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Old 9th October 2017, 16:04
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

Can anyone help me to sort out the claims submitted by 32 Squadron on July 10 1940? F/O Humpherson flying as No. 1 Green Section, submitted an ‘unconfirmed’ claim for a Do 215 (actually a Do 17Z of KG2) at 1340 hours (Combat Report, AIR 50/16/14).
Sgt. Pearce flying as No. 3 Green Section attacked a Do 215 (Do 17Z) at the same time and submitted a Combat Report (AIR 50/16/19) without stating the nature of the enemy casualty, except for ‘E/A last seen over mid-channel at 3,000 ft more or less, gliding at 105-110 mph.

The 32 Squadron ORB Form 541 for July 10 (AIR 27/360/22) states that “Green Section led by P/O. Humpherson followed by his section attacked a Do 215 The Do 215 was hit and rear turret silenced; Sgt. Pearce followed to mid-Channel where Do 215 had dropped to 3,000 feet”. This seems to imply that it was the same aircraft.

However, the published accounts of these claims are listed as follow:

1) John Foreman (RAF Fighter Command Victory Claims, 2003) has Humpherson destroying a Do 17, while Pearce is shown as ‘sharing’ a Do 17 shared destroyed with S/Lt Bulmer – who was not in Green Flight.

2) Simon Parry (Battle of Britain Combat Archive Volume 1, 2015) shows the same claims, presumably because Foreman is the RAF and Luftwaffe Claims authority for this wonderful set of books.

I can’t locate any combat claims for Bulmer in the National Archives, which may be because he was a Fleet Air Arm pilot, although there are Combat reports in the archive for S/Lt Blake of 19 Squadron, who was also a Fleet Air Arm pilot.

3) Brian Cull (Battle for the Channel, the First Month of the Battle of Britain, 2017) shows Humpherson, Pearce, and Sgt. Bayley – not Bulmer – sharing a single Do 215 probable. Bayley was the 3rd member of Green Section during the combat, but his Combat Reports (AIR 50/16/3) do not include an account for July 10th.

Can anyone help to clear this up? Is there an ‘official’ source for these claims that I am missing somewhere?
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Old 10th October 2017, 10:24
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Peter Cornwell Peter Cornwell is offline
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Re: Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

For what it's worth, my own notes extracted from the No.32 Squadron Operations Record Book (Form 540) show (Green 1) HUMPHERSON as the main protagonist with (Green 2) BULMER & (Green 3) PEARCE making secondary attacks. I believe that BAYLEY was a member of 'A' Flight. Simon PARRY & John FOREMAN's cheeks should be burning at your fulsome praise but, as you may already begin to suspect, nobody can ever be deemed a true 'authority' on such questions.
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Old 10th October 2017, 19:58
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Re: Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

Thanks Peter -- and I should add that my 'fulsome praise' extends to you for your major contribution to the field of Battle of Britain claims and losses!
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Old 10th October 2017, 21:50
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Re: Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

Hi Peter

What about me?

Cheers
Brian
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Old 11th October 2017, 13:10
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Re: Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

Brian,

Assuming that you are Brian Cull, then a big 'thank you' for your super books. I particularly like the format of the recent Battle of Britain book, combining a detailed overview of the days events, plus lists of claims and losses. As for the 32 Squadron claims on the 10th, what is your source for the shared claim for Bayley?
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Old 11th October 2017, 13:19
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Re: Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

Peter, I have taken another look at the 32 Squadron Form 540, which I have as a PDF (Air/27/360/21). The details for the 10th are very brief: Flying - Operational 21 sorties 25.00 hrs. All other flying 'A' a/c 3 sorties 40 mins. 'B' a/c 3 sorties 3.10 hrs. Weather: Wind SE/S 10-15 mph, 3 mph evening. Cloud 3-6/10ths at 2,000'. Visibility 12 miles, 2 miles during rain. Cloudy, rain in evening. Form 541 (AIR 50/32/14) for the 10th has 'Details of Sortie or Flight' as: Escort to Convoy off Dungeness. Height 11,000'. At 1340 hrs about 60 Do.215s in waves of 20, in VIC formation bombed convoy. Green Section led by P/O. Humpherson followed by his section attacked a Do.215 The Do.215 was hit and rear turret silenced; Sgt. Pearce followed to mid-Channel where Do. 215 had dropped to 3,000'. Having finished ammunition returned to Biggin Hill." No mention of Bulmer.
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Old 11th October 2017, 14:51
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Re: Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

Peter,

Have you also checked the Form 541 ? It can only have been one or either of those documents, or the Forms F submitted, that would have been my original source for noting BULMER as Green 2.
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Old 11th October 2017, 16:53
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Re: Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

Peter, my previous reply included the Form 541 sortie details for 32 Squadron for July 10th, the six aircrew are listed in 541 for this sortie as: Bayley, Pearce, Humpherson, Higgins, Turner, and Bulmer, comprising Green and Blue Sections (541 does not identify who flew in which section). Humpherson led Green Section and states in his combat report “I put green section into line astern and carried out a No. 1 attack on a single E/A…” This implies to me that all 3 aircraft in the section took part in the attack. Pearce was flying as Green 2 and also submitted a Combat report. Who was Green 3 and why did he (Bulmer or Bayley) not submit a report, or was this 3rd claimant listed in some other document?
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Old 12th October 2017, 09:22
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Re: Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

Peter,

As PEARCE's Form F confirms that he was flying as Green 2 this makes a nonsense of my own notes extracted back in the late '60s so all my earlier comments are probably best ignored. As I said, 'For what it's worth ...' ? But it certainly endorses the view that nobody is an authority. Unfortunately, there is no Holy Grail but you are clearly covering all necessary sources in your research.
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Old 12th October 2017, 13:20
Peter Cook Peter Cook is offline
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Re: Battle of Britain Claims, 32 Squadron, July 10 1940

Thanks for looking into this further Peter. Your efforts are much appreciated.
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