Geskiedenis Podcasts

250 -eskader (RAF): Tweede Wêreldoorlog

250 -eskader (RAF): Tweede Wêreldoorlog

250 -eskader (RAF) tydens die Tweede Wêreldoorlog

Vliegtuie - Plekke - Groep en plig - Boeke

No.250 eskader het die hele Tweede Wêreldoorlog in of om die Middellandse See gewerk, en het deelgeneem aan die gevegte in die Westelike Woestyn en die invalle van Sicilië en Italië.

Die eskader is op 1 April 1941 van K Flight by Aqir hervorm en teen die einde van die maand genoeg Tomahawk -vegters ontvang om operasioneel te word. Die eskader is aanvanklik gebruik om verdedigende patrollies oor Palestina te vlieg, maar in Mei 1941 het 'n afskeiding begin om aanvallende sweeps oor Sirië te vlieg, en in Junie het die eskader na Noord -Afrika verhuis om aan die gevegte in die Westelike Woestyn deel te neem.

In Februarie 1942 is die eskader teruggetrek vir verdedigende pligte, voordat dit omgeskakel is na die Kittyhawk -vegvliegtuig. Dit het in April na die woestyn teruggekeer, net betyds om deel te neem aan die rampspoedige slag van Gazala, wat die Britte teruggesit het na El Alamein. Hierna het die eskader aan die verdedigingsgevegte op daardie lyn deelgeneem, en daarna die reeks geallieerde oorwinnings, wat begin het by El Alamein, wat uiteindelik die Duitsers en Italianers uit Noord -Afrika laat ontsnap het.

In Julie 1943 verhuis die eskader na Malta om die inval in Sicilië te ondersteun, en 'n paar dae later verhuis dit na die nuwe strandkop. In die middel van September het die eskader na Italië verhuis en na die einde van die oorlog vegvliegtuie gestuur om die opkomende leërs te ondersteun. Die eskader is in Augustus 1945 ontbind.

Vliegtuie
April 1941-April 1942: Curtiss Tomahawk IIB
Februarie-April 1942: Hawker Hurricane I
Februarie-April 1942: Hawker Hurricane IIB en IIC
April-Oktober 1942: Curtiss Kittyhawk I en II
Oktober 1942-Januarie 1944: Curtiss Kittyhawk III
Januarie 1944-Augustus 1945: Curtiss Kittyhawk IV
Augustus 1945-Januarie 1947: Noord-Amerikaanse Mustang III en IV

Ligging
April-Mei 1941: Aqir
Mei 1941: Afskeiding van Amriya
Mei-Junie 1941: Ikingi Maryut
Junie-November 1941: Sidi Haneish-Suid
November 1941: LG.109
November-Desember 1941: LG.123
Desember 1941: LG.122
Desember 1941: LG.123
Desember 1941: Tobruk
Desember 1941: Gazala 3
Desember 1941-Januarie 1942: mev
Januarie 1942: Antelat
Januarie 1942: mev
Januarie 1942: Mechili
Januarie-Februarie 1942: Gazala 1
Februarie-April 1942: Gamil
April 1942: LG.12
April-Junie 1942: Gambut 1
Junie 1942: Gambut 2
Junie 1942: Sidi Azeiz
Junie 1942: LG.75
Junie 1942: LG.102
Junie 1942: LG.106
Junie-November 1942: LG.91
November 1942: LG.106
November 1942: LG.101
November 1942: LG.76
November 1942: Gambut 1
November 1942: Gambut 2
November-Desember 1942: Martuba 4
Desember 1942: Belandah 1
Desember 1942-Januarie 1943: Marble Arch
Januarie 1943: El Chel 2
Januarie 1943: Hamraiet 3
Januarie 1943: Sedadah
Januarie 1943: Bir Dufan Main
Januarie-Februarie 1943: Castel Benito
Februarie-Maart 1943: El Assa
Maart 1943: Nefatia Main
Maart-April 1943: Medenine Main
April 1943: El Hamma
April 1943: El Djem
April-Mei 1943: Kairouan
Mei-Julie 1943: Zuara
Julie 1943: Hal Far
Julie 1943: Luqa
Julie-Augustus 1943: Pachino
Augustus-September 1943: Agnone
September 1943: Grottaglie
September-Oktober 1943: Bari/ Palese
Oktober 1943: Foggia Main
Oktober-Desember 1943: Foggia/ Mileni
Desember 1943-Mei 1944: Cutella
Mei-Junie 1944: San Angelo
Junie 1944: Guidonia
Junie-Julie 1944: Falerium
Julie-Augustus 1944: Kreta
Augustus-November 1944: Iesi
November 1944-Februarie 1945: Fano
Februarie-Mei 1945: Cervia
Mei 1945-Januarie 1946: Lavariano
Januarie-September 1946: Tissano
September-November 1946: Treviso
November 1946: Lavariano
November-Desember 1946: Treviso

Eskader kodes: LD

Plig
1941-1942: Vegvliegtuig, Midde-Ooste
1942-1943: Vegvliegtuig-eskader, Noord-Afrika
1943-1945: Vegvliegtuig-eskader, Italië

Deel van
11 November 1941: No.262 Wing; A.H.Q. Westerse woestyn; Midde -Ooste kommando
27 Oktober 1942: No.239 Wing; No.211 Groep; A.H.Q. Westerse woestyn; Midde -Ooste kommando
10 Julie 1943: No.239 Wing; No.211 Groep; Woestynlugmag; Noord -Afrikaanse taktiese lugmag; Noordwes -Afrikaanse lugmag; Mediterranean Air Command

Boeke

Boekmerk die bladsy: Heerlik Facebook Struikel


Uitstaande vlieënde kruis en kroeg: groepskaptein C R Caldwell, RAAF, 250 eskader RAF

Uitstekende Flying Cross and Bar. Kruis gegraveer op omgekeerde onderarm met jaar van toekenning.

Clive Robertson Caldwell is gebore in Sydney, NSW, in 1910. Hy was opgelei in die Sydney Grammar, en was 'n kranige sportman en het vroeë entoesiasme vir vliegtuie ontwikkel. Gedurende die dertigerjare het 'n vlieënier hom 'n mate van onderrig en ondervinding in vlieg gegee, en toe oorlog verklaar is, het hy, ondanks sy ouderdom, besluit om by die RAAF aan te sluit as vliegtuigbemanning. Nadat hy sy geboortesertifikaat gewysig het om aan te dui dat hy 26 jaar oud was, (28 die afsnydatum vir vlieëniersopleiding), is Caldwell aanvaar. Toe hy agterkom dat sy inname bestem was om vlieginstrukteurs te word, het hy 'n ontslag gesoek en weer by die eerste Australiërs aangewys wat vir die Empire Air Training Scheme gekies is. Hy studeer aan die kursus as vlieënier in Januarie 1941 en word na 250 eskader, RAF, vlieënde P-40 Tomahawk-vegters in Sirië, Palestina en Noord-Afrika gestuur. Alhoewel dit gefrustreerd was oor die tyd wat dit geneem het om uiteindelik sy eerste oorwinning te behaal, het Caldwell (26 Junie) se telling daarna vinnig gestyg. In Januarie 1942 kry hy die bevel oor 112 Squadron, RAF, wie se 'haai' P-40 Kittyhawks reeds bekend was, en teen Mei is hy bekroon met die Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, sowel as die Poolse Cross of Valor ter erkenning van sy werk met die magte van die land. Hy is ook toegelaat om, deur spesiale bedeling van generaal Sikorski, die Poolse vlieënier se kenteken te dra. Teen die tyd dat hy weggestuur is van die Midde -Ooste, het hy 20,5 bevestigde oorwinnings behaal en die bynaam 'Killer' gekry, waarvan hy nie hou nie. Nadat hy in Oktober 1942 na Australië teruggekeer het, het Caldwell bevel gekry oor No Fighter Wing, waarvan die drie eskaders van Spitfire Mk Vs ter verdediging van Darwin werksaam was. Hy het agt Japannese vliegtuie by sy byeenkoms gevoeg voordat hy in Augustus 1943 die bevel oor die vleuel laat vaar het om die hoofvlieginstrukteur by 2 OTU te word. In April 1944 kry hy bevel oor No 80 Fighter Wing, toegerus met Mk VIII Spitfires. Na operasies van Darwin het die vleuel in Desember na Morotai verhuis. Teen hierdie stadium het die oorlog egter voortgegaan, en daar was min produktiewe werk daarvoor. 'N Toenemende gevoel van ontevredenheid onder vlieëniers oor operasies wat as nutteloos beskou is, het gelei tot die betrokkenheid van Caldwell by die sogenaamde' Morotai Mutiny ', waarin agt senior vlieëniers bedank het. Hierdie optrede en die tugstappe wat gevolg het, het hom verbitterd gelaat oor sy diensloopbaan, en hy het sy ontslag uit die RAAF geneem in 1946. Clive Caldwell, Australië se hoogste telling van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, is in Augustus 1994 in Sydney oorlede, 84 jaar oud. Die aanhaling vir die Distinguished Flying Cross lui soos volg: 'Hierdie beampte het uitstekende werk verrig in die operasies in die Midde -Ooste. Hy het te alle tye vasberade en sterk pligsgetrouheid getoon wat 'n inspirasie vir sy medevlieëniers was. By een geleentheid tydens 'n patrollie is hy deur 2 Messerschmitt 109's aangeval. Sy vliegtuig is erg beskadig, terwyl hy self wonde aan sy gesig, arms en bene opgedoen het. Nietemin het hy moedig na die aanval teruggekeer en een van die vyandige vliegtuie neergeskiet. F/ LT. CALDWELL het ten minste 4 vyandelike vliegtuie vernietig. 'Die aanhaling vir die balie aan die DFC lui soos volg' Hierdie beampte gaan steeds sy vyand se vliegtuie eis. Eendag in Desember 1941 het Flight Luitenant Caldwell sy vlug teen 'n aantal Junkers 87's gelei, en tydens die geveg het hy persoonlik 5 van die vyand se vliegtuie neergeskiet, synde sy totale oorwinnings tot 12 '.


Uitstaande vlieënde kruis en kroeg: groepskaptein C R Caldwell, RAAF, 250 eskader RAF

Uitstekende Flying Cross and Bar. Kruis gegraveer op omgekeerde onderarm met jaar van toekenning.

Clive Robertson Caldwell is gebore in Sydney, NSW, in 1910. Hy was opgelei in die Sydney Grammar, en was 'n kranige sportman en het vroeë entoesiasme vir vliegtuie ontwikkel. Gedurende die dertigerjare het 'n vlieënier hom 'n mate van onderrig en ondervinding in vlieg gegee, en toe oorlog verklaar is, het hy, ondanks sy ouderdom, besluit om by die RAAF aan te sluit as vliegtuigbemanning. Nadat hy sy geboortesertifikaat gewysig het om aan te dui dat hy 26 jaar oud is, (28 die afsnydatum vir vlieëniersopleiding), is Caldwell aanvaar. Toe hy agterkom dat sy inname bestem was om vlieginstrukteurs te word, het hy 'n ontslag gesoek en weer by die eerste Australiërs aangewys wat vir die Empire Air Training Scheme gekies is. Hy studeer aan die kursus as vlieënier in Januarie 1941 en word na 250 eskader, RAF, vlieënde P-40 Tomahawk-vegters in Sirië, Palestina en Noord-Afrika gestuur. Alhoewel dit gefrustreerd was oor die tyd wat dit geneem het om uiteindelik sy eerste oorwinning te behaal, het Caldwell (26 Junie) se telling daarna vinnig gestyg. In Januarie 1942 kry hy die bevel oor 112 Squadron, RAF, wie se 'haai' P-40 Kittyhawks reeds bekend was, en teen Mei is hy bekroon met die Distinguished Flying Cross and Bar, sowel as die Poolse Cross of Valor ter erkenning van sy werk met die magte van die land. Hy is ook toegelaat om, deur spesiale bedeling van generaal Sikorski, die Poolse vlieënier se kenteken te dra. Teen die tyd dat hy weggestuur is van die Midde -Ooste, het hy 20,5 bevestigde oorwinnings behaal en die bynaam 'Killer' gekry, waarvan hy nie hou nie. Nadat hy in Oktober 1942 na Australië teruggekeer het, het Caldwell die bevel gekry oor No Fighter Wing, waarvan die drie eskaders van Spitfire Mk Vs ter verdediging van Darwin werksaam was. Hy het agt Japannese vliegtuie by sy byeenkoms gevoeg voordat hy in Augustus 1943 die bevel oor die vleuel laat vaar het om die hoofvlieginstrukteur by 2 OTU te word. In April 1944 kry hy bevel oor No 80 Fighter Wing, toegerus met Mk VIII Spitfires. Na operasies van Darwin het die vleuel in Desember na Morotai verhuis. Teen hierdie stadium het die oorlog egter voortgegaan, en daar was min produktiewe werk daarvoor. 'N Toenemende gevoel van ontevredenheid onder vlieëniers oor operasies wat as nutteloos beskou is, het gelei tot die betrokkenheid van Caldwell by die sogenaamde' Morotai Mutiny ', waarin agt senior vlieëniers bedank het. Hierdie optrede en die tugstappe wat gevolg het, het hom verbitterd gelaat oor sy diensloopbaan, en hy het sy ontslag uit die RAAF geneem in 1946. Clive Caldwell, Australië se hoogste telling van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog, is in Augustus 1994 in Sydney oorlede, 84 jaar oud. Die aanhaling vir die Distinguished Flying Cross lui soos volg: 'Hierdie beampte het uitstekende werk verrig in die operasies in die Midde -Ooste. Hy het te alle tye vasberade en sterk pligsgetrouheid getoon wat 'n inspirasie vir sy medevlieëniers was. By een geleentheid tydens 'n patrollie is hy deur 2 Messerschmitt 109's aangeval. Sy vliegtuig is erg beskadig, terwyl hy self wonde aan sy gesig, arms en bene opgedoen het. Nietemin het hy moedig na die aanval teruggekeer en een van die vyandige vliegtuie neergeskiet. F/ LT. CALDWELL het ten minste 4 vyandelike vliegtuie vernietig. 'Die aanhaling vir die balie aan die DFC lui soos volg' Hierdie beampte gaan steeds sy vyand se vliegtuie eis. Eendag in Desember 1941 het Flight Luitenant Caldwell sy vlug teen 'n aantal Junkers 87's gelei, en tydens die geveg het hy persoonlik 5 van die vyand se vliegtuie neergeskiet, synde sy totale oorwinnings tot 12 '.


Op die eerste dag van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het die eskader na Frankryk verhuis om met sy operasies te begin.

Op 12 Mei 1940, oor die Albertkanaal, België, is veral een brug deur die indringende Duitse leër gebruik, met beskerming teen vegvliegtuie, anti-vliegtuie en masjiengewere. Die RAF is beveel om hierdie lewensbelangrike brug te sloop, en vyf Fairey -gevegte van die eskader is gestuur. Hulle het 'n inferno van vliegtuigvuur ontmoet, maar die missie is bereik, en die grootste deel van die sukses was te danke aan die koelte en hulpbronne van die vlieënier Flying Officer Garland van die voorste vliegtuie en die navigasie van sersant Gray. Ongelukkig het die voorste vliegtuie en drie ander nie teruggekeer nie. Die vlieënde offisier Garland en sersant Gray is albei postuum met die Victoria Cross bekroon.

Die eskader het in Junie na Engeland teruggekeer. Dit was aanvanklik gestasioneer by RAF Finningley, en het op Julie 1940 by RAF Binbrook aangekom toe dit met Battles opgeknap is. Onder ander missies het dit aanvalle op die skeepvaart in die hawe van Boulogne teen invasie uitgevoer, veral op 17 en 19 Augustus. Die eskader was een van die laaste groep 1 -eenhede wat operasies met Fairey Battles uitgevoer het. Dit het plaasgevind op 15/16 Oktober 1940, toe No. 301 (Poolse) eskader Boulogne gebombardeer het en nr. 12 en 142 eskaders Calais gebombardeer het. Teen November 1940 was die eskader heeltemal toegerus met die Vickers Wellington, wat voorlopig by RAF Binbrook oorgebly het. Die eskader het weer in 1942 na RAF Wickenby verhuis en kort daarna omgeskakel om die Avro Lancaster te bedryf.


250 Squadron (RAF): Tweede Wêreldoorlog - Geskiedenis


"Gevleuelde pyle"

Amogh Lakshya - doelgerig

Geboorte en die Tweede Wêreldoorlog

Alhoewel die Indiese Lugmag gebore is met die opwekking van No.1 Squadron in 1933, sou dit nog agt jaar duur voordat die tweede eskader opgewek kon word. Die uitbreek van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog en die vinnige toestroming van opgeleide vlieëniers en personeel het gesorg vir die beskikbaarheid van genoeg vliegtuigbemanning om 'n tweede eskader toe te rus. Gevolglik is die IAF op 1 April 1941, No.2 Squadron, IAF grootgemaak in Peshawar onder bevel van Flt Lt AB Awan.

Dit was toegerus met die Westland Wapiti, dieselfde vliegtuig waarop nommer 1 opgerig is, en het 'n eenheid met 20 offisiere en 164 man. Ses beamptes van nommer 1 is na die eskader gesekondeer en nog sewe het van No.1 SFTS Ambala aangekom. Flt Lt SN Goyal en Flt Lt MK Janjua was die bevelvoerders van onderskeidelik 'A' en 'B' vlugte. die adjudant was Flt Lt HU 'Bulbul' Khan. Lt Aspy Engineer het in Junie 41 die bevel oor die eskader oorgeneem en binnekort is 'n afdeling na Miranshah gestuur om operasies in die Tochi -vallei in die NWFP te verrig. Die oorblywende deel van die eskader het hul opleiding by Peshawar voortgesit voordat hy in September 41 na Kohat verhuis het, waar hulle by die Miranshah Detachment aangesluit het, wat sy operasie toer voltooi het. Intussen het die eskader sy Wapitis aan die Coastal Defense Flights prysgegee en met Audax -vliegtuie aangeskaf.

Teen die einde van 1941 het No.2 relatief moderne vliegtuie ontvang in die vorm van die Westland Lysander, wat ook die toerusting van No.1 Squadron was. Die hele 1942 was die eenheid betrokke by oefensessies oor die weermag en het gedurende die operasies oor dele van Suid -Indië beweeg. In 42 September het die eenheid die taak gekry om na Risalpur te verhuis om homself te omskep in die Hawker Hurricane IIc -vliegtuig. Die omskakeling was teen Desember klaar en die eenheid het na Ranchi gegaan vir gevorderde vegtaktieke.

Intussen het die bevel van die eenheid oorgedra na Sqn Ldr HU Khan, onder wie se bevel die eenheid na Bhopal gevlieg het vir operasionele opleidingsvleuel. Omtrent hierdie tyd sien die Winged Arrows hul eerste smaak van aksie. 'N Afdeling van sewe orkane is onder leiding Lt Nazirullah na die Imphal -sektor gestuur om ontvangs en ondersteuningsopdragte aan die Chindits te verskaf. Die eenheid het hom tydens sy verblyf tot 43 Mei onderskei. By een geleentheid het 'n vlieënier wat oor Chindwin vlieg, 'n klein Japannese weermagpatrollie suksesvol aangeval en 'n gewonde Gorkha -soldaat gered wat hulpeloos by 'n rivieroewer gelê het. Tydens hierdie toer het die eskader twee slagoffers gehad. Flt Lt Latif en Pt Off JS Bhullar moes albei agter vyandelike lyne opkom en is deur die Japannese gevange geneem.

Maar op Ranchi, op 26 April 43, verloor die eskader sy CO toe Sqn Ldr HU Khan in sy orkaan neerstort terwyl hy 'n orkaan van Imphal na Ranchi vervoer. Sy enjin het tydens die vlug gesny en die orkaan het omgeslaan toe Khan probeer het om 'n Wheels -landing in 'n veld te probeer doen om die vliegtuig te red. Sqn Ldr Dunsford Wood, 'n RAF -beampte, is aangestel om die bevel oor die eskader oor te neem, maar dinge was nie heeltemal hunky nie. Fg Off Murkot Ramunny, wat net daarna by die eskader geplaas is, het opgemerk: "Ek het by 'n RAF -eskader gedien voor nommer 2 en dit was in orde, maar 'n RAF CO in 'n IAF -eskader met 'n paar RAF -onderoffisiere en mans is nie altyd die beste nie kombinasie - veral as die CO 'n groot mening oor sy ras en kleur gehad het ". Kort daarna neem Sqn Ldr Surjit Singh Majithia die bevel oor die eskader oor.


'N Orkaan van die tweede eskader wat deur die Flt Cdr, F/L H Ratnagar oor die woude van die Birma -front gevlieg is.

'N Afdeling van die eskader is in die middel van 1944 by Peshawar by die Indian Air Force Exhibition -eenheid aangeheg. Die grootste deel van die aktiwiteite was in grensopdragte van Kohat. In 44 Oktober het die eenheid onder bevel van Sqn Ldr K Jaswant Singh die bevel ontvang om na Birma te gaan vir operasies. Vanaf 23 November 44, toe hulle by die vliegveld van Mambur aankom, tot 17 Mei 45, toe hul toer geëindig het, was die eskader betrokke by die opneem van vegvliegtuie. Die taak is om inligting te versamel oor Japannese aktiwiteite deur middel van visuele waarneming of fotografiese middele. Die eenheid het deelgeneem aan die derde Arakan -veldtog en aan operasies in Kangaw Valley. Die aantal soorte wat deur die eskader uitgesit is, was fenomenaal. Byvoorbeeld, in Januarie 1945 het die eenheid 548 afdelings deur sy vlieëniers opgestel. Die volgende maand was daar 866 vliegure! 'n gelukwensing van die GOC 26 Indiese afdeling wat dit na die AOC HQ, 224 Group RAF, gestuur het. Op 17 Mei 45 staan ​​die eskader neer en koop dit aan Samungli. In die loop van sy opkoms tot onafhanklikheid het die eenheid veertien van sy dapper vlieëniers aan operasies en ongelukke verloor. Een van die tragiese verliese was Fg Off BBK Rao DFC, wat van No.1 Squadron gekom het.

Die eenheid is weer in 1946 na Kohat in die NWFP verskuif waar dit weer toegerus is met die Spitfire VIII en was nog steeds daar in September 47 gevestig, teen die tyd dat dit tot die Hawker Tempest II onder bevel van Sqn Ldr A Murat omskep het. Singh. As gevolg van die verdeling van bates tydens die verdeling na onafhanklikheid, het die eskader sy bates aan die pasgebore Pakistanse lugmag oorgelaat en is dit onmiddellik in Desember 1947 genommer. Dit was ironies dat eskader nr.2 by ontbinding nr.1 sou aansluit die Indiese lugmag sonder sy twee grootste eenhede!

Wedergeboorte 1951

No.2 is weer op 15 Julie 51 in Palam opgewek onder bevel van Sqn Ldr Randhir Singh VrC. Die eenheid was nou toegerus met Spitfire XVIII's en 'n Harvard -afrigter. Ongeveer twee jaar lank is die aktiwiteit van die meule uitgevoer, met normale uitstappies, waaronder duikbomaanvalle met 250 pond. Baie fotowerk is deur die eenheid gedoen. Verskeie jong vlieëniers is omtrent hierdie tyd geplaas om oor te skakel na operasionele vlieg. Plt Offr NC Suri is een van hulle. In Oktober 1953 het die eenheid omgeskakel na die De Havilland Vampire FB52 enkel sitplek straaljagter. Destyds was Sqn Ldr Rointon Engineer DFC die CO. Die Vampires was 'n kort tydjie by die eskader. Nog drie jaar later, in Mei 1956, het die Winged Arrows omgeskakel na die Dassault Ouragan -vegter, ook bekend as die Toofani in die IAF -diens.

Die eenheid was pionier in die vlieg van die Ouragan. Een spesifieke maneuver wat hy herhaaldelik genoem het om uit te voer, was die Tricolor Loop, wat die eerste keer op 1 April 58 plaasgevind het. Daarna was dit gereeld op elke parade van die republiek 'n gereelde vertoning oor die lug van Delhi. Die laaste optrede was op die Republic Day Parade in 62. In daardie jaar het die eenheid ook die gesogte Mukherjee -trofee gewen vir die beste skietery op die Squadron Gunnery -byeenkoms. In April het die eskader sy eerste Folland Gnat -vegter ontvang. Die eenheid het nou sy Ouragans afgeskud om die 'regte vegter' -eskader te word.

Wg Cdr Bharat Singh het in September 63 as die CO oorgeneem en kort daarna het die eskader deelgeneem aan oefening SHIKSHA, waarin IAF -vegters saam met die USAF- en RAF -vegters geoefen het. No.2 het veral gemonteer uit Ambala teen USAF F-100 Super Sabres wat vanaf Palam werk. Die eenheid het goed rekenskap gegee van homself.

Die omskakeling na die Gnat was gekenmerk deur die probleme wat tydens die operasie voorgekom het. In 'n fratsgeval op 7 April 64, het 'n Gnat wat toetse ondergaan het, sy blokke gespring en in 'n hangmuur geslaan en dit afgeskryf! 64 April was 'n slegte maand, met een van die vlieëniers wat op 15-April-64 dood is tydens 'n Gnat-ongeluk. 17 Okt 64 het tot gevolg gehad dat nog 'n vliegtuig verlore gegaan het. Op 13 Mei 65 het 'n mug wat in die land kom, die aanloopbaan oorskry, waarna die vlieënier vir die eerste keer veilig uitstoot met die 0-0 Mk-2G-sitplek.

Toe die uitbreek van die 1965 -konflik op hande was, is die eskader tussen Ambala en Agra versprei. 'N Afdeling onder Wg Cdr Bharat Singh verhuis gou na die vliegbasis Halwara op die opvlam van die vyandelikhede. 'N Ander afdeling is na Adampur gevlieg, terwyl 'n derde in Ambala onder Sqn Ldr Jit Dhawan onderhou is. Gedurende die oorlog was die eskader nie net betrokke by die vlieg van begeleide missies na aanvalle op Canberra en Hunter nie, maar ook in ondersteuningsmissies ten bate van die weermag.

Pilots van No.2 Squadron met hul Gnats by Ambala net voor die 1965 -oorlog. Die CO Wg Cdr Bharat Singh staan ​​sesde van regs.

Die eerste ontmoeting met die vyand was op 13 September, toe 'n gedeelte Gnats deur Sabres gestamp is. Flt Lt AN Kale bevind homself agter 'n Sabre, maar sy gewere klop op die regte oomblik. Sy vliegtuig is erg beskadig in 'n lugkombuis en hy moes naby Ferozepur uitstoot. Die volgende dag het die eskader sy eerste botsing opgedoen toe Sqn Ldr NK Malik tydens herstel na die basis neergestort het weens 'n tegniese fout. Sy vliegtuig moes 'n 'Trim Override' gely het.

Die gevleuelde pyle trek eerste bloed op 14 September, toe 'n Canberra -formasie wat deur die Gnats begelei is, deur Sabres gestamp is. Wg Cdr Bharat Singh jaag een Saber op 'n lae vlak na. Die Sabre -vlieënier het verskillende maneuvers probeer om die mug te ontsnap, maar het neergestort in sy poging om dit te doen. Dit het die eerste gevegsmoord vir No.2 -eskader opgeskuif.

Verskeie escort missies is gevlieg deur die Gnats van No.2. Dit sluit in Jagters van nommer 7 sowel as Canberras van No.5 -eskader wat daaglikse aanvalle oor die Lahore Kasur -front onderneem het.

Dit is gevolg deur 'n groot aksie op 20 September. Flt Lt AK Majumdar en Fg Offr K C Khanna het opgestyg met 'n gemengde formasie van Jagters oor die Lahore -sektor. In die daaropvolgende luggeveg met Sabres is twee van die Jagters getref en neergeskiet. Mazumdar het egter 'n telling teen die Sabres behaal deur een vliegtuig wat deur Flt Lt AH Malik van die PAF gevlieg is, af te skiet.

Die 1965 -oorlog verdien die eerste louere vir No.2 Squadron. Beide Wg Cdr Bharat Singh en Flt Lt AK Mazumdar ontvang die Vir Chakra -medaljes. Die vlugbevelvoerder, Sqn Ldr R Dhawan, is bekroon met die VSM vir sy bydrae.

Na die oorlog keer die eskader na die oorlog terug na sy gewone pligte in Agra en Barielly. Wg Cdr Bharat Singh is opgevolg deur Wg Cdr KK Malik. Hy word opgevolg deur Wg Cdr Johnny Greene VrC in November 69. Die eskader het gedurende hierdie tydperk aan verskeie vuurkragvertonings en wapens vergader. Die eskader het ook 'n afdeling gestuur om vanaf die Amritsar -vliegveld te werk.

1971 Indiese Pakistan -oorlog

Toe die oorlog in 1971 op 3 Desember 71 uitbreek, is die hele eskader na die Amritsar -vliegveld verskuif. Die taak is om die vliegveld te verdedig, wat 'n belangrike wegspringplek geword het vir grondaanval en teenlugmissies. Die PAF -vegters het by baie geleenthede geweier om 'n stryd te voer teen die klein, klein vegters van nommer 2. Die eerste onderskepping het plaasgevind op 4 Desember, toe Wg Cdr Johnny Green op 'n dagbreekpatrollie om 0645 Hours 'n inkomende F-104 onderskep het. Die F-104 het sy tenks geslaan en met 'n naverbrander weggejaag, terwyl Greene dit tevergeefs agtervolg het. Al wat Greene kon doen, was om die vinnig verdwynende Starfighter te verfilm.

Op 7 Desember het Fg Off Rana en Fg Off AK Singh twee Mirage III's onderskep om aan te val. Beide die Mirages weier om te veg, begin met opwarming en vlieg weg. Daar was geen verdere onderskepings by Amritsar nie. Die enigste aksie was dat die eskader se vliegtuie doelbewuste CAP's op groot hoogte sou uitvoer, sodat hulle deur die vyand se radar opgemerk kon word. Dit het die vyand afgeskrik om B-57's in te stuur.

Toe die oorlog geëindig het, het nommer 2 279 soorte gevlieg. Vir sy pogings is twee Vayusena -medaljes en vier vermeldings in versendings toegeken. Die CO Johnny Greene is een van die VM -ontvangers.

Na die oorlog: die sewentigerjare en die presidentskleure

Die eenheid het 'n gereelde losband by Amritsar gehou en 'n aantal afdelings op ander plekke, waaronder Srinagar, Nal, Gorakhpur en Palam. Johnny Greene het vir die eerste keer landingsproewe van die Gnat vanaf die Leh -vliegveld vir die eerste keer uitgevoer. In 75 Februarie het die eskader sy eerste groot skuif gemaak en permanent na Srinagar verskuif. Dit was 'n unieke en nuwe ervaring vir die eskader. terwyl hulle in primitiewe toestande en ongunstige weer vlieg, het die gevleuelde dolk hulle taak vrolik en gelukkig aangepak. Die Gnat -vliegtuie is in 1977 aangepas en toegerus met die Ajeet Fase 1 -omskakelingstelle. Die eskader het 'n kort rukkie vanaf Awantipur -vliegveld verder suid in die Kashmir -vallei gewerk terwyl die aanloopbaan van Srinagar weer opgeduik het. Die fasiliteite by Awantipur was beperk. Die meeste beamptes en bemanningspersoneel het van tydelike tente af opgehou.

Die eskader moes in 1979 na Kalaikunda verhuis, 'n stap wat teen Oktober dieselfde jaar voltooi is. By aankoms by Kalaikunda is heftige voorbereidings getref vir die aanbieding van kleurseremonie. In Desember 79, ter erkenning van die uitstekende diens aan die land, is die gesogte 'Presidents colours' deur mnr. Neelam Sanjeev Reddy, die president van die Republiek van Indië, aan die Winged Arrows gegee. Die CO was destyds Wg Cdr Menezes VM.

Met die koms van die tagtigerjare het die eskader in Kalaikunda gevestig, maar verskeie skietuitvalle in die Dhudkundi -reeks uitgevoer, vlieguitstappies oor Gauhati, Tezpur, Barrackpore en Gangtok.

In 83 Februarie het die Gnats van die eskader hul verlore soorte gevlieg. Die vliegtuig sou vervang word deur die Ajeet, die opgegradeerde weergawe van die Gnat. Die Ajeets het egter eers nege maande later in November 83 aangekom. Die hele eskader was opgewonde om weer te vlieg na 'n lang tydperk van nege maande. Nog Ajeets het in Desember gevolg. Die eskader het 'n vriendelike wedywering gehad met die aangrensende 22 eskader wat ook die Ajeets gevlieg het. In 1985 het die eenheid die eerste lug -na -lug -afvuur deur die Ajeet -vliegtuig by Chabua uitgevoer.

Toe die AOC Kalaikunda, Air Cmde TK Sen die eskader uitdaag om 300 soorte in Januarie 86 te vlieg, het die eskader dit met vrymoedigheid gedoen. As ek op Ajeets wyd vlieg, is die 300ste sorteer op 29 Januarie geklok, 'n dag oor! Hulle het byna 310 uur in die poging opgehoop. Die volgende maand het die eskader weer saam met hul aartsvyande, nommer 22, deelgeneem aan die EKALAVYA -skieterybyeenkoms. Tydens die vlieg het die AOC, Air Cmde Sen, terwyl hy met een van die nr. 2 se Ajeet gevlieg het, 'n vlam oor DDK Range gehad. Hy het met 'n fraktuur aan sy been geslinger. Dit was die eerste Ajeet wat die eskader verloor het ná die induksie daarvan.

Meer oefeninge het gevolg en nommer 2 het verskeie eerstes ingedien, waaronder die eerste nagvlieguitstappies deur die Ajeet. Die Ajeet, wat 'n swaarder neef van die Gnat was, het al die nuanses en probleme daarvan gehad. Die eskader het sy eerste sterfgeval op 30 September 86 opgedoen. Die volgende jaar tydens die landingsbenadering moes Fg Offr R Radhish uitstoot omdat die vliegtuig ernstige beheerprobleme opgedoen het en na regs begin rol het. Fg Offr TJA Khan moes uitstoot nadat sy Ajeet tydens 'n uitstappie in Maart 88 ontvlam het. Een van die vlieëniers wat by die eskader verbonde was vir omskakelingsopleiding, het luitenant Uday Kumar Sondhi met sy vliegtuig buite Kalaikunda neergestort. Hy is bekroon met die Shaurya -chakra omdat hy besluit het om by die vliegtuig te bly en nie oor 'n bevolkte gebied uit te gooi nie. Twee burgerlikes wat hom op die grond gehelp het uit die brandende wrak, is ook met die Shaurya Chakra bekroon. 11 Mei 89 het nog 'n hartseer verlies beleef toe Fg Offr Shivraj neergestort het en tydens 'n laevlak -sorteer deur vier vliegtuie omgekom het.

In Oktober 88 het die eenheid twee Ajeets na Ambala gevlieg om die 'Mammoth' -formasie te vorm. Die formasie het bestaan ​​uit al die gevegsvliegtuie van die IAF. Die foto's daarvan is in baie koffietafelboeke en lugvaarttydskrifte gepubliseer. Die bekende lugvaartfotograaf Peter Steinmann was saam met ander IAF -fotograwe betrokke by die fotografie. Stienmann was ook betrokke by afsonderlike opnames met die Ajeets van nommer 2 en baie van sy uitstekende foto's word nou in verskillende kringe in die volksmond versprei.

Dit was nie die enigste blootstelling in die media vir die eskader nie; dit het deelgeneem aan die wydverspreide Fire Power -vertoning in Tilpat in Mei 89. In Oktober 1990 het 'n TV -bemanning by Kalaikunda aangekom om die laaste episode van die reeks 'Param Vir Chakra' te verfilm. Die verfilming was gesentreer op die PVC wat Fg Offr NS Sekhon in die 71 -oorlog gewen het, en teen daardie tyd was nommer 2 die enigste eskader wat met die Ajeet vlieg wat ekstern aan die mug gelyk het, maar is gekies om die vliegtuig vir die verfilming te voorsien. Die vyand 'Sabres' is gespeel deur die Hunters of No.20 Squadron.

Omtrent hierdie tyd het die eskader twee 2-sitplek Ajeet Conversion Trainers van HAL ontvang. Hierdie vliegtuie kon egter nie ten volle benut word nie, aangesien die skemer van die Gnat/Ajeet -vegter vinnig nader kom. Op 31 Maart 91 is die laaste Ajeet wat uitgefaseer is, deur Wg Cdr R Rajaram, die CO, na die IAF Museum in Palam gevlieg en aan die AOC Palam oorhandig. Die eskader sou nou omgeskakel word na die MiG-27 ML Ground-vegvliegtuig.

Flogger Era:

Wg Cdr DN Ganesh het die eskader in 91 April oorgeneem en binnekort het 'n kernspan van 7 vlieëniers en 2 ingenieursbeamptes by die eenheid aangesluit. Die eerste MiG-27's arriveer in Junie 91, vars van HAL Ozhar. Dit het bestaan ​​uit vier MiG-27's en 'n tweesitplek MiG-23UB-afrigter. Die aankoms van die MiG-27's was stadig as gevolg van hul omset van HAL. nog vier vegters is in 91 September van HAL afgehaal, maar een vliegtuig het verlore gegaan toe Fg Offr HRP Sharma tydens 'n omskakelingsuitstappie uit 'n draai moes werp. Die inlywing van die MiG-27's is eers in Februarie 92 voltooi toe die 16de vliegtuig aangekom het. Die omskakeling na die MiG-27's is nou voltooi, die eskader was nou volledig ingerig om die tande aan die aanvallende komponent van die Eastern Air Command te verskaf.

Gedurende die negentigerjare het die eskader tydens die vlug vyf MiG-27's in drie verskillende ongelukke verloor. Die ergste ongeluk was op 31 Augustus 98, toe die vliegtuig wat deur Fg Off PS Rana gevlieg is, bo -op twee ander vliegtuie op die grond neergestort het. Die vlieënier sowel as twee ander personeel op die grond is in hierdie verskriklike gebeurtenis dood.

Die Eskader het die beste Eskader -trofee vir die jaar 1990 gewen. Aan die einde van die negentigerjare het die Eskader 'n nuwe rol gespeel. dit was aangewys om opleiding vir Maritime Strike Operations uit te voer, wat die eerste keer was dat 'n MiG-27-eskader dit moes doen. In no time at all, the Squadron's pilots qualified for the specialist Maritime strike role. A Proud moment came at the Air Force Day 2002. Not only was the CO, Wg Cdr RK Mendiratta awarded the VM, but also the Squadron was adjudged the 'Best Fighter Squadron' in the IAF for the year 2002. A Great achievement indeed!

No.2 Squadron was numberplated (for the second time in its existence) sometime in 2003 and it remained in limbo for about six years. In 2009, it was resurrected at Pune on the Sukhoi-30 MKI. The Squadron sent a detachment to Tezpur in June 2009. It was expected to grow to its full complement by October 2009.


The Last Post Ceremony commemorating the service of (422599) Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras, No. 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

The Last Post Ceremony is presented in the Commemorative area of the Australian War Memorial each day. The ceremony commemorates more than 102,000 Australians who have given their lives in war and other operations and whose names are recorded on the Roll of Honour. At each ceremony the story behind one of the names on the Roll of Honour is told. Hosted by Charis May, the story for this day was on (422599) Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras, No. 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force, Second World War.

422599 Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras, No. 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force
KIA 6 August 1944
No photograph in collection

Story delivered 12 November 2016

Today we pay tribute to Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras.

Born in Camperdown in south-western Victoria on 7 November 1920, Donald Mackerras was the son of John William and Esmond Irene Mackerras. By the time he was attending school the family was settled in Pymble in Sydney’s upper north shore. Growing up, Mackerass attended Lindfield Public School, Hornsby Junior Technical School, and then Ultimo Central Technical School. A keen sportsman, he played reserve grade rugby for the Gordon Club and was a member of the North Bondi Surf Club. Later he worked as a costing accountant for his father at J.W. Mackerras Costing Accountants.

On 22 May 1941 Mackerras joined the Royal Australian Air Force, and soon after enlistment commenced training as a pilot. On 11 December 1941 he embarked for overseas service. As part of the Empire Air Training Scheme, Mackerras was one of almost 27,500 RAAF pilots, navigators, wireless operators, gunners, and engineers, who joined squadrons based in Britain throughout the course of the war.

Mackerras’s journey to Britain took place via Canada, where he spent several months undertaking specialist training. After arriving in Britain in September 1943, he was posted to No. 3 Squadron, Royal Air Force. At the time he joined the squadron it was equipped with the Hawker Tempest.

From mid-June 1944, air power was divided as the RAF turned its attention from the Allies’ foothold in Normandy to the V-1 terror bombing campaign on London. Australian aircrews and pilots were involved in attacking and bombing V-1 launch sites in northern France as well as intercepting V-1s in flight – this was a particularly dangerous task, because if a pilot flew too close to the target when it was hit, he could be killed in the powerful explosion.

Owing to the speed and high performance of the Hawker Tempest, No. 3 Squadron played a key role when tasked with intercepting and shooting down the V-1s in flight. The pilots performed outstandingly, and the squadron was credited with destroying more than 250 V-1s. Mackerras and his fellow Australian pilot Flying Officer Hubert Bailey led the charge, each credited with destroying 11 rockets.

In the afternoon of 6 August 1944 Mackerras was on a mission to intercept a V-1 over Sussex when his Tempest crashed near Minfield. He was killed in the crash, aged 23.

The commander of No. 3 Squadron wrote to Mackerras’s father, saying:

[Donald was a] very keen and experienced pilot … He was liked by all and his loss is felt deeply by every member of the Squadron, both the aircrews and the groundcrews.

Donald’s body was recovered and he was buried in Brookwood Military Cemetery in Surrey.

Mackerras’s name is listed here on the Roll of Honour on my left, among some 40,000 Australians who died while serving in the Second World War.

This is but one of the many stories of service and sacrifice told here at the Australian War Memorial. We now remember Flight Sergeant Donald John Mackerras, who gave his life for us, for our freedoms, and in the hope of a better world.


The Battle of Britain: a brilliant triumph that involved far more than just the chosen few

The Battle of Britain has long been hailed as the triumph of the plucky underdog over the Nazi goliath. Yet, says James Holland, when rival fighters clashed over England in 1940, it was the RAF that held all the aces.

This competition is now closed

Published: September 15, 2015 at 10:32 am

At 4.30pm on 14 August 1940, 87 Squadron scrambled to their Hurricanes, quickly got airborne and started speeding towards Weymouth on the Dorset coast. “One hundred and twenty plus approaching Warmwell from the south,” came the calm voice of the ground controller in the pilots’ ears. “Good luck, chaps.” Pilot Officer Roland ‘Bee’ Beamont swallowed hard and began desperately to scan the sky.

They were over Lyme Regis and flying at around 12,000ft when Beamont saw them, still out to sea – what looked to him like a gigantic swarm of bees all revolving around each other in a fantastical spiral from around 8,000 to 14,000ft.

As the Hurricanes drew closer, Beamont could see there were about 50 Stuka dive-bombers and two-engine Messerschmitt 110s above, and single-engine Me109s above them. Although there were just 12 Hurricanes, the squadron commander shouted, “Tally ho!”, the attack signal, and then they were diving into the fray.

In a brief, manic and confused melee, Beamont nearly hit a Stuka, then came under attack himself, managed to shoot down a Me110 and then another before running out of ammunition and heading for the safety of a cloud bank, emerging into the clear over Chesil Beach. He was hot, his uniform was dark with sweat, and he felt utterly exhausted. He was also astonished to discover he’d been airborne a mere 35 minutes.

Beamont’s experiences fit very neatly into the familiar narrative of the Battle of Britain, in which that small band of brothers in RAF Fighter Command repeatedly found themselves battling a vastly superior enemy over a sun-drenched southern England.

What happened during the Battle of Britain?

Described by prime minister Winston Churchill as the RAF’s finest hour, the Battle of Britain (10 July – 31 October 1940) was the first major military campaign in history to be fought entirely in the air. Historian Julian Humphrys takes us through some of the biggest questions and facts surrounding this pivotal aerial campaign…

On that day, Beamont and his fellows in 87 Squadron were just 12 men taking on 120. Others regularly found themselves facing even greater odds – odds that have come to represent Britain’s wider experience in the summer of 1940. It was a time when she was all alone, with her army defeated on the continent, her back to the wall – little Britain as David, defiantly fighting on against the Goliath of Nazi Germany. Above all, Britain’s finest hour was a triumph of backs-to-the-wall amateurism against the professional militarism of the Germans.

It is, however, a myth, and one that, 75 years on, we should put to bed once and for all. Britain was not alone, nor dependent on just a handful of young men in Spitfires and Hurricanes and the Captain Mainwaring figures of the Home Guard.

Rather, Britain was one of the world’s leading superpowers, and at the centre of the largest global trading network the world had ever known, with the kind of access to resources of which Germany could only dream. Britain had the world’s largest navy, largest merchant fleet, access to around 85 per cent of the world’s merchant shipping, and trading and business interests that went well beyond its empire. Within the Dominions and Commonwealth, there were also some 250 million men it could potentially call upon to fight.

Why Britain punched above its weight

What’s truly remarkable about Britain’s story is not its post-imperial ‘decline’ but the fact that it became a global superpower in the first place, says David Reynolds

There was nothing amateurish about Britain’s defence against potential German invasion. The conquest of France and the Low Countries had been fought on Germany’s terms, but what followed was fought on Britain’s. The Few, the pilots in their fighter aircraft, were one cog that made up the first fully co-ordinated air defence system in the world. This saw modern radar, an Observer Corps, radio and a highly efficient means of collating, filtering and disseminating this information being combined with a highly developed ground control to ensure that Luftwaffe raids such as those on 14 August were intercepted and harried repeatedly.

This defence system meant that Spitfires and Hurricanes would be in the air chipping away at the enemy and at the same time ensuring they were not being destroyed on the ground. Fighter Command could have put up more than 700 fighters at a time had they chosen to, but its commanders preferred different tactics – one of dispersal of forces and airfields more suited to a defensive battle. For a pilot like Beamont, however, it seemed as though just a few were taking on the many.

Moreover, Fighter Command was only one part of the RAF – both Coastal and Bomber Commands also played a full part in the battle. Bomber Command, especially, was repeatedly striking targets inside the Reich as well as Luftwaffe airfields in northern France. And the RAF was only one of three services.

There was also the Royal Navy, Britain’s ‘Senior Service’, and vastly superior to the Kriegsmarine, especially after the bloody nose it had inflicted on the German navy in Norway. And there was the army, admittedly rebuilding, but, by August, nearly two million-strong when including the Home Guard, many of whom were far more proficient than Dad’s Army would suggest. There were also significant coastal defences and chemical weapons ready to be deployed. Collectively, these were formidable defences.

In contrast, the German plans were disjointed, lacked any kind of combined services co-operation, and were supported by a transport lift that was frankly risible, and which was made to look even more so in light of future wartime amphibious operations. Fortunately for the Germans, they never had the chance to test their plans to cross the Channel. Rather, the Luftwaffe fell some way short of destroying RAF Fighter Command, the first line of Britain’s defence, rather than the last as is usually portrayed.

So where does this view that Britain won the Battle of Britain by a whisker come from? In part it came down to public perception at the time. France had been defeated in just six weeks, the British Expeditionary Force had been forced into a humiliating retreat back across the Channel, and this had followed defeat on land in Norway. That Britain had won at sea off Norway counted for less in the public’s eyes now that the swastika was fluttering over the continental coastline from the Arctic to the Spanish border.

Living in fear

In Britain there was mounting panic through May and June 1940 as it seemed the country would be next in the path of Nazi Germany’s apparently unstoppable military machine. This widely held perception that Germany was a highly developed modern military behemoth appeared to be borne out not only by the prewar newsreels of rallies and grand-standing but then by the speed with which they overran first Poland, then Denmark and Norway and then France and the Low Countries.

Few in Britain realised that only 16 divisions out of the 135 used in the attack in the west were mechanised, or that in Poland Germany had almost run out of ammunition, or that the Reich was already suffering stringent rationing. Or indeed that there were never more than 14 U-boats in British waters and the Atlantic at any one time at any point since the war had begun. Most Britons had no idea just how shaky were the foundations on which German military might was built.

The sense of German numerical and qualitative superiority was then further manifested in what British people were seeing with their own eyes once the battle got under way. A formation of 120 enemy aircraft would have looked awesome. However, as Bee Beamont had realised on 14 August, only around 40 of those were actually bombers, and it was bombers, primarily, that were expected to destroy the RAF by knocking out airfields, facilities and aircraft on the ground. The truth was that no matter how impressive such a formation may have looked in the summer of 1940, it was simply not enough.

Tom Neil was a pilot in 249 Squadron and, at the beginning of September, was operating from North Weald. On 3 September, Neil took off in his Hurricane along with 11 others and soon saw the airfield disappear under clouds of smoke as the Luftwaffe attacked.

He wondered how they were ever going to land again but an hour later they all did. “We just dodged the pot-holes,” he says. This was something the Luftwaffe had not really considered: destroying grass airfields of up to 100 acres required vast amounts of ordnance – ordnance the Germans simply did not have. Bomb craters were swiftly filled in, reserve operations rooms put into practice, and although many of Fighter Command’s front-line airfields quickly looked a mess, only Manston, in the south-east tip of Kent, was knocked out for more than 24 hours in the whole battle. Just one.

Ten days after the Luftwaffe launched an all-out attack on the RAF (known as Eagle Day) on 13 August, the Stuka dive-bombers, on which so many prewar hopes had been placed, were withdrawn. Losses were too great. There were not enough of the next-generation bomber, the Ju 88, which meant the lion’s share of the bomber work was carried out by Dorniers and Heinkels – both increasingly obsolescent. By the beginning of September, thanks to the rate of attrition and low production, numbers of fighters were also diminishing. Most Luftwaffe fighter squadrons were operating at half-strength. Some had just two or three planes left others were beginning the day with none at all.

Yet it was at this point that Air Chief Marshal Dowding, the commander-in-chief of Fighter Command, and Air Vice-Marshal Keith Park, commanding 11 Group in the South East, feared they were staring down the barrel of defeat. It was not for lack of aircraft: the new Ministry of Aircraft Production was building more than double that of Germany while the Civilian Repair Units had increased numbers by a staggering 186 per cent. No, it was pilot shortage that so worried them, or specifically, trained pilot shortage.

Exhausted invaders

This was largely due to an over-estimation of German strength. British intelligence was excellent, but it had been assumed that German staffeln were structured in the same way as British fighter squadrons – that is, with almost double the number of pilots to keep 12 in the air at any one time. For example, on 15 August, when Bee Beamont had been in action, Tom Neil had spent much of the day on the ground watching other members of the squadron taking off to meet the invaders. He finally flew later that afternoon, allowing those who had flown earlier a rest.

Park claimed that many of his squadrons were operating at 75 per cent strength – yet even then, he meant they were down to 16–18 pilots, not eight or nine. This was far more than the Germans could call on. On paper, Luftwaffe squadrons were 20-strong – not 24, as the British believed. In reality, the situation was even more critical – many had only nine aircraft at the start of the battle. Attrition and aircraft shortage reduced those numbers further after several weeks of fighting.

Neither Park nor Dowding had any idea about this gulf between perceived and actual strength. For the Luftwaffe, this meant fighter pilots were made to fly ever more sorties to make up the shortfall. Few British pilots would fly more than three times a day, and usually not more than twice. By September, their opposite numbers might fly as many as seven times. The physical and mental strain of this was immense.

In the traditional narrative, the crisis passed in the nick of time when the Luftwaffe changed tactics and began bombing London instead of airfields on Saturday 7 September. Since the attack on the airfields was failing, the change of tack, while making little tactical sense, was perhaps not as significant as the idea thought up by Park that very same day.

He suggested introducing a system of squadron classification. ‘A’ squadrons would be in the front-line and consist of experienced combat pilots. ‘C’ squadrons would be filled mostly by men straight out of training but with a few old hands and would be placed away from the front-line, such as in Acklington in Northumberland, where they could build up hours, learn the ropes and get some combat experience against the odd obliging German raider from Norway.

Category ‘B’ squadrons were in between the two. And pilots and squadrons could be moved around at a moment’s notice. In a trice, Park had done much to solve the pilot crisis. Thereafter, Fighter Command never looked back. By the time the battle officially ended on 31 October, it was stronger than it had been at the start. The Luftwaffe, by contrast, never really recovered.

Was the Battle of Britain the country’s finest hour? One of them, certainly, as it consigned Hitler to a long attritional war on multiple fronts – a conflict his forces were not designed to fight, and which materially meant they would always be struggling.

It was the victory that unquestionably turned the tide of the war, but was also a very well-fought, meticulously planned and managed battle that demonstrated many of Britain’s undoubted strengths. We should celebrate that brilliance as well as the courage of the Few.


19 thoughts on &ldquoNo. 487 Squadron RNZAF wiped out in daylight raid&rdquo

Fascinated to read this thread. I am a writer based in Norfolk and some years ago interviewed a number of aircrew from 487 (NZ) Squadron, including two who flew on the May 3, 1943 mission and others who were glad that they did not. I am currently drawing together more material for a book focused on the operation and would be more than happy to share anything I have with relatives of the men who flew out of Methwold on that fateful mission. My email address is [email protected]

I wrote a book called ‘Through to the End’, which tells the story of 487. My publisher failed and after three years of mucking around I’m currently getting it self published.

The book includes a list of all operational aircrew, how many sorties they flew, when, and who with.

With regard to David Potts:
‘Another Mosquito was badly hit and dived away. It crashed seven miles southwest of Bremervörde at Brillit. Flight Lieutenant Potts and Sergeant Valentine were killed.’ He flew seven operations with Sgt Valentine from 13 January to 22 February 1945.

I didn’t know the squadron sang ‘Now is the Hour’ every night! I appreciated the information about Alan Turnbull because it feels like hearing what happened to an old acquaintance, I’ve been living with 487 for so long.

I am reading through the comments above. I would be glad if all of the people above would contact me here in Holland as we are almost ready with a book about the history of 487 squadron. Looking forward to the reply. Aad Neeven
[email protected]

Aad Neeven, a retired KLM pilot wrote an account he researched of May 3rd because he was appalled to realise that little information if any, was given to relatives of dead airmen. He interviewed the German pilot who shot down the plane my uncle flew in and years later Aad, John (his grandfather was a warden and saw the plane descend) and other Dutch people put up a plaque of remembrance to the crew on the house where that plane landed. Even today there is very little acknowledgement of that raid in the Wigram Airforce Museum.

In response to Glen Towlers comment.

RAF 11,493. RCAF 2920 . RAAF 1082. RNZAF 452.

Might I respectfully suggest you get your facts and information about the war from a source other than Airfix or the Daily Mail.

A. ” Do their dirty work ” ? What a crass comment. The forces of the British Empire made a fantastic contribution to the winning of WW2. They were not utilised for “dirty work ” , but were engaged in combat as and when deemed suitable, as were British units. The Canadians were employed in the Dieppe raid mainly because they were new to combat and anxious to get to grips with the enemy. As such they did a damned fine job. The raid itself was always regarded as a trial run for the D Day invasion and never thought likely to be a runaway success. The actions of the Canadians in this raid trialled equipment, techniques, tactics and methods that later saved many Allied lives during the Invasion and also brought about its success.

B. The bombing raid in question was just another attack on an enemy held target and doubtless just another of dozens mounted on the same day. It was not uniquely “important”. Mosquitoes with their long range, high speed and weapons payload are more suitable for deeper penetrations into Europe. As such the Lockheed Ventura light bombers used for this raid on Holland were perfectly suitable. If there exists any misfortune regarding this raid at all, it would be the separation of the fighter escort from the bombers they were intended to accompany. However, this happened all of the time and is due to the fortunes of war. Why any halfwit should try and score points against the British because of this raid is beyond me.

My late Father Warrant Officer Ron Vine A412767 RAAF,was a member of 487 Squadron at the time of the raid. He (and I) are lucky that his aircraft was not tasked to be on the raid. He told me, not long before his death, that it was a very lonely night in the Sergeant’s Mess that night. He had flown his “Sprog” mission as Andy Coutt’s WO/AG the previous February and a number of men killed had been on his OTU at Pennfield Ridge New Brunswick the previous year. The squadron used to stand and sing the Maori Farewell (Now is the hour) each night when the mess shut. Apparently that night to a man they were in tears.

Hi, I am reaching out to Stephen Webb who commented above, as my father, Alan Turnbull, was the wireless operator of the plane that got shot up, returned and crash landed. I would be really interested to know about what Neill said in the book – it is probably the case that he did save my Dad’s life and possibly that of Starkie. Dad died just over a month ago – 95, and fully cogent to the end. Glad he came back from that raid.

Has anyone seen or got any information on 129379 Flt Lt David Potts RAFV KIA Germany 22/2/1945 attached to 487 RNZAF . Cannot even find what raid he was on in or about that time. Buried Becklingen War Cemetery . There must exist some sort of nominal roll for the KIA of the Sqd??

Hi, I have in my possesion gunner L H Neill’s flight log book, it has his account of the may 3rd mission, it also has photos of the crew, and aerial photos of their missions. Quite a stirring read of this mission, along with his humour in the rest of the book. The thing is I want to sell it, any ideas about the best place I could do this? Steve

Thanks Geoff Penn for recommending: ‘True to the End’. Just to clarify one point: two Venturas made it back to base after this raid Baker’s unserviceable a/c and Duffill’s shot-up a/c.

DFCs and DFMs were Gazetted for this latter crew, their medal citations make for powerful reading: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/issue/36027/supplement/2320/data.pdf

As a postscript, Air Gunner Sgt Alan William Turnbull DFM died on Monday 27th June 2016. RIP

One of the aircrew on this operation was Pilot Officer Andrew Coutts. He and my parents were friends when the lived in Whakatane before the war.
When I was born, after the war, they named me after Andy Coutts.

I had the privilege of interview Owen Foster who was also on the raid. his aircraft was one of the aircraft that made it thru to the target. I think all the aircraft got shot down. some of the crews actually spent the rest of there time in a pow camp. in fact the pow camp was where they had the great escape. Owen was a real hard case and he had a great sense of humour. I think 487 sqn reformed with mosquitos. the were involved in operation Jericho.

My father – A. George Baker – was the pilot of the aircraft that had to turn back because of the loose escape hatch. The hatch actually totally broke loose on the landing approach and lodged in the rudder. He was “dressed down” for not having continued on the raid. I am glad he didn’t!

My dad was scheduled pilot too, but bad case of angina(?) saw him not fly that fateful day, and he survived the war. He did the Philips raid.

I agree, the the “real” story is written in True to the End. The fighters were sent too early then left the Ventura squadron when they arrived at Amsterdam.Two bombers made it to the target, not one as Trent said. My father’s plane, A Apple, was the second. It was badly beaten up and crash landed in the North Sea.
The plane that returned to base wasn’t shot at. The escape hatch blew off not long after takeoff.
The Ventura’s were modified versions of the Lockheed Lode star and we’re totally unsuitable for the job.

Try Pacific Wings January 2002 instead.

I recommend you read the article ‘True To The End’ in the January 2001edition of Pacific Wings Magazine(available online) This gives a more accurate account of what happened during the raid and the complete hash bomber command made of coordinating the raid.

This is a good example of the British using other countries to do there less that savory work like the usless raid on Dieppe mostly Canadian forces where used . I do also wonder why didn’t they just mosquitos for this raid if its was important . Looks to me like a complete waste of brave airmans lives and trained aircrews



The Plot Against Mussolini

By 1943, after years of fighting in World War II, Italy was viewed by its own citizens as losing the war.

On July 25, 1943, Mussolini was voted out of power by his own Grand Council, arrested after a visit with the king and sent to the island of La Maddalena.

When Italy accepted the terms of secret peace talks with the Allies, Hitler ordered German forces into Italy, which resulted in two Italian nations, one occupied by Germans.

Mussolini, fearful of being handed over, was instead rescued by Hitler’s forces. Transported to German-occupied northern Italy, he was installed as Hitler’s puppet leader, creating the Italian Social Republic and leading to the extermination of thousands of Italian Jews.

Allied forces barreled through Italy in June 1945. Mussolini attempted to flee to Spain with his lover, Claretta Petacci, but was discovered and arrested by partisans searching troop transport trucks.


Operation Sealion

Operation Sealion was the name given by Hitler for the planned invasion of Great Britain in 1940. Operation Sealion was never carried out during the war as the Germans lost the Battle of Britain and it is now believed that Hitler was more interested in the forthcoming attack on Russia as opposed to invading Britain.

Göering, on right, overlooking the White Cliffs of Dover

The projected invasion on Britain included:

Army Group A (4 divisions) invading Sussex and Hampshire via the area around Brighton and the Isle of Wight.

Army Group B (3 divisions) invading Dorset via Lyme Bay

From Kent, Army Group A would advance to south-east London and then to Malden and St. Albans north of London.

From Sussex/Hampshire, the 4 divisions of Army Group A would advance to the west of London and meet up with the other 6 divisions of Army Group A, thus encircling London. Other parts of the group would head towards Gloucester and the River Severn region.

From Dorset, Army Group B would advance to Bristol.

The whole plan relied on Germany having complete control of the English Channel, which, in turn meant that Germany had to have control of the skies so that the Royal Air Force could not attack German ships crossing the Channel. Hence victory in the Battle of Britain was an integral part of the plan.

Operation Sealion looked simple in theory. Britain should have been an easy target. The Luftwaffe was very experienced in modern warfare, the Wehrmacht had experienced astonishing success since the attack on Poland and the British had lost a vast amount of military hardware on the beaches of Dunkirk. The RAF and the Army in Britain looked weak only the Royal Navy seemed to offer Britain some semblance of protection.

It is said that Hitler was prepared to offer Britain generous peace terms. However, on May 21st, 1940, Admiral Raeder told Hitler about a plan to invade Britain and Hitler, it is said, was taken in by the plan. If Britain had not surrendered, Hitler had planned an economic war which could have taken a long time to be effective. However, a military conquest of Britain would be swift and decisive. The military success of the German military since September 1939, seem to confirm in Hitler’s mind that an attack on a demoralised British Army would be swift.

Towards the end of June 1940, Hitler gave the order for the German military to make plans for an invasion of Britain. In fact, they were one step ahead of Hitler here as all three branches of the German military had guessed that an invasion would be needed and had already started on their own plans.

In November 1939, the German Navy had done its own report on an invasion of Britain. It was not optimistic about its success. The German Navy detailed many problems that would be experienced for either a short crossing or a long crossing. It did not state that an attempted invasion would be unsuccessful – but it was cautious.

In December 1939, the Wehrmacht had produced its own report. This favoured a surprise attack on Britain via East Anglia by 16 or 17 divisions. However, this plan needed the support of the German Navy and they believed that the Wehrmacht’s plan was untenable as the German navy would have to protect any landing fleet of the army whilst having to fight the British Navy. Raeder believed that this was an impossible task to complete successfully. The Luftwaffe pointed out that for its part, it would need good weather for the whole of the invasion if it was to do its job – and across the North Sea this could not be guaranteed. Though the Luftwaffe had experienced success in both the attacks on Poland and Western Europe, the RAF had not used its fighter force to its full capacity in the spring of 1940.

After the fall of France, the only major European power not to have fallen was Great Britain. The problems of an invasion were known to all three branches of the German military:

Control of the Channel would be needed

Control of the skies would be needed

Good weather would be needed

However, for all of the work done by the military on a projected invasion of Britain, it seems that Hitler had little enthusiasm for it. On June 17th, 1940, the navy received a communiqué that informed them that:

“With regard to the landing in Britain the Führer has not up to now expressed such an intention, as he fully appreciates the unusual difficulties of such an operation. Therefore, even at this time, no preparatory work of any kind has been carried out in the Wehrmacht High Command.”

On June 21st, 1940, the navy was told that the Army General Staff:

“Is not concerning itself with the question of England. Considers execution impossible. Does not know how the operation is to be conducted from the southern area.”

Hitler’s position was obviously crucial as without his support no invasion was possible. At the time, it is thought that he believed that Britain would sue for peace and that he could make generous peace terms with the British on the condition that they recognised Germany’s position on mainland Europe. Even during the Dunkirk evacuation, one of his generals – Blumentritt – was astonished to hear Hitler talk about the British in glowing terms.

“(Hitler spoke) with great admiration of the British Empire, of the necessity for its existence, and of the civilisation that Britain had brought into the world.” Blumentritt

It was only when it became clear that Britain would not sign peace terms that Hitler gave his backing to an invasion. On July 2nd 1940, Hitler gave his first tentative orders regarding a possible invasion of Britain. It stated that

“a landing in England is possible, providing that air superiority can be attained and certain other necessary conditions fulfilled…..all the preparations must be made on the basis that the invasion is still only a plan, and has not yet been decided upon.” Hitler, July 2nd 1940

On July 13th, the army chiefs presented their plan – see first box above. They were so confident of success that they believed that Britain would be occupied within a month. On July 16th a directive called ‘Preparation for a landing operation against England’ was issued which stated that

“As England, in spite of her hopeless military situation, still shows no willingness to come to terms, I have decided to prepare, and if necessary, to carry out, a landing operation against her. The aim of this operation is to eliminate the English mother country as a base from which the war against Germany can be continued, and, if it should be necessary, to occupy it completely.”

The code name for this operation was ‘Sea Lion’.

At a meeting with his service chiefs on July 21st, Hitler made it clear that he recognised that the plan had its dangers – especially those identified by Raeder – but he was keen to press on with the plan so that he could turn his full attention to Russia once Britain had been defeated.

Hitler wanted Sea Lion to be over by mid-September. His naval chiefs believed that any invasion could not start until mid-September! Raeder supplied a list of reasons why the invasion could not go ahead before mid-September1940 (clearance of shipping lanes of mines, getting invasion barges ready etc) and he won the support of the army. Hitler ordered that as long as Germany controlled the sky, Operation Sea Lion would go start on September 15th 1940. Therefore, the invasion depended entirely on whether Göering’s Luftwaffe could defeat the RAF. The failure of the Germans to defeat the RAF had to lead to the cancellation of Operation Sea Lion which was announced on September 17th 1940.

One of the interesting issues to come out of this episode was the inability of the three units that made up the German military to either work together or support one another. primarily, the chiefs of the army railed against Raeder while he and his chiefs criticised the plans of the army. The Luftwaffe took the view, though it was primarily Göering’s, that any success depended on the Luftwaffe conquering the skies. Another key point that came out of this episode in the war, was Hitler’s seeming refusal to listen to his military commanders and wanting things done his way. This came out of the success the military had against Poland and the nations of Western Europe – countries attacked without the overwhelming support of the military but attacked because Hitler instinctively knew that they would win – or so he believed.


Kyk die video: Two Steps From Hell - Victory WWII Cinematic (Oktober 2021).