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1940

211 Squadron Operations Record Book: 1940

A transcript of the Squadron’s surviving formal records for the year 1940.

The Squadron’s active operations against Italian forces began in the Western Desert on 11 June before moving to Greece in November. The account of the first few weeks of their war from 10 June is very sparse, the surviving record comprising Form 540s in typescript until early July (with narrative Appendices for March, April and May). From mid-July, typed Form 541 entries of daily operations were also kept.

The practice of the time was to regard all Forms 541 as Appendices to the Forms 540 for that month. On later archiving in the RAF Air Historical Branch permanent historical record, all were filed together from mid-July (now the TNA set AIR 27/1302, on microfilm and digitised).

Some of the other Appendices, whether earlier or later, were also included in this main set, while others still were filed separately for reasons not readily apparent 70 years later—they now make up AIR 27/1304. Aerial photographs were filed separately in AIR 27/1311 but are not feasible to include here.

All the collated sheets of the archived sets had been numerator-stamped, either on receipt at HQ RAF ME or later on transfer to the RAF Air Historical Branch permanent historical records. The surviving material represents a numbered sequence more or less in date order, any omitted pages or periods having been lost long before.

The transcripts are presented in three sets:

    First, all the monthly Forms 540 for the year
    Next, the daily
    Forms 541, as far as they exist today
    Last, a selection of the earlier surviving narrative
    Appendices.

Rather than make the text conform to modern usage or site style, what follows is a transcript as written, bar the bulk of the heavy use of capitals. It is not feasible to exactly reproduce the original column layout of the various original printed forms. Those for the Form 540 and Form 541 are as shown in the relevant illustrations. The frequent abbreviations and usages are explained in the Glossary.

Forms 540, 1940
ORB header

[January]
EL DABA JAN 1940
1 No flying was carried out this day owing to the New Year Grant.

2 [Jan] Navigation practices were carried out by all Flights.

3 Navigation practices were carried out by both ‘A’ and ‘C’ Flights. Formation practice was carried out by ‘B’ Flight. Pilot Officer ART Barnes was posted to the Squadron from No 31 ASP [No 31 (Middle East) Air Stores Park, then at Fuka]. Flying Officer DG Boehm was posted from the Squadron to No 31 ASP.

4 The AOCinC, Middle East Command (Air Chief Marshal Sir William GS Mitchell KCB CBE DSO MC AFC) visited the Squadron this day. Flying Officer P Burnett returned from the United Kingdom ex BDF [Blenheim Delivery Flight].

5 Navigation flights were carried out by all Flights, ‘A’ Flight also carrying out a photographic reconnaissance.

6 Navigation flights were carried out by all Flights.

7 No flying was carried out today owing to inclement weather.

8 Photographic reconnaissances were carried out by all Flights.

9 Captain REB Mortimer (Royal Northumberland Fusiliers) ceased to be attached to no 211 Squadron as AILO and was attached to RAF Station Ismailia. Navigation practices carried out by ‘B’ and ‘C’ Flights.

10 Formation flying practice was carried out by the Squadron. Two airmen proceeded to Helwan for Short Desert Driving Course.

11 Air Commodore R Collishaw DSO OBE DSC DFC, Air Officer Commanding No 202 Group, visited the Squadron. ‘B’ Flight carried out a photographic reconnaissance.

12 ‘B’ Flight carried out another photographic reconnaissance.

13 Navigation practices were carried out by both ‘A’ and ‘C’ Flight.

EL DABA JAN
14 No flying.

15 F/Lt JA Preston, Medical Officer, posted to No 211 Squadron. High level bombing carried out by all Flights. Both rear and front guns being fired.

16 High level bombing carried out by all Flights, guns being fired as for previous day.

17 Flight Lieutenant IK Mackenzie, Medical Officer, posted from the Squadron to Habbaniya. ‘A’ Flight carried out high level bombing, all guns being fired.

18 As for previous day.

19 All Flights carried out high level bombing, all guns being fired.

20 Photographic survey carried out by both ‘A’ and ‘B’ Flights. Pilot Officer RD Campbell and six airmen left by road to carry out landing ground reconnaissance.

21 No flying.

22 Navigation practice carried out by the Squadron.

23 A photographic survey was carried out by ‘A’ Flight. Complete mosaic taken of defences of Mersa Matruh.

24 Two airmen left for Helwan for Short Desert Driving Course. Navigation practice carried out by both ‘B’ and ‘C’ Flights. Two airmen returned to the unit from Short Desert Driving Course.

25 Navigation practice carried out by both ‘B’ and ‘C’ Flights. Pilot Officer Campbell and party returned from landing ground reconnaissance.

26 Navigation practice carried out by both ‘A’ and ‘B’ Flight.

27 A Sea patrol was carried out by ‘A’ Flight.

28 No flying.

EL DABA JAN
29 Both ‘A’ and ‘C’ Flights carried out high level bombing, all guns being fired.

30 As for previous day,

31 As for previous day.

[February]
EL DABA
1/2/40 High level practice bombing and photography carried out. Ground lectures on Lewis Gun training carried out.

2/2 High level practice bombing and navigation training carried out. Ground lectures on Lewis Gun training carried out.

3/2 9 aircraft took part in an Army co-operation exercise in the Wadi Natrun area [the ancient salt lakes on the margin of the Delta and the Western Desert, some 120 miles ESE of El Daba]. Navigational training was was also carried out. Ground Lewis gun training carried out.

4/2 Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out.

5/2 Navigational training and photography training carried out this day. Also ground lectures on Lewis gun training.

6/2 Navigational training and photographic training carried out this day. Also ground lectures on Lewis gun training.

7/2 Navigational training only was carried out. Two airmen were attached to Helwan for Short Desert Driving Course. Two airmen returned from Short Desert Driving Course. P/O JR Ritchie posted to the unit for cypher duties.

8/2 Navigational training. Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out.

9/2 Navigational training. Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out.

10/2 High level practice bombing, photographic training and navigation training carried out. P/O FG Chapman posted to HQ RAF ME.

11/2 Navigation training was carried out today.

12/2 Navigational training and High level practice bombing, front and rear guns were fired. Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out.

13/2 Navigational training and High level practice bombing, front and rear guns were fired. Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out.

EL DABA
14/2 Navigational training and High and Low level bombing, and Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out today.

15/2 As for previous day and also rear gun firing took place. The AOCinC Middle East Command together with Captain Balfour, Under Secretary for Air, visited this unit today.

16/2 Navigational training, High and Low level bombing, and Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out today.

17/2 Navigational training carried out today. F/Lt H O’B Howat posted to the unit. P/O MB Smith posted to the unit for cypher duties.

18/2 No flying this day. F/Lt JH Preston, Medical Officer, posted to No 102 MU [at Abu Sueir, near Ismailia].

19/2 Navigational training and Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out today. Rev JW Malcolm, OD Padre [Other Denominations padre], arrived this unit for Chaplaincy duties.

20/2 Navigational training and Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out today.

21/2 As for previous day. Two airmen returned from Short Desert Driving Course at Helwan.

22/2 As for previous day. Two airmen returned from England on completion of BDF duties (Tickner and Wright].

23/2 Navigational training and Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out today.

24/2 As for previous day.

25/2 No flying today. Aerodrome was unserviceable through heavy rains.

26/2 Navigational training and Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out today.

27/2 Navigational training, High and Low level practice bombing, photographic training and Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out today.

28/2 As for previous day. F/Lt JR Gordon-Finlayson and P/O LS Delaney proceeded to Fuka for Court of Enquiry and returned same day [part of an Officer’s duty being to sit on such an Enquiry, held in the event of accidents and the like.]

29/2 Low level bombing, photographic training and Ground lectures on Lewis gun training carried out today.

[March]
EL DABA
1/3/40 Bombing, navigation, Rear and Front gunnery practice carried out this day. A total of seventeen air navigation exercises were carried out during the week ended 1/3/40. Lectures were given to Air Crews together with navigation lectures. Ground Defence Crews received instruction on ground to air firing and sighting.

2/3/40 Navigational training was carried out this day.

3/3/40 Sunday - no flying.

4/3/40 Flight formation practices were carried out. P/O WWT Ritchie attached to 102 Maintenance Unit for Gas Course.

5/3/40 Flight formation practice was carried out today.

6/3/40 Night flying was undertaken today. Two Flights carried out cross-country flights to Ismailia and return. One detail carried out local flying. One detail of air to ground firing was carried out.

7/3/40 Navigational flying was undertaken today. Air Commodore R Collishaw DSO OBE DSC DFC, Squadron Leader CH Stilwell, Squadron Leader M Baker, Flight Lieutenant AW Daniels and Flying Officer HD Card arrived and were weatherbound for one night.

8/3/40 Four details of air firing (ground to air) were carried out today. A navigation exercise was also carried out.

9/3/40 Lectures in the use and mechanism of Lewis and Vickers guns were given to all Air Crew and Ground Defence Crews. Ground firing was also carried out.

10/3/40 Sunday - no flying

11/3/40 Low level bombing was carried out by two Flights. Front and rear guns being fired into the sea.

EL DABA 12/3/40
Two Flights carried out low level bombing. A submarine patrol was carried out between Mersa Matruh and Sollum. This exercise was designed to give Air Crews a chance of recognising a submarine from the air. Unfortunately the position of the submarine was between Mersa Matruh and Alexandria and so the exercise was wasted.

13/3/40 Low bombing was carried out today. Night flying was undertaken, one flight of three aircraft successfully carried out a formation flight from El Daba to Ismailia and back. Other pilots carried out local flying. Pilot Officer E Garrad-Cole crashed on landing but although considerable damage was done to the aircraft, the pilot escaped unhurt [Blenheim I L1537 DBR]. Pilot Officer CPR Collier, pilot, and 526462 LAC Thomas CE, air crew gaining air experience, crashed in an attempted landing in difficulties just short of the aerodrome. They were both injured and were removed to the 2/5th General Hospital, Alexandria by a Valentia of 216 Squadron at approx 0400hrs on the morning of the 14th [Blenheim I L1486. See Cooper, Grierson, Hoyes, Sainsbury and Wingrove photographs].

14/3/40 Low bombing and air navigation exercises were carried out today. Lectures in armament were given (Lewis gun and ground to air firing, to defence crews). A new draft consisting of 36 airmen of various trades arrived from the United Kingdom.

15/3/40 A low bombing detail was carried out today. Navigation exercise to Ismailia was also carried out. Photographic bombing exercise was carried out in the course of the navigation exercise.

16/3/40 Air navigation exercises were carried out today. Lectures in the use of the relative speed sighting were given to aircraft crews. The remainder of servicing Flight returned to the Squadron on cessation of attachment to No 31 ASP.

17/3/40 Sunday - no flying.

EL DABA 18/3/40
Navigation flights were carried out to Aboukir and Ismailia. The new war establishment was received today which increases the strength of the Squadron to 361 Officers and airmen.

19/3/40 Wing Commander GH Stainforth AFC arrived from Fuka and stayed the night. The weather was very bad and several tents were blown down and much equipment of officers and men soaked.

20/3/40 Wing Commander Stainforth gave a lecture on the new handling notes for the Blenheim aircraft, compiled by CFS. This was extremely beneficial and most interesting [AP 1530A Pilots Notes Blenheim I Aeroplane was formally issued in April 1939]. He gave us much interesting information on new types. Later he gave a display of aerobatics in a Gladiator. He also demonstrated the procedure to be adopted when one engine cuts on taking off. He found that the performance of Blenheims encumbered with full operational equipment added slightly [sic] to the difficulties of the task. He later demonstrated a roll and several loops in the Blenheim.

21/3/40 The weather changed for the better today, although the aerodrome was still soft. Wing Commander Stainforth left for Amiriya. P/O GBB Doudney relinquished the post of Adjutant and took over the command of ‘B’ Flight. F/O P Burnett relinquished the post of OC ‘B’ Flight and took over the duties of Adjutant.

22/3/40 A new draft consisting of 44 airmen of various trades arrived from the United Kingdom [including AC2 George Blake].

23/3/40 Easter Grant.

24/3/40 Easter Grant.

25/3/40 Easter Grant.

EL DABA 26/3/40
Bombing details were carried out today. ‘A’ Flight carried out high level bombing. Navigation flights and endurance test were carried out today.

27/3/40 High level bombing was carried out by both ‘A’ and ‘B’ Flights. Lewis gun practice and lectures were given. Three such classes are given each day.

28/3/40 High level bombing details were carried out today. ‘A’ Flight carried out high level bombing in formation. The Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader JWB Judge, lead his flight commanders in flight formation practice.

29/3/40 High level bombing details and formation bombing was carried out today. Flight Lieutenant AW Daniels, Group Signals Officer and Flight Lieutenant LA Betts Group Armament Officer, visited the Squadron from No 202 Group.

30/3/40 Weather overcast with strong wind. The dust began to rise.

31/3/40 Weather fine but sultry.

[Appendix, General remarks: not noted]

SEEN [signed JWB Judge]
Squadron leader, Commanding,
No 211 Squadron RAF

[April]
EL DABA 1940 1 April
Weather good. Armament lectures and instruction given in gunnery (crews). A navigation flight was carried out to Ismailia. The Parade for the Air Officer Commanding, No 202 Group’s visit was cancelled.

2 Weather good. ‘C’ Flight carried out a navigation trip to Siwa [Far to the South of Mersa Matruh] and returned via Heliopolis to Daba. ‘B’ Flight carried out a navigation trip to Heliopolis and return. F/Lt RH Spencer returned to Daba ex BDF to England. Armament lectures were given to Ground Defence Crews.

3 Weather fine, but strong wind blowing up. Dust became bad and Fuka aerodrome was placed unserviceable. No bombing carried out today. Air to Air elementary sighting, also practice sighting carried out by ‘C’ Flight. A photographic trip was carried out by by ‘B’ Flight. Squadron Leader Cator paid the Squadron a short visit by air.

4. Weather good. ‘[_]’ Flight carried out a navigation trip to Aboukir and Heliopolis. The Commanding Officer, Squadron Leader JWB Judge, tested pilots in flying. The Air Officer Commanding, No 202 Group (Air Commodore R Collishaw DSO OBE DSC DFC) arrived by air to present the DFM to No 508631 Sergt Kavanagh JJ, for gallant and distinguished services rendered in connection with operations in Palestine during the period 1st April to 30th July 1939.

5 Weather fine but strong wind and rising dust. A navigation trip was carried out to Dekheilia and back [Dekheilia, LG23 on the Southern outskirts of Alexandria, not Dekelia in Greece]. The aerodrome later became u/s through dust. P/O LS Delaney took over the duties of Adjutant during the temporary absence of F/O P Burnett to Adjutant [sic]. Static electricity was experienced in the Radio Tender caused by flying sand, An aircraft of No 33 Squadron [landed] owing to bad visibility and took off later in the afternoon.

6 Weather good. ‘C’ Flight carried out a navigation flight to Ismailia.

7 Weather good. A Magister aircraft called in for petrol from Ma’aten Bagush.

8 Weather good.
For week ending 8/4/40. HLB from 10,000 feet carried out. 4 trips being made in all. Other flying for the remainder of the week consisted of ten trips on navigation, 2 of photography and one of cloud flying.
GROUND. Lectures in armament (Lewis and Vickers guns) together with lectures on relative speed sighting were given to Air Crews and Ground Defence Crews. F/Lt RH Spencer left on attachment to No 201 Group. P/O WWT Ritchie returned from Fire and Gas Course.

9 Weather bad. Low cloud and heavy dust. Airmen’s rations have not been good during the last few days. The bread being particularly bad.

10 Weather good. Bombing details carried out. A navigation exercise was carried out by ‘A’ Flight. The use of SYKO was explained to air and ground personnel [message encryption system].

11 Weather very hazy with practically no cloud. 1st and 2nd bombing details [carried] out but results not very successful. A photographic trip was carried out by ‘C’ Flight. F/Lt H O’B Howat posted from the Squadron and F/Lt JP Brazil arrived to take his place as Medical Officer.

12 Weather good, sky cloudy. Bombing details carried out. ‘A’ Flight carried out a survey mosaic over the Delta. Squadron Leader JWB Judge proceeded on 12 days leave. F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson took over the duties of Commanding Officer in his absence. The camouflaging of tents is almost completed although only about half the indents for camouflage paint have been met. In view of additional personnel arriving on the Squadron certain of these new arrivals were put to work digging additional ARP trenches. F/Lt Hill who was standing by for Group Captain L Brown, who has assumed command of No 253 Wing in the temporary absence of Group Captain Sowery, visited the Squadron regarding ARP etc and departed after 1/2 hour.

EL DABA 1940 13 April
Weather very good. A photographic trip was carried out by ‘A’ Flight. A navigation trip was also carried out.

14 Severe storm during the night. Started at about 20.00 hours the previous evening and was perhaps the worst Khamseen conditions experienced at El Daba [the khamsin: dry, hot, dusty windstorms of North Africa, often in April, though sandstorms can occur at other times, as the photographs of Ralph Wingrove show].
AIR Week ending 13/4/40 High Level Bombing from 10,000 feet carried out. 10 trips in all being made. 25 navigation trips of approximately 1 1/2 hours duration each were carried out. 7 survey and photographic trips were carried out
GROUND Weather good. Lectures in use of Vickers gun, relative speed sighting given to crews.

15 Weather good. Maintenance work carried out all day. S/Ldr DV Johnson and F/Lt VJ Casey visited EL Daba to complete investigations on Blenheim L1486 crashed by Pilot Officer CPR Collier.

16 Weather moderate. Dust blowing up. Maintenance lectures carried out. ‘C’ Flight carried out a navigation trip to Amiriya and back.

17 Weather good ‘C’ Flight carried out a navigation trip to Heliopolis, Ismailia and back. 3 gunnery lectures are given per week in each Flight.

18 Weather good. Exercises with Observation Corps carried out along the coast. P/O DI Pike and P/O GA Steele joined the Officers Mess after having received temporary commissions. 4 A/P/Os are posted to the Squadron and will arrive on completion of a Short Navigation Course which they are undergoing at Abu Sueir.

19 Weather very good. Lectures were given to all ground defence crews by members of the Armoury staff. A lecture was also given by the Medical Officer on the usual precautions to be taken while serving in the Middle East. Maintenance work carried

EL DABA April 19 out all morning. Visit was paid by a Works and Buildings representative from No 103 MU. A large flight of French aircraft flew over from East to West during the late afternoon, flying very high.

20 AIR Week ending 20/4/40. During the week, three navigation trips were undertaken, one of which was combined with a photographic exercise. 3 trips of Air to Ground firing and four Observer Corps co-operation exercises were carried out.
GROUND Lectures in navigation, bombing and armament were gievn to all Air Crews.

21 Weather no so very good. Strong wind and dust blowing up.

22 Weather fine, moderate wind and slight dust haze. ‘A’ and ‘C’ Flights doing High Level bombing. ‘B’ Flight carried out a navigation flight to the Red Sea but the aircraft returned home because of unserviceable W/T. Bombing cancelled during the latter part of the morning because of a dust storm. It cleared away during the afternoon however. Group Captain Mann paid a visit, arriving in a Percival Q6 but left before lunch. The Intelligence Officer posted to the Squadron arrived diuring the afternoon,. A submarine was reported from Coastal Station No BB13. F/Lieut JR Gordon-Finlayson investigated by road.

23 Weather fine but low cloud. F/O P Burnett investigated a submarine scare by air taking off at 0530 hours. Cloud was down to 300 [ft]. A reconnaissance was carried out 150 miles to sea on course 029° for 3 hours. No vessel was sighted. The Mamour [magistrate] and CO of Police Camel Corps were invited down to dinner and paid a visit to the camp cinema.

24 Weather fine but cloudy. High Level bombing cancelled. Squadron Leader Marsack, Mackenzie and Carver called from Headquarters RAF Middle East.

25 Weather very good. No cloud. ‘A’ and ‘C’ Flights carried out High Level bombing. ‘A’ Flight also carried out a navigation trip to Aboukir, Abu Sueir, Ismailia and return. P/O DI Pike and P/O HA Steele left the Squadron on a few days leave prior to posting to No. 113 Squadron [LAC Geoff Grierson had frequently flown as Gunner for Pike both in the Hind days, and later in the Blenheims. The old part-time aircrew trades had been made permanent in 1939, and were very shortly to be raised to Sergeant rank. On 29 June 1940 Sgt. Pike and his 113 Squadron crew were shot down during a raid on El Gubbi. Pike force-landed on a beach, and the three crew thereupon launched their dinghy in an attempt to reach Egypt only to be taken captive by an Italian patrol boat. All three survived the war].

EL DABA 1940 April 26
Weather very good. No cloud. ‘A’ and ‘C’ Flights carried out bombing details. Squadron Leader JWB Judge left for conference at Headquarters Middle East. ‘B’ Flight carried out a navigation flight to Ma’aten Bagush, Heliopolis, Port Said and return. F/O DJ Day, the new Squadron Engineer Officer, arrived yesterday. 9 Sergeant Observers arrived on posting.

27 Weather fine but light dust blowing up. The Flights have been carrying out day and night re-arming exercises. ‘B’ Flight carried out a navigation trip to Helwan, Heliopolis, Helwan and return.

28 Sunday - no flying.

29 Weather fine. ‘A’ Flight carried out a navigation trip to Aboukir. P/O Buchanan arrived on posting today. ‘A’ Flight carried out a navigation, W/T and photographic exercise. No 113 Squadron paid a flying visit this afternoon.

30 Weather very good. ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Flights carried out an exercise with Army vehicles on manoeuvres. A visit was paid by the AOC, Air Commodore R Collishaw DSO OBE DSC DFC for the purpose of interviewing Airmen who have volunteered for Airman Pilot, Air Observer or Air Gunner.

General Remarks [Appendix] ‘A’

[signed]
JWB Judge
Squadron Leader, Commanding
No 211 Squadron RAF

[May]
EL DABA 1940 MAY
1 Weather. Fine and cloudless. The weather is now getting warmer.
Flying. ‘B’ Flight carried out a navigation exercise.
Ground. Lecture on Lewis gun and lectures to pilots in Flights.
Visits, Postings etc. PO AG Wingate-Gray arrived on posting to the Squadron for cypher duties. An aircraft from No 216 Squadron called and Major Judd visited the Mess. He is a member of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force.
General. F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson gave a lecture to the troops on Kenya.

2 Weather. Fine.
Flying. ‘B’ and ‘C’ Flights carried out navigation flights. ‘A’ Flight carried out a photographic exercise.
Ground. Ground defence crews were instructed in the use of rifles and Lewis guns.
Visits, Postings etc. P/O LB Buchanan arrived on posting from 113 Squadron.

3 Weather. Fine.
Flying. The CO S/Ldr JWB Judge flew to Heliopolis and returned same day. ‘B’ Flight carried a reconnaissance trip over the frontier.
Ground. Maintenance was carried out in the remaining Flights. Navigation lectures given to Sergt Air Observers and Pilots.

4 Weather. Very good.
Flying. Nil.
Ground. Gas and Air Raid alarms were given during the morning. Defence and trenches were manned.
Visits. The W & B Representative paid a visit by air, remaining 1 hour. P/O EB Smith, Observer Officer [the late Eric Bevington-Smith], arrived on posting and was posted to ‘A’ Flight.
General. There was a road accident during the night and our MO was called out

4 to help. The accident did not involve any of our own personnel.

5 Weather. Bad, exceptionally heavy dust storm.

6. Weather. Fine but slightly overcast.
Flying. An air-testwas carried out and a flight was made to Fuka for urgent spares. The CO went to Mersa Matruh for a Court of Enquiry.
Visits. S/Ldr Hill from No. 253 Wing paid a visit to inspect our ARP arrangements.

7 Weather. Very good.
Flying. Six aircraft took part in Air Defence of Egypt Exercise No 1 1940 (Appendices attached) A and B photographs included.
Ground. Nine Air Observers were given a navigational test in the form of a short examination. Lewis gun lectures were given in the Armoury.
Visits. The Air Officer Commanding in Chief [recently appointed to RAF ME, ACM Sir Arthur Longmore KCB DSO] arrived during the morning and spent an hour inspecting the camp. He was accompanied by Group Captain LO Brown.
General. The 2/5th CCS [Casualty Clearing Station] and the Northumberland Fusiliers [a machine gun battalion] arrived at Daba.

8 Weather. Very good.
Flying. HE bombing was carried out by experienced observers [High Explosive]. The Squadron was using old war time stock of 250lb and 112lb bombs. Owing to the vanes being damaged the bombing was not particularly accurate.
Ground. Lectures on bomb aiming and navigation were given in the Flights by experienced Observers.
Visits and movements. The 25th AA Battery arrived with 4 guns (3.7) and took up their positions, one pair due West and one pair due East of the aerodrome.
General. A RAFSP Corporal has been posted to the Unit and he has two ACHs under training for police duties. P/O Hellfield gave a lecture on oil and oil production.

EL DABA MAY
9 Weather. Very Good.
Flying. HE bombing carried out by all Flights.
Ground. Lewis gun and bombing lectures given in Flights.
Visits. F/Lt Middleton and F/Lt Seabrook arrived from HQME by air and stayed for an hour.

10 Weather. Very good.
Flying. HE bombing carried out by all Flights. ‘A’ Flight carried out a submarine patrol at 0800hrs. No submarines were sighted. A flare path was laid out at 0001hrs [sic] for possible use of an aircraft of 45 Sqdn which was overdue on night exercises. Seven aircraft took off to search for the missing 45 Sqdn machine at 1000hrs, The aircraft was eventually located by 45 Sqdn themselves.
Visits. GC Thomas accompanied by two representatives of the YMCA visited the Sqdn.

11 Weather. Very good.
Flying. Navigation trips were carried out to Siwa and to Aboukir.
General. Maintenance was carried out in the Flights. Armament lectures were given to ground defence crews.
Visits. Ten aircraft of 30 Sqdn landed and took off by Flights after dark to carry out raids in the Defence of Egypt Exercise.

12 Weather. Exceptionally heavy dust storm.
Visits. The AOC accompanied by S/Ldr Keilly and F/O Card landed here and were weather bound for the night. They attempted to reach Helio[polis] in the course of the afternoon but were forced to return.

EL DABA May
12 F/O Wickham Barnes and P/O Singleton of 80 Squadron were forced to land on account of bad weather. They eventually managed to get through to Amiriya. P/O Joyce landed in a Wellesley. He was en route from Malta to Helio. He was returning to 47 Squadron Khartoum.

13 Weather. Clear in the morning but dust rising in the later afternoon.
Visitors. The AOC and his party took off at 0600 hours. P/O Joyce took off at 0900 hours.
General. The day was observed as Whit Monday holiday [Pentecost or Whit Monday, the day after Whitsun or Whit Sunday, the seventh Sunday after Easter and hence a moveable holiday. Observed in the UK as a public holiday, held since 1967 on a more fixed date than the original Easter connection, and still the subject of Spring-related rustic celebrations].

14 Weather. Good.
Ground. The ALO from 253 Wing, Captain Seagrim, gave a lecture to air crews on reconnaissance and recco report writing. lectures on airmanship given in Flights.
Visits. One aircraft from 30 Squadron arrived to collect spares, and left at 1850 hours on a night navigation trip to Ismailia.

15 Weather. Good
Flying. Nil.
Ground. An aircraft of 216 Squadron arrived to transport a body from CCS during the afternoon.

16 Weather. Fine, cloud 8/10.
Flying. ‘B’ Flight carried out a navigation flight to 103 MU. Camera gun exercise was carried out by two aircraft using each other as targets.
Ground. A lecture was given in the operations room to all pilots and observers on reconnaissance. The ALO, who gave the lecture, journeyed from 253 Wing.
Visits. S/L Hill 253 Wing paid a short visit to inspect ARP preparations.

EL DABA MAY
17 Weather. Fine.
Flying. Nil.
Ground. A lecture was given on ARP to all Flight personnel. The defence posts were manned during the night and aircraft were dispersed.
Visits. G/C Brown, OC 253 Wing flew over the camp to inspect camp defences from the air. Captain Phillips 8th Hussars arrived on posting to this unit for duty as ALO [Army Liaison Officer].
General. A very heavy dust storm was experienced during the night. Several tents are blown down, and other damage was sustained to various buildings in the Daba area.

18 Weather. Bad. Dust storm all day.
Flying. Nil. Conditions unsuitable.
Ground. Lectures on ARP execution were given in Flights. Lewis gun firing was carried out on the beach. Each member of a defence post is doing a shift of two hours at a time.

19 Sunday.
Weather. Fine.
Flying. ‘A’ Flight delivered an aircraft to Depot for engine change.

20 Weather. Fine. Cloud 5/10 500 feet.
Flying. Owing to flying restrictions, bombing programmes had to be cancelled. ‘A’ Flight made a reconnaissance of landing grounds west of Mersa Matruh.
Ground. Maintenance was carried out all day.

21 Weather. Fine
Flying. ‘A’ Flight carried [out] another reconnaissance of landing grounds west of Mersa Matruh.

EL DABA MAY
21 ‘C’ Flight carried out navigation [flight] to Heliopolis.
Ground. Lectures on airmanship were given to pilots. Lewis gun classes held in Armoury.
Visits. S/L Hill paid a visit to AMES. He landed here for petrol and transport [the local AMES radar station, 204 MRU, was on the coast not far from Daba].

22 Weather. Fine.
Flying. 9 aircraft of this unit took part in the air power demonstration flight over Cairo. On their return from Cairo F/O Doudney lost his reduction gear and airscrew. He landed safely after flying 15 miles to Daba.
Ground. ARP lectures were given to ground defence crews throughout the morning.

23 Weather. Fine.
Flying. The CO flew to Mersa Matruh to inspect coast landing grounds with G/C Brown.
Ground. Lectures given to pilots and observers on signals procedures.
Visits. G/C Grigson from 202 Group arrived by air at 0830 hours and inspected HQ organisation and Operations Room. Later he inspected the area, visiting the AA gunners. and AMES. He left after lunch at 1400 hours.

24 Weather. Good.
Flying. Calibration flights were carried out in the Mersa Matruh area [these flights of known position height and course were an aid to setting up and tuning the AMES radar sets]. Navigation flights were carried out in the Mersa Matruh area.
Ground. Ground defence crew attended class on Lewis gun manipulation. A gas decontamination centre has been constructed. Early training of a decontamination squad has begun.

25 Weather. Fine.
Flying. Nil.
Ground. Maintenance was carried out throughout the morning.

26 Weather. Fine.
The CO flew to Ismailia.
[In France, Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of the British Expeditionary Force from Dunkirk, begins],

27 Weather. Fine, cloud 5/10.
Flying. Two aircraft carried out camera gun practice.
Ground. Navigation lecture was given to pilots and observers.
Visits. P/O J Mackie from Communication Flight, Heliopolis, landed at 0800 hours with secret documents. Four aircraft of 30 Squadron led by F/Lt Marlow, with F/O Blackmore, P/O Dunn and P/O Paget, arrived at 0845 hours They are to spend three days with 211 Squadron carrying out reconnaissance flights in co-operation with the Army. The AOCinC Sir Arthur Longmore DSO [sic], the AOC AC Collishaw, G/C Brown arrived at 1130 hours in an aircraft flown by F/Lt
Bateson and F/Lt Abrahams [the AOCinC and G/C in a Percival Q6 flown by Abrahams, with Bateson and crew flying escort in Blenheim I L8374 with the AOC aboard, according to his Log Book.] The AOCinC met the officers and Sgt pilots of the unit, after which he inspected the camp calling in at each Flight. He left shortly after lunch. The ALO of 253 Wing, Captain Seagrim, paid a short visit to interview the pilots of 30 Squadron.

29 Weather. Fine.
Flying. Aircraft activity reported thirty miles out to see and two aircraft of ‘A’ Flight carried out reconnaissance lasting two hours without observing any movements. ‘A’ Flight flew to Fuka for urgent spares.
Ground. A lecture was given to pilots and observers on navigation. Lewis gun practice was caried out by ground defence crews.
Visits. The Military Governor General of the Western Desert and the Mamour paid a short courtesy call at 1900 hours [Egyptian officials].

EL DABA MAY
30 Weather. Fine.
Flying. Nil
Ground. Maintenance was carried out during the morning. At 1045 hours a lecture was given to all air crews by F/Lt Macdonald. Lantern slides were shown demonstrating the silhouettes of Italian and British aircraft. Army Officers from units in the vicinity of the aerodrome were present.
Visits. G/C Brown arrived during the morning and stayed for two hours. F/Lt Betts, Armament Officer from 202 Group arrived at 0800 hours. He was accompanied by P/O Ford. They left for Maaten Bagush at 1100 hours. An Anson piloted by F/Sgt Scott arrived with equipment from Heliopolis. The Anson left the following morning for Amiriya.
General. Orders were received at 2215 hours to disperse MT and aircraft. All guns were loaded on aircraft and bombs were fuzed [Middle East tensions rising as Operation Dynamo continues at Dunkirk and the fall of France nears],

31 Weather. Fine.
Flying. Nil.
Ground. Defence preparations were carried out all day. The arming of aircraft and the fuzing of bombs was completed at 0300 hours this morning.

[Appendix A]

[signed]
JWB Judge
Squadron Leader, Commanding
No 211 Squadron RAF ME

[June]
EL DABA JUNE 1940 (hand written)
MECHANICAL TRANSPORT SECTION
The Section received 6 new four-wheelers. The total petrol consumption for the month was 2600 gallons, that of oil, 40 gallons. Total mileage approximated 23,500 miles.
Two six-wheelers were attached to No 103 Maintenance Unit and six vehicles went to Mersa Matruh on an attachment of one weeks duration for the purpose of moving a petrol dump.

CYPHER SECTION
The signal traffic for the month was very heavy, approximately 5,800 signals weekly.

ARMOURY
4 raids were carried out on enemy targets, a total of 51x250lbs, 1480x4lb incendiary, 276x20lbs and 279x40lbs being dropped. 20 bomb containers [SBCs] modified. There is still an acute shortage of small arms. [The expenditure of munitions is consistent with the bombing practice of the time, of mixed loads with high proportions of smaller ordinance. It equates to 24 aircraft sorties in 4 raids (in 2 Flights, 6 aircraft) each carrying 2x250lb GP bombs, 1
SBC of 40lbs bombs and either 1 SBC of 20lb bombs or 1 SBC of 4lb incendiaries. Three or perhaps four of these raids are now at least partly accounted for, from those aircrew Flying Log Books to hand for June 1940].

PHOTOGRAPHIC SECTION
Photographic activity has increased considerably and the standard of work shows great improvement. The arrival of a photographic tender has proved to be of great assistance in speeding work.

EL DABA JUNE 1940
EQUIPMENT SECTION
The transmitting and receiving vehicle was allotted to 202 Group. The Section now has a vehicle of low power. This vehicle is not very satisfactory under existing conditions. Signals work has been considerably lightened owing to message of non-operational nature being carried by despatch.

EL DABA 1st June 1940
Weather: Fine. Flying: Nil. Visits: P/O Jenkins, Intelligence Officer No 33 Squadron arrived to relieve P/O Hellfield who is on special leave.

2nd June Weather: fine. Flying: Nil.

3rd June Flying: HLB and direction grouping was carried out by ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ Flights.
General: A mock air raid alarm was given which proved highly successful.

[Notably, hostilities commenced on 10 June 1940. The Squadron’s first operation of the war came early on 11 June, an extended reconnaissance over Libya. There is no mention of that or any other operations in the bare two pages of Form 540 for the whole month of June. There is no apparent trace of the daily Summary of Operations (Form 541) with its usual list of sorties. The only references to the Squadron’s early operations lie in the laconic Armoury summary, above, and in the Flying Log Books of Squadron members—those to hand are accordingly included for June 1940 in the Form 541 section below.]

[July]
EL DABA 1st July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Sgt Peck flew one of the aircraft belonging to ‘A’ Flight for experimental work in conjunction with AMES.
Visits: nil
General: An air raid alarm was sounded at 1635 hours. However no enemy aircraft were sighted.
Appendix F1

EL DABA 2nd July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: nil.
General: Camp defence was carried out during the day, sandbagging, digging trenches etc.
Appendix F2

EL DABA 3rd July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: F/O Williams (attached to 211) carried out experimental flying in conjunction with AMES.
General: Camp defence work still being carried out.
Appendix F3

EL DABA 4th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: nil.
Visits: W/Cdr Willetts Intelligence, called to refuel while on his way to No 202 Group.
Appendix F4

EL DABA 5th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: ’B’ Flight, which had been detached to Helwan, returned. This Flight had been attached to 45 Sqdn for 10 days. S/Ldr Judge, F/O Doudney, Ritchie, P/O Campbell. 12 aircraft of this Squadron took part in a raid [on] Bir el Gubbi at 1515 hours. F/Lt Jones was forced to return one hour later [owi]ng to developing engine trouble in his machine. All the other aircraft returned at 1845 hours.
Appendix F5 [The Form 541 set apparently starts on 10 July, the entries for
5 July have now been partly added from Flying Log Books of aircrew to hand]

EL DABA 6th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: ‘C’ Flight, No 45 Squadron, left for Helwan at 1100 hours, accompanied by ‘A’ Flight, 211 Squadron, which left for Helwan on a weekend trip.
General: S/Ldr JWB Judge made a recco by road with the object of finding a suitable site fro an aerodrome. The station at Daba is growing very quickly and at the moment is rather congested, which fact increases the danger of an air raid. Steps are being taken to move the Squadron away from the present site.
Appendix F6

EL DABA 7th 40 July Weather: Fine.
Flying: nil.
Visits: S/Ldr Hill from No 202 Group paid a short visit with the object of viewing the new landing ground.
Appendix F7

EL DABA 8th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: ‘A’ Flight returned from Helwan at 0700 hours.
General: S/Ldr JWB Judge left by road to meet AOC at new site for aerodrome.
Appendix F8

EL DABA 9th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Several of our aircraft were flown to the satellite aerodrome.
General: Ground defence preparations are still being carried out.
Appendix F9

EL DABA 10th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: 12 aircraft were ordered to raid Tobruk, the target being a large petrol dump and magazine. 2 aircraft were forced to return to base because of engine trouble. All aircraft returned safely. Results not known.
General: F/O Doudney. ‘B’ Flight promoted to the rank of Flight Lieutenant.
Appendices F10, 13.1, B1, C1, 2,3, D1 E1.

EL DABA 11th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: nil.
Appendix F11

EL DABA 12th July 40 Weather: Fine. Slight dust haze all day.
Flying: 2 aircraft from ‘C’ Flight carried out a raid over Bardia during the night. These raids were individual. Heavy AA fire was encountered. After the run over our aircraft was ordered up to a certain height, apparently by Italian radio using our aircraft callsigns. P/O Pearson the pilot of the aircraft became suspicious and bombed at lower altitude, thus escaping the Italian barrage.

General: Work has begun on the new aerodrome site, a large number of the Palestinian Labour Corps being engaged in the work. This new site is superior in every way to the present site at Daba and is much cooler [sited to the WNW of Daba at Quotafiya and directly on the coast].
Appendices F12 13.2 C4, 5.

EL DABA 13th July 40 Weather: Fine but slight dust haze.
Flying: nil
General ‘B’ Flight is in process of moving to the new aerodrome
Appendix F13

EL DABA 14th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil
General: The work of moving camp is well in hand, the majority of the equipment being already on the new aerodrome.
Appendix F14

EL DABA 15th July 40 Weather: Fine, but with medium dust storm.
Flying: 8 aircraft raided Ain El Gazala. All aircraft were forced to land during the return journey, at various places, owing to shortage of petrol. The Commanding Officer landed at Bug Bug and nosed over on soft sand. However, nobody was hurt. Sgt Watkins landed barely on this side of the frontier and was given every assistance by the Army. P/O Garrad-Cole was forced to land in enemy territory, Bir El Adem being the nearest place.
[Recounted very briefly in Garrad-Cole’s Single to Rome. He and his crew, LAC Smith (Observer) and AC Doolin (Gunner) fell captive after forced landing in
L1491. Garrad-Cole was later able to escape. Doolin and Smith were liberated in late 1943 and repatriated to the UK. Doolin remained in RAF service until at least 1948 but Smith died in a training accident in 1944.]
General: The camp has been moved with the exception of several buildings and the telephone exchange
Appendices F15 B2 C6
D2 E2.

EL DABA 16th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: F/Lt Jones flew to Bug Bug to inspect crashed aircraft belonging to his Flight. Sgt Watkins flew back from the frontier.
General: The remaining buildings were removed to the new site today.
Appendix F16

EL DABA 17th July 40 Weather: Fine.
QOTAIFIYA 17th July Flying: Nil.
Appendix F17

QOTAIFIYA 18th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Two replacement aircraft arrived from No 102 MU..

QOTAIFIYA 19th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nine aircraft were ordered to intercept an Italian cruiser, which was reported to be off Tobruch. Each Flight took off independently at short intervals. The cruiser was not located so bombs were dropped over Tobruch harbour. The damage is not known. Heavy AA fore was encountered, also some CR42 aircraft. All our aircraft returned.
Appendices F19, B3, C7, D3, E3.

QOTAIFIYA 20th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.
General: Dummy aircraft were erected on the old site at El Daba. An air raid was sounded at 1030. The aircraft was heard and proved to be an Italian recco being carried out by an S79.
Appendix F20

QOTAIFIYA 21st July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.
General: Enemy aircraft bombed East of Fuka, the aircraft though reported to be flying East, were not seen from here.
Appendix F21.

QOTAIFIYA 22nd July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: 3 aircraft belonging to ‘A’ Flight made individual attacks on El Gubbi, El Adem, and Submarine Jetty Tobruch Harbour. Sgts Smith, Steel and Sewell the crew on one of the aircraft, are missing. It is not known what happened to them or their aircraft [L6661 failed to return. Sewell’s body was later recovered from the beach at Maaten Bagush, see 1 August below. His funeral shown among
Wingrove’s collection].
Apendices F22, B4, C8

QOTAIFIYA 23rd July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.
General: There is still no news of the missing aircraft or its crew. The Operations Room has been moved to a permanent wooden building. Change of Squadron command: S/Ldr ARG
Bax arrived by air to take over command of 211 Squadron from S/Ldr JWB Judge on posting to 202 Group.
Appendix F23.

QOTAIFIYA 24th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.
General: Camp defence work is well in hand. Tents and buildings have been camouflaged with brush. Shelter trenches have also been camouflaged in the same fashion.
Appendix F24.

QOTAIFIYA 25th July 40 Weather: Fine, with low cloud early in the morning.
Flying: 9 aircraft were ordered to bomb LG South of Derna. Two aircraft failed to take off due to engine failure. One machine later returned with a broken tailwheel. The aircraft were refuelled at Sidi Barrani. Bombs were observed bursting amongst closely packed aircraft on the LG at Derna. It is interesting to note that the island of Crete was sighted on the return flight. No enemy aircraft were encountered nor was there any AA fire. F/Lt Doudney lost his port airscrew and reduction gear about 20 miles from Mersa Matruh. He made a forced landing at Fuka where ARS [Aircraft Repair Section] is stationed. He was unable to lock his undercarriage and his wheels folded on landing. The machine was damaged but the none of the crew were hurt.
General: Several incendiary bombs were dropped near the Alexandria—Matruh [road] at a a distance of about five miles from the camp. The enemy aircraft was not seen on this occasion. One bomb which failed to was recovered by our Armament Section.Appendices F25, B4, C9 10 11, D4 E4 5 6 7.

QOTAIFIYA 26th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: P/O Campbell made a recco to find a landing ground East of El Daba. One was found, being about 8 miles South of the Burg el Arab lighthouse.
Appendix F26.

QOTAIFIYA 27th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.
General: An air raid warning was received but no enemy aircraft appeared, though they were reported South of here at 1318 hours.
Appendix F27.

QOTAIFIYA 28th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.
Appendix F27.

QOTAIFIYA 29th July 40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.
General: The camouflaging of all tents is complete
Appendix F29

DABA 30.7.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.
General: F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson and Cpt Balfour Army Liaison Officer left for the scene of operations at teh frontier. They will be away approximately 3 days.
Appendix F30

Daba 31.7.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.
Appendix F31

Monthly General Survey
Health of camp fair. There was a slight epidemic of sandfly fever probably carried by sand fleas as no sand flies are about this part. Moved to new camp site beside the sea and a noticeable improvement in health was noticed almost immediately. The morale of the camp has also shown great improvement [the MO, “Doc”
Squire made particular mention of these changes]
Armoury: Trenches were dug and defence posts erected. Armament work proceeding normally. An Italian bomb was found and exploded.
Photography Section: Moved with Sqdn to new site. A much needed reorganisation of equipment etc was carried out.
Signals: Despite the difficulties incurred during the move of the Sqdn to the new site, signal work was carried out without any loss of efficiency.
MT: Approximately 430 miles were covered by vehicles during the move to new camp.

[August]
QOTAIFIYA 1.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Local photography work was carried out.
General: The late Sgt Sewell was buried at Dabaa Military Cemetery.

2.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Local photography work was continued.

3.8.40 Weather: Fine though cloudy.
Flying: 9 aircraft left base to bomb shipping in Derna Harbour. 2 aircraft belonging to ‘A’ Flight and piloted by F/Lt
Gordon-Finlayson and F/O Farrington were forced to return owing to engine trouble. The raid was carried out sucessfully, several direct hits being made on the jetty.
Appendices 1B 1C 1D 2D 3 photos

4.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: 2 aircraft from ‘C’ Flight left base to bomb MT (204 vehicles) near Bir El Gobi. Target was bombed from 10,000 feet. 40–50 Italian fighters were met, one air gunner being wounded in the forearm.
Appendices 2B 2C 3D 4 photos

5.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

6.8.40 Weather: Slight sandstorm.
Flying: Nil.

7.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

8.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Local photography work was carried out.

9.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Flying: 9 aircraft bombed Tobruch.
[No Appendix list]

QOTAIFIYA 10.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: 3 aircraft raided armed camp at Gabr Saleh.
Appendices 3B 4, 5,6D.

11.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

12.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: 9 aircraft raided Tobruch Harbour.
Appendix 3B 3C 7D 8D 12 plates.

13.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

14.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

15.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

16.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

17.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

18.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

19.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

20.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

21.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

22.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: 9 aircraft left Base to bomb Derna Harbour, MT, Hangars, and dispersed aircraft. P/O Delaney returned owing to engine trouble. 1 aircraft force-landed at Sid Barrani on the homeward journey due to petrol shortage.
Appendices 4B 4C 5C 9, 10D photos.

23.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

24.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

QOTAIFIYA 25.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

26.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: 1 long-nosed Blenheim landed after being flown from England.

27.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: 9 aircraft raided shipping in Derna Harbour. 2 ships were seen to be on fire, F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson force-landed at Sidi Barrani on homeward run owing to engine trouble. P/O [blank] took off late owing to undercarriage trouble, failed to locate formation, so carried out an individual raid on the target from 2,500 feet.
Appendices 5B 11D 12D 27 photos.

28.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

29.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Camouflage testing in conjunction with Army.
Visits: AOCinC visited camp, talked to personnel.

30.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: Nil.

31.8.40 Weather: Fine.
Flying: 10 aircraft carried out raids on [blank]. Two aircraft took off each raid and this was continued throughout the day. All the raids were very successful, a message of congratulation being received from the AOC.
Appendices 6B 7B 6C 31 photos.

Station Sick Quarters: The sanitary arrangements in the camp have been completed. The general health is good. Games have been restarted and helps to this end.
Signals & Wireless Section: There were no hitches in this Section. The receiving and transmitting station, set up in July, is now in full use.
Photographic Section: Continual cleaning of cameras and equipment was necessary owing to dust. Cameras were carried on all day bombing raids.
Armoury: This section was busy owing to the training of ground defence crews and the heavy operational requirements of the month. The ready use dump of bombs was well maintained.

[September]
QOTAIFIYA 1/9/40 The weather was fine on all days during September.
Flying nil on 1/9/40.

2/9/40 Flying. S/Ldr Judge, 202 Group, visited Squadron.

3/9/40 Flying. Nil.

4/9/40 Flying. 6 sorties of 2 aircraft each made raids on El Gubbi, El Gazala, and Bardia. The raids were in the main successful as hits were observed on huts and tentage.
During the sixth sortie, led by S/Ldr ARG
Bax, CO of unit, the aircraft was engaged by an enemy fighter. During this action S/Ldr Bax was shot down, and was last seen making towards the Libyan coast, losing height and with the starboard engine dead. The second aircraft of this sortie force-landed at Sidi Barrani.

5/9/40 Flying. Nil operational flying. Air tests carried out.
Visits. S/Ldr Hill from HQME and Miss Spencer Brooks, Egyptian Gazette correspondent.
Two replacement aircrews arrived from Abu Sueir.

6/9/40 Flying. Nil.

7/9/40 Flying. Nil.

8/9/40 Flying. P/O Steele [sic, not the late Sgt Steele] delivered a Blenheim from 113 Squadron.

9/9/40 Flying. 2 raids carried out on N foreshore of Tobruk. The first, led by S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson, was of 9 aircraft. The target was successfully bombed, bursts being observed among buildings and on jetties. The second raid, by three aircraft, was carried out during dusk and bombs were seen to straddle the objective and the centre of the town.

10/9/40 Flying: Six aircraft made single attacks on Bardia and Tobruk. These raids were very successful, explosions being caused and fires started.

11/9/40 Flying: Nine aircraft attacked 500 MT 15 miles W of Sidi Omar. The raid was effective, direct hits being observed

QOTAIFIYA 12/9/40 Flying Nil. Visits. W/Cdr Cator from HQME

13/9/40 Flying. 3 aircraft bombed seaplane base at Bomba.
Air rid warning given and a number of bombs were dropped near the Dummy flare-path. No damage was caused.

14/9/40 8 aircraft bombed enemy concentrations 4 miles W of Sollum. The raid was on the whole successful.
Italian aircraft flew low over camp after dark. No bombs were dropped.

15/9/40 2 aircraft bombed concentrations of MT on track S of Bug Bug. Several fires were started.

16/9/40 6 aircraft raided enemy concentrations W of Sidi Barrani. This raid, carried out by aircraft in pairs, was very successful, several large fires being started. One aircraft [L6660] crashed on landing but the crew were unhurt. (This crash occurred after raid on 17th)

17/9/40 2 raids were carried out on MT concentrations near Sidi Barrani. The first raid consisted of 7 aircraft and the second, 8. Both raids hit the target.

18/9/40 8 aircraft bombed enemy landing grounds in Libya. The aircraft raided in pairs and the raids were on the whole successful.

19/9/40 Flying: nil.

20/9/40 6 aircraft attacked troop concentrations near Sidi Barrani. Hits were observed on a convoy of approx. 50 vehicles. 2 fires were seen.
An air raid alarm was given at 01.00 hours. Bombs were dropped on the Dummy flare-path. No damage.

21/9/40 3 aircraft bombed aerodrome at Sidi Barrani. Bombs dropped between hangar and enemy aircraft.

22/9/40. 3 aircraft bombed Menastir LG. No hits observed owing to failing light.

23/9/40 9 aircraft bombed N foreshore Tobruk Harbour. Several hits were observed on jetties and wharves.

24/9/40 Flying: nil.

25/9/40 9 aircraft bombed N foreshore Tobruk Harbour. The raid was very successful. On the return journey the aircraft piloted by S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson caught fire in the starboard engine and he was forced to land at Qasaba after nursing the aircraft for about 100 miles. The crew were unhurt though the aircraft was badly damaged.

QOTAIFIYA 25/9/40 [Visits.] AVM Maund from HQME

26/9/40 3 aircraft bombed dispersed aircraft on Sollum aerodrome. Direct hits observed on 3 aircraft and photographs showed a fourth badly damaged.
G/Cptn Grigson visited the Squadron.

27/9/40 9 aircraft bombed MT concentration 20 miles N of Giarabub. The bombs of one flight only were seen to fall on the target. [See CFR Clark 27 Sep, eg]

28/9/40 Flying: nil.

29/9/40 One aircraft piloted by S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson bombed EL Gazala LG. 4 Flares were dropped to the W of Gezira El Maracheb to enable two Swordfish to carry out an aerial torpedo attack.
S/Ldr Hill 202 Group, visited the Squadron.

30/9/40 6 aircraft bombed Tobruk N foreshore. Several near misses were observed on shipping and two fires were started on the foreshore. One aircraft hit by shrapnel but landed safely. Crew were uninjured.

GENERAL
ARMOURY The bomb dumps were replenished. Thermos bombs were found and demolished. The aerodrome was swept daily to ensure the safety of machines and men against Thermos bombs. Rifles were issued to all personnel below the rank of Sergeant.
WIRELESS SECTION The normal maintenance was carried out during the month. The telephone system was improved by further extensions. Good D/F results have been obtained by aircraft. Buzzer line is now operated instead of point to point W/T.
MT SECTION. Sgt Green and two aircrafthands engaged on levelling ground for landing grounds. There is a shortage of MT drivers, which makes itself felt in vehicle maintenance.
SSQ General health of the Squadron s good but there is a mild epidemic of desert sores.

[October]
FIELD 1.10.40 Weather good. Flying: One aircraft of ‘A’ Flight carried out an air test. Visits: S/L Wisdom from HQME and two Australian war correspondents [R Glennie, Melbourne Argus and JA Hetherington, Melbourne Herald].

FIELD 2.10.40 Weather cloudy. Flying: Nine aircraft loaded with 250lb GP bombed water tanks at Buq Buq aircraft were over target at 12:00. Bombing was carried out in Squadron formation [three vics of three, formed up in a larger vic, ‘A’ Flight leading]and it is thought that bombs of the left flank fell within the target area.
General: An air raid alarm was given at 15:45hrs. No enemy aircraft were seen.

FIELD 3.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: P/O Branes [sic. Barnes, clearly, in the absence of any “Branes” in war-time issues of the London Gazette or in the Air Force List from 1939 and 1945] and P/O Jerdein went to Depot to collect two Blenheims.
Visits: Lt/Col Branford Niron RE and Major Frazer called en route for Almaza. Col Pearce, New Zealand Forces.

FIELD 4.10.40 Weather hazy. Flying: Three aircraft loaded with SSBL [2x250lb GP plus 2xSBC each of 20x20lb] bombed the foreshore at Bardia. Bombs were observed to fall with[in] target area. F/O Farrington, ‘A’ Flight, carried out an air test. Two aircraft left for Ismailia on weekend leave.
General: Leave and weekends resumed. P/O Cox joined the Squadron.

FIELD 5.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: ‘A’ Flight carried out an air test.

FIELD 6.10.40 Weather hazy. Flying: ‘C’ Flight carried out an air test.
General: Capt Balfour returned from CCS

FIELD 7.10.40 Weather slight sand storm blowing. Flying: Two aircraft returned from weekend leave. Three aircraft of ‘C’ Flight bombed enemy transport and tents near Sidi Barrani at 18:15hrs armed with SSBL. Bombs observed to fall in the target area.
Visits: S/Ldr Malcolm, S/L Hill from 202 Group. F/Lt Forrest.

FIELD 8.10.40 Weather hazy. Flying: Three aircraft of ‘A’ Flight bombed at 18:05hrs encampment and barracks NW Sollum. Aircraft were armed with SSBL. Bombs observed to fall amidst barrack buildings and across encampment. One aircraft of ‘C’ Flight flown to Depot for doping (Blenheims, like other aircraft of the period, retained fabric covered control surfaces).
General: S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson and P/O Barnes visited aerodrome site no 025 [some 25 miles away to the East at Bir Manbi, inland from Sidi Abd El Raman]. CO left for HQME.

FIELD 9.10.40 Weather hazy. Flying: Three aircraft loaded with SSBL raided Tobruk harbour and foreshore at 18:09 hours. The raid was very successful, bombs were observed to fall among shipping and on foreshore. Sgt Marshall of ‘A’ Flight carried out dusk landing practice. F/Lt Doudney of ‘B’ [Flight] carried out an air test. P/O Cox of ‘A’ Flight to Depot.

FIELD 10.10.40 Weather cloudy. Flying: Three aircraft loaded with SSBL bombed Sidi Barrani aerodrome at 13:45 hours. No aircraft were seen on landing ground. P/O Cox brought aircraft back from Depot. One aircraft of ‘A’ Flight carried out local flying.
Visits: Valencia [sic Vickers Valentia transport] landed at 20.00hrs having brought four wounded soldiers from the front line to the CCS.

FIELD 11.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: Two aircraft left on weekend leave to Aboukir and Ismailia. Three aircraft bombed at 18:15 hours shipping on South foreshore of Tobruch [sic] aircraft were armed with 250lbs GP which were seen to straddle a ship estimated at 20,000 tons. In accordance with warning received from 202 Group, five aircraft at 16 hours were flown to the satellite aerodrome at Sidi Ab[del] Rahman [LG 025]. ‘B’ Flight carried out an air test.
Visits: Lt Ward Intelligence Officer, NZE.
General: An air raid alarm was given at 20 hours when an Italian aircraft flew over the camp.

FIELD 12.10.40 Weather cloudy. Flying: Five aircraft returned from Satellite aerodrome at 0630 hours. Two aircraft of ‘C’ Flight bombed Bardia at 1830 hours armed with 250lb GP [bombs]. Raid was fairly successful, bombs seen to burst on W/T Station and Stores. One aircraft of ‘A’ Flight carried out a cross-country run. Four aircraft were flown to satellite aerodrome.
Visits: F/O Hosley, 208 Sqdn.
General: An air raid alarm was given at 1900 hours another at 2325hrs when enemy aircraft bombed the dummy flare-path.

FIELD 13.10.40 Weather sandy. Flying: Four aircraft returned from satellite at 0700 hours. Two aircraft armed with 250lb GP bombed the foreshore at Tobruk. Bombs were observed to fall among AA batteries. Five aircraft were flown to satellite aerodrome.
Visitors: S/L Malcolm arrived [Rev JW Malcolm OD, padre] and took service in YMCA hut.
General: Three enemy aircraft were heard flying over camp bombs were dropped to South of El Daba. One Wellington of 70 Sqdn force-landed at 2400 hours with undercarriage up, due to hydraulic system out of action.

FIELD 14.10.40 Weather sandy. Flying Five aircraft returned from satellite aerodrome at 0855hrs. Three aircraft bombed an enemy camp at Bin Sofari at 1730hrs. Bombs were observed to fall on N and W sides of camp, and amidst pom-pom emplacements. Two aircraft returned from weekend. Six aircraft were flown to satellite aerodrome at 1830hrs,
Visits: S/L Wisdom from HQME.
General: Three air raid alarms were given during the evening. Enemy aircraft were heard flying over camp on all occasions. At 1829 hours were dropped between dummy flare path and ‘C’ Flight.

Filed 15.10.40 Weather: heavy showers of rain. Flying: at 1815 hours three aircraft bombed an enemy camp 4 miles South of Sollum. Five aircraft returned from satellite aerodrome. Six [aircraft] were flown to satellite aerodrome.
Visits: S/L Hill from 202 Group.
General: Three air raid alarms were given, enemy aircraft dropped six bombs dummy flare path.

Field 16.10.40 Weather dull. Flying: six aircraft returned from satellite aerodrome at 0830 hours. Nine aircraft were flown to satellite aerodrome.
Visits nil.
General: Three air raid alarms were given, when an enemy a/c on two occasions dropped bombs approx three miles SW of the camp. Two relief crews arrived from Ismailia.

Field 17.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: three aircraft of ‘B’ Flight armed with 250lb GP bombed enemy MT and camp at Bir Sofafi at 1809hrs. Bombs were [observed] to burst in target area. No 3 aircraft overshot leading aircraft during return flight, causing damage to Port mainplane. Both aircraft landed safely at base. One a/c of ‘A’ Flight was flown to Depot for re-doping. Nine aircraft returned from satellite aerodrome.
Visits: Capt Taylor and Lt Boyd, Indian Sappers.
General: An air raid [alarm] was given when enemy aircraft dropped bombs to SW of camp, no damage was done.

FIELD 18.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: six aircraft returned from satellite aerodrome.
Visits nil.

FIELD 19.10.40 Weather fine. Six aircraft returned from satellite aerodrome. TWo aircraft bombed Bardia at 0540 hours armed with 250lbs GP. Bombs were released one every five minutes in order to create diversion, assisting fighter aircraft straffing enemy ground forces. One aircraft of ‘A’ Flight left for Ismailia on weekend [leave].
General: An air raid alarm was given at 0230hrs when enemy aircraft dropped bombs on headland one mile from camp, no damage was done.

FIELD 20.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: Two aircraft were flown to satellite aerodrome. Three aircraft carried out air tests.

FIELD 21.10.40 Weather dull. Flying: Three aircraft bombed parties of men laying a water pipeline on road West of Buq Buq. The raid was successful. Two aircraft returned from weekend [leave]. Two aircraft returned from satellite aerodrome. Two aircraft carried out air tests.
Visits: The AOC arrived and interviewed several aircrew.
General: An air raid alarm was given at 1230 hours when six enemy aircraft flew over camp, no bombs were dropped.

FIELD 22.10.40 Weather fair. Flying: Two aircraft armed with SSBL bombed water tanks west of Buq Buq at 1100hrs, the raid was very successful.
Visits: Lt Mayburg, AILO 55 Sqdn
General: 84 Sqdn detached flights arrived with 5 a/c from Heliopolis. Theya re a self-contained unit under command of F/Lt Cathill. The Ground Party arrived at 1200 hours. The Flight is stationed on NW side of the aerodrome.
Visits: S/L Wisdom from HQME.
Flying: One a/c from ‘A’ Flight carried out local flying.
General F/Lt Farrington returned from leave. F/O Ritchie proceeded on leave.

FIELD 23.10.40 Weather clear. Flying: One aircraft from ‘B’ Flight carried out local flying.
General: Enemy aircraft bombed Dummy Flare Path. No damage was done.

FIELD 24.10.40 Weather sandy. Flying: One aircraft from ‘A’ Flight carried out local flying.

FIELD 25.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: One aircraft dropped flares and bombs, enemy MT & troops 15 miles E of Sidi Barrani at 0245hrs. Flares were dropped in order to assist HMS Aptis [sic Aphis] who was observed to start shelling immediately after bombing [three Insect class river gunboats Aphis, Gnat and Ladybird were redeployed from the China station to the Eastern Mediterranean from mid to late 1939, for tasks of just this sort. Of shallow draft and with two 6in and two 12pdr guns, they were well suited despite their 1915 vintage, if well-supported. Ladybird was sunk at Tobruk by Luftwaffe dive-bombing in May 1941. Gnat was torpedoed by U79 north of Bardia in June 1941 but was later towed to Alexandria where she took station as an AA guardship. Aphis survived the war]. Nine aircraft of 211 Sqdn and 3 aircraft of 84 Sqdn armed with 250lb GP bombed perimeter camp S of Sidi Barrani chosen as alternative target to Tobruk foreshore. Direct hits were observed on camp. Five aircraft carried out air tests.
Visits: S/L Lewis 84 Sqdn.
General: An air raid alarm was given at 0330 hours when enemy aircraft flew over aerodrome, no bombs were dropped.

FIELD 26.10.40 Weather heavy sandstorm which continued all day.
General: all ground maintenance was at a standstill all day due to sandstorm.

FIELD 27.10.40 Weather hazy. Visits: Capt Mayburg, AILO 55 Sqdn.
General: Two Blenheims Mk IV from 113 Sqdn returning from a raid over Benghazi force-landed here at 2330 hours short of petrol, they were unable to locate our aerodrome due to heavy ground mist.

FIELD 28.20.40 Weather fine. Flying: Six aircraft search area for lost Blenheim of 113 Squadron. Which was later found in burnt out condition by another Squadron. Three a/c carried out test flight.
General: Two Blenheims 113 Sqdn returned to their base.

FIELD 29.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: Seven aircraft 211 Sqdn and three a/c 84 Sqdn armed with 250lb GP raided landing grounds in Lykia at 1120 hours. All aircraft returned safely to base.

FIELD 30.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: One aircraft went to search for missing Lysander of 208 Sqdn in the area Weshak–Bir Bayly–Garet–Teira–Garn el Grein. The a/c was located and our a/c was recalled at 1622 hours. One a/c of ‘A’ Flight flew to Depot. Two carried out air tests.
General: F/O Ritchie returned from leave. The mail Anson burnt [sic: burst?] starboard wheel on landing and was forced to stay the night.

FIELD 31.10.40 Weather fine. Flying: 8 aircraft and 2 aircraft No 84 Sqdn armed with 250lb GP attacking aircraft and the camp at Gambut. Direct hits were made on two aircraft and a stick of bombs landed in close proximity to 6 aircraft in line. An explosion was seen in the area of the parked a/c. Several minutes after our aircraft left the target. One CR42 attempted to intercept our aircraft but after firing two bursts from 500yds was attacked by Gladiator and Hurricane and was last seen diving towards the ground with smoke trailing from it. P/O Cox returned from Depot. One aircraft carried out an air test.

[November]
QOTAIFIYA 1/11/40 Weather. There was a sandstorm blowing. Flying Nil.

2/11/40 The weather became cold and showery. There was no flying.

3/11/40 The weather still remained very bad. Still no flying

4/11/40 The weather today has turned for the better. S/Ldr Roach of 55 Sqdn came over for a visit.

5/11/40 Nine aircraft bombed Perimeter Camp SE of Fort Maddelena. Bombs were seen to burst on the SE boundary of the camp. Direct hits were observed on MG nests and slit trenches. S/Ldr Hill from 202 Group and Major Sigrim from 202 Group [sic] visited the Squadron.

6/11/40 Orders were received from HQME to strike camp immediately and to proceed to Ismailia. The sport team which was touring in Cairo was recalled. It is noteworthy that when they arrived back at Quotaifiya the camp had been struck and all that was left was the rear guard [“The Greyhounds of the Desert” living up to their mobile squadron reputation].
On the order to pack the entire Squadron set to with a will, being glad to be relieved of the Desert at last. The whole pack up was carried through with the utmost speed and efficiency.

7/11/40 The whole Squadron was fully packed and, with the exception of a small party remaining behind to scavenge generally, was on the road 7/11/40. The main convoy had an uneventful trip and after spending the night at Amriya [Amiriya, just West of Alexandria], arrived at Ismailia on the night of the 8th [then a major RAF Station on the Suez Canal, Ismailia was 300 miles from Quotaifiya via Amiriya, and the Desert Road—or 230 miles direct by air].

8/11/40 All but two wagons of the rearguard commenced their journey at 0400 hours. These last two lorries were left to make a general tour of the camp and they left at approximately 1100 hours. The three parts of the convoy arrived at the same time at Ismailia, the rearguard having no stops on the way. It was very annoying to arrive at Ismailia whilst an air raid was in progress [Alexandria and Suez targets were subject to Regia Aeronautica attacks from time to time, by Savoia Marchetti SM 79 and SM 81 units].

ISMAILIA 9th till 14th 40 From the 9th to the 14th, the Squadron remained at Ismailia, re-equipping with various necessary items and adjusting the [personnel] strength of the Squadron. These few days passed quickly and the Squadron was soon ready for the next stage of the move. The MT and all the Squadron equipment left Ismailia on the 11th and proceeded independently to Seagull Camp, Alexandria, ready for embarking.

14/11/40 The Squadron personnel left Ismailia at 0300 hours by rail. Alexandria was reached uneventfully and the Squadron spent the night in an Amry reception camp a short distance from Sidi Baber.

15/11/40 The Squadron personnel were embarked on the HMS Gloucester [the Southampton class 6in cruiser shown by Doc Squire], which was accompanied on the journey by the Orion, Ajax, Sydney [all Leander class 6in cruisers of 1930s build] and Berwick [a County class 8in cruiser of 1934, she survived the war, as did Orion and Ajax]. The journey [530 nautical miles] only took 24 hours and was as usual uneventful [six months later Gloucester was lost and Ajax heavily damaged in the battle for Crete]. The weather was beautiful and the cruisers made a very impressive picture as they steamed at 28 knots.

GREECE 16/11/40 The Squadron disembarked at Piraeus, the port of Athens, where they met with a terrific reception the whole way from the docks to the camp at Tatoi [the airfield at Menidi, serviced through Tatoi station, 15 miles from Piraeus. The Royal palace known as Tatoi was several miles away in the hills]. The population made the men heartily welcome and it was very pleasant for all ranks.
The Squadron equipment and MT were transported on another convoy, which was passed during the night.

TATOI MENIDI 17/11/40 to 22/11/40 During the period 17/22nd, prior to arrival of the Air Party, was spent in getting various matters fixed to the best possible advantage in view of the lack of facility, especially from the point of view of the Cookhouse, which Section performed heroic work under the most trying conditions.

22/11/40 to 25/11/40 The Air Party arrived and the Squadron took the task of getting ready for instant operations very seriously and within a few days everything was “Operationally Serviceable”.
[For the period 22 November to 24 November, the Form 540 is in poor agreement with the Form 541, omitting the actual date of arrival of the Air Party, and the 24 November raid from which
The Bish & co were first reported missing].

26/11/40 Three aircraft attacked Tepelini but owing to weather conditions the flight had to return without bombing
[Tepelene, North of the border in Albania, was over 250 miles NW of Menidi (Tatoi)].

27/11/40 Six aircraft took off to attack the port of Durazzo [on the Adriatic coast of Albania, 320 miles NW] but had to return without bombing as there was no cloud cover for the bombers after they made their run up. The orders issued by Headquarters made it clear that aircraft were only to approach and bomb when there was ample[cloud].

MENIDI 28/11/40 The name of the station was now changed from Tatoi to Menidi. Three aircraft bombed enemy shipping disembarking troops in Sarande Harbour [230 miles NW in Southern Albania near Corfu]. The bombing was done from 12,000 feet and several near misses were observed.

29/11/40 The weather was very cold and cloudy. There was no flying. The conditions experienced in Greece were the opposite extreme from those in the Desert and the operational crews were having and extremely difficult time in adjusting themselves to the cold wintry conditions. The ground personnel also felt the cold keenly.

30/11/40 Nine aircraft stood by to take off on a raid but were unable to carry it though owing to the extremely bad weather. All aircraft were grounded.

[December]
MONTH OF DECEMBER 1940
MENIDI 1/12/40 Nine aircraft took off to raid the Italian occupied port of Valona [now Vlores in Albania]. All aircraft were forced to turn back before reaching the target due to bad weather.
Appendix ‘A’.

2/12/40 Nine aircraft bombed the Power House, ammunition dumps and the harbour at Valona. It was a successful raid, bombs being observed to burst on the jetty and among buildings. Fires were started and one building was demolished. The leading flight was attacked by enemy fighters and in the ensuing fight one CR42 was last seen going down vertically with its engine on fire as a result of our rear gunners’ cross fire.
One aircraft was forced to land at Araxos on the outward journey.
Appendix ‘B’.

3/12/40 One aircraft was air-tested.

4/12/40 Nine aircraft armed with 250lb bombs attacked retreating Italian columns at Tepelene. Bombs were observed to burst among MT concentrations.
Appendix ‘C’.

5/12/40 No flying due to bad weather.

6/12/40 Low cloud and heavy rain.

7/12/40 Nine aircraft armed with 250lb bombs took off at 07:10 hours to bomb shipping at Valona. One fairly large vessel received a direct hit and bombs burst near others. Appendix ‘D’.

The operation was repeated, aircraft taking off at 1300 hours. This time the aircraft met extremely rough weather with low cloud over the hills and severe icing conditions. Only two of our aircraft reached their objectives and these were intercepted by enemy fighters which prevented observation of results. Five aircraft returned without having reached their target, the remaining two crashing into hills on the outward journey. Appendix ‘E’.

The crews of both (names below) aircraft were killed:

    Blenheim L4926
    Pilot P/O PL Pickersgill (41957); Observer 745958 Sgt Taylor, H; Gunner 650433 Sgt Hallett HA.

    Blenheim
    L1535
    P/O GI Jerdein (42312); Observer 746793 Sgt Barber, JE; Gunner 638862 Sgt Munro J.

MENIDI 8/12/40
The crew of Blenheim L4926 was buried at Agrinion by the Greek Orthodox Church. The second crew were buried at Rama by the same church.

9/12/40 Three aircraft took off at 08 hours to bomb Valona. They were forced to return due to adverse weather conditions. A second attempt was made by the same aircraft at 11:30 hours and this time their objective was reached. Bombs were seen to fall on jetty and in town. Appendix ‘F’
All officers vacated the building in the camp and occupied a hotel approximately 1½ miles from the camp [in Menidi township, presumably].

10/12/40 Senior NCOs and airmen accommodated in a hangar moved into the building previously used as an Officers Mess.
Replacement aircraft Nos L1482, L1528, L8514, and L8651 [sic: not a valid AM no but possibly L8631 or L8531] arrived from Egypt.
Wing Commander Lord Forbes, Senior Staff Intelligence Officer BAFG interviewed the Commanding Officer and Intelligence Officer [Arthur Forbes, a pre-war civil pilot, later 9th Earl of Granard AFC and Air Attache, Bucharest. In Greece, flying his personal Percival Q6, he undertook a number of “unusual and hazardous tasks” (London Gazette 19 September 1946)].

11/12/40 A lecture was given by Squadron leader MacDonald (recently arrived from England where he has been employed on research work to Pilots and Air Crews on the use of oxygen and types of flying clothing]. Colonel GE Bowen and Major AT Craw of the US Army arrived and are staying to study RAF methods of attack and general war organisation.
One practice flight carried out.
Two complete Air Crews were posted to the Squadron from Egypt.

MENIDI 12/12/40 Two aircraft air-tested

13/12/40 Three aircraft air-tested

14/12/40 Nine aircraft raided Valona. one aircraft force-landed at Araxos on the return flight due to petrol shortage. Appendix ‘G’.
Two aircraft proceeded to Yannina aerodrome, from which place it was intended to carry out a photographic reconnaissance of Durazzo and Si Giovanni Di Medua the following day. The aircraft returned to base owing to bad weather. The other aircraft landed safely at Yannina military aerodrome.

15/12/40 A further two aircraft took off for Yannina, from which an attempt was to be made at a photographic reconnaissance of Durazzo and Si Giovanni Di Medua. One aircraft damaged its tail wheel on landing at Yannina and was unable to continue the operation. The aircraft which landed at Yannina on 14/12/40 returned to base having completed a successful visual reconnaissance of Durazzo and Si Giovanni Di Medua. Appendix ‘H’.
No photographs were obtained owing to camera failure. The aircraft landed with its undercarriage retracted due to Port engine seizure. The Air Gunner suffered severe frostbite which necessitated his admission to hospital.

16/12/40 No flying owing to a high wind with sleet, rain and low cloud.

17/12/40 The aircraft piloted by F/O Dundas which proceeded to Yannina on 15/12/40 took off in an attempt to carry out the photographic reconnaissance previously mentioned, but low cloud and rainstorms forced the pilot to return to base. Appendix ‘I’.
Three aircraft carried out an offensive reconnaissance of the Sarande–Valona road. The attack on MT vehicles on this road was carried out in a snowstorm which made it impossible to observe results. Appendix ‘J’.
One aircraft dropped important documents at Suda Bay for the information of the Naval officer in Command. Appendix ‘K’.

18/12 Two NCOs were involved in an MT accident while travelling in an Army vehicle. Sergeant Bryce (Air Observer) was admitted to hospital as a result of this.

19/12/40 The aircraft piloted by P/O Thompson which damaged its tail wheel on landing at Yannina aerodrome on 15/12/40 returned to base. The aircraft had been repaired at Yannina. a new tail wheel being flown up by F/O Campbell.

20/12/40 Nine aircraft bombed the road junction at Berati. Appendix ‘L’.
Warrant Officer Fogg (Armament) rejoined the squadron from Egypt after a period of sickness.

21/12/40 Two aircraft were air-tested.
P/O J Williams (Intelligence Officer) admitted 25th General Hospital.

22/12/40 Two aircraft air-tested.

23/12/40 Three aircraft took off to attack artillery positions and enemy concentrations near Kelcyre but rainstorms and low cloud forced the aircraft to return to base. Appendix ’M’.

24/12/40 The aerodrome buildings and dispersed aircraft at Valona were bombed by 7 aircraft led by the CO. Low cloud necessitated the attack being carried out from 1,500 feet. Appendix ‘N’.

25/12/40 Christmas was celebrated in the usual manner. There was no flying. Personnel in hospital were visited by the AOC and the Officer Commanding.

26/12/40 Eight aircraft carried out an offensive reconnaissance of the Himare–Valona road and bombed Krionero on completion of the reconnaissance. The formation were intercepted by nine enemy fighters. One of our aircraft landed with undercarriage retracted due to damage to hydraulic system inflicted by fighters. Five other aircraft were hit by MG fire but all returned to base. Appendix ‘O’.

MENIDI 27/12/40 One aircraft took off on an endurance test.

28/12/40 Information received that important Italian reinforcements being unloaded at Valona. F/O Delaney lead a formation of three aircraft to attack the shipping and foreshore at that harbour. Appendix ‘P’.

29/12/40 Three aircraft again delivered a bombing attack on Valona foreshore with a view to hampering unloading operations. Appendix ‘Q’.

30/12/40 One hour’s non-operational flying consisting of two air-tests.

31/12/40 Nine aircraft bombed stores and store buildings South of Valona Three CR42s and one unidentified monoplane were encountered. The port engine of one of our aircraft caught fire at 7,000 feet 20 miles South of Valona. This aircraft left the formation and nothing further has been heard of it. The missing crew are:

    74295 Sgt Bennett SL – Pilot
    749318 Sgt Tunstall WH – Observer
    580854 Sgt France LR – Air Gunner.

GENERAL
The operational experience gained by the Squadron while operating from Egypt against Libya has proved extremely valuable, as the Squadron has attained a good standard in close formation flying which is essential when attacking Albanian targets where encounters with enemy fighters are not infrequent.
The weather has had a curtailing influence on operations during the month and in many cases aircraft have been forced to return owing to low cloud and rainstorms. There has been no night flying during the month. Meteorological information received prior to operations has been of vital importance and this Service has been most satisfactory.
The aerodrome has remained serviceable throughout the month in spite of heavy rain. Draining operations, however, had to be carried out on the South corner.
The enemy have carried out no raids on Menidi aerodrome during the month. One air raid alarm was sounded at 0300 hours on 29/12/40 but no actual raid materialised.
Flight offices and the MT Section are now under canvas but the remainder of the Sections are fortunate in having buildings, evacuated by the Greeks, in which to work. The building of hutted accommodation is being proceeded with by the Army and it is anticipated that personnel will commence occupation during January. Servicing of aircraft and MT has been carried out in a hangar. This has been a great asset, and in addition to the more obvious advantages, it has enabled world to be proceeded with during the inclement weather which has prevailed throughout many days during the month.
25 civilian labourers have been employed with effect from 5/12/40. they are conveyed to and from Athens by Service transport daily.
The guarding of the camp has been carried out by Greek sentries.
The organisation of sport with a view to maintaining physical fitness has been difficult owing to operational requirements and the non-existence of a sports ground at Menidi. The Squadron, however, has played two football matches against Greek teams.
Summary of work carried out by Signals Section. Appendix ‘S’
Forms 765A—Operations and statistical summaries. Appendix ‘T’

    Seen: [signature JR Gordon-Finlayson] S/Ldr
    Officer Commanding, No 211 Squadron RAF

Forms 541, 1940
Despite the clear intent of the both the King’s Regulations & Air Council Instructions and the RAF War manual, there is no surviving copy of the Squadron’s daily record of individual aircraft sorties and crews from 11 June 1940 until 10 July 1940, when Form 541 entries begin. The numbering of the existing filed sheets suggests that the omission or loss of any record of the missing four weeks occurred long ago. Similar losses afflict the records of, for example, 113 Squadron.

Aircrew were routinely listed in the order Pilot, Observer, Wireless Operator/Air Gunner. The formation leader was usually noted, as were individual Flight leaders, though not by the usual Flight letter ‘A’, ‘B’ or ‘C’.

ORB F541 header03

[June]
[In the absence of any surviving Forms 541 for the Squadron’s first month of hostile action, a partial reconstruction of
June 1940 sorties as far as recorded in the Flying Log Books of Gordon-Finlayson, Sgt Close (Observer), P/O Pearson (Pilot), Sgt Sharratt (WOp/AG), Sgt Stack (Observer), and Sgt Wright (WOp/AG)]

11.6.40

 

 

 

 

 

L8523

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary Obs
Cpl Richmond WOp/AG

Derna-Tobruk-Bardia

 

Photo recco-no opp.

4:30

L8389

F/O Doudney
[... Obs]
[Sgt Wright]

 

 

Recco. landed B’gush

2:50

L6634

P/O Delaney
Sgt Stack
[Cpl
Hoyes WOp/AG]

Reconnaissance over specified area of Libya

 

Landed Maaten Bagush

3:25

12.6.40

 

 

 

 

 

L8523

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Cpl Richmond

Bombed (250lb) Tobruk, Petrol Dump, W/T, ships.

 

Opp: AA, Fighters.

3:35

L6634

P/O Delaney
Sgt Stack
[Cpl
Hoyes WOp/AG]

Raid on Tobruch Libya

 

Landed Maaten Bagush

3:10

L1537

P/O Pearson
[Obs, WOp/AG not stated]

Raid Tobruk

4:40[pm]

First a/c in Squadron to be hit

 

13.6.40 [sic, see below]

 

 

 

 

L8523

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Cpl Richmond

Bombed (250lb) Ft Capuzzo fortifications

 

Opp SA. Shot down (Port engine)
 [a/c repaired by 16 Jun]

1:55

L1528

Sgt Peck
[Sgt Close]
[WOp/AG unknown]

Raid Capuzzo
 

0650

4–250lb GP at 300ft

3:30

14.6.40*

 

 

 

 

L1539

Sgt Watkins
 [...Obs]
[Sgt Sharratt]

Raid on Fort Capuzzo

 

Forced landed Mersa Matruh on return

 2:40

L1535

F/O Doudney
[... Obs (Kavanagh?)]
[Sgt Wright]

Raid on Fort Capuzzo

 

GP 250. Landed Fuka.

3:50

 

 

 

 

*Eight aircraft with 4x250lb, according to Judge’s later account.

 

18.6.40

 

 

 

 

 

L1482

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Cpl Richmond

Submarine recco

 

 

0:30

19.6.40

 

 

 

 

 

L8523

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Cpl Richmond

Submarine recco

 

N/F. 4 bombs dropped on oil tracks.

1:05

20.6.40

 

 

 

 

 

L8523

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Cpl Richmond

Submarine recco

 

N/F. 1 bomb dropped on large oil patch

1:20 night

21.6.40

 

 

 

 

 

L8523

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Cpl Richmond

 

 

Nav lights failed leading formation. Landed Fuka, returned Daba

1:25 night

L8541

F/O Doudney
[Obs ...]
Sgt Wright WOp/AG

Raid on El Addam [Adem]

 

HLB, SBC. AA fire encountered

3:25

L1535

P/O Ritchie
[Sgt Stack]
[WOp/AG unknown]

High level raid on El Adam

 

 

3.25

28 .6.40

 

 

 

 

 

L8523

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Cpl Richmond

Bombed El Gubbi

 

SBC - Balbo [v. large a/c formation]

4:05

L1481

Sgt Peck
[Sgt Close]
[WOp/AG unknown]

Raid El Gubbi

1455

Ret[urned] engine trouble

0:40

[July Form 541]
The sorties of 5 July, although recorded in the Form 540, appear to be missing from the Form 541 set. Those now shown here are as recorded in the Flying Log Book of CO
Gordon-Finlayson, and of Sgt Close (Observer), and Sgt Stack (Observer).]

[5 July 1940]

 

 

 

 

 

Blenheim L8523

Self [Gordon-Finlayson]
Sgt Leary
Sgt Richmond

SLL
Raid on El Gubbi

 

 

SBC. Opp AA. Fighters seen

3:35

L1491

P/O Barnes
[Sgt Close]
[WOp/AG unknown]

Raid on El Gubbi

15:25

 

SSBL

3:35

L8481

P/O Gibbs
[Sgt Stack]

Formation raid on El Gubbi

15:20

 

[Gibbs was a 45 Squadron pilot, as was L8481. 211 Squadron’s ‘B’ Flight had just returned from 10 days detached to 45 Squadron back at Ismailia: it was August before they deployed to the Desert]

3:55

From 1135hrs 10/7/40 to 1530hrs 10/7/40

 

 

Blenheim L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Johnson
Sgt Richmond

Bomb Tobruch foreshore

1135

1530

12 aircraft raided Tobruch Petrol Dump. Results of the raid not known. Two aircraft were forced to return owing to engine trouble (shown opposite aircraft numbers). All aircraft returned safely

 

L1481

P/O Barnes
P/O Smith
LAC Alcock

 

 

 

 

 

L6661

Sgt Smith
Sgt Steele
Sgt
Wingrove

 

 

 

 

 

L1528

F/O Farrington
Sgt
Close
LAC
Appleyard

 

 

 

 

 

L1482

P/O Dundas
LAC Page
LAC Jones

 

 

 

 

 

L8471

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
LAC Shimmin

 

 

 

 

 

L1539

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
LAC Sewell

 

 

 

 

 

L4825

P/O Pearson
Cpl McIntyre
AC Doolin

 

1135

1300

Forced to return owing to engine trouble

 

L1540

S/Ldr Judge
Sgt Bain
Sgt Stewart

 

1135

1530

 

 

L8541

F/O Doudney
Sgt
Kavanagh
Sgt
Wright

 

 

 

 

 

L1535

P/O Ritchie
Cpl Brooks
AC Waghorn

 

 

 

 

 

L6658

Sgt Watkins
Sgt Stark
AC
Sharratt

 

1135

1210

Forced to return owing to engine trouble

 


12/7/40

L1491

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Bain
Sgt Shimmin

Bomb Bardia

2050

2240

Carried out bombing raid on Bardia. Heaby AA encountered

 

L8471

P/O Pearson
Sgt Beharrel
LAC Sewell

Bomb Bardia

2050

0015

Carried out bombing raid on Bardia. Italians ordered craft toa certain height, using British code, but pilot became suspicious and flew at a different height thus escaping AA fire.

 

15/7/40

L1490

S/Ldr Judge
Sgt Bourne
Sgt Steward

Raid on Ain-el-Gazala

0515

1015

Force landed Sidi Barrani due to petrol shortage

 

L1491

P/O Garrad-Cole
LAC Smith
AC Doolin

0945

Force-landed in enemy teritory. Presumed to be prisoner of war.

 

L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Johnson
Sgt Richmond

0535

1010

Force-landed at Sidi Barrani

 

L1528

F/O Farrington
P/O Smith
LAC Jones

 

L6661

Sgt Smith
Sgt Steele
LAC Alcock

 

L5140

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
AC Patterson

0420
[sic]

0930

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt
Kavanagh
Sgt
Wright

0520

1005

Force-landed Bug Bug

 

L6651

Sgt Watkins
Sgt Stark [sic:
Stack?]
AC McCord

1020

Force-landed in desert. Out of petrol.

 

From 1605hrs 19/7/40 to 1950hrs 19/7/40

Blenheim
L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Sgt Richmond

Raid Tobruch harbour

1505

1920

Nine aircraft were ordered to intercept Italian cruiser. This cruiser was not seen so Tobruch harbour was bombed as an alternative target.

 

L1482

P/O Dundas
P/O Smith
Sgt Jones

 

 

L6661

Sgt Smith
Sgt Steele
LAC Downie

 

 

L8533

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Bain
Sgt Stewart

1620

1950

 

 

L8532

F/Sgt Marpole
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

 

 

L1533

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrel
AC Wise

 

 

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt
Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

1620

1935

 

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Sgt
Stack
AC Patterson

 

 

L6658

Sgt Watkins
SGt Geary
AC Roden

Bomb release gear on this machine refused to work, so all bombs were jettisoned in sea.

 

22/7/40

Blenheim
L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Sgt Richmond

Raid Submarine jetty Tobruch

2100

0115

Individual raid

 

L1482

Sgt Peck
Sgt
Close
Sgt Downie

Raid El Gubbi aerodrome

2100

0115

Individual raid

 

L6661

Sgt Smith
Sgt Steele
Sgt Sewell

Raid El Adem

2100

---

Aircraft failed to return. Not known what happened. Last seen over Sidi Barrani.

 

25 July [Flying Log Book F/Lt JR Gordon Finlayson]

L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Sgt Richmond

LG South of Derna

0525
O820

0710
1210

Successful raid was carried out on LG. Most bombs were observed bursting in target area. All aircraft landedat Sidi Barrani for refuelling.

 

L1482

P/O Dundas
 


1130

Aircraft lost Port airscrew and while landing at Fuka undercarriage collapsed, damaging the aircraft. No personnel were hurt.

 

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

0525
O820

0710
1210

Carried out raid successfully

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Sgt Stack
LAC Roden

 

L6658

Sgt Watkins
SGt Geary
LAC Bromley

0525

0710

Returned, unable to locate formation after being delayed. Rt wing low.

 

L8532

F/L Jones
Sgt Bain
Sgt Stewart

0530
O820

0650
1250

Carried out raid successfully

 

L1539

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

0530
O820

0650
1250

 

L4825

F/S Marpole
Sgt Beharrel
AC Wise

 

 

Did not take off owing to engine trouble

 

[August]
1045hrs 3/8/40 to 1250hrs 3/8/40

Blenheim
L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
Sgt Richmond

Raid

1045

1250

Returned owing to engine trouble

 

L6658

Sgt Peck
Sgt Stack
Sgt Wright

 

1045

1535

Raid as ordered. Most of bombs fell in sea. Some bombs very close to end of Mole

 

L6660

F/O Farrington
Sgt Johnson
LAC Tickner

 

1045

1300

Returned due to engine trouble

 

L8541

P/O Dundas
LAC Hind
Sgt Jones

 

1030

1455

Raid as ordered. Hits observed on large vessels in harbour. No AA fire.

 

L1535

P/O Buchanan
Cpl Brooks
AC Roden

 

1030

1525

Raid as ordered. Direct hits observed on large transport ship anchored at end of breakwater. Jetty directly opposite also damaged

 

L4825

S/Ldr Bax
Sgt Bain
Sgt Shimmin

 

1050

1530

Direct hits observed on jetty

 

L8532

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Kavanagh
LAC Sharratt

 

1050

1530

Bombs observed to burst at end of jetty and in the water

 

L8533

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrel
LAC Banyard

 

1050

1530

Bombs observed to burst on small jetty

 

L1539

F/S Marpole
Sgt Dennis
AC Appleyard

 

1050

1530

Bombs observed to burst near target

 

4/8/40

Blenheim
L8533

S/Ldr Bax
Sgt Bain
Sgt Shimmin

Raid

1950

2040

Raid on MT vehicles at Bir-el-Gobi.
Aircraft landed at Sidi Barrani.
Bomb burst not seen though column of smoke was seen to rise from target.

 

L8532

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt McIntosh

 

1950

2040

Sgt McIntosh shot in forearm. Aircraft intercepted by 40-50 [sic] Italian fighters. Both Aircraft returned safely to base.

 

[9/8/40
4/8/40 on Form 541 in error. 9/8/40 on Form 540 and in Logs of Sgts Close, Sharratt and Stack (but as 8/8/40 by GF!]

L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Leary
[sic: GF Log shows Sgt Richmond]
Sgt Jones

Raid

1645

2045

Raid on Tobruch.
HIts observed on wharves in NW corner of harbour and near oil tanks on N edge.
 

 

L8511

F/O Farrington
Sgt
Close
LAC Tickner

 

1645

2045

Explosions seen near wharves on NW corner.

 

L1482

P/O Barnes
P/O Smith
Cpl Goodeve

 

1645

2045

Bomb bursts not observed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8541

S/L Bax
Sgt Bain
Sgt Shimmin

 

1645

2030

Raid on Tobruch
Bombs seen to burst near jetty

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt McCord

 

1645

2035

Bomb bursts not seen.

 

L6658

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Stack
LAC
Bramley

 

1645

2035

Bomb bursts not observed.

 

L1539

F/L Jones
Sgt Dennis
LAC Pattison

 

1640

2030

Buildings on quayside N of submarine jetty seen to be hit. Submarine jetty also struck.

 

L4825

P/O Pearson
Sgt Beharrel
LAC Banyard

 

1640

2045

Bombs observed to burst on submarine jetty.

 

L8471

F/S Marpole
Sgt Bourne
LAC Sharratt

 

1640

2035

One salvo of preceding flight observed to fall on dockside.

 

1640hrs to 1935hrs 10/8/40

Blenheim
L8533

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Raid

1640

1935

Raid on camp at Gabr Saleh.
Bombs seen to straddle target.
Pom pom and AA encountered. Very inaccurate.

 

L8541

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Stack
LAC
Bramley

1950

Bombs observed to burst on target

 

12/8/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Raid

1630

1945

Raid on Tobruch. Stick of bombs fell in line alongside steamer which was being unloaded

 

L8511

P/O Dundas
Sgt Close
LAC Page

Bombing results not seen. Cloud formation over target.

 

L1481

F/O Farrington
P/O Smith
LAC Tickner

Bomb bursts not see Cloud 6/10.
50% bombs hung up

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Sgt Kavanagh
LAC Thorburn

1955

Results not observed.

 

L8551 [sic: L8541]

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Bourne
LAC Sharratt

Bombs appeared to burst in harbour.

 

L6658

Sgt Watkins
Cpl Brooks
LAC
Bramley

One hut destroyed

 

L8471

S/L Bax
Sgt Bain
Sgt Shimmin

1625

1945

Bombs fell to N of target in harbour.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
AC Wise

2050

Bombs observed to fall alongside grounded ship

 

Blenheim
L1539

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrel
LAC Banyard

 

1625

1945

Raid on Tobruch. No hits observed.

 

22/8/40

L1528

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Johnson
Sgt Jones

[Raid]

1125

1445

Raid on MT vehicles at Derna.
Owing to poor run up alternative target was bombed is shipping in harbour.

 

L1487

P/O Dundas
LAC Tickner
LAC Wingrove

1535

Results not observed

 

L1481

Sgt Peck
Sgt Close
LAC Alcock

1445

Bomb bursts approximtaely 50 yards from target. Second burst on building N of MT building.

 

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

1535

Bombs overshot 300 yards

 

L1535

P/O Delaney
Sgt Bourke
Sgt McCord

1250

Returned owing to engine trouble

 

L6660

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Stack
AC Roden

1500

Landed Mersa Matruh on homeward run owing to petrol shortage.

 

L4825

S/Ldr Bax
Sgt Bain
Sgt Shimmin

1610

Force-landed at Sidi Barrani on homeward run owing to petrol shortage.

 

L8536

P/O Campebll
Sgt Riddle
LAC Banyard

1610

Force-landed at Sidi Barrani on homeward run owing to petrol shortage.

 

L1539

P/O Pearson
Sgt Beharrel
AC Wise

 

1535

Bombs observed bursting on LG

 

1500 27/8/40 to 1955 27/8/40

L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Raid

1500

---

Raid on shipping in Derna.
Force-landed at Sidi Barrani on way back owing to engine trouble. Bombs observed to burst on deck of large ship.

 

L1483

P/O Dundas
LAC Tickner
LAC Wingrove

1500

1955

Bomb bursts among shipping. One ship seen to be burning. Bursts in the encampment W of harbour.

 

L1528

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Johnson
Cpl Goodeve

One direct hit on ship at Eastern end of jetty. Several near misses on shipping.

 

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt Stack
Sgt Wright

Bombs burst in corner of harbour alongside jetty.

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brookes
LAC Thorburn

Bombs burst among shipping in harbour.

 

L4926

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Bourne
LAC Sharratt

Bombs burst near jetty

 

L4825

S/Ldr Bax
Sgt Bain
Sgt Shimmin

Bombs straddled breakwater approx. 1/3 from shore end.

 

L8536

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
AC Appleyard

1515

2005

Took off late. Bombed individually from 2,500. No hits observed.

 

L1539

F/Sgt Marpole
Sgt Beharrel
AC Wise

 

1500

1955

Bombs burst just short of ships.

 

31/8/40

Blenheim
L8511

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Raid

0700

0955

Raid on Ain el Gazala LG.
Fighter taxied into bomb bursts.

 

L1482

Sgt Marshall
P/O Smith
LAC Alcock

Bomb bursts in stick across aerodrome.

 

31/8/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8523

F/L Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

1310

1645

Raid on new aerodrome W of Tobruch.
Bombs burst between tents and huts.

 

L1482

Sgt Marshall
P/O Smith
LAC Alcock

Bombs burst in centre of aerodrome and in encampment.

 

31/8/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1528

F/O Farrington
LAC Tickner
LAC Wingrove

0630

1010

Raid on Ain el Gazala.
Bombs burst on landing ground.

 

L1481

Sgt Peck
Sgt Close
LAC Downie

 

 

31/8/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1528

F/O Farrington
LAC Tickner
LAC Wingrove

1225

1620

Raid on LG W of Tobruch.
Hits observed on Tobruch–Derna Road.

 

L1481

Sgt Peck
Sgt Close
LAC Downie

1250

Landed at Fuka owing to engine trouble.

 

31/8/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt Stack
Sgt Wright

0750

1125

Raid on Ain el Gazala,
Bombs burst amid camouflage.

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

No direct hits observed.

 

31/8/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt Stack
Sgt Wright

1345

1710

Raid on LG W of Tobruch.
Bombs burst amongst tentage.

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

Direct hist observed on one aircraft.

 

0630hrs 31/8/40 to 1016hrs [sic] 31/8/40

Blenheim
L8536

F/L Jones
Sgt Beharrel
Sgt Shimmin

Raid

0630

1015

Raid on Bardia. Target obscuerd 10/10 cloud.
Bombs dropped on Bardia barracks.

 

L1539

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Riddle
LAC Appleyard

No hits observed due to cloud formation.

 

31/8/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

P/O Pearson
Sgt Beharrel
Sgt Shimmin

1215

1545

Raid on El Gubbi.
Bombs burst in front of buildings and among aircraft.

 

L1539

F/SGt Marpole
Sgt Riddle
LAC Appleyard

Bombs observed to burst along picketed line on N of aircraft.

 

31/8/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8376

S/Ldr Bax
Sgt Bain
AC Wise

0815

1200

Raid on Ain el Gazala.
No results observed.

 

L4526 [sic:
L4926]

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Geary
AC Roden

Bombs burst among buildings.

 

31/8/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8376

S/Ldr Bax
Sgt Bain
AC Wise

1410

1735

Raid on LG W of Tobruch.
No results observed.

 

L4526 [sic:
L4926]

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Geary
AC Roden

No results observed.

 

[September]
4/9/40

Blenheim
L1528

F/O Farrington
LAC Tickner
Sgt Wingrove

Bomb El Gazala landing ground

0750

1125

No hits observed to muck [too much] cloud.

 

L4926

Sgt Watkins
Sgt Geary
Sgt Thorburn

0750

1125

Bombs all seen to fall at occupied by tents and buildings on South hand [end] of ‘drome.

 

L8523

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

0820

1200

Few bombs observed to fall at end of a large hut and among tents, remainder not seen owing t clouds.

 

L1482

Sgt Peck
Sgt Close
LAC Downie

0820

1200

No hits observed due to cloud, observing [obscuring] target after run up

 

L8376

S/Ldr Bax
Sgt Bain
AC 1 Wise

0640

1040

Bombs dropped in region of one aircraft in NE corner of landing ground.

 

L8471

P/O Clutterbuck
P/O Smith
LAC Alcock

0640

10:40

Bombs observed to burst on aerodrome.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Beharrel
Sgt Shimmin

0630

1007

Bombs observed to fall among and on tentlines

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt Wright

0705

1025

Bombs observed to fall on and around encampment, two direct hits observed on huts. Incendiaries seen bursting among camp

 

L1549

P/O Delaney
Sgt Stack
AC Pattison

0705

1035

Bombs fell amidst camp just off South West corner of landing ground.

 

L8376

S/Ldr Bax
Sgt Bain
AC1 Wise

Bomb Derna landing ground

1255

 

Aircraft attacked by one enemy fighter, was forced to land in enemy territory with starboard engine out of action, is believed to have landed safely between Derna—Ras El Tin.

 

L8471

Sgt Marpole
P/O Smith
LAC Alcock

1255

1645

Also attacked by same fighter. Landed at Sisi Berani [Sidi Barani] with oil leak in port tank, 7-8 bullets in [port] wing and port tailplane was hit. No bomb bursts were observed over target due to cloud.

 

L8523

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Wingrove

Bomb building on North foreshore of Tobruk Harbour

1315

1645

Stick of bombs crossed group of stores buildings North of submarine jetty. Hits also observed on jetty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

9/9/40

Blenheim I
L1528

F/O Farrington
P/O Smith
Sgt Alcock

Bomb building on North foreshore of Tobnruk harbour.

1315

1645

Large number of bursts in SE corner of town and adjacent jetties.

 

L8511

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Sharratt

1315

1650

Heavy pall of smoke seen over town after bombing.

 

L8511

F/Lt Gordon Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Wingrove

1815

2130

Bombs fell on camp and near a white building. 2 fires observed at end of incendiary stick. Fires seen burning for 15 minutes after aircraft left target.

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
LAC Pattison

Bomb Tobruk foreshore town

1820

2135

Bombs burst from foreshore across the centre of town.

 

L8449

F/Sgt Marpole
Sgt Dennis
LAC Appleyard

NW foreshore of harbour

1825

2140

No hits observed. 11-13 searchlights and an intens AA barrage was encountered.

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
LAC Pattison

Bomb wharf and jetties

1315

1645

Bursts seen along edge of wharf in vicinity of jetties.

 

L1540

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Geary
Sgt Roden

1315

1645

All bombs appeared to fall among building at landward end of jetty at east end of town.

 

9/9/40

Blenheim I
L1481

Sgt Hutt
Sgt Pollard
Sgt Munro

Bomb wharf and jetties

1315

1645

Failed to reach objective, turned back at Sidi Barrani having lost formation due to engine trouble.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Shimmin

Bomb foreshore of jetties in Tobruk harbour

1315

1650

Large column of black smoke seen rising from El Gubbi landing ground [sic]

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Page
LAC Banyard

Bomb buildings North foreshore of harbour

1315

1650

Bombs observed to burst on the landward side of the jetties in the harbour.

 

L4825

Sgt James
Sgt Bain
Sgt Waring

Bomb
Northern foreshore of harbour

1315

1650

No hits observed. Other bomb bursts seen near large ship.

 

10/9/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

Bomb North foreshore of Tobruk harbour

1815

2150

No hits observed too dark.

 

L4926

P/O Buchanan
[...]
[...]

Bomb Tobruk old landing ground

1815

2140

Bomb bursts observed in failing light along buildings at South West aerodrome. Incendiaries seen burning on East end of ‘drome

 

10/9/40

Blenheim I
L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Bomb huildings at El Gubbi aerodrome

1815

2155

Incendiary bombs observed burning in target area. Large bombs unobserved.

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
LAC Cherington

Bomb stores and native troop tents at Bardia

1830

2105

Salvo full across the target and several fires were seen to start almost immediately. Air gunner saw a [garble] after aircraft left target.

 

 

11/9/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1528

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Wingrove

Bomb large transport con-
centration 15 miles West of Sidi Omar

1755

2040

All bombs fell in camp. Incendiaries caused several large fires, were beginning as aircraft as left target

 

L8511

Sgt Peck
Sgt Page
Sgt Alcock

1755

2040

Bomb burst in centre of target. 4 fires observed started [garble].

 

L1481

F/O Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Downie

1755

2045

All bombs fell in area covered by transport vehicles, then large fire observed on retiring.

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

1800

2100

No hits observed.

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Sgt Geary
LAC Pattison

1800

2100

Own hits unobserved.

 

L4926

Sgt Watkins
LAC Hind
Sgt Roden

1800

2100

Bombs of leading formation fell in centre and on outskirts of concentration. Own hits unobserved.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
[...]

 

 

 

[see next page for full entry]

 

11/9/40

Blenheim I
L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Bomb con-
centration of enemy transport 15 miles West of Sidi Omar

1805

2050

Bombs fell amongst transport on North West side of concentration.

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
LAC Appleyard

1805

2050

Own bombs fell short of main concentration but were on the fringes of the road.

 

L4825

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

1805

2100

Bombs burst amongst some vehicles, some on vacant ground.

 

 

13/940

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1528

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Wingrove

Bomb Bomba seaplane base

1910

2300

Part of salvo hit land around seaplane slipway remainder fell in water used for anchorage.

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

1920

2320

No hits observed.

 

L8536

Sgt James
Sgt [Bryce?]
[Sgt Waring?]

1930

2345

No bomb bursts observed.

 

 

14/9/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1528

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Wingrove

Enemy MT 5 miles South West of Sollum

1410

1710

Bombs of left and centre Flights seen to strike amongst vehicles. Right Flight’s bomb run in a long stick alongside target.

 

L5811
[sic L8511]

P/O Dundas
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Alcock

1410

1710

Bombs burst in main concentration.

 

L1540

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Geary
Sgt Thorburn

1410

1710

Bombs observed to fall in and to North of target area.

 

L6660

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Oliver
Sgt Sharratt

1410

1710

Bombs observed to fall in target area.

 

L4825

Sgt Hutt
Sgt Pollard
Sgt Munro

1410

1710

Bombs landed among tents.

 

14/9/40

Blenheim
L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Enemy con-
centration 5 miles South West of Sollum

1415

1715

Bombs observed to fall SE of concentration.

 

L8457

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Riddle
LAC Appleyard

1410

1710

N side of target hit with a stick of bombs, aslo E end of target struck.

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Barber
Sgt Taylor

1410

1710

Bombs were observed to fall along North side of concentration.

 

 

15/940

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8511

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

1845

2050

Incendiaries seen about 10 to 15 yards, South of track, the bombs or fires caused by them, were seen burning when a/c was 40 miles away.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

1850

2050

Bombs observed to fall along track amongst moving vehicles. Fires started which could be seen for about 50 miles.

 

 

16/9/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8511

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Convoy of lorries West of Sidi Barrani

1850

2130

HE bombs seen to burst on track amongst vehicles.

 

L1482

F/O Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Wingrove

1850

2130

Small explosions seen amongst incendiary bombs.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

1850

2110

Bombs observed to fall along track.

 

16/9/40

Blenheim I
L8449

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

Convoy of lorries West of Sidi Barrani

1850

2110

Small fires started amongst vehicles.

 

L1540

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

1820

2100

Bombs dropped on track.

 

L6660

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Geary
Sgt Roden

1820

2100

Incendiaries overshot and straddled AA positions.

 

 

17/9/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8511

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Con-
centration of MT SW of Sidi Barrani village

1825

2030

Bombs fell amongst large concentration of loosely dispersed MT South of village.

 

L1528

P/O Barnes
P/O Smith
Sgt Downie

1825

2030

No hits observed.

 

L1482

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Alcock

1825

2030

Bombs fell among MT South of the village.

 

L1540

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

1835

2040

Incendiaries burst across incendiaries dropped by leading flight.

 

L6660

Sgt Hutt
Sgt Pollard
Sgt Munro

1835

2040

Incendiaries overshot target.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

MT con-
centration 5 miles South of Sidi Barrani

1830

2035

Bombs dropped amongst vehicles.

 

L4825

P/O Pearson
P/O Davies
LAC Appleyard

1830

2035

One clutch bombs dropped in small group of MT. Others not observed.

 

L8457

F/Sgt Marpole
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1830

2035

No hits observed.

 

17/9/40

Blenheim I
L8511

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
[Sgt Richmond]
[Sgt Jones]

MT con-
centration between aerodrome and village of Sidi Barrani

1245

1435

Bombs fell among dispersed MT. About 100 met [sic] in area bombed.

 

L1482

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Alcock

1245

1435

Observed effects NIL.

 

L1540

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Geary
Sgt Roden

1245

1435

All bombs observed to fall in target area.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

1240

1440

Bombs observed to fall amongst vehicles.

 

L1825
[sic: L4825]

P/O Pearson
P/O
Davies
LAC Appleyard

1240

1440

Bombs straddled road, striking tentage.

 

L8457

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Barber
Sgt Taylor

1240

1440

Direct hits on vehicles.

 

L6660

Sgt Watkins
Sgt Oliver
Sgt Pattison

1240

1440

Bombs fell in target area.

 

 

18/940

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8511

F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Close
Sgt Alcock

LG SE of Derna

0820

1225

Bombs observed to fall SE corner of aircraft concentration, smoke observed coming from one dispersed aircraft.

 

18/9/40

Blenheim I
L1528

F/O Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt WIngrove

LG SE of Derna

1030

1145

Returned due to engine trouble.

 

L1482

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Cotton
Sgt Baird

Tobruk West aerodrome

1030

1400

Bombs burst in stick across SSE corner of aerodrome from NE to SE. Buildings in corner obscured by bursts.

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

 

El Timimi

0825

1115

Bombs were just going to be jettisoned owing to aircraft becoming very unstable with tail flutter, when Italian seaplane Cant 2506B was flying underneath so bombs were aimed at him. End of stick fell sort of Cant who was doing [evasive] action. [Query: unexpected effect of bomb bay doors removal?]

 

L8541

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Geary
Sgt Roden

El Ghazala

0830

1220

Bomb bursts observed among buildings at SW of aerodrome. Bomb bursts in close proximity to one aircraft.

 

L8457

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrel
Sgt Hartman

Bomba seaplane base

0829

1250

Bombs seen to burst on right of target. On return track enemy convoys machine gunned by both front and rear guns, several lorries hit. 3 bursts into planes. Troops also machine gunned in escarpment and casualties were numerous.

 

L8436
[sic: L8536]

P/O Pearson
P/O Davies
LAC Appleyard

1025

1420

Once clutch of bombs in centre of group of 5 bombers on N side of aerodrome. One clutch in centre of aerodrome.
[This 18 September Form 541 entry is the sole mention of L8436 with 211 Squadron. That aircraft was recorded as lost on 29 June on a 113 Squadron El Gubbi operation, with ex-211 P/O DI
Pike and his crew Sgt RC Lidstone and Sgt JG Taylor POW ( RAF Aircraft L1000–N9999 differs in detail: 20 June, crashed in the sea off Bardia]

 

L4825

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

Tobruk town aerodrome

0831

1215

Bursts on edge of town in direction 0530 from centre of town, towards aerodrome.

 

L1492

F/O Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt WIngrove

Bomb MT and light pom -pom emplace-ments at Sidi Barrani

1830

2115

Bombs burst at S end of village believed to be among gun emplacements

 

L8541

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Sharratt

1830

2115

Incendiaries seen to burst into flames. Too dark to see results.

 

[18/9/40]

Blenheim I
L8449

F/Sgt Marpole
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

Bomb MT and light pom-pom emplace-ments at Sidi Barrani

1830

2115

Bombs dropped in vicinity of Sidi Barrani village and landing ground.

 

 

20/9/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

 

Bomb vehicles South West of Sidi Barrani

1640

1821

Bombs observed to fall on three groups of vehicles. Dust obscured vision considerably.

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
P/O Davies
Sgt Wainhouse

1640

1821

One clutch in group of MT. Hit observed on building.

 

L4825

P/O Campbell
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1640

1821

Direct hits seen on MT. Half a mud building in village blown away.

 

L8511

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
P/O Geary

Bomb convoy of heavy vehicles lined up for moving off in middle of large camp South of Sidi Barrani

1645

1830

2 fires were started and half of a mud building was blown away.

 

L1528

P/O Barnes
P/O Smith
Sgt Downie

1645

1825

Bombs observed to burst in stick across target area

 

L1482

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Cotton
Sgt Baird

1645

1830

2 fires seen started in Sidi Barrani village.

89

21/9/40

Blenheim I
L1482

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O
Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb fighters on Sidi Barrani aerodrome

1805

2000

Stick of bombs fell between buildings and group of three fighters on SE edge of aerodrome.

 

L1528

F/O Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Wingrove

AA gun emplace-ments

1805

1955

Several bursts among AA gun emplacements.

 

L4926

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
AV Pattison

 

Dispersed stores 40 yards South of village

1805

1955

No hits observed. A convoy was seen heading SE 20 miles from Sidi Barrani.

 

22/9/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

Bomb
aerodrome at Manastir 60 dispersed aircraft

1820

2110

Light failing could not see any aircraft on the aerodrome. Bombs dropped across aerodrome from NE to SW. Incendiaries fell on E edge of aerodrome.

 

L4825

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1820

2115

No hits observed due to failing light.

 

L4926

P/O Buchanan
Sgt
Stack
Sgt
Sharratt

1645

2105

Many fires seen which seemed to be due to more than our bombs. No aircraft were seen on aerodrome due to failing light.

 

23/9/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8523

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Bomb Tobruk foreshore

1245

1620

Own bombs fell amongts buildings North of wharves and a few on wharf.

 

L1482

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Hughes

1245

1625

Bombs were seen to burst on foreshore jetties

90

23/9/40

Blenheim I
L1481

Sgt Marshall
Sgt
Close
Sgt
Baird

Bomb Tobruk foreshore

1245

1625

Bombs observed to burst alongside jetties on North side of harbour.

 

23/9/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt
Kavanagh
Sgt
Wright

Bomb Tobruk town and jetties

1245

1630

Bombs fell in a stick striking the town and jetties.

 

L4926

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

1245

1630

Direct hits on jetty and five shjps (Tromp type) [sic: tramp?]. South end of town also hit..

 

L6658

Sgt Hutt
Sgt Pollard
Sgt Munro

1245

1635

ME [sic: HE?] bombs exploded right across town from WE [sic: West to East? NE?] falling on outskirts to the East.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Bomb North foreshore Tobruk town

1245

1635

Bombs observed to fall across the town and on the jetties.

 

L8449

P/O Campbell
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Hartman

1245

1630

Failed to release bombs.

 

L1487

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

1245

1640

Bombs seen to fall on jetties.

 

25/940

Blenheim I
L8523

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Bomb North foreshore Tobruk harbour

1215

1425

Bombs were seen to fall on MT, buildings and foreshore. On homeward journey Starboard engine caught fire adn a/c force-landed at Quasaba with fire under contolled [sic].

 

Blenheim I
L1482

F/O Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt
Wngrove

1215

1425

Bombs fell on town and foreshore. This a/c landed at Quasaba to pick up the CO and crew but later failed to take off again due to engine trouble.

 

Blenheim I
L1482 [sic]

P/O Barnes
P/O Smith
Sgt Downie

1215

1425

No hits observed.

 

Blenheim I
L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Stack
Sgt Pattison

1210

1430

Bursts on buildings in the extreme NW of town

 

Blenheim I
L1540

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

1210

1430

Main salvoes burst on foreshore. One salvo fell in the sea close to shipping.

 

Blenheim I
L4926

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Oliver
Sgt Hallett

1210

1430

Effects of own bombs not seen. Bombs from other aircraft observed bursting well on target.

 

25/9/40

Blenheim I
L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Bomb Northern foreshore Tobruk

1220

1455

Bombs were seen to fall in and around town.

 

Blenheim I
L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1220

1455

Hits observed on town.

 

Blenheim I
L8587 [sic:
L8537?]

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Barber
Sgt Taylor

1220

1455

Bombs were seen to fall amongst buildings to the North of the town.

 

27/9/40

Blenheim I
L1482

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O
Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb con-
centration of MT road outside Girabub

1200

1445

Bombs fell 50yds to right of group of MT.

 

Blenheim I
L1481

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Alcock

1200

1445

Bombs seen to burst (approx) 50 yds East of main contintuation [sic concentration].

 

Blenheim I
L1487

Sgt Peck
Sgt
Clark
Sgt Hughes

1200

1445

Bomb bursts observed East of target area.

 

Blenheim I
L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

1200

1455

Bombs fell on and amongst target. Previous Flights bombs observed to fall together to East of target.

 

Blenheim I
L1540

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Geary
Sgt Pattison

1200

1455

Bombs of earlier Flight observed to burst East of target. Bombs of own Flight seen to burst among MT.

 

Blenheim I
L5926 [sic L4926]

P/O Jerdein
Sgt Oliver
Sgt Roden

1200

1455

Bombs seen to burst on target.

 

Blenheim I
L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

MT on the wire North of Giarabub

1200

1450

Bomb fell East to [sic] target (approx 50yds).

 

27/940

Blenheim I
L8449

Sgt Watkins
Sgt ONeil
Sgt Wainhouse

MT on the wire North of Giarabub

1200

1450

Bomb burst to East of target

 

 

26/9/40 [sic]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Blenheim I
L1482

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O
Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb enemy aircraft on Sollum aerodrome

1450

1710

Stick of bombs fell across crescent of dispersed aircraft. Photographs taken show that three aircraft have received direct hits and a fourth damaged

 

Blenheim I
L1540

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

1450

1710

Bombs fell among dispersed aircraft parked in a line E–W. 3 definitely hit probably a fourth by incendiaries or shrapnel.

 

Blenheim I
L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1450

1710

Three aircraft at least hit, probably a fourth.

 

29/9/40

Blenheim I
L8511

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
[Sgt Richmond]
[Sgt Jones]

Bomb camp El Gazala

1740

2135

Long stick of bombs laid across buildings and tents from West to East..

 

30/9/40

Blenheim I
L5811 [sic:
L8511

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O
Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb Tobruk Northern foreshore

1740

2040

Bombs observed to fall about 30yds to left of large ship

 

Blenheim I
L1481

F/O Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Wingrove

1740

2040

Some hits may have been made on bows of ships. Smoke observed.

 

Blenheim I
L8540 [sic:
L8541]

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

Tobruk Northern foreshore

1740

2050

Bomb observed to fall in line across town and foreshore.

 

Blenheim I
L6650

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Wright

1740

2040

Rear gunner reports large column of smoke (black) drifting out to sea and two fires.

 

Blenheim I
L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

1740

2045

Bombs fell close by the stern of the transport ship.

 

Blenheim
[...]

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1740

2045

Incendiaries fell quay side of the harbour and fires were observed started.

 

[October]
2/10/1940

Blenheim I
L1482

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O
Davies
P/O Geary

Water tanks at Buq Buq

1150

1405

Bombs fell 60yds to right of target.

 

L6634

P/O Barnes
P/O Smith
Sgt Hughes

1150

1405

Bursts to West of some buildings.

 

L6670

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Alcock

1150

1405

No hits observed.

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Sharratt

1150

1400

Not observed but thiught to burst on left flank of leading Flight [bursts].

 

L1540

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Geary
Sgt Pattison

1150

1400

Bomb burst not observed.

 

L6658

P/O Jerdein
Sgt Oliver
Sgt Roden

1150

1400

No hits observed.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

1150

1410

Bombs straddled the target.

 

L1487

P/O Pearson
Sgt Ridley
Sgt Chignall

1150

1410

Bombs burst 50 yards from the target.

 

L4825

Sgt James
Sgt Cotton
Sgt Waring

1150

1410

Results not observed.

 

4/10/40

Blenheim I
L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

Bomb Bardia foreshore

1655

1945

Bombs not seen to burst though Gunner reports bombs fell along foreshore. [Duds?]

 

L6658

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Sharratt

1655

1940

Bombs observed to fall along barracks, incendiaries from Bardia to town.

 

L1540

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Geary
Sgt Pattison

1655

1950

Incendiaries seen burning in target area but HE bombs observed to fall slightly North of target.

 

7/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Bomb tents and MT SE of Sidi Barrani

1715

1905

Bombs dropped in the area of the target.

 

L6634

P/O Pearson
Sgt Beharrel
Sgt Chignall

1715

1910

No hits observed.

 

L4825

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

1715

1915

Incendiaries from previous raid seen burning due West of village.

 

8/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8511

F/O Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt WIngrove

Encamp-ment and barracks 1 mile NW of Sollum

1700

1845

Bursts noted in centre of barracks.

 

L1481

P/O Barnes
P/O Smith
Sgt Hughes

1700

1845

Bombs dropped in middle of barracks..

 

L1482

P/O Dundas
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

1700

1845

Long stick of bombs crossed encampment of huts and buildings North of Sollum ‘drome.

 


9/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1540

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
SGt Wright

Bomb foreshore Tobruk

1630

1945

Direct hits score on enemy large ship, 2 1/2 time as broad as the San Giorgio and 1 1/2 times as long, and on an oil tanker alongside. A fire was started on the latter. Another tanker was hit but no fire observed.

 

9/10/40

Blenheim I
L4926

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Geary
Sgt Pattison

Bomb foreshore Tobruk

1630

1943

Bombs observed to drop across the bows of a very large ship. Incendiaries seen burning on foreshore of Southern shore.

 

L1535

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Wright

1655

1940

Incendiaries seen to land amongst tanker and large ship and also on the foreshore of Southern shore. Fire appeared to break out in tanker.

 

10/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Bomb aircraft on Sidi Barrani aerodrome

1240

1430

Bombs dropped on SW of aerodrome where it was thought an aircraft was. Photographs show MT in middle of bursts.

 

L4825

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrel
Sgt Hartman

1240

1430

Bombs observed to burst on aerodrome.

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Barber
Sgt Chignall

1240

1435

Bombs burst across aerodrome.

 

11/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8511

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb shipping on South foreshore of Tobruk

1640

1945

2 bombs fell 10-20 yards to stern of large ship and third scored direct hit. Ship is estimated at 20,000 tons..

 

L1482

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Alcock

1640

1940

Bombs observed to fall in AA Battery.

 

L8541

P/O Pearson
P/O Smith
Sgt Baird

1640

1950

Bomb burst seen among installations and buildings.

 


12/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L4825

Sgt Jones [James?]
Sgt Bryce
[Sgt Waring?]

Bomb barracks

1715

1950

Bomb seen to burst on barracks.

[Apparent duplicate entry following page]

 

12/10/1940

Blenheim I
L4825

Sgt Jones [James?]
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

Bomb barracks and WT at Bardia

1715

1950

Bomb seen to burst on barracks and WT.

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Barber
Sgt Chignall

1715

1950

Bombs observed to burst East of power station and near miscellaneous stores in wadi.

 

13.10.40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8511

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb foreshore Tobruk

1700

2010

One stick of bombs fell over North of town another North of oil tanks. Dust [obscured] results.

 

L1482

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Alcock

1700

2010

Bombs observed to fall amongst AA batteries East of town.

 

14/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1535

P/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

Military camp at Bir Sofofi

1600

1825

Bombs observed to burst among pom-pom units and long Western fringe of camp..

 

L8541

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Wright

1600

1825

Bombs seen to fallon Northern side of camp.

 

L4926

P/O Ritchie
Sgt Taylor
Sgt Roden

1600

1825

No hits observed.

 

15/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Camp and MT 4 miles South of Sollum

1710

1915

Bombs seen to burst in three sticks in amongst pop-pom emplacements.

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1710

1920

Bombs observed to burst midst of t pop-pom fire.

 

L4825

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

1710

1920

Aircraft seen off Sidi Barrani believed to be Sav. 79

 

17/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

Bomb camp at Sofafi

1656

1905

Bombs fell amongst pom-pom guns.

 

L1535

F/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

1656

1905

Too dark to observe result.

 

17/10/40

Blenheim I
L1540

P/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Munro

Bomb camp at Bir Sofafi

1656

1900

Bombs fell across target area.

 

19/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1482

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Bomb Bardia town and AA fort

0415

0715

Bombs seen to explode on front or South side of gulf, on barracks on North side, and near a concentration of 100 MT.

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

Sollum landing ground and Bardia

0415

0710

No hits observed due to cloud.

 

L4825

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

0415

0550

Forced to return due to engine trouble

 

21/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L1482

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

Bomb water tanks, MT and working parties on water pipeline

0800

1010

One line of bombs fell approx 10 yards North of tanks.

 

L4825

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrel
Sgt Hartman

0800

1005

Bombs seen to burst on stores among MT and on pipeline.

 

L6634

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

0800

1010

Fourth line of bombs seen to fall North of tented camp. Fifth line straddled the water tanks with direct hits.

 


22/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

1. Bomb water tanks
2. Small tent camp
3. Lorries of working parties

1005

1220

One stick of bombs scored direct hits on the MT near the water tanks and on the large MT column.

 

L4825

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Hughes

1005

1220

Remaining bombs straddled the other targets. Result appeared satisfactory.

 


25/10/40

Blenheim I
L1536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Raid MT and troops 15 miles East of Sidi Barrani

0145

1300

2 flares dropped directly over target. Bombs fell in target area and the incendiaries straddled the MT. The ship HMS Aphis was observed to start shelling immediately after our bombing.

 

L1528

F/O Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Martin

Enemy camp at Sidi Barrani

0600

1000

Bombs not released.

 

L1482

P/O Herbert
Sgt
Dunnet
Sgt Young

0600

1000

Bombs not released.

 

L1670 [sic:
L6670

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Jones

0600

1000

Bombs not released.

 

L1535

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

Sidi Barrani Enemy camp

0605

1005

Stick fell across centre of camp.

 

L6658

P/O Jerdein
Sgt Taylor
Sgt Roden

0605

1005

Bombs observed to fall in camp area.

 

L4 . . .

[Sgt Hutt]
[Sgt Pollard]
(Sgt Munro]

0605

1005

Bombs not released.

 

L . . .

 . . .
 . . .
P/O . . .

0600

1000

Direct hits on MT bombs observed to straddle target.

 

L1487

Sgt Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

0600

1000

Hits on encampment and MT

 

L4825

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

0600

1000

No hits observed.

 

29/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8511

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
Sgt James

El Adem landing ground

0915

1230

Bombs observed to burst amongst buildings on NE corner of aerodrome.

 


29/10/40

Blenheim I
L1379

F/Lt Passmore
Sgt O’Neil
LAC Roberts

El Adem landing ground

0915

1230

Bombs observed to burst amongst buildings on NE corner of aerodrome.

[sic: 84 Sqn a/c and pilot

L1535

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

Landing ground at Monastir

0930

1255

No hits observed.

 

L6658

P/O Jerdein
Sgt Taylor
Sgt McCord

0930

1255

No hits observed.

 

L8536

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharell
Sgt Hartman

Landing ground El Gubbi

0940

1245

Bombs observed in target area SE of landing ground

 

L4825

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Barber
Sgt Taylor

0940

1245

Bombs observed in target area SE of landing ground

 

L1528

F/Lt Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Martin

Foreshore Tobruk

0945

1230

Results not observed due to ground haze.

 

L8449

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

0945

1245

Results not observed due to ground haze.

 


31/10/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
Sgt Jones

Bomb building and dispersed aircraft on Gambut aerodrome

0835

1125

Direct hit was observed on one aircraft, others are beleived to have been damaged.

 

L8449

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Barber
Sgt Taylor

0835

1125

Bombs burst alongside six a/c to NE of aerodrome. One aircraft received direct hit.

 

L4825

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

0835

1125

One bomb direct hit on a/c, several bombs burst close to other aircraft.

 


31/10/40

Blenheim I
L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

Bomb dispersed aircraft at Gambut

0830

1130

End of stick fell in camp area.

 

L6658

F/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Hallett

0830

1130

End of stick fell on edge of camp.

 

L1535

P/O Jerdein
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

0830

1130

Bomb fell in target area in close proximity to aircraft.

 

L1528

F/Lt Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Martin

0830

1130

Bombs fell amongst aircraft, fires started.

 

L1482

F/O Dundas
Sgt Page
SGt Hughes

0830

0900

Return due to engine trouble

 

L6670

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Baird

0830

1130

Target obscured by smoke and dust, large column of smoke seen for some time on East side of aerodrome.

 

[November]
5/11/40 [Qotafiya]

Blenheim I
L1482

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Encamp-ment ESE of fort Madalena

0830

1115

Bombs observed to fall on Eastern edge of camp.

 

L1481

F/Lt Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Hughes

0830

1130

Bursts appeared across the NE area of camp.

 

L6670

P/O Cox
Sgt Page
Sgt Baird

0830

1115

No hits observed.

 

L8541

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Pattison

0830

1120

Stick fell across SW end of camp. Other bombs seen to fall short.

 

L6658

F/O Ritchie
Sgt Pollard
Sgt Munro

0830

1120

Bombs burst to right of camp on outskirts.

 

L4926

P/O Jerdein
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

0830

1120

Bombs burst well to East of target.

 

L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Camp near Madalena

0820

1110

Bombs observed to fall short of target.

 

L1487

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
Sgt Taylor

0820

1110

No effects observed.

 

L8449

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

0820

1110

No hits observed.

 


24/11/40 [Greece]

 

 

 

 

 

L8411

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Raid on Durazzo

10.30

 

First reported missing later forced [reported] at Corfu where they had force-landed with undercarriage up due [to AA damage]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

24/11/40 [Greece]

Blenheim I
L8411
[sic: L8511]

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Raid on Durazzo

1030

 

First reported missing later forced [reported] at Corfu where they had force-landed with u/c up due to hydraulic gear being rendered u/s when a/c was hit twice with AA shells.

 

L1539

F/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Jones

1030

 

No hits observed, hydraulic system rendered useless also tail trimming gear u/s. Odd holes in a/c. Landed with u/c up. All crew personnel safe.

 

L1481

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Clark
Sgt Baird

1030

 

Force-landed at Larissa, a/c damaged. Numerous hits in wing, tail and fuselage due to shell splinters. There is no time down as a/c crashed, force-landed and landed enroute for refuelling.

 

L4926

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

1030

 

Stick fell on jetty and wharf, 1st bomb fell among barges, 2nd fell on what appeared to be large packing cases.

 

L6866

F/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt MCord

1030

 

Bomb salvoes along harbour side of jetty (50 yrds in), one ship 10,000 tons received a direct hit.

 

L1535

F/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Pattison

1030

 

Most bombs fell in the water alongside ships moored at the jetty. One small ship had a direct hit and burst into flames.

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1030

 

One bomb observed to fall alongside a ship though to be a destroyer and a fire was seen started on another smaller ship.

 

L1487

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

1030

 

Bombs seen to burst on the quay and alongside ships moored at quay

 

L8536

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

1030

 

3 bombs in the sea and 1 alongside one of the ships at the jetty. One enemy fighter probab Fiat G50 attacked aircraft, 2 holes found. One[ ...].

 

26/11/40 [Greece]

Blenheim I
L8536

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Military stores, troops movement at village of Tepelini

1115

1330

A/c No 1 and No 2 returned to base as cloud was reduced to 3/10 five miles South of the border

 

L1487

F/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
Sgt Appleyard

1115

1330

No 3 penetrated to 5 miles within border, pinching [sic] himself in clear patch returned to base independently.

 

L6634

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Barber
Agt Taylor

1115

1330

 

 

27/11/40

 

 

 

 

 

 

L8513

F/Lt Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Martin

Raid on Durazzo

0730

1330

Aircraft did not bomb due to clear weather.

 

L8533

P/O Cox
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Hughes

0730

1330

 

L6670

P/O Herbert
Sgt Dunnet
Sgt Young

0730

1330

 

L1540

F/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

0730

1330

Enemy cruiser bombed, missed by 200 yards.

 

L8526

F/O Godfrey
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

0730

1330

 

L4926

F/O Jerdein
Sgt Taylor
Sgt Munro

0730

1330

 

28/11/40 [Greece]

Blenheim I
L6634

F/Lt Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Raid on Sarande

1330

1615

One bomb observed to fall on raod by the South end of the town. The other bombs overshot.

 

L8533

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1330

1615

No hits observed.

 

L1487

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

1330

1615

One bomb seen to burst in town and others at Eastern end of town and on hillside.

 

[December]
1025hrs 1/12/40 to 1250hrs 1/12/40

Blenheim
L6670

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
Sgt Jones

Bombing raid on Valona

1025

1250

No bombs dropped due to bad weather. 10/10 cloud, raining and freezing conditions experienced. All aircraft returned to base.

No attach-ments

L8513

F/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Baird

1025

1250

 

 

L6634

F/O Barnes
P/O Smith
Sgt Hughes

1025

1250

 

 

L1540

F/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

1025

1250

 

 

L4926

P/O Jerdein
Sgt Taylor
Sgt Munro

1025

1250

 

 

L1535

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Barber
Sgt Taylor

1025

1250

 

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

1020

1245

 

 

L1487

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

1020

1245

 

 

L8533

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

1020

1245

 

 

1305hrs 2/12/40 to 1705hrs 2/12/40

Blenheim
L8513

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
Sgt Jones

Raid on selected targets at Valona

1305

1705

Bombs fell among buildings and jetty. A fire thought to be from a dump was observed.

Operation Order, Bombing Report, Combat Reports and Narrative report attached
 

L6670

F/L Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Martin

 

 

 

Bursts observed among buildings. One CR42 was shot down by cross-fire with leader’s machine.

L8449

P/O Herbert
Sgt Dunnet
Sgt Young

 

 

 

Bombs fell in target area.

L4926

F/Lt Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

 

 

 

All bombs fell in target area.

 

L8466

P/O Pickersgill
Sgt Taylor
Sgt Duffy

 

 

 

Force-landed at 1600 hours at Araxos on return journey.

 

L1535

F/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Pattison

 

 

 

All bombs fell in target area.

 

L8536

F/L Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

 

 

 

Bombs seen to fall on foreshore and buildings in vicinity.

 

L8533

F/O Godfrey
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

 

 

 

Fires issuing black smoke were started and buildings were observed to be demolished.

 

L1487

F/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
Sgt Appleyard

 

 

 

All bombs fell in target area.

 

1400hrs 4/12/40 to 1715hrs 4/12/40

L6670

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Raid on Tepelene

1400

1715

Bombs observed to fall on both sides of target.

Photo-graphs, Operation Order, Bombing Reports, and Narrative report attached
 

L8513

P/O Cox
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Hughes

 

 

 

 

L6634

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Clark
Sgt Baird

 

 

 

 

L8541

F/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

 

 

 

‘B’ Flight commander.
Town hit with bomb salvoes across the Northern side.

 

L4926

P/O Jerdein
Sgt Taylor
Sgt Munro

 

 

 

 

 

L1535

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Barber
Sgt Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

F/O Godfrey
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

 

 

 

‘C’ Flight commander.
Bomb bursts observed on concentration of MT.

 

L1487

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

 

 

 

 

 

L8533

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

 

 

 

 

 

0710hrs 7/12/40 to 1055hrs 7/12/40

L6670

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Raid on shipping and docks at Valona

0710

1055

Formation leader.
Bombs observed to fall between ships and several within 40 to 50 yards of ships.

Operation Order, Bombing Reports, and Narrative report and photo-graphs, attached
 

L8513

F/L Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Martin

 

 

 

L8534

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Baird

 

 

 

 

L4926

F/L Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

 

 

 

‘B’ Flight leader.
No damage observed

 

L1535

F/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

 

 

 

 

 

L8449

F/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Pattison

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

F/L Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

 

 

 

‘C’ Flight leader.
Two bombs dropped on encampment of eight tents.

 

L1487

F/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
Sgt Appleyard

 

 

 

 

 

L6634

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

 

 

 

 

 

1300hrs 7/12/40 to 1700hrs 7/12/40

L6670

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb shipping in Valona harbour

1300

1700

Formation leader.
Returned to base due to adverse weather conditions. Severe icing conditions experienced.

Operation Order, Narrative report, Combat Report, and photo-graphs, attached
 

L8513

P/O Herbert
Sgt Dunnet
Sgt Young

 

 

 

L8534

P/O Cox
Sgt Richmond
Sgt Hughes

 

 

 

 

L4926

F/O Pickersgill
Sgt Taylor
Sgt Hallett

 

 

 

‘B’ Flight leader.
Aircraft crashed, all members of crew being killed.

 

L1535

P/O Jerdein
Sgt Barbour
Sgt Munro

 

 

 

Aircraft crashed near Lama [Lamia in Greece]. Bodies of crew found near aircraft.

 

L8536

F/L Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

 

1300

1640

‘C’ Flight leader.
Target reached but no hits observed owing to intervention of fighters.

 

L1487

F/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
Sgt Appleyard

 

1300

1530

Returned to base due to oxygen failure.

 

L6634

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

 

 

 

Target reached. Bombs dropped. Aircraft attacked by two enemy fighters. Cloud cover taken.

 

0830hrs 9/12/40 to 1540hrs 9/12/40

L6670

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Raid on Valona

0830

0945

Formation leader.
No bombs were dropped due to 10/10 cloud down to ground level and heavy rain.

No attach-ments

L8449

P/O Herbert
Sgt Dunnet
Sgt Young

 

 

 

 

 

L1481

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Clark
Sgt Baird

 

 

 

 

 

L6670

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Raid on Valona

1130

1540

Formation leader.
Bombs observed to drop on jetty and in town.

Operation Order, Bombing Report Narrative report, and photos attached

L8449

P/O Herbert
Sgt Dunnet
Sgt Young

 

 

 

 

L1481

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Clark
Sgt Baird

 

 

 

 

0725hrs 14/12/40 to 1120hrs 14/12/40

L6670

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Raid on objectives in town of Valona

0725

1120

Formation leader.
Bombs observed to fall on South corner of barracks.

Operation Order, Bombing Report, Narrative report and photos attached
 

L8513

F/L Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Jones

 

 

Bombs seen to fall in target area. Black smore observed to come from MT park.

L1481

F/O Barnes
P/O Smith
Sgt Hughes

 

0725

1105

Forced to return when 40 miles from target owing to icing of controls.

L1540

F/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

 

 

 

‘B’ Flight leader.
Bombs observed to burst near military store.

 

L8541
[sic: L8514]

F/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Pattison

 

0720

1030

Aircraft force-landed at Araxos owing to petrol shortage. Believed bogged and up on its nose.

 

L8514
[sic: L8541]

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Thompson
Sgt Taylor

 

 

 

 

 

L8449

F/O Godfrey
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

 

 

 

‘C’ Flight leader.
2 bombs see to fall in sea near shore in line with warehouse and munition dumps.

 

L1487

F/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
Sgt Appleyard

 

 

 

 

 

L8533

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

 

 

 

 

 

0950hrs 15/12/40 to 1220hrs 15/12/40

L6670

P/O Herbert
Sgt Dunnet
Sgt Duffy

Photo recco of Si Giovanni di Medua and Durazzo harbours

0950

1220

No photographs obtained.
Visual reconnaissance carried out.
Aircraft landed with undercarriage retracted due to Port engine seizure.

Narrative and Recco reports and report on camera failure attached

1050hrs 17/12/40 to 1420hrs 17/12/40

L8536

F/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Jones

Photo recco of Si Giovanni di Medua and Durazzo harbours

1050

1420

Aircraft was forced to return to base due to adverse weather conditions.

Narrative report

1225hrs 17/12/40 to 1550hrs 17/12/40

L8536

F/L Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Raid transport on hairpin bend 20 miles South of Valona

1225

1550

Bombs seen to fall 100 yards East of road, transport machine-gunned

Operation order Narrative Report, Bombing report attached

L8449

F/O Godfrey
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

 

 

 

L8533

Sgt James
Sgt Bryce
Sgt Waring

 

 

Bombs fell on hill-side

0845hrs 20/12/40 to 1215hrs 20/12/40

L1481

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Raid on road junction and town near Berati

0845

1215

Formation leader.
All bombs fell in the target area

Operation Order. Narrative report. Bombing Report. Photos.

L8511

F/L Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Martin

 

 

Bombs seen to fall in target area. Black smore observed to come from MT park.

L1482

P/O Herbert
Sgt Dunnet
Sgt Hughes

 

0725

1105

Forced to return when 40 miles from target owing to icing of controls.

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

Raid on aerodrome near Berati

 

 

Flight leader.
Bombs were observed to fall on the West side of the runway.

 

L1540

F/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Pattison

 

 

 

 

 

L1528

Sgt Bennett
Sgt Tunstall
Sgt France

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

F/L Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

 

 

 

Flight leader.
All bombs fell and burst within the boundaries of the aerodrome.

 

L8449

F/O Godfrey
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

 

 

 

 

 

L8535

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
Sgt Appleyard

 

 

 

 

 

0930hrs 23/12/40 to 1200hrs 23/12/40

L8536

F/L Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

Bomb troop con-centration and artillery positions North West of Kelcyri

0930

1200

Flight leader.
All aircraft forced to return due to extremely bad weather, heavy rainstorms with low cloud..

Operation Order. Narrative report on attempted raids.

L1487

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
Sgt Appleyard

 

 

 

L8533

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

 

 

 

1035hrs 24/12/40 to 1428hrs 24/12/40

L1481

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb aerodrome and buildings at Valona

1035

1428

Formation leader.
Beginning of stick observed to fall 50 yards from the North West of hangar. All buildings and the aircraft were machine gunned.

Operation Order. Bombing Report. Narrative report. Photos.

L8513

F/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Jones

 

 

 

L1482

P/O Cox
P/O Smith
Sgt Hughes

 

 

 

 

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

 

 

 

Flight leader.
Failed to take off, aircraft bogged. Tail unit broken while trying to take off.

 

L8540 [sic:
Posiibly L1540]

F/O Buchanan
Sgt Stack
Sgt Pattison

 

 

 

All bombs seen to fall on the target, target area enveloped in smoke when aircraft turned away.

 

L6657

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Tunstall
Sgt France

 

 

 

 

 

L8449

F/O Godfrey
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

 

 

 

Flight leader.
Bombs were seen to burst among aircraft.

 

L8533

Sgt James
Sgt Clark
Sgt Waring

 

 

 

Direct hits were seen on aircraft.

 

1010hrs 26/12/40 to 1355hrs 26/12/40

L1481

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb buildings and warehouses at Krionero

1010

1355

Formation leader.
Bombs seen to fall among warehouses.
Aircraft hit by machine gun fire

Operation Order. Bombing Report. Narrative report. Combat Report . Photos.

L1482

P/O Herbert
Sgt Dunnet
Sgt Hughes

 

 

Aircraft landed with retracted undercarriage due to hydraulic system being rendered u/s by fighter action.

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt Kavanagh
Sgt Wright

 

 

 

Flight leader.
Bombs fell short of target.

L1540

F/O Austin
Sgt Thompson
Sgt Hankison

 

 

 

 

 

L6657

P/O Bennett
Sgt Tunstall
Sgt France

 

 

 

Aircraft hit by machjne gun fire

 

L8449

F/O Godfrey
Sgt O’Neil
Sgt Wainhouse

 

 

 

Flight leader.
Bombs were seen to fall in target area.
Aircraft hit by machine gun fire.

 

L1487

P/O Thompson
P/O Hogarth
Sgt Arscott

 

 

 

Direct hits observed on target.
Aircraft hit by machine gun fire.

 

L8533

Sgt James
Sgt Clark
Sgt Waring

 

 

 

Two bombs overshot into the sea.
Aircraft hit by machine gun fire.

 

1052hrs 28/12/40 to 1502hrs 28/12/40

L8541

F/O Delaney
Cpl Brooks
Sgt McCord

Bomb foreshore and jetties at Valona

1052

1502

Flight leader.
No bursts observed.

Operation Order. Bombing Report. Narrative report and photos. Attached.

L1528

F/O Austin
Sgt Thompson
Sgt Hankinson

 

 

Two bombs seen to burst 50 yards short of large ship

L8513

P/O Clutterbuck
Sgt Stack
Sgt Pattison

 

 

One bomb seen to burst in the sea. Cloud prevented further observation.

1010hrs 29/12/40 to 1405hrs 29/12/40

L8536

F/L Farrington
Sgt Tickner
Sgt Martin

Bomb buildings along harbour and the foreshore at Valona

1010

1405

Flight leader.
All aircraft forced to return due to extremely bad weather, heavy rainstorms with low cloud..

Operation Order. Bombing Report. Narrative report. Attached.

L1481

P/O Dundas
Sgt Page
Sgt Jones

 

 

All bombs fell well in target area.

L1528

P/O Herbert
Sgt
Dunnet
Sgt Hughes

 

 

Target straddled.

1230hrs 31/12/40 to 1625hrs 31/12/40

L1481

S/Ldr Gordon-Finlayson
P/O
Davies
P/O Geary

Bomb woods and buildings South of Valona

1230

1625

Formation leader.
Cloud obscured target after bombs were dropped. Aircraft was attacked by a monoplane fighter.

Operation Order. Bombing Report. Combat Reports. Narrative report. Photo-graphs. Attached.

L1528

P/O Cox
P/O Smith
Sgt Hughes

 

 

 

L1542

Sgt Marshall
Sgt Richmond
Sgt
Baird

 

 

 

 

L8541

F/L Doudney
Sgt
Kavanagh
Sgt
Wright

 

 

 

Flight leader.
Cloud obscured result.
One mononplane fighter attacked the formation.

L1540

Sgt Bennett
Sgt Tunstall
Sgt France

 

 

 

L1540 missing. Last seen by the Flight Leader 20 miles South of Valona in flames but under control.

 

L1490

F/O Buchanan
Sgt
Stack
Sgt Pattison

 

 

 

 

 

L8536

F/L Jones
Sgt Dennis
Sgt Shimmin

 

 

 

Flight leader.
Results not observed due to cloud covering the target area.

 

L1487

P/O Campbell
Sgt Beharrell
Sgt
Appleyard

 

 

 

 

 

L8449

P/O Pearson
Sgt Riddle
Sgt Chignall

 

 

 

2 CR42s seen but they did not attack the flight.

 

Other Appendices 1940
From mid-July, about 20 pages of operational orders, bombing report forms and other operations narratives were collated in date order within the run of Forms 540 and 541, now in TNA AIR 27/1302. Meanwhile, another 60-odd (earlier and later) general narrative reports, operations narrative reports, bombing and combat (bomber) reports were filed separately, now in AIR 27/1304. Rather than try to collate all these in date order with the main Forms 540 and Forms 541 records, it seemed sensible to show these additional materials together in a single running sequence here as far as is practicable—bearing in mind that many individual reports (or the available copies) are effectively illegible.

Appendix A March 1940 [Folio 1, 2 AIR 271304]
Summary of Various Points of Interest
Signals
This Section has been working on restricted watches since 15th February 1940, ie 0600 hours to 2200 hours daily. A telephone watch is kept by Operators sleeping in the Radio Cabin so that they may open up watch if required. Shortage of mechanics has necessitated the closing down of the specialist vehicle. A GP set is being used for all aircraft watches and is maintained by flight Operators. There has recently been a shortage of signals forms in the Command and the old type forms have had to be used. It was discovered that running of the cinema over-loaded the power unit and it was found necessary to cut out half the camp lighting during performances. The general condition of the camp wiring has deteriorated considerably and if a move should be made, it is estimated that only 20% of the wire recovered will be serviceable.

Cyphers
Cypher traffic “in” has remained normal, while Cypher traffic “out” for the week 3/3/40 to 10/3/40 has, in accordance with Command orders, dropped considerably.

Engineering
Over a period of several months, seven aircraft were returned to No 103 MU for the repair of cracked sternframes. Experiments have been carried out as to he best type of air cleaner for use in desert conditions. The concrete tray placed beneath the airscrews has proved unsuccessful and inadequate. The auxiliary cleaner for attachment to the front of the Vokes cleaner has proved very successful. The canvas covers provided for running up have proved more successful than the concrete trays. The servicing of the Squadron aircraft at No 31 ASP has ceased. Inspections will in future be carried out in the unit.

Motor Transport
A dummy pack-up was arranged and appropriate load factors and shipping weights worked out. Ten six-wheelers held in storage at Helwan were withdrawn to this unit on the 21st March 1940. Two new Ford pick-ups replaced two which were totally unserviceable. An extra Stores vehicle was also received. The power tender generating unit was overhauled and a substitute received from Fuka. Spares were manufactured locally for the cooking tender which is now serviceable. Six clutch plate centres were rendered u/s caused by the tension springs breaking. Lewis gun practice from gun mountings in vehicles has been carried out. 37 drivers have undergone Desert Driving training during the last ten months.

Armoury
The standard of bombing continues to improve. The improvement has shown itself more so in the last six months. Four high level details are carried out five days per week, every other week. On each of these four details, two aircraft carry out their practices. Thus forty targets are produced by the Squadron every other week if all goes well. In overcast conditions, low level bombing is carried out when details are further doubled.

Equipment Section
The increase in the supply of equipment has been considerable during the last month, and has enabled this section to carry a comprehensive stock.

Appendix A April 1940 [Folio 3 AIR 271304]
General Remarks
A roving MT guard has been employed to drive from sentry to sentry during the night. This has proved very successful. Each guard is visited approximately every hour. There have been several submarines sighted and reported from the Coastal Stations. These have been investigated by land and air but no contact made. Tents have been recamouflaged and proved more successful. Bed-boards have been received and issued to airmen.

Sections
Medical
The general health of the camp has been good; no particular illness gaining prominence. The flies have been adequately kept down to date. Mosquitoes have not yet started their yearly tour. Since water tanks have been installed at the railway station, the water supply has been much better. Candidates for training as Sergeant Pilots, Air Observers and Air Gunners were examined as to fitness.

Stores
Unserviceable equipment and surplus stores have been disposed of. A general improvement in supply has occurred during the month. A new Acting Corporal is now employed in the Stores. Several trips were made to No 103 MU and urgent stores obtained.

Signals
The daily average of cypher groups maintained throughout the month was 593. Signal traffic has greatly increased during the month. Corruptions are still frequent occurrences [See
Appendices below for some examples] but the cypher staff are surmounting this obstacle successfully. The Radio Tender crew are still on restricted watches. A shortage of W/T Logs is experienced. Amendments to Signals Publications are still very much overdue. The Special Duty Station has been erected on the coast. Several new Wireless Operators have arrived and are being trained in procedure. The Command Signals Officer, Group Captain WG Mann, visited this Squadron.

Armoury
The weather has not been very good for bombing but the results of the details carried out show a marked improvement. The Lewis gun lectures are almost completed. Arrangements are being made for the use of the rifle range to complete the armament training. Revolver practice is also going to be carried out when ammunition arrives. A drogue flight is expected to arrive shortly to enable rear gun practice.

MT Section
Normal mileage has been used for the month. Four 6,000 hour inspections were also carried out. Four clutch springs and one rear spring were broken. Replacements are still difficult to obtain. U/t drivers have progressed favourably. No road accidents have occurred. The aircraft which crashed in ‘A’ Flight was transported by road to No 103 MU.

Appendix [A] May 1940 [Folio 4,5 AIR 271304]
Power has been supplied throughout the month to the Cinema and most of the Station without fail. W/T Operators have improved greatly through being usefully employed.

Gas and Fire Organisation
The decontamination Centre has been fitted with the following equipment: showers, hooks for respirators, metal lined cloth bins and black trays. Two white squares have [been] placed on the aerodrome to warn aircraft in event of a gas attack. Fire fighting equipment is in first class condition and the Squad, consisting fo Flight personnel, are fully trained in the use of Fire Fighting use [sic: equipment?].

Medical
 The general health for the month has been good. An officer has been sent to the CCS. As many inoculations as possible were given, but owing to the fact that quite a number of airmen have not been issued with Pay Books [sic!] it is difficult to know who is in need of attention.

Stores
A considerable improvement in supply has occurred during the month. Tin Hats have been issued to all personnel. 360 white arm-bands have been received. Several trips were made to the Depot for urgent stores.

Armoury
There has been very little bombing during the month due to restricted flying. Several respirators anti-gas, which were long outstanding, were received and issued. Large stocls of ammunition and sixty bayonets were received.

Photographic Section
A Photographic Tender was received from No 103 MU and is now in use. It has proved a great help and the results of work are much better.

Signals
Signals traffic has greatly increased during the month and two Cypher Officers were kept fully occupied. The average no of groups incoming per week are approximately 8,000.

MT Section
Mileage [was] normal throughout the month. Big improvement in staff has occurred. Corporal and 2 Fitters were posted to the Section. All Aircraftmen 2nd Class were reclassified Aircraftmen 1st Class, one Aircraftman 1st Class to Leading Aircraftman. Eleven Fordson six-wheelers were replaced by eleven Fordson four-wheelers. The floodlight arrived but was broken in transit. The spares have to be obtained from England and as yet the floodlight is u/s. Cpl Green returned to the Section after six weeks in hospital at Alexandria. An Advanced Supply Column arrived from Helwan and took over eleven vehicles on the 27/5/40. The MT [Section] have had sound practice in dispersing which proved very satisfactory. The thirty vehicles were dispersed in approximately 5 minutes.

General
The squadron has been doing live bombing with 250lbs, but not much success has been registered. Bombs are very old being last war type. Leave has been stopped for all RAF personnel in Egypt. Several precautions have been taken against air attack. Armed vehicles are placed in readiness. A vehicle has been at the disposal of each Flight Commander for use during the night. Large convoys of vehicles and many extra trains have been passing West each day with troops etc. All civilians have been evacuated from Mersa Matruh and the Western Desert as a precautionary measure. The NAAFI tent has been replaced by a more suitable building as it was in a bad state of repair. The wood was obtained from the Cinema shelters. Wood is still a big problem in the Western Desert. Defence posts were manned last night, are being manned 24 hours at a time. The dispersal of aircraft and tents also took place.

The Squadron has been placed on restricted flying. A pass-word will be chosen each day and will be given out during parade. A demonstration flight over Cairo has been arranged, 10 Squadrons of the Middle East Command will take part. Owing to the large influx of Army units the Officers Mess have received numerous visitors during the month. Two Wellington aircraft were observed flying down the coast towards Alexandria. They were fitted with the anti-mine device [the DWI annular antenna used to explode magnetic mines]. The demonstration flight over Alexandria proved quite a success. The officers have paid social calls on most of the units in the area including the Indian Army Mess. Leave has not yet been granted though several attempts have been made by the CO to have it affirmed.

The signal arrived yesterday asking for volunteers for England and the following Officers and Sergeant Pilots volunteered.

    F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson
    P/O Garrad-Cole
    P/O Campbell
    Sgt Smith

    F/O Farrington
    P/O Delaney
    P/O Buchanan
    P/O Barnes

[Appendix] C1 [Operational Order] 9 July 1940 [folio 50 AIR 27/1302]
To: 211 55 Sqdns
From: 202 Group A694 9/7 Sortie no 76
Between Tobruk and El Adem, there is an important magazine and petrol dump combined. Herewith an intelligence note, four photographs and a line sketch for use by each squadron [not in 27/13102 nor 27/1304]. Magazine and dump are to be attacked tomorrow 10 July by Nos 211 and 55 Sqdns in company. 55 Sqdn leading. Bomb loading 50% 250lb bombs armour piercing 50% 500lb armour piercing. Fuse 1/10th second delay. High level [ie over 10,000ft] bombing ripple salvo release. Arrangements for 55 211 Sqdns to join company to be made mutually by squadron commanders. Brief flight plan for each squadron to be forwarded this headquarters by air mail 10 July. Documents sent herewith are to be returned after operations [see above]. Acknowledge. 1215.

[Appendix] C2 [Operational Order] 9 July 1940 [folio 51 AIR 27/1302]
To: 208 [Sqdn] Detach (R) 33 15 [sic: 55?] 211 Sqdns
From: 202 Group A696 9/7
Secret. 55 211 Sqdns are carrying out an important operation near Tobruch at 1350 hours on July 10. 33 Sqdn is to take one section to Sidi Barrani to provide a total of 9 Gladiators there by 1100 hours on July 10. 6 Gladiators 33 detached Sidi Barrani are to refuel at Bug Bug in time to be on patrol 15,000 feet 20 miles westward of Sidi Barrani between 1350 and 1425. 1 section 33 Sqdn standby at Sidi Barrani between 1400 and 1500 hours. 55 211 Sqdns proceeding towards Sidi Barrani will report by WT on fighter frequency 4630 kilocycles in preparation[sic] if pursued near frontier RGYIA [sic,Libya?] 12000. Sidi Barrani keys [sic] watch on fighter frequency 4630 kilocycles for standby section of -- 33 Sqdn to which information is to be passed. Defensive action to be taken by standby section as requisite. Acknowledge.
Immediate 1515/9.

[Appendix] C3 [Operational Order] 9 July 1940 [folio 52 AIR 27/1302]
To: 55 211 Sqdns (R) 33 Det
113 Sqdn with 3 aircraft is to join 55 211 Sqdns five mile south of Bagush at 5,000 feet at 1145 hours on July 10. The three aircraft 113 are to be armed with 50% incendiary 4lb bombs and 50% 40lb bombs. Tactics for 113 keep close to 211 Sqdn. Fly over target immediately after 211 Sqdn bomb 1,400 feet. Use normal bombsight for 40lb bombs. use attachment for bombsight to aim 4lb incendiary bombs. Object fire petrol dump after attack by 55 211 Sqdns.
Immediate 1855/9.

[Appendix] D1 Bombing Report [folio 61 AIR 27/1302]
Squadron: 211 Date: 10/7/40 Time: 1405 Place: El Gubbi Height: 12,700
Pilot: S/Ldr Judge Observer: Sgt Bain. Sgt Steward (AG)
Details of target: Petrol and ammunition dumps South of road South of El Gubbi Landing Ground.
Bombs dropped: 2x500lb SAP
Observed Effects: Bomb bursts observed in target area. No visible effects.
Details of photographs taken: Automatic camera control in use
Casualties to own aircraft & personnel: Nil
Casualties to enemy aircraft & personnel: Nil
Enemy AA ground defence encountered (a) location of defences (b) type (c) strength: Heavy AA fire. Screen over target five miles before reached subsequently to rear.
Hostile patrols encountered (a) position (b) type and number of aircraft (c) if engagement resulted: Nil.
Special comments: Shipping in Tobruch Harbour. Seven large ships observed in Eastern end of harbour lying close to Southern shore. Approximately 18 smaller ships between large ships and Eastern end of harbour.
(Signed) RA Bain Sgt J Steward Sgt

[Appendix] E1 Operation by No 211 Squadron 10/7/40 [folio 65 AIR 27/1302]
Brief Report by Commanding Officer (Formation Leader)
Twelve aircraft of this Squadron took off at 1145 hours on 10/7/40 and arrived over Fuka at 1159 hours. Our aircraft left Fuka in company with 55 Squadron at 1210 hours and proceeded to Tobruch after picking up one flight of No 113 Squadron over Maaten Bagush. Two aircraft of this unit returned without completing the raid. Aircraft maintained their position approximately 40 miles from Libyan coast and an attack was carried out on the petrol and ammunition dumps situated South of Tobruch at 1403 hours. Approximately 5/10ths cloud prevented the target from becoming visible from a distance. The target however cleared sufficiently for a final run up and bombs were observed to burst on or about the target. The photographs of the bombing results were not good owing to the target being practically obscured, and due to the time of day it will be observed that the photographs are lacking in depth. Sergeant Richmond, as his bombing report states, saw two masts which may have been a possible RDF station. This information is at present unconfirmed by any other member of the Squadron.

AA fire was observed in the form of a barrage before reaching the target but it is considered that this was probably directed against aircraft of No 55 Squadron. After passing the target heavy AA fire was experienced but no damage was done. Six fighter aircraft were observed climbing up but they failed to gain sufficient height for attack. All our aircraft returned to base.

        (sg) JW Judge
        Squadron Leader, Commanding
        No 211 Squadron RAFME 11/7/40

[Appendix C4 12 July 1940 [folio 53 AIR 27/1302]
To: 55 113 211 Sqdns
From: 202 Group A732 12/7
Warning Order. No 55 113 211 Squadrons are to detail 2 aircraft each to attack objectives by night on 12/7 as follows 55 El Adem 113 El Gubbi 211 Bardia. To be during moonlight 216 Sqdn attacking Tobruch. Operations order follows.
Emergency 1235/12

[Appendix C5 12 July 1940 [folio 54 AIR 27/1302]
To: 55 113 211 216 det Fuka
From: 202 Group A/? 12/7
Secret. My A732 12/7 July. Orders for night 12/13 July. 55 113 are to bomb El Gubbi aerodrome with two single aircraft each [sic]. Alternative target El Adem aerodrome. Small bomb containers, standard filling. Time over target 113 Sqdn 2056 to 2110 55 Sqdn 2201 to 2252. Two single aircraft of 216 Sqdn are attacking warships in Tobruch harbour at approximately 2134 to 2222. 211 Sqdn is to bomb military depots at Bardia in the Wadi running up from the head of Western bay of landmark. Avoid bombing hospital further up Wadi on North side. Times over target between 2030 and 0005. Small bomb containers standard fillings. Photographs herewith for 211 Sqdn only they are to be returned. Met reports for tonight are attached. Acknowledge.
Important 1725

[Appendix C6 14 July 1940 [folio 56 AIR 27/1302]
To: 55 211 Sqdns
From: 202 Group A765 14//7
Numbers 55 211 Squadrons are to attack on 15th July. Ain El Gazala Landing Ground (note Landing Ground is North of Main Road and not repeat not South as shown on maps. 55 211 Sqdns are to proceed in company 55 Sqdn leading. Squadrons attack armed with chosen bombs. 211 Sqdn to leave El Daba at 0415 55 Fuka at 0425. Ain EL Gazala had 30 aircraft dispersed July 9 fresh reconnaissance on 14 July. Suggested tactics. Proceed seaward on fringe of visibility of shore both outward and homeward bound. Attack medium altitude release bombs by flights ripple salvoes.
Immediate 1110/14

[Appendix] D2 Consolidated Bombing Report [folio 62 AIR 27/1302]
Squadron: 211 Date: 15/7/40 Time: na Place: Ain El Gazala Height:
Pilot: S/Ldr Judge and 7 other pilots Observer: ----
Details of target: Concentration of aircraft at Ain El Gazala.
Bombs dropped: Nil
Observed Effects: Nil
Details of photographs taken: Nil
Casualties to own aircraft & personnel: One forced landed in enemy territory in vicinity of El Adem, crew believed to be prisoners of war. One force-landed in Egyptian territory. No particulars of this aircraft are available. One aircraft damaged whilst landing at Bug Bug. Fiver aircraft returned to base after refuelling at Sidi Barrani and Bug Bug.
Casualties to enemy aircraft & personnel: Nil
Enemy AA ground defence encountered (a) location of defences (b) type (c) strength: Nil
Hostile patrols encountered (a) position (b) type and number of aircraft (c) if engagement resulted: Nil.
Special comments: Formation failed to reach objective due to faulty navigation.
(Signed) J Williams SEO

[Appendix] E2 Report by Formation Leader [folio 66 AIR 27/1302]
On Operation Carried Out by No 211 Squadron on 15th July 1940
Eight aircraft took off at 0520 hours and flew to Fuka, and from there direct on a compass course to a point 40 miles off the coast of Bardia, where it was intended to fly at this distance from the coast turning on to the target on a Southerly course to Ain Ghazala.

For reasons already explained to the Air Officer Commanding, the target was overshot and it became imperative to set a course direct to Egyptian territory. Bombs were dropped clear of open towns on military objectives in the vicinity of an area South of Apalonica. Aircraft then returned to Egyptian territory with the exception of one which informed the Squadron Commander that he was going down in the vicinity of El Adem. One aircraft force-landed in the vicinity of Sollum with the undercarriage up and as far as can be gathered the crew are safe.

Two aircraft landed at Bug Bug. The wheels of one aircraft broke through the crust in the soft ground, sinking up to the axles. It is considered however that this aircraft can possibly be flown off and action is being taken accordingly. The remaining aircraft landed at Sidi Barrani, refuelled and returned to base.

        JWB Judge (sg)
        Squadron Leader, Commanding
        No 211 Squadron RAF
        16th July 1940

[Appendix] C7 [folio 57 AIR 27/1302]
To: 208 Det etc
From: 202 Group A867 19//7
55 and 211 Squadrons will be refuelling Sidi Barrani early pm on July 19th. 208 detachment to give prioriy to refuelling.
Emergency 1400/19
[no other operational order in set]

[Appendix] D3 Consolidated Bombing Report [folio 63 AIR 27/1302]
Squadron: 211 Date: 19/7/40 Time: 1813 to 1830 Place: Tobruch Height: 11,000–14,500
Pilot: Observer:
Details of target: Ships in Tobruch harbour. Cruiser not sighted in area of radius 40 miles from given position, nor picked out in harbour. About 25 ships in the harbour of which six were large.
Bombs dropped: 250 HE. 12x40lbs 60x4lb incendiary 12x20lbs
Observed Effects: Bombs seen bursting 100 yards South of large ships. One 250lb HE hit a small naval craft.
Details of photographs taken:
Casualties to own aircraft & personnel: One force-landed in enemy territory in vicinity of El Adem, crew believed to be prisoners of war. One force-landed in Egyptian territory. No particulars of this aircraft are available. One aircraft damaged whilst landing at Bug Bug. Five aircraft returned to base after refuelling at Sidi Barrani and Bug Bug.
Casualties to enemy aircraft & personnel: Nil
Enemy AA ground defence encountered (a) location of defences (b) type (c) strength: Heavy AA fire at correct altitude but to rear. Rapid fire from warhsip in harbour. At first AA fire was in nature of a barrage.
Hostile patrols encountered (a) position (b) type and number of aircraft (c) if engagement resulted: Last flight of 4 aircraft attacked on cessation of AA fire by 3 CR42, one of these came right under the wing of No 2 aircraft and despite all efforts to dislodge succeeded in staying in this spot until Bardia was passed. The face of the pilot could be seen quite plainly. His intention obviously was to tilt the nose of his machine up so as to give the leader of the formation a burst, but the high speed of the Blenheims made this impossible without falling off into the range f the rear gunners [the maximum speed of the Fiat CR42 biplane at medium altitude was no more than that of the Mark I Blenheim.]
Special comments: Weather good, large clouds of dust rising 3 - 5 miles West of EL Gubbi suggest satellite aerodrome.
(sg) James Williams PO

[Appendix] E3 Narrative Report [folio 67 AIR 27/1302]
1. 2 aircraft of ‘A’ Flight took off at 1605 hours, setting course to strike a point 50 miles.
2. A point due North of Tobruch was reached and a sweep made towards the harbour in an attempt to intercept the cruiser.
3. No cruiser was observed during this sweep
4. When the harbour was reached a course of 352 was set (being given the reading of the cruiser from the T in Tobruch,
5. It was estimated that the cruiser would be about 15 miles from Tobruch.
6. After flying for 15 miles E short sweeps Westward and Eastward were made.
7. No cruiser was observed.
8. In accordance with orders previously given instructing the Flight not to delay in the area, but to return if no cruiser was seen, the Flight set course for home, after having made a reconnaissance of Tobruch harbour.

        (sg) Gordon-Finlayson
        Flight Lieutenant
        19/7/40

Further Details of Raid on Tobruch Harbour on 19th July 1940 [folio 70 AIR 27/1302]
From: Intelligence Officer No 211 Squadron
To: Headquarters Royal Air Force Middle East
Date: 25th July 1940
Further Details of Raid on Tobruch Harbour on 19th July 1940
With reference to HMME S/48049/Int dated 22nd July 1940 and 202 Group signal S40/3 dated 22/7. Further to the notes under heading 7 & 8 of the Bombing Report dated 19th July 1940 1813 to 1830 hours (raid of Tobruch).

2. The three CR42s were first sighted 3 - 4 minutes after the bombs had been dropped. The Blenheims were flying at slightly over 14,000 feet climbing to 15,000 feet and proceeding along the coast, veering slightly out to see in the following formation:

3. When first spotted by the pilot of No 2 Aircraft, the three CR42s were about 1,000 feet above our formation and losing height. Two of the enemy fighters dived at the leader in wide Vic formation out of the sun from the port quarter and appeared to overshoot. They continued their dive and lost so much height that they could not catch up again. They leave the picture at this point. The leader of the enemy formation did a very pretty half-roll and dived vertically to the attack. in the opinion of the pilot of No 2 aircraft this half-roll did not appear necessary to bring home on his target. This pilot did not continue his downward dive, but zoomed sharply to a position under the wing of No 2 machine. No firing was observed although the range was suitable. Bullet holes were not found on any of our aircraft on landing, The following is an illustration of the attack.

4. I have again interviewed the rear gunner of No 3 aircraft and he reiterates his belief that it would be impossible to shoot down this enemy aircraft without grave risk of shooting down No 2 aircraft. If No 3 had reduced height, so would have the enemy aircraft or he would have moved around so as to be under No 2’s starboard wing.

5. The squadron of nine aircraft proceeded in three flights. One flight of two aircraft led by F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson returned without dropping bombs (see report of Flight Commander). Another flight of three aircraft bombed shipping in Tobruch harbour and returned independently of that flight of four aircraft with which we are concerned in this report.

        (sg)
        Intelligence Officer
        No 211 Sqdn RAF

Appendix [folio ? AIR 27/1302]
To: 211
From: HQ 202 Group A940 24/7
Sortie no 102. 211 is to attack Derna landing ground (located 4 miles SE of Derna) with small bombs on 25/7. 5 of 211 aircraft to land Barrani and 4 Barrani satellite located 4 miles S of Barrani (where 33 Det is) to refuel en route. 211 to leave home aerodrome at first light or when CO decides. Disposal [sic: dispersal] required while refuelling. Following tactics suggested. Keep at 20,000 feet fringe of visibility of Libya while flying seaward. Make a landfall between Bomba and Derna. Attack from 12,000 feet. Some 50 bombers and fighters on Derna LG. Return same route as outward path. Photographs taken of Derna LG on 24/7 being sent to 211 on 24/7. 33 Detachment Barrani is being ordered to patrol West of Bardia at time 211 due that area homeward bound. 211 keep well out to sea homeward to escape attention of fighters based on Tobruch and Bardia. 211 to ensure that 4 plus 5 refuelling leave Barrani in company also that 33 Det know accurately their time for patrol Bardia area.

Appendix [folio ? AIR 27/1302]
To: 208 Attachment [sic Detachment] (R) 211
From: HQ 202 Group A942 24/7
Prepare to refuel 9 aircraft 211 squadron daybreak on 25 July. Organise 33 detached fighter patrol Bardia 10 miles seaward [sic]
from time 2 hours after 211 Squadron leave you until 2 hours plus 40. Object safeguard 211 Squadron straggler. 4 of above aircraft will refuel at your satellite.
Emergency 2025/24

[Appendix] D4 [consolidated] Bombing Report [folio 64 AIR 27/1302]
Squadron: 211 Date: 25/7/40 Time: 0955 Place: Derna Height: 15,000
Pilot: F/Lt Gordon-Finlayson and 5 other pilots Observer:
Details of target: Aircraft on aerodrome
Bombs dropped: 1 set of containers 40lb 20lb and 60x4lb incendiary per aircraft
Observed Effects: Bombs burst in centre of concentration of about 50 aircraft of various types. At least 30 were within the smoke area. What appeared to be an S79 could be seen with its starboard wing torn off.
Details of photographs taken: See separate pro-formas.
Casualties to own aircraft & personnel: Nil
Casualties to enemy aircraft & personnel: Nil
Enemy AA ground defence encountered (a) location of defences (b) type (c) strength: Nil
Hostile patrols encountered (a) position (b) type and number of aircraft (c) if engagement resulted:
Special comments: Most of the aircraft were camouflaged light and green. Aircraft also observed on open ground 1 mile East of LG. One large silver coloured aircraft was observed. Five small cargo craft and one small naval craft (gunboat?) observed in harbour.

         (sg) PO James Williams

[Appendix] E4, E5 Narrative Report by Leader of No 211 Squadron Formation [folios 68,69 AIR 27/1302]
1. Seven aircraft left base at 0600 hours, two aircraft being unable to take off owing to engine failure.
2. On arrival at Sidi Barrani one aircraft broke a tailwheel and had to be left behind.
[3.] Whilst refuelling at Sidi Barrani a 9/10 cloud layer ar 800 to 1,000 feet almost completely dispersed, leaving the sea clear 10 miles from the shore.
4. Six aircraft took off at 0830 hours steering due North from Sidi Barrani to a point 60 miles North of Ras El Milh.
5. Course was altered to fly in a Westerly direction parallel with the shore to a point 40 miles North of Ras el Tin.
6. Height was gradually gained throughout this course until 17,000 feet was reached.
7. The Squadron gathered speed and approached the target out of the sun losing height until 15,000 feet was reached.
8. The signal was given to open formation to 200 yards between Flights stepped up, allowing each Flight to take aim at a portion of the target corresponding to its position in the Squadron formation.
9. The Squadron passed over the target with Flights stepped up between 14,500 and 15,500 at 180mph IA.
10. The Squadron having dropped its bombs and taken photographs immediately closed formation on an Easterly turn into the sun, finally retiring seaward in a NNE direction.
11 As a matter of course, the retirement was carried out at high speed consistent with stable formation keeping for 30 miles, thus minimising the risk of being intercepted by fighters.
12. No AA fire avoiding tactics were employed. It has been found that such tactics are employed before the run-up and the aim is unreliable, and that if any violent tactics are employed after releasing bombs the security of a compact and steady formation is broken up leaving several stragglers.
13. If disciplined formation is obtained giving depth as well as height, it is thought that an Italian fighter is unlikely to press his attack home, or if he does, that there is every chance of shooting him down.
14. The Squadron held a NNE course for 60 miles and then set course for a point 60 miles North of Ras el Milh again.
15. The hills of Crete were clearly visible in the North. A fine sight.
16. A height of 15,000 feet was maintained until the likelihood of being intercepted became negligible.This was considered to be 60 miles North of Ras el Milh.
17. height was then lost on a course leaving Mersa Matruh 10 miles to starboard.
18. 20 miles North of Ishaila Rocks No 2 aircraft of the leading Flight left the formation, making for the coast. It transpired that his port airscrew and reduction gear had fallen into the sea. This aircraft later suffered a minor mishap on landing at Fuka. No personnel were hurt.
19. The squadron returned to base at 1,500 feet transmitting a position signal 10 minutes before passing Mersa Matruh.

Conclusion
It is thought that from both the navigational and tactical pint of view, the sea approach and getaway is by far the most satisfactory. No half measures must be used however, and 60 to 70 miles out to sea is probably the least distance at which a complete surprise attack can be delivered and an entirely secure retirement ensured.
A course to base (211 Squadron) from any area 60 miles off the Libyan coast is direct and free from any complications with either ground or air forces.

        (sg) Gordon-Finlayson
        Flight Lieutenant
        25th July 1940

Report on Blenheim L1481 Which Force Landed and Crashed at Fuka [folio 71 AIR 27/1302]
Port Engine - Oil pressure dropped to 12 lbs and oil temperature dropped to 400 from 650.
Boost gauges RPM counters and cylinder head temperatures normal. Ten minutes after above were noted, the reduction gear and airscrew of port engine fell off, forward and under. This took place 30 miles due West of Mersa Matruh and 15 miles out to sea. The pilot proceeded direct to Fuka, firing a light as the coast was crossed and over Maaten Bagush. A landing was made with the starboard wheel of the undercarriage not fully locked. First estimate of damage - starboard wing tip and airscrew damaged. Fuselage and port wing ??
[Hydraulic pressure was normally provided by a pump running off the port engine. In this case, manual pumping would have been needed, and might have contributed to the undercarriage problem.]

         (sg) James Williams
        Intelligence Officer
        No 211 Squadron
        25th July 1940

[Appendix] 1c Narrative Report [folio 6 AIR 27/1304]
Raid on Derna Shipping 3/8/40 by No 211 Squadron
1. Nine aircraft of No 211 Squadron took off at 10:55 hours on 3/8/40. Rendezvous was made with No 55 Squadron over Fuka at 1110 hours and the formation proceeded to Maaten Bagush to rendezvous with No 113 Squadron. No 211 Squadron got split up over Maaten Bagush owing to some delay and to the formation leader flying too slowly for comfortable formation flying. Conditions weren’t good for the rendezvous as the clouds were 6/10 at 2,000 feet and No 55 Squadron was lost after they had made one circuit of Maaten Bagush.
2. At 1140 hours course was set for the sea from Bagush, in company with what was believed to be No 113 Squadron.
3. The formation proceeded out to sea on a course of 305° and at 1148 hours course was [altered] to 296° and height was gained gradually to 16,000. A further alteration in course to 310° was made at 1330hrs. At this time the leading Squadron had been lost sight of and 2 aircraft of No 211 Squadron had returned to base with engine trouble.
4. For the last ten minutes height was gradually lost from 16,000 feet to 11,500 feet and the track [sic: attack] was made by 211 Sqdn in two Flights of 4 aircraft and 3 aircraft at 1340hrs, bombing independently by Flights. Two salvoes of the first Flight’s bombs were observed to burst to the East of the Mole, one some way out and the other nearer. Other salvoes were reported to have been dropped on Mole and shipping and the second Flight of 3 aircraft are reported by the crews in the first Flight to have dropped bombs in a stick roughly from just North of the Mole in a Southerly direction reaching almost as far as the small jetty on the South side.
5. Slight AA fire consisting of small bursts of a rusty brown colour are reported from the first Flight but nothing observed from the second one. The first Flight reports that the fire was very inaccurate and at three thousand to four thousand below. One silver coloured aircraft was seen in the air at Derna but no fighters attacked nor were any seen.
6. After the attack, Flights turned to port and made out to sea and returned by a similar route to the outward one, except that the coast was crossed at Sidi Barrani,

        (sgnd) ARG Bax
        Squadron Leader, Commanding
        No 211 Squadron RAF

Combat (Bomber Report) [folio 7 AIR 27/1304]
Squadron: 211 Date: 4/8/40 Time: 1825-30 Place: Gobi Frontier. Height: 16,000 feet to ground level
Pilot: S/Ldr Bax Observer: Sgt Bain Sgt Shimmin
Duty on which engaged: Bombing MT column
Number of won aircraft: 6 Own formation when attacked 2 vic & 3 astern. Escort if any: Nil
Type of enemy aircraft or description: FIat CR42
Number of enemy aircraft and preparatory formation: 40-50. Squadron on 12 and flights of 3 astern.
Direction from which initial attack was commenced: Above and astern.
Intensity of attack (number of enemy aircraft attacking simultaneously or nearly so: Aircraft attacked singly.
Duration of each separate attack: Each aircraft attack brief. Our formation subjected to continuous fire.
Total duration of engagement: 4 minutes.
Formation position of aircraft selected by enemy for first and subsequent attacks: Starboard aircraft of starboard Flight.
Enemy method of breaking off engagement: Climbing turn to port in most cases. Some seen to turn to starboard.
Description of enemy tactics during engagement: Diving turn singly to starboard side and getting astern. One EA approached to 200 yards, by short burst. One EA closed to about 70yds & pressed home his attack.
Result of engagement including own and enemy losses: Air gunner of starboard aircraft injured in left forearm. One EA seen to break off issuing black smoke Two EA hit by bursts from own air gunner. Own a/c No 1 oil tank and port fuel tank holed, No 2 starboard petrol tank, turret, & several holes over planes.
Special comments: One formation flying close to ground. EA appeared to fire short bursts and rake ground from astern to well ahead, in one case up to a mile ahead. EA firing intense. Considerable amount of explosives and incendiaries or tracers.

        (signed) ARG Bax S/L
        (signed) RA Bain Sgt
        (signed) W Shimmin Sgt

[The volume and legibility of remaining AIR 27/1304 papers for 1940, folios 8 to 67, is such as to preclude transcription at present.]

Sources
211 Squadron Operations Record Book Monthly Summaries & Appendices (RAF Form 540) TNA AIR 27/1302
211 Squadron Operations Record Book Daily Summaries (RAF Form 541) TNA AIR 27/1302
211 Squadron Operations Record Book Appendices TNA AIR 27/1304
Observer’s and Air Gunner’s Flying Log Book RAF Form 1767: Sgts Close, Sharratt, Stack, Wright
Pilot’s Flying Log Book RAF Form 414: F/Lt JR Gordon-Finlayson

Gunby & Temple RAF Bomber Losses in the Mediterranean and Middle East Vol I 1939—1942 (Midland 2006)
Halley RAF Aircraft L1000—N9999 (Air Britain 1993)
Warner The Bristol Blenheim: A Complete History (Crecy 2005)

 

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