Fighter sweeps towards London, but few bombs dropped.

Night: London attacked.

Weather: Generally fair but cloudy with light winds.

Main Activity:

An hour separated the first two major raids which began at 9 a.m. In the first there were thirty bombers and 100 fighters; in the second sixty planes.

Crossing the coast at Dungeness the two raids were met in force. Split and harried, neither reached London.

At 10.50 a.m. radar warned of another attack—this time approaching Dorset from Cherbourg. The planes were Bf 110 fighter-bombers escorted by 109s. They were so severely handled by the RAF that they turned back before reaching the coast.

Midday came and with it a fierce battle over Kent. Then at 3.10 p.m. a series of minor sorties was followed by a major raid of more than 100 planes. Thirty reached London. Within fifty minutes 180 more bombers and fighters were plotted approaching Weybridge and Slough on a front of eight miles.

One hundred miles west, forty escorted Heinkel bombers crossed the coast heading for the Westland works at Yeovil. Cloud obscured the target and the Germans were obliged to bomb blind. Sherborne, some miles from Yeovil, took the full impact of the attack.

The Germans had to fight their way in against four British squadrons and they were beset by another four on the way out. Four Hurricanes fell to their gunners and an Bf 110 shot down another.

Two of the British pilots baled out and the third. Wing Commander Constable-Maxwell, shot down by a single bullet puncturing the oil system of his aircraft, force-landed his Hurricane on a beach.

By dusk the last great daylight battle was over and the score was forty-seven German aircraft destroyed for a loss of twenty RAF fighters and eight pilots killed or wounded.

Just as the Stuka had been withdrawn from the battle so now were the twin-engined bombers to be relegated to the night offensive — except for those rare occasions when they could use the clouds to cover their sorties over Britain.

And as if to mark the occasion the King appointed Dowding Knight Grand Commander of the Bath.

Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

German Losses
Airmen: 59 | Aircraft: 47

British Losses
Airmen: 8 | Aircraft: 21

Hurricane V6748, No. 46 Squadron
P/O J.D. Crossman killed. Shot down by enemy fighters.

Spitfire P9564, No. 64 Squadron
P/O A.F. Laws killed. Rear fuselage of aircraft struck by starboard wing of Spitfire K9805, breaking off tail. Aircraft crashed at Cranswick.

Spitfire L1072, No. 152 Squadron
Sgt. L.A.E. Reddington. Listed as missing. Shot down during combat over Portland. Believed to have crashed into the sea.

Blenheim L1261, No. 219 Squadron.
Disintegrated and crashed during routine night patrol.
Sgt. C. Goodwin killed.
Sgt. G.E. Shepperd killed.
AC2 J.P. McCaul killed.

Hurricane P2815, No. 229 Squadron
F/O M. Ravenhill killed. Shot down by Bf 109s.

Hurricane P3414, No 504 Squadron
F/O J.R. Hardacre killed. Shot down in combat over the south-west coast. Body washed ashore on 10/10/40.

Photo Descriptions:

  1. Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 (Wn.4851 9+), flown by Oberleutnant Karl Fischer of 7./JG 27, is lifted by a crane in Windsor Great Park in Surrey. The aircraft had made a forced-landing after being damaged by RAF fighters during a bomber escort mission to London on 30 September 1940.
  2. RAF personnel inspect Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 (Wn.4851 9+) flown by Oberleutnant Karl Fischer of 7./JG 27.
  3. Junkers Ju 88A-1 (W.Nr. 2142: 3Z+DK) of 2./KG 77 on display at Primrose Hill, London during October 1940. It had been shot down at Gatwick Race Course (now Gatwick Airport) on 30 September that year, with one of its crew members killed and the other three captured but wounded. The sheer size of the bomber aircraft often meant that they were displayed as a fuselage only and without their wings.
  4. The remains of Junkers Ju 88A-1 (W.Nr. 2142: 3Z+DK) of 2./KG 77 on public display at Primrose Hill in London, 10 October 1940. The bomber had been hit by AA fire and crash-landed on Gatwick race course on 30 September.