C)TYPE OF A/C Hurricane M.K. 1 Eight Machine Guns,
D)TIME OF ATTACK About 11.55 hours,
E)PLACE OF ATTACK 68.30 N42.30 W½
F)WHEATER 7/10 Cloud at 2000 feet 10/10 Cloud at 4000 feet Vis 10
G)OUR CASUALTIES A/C Nil,
H)OUR CASUALTIES PERSONNEL nil,
I)ENEMY CASUALTIES Two H.E. 111s destroyed
18th September 1942 at 1015 hours local time I was at readiness
when the R.D.F. Guard ship reported that enemy aircraft were in the vicinity
of the convoy. I got into the cockpit of the aircraft and everything was
made ready for launching. The enemy aircraft appeared at a height of 4,000
feet and were identified as Ju.88. These aircraft proceeded to bomb and dive
bomb the convoy individually from cloud and it was not thought advisable to
launch the aircraft.
11.00 a.m. it was reported that 9 He.111 torpedo carrying aircraft were
coming in from astern low down on the water. M F.D.O Lt. Carrigue gave the
Captain instructions to fire me off, but as the ship was not clear ahead, no
action was taken by the Captain and a red flag was given the firing officer
P/O Davies. After this attack had faded, we were still being bombed when I
noticed that my electrical installation had broken down entirely. The R.T.O.
and the other members of the crew very calmly proceeded to check the fuses
and they changed the battery with bombs falling round the ship.
11.50 a.m. local time another group of torpedo carrying aircraft were
reported coming in of the port quarter. This time we were all set to shoot
off and a good launch was effected. As the ship was in position 53 in the
middle of the convoy, I had to swerve violently to avoid balloon cables of
other ships, I also had to take avoiding action from Bofors and Oerlikon
fire from one or two of the ships who opened up on me.
was in immediate communication with my F.D.O. and climbed to about 700’
and went round to the port quarter of the convoy where I could see the 15
He.111 coming in in line abreast. They were about 3 miles from the stern of
the convoy about 50’. I dived on them and carried out a head on and port
beam attack on a He.111, opening fire at 300 yards and closing to 150yards.
I noticed my shots striking the engine and nose of the Heinkel and as I
turned above and behind to the left I noticed white smoke coming from his
starboard engine. I closed again to 250 yards and gave him the rest of my
ammunition in a quarter attack carried out from both his engines, but as I
was interfering with the flack from the ships I broke right and went round
the stern to the starboard side of the convoy. From there I observed that no
ships had been hit by the torpedoes. On going round to the front of the
convoy I saw the wreckage of a Heinkel 111 in the water between the two
columns on the port side. My F.D.O. told me to patrol the starboard side of
the convoy for although I had used all my ammunition it was my intention to
show myself to any other formation and endeavor to break it up with a mock
attack. No more aircraft appeared but the Ju.88 were still bombing from the
clouds. I checked my fuel and found I had 70 gallons left. I asked my F.D.O.
for the distance and vector to the nearest aerodrome. He replied that it was
240 miles away on a vector of 180ºM. I decided to try and save the aircraft
and I set out on this course allowing 10º for drift steering 170ºM.
ran into a fog bank about 40 miles wide after 15 minutes flying but managed
to make landfall and pin point my position. I flew at heights between 200’
and 2000’ and arriving at Archangel I fired the recognition signal and
found Keg Ostrov aerodrome where I landed at 14.15 hours with 5 gallons in
my reserve tank left.
to the dispatch of my Combat Reported dated 19th September 1942
and when the convoy arrived at Archangel, I was informed by the Captains of
H.M.S. Ulster Queen and H.M.S. Gleaner and officers from other ships, that
when I made my first attack, they saw a Heinkel 111 swerved out of formation
and in attempting a tight turn near sea level crash into the water. I did
not see this happen and therefore knew nothing about it when my original
combat report was prepared.