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Old 3rd May 2012, 17:03
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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7 OTU Interceptions during Battle of Britain

Hello all. Quite some time ago, I recorded some notes from reading “A Summer For Heroes” (by Derek Wood with Derek Dempster, based on the book The Narrow Margin, Tri-Service Press 1990). Some of these were of No 7 OTU, based at Hawarden, Flintshire, which formed a battle flight to deal with emergencies.

14.Aug.40
Spitfires flown by W/Co. Hallings-Pott, S/Ldr. J.S. McLean and P/Off. P.V. Ayerst scramble after hearing explosions and machine-gun fire nearby, intercept a He 111 and shoot it down near Chester.

7.Sep.40
No.7 O.T.U. scores second victory of the Battle when “… Sgt. L.S. Pilkington, while instructing a pupil in formation flying, heard on the R/T that a ‘bandit’ was approaching Hoylake. Having sent the pupil home he intercepted a Ju 88 at 20,000 feet and was able to get in a good burst with his two 20mm cannon, which was a rarity at the time. The Ju 88 subsequently crashed in Wales. …”

18.Sep.40
Third victory for No. 7 O.T.U. when “… Squadron Leader McLean, Flying Officer Brotchie and Sergeant Armitage took off from Hawarden, Cheshire, and intercepted a raid flying towards Liverpool. They damaged one Do 17 and shot down another which dived into the sea off the Welsh coast. …”

Pilots McLean and Ayerst are listed in “Aces High” or “Those Other Eagles”, together with mention of Hallings-Pott. However there are no details of the actions occurring in September. Does anyone have further details? Was the 20mm cannon armed Spitfire Mk1 one of those “traded” with No 19 Squadron for machine-gun armed versions after the cannon jamming/stoppage problems which plagued 19 Squadron’s use of the early cannon-Spitfires?


Regards,
...geoff
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Old 3rd May 2012, 17:49
rafcommands rafcommands is offline
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Re: 7 OTU Interceptions during Battle of Britain

ORB pages give a few more details and confirm the events.

The Unit was being used to plug a gap in the CH radar coverage that left the ROC as the main detection system.

Image content copyright The National Archives

Regards
Ross
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Old 4th May 2012, 04:09
bearoutwest bearoutwest is offline
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Re: 7 OTU Interceptions during Battle of Britain

Thanks very much Ross. I guess I would need to access log books or combat reports to track down any further details on if/which cannon-armed Spitfires might have been involved. Any ideas as to if these are available on-line? I live in Australia, so the chance of popping in for a visit is infrequent.

Regards, ...geoff
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Old 4th May 2012, 08:26
rafcommands rafcommands is offline
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Re: 7 OTU Interceptions during Battle of Britain

Hi Geoff,

Combat reports are not on line but the index of surviving reports is in AIR 50 and pages can be bought online for a small fee from The National Archives, documentsOnline service.

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/d...=*&queryType=1

Regards
Ross
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