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Old 18th February 2010, 22:31
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Re: 12.08.40, RAF claims at Portsmuth/Ventnor

The following is taken from 'Battle in the Skies over the Isle of Wight' - H J T. Leal

August 12 1940

The weather had improved overnight and by dawn it was fine. Away to the east, dive-bombers attacked two small convoys. Later in the morning a force bombed the chain home radar station at Poling in Sussex.
Shortly after 1200 hours Ventnor radar reported a large force of German aircraft heading across the Channel towards the Island. This raid was made up of 100 Junkers Ju88s of KG51, 100-plus Messerschmitt BFllOs of 2/ZG2 and 25 Messerschmitt BF109s of JG53.

Between the Nab Tower and the Island the formation headed towards the entrance to Spithead. At this point about 20 Ju88s left the main force and turned back over the Island to attack the c.h. radar station at St. Boniface Down. The remainder flew up Spithead, turning into Portsmouth to attack the docks and the city. Considerable damage and casualties were caused.

Having dropped their bombs the planes flew out the way they went in, thus avoiding the balloon barrage. As the bombers were attacking their targets the BF109s circled the area, waiting to escort them back. While this attack was on, a number of Fighter Command airfields in Sussex and Kent were bombed.

During this raid on Portsmouth seven Hurricanes and six Spitfires crashed in the sea and one aircraft crashed on Bembridge Aerodrome. This was a Spitfire. N3175 of No. 226 Squadron piloted by P/0 W. S. Williams. He crash-landed and was able to get clear of his aircraft before it exploded.

The Luftwaffe lost six aircraft over this area, one a Junkers Ju88, 9K+AA of Stab KG51 piloted by Oberst Dr. Fisser, Kommodore of KG51. This aircraft was shot down by a Hurricane of No. 213 Squadron. It crashed at 1225 hours at Bridgecourt Farm, Godshill, burst into flames and was burned out. Three members of the crew got safely from the aircraft and were taken prisoners of war. Dr. Fisser was not so lucky. He scrambled from the cockpit with his clothes on fire. Falling into a hedge he set that on fire, and died shortly afterwards.

The raid on the radar station was successful, resulting in the station being put out of action for several days. A mobile unit was put into service but was not too successful.

RAF Losses

Hurricane R4176 – 145 Squadron. F/O. W. Pankratz + In sea south of Isle of Wight
Hurricane P3736 – 145 Squadron. F/S. J. Kwjeonski + In sea south of Isle of Wight
Hurricane R4180 – 145 Squadron. P/O. J H. Harrison + In sea south of Ventnor
Hurricane P3662 – 257 Squadron. P/O. J A G. Chomley missing + In Spithead
Spitfire P9456 – 152 Squadron. F/L. L C. Withall + In sea south west of Ventnor
Spitfire K9999 - 152 Squadron . P/O. D C. Shepley + In sea off St.catherines Point
Spitfire N3175 - 266 Squadron. P/O. W S. Williams. unhurt. Crash-landed Bembridge Aerodrome

Evgeny, if this is the info you require then I'll post the German losses later.

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