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Old 5th January 2005, 23:57
Larry Larry is offline
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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!
Larry Hayward
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