Posts Tagged ‘No. 111 Squadron RAF’

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

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.


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.

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

22nd Aug AAR – Cloudy and overcast

 IMG_2127Announcement – Today owing to the gravest of situations, the civilian population is urged to prepare for imminent invasion. Home Guard Units are to report to their respective muster points and await instruction. Parish Councils are to open the sealed pink Secret files marked “Q1″ and implement Part 1 orders. ” Evacuation officials and railway representatives of Southern and GWR are to commence proceedings for stage 1 of evacuation Plan Q.
Left – British armour passing through Sussex village en route to taking up position at defensive strongpoint
Attacks commenced at 0900 hrs when a large mixed force of 170 Heinkel He111, Dornier Do17, Junkers Ju88 and Ju87 Stuka dive-bombers with their customary Me109 fighter escort split in 2 as they approached the coast. RAF Kenley and in what must be a prelude to invasion, Brighton docks were the targets. 32 Sqn, 64 Sqn, 111 Sqn and 1 RCAF Sqn attempted to disrupt the attackers.  Despite their best efforts the Sqns failed to make an impact losing 11 aircraft for the same number of the enemy.  Sqn Ldr Aeneas Macdonnell who shot down an Me109 to take his score to 6 was later shot down himself. Bailing out over Whyteleafe his ‘chute failed to open.  His body was discovered near the golf course sadly with no sign of life. Both targets received mild bomb damage although most of the bombs destined for Brighton docks overshot their mark. One bomb however luckily scored a direct hit on Brighton and Hove Albion’s Goldstone Football ground. Almost £100,000 worth of improvements were made…………….
Plt Off WD David, formerly of 87 Sqn now serving with 213 Sqn

Plt Off WD David, formerly of 87 Sqn now serving with 213 Sqn likes the high waisted look

At 1300 hrs 30 Ju88’s were spotted over the channel with 160+ fighter escorts. This was a rare foray by Luftflotte 3 and it is assumed that they were thinking that with such a large fighter escort, the RAF would not dare to engage.  They were wrong, in a stubborn show of defiance 4 Sqns were scrambled, 213 Sqn, 229 Sqn, 234 Sqn and 609 Sqn set about the enemy. The fighter escort screen was indeed too thick for our fighters to break through and the RDF station received light damage. However at the end of the engagement we had accounted for 16no. 109’s and 110’s for the loss of just 2 of our own.  213 Sqn had a particularly good day claiming 11. Plt Off William Dennis David scored 3 kills and has now been promoted to Fg Off. 234 Sqn added 5 Me109’s to bring the Sqn tally to 36.  Sqn Leader Mindon “Mindy” Blake now has 5 kills and has achieved ace status, Sgt W.W. Thompson the next highest with 3.  The engagement ended on a bitter note as Flt Lt Paterson Clarence Hughes, one of the best pilots in the Sqn appeared to have a machine gun malfunction and was unable to fire his guns at the enemy. Seeing his wingman with a 109 on his tail it appears that Hughes deliberately rammed the enemy to save his colleague.  Both the 109 and his own aircraft exploded on contact and so Hughes’ 5th kill and ace status are sadly posthumous ones.

Luftflotte 3 continued the assault with another huge fighter escort this time going for Poling RDF. 140 fighters covered 85 bombers. This time the RAF was not in a position to contest. Poling was consequently knocked out for at least 3 days. Then at 1915 hrs a small force of 15 Me109’s reconnoitred over the Western counties.  Only 238 Sqn was in the vicinity. Using the same tactics so efficiently employed by Luftwaffe fighters the Sqn attacked out of the sun and after their first passing turn had shot down 3 of the enemy. The 109’s caught unprepared attempted to make made good their escape but were pursued to the coast losing another 2 to our gallant pilots.  After seeing off the enemy the Sqn returned home to RAF St Eval. No one pilot shot down more than a single enemy but the CO, Sqn Ldr Harold Fenton was so pleased with his boys efforts that he forgave them the dangerous victory acrobatics flown over the airfield. At night, heavy damage was caused by the raiders targeting Bristol aircraft works at Filton.

Despite this minor victory the situation is dire and unless our RAF Sqns can destroy at least 4 times more enemy aircraft than they lose we shall run out of competent pilots and machines.

End of day losses

RAF 13, Luftwaffe 32
RAF = 12% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

LW  = 5% of daily force committed (Daytime only)

(Cumulative RAF 127, Luftwaffe 260)

Victory point score -4 (Cumulative -30)

Game NotesSo after bemoaning the fact that I hadn’t had any chances of getting stuck into a lightly defended Ju87 Stuka force, lo and behold I get one served up to me on a plate, brought up just like room service with Ju87’s and just a small fighter escort…………..And you guessed it the dice gods curse my left handed dice throwing arm into a parody of Jeremy Beadle’s appendage and I end up with all my 4 Sqns damaged (3 of them heavily and out for 3 days), no enemy destroyed and the loss of 3 Vp’s when I had a 33% chance of destroying 2 units and gaining 6 Vp’s. Being unable to make any impression despite these odds makes one realise its just not your day. When the following raids knocked out 2 of my RDF stations and my score dropped by 4 more points to a critical minus 33 I all but gave up. Then another foray by LF3 but with a fatigued Me109 Gruppe left me with a choice. Leave it and hope that the night raids don’t inflict 2 points of damage and set me up tomorrow with a score just 2 points above automatic defeat or take it on and risk a 1 in 6 chance of my only available Sqn being destroyed and the game ending ignominiously but also having a 1 in 6 chance of destroying the enemy and gaining 2 valuable VP’s.  I went for the latter and almost shouted the house down when I finally got the result needed and sent to enemy unit crashing out. I have Gaius my cat and his purring power breathing on the dice for luck to thank for that.  So the end of the day almost felt like a minor victory despite being 4 points worse off than the start of the day and only 5 points from automatic defeat. Tomorrow I still only have a paltry 16 Sqns available BUT if I can hang on without much damage I’ll have another 8 back to full strength the following day which at least gives me a chance.  A long shot I know.  The only real positive I can take from this game so far is that last year I was defeated on the 19th Aug so at least there has been an improvement on that.