One major fighter sweep towards London, otherwise reconnaissance only.
Night: Raids concentrated on London.
Weather: Fair with bright periods, showery.
There were few early-morning raids but at 10.30 a.m. the Luftwaffe started massing at Calais. Then twenty planes crossed the coast at Dungeness at 13,000 feet, thirty overflew Dover, at 12,000 feet, and a dozen or more passed over Lympne. The RAF lost seven planes near Kenley, Biggin Hill and the Estuary, and the Germans lost eight.
Reporting on his trip to Britain, in New York, Brigadier Strong, Assistant Chief of the U.S. Military Mission sent to London to observe the results of the Luftwaffe’s attacks, did much to influence American opinion. The German Air Force, he said, had made no serious inroad on the strength of the RAF and the damage inflicted on military targets was comparatively small. Strong concluded by stating that the British were conservative in claiming German aircraft casualties.
Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
Airmen: 9 | Aircraft: 8
Airmen: 5 | Aircraft: 8
Spitfire X4410, No. 72 Squadron
P/O D.F. Holland Killed. Baled out after being shot down by Bf 109s. Died on admission to hospital.
Spitfire N3203, No. 222 Squadron
P/O H.L. Whitbread killed. Shot down by Bf1 09s and crashed at Pond Cottage. Thrown clear but already dead.
Hurricane L1595, No. 56 Squadron
Sgt C.V. Meeson killed. Crashed during formation flying practice.
Spitfire X4417, No. 92 Squadron
P/O H.P. Hill killed. Shot down by Major Mölders in Bf 109 and burst into flames on crashing.
Spitfire N3248, No. 92 Squadron
Sgt P.R. Eyles. Posted as missing. Crashed into the Channel after being shot down by Major Mölders.
- Devastation was left behind after a Junkers Ju 88 bomber crashed into a pair of houses in Merton, south London, on the night of 19/20 September 1940. In the picture, salvage workers pick amongst the ruins, but all that seems to be left of the twin-engine bomber is a ball of mangled air-frame wreckage that can be seen on the rubble in the top left of the photograph. One civilian, 25-year-old Mary Butcher, died from injuries caused by the crash and three of the plane’s four crew were also killed, whilst the fourth bailed out and was taken captive.
- A Dornier Do 17 bomber drops its payload above England, during an attack on 20 September 1940.
- Messerschmitt Bf 110, U8+HL of 2./ZG 76, shot down at Cobham Farm in Lenham, Kent, on 20 September 1940.
- Three anti-aircraft guns flash in the dark in London on 20 September 1940, firing shells at raiding German bombers. Shells in stacked rows behind the guns leap about as the concussions from the firing loosen them.