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Larry 6th January 2005 00:57

Non-Operational Unit victories in the Battle of Britain
During the Battle of Britain the pilots of Special Duty Flight based at RAF Christchurch, Hampshire were busy carrying out AI and ASV radar trials for TRE at Worth Matravers, using a variety of aircraft types; Anson, Battle, Blenheim and Wellington etc. To protect these trials aircraft (and the Station) the SDF had a few fighters on strength and despite the air-war going on all around them, they still carried out trials over the South Coast of England! On several occasions they attacked and shot down Luftwaffe aircraft, which match Luftwaffe losses but have never been attributed to the SDF, as it was not in Fighter Command. On 2nd September a Ju88 was confirmed as shot down in to the sea ten miles SW of the Needles, IOW by Sqn Ldr PE Meagher in Hurricane L1562. Possibly it was the Ju88 F6+DK of 2(F)122 lost without trace that day? Ten days later F/Lt Douglas L Rayment badly damaged a Ju88A over Blanford on 12th September 1940, while flying Blenheim Mk IVF, P4832. Then on 19th September 1940 F/Lt DL Rayment, in Hurricane L1562, shot down a lone Ju88 which crashed in to the sea ten miles south of St. Catherine’s Point, IOW. Possibly this was a Ju88A aircraft from either I/KG51 or I/KGr 806, as both units lost an aircraft without trace the same day. L1562 was hit by return fire and was taken to 50 MU for repair, to be replaced by L1592 now in the Science Museum, London.

As far as I can tell these were the only aircraft from a non-operational RAF unit, to actually shoot down enemy aircraft during the Battle of Britain unless you know differently! Sadly neither Rayment nor Meagher appear in the list of Battle of Britain pilots as according to the Air Ministry, they were not officially involved!

Frank Olynyk 6th January 2005 07:43

Do you have a reference in the PRO for these three claims? If it is the ORB, do you have the piece number?

I know of two Battle of Britain period claims outside of Fighter Command. On July 25, 1940 P/O Charles Alec Bird of No. 4 Ferry Pool, and F/Lt Peter Prosser Hanks of No. 5 OTU shared a Ju-88 NE of Stroud, at 1415. This appears in the FC Combats and Casualties list as Confirmed, and in the ORBs of the two units (whose piece numbers I will have to search for).

On Sept 18 F/O George Francis Brotchie of No. 7 OTU claimed a Do-215 off the coast of Anglesey, in Spitfire I N3235. T/O time is given as 1930; I don't have the time of the combat, or the landing time.

Because 4 Ferry Pool, 5 and 7 OTU were not part of Fighter Command, these pilots are not eligible for the BoB Clasp.


Larry 7th January 2005 00:05

Non-Operational Unit victories in the Battle of Britain

Thanks for your details of the other victories in the BoB. The details came from the 1940-41 Special Duty Flight ORB in the PRO about 15 years ago! So I can't say which they are in but it may be AIR 29.

As for Ju88 F6+DK of 2(F)122 lost 2/9/1940 and the Ju88 of either I/KG51 or I/KGr 806 lost on 19/9/1940, no doubt someone will know details of the missions they were on, to see if any of them flew anywhere near the Isle of Wight on those dates. So I have put a request on the Luftwaffe message board.


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