Bristol and Plymouth bombed.
Night: London, North Wales and Lancashire attacked.
Weather: Fair to fine in most areas. Cool.
Apart from the usual reconnaissance flights and the detection of intense activity over France at 8.20 a.m., the morning was quiet. At 11.20 a large raid crossed the coast.
Fighter-bombers made diversionary attacks on Portland while some sixty Heinkel 111s comprising the three Gruppen of KG 55 slipped through the defences with Bf 110s of ZG 26 and reached Bristol at 11.45. They attacked the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s works at Filton with ninety tons of high-explosive and twenty-four oil-bombs.
Production was curtailed for many weeks. The bombing killed or injured more than 250, blocked railways near the factory and cut communications between Filton airfield and No. 10 Group Headquarters. Eight out of fifty completed bombers were badly damaged.
Three No. 10 Group squadrons and a flight of Hurricanes were scrambled in time to meet the attackers. But they were vectored to Yeovil where the Westland aircraft works seemed the more likely target. When the actual objective became known the three squadrons swung into pursuit but only a few of the aircraft caught up with the Germans before they reached Filton. Five of the enemy aircraft were shot down, one of them by anti-aircraft fire.
Although Filton was acting as a temporary sector station, Nos. 87 and 213 Squadrons allocated to it were operating from Exeter and Bibury. To guard against further attack Dowding immediately ordered No. 504 (County of Nottingham) Squadron to move to Filton from Hendon.
No. 601 Squadron engaged twelve bombers and twelve Bf 110s at Start Point near Plymouth at 4.30 p.m. At the same time No. 74 Squadron, operating from Duxford, joined Nos. 611 and 19 squadrons to intercept a raid coming in over London at 20,000 feet.
Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
Airmen: 25 | Aircraft: 16
Airmen: 5 | Aircraft: 6
Spitfire P9463, No. 152 Squadron
Sgt. W.G. Silver killed. Failed to return from a combat over the Portsmouth area.
Spitfire N3173, No. 152 Squadron
Sgt. K.C. Holland killed. Shot down by return fire from He 111. Crashed near Church Farm, Woolverton.
Blenheim L8639, No. 23 Squadron
Aircraft stalled and crashed manoeuvring to land with flaps and undercarriage lowered.
P/O E. Orgias killed.
Sgt. L.R. Karasek killed.
AC2 R.I. Payne killed.
- A still from camera gun film shows tracer ammunition from a Supermarine Spitfire Mark I of No. 609 Squadron RAF, flown by Flight Lieutenant J H G McArthur, hitting a Heinkel He 111 on its starboard quarter. These aircraft were part of a large formation from KG 53 and KG 55 which attacked the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s works at Filton, Bristol, just before midday on 25 September 1940. © IWM (CH 1823)
- A still from camera gun footage taken from a Supermarine Spitfire Mark I of No. 609 Squadron RAF flown by Pilot Officer R F G Miller, showing a Heinkel He 111 of KG 53 or KG 55 taking hits in the port engine from Miller’s machine guns. The aircraft was one of a force which bombed the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s factory at Filton, Bristol on 25 September 1940. Miller was killed two days later when he collided head on with a Messerschmitt Bf 110 of III/ZG 26 over Cheselbourne, Dorset. © IWM (CH 1830)
- A still from camera gun footage taken by a Supermarine Spitfire Mark I of No. 609 Squadron RAF, flown by Pilot Officer M E Staples, showing a Messerschmitt Bf 110 banking steeply to port as it tries to avoid Staples’ gun fire. This aircraft belongs, either to Erprobungsgruppe 210, which bombed the Parnall aircraft factory at Yate, north-east of Bristol, or to III/ZG 76 which was providing fighter cover for Heinkel He 111s of KG 55 which attempted to attack the Bristol Aeroplane Company’s factory at Filton on 25 September 1940. © IWM (CH 1834)
- Heinkel He 111 H-1 coded G1+BH (White B) W. Nr 6305 of 1./KG 55 was shot down by RAF fighters during a Luftwaffe air raid on the Bristol Aircraft Company’s plant at Filton on 25 September 1940, and crashed at Westhill Farm, Studland near Swanage in Dorset. Of the crew of five, four were captured, including the pilot Fw. Fritz Jürgens and navigator Hptm. Karl Köthke. The flight engineer, Uffz Josef Altrichter, was severely injured and succumbed to his wounds.
- Heinkel He 111 H-1 coded G1+BH (White B) W. Nr 6305 of 1./KG 55 shot down by RAF fighters on 25 September 1940 during a raid on the Bristol Aircraft Company at Filton.
- A group of pilots of No. 19 Squadron discuss a recent sortie by Manor Farm at Fowlmere, Cambridgeshire, September 1940. Standing from left to right are: Sergeant B J Jennings, Flight-Sergeant G C ‘Grumpy’ Unwin, unknown, Flying Officer H S L Dundas (of No. 616 Squadron), Flight Sergeant H Steere, and Squadron-Leader B J E ‘Sandy’ Lane, the Squadron’s Commanding Officer. Flight-Sergeant Unwin’s pet German Shepherd dog ‘Flash’ can be seen to the left. © IWM (CH 1370)