Historical Aircraft

October 1942


Thursday, 1 October, 1942

Weather strong westerly wind with 6/10ths to 10/10ths cloud.  Flying was restricted to a weather test and the return of one section from West Hartlepool.  The ground party left Catterick at 1200 hours en route South.

Friday, 2 October, 1942

Weather was hazy in the morning, but cleared about midday.  The Squadron, with 18 aircraft, left Catterick at 1300 hours, arriving at Kenley at 1430 hours in clear visibility.  The ground crew set off in three Harrows, arriving at Kenley at 1305 hours.

Saturday, 3 October, 1942

Weather was clear overhead but there was a very heavy ground haze that thickened towards noon.  Offensive operations were cancelled owing to the weather.  The Squadron did manage to make a sector recco in the afternoon.

Sunday, 4 October, 1942

Weather, 10/10ths cumulus clouds with heavy fog and drizzle.  ‘A’ Flight had one section at readiness, two at 15 minutes and ‘B’ Flight was at 30 minutes available.  No flying was done on account of the weather.

Monday, 5 October, 1942

Weather, heavy fog clearing towards late afternoon.  ‘B’ Flight was at readiness from 0830 hours to 1300 hours and ‘A’ Flight at 15 minutes.

Tuesday, 6 October, 1942

Weather, 10/10ths cumulus at 3,000 feet, clearing towards the afternoon.  ‘A’ Flight was at readiness from dawn to 0830 hours.  In the afternoon, the Squadron did a short formation flight.  Red Section were on patrol from 0745 hours to 0915 hours but had nothing to report.

Wednesday, 7 October, 1942

Weather, heavy mist.  The Squadron was released off the station at 1100 hours.

Thursday, 8 October, 1942

Weather, rain which cleared in the afternoon.  The Squadron did some formation flying and Yellow Section was withdrawn for half an hour to do a patrol.

Friday, 9 October, 1942

Weather, broken cumulus cloud at various heights to 28,000 feet.  Visibility very good.  The Squadron took off at 0845 hours, S/L Ford leading, as high cover in the third diversionary of Circus 224, joined by 416 and 412 Squadrons at Redhill.  S/L Chadburn of 416 lead the Wing.  Rendezvous was made at Beachy Head at a height of 26,000 feet.  We orbited until 0925 hours when three Fortresses were escorted to about 10 miles from the French Coast where the fighters then carried on.  When near Abbeville, Blue 4 had oxygen trouble and went down to 9,500 feet with Blue Section following.  The remainder of the Squadron came down to 20,000 feet and followed Blue Section.  They found that they were OK so we came back, crossing the Coast East of Le Champ, landing to refuel at Shoreham.  Blue Section crossed the Coast at about the same spot and landed at Friston to refuel.  Nothing of interest to report – no e/a shipping or flak were seen.  All 12 aircraft landed at Kenley at 1135 hours.

Blue Section    Red Section    Yellow Section

S/L Ford    F/L Hill    F/L O’Leary
Sgt Dunbar    P/O Fowlow     Sgt Dowding
P/O Aitken    P/O Olmsted    F/O Marshall
Sgt Haynes    F/O Wiejski    Sgt Lane

‘B’ Flight was at readiness from 1645 hours to dusk and Green Section was on a patrol from 1755 hours to 1855 hours.

Saturday, 10, October, 1942

Weather, broken cloud at 3,000 to 4,000 feet with good visibility.  Part of the ground crew returned to Catterick by airlift, leaving Kenley at 1100 hours.  It was a bumpy trip.  Seventeen aircraft left Kenley at 1430 hours, arriving at Catterick around 1600 hours.  S/L Ford remained behind, confined to Horton Emergency hospital at Epsom for a few days with sinus trouble.  F/L O’Leary will carry on his absence.

Sunday, 11 October, 1942

Weather, light cloud at 3,000 feet with a slight ground haze in the morning.  Two sections moved to West Hartlepool taking over readiness at 1300 hours.  Nineteen ground crew accompanied the pilots.  The remaining ground personnel returned by rail and road today from Kenley.

Monday, 12 October, 1942

Weather 5/10ths light cloud in the morning, becoming overcast and developing into rain by the evening.  All flying was suspended due to weather with the exception of several local flying sorties in the morning.

Tuesday, 13 October, 1942

Weather, broken cloud with some ground haze.  Formation attacks, breaks, cine gun and general flying were carried out.  F/L Black returned to Catterick today bringing a Labrador Retriever pup, which he claimed from the King’s Kennels.  P/O Darling, formerly of 403 Squadron, and now at Malta, has been awarded the DFC.  A card was received from P/O Larry Somers indicating his gradual recovery in a German hospital.  He has lost 46 pounds as a result of burns suffered before breaking out of his aircraft.

Wednesday, 14 October, 1942

Weather light cloud at 4,000 to 5,000 feet with excellent visibility.  Two sections of three aircraft carried out air firing at West Hartlepool.  General flying was done during the remainder of the day.  S/L Ford returned to the Station at 2130 hours.  He is feeling better and will go back on the operational list tomorrow.  While the Squadron was at Kenley, F/O A.H. Warner fell down a flight of stairs in a dark hallway, breaking his wrist and shoulder.  He has been confined to Horton Emergency Hospital since the accident.  F/O RJ Doehler is now the 403 Squadron Engineering Officer, with effect from now.

Thursday, 15 October, 1942

Weather 5/10ths to 10/10ths cloud with a light wind and good visibility.  Twelve air firing sorties were carried out at West Hartlepool in the morning and formation flying in the afternoon.  Two sections of ‘A’ Flight were replaced at West Hartlepool.

Friday, 16 October, 1942

Weather 2/10ths to 6/10ths cumulus cloud from 3,000 feet to 5,000 feet with some ground haze.  Air firing, cine gun, breaks and tail chasing were carried out in the morning; flying was curtailed in the afternoon.

Saturday, 17 October, 1942

Weather 3/10ths to 10/10ths cumulus cloud with a slight ground haze all day.  General flying was done by the Squadron, ZZ approaches at Scorton, formation and cine gun.

Sunday, 18 October, 1942

Weather was overcast most of the day with cumulus cloud at around 4,000 feet.  Today was a general flying day with formations, tail chase, ZZ approaches, aerobatics, and cloud flying.  Three scrambles were flown out of West Hartlepool.  No contacts were made.

Monday, 19 October, 1942

Weather was clear with good visibility in the morning and light cloud and ground haze developing late in the day.  Seventeen air firing sorties were carried out in the morning at West Hartlepool.  The balance of the day was spent on local flying, section breaks and cine gun.  P/O JT Murchison, F/S/ DL Rawson, Sgt A. Thomas, and Sgt L. Barnes were posted overseas, effective 21 October 1942.

Tuesday, 20 October, 1942

Weather, light cloud at 3,000 to 4,000 feet in the morning, becoming heavy overcast with all flying washed out in the afternoon.  A Station defence practice was conducted at 1500 hours, with excellent times in manning the guns positions; no. 1 – 4 minutes, no. 2 – 4 min, no. 3 – 6 ½ minutes, and no. 4 – 2 minutes.  F/O Warner was contacted by telephone and he reports that he is feeling much better, but will be confined to the Hospital for another five weeks and expects another board in another day or two.  There was a Sergeant’s Mess Stag party tonight with all officers invited.  Two scrambles were made at West Hartlepool.  One sortie of ZZ approaches, formation and cloud flying was carried out at Catterick.  Sgt Dowding left for Newcastle to have an interview on 21-10-42 with regards to his commission.  Six ground staff were posted to 424 Squadron, and one Canadian to 423 Squadron.

Wednesday, 21 October, 1942

Weather, clear with good visibility, becoming overcast in the late afternoon with a ceiling of 4,000 feet.  It was a quiet day with air firing and local flying carried out.

Thursday, 22 October, 1942

Weather overcast all day with a ceiling of 3,000 to 4,000 feet and good visibility.  Air firing, local flying and one section did a recco.  Quiet day.  Sgt Deschamps arrived to build up our strength of pilots.

Friday, 23 October, 1942

Weather overcast all day with a ceiling of 3,000 to 4,000 feet and good visibility.  The Squadron did formation with 12 aircraft and five new pilots.  Very good.  The CO was very pleased with the results.  The Squadron is to go on night readiness, weather permissible.  Two scrambles were flown from West Hartlepool with no contact made.  Air firing sorties were also flown from West Hartlepool.  Sgt Dowding has had a successful interview, only to be put into the hospital on his return to Catterick.

Saturday, 24 October, 1942

Weather, broken cloud at 3,000 to 4,000 feet and cold.  The Squadron carried out air firing, formation, cine-gun and did a beat-up of anti-aircraft gun positions at West Hartlepool.  The Squadron completed 23:10 hours of night flying at Scorton.

Sunday, 25 October, 1942

Weather clear in the morning, developing cumulus cloud at 2,000 to 3,000 feet and rain in the afternoon.  One scramble was flown from West Hartlepool but no contact was made with enemy e/a.  The sections changed over at West Hartlepool.  The Squadron carried out ZZ approaches, aerobatics and dogfights.  3:25 hours of night flying were carried out.

Monday, 26 October, 1942

Weather light cloud at 3,000 to 4,000 feet with good visibility.  Air firing, local flying and formation were flown today as well as 2 uneventful scrambles from West Hartlepool.

Tuesday, 27 October, 1942

We had a heavy frost during the night, which was clear and cold.  There was some slight cloud formation in the day that increased steadily and caused the suspension of night flying around midnight.  The Squadron did air to air firing, ZZ approaches, local flying and 16:00 hours of night flying at Scorton.  S/L Ford was in London today to attend his investiture to receive a Bar to his DFC from His Majesty the King.

Wednesday, 28 October, 1942

Weather, thick fog that slowly rose but left a heavy ground haze that washed out all flying.  A lecture was given in the Intelligence Office by F/L Dinsmore at 1500 hours on security and Station Defence.  Canada’s Third Victory loan of 750 million dollars was also explained and all personnel were urged to take advantage of this opportunity to advance the war effort.  Sergeant A.L. Haynes was transferred today to the United States Army Air Corps.

Thursday, 29 October, 1942

Weather 6/10ths to 10/10ths cumulus cloud at 1,000 to 2,000 feet with some fog and rain.  Co-operation with a tank exercise at Bernard Castle was flown today by a section of four aircraft at 1115 hours.  The afternoon exercise was washed out due to weather.  S/L LS Ford returned to the Station last evening after his investiture.  The rapid change in flying personnel continues.  P/O J. Mozolowski is posted to a Polish Squadron and two Polish pilots; Sgts. L. Gillis and J. Bednarz are posted to 403 Squadron.  These replacements bring aircrew up to strength.

Friday, 30 October, 1942

Visibility 2,200 to 4,000 yards throughout the day, with 6/10ths to 9/10ths cloud at 1,000 feet.  Local flying was done by two aircraft, and four aircraft took part in the Army Co-operation exercise.  P/O J.H. Long, the IO, returned to the Squadron today.  Sgt J.A. Rogowski, a Polish pilot, reported for flying duties today.

Saturday, 31 October, 1942

Weather, visibility 4,000 yards to 6 miles in the morning with showers, deteriorating to 4 miles in the evening.  The Squadron did formation and local flying today.  An interception exercise by two aircraft was flown on a friendly bomber for Operations in the afternoon.  Night flying at Scorton was planned but cancelled later.



No. of Officers – Flying    11    –    1
No. of Officers – Ground    4    1    –
No. of Airmen – Flying     14    –    3
No. of Officers – Ground    92    26    _-
121    27    4

Operational Flying Times:     56:00
Total Non-op time:    531:00
Non-operational night:    40:10
Tiger Moth:        15:20
Grand total for Month    642:30

Casualties for the Month: NIL
No enemy aircraft engaged.