Battle of Britain Campaign
Date: 2nd September 1940
- Weather: Continuing fine and warm.
Early-morning mist and fog patches.
- Day: Once again, four main phases
of airfield attacks.
- Night: Scattered raids on Liverpool,
the Midlands and South Wales.
Enemy action by day
The enemy's effort consisted mainly of five attacks in the East
Kent - Thames Estuary area and during the course of those operations
Fighter Squadrons destroyed 41 enemy aircraft (plus 18 probable and
32 damaged). Our casualties were 20 aircraft and 10 pilots killed
or missing. Aerodromes appeared to be the targets.
North and East
Little activity took place. Four reconnaissance flights were made
off the Norfolk Coast by single aircraft flying at about 10,000 feet
between 1629 and 2055 hours.
At 0750 and 0752 hours the Coast was crossed at Dover and Lympne
by forty and thirty aircraft respectively at 20,000 feet while a
small formation came in at Deal at 8,000 feet. The raids split inland
and proceeded to Eastchurch, North Weald, Ochford and Biggin Hill.
A further raid of thirty aircraft flying at 10,000 feet was intercepted
near Hawkinge and turned back. Seven squadrons were detailed for
this attack and inflicted casualties.
At 1220 hours two waves of 12+ and 30+ aircraft crossed the Coast
at Folkestone and North Foreland and flew into the Estuary. Other
raids penetrated to Maidstone. The battle was confined to East Kent
from Rye to Shoeburyness. About one hundred aircraft were involved
and dispersal to France took place at 1330 hour. Several enemy aircraft
were shot down. Strong hostile formations continued to cruise in
the Straits for about an hour.
At 1612 hours raids crossed the Coast at points North of Dungeness
and Deal. One raid flew towards Biggin Hill and the remainder to
the Thames Estuary and Essex flying over Hornchurch, North Weald
and Colchester to Harwich. Some thirty enemy aircraft appeared to
concentrate 10 miles South East of Central London where they turned
back. In all some hundred aircraft took part. Four Fighter squadrons
were in the air and successful interceptions were made.
Immediately after the above attackers had returned to France further
raids amounting to seventy aircraft came in over Sheppey, Thames
Estuary and East Kent at 1720 hours. This attack was of short duration
and ended at 1750 hours.
At 1800 hours other raids totalling eighty enemy aircraft approached
the Coast between North Foreland and Dungeness. They did not penetrate
inland and after patrolling the Coast returned to France at 1830
hours. Strong patrols were maintained on the French side of the Channel.
At 1045 hours a single aircraft made a reconnaissance over South
Wales and at 1400 hours one raid of two aircraft was plotted in the
Enemy activity was extensive and was not so confined to specific
areas as on recent nights. A feature was the early termination (0130
hours) of all the main attacks.
By dusk the enemy was operating along the East Coast, Wash to Tyne
(mostly believed to be mine-laying), over Derby, in the Liverpool
and in the Barrow-in-Furness areas. From 2200 to 0030 hours a steady
stream of raids crossed the Coast between Beachy Head and Swanage
and flew to the industrial Midlands as far as Liverpool, Manchester
and Sheffield. Many enemy aircraft passed to and from these areas
over London Central. Others flew in over the Wash. The number of
raids towards South Wales was rather less than recently. Off North
East Scotland there was increased activity and a number of raids
were plotted between Rattray Head and as far north as Scapa. A convoy
off Kinnairds Head called for help at 2240 hours.
Fighter Command Serviceable Aircraft as at 0900 hours, 2nd September
- Blenheim - 60
- Spitfire - 204
- Hurricane - 398
- Defiant - 21
- Gladiator - 7
- Total - 690
- 20 aircraft with 10 pilots killed or missing.
- During the night of 1st/2nd September - 29 patrols involving
- During the day of 2nd September - 100 patrols involving 741
- It is estimated that about 100 enemy aircraft operated over
Great Britain during the night 1st/2nd September and 850 during
the day of 2nd September.
- Biggin Hill day landing lanes available only.
Attacks on Aerodromes
- Detling, Eastchurch, Hornchurch.
- No 263 Squadron has moved from Turnhouse to Drem. 'A' flight non-operational.
'B' flight operational.
Home Security Reports
- Date: 2nd September 1940
- General Summary
- Enemy aircraft activity was again centred over South
East England and the Thames Estuary during the day, some
aircraft reaching the London area.
- At about 2200 hours extensive activity was renewed
and the following areas were visited: South Wales, London,
the Midlands, as far as Liverpool in the North West.
There was also activity along the North East Coast from
the Wash to North East Scotland.
- Detailed Summary
- RAF Stations
- Date: 1st September 1940
- Subsequent information states that there
is no confirmation of bombs having been dropped
on Porthcawl Aerodrome on 1st September.
- Date: 2nd September 1940
- At 1328 hours, dive bombers attacked Detling
- Gravesend Aerodrome was attacked at 0805
hours, when 11 HE bombs were dropped causing
damage to gas, electricity and telephone
- There were two attacks on Eastchurch Aerodrome,
the first taking place at 1233 hours, and
the second at 1726 hours. No damage is reported
as resulting from the first raid but later
reports state that one runway only is usable
with care by day, the rest of the aerodrome
- A formation of enemy aircraft (Do17) bombed
Hornchurch Aerodrome at 1640 hours on 2nd
September. Only six bombs fell on the landing
ground causing no damage to buildings or
personnel. But there was some damage (extent
unknown) suffered by the AA Brigade Headquarters
- It is reported that a bomb similar in appearance
to an oil drum, believed to be a 100 kilo
incendiary bomb fitted with air pressure
with direct control action was dropped near
Catterick Aerodrome at 2027 hours.
- Date: 2nd September 1940
- Llandarcy: Further information received
shows that no damage was done to the Naval
oil tanks but that five commercial tanks,
each holding 10,000 tons and belonging to
the National Oil Refineries Ltd. are being
left to burn out, which it is estimated will
take some considerable time. The refinery
works are closed down.
- Cuxton: At 1630 hours on 2nd September
an HE bomb was dropped on the drawing offices
of Shorts Aircraft works.
- Tilbury: At 1100 hours on 2nd September,
HE bombs were dropped on the New Dry Dock
causing damage to the premises of the London
Graving Dock Company and Messrs. Green and
Silly Wears. No 17 Shed has been demolished
and bombs fell on the other sheds, buildings
and the riverside station and yard.
- Maidstone: severe Bombing took place at
about 1300 hours on 2nd September, causing
considerable damage to house property and
25 families have been evacuated. The morale
of the town is reported as being unimpaired.
- Swansea: During the night of 1st/2nd September
extensive bombing was carried out over the
town when 134 HE and a large number of incendiary
bombs were dropped, causing considerable
damage and many fires. It is further reported
that the new Great Western Railway station
was seriously damaged, necessitating the
diversion of traffic. Four wheat warehouses
belonging to the Weaver Flour Mill Co. were
damaged, two being completely gutted, the
loss of stock is reported to be 8,000 tons.
Incendiary bombs also fell on the Imperial
Chemicals Industries factory at Upper Bank,
where there was little damage, but a hold
up in production of twelve hours. Many casualties
resulted from this raid.
- Blyth: Fires were caused at the Import
Dock at 2310 hours on the 2nd September due
to incendiary bombs. All fires were extinguished.
- Casualties on the Ground by Enemy Action:
- To RAF Personnel - Nil killed, Nil injured.
- To others - 51 killed, 247 injured.