Three major attacks on a Channel convoy.

Night: Small raids and minelaying.

Weather: Showers and bright intervals. Channel cloudy.

Main Activity:

At 0840 hours, Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers of II and III/StG 1, escorted by Bf 109s of I/JG 27, attacked the convoy codenamed PEEWIT off St Catherine’s Point, sinking the SS Coquetdale and the Dutch vessel SS Ajax. Hurricanes of No. 145 Squadron from Westhampnett intercepted the enemy aircraft, shooting down two Stukas and damaging two others before engaging the Messerschmitt escort. In the ensuing dogfight, three Bf 109s were shot down for the loss of two Hurricanes.

At about 1145 hours, Bf 109s of III/JG 26 and II & III/JG 51 swept the Dover area in advance of the next attack and engaged Spitfires from Nos. 41, 64, and 65 Squadrons. Five British aircraft were lost including a Blenheim of No. 600 Squadron on a training flight. One Bf 109 was shot down and three others made emergency landings at St Omer due to combat damage.

At 1205 hours, a second wave of almost sixty Ju 87 Stukas from StG 2, StG 3, and StG 77, escorted by Bf 110s from V/LG 1 with top cover provided by about thirty Bf 109s from II and III/JG 27, attacked PEEWIT south of the Isle of Wight. Four ships were sunk and seven damaged. The raid was intercepted by Hurricanes of Nos. 145, 257, and 238 Squadrons along with Spitfires of No. 609 Squadron. Seven German aircraft were destroyed for the loss of five Hurricanes.

At about 1615 hours, eighty-two Ju 87 Stukas of StG 1 and StG 77, escorted by sixty-eight Bf 109s of II/JG 27 and some Bf 110s from LG 1, launched a final attack against PEEWIT off Bournemouth. Hurricanes of Nos. 43 and 145 Squadrons intercepted, shooting down six German aircraft and damaging several others. Another six Hurricanes were also lost. Meanwhile, Spitfires of No. 152 Squadron engaged Bf 109s from JG 53 south of Swanage. Two Spitfires were damaged and force-landed.

Out of the original twenty ships in the convoy, only four arrived at their intended destination of Swanage.

German Losses
Airmen: 30 | Aircraft: 24

British Losses
Airmen: 20 | Aircraft: 21

Hurricane P2955, No. 145 Squadron. Crashed in Channel.
P/O L.A. Sears. Missing. Last seen in combat with Bf 109s, failed to return to base.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Sears.htm

Hurricane P3381, No. 145 Squadron. Crashed in Channel.
Sgt E.D. Baker. Missing. Last seen in combat with Bf 109s, failed to return to base.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/BakerED.htm

Spitfire K9911, No. 65 Squadron. Aircraft destroyed.
Sgt D.I. Kirton. Killed. Hit by gunfire from Bf 109 and crashed in flames near airfield.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Kirton.htm

Spitfire K9905, No. 65 Squadron. Aircraft destroyed.
F/Sgt N.T. Phillips. Killed. Shot down by Bf 109 and crashed in flames.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/PhillipsNT.htm

Blenheim L8665, No. 600 Squadron. Went down in flames off beach.
F/O D.N. Grice, Sgt F.D. Keast, and AC1 J.B.W. Warren. All killed after pilot avoided town and crashed into sea.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/GriceDN.htm
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Keast.htm
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/WarrenJBW.htm

Spitfire L1039, No. 64 Squadron. Aircraft destroyed.
P/O P.F. Kennard-Davies. Died of Injuries. Hit by enemy gunfire, baled out but sustained serious burns.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Kennard-Davis.htm

Hurricane R4094, No. 257 Squadron. Presumed crashed into Channel.
Sgt K.B. Smith. Missing. Failed to return to base after action over Channel protecting convoy PEEWIT.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/SmithKB.htm

Hurricane P2981, No. 257 Squadron. Crashed into Channel.
F/Lt N.M. Hall. Killed. Hit by gunfire from Bf 109, crashed into sea.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/HallNM.htm

Hurricane P3058, No. 257 Squadron. Presumed crashed into Channel.
F/O B.W.J D’Arcy-Irvine. Missing. Last seen in combat with Bf 109s over Channel, failed to return.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/DArcy-Irvine.htm

Hurricane P3823, No. 238 Squadron. Crashed in Channel.
F/L D.E Turner. Missing. Shot down while engaging enemy over convoy PEEWIT, failed to return to base.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/TurnerDE.htm

Hurricane P3617, No. 238 Squadron. Crashed into Channel.
F/O D.C. MacCaw. Killed. Shot down while engaging enemy over convoy PEEWIT, crashed into sea.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/MacCaw.htm

Hurricane P2957**, No. 145 Squadron. Crashed in Channel.
P/O E.C.J. Wakeham. Missing. Last seen in combat with Ju 87s and Bf110s, failed to return to base.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Wakeham.htm

Hurricane P3163, No. 145 Squadron. Crashed into Channel.
F/O Lord R.U.P Kay-Shuttleworth. Missing. Failed to return after combat over convoy PEEWIT.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Shuttleworth.htm

Hurricane P3545, No. 145 Squadron. Crashed into Channel.
S/Lt F.A. Smith. Missing. Shot down attacking Ju 87s but possibly hit by gunfire from Bf 109.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/SmithFA.htm

Hurricane P3781, No. 43 Squadron. Crashed into Channel.
P/O J. Cruttenden. Missing. Hit by enemy gunfire and crashed into the sea.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Cruttenden.htm

Hurricane P3468, No. 43 Squadron. Crashed into Channel.
P/O J.R.S. Oelofse. Killed. Hit by enemy gunfire and crashed into the sea.
http://www.bbm.org.uk/airmen/Oelofse.htm


Photo Descriptions:

  1. A Junkers Ju 87B Stuka of 4./StG 77 at Bouchy near Evrecy, August 1940.
  2. The merchant vessel SS Coquetdale, which was sunk off the Isle of Wight by Ju 87 Stuka dive-bombers on 8 August 1940.
  3. The first enemy aircraft to crash on the Isle of Wight in 1940, Ju 87B-1 S2+SM of 4./StG 77 hurtled down west of St Lawrence Shute at 15.15 on 8 August 1940, marking the first day of sustained attacks against Convoy PEEWIT. The dive bomber was hit by Hawker Hurricane Mk I SO-K flown by P/O Peter L Parrott of No. 145 Squadron when pulling out of its dive 100 ft from the sea. Finally coming to rest in a tree, it was recovered by a Queen Mary trailer to gather intelligence on the type.
  4. A Heinkel He 111 of I./KG 4 that flew into a mountainside at Eastman’s Cairn in Cairnsmore-of-Fleet, Scotland, on 8 August 1940. Whilst RAF personnel and Intelligence Officers managed to reach the wreckage, it proved impossible to get it off the mountain and it remained there until at least the 1980s when it was lifted off by helicopter for museum display.