Three-phase attack on airfields in Kent, Essex and Suffolk.
Night: First major attack on Liverpool (150 bombers). Further harassing attacks over London, the Midlands and north-east coast.
Weather: Fine and fair but cold. Cloud in Dover Straits.
Once more the Luftwaffe divided its main efforts into three phases. The first began at 0830 hours with a heavy build-up over Cap Gris Nez which became a mass of 100+ , the larger proportion being fighters escorting two groups of Dorniers.
One section of the raid, consisting of twenty Dorniers, headed for Eastchurch, while the other with twenty-seven bombers flew to Rochford. Four 11 Group squadrons made desperate attempts to get through the escort screen of the Eastchurch raiders but without success and with the loss of eight aircraft and six pilots, two of which were from the ill-fated No. 264 Squadron with its two-seat Defiants.
The Coastal Command light-bomber station of Eastchurch therefore suffered yet another attack at eight minutes past nine, with two Fairey Battles destroyed on the ground and numerous craters on the airfield. Despite this the station remained serviceable for restricted day flying and there were no casualties.
At 1230 hours the second raid developed, with the main objective as Rochford aerodrome near Southend. No. 264 Squadron were again forced to take off, with danger imminent, but fortunately before the bombs began to fall. Several squadrons out of thirteen on patrol intercepted, but the defensive screen was too strong, and most of the bombers reached their target. Despite thirty craters little serious damage was done to Rochford, which continued serviceable. While this was going on, Winston Churchill visited the battered station at Manston to view the damage.
The third attack consisted of large fighter formation sweeps over Kent and the Estuary at 25,000 feet. Seven RAF squadrons attempted to intercept at various times but lost nine aircraft. On this occasion Park’s principle of avoiding combat with German fighters was not adhered to, and the day’s losses of twenty Hurricanes and Spitfires was heavy in comparison with German losses of thirty-one for the whole twenty-four hours, although these included twelve bombers. Curiously, the Fighter Command assessment of German casualties was the most accurate of the period at twenty-eight.
Excerpt from The Narrow Margin by Derek Wood & Derek Dempster
Airmen: 46 | Aircraft: 32
Airmen: 10 | Aircraft: 15
Defiant L7021, No. 264 Squadron
F/L R.C.V. Ash killed. Shot down by Bf 109 and crashed in flames. Pilot baled out unhurt.
Spitfire R6751, No. 603 Squadron
F/L J.L.G. Cunningham listed as missing. Failed to return to base. Possibly shot down into sea.
Spitfire L1046, No. 603 Squadron
P/O D.K. MacDonald listed as missing. Failed to return to base. Possibly shot down into sea.
Spitfire P9511, No. 610 Squadron
P/O K.H. Cox killed. Shot down by Bf 109 and crashed into a house in village outside Dover.
Spitfire N3105, No. 603 Squadron
P/O N.J.V. Benson killed. Shot down by Bf 109 and crashed in flames.
- Boulton Paul Defiant Mk Is of No. 264 Squadron RAF based at Kirton-in-Lindsey, Lincolnshire, August 1940. The squadron was withdrawn from the front line on 28 August 1940 after the loss of 11 aircraft (including L7026 PS-V and N1535 PS-A), five pilots, and nine air gunners. The Defiant was never committed to daylight operations within range of enemy fighters again.
- Winston Churchill viewing activity in the Channel from an observation post at Dover Castle during his tour of defences, 28 August 1940. Enemy air attacks were in progress at the time, and two German bombers were seen to crash into the sea. © IWM (H 3499)
- The wreckage of Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 (Werk Nr.941) of 2 Staffel./Jagdgeschwader 3 shot down near Dover on 28 August 1940. The pilot, Leutnant Hans-Herbert Landry, bailed out immediately after the aircraft was attacked by a Spitfire and the engine caught fire.
- Winston Churchill and his entourage walk away from the crash-site of Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 (Werk Nr.941) of 2 Staffel./Jagdgeschwader 3 on Church Farm at Church Whitfield near Dover, 28 August 1940. Churchill was travelling between Dover and Ramsgate at the time, touring invasion defences, when the German aircraft was shot down. He ordered his car to halt and walked over to view the wreckage, much to the consternation of his personal bodyguard, Inspector W H Thompson (seen here on the right), as German aircraft were still in the vicinity. © IWM (H 3512)
- Oberfeldwebel Artur Dau of 7 Staffel./Jagdgeschwader 51 is quizzed by PC Hills, with left to right Home Guard Jack Wood, ARP Warden Cyril Souton and local farmer J Wood. Dau was shot down over Hougham in Kent possibly by S/L Peter Townsend of No. 85 Squadron on 28 August 1940. © IWM (KY 10266)