13.6.40 Gourock Those officers and men who had embarked on the S.S. ARANDORA STAR and ROYAL ULSTERMAN disembarked and entrained for DIGBY, arriving on the morning of June 14.

 

Into The Battle of Britain

 

During the following ten days the Squadron was reformed at Digby , S/L J.R. MacLACHLAN assumed command, and F/L RABAGLIATI and F/L MURRAY were posted to the Squadron as Flight Commanders.

 

25.6.40 Digby The Squadron again became Operational. In the evening six aircraft proceeded to L. ONE (WELLINGORE) for the night readiness. Several patrols were carried out but no enemy aircraft were seen. A drifting barrage balloon was shot down.

26.6.40 17.35 P/O JOHNSON led a patrol from NORTH COATES to MANBY in an attempt to intercept the German Meteorological plane, which had been reported to be coming in about this time for the last few days. This patrol did not sight any enemy aircraft.

27.6.40 Six aircraft carried out formation practice in sections of three, whilst

two aircraft did some aerobatics.

28.6.40 10.25 The Squadron did an hours practice attacks.

14.20 Three Hurricanes carried out formation practice and attacks on two Hurricanes.

29.6.40 09.25 Practice attacks were again carried out, four aircraft attacking another one.

11.00 Two Beauforts flew on course so that four Hurricanes of 46 Squadron could attack them.

14.15 The A.O.C. visited the Squadron and delivered a lecture to the pilots dealing with the phase of the war into which we were entering.

30.6.40 Three aircraft were again at L. ONE and two sorties were carried out in the vicinity of the river TRENT at a height of 14,000 ft. though no enemy aircraft were seen.

During the day considerable flying practice was done, including combats, section attacks, aerobatics and map reading exercises. Later, twelve aircraft practiced formation flying in co-operation with No. 611 Squadron, flying as a Wing.

 

July 1940

 

1.7.40 During the morning three aircraft were engaged in local flying, and combats. Blue Section flew to L 1 for the night readiness (i.e. WELLINGORE).

There were no patrols.

2.7.40 There was some local practice flying.

3.7.40 There was no operational flying, but the Squadron did considerable practice flying during the day. Yellow Section flew to L 1 for the night readiness.

4.7.40 Further local practice flying was carried out, but no operational patrols.

5.7.40 During the morning there were numerous practice flights.

15.15 In the afternoon a Flight was ordered to patrol OUTER DOWSING at 20,000

ft. when six enemy aircraft had been plotted approaching from the sea. Visibility was good, but no enemy aircraft were seen. Blue Section flew to L 1 for night readiness.

6.7.40 05.15 Blue Section returned from L 1. P/O COOPER KEY did a weather test to ascertain the amount of cloud over the coast. There were two aircraft tests but otherwise there was no flying.

7.7.40 Fifteen pilots of 46 Squadron flew to SUTTON BRIDGE during the morning for air firing in conjunction with drogues. Two aircraft were flying locally in the afternoon. Red Section were at readiness at L 1 at night.

8.7.40 07.00 A section was ordered to patrol INNER DOWSING at 15,000 ft. to intercept the German Meteorological Aircraft.

10.45 A section was sent to HORNCASTLE at 20,000 ft., and, later, SPURN HEAD.

18.40 A section was ordered to patrol SKEGNESS at 8,000 ft, In none of the above patrols were enemy aircraft seen.

Formation and other practice flying was carried out. Four pilots made a reconnaissance of the new Rear Base (NEWTON).

9.7.40 14.10 Blue Section was ordered to patrol MABLETHORPE at 10,000 ft. but the patrol was cancelled.

10.35 Three aircraft of B Flight patrolled a convoy in the neighbourhood of the OUTER DOWSING for 1 hour 15 minutes, but no enemy aircraft were seen.

Half an hours practice attacks in sections of two were carried out during the day.

10.7.40 08.00 Two sections of aircraft were ordered to patrol in the MABLETHORPE-SKEGNESS district. There was considerable layer cloud, and no enemy aircraft were seen.

08.15 P/O LEFEVRE did a sortie in continuation of the above patrols.

During the day the weather deteriorated, and visibility became very poor, although B Flight did some practice beam attacks by sections.

11.7.40 06.30 Two pilots made separate sorties over NORTH COATES at 12,000 ft. in poor weather, and landed at NORTH COATES without having seen any enemy aircraft.

Three pilots made an inspection, from the air, of the Rear Base (NEWTON).

20.40 F/L RABAGLIATI and P/O McGOWAN patrolled a convoy for two hours.

12.7.40 There was some local practice flying, including combats, and aerobatics. Sgt ANDREW did a battle climb to 33,000 ft.

13.7.40 Local flying and forced landing practice was carried out.

14.7.40 Convoy patrols were carried out by B Flight. A Flight did some local flying and two pilots made a reconnaissance of the Rear Base (NEWTON).

15.7.40 Local reconnaissance, and combat practice in sections of two were carried out.

One pilot was engaged in A.A. co-operation over NOTTINGHAM.

17.7.40 The weather continued unfavourable. Two pilots did some local flying.

18.7.40 Although at times the weather was poor four pilots did map reading practice. One aircraft practiced aerobatics for half an hour.

19.7.40 Combats and formation practice were carried out. One aircraft flew to NOTTINGHAM in co-operation with A.A. units.

20.7.40 Several pilots flew to SUTTON BRIDGE for air gunnery practice, but this was cancelled through bad weather. Red section patrolled MABLETHORPE in thick clouds. No enemy aircraft were seen.

21.7.40 Local reconnaissance and aerobatics were carried out.

22.7.40 Two pilots carried out a reconnaissance of the Western Area of the Sector.B Flight carried out an hours air combat practice.

04.45 Green Section, led by Pilot Officer McGREGOR, intercepted, whilst patrolling AGENT, a DORNIER 17 and pursued it 80 miles out to sea. Although numerous bursts of fire were obtained and the DORNIER badly hit, the result was not conclusive.

Two sections of A flight carried out defence patrols over the convoy when the enemy aircraft was sighted.

23.7.40 There was some local flying and formation practice. One aircraft carried out A.A. co-operation over NOTTINGHAM.

24.7.40 A section of B Flight were engaged in an hours formation cloud flying.

A Flight did some local flying and carried out A.A. Co-operation over NOTTINGHAM and DERBY. It is recorded with regret that Pilot Officer COOPER KEY was killed when attempting a forced landing at DERBY after the above co-operation.

25.7.40 06.45 Numerous patrols were carried out during the day, both over the coast and the convoy, but no enemy aircraft were seen.

Pilots of A Flight carried out an hours formation practice, B Flight were engaged in Beam Attack practice and interceptions at 20,000 ft. by R/T.

26.7.40 Aircraft were engaged in Map Reading and Sector Reconnaissance. An hours affiliation with BLENHEIM aircraft of No. 29 Squadron was carried out by B Flight.

27.7.40 Two aircraft did some local flying practice.

28.7.40 One pilot of B Flight carried out an R/T range test, and another did a reconnaissance of the South Western area of the Sector. After half an hours combat with Pilot Officer JOHNSON, Sub Lieutenant CARPENTER force landed in a field some five miles South of the aerodrome, but sustained no serious injury.

Several patrols were carried out during the day by the Squadron.

Six aircraft flew to MANBY for air firing practice.

29.7.40 Formation practice was carried out by A Flight. Three patrols were made over the coast, but no enemy aircraft were seen.

30.7.40 Low flying attacks were carried out on the Army gun posts around the aerodrome, there was also some formation practice.

31.7.40 Practice flying of all types was carried out. Red Section, leader Pilot Officer LEFEVRE escorted Lord Lloyd from HENDON to NORTH COATES.

 

During the Month of July H.M. the King has been graciously pleased to approve

the awards to Flight Lieutenant P.G. JAMESON, and Pilot Officer J.F. DRUMMOND of the Distinguished Flying Cross.

F/LT P.G. JAMESON, for brilliant leadership of his Flight since the commencement of hostilities, and in Norway, when he destroyed two Flying Boats in ROMBAKSFJORD.

P/O J.F. DRUMMOND. During operations in Norway this officer shot down two enemy aircraft and seriously damaged a further three. On one occasion, as pilot of one of two Hurricanes which attacked four Heinkel IIIs, he damaged one of the enemy aircraft and then engaged two of the others. Despite heavy return fire, P/O DRUMMOND pressed home his attack, silenced the rear guns of both aircraft, and compelled the Heinkels to break off the engagement.

 

August 1940

 

1.8.40 06:40 Operations for the month were commenced by Red Section, led by F/LT RABAGLIATI, by patrolling LOUTH at 20,000 ft., but no enemy aircraft were sighted.

08:00 Three aircraft of B Flight, leader P/O DRUMMOND, escorted Lord Lloyd from NORTH COATES to HENDON.

12.20 Yellow Section patrolled MABLETHORPE at 9,000 ft. for an hour, but no enemy aircraft were seen.

14.05 Green Section were ordered to patrol MABLETHORPE at 23,000 ft. No enemy aircraft sighted.

Numerous local practice flights were done by A Flight; two aircraft of B Flight did a battle climb to 25,000 ft.

2.8.40 There was no operational flying.

Formation, combat and other practice flying was carried out by A Flight, and (11.50) F/SGT WILLIAMS did an hours co-operation with A.A. units over NOTTINGHAM.

15.30 F/LT BURNETT was ordered to deflate a free barrage balloon.

In the evening two sections of two aircraft practiced beam attacks for forty minutes.

3.8.40 14.55 Red Section patrolled SKEGNESS at 8,000 ft, but although the weather was fine and visibility very good no enemy aircraft were seen.

17.25 Green Section were ordered to patrol BOSTON, but no enemy aircraft were seen.

In the morning two sections of B Flight carried out beam and No. 5 attacks. Formation flying was engaged in by A Flight, while two pilots of B Flight practiced aerobatics.

4.8.40 No operational flying was required.

11.30 Four pilots of B Flight flew to SUTTON BRIDGE in order to carry out air firing.

During the afternoon pilots from both flights made practice flights of an hours duration.

5.8.40 18.50 Red Section was ordered to take off and the vector given by R/T. A good interception was obtained at 10,000 ft and the unidentified raid proved to be friendly. Pilots did local practice flying for an hour.

6.8.40 15.20 A Convoy Patrol was carried out by Blue Section in excellent weather and good visibility. The convoy comprised of seventeen ships; no enemy aircraft were sighted.

A Flight did formation flying, and aerobatics.

7.8.40 06.15 B Flight patrolled a convoy off MABLETHORPE in sections of three until 08.45.

16.35 Again B Flight, in sections of three, patrolled a convoy for a period of two hours.

Local flying was carried out and thirteen aircraft affiliated with SPITFIRES of No. 611 SQUADRON and OXFORDS from CRANWELL in Wing Exercises. A Flight 46 SQUADRON, escorted the OXFORDS, while the remaining HURRICANES and SPITFIRES attempted attacks.

8.8.40 Considerable formation and other flying was carried out. P/O BAILEY was engaged in combat with a SPITFIRE for an hour. Two aircraft practiced cloud flying.

9.8.40 04.35 A Flight came to readiness for dawn and almost immediately Red Section were ordered to take off in black-out conditions, without flarepath or floodlight and investigate an X Raid approaching from the sea. The section were vectored to 30 miles East of Spurn Head, but no enemy aircraft were seen, and a convoy was then patrolled.

06:30 Yellow Section patrolled the OUTER DOWSING for an hour at 15,000 ft. No enemy aircraft were seen, and layer clouds made investigation difficult. There was some local flying.

10.8.40 15.10 B Flight patrolled BOOTY during the afternoon, visibility was good but no enemy aircraft seen.

Local formation flying was carried out. Two pilots did some cloud flying.

11.8.40 08.00 Blue section patrolled a convoy for an hour in rain and low clouds. Explosions were observed in the sea but no enemy aircraft were sighted.

14.30 The Squadron was ordered to proceed to DUXFORD for lateral reinforcement. There they were at readiness for some time and at 16.45 were further ordered to proceed to BIRCHAM NEWTON, where again they came to readiness. At 20.15 the Squadron returned to DIGBY having carried out no operational patrols.

During the morning from 7.30 until 13.00 hours, ten pilots flew to SUTTON BRIDGE, and carried out air firing.

12.8.40 05.00 Green Section patrolled a convoy of fifty ships, but no enemy aircraft were seen.

11.15 P/O REID carried out A.A. Co-operation for an hour, several other pilots did short local test flights.

18.10 An affiliation was carried out in the evening.

13.8.40 Except for several local flights in the morning, there was no flying during the day.

SGT dHAMALE, formerly of the BELGIAN AIR FORCE, reported for flying duties with the Squadron.

14.8.40 14.30 Two aircraft escorted a HEINKEL III from FINNINGLEY to FARNBOROUGH, via SYWELL.

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