History Podcasts

No. 58 Squadron (RAF): Second World War

No. 58 Squadron (RAF): Second World War


We are searching data for your request:

Forums and discussions:
Manuals and reference books:
Data from registers:
Wait the end of the search in all databases.
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.

No. 58 Squadron (RAF) during the Second World War

Aircraft - Locations - Group and Duty - Books

At the start of the Second World War No. 58 Squadron was part of RAF Bomber Command, equipped with the Whitley bomber, but it would spend most of the war serving with Coastal Command.

The squadron was first attached to Coastal Command from October 1939 until February 1940, in the period before Bomber Command began offensive operations. During this period the squadron carried out convoy escort patrols.

The squadron returned to Bomber Command in February 1940. Another quiet period followed, before the start of the German invasion of Norway. No. 58 Squadron carried out its first bombing raid on 17 April 1940, and remained with Bomber Command for the next two years.

In April 1942 the squadron was returned to Coastal Command, this time as an anti-submarine squadron. It continued to perform this role until the autumn of 1944, with a break at the end of 1942 while the squadron converted to the Halifax. For most of this period the squadron was operating over the Western Approaches, before moving north to Scotland.

In October 1944 the squadron switched from anti-submarine duties to anti-shipping duties, carrying out attacks on German shipping off the coast of Norway and in the Skaggerak.

Aircraft
May 1939-March 1940: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley III
March 1940-December 1942: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V
May 1942-December 1942: Armstrong Whitworth Whitley V
December 1942-March 1945: Handley Page Halifax GR Mk. II
March 1945-May 1945: Handley Page Halifax GR Mk. III

Location
20 April 1938-6 October 1939: Linton-on-Ouse
6 October 1939-14 February 1940: Boscombe Down
14 February 1942-8 April 1942: Linton-on-Ouse
8 April 1942-30 August 1942: St. Eval
29 July 1942-11 August 1492: Detachment at Wick
30 August-2 December 1942: Stornoway
2 December 1942-6 December 1943: Holmsley South, Hampshire
31 March 1943-29 June 1943: Detachment at St. Eval, Cornwall
6December 1943-28 August 1944: St. Davids
28 August 1944-25 May 1945: Stornoway

Squadron Codes: BY

Group and Duty
On 26 September 1939: Bomber squadron with No. 4 Group
October 1939-February 1940: Coastal Command
February 1940-April 1942: Bomber Command
April 1942-August 1944: Anti-submarine squadron with No. 19 Group
September 1944 onwards: Coastal Command, ASV squadron, No. 18 Group at Stronoway
Disbanded: 25 May 1945

Books


The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.

  • The Wartime Memories Project has been running for 21 years. If you would like to support us, a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting and admin or this site will vanish from the web.
  • Looking for help with Family History Research? Please read our Family History FAQ's
  • The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web.

If you enjoy this site

please consider making a donation.

16th June 2021 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 255865 your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates.

If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.


Those known to have served with

No. 90 Squadron Royal Air Force

during the Second World War 1939-1945.

  • Abraham B. A.. Sgt. (d.22nd June 1943)
  • Allman Henry Edward. FO (d.30th August 1944)
  • Andrews A. S.. Sgt. (d.22nd June 1943)
  • Atkinson Eric Raymond. Sgt. (d.30th August 1944)
  • Bazell Rowland James George. Sgt.
  • Blackwood James Lawson. Sgt (d.2nd Dec 1943)
  • Bone John Henry. Sgt. (Air Bomber) (d.14th March 1944)
  • Bradshaw E.. Sgt. (d.22nd June 1943)
  • Branch Charles. Flt.Sgt.
  • Burton Harold William. Sgt. (d.4th May 1943)
  • Chapple David Alexander. P/O.
  • Clinch Frederick. Sgt. (d.23rd Dec 1944)
  • Couldwell Edward. Sgt (d.15th February 1943)
  • Cowley Henry Reginald.
  • Cresswell Frederick Alan. (d.19th Feb 1945)
  • Davey Douglas William Henry. Sgt. (d.30th August 1944)
  • Davies D. J.. Sgt. (d.22nd June 1943)
  • Doyle Thomas George.
  • Dunham Peter Francis.
  • Dunn Stan William Radcliff. WO.
  • Evans David G.. Flt.Sgt. (d.26th July 1943)
  • Ewing Henry Kirk. A/Flt.Lt.
  • Fry Sidney Francis. W/O.
  • Gillis David. Sgt. (d.22nd June 1943)
  • Goold Robert Wallis George. Flt/Sgt. (d.9th Jan 1942)
  • Griffiths Reginald Alfred. Sgt.
  • Hall Albert Ernest. Sgt. (d.30th August 1944)
  • Hall Albert Ernest. Flt.Sgt. (d.30th Sept 1944)
  • Hanson Derek.
  • Henderson Gordon G.. Flt.Sgt. (d.25th June 1943)
  • Herriot Frank Sidney. LAC.
  • Hill Henry.
  • James Ron.
  • Johnston Stanley Cameron Kelbie. WO
  • Jones Wallace Edgar. Flt.Sgt. (d.20th Oct 1943)
  • Kerbrat Frank Marcel. Flt.Sgt.
  • Kipling Guy E.. Sgt. (d.23rd June 1943)
  • Kluczny Edmund. Capt.
  • Law R. R.. Sgt. (d.22nd June 1943)
  • Layne Walter Henry.
  • Leadbeater Jack. FO (d.30th August 1944)
  • Leather Peter J.. Sgt. (d.26th Aug 1944)
  • Letters Robert Wiliam John. FO (d.30th May 1943)
  • MacDonald Bernard Edward.
  • McGlone Frank. F/O. (d.20th/21st July 1944)
  • McKelvie Charles Dale. Sgt. (d.21st Apr 1943)
  • Northard Edward. Flt.Sgt.
  • Norton E. A.. P/O. (d.30th May 1943)
  • Peters H. N.. P/O. (d.22nd June 1943)
  • Phillips Ralph Clifford George. Flt.Sgt. (d.11/12th Sep 1944)
  • Richardson Eric Charles. Sgt
  • Richer Leo. PO.
  • Rist Cyril. F/Lt.
  • Roberts Frank James. Flt.Lt (d.21st Jan 1944)
  • Rowell Kenneth William. L/Bmbdr.
  • Smith George Leslie. F/O.
  • Steel John Minorgan. Flt.Sgt. (d.24th June 1943)
  • Sunley John Robert. Sgt. (d.14th/15th October 1944)
  • Thompson Alfred. Sgt. (d.23rd June 1943)
  • Tooley Paul William. F/O. (d.16th September 1944)
  • Tooley Peter William. F/O. (d.16th September 1944)
  • Ward John. F/Lt. (d.30th Nov 1944)
  • Weaver Victor Alfred. Flt.Sgt. (d.24th Aug 1943)
  • Williams Rodney Greville. F/Lt.
  • Wooldridge William Arthur. F/Sgt.

The names on this list have been submitted by relatives, friends, neighbours and others who wish to remember them, if you have any names to add or any recollections or photos of those listed, please Add a Name to this List


Traces of World War 2 RAF - No. 46 Squadron 10/05/1940 - 10/06/1940

The outbreak of war found No 46 Squadron at Digby, equipped with Hawker Hurricanes. Action with the Enemy quickly when, at the end of October 1939, Squadron Leader Barwell and Pilot Officer Plummer attached a formation of 12 Heinkel 115s, destroying one each, and scattering the remainder.

The next 6 months were uneventful, consisting in the main of providing air cover for the shipping convoys steaming along the East Coast a few enemy aircraft were sighted but no contacts were made.

In May 1940, the Squadron was selected to form part of the Expeditionary Force in Norway, which had been invaded by the Germans on 9 April.

The Hurricanes were embarked on HMS Glorious and, despite doubts that a Hurricane could take off from a carrier flight deck in a flat calm, they all took off without difficulty thanks to the efforts of the ship's engineers who managed to get the Glorious up to a speed of 30 knots. No 46 Squadron assembled at Bardufoss and began operation on 26 May patrols were maintained over the land and naval forces at Narvik without respite, some of the pilots going without sleep for more than 2 days.

Many air combats took place, and in its brief campaign in Norway the Squadron accounted for no less than 14 enemy aircraft, besides probably destroying many others. On 7 June the Squadron was ordered to evacuate Norway immediately and, on the night 7/8 June, the seven Hurricanes were successfully flown back to HMS Glorious - a dangerous procedure as none of the aircraft were fitted with deck arrester hooks.

The ground parties embarked on HMS Vindictive and SS Monarch of Bermuda and reached the UK safely, but the Squadron's aircraft and eight of the pilots were lost when HMS Glorious was sunk by German warships on 9 June 1940. The two pilots who survived were the Squadron Commander Sqn Ldr (latter ACM) "Bing" Cross and the Flight Commander, Flt Lt (later Air Cdre) "Jamie" Jameson.

The Squadron re-formed at Digby, becoming operational once again at the end of June, and for the next 2 months was occupied in uneventful convoy and defensive patrols before moving south to Stapleford Tawney, the satellite of North Weald, for the defence of London during the Battle of Britain.

The Luftwaffe's main effort at the time was against coastal objectives and shipping off the coast of Essex and Kent. The Squadron was in action continuously and had many successful engagements against far superior numbers of enemy bombers and their escorting fighters. The enemy sustained such shattering losses amongst his long range bomber force that a change of tactics was necessary, and he tried to force a decision by using fighter bombers flying very high and making every possible use of cloud cover interception became difficult and the British squadrons had to change their tactics too - mainly going over the maintenance of fighter patrols at height ranging between 20 and 30,000 feet.

No 46 Squadron took part in the "security" patrols and, early in November, whilst on patrol over Foulness, encountered some 50 Italian bombers and fighters at least 8 of them were destroyed, with no casualties or damage to the Squadron, and the remainder of the formation scattered in disorder.

The Battle of Britain, in which No 46 Squadron had taken a full and successful part, was over, and the Squadron settled down to a few months of uneventful defensive and convoy patrols, leavened by an occasional escort duty to medium bombers in their attack on objectives on Occupied France.

'My older brother was Sergeant Pilot Stanley Andrew who served in 46 Squadron of The Royal Air Force at RAF Digby, Lincolnshire from September 1st 1939 until May 1940 when they went to Norway on HMS Glorious.

He was one of the 18 Hurricane Pilots who flew off the Carrier Flight Deck on May 26th 1940 for a 40 mile flight over the North Sea to land at difficult airstrips in Norway.

He was lucky not to be on Glorious when she was sunk on June 8th but 8 of his 'mates' were lost.

He was back at Digby until September 1st 1940 when they were posted to RAF Stapleford Tawney near RAF North Weald - Essex
He was killed when his plane crashed after a patrol on September 11th

His Squadron Leader at Digby and in Norway was 'Bing' Cross, He and Flight Lieutenant Pat Jameson [from New Zealand] were the only 2 RAF Survivors from Glorious. He died June 18th 2003 at Air Vice Marshall Sir Kenneth Cross,KCB,CBE, DSO, DFC.'

Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 10/06/1940
Not all operations listed those with losses are.

11/05/1940: Embarkation on HMS Glorious, UK
29/05/1940: Patrol, Norway. 3 Planes lost, 2 KIA
08-09/06/1940: Sinking of HMS Glorious. 7 Planes lost, 8 MIA

Losses 01/01/1940 - 09/05/1940 (incomplete)

Flying Officer (Pilot) Walter T. Scott, RAF 37832, 46 Sqdn., age 27, 06/03/1940, Scopwick Church Burial Ground, UK

11/05/1940: Embarkation on HMS Glorious, UK

While HMS Glorious at Greenock completes the embarkation of 46 Squadron's Hurricanes, the reconstituted 263 Squadron, with 18 new Gladiator IIs, is moving to the Fleet Air Arm station at Cambeltown (on the Clyde) in preparation to joining HMS Furious, now repaired and ready for further service.

29/05/1940: Patrol, Norway

Nine Hurricanes were up on patrol when they met a big force of 26 Luftwaffe bombers approaching Vestfjorden. The Hurricane pilots attacked three He.111 of KG 100 and KG 26, north of Lødingen. At least two of the Heinkels were shot down. Heinkel 111 6N+BA crash-landed at Ulvsvåg on Hamarøy. Two Hurricane pilots lost their lives.
See also: WW2 Aircraft Wrecks Norway

The Heinkel 111 6N+BA of Stab./KG 100 was flown by Oblt Wolfgang Metzke. Gruppenkommandeur Hptm Artur von Casimir also onboard. They were both unhurt, and taken prisoner. One of the crew was dead, two were wounded.

F/O Banks shot down a Bf 110 of Stab I/ZG 76 in the same combat. Oblt Hans Jäger and Uffz. Helmut Feick made a forced landing at Kobbvika, and became POWs.It was probably this A/C which shot down Flg Off Lydall.

Another He.111attacked by Lydall, made a forced landing at Dverberg on Andøya

Type: Hawker Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: L1816, PO-?
Operation: Patrol, Norway
Lost: 29/05/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Neville L. Banks, RAF 40979, 46 Sqdn,, age unknown, 29/05/1940, Narvik New Cemetery, Norway
Crashed into Skjæringstad river at Strand in Lødingen.

Type: Hawker Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: L1988, PO-?
Operation: Patrol, Norway
Lost: 29/05/1940
Flying Officer (Pilot) Jack W. Lydall, RAF 39669, 46 Sqdn,, age 24, 29/05/1940, Narvik New Cemetery, Norway
Crashed at Tjeldøya. See WW2 Aircraft Wrecks Norway for pictures of the crash site.

Type: Hawker Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: L1794, PO-?
Operation: Patrol, Norway
Lost: 29/05/1940
PO J. F. Drummond
Bailed out safely and was rescued by HMS Firedrake.

08-09/06/1940: sinking of the HMS Glorious

58 Men of the RAF died when the aircraft carrier HMS Glorious was sunk by the German battlecruiser Scharnhorst. Eight pilots of 46 Sqdn. were lost only two survived.


Traces of World War 2 RAF - 10 Squadron 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

Equipped with Whitleys by the outbreak of the Second World War, No.10 made a leaflet raid on Berlin on 1st/2nd October 1939 (and in so doing became the first RAF aircraft to visit that city in wartime) in very severe weather conditions. Slight enemy opposition was encountered and one of the four aircraft operating failed to return.1

The squadron's first bombing raid of the war was on 19/20th March 1940, when eight Whitleys, each carrying mixed bomb loads of 1,500 lb, attacked the German minelaying seaplane base at Hornum on the island of Sylt. All returned safely.

Italy's declaration of war on 10/11th June 1940 brought a swift reply. The following night the squadron flew from an advanced base in the Channel Isles (Guernsey Airport) through thunderstorms and severe icing to attack the Fiat Works at Turin. One aircraft was struck by lightning and had to abandon the mission because of shock to the rear gunner who had been leaning on his guns, and burns to the wireless operator. One other aircraft failed to return.

The squadron converted to Halifaxes in 1941 and continued to operate with these for the rest of the European war.

1. Three of the Whitleys claimed to have dropped leaflets on Berlin. The other was unable to reach Berlin, disposed of its leaflets over Denmark (thus violating neutrality of that country) and was last heard of approximately 180 miles from St. Abbs Head.

Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 31/06/1940
Not all operations are listed, those with losses are

17-18/05/1940: Bremen, D
27-28/05/1940: Ruhr, D
03-04/06/1940: Homberg, D. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA
11/06/1940: Battle area, F. 1 Plane lost, 5 KIA
11-12/06/1940: Genoa and Turin, Italy
19-20/06/1940: Ludwigshafen, D. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA

17-18/05/1940: Bremen, D

Oil installations in Hamburg and Bremen are attacked by 48 Hampdens and 24 Whitleys respectively. A further 6 Wellingtons bomb railway yards at Cologne while 46 Wellingtons and 6 Hampdens attack German troops in Belgium. No losses.

P4963, ZA-B (F/L A.S.Phillips) badly damaged by Flak, crew unhurt. See also 03-04/06/1940

27-28/05/1940: Ruhr, D

120 aircraft to a variety targets 24 Hampdens attack oil refineries near Hamburg and Bremen, 36 Whitleys bomb railway yards in the Ruhr and 35 Wellingtons and 25 Hampdens attack communications behind German lines. No aircraft lost. First German fighter to be shot down by RAF claimed by tail gunner in 10 Sqn Whitley.

03-04/06/1940: Homberg, D

Type: Whitley Mk.V
Serial number: P4963, ZA-B
Operation: Homberg
Lost: 04/06/1940
Flight Lieutenant (Pilot) Allan S. Phillips, RAF 39153, WIA
F/O G.L.C. Bagshaw- WIA
Sgt D. Donald- WIA
Sgt Nicholson
Pilot Officer (Air Gnr.) Antony H. Fields (Tony), RAF 43257, 10 Sqdn., age 18, 04/06/1940, Cleethorpes Cemetery, UK
Airborne 21.19 hrs 03/06/1940 from Dishforth. Encountered thick fog on return and crash landed 0345 4Jun40 at Lower Manor Farm, Battisford, 2 miles WSW of Needham Market, Suffolk. P/O Fields was killed in the crash, and three others were admitted to Ipswich Hospital with quite serious injuries. F/L Phillips recovered from his injuries sufficiently well to resume operational flying. He was KIA 21/22Oct40 and is buried in Durnbach War Cemetery, Germany.

11/06/1940: Battle area

Type: Whitley Mk.V
Serial number: P4954, ZA-T
Operation: Battle Area
Lost: 11/06/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Leslie A. Keast, RAF 564740, 10 Sqdn., age 25, 11/06/1940, Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, F
Pilot Officer (Pilot) David F. Braham, RAFVR 72463, 10 Sqdn., age 25, 11/06/1940, Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, F
Sergeant (Obs.) John J. Myers, RAF 580910, 10 Sqdn., age unknown, 11/06/1940, Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, F
Sergeant (W. Op.) James McD Black, RAF 536996, 10 Sqdn., age 24, 11/06/1940, Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, F
Leading Aircraftman (W. Op) Raymond R.H. Nuttall, RAF 624643 (NZ), 10 Sqdn., age 28, 11/06/1940, Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension, F
Airborne 20.47 hours 11/06/1940 from Dishforth. Crashed in the vicinity of Abbeville (Somme), France.

To mark the entry of the Italians into the war, 36 Whitleys drawn from Nos. 10, 51, 58, 77 and 102 Squadrons were tasked to raid Genoa and Turin during the night of 11 June 1940, although only 13 aircraft actually reached their targets due to a combination of inclement weather and engine troubles.

Eight aircraft of No. 10 Sqdn. ordered to Turin. Five aborted, three bombed.


The Wartime Memories Project is the original WW1 and WW2 commemoration website.

  • The Wartime Memories Project has been running for 21 years. If you would like to support us, a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting and admin or this site will vanish from the web.
  • Looking for help with Family History Research? Please read our Family History FAQ's
  • The Wartime Memories Project is run by volunteers and this website is funded by donations from our visitors. If the information here has been helpful or you have enjoyed reaching the stories please conside making a donation, no matter how small, would be much appreciated, annually we need to raise enough funds to pay for our web hosting or this site will vanish from the web.

If you enjoy this site

please consider making a donation.

16th June 2021 - Please note we currently have a large backlog of submitted material, our volunteers are working through this as quickly as possible and all names, stories and photos will be added to the site. If you have already submitted a story to the site and your UID reference number is higher than 255865 your information is still in the queue, please do not resubmit without contacting us first.

We are now on Facebook. Like this page to receive our updates.

If you have a general question please post it on our Facebook page.


File:An Armstrong Whitworth Whitley Mk V of No. 58 Squadron RAF takes off on a night sortie from Linton-on-Ouse, Yorkshire, June 1942. CH251.jpg

HMSO has declared that the expiry of Crown Copyrights applies worldwide (ref: HMSO Email Reply)
More information.

This tag is designed for use where there may be a need to assert that any enhancements (eg brightness, contrast, colour-matching, sharpening) are in themselves insufficiently creative to generate a new copyright. It can be used where it is unknown whether any enhancements have been made, as well as when the enhancements are clear but insufficient. For known raw unenhanced scans you can use an appropriate <> tag instead. For usage, see Commons:When to use the PD-scan tag.


Traces of World War 2 RAF - No. 73 Squadron 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

On the outbreak of World War Two, No. 73 Sqdn. was one of the two Hurricane squadrons attached to the Advanced Air Striking Force and moved to France. After the German attack in May 1940, No 73 helped to cover Allied airfields and bases, falling back as its airfields were overrun by enemy columns. On 18 June, the squadron retired to England where it concentrated on night fighting during the Battle of Britain. Operations ceased on 20 October to allow No 73 to prepare for transfer to the Middle East.

Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940
(not all operations listed those with fatal losses are)

10/05/1940: Interception, F. 1 a/c lost, 2 a/c damaged. 1 WIA
11/05/1940: Interception, F. 1 Plane lost
13/05/1940: Interception, F. 1 Plane lost, 1 WIA
14/05/1940: ?, F. 4 Planes lost, 3 KIA
15/05/1940: Patrol, F. 2 Planes lost, 1 WIA
16/05/1940: Patrol, F
19/05/1940: Patrol, F
24/05/1940: Patrol Amiens, F. 1 Plane lost, 1 WIA
26/05/1940: ?, F. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA
01/06/1940: Dunkirk, F. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA
03/06/1940: ?, F. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA
07/06/1940: accident, F. 1 Plane lost, 1 KIA
13/06/1940: Patrol, F.
1 Plane lost, 1 DOW
14/06/1940: Patrol, F.
1 Plane lost, 1 WIA
17/06/1940: sinking of the RMS Lancastria. 6 KIA, 31 MIA

back up

Fatalities 01/01/1940 - 09/05/1940 (incomplete)

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: N2364, TP-?
Operation: Patrol
Lost: 12/03/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Lloyd G. Bishop, RAF 41657 (Canada), 73 Sqdn., age unknown, 12/03/1940, Chambieres French National Cemetery, Metz, France.
Dived into ground near St. Pivot, Moselle. Oxygen failure.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: L1962, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 12/03/1940
Sergeant L.J.W. Humphris - safe
Crashed near Metz

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: P2570, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 29/03/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) James G. Perry, RAF 40424, 73 Sqdn., age 22, 29/03/1940, Chambieres French National Cemetery, Metz, France
Shot down by Oberlt Boenigk of 9./JG53 during attack on Do 17 of 2.(F)/22 and overturned forced-landing at Brienne-le-Château, 09.15 hrs.

Sources: CWGC Peter D. Cornwell, The Battle of France, Then and Now, 2008 Norman L.R. Franks, Fighter Command Losses, Vol 1, 1939-1941, Second edition, Midland, 2008

10/05/1940: Interception, F

Early in the day Flying Officer 'Cobber' Kain of No. 73 Squadron shot down one of nine Dornier 215s which he intercepted while on patrol over Metz. He dived on the enemy and singled out a Dornier for attack, but overshot. However, by turning quickly, he was able to attack and shoot down another bomber in the formation.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: N2318, TP-?
Operation: Patrol
Damaged: 10/05/1940
Sgt L.J.W. Humphris - unhurt
Took off from Etain-Rouvres. Believed returned damaged by return fire from Do17 of 4./KG3 engaged near base 05.00 hrs. Aircraft damaged but repairable.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: N2575, TP-J
Operation: Patrol
Damaged: 10/05/1940
F/O N. Orton - Safe
Took off from Etain-Rouvres. Glycol system and windscreen damaged by return fire from Do17 of 4./KG3 engaged over base 05.00 hrs. Forced-landed near Conflans-en-Jarnisy. Aircraft damaged but repairable.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: N2804, TP-E
Operation: Patrol
Lost: 10/05/1940
F/L Reginald E. Lovett - Wounded - burned on face and hands.
Took off from Etain-Rouvres. Hit in glycol system by concentrated cross-fire from Do 17's of 4./KG3 attacked over base. Crash-landed in flames at Puxe and exploded 05.20 hrs. F/L Lovett was killed on 07/09/1940 in the Battle of Britain. He's buried at Hendon Cemetery, UK.

Sources: CWGC Peter D. Cornwell, The Battle of France, Then and Now, 2008 Norman L.R. Franks, Fighter Command Losses, Vol 1, 1939-1941, Second edition, Midland, 2008 H.L. Thompson, New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington (NZ), 1953

11/05/1940: Interception, F

Shortly after 14.35 on 11 May, ten 73 Squadron Hurricanes were involved in combat with a formation of 30 He111Hs of II/KG53 plus an escort of BF110Cs of I/ZG2 near Mourmelon, together with Hurricanes from 501 Squadron. During this combat John Scoular claimed a Ju88. A little later the Bf110s were involved in combat with 1 Squadron's 'B' Flight and they claimed three of the German fighters. 73 Squadron claimed five of the raiders and 501 Squadron claimed four. II/KG53 lost three bombers and I/ZG2 lost two Bf110s.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: P2811, TP-?
Operation: Intercept
Lost: 11/05/1940
P/O A. McFadden - safe
Shot down by Me 110 of I/ZG2 and force-landed near Poilcourt.

Sources: Norman L.R. Franks, Fighter Command Losses, Vol 1, 1939-1941, Second edition, Midland, 2008 H.L. Thompson, New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington (NZ), 1953

13/05/1940: Interception, F

At 06.00 on 13 May a flight of Hurricanes took of from Reims-Champagne to intercept He111Ps of KG55 and Bf110Cs coming towards Reims. F/L John Scoular claimed one the Heinkels after having put both the engines of the enemy bomber out of action.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: L1673, TP-?
Operation: Patrol
Lost: 13/05/1940
P/O Roy A. Marchand, RAF 42070 - injured
crash-landed near Bétheniville after combat with Do 17 and Me 110's - believed abandoned. P/O Marchand was killed on 15/09/1940.

Sources: CWGC, Norman L.R. Franks, Fighter Command Losses, Vol 1, 1939-1941, Second edition, Midland, 2008 H.L. Thompson, New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington (NZ), 1953

14/05/1940: ?, F

Five Hurricanes of 73 Squadron scrambled at 11.45 on 14 May, in pursuit of bombers reported attacking a convoy on the Givet-Namur road. They however became involved in combat with German fighters and F/L Scoular claimed a Bf110 (possibly from III/ZG26) after having silenced the rear gunner and forced it to retire.
This operation is likely to be another operation than the one on which these men and planes were lost:

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: P2689, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 14/05/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Leon G.M. Dibden, RAFVR 740433, 73 Sqdn., age 21, 73 Sqdn., 14/05/1940, Choloy War Cemetery, F
Shot down by Me 109 near Sean (Sedan?), at 15.30 hours.

back up

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: P2812, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 14/05/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Thomas B.G. Pyne, RAF 565921, 73 Sqdn., age 24, 14/05/1940, Choloy War Cemetery, F
Shot down near Namur by Me 109 of JG52. Baled out but killed.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: P2813, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 14/05/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Valcourt D.M. Roe, RAF 42530, 73 Sqdn., age 28, 14/05/1940, Choloy War Cemetery, F
Shot down in combat with Me 109's near Namur (Namen), Belgium.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: PL1891, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 14/05/1940
P/O A. McFadden - safe
Shot down by Do 17 of KG76. Crash-landed and lost.

Sources: CWGC, Norman L.R. Franks, Fighter Command Losses, Vol 1, 1939-1941, Second edition, Midland, 2008 H.L. Thompson, New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington (NZ), 1953

15/05/1940: Patrol, F

On a sortie at 18.20 on 15 May Squadron Leader J.W.C. More and F/L Scoular shared in the destruction of a He111. This was He111 A1+LK of 2/KG53 which crashed Grandpré, south-east of Vouziers. The pilot Oberleutant Walter Klue and one other were killed, while the remaining three members of the crew were captured.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: P2579, TP-?
Operation: Patrol
Lost: 15/05/1940
F/O Newell Orton, RAF 39330 - WIA
Bailed out after his aircraft was damaged in combat with Me-110's of ZG2. F/O Orton, DFM died as a S/L with 54 Squadron on 17/09/1940.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: L1693, TP-?
Operation: Patrol
Lost: 15/05/1940
Sgt L.J. Humphries - safe
Baled out after his aircraft was damaged in combat with Me-110's of ZG2, west of Vouzières (= Vouziers).

Sources: CWGC, Norman L.R. Franks, Fighter Command Losses, Vol 1, 1939-1941, Second edition, Midland, 2008 H.L. Thompson, New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force, Historical Publications Branch, Wellington (NZ), 1953

16/05/1940: Patrol, F

On the morning on 16 May F/L Scoular claimed a damaged He111 near Châlons-sur-Marne before 73 Squadron moved to Villeneuve.

19/05/1940: Patrol, F

On a sortie at 11.00 on 19 May Scoular claimed a He111 which F/L Scoular saw dive with the tail falling to pieces. He also saw black objects, tied together, strung out astern. The Heinkel crashed near Berry-au-Bac. Later he got in three good bursts at another He111. The German bomber went down out of control near Reims. One of the Heinkels were credited to him as a shared with Sergeant Alf Marshall.

The aircraft attacked by 73 Squadron were probably Ju88s of I and II/KG51 although it is possible that some of the pilots may have encountered stray Heinkels from III/KG27 previously attacked by 1 Squadron. RAF claimed four bombers and one probable in this combat, while I and II/KG51 lost three Ju88s and got one damaged.

24/05/1940: Patrol Amiens, F

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: ?, TP-?
Operation: Patrol Amiens, F
Lost: 24/05/1940
F/O H B Bell-Syer bailed out after his aircraft was damaged in combat with a Me 110. Burned and hospitalised

26/05/1940: ?, F

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: ?, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 26/05/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Frank Sydenham, RAF (AAF) 77793, 73 Sqdn., age 26, 26/05/1940, Chuffilly-Roche Communal Cemetery, F

01/06/1940: Dunkirk, F

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: ?, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 01/06/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Wilfred Millner, RAF 580106, 73 Sqdn., age unknown, 01/06/1940, Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, F

03/06/1940: ?, F

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: ?, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 03/06/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) Ian D. Hawken, RAF 82165, 73 Sqdn., age 24, 03/06/1940, Terlincthun British Cemetery, Wimille, F

07/06/1940: accident, F

It was during the last days in France, on 5 June, that Flying Officer 'Cobber' Kain, whose No. 73 Squadron was one of the few fighter units left on the Continent, engaged in what was to be his last combat and shot down a Messerschmitt near Rheims. Two days later he was killed whilst enjoying a final flight over his own airfield before proceeding to England. He was carrying out aerobatics at a low level when a wing-tip of his Hurricane touched the ground and the machine cartwheeled across the airfield and was wrecked. During the early months of the war, when there was little activity in the air, Kain's exploits received phenomenal publicity in the press and he was acclaimed as the Empire's first air ace of the Second World War. This distinction still appears well justified and there is ample evidence that Kain's fine offensive spirit, together with his outstanding ability as a fighter pilot, was an inspiration not only to his fellow pilots but also to thousands of young men in his own country and, indeed, throughout the world.

The officer of Kain's squadron who compiled the combat reports and kept a record of his squadron's successes credits Kain with the destruction of at least 14 enemy aircraft, with several more probables.

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: ?, TP-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 07/06/1940
Flying Officer (Pilot) Edgar J. Kain, RAF 39534, 73 Sqdn., DFC, age 21, 07/06/1940, Choloy War Cemetery, F


back up

13/06/1940: Patrol, F

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: ?, TP-?
Operation: Patrol
Lost: 13/06/1940
Pilot Officer (Pilot) David N.W. Anthony, RAF 40655, 73 Sqdn., age unknown, 14/06/1940, Chateau Renault Communal Cemetery, F
Crashed on landing at Ruaudin on June 13, 1940, and was badly injured. P/O Anthony died the following day.

14/06/1940: Patrol, F

Type: Hurricane Mk. I
Serial number: ?, TP-D
Operation: Patrol
Lost: 14/06/1940
Sergeant (Pilot) Alex L. McNay - WIA
Shot down by Bf109 following cover patrol for Battles over Les Andelys and belly-landed north of Le Mans 6.00 a.m. Sergeant A.L. McNay wounded in shoulder.
Alex McNay's own account dates this event June 13 although surviving squadron records and Squadron Leader More's report of operations in France both indicate otherwise.


17/06/1940: Sinking of the Lancastria

The RMS Lancastria had embarked an unknown number (estimates range from 4,000 up to 9,000) of civilian refugees and RAF personnel. The ship's official capacity was 2,200. She was sunk off the French port of St. Nazaire while taking part in Operation Ariel, the evacuation of British nationals and troops from France, two weeks after the Dunkirk evacuation.

The sheer size of the Lancastria disaster and the fact that the troopship sank in the estuary of the River Loire, trapping many people inside the hull, means that a great many of the bodies were never recovered.

Buried in France:

Corporal Alfred Ashley, RAF 350089, 73 Sqdn., age 38, 17/06/1940, Pornic War Cemetery, F
Leading Aircraftman Lionel J. Crane, RAF 408226, 73 Sqdn., age 43, 17/06/1940, La Plaine-sur-Mer Communal Cemetery, F
Aircraftman 1st Class James E. Kent, RAF 624350, 73 Sqdn., age 34, 17/06/1940, Pornic War Cemetery, F
Corporal Ralph Moore, RAF 508119, 73 Sqdn, age 30, 17/06/1940, Pornic War Cemetery, F
Leading Aircraftman Henry C. Trahearn, RAF (AAF) 805215, 73 Sqdn, age 30, 17/06/1940, Escoublac-la-Baule War Cemetery, F
Aircraftman 1st Class Edward Tredgett, RAF 614428, 73 Sqdn, age 21, 17/06/1940, Pornic War Cemetery, F