Scattered raids in the morning. Kent and Essex airfields attacked during the afternoon.

Night: Very little activity. One or two raids in the south-west.

Weather: Generally cloudy, rain spreading from the north. Channel mainly fine.

Main Activity:

The weather was autumnal, with low clouds, strong winds and intermittent rain which restricted German operations. The Luftflotten planning staffs spent the day digesting Göring’s requirements outlined on the 19th. These were contained in orders put out by the Luftwaffe Command Staff IA which covered ‘the weakening of enemy fighter forces, attacks on the enemy ground organisation, the aircraft industry, and aluminium and steel rolling mills’.

Activity over Britain in the morning was limited to small raids on Cheltenham, Oxford and Southwold, while reconnaissance aircraft surveyed Duxford, Debden, North Weald, Hatfield, Northolt and Hornchurch airfields. At 1124 hours, bombs were again dropped on the oil-tanks at Pembroke Docks, still burning from the previous day.

During the afternoon several waves of aircraft came in from Calais, starting just after 1400 hours. Objectives were the balloon barrage at Dover and the airfields of Eastchurch, Manston and West Mailing. There were also isolated raids on convoy ‘Agent’ off the east coast and on S.S. Orford off Anglesey. Twelve fighter squadrons were despatched to intercept, but due to bad weather only accounted for six enemy aircraft in the course of 453 sorties, although one was a four-engined FW 200 over Ireland. Two RAF aircraft were lost during the day. The Polish Air Force had its first success over Britain, No. 302 Squadron destroying a Junkers 88.

Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster

German Losses
Airmen: 11 | Aircraft: 8

British Losses
Airmen: 1 | Aircraft: 2

Hurricane P2976, No. 242 Squadron
Mid. (FAA) P J Patterson missing. Crashed into sea during combat action.

Photo Descriptions:

  1. P/O Juliusz “Topola” Topolnicki of No. 601 Squadron sits in readiness near Hurricane Mk I, UF-N, in a revetment at RAF Tangmere, August 1940.
  2. 4.5-inch gun crew take post at Clapham Common in London, 20 August 1940. © IWM (H 3195)