Today in British History

A year almost exactly before and not far away, Capt E.B. Lorraine RE and Staff Sgt R.H.V. Wilson died in a crash near Stonehenge (7 July 1912). Airman’s Corner, or Cross, is named after them.
Quite an interesting and somewhat sad story as to the fate of the memorials


" Airman’s Corner is now a roundabout and relocated alongside the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre the Airman’s Cross has an ice cream van for company, the luridly liveried vehicle being connected to adjacent permanent wiring. "
 
Quite an interesting and somewhat sad story as to the fate of the memorials


" Airman’s Corner is now a roundabout and relocated alongside the new Stonehenge Visitor Centre the Airman’s Cross has an ice cream van for company, the luridly liveried vehicle being connected to adjacent permanent wiring. "
Oooh, don’t get me going!
Airman’s Corner WAS already a roundabout before the combined might and incompetence of English Heretics (EH) and Wiltshire Council stole the memorial and hid it in the new visitors centre. For many happy years the original cross sat in the middle of the old roundabout for all to see. For years I gave it a quick ‘eyes-right’ to and from work everyday.

Yesterday a chum (ex-Crab) and I went to see Maj Hewetson’s memorials and planted a small cross at each - one marking the crash site, the other on the side of the old A344.

Ahead of our visit, I rang EH to ask if we could park in their car park to then stroll to the latter and whilst there, visit the Airman’s Cross cross.
I was told I’d have to book a parking slot (happy so far) but that I have to then pay for the privilege!! I queried the paying bit saying I didn’t want to see the Stones or use any other of their facilities. The women on the end of the ‘phone then just hung up.
I then tried the EH ‘live chat’ thing on their website - same mealy mouthed patter. And then, the chatman vanished! Feckin’ fuming.
 

joey88

Old-Salt
Eighty years ago today, text taken from the Battle of Britain London monument website.
Apparently after this action the Boulton Paul Defiant was removed from the RAF order of battle.
Brave men, from articles I have read most Defiant aircrews were aware of its vulnerability to modern German aircraft. Defiant gunners did score a number of air to air victories but on the whole the aircraft lacked dogfighting performance.

19th July 1940 - 0845hrs - 141 Squadron moved forward from West Malling to Hawkinge, near Folkestone on the SE coast of England. Nine convoys were due to pass through the English Channel that day. Fighter Command, expecting trouble, moved squadrons forward. The crews of 141 had never been in battle and had only arrived in the south from Scotland a week before and were unaccustomed to 11 Group control procedures.

At 1038hrs. ‘A’ flight were sent off on patrol of the base. At 1230hrs. twelve Defiants were ordered to patrol 20 miles south of Folkestone off Cap Gris Nez on the French coast at a height of 5,000 ft. Three machines were left behind due to mechanical trouble therefore only nine carried out the patrol. Flying in sections of three in line astern they went to their patrol line.

There was no warning from control when, a quarter of an hour later, at 1245hrs, a swarm of a superior number of twenty Me109s from III/JG 51 (based at Saint-Inglevert but operating from Les Melettes near Guines and commanded by Hptmn. Hannes Trautloft) spotted the Defiants far below flying in tight formation. They identified them correctly by R/T as Defiants and therefore ‘easy meat’. The Messerschmitts moved in efficiently out of the sun for the kill, attacking from below and astern, where they were at no risk from the gun turrets, knowing that they could not be brought to bear on them.

Trautloft recalls 'I aimed at the right Defiant......my guns fired…pieces of the Defiant......broke off and came hurtling towards me…I saw a thin trail of smoke....then suddenly just this fiery ball'.

P/O Loudon gave warning. The squadron broke to port and turned to deliver a beam attack, their most effective attack position. Two Defiants were seen to immediately dive vertically into the sea. Realising what was happening the squadron whipped into steep left and right turns giving their gunners split-second chances to get their sights on the Me109s. Sgt. Powell was the first to send one down in flames. Two other Defiants were shot down in this first attack. The gunners, clamped in their claustrophobic turrets, went down with their aeroplanes.

One pilot, P/O Gard’ner in L7016, and one gunner, P/O Farnes in L7001, baled out and were picked up by rescue craft. P/O Gard’ner was wounded and taken to hospital at Canterbury. P/O Farnes was uninjured. A cannon shell smashed into the engine of P/O MacDougall’s Defiant, L6983. White glycol mingled with black smoke in a long plume as it spun down towards the Channel. MacDougall ordered his gunner, Sgt. Wise, to jump and was about to follow when the engine picked up. He circled twice over the water, watching Wise swim strongly towards the coast of France. He was never seen alive again and his body was not recovered.

In L7001 P/O (later F/Lt.) Loudon was caught in the cross fire of two Me109s. His gunner, P/O Farnes, got in three bursts before he baled out. P/O Loudon struggled home with his Defiant ablaze and crashed in Hawkinge village. In hospital five bullets were removed from his arm. P/O Farnes was picked up from the sea. The remaining Defiants dived for the cloud, but Defiant L7015 was caught. Sgt. F Peter Atkins bailed out. P/O Rudal Kidson was killed, his body was never recovered.

Three Defiants L6999, L7014 and L6983 made it back, two of them damaged, one beyond repair. Only one, L7014, badly shot up, landed back at the home base West Malling.

Altogether, in the space of a quarter of an hour, six machines had been destroyed and ten men killed. The losses would have been even greater if Hurricanes from 111 Squadron had not arrived to scare the Messerschmitts off. 111 Squadron reported that four Me109s were shot down, ultimately all four confirmed. Two days later what was left of the Defiant Squadron was sent back to Prestwick, Scotland.
 

Grownup_Rafbrat

LE
Book Reviewer
Eighty years ago today, text taken from the Battle of Britain London monument website.
Apparently after this action the Boulton Paul Defiant was removed from the RAF order of battle.
Brave men, from articles I have read most Defiant aircrews were aware of its vulnerability to modern German aircraft. Defiant gunners did score a number of air to air victories but on the whole the aircraft lacked dogfighting performance.

19th July 1940 - 0845hrs - 141 Squadron moved forward from West Malling to Hawkinge, near Folkestone on the SE coast of England. Nine convoys were due to pass through the English Channel that day. Fighter Command, expecting trouble, moved squadrons forward. The crews of 141 had never been in battle and had only arrived in the south from Scotland a week before and were unaccustomed to 11 Group control procedures.

At 1038hrs. ‘A’ flight were sent off on patrol of the base. At 1230hrs. twelve Defiants were ordered to patrol 20 miles south of Folkestone off Cap Gris Nez on the French coast at a height of 5,000 ft. Three machines were left behind due to mechanical trouble therefore only nine carried out the patrol. Flying in sections of three in line astern they went to their patrol line.

There was no warning from control when, a quarter of an hour later, at 1245hrs, a swarm of a superior number of twenty Me109s from III/JG 51 (based at Saint-Inglevert but operating from Les Melettes near Guines and commanded by Hptmn. Hannes Trautloft) spotted the Defiants far below flying in tight formation. They identified them correctly by R/T as Defiants and therefore ‘easy meat’. The Messerschmitts moved in efficiently out of the sun for the kill, attacking from below and astern, where they were at no risk from the gun turrets, knowing that they could not be brought to bear on them.

Trautloft recalls 'I aimed at the right Defiant......my guns fired…pieces of the Defiant......broke off and came hurtling towards me…I saw a thin trail of smoke....then suddenly just this fiery ball'.

P/O Loudon gave warning. The squadron broke to port and turned to deliver a beam attack, their most effective attack position. Two Defiants were seen to immediately dive vertically into the sea. Realising what was happening the squadron whipped into steep left and right turns giving their gunners split-second chances to get their sights on the Me109s. Sgt. Powell was the first to send one down in flames. Two other Defiants were shot down in this first attack. The gunners, clamped in their claustrophobic turrets, went down with their aeroplanes.

One pilot, P/O Gard’ner in L7016, and one gunner, P/O Farnes in L7001, baled out and were picked up by rescue craft. P/O Gard’ner was wounded and taken to hospital at Canterbury. P/O Farnes was uninjured. A cannon shell smashed into the engine of P/O MacDougall’s Defiant, L6983. White glycol mingled with black smoke in a long plume as it spun down towards the Channel. MacDougall ordered his gunner, Sgt. Wise, to jump and was about to follow when the engine picked up. He circled twice over the water, watching Wise swim strongly towards the coast of France. He was never seen alive again and his body was not recovered.

In L7001 P/O (later F/Lt.) Loudon was caught in the cross fire of two Me109s. His gunner, P/O Farnes, got in three bursts before he baled out. P/O Loudon struggled home with his Defiant ablaze and crashed in Hawkinge village. In hospital five bullets were removed from his arm. P/O Farnes was picked up from the sea. The remaining Defiants dived for the cloud, but Defiant L7015 was caught. Sgt. F Peter Atkins bailed out. P/O Rudal Kidson was killed, his body was never recovered.

Three Defiants L6999, L7014 and L6983 made it back, two of them damaged, one beyond repair. Only one, L7014, badly shot up, landed back at the home base West Malling.

Altogether, in the space of a quarter of an hour, six machines had been destroyed and ten men killed. The losses would have been even greater if Hurricanes from 111 Squadron had not arrived to scare the Messerschmitts off. 111 Squadron reported that four Me109s were shot down, ultimately all four confirmed. Two days later what was left of the Defiant Squadron was sent back to Prestwick, Scotland.
And still there are comments about hotels .....
 
Eighty years ago today, text taken from the Battle of Britain London monument website.
Apparently after this action the Boulton Paul Defiant was removed from the RAF order of battle.
Really? Checks watch; yep, today is 19 July. Apart from the BP Defiant soldiering on throughout 1941 as nightfighters and into 1943 in the Electronic Support role, wrt the BofB, from Wiki ...

On 22 August, in response to an urgent demand for aircraft to defend Britain's airspace, 264 Squadron relocated to RAF Hornchurch, Essex, while also using RAF Manston as a forward base.[28] On 24 August, nine Defiants of 264 scrambled from Manston to engage an incoming German force; in the ensuing engagement, three Ju 88s and a single Bf 109E were shot down for the loss of two Defiants. Later that same day, another cluster of bombers appeared and were engaged by seven Defiants that had been in the process of refuelling; three Ju 88s and two Bf 109Es were downed while one Defiant was in turn downed along with another damaged.[28]

On 26 August 264 Squadron engaged a formation of 12 Dornier Do 17 bombers over north-eastern Kent but was attacked by a large formation of Bf 109s.[30] Three aircraft were lost (two to ace Hpt. Gunther Lutzow of JG 3) but six Do 17s and a Bf 109 were shot down.[30] Three of those victories were awarded to one Defiant, crewed by Flight Sergeants E. R. Thorn (pilot) and F. J. Barker (air gunner). They shot down two Do 17s but were then engaged by a Bf 109, which set their Defiant on fire; they managed to shoot down the German fighter before making a forced landing. For this, they were awarded a bar to the Distinguished Flying Medal.[31][N 3]

The squadron lost a further five aircraft (to JG 26) on 28 August, with nine crew killed, and effectively ended operations, withdrawing to RAF Duxford the following day.[28]With these losses, the Defiant—which had been intended from the start as a day and night fighter—was transferred to night operations instead. The type had proven unsuited to the demands of the day fighter when set against the likes of the Bf 109E, and was less capable than other RAF aircraft such as the Hurricane and the Spitfire.[28] By 31 August, over half the delivered Defiants had been shot down by Luftwaffe aircraft, a rate that was deemed to be unacceptable.
 
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joey88

Old-Salt
Really? Checks watch; yep, today is 19 July. Apart from the BP Defiant soldiering on throughout 1941 as nightfighters, wrt the BofB, from Wiki ...

On 22 August, in response to an urgent demand for aircraft to defend Britain's airspace, 264 Squadron relocated to RAF Hornchurch, Essex, while also using RAF Manston as a forward base.[28] On 24 August, nine Defiants of 264 scrambled from Manston to engage an incoming German force; in the ensuing engagement, three Ju 88s and a single Bf 109E were shot down for the loss of two Defiants. Later that same day, another cluster of bombers appeared and were engaged by seven Defiants that had been in the process of refuelling; three Ju 88s and two Bf 109Es were downed while one Defiant was in turn downed along with another damaged.[28]

On 26 August 264 Squadron engaged a formation of 12 Dornier Do 17 bombers over north-eastern Kent but was attacked by a large formation of Bf 109s.[30] Three aircraft were lost (two to ace Hpt. Gunther Lutzow of JG 3) but six Do 17s and a Bf 109 were shot down.[30] Three of those victories were awarded to one Defiant, crewed by Flight Sergeants E. R. Thorn (pilot) and F. J. Barker (air gunner). They shot down two Do 17s but were then engaged by a Bf 109, which set their Defiant on fire; they managed to shoot down the German fighter before making a forced landing. For this, they were awarded a bar to the Distinguished Flying Medal.[31][N 3]

The squadron lost a further five aircraft (to JG 26) on 28 August, with nine crew killed, and effectively ended operations, withdrawing to RAF Duxford the following day.[28]With these losses, the Defiant—which had been intended from the start as a day and night fighter—was transferred to night operations instead. The type had proven unsuited to the demands of the day fighter when set against the likes of the Bf 109E, and was less capable than other RAF aircraft such as the Hurricane and the Spitfire.[28] By 31 August, over half the delivered Defiants had been shot down by Luftwaffe aircraft, a rate that was deemed to be unacceptable.
I stand corrected in relation to the Battle of Britain. I was aware of the nightfighter role and also 515 squadron in an ECM role.
Always interested to learn more, thanks for pointing it out.
 
14th August 1969

Op BANNER begins.
 
70 years ago today:
British troops arrived in Korea.
The Middlesex and Argylls were first on the scene.

 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
70 years ago today:
British troops arrived in Korea.
The Middlesex and Argylls were first on the scene.
There must have been some mega scraps on the Unicorn.

01' 07" in:
"Eager to help too are Korean women, and two thousand five hundred offer their services, even at the front."

Not limited to back door action, the lads must have been popular.
 
70 years ago today:
British troops arrived in Korea.
The Middlesex and Argylls were first on the scene.

My old student housemates dad was on that boat with the 1st Middlesex. His war ended when a Yank accidentally shot him in the thigh with a pistol.

Anyway, not on this day but a bit later. 1st Gloucesters sailing from Southampton for Korea on the Empire Windrush.

 

Cutaway

LE
Kit Reviewer
Anyway, not on this day but a bit later. 1st Gloucesters sailing from Southampton for Korea on the Empire Windrush.

I can understand why Diane Abbott wants people to show respect to these pax.
 
Today in British History: 9th September 1943 - Operation AVALANCHE and the Salerno Landings, Italy.

Happy Salerno Day, one and all!

77 years ago today Op AVALANCHE commenced. This followed on from a diversionary landing on the 3rd mounted from Sicily which itself had been re-taken in July in Op HUSKY.

Part of the initial landing force were three territorial battalions of the Queen's Regiment - 1/5th, 1/6th and 1/7th - grouped together in 169 Infantry Bde, part of 56 (London) Division (The Black Cats). Six days later they were joined by 131 Infantry Bde consisting of another three territorial Queen's battalions - 2/5th, 2/6th and 2/7th. This assembly of six battalions from one regiment was a unique event.

Also on this day and on a gloomier note: Salerno Day 1992 was the day chosen as the end of The Queen's Regiment and the amalgamation with the Hampshires.
 
In France on this day in 1918 the Battle of Epehy, fought by three corps of 4th Army to gain observation over the Hindenburg Line, subsequently attacked in that sector in the Battle of the St Quentin Canal.

In Macedonia the Battle of Doiran 1918, fought as a diversion to the main Franco-Serbian attack to tie down the Bulgarian 1st Army. Two brigades of the 22nd Division and three regiments of the Greek Seres Division attempted to scale the Grand Couronne and P Ridge to the west of lake Doiran. One of the battalions of 67 Brigade was my Grandfather's (7/South Wales Borderers) - about 450 all ranks started off, only 19 answered the first roll call, increased to about forty by the end of the day although most were mildly gassed. Luckily, he was discharged from the Army with malaria and the effects of gas poisoning on the same day, otherwise I might not be writing this.....
 
Informative as I have never heard of this theater before
A maximum of six British infantry divisions (10th (Irish), 22nd, 26th, 27th, 28th and 60th (2/2nd London) and two Yeomanry brigades between October 1915 and the end of the war. In conjunction with a maximum of seven French, six Serbian and finally nine (or ten?) Greek, plus some Italian and Russian hangers-on.

The campaign wnwanted by the War Office and commanded by a French general throughout so the British soldiers there were treated worse then the 14th Army in WW2. British battle casualties were light (except for the few set-pieces) but malaria and other diseases incapacitated tens of thousands.
 
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