Archive for August, 2014


111 Sqns first victim, a Henschel Hs126

111 Sqns first victim, a Henschel Hs126

13th Aug – Clear becoming cloudy – German Effort – Normal. Raids concentrated on RDF (Rye, Foreness, Worth) causing disruption throughout the day. All were repaired later. First Ju87 raid detected over Weymouth resulting in catastrophic losses for Sturzkampfgeschwaders 2 & 77 (28/50 aircraft lost) as 5 RAF Sqns intercept breaking through the fighter cover. 

Losses RAF 6, Luftwaffe 44

A Flight 111 Sqn

Red Section – Sqn Ldr JM Thompson, Fg Off BM Fisher, Sgt O Kestler (Cz)

Yellow Section – Fg Off TPK Higgs, Plt Off JK Kay, Sgt CW MacDougal

B Flight 111 Sqn

Blue Section – Flt Lt RPR Powell, Plt Off JWW McKenzie, Sgt KM Macejowski (Pol)

Green Section – Plt Off RR Wilson, Sgt B Olewinski (Pol), Sgt FH Silk

111 Sqn were finally to see action this day.  Patrolling the Hampshire coast as a deterrent against further attacks on Portsmouth and Southampton . At around 0900hrs Sector Control at Tangmere vectored the Sqn towards the Isle of Wight to intercept an unidentified small group of probable raiders. As the Sqn arrived at their destination they saw 5 single engine aircraft flying along the coastline.  Sqn Ldr J.M. Thomspon recognised the aircraft from their parasol wings as German Henschel Hs126’s and ordered “A” Flight Red section into a line astern attack.  The Henschel’s immediately broke for the French coast. With over a 100mph speed advantage the Hurricanes were soon on the tail of the rear most 126. Sqn Ldr Thompson (Red 1) led the attack with a 2 second burst from 300 yards before overshooting. Fg Off B.M. Fisher (Red 2) followed up but also overshot as the pilots had difficulty slowing to the Henschels pace. Fg Off T.P.K. Higgs (Yellow 1) led his sections attack and scored a number of hits on another 126 before it managed to escape with the rest of the leading group into cloud. Red Section however had positioned for a second pass on the Hs126 they were pursuing and this time Thompson poured a 3 second burst into it. A tell-tale puff of white smoke issued from the engine but Thompson had to break off as the German rear gunner hit his aircraft causing oil to spray over the canopy and obscure his view.

Fg Off Basil Mark Fisher. Scored the Sqns first kill of the Campaign as well as his first ever kill.

Eton & Trinity College Cambridge educated Fg Off Basil Mark Fisher. Scored the Sqns first kill of the Campaign as well as his first ever kill. Image taken from http://www.bbm.org.uk/FisherBM.htm

So it was left to Fisher to press home the attack. Approaching from 6 o’clock level the German gunner could not return fire and as his line of sight was blocked. A concentrated blast along the fuselage from Fisher did the trick and the Hs126 suddenly reared up, stalled and then dived headlong into the Channel.imagesZTEE1SA4

Fisher had claimed the Sqns first Battle of Britain kill.  Back at base the chaps celebrated in the Mess with a few pints of the Sqns favourite tipple, Mackesons Milk Stout well aware that next time they are more than likely to meet a more formidable foe.

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111_Squadron_RAF11th Aug – Cloudy – German Effort Normal – Raids increasingly large in size throughout the day directed principally against RAF airfields. Damage light

Losses RAF 12, Luftwaffe 20

111 Sqn’s first day on the frontline as a Category A sqn was an anti-climax and a frustrating one. 64 Spitfire Sqn patrolled sector 2/11 until midday when 615 Hurricane Sqn took over duties. All the while 111 Sqn remained on the ground at Readiness status (take-off in 5 mins).  At the end the day, the Sqn finally got to see their saw their quarry, but not in the way they wished. A late RDF detection meant that by the time the warning sirens had sounded and the pilots were strapping themselves into their machines, the first bombs from a small raiding force of Junkers Ju88’s with fighter escort were already landing around them.  Fortunately the ack-ack fire was sufficiently fierce as to force most of the bombers to drop their bombs too early and land harmlessly in nearby fields.

12th Aug – Cloudy – German Effort Normal – Concentrated attacks on Portsmouth and Southampton docks/ports causing extensive disruption and damage to infrastructure.  RAF refuse to contest

Losses RAF 0, Luftwaffe 0

Another quiet day for 111 Sqn who despite being placed on patrol in sector 2/11 were not directed to any enemy raids before landing just after midday. Poor coordination and the size of German Fighter escorts being the chief cause.


Represented here are the aircraft types of the Luftwaffe available in the forthcoming game including optional variant aircraft. Images courtesy of Wings Pallette http://wp.scn.ru/en/news. Note not to a uniform scale.

The Luftwaffe begin the game with 81 Gruppen,

24 Messerschmitt bf109, 10 Messerschmitt bf110, 14 Heinkel He111h, 11 Junkers Ju88a, 9 Dornier Do17, 9 Junkers Ju87b, 1 Focke-Wulfe Fw200, 1 Henschel Hs126, 1 Heinkel He59, 1 Henschel Hs123

 

w1 me109

Messerschmitt Bf-109e. 24 fighter Gruppen equipped another Gruppe available later as a reinforcement.

w1 me110

Messerschmitt Bf-110c. 10 fighter-bomber Gruppen equipped including 2 elite units.

Heinkel He111h. 14 Sqns equipped another 2 available in September as reinforcements

Heinkel He111h. 14 bomber Gruppen equipped another 2 available in September as reinforcements

 

w2 ju88

Junkers Ju88A. 11 bomber Gruppen equipped another 5 Gruppen available in September

Dornier Do17. 9 bomber Gruppen equipped, another  1 availabvle as a reinforcement in August

Dornier Do17. 9 bomber Gruppen equipped, another Gruppe available as a reinforcement in mid August

Junkers Ju87b. 9 dive-bomber gruppen equipped.

Junkers Ju87b. 9 dive-bomber gruppen equipped.

Focke-Wulfe Fw200. 1 bomber Gruppe equipped. Withdrawn in mid august for anti-shipping duties

Focke-Wulfe Fw200. 1 bomber Gruppe equipped. Withdrawn in mid august for anti-shipping duties

 

 

 

x hs126

Henschel Hs126. 1 reconnaissance Gruppe equipped

2_6[1]

Heinkel He59. 1 sea-rescue/bomber Gruppe equipped

x hs123

Henschel Hs123. 1 dive-bomber Gruppe equipped. Theoretical unit owing to limited range making the Channel a formidable obstacle.


Represented here are the aircraft types of RAF fighters available in the forthcoming game including optional variant aircraft and a debut for the Brewster Buffalo. Images courtesy of Wings Pallette http://wp.scn.ru/en/news. Note not to a uniform scale.

The RAF begin the game with 35 Sqns,

16 Hurricane, 11 Spitfire, 5 Blenheim, 2 Boulton Paul Defiant, 1 Gloster Gladiator

hurri

Hawker Hurricane MkI. 16 Sqns equipped, another 7 available as reinforcements

Supermarine Spitfire MkI. 11 Sqns equipped, another 7 available as reinforcements

Supermarine Spitfire MkI. 11 Sqns equipped, another 7 available as reinforcements

Blen

Bristol Blenheim MkIF. 5 Sqns equipped. Ostensibly used as a night-fighter.

Def

Boulton Paul Defiant MkI. 2 Sqns equipped. The first of the “variant” aircraft types added to the original game. Hopelessly outclassed during the battle, switched to a more successful night-fighter role.

Glad

Gloster Gladiator MkII. 1 Sqn equipped.

v ful

Fairey Fulmar MkI. – 1 Naval FAA Sqn equipped. Becomes available if the Victory Point score drops below -15

v beau

Bristol Beaufighter MkIF. 1 Sqn upgraded from Blenheim to Beaufighter from September. Cannon armed with airborne interception radar. Exclusively used as a night-fighter.

Westland Whirlwind MkI. 1 Sqn equipped available from September.

Westland Whirlwind MkI. 1 Sqn equipped available from September. Top secret experimental cannon armed twin engine fighter, a formidable gun platform that suffered from issues with engine reliability. Given secondary roles after Spitfires were equipped with cannon

Brewster Buffalo MkI. 1 Sqn equipped. US volunteer airmen formed Eagle Sqns but found the Buffalo wanting compared to front line fighters. Available from mid-September

Brewster Buffalo MkI. 1 Sqn equipped. US volunteer airmen formed Eagle Sqns but found the Buffalo wanting compared to front line fighters. Available from mid-September

 

 

 


v2111_Squadron_RAFSo its time once more for the annual Battle of Britain solitaire wargame using West End Games’ RAF boardgame.  This time the after action reports (AAR) will focus on a single Sqn. #111. This will mean I’ll only end up writing AAR’s when 111 Sqn has seen action. A strange symmetry here as this is my 111th post.

The Sqn will be operating out of RAF Kenley (and the Croydon satellite airfield) in 11 Group. Flying Hawker Hurricanes, it has a full complement of 16 operational aircraft and a full roster of 30 pilots. The pilots have amassed 30 kills up to 10th Aug from actions in the Battle of France, Dunkirk campaign and the Kanal Kampf phase 1 of the Battle of Britain. Learning from the bitter experiences of being tied to outdated tactics of Fighter Command doctrine during May and June 1940 the Sqn’s CO pioneered dangerous but effective head-on attacks against bomber streams. Below the Kill leader board prior to commencement of the game at 0600 hrs 11th Aug.

Flt Lt S D P Connors (Br) – 7 Kills

Fg Off H M Ferris (Br) – 6 Kills

Sgt W M Dymond (Br) – 6 Kills

Sqn Ldr J M Thompson (Br) – 4 Kills

Flt D C Bruce (Br) – 4 Kills

Sgt J T Craig (Br) – 2 Kills 

Flt Lt P J Simpson (Br) – 1 Kill

Remaining pilots (23no.) – 0 Kills