Convoys and shipping in the Channel raided

Night: Minelaying in the Firth of Forth and Thames Estuary. Reconnaissance over Bristol and Channel area.

Weather: Fine day with haze in the Straits of Dover. Winds north-westerly and light.

Main Activity:

At 1207 hours, a large formation of Bf 109s from III/JG 52 approached Dover at sea level and were met by Spitfires from No. 65 Squadron. One German fighter was lost when it hit and crashed into the sea.

At 1245 hours, twenty Hurricanes from Nos. 32 and 615 Squadrons engaged more than forty Bf 109s in a dogfight near Dover. One Hurricane was badly damaged. As the fighters withdrew, sixty Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers from II/StG 1 and IV/LG 1 attacked the convoy codenamed PEEWIT passing through the Dover Straits. Nine Spitfires from No. 54 Squadron were scrambled to help but they were bounced by Bf 109s of III/JG 26 and lost two aircraft.

At 1430 hours, thirty Ju 88s from III/KG 4, escorted by over 50 Bf 109s, were despatched to attack PEEWIT. They were engaged by Spitfires from Nos. 64 and 610 Squadrons along with Hurricanes from No. 111 Squadron. The attack was broken up but two Spitfires were lost and another two damaged. One Bf 109 was confirmed destroyed.

At about 1715 hours, PEEWIT was attacked again by Ju 87 Stukas from II/LG 1 and III/StG 1 off Folkestone. Five ships were sunk and another four damaged. Hurricanes from No. 56 Squadron together with Spitfires from Nos. 54, 64, and 610 Squadrons were scrambled to intercept, shooting down two Ju 87s and two Bf 109s. Two Spitfires were also lost.

Eleven out of twenty-one ships in convoy PEEWIT were sunk and another seven damaged along with two British destroyers, HMS Boreas and HMS Brilliant. The two destroyers were despatched from Dover to engage German E-boats.

German Losses
Airmen: 19 | Aircraft: 19

British Losses
Airmen: 7 | Aircraft: 9

Spitfire P9451, No. 64 Squadron. Lost at sea.
F/O A.J.O. Jeffrey. Killed. Was last seen crashing into the Channel. Body washed up on Dutch coast.

Spitfire R6707, No. 54 Squadron. Lost at sea.
F/Lt B.H. “Wonky” Way. Presumed drowned. Shot down by Bf 109 and crashed into Channel.

Spitfire R6693, No. 610 Squadron. Aircraft destroyed.
S/L A.T. Smith. Killed. Crashed and burnt out after stalling on landing. Previously in combat with Bf 109.

Spitfire L1035, No. 64 Squadron. Lost at sea.
Sub/Lt F.D. Paul. Died of Injuries. Shot down by Bf 109, captured by a German E-boat but died five days later.

Spitfire R6816, No. 54 Squadron. Aircraft destroyed.
P/O A. Finnie. Killed. Hit by gunfire from Bf 109 and crashed at Kingsdown, near Dover.

Spitfire P9493, No. 234 Squadron. Aircraft destroyed.
P/O G.K. Gout. Killed. Crashed just outside town. Circumstances not known.

Photo Descriptions:

  1. Blenheim Mk IFs of No. 25 Squadron at Martlesham Heath, 25 July 1940. The foreground aircraft is equipped with AI Mk III radar. The squadron was used for night fighter operations. © IWM (HU 104651, HU 104652)
  2. Blenheim Mk IF of No. 25 Squadron taxying at Martlesham Heath, watched by air and ground crews, 25 July 1940. © IWM (HU 104653)
  3. Two armourers service the machine guns of a Hawker Hurricane Mk I of No. 85 Squadron, while a third unpacks belts of .303 inch ammunition at RAF Debden, 25 July 1940. © IWM (HU 54510)
  4. Hawker Hurricane Mk I P3166 VY-Q, flown by the CO of No. 85 Squadron, Sqn Ldr Peter Townsend, taxiing out at Castle Camps, 25 July 1940. © IWM (HU 104488)
  5. HMS Boreas (H77) under attack by Junkers Ju 87 Stuka dive bombers on 25 July 1940 after engaging German E-boats off Dover Harbour. Her bridge was hit twice by bombs that killed one officer and twenty crewmen. Boreas was under repair at Millwall Dock until 23 January 1941.
  6. Bystanders gather around the wreckage of a Junkers Ju 88A (9K+GN) of 5./KG 51 at Oakridge near Stroud in Gloucestershire. The bomber had been tasked to attack the Gloster Aircraft Factory at Hucclecote on 25 July 1940 when it was intercepted by two Hurricanes of the Airfield Defence Flight, No.4 Ferry Pilot’s Pool, RAF Kemble. Pilot Officers R.G. Manlove and C.A. Bird intercepted the Junkers, but in the attack Plt Off Bird collided with the bomber’s tail causing the enemy aircraft to crash at Lower Weir Farm, Oakridge. The four-man crew of the Ju 88 baled out, although one of them was killed when his parachute failed to open. Plt Off Bird was killed in the collision. © IWM (HU 69164)