Fighter-bomber raids on London and Kent.
Night: Raids on London, the Midlands, Manchester and Liverpool.
Weather: Cloudy with local showers chiefly in the north and east.
The whole of London was now under the lash of Göring’s night blitz and as the German News Agency put it inadvertently at the time: ‘Bombs fell all over the place.’ The New York Herald Tribune summed up the situation more accurately, ‘What appears to be happening,’ it said, ‘is that the Germans have found the defences too strong for their daylight attack, permitting accurate fire, and so are putting their effort into night attack … But against a people with courage it is unlikely to prove fruitful … and there is no doubt of British courage.’
The Luftwaffe was keeping up the pressure in daylight, but now it has to reckon with a greater measure of coordination between Park and Leigh-Mallory.
On the 26th the Luftwaffe kept the whole of southeast England on the alert. Raids started early in the morning and began to intensify after 10 a.m. when high-flying fighter sweeps started to penetrate from the Channel. Maidstone, London and convoys in the Thames estuary were bombed, and off the north-west coast of Ireland a FW 200 bombed and set fire to the 42,000 ton liner Empress of Britain.
Fighter Command mounted 732 sorties. Ten German and two British planes were destroyed.
Although airborne in reasonable numbers British night-fighter pilots again had the galling experience of failing to intercept the raids which disturbed the Saturday-night pleasures of thousands all over Britain.
Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
Airmen: 19 | Aircraft: 10
Airmen: 5 | Aircraft: 8
Hurricane V7434, No. 151 Squadron
Sgt. D.O. Stanley died of injuries 27/10/40. Crashed and burst into flames on take-off from Coleby Grange on practice night flight.
Hurricane R4184, No. 151 Squadron
Sgt. R. Holder killed. Crashed attempting left-hand turn shortly after take-off from Coleby Grange.
Hurricane V6704, No. 229 Squadron
P/O D.B.H. McHardy captured. Shot down by Bf 109s off the French coast during attack on Heinkel He 59.
Hurricane W6669, No. 229 Squadron
F/O G.M. Simpson missing. Shot down by Bf 109s whilst attacking Heinkel He 59 moored off the French coast.
Spitfire R6839, No. 602 Squadron
Sgt. D.W. Elcome missing. Failed to return from routine squadron patrol.
- Focke-Wulf Fw 200 C-3 Condors of Kampfgeschwader 40 on the ground. On 26 October 1940, the troop transport RMS Empress of Britain was severely damaged by two 250 kg bombs dropped by a Fw 200 of KG 40, commanded by Oberleutnant Bernhard Jope.