Raids on London and the Solent area.
Night: Continued attacks on London.
Weather: The Channel, Straits and Thames Estuary cloudy otherwise generally fair to fine.
Delighted by the results of the 27th, Churchill was moved to send the Secretary of State this message: Pray congratulate the Fighter Command on the results of yesterday. The scale and intensity of the fighting and the heavy losses of the enemy…make 27th September rank with 15th September and 15th August, as the third great and victorious day of the Fighter Command during the course of the Battle of Britain.’
By that evening, however, sixteen fighters and nine pilots had been lost resisting two major raids on London and one on Portsmouth.
This, coupled with the fact that only three German planes were shot down, was an indication that the British pilots were exhausted by the intensity of the demands made on them.
The Luftwaffe’s losses for the day in fact totalled ten machines. Seven of them were destroyed accidentally.
Another important factor to be found in these results lay in the composition of the German formations. As a result of their losses— accentuated on the 27th — the Germans were forced to admit that their large bomber formations were not paying big enough dividends to justify the heavy losses they had incurred. New tactics were accordingly ordered, involving smaller bomber formations consisting of thirty of the faster Ju 88s, escorted by 200 to 300 fighters.
Evidence of this change in tactics did not become apparent until midday when several large formations of Bf 109s appeared between Deal and Dungeness escorting some thirty bombers. The raiders were driven off before they reached central London, but not without difficulty for the British, who were placed at a disadvantage by the heights at which the German escorts were flying.
All No. 11 Group squadrons were involved, as well as five squadrons from No. 12 Group.
At 2.45 p.m. fifty Bf 110s were intercepted en route for Portsmouth and driven back by squadrons of No. 10 Group assisted by five No. 11 Group units diverted to help.
From 5 p.m. until nightfall the Germans concentrated on reconnaissance. At 9 p.m. they began night operations which were centred on London.
Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
Airmen: 24 | Aircraft: 12
Airmen: 10 | Aircraft: 17
Spitfire X4409, No. 41 Squadron
P/O H.H. Chalder. Died of injuries 10/11/40. Shot down during combat over Charing, Kent. Pilot baled out seriously wounded.
Spitfire X4426, No. 41 Squadron
F/O J.G. Boyle killed. Shot down in combat over Charing, Kent.
Hurricane N2400, No. 238 Squadron
Sgt. R. Little killed. Shot down into the sea by a Bf 110 east of the Isle of Wight.
Hurricane V6776, No. 238 Squadron
Sgt. E.S. Bann killed. Baled out over Brading Marshes, Isle of Wight but was killed when parachute failed to open.
Hurricane V6778, No. 238 Squadron
P/O D.S. Harrison. Listed as missing. Shot down by Bf 109s over the Solent.
Hurricane P3417, No. 501 Squadron
P/O F.C. Harrold killed. Shot down by Bf 109s.
Spitfire L1076, No. 603 Squadron
F/Lt. H.K. MacDonald killed. Shot down by Bf 109s over Gillingham. Pilot baled out too low.
Hurricane V6699, No. 605 Squadron
F/O P.G. Crofts killed. Shot down by Bf 109s over Ticehurst, Sussex. Pilot baled out but fell dead at Redpale Farm, near Dallington.
Hurricane P3108, No. 607 Squadron
F/Lt. W.E. Gore. Listed as missing. Shot down by Bf 109s in an action east of Selsey.
Hurricane R4189, No. 607 Squadron
F/Lt. M.M. Irving. Listed as missing. Shot down by Bf 109s east of Selsey.
- Messerschmitt Bf 109 E-7 (W.Nr. 4091) of I(Jabo)./LG 2 crash-landed near Théville due to engine failure on 28 September 1940. The pilot, Hans-Joachim Marseille, had just claimed his seventh aerial victory. Bundesarchiv, Bild 101I-344-0741-30 / Röder / CC-BY-SA 3.0.
- Two Supermarine Spitfire Mark IAs of No. 616 Squadron, with their flaps down, come in to land at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire, after a sortie. © IWM (CH 1454)
- King George VI conferring a Bar to Flying Officer Albert G Lewis’s DFC in an awards ceremony at Duxford, Cambridgeshire. Lewis, a South African, had just returned to service with No. 249 Squadron, after being shot down and badly burnt on 28 September 1940, at which time he had himself shot down 18 enemy aircraft. © IWM (CH 1948)