23.10.39 The Squadron was ordered to its forward base at NORTH COATES at 1415 hours, but returned to DIGBY later in the afternoon, without having been on patrol.

24.10.39 Six aircraft carried out an affiliation with six aircraft from NO. 61 Squadron, stationed at HEMSWELL.

25.10.39 The Squadron proceeded to NORTH COATES, but returned to DIGBY without any operational flying being carried out.

27.10.39 The Squadron was ordered to NORTH COATES for the protection of convoys. While on patrol an enemy aircraft was sighted and engaged but owing to the very poor visibility it escaped. The Squadron returned to DIGBY the same evening.

FLYING OFFICER M.C.F. MEE was posted to the Squadron from No. 610 Squadron.

28.10.39 One section of A Flight was ordered to NORTH COATES but was recalled before arriving there. Otherwise no flying of any kind took place,

PILOT OFFICER R.A. McGOWAN was posted to No. 610 SQUADRON, WITTERING.

29.10.39 The Squadron was ordered to its forward base and proceeded to NORTH COATES. It was not ordered to patrol and later in the day returned to DIGBY.

30.10.39 B Flight proceeded to NORTH COATES, but returned to DIGBY without going on patrol.

A Flight carried out night flying training.

S/LDR K.B.B. ' Bing ' CROSS was posted from No.12 GROUP H.Q., to take over the leadership of the Squadron in place of S/LDR P.R. BARWELL posted to SUTTON BRIDGE as Station Commander.

31.10.39 The Squadron proceeded to NORTH COATES but returned to DIGBY without patrolling.

 

November 1939

 

2.11.39 HIS MAJESTY, THE KING, with the CHIEF OF THE AIR STAFF, A.O.C. No. 12 GROUP and others came to DIGBY at 10.00 hours and at 10.15 he inspected No. 46 SQUADRON at their DISPERSAL POINT. The STATION COMMANDER presented S/LDR. BARWELL to HIS MAJESTY, and S/LDR. BARWELL in turn introduced S/LDR K.B.B. CROSS, the pilots and the Adjutant to THE KING, who shook hands with several of them. HIS MAJESTY spent nearly ten minutes with the SQUADRON and then moved to inspect other units, passing on the way MAINTAINANCE and H.Q. FLIGHTS who were drawn up near the hangar.

While HIS MAJESTY was still on the Station the Squadron was ordered to its forward base at NORTH COATES. With the exception of RED Section the Squadron returned to DIGBY the same evening.

HURRICANE AIRCRAFT No. L. 1813 was collected by a pilot from the Ferry Pool and flown away for service in FRANCE.

 

King George VI visited Digby to complement the Squadron on the role they had

played in protecting coastal shipping from enemy action

 

3.11.39 RED Section returned from the forward base, otherwise no flying was carried out.

5.11.39 Local flying training was carried out.

6.11.39 The Squadron was ordered to the forward base and proceeded to NORTH COATES, returning at dusk to DIGBY without having been sent on patrol.

7.11.39 The Squadron proceeded to NORTH COATES at 11.35 hours. B FLIGHT returned at 15.00 hours but A FLIGHT was held up by bad weather for two hours before returning. No patrols were carried out.

FLYING OFFICER I.R. GLEED was promoted to Acting Flight Lieutenant and posted to SUTTON BRIDGE.

8.11.39 The Squadron was ordered to NORTH COATES. It returned to DIGBY at dusk.

There were no patrols.

PILOT OFFICER A.E. JOHNSON was posted back to the Squadron.

9.11.39 Local flying training was carried out during the day.

10.11.39 The Squadron was ordered to its forward base at NORTH COATES. They returned in the late afternoon to DIGBY, not having been sent on patrol.

12.11.39 The Squadron proceeded to NORTH COATES at 10.15 hours. No patrols were carried out and it returned to DIGBY at dusk.

13.11.39 Local flying training was carried out.

14.11.39 The Squadron was ordered to NORTH COATES. It returned to DIGBY at dusk.

No patrols were carried out.

15.11.39 No flying was carried out during the day. B FLIGHT carried out night flying training.

The following Officers were promoted from PILOT OFFICER to FLYING OFFICER with effect from the dates stated: FLYING OFFICER R.M.J. COWLES (5.10.39), FLYING OFFICER J.W. LYDALL (8.10.39), FLYING OFFICER R.P. PLUMMER (15.10.39), FLYING OFFICER H.H. KNIGHT (27.10.39).

16.11.39 The Squadron left for the forward base at NORTH COATES at 08.00 hours.

No patrols were carried out. The weather deteriorated during the day and the Squadron remained at NORTH COATES for the night.

17.11.39 The Squadron returned to DIGBY from the forward base soon after dawn.

At 12.00 hours BLUE SECTION was ordered to patrol MANSFIELD at 3,000 feet, and shortly after GREEN SECTION was ordered to patrol NORTH COATES at 2,000 feet.

Both sections returned to DIGBY without encountering any enemy aircraft.

18.11.39 The Squadron was ordered to the forward base at NORTH COATES at 08.45 hours. Patrols were carried out over the NORTH SEA but without encountering any enemy aircraft. The Squadron returned to DIGBY at dusk.

20.11.39 The Squadron proceeded to NORTH COATES soon after dawn but returned to DIGBY at dusk without having carried out any patrols.

21.11.39 Air to ground firing was carried out by both Flights at No. 3 A.T.S., SUTTON BRIDGE. No other flying training was done.

22.11.39 The Squadron was ordered to the forward base at NORTH COATES and proceeded there at 09.00 hours. It returned to DIGBY at 16.00 hours, no patrolling having been done.

24.11.39 6 Aircraft from the Squadron did an affiliation with 3 HAMPDENS from No. 106 Squadron.

PILOT OFFICER A.E. JOHNSON was posted to No. 12 GROUP POOL at ASTON DOWN for operational flying training.

27.11.39 B FLIGHT was ordered to the forward base at NORTH COATES at 09.50 hours. It returned at 13.00 hours. No patrols were carried out. A FLIGHT did local night flying training.

28.11.39 BLUE SECTION was ordered to patrol HORNCASTLE and MABLETHORPE at 11.05

hours. It returned to Home Base at 11.42 hours. In the afternoon the Squadron carried out Air to Ground firing at No. 3 A.T.S., SUTTON BRIDGE.

29.11.39 Night flying training was carried out by B FLIGHT.

ACTING WING COMMANDER P.R. BARWELL was awarded the D.F.C. in recognition of his leadership of A FLIGHT in their action on 30.11.39 An affiliation was carried out with No.144 Squadron from HEMSWELL. Each Flight of 46 SQUADRON did one hours affiliation and this was followed by a discussion on the training carried out, between both Squadrons.

 

December 1939

 

2.12.39 Local flying training was carried out.

3.12.39 The Squadron was ordered to the Forward Base and proceeded to NORTH COATES at 07.25 hours. It returned to DIGBY at 11.45 hours.

4.12.39 The Squadron proceeded to the Forward Base at NORTH COATES at 07.30 hours, returning to DIGBY at 15.45 hours.

6.12.39 A Flight was ordered to proceed to NORTH COATES, and left DIGBY at 08.15. They returned later in the day.

7.12.39 The Squadron carried out an affiliation with No. 44 Squadron. Whilst the affiliation was still going on, they were ordered to return to DIGBY, and proceed forthwith to ACKLINGTON. The order was received at 12.30 hours, and the Squadron landed at 12.45 hours. Owing to adverse weather reports it was not possible to fly to ACKLINGTON, and the move was postponed until the following day.

8.12.39 The weather was again unsuitable for flying, so there was a further postponement. The weather also affected the Ground Party who were to have proceeded to ACKLINGTON by civil aircraft. As the civil aircraft did not arrive it was deemed advisable for the Ground Party to proceed by road, and 46 men with F/SERGEANT BRYAN in charge left by M/T.

9.12.39 A and B Flights, with 3 reserve machines, led by S/LDR K.B.B. CROSS took off for ACKLINGTON at 08.25, where they landed at 09.25 hours.

10.12.39 Acklington Red Section ordered to patrol SOUTH SHIELDS to investigate raid. Weather; mainly fair, cloud at 2000 ft., visibility 2-3 miles. No enemy aircraft were seen and the Section returned to Base, having been in the air from 14.30 to 15.20 hours.

11.12.39 Blue Section was ordered to patrol ACKLINGTON at 2000 ft. Weather;

cloudy, 8/10-10/10 at 2000 ft., visibility 2-5 miles. Section took off at 11.05

and landed again at 12.15 hours. Green Section patrolled ACKLINGTON at 15,000 ft. from 11.10 to 11.40 hours, and again, at the same height from 12.10 to 13.10 hours. Nothing was seen.

13.12.39 One hours sector reconnaissance was carried out at 14.25 hours by three aircraft, to TURNHOUSE and back.

16.12.39 The Squadron practised No. 5 Attacks for one hour in spite of rather unfavourable weather, with cloud 10/10 at 1000 to 5000 ft. and local fog patches. Visibility generally, 4000 yds.

17.12.39 16.00 One aircraft flown by F/LT C.R.D. STEWART ordered on patrol to investigate unidentified aircraft. He sighted and attacked a HEINKEL III. The enemy aircraft disappeared in cloud, the result of the attack not being known. Our aircraft sustained one hit in the port wing. Weather, cloudy but fine.

16.30 One aircraft, flown by F/O R.M.J. COWLES, also sent up to investigate raid GA. He patrolled 8 miles S.E. of ACKLINGTON. No enemy aircraft seen.

19.12.39 07.50 Red Section ordered to patrol BERWICK at cloud base.

08.20 Blue and Green Sections ordered to patrol FARNE ISLANDS at cloud base.

09.25 Green Section ordered to patrol N. of ALNWICK at cloud base.

No enemy was seen by any of the patrols.

Weather, cloud 8/10 at 1,500 to 3000 ft. Visibility 2-4 miles, deteriorating to 1000-2000 yds.

20.12.39 09.50 B Flight practised No. 5 Attacks on A Flight for an hour.

15.15 Blue Section were ordered on a dusk patrol, between ALNWICK and BLYTH. The Section returned at 16.20 hours.

21.12.39 12.10 Red Section ordered to patrol SOUTH SHIELDS at 20,000 ft. Returned 12.50. No enemy aircraft seen.

13.00 Green Section ordered to patrol SOUTH SHIELDS at 20,000 ft. Returned 13.30. No enemy aircraft seen.

22.12.39 10.00 No. 5 Attacks were practised by the Squadron, taking it in turns by Sections to attack and be attacked.

15.45 A dusk patrol was ordered between ALNWICK and BLYTH. Red Section took off, landing again at 16.30 without seeing any enemy aircraft.

Very good weather conditions, no low cloud and visibility 12 miles.

17.00 Local night reconnaissance flying and landings was carried out in bright moonlight by Blue, Red and Yellow Sections.

23.12.39 15.10 FL/LT P.G. JAMESON and F/O M.C.F. MEE carried out quarter attack practise, in fine weather with visibility 10-12 miles.

24.12.39 10.25 In fine weather, with broken cloud, 3/10 and 12 miles visibility,

A and B Flights practised attacks for an hour.

14.55 Blue Section ordered to patrol ALNWICK to BLYTH.

15.40 Green Section also ordered to patrol the same line.

16.05 Both Sections returned without seeing any enemy aircraft. Weather still fine.

17.00 Night flying at DRURIDGE BAY was carried out, followed by circuits and landings.

26.12.39 15.20 Yellow Section carried out one hours patrol, between ALNWICK and BLYTH. Weather was fine with 3/10 at 3000 ft. Visibility good, in spite of a few snow showers. Visibility good, in spite of a few snow showers.

P/O PHILIP JOHN FROST promoted to FLYING OFFICER.

27.12.39 Red and Yellow sections carried out an hours local flying training.

Weather cloudy, clouds at 2000 ft 9/10s, visibility 2-4 miles, closing down to 1000 yds in occasional snow showers.

28.12.39 10.15 The Squadron took off to practice attacks in cloudy weather (10/10) with the visibility between 1 and 2 miles but a snowstorm forced them to return, with the visibility closed down to 500 yds.

14.55 Blue Section carried out the ALNWICK to BLYTH patrol. No enemy aircraft seen.

29/12/39 10.00 F/LT C.R.D. STEWART flew to DIGBY to exchange an aircraft, arriving back at ACKLINGTON at 13.25. With the exception of local flying, training carried out by F/O W.T. SCOTT, no other flying was carried out.

Weather was fine, with cloud 5/10 at 3000 ft., visibility 6 miles.

30.12.39 15.00 Blue Section carried out the ALNWICK-BLYTH patrol at 4000 ft. or below the clouds. No enemy aircraft were seen. Weather was fine 7/10 cloud at 3-4000 ft., visibility 6 miles.

18.00 Night flying, consisting of flying 10 miles out to sea from DRURIDGE BAY, was carried out by B Flight.

Weather was clear with no moon. Slight cloud, 1/10. Visibility 6 miles.

31.12.39 A fine clear day with bright sunshine. Visibility 20 miles. During the day the cloud increased to 9/10. No flying of any kind was carried out.

 

January1940

 

1.1.40 In moderately fine weather with cloud varying from 3000 ft. to 500 ft., A Flight carried out practise attacks.

11.25 P/O J.F. DRUMMOND carried out an Anti-aircraft Co-operation for 1 hours.

P/O A.E. JOHNSON was posted back to 46 Squadron from No. 12 Group Pool.

2.1.40 Local flying training was carried out by both flights. Slight mist with clouds, 5/10, at 2-3000 ft.

3.1.40 10.00 Local flying training by A Flight; Section attacking Section. By mid-day, showers of snow and sleet which made flying impractical.

4.1.40 Clouds at 2000 ft., 6/10, visibility 2-4 miles, wintry showers.

15.05 Blue Section carried out formation practise.

5.1.40 10.05 Both Flights went up, A to practice No. 5 attacks and B, formation flying, followed by various attacks. Cloud was at 3000 ft., 6/10, a slight ground mist reduced visibility to little more than 500 yds.

Text Box: No 46 Squadron RFC and RAF
We Rise to Conquer