Historical Aircraft

March 1942


Sunday, 1 March, 1942

Weather cloudy and improving slowly but still with a ground haze.  The Squadron was on readiness at 1300 hours awaiting a sham battle to commence.  The Squadron was scrambled at 1634 hours.  13 a/c took-off (custom 21).  F/S Campbell landed on account of engine trouble.  Attacked enemy forces in the Stowmarket, Bury St. Edmunds area at 1755 hrs.  All sections landed and were released at 1924 hours.  Sgt Olmsted went to Duxford for a camera gun course.  He was taken there in the Magister by Sgt Hubbard.

Monday, 2 March, 1942

Weather foggy and dull. S/L Campbell returned from leave.  One Section of ‘B’ Flight at 15 minutes readiness and ‘A’ Flight at 30 minutes.

Tuesday, 3 March, 1942

The Fog was very bad in the early morning, slowly clearing towards noon.  At 1414 hours, the Squadron took-off with 12 a/c to rendezvous with 12 Havocs and did a feint towards France returning to Manston.  The Wing formed up well the Havocs, flying a course to Bradwell Bay, then across towards Manston.  The Wing turned there and flew back to North Weald.  The Biggin Hill and Kenley Wings then swept across the channel after we left.  We brought up 100 huns over the French Coast, but Biggin Hill and Kenley did not clash with them.  At 1530 hours, all the sections landed.  Sgt Hubbard was granted permission to do Army Co-operation.  Sgt Campbell and Sgt Oliver went on formation flying.  F/L Spear accompanied F/L Fleming and Matthews who takes over his job on personnel at 1600 hours.

Wednesday, 4 March, 1942

Rain all day, with visibility less than 1,000 yards.  ‘B’ Flight was up at dawn to take-off for Martlesham Heath for air to air firing practice.  Not to be outdone, ‘A’ Flight also arose early with 1 section on readiness and the remainder of ‘B’ Flight at 15 minutes notice.  A film was shown in the Intelligence Room at 1545 hours for the pilots.  The Squadron was released at 1929 hours.  F/O Francis, the adjutant arrived at 1900 hours.

Thursday, 5 March, 1942

Rain, low cloud and visibility at 1,000 yards.  ‘A’ and ‘B’ Flight were on readiness at 0641 hours with ‘A’ Flight having one section at readiness and two section on 15 minutes and ‘B’ Flight at 30 minutes.  The Squadron was released at 1300 hours.

Friday, 6 March, 1942

Low cloud with visibility of 1,000 yards.  Customs 32 on weather test and S/L Campbell went to RCAF HQ at Lincoln’s Inn Fields at 1000 hours to attend a conference.  No practice flying today.  F/O Carlyle went on 48 hours leave prior to his posting to 402 Squadron.

Saturday, 7 March, 1942

Low cloud and mist; the Wing was released for training at 0700 hours – no flying.  The Wing Commander instructed all pilots to report to the watchtower at 1200 hours for a track meet.  Ran around the perimeter.

Sunday, 8 March, 1942

Thick haze fairly low.  At 0915 hours, Red and Yellow Sections went on Convoy patrol.  At 0950 hours White Section was scrambled, landing at Hunsdon at 1100 hours and returning to North Weald at 1345 hours.  At 1503 hours, the Squadron went on a sweep as close escort to five Havocs who were to bomb the Comfines Power Station, North of Lille with Northolt, Hornchurch and 12 Group Wings acting as cover.  We rendezvoused at Bradwell bay at 1536 hours, entering France South of Dunkirk.  Funny to see our Wing suddenly start weaving like bats out of he– when the flak started to come up.  We reached the target okay, though 121 Wing were not with us as they did not make the rendezvous.  Just North of St. Omer on the way home, FW 190s and ME 109s tried to bounce the Havocs.  During the engagement, we lost a very good little pilot, P/O Aitken, (it was his first show).  Nobody saw what happened to him.  Also a great loss, our Wing Commander, W/C Eyre, was shot down by a 109 and was seen going down with glycol pouring out.  121 Wing came in by Dunkirk to pick us up on our way home.  They also tangled with 109s and lost one.  We brought the bombers back safely.  During the circus, the following combats took place.  Blue Section – F/L Wood saw two ME109Fs come down out of the sun on the tail of Blue 4.  The leader fired and hit Blue 4 on the port aileron.  F/L Wood attacked and the 2 109s broke away.  He gave the first 109 a burst of cannon and machine gun and then closed  with the second 109, giving a continuous 6 or 7 second burst from 200 yards at quarter astern.  There was an explosion just behind the pilot’s seat.  The e/a poured white, then dark blue smoke and went down in flames.  This was confirmed by Blue 4.  One e/a claimed destroyed.  Blue 3, WO Rainville, got in three different bursts of about 3 to 4 seconds from 150 to 200 yards astern of a ME 109F and saw strikes in the wing root of the e/a and white smoke.  The e/a went into a steep dive and was lost to sight.  This e/a is claimed as damaged.  Yellow 1, P/O Dick was attacked by two ME109Fs as he gave the leader a burst of cannon and machine gun at 300 yards, thirty degrees off head-on position.  The e/a dived below Yellow 1 who saw a large piece of his tail unit break away.  This e/a is claimed as damaged.  At 1740 hours, all a/c, with the exception of W/C Eyre and P/O Aitken returned to base.

Days Score 1 ME109F destroyed and 2 ME 109fs damaged.
Days losses 2 Spitfires, Mk VB.

Monday, 9 March, 1942

Heavy fog, visibility nil.  The Squadron was at readiness at 1300 hours and released at 1920 hours.  F/O Carlyle became the adjutant, succeeding F/O Francis who left this morning.  No flying was done today by the Squadron.  W/C Rankin visited the Station to discuss yesterday’s show.

Tuesday, 10 March 1942

Heavy fog all day.  The Squadron was suddenly called to readiness at 0600 hours.  At 1300 hours, one section of ‘A’ Flight was put at readiness and two sections at 15 minutes, with ‘B’ Flight at 30 minutes.  The Squadron was released at 1939 hours.  Squadron Leader Campbell went to an AOC conference at 11 Group for the deputising for the Station Commander and W/C Flying.  The boys gave Roger Parnell a send off from the ‘Thatch’ in the evening on his posting to Hornchurch.

Wednesday, 11 March 1942

Thick mist and rain all day.  The Squadron was released at 1300 hours.  Squadron Leader Campbell went to Hunsdon to see S/L Pilson, SMO.  Sgt Willington of 109 LCAA Regiment arrived at 1200 hours for liaison duties with 403 Squadron.

Thursday, 12 March 1942

Low cloud to 300 feet in the morning.  Red and Blue Sections were airborne at 0955 hours for formation flying.  Custom 23 went on an a/c test.  Custom 46 did some local flying in the Tiger Moth at 1330 hours and Blue Section went off on cine-gun practice.  At 1450 hours Green Section went on cloud flying. and, at 1740 Yellow and blue Section did some formation flying.  F/O Francis (the former adjutant) was interviewed by the Canadian Ambassador in town.  Sgt B.E. Argue and Sgt H. Olmsted went to the 7th Oxford Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, Colchester for liaison duties.

Friday, 13 March, 1942

At 1712 hours, Blue and Green went on dog fights and line astern chase.  At 1740 hours, Red Section flew to Clacton-on-sea.  Lord Trenchard arrived at 1615 hours and was met by S/L Milne.  Second Lt Burbrifge of 48th Tank Regiment arrived here for liaison duties.

Saturday, 14 March, 1942

Thick fog commenced to clear at 1130 hours.  At 1445 hours Green Section went on a cloud chase, formation flying and cine-gun practice.  Red, Yellow and White Section also did some formation cine-gun.  Customs 23, 43 and 28 went to Hunsdon at 1809 hours to do night flying.  W/C Scott Malden (now W/C Flying) arrived late last night and inspected number 1&7 sites.  The Squadron was released at 1845 hours.

Sunday, 15 March, 1942

Low mist.  The Squadron was at readiness at 0730 hours.  Blue and Green Sections flew on convoy patrol at Clacton-on-Sea at 0815 hours.  Red Section went to Martlesham and, at 1500 hours, Yellow took off on convoy patrol.  Red Section was grounded at M32 from 0900 to 1200 hours due to the weather.  They then took up convoy patrol until 1730 hours.  All of the Squadron returned to North Weald by 1830 hours and the Squadron was released at 1952 hours.  Today’s activity had the object primarily of supporting the QS operation which was cancelled.  In the evening, the Squadron attended ‘In camp tonight’, a show given by artists from the town.  Sgt L.A. Walker went to Sudbury Claire, 1st London Scottish for liaison duties.

Monday, 16 March, 1942

Low cloud and thick haze.  At 1300 hours, Green and blue Sections took-off on convoy patrol off Shoeburyness, followed by Red and Yellow Section at 1355 hours and Black and White Sections at 1453 hours.  At 1950 hours the Squadron was released from operations.  W/C Scott Malden gave a talk to all of the pilots on sweeps and operations.  The weather closed in at 1640 hours with visibility less than 1,000 yards and low cloud.

Tuesday, 17 March, 1942

Low cloud and thick haze.  ‘A’ Flight was at readiness with one section and two other sections at 15 minutes.  ‘B’ Flight was at 30 minutes.  At 1300 hours, the Squadron was placed on 30 minutes.  W/C Malden went on two new a/c cannon tests.  All the a/c were tested for reflex on the ailerons.  All a/c landed by 1650 hours.

Wednesday, 18 March, 1942

Rain all day and low clouds.  The Squadron was placed on 30 minutes readiness. Repairs were done to the E-W runway. Flights were practised in gas clothing at 1100 hours.  After one hour of PT at the gym, the Squadron was released at 1200 hours.  403  Squadron’s anniversary was celebrated at Drury Lane at 2100 hours to 0045 hours.  A cheque for 10 pounds from the Canadian Red Cross, along with subscriptions from the pilots and 6d a head from the ranks enabled for the supply of free beer and dance.  Congratulatory telegrams were received from P/O Carlyle and S/L Newton, old members of the Squadron, in which they expressed their regret that, owing to the exigencies of the Service, they were sorry that they could not attend.  The dance was a great success.

Thursday, 19 March, 1942

Rain and low cloud.  Lecture on Air-Sea Rescue was given to the pilots by F/O Bain.  The Squadron was at readiness at 1300 hours with one section and the balance at 30 minutes.  The spare pilots did some flying in the link trainer.  S/L Campbell, accompanied by the adjutant addressed the echelon personnel.

Friday, 20 March, 1942

Heavy fog with occasional rain.  Visibility less than ½ mile.  Dawn readiness was done by one section of ‘B’ Flight and the remainder of the Squadron on 30 minutes.  The Squadron was released at 1635 hours.  A Meeting was called at Drury Lane at 1500 hours to finalize arrangements for Warships Week Parade in London.  This was attended by S/L Campbell, F/L Wood and 20 men.  Capt Foulds, 21st Tank Corps, and Lt Hamilton of the 6th Field Artillery arrived at 1800 hours for liaison duties with 403 Squadron.  All of the officers of the Squadron took sunlamp treatment for 15 minutes at 1730 hours.  F/O N. Dick went away on leave.

Saturday, 21 March, 1942

Heavy fog all day.  Signs of clearing during the afternoon.  No rain with visibility of less than ½ mile.  S/L Campbell went to London at 0900 hours to tend to Warship Week Parade.  The Squadron was on 30 minutes  available.  Gas attack drill was done at 1030 hours with the all clear given at 1115 hours.  Two a/c of ‘A’ Fight has compass swings done.  A letter from the AOC, RCAF, dated 12 March was received, requesting daily operational reports and a copy of the Composite Combat Reports.  Sgt Pilots and Officers had sun lamp treatment at 1400 hours.  P/O Hurst was confined to his quarters with a cold.

Sunday, 22 March, 1942

Heavy fog.  Visibility 1,000 yards.  At 1300 hours, one section of ‘B’ Flight was on readiness and released at 2000 hours.  P/O Parr took church parade.  The spare pilots went to the link trainer and the Sgt Pilots took their sun lamp treatment at 1400 hours.  F/S S.E. Messum and G.D. Aitken were posted from 403 Squadron to 409 Squadron, effective 23 March 1942.

Monday, 23 March, 1942

Slight haze at 0800 hours, clearing fast.  ‘A’ Flight started the day at readiness, with 3 section of ‘B’ Flight at 15 minutes available.  F/L Wood went to London to attend  Warship Week Parade and then to Inverary Glasgow to attend a course.  P/O Hurst was back on duty today.  F/S Munn accompanied F/L Wood to London.   Convoy patrols off Clacton-on-Sea heading SW commenced at 1000 hours, finishing at1315 hours.  At 1130 hours, rumours started of a show at 1500 hours.  The circus was later cancelled and a Fighter sweep put on, with the Wing taking off at 1510 hours to Manston, then across to Dunkirk crossing at 1558 hours at 7,000 feet and heading for St. Omer.  3 ME 109s passed on our right and Mainland told us to bounce them.  The Wing Commander, who  was leading 403 Squadron, saw the e/a on the right and turned into them, then saw a squadron of e/a ahead and above us.  We climbed to attack the latter formation.  They dived and came up behind us as we withdrew.  Some of 121 Squadron made a pass and claimed one as destroyed while 222 Squadron stayed above as cover.  We had 11 boys flying; 3 experienced, 3 on the first trip over France and 5 on their second real operational trip.  They obeyed instructions well, and the W/C complimented them on their flying.  The Squadron landed at 1645 hours.  After tea, some new boys went for a trip, while some of the experienced pilots did aileron reflex tests.  Dusk flying was cancelled to enable this.  The IO, F/O MacKay went to FC 11 Group at 1300 hours.

Tuesday, 24 March, 1942

Thick fog at dawn.  The sun broke through at 1200 hours.  We were warned of a Circus with a briefing at 222 Squadron dispersal for 1330 hours.  All of the Squadron was on hand, including the Adjutant, the MO, and the Army Liaison Officers, Capt Foulds and Lt Hamilton.  12 a/c of this Squadron accompanied 12 a/c of 121 Wing with W/C Malden and 11 a/c from 222 Squadron.  We left North Weald at 1245 hours as close escort cover for the bombers.  Rendezvous was made over Bradwell Bay at 1500 hours  with the bombers and the other wings.  We were top squadron, flying at 19,000 feet.  The Belgian Coast was reached seven miles North of Ostend at 1530 hours and the target area (Commines) at 1540 hours.  Turning right from the target area on the way back, Blue Section was attacked by two FW 190s.  Blue 3, F/S Somers, got in a long burst with cannon and machine gun from a range of 75 yards, and observed the e/a fuselage below the engine and the pilot drop away, accompanied by much bluish white smoke.  The e/a went into a vertical dive out of control.  Sgt Beurling, Blue 4, also saw the e/a fall and saw flames and the a/c disintegrating during its plunge.  Sgt Somers, Blue 3, then opened fire on the second FW 190 with machine gum only (having exhausted his cannon) from a range of 250 yards, observing hits but no apparent damage.  The e/a dived away.  The Squadron was further attacked by three FW 190s.  Evasive action was taken by splitting the Squadron up, leaving six a/c behind the main gaggle.  Evasive action had to be taken all the way back to the coast and then ten miles out to sea, being attacked later by a FW 190 and joined by an ME 109.  During this latter action, Sgt Argue fired a burst of cannon at 150 yards but claims no damage.  This was Argue’s first offensive.  P/O Hurst fired as well but makes no claim.  Sgt Beurling, Blue 4, straggled behind after being attacked by a FW 190 and, later on the way, by 3 FW 190s.  He managed to fire a burst into one after a complicated evasive action with wheels down and flaps down.  No claim was made.  The French Coast on the homeward journey was crossed between Calais and Cape Gris Nez at about 1555 hours.  Five of our a/c landed at Manston, two at Southend and five at North Weald.  All of our a/c returned undamaged.

Wednesday, 25 March, 1942

Frost during the night with the weather fine with local fog in the morning, clearing later towards noon.  There was much ground haze with the wind light and variable.  At 1345 hours, the Squadron was briefed for a Circus to Lille.  This was cancelled at 1500 hours.  The Squadron was airborne on a fighter sweep at 1553 hours.  Custom 43, 30 and 31 went on a chatter test.  P/O Magwood and F/S Campbell left last night reporting to the 8th Royal Fusiliers, Colchester for liaison duties.  Lt R.B. Wright, of the 7th Oxford and Bucks Light Infantry, Colchester arrived at 1600 hours to take up liaison duties with the Squadron.  The Squadron, as middle Squadron with the Wing, made rendezvous with the Hornchurch Wing at 1514 hours at Southend and acted as top cover at 17,000 to 21,000 feet.  We crossed Manston at 1530 hours, were over Gravelines at 1545 and then swung on a wife arc sweeping St. Omer and coming out at Le Touquet at 1603 hours.  The Wings then swung North to Calais along the coast.  Eight burst of red flak was observed behind, when turning at 17,000 feet for home.  All of the Squadron a/c landed safely.  Two of 222 Squadron’s a/c overshot the runway, One damaged the propeller and the other damaged the propeller and the undercarriage.

Thursday, 26 March, 1942

Heavy fog, clearing to a bright and clear day towards noon.  There was a slight ground haze all day.  Eight ATC cadets arrived at 1600 hours and were taken in charge of by F/S Walker and shown the Squadron.  They left at 1730 hours.  Sgt Reynolds, 4 armourers – AC1 Wright, AC1 Gubney, AC1 Elliot, and AC1 St Laurent and one electrician, AC1 Fiske were posted to 417 Squadron for overseas duty, effective 29 march.  LAC Arbuckle was transferred  from the dispersal to the Squadron Orderly Room.  At 1120 hours, two sections got airborne on convoy patrol off Shoeburyness.  At 1300 hours, the Squadron was put on 30 minutes available.  At 1504 hours, the Squadron took-off for a formation flight over London as part of the Warships Week parade.  The Squadron put on a fine show.  Excellent formation when passing over the aerodrome.  Upon return from London at 1630 hours, the pilots carried out formation flying, aerobatics and army co-operation.  At 1925 hours P/O Hurst, F/S Belcher and F/S Olmsted, with S/L Campbell went to Hunsdon to do night flying.  The Sgt pilots moved into their new quarters today. Communal centre.

Friday, 27 March, 1942

Heavy ground haze, clearing towards noon.  The Squadron was on 30 minutes available as of 0545 hours.  At 0820 hours, Yellow Section landed from Hunsdon after night flying.  The pilots did a/c testing, army co-operation and formation flying.  At 1415 hours, the Squadron was put at readiness for an operational sweep.  403 Squadron, with 12 a/c, was at the bottom of the Wing with 121 Squadron in the middle and 222 Squadron on the top, left North Weald at 1445 hours and made rendezvous at Clacton-on-Sea at 1500 hours with the Hornchurch Wing as escort to 12 Bostons at 9,000 to 10,000 feet.  North Weald Wing was escort cover at 11,000 – 12,000 feet and Biggin Hill Wing was top cover at 13,000 – 15,000 feet.  The objective was to bomb the power site at Ostend and course was set at 1515 hours on the way over the Channel.  W/C Scott-Malden, Red 1, waggled his wings as a sign of trouble, his R/T having packed up, and dived seaward.  His Section followed, also Blue Section of 403 and 121 and 222 Squadrons.  Seeing the Wing, with the exception of his Section turn back,  S/L Campbell called up as Custom Leader, calling Mainland and Bendix leaders to come over here.  As no answer was received, he then kept R/T silence, feeling that, owing to their height and the close proximity of the target, less harm would be caused.  They sighted the Belgian Coast at 1523 hours.  S/L Campbell went over to button C and called the Hornchurch Wing Commander and endeavoured to tell him that the North Weald Wing was not with him, then he went back to button A and took up position above and behind the bombers.  The  Circus crossed the Belgian Coast at 1525 hours and received some fairly heavy flak eight miles inland.  The leading six bombers turned right with S/L Campbell’s Section and the Starboard Squadron of the Hornchurch Wing covering them.  The other six bombers turned left and were covered by the port and middle Squadron’s of the Hornchurch Wing.  The bombers who turned left straightened out and followed the leading six bombers over the target at Ostend.  Heavy, accurate flak was encountered over Ostend which followed  us  about five miles out to sea.  The Bombers, after the attack, opened throttles  and dived seaward and were lost in the haze halfway across the Channel.  There was a thick haze over the target.  Two ships with camouflage painting were observed anchored out in the middle of Ostend’s outer harbour.  All of our a/c landed undamaged at 1615 hours.  P/O Dick returned from leave at 2200 hours.  W/C Scott-Malden gave the Squadron a talking to at 1700 hours after having a conversation with the AOC.  Fortunately, all a/c engaged in the action returned safely, as the Northolt and Kenley Wings evidently drew up some sixty e/a in a sweep over Dunkirk at the same time that we went in at Ostend.  Lt Wright finished his liaison duties and returned to his regiment.

Saturday, 28 March, 1942

Weather clear with some haze.  The Squadron was on 30 minutes availability.  The pilots did formation flying, a/c testing, section reconnaissance and Army co-operation.  F/L Wood returned at 1800 hours from his Commando Course.  The Officers Mess held a dance at 2030 hours to 0100 hours.  It was a very good party with good attendance and many visitors.  WO Rainville was appointed P/O.  P/O Magwood returned from liaison duties.

Sunday, 29 March, 1942

Weather clear and warm with ground haze.  One section was put on readiness, with 2 sections on 15 minutes and ‘B’ Flt at 30 minutes.  At 0755 Yellow and Red Sections took-off on convoy patrol.  At 1030 hours Black and White Sections went on convoy patrol.  F/L Wood, while on convoy patrol, sighted floating mine at 1215 hours.  He endeavoured to contact the convoy by R/T but received no reply so he reported it to Banjo who obtained a fix.  P/O Rainville reported two vessels in the convoy that were flying barrage balloons painted with large black square checks on the top and two black bands along the sides.  At 1545 hours, with 403 as top cover, 121 as middle cover and 222 as bottom cover, left North Weald on a fighter sweep, crossing the English Coast at 1610 hours flying at 21,000 feet and hitting the French Coast at Gravelines at 1620 hours at 27,000 feet leaving smoke trails.  Enemy aircraft were reported to the SW so we turned to the right to intercept but no contact as made.  We left the French Coast west of Cap Gris Nez at 1625 hours with the visibility very poor due to haze.  We encountered eight bursts of red flak behind and below us in the vicinity of Guinness.  All of our a/c landed undamaged at 1710 hours.  P/Os Dick and Magwood, and Sgts Walker and Oliver were detailed to Hunsdon for night fighter practice.  P/O Parr left on seven day’s leave at 1330 hours.  A National Day of Prayer was observed in Drury lane 1000 – 1100 hours.  S/L Shore, RCAF Liaison Officer, Fighter Command, arrived at 1600 hours, departing at 1730 hours.

Monday, 30 March, 1942

Very heavy haze with vis less than 1,000 yards during the morning and no wind.  The Squadron was at 30 minutes availability.  Combat films covering the sweeps of Feb 12th and March 24th were shown to the pilots at 1030 hours.  The vis improved in the late afternoon.  Red and Blue Sections got airborne for formation flying at 1800 hours.  The night flying section returned from Hunsdon at 1645 hours.  P/O Magwood, while taxiing after landing in a/c KH-Z collided with 222 Squadron a/c ZD-R which was parked facing the edge of the runway.  Magwood states that the brakes failed to hold and the collision occurred before evasive action could be taken.  Damage to ZD-R was slight except for a slightly bent 20-mm cannon.  KH-Z was seriously damaged and considered a category B.  The pilots received PT and sun lamp treatment during the afternoon.  Sgt Monchier left for Liaison with the 2nd Battalion, 5th Queen’s Regiment Ipswich.  Sgt Belcher was posted overseas and is to report at West Kirby on April 7th 1942.  One 20-mm cannon from 403 Squadron was traded with 222 Squadron to replace the damaged cannon on ZD-R.

Tuesday, 31 March, 1942

Weather, 8/10ths to 10/10ths cloud with intermittent rain and drizzle.  ‘A’ Flight had one section at readiness and two at fifteen minutes with ‘B’ Flight at 30 minutes as of 1300 hours.  The Squadron was released at 2000 hours.  The pilot did PT during the morning.  No flying all day.  The Link Trainer was used in the afternoon.  F/L Walker attended a Court of Inquiry this morning.  All of the pilots were advised that they are to report, upon returning from patrol, the following:

1.    number of ships in the convoy.
2.    number of escort vessels.
3.    position in course of convoy.
4.    all unusual observations.

A letter of thanks for courtesies extended was received from Lt Wright of the 7th Oxford and Bucks Regt who was attached here for liaison duties.

Summarising the months activities, 403 Squadron has made:

Six Operational flights over enemy territories; three as fighter sweeps and three as bomber escort.  In these actions we:
Destroyed    1 – ME 109F
1 – FW 190
Damaged    2 – ME 109F

Our losses – R.D. Aitken and 1 Spitfire Mk VB

Those engaged on these operational flights were, for the most part, new pilots in combat for the first time.  They have acquitted themselves well, and the ground crew are to be congratulated for their part in the work as only one aircraft in these engagements had to turn back as a result of mechanical trouble.  Weather permitting convoy patrols were also carried out and every clear day saw a/c airborne when not on operations, doing aerobatics, formation and aircraft testing and night flying.  With the improvement in the weather during the past two weeks, there has been little time for social-life, the boys preferring to turn in early.  Everyone looks fit and we have had no hospital cases.

RCAF Officers – aircrew – 9
RCAF Officers – ground – 4
RCAF Airmen – aircrew – 17
RCAF Airmen – ground – 142
RAF Officers – aircrew – 2
RAF Officers – ground – 1
RAF Airmen – aircrew – 1
RAF Airmen – ground – 109

Operational Flying time – 238 hours
Training flying time      – 256 hours

Patrols carried out     – 117

a/c on strength:    Spitfires – 18
Magister – 1
Moth (Tiger) – 1

Copy of a Newspaper article was inserted:

‘Ottawa Airman Flies Policemen’s Spitfire’

With the RCAF somewhere in England, April 8 – (CP) – ‘The Canadian Policeman, a trim, cannon firing Spitfire, was presented today to a Canadian fighter Squadron commanded by Sqn L C.N.S. Campbell, DFC, of the Royal Air Force, on behalf of the policemen of Canada and the United States.
The fighter, which will be flown by a former Mountie, PO Gordon Hoben of Ottawa, a veteran of 15 trips over enemy territory as a bomber pilot, was turned over by Sir Phillip Game, superintendent of the London Metropolitan Police and accepted for the RCAF by Air-Vice Marshall Harold Edwards, who recalled the RCMP’s reputation for getting its man.’