Targets in Kent and Southampton attacked.
Night: Raids on London and East Anglian airfields.
Weather: Local showers in most parts, bright periods. Winds light and variable.
Thirty raiders flying singly at 10,000–15,000 feet were plotted off the coast before 9 a.m. Half an hour later another raid began to boil up at Calais and by 10 a.m. two raids of twenty and fifteen bombers and fighters were tracked inland by the Observer Corps to West Mailing and Detling airfields.
At 1100 hours a forceful attack developed on Kent. Raids of 40, 30, 50, and 12 machines crossed the coast near Lympne and fanned out over southern England to attack Detling and Folkestone. The third attack came at 1300 hours with a fighter sweep of twenty-five Bf 109s which were followed by a wave of a further 100 machines, thirty of which carried bombs. Fifty aircraft reached the centre of London. Simultaneously two formations of fifty and thirty aircraft set course from Cherbourg to attack Southampton.
With no further need to go for bombers at all costs the Spitfires and Hurricanes were now free to fight directly with the Messerschmitts. The fighter-bombers, almost helpless with their awkward loads, usually let their bombs go the moment they were engaged. The fighters on the other hand took on the British machines in spirited fashion. There were bitter dog-fights, and in clear weather the people of London and the Home Counties watched the great swirls and streaks of vapour trailing across the pale blue of the autumn sky.
In the fourth attack at 1530 hours on Kent and East Sussex a mixed force of fifty bombers and fighters from Luftflotte 3 flew in over Ashford and Tonbridge. They were met by Spitfires and Hurricanes which split them up and drove them off. Hostile operations ended with an attack in the Selsey/Southampton area at 1700 hours by two formations of thirty aircraft each, mainly Bf 110s. By sunset Fighter Command had flown 1,175 sorties and lost nine aircraft. Nine German planes were also destroyed.
Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
Airmen: 15 | Aircraft: 14
Airmen: 2 | Aircraft: 7
Spitfire R9989, No. 72 Squadron
P/O N. Sutton killed. Mid-air collision shortly after take-off. Aircraft crashed and burned out.
Hurricane P3892, No. 303 Squadron
F/O W. Januszewicz killed. Shot down by Bf 109s and crashed in flames at Stowting.
- Nine Hawker Hurricanes of 85 Squadron based at RAF Church Fenton, Yorkshire, led by Squadron Leader P H Townsend on 5 October 1940.
- A formation of No. 85 Squadron Hurricanes from RAF Church Fenton executes a balbo on 5 October 1940, for the benefit of AM photographer Bertrand JH Daventry, who flew in a Master Mk I of No. 306 Squadron to undertake the photography. Among the twelve aircraft taking part in the display S/L Peter Townsend led the front echelon in Hurricane Mk I VY-U, with acting F/L Geoffrey Allard of A Flight abaft in VY-G and acting F/L James Marshall of B Flight to the rear in VY-Q.
- Sheltering at Aldwych tube station during a night raid, 5 October 1940.