Spitfire Mk XII Performance

Brief Description

The Spitfire Mk XII was essentially a standard Spitfire VC airframe modified to take a Griffon III engine. A four-blade Rotol propeller, rotating clockwise - the reverse of the Merlin, was fitted to the Griffon engine. The aircraft was designed to be a high performance low altitude fighter and was delivered with clipped wings to improve manoeuvrability. Compared to the Spitfire V, the bulge over the cannon feed on the mainplane was much smaller, the rudder and trimming tabs were larger, and the engine cowlings and spinner differed considerably in order to accommodate the Griffon engine. The universal wing of the Spitfire V was fitted, armament being two 20 mm cannon and four .303 machine guns. While early models were based on the Spitfire V airframe, subsequent aircraft utilized the Spitfire VIII fuselage which incorporated such refinements as flush rivetting and a retractable tail wheel. All models were fitted with the broad chord rudder of the Spitfire VIII. The fuel capacity was 85 gallons with provision made for jettison tanks. The operational weight with full fuel and ammunition was 7,400 lbs. While the Griffon III engine was fitted to the majority of Spitfire XIIs, the Griffon IV engine was fitted to the last 15 aircraft built which were delivered in July and August 1943. A total of 100 Mk XIIs were built.

Spitfire XII MB.882 (Griffon IV) of 41 Squadron

Brief Operational History

The first production aircraft (EN.221) was delivered in October 1942. No. 41 Squadron began re-equipping with Spitfire XII’s when they moved to High Ercall at the end of February, 1943. March was spent working up on the new aircraft. The Squadron Operations Record Book (ORB) noted for 30 March “Two more Spitfire XII aircraft arrived during the afternoon, and thus brought the Squadron up to full establishment with these aircraft.” The first operational sorties with the Spitfire XII’s occurred on 3 April, Form 541 noting “Scramble base at Valley to 27,000 ft. Nothing to report”. Intensive operations, however, began after the squadron moved to Hawkinge on 13 April. 41 Squadron took over the duties of 91 Squadron, which went off operations and moved to Honiley to also re-equip with Spitfire XII’s. F/O R. H. W. Hogarth drew first blood, shooting a Ju 88 down into the sea 2 miles North of Ostend on 17 April. On 27 April Blue Section engaged 4 FW 190’s while carrying out a recco to Calais-Somme. F/O C. R. Birbeck downed one of the FW.190’s, thus marking the Spitfire XII’s first confirmed victory against a German fighter. Operational duties for April included recco’s of French ports such as Dieppe, Ostende and Calais; recco’s of shipping along the French coast and in the English Channel; patrols of Dungeness and Hastings area; and scrambles.

91 Squadron went operational with their Spitfire XII's when they moved back to Hawkinge in May. 41 Squadron moved to Biggin Hill on 21 May, followed by a move to Friston on the 28th. Their primary duty, as recorded in their ORB, was now to “protect the coastal towns against tip and run raiders”. 91 Squadron downed five of these tip and run 190’s on 25 May, the Squadron Diary noting:

We got the Huns tonight - five of them, all in the drink. It was a grand occasion for 91 Squadron, and this entry ought to be typed in red. We had been flying all day, but the weather closed in towards evening with heavy clouds - in fact F/O Hoornaert and F/Sgt. McPhie had to land at Lympne because of heavy rain when returning from patrol at 19.30 hours. However, the C.O., with Johnny Round as his No. 2 and F/O Maridor and P/O Davy Nos. 3 and 4, went on a low patrol of Dungeness area at 21.25 hrs. They were not out long and came in to land at 21.50 hrs. This was when the fun started, for about 12 F.W. 190's came in with the intention of dealing a shrewd blow at Folkestone at about this time. The C.O. and Johnny had landed and just taxied to dispersal when the greens were fired, so whipped off again smartly, while Maridor and Davy, who were circling to land, went "Through the gate" to Folkestone. There were gutteral cries of 'Alarm' 'Alarm' from the surprised Huns, who broke away and ran for home, dropping their bombs in the sea, except for one, which fell in a bathing pool and injured one person. The XII's had the legs of the 190's, and having flown through a lively A.A. barrage, smacked down five of them, two falling to the C.O., one to each of the others. Matt and Kyn, who had been scrambled, saw some of this, but didn't get a chance to have a crack at anything themselves, while F/O Bond, who made a smart get-away on a second scramble a minute or so later, saw a 190 go straight in near Gris Nez. It turned out that this must have been the one that Davy had engaged, which was disappointing for Bond, who thought he had scared the bandit in the drink himself. After this, the C.O. was in the chair and behind the bar, and rather more of the odd beers were drunk rather later than usual .....

41 Squadron departed from the usual scrambles and coastal patrols on the 27th in order to perform an “Offensive rhubarb on Ault, Beauchamp and Tocqueville”. 41 Squadron got a crack at the tip and run raiders on 4 June when 18 FW 190's raided Eastbourne. F/O J. Solak (Polish) intercepted them at sea level and shot one down into the water, while F/O D. H. Smith roughed up another but didn't see it go in. It was 91 Squadron’s turn again two days later when P/O D. H. Davy and Sgt. J. T. Watterson ran down a FW 190 heading south from Beachy and shot it down into the sea.

41 Squadron moved to Westhampnett, a satellite field of Tangmere, on 21 June. Marking a shift in operational duty, on 26 June the squadron provided withdrawal support for 60 Fortesses which were bombing Le Mans. Two days later, on the 28th, 91 Squadron joined 41 at Westhampnett to form the Tangmere Spitfire XII Wing. Led by Wing Cdr. Rhys Thomas, the newly formed Spitfire XII Wing carried out its first joint mission on 29 June, a Ramrod escorting Fortresses to Le Mans. During July the Tangmere Wing (Spitfire XII) was primarily engaged in Ramrods - escorting Fortresses, Mitchells, Marauders, as well as Typhoons to attack targets in France. These targets included the marshalling yards at Amiens and St. Omer; airdromes at Poix, Abbeville and Tricqueville; and assorted targets at Le Havre, Villacoubay, Le Bourget and Yainville. The Wing would often sweep ahead of the main bomber formation. Other times they would provide target support, withdrawal support or escort cover. Rhubarbs were carried out when the weather was not conducive to bombing, the favorite target being trains. The Tangmere Wing received the following Signal dated 15/7 from General Anderson Commanding 8th U.S. Bomber Command:

American Bomber Crews are enthusiastically grateful for the splendid fighter cover provided today by the Spitfire Pilots of your Command. Following are typical comments of our crews “As we were leaving the Target area a heavy formation of enemy fighters flew in to attack but almost immediately they were chased off by particularly strong formation of Spitfires. On the way home about mid-Channel one of our ships with half its tail blown off dropped out of formation. A couple of Spits went to the aid of the crippled bomber immediately, circled the ship and brought her home safely”. “The Spit cover was perfect” exclaimed Capt. Carrol D. Briscoa. “I’d like to thank them personally”. May I add my grateful appreciation to that of our crews for the splendid co-operation of your command.

On 18 July the Wing took part in Ramrod 148 where S/L Harries of 91 Squadron turned in a good performance:

The C.O. led Blue Section against 3 Me 109's that were just above and to port. He damaged one, shot the tail off the second and shot the third down in flames in a steep dive.

Missions were much the same for the Spitfire XII Wing during August where again they scored the occasional victory. The focus of the Ramrods was bombing raids on enemy airfields. The Wing participated in the raids on airfields at St. Omer, Tricqueville, Poix, Lille, Bryas Sud, Bernay, Abbeville and Monchy-Breton. The following exerpt from 41 Squadron's ORB for 17.8.43 captured the essense of August's activity:

Another show for the bombing of enemy airfields was laid on at 15.15 and this time the familiar Poix airfield was due for another of our numerous visits. There will not be much left of this place if it is bombed much more! The wing acted as escort cover and the rendezvous was at Rye and again with Marauder bombers. The route followed was Rye to Ault, Hornoy, Poix. Very tame from our angle. No opposition at all. All our planes returned safely.

Rhubarb weather found the Wing shooting up targets of opportunity in northern France and shipping off the coast. On another note, W/C Harries took over control of the Tangmere Wing on 19 August.

The constant bombardment of Luftwaffe airdromes in France by the Allies could no longer be ignored by September 1943. The German Fighter Groups attempted to put up a more spirited defense which led to greater opportunities for the Spitfire XII Wing and they made the most of it, destroying 28 of the enemy aircraft for the month. 41 squadron's ORB recorded the results of a 4.9.43 escort mission:

There was no more operational flying until the evening, when at 17.30 the Squadron took off as escort cover for 36 Marauders bombing St Pol airfield. The target was reached and good bombing was observed. At this time many bombing operations were in progress and huge columns of smoke were seen rising in the direction of Lille. On the return at Le Touquet the close escort were attacked by 20 F.W. 190’s and 41 and 91 seeing the dog fights below went to their assistance. As the results of this Scrap the Tangmere and Merston wings destroyed 9 enemy aircraft and damaged 3.

The Wing participated in Ramrods against airfields at Vitry-en-Artois, Moncy Breton, Beaumont Le Roger, Everux and Beauvais, France as well as Woesdrecht A/D in Holland. They had good results on the 16.9.43 escort mission to Beaumont-le-Roger, shooting down three Me 109G's and 2 FW 190's. On 22 September, while escorting Marauders to Evreux Airfield, 41 Squadron destroyed 3 FW 190s with 2 probables and 1 damaged with W/C Harries adding a FW 190 destroyed and another damaged. The Spitfire XII squadrons seemed to have particularly good success on those days when they flew in the vicinity of Beauvais A/D - home of II./JG 26. Notable was Ramrod 241 to Beauvais on 24 September when 91 Squadron scored three Fw 190’s destroyed and another damaged, while 41 Squadron accounted for two 190’s destroyed as well as two probables. 41 Squadron recorded the events of the day as follows:

We are kept busy now, much to the delight of the pilots. This time the wing led by W/C Harries were acting as escort to 72 Marauders again to Beauvais. On reaching the rendezvous the bombers were found to be 10 miles ahead, but we caught them up crossing the French coast S.W. of Le Treport. We were flying at 16,000 feet and on the left of the bombers. Two miles from the target heavy flak was experienced and one Marauder went down pouring black smoke. The target was reached and the wing turned 90 degrees to Starboard across the bombers, and in this turn 10 FW. 190’s dived past 41 and 91 streaking for the bombers 3,000 feet below. F/Lt A.A. Glen D.F.C. led 41 into a turn behind them causing the enemy aircraft to pull away to the right, and the attack on the bombers was foiled. Spitfires V, IX and XII closed in from every direction, and a most glorious dog fight ensued, during which the wing destroyed 5 FW. 190s with 2 probables and 1 damaged.

During September, the Wing also provided escort to Marauders, Mitchells, Bostons and Venturas hitting marshalling yards at Abbeville, St Pol, Rouen, St Mayo, St Omer and Lille.

41 and 91 Squadrons moved from Westhampnett to Tangmere on 4 October. Wing sweeps to Lille/Veudeville A/D on the 8th and back to Woensdrecht A/D on the 9th were uneventful. Bad weather followed through the middle of the month. The wing was grounded for 13 days in October due to weather. The pace of operations slowed with the wing engaging in exercises and Rhubarbs - where several trains were successfully attacked. Lt. Jaco Andrieux (French) of 91 Squadron destroyed a Fw 190 near Poix-Amiens during Ramrod 273 on the 18th, and F/O Davy battered a 109 on the 19th. The Spitfire XII Wing turned in one of its best days on 20 October 1943, 91 Squadron's Diary noting:

An eventful day which was one of the best ever for the Tangmere Sector and certainly the best effort made by the Spitfire XII wing. All the events were crowded into Ramrod 263 which took place at 09.05 hours and the wing returned with 9 E/A destroyed, 1 tug and 1 locomotive damaged for no loss. Our own share was 4 E/A destroyed, the tug and the locomotive. The wing was led by W/C R.H. Harries, (who destroyed 2 of the 9 E/A himself) and carried out a sweep of the Beaumont-Bernay area. When between Rouen and Evreux 25 – 30 ME 109’s and FW. 190’s dived from 5,000 feet above and opened fire from extreme range. The wing turned to port and climbed and when the E/A dived away, gave chase. It was in fact a badly timed bounce by the Hun and he paid for it. Dogfights occurred and the Squadron became split up. The C.O. and Dave chased 2 190’s at 1,000 feet and Kyn shot one down, the E/A diving into a bank of the River Seine. Chris Doll was leading Yellow Section when it was attacked by 3 ME. 109’s head on. He pulled sharply to port and saw 2 109’s below to port, so dived on them. He closed on one of them and gave several bursts but with too little deflection, but finding another 109 on his tail, he pulled sharply round still firing and this corrected his deflection, as he shot the tail unit off the 109 in front. Ray Nash was Yellow 3 and got separated when the Section broke. He climbed towards 6 E/A he saw above and chased (with Red Blumer) two down to ground level where they separated. He fastened on one of them with McPhie in the offing, and shot it down into a field. Red Blumer took the other E/A which he had already hit in the fuselage and set it on fire. It stalled, turned on it’s back and crashed and exploded. That was our four E/A, but we hadn’t quite finished as Red shot up a tug on the Seine, somewhere to the West of Rouen and Dave who was returning with the C.O. got permission to attack a train on the main Rouen-LeHavre line.

Ramrods had become much harder hitting affairs by this stage of the war. The Wing escorted 72 Marauders to Evreux in Ramrod 280 on 22 October. Two days later the Wing provided escort cover to 72 Marauders bombing Beauvais Tille A/D. That same day another 72 Marauders hit Montdidier A/D, while a third raid of 72 Marauders bombed St/ Andre de L’Evre A/D. These attacks made the forward French bases untenable for the Luftwaffe, forcing their withdrawal. During the winter of 43/44 operations slowed. Poor weather and the Luftwaffe’s withdrawal reduced scoring opportunities for the Spitfire XII squadrons. 41 Squadron noted in their ORB for 31.12.43:

In the afternoon the aircraft were all fitted with 45 gallon drop tanks for the first time operationally and set off for a sweep to Evreux. Once again the enemy did not attempt to intercept. And thus ended the month in which, despite many chances offered to him, the Hun did not attack the Squadron once.

91 Squadron flew their last operations with the Spitfire XII on February 28 (fittingly and predictably escort cover to Marauders). The Squadron Operations Record Book notes for 29 February 1944:

Those leaving by air flew off from Tangmere, formed formation and then came across the aerodrome as a final gesture. They reached Castle Camps at 12.25 hours and found some half a dozen Spitfire XIV's waiting for us.

41 Squadron would have to wait until summer before they could convert to the Spitfire XIV.

Performance Trials

Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment
Boscombe Down

29 November 1942

Spitfire F Mk. XII D.P.845
(Griffon IIB)
Climb and level speed performance
and position error correction

Summary

Climb Performance

Max. rate of climb in M.S. supercharger gear3760 ft/min.@ 2,600 ft.
Max. rate of climb in F.S. supercharger gear2760 ft/min.@ 15,300 ft.

Level Speed Performance

In M.S. supercharger gear372 m.p.h. at 5,700 ft.
In F.S. supercharger gear397 m.p.h. at 17,800 ft.

For more of this report see HERE


Aeroplane and Armament Experimental Establishment
Boscombe Down

4 August 1943

Spitfire F Mk. XII D.P.845
(Griffon VI)
Climb and level speed performance
and position error correction with a Griffon VI engine

Summary

Climb Performance

Max. rate of climb in M.S. supercharger gear4,960 ft/min.@ 1,900 ft.
Max. rate of climb in F.S. supercharger gear4,300 ft/min.@ 10,200 ft.

Level Speed Performance

In M.S. supercharger gear375 m.p.h. at 4,600 ft.
In F.S. supercharger gear389 m.p.h. at 12,800 ft.

 

The following chart represents a comparison of the Spitfire XII and its contemporaneous adversaries during the height of the Spitfire XII Wing's activity from May through October, 1943.

DP.845 was the prototype Spitfire XII. It was fitted with a Griffon IIB engine and normal span wings. The report noted a Rotol "experimental" propeller was fitted, however, it was previously reported that this model propeller was "rather inferior" in climb and that maximum level speed did "not show any appreciable difference" to production propellers. AFDU Report No. 61 noted that speeds of a production Spitfire XII (EN.223) with Griffon III and clipped wings "were found to be almost identical" to DP.845. For comparison, Spitfire XII MB.878 with Griffon VI operating at +12 lbs/2750 RPM achieved 394 mph at 18,100 ft. (15th part of Report No. AAEE/692,o). The Spitfire XII Aircraft Data Sheet is in good agreement with these test results.

The Fw 190 A-5 curve above comes from a Focke Wulf chart dated 20.10.43.1 It includes compressibility corrections and gives performance at take-off and emergency power (Start und Notleistung). The Fw 190 A-5 Aircraft Development Sheet gives speeds as 351 mph at sea level and 407 mph at 20,669 ft. (GL/C-E2 Flugzeug-Entwicklungs-Blatt Fw 190(J) 1.11.44). 2 A German document compiling flight performance of the FW 190 A-5 gives 352 mph at sea level and 408 mph at 20,669 ft. (Zusammenstellung der wichtigsten Flugleistungen der Normaljäger Fw 190 mit BMW 801 D). 3 Taking into account the drop tank rack that operational FW 190's were customarily equipped with, the level speeds of the Spitfire and 190 would be just about even. Certainly there was little to choose when one also takes into account a typical 3% production variation. Summarizing the German data:

Alt KmKm/HAlt Ft.MPH
  Horizontalgeschwindigkeit über der Flughöhe, Normaljäger Fw 190 A-5, 20.10.43
05670352
6.365620,669408
  GL/C-E2 Flugzeug-Entwicklungs-Blatt Fw 190(J) 1.11.44
05650351
6.365520,669407
  Zusammenstellung der wichtigsten Flugleistungen der Normaljäger Fw 190
05670352
6.365620,669408

For additional information related to the FW 190 A-5 refer to FW 190 A-5 Performance written by Hermann & Williams. See Me 109 G Flight Testing for further information on Me 109 G performance. The Me 109G had a climb advantage over the Spitfire XII powered by the Griffon III, but otherwise would have been very hard pressed indeed at anything under 18,000 feet. Those Spitfire XIIs delivered or re-engined with the Griffon IV could climb, according to AFDU tacitcal trials, "about the same as that of the standard Spitfire IX (Merlin 66) up to 4,000 feet, after which it is still noticeably inferior". Above 20,000 feet the Spitfire XII quickly ran out of steam.

Engine Data

The following Griffon engines were fitted to Spitfire XIIs:

Griffon IIB, 1,720 hp, (1939), Supercharger rotor diameter 10.1 in; two speed, 7.85:1/10.68:1, single-stage supercharge, similar to Mk II, compression ratio 6:1. Injection-type carburettor. Geared drive .451:1. Rated RG.2SM.

Griffon III, 1,720 hp, Supercharger rotor diameter 10.1 in; gear ratios two-speed, 7.85:1/10.68:1, single-stage supercharge, similar to Mk IIB with crankcase boom mounting. Geared drive .451:1. Rated RG.2SM. 101 built at Derby, 1942-1944.

Griffon IV, 1,720 hp, as Mk III with two speed-supercharger ratios 7.85:1/10.68:1, single stage, similar to Mk III but geared drive .510:1. Rated RG.2SM. 25 built at Derby, 1942-1943.

Griffon VI, 1,815 hp, similar to Griffon IV, with injection carburettor, two speed single-stage supercharge, automatic or manual gear-change. rated RG.14SM, supercharger rotor diameter 9.75 in; gear ratios 9.0:1 and 11.07:1. Geared drive .51:1. 860 built at Derby, 1944-1945.

Data from: Alec S. C. Lumsden M.R.Ae.S., British Piston Aero-Engines and Their Aircraft, (Airlife Publishing, Shrewsbury), pg 217.

Spitfire XII EN.625 (Griffon III) of 91 Squadron. Hawkinge, May 1943.

Combat Reports

F/O C. R. Birbeck of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 April, 1943:

     I was Blue 2 on a weather recco to Calais and the Somme area. We flew down the French coast at zero feet, climbing North of the Somme to about 2,000 feet. Controller then told us to steer 330 degrees and we were just turning on to this course, West of the Somme Esturary, when I saw two F.W. 190's approaching from three o'clock at our height. I warned Blue 1, who turned towards them. I dived down to the deck, pulling up in a steep turn towards the E/A. One of these, which I saw through thin cloud, was climbing. I climbed after him and fired a full beam shot at him, giving him a six seconds cannon and m/g burst, starting at 700 yards and closing to 300 yards. The E/A did a gentle turn towards the French coast and I saw flames on the port side which seemed to be coming from just in front of the cock-pit. I broke away and was pursued up the French coast by another F.W. 190 for about five minutes. This E/A kept firing from about 600 yards, missing to port. I was taking violent skidding evasive action on the deck and he was just about holding me at 340 I.A.S. I had not jettisoned my extra tank. He finally abandoned the chase and turned towards France. I claim one F.W. 190 Destroyed.

S/Ldr. Ray H. Harries DFC & Bar of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 May, 1943:

     I was leading Blue section, comprising 4 aircraft of 91 Squadron, on a defensive patrol. I had just returned to base & with my No. 2 had just landed when the scramble signal was given from the watch office. We both immediately took off again & saw enemy aircraft approaching Folkestone. I immediately dived towards the sea, the enemy aircraft turning back & jettisoning their bombs immediately they saw us. Going over Folkestone I experienced very heavy flack, luckily inaccurate, from our ground defences. I sighted one lone F.W.190 at sea level returning to France. I came in from his starboard side, delivering a 3 second burst at 250 yards. Enemy aircraft hit the sea tail first, split in two & sank immediately. I then spotted another F.W.190 to starboard. I flew straight over the top of it in order to identify it in the failing light. Enemy aircraft pulled up his nose & gave me a quick squirt. I pulled straight up to about 1000 ft. & turning to port dived in to his tail, opening fire from 300 yds & closing to 150 yds. I fired a 4 second burst, seeing strikes & flashes all over enemy aircraft. Enemy aircraft lost height very gradually with smoke & flames coming from it, skimmed for some distance along the surface of the water & then sank. This was confirmed by F/Lt Matthew & F/Lt Kynaston. I orbited around taking cine gun snaps of the oil patch & pieces of wreckage visible.

F/O J. A. Round of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 May, 1943:

     I had just landed with Blue Leader and was taxying back to dispersal when the Flying Control fired the "scramble" signal. I took off at once and headed towards Folkestone where I saw a lot of flak. I saw two F.W. 190's flying parallel with the coast Westwards on the deck and watched them jettison their bombs. I tried to attack the leader but could not get enough deflection and did not fire. I climbed up and saw two more, heading out to sea, so followed them and selected the No. 2, who was being left behind by his leader. I chased him for about 10 miles until I was about 200 yards behind him, at the same time trimming my aircraft. I found myself suddenly pulling up on him very quickly and gave a burst of about 3 secs from full astern. His nose went down and he went straight into the sea. I continued chasing the other but lost sight of him in the failing light. As I turned to go back I saw a big spash some way to the West as if an aircraft had gone in.
     I claim one F.W, 190 destroyed.

F/O Jean P. Maridor (Free French) of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 25 May, 1943:

     I was about to land when I heard Control say there were several E/A coming in towards Folkestone. I opened up straight out to sea and saw about 12 F.W. 190's at sea level, one mile off-shore, heading straight for Folkestone. I dived head-on at the leading formation with blue 4 just behind me to starboard. There were five E/A in a close box and the remainder were spread out behind them. Flak opened up from Folkestone. All the E/A panicked and jettisoned their bombs, turning towards the French Coast. I selected one E/A and was about to attack when I saw Pilot Officer Round in a better position than I was. I took another E/A on the starboard side and closed to 300 yards without difficulty, giving him a four secs burst from astern without result. I closed to 250, giving another 4 secs burst seeing cannon hits on the fuselage. He began to smoke and I gave him a third burst, seeing further hits. I broke away on seeing some tracer going past my wings from astern and saw the E/A I had attacked go straight into the sea.
     I claim one F.W, 190 destroyed.

P/O D. H. Davy of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 June, 1943:

     I was patrolling as Blue 1 with Sgt Watterson (Blue 2) and F/O Bond (Blue 3) South of Hastings, having taken over leadership of the section from F/O Johnson who had crash-landed owing to engine trouble. We headed in the direction of Pevensey Bay and saw bombs explode in Eastbourne. We changed course to approximately 200 degrees in hope of cutting off the E/A returning after the raid. I spotted an F.W.190 about three miles ahead of us one mile South of Beachy Head, going South at sea level. We gave chase and after about five minutes I engaged the E/A, opening up from 250 yards astern and observing strikes. I then closed to 150 yards and observed more strikes. There was an increase in the black smoke coming from the E/A and I broke away to starboard and above him. There were flames coming from the starboard side of the E/A's cowling. Blue 2 then engaged and when he broke away I came in again and with two more bursts from 150 yards astern, seeing more strikes, After running out of ammunition I continued to take camera shots. Blue 2 then went in again from very close range. I observed more strikes and the E/A went into the sea, exploding as he hit the water. I claim one FW 190 destroyed shared with Blue 2 (Sgt Watterson).

Sgt. J. T. Watterson of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 6 June, 1943:

     I was Blue 2 in a section of three being led by P/O Davy on a patrol South of Hastings. We were told that there were 12 plus E/A at Pevensey and then saw bombs exploding in Eastbourne. I followed Blue 1 when he altered course to intercept the raid on the way out. We spotted one F.W. 190 about 3 miles away at sea level and closed steadily until Blue 1 was able to attack with several bursts of cannon and machine-guns. I saw strikes during these attacks. The E/A was taking mild evasive action and during one or two of his gentle turns I fired several short bursts with about 10 degrees defelction, observing strikes. After Blue 1 had made another attack and scored a good strike to starboard on the E/A. so that black smoke issued, I was able to close to about 100 yards and give a three second burst which resulted in strikes all over the aircraft. The E/A hit the sea and broke up and I could not avoid passing through some of the wreckage thrown up, so that I sustained minor damaged to my aircraft. I claim one F.W. 190 destroyed (shared with P/O Davy).

F/O Ray S. Nash of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 June, 1943:

     I was leading Yellow Section comprising four aircraft of 91 Squadron escorting Walrus Air/Sea Rescue operations about four miles off Gris Nez. A rescue was effected and the Walrus was taxying back to Dover being unable to take off owing to the rough sea when I saw about twenty aircraft turning towards us from Gris Nez. We were at 500 feet and they were at about 2,000 ft. On turning towards them I recognized them as F.W. 190's and climbed into to them head on. A general dog-fight ensued. I attacked one at about 200 yards range from the beam, closing to 50 yards, deflection varying from one to two rings. I gave him approximately a two second burst and saw strikes on fuselage and mainplane. I was being attacked from astern by two more E/A so broke away, and seeing no result claim only a damaged.
     I made another beam attack on E/A (F.W. 190) which appeared in front of me. I gave a two second burst at 250 yds range closing to 200 yds allowing between one and two rings deflection. Strikes were seen on fuselage. Again I had to pull away because I was being attacked from astern and lost the E/A. I had a third burst at a F.W. 190 which was flying through the cloud layer at about 350 yds range from underneath and astern seeing no hits. Soon after this they broke off engagement and I returned to base having been relieved by white Section.
     In view of evidence obtained from witnesses, I claim 1 F.W. 190 Destroyed and 1 F.W. 190 Damaged.

S/Ldr. R. Harries of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 18 July 1943:

     I was leading Blue section 91 Squadron on Ramrod 143. Between Abbeville & Poix I sighted several E/A in front and above. I picked out 3 Me.109s which were in fairly close formation 700 ft. above and to port. I immediately climbed up and engaged the port A/C of the section, opening fire from approximately 250 yards. and seeing strikes on the wings and fuselage. This was confirmed by Sgt. Watterson (Blue 2). As the middle E/A was now closer to my line of fire, I turned my aircraft slightly to starboard and allowing approximately 1½ rings deflection shot his tail clean away with my first burst. The E/A spun towards the ground. The third E/A half rolled and dived away, white streamers showing from his wing tips. I half rolled after him and closed rapidly in the dive. I opened fire at approximately 200 yds., my strikes hitting the port wing and fuselage and starboard wing root. The E/A gave off white smoke and burst into flames. This was seen by a pilot of 197 Squadron.

F/O G. Stenborg D.F.C., NZ of 91 Squadron reported his combat of 24 August, 1943:

     I was leading Yellow section of 91 Squadron. The Squadron was passing between Bernay and Beaumont aerodromes when I saw 2 F.W. 190’s diving (not at all steeply) from 6 o’clock. I headed around into them and chased one down. I estimated I was at about 700 yards when I first fired – hoping he would turn. He turned right and by cutting the corner I drew into about 450 yards. I gave him two or three bursts closing to about 300 yards and observed a strike on the left wing root and pieces falling off. In my last burst his hood – with bits and pieces – flew off. (He probably jettisoned this). As I then saw the Pilot getting out I ceased firing. The F.W. 190 crashed into a field from 200 feet and burst into flames. I claim 1 F.W. 190 Destroyed.

F/O C. R. Birbeck of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 4 September, 1943:

     Flying as blue 3, I broke down over Le Touguet with my No. 2 as I understood there to be a fight going on. After orbiting there I picked up a F.W. 190 who was at about 5,000 ft. I fastened onto his tail and he pulled up in a steep left hand climbing turn and I was closing fast firing at intervals. We did a 360 degree orbit of Le Touquet in this manner my No. 2 still with me. He then half rolled inland and I followed him, in the dive he pulled away from me a little. My No. 2 was by now following another F.W. when he was hit by light flak over Etables. Meanwhile I followed the F.W. over the tree tops indicating 355 and closed on him. I gave him about 3 bursts from about 300-400 yards and after the last one, he hit some trees and crashed and cartwheeled over. I then made a pass at another but found I had run out of ammo and returned home on the deck experiencing considerable light flak.
     I landed back at Shoreham owing to a shortage of petrol.
     I claim one F.W. 190 destroyed at Beussent. 1

91 Squadron's Intelligence Form 'F' records the following actions from 2 September, 1943:

     At 18.50 hrs. the Tangmere Spitfire XII wing, 41 and 91 Squadrons, was scrambled from Lympne as high withdrawal cover in Ramrod S.24 Part III. Blue 1 (F/Lt. Matthew) of 91 Squadron left the wing to return the Lympne with technical trouble and was accompanied by Blue 2 (F/O Bond). When near Le Touquet at 12000 feet, 4 Me.109's were seen about 1000 feet above flying South. These E/A swept round to attack the section from astern and the section turned into the attack. Blue 1 attacked an E/A head on and gave a steady 2 second burst, range 700 yards closing very rapidly. Strikes were seen on the cowling of the E/A which passed beneath Blue 1, turned on its back and dived down, exploding when hitting the ground near Le Touquet. This is confirmed by Blue 2.
     Immediately after this blue 2 saw an Me.109 endeavouring to get into position on the tail of Blue 1. Blue 2 attacked this E/A giving a 3 second burst from 350 yards. Strikes were seen all along the starboard side of the E/A which went into a steep dive followed by Blue 2, who gave it several further bursts. The E/A dived straight into the sea. This was confirmed by Blue 1.
     The Section reformed at sea level and returned to Lympne, both aircraft having received some damage during the engagement.

91 Squadron's Intelligence Form 'F' records the following actions from 4 September, 1943:

     At 17.30 hrs. the Spitfire XII wing left base to act as escort cover to 36 Marauders bombing St. Pol marshalling Yards. This was Ramrod S.31 Part III.
     When leaving the French coast on the way home near Le Touguet at about 12000 feet, S/Ldr N. A, Kynaston saw the close escort being engaged below at about 6000 feet, and led 91 Squadron down to join in.
     S/Ldr N. A. Kynaston himself found 2 F.W.190's endeavouring to get on his tail. He out-turned them and one dived away. The other F.W. 190 turned away and climbed up after another Spitfire nearby. S/Ldr Kynaston thereupon turned quickly, got on the tail of this E/A, climbed and caught it, and opened fire from about 200 yards as the E/A was turning slowly. The F.W.190 burst into flames, turned over and dived into the sea. The pilot was seen to bale out.
     Meanwhile, F/O G. Stenborg, D.F.C., (N.Z.) positioned himself behind 2 F.W. 190's which were diving steeply. They pulled up steeply and he had no difficulty in following. He opened fire when they were in a turn to the right from about 350 yards and saw strikes near the tail of one. The E/A half rolled and disappeared. Closing very fast on the second F.W. 190, F/O Stenborg saw strikes all along the fuselage from 50 yards range; and the E/A dived straight into the sea. This is confirmed by F/Sgt. Blumer (No. 2).
     P/O J. T. Watterson also fired a 1½ second burst at a F.W. 190 range 300 yards closing rapidly using cannon only. He was forced to break quickly and could not observe the result of his fire, so cannot make a claim.

F/O B. B. Newman of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 September, 1943:

     I was flying Yellow 2, 41 Squadron, to F/Lt. Parry when about 6 E/A were reported diving towards the bombers, from the south as they were leaving the target area. I turned hard to starboard and dived towards E/A as I thought this was the intention of the Squadron, who had become obscured by my wing. E/A climbed behind the bombers and after I had looked around for my No. 1 I lost sight of them and joined up with the nearest formation of friendly fighters who happened to be 91 Squadron, Red Section.
     I was flying as No. 5 of 91 Squadron, Red Section when aircraft were reported diving towards us at 8 o'clock.
     91 Squadron leader S/Ldr. Kynaston attacked with a diving turn to port, towards 6-8 ME 1090G's.
     I started following the last of the E/A from 15,000 to about 2-300 ft. In the dive I did not appear to be closing so gave two short bursts at 1,000 yards with no effect. E/A began turning and I made one deflection attack and again saw no result.
     After this I began to close rapidly and gave one short burst from about 200 yards astern and saw strikes on the fuselage and a puff of white smoke which almost completely enveloped the A/C. I then considered it was unlikely this A/C could go much further so broke off the attack and climbed to 500 feet so that I could see the coast about 3 miles West of Trouville and later rejoined an A/C of 91 Squadron and returned to base.

S/Ldr. Norman A. Kynaston of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 September, 1943:

     I was leading 91 Squadron as high squadron in the Wing Escort Cover. When the Wing leader reported FW 190's over his squadron. These FW's flew over my Squadron about 1,000 ft. above. I turned the Squadron to port in a climbing turn into the sun and headed for the enemy aircraft, about 10 if them, and they immediately turned away and began diving away. We overtook them and they split up in various directions. I saw one on my starboard side and chased him inland opening fire first of all out of range, in the hope that he would turn, and then closing to 300 yards gave him a fairly long burst. I observed strikes on the cockpit and fuselage, and the aircraft which was at tree height turned slightly to port and flew into the ground, breaking up and catching fire.
     I then saw a FW 190 some distance behind me and immediately turned and got on to his tail. I gave chase and opened fire at 500 yards, seeing no strikes but observing pieces flying off the aircraft. I then ran out of ammunition and broke off the engagment.
     I claim one FW 190 destroyed and one FW 190 damaged.

F/Sgt. R. A. Blumer (R.A.A.F.) of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 16 September, 1943:

     I was flying Yellow 3 on ramrod, when F/Sgt. Mulcahy (Yellow 4) complained of engine trouble. When covering his going out of France, six 190's attacked us. I broke into them, broke up their attack and got onto one 190's tail, (F/Sgt. Mulcahy going on). I followed the 190 to the ground firing at close range and noticing many strikes on the fuselage and bits and pieces flying off aircraft.
     The 190 then rolled onto it's back and almost immediately struck the ground upside down and exploded.
     About 8 more 190's then bounced me from above.
     I left the wreckage blazing fiercely and escaped by violent evasive action and went everything forward until over the French Coast I lost the enemy.
     I claim one FW 190 destroyed.

W/Cdr. R. Harries leading the Spitfire XII wing recorded in his Combat Report for 19 September 1943:

     I took off from Manston at 1049 hours on 19th September, leading the Westhampnett wing, (which consisted of Nos. 41 and 91 squadrons) in Part I of Ramrod 232. I was flying with 91 squadron.
     Rendezvous was made with the bombers, (who were seven minutes late) over Ashford, and the operation was carried out according to plan.
     Soon after leaving the target area, approximately eight Fw.190’s swept across the top of the squadron, which was flying on the port side of the bombers, and above and slightly behind them. I ordered the squadron to break towards the e/a, which as the squadron approached the, dived away steeply. Several enemy aircraft were then sighted above the squadron, which was then at approximately 8,000 feet, and the squadron broke into sections.
     Approximately 10 Fw.190’s dived down from behind and started to attack some Spitfire V B’s. I did a steep climbing turn to starboard and came in from the beam on to 1 Fw.190 which was firing at a Spitfire. I opened fire on this e/a from about 450 yards, giving him a 1½ second burst, and the e/a immediately broke off the engagement. I then closed to approximately 300 yards and on opening fire, gave him a three second burst from this starboard quarter, noticing strikes on the cockpit and the fuselage, just behind the engine. The enemy aircraft bucked like a shot rabbit, turned, and came practically head on at me, white smoke starting to pour from the starboard quarter of the fuselage. This is confirmed by my No. 2. – P/O Eckert (Canadian) who is of the opinion that the pilot was killed instantaneously. E/a appeared to be completely out of control and it half rolled then dived straight to earth from 6,000 feet. 1 Fw.190 is therefore claimed as destroyed.
     No further e/a were sighted and as I and my No. 2. were completely split up from the squadron, I headed straight for the French coast, crossing out between Dunkerque and Nieuport. We then flew direct back to Westhampnett.
     Cine camera was carried and used. 1 Fw.190 is claimed destroyed.

F/Lt. John C. S. Doll of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 19 September, 1943:

     Found myself alone over Lille at about 9,000 ft with about 18 FW 190's and ME 1090's behind at about 3,000 ft. above. Looked round for some Spitfires and saw six ahead so opened up to join them. Just as I got slightly ahead and to one side 2 FW 190's jumped four of the Spitfires they broke past with the FW 190's firing. I got a second burst from 400 yards at the leader and saw a few strikes on front starboard side of fuselage. Also had a very short squirt, out of range, and deflection at the second one, which had dived down and fired at a Spitfire, - no hits. Then a general dog-fight for about 2 minutes until I saw one pull up from 6,000 to 9,000 feet. I followed him up having short bursts closing from 500 - 300 yards. Suddenly he flicked over and did a gentle gliding turn down to about 5,000 feet, when something white seemed to leave the A/C, it went into a spin and crashed straight into the ground.

W/Cdr. R. Harries leading the Spitfire XII wing recorded in his Combat Report for 22 September 1943:

     I took off from Westhampnett, leading the Spitfire XII wing; flying with 41 squadron. Operation was carried out according to plan just after the bombing, when I saw several e/a approach the bombers head on. I turned towards these e/a and they all half rolled and dived south. I followed three of these e/a down, but was unable to close with them.
     I then saw four FW.190’s flying in line astern about 2,000 ft. below me and to my starboard. They immediately saw me and all half rolled one after the other. I closed rapidly on the No. 2. and opened fire giving him a 1½ second burst, seeing strikes on the wing and fuselage. This e/a continued its dive and was seen by my No. 2 (F/O Collis) to hit the ground, being claimed as destroyed.
     I then turned and attacked the leading e/a, using slight deflection from astern and opening fire from approximately 300 yards, with a 1½ second burst seeing strikes close to the cockpit, which is confirmed by my No.2. e/a rolled on to its back and went into a thin layer of cloud, which was 300 feet thick at 5,000 feet. I had to break off the engagement owing to the presence of other e/a, and on turning round, found myself below the above-mentioned bank of cloud, and saw the 190 spinning down towards the earth, with black smoke pouring from it, at a height of approximately 2,500 feet. This e/a is claimed as probably destroyed, but in view of the evidence it is requested that consideration may be given to my claim being stepped up to 1 Fw.190 destroyed.

F/Lt. D. H. Smith of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 22 September, 1943:

     I was flying No 3 in Yellow section. About 6-8 miles west of Evreux at about 12.20 hrs.- height 16,500 ft. I observed two F.W. 190's passing across 1,000 ft. below our section. I broke down followed by yellow 4 and attacked one of the E/A in a steep dive. I fired 3 short bursts from 350-400 yds at his port quarter above him. I observed one strike on port side of his cockpit and one in the centre of his starboard wing. The latter produced a series of small explosions in the starboard wing which eventually caused the outer end of the wing to break off. The E/A continued to dive towards the ground, yawing violently from side to side. I did not see the pilot leave the aircraft. I subsequently rejoined yellow section.
     I claim one F.W. 190 destroyed.

S/Ldr. Norman A. Kynaston of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 September, 1943:

     I was leading 91 squadron on Escort cover to Beauvais, when Yellow 1 spotted 9 F.W. 190's below and to the port. He dived down to identify and I followed on hearing that they were bandits. They broke and climbed and I pulled up behind one F.W. 190, which dived down and went inland. I chased him and closed to 300 yards and gave him 2 bursts from dead astern. He pulled up into the sun and I pulled to one side to be able to see him. My No. 2 (Red 2) pulled in behind him and gave him a burst and then delivered two attacks from dead astern, observing strikes and pieces flying off the 190. He then broke off and I closed in again and delivered a two second burst on the E/A, which was staggering in the air and which the pilot was baling out. I observed strikes and the pilot fell out of the aircraft, which burst into flames and crashed into the ground.
     I claim 1 F.W. 190 destroyed with the No. 2.

F/Lt. John C. S. Doll of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 23 September, 1943:

     I was flying yellow 4 at 13,000 ft when my No. 1 yellow 3 saw some 190's at about 3,000 ft. diving towards the coast going towards the bombers. We got down behind them at 2,000 ft, when a single F.W. 190 came in from the port beam and got right on my No. 1's tail. I called out and yellow 3 did steep climbing turn to the port with the 190 about 150 yds behind him and firing hard. I closed to about 300 yards and had a short burst but with too little deflection. I closed further in to 150 yds and gave the 190 a 3 second burst hitting it on the wings, fuselage, and cockpit. Bits flew off and flames poured from the front of the cockpit. He turned over on his back and went down in a spin with white smoke pouring from it and crashed into the ground.

F/Lt. A. A. Glen of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 September, 1943:

     I took off from Westhampnett at 1520 flying as Blue 1 in 41 Squadron. We made rendezvous with 72 Maruaders and proceeded to Beauvais. My R/T was u/s and I heard no warnings of any E/A about, but when approaching target at about 15,000 ft - I saw about 10 F.W. 190's diving on my port side towards the bombers. I broke left and came in behind them and they pulled steeply to the right. Two of the E/A were lagging slightly and I took a quick squirt at the leader from about 300 yds and 45° deflection using cannon and m/g. I saw a large flash in the cockpit and he flicked over and collided with the E/A following him. Both A/C disintegrated. There was a terrific mix up in the area but being unable to find any further Huns within range, I joined the last box of bombers and came out on their flank, landing at base at 16.40.
     I claim 2 F.W. 190's destroyed.

F/O B. B. Newman of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 September, 1943:

     I was flying Red 4, 41 Squadron and broke left when Squadron was passed by about 8-10 F.W. 190's. After completeing a turn I got my sight on an M.E. 109, fired a short burst and saw no results, as I had to break off the attack when I saw two F.W. 190's diving towards me. I turned behind the second of these two and gave one burst as E/A was rolling on its back to dive down. I followed in to about 600 yds seeing strikes on the fuselage. I gave a third burst as we were leveling out but had to break attack when my aircraft became difficult to handle.
     I was preparing to make attack on a third E/A, a F.W 190, when it was intercepted by another Spitfire XII and shot down with a single burst. I saw this aircraft crash by a building and burst into flames. I joined the Spifire XII and saw its letters were DL-D.
     Together we started flying towards the coast until we sighted the bombers above us and climbed up and rejoined the main formation.

S/Ldr. Norman A. Kynaston of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 September, 1943:

     I was leading 91 Squadron on top Squadron Wing Escort Cover, in Ramrod 242 to Beauvais. When approaching the Target about 15 ME 109's dived down on Bumper Squaadron. I told them to break and then attack the bandits. I chased one down to the ground and gave up the chase when I saw that he was diving towards Beauvais aerodrome. When climbing up again I saw two pairs of FW.190's passing underneath and dived down on to one pair. I was then joined by another Spitfire XII and I took the right hand FW. 190 and after a short chase closed to about 250 yards. After about 3 seconds burst I saw numerous strikes on the engine and cockpit of the FW. 190 and it began to break up into tiny pieces and then flew into the ground, where it exploded and burnt.
     This was later confirmed by F/O. Newman (Bumper Red 3) I claim 1 FW. 190 destroyed.

F/Lt. John C. S. Doll of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 September, 1943:

     I was flying Red 2 to the C.O. at about 15,000 ft. when suddenly about 10 ME 109's dived abreast vertically down in front of us. Red 1 turned over on his back and followed one, I followed him. He did and aileron turn to port, myself still following, when suddenly I saw flash past my port wing and one very bright flash 2 yards port of my cockpit. I looked round and saw another ME 109 about 800 yards behind me. My No. 1 dissappeared from my view so I did a half roll, now about 9,000 ft. and went straight down to the deck. When about 3,000 ft. I saw many Spitfires, FW. 190's and ME 109's at varying heights between about 4,000 ft. and the ground. I saw 2 FW. 190's at 300 ft. line abreast 50 yards apart about 4 miles away travelling South. I continued down to about 200 feet and gave chase apparently quite unnoticed as they both continued straight and level abreast 50 yards apart. After about 4 mins. I caught them up closing quickly. When about 400 yards away I pulled up to their level 500 feet and as I did the starboard one did a gentle climbing turn to starboard. I gave him a burst from between 250-300 yards. He seemed to straighten out as though hit. I then closed to 130 yards, I was still overtaking at (?), and gave him another burst from 150 yards closing to about 50 yds when I had to break over him due to my extra speed. Just before I broke his engine and cockpit burst into flames and pieces flew past me. White smoke poured from him. I pulled out to one side and watched him turn slightly to starboard and crash into the middle of a wood. Flames and smoke leapt into the air. Whilst watching this I looked round to see where the other 190 was and saw him on the other side of the wood about a mile away coming for me. I pushed everything forward and steered 220 for home at 0 feet. He chased me for about 40 miles. My engine was very rough and occasionally puffs came from port exhaust so I did not feel like playing with him. He was still a mile behind. I came to a round hill, made a 360 degree turn round its base and found I had lost him, throttled back and crossed the coast at a quite spot. I experienced no flak at any time.

F/Lt. Jean P. Maridor (Free French) of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 24 September, 1943:

     I was flying Red 3 when we were attacked by several ME 109's. I broke starboard and went down after a 109. I could not catch up so I went after four FW 190's who were diving down on my right and caught one of them at ground level and gave him a two second burst from the Starboard beam. I saw strikes and he crashed into a wood and exploded. This was seem by Red 4 and by Lotion leader. I then went for two more FW. 190's flying line abreast in front of me. I gave the leader a five seconds burst from 400 to 300 yards seeing no results. I then went for the number two giving him a five second burst, range 250 closing to 150 yards. He took violent evasive action. I saw some strikes and quite a lot of black smoke come out all round his engine cowlings as if on fire. I then broke away. For this I claim a FW. 190 damaged. This was seen by Red 4.

W/Cdr. R. Harries leading the Spitfire XII Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 27 September 1943:

     I was leading the Spitfire XII Wing, which was escort cover in Ramrod 250, and was flying with 41 Squadron. As we approached the target several enemy aircraft were seen above and in the sun. After the bombing the enemy aircraft started to dive down on to the bombers and I detailed 91 Squadron to attack. One Marauder became detached from the main formation and lagged about 4 miles behind. Approximately 15 Me. 109G’s started to attack this bomber so I quickly brought 41 Squadron on the scene and several dog fights ensued. One Me. 109G (camouflaged dull grey and recognized by its underslung cannons) started to come round for a head on attack on me but I turned quickly into him and he started to dive down to the ground, I closed rapidly and from dead astern opening fire with a 1½ second burst from 300 yards and saw strikes on the fuselage of the enemy aircraft.
     I followed the enemy aircraft down as it went into a thin layer of cloud and saw it start to spin, pour out black, then burst into flames and finally crash into a wood. This was confirmed by F/Lt. Matthews (91 Squadron) and two pilots of the Ibsley Wing.

F/Lt. R. S. Easby of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 September, 1943:

     I was leading Yellow Section in 91 Squadron, acting as Escort Cover to Ramrod 250.
     After diving down after two E/A not being able to close we turned home on the deck. I observed an aircraft on the Starboard side which I with Yellow 2 turned to investigate, this aircraft proved to be an ME 109, which I told Yellow 2 to deal with. Yellow 2 obtained many strikes and the E/A burst into flames and crashed in a field.
     After Yellow 2 had destroyed his E/A we continued on our way. I observed then an ME 109 ahead flying across our track on the deck. I made a quarter attack from E/A's starboard side closing in astern firing, strikes were seen on the aircraft and debris coming off it, it suddenly pulled up to 500 feet when on continuing firing the aircraft began to disintegrate parts falling off and the E/A burst into flames and then hit the deck in flames.
     My No. 2 F/O O'Shaughnessy confirms this.
CLAIM ME109 destroyed by Yellow 1. ME109 destroyed by Yellow 2.

F/O A. G. O'Shaughnessy of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 27 September, 1943:

     I was flying Yellow 2 to F/Lt. Easby flying Yellow 1, in 91 Squadron acting as Escort Cover to Ramrod 250.
     My number one, went down after two E/A and I followed. Not being able to close Yellow 1 turned North on the deck. Coming home Yellow 1 turned to investigate an aircraft which was recognised as a ME. 109. We turned onto the E/A, my number one told me to attack. I closed into 150 yards observing strikes. The ME 109 then blew up in mid-air and crashed in flames. Yellow 1 confirms this. Yellow 1 then steered a course for Base still on the deck. An aircraft recognized as a ME 109 crossed our path ahead. Yellow 1 turned onto the E/A and started firing, I saw pieces falling off the E/A which then started to climb. At about 500 feet it began to break up. I saw it crash in flames.
     My claim ME 109 destroyed. I confirm ME 109 destroyed by Yellow 1.

The Tangmere Wing - 41 & 91 Squadrons, Tangmere, 30 October 1943.

W/Cdr. R. Harries leading the Spitfire XII Wing recorded in his Combat Report for 20 October 1943:

     I was leading the Tangmere Wing on Rodeo 263 and was flying with No. 41 Squadron. We swept Bernay, Beaumont and Evreux Area at 8,000 feet. After turning approximately 10 miles north of Evereux I sighted between 25 and 30 109s and 190s 5,000 feet above and coming round the sun. I increased speed as the enemy came down to attack. I put the Wing into a steep climbing turn to port. The enemy aircraft opened fire at extreme range without success; they then dived away steeply.
     I spotted 1 Me. 109G flying at 7,000 feet and approximately 1,000 feet below me and diving towards the ground. I immediately gave chase and opened fire with a 5-second burst on this aircraft from approximately 400 yards. When the enemy aircraft was about 500 feet from the ground it flipped over on its back and immediately went into the ground with a violent explosion. This was confirmed by my number 2 Group Captain Crisham.
     I was now at deck level and headed out for the coast. When I was near Rouen 4 109s came down from starboard to attack me. I broke between them and a dog-fight ensued which lasted about 2½ minutes. I managed to get round and allowing approximately 2½ rings deflection gave the enemy aircraft a short burst. The enemy aircraft whipped on its side and exploded on hitting the ground.
     I managed to climb up and make use of slight cloud cover thereby evading the other three enemy aircraft and I did not see them again. One of the enemy aircraft hit my aircraft behind the cockpit with light ammunition, but did not cause much damage.
     I recrossed the French Coast near Fecamp and did not experience any flak.
     2 Me.109Gs claimed destroyed.

S/Ldr. Norman A. Kynaston of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 October, 1943:

     I was leading 91 Squadron when I saw 27 enemy aircraft up sun of us over Beaumont. I turned port into them and a dogfight ensued.
     The Squadron was split up and on my way out on the deck I saw two FW 190's at 1,000 feet just undereneath the cloud. I pulled up behind them and they saw me. I was then joined by F/O. Davy and we fought them. I closed behind one of them to about 200 yards and fired a short burst with about ½ ring deflection. I hit the cockpit and engine of the 190 and the aircraft dived gently into the bank of the River Seine.
     This was confirmed by F/O. Davy.
     I claim one FW. 190 destroyed.

F/O B. B. Newman of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 October, 1943:

     I was flying Yellow 3 in Viceroy Squadron when about 20 E/A were sighted at 9 o'clock to the wing in the vicinity of Rouen. E/A turned up sun of the wing and dived out of the sun towards us. I saw a 109g by itself and dived down on it from about 5000 ft. closing from about 600 yds. to 100 yds. at 500 feet.
     I gave E/A about 5 bursts of m.g. and Cannon but did not see strikes till I had closed to about 100 yds. when I saw flashes on the wings and fuselage and pieces breaking off the A/C, some of which stuck my A/C damaging the airscrew. As I broke off the attack, I saw this A/C strike the ground and burst into flames.
     While heading for base I saw another Spitfire attacking an A/C which crashed into flames after the pilot baled out. I joined up with the A/C E.B. - A flown by F/O Cowell and was attacked by another E/A which broke off its attack when we turned.
     I returned to base passing 2 FW 190's but no further incident. 2

F/O P. Cowell of 41 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 October, 1943:

     I was flying as Blue 3 in Viceroy Sqdn., when the squadron was attacked by 20 E/A. I broke sharply to port and saw a F.W. 190 diving away on my starboard side. I followed this A/C down and opened fire at about 600 yds. I gave several bursts on the way down and at about 150 - 200 yds, I gave a long burst of cannon and M.G. closing to 50 yds.
     The stbd. oleo leg dropped and I saw hits in the engine which caught fire.
     The pilot baled out at 500 to 1000 ft and the A/C crashed in a field.

F/O D. Fisher of 41 Squadron related his combat on 20 October, 1943:

     I was flying Blue 2 and the Wing had just turned North from Beaumont at 8000' when about 20 enemy aircraft were seen above and approaching from the West, they were all thought to be F.W. 190's.
     I endeavoured to keep these enemy aircraft in sight but they practically disappeared into the sun. A minute later from the excited remarks on the R/T I knew that 91 Squadron were being engaged. My leader Blue 1, went into a turn to port - I followed him and kept a look out behind. As we turned port I saw 2 F.W. 190's coming in fast 300 yards away, slightly above from an angle of approximately 60°. I warned Blue 1 and he immediately pulled up and headed into sun, whilst I tightened my turn to port as hard as I could, and I saw the 190's roll on their backs and flash underneath me upside down.
     I immediately started to reverse my bank to starboard to keep them in sight to follow them down, but as I rolled straight I saw some M.E. 109's zooming up steeply from underneath and firing at my Squadron as they came. I turned hard to starboard through 180° and then straightened, just as a M.E. 109 shot straight up to almost vertically about 10 yards in front of my nose.
     I pulled sharply up to follow him but my speed had by then been squashed down to 280 I.A.S. and he rapidly drew away from me. When he was about 2000' above and in front of me I saw him roll on his back and commence diving steeply, and then I saw a Spitfire on his tail at about 400 yards range. I immediately dived and approached them from an angle, finally following them down, 1000 yards behind.
     I saw pieces fly off the 109 as he started to pull out at about 3000', then he burst into flames and crashed into the ground and the Spit: turned away to port. I was then at 1500' travelling South at 450 m.p.h. in a shallow dive, when I saw another M.E. 109 slightly below, dead in front of me and turning slowly starboard.
     I closed very radidly and was about to open fire, when he suddenly turned hard starboard, flicked on to his back and flicked again into a vertical position, as I overshot him. He appeared to hang motionless for a second, and I turned right and kept him in sight. I saw him trying to pull out, but he hit the corner of a field and blew up. I did a half orbit round the flaming wreckage and then turned for home flying on the deck. After flying at fast cruising (300 m.p.h.) for about five or six minutes, I reached the Seine and saw a large steam tug slightly to my left. I turned towards it, then felt and heard a loud bang and my machine went almost on its back.
     I managed to recover and scrape over the top of the tug, and saw that my port aileron was badly holed. I throttled back at 220 m.p.h. (as I could not keep the machine level at a higher speed) and continued a course without incident.
     I crossed out East of Fecamp, returned to base and landed about ten minutes after the rest of my Squadron.

F/Sgt. R. A. Blumer (R.A.A.F.) of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 October, 1943:

     When flying Red 2 on Fighter Sweep we mixed it with about a Squadron of 109's. I noticed 2 109's sitting above and called out and went after them. I chased them down to the deck and was followed by several other Spitfires. I held my fire until 300 yards behind and scored some hits on fuselage with a 1 second burst. The two 109's then separated and I followed mine in a left turn and with another 1 second burst at 200 yards caused pieces to fly off and the petrol tank behind the pilot and engine to catch fire. The 109 then stalled, turned on it's back and hit the ground and exploded. P/O. McPhie confirms this.
     I claim one ME 109G destroyed.
     On coming out I attacked and damaged a tug on the Seine.

F/Lt. John C. S. Doll of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 October, 1943:

     At 09.50 hours aircraft were reported at nine o'clock above. They turned round and came in to attack from five o'clock. The C.O. (S/Ldr. Kynaston) turned towards them and at the same time three ME 109's attacked my section (I was Yellow 1) from head on position. As they passed underneath us, I pulled sharply up and to port and saw two more 109's firing at me from port quarter. I pulled further to port and saw two more 109's to my port and underneath. I dived down on them. One pulled to the port and the other to slightly starboard. I turned starboard and followed him closing to 300 yards and gave him a 2 second burst - not enough deflection. He then pulled fairly tightly to port and I saw one strike on the port wing with another 2 second burst. I gave a quick look round and saw a 109 on my tail and pulled round tightly to port still firing. All the time my deflection was too little, but on pulling round my cannon shells caught up to the correct deflection and removed the tail unit of the 109 in front of me. I saw him whip over onto his back and go down. I then lost him whilst getting away from the 109 behind me and went fairly slowly to the deck looking round well as there were still a lot of aircraft about. I looked down to see if I could find the one I had shot the tail off and just then saw a plane burning on the ground with lots of black smoke coming out from it.
     I dived down to 0 feet and made for home. I shot at a lorry but saw no strikes and later on on a river shot at a barge but saw no strikes. My aim in both cases was badly overshooting. I crossed out East of Le Havre.
     I was at 9,000 feet when we were attacked and at 7,000 feet when I got mine.
     I claim one ME 109G destroyed.

F/O Ray S. Nash of 91 Squadron recorded in his Combat Report for 20 October, 1943:

     At about 09.50 hours, Harvest Yellow Section was attacked from head-on above. As Yellow 3, I became separated after breaking and climbed up towards six aircraft at 10,000 feet. They were yellow nosed FW 190's and ME 109's. Two of us chased two of them down to ground level, where they separated and I chased the 109G - I fired at him from astern at not less than 300 yards range. It was too bumpy to get closer, because of the terrific speed we were travelling over tree-tops. The 109G eventually crashed into a field, after receiving many hits, all over it.

Notes

Effect of Clipped Wings on Rolling
Rolls-Royce Griffon VI

Source References

1. Horizontalgeschwindigkeit über der Flughöhe, Normaljäger Fw 190 A-5, 20.10.43
2. GL/C-E2 Flugzeug-Entwicklungs-Blatt Fw 190(J) 1.11.44
3. Zusammenstellung der wichtigsten Flugleistungen der Normaljäger Fw 190 mit BMW 801 D
4. F/O C. R. Birbeck, Combat Report - 4 September 1943
5. F/O B. B. Newman, Combat Report - 20 October 1943

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