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Old 8th September 2015, 12:31
wwrsimon wwrsimon is offline
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500 Sqn Anson N5355, September 24th 1940

Hello everyone

On September 24th 1940 at 10.55 hours, Anson N5355 of 500 Sqn left Detling, via Hawkinge, on an E Boat strike across the channel. The Squadron ORB states that it came across four E-boats at position CPWT 0231, but before it could attack them it was itself attacked by 2 Henschel HS-126s at 11.30. The Anson returned fire, and the Henschels broke away. At 11.32 it was again attacked, this time by three Me-110s. The Anson took avoiding action and was able to return to base, landing at 11.57.

The same action is described in the book 'Kent's Own' by Robin J Brooks, in which the Navigator of N5355 describes the Anson spotting a single HS-126. He then describes the Henschel as being a decoy, as they were bounced by three Bf-109s which attacked them at sea level and followed them until they reached the Kent coast.

Obviously the two accounts differ. Is there any record of a Luftwaffe combat involving an attack on a single Anson at around this time on the 24th of September 1940 which may shed some further light on the incident?

Many thanks,

Simon
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Old 8th September 2015, 13:06
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Chris Goss Chris Goss is offline
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Re: 500 Sqn Anson N5355, September 24th 1940

Anson R/500 Sqn reported a combat between 3 Bf 109s and a Hs 126 off Calais at 1132 hrs, damaging an aircraft but returning with a wounded pilot & nav. No German claims as the Anson was not seen to crash. There is a Hs 126 of 2 (H)/32 which force-landed at Deulemont (between Ypres & Lille) whilst on an operational sortie, no cause given, 30/40% damage, no crew casualties
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Old 8th September 2015, 13:31
wwrsimon wwrsimon is offline
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Re: 500 Sqn Anson N5355, September 24th 1940

Thanks for the reply Chris.

I found it a bit confusing as the ORB Form 541 mentions N5355 being attacked by three Me-110s, on two occasions, as well as by the two Henschels and it also mentions a B-109 in there too.

This story is also told in contemporary newspapers when the pilot, P/O Robert Armstrong, was awarded the D.F.C. This is from the Morpeth Herald, September 5th 1941:

"...two Henschels first attacked [the Anson]. The R.A.F. pilot, Flying Officer Armstrong, was wounded almost at once, but he carried on, and the two Henschels were driven off. Then the gunner of the Anson silenced one of the German rear gunners and both Henschels withdrew.
Next a Messerschmitt 109 fighter dived down. A bullet went through the knee of the Anson navigator, but the gunner started such a fusillade that the enemy fighter drew off. Then 70 Nazi fighters appeared above the Anson, and three Messerschmitt 110 twin-engine, dived down. The Anson fought back one Messerschmitt which received a burst and flew away smoking, and his companion followed. The British machine flew home."

Regards

Simon
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