Part 2: 1 May 1940 to 31 July 1940
1.5.40 F/O McGowan and F/O Tuck posted to 92 Squadron today.
Poor visibility persisted all day, preventing flying until about 1600 hours, when 3 a/c practised formation. The expected visit of the A.O.C. did not materialise.
2.5.40 Thick weather, making flying impracticable until evening, when some dual was given in the Master to pilots of another Squadron.
3.5.40 Fine, but poor visibility. Normal flying practise took place. W.C Hatcher visited the Squadron and flew a Spitfire for a R/T test. The C.O and P/O Bartley took the Blenheim to East Leigh to collect the Spitfire from there, and Spitfires from this Squadron did camera gun practise on the Blenheim on the outward and return journey and another sector did an interception on the Blenheims return journey.
4.5.40 Fine, but bad visibility which improved later in the afternoon, when formation practise took place and dual was given in the Master to pilots of 145 Squadron. The signal was this day received that 92 Squadron will move to Northolt on 9.5.40. Flt.Lt V. Byrne posted to 74 Squadron. His flight is taken by F/O Tuck who reported from 65 Squadron on 1.5.40.
5.5.40 Squadron Church Parade. Very fine weather and flying practise started immediately after Church Parade and continued all day. F/O McGowan reported for Adjutant duties as F/O Brinton is going back to civil life.
6.5.40 Wet and foggy all day. No flying
7.5.40 Weather improved. Slight mist in the morning. Flying most of the day. The C/O went to Lyme to carry out gunnery practise with spitfires in the afternoon.
8.5.40 Advance party left for Northolt in the morning. F/O Brinton and P/O McGowan reported to Northolt and took over Squadron offices etc. F/O Brinton returned to Croydon in the evening. P/O McGowan has now taken over the duties of Squadron Adjutant.
9.5.40 Very fine weather all day. First seven Spitfires arrived about noon. F/O Tuck in command from Croydon. Station C/O on tarmac to receive them. On their arrival they at once commenced operational duties, one section at readiness – one available. The pilots then took their machines to the dispersal stations. The remainder of the Squadron, nine Spitfires arrived with the C.O at about 1500 hours. H.Q. 11 Group notified that move was completed at 1700 hours.
10.5.40 Another very fine day. As the Squadron is now operational, six Spitfires are kept a the dispersal points on readiness. At about 1500 hours a practise operational movement was made and after the firing of a white rocket, three of the readiness sectors went up. Owing to the progress of the War today, everyone was recalled from leave and all leave has been stopped.
11.5.40 Weather again very good. Usual operational duties carried out at the dispersal points. F/O Gillies returned from leave.
12.5.40 Slightly colder but the weather remains very fine. P/O Hill who returned from sick leave recently, did his first Spitfire solo today. At about noon today a warning came through and nine Spitfires were put at readiness till all clear was given.
13.5.40 The weather remains very good. Usual operational duties were carried out today. This afternoon a practice was carried out with 604 and proved very satisfactory. Night flying will take place at dusk tonight.
14.5.40 During the day the usual operational duties were carried out, both “A” and “B” Flights now being available and at readiness from 0830 till 1700. P/O Lindsay report for training from Tangmere. Sgt. Pilot Ramsay reported for duty having been posted to 92 Squadron. The weather remains bright and clear. Night flying took place at dusk. With much regret we said goodbye to F/O Brinton, the late Adjutant, who is returning to civil life.
15.5.40 The weather is still very good. A slight thunder storm with rain occurred during the night. Wing Commander Hamilton arrived to inspect the Master this morning and then took off for Prestwick with Sgt. Pilot Ramsey, who returns to 92 Squadron tomorrow. F/O Tuck and P/O Wright are detailed to escort an Ensign to France this afternoon in Spitfires. Night flying had been arranged for tonight but it had to be cancelled owing to rain which commenced at dusk. The escort flight to France was also cancelled this afternoon. P/O Lindsay who reported for training yesterday returned to Tangmere today as the Maser is at present unserviceable.
16.5.40 Much rain fell in the night and this morning is dull. No flying is taking place owing to bad visibility. Flying commenced about noon. At 1400 hours three Spitfires id firing practice with a Blenheim flown by F/O Barry Smith who is attached to Station temporarily with a Beaufort Bomber. Three Spitfires left for France this afternoon to escort a Flamingo under the command of F/O Tuck. Night flying took place. The night was clear with a three quarter moon.
17.5.40 A very good day again for flying. The section under F/O Tuck which went as escort to Paris yesterday returned to Northolt at 10 am after having landed at Hendon. They had a very uneventful trip and had stayed at the Air Port Hotel at Le Bourget. Another practice flight was mad in the afternoon with Beaufort using cameras. Much valuable information has been obtained as regards the arming of the Beaufort against hostile fighters. The night was clear with a bright moon and night flying was in operation as usual. A slight ground mist made ground visibility bad. Air Commodore Probyn arrived in the evening and did some night flying in a Spitfire.
18.5.40 The weather remains perfect again today. A to G firing practise took place at Dengie Flats this morning. A warning was given out about 10.30 and all machines were called in. Two sections remained at readiness all night and night flying which was in operation was stopped at about 2300 hours. The night was clear with almost a full moon.
19.5.40 Beautiful summer weather continues again today. An escort of three Spitfires left for Paris at about 0800 hours this morning under the command of Flt.Lt Green; the other two pilots were P/O Bartley and Sgt. Fokes. They returned about noon without having had anything out of the usual happen. The C/O with three Spitfires took off in the afternoon for another escort flight to Paris. They landed at Hendon but were not required for the escort, they stayed the night at Hendon. Night flying took place in the clear moon light night.
20.5.40 Squadron Leader Bushell and the three Spitfires arrived back from Hendon this morning. The weather is again clear and bright. The C/O went to Farnborough in a Spitfire before lunch. Two new officers were posted to 92 Squadron as from the 18th. P/O N.E. Martineau and P/O T.S. Wade. Operational flying practises were carried out during the day. Owing to bad visibility night flying was cancelled. Alarm attack test was made by Station.
21.5.40 Weather is still very good. P/O Wade and P/O Wellum reported for flying duties with 92 Squadron today. A signal was received cancelling posting of P/O Martineau to this Squadron. Flying practise was carried out as usual during the day but night flying was cancelled owing to a change in the weather. An escort flight was made to France this morning by three Spitfires.
22.5.40 Heavy rain is falling this morning with bad visibility. An escort of three Spitfires left at 1000 hours for France with a Flamingo. Flt. Ltd Green who was in command had a forced landing at Kempton Park Race course. Later in the day he returned and the machine was flown back unharmed. P/O Wade and P/O Wellum went over to Uxbridge after lunch to commence a course on R/T procedure. The Squadron returned to Northolt about 9pm from Hornchurch.
23.5.40 The whole Squadron left at dawn for Hornchurch where they commenced patrol flying over the French coast. At about 0830 hours they ran into six Messerschmitts 109s, a dog fight ensured. The result was a great victory for 92 Squadron and all six German machines 109s were brought down with only one loss to us. It is with the greatest regret that we lost P/O P/ Learmond in this fight. He was seen to come down in flames over Dunkirque.
In the afternoon 92 went out again on patrol and this time they encountered at least forty Messerscmitts 110s flying in close formation. The result of this fight was another seventeen German machines 110’s were brought down and 92 Squadron lost Squadron Leader Bushell, F/O J. Gillies and Sgt. Klipsch. Flt. Ltd Green was wounded in the leg and is now in hospital in Shorncliffe. The remainder of the Squadron returned to Hornchurch badly shot up with seven Spitfires U.S. It has been a glorious day for 92 Squadron with 23 German machines brought down but the loss of the C/O and three others has been a very severe blow to us all and to the Squadron which was created and trained last October by our late Squadron Leader.
24.5.40 Another patrol was made this morning by 92 and another seven German (DO 17s) machines were brought down. This time we had only two losses, Flt. Lt Tuck was slight wounded in the leg but is able to continue the good work. F/O Cazenove had a forced landing on the land at Calais and it is supposed that he now in enemy hands. Showers of rain during the day.
25.5.40 Another patrol was carried out at 0830 hours form Hornchurch and a German D.O was attacked and brought down. In the afternoon 92 Squadron moved to Duxford to rest and reequip. Squadron Leader Saunders is now posted to 92 as the new C/O. P/O Stewart joined 92 at Northolt from France yesterday. He is suffering from his experiences and is being treated by the Station M.O. The pilots are now at Duxford to rest and reequip. The maintenance flight and orderly room staff will remain at Northolt.
26.5.40 As the Squadron is now resting at Duxford there is nothing to report. The weather continues fair with occasional heavy showers. P/O Wade and Wellum went off on their first Spitfire solos.
27.5.40 Rain occasionally during the day. Squadron Leader Saunders reported to Northolt today and inspected what remains of 92 Squadron here. Two pilots came over to take the two now serviceable Spitfires to Hornchurch this afternoon. P/O Wade and P/O Wellum have now flow Spitfires and are in training at Duxford. Sgt Ramsey did his first Spitfire solo today.
28.5.40 The weather is very good at present. As the C.O and the Pilots are at present resting and reequipping at Duxford there is little to report as to actual flying operations.
29.5.40 Bright and clear weather. A signal from H.Q.F.C. was received stating that 92 Squadron would remain at Northolt but that the operations would be carried out form Hornchurch. At present there are thirty N.C.O’s and men at Northolt consisting of the administrative staff and some A.C.H’s. Forty eight hours leave was granted to the whole of 92 Squadron by 11 Group H.Q in account of the splendid work done by all during the last six months. 25 per cent of the Squadron commenced this leave as from today.
30.5.40 The weather continues good. It is understood that a patrol of 92 Squadron operated over the French coast on the 28th. No losses were sustained by us.
31.5.40 P/O Stewart who was granted leave to go to the Air Ministry returned and has gone to report for flying duties with the Squadron at Duxford. The weather is very good again today.
DUXFORD Extra information supplied by P/O Alan Wright at Duxford
28.5.40 Considerable cloud in layers and some rain. The available Flight was sent off at dawn to Martlesham Heath. From there a three Squadron patrol was carried out at once over Ostend and Dunkirk. No enemy aircraft were sighted. Nine aircraft are now serviceable and a flying programme was carried out consisting mainly of practise ‘Dog Fights’ for the new Pilots.
29.5.40 Large amounts of cloud, but flying went on as usual. Most of the Pilots kept their hand in with some practise ‘Dog Fights’. The best means of evasion and attack are being worked out. In the evening the following message was received. “HIS MAJESTY THE KING on the recommendation of the AIR OFFICER COMMANDING IN CHIEF FIGHTER COMMAND has been graciously pleased to make the following award. DISTINGUISHED FLYING CROSS to ACTING FLIGHT LIEUTENANT R.R.S. TUCK No. 92 SQUADRON. The AIR OFFICER COMMANDING NO. 11 GROUP desires his heartiest congratulations conveyed to the above named personnel”.
30.5.40 Little cloudy and slight haze. The new Pilots continued their training and a little other flying was carried out. At dusk the Squadron was ordered to disperse to a nearby field. Safe landings were made, and the Crews and Pilots slept the night in a nearby hayloft.
31.5.40 Soon after dawn the Squadron moved back to Duxford. Hot and sultry. Little flying was carried out because of unserviceability of aircraft. In the afternoon “A” Flight left for Coltishall to guard the Sector.
1.6.40 The weather continues warm and clear. P/O Weise the Squadron I.O has now joined the Squadron. He took over all maps and I.O books from the Adjutant. “A” Flight at Coltishall was sent up on a false raid today.
2.6.40 Again, the weather is very good. 92 Squadron again covered itself in glory over the French coast. It shot down fourteen enemy bombers and four fighters without any loss to the Squadron. It was a grand show. The Squadron has now over fifty enemy machines to its credit.
At dusk the Squadron flew over to Martlesham Heath so that an offensive patrol of four Squadrons will be able to take-off tomorrow before dawn.
3.6.40 The latter part of last night was very misty and only Blue Section took off for the patrol at 03.40 hours. These were almost at once recalled and despite the low lying fog they all managed to land safely. The Squadron later on in the day returned to Duxford. The weather remains perfect.
4.6.40 Low unbroken cloud. The patrol was cancelled and the whole Squadron flew to Northholt. The rest of the Squadron arrived at Northolt later in the day with the exception of W.O. Mooring and 20 men of the Maintenance Flight. The Squadron has to remain here until further notice. As the weather was misty and visibility bad, several machines had to land at other aerodromes till the mist cleared. P/O Wade crashed the Master at Hemel Hempstead owing to bad visibility and lack of good airmanship. The Master was badly damaged but P/O Wade and his passenger Sgt. Pilot Ramsay were unhurt. The Squadron came to readiness at 1000 hours.
5.6.40 Beautiful summer weather with great heat during the day. The Squadron has now settled down and is doing the usual available and readiness duties with the other Squadron at the Station.
6.6.40 Another beautiful day. There is nothing to report as regards the Squadron as they continue with the usual station duties.
7.6.40 Good weather continues. Mr Mooring and his men arrived tonight at Northolt after some difficulty in getting away from Hornchurch. Practice flying in the afternoon.
8.6.40 Very hot again today. Instructions were received at noon today from H.Q. 11 Group that 92 Squadron had to move to Hornchurch forthwith. Group Captain Vincent very kindly arranged a delay in the move till tomorrow morning. The rest of the day was occupied in packing and getting ready to move. A small advance party under W/O Bennett left for Hornchurch this evening. Much regret is felt by all 92 Squadron on leaving Northolt where we have received the greatest kindness from everyone in the station.
9.6.40 1700 hours. 92 Squadron is now stationed at Hornchurch and is sharing a hangar and offices with the H.Q. staff of 74 Squadron. The move from Northolt was carried out without a hitch and apart from Captain Burton and five Airmen the whole Squadron was settled down into their new quarters by midday today. The machines came over during the morning. The weather was very close and hot till about 1600 hours when a thunder storm broke and heavy rain fell.
10.6.40 Operational flying and duties were commenced and the Squadron was available most of the day. There are two other Spitfire Squadrons stationed here at present. Nos 54, 65 and the H.Q of 74. In the evening a signal was received posting two non operational pilots to 610 Squadron at Gravesend. P/O Steward and Sgt. Ramsey were instructed to report in the morning.
11.6.40 The weather remains good with ground mist in the morning. The Squadron remains at readiness and available most of the day and the pilots spend all their time at the dispersal points. There is nothing to report as everything appears to be quiet as regards Spitfire Squadrons at present.
12.6.40 Another beautiful day. Practice flying was carried out during the day in perfect weather conditions. The Squadron has now settled down to its new station and the pilots are sharing readiness and available duties with the other Squadrons.
13.6.40 The weather today is dull and misty. At 1300 hours the Squadron is released for twenty four hours. 50% of the Pilots may leave the station but are subject to instant recall. The weather improved during the morning and it became bright and hot for the rest of the day.
14.6.40 The Squadron became available again at 1300 hours. It is a beautiful day again with good flying conditions. Squadron Leader Saunders is attending a conference at Northolt this afternoon. At pay parade a warning was read to all ranks by the Adjutant, in the absence of the C.O regarding the imparting of information to civilians by airmen and soldiers on and off Duty.
15.6.40 The weather remains fine and warm. There is nothing to report as the Squadron is standing by on the usual operational duties.
16.6.40 Another beautiful day. The Squadron is settling down to its new station but there is no activity and not much flying. A patrol took place over France this evening. The C.O leading with three other machines, they were away for ab out two hours and the only one hit was Flt. Llt. Tuck’s machine which had a wing tip damaged with AA fire. The returned with much information regarding French aerodromes now in enemy hands.
17.6.40 A very fine day again. Usual duties were carried out today and the Pilots did some flying in the afternoon.
18.6.40 Very warm and fine again. The Squadron was ordered to move to Pembrey in South Wales on very short notice. This movement was carried out without any hitch and most of the Squadron were at Pembrey by the evening.
19.6.40 Pembrey is to be a new Fighter Station and at present everything is in rather a mess as regards dispersal points etc. There is no operations as yet and no station intelligence. As raids have commenced now in England the Pilots are at readiness most of the time. The weather remains very good.
20.6.40 The Squadron has now settled down to its new quarters and is gradually getting used to the new aerodrome. P/O Wellum ran into a starter while taxiing a Spitfire today and caused the propeller to become U.S. No other damage was caused to the machine. Some flying was done during the day. The weather remains perfect.
21.6.40 There is nothing to report today. The weather remains very good.
22.6.40 Another good day. Usual duties carried out by 92.
23.6.40 Dull with some rain in the morning. This station is still without an operations room but other conditions for operational flying are improving. The R.T is now fairly satisfactory. The weather cleared up in the afternoon.
24.6.40 Good weather again today. Usual duties and some flying continued during the day. A yellow warning was given during the night and the station turned out. The defence scheme does not seem to be very good but now the 92 Squadron has settled in and is getting to know the station, an improvement will soon be made.
25.6.40 Another beautiful day. The new Station Commander arrived, W/C Hutchinson, and S/L Budd, the new operations Officer. 92 is now sending Spitfires to Hornchurch to have the new D.H air screw fitted. F/Lt Kingcome was the first to go yesterday to have this done. It is to take about a day and a half to complete. Sgt. Oakley with some men are at Hornchurch to do this work. Flt Llt Tuck is going to Hornchurch tomorrow to receive his D.F.C from H.M. the King. The congratulations and best wish of the whole Squadron go with him.
26.6.40 Slight mist with some rain in the morning. P/O Wright and P/O Williams had a forced landing near St Athans today and damaged the left wing of the Magister. Practice flying was carried out with a Hampton today over the aerodrome.
27.6.40 Good weather continues. Usual operational duties being carried out without anything unusual happening. The D.H props are gradually being fitted to our Spitfires at Hornchurch; so far we have three fitted with these props.
28.6.40 The morning was cloudy with rain but later in the day the sun came out and the rest of the day was clear. Some practice flying was carried out. Nothing to report apart from an occasional yellow warning at night.
29.6.40 Heavy rain till noon today. Three of our Spitfires went off about 1000 hours as a report came in that enemy A/C were over Cardiff. After a patrol they returned without seeing anything. An alarm was sounded in the Station and defence posts were manned for half an hour.
30.6.40 A beautiful day again. Usual operational flying carried out during the day. Bryson went to Hornchurch to get constant speed airscrew.
Pembrey July 1940
1.7.40 Another good day. One section was sent off at 1000 hrs on a report of enemy A/C over Cardiff. They returned without making any contact with enemy patrol. In the evening another section went to Hullavington for night patrol but did not report anything. A red warning was sounded in the station at midnight. P/O Bartley left for Hornchurch to get C.S. Airscrew.
2.7.40 Bright sun and clear sky today. Apart from one or two patrols over the coast there is nothing to report.
3.7.40 Good weather continues today after a night of heavy rain. The usual section from Hullavington returned this morning without having had any activity during the night.
4.7.40 Good weather all day. Yellow section consisting of P/O Edwards, Saunders and Sgt Folkes shot down a Ac111 in the afternoon near Weston. P/O Edwards and Sgt Folkes landed beside the German crashed machine and took the Pilot, who was wounded in the foot, prisoner. The other three of the German crew were killed in the crash. P/O Saunders fired at another Ac111 which is believed to have crashed into the sea. P/O Bartley was sent up after an enemy raider at 2300 hours but failed to make contact. P/O Bryson returned from Hornchurch and Hamble after having beat up a Dutch camp on the 30th May on his way to Hornchurch. He was placed under open arrest pending an inquiry.
5.7.40 Red section returned from Hullavington. P/O Edwards returned from Filton with souvenirs captured from the He111. Red section chased a He111 down the coast in the afternoon. On the way back P/O Bartleys engine failed after a slow roll and he had to land in a bog. There is some doubt whether it will be possible to save the Spitfire as it is sinking in the mud.
6.7.40 Weather still very good. Occasional alarms and yellow warnings took place during the day when a section was sent up without encountering enemy A/C.
7.7.40 Rain and cloud, not much flying during the day.
8.7.40 Several sections went off during the morning and Blue section shot down a D.O.17 over Bristol. Section led by Fl.Lt Tuck with P/O Holland and Sgt. Havercroft.
9.7.40 There is nothing to report today, the weather remains fair and warm.
10.7.40 Good weather continues. The Squadron has discontinued to send a section to Hullavington at night. An Air Raid took place at noon today and a powder factory near the aerodrome. Three bombs were dropped killing 12 and injuring about 14. Our Squadron went up but did not contact enemy A/C.
11.7.40 Heavy cloud, with rain in the evening. A gale warning was issued. Not much flying took place.
12.7.40 Very wet day with high wind. No flying till the late afternoon low clouds. Red warning at midnight for half an hour.
13.7.40 Beautiful day again. Red warning at 10.00 hrs. No enemy a/c seen. Usual patrols were made by the Squadron in the morning and evening.
14.7.40 Beautiful weather continues. The usual patrols were carried out today but no enemy a/c were seen. Night flying was carried out in bright moonlight and clear sky.
15.7.40 Another fine day. P/O Watling reported for duty with 92 Squadron this morning. The usual patrols were carried out but nothing was reported by the Pilots. Night flying took place. The general defence situation of this station is improving and A.A. guns and searchlights are now in the vicinity. Fl Lt Tuck forced landed near Plymouth.
16.7.40 Rain and low clouds. F/O Paterson has been posted to 92 and P/O Watling has gone on a course at O.T.U. Aston Down. Usual patrols took place.
17.7.40 The weather continues unsettled with low clouds and occasional sun. Two warnings came through and P/O Saunders contacted a JU88 over Bristol. It got away after P/O Saunders had used up all his ammunition and had received several bullet holes in his wings.
18.7.40 High wind and showers during the day. P/O Bryson went before the A.O.C. in connection with his low flying at the Dutch Camp. He received a reprimand.
19.7.40 A very wet and stormy day. Two warnings were given and the usual patrols were carried out. Two Red warnings were sounded during the night.
20.7.40 Stormy weather with high wind and showers. One or two alarms were received but the patrols did not encounter any enemy A/C all day. The weather cleared in the evening but there was a very high wind. A red warning came through during the night.
21.7.40 Still a high wind but the sun is shining again. A few small clouds but other the sky is clear. The usual patrols were carried out, nothing further to report.
22.7.40 Beautiful day. The C.O. returned this afternoon. Sgt Folkes crashed a Spitfire last night by overshooting the flare path on landing. The usual patrols took place and night flying commenced at dusk. Several alarms caused sections to go up during the night but no enemy A/C were encountered.
23.7.40 Good weather, usual patrols. Night flying.
24.7.40 Dull and cloudy. A section led by Fl/Lt Kingcome with P/O Bryson and F/O Paterson encountered a JU88 this morning about 7.30 over Porthcawl. They gave chase and brought it down at Ilfracombe on the Devon coast. One German baled out at 20 yards and was killed, the remainder of the crew got three out of the burning machine but our pilots were unable to know if they were injured or not. Later it was ascertained that one of the crew had been injured but that the other two were uninjured.
25.7.40 Cloudy again today. The usual patrols were carried out during the morning.
26.7.40 The weather remains good with no cloud. Sgt. Barraclough crashed last night when landing owing to a burst tyre which appears to have burst when he took off. He was unhurt but the A/C was badly damaged. Several patrols were sent off without contacting enemy A/C. The usual night flying was carried out and a red warning was sounded about 12.30.
27.7.40 Clear day all day. Patrols went up. Nothing to report. Air Raid took place at 23.30 and bombs were dropped close to the station at Kidwelly brick works. Three of our machines went up and owing to the failure of RT on P/O Wade’s machine he got lost and after several hours in the air was forced to bale out over Exeter. He got down safely but the machine was a write off.
28.7.40 Clear day. Usual patrols carried out. Night flying.
29.7.40 Weather clear and dry. Nothing to report from patrols. A red warning at night no contact with enemy A/C and no bombs dropped.
30.7.40 Good weather with cloud in the morning. Quiet day with no calls on the readiness sections.
31.7.40 Another quiet day. Several patrols were made. Nothing was reported. A beautiful clear day. A red warning was sounded during last night.