Unsuccessful attacks on London, Thames Estuary and aircraft factories.
Night: Main target is London, including the City and West End.
Weather: Scattered showers, thundery in the east. Channel fair.
Once more the morning brought respite, and attacks did not develop until the afternoon, when formations began massing in the area Calais-Boulogne. Raids of 30+, 50+, 15+ and 12+ were plotted by the radar stations, and appeared over the coast as groups of escorted and unescorted bombers. A high-flying screen of fighters attempted to draw off British interceptors just before the raids developed.
This time 11 Group were not caught napping. At five o’clock, when the raids began to come in, nine 11 Group squadrons were in position, while units from 10 Group and 12 Group guarded factories and north Thames airfields respectively.
It was the German intention to attack targets in London, the Thames Estuary and the factories at Brooklands, but the fighter interceptions were so successful that most of the formations were broken up long before they reached them. German aircraft sent out a number of distress signals and radio control stations on the French coast ordered formation leaders to break off the attacks ‘if the defences are too strong, or if fighter protection is too weak’. These messages were heard with great interest by British radio monitoring receivers in Kent.
Bombs were jettisoned over a wide area, including Canterbury, Kingston, Epsom, Surbiton, Norbiton and Purley, while in central London itself a few fell on Wandsworth, Lambeth and Chelsea.
After the enemy had retired the RAF could show twenty-eight German aircraft destroyed for the loss of nineteen British fighters from which six pilots were recovered. London had been saved from a further onslaught, and the German bomber air crew complained bitterly at their de-briefing of the sudden upsurge of the defences and the apparent shortcomings of their Messerschmitt escorts.
Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
Airmen: 38 | Aircraft: 30
Airmen: 6 | Aircraft: 17
Hurricane P2728, No. 607 Squadron
P/O G.J. Drake killed. Engaged combat with enemy aircraft and shot down over Mayfield.
Hurricane L2059, No. 605 Squadron
P/O G.M. Forrester killed. Caught in enemy crossfire and collided with He 111 losing part of wing.
Hurricane P3574, No. 607 Squadron
P/O S.B. Parnall killed. Shot down during combat with Do 17s and Bf 109s. Crashed at Cranbrook.
Hurricane P3888, No. 310 Squadron
F/O J.E. Boulton killed. Collided with Hurricane of No. 310 Sqn during attack on enemy aircraft.
Hurricane P3117, No. 607 Squadron
P/O J.D. Lenahan killed. Shot down by Bf 109 during attack on Do 17. Crashed at Cranbrook.
Hurricane P3087, No. 242 Squadron
P/O K.M. Sclanders killed. Shot down in combat with Do 17s and Bf 110s. Crashed at Caterham Surrey.
- The wreckage of a Junkers Ju 88 bomber, shot down on 9 September 1940 at Newells Farm, Nuthurst, West Sussex, where it had been substantially ‘got at’ by souvenir hunters when this photograph was taken.
- A bus is left leaning against the side of a building in Harrington Square, near Regents Park after a German bombing raid on London in the first days of the Blitz, 9 September 1940.
- Firemen spray water on damaged buildings, near London Bridge, in the City of London on 9 September 1940.
- Blenheim Mark IV, R3612 BL-V, of No. 40 Squadron RAF based at Wyton, Huntingdonshire, in flight. R3612 previously served with the Photographic Development Unit. It was lost with its entire crew on 8/9 September 1940 during a night raid on invasion barges at Ostend. © IWM (CH 787)