Form 540 1941

Biggin Hill


1.1.41 Dull with hard frost.  No flying took place except one or two short flights by F/L Villa.  The move of 92 to Manston has been postponed owing to difficulties with telephone communication from Manston to Biggin.

2.1.41  Another cold day with low cloud.  No flying owing to bad weather conditions.

3.1.41 Again no flying except for individual practice flights.  The move to Manston is still uncertain.  Fl/Lt Wright tried to reach Manston by air but he had to return on account of snow storms and low clouds.

4.1.41 No flying today on account of low cloud.  F/O Wright went down to Manston by road to remain there till the Squadron goes.

5.1.41 Bad weather with cold and slight snow.  No flying all day.  The machines are being run up every so many hours on account of the severe cold.

6.1.41 More snow today and no flying possible.  The move to Manston is still postponed owing to the weather.

7.1.41 Dull and slight snow.  No flying possible again. 

8.1.41 Dull again.  Flying impossible owing to low cloud.  Orders to prepare to move to Manston tomorrow.

9.1.41 92 Squadron moved to Manston.  The weather is bright and clear.  13 machines took off from Biggin Hill at 1145 hours for Manston.  The convoy arrived at Manston late at night but the quarters were ready and the airmen were soon in barracks.  ~The whole move went well and no hitch of any kind took place.  Ft/Sgt Priter remained at Biggin Hill to clear up and was in charge of the rear party.

10.1.41 Another beautiful day of sunshine.  All morning was spent inspecting quarters and the general lay out of the station.  After lunch the Accounts Officer from Biggin arrived to complete the paying of the Squadron.  92 did its first offensive patrol and escorted bombers returning from France during the morning.  This patrol was very satisfactory and 92 contacted the bombers and escorting fighters off the French coast and brought them home.  No loss was suffered by us at all.

11.1.41 Dull with low cloud.  The Squadron was released all day from 1000 hours.  In the afternoon two 109s bombed and machine gunned the aerodrome but did not do any damage except for a small hole in one of the wings of a spitfire which was in the hanger.

12.1.41 Dull again with low cloud.  No flying took place in the morning or the rest of the day.

13.1.41 Thick fog all day.  No flying possible.  The Squadron has now settled down to its new station.

14.1.41 Dull with fog no flying possible.

15.1.41 Bright and clear till about 1000 hours then fog with snow came over making flying impossible for the rest of the day.  The C.O left for London.

16.1.41 The C.O. of 92 was presented with the Polish Vertuti Militari the V.C of Poland in London today.  The weather at Manston was clear in the morning and a section did a patrol near the base.  Cloud came over in the afternoon again.

17.1.41 Bright in the morning but mist came over again in the afternoon.  Very little flying took place today.

18.1.41 Dull today with low cloud.  A section took off at 1030 hours but had to land on account of the weather which gradually became worse.  By noon snow was falling with a high wind.  A blizzard was blowing for the rest of the day.

19.1.41 Several inches of snow on the aerodrome making flying impossible till later in the day when several patrols were carried out over the base.

20.1.41 Very wet morning with low cloud and mist.  No flying possible all day.

21.1.41 No flying owing to bad weather.

22.1.41 Again no flying owing to bad weather

23.1.41 Clearer today.  One sortie went off. P/O Fokes and Sgt. Lloyd damaged Dorier 172 over the Thames.

24.1.41 Low cloud making flying impossible.

25.1.41 Again.  No flying owing to low cloud.

26.1.41 Only one sortie has been possible this week as the cloud has been almost down to ground level on the aerodrome.

27.1.41 No flying owing to bad weather

28.1.41 Again no flying clouds low

29.1.41 Mild but low cloud prevents flying again today

30.1.41 Low cloud this morning.  No flying possible.


31.1.41 Rain and low cloud preventing all flying today.



Manston

1.2.41  Dull with very low cloud.  No flying possible all day.

2.2.41 Bright and clear.  Four patrols were made during the morning and a Squadron sweep of the French coast was made in the afternoon.  Everyone got back without being engaged in combat.  59 Blenheim (CC) Squadron is now at Manston and four of them did a daylight show over France today.  Our pilots had to sleep at the billet tonight and were not very comfortable there.  Snow fell during the evening.

3.2.41 Snow storm all day.  P/O Watling went up before breakfast for an hour as four E/A were bombing Ramsgate.  He did not make contact owing to cloud.  A further patrol went off in the afternoon during a short spell of clear weather.  F/O Bartley made contact with a HEIII near Southend and shot it down into the sea.  This is the first victory for 92 since December and in this case the Cannon now fitted to the Spitfires proved a great success.

4.2.41 Clear this morning.  A patrol was ordered off before nine o’clock.  Several patrols were made today but no E/A were encountered.

5.2.41 Bright with some high cloud.  A great deal of flying was done today.  Shortly after nine this morning an escort was provided for a convoy of ships and during this an enemy attack was made on the convoy.  Several of our pilots fought a JU87 and shot it down near the aerodrome.  P/O Saunders and Fokes with two Sgt Pilots were responsible.  The fight took place over the aerodrome.  Both German Airmen were killed.  All day standing patrols were in the air and a great deal of activity continued throughout the day.  P/O Kinder and Sgt. Mann went to report on posting to 91 Squadron (Paddy Greens) at Hawkinge.  Snowing all night.

6.2.41 There is about six inches of snow on the aerodrome this morning making flying difficult.  A low ground mist is also hanging over the ground.  A signal was received from Group as to the posting of three new pilots from an O.T.U to this Squadron on the 7th.

7.2.41 Dull today with low cloud.  Two machines went up for a weather test during the morning.  Visability was very bad.  At 11.45 we had a phone message from Hawkinge that a Spitfire had crashed into a hill near Deal in the mist.  This turned out to be P/O Watling of 92 Squadron.  It is very much regretted that P/O Watling lost his life in this crash.  He joined 92 at Pembrey last July and was a very good pilot and his death is a very severe loss to us all in 92.  The weather prevented flying for the rest of the day.

8.2.41 Very much milder today and also much clearer.  Some machines went up during the morning and the afternoon on patrols.  No enemy aircraft were seen.

9.2.41 Clear again today.  The A.O.C. arrived and spent the morning inspecting the Station.  Several machines went up during the day.  No enemy activity.

10.2.41 Bright and clear today.  A channel sweep was made at noon today by 92, 74 and 66.  No E/A were encountered.  59 Squadron did a raid on the French coast from here which was very satisfactory.  They encountered little opposition either by E/A or Flak.  Several sorties were made during the rest of the day and an escort was supplied for the rescue flight over the sea.  On taking off at dusk P/O Maitland Thompson hit the chance light and crashed.  He was unhurt but the Spitfire was Cat E and a total wreck.  There was a full moon and a clear sky.  Little enemy activity during the night.

11.2.41 Bright and clear with some frost.  Three new Sgt Pilots arrived to 92 Squadron.  Sgt. Aston, Sgt Gaskell and Sgt Terry.  Some flying took place in the morning but fog came up at noon and prevented further flying for the rest of the day.  Ft/Lt Villa and F/O Lund went to Biggin Hill to bring a Spitfire which had been left there in the morning.

12.2.41 Heavy ground mist all day and no flying possible.  S/L Kent went to Biggin Hill in the morning.  Mist covered the aerodrome all day. Much colder.

13.2.41 Still misty making flying impossible.  Funeral of P/O Watling taking place today at Biggin Hill.  The C.O. returned this evening from Biggin.  Some flying was carried out by some of the new pilots in the evening before dusk.

14.2.41 A patrol was carried out by the Squadron during the morning but no E/A were seen.  Sgt. Kingaby whilst flying alone caught sight of an E/A and gave chase across the channel.  He did not catch up with it till he was over France but he shot it down and it crashed near Grisney in France.  It was an ME109.  This brings the total bag of the Squadron up to 260 C.P.& D.

15.2.41 Clear weather today.  Several patrols were made by 92 but no E/A were encountered during the day.  Several E/A passed over Manston at a great height.

16.2.41 Dull with high wind and rain.  No flying possible this morning.  One or two patrol were carried out in the afternoon  Heavy rain in the evening.

17.2.41 Bright and clear.  Patrol was carried out during the morning.  No encounter took place.  Information was received that 92 would probably return to Biggin Hill on Thursday as 74 is moving here on that day.  Signal received for 92 to move on Thursday to Biggin Hill.

18.2.41 Dull and raining.  No flying possible this morning.  A little flying was due in the afternoon.

19.2.41 Several patrols were made but no E/A was encountered.  The advance party of 92 left for Biggin Hill after lunch.  The orderly room was established at Biggin today.  The station officers mess is now in the old building which was evacuated at the time of the blitz.


Biggin Hill

20.2.41 The remainder of the Squadron came over to Biggin today.  The pilots landed at lunch time.  74 Squadron is now in 92’s place at Manston.  General satisfaction is felt by 92 on its return to Biggin Hill now its parent station.  F/O Sherrington was posted as an instructor to 57 O.T.U at Heston.  This makes the third officer posting in the last month.  P/O Kinder and F/O Holland having been posted to 91 Squadron at Hawkinge.

21.2.41 Bright and clear.  The Squadron has now settled down and the billets were inspected this morning by the Adjutant.  Everything seems satisfactory and conditions are much improved to what they were when the Squadron was last at Biggin Hill.  The Squadron was to do a sweep with 74 and 66 at noon but it was postponed on account of mist.  The sweep took place in the afternoon and everything went satisfactory.  No. E/A were encountered.

22.2.41 The Squadron took off in the morning but did not make contact with E/A.  The weather is again bright and clear.  A patrol was ordered off again at 1500 hours.  Fl/Lt Villa was decorated by H.M. The King in London today with the D.F.C. and bar.  Also F/O Wright with D.F.C. Squadron was released in the afternoon.

23.2.41 Bright and clear.  The Squadron was released all morning.  Squadron Leader Kent has been posted from 92 to an O.T.U. as a Wing Commander.  Sgt/Ld Thompson is to take over command of 92.  This makes the fifth C.O. since the Squadron was formed in October 1939.

24.2.41 Heavy ground mist which prevented flying during the day.

25.2.41 Bright and clear with ground mist.  S/L Kent, Fl/Lt Kingcome and F/O Bartley were decorated by H.M. The King with the D.F.C. today.  S/L Rankin has been posted to 92 instead of S/L Thompson.

26.2.41 Beautiful day with clear sky.  92 did a sweep of the French coast in conjunction with 74 and 609.  They took off at noon and were away about tone hour and a half.  No enemy A/C were encountered and all our machines returned safely.  Sq/Ld Rankin reported in the evening and Sq/Ld Kent returned to Biggin Hill for a few days.

27.2.41 Dull with very heavy rain all day.  No flying possible all day.  P/O Wade went to a course for high flying at Farnborough today.  Sq/Ld Rankin was in the office to take over the O.C. of 92 this morning.  Posting of S/L Kent has been changed to 11 Group instead of the O.T.U Heston.

28.2.41 Very heavy rain with high wind again today.  No flying possible in the morning.  Cannon Firing Practice carried out in the afternoon.  P/O Saunders and F/O Wright attempted to do a dusk patrol but owing to weather conditions it had to be abandoned.



Biggin Hill

1.3.41 Bright and clear.  S/L Kent is flying to Boscomb Down today.  Patrol carried out over Maidstone at 15000 feet by both Flights.  A sweep of the French coast was carried out with 74 Squadron.  Some E/A sighted but no interception took place.   Weather was generally fine all day.

2.3.41 Dull weather and rain most of the day.   Weather test flight was made during the day also some cannon firing practice.

3.3.41 Bright and clear.  One patrol over Maidstone was carried out and also some cannon firing practise.

4.3.41 Another clear day.  Very little activity today.

5.3.41 Weather still remains good.  Sq/Ld Kent left 92 Squadron to take up his new duties at 53 O.T.U. at Heston.  A convoy patrol and a sweep of the French coast were made during the day, no E/A were encountered all day.

6.3.41 Dull and wet all day.  No flying possible.  Sq/Ld Rankin has now taken over the duties as O.C. of 92 Squadron.

7.3.41 Very thick fog with rain all day.  Impossible to take off from Biggin today.

8.3.41 Better weather today.  Very little activity today, some cannon firing was carried out in the morning by two Spitfires.

9.3.41 A patrol of four machines were up for an hour this morning but were recalled on account of ground mist which thickened during the day.  No further flying the rest of the day.

10.3.41 The Squadron were sent up on a patrol this morning at 15000’.  No enemy aircraft were seen.  The weather has improved and today is bright and sunny.  Some air to ground firing was carried out in the evening and F/O Wright and F/O Bartley did some night flying later.  There was a bright moon.  F/O Bartley unfortunately had a mishap when taxiing in owing to one wheel of the undercarriage sinking into an old bomb hole which had been filled in.  The Spitfire was damaged.

11.3.41 Dull and misty this morning.  Very little flying all day owing to ground mist.

12.3.41 No flying possible owing to fog all day.

13.3.41 Beautiful day.  Bright and clear.  Squadron was on readiness at dawn and took off at 0700 hrs.  Over the channel 109s were encountered and a fight took place in which Ft/Lt Wright damaged two or three E/A.  Adjt de Montbron got a cannon shell in the tail of the fuselage without doing serious harm to his aircraft.  The Squadron landed again shortly after 0800 hrs.  No further operational flying was carried out during the rest of the day.

14.3.41 Ground mist all morning making flying impossible.  Some cannon firing was carried out at the ranges in the afternoon.  The A.O.C. visited Biggin Hill today.

15.3.41 Heavy fog in the morning which developed into ground mist in the afternoon.  No flying possible all day.

16.3.41 Another day with ground mist at 50’ making flying impossible from this station.  A little clearer in the afternoon with some sun but the mist persists near the ground.

17.3.41 The Squadron was released most of the day.  No flying owing to ground mist.  F/O Bartley left 92 on posting to 74 as a Ft/Lt.  Great regret at his going.

18.3.41 Bright and clear.  Five machines took off to patrol the Maidstone line at 10.30 hrs.  P/O Veitch was reported to 92 a week ago was posted to 118 Squadron at Filton.  He left yesterday.  Further patrol was made by a Flight in the evening.  Ft/Lt’s Kingcome and Wright did dusk landings.

19.3.41 Bright with heavy ground mist which cleared later in the day.  The C.O. with P/O Wellum and P/O Maitland Thompson took off to escort a convoy near Dover.  They landed again in an hour.  The Squadron was called to readiness at 14.30 hrs.  Recommendations for promotion were today sent in as follows: Fl/Lt Kingcome for Squadron Leader and the Following P/Os for acting Flight Lieuts. Saunders, Mottram and Fokes.  Eleven machines took off in the evening and were patrolling at 36000’ when three were forced to land owing to engine failure.  The C.O. passed out owing to lack of oxygen and regained consciousness at 12000’.  His engine had heated and he was forced to crash land near Maidstone.  P/O Le Cheunnant also crash landed and Adjt. De Muntbron crashed on landing at Chatham.

20.3.41 Dull today with ground mist.  No flying during the morning,  A little flying in the afternoon testing the ground defence guns for aiming at dive bombers.

21.3.41 Bright and clear.  One operational patrol was carried out by one Flight but no E/A were encountered.  “A” Flight was called to readiness at 1200 hours.  A little flying was done in the afternoon over the base but no further operations were ordered.  A night section where on readiness.

22.3.41 Dull with rain and mist.  No flying all day.  A new Engineer Officer reported to replace P/O Garland.

23.3.41 Another dull day with rain and mist.  No flying possible today.

24.3.41 Better weather today.  A patrol took off in the morning and E/A were encountered over the coast.  B flight made contact with E/A.  The CO and Sgt de Montbron following what may have been a 115 to the French coast.  The CO fired his cannon at it and damaged it as something fell off it at the time of firing.  P/O Wade when taking off hit the church light with his undercarriage.  He was forced to crash land and damaged the machine.  No further flying was carried out during the afternoon.

25.3.41 Bright and fairly clear this morning.  The Squadron goes on readiness at 1300 hrs.  Some flying over base was carried out and a patrol of one flight was ordered off but was in cloud most of the time and did not see any E/A.  Heavy rain and wind in the evening.

26.3.41 Dull with low cloud.  Squadron at readiness at 0900 hrs.  Adgt de Montbron received his commission in the F.F.A.T. today.  Three machines did a patrol over Manston and another four aircraft were ordered off on patrol later. No flying in the afternoon.

27.3.41 Bright early but clouds came over later.  The Squadron was at 30 min during the morning but came to readiness at 1300 hrs. “B” Flight took off to patrol Hastings and “A” followed later.  Sgts Terry and Gaskell went to Duxford in the Magister to bring back a Spitfire.  Sgt Terry posted to Hendon as a ferry pilot on Spitfires for one month when he returns to this Unit.

28.3.41 Dull with low cloud.  No flying possible all day owing to ground mist.

29.3.41 Another dull day with rain and mist.  No flying at all in the morning.

30.3.41 Bright and clear this morning.  Squadron at readiness at 0920 hrs.  Three Spitfies went to Hucknal for a modification.  Squadron was then released for training at 1300 hrs.  At 1450 hrs Sqd took off for a training flight, landed at 1620 hrs.

31.3.41 Another lovely day.  Squadron at readiness at 0540.  Released for training at 0900 hrs.  4 pilots did practice attacks.  2 Spitfires went to Leysdown Range for cannon firing.  P/O Wellum did an ante mist test at 35000.  Squadron at readiness 1245.  “B” Flight did a patrol over Manston at 1320, landed 1440. At 1640 Squadron ordered to patrol Mayfield at 15000’.  No interceptions.  At 2000 Squadron was at 30 mins.  P/O Wade and Fokes did a dusk patrol over Maidstone – Dungeness at 15000 ft.  No E/A were encountered. The C.O did some dusk flying.

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