10th July - I fail to keep Lats safe from a 109 that would rather die than lose his kill
Smart
roblex56raf
Chasing bombers returning to France we encountered a flight of 109s over Cap Gris Nez and in the scuffle Lats, who was winging Phoenix took some damage to his cooling system and tried to disengage. Phoenix tried to help but had used up all his ammo killing a 109 a minute earlier so could only follow and hope to scare the 109 into breaking off. Seeing this occurring I dived in and told Phoenix he could break off as I still had ammo and was just behind him.



Getting behind the 109 I gave him a burst causing him to pull off Lats streaming vapour.



Despite the damage and the danger he decided to resume his attack and dived down after Lats again.



I continued to chase and take parts off him but was unable to hit anything critical and despite Lats evading the 109 managed to disable Lats spitfire and Lats was forced to flip and bail out just off Deal.



This time I managed some good hits just behind his cockpit but it was not clear whether I had hit the pilot or just the armour and was now down to my residual belt.



Rumba was now following just behind so knowing he was a better shot I invited him to finish the job which he duly did with a burst that hit the cockpit and engine to set it burning and plummeting into the sea near Lats who was greatly cheered by the sight.



Twenty seconds later Talisman put another 109 into the sea near Lats and we were able to head home while a fishing boat pulled Lats aboard.
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19th April - 109s abandon their charges to their fate.
Smart
roblex56raf
Patrolling in hurricanes with Boot & Rumba we were vectored towards a raid coming up from Normandy towards Selsey Bill. We tried to get to them early South of Selsey so we could stop them before they could drop on Portsmouth or Tangmere but they must have changed course because we suddenly spotted them ,nine JU88s, behind us approaching Ford Aerodrome. Racing back we saw there were already friendlies converging on the bombers but there was also a higher escort, co-alt to us, following behind. We decided we would be more useful engaging the escorts and turned their way but they veered away and started diving away South again. When it was obvious the escorts were no longer a threat we turned our attention to the bombers now about to go feet dry.



Rumba & Boot were a long way ahead of me and Rumba was able to set one alight and turn back to start a second pass on the right just as I was starting my first.

He set his bomber on fire just as I was opening up on my own and I saw mine start streaming and rolling away. Boot was following on the left I believe.



Pulling up and looking down behind I could see all three bombers plummeting towards the ground near Ford. The other friendlies had hit the two remaining groups.



Ground Control was now reporting a new wave of high fighters approaching Beachy head but as the bombers were now all destroyed and we were much lower without full ammo belts Boot decided that engaging them was an unnecessary risk and told us to RTB. All back safely and undamaged though I stupidly overbraked on landing and caught and broke one prop.

16th April - Intercept JU87s then..?
Smart
roblex56raf
Up alone on a shakedown flight over Maidstone, GC advised me of a group of contacts at Angels 13 heading towards Dungeness and asked me to take a look and let them know. I soon arrived in the area but could see nothing from where I was at Angels 21. Worried that maybe they were inland and I was missing them against the ground I came down to 12 and suddenly spotted them to the South nearer Beach Head still inbound.



I let GC what was happening then headed over to see if I could cut them down a bit while GC vectored some more fighters to them. I lined up on the far right Stuka (yes they are Nazis so they are all far right) to cut down my exposure to defensive fire and let him have it from close range.



Turning back I could see that my victim was smoking but was not dropping out of formation so I came round again and lined up to give him another go



..next thing I knew I was back on the ground being told the mission was over but I had no memory of making that second attack or flying home. I tried to claim the stuka as a probable but it was no go. The doc says I took a glancing blow to the head and must take two days bedrest in the infirmary to make sure there are no more problems.

April 12th - Escorting our bombers then shooting down theirs
Smart
roblex56raf
The first mission of the day was to escort three Blenheims to Dieppe so they could take down the radar there. Rumba was flying a Spit IIa carrying a recon camera so we could verify the results. Five minutes out from England Tophat advised of large fighter formation on intercept but luckily they were at Angels 21 and did not spot us at wavetops so passed overhead and continued on. Boots spooky navigation brought us direct to Dieppe Freya which was fully operational when we arrived but after three passes was all down except for one building we were not sure about. RTB at wavetops. A single 109 arrived at Dieppe a few minutes after we left but luckily wasted time circling the area before setting out North while we were heading 310 on advice from Tophat. Five minutes from landfall the spits had to divert to a more direct course as we were very low on fuel due to extended wait for bombers to launch. Landfall at XXXXXX and straight in to XXXXX landing with zero fuel showing. Bombers made landfall at XXXX and arrived back at XXXX two minutes after the spits. Examination of recon film confirmed Dieppe radar non-operational again.

The second sortie consisted of three hurricanes and two spitfires. Directed by Tophat towards Wilmington area for an incoming raid we were then diverted back towards Dover as the first raid had been taken care of. The new raid was heading for the Thames Estuary and we were given a course to intercept at Whitstable at Angels 29.

Four bombers and four escorts were spotted passing Broadstairs and Tophat asked the hurricanes to engage the bombers as Viking were following behind to engage the escorts.



Our own two spits covered the hurricanes as we dived on the bombers, one of whom was already badly lagging so we concentrated on the remaining three now nearly at Sheppey.



Three bombers were heavily damaged by the hurricane attack and the bomber formation scattered and turning for home but one hurricane was lost to a 109 with the pilot successfully bailing and being picked up by ASR. Viking had become involved with a second wave of escorts which meant the first 109s were chasing the hurricanes. Our two spits were unable to keep the 109s away from our hurricanes so Boot ordered the squadron to disengage and dive through the cloud cover. The 109s disengaged and climbed away soon after leaving the two spits free to make an attack on a fleeing He111 then RTB with one spit landing at Rochester due to engine damage. 56 claimed shares in four He111s.


April 2nd. Not the best of days and an early bath
Smart
roblex56raf
During a shakedown flight to test out the new cinema equipment I was contacted by Tophat and asked to help out as a Scandinavian by the name of Kling was missing a wingman and was alone over Dover.

Tophat advised us of raid heading towards Dungeness and asked us to hold position there as Dogrose was waiting mid channel and TWC were following behind us.
Heavy cloud obscured the area so Dogrose missed them and Viking, my temporary assignment, was first to spot them followed quickly by the two other squadrons and Tophat ordered everyone in.

Approx 9 bombers heading towards Dover at 10,000ft with 6 escorts co-alt. As TWC were heading towards the bombers from the opposite direction we dived on the 109s. I struggled to get a bead on the 109s in my hurricane and was mostly defensive but Kling in his spit did a sterling job covering my arse and racked up several kills. Suddenly while chasing a 109 I met another diving out of the sun where he was completely hidden until just seconds away from collision!








His wing sliced off part of my own but I still had enough control to stay level so I set course for Dungeness which was just a few miles away. Thirty seconds later I spotted a He-111 limping home at sea level on one engine right across my route and stupidly decided to give him a go as I did not need to change course much.



I managed to take out his other engine and he went in but then I noticed my own engine coughing and it died. I was now too low and too far from land to glide. I ditched carefully in the sea and was picked up by a fishing boat.

23rd March - A successful intercept by the squadron but a close call for me.
Smart
roblex56raf
The whole squadron was scrambled this morning to intercept an incoming raid with escorts. Dutch, Rumba and myself took Spitfires to keep the escorts away from the 8 hurricanes tasked with the taking down the bombers. It was lovely to look down on eight hurricanes scrambling together as we spits climbed out.



Reaching the intercept point near Deal at 21,000ft we saw the escorts at about 25,000ft while the bombers were coming in at about 15,000ft. We prepared to engage the escorts but as always, despite having a height advantage, the cowardly 109s decided to retreat and leave the bombers to their fate. Down below the hurricanes proceeded to rip the bomber formation apart as it headed towards Eastchurch. The 109s were hanging around out to sea and showing no interest in engaging us or helping the bombers so we decided to try to get closer to the Hurricanes and bombers again. Unfortunately, over Canterbury, while looking to see where the bombers were, I took my eyes off the 109s and one snuck up and made a single pass and punched a couple of large holes in my left wing. Dutch was close and came to assist but the 109 had only had enough courage for that one sneak attack and had now dived away and was running home.

The bombers were now all gone and the hurricanes on their way home so we proceeded home ourselves. I still had full control even if my poor spit was unable to fly in a straight line and I was soon lined up for long finals. The hurricanes, having let one damaged hurri land first, kindly decided to hold off until I was down as well. All was looking good until I lowered my flaps and discovered only one was coming down. I had a moment of panic as the spit lurched sideways and violently dropped a wing but I think I was helped by the fact that I had already put in a lot of rudder trim to compensate for the hole in the wing and I was able to catch it and using a lot of aileron hold the wings level long enough to finish the approach and land safely.



I was luckier than I realised as having pulled off the runway and stopped to watch the first hurricanes land, I then decided to taxi back to the hardpoint and my left undercarriage immediately failed and broke my prop!

18th March - i bag myself a 109
Smart
roblex56raf
Scrambled in two pairs to meet an incoming raid crossing from Calais. Cina was winging Talisman and I was with Phoenix.
Initially the plot was showing the raid heading towards Manston so we set out along the North Kent coast in a gentle climb.



Just before Eastchurch we were told the raid looked like hitting nearer Dover so we adjusted our path a little further South and just as we approached the coast we spotted three bombers and a 109 escort at about 8000ft. We waited and checked all around but could see no other escorts high or low so dived in. I noticed the escort had inexplicably dropped back so adjusted my path to see what he was doing and the 109 suddenly skyrocketed up defying the laws of physics and Talisman & Cina, who were still high, gave chase.

I looked around to find the bombers again and saw something small off Whitstable and turned towards it only top meet a yellow nose coming the other way spraying cannon shells; a 109E4/N. I could be in trouble! Luckily none of his shots got too close and I turned and started the dance. This pilot was a fan of the vertical fight, liking to dive and climb when attacked but he was not very good at it as after three repititions he climbed while I was still high and I was able to give him a good burst as he climbed vertically past my nose resulting in a good trail of oil. Following him as he dived away towards the coast I gave him another good burst and he erupted into flames and crashed into Pegwell bay 30 seconds later.



Meanwhile Talisman & Cina had finished off the other 109 and helped Phoenix down the bombers so all home for tea and medals.

Tags:

28th February - Desevres is the next to close
Smart
roblex56raf
Another six ship, low-level attack on France was announced during the morning meeting. We have been lucky so far but pretty soon our luck is going to run out. Taxiing out we had our first bit of bad luck as Talisman discovered that his rudder and tailwheel were stuck, forcing him to taxi in circles, so we had to launch with just 5 of us.




The crossing with Boot leading, myself & Stcks echelon left and Rumba & Cina echelon right was uneventful



and before long the enemy coastline was in view.



Keeping low, we made our way safely all the way to the target and while myself, Boot & Sticks took the left side of the field, Rumba and Cina bombed the right side.



It looked like we had got away with it again but as we egressed Boot called that he had taken damage to his oil tank and was losing an engine. He ordered Rumba to take over and lead us home while while he tried to limp to somewhere he could put down safely.

As we reached the coast we had two pieces of good news. Firstly, Boot called to say that he had headed directly for Boulogne and put down safely in occupied territory. Secondly, Talisman had grabbed a spitfire and come across in case we needed help and had us in sight. The crossing was uneventful apart from a distant contact being seen shadowing us at extreme range to the South. Talisman went to check it out and saw it was an Italian BR20 trying to sneak across! We watched for a bit but as we seemed safe Rumba told Talisman to go have some fun. Talisman duly made some cautious attacks to avoid ending up in the drink himself and the BR20 turned for home trailing black smoke and after another couple of passes ditched in the sea.

Soon after, we reached home for a straight in landing where recon confirmed Desevres had been completely put out of action.

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24th February - Another low level airfield raid
Smart
roblex56raf
Todays target was Leigesgourt. Boot was back from his leave and leading us low level across France from XXXX.

Popping up we saw no aircraft warming up but did find several parked aircraft. My own tally was two JU87s and two trucks as well putting two bombs into a hangar with unknown contents.



All home safely for tea and crumpets

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21st February - The day starts badly for 4 109 pilots.
Smart
roblex56raf
Today we were tasked with making a low-level attack on Campagne-Le-Guines, a base operating the troublesome 109-E4Ns. With Boot away on leave we had Rumba leading and he showed his map reading was easily up to Boots requirements as we managed to sneek six Blennies low over the North Sea and deep into occupied France without being seen.





Approaching the target and popping up we spotted 4 109s warming up beside the runway, What luck!, and proceeded to lay our bombs along the line of them destroying all four and closing the airfield completely.

As luck would have it, the 109s were planning to shoot a propaganda film and a french sympathiser working in the fire crew found the film and had it smuggled back to England. The footage appears below.



All six blennys managed to get back safely apart from me having to put down in Pegwell Bay due to a small fuel leak.
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