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The entries for January to the end of August 1942 are missing they resume at this point.

L.G 173



The battle is now on, and the air is full of aircraft. The Squadron went out on sorties today, and P/O. CHISHOLM got one confirmed, and ten were damaged by various other pilots. P/O.BRADLEY SMITH had to bale out, and his aircraft was a ‘write-off’, and the Commanding Officer’s aircraft and LT. SINCLAIR’S, attached from No. 1. S.A.A.F., were both damaged. P/O. SMITH was taken to No. 14 C.C.S. and from there to hospital. Early this morning, at about 0400 hours the camp was very heavily blitzed. Incendiaries and flares lit the place up like daylight, and anti-personnel bombs were scattered right through the camp from the landing ground to the hills. Several failed to go off. Unfortunately CORPORAL CUSTARD and L.A.C. BRETTER were both severely injured by an A.P. bomb, and another airman was slightly injured. The protection afforded by the slit trenches is very good. Squadron total of confirmed destroyed now 210½.


The air warfare in the desert has now become very intense. The enemy are using large numbers of Me 109F’s and MACCHI 202’s. On a sortie this morning the Squadron met enemy aircraft, and LT. FAURE shot down a 109F, and LT. RABIE a MACCHI 202. Unfortunately LT. RABIE was later attacked and shot down, but he baled out successfully at 15,000 feet, and returned to the Unit in the afternoon. At the same time FLIGHT SERGEANT MOUNT was shot down and is missing. He was last seen going down in a steady dive with the machine under control. In the afternoon the Squadron was out on another sortie, and SQUADRON LEADER WEDGWOOD shot down a 109F - making his ninth victory - and FLIGHT LIEUTENANT MORGAN shot down another. Squadron total of confirmed destroyed now 214½.


On a sortie this afternoon FLIGHT LIEUTENANT SAMOUELLE damaged a Me 109F. Since becoming operational in the M.E. Command, the Squadron total is 21 destroyed, 7 probables, and 29 damaged. The SENIOR MEDICAL OFFICER from WING inspected the Camp Sanitation and cookhouses, etc. He suggested one or two improvements connected with the lay-out of the Airmen’s Cookhouse and the grease traps, but otherwise he found everything satisfactory. For the time being, as the battle is now on in the desert, all bathing parties and passes for the airmen have been stopped, but we are still managing to rest one or two of the pilots.


GROUP CAPTAIN O'MALLEY, the A.H.Q.W.D. MEDICAL OFFICER, Inspected the camp this morning. He made some suggestions for combatting the menace of flies. On the whole the Camp does not suffer overmuch from flies. This evening the Squadron escorted the A.O.C.-in-C., AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SIR A. TEDDER from L.G. to BURG-AL-ARAB. The Squadron formation take-off was done in a duststorm, when visibility was very poor, but it was one of the best take-offs that they had done.


The COMMANDING OFFICER, SQUADRON LEADER J.H. WEDGWOOD, went to a "tea-party” given by the A.O.C., WESTERN DESERT, to meet WENDELL WILKIE, the AMERICAN Statesman, who is now in the Middle East. Meeting of the SERGEANTS' MESS held this evening to discuss some difficulties that have arisen with the rations. The MEDICAL OFFICER drew up an experimental diet sheet, and it is hoped this difficulty will be overcome. The Sergeant Pilots were the guests of the Officers' Mess this evening. The Adjutant, FLYING OFFICER V.R. SAIGOL, made an ACTING FLIGHT LIEUTENANT w.e.f. May. P/O. TURVEY posted to the Squadron.


The battle In the WESTERN DESERT seems to have died down temporarily with the enemy being pushed westwards. No encounters by the Squadron today during sorties. P/O. MENZIES, P/O. HARVEY and P/O. AYLOTT posted to the Squadron.


During a sortie today , P/O.MENZIES, on his first operational trip, unaccountably spun at 17,000 feet. For some reason he couldn't get out of the spin, didn't bale out, and went slap in. The Squadron lately has had a run of bad luck. Let's hope this ends it. Poor Menzies seemed a good chap, he only joined the Squadron yesterday afternoon. The Squadron Officers were the guests this evening, of the No.1 S.A.A.F. Squadron Mess.


The crashed aircraft in which P/O.MENZIES lost his life was located this morning in a most inaccessible part of the desert. A memorial service was held at the Squadron, with members of the Squadron in attendance. SQUADRON LEADER FORRESTER, WING CHAPLAIN, took the Service. The first party of men left on posting, following changes in the establishment caused by making the Squadron more mobile. The changes are going to make the work of running the Squadron much more difficult.


The glad news received that the whole Squadron is to be given seven days leave starting on September 11th. A "skeleton staff" will have to be left behind to look after the aircraft. They will get their leave the week following. The change in the establishment of Squadrons recently brought into force has been changed yet once again. No private mail has been received for the Squadron for some days. This is being looked into.    1


L.A.C. McKIMM returned from BASE PERSONNEL STAFF OFFICE, where he had been working during the changes in the establishment, to say that the nominal rolls returned by the Squadron were perfectly in order. A conference of Adjutants held at WING to discuss the changes in the establishment. The "base parties" at HELWAN have now been disbanded. The Squadron Officers were the guests of No.1 S.A.A.F. this evening.


The Squadron went on leave this morning for seven days. Actually the atmosphere in the desert has been rather tense, and the rest will do the pilots and ground crews good. FLYING OFFICER RAWES remained behind as Officer i/c, and PILOT OFFICER HARYEY and PILOT OFFICER TURVEY remained behind as emergency pilots. The majority of airmen went to Alexandria, and the Officers to Cairo.


The technical personnel remained behind to carry out inspections of all aircraft. As the Squadron was taken out of the line yesterday, this is a good opportunity, to service the aircraft. Two more Spitfire V’s arrived today.


Final inpections of the aircraft finished today. A skeleton staff of guards will be remaining behind to look after the aircraft. A bathing party held for airmen remaining on the Camp.


FLIGHT LIEUTENANT WOOLGROVE took over the care of the Squadron from FLYING OFFICER RAWES, who went on leave this morning. P/O.TURVEY and P/O. HARVEY, who had remained behind as emergency pilots, went on leave today, and FLIGHT SERGEANTS NOVAK end SHAFER took their place.


Signal received that L.A.C. BRETTER had died from pnuemonia, following the injuries he suffered when an A.P. bomb exploded near him during the last air raid. BRETTER’S death is most unfortunate, because he was very good at his work and well liked by everybody. Information also received that SERGEANT PILOT WATSON, who had been rnlsslng, believed killed, since July 17th, was a Prisoner Of War.


Camp inspection carried out by FLIGHT LIEUTENANT WOOLGROVE. The mail situation has been rather difficult of late, as a lot of letters seem to be taking a very long time to reach us.


The Squadron returned from leave today, which had passed all too quickly and pleasantly. The advance party of Officers with the COMMANDING OFFICER arrived about 1630 hours. A little later the WING COMMANDER rang up the COMMANDING OFFICER, SQUADRON LEADER J.H.WEDGWOOD, and informed him that he had been awarded the DFC. This is a thoroughly well deserved honour, because the COMMANDING OFFICER has led the Squadron on practically every operational trip in the desert, and he has done more than anyone to build up the reputation of 92 squadron in the desert. He has shot down nine enemy aircraft - no mean feat. This is the first "gong" the Squadron has won in the desert. May it be the herald of many more.


A GREEK Squadron moved in to share our landing ground with us. They are going to fly HURRICANES. The LIEUTENANT-COLONEL in charge of the Ack-Ack guns defending the landing grounds here called to see the COMMANDING OFFICER to arrange where to site his guns. LIEUTENANT FAURE, attached from No.1 S.A.A.F. Squadron, returned to his Squadron today. He will he greatly missed by all.


The Squadron were on readiness again today. The GREEK Officers were the guests of the Mess this evening. PILOT OFFICER HILL and FLIGHT SERGEANT BLADES posted to the Squadron from No. 80 SQUADRON. There is still difficulty in obtaining the new type of latrine buckets from Stores. A film show given at WING for the airmen.


News received that PILOT OFFICER BRADLEY SMITH has been posted away, unfit, from the Squadron, but that he will be posted back to us when fit. PILOT OFFICER COOKE, who went on compassionate leave to RHODESIA on the 8th, has had to have it changed to a posting to enable him to reach RHODESIA, but it is hoped to re-post him back to the Squadron, The Squadron now hold 14 SPITFIRE VC's and 2 VB's. The weather is now getting muoh cooler in the desert. The Squadron did a brief sortie today, but sav nothing.


On a patrol this evening eight SPITFIRES, led by SQUADRON LEADER WEDGWOOD, ran into fifty enemy aircraft and put up a magnificent show. They retained their formation and fought the enemy for over ten minutes, until the enemy broke away. The patrol then continued their way to EL ALAMEIN. Though no enemy aircraft were shot down, the Squadron put up a grand show, proving that eight SPITPIRES well handled, could hold their own with more than fifty Me 109F's and MACCHI 202’s. On the return of the Squadron, GROUP rang up immediately to congratulate them.


A personal signal was sent from the A.O.C., AIR VICE MARSHAL CONINGHAM, to SQUADRON LEADER WEDGWOOD, congratulating him on his DFC. and on the great show put up yesterday. This evening for the first time In the WESTERN DESERT a complete SPITFIRE WING of 28 planes, led by SQUADRON LEADER WEDGWOOD, went out on patrol, but saw nothing. PILOT OFFICER L. SMITH went to No. 21 M.R.S. suffering from entiritis. This evening the Squadron Officers were the guests of No.1 S.A.A.F.


Along with the new establishment designed to make the Squadron more mobile, we are now trying to get rid of as many E.P.I.P. tents as possible, and substituting bivouac tents for ridge tents, and ridge for E.P.I.P. The COMMANDING OFFICER and P/O. CHISHOLM went out on a sortie to try and find an E-Boat, but though they searched the coast they saw nothing. The R.C. Padre came along this afternoon to arrange new times for celebrating Mass.


Meeting of the P.S.I. Committee this evening. The funds are in a good position. The problem of dust here, which gets churned into deep ruts by lorries, makes all traffic very difficult. COLONEL SULLIVAN, of the UNITED STATES ARMY AIR FORCE, visited the camp this morning and stayed for lunch. A film show was given at WING for the airmen.


A BALTIMORE aircraft unfortunately crashed on the other side of the landing ground this morning. The crew were killed. The DEFENCE OFFICER and the ADJUTANT went over to see the new Officer in charge of the INDIAN Troops guarding the landing ground to make sure that plans for the defence of the L.G. against possible parachute troops were mutually understood. A meeting of Airmen’s Messing Committee was held this evening.


The Squadron was ordered off as top cover to HURRICANES and went out to near DABA, and were attaoked by Me 109’s. FLIGHT LIEUTENANT MORGAN shot one down and P/O. G.W. ROSE another, both confirmed. P/O. CARPENTER got a "probable” and FLIGHT SERGEANT BLADES a damaged. Unfortunately WARRANT OFFICER KENWOOD was shot down behind the enemy lines, and P/O. TURVEY was also shot down, but successfully baled out, and has rejoined the Squadron. It is hoped that WARRANT OFFICER KENWOOD landed successfully. He will be surely missed by the Squadron. He was a good pilot, and a grand fellow in every way. He had been put up for a commission.


The MESSING OFFICER inspected airmen's meals today. Rations continue to be very good, and with the extra messing through P.S.I., there are few complaints about food. P/O.HARVEY was sent to No.21 M.R.S. today suffering from food poisoning caught in ALEXANDRIA yesterday. P/O. CORNISH, back from WING, is with the Squadron to act as INTELLIGENCE OFFICER during the temporary indisposition of F/O.BROOKS.


This afternoon F/Lt. MORGAN and P/O. CHISHOLM were scrambled to chase a Ju 88. While out they ran into 20 Me 109’s. A terrific dogfight followed. Both pilots fired, but the going was too hot to see results. The remainder of the Squadron had been scrambled shortly afterwards, and they ran into a bunch of Me 109’s. F/Lt.SAMOUELLE shot one down, and P/O. CARPENTER damaged another. Unfortunately, to date, the Army have only established two definite crashes. P/LT. SAMOUELLE’S, and the other where F/Lt. MORGAN and P/O. CHISHOLM were fighting, they are sharing. All the pilots returned safely.


The C.O, away on 48. Yesterday’s aircraft so far definitely confirmed only one - Squadron score now 217½ destroyed - F/Lt. . SAMOUELLLE’S. P/O.HARVEY returned to the Squadron today. Visit of one of REAR AIR HEADQUARTERS, WESTERN DESERT, WELFARE OFFICERS, PADRE FORRESTER, of WING, is trying to get us some books for the Library.    *


Visit to the Squadron of a group of TURKISH OFFICERS, with GROUP CAPTAIN CARTER, of GROUP; and the WING COMMANDER. The TURKISH Officers were shown round the Maintenance Section and round the Equipment Stores, and then they went to the Dispersal Tent. There is a very hot spell on now in the desert, and the soft, powdery dust, which is more than a foot deep over wide areas of the camp, makes aircraft and M.T. serviceability very difficult. Our landing ground is one of the worst in this part of the desert. Some games have been bought out of P.S.I. for the Airmen's Canteen, and we are trying to get them a ping-pong table.


PILOT OFFICER GLENDINNING, R.A.A.F., and WARRANT OFFICER EDWARDS posted to the Squadron and arrived today for flying duties. FLYING OFFICER BRUCE, a former member of 92 Squadron, arrived today from HELIOPOLIS to see the Commanding Officer.


LIEUTENANT RABIE and FLYING OFFICE HILL were scrambled suddenly this morning and were airborne in 1 min. 5 secs. for which Group and Wing congratulated them. They were vectored out on to a Ju 88. Eventually they found it, and they both fired and bits flew off the aircraft. LT. RABIE chased it out to sea and kept firing till he saw it crash in the sea. This is the first twin-engined bomber to be shot down by the Squadron this year. Squadron total now 218½.


FLIGHT LIEUTENANT MORGAN left this morning to spend three days up at the front near EL ALAMEIN with the ARMY. In his place CAPTAIN HUTCHISON, RIFLE BRIGADE, attached to DIVISIONAL HEADQUARTERS, is spending three days with the Squadron. FLYING OFFICER WADDY, DFC., posted to the Squadron from No.3 S.A.A.F. SQUADRON. Signal reoeived late this evening that P/O. BRADLEY SMITH, who had been on sick leave in JERUSALEM, had been readmitted to hospital (43rd General).


CHURCH OF ENGLAND Service held in the Parachute Section this evening. At the moment the weather is dry end windy, with virulent sandstorms blowing every time there's a wind. But if rain should come, this loose sand will turn to slush. Still masses of files everywhere. The weather now much cooler, and not so many of these damn scorpions and centipedes and things around. We’re getting quite attached to this miserable patch of desert of ours.


First day of rain this evening. Enough to lay the sand and dust. A little leaked through the tents. Things are very quiet nowadays and the Squadron for the last day or two have done very little flying.


Still very quiet in the desert. Two of our pilots on patrol over the enemy lines reported that the recent heavy rains seem to have flooded their landing grounds. They met no fighter opposition and little ack-ack. We have been issued with our five blankets each for the coming winter, but our battle dress hasn't yet arrived.


LIEUTENANT SMITH, of No.5 SAAF. SQUADRON, posted to the Squadron, and arrived today. The Squadron went out on patrol today and ran into two Me 109’s. F/Lt. SAMOUELLE destroyed one and P/O. CHISHOLM the other, both being confirmed. Squadron total now 220½ destroyed. CAPTAIN HUTCHESON returned to his Unit today. No. 146 SQUADRON (SPITFIRES) moved in today to share our landing ground. They are on the sight used by the GREEK SQUADRON.


PILOT OFFICER L. SMITH returned from sick leave to the Squadron. Four pilots led by P/O. CHISHOLM, made a recce flight over the enemy landing ground at DABA. They met no opposition, and the landing ground appeared to be bogged. A little more rain fell today. F/Lt. MORGAN returned to the Squadron from his four days spent at the front, during which he went out on patrol with Army units into No-Man’s-Land. He had a very exciting time and brought back several souvenirs.


FLIGHT LIEUTENANT COCKER returned to the Squadron today. A very welcome return. He is not properly fit to fly yet. A very busy day in the air today. Almost every bomber and fighter aircraft in the desert was up, and the R.A.F. put up a terrible strafe on the enemy landing grounds. In the morning the COMMANDING OFFICER led the Squadron on a sortie near FUKA. Enemy aircraft were engaged, and S/Ldr. WEDGWOOD DFC., shot down 2 Me 109’s and F/Lt. SAMOUELLE got another. All our aircraft returned safely. Squadron total now 223½ destroyed. There was another sortie later. Unfortunately, P/O. HARVEY failed to return from this. In the evening there was a Wing sortie, led by WING COMMANDER LOVE. F/Lt. MORGAN led the Squadron. Enemy aircraft were met and F/Lt. MORGAN and F/Sgt. HEMPSTEAD between them got a probable, F/Lt. SAMOUELLE got a damaged, and P/O. HILL fired at and hit another. Altogether this was one of the heaviest days of air activity in the desert.


This evening the Squadron were detailed to do a "Rhubarb". Apparently some confusion arose, as Group had given orders that there was to be no ground strafing, but these orders were not passed on to the Squadron. Ground targets behind enemy lines near FUKA were well attacked. Unfortunately the Squadron lost F/O. HILL who was reported to have crashed in flames, and W/O. EDWARDS, who landed on the sea. W/O. EDWARDS had only been with the Squadron a few days, but he had the makings of a good pilot. F/O. HILL was a most experienced pilot, posted to us from No. 80 Squadron, and he was a most attractive personality. He will be very sorely missed.


We are getting SPITFIRE VB's with MERLIN 46 engines to replace our VC’s that have been lost. A quiet day today on the whole. Yesterday was the Squadron's third birthday. The airmen had a sing-song and the band was in attendance at the airmen's Canteen. Unfortunately two very heavy days' work and the loss of three pilots in the last two days rather dampened the fun.


PILOT OFFICER SLY, R.A.A.F., posted to tha Squadron today. The Squadron has been rested from Ops. for a week to do some training and to get the seviceability up to scratch. SERGEANT MONAGHAN, i/c Ground Gunners, is away an a fortnight’s course and F/Lt. WOOLGROVE, MEDICAL OFFICER, is away on week's course. The Squadron football team beat 601 SQUADRON by 1 — 0.    


Training was carried out in the Flights today, with the pilots learning to re-load and re-fuel their aircraft. P/O. BAKER was posted to the Squadron today from No. 238 SQUADRON. LIEUTENANT RABIE was sent sick to No. 21 M.R.S. for observation.


This morning the AIR OFFICER COMMANDING, WESTERN DESERT, AIR VICE-MARSHAL CONINGHAM, visited the Squadron. After addressing the Airman, the A.O.C. went to the Pilots' Mess, where he met all the pilots and officers. He talked to them for some minutes about the shape or things to come and then had lunch in the Mess. There is unfortunately an outbreak of tonsilitis in the Squadron, and the airmen are gargling twice a day.


LT. RABIE has been admitted to S.A. Hospital, HELMIEH. Owing to the increase of tonslitis in the Squadron, airmen have been warned to sit out in the open after dark instead of crowding into the Canteen.


In the afternoon one of the worst sandstorms ever sprang up. There was a strong, high wind of great force, and it blew the sand round in an orange, opague mass. All sense of direction or visibility was lost. Suddenly, almost as soon as the sandstorm was over, it began to rain heavily. Every tent was soaked, with great pools of water lying on the clayey dust. It left the place an absolute quagmire. The SPITFIRES are serviceable, but it would be impossible to take them up in the air.


This evening the COMMANDING OFFICER, S/Ldr. J.H. WEDGWOOD, DFC, went to a party given at ADVANCED AIR HEADQUARTERS, WESTERN DESERT, by AIR VICE-MARSHAL CONINGHAM in honour of AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SIR ARTHUR TEDDER, and MARSHAL OF THE AIR FORCE LORD TRENCHARD, who is visiting the WESTERN DESERT. Today the camp was simply an infinite series of wide pools of water stretching across a flat of dark brown, sodden sand. The tents, the clothes, the furniture, the aircraft, everything was saturated. Fortunately the rain only came in gusts today, and in between these was a strong wind which at least dried blankets and some of the clothes.


AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SIR ARTHUR TEDDER visited the Squadron for a brief moment this morning. FLYING OFFICER SCUDDAY, of No. 4 S.A.A.F. SQUADRON, posted to us today. Also SERGEANT PILOT PATTERSON from No. 238 SQUADRON. F/Sgt., PILOT SHAFER left to Join No. 59 R.S.U.


The Squadron were on a sortie this morning and on return to base there was an unfortunate collision between a Spitfire of No. 145 SQUADRON, and one of ours. The tail unit of our Spitfire was cut right off and it spun right in, and crashed between the tents. FLIGHT SERGEANT HEMPSTEAD, the pilot, was killed instantly. This accident has robbed the Squadron of an experienced, cool, highly competent pilot and a fine, level-headed, capable man, who was due, very shortly, to get his commission. F/Sgt. HEMPSTEAD was buried this afternoon at the SOUTH AFRICAN WAR CEMETERY at Kilo 151. The Padre of No. 244 WING officiating. P/O. JOERNS was posted to the Squadron from No. 4 S.A.A.F. SQUADRON. F/O. BROOKS returned to the Squadron today.


F/O. BROOKS left the Squadron today on posting out of the desert. He had been with the Squadron as Intelligence Officer for some months, and he will be much missed. P/O. AYLOTT was also posted today from the Squadron to R.A.F. Station, HELIOPOLIS. No. 80 SQUADRON are now back in the desert, and some of their members visited the Pilots’ Mess tonight. From midnight tonight Cairo and Alexandria are out of bounds. F/Lt. WOOLGROVE returned from his course today.


FLYING OFFICER BRUCE posted to the Squadron today. The COMMANDING OFFICER announced to the officers and pilots certain preliminaries caused by news of the impending battle. A very heavy day’s bombing was observed overhead. The recent heavy rain has laid all the dust and the autumnal weather in the desert is now delightful. Two more SPITFIRES collected today, making a total of 16.


On a sortie today S/Ldr. J.H. WEDGWOOD, DFC., shot down a Me 109 and F/O.WADDY, DFC., shot down another. The C.O.’s total bag is now 12. SERGEANT PILOT SAILS posted to the Squadron today, making 25 Pilots excluding the C.O. Postings have been so very rapid in the last few days that there may be some    difficulty in working up a team spirit. That is always the case when a rush of new pilots comes to a Squadron. There was a film show at Wing this evening. The COMMANDING OFFICER went to GROUP this evening, the A.O.C. and the Deputy A.O.C. in C were present. A brief history of the Squadron was telephoned to Group today, apparently at the request of Air Ministry.    


This evening at 10 o'clock by the light of a brilliant full moon a full scale attack was launched against the eneny positions at EL ALAMEIN. There had been two or three days of intensive daylight bombing with fighter escort by the Air Force. The Squadron did two sorties in four's only. Both were uneventful.


The battle in the Northern Sector of the AL ALAMEIN front is progressing favourably, where a definite break through has been made. The Squadron did more sorties in fours, but without incident, in spite of the continuous and heavy day bombing that is going on. The Squadron now has 20 aircraft. Meeting of the P.S.I. Committee held this evening.


On a sortie today over the Central Sector F/Lt. MORGAN was leading a patrol of four aircraft when two Me 109’s were engaged. F/Lt. MORGAN shot one down, and LT. HEWITSON chased the other and got in a burst, but was unable to see the effect of his shots. The push in the NORTHERN SECTOR is continuing well. Meetings of airmen's messing committee held this evening.


The Squadron again doing patrols in fours. On a patrol F/O.WADDY, DFC. and P/O. L. SMITH sighted two Me 109’s and attacked, F/O.WADDY destroying one of them, F/O.WADDY’S own score is now 14½ confirmed destroyed. This makes him the second highest fighter pilot amongst Australians. Nine surplus Ground Gunners posted away from us today.


Another day of sorties in fours. This morning P/O. CHISHOLM and F/O. GLENDINNING were on patrol between DABA and ALAMEIN at aboutv 17,000 feet, when two Me 109’s were sighted. Both Me. 109’s were destroyed, each pilot claiming one destroyed. P/O. CHISHOLM'S own total now 7 destroyed. This evening the WING COMMANDER led a dusk patrol from our L.G. to try and catch a Stuka Party, which usually bomb our lines at dusk. No Stuka's were seen. The patrol included the three C.O.'s of the Wing. On landing the C.O. of 601 Squadron crashed his aircraft, but was unhurt, and P/O. CHISHOLM landed on one wheel and damaged his mainplane. SERGEANT PILOT THOMPSON rejoined the Squadron today.


The German and Italian Air Force seen to have stiffened their resistance, and apparently they have brought squadrons over from SICILY. Today was a very unlucky day for 92. In the morning, whilst on a sortie in fours, P/Sgt. BLADES was shot up and belly-landed his aircraft this side our lines. He was unhurt, and later returned to the Squadron. On the next sortie of fours, they again encountered superior numbers of enemy aircraft, F/Sgt. NOVAK being shot up and forced landed this side our lines. He was unhurt. F/Lt.COCKER failed to return. During these sorties Sgt. PATTERSON damaged a Me 109 and F/O. BUCKLEY another.


The WING went out at two-squadron strength this morning, led by WING COMMANDER LOVE, S/Ldr. J.H. WEDGWOOD, DFC., flying as No. 2. At about 15,000 feet near ALAMEIN they ran into Stukas escorted by Me 109's. S/Ldr.WEDGWOOD shot down a Me 109, making his total 13. P/O. WADDY, DFC. also got a 109 confirmed. The Squadron total is now 231½. F/Lt.SAMOUELLE got a damaged later in the day. The big battle is still going on, with plenty of shell fire on both sides. In the Northern Sector the Army are definitely establishing themselves. The R.A.F. is giving the Army tremendous bomber and fighter support.


AIR CHIEF MARSHAL SIR ARTHUR TEDDER paid a brief visit to the Squadron in the afternoon. The A.O.C-in-C. landed near the dispersal tent in his FRISELER STORCH, and then talked to the pilots outside the tent. He seamed well pleased with the battle now going on, though he thought progress would be slow. He hoped the Squadron would continue to engage the enemy in the air as vigorously as ever.


The "damaged" which F/Lt. SAMOUELLE got two days ago has been confirmed destroyed. The Squadron total confirmed destroyed is 233½.

F/Lt. SAMOUELLE'S own score is 6. Day liberty runs have been started again into ALEXANDRIA for the pilots. The clocks were put back one hour this evening. The Camp is now much cleaner as far as the latrines and kitchens go, but there is still a fair amount of litter left about.    I


A quieter day in the air today, with slightly fewer bomber sorties made over the front. The squadron were on patrol over the front when they became separated during an attack by 109’s. P/O. SLY was shot at and had to belly-land at another L.G. A party was held at Wing to celebrate their 100th victim since the Wing became operational this summer. The 100th victim was shot down by 92 SQUADRON. The weather seems to have become much more autumnal today.


This morning the 8th ARMY broke through the enemy defences around the ALAMEIN SECTOR and fighting is now in progress South of DABA. On a patrol this morning north of ALAMEIN the squadron saw two Me 109’s just below them. P/O. CARPENTER dived down and fired at one. It burst into flames and the pilot baled out. This is P/O. CARPENER’S first victory, and he is to be heartily     

Congratulated. On a patrol later in the day the Squadron intercepted some Me 109's that were trying to attack some HURRICANES. S/Ldr. WEDGWOOD led his Section against a formation of 109's and he himself obtained a "probable." F/Lt. SAMOUELLE led his Section against another formation and destroyed a Me 109, making his total score 6 destroyed. The Squadron's total score is 235½.            


The enemy forces seem to be on the retreat today. Airoraft reported that the road between DABA and FUKA was blocked with vehicles moving westwards. The Squadron did three sorties and one patrol of four, but all without incident.


Provisional notice given that the Squadron would be moving forward shortly. Told to be at four hours stand-by notice. The Squadron went out on patrol today and confirmed that the enemy were definitely on the retreat. Very little enemy opposition was encountered.


The Advance Party warned at dawn to leave at two hours notice. About 0800 hours the convoy of the Advance party lined up on the road. F/Lt. MORGAN was convoy-leader with F/O.WADDY, DFC., as convoy navigator, and F/Lt.SAIGOL (Adjutant), P/O. BOLLAND, W/O. SANDERSON and ‘B’ FLIGHT. They halted first at BURG-EL-ARAB and then, with WING, and the other SPITFIRE SQUADRONS, continued on the way to L.G. 21. The battle had evidently only recently passed this way, as lorries of captured prisoners were encountered, there were still burnt-out GERMAN tanks along the track, and signs everywhere that the enemy had retreated very hurriedly. At night the party encamped in the desert near ALAMEIN.


The Advance Party reached L.G.21 near DABA today. The L.G. had Me 109’s on it in various places including three Me 109’s, in almost perfect condition, dated September of this year. The L.G. is rather a good way off the road and rather isolated. It was noticed that the enemy dispersal of airccraft was extremely good. They had evidently only left this L.G. a bare 24 hours before the party arrived.    i


The Squadron pilots, led by S/Ldr.WEDGWOOD, DFC., arrived at dawn on L.G.21, whilst the MAIN PARTY had orders to travel to SIDI HANEISH (L.G.13). Pilots went off on patrol and saw that the enemy were in full retreat, apparently having reaehed the "wire” on the EGYPTIAN PRONTIER. LT.SMITH on leaving L.G.173 this morning "pranged” his aircraft through inexperience with overload tanks.


The ADJUTANT, F/Lt. SAIGOL, went ahead this morning and caught up with the MAIN PARTY, which rested for a time at L.G.14 near MAARTEN BAGUSH, and then went on to SIDI HANE1SH (L.G.30). Rations are a difficulty and water is at an absolute premium.


Squadron went out on patrol near SIDI BARRANI. An enemy column of traffic was on the road and the Squadron dived down and straffed it sending trucks up in flames and overturning lorries. Me 109’s which were escorting the column attacked the Squadron and F/Sgt. BLADES was shot down, and his machine was seen to hit the ground and burst into flames. F/Lt. SAMOUELLE shot at a 109 and saw strikes. LT. HEWITSON was fired at by ack-ack and his airscrew was hit, but he got back safely. The ADVANCE PARTY under F/O. WADDY and P/O. CHISHOLM are on their way to MESHEFA (L.G.76). They encamped for the night at the bottom of the road near the rest of the Squadron. The GERMANS have now retreated to SOLLUM and the district round SIDI BARRANI.


It is now clear that a very considerable victory has been won and the AXIS Forces cleared right out of EGYPT. His main forces are now said to have retreated almost to TOBRUK. The rest at SIDI HANESH is doing the Squadron transport "B” PARTY a world of good. There is very little enemy opposition in the air.


The enemy retreat continues. Water shortage is acute, but we were fortunate to obtain 350 gallons at FUKA, this will have to last the MAIN PARTY of 200-odd men a matter of three or more days. Rations are also somewhat difficult to obtain, but fortunately supplies of M.T. petrol, aviation petrol and ammunition are plentiful. This continual movement, rising in darkness, travelling at first light is quite a strain, but the airmen are doing splendidly.


The Squadron ADVANCE PARTY had left for L.G.55 a day or two ago, but enormous convoys on the roads cut their speed til they only travelled about six miles in four hours. The MAIN PARTY had better luck and raced past MERSA MATRUH, rejoined the WING at the Desert Route, following the pipe line, and reached MESHEFA only a few hours after the ADVANCE PARTY. The MAIN PARTY have to continue to GAMBUT. Water and rations are still acute and tea is rationed to one cup three times a day. Biscuits instead of bread and no "loot” of any description.


The Squadron MAIN PARTY crossed the wire marking the boundary between LIBYA and EGYPT today. The wayside was supposed to be strewn with minefields so the lorries kept very strictly to the track. We same to SIDI AZIZ. All the WING SQUADRONS and WING HEADQUARTERS travelling together, and late in the day reached GAMBUT WEST, and about an hour later were joined by the COMMANDING OFFICER and pilots. 


Both parties of the Squadron together for the day at GAMBUT, which is quite a nice spot. P/O. NOMIS, an AMERICAN pilot, joined the Squadron a few days ago. There are several wells in the district though the water is muddy. Unfortunately supplies of rations and M.T. petrol have not caught up with us yet. The enemy are said to be well on the way to BENGHASI. Certainly no GERMAN aircraft have been seen by the

Squadron while on patrol. The lorries, which so far have stood the strain of the desert track well, are now being serviced in preparation for the journeying into TRIPOLI.    


The ADVANCE PARTY moved off this morning from GAMBUT WEST for MARTUBA. The weather which had been hot and sunny broke today and became cold with high wind and some rain.


The pilots took off for MARTUBA L.G., but they were recalled as heavy rain had made the ground unserviceable. Rained heavily at GAMBUT WEST this morning. No alcoho1 of any sort in the bar. A meeting of the P.S.I. this afternoon to discuss the Christmas dinner. In addition to 9d. per man for the day, and a further grant of £20, P.S.I. are giving about £60.


No news of when we are likely to move forward. The enemy forces are said to be down by EL AGHEILA, where they were in January of this year. A violent thunderstorm burst over the escarpment this evening, with torrents of rain. The weather is now cold at night and early day, with a warm spell in the late morning and afternoon. P/O. BRUCE returned from Hospital yesterday.


The weather now cold with a strong wind and frequent rain. The Squadron pilots seem to be marking time here at GAMBIT. The ADVANCE PARTY is said to be at MARTUBA. F/O. DUKE, DFC., an ex-Squadron pilot when in U.K. was today posted to the Squadron.


F/O.WADDY, D.F.C., R.A.A.F., was posted away from the Squadron today and back to AUSTRALIA, on completing a "meritorious operational tour," with his score as 15½ confirmed destroyed. Although F/O.WADDY had got most of his big score before joining the Squadron, he soon made a home and a reputation for himself here. He thoroughly deserves the honour of being repatriated, and he will be much missed. Some of the Officers paid a visit to the much-battered TOBRUK today. A little operational flying was done this morning, but there were no glimpses of the enemy.


No.1 S.A.A.F. SQUADRON have Joined 244 WING as a Spitfire Squadron in place of No. 73 SQUADRON, HURRICANE night fighters. We are still far away from the battle, and there is no sign yet of the SPITPIRES becoming operational.


As far as we are concerned there is a curious lull in the battle. There are some 80 SPITPIRES parked on the L.G. doing nothing. Slight troubles again over the water. The wells are very Muddy. News received today that we shall probably be moving on to M'SUS.


The latest news is that we are shortly moving on to MSUS, using the desert track from TMEMI. Except for sugar, rations and water are now plentiful, and we had fresh meat for dinner this evening for the first tine since we advanced.


WING COMMANDER DARWIN, D.F.C. and Bar, took over Commend of No. 244 WING. Squadron Leader HARPER posted to the Squadron as supernumerary. Rations, water and M.T. patrol collected for movement of Squadron MAIN PARTY to M'SUS. Squadron ADVANCE PARTY arrived at M'SUS today from MARTUBA, with P/O. BOLLAND and LT.SINCLAIR.


The pilots, under S/Ldr. WEDGWOOD, D.F.C., left GAMBUT WEST for M’SUS this morning. The MAIN PARTY then left, went down the escarpment and took the road for EL ADAM. Camp was pitched for the night East of GAZALA.


The MAIN PARTY moved off at 5 this morning, travelling by the light of the moon, reached TMEMI by 0730, and there struck the desert track for MEKELI. The track, beyond one or two patches of wet sand, was not too bad, and MEKELI FORT was reached about 1500 hours. Then the odyssey of the convoy began. The convoy missed the desert track leading direct to M'SUS, and we wandered too far north-west. There was very boggy marshland in which the lorries with the trailers were bogged. And getting then out and over some very difficult waddis was a very difficult job. Camp was pitched for the night Just beyond MEKELI FORT.


The MAIN PARTY continued when the desert tracks were easily visible — about 0645 hours, and at about 1000 a deep waddi on the edge of an escarpment seemed to make further progress somewhat of a puzzle. However, with the eapable assistance of P/O. ALLEN, M.T. Officer, and F/O. RAWES, ENGINEER OFFICER, the convoy was taken over the wadi and round the escarpment. It was then elear that we were too far north and pretty well lost. Although LIBYA was supposed to be filled with soldiers and tanks and aireraft, we had travelled without seeing anybody but a few camel drivers. We eventually made for CHARRUBA, and then hit the M’SUS track from there due south.


Off again at first light. The M'SUS track was flat and in many places as smooth and level as a first-class road. The convoy finally reached M’SUS at about 0930. The Squadron is now re-united, and both parties have made the long Journey from AMRIYA to M’SUS without losing a single vehicle, inspite of doing hundreds of miles over the desert. The Squadron has done two sweeps in the last two days, but without incident. Various modifications are being made to the SPITFIRES with a view to lightening the load.


Camp established at M’SUS. Water is available from 3 miles away, situated fortunately not too far away. The COMMANDING OFFICER, S/Ldr. WEDGWOOD, D.F.C., addressed the pilots, and later the airmen of the Squadron.


Ten pilots of "A" Flight under F/Lt. SAMOUELLE, went to ANTELAT for the night in case they were neeeded. P/O. McMAHON posted to the Squadron from No. 80 SQUADRON. SERGEANT-PILOT THOMPSON and FLIGHT-SERGEANT CLAPSON posted from the Squadron to No. 59 R.S.U. Both pilots have been with the Squadron for nearly a year. They are both much liked and they will be greatly missed. News received that W/O. KENWOOD, now commissioned, and missing since September, was a Prisoner-Of-War.        


News received that the WING ADVANCE PARTIES were to proceed tomorrow to HASSIET. The pilots of "A" FLIGHT are still operating from ANTELAT, and the Squadron MAIN PARTY will collect the necessary lorries from them. Rations to be obtained from 233 WING.



The pilots of "A" Flight who had been at Antelat returned today. "A" Party left for Hassiet which is about 50 miles from the El Agheila position. 7 Days rations were received today including bully beef, biscuits, M & V, dried fruit, sugar, tea and milk and if the water situation were more satisfactory life could be quite comfortable. S/Ldr. WEDGWOOD’S farewell party held this evening in his trailer.



S/Ldr. Wedgwood DFC, officially relinquished his command of the Squadron today. The entire squadron feels his departure as a personal loss. He took command of this squadron at Digby in January, brought it overseas, and led it with conspicuous gallantry in battle in the desert. His personal score was 13 destroyed and during 4 months of fighting under his leadership the squadron shot down 42 confirmed destroyed. He was an extraordinarily able leader in the air and his "first 12” were probably more efficient than any other 12 this Unit ever had even in its palmiest days. The A.O.C.W.D. had personally recommended his return to U.K. after a particulary meritorious tour of duty and we hope that this, together with his promotion to Wing Commander will not be long witheld, and we wish him every success for the future. The new C.O. is F/Lt. J.M. MORGAN formerly Flight Commander of “B” Flight whose own score is 6 confirmed and we wish him every success for the future. P/O. (Acting F/Lt.) CHISHOLM takes over command of "B" Flight.


“B" Parties of the Wing left for El Hassiet. Desert track in fairly good condition and the party camped for the night near Agedabia . Pilots escorted a Tac. R machine and on landing A/F/Lt. CHISHOLM broke an oleo leg and was fortunate in not being hurt.



Squadron established at El Hassiet today. The caap is a wilderness and the area around heavily mined. Squadron escorted a Tac R. machine but apart from meeting considerable A.A. fire no incident was reported.


Squadron patrol this afternoon but no incident. German positions, about 60 miles away and plans drawn up by Colonel Bouillon, Fighting French to cover area in case of paratroop attacks.


F/O. JOWSEY, F/Sgt. PROBERT and Sgt. McNAMARA posted to this Unit today from 33 Sqdn. Sgt. Tattum and F/Sgt. Quartermain posted away.


During a patrol this afternoon over El Agheila the squadron ran into some 109’s and P/O. JOERNS was shot down but baled out successfully. LT. SMITH SAAF, has not yet returned and F/O. BRUCE and LT. SINCLAIR, SAAF landed at Agedabia. S/L MORGAN got a    

damaged which may be confirmed and two other aircraft were seen burning on the ground.


LT. SMITH returned safely today. “A” Party moved off today to a forward LG near Agedabia road. The squadron did a patrol this afternoon and saw some 109's but did not make contact. P/O. BRICKHILL and F/Sgt BURMAN posted to us today. The A.O.C. told the C.O. that this Wing (244) would be one of the three fighter wings going forward to Tripoli.


"A" Party moved on to El Nogra L.G. about 18 miles fron El Agheila, where the German line begins. Weather and rations are good but there is a shortage of M.T. aviation fuel and water. Squadron did a patrol, encountered A. A. fire but no enemy aircraft.


The enemy retreating from El Agheila - squadron did a patrol as far up as Marble Arch but nothing to report except A.A. fire.             


Squadron patrol over Marble Arch this afterrioon - heavy and accurate A. encountered which broke a wheel off P/O. JOERNS’ aircraft which overturned on landing but he was unhurt. LT. RABIE and LT. SINCLAIR sent away on 7 days leave prior to their papers coming through aa O.T.E. They will be greatly missed and we wish them good luck in the future. 



Bad weather made L.G. unserviceable today. Airmen's Hess meeting held this afternoon to discuss shortage of rations etc, due to transport difficulties and fewness of ports.


F/Sgt. NOCAK posted back to Squadron today. P/O. L.R.SMITH went to Gazala on 10 days detachment to the "pilots pool" there.


Arrangements made with Wing that the "Desert Lily” (Heinkel 111) used by Group for bringing beer should also include squadron.Squadron oscorted 2 Tac R. aircraft over Marble Arch where heavy and accurate A.A fire was encountered but no enemy aircraft which seem to be few and far between these days.


Heavy rain today made LG still unserviceable. Both pilots and airmen have some cause to grumble over the inadequacy of the food. S/Ldr. COTTON of P. Staff visisted S/Ldr. MORGAN today.


Patrol over the forward troops 10 miles west of Marble Arch today. No enemy aircraft seen but plenty of activity on the ground. New Zealand troops have cut the road near Marble Arch cutting off some of the eneny. F/O. GLENDINNING RAAF, posted as a Flight Commander to 450(RAAF) Squadron today.            


Patrol over the Mediterranean between Benghasi and Marble Arch today to look for a dinghy with aircrew aboard. It was found. W/C DARWEN addresses the pilots on tactics this afternoon. F/Sgt. NOVAK detached to 59 RSU prior to posting. P/O. JOERNS returned fron Medical Board today. He is to be posted to the U.K.


A bad smash occurred this morning when P/O. TURVEY, on a scramble crashed into a badly dispersed aircraft of 601 Squadron. He is suffering from severe shock but no bones broken. “A” Party left the LG this afternoon to go on to the Marble Arch area.


P/O. JOERNS left today. No flying. The L.G. is very difficult for Spits to take off and land but the surrounding country sports rolling dunes, wild birds of about six differont varieties and wild geese on a nearby lake.


No Flying today. Some Officers went shooting near the lake and S/L. MORGAN shot a plover, F/L. SAMOUELLE a quaill. F/Sgt. OTT reported for duty today. P/O. L.R. SMITH went into hospital from Gazala.



“B” Party left for El Merduna L.G, - past Marble Arch and the pilots joined them there in the evening. Whole area here left heavily mined by the Germans.


No flying today. Air Commodore Broadhurst, DSO, DFC, AFC, SASO W.D. spoke to the pilots today.                


Meeting held in S/L MORGAN’S trailer to discuss Christmas arrangements. Three EPIP tents and two ridge tents are being erected to seat all the airmen at one sitting. Christmas fare will consist of tomato soup, turkey, pork with apple sauce, sausage stuffing, Christmas pudding, fruit and nuts, beer and rum and cigarettes. Three mines went off when lorries ran over them today.


Sad news received today that S/Ldr. J.H. WEDGWOOD, DFC had been killed when the Halifax aircraft in which he was a passenger crashed in Malta on its way to U.K. P/O. Turvey returned to the unit today fron hospital.


Airmen’s tents decorated with sprigs of camel thorn and bunches of desert flowers. Officers and senior NCO’s waited on the airmen. In the evening a sing-song was held at which the Commanding Officer and Officers were presont.There was a generous supply of beer and the day was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone.


“A” Party left this morning for a rendezvous past Nofilia L.G. and then to continue on their way to the new L.G., which is about 20 miles in the desert South East of Sultan. Another mine went up this morning, once again no-one was injured and the lorry was not harmed. Since staying in the district, which is heavily sprinkled with mines we have lost only one lorry, which hit a mine on the road near Marble Arch. No flying today.


Cold blustering weather which turned into a fine calm in the afternooon. Practice flying carried out all day. Some pork left over from Christmas was purchased from Wing and three welfare boxes were received from the Association of the Ladies of Alexandria. The boxes contained Christmas cakes, handkerchiefs, biscuits, dates, chocolates, Turkish Delight and tins of sweets. This gift to all the squadrons of the advanced Air Force was a most generous and welcomed gift.


F/O. CARPENTER left the unit today to go to a hospital in Cairo. There is some reason to believe that he may not come back. "CHIPS" CARPENTER will be very much missed. He has been with this Squadron for 18 months, and he was an experienced and capable pilot and very much liked in the Squadron. Should he not return to the Squadron we wish him all the very best for the future. Practice flying again to-day.


No flying to-day. A football match was played between “A” flight and S.H.Q. ending in a draw 1-all. The Bomb Line is now from Buerat running S.E. and our forward armoured cars are said to be in the Misurata area.


No flying carried out all day due to aerodrome unserviceability. In the afternoon orders were received from Wing for the Squadron to prepare to move at first light to occupy a more forward L.G. at Alem El Chel. The “A” parties immediately made ready for an early start. F/O. TURVEY was granted seven days sick leave and is leaving for Cairo by air transport tomorrow.


F/Lt. SAIGOL left the Squadron this morning on posting to 22 P.T.C.,We are all very sorry to see him go as he has been a regular Adjt. and an extremely good campaigner. His health however has been seriously effected by the desert condition and he has been recommended for a change. At 0945 hours the Squadron aircraft took off and set course for the new base at Chel, arriving at 1030 hrs without indident. The ground party left soon after taking the desert track got within 5 miles of Chel before night fall, where they camped. No operational flying carried out and only a few local training flights.

F540 Sep - Dec 1942

F 540 1942

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