]

 

All aircraft of No.615 Squadron return at 19:25. Note that this is the first operational sortie of Pilot Officer Douglas H. Hone.

 

Pilots and Aircrafts[8]

  • Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P3151) ; Sergeant Derrick W. Halton (P3487) ; Pilot Officer Douglas H. Hone (P2578) ; Flight Lieutenant Herbert S. Giddings (P2801) ; Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (P3161) ; Pilot Officer David Evans (P3158).
  • Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll carries out a patrol between 23:45 and 00:35, without incident. At the same time, several night take-off and landing training sessions take place.

 

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[1] Curiously, the ORB contradicts itself on this point: while the Form 540 indicates that twelve Hawker Hurricanes are joining Hawkinge for this mission, the Form 541 only lists six aircraft of the B Flight. The No.111 (RAF) Squadron is also sending twelve Hawker Hurricanes for this escort, an oversight of the A Flight seems likely.

[2] No.111 (RAF) Squadron, Operations Record Book. Kew : The National Archives, AIR 27/866.

[3] CULL, Brian. Battle for the Channel: The First Month of the Battle of Britain 10 July – 10 August 1940. Fonthill, 2017. 336 p.

[4] No.15 (RAF) Squadron, Operations Record Book. Kew : The National Archives, AIR 27/202 ; No.40 (RAF) Squadron, Operations Record Book. Kew : The National Archives, AIR 27/412.

[5] http://quidnovi62.free.fr/cnrd_2018/calque_martyre.htm

[6] http://www.memorialgenweb.org/memorial3/html/fr/complementter.php?table=bp&id=1895781 ; http://www.memorialgenweb.org/memorial3/html/fr/complementter.php?id=1895780 et http://www.memorialgenweb.org/memorial3/html/fr/complementter.php?id=1895782 ; Lageberichte West (06.07.-04.08.1940) et KTB des Marinebefehlshaber Nordfrankreich.

[7] BINGHAM, Victor. Attack: Blenheim Operations During the Battle of Britain. J&KH Publishing, 2002. p.33.

[8] The From 541 does not seem to list the pilots of A Flight during this mission. Due to the absence of Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce and Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgommery (funeral of Pilot Officer Michael R. Mudie), it is reasonable to assume that the following pilots participated in this mission: Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll, Flying Officer Peter Collard, Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young, Pilot Officer Sydney J. Madle et Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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MiloMorai
On 5/2/2020 at 4:33 AM, JG300_Manfred said:

During one of them, in 1935 in the Caribbean he met the young Felicity Hyde Watts and marriage took place on 25 January 1934.

A typo for the year?

 

Great stuff, thanks.👍

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JG300_Manfred
On 6/10/2021 at 4:13 PM, MiloMorai said:

A typo for the year?

 

Great stuff, thanks.👍

 

Hello, 

 

Thanks for the correction.

 

The correct text is as follows:

 

1934 was an exciting year at Hylands with Mrs Hanbury and Jock once again on a cruise to escape January and February in Essex – this time to the West Indies on the Orontes.  This was the cruise that was to change Jock’s life, as also on the cruise was Felicity Hyde Watts.  In her autobiography ‘Pure Chance’ Felicity said “During this trip I met Jock Hanbury, who was also convalescing after an illness and was travelling with his mother.  We soon discovered mutual friends and that we much enjoyed each other’s company.”   Their engagement was to be announced very formally in August.

 

On 29th January 1935 the year started with the society wedding of Jock and Felicity at St Margaret’s Church, Westminster, in the grounds of Westminster Abbey on Parliament Square. The staff of Hylands went by train to London for the wedding.

 

“The bride wore a dress of patterned silver tissue, with boat-shaped neck and tight sleeves, ending in the shape of an arum lily.  The long train was of the same material, edged with plain silver lame, and ornamented with a raised scroll design.  The veil of white tulle was seven yards long.  Her head-dress consisted of a wreath of small wax arum lilies and orange blossom, and the bouquet was of white camellias on silver stalks, falling in a cascade to her feet.”

 

 

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JG300_Manfred
Posted (edited)

19 July 1940

 

 

The A Flight returns to Hawkinge at dawn (04:00) with two patrols over Beachy Head between 04:25 and 07:15. These patrols may be related to the presence of a Dornier Do.17P of 4(F)/121 attacked by six Hawker Hurricanes of No.145 and No.257 (RAF) Squadron (06:03 – 07:35) between Redhill and Shoreham-by-Sea, before being shot down off Brighton.[1]

The pilots return to Kenley at 09:00. At the same time, the B Flight remains on alert all morning. The Squadron is released at 13:00 for a well-deserved rest.

 

Pilots and Aircrafts :

  • Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (N2328) ; Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963) ; Pilot Officer Sydney J. Madle (P3160) ; Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768) ; Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P3380) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young (N2337) [04:25 – 06:35][2]
  • Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll (P2966) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young (N2337) [06:00 – 07:45].[3]

----------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

[1] No.11 Group Intelligence Bulletin n°8. Kew : The National Archives, AIR 25/197 ; PARRY, SIMON W. Battle of Britain Combat Archive, n°1 (10 July – 22 July 1940). Red Kite. 2015. p.84.

[2]According to Form 541, not all pilots return at the same time. For example, Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young lands at 05:50, while the other land between 06:10 and 06:35. The ORB does not provide an explanation for this scattered return.

[3]Here again, still according to Form 541, Squadron Leader Kayll returns at 07:15 and Pilot Officer Young lands at 07:45. 

Edited by JG300_Manfred
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JG300_Manfred

20 July 1940

 

The day begins quiet with a series of training sessions over the Leysdown-on-Sea firing range. Around 17:30, Pilot Officer Keith T. takes off to shoot down some drifting barrage balloons.

 

Shortly afterwards, however, No.615 Squadron is ordered to intercept a German formation.

 

Convoy CW.7 (twenty-nine merchant ships and three escort ships) left Southend harbour in the morning to reach Falmouth. The ships are then attacked between Fokestone and Dover by a formation of about thirty-five Junkers Ju.87 of II/StG.1, protected by Bf.109s of I./JG 51 and II./JG 51 and Bf.110s of 2./ErprGr.210. The Germans are able to attack the ships before the RAF and sink two steamships (Pulborough and Westown) and seriously damage the destroyer HMS Brazen (scuttled the next day).[1]

 

Protection of convoy CW.7 are provided by several sections of No.32 (RAF) Squadron whose Hawker Hurricanes (nine) took off from Hawkinge between 17:05 and 17:44. They are joined shortly afterwards by nine Spitfires from No.610 (County of Chester) Squadron and six others from No.32 Squadron.

 

 

In the case of No.615 Squadron, eleven aircraft take off from Kenley at 17:50.

 

According to Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963) :

« At 18:20 I was No.2 in Red Section sent to intercept E/A off Dover. Sighted a large number of Bf.109s which attacked us. After firing about four of five short bursts at 109s, I had a very good deflection shot at one 109, the attack developing into line astern. Lenght of burst – 5 secs. Distance – 150 yards. The E/A poured forth grey smoke, turned over and spun down. Later I saw a parachute nearby, but do not know whether it was pilot of the machine. A few seconds alter I spotted a 109 gliding down with engine apparently stopped. I attacked from above, and after firing about 3 – 4 secs at a range of 300 yards to 50 yards, E/A emitted black smoke and turned on its back. Later engaged two more 109s and used all ammunition. »[2]

 

Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo claims two Bf.109s off Cap Gris-Nez (18:20).

 

According to Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P2801) :

«I see the convoy is bombed and I order my Blue Section to go down, but we are separated. I see a Ju.87 Junkers flying low over the water, and when it is only about eight kilometres from the French coast, I open fire. After a second burst the rear gunner stops attacking and black smoke starts to escape from the German aircraft. As I fired one last time I noticed two Bf.109s in the distance and decided to turn back. I am only two kilometres from the French coast. I go back over our ships. I think the Junkers Ju.87 has been damaged.»[3]

 

 

Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings claims a Junkers Ju.87 off the coast of Boulogne (18:20).

 

At the same time, and without further detail, we can note several other claims from the pilots of No.615 Squadron. Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce claims to have attack a Bf.109 off Cape Gris-Nez (French coast) and observed it crash into flames. Pilot Officer Sydney J. Madle (Yellow 3) attacks a Bf.109 over water, but is unable to observe the results of the attack. Pilot Officer Anthony Eyre claims a destroyed Bf.109 south-east of Dover, which was reportedly observed from the English coast.

 

 

All the pilots return to the base with no particular damage to report.

 

Pilots and Aircrafts : Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2966) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young (N2337) ; Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963) ; Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P3380) ; Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768) ; Pilot Officer Sydney J. Madle (P3160) ; Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P2801) ; Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (P3161) ; Pilot Officer David Evans (P3162) ; Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P3151) ; Pilot Officer Douglas H. Hone (P3158).

 

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

[1] PARRY, SIMON W. Battle of Britain Combat Archive, n°1 (10 July – 22 July 1940). Red Kite. 2015. p.110.

[2] Combat Reports. Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (20/07/40). Kew : The National Archives, AIR 50/175/13 ; PARRY, SIMON W. Battle of Britain Combat Archive, n°1 (10 July – 22 July 1940). Red Kite. 2015. p.112.

[3] Combat Reports. Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (20/07/40). Kew : The National Archives, AIR 50/175/8.

 

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JG300_Manfred

22 July 1940

After some dawn patrols, No.615 Squadron left Hawkinge and returned to Kenley at 09:00. The rest of the day is spent on a series of training.

 

 

Pilots and Aircrafts :

  • Flight Lieutenant Herbert S. Giddings (P2801), Flying Officer Richard D. Pexton (P3158), Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts (P2578), Pilot Officer Ralph Roberts (P3151), Sergeant Derrick W. Halton (P3162) [Patrol Hawkinge : 06h00 – 07h00]
  • Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P3380), Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2871), Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963), Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768), Pilot Officer Sydney J. Madle (N2337), Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll (P3109), Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young (P3160) [Patrol Hawkinge – Kenley : 07h30 – 09h00]
  • Flying Officer Anthony P. Gray (P3160) [Patrol Kenley : 15h05 – 15h50].
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JG300_Manfred

23 July 1940

 

The morning is still devoted to training, while the A Flight is ordered to carry out several patrols over Beachy Head between 16:30 and 18:10.

 

 

Pilots and Aircrafts :

  • Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P3109), Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963), Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery (P3160) [Patrol Beachy Head : 16:30 – 17:25]
  • Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (P3380), Flying Officer Peter Collard (P2768), Pilot Officer Cecil R. Young (N2337) [Patrol Beachy Head : 17:20 – 18:10].
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