Between 20 and 22
October 1943, No. 410 Squadron moved from Coleby Grange in
Lincolnshire to West Malling, a few miles west of Maidstone in Kent.
Here it was located in an area that, during the Battle of Britain, had
become known as "Hell's Corner"; it was still one of the most active centres of Fighter Command's operations. The move brought the Cougars
into No. 11 (F) Group, with which it remained until the spring of
1944. The crews anticipated "lots of joy" in their new zone, and they
were not disappointed. It proved to be a very successful period. At
the time the Squadron joined No. 11 Group its score stood at five
enemy bombers (all Do.217s) destroyed, two more shared and two
damaged. Seven months later, on the eve of D-Day, the score had risen
to 19.3/4 destroyed, one probably damaged and six damaged. In seven
months, the Cougars won more than twice as many victories as they had
in the previous 26 months. The explanation was simple. The German
bomber force had become active, making numerous small scale attacks on
London and south coast ports; and the Cougars ware in the right place
at the right time. The stay at West Mailing was brief, just 20 days,
during which time the Squadron made 55 patrols and scrambles – figures
which illustrate the greatly12 increased scale of activity. (In the previous nine months of 1943
the number of sorties had averaged only 34 per month). Operations
began with an unfortunate loss. On the night of the 22nd,
P/O M.C. Murray, while on patrol off the English coast,
picked up a contact; then the radar plotting of their aircraft faded,
and the crew did not return.
(12) For a time the Squadron supplied four aircraft nightly to reinforce Bradwell Bay and Ford in addition to four "available" at West Malling.
On several other nights there were chases after "bogeys", but the
crews were unable to close. Once S/L March and F/O K.M. Eyolfson
followed a bandit, a Ju.188, to near the French coast where it flew
into a heavy cloud bank just as March was about to open fire. When the
Mosquito followed, electrical disturbances caused the A.1. set to blow
up and the hunt had to be abandoned. Finally, on 5 November, the luck
changes and the Cougars made the first of their long series of kills
in No. 11 Group. While on patrol over the Channel off Dungeness F/O
C.F. Green and P/O E.G. White (RAF) were vectored after a bandit
flying north at 23,000 feet. White picked up the raider on his A.1.
and Green closed in below, identifying it as an
Me.410. The first
cannon burst high around the port engine, whereupon the enemy went
into a tight diving turn with the Mosquito in close pursuit. After
further strikes, the 410 exploded with a brilliant white flash,
breaking into burning fragments that caused another explosion when
they struck the water.
Three days after this victory, No. 410 moved again from West Malling
to Hunsden in Hertfordshire, about 20 miles north of London. Here the
Cougars replaced No. 157 Squadron which went to Predannack. The
formation of the
Second Tactical Air Force about this time led to the redesignation of Fighter Command as the
Air Defence of Great Britain.
The seven weeks which the Squadron spent at Hunsdon were not quite as
busy as the previous three at West Malling, chiefly due to two period
of bad weather in December. Nevertheless there 93 night patrols and
scrambles, 13 and November set a record with 80 sorties, the total of
operational hours (144) passing the hundred mark for the first time of
the Unit's history. Bull's-eye exercises and G.C.I. practice continued
to be an almost nightly feature of the training programme. It was on
one of these flights that
F/Os J.J. Blanchfield and
killed. They had been scrambled, together with W/O C.H. James and F/S
T.C. Levine, in the evening of 26 November, and after completing an
uneventful patrol engaged in a practice interception. By mischance the
two Mosquitoes collided. The one crew baled out safely but Blanchfield
and Cox, who had been with the Squadron since 14 September, died in
the crash of their aircraft.
In the Squadron’s Operations Record Book the words
contact obtained" appear opposite 90 of the sorties carried out from Hunsdon. Once there was the comment
"fleeting contact' unable to
close". But the two remaining sorties could not be dismissed so
briefly. They both occurred on the night of 10 December and one, as
the Squadron diary expressed it,
"made a bit of history".
13 Three of the sorties late in November were uneventful Mahmoud
patrols an enemy beacon east of Bonn, Germany.
At 1800 hours that evening, F/O R.D. Shultz and his observer, F/0 W.V.
Williams, took off from Hunsdon for a routine patrol over the North
Sea. Except for scattered cloud at 7000 feet the sky was clear and
visibility was brilliant. For 50 minutes the Mosquito patrolled north
and south along a line midway over the sea; nothing was stirring. Then
the voice of the controller at Trimley Heath came through, giving the
crew a vector with a warning to investigate the
"bogey" with caution.
Further vectors led to an A.1. contact at 2-1/2 miles range. Diving
rapidly, the Mosquito overshot the target, but regained contact with
the controller’s aid and caught sight of an aircraft approaching
head-on. Schultz swung around, drew in to 50 yards astern and, after
identifying the raider as a Do.217, and opened fire. A second short
burst over made the starboard engine break into flames; a third,
delivered as the enemy pilot tried to twist away, caused a large flash
and explosion on the Dornier. Return fire from the bomber then ceased;
but the Hun continued its evasive action, trying to reach the cover of
the clouds 2000 feet below. It dived through, opened its bomb doors,
presumably to jettison its load, and then, after a final long burst
from the Mossie's cannons, hit the sea and burned furiously.
The controller now had another plot on the board and Schultz climbed
rapidly to 15,000 feet where Williams soon picked up a contact which
led to a visual on a second Do.217. One burst from dead astern at
range of 300 yards closing to 50 feet was enough. The Dornier blew up,
giving the Mosquito a very perceptible jar. So close were the two that
the night fighter flew through the debris of its victim.
During the brief action, Williams had been holding a third contact and
Schultz set out in pursuit, catching sight almost immediately of yet
"Now began a long duel with the enemy pilot showing a
high degree of airmanship. The evasive tactics were excellent
throughout. Mosquito fired two very short bursts from astern but
missed. E/A peeled off to port and fired a very accurate burst from
dorsal position. Mosquito followed e/a down to 9000 feet and pilot
fired a long burst which set fire to starboard engine. Evasive action
went on down to sea level and e/a turned for home ... This was a
mistake for enemy pilot stopped evasion for this short period,
enabling F/O Schultz to get in another short burst causing starboard
engine to blaze. E/A put out almost a defensive barrage from every
available gun and Mosquito was hit in nose while a cannon shell
smashed the instrument panel, just missing the pilot by three inches.
One more burst at e/a caused port engine to catch fire. The enemy
pilot, however, still kept going with both engines burning but
eventually hit the sea, going straight in.”
On this Dornier, as on the first, Schultz and Williams could see the
swastika markings on the rudder fin. In all three cases bright
moonlight glittering on the dorsal turrets had facilitated visual
location of the raiders. The third bomber appeared to have a gun
turret fitted in the tail also.
Schultz and Williams had pulled the hat trick with three kills in 15
minutes, but their sortie was not yet ended. Damaged in the gallant
combat offered by the third Dornier, the Mosaic's starboard engine
began to splutter; then the port engine caught fire. Luckily the first
motor soon picked up, and the fire died out in the other engine when
the propeller was feathered. On one engine the pilot managed to reach
Bradwell Bay and landed safely. For their display of skill, courage,
determination and fine fighting qualities, Schultz and Williams
received immediate awards of the DFC.
The same night a fourth Do.217 was damaged by F/O D.M. Norman and P/O
J.R. Hunt (RAF) in an encounter North of Chelmsford. The crew had been
scrambled at the time Schultz and Williams were fighting their amazing
battle over the sea, and soon saw searchlights and ack-ack batteries
in action. The Mossie closed quickly on one target which was taking
extremely violent evasive action, climbing and diving steeply and
simultaneously making sharp turns. Despite these antics the night
fighter closed to firing range for four short bursts that caused some
strikes on one wing. Then the cannons jammed, due probably to the
violent action necessary to keep in touch with the Dornier. The R/T
and intercom also had gone U/S, but Norman continued the chase for
some moments before turning homeward.
While at Hunsdon an important change was effected in the organization
of the Squadron. Hitherto, its strength had been about 260 officers
and airmen, of whom 54 or so were aircrew and the remainder ground
personnel. Late in November the Squadron was reduced to air personnel
only with just a handful of ground staff for necessary orderly room
duties; the remainder were posted to No. 3062 Servicing Echelon which
attended to the multifold tasks associated with the word
throughout the rest of the Squadron's career. There were also changes
in equipment at this time. A travelling "circus" came to Hunsdon to
train the aircrew on the latest model Mark VIII of the A.1. radar, in
preparation for conversion to Mosquito XIII aircraft. The first of the
new Mossies was delivered on 2 December and by the end of that month
the Cougars had received their full complement of 17.
F/L M.A. Cybulski, DFC and F/O H.H. Ladbrook, DFC, completed their
tour with the Cougars with two scrambles in the early morning of 20
December. Four days later Cybulski left Hunsdon to fly to a new post
in No. 9 Group; en route his Oxford crashed in Lancashire and he
received serious injuries.
Christmas 1943 was a bad day with weather
"right down on the deck",
but it did not affect the spirits of the Cougars, and, with no
operations to interfere, everyone spent a very merry time. Then
belongings were gathered up, equipment packed, and by air and road No.
410 and its echelon moved once more to Castle Camps in Cambridgeshire.
The new station, where the Squadron remained for the next four months,
was in the southeastern corner of Cambridgeshire, not far from Saffron
Walden and about 45 miles distant from London. They were busy months,
as the Luftwaffe attacks on the capital rose to a peak, and the crews
averaged more than 110 sorties per month – a figure never before
approached in the Squadron's career. They were successful months, too,
with nine kills, a probable and three damaged to record for the new Mossie XIIIs.
Most of the action, however, occurred in the two months February and
March 14, 1944. The first month of the New Year was busy (102 sorties)
but disappointing and aggravating. With few exceptions the sortie
reports were again "uneventful" or "no contacts obtained”. Twice
contacts were chased as far as the French coast where controller
called the night fighter to turn back; another time the chase had to
be abandoned when the raider entered the balloon barrage of the inner
defensive area around London. On the 28th, when a group of 40 or 50
Huns came in the Cougars again had no luck. The enemy made extensive
use this night of "window", a tinsel paper device to
interception. This was apparently the first time that No. 410 squadron
experienced this counter-measure. The next night produced another
aggravating incident when a Fleet Air Arm crew serving with the
Squadron attacked a Ju.88.
The Squadron had one Mosquito XII on which six of these sorties were
They noticed no strikes at the time but, seeing the aircraft dive as
though out of control and, some moments later, a large explosion and
glow below the clouds, they believed they had destroyed the Hun. Their
claim was disputed however, by another squadron which received credit
for the kill.
A flying accident on the 16th took the lives of
F/L C.F. Medhurst and
F/O A.B. Henderson. The former had joined No. 410 late in March 1943
and just a fortnight before his death had returned from a period of
leave in Canada. Henderson had come to the Cougars on 22 December, on
No. 488 (RNZAP) Squadron.
A number of crews finished their tours in January, and left No. 410;
among them were F/Os J.A. Watt and E.H. Collis, F/O D.M. Norman and
P/O J.R. Hunt, F/O C.F. Green (pilot) and S/L R.R. Ferguson (pilot)
all of whom had done outstanding work with the unit. Ferguson's place
as 'A' Flight commander was taken by S/L C.A.S. Anderson,
Enemy activity increased in February with the result that the Cougars
had a profitable month on their new Mossies, destroying five Huns and
damaging two. The action began on the night of the 3rd / 4th when 135
raiders came over and the Squadron made 15 sorties between 8 p.m. and
7 a.m., several crews going up twice during the night. Five got
contacts and four were able to bring the enemy within visual range.
Twice the target slipped away, one pilot narrowly avoiding a collision
with an F.W.190. In another instance the two aircraft came so close
together that the Mosquito's starboard propeller clipped the bandit
and F/O S.G. Dinsdale was able to claim a damaged Ju.88. With his
observer, F/S J.E. Dunn, he had been chasing about, investigating
ack-ack fire and starlight
"blobs" on the clouds, when a contact was
picked up. He came in very close identifying it as a Ju.88, flying
straight and level and scattering some
“window". Just as Dinsdale was
about to fire, the 88 made a violent peel-off to port and headed
directly for the night fighter, grazing the propeller as it flashed
past underneath. On return to base it was found that two blades of the
Mossie' propeller were scraped and scored from tip to base, and bore
traces of olive green or grey paint.
About the same time that Dinsdale had his brush with the Junkers F/Os
E.S.P. Fox and C.D. Sibbett stalked a violently
jinking Do.217 that
was also scattering
"window". The first burst missed but Fox clung to
his quarry for tine minutes despite its frantic manoeuvres until he
could get in another long squirt. A large piece flew off the starboard
side of the Dornier; then it exploded and went straight down in
flames, striking the sea with a flash that lit up the clouds over a
In the next nine nights the enemy came over three times but the
Cougars had no joy. On the contrary, they lost three of their
personnel in accidents.
F/O K.R. McCormick was killed when his
Mosquito crashed during a night flying test on the 5th. His navigator,
P/O W. Nixon (RAF), was able to bale out, escaping with a slight
injury. McCormick had been with the Squadron since the end of March
1943 and had just completed his tour. An extremely popular member of
the Cougars, he was one of the mainstays of the Squadron hockey team.
There was another accident on the 11th when several crews that had
been scrambled after raiders had to land at Bradwell Bay when the
weather closed in at Castle Camps.
W/Os J.L.A. Madden
were killed when their aircraft for some reason crashed near the other
*** Webmaster's Note: On the
The Canadian Virtual War Memorial website, W/O Madden is
listed as having attained the rank of P/O (Pilot Officer).
S/L J.D. Somerville and F/O G.D. Robinson began their long string of
victories on the 13th with a double success. They had been up for some
time on a combined exercise and patrol when the controller directed
them out over the North Sea to meet some approaching
Presently they picked up a contact, identified it as a Ju.88 and fired
one short burst. The 88 blew up. In the glare of the fire Robinson saw
the back of its fuselage break in two as the raider disintegrated in
the air. Almost immediately the Mosquito crew got another contact
which was soon sighted thanks to a brilliant greenish-white light in
the tail. For half an hour, Somerville followed it, through violent
peel-offs and other evasive action. Glare from the light made it
difficult to recognize the type but finally, from the exhaust glow, it
was seen to be a Ju.188. When the rainier vent into s steep dive and
the range began to open, Somerville let off a burst that made strikes
on the fuselage. The enemy upper gunner also opened fire. Contact was
then lost and could not be replaced.
The same night F/O Schultz and F/L Williams scored their fifth kill by
destroying a Ju.188 over the sea. After several unsuccessful chases
they were able to close on a raider, giving it a long burst from 200
feet that started a fire in the starboard engine. Schultz closed again
to 100 feet for another short burst which made the port engine blow
up. At the same time there was a small explosion in the fuselage below
the pilot's cockpit. The Junkers went down, turning over on its back,
while flames from the fiercely burning port engine spread over the
aircraft. Schultz and Williams almost went down with it. In the second
attack the bomber's upper gunner got in a very good burst as the
Mosquito overshot. His bullets put the night fighter's port engine out
of action, hit the starboard one also and started a bad oil leak. On
one valiant Merlin, Schultz limped back to base.
There was no further enemy activity in the Cougars' area until the
19th. Then he came over on six nights in a row with forces varying
from about 12 to as many as 150. The Squadron had a few fruitless
contacts but no joy until the 22nd when S/L C.A.S. Anderson and F/S
C.F.A. Bodard scored a double. The first target was difficult to close
as the Mosquito twice overshot, but Bodard held the contact, despite
the Jerry's evasive movements, enabling Anderson finally to come
within visual range. Just as he was about to open fire on the Ju.88 it
peeled off violently. The Mosquito followed, getting in a quick burst
that struck the fuselage and starboard engine, setting the latter on
fire. Two further attacks caused more strikes and small explosions.
Bursting into flames, the Junkers spun seaward, breaking up before it
finally plunged into the waves.
Trimley Control then gave Anderson another target and after some
difficulty he came within range of a Ju.188. Two attacks were made as
the bomber took violent evasive action, and both times strikes were
seen on the fuselage. The Junkers dived steeply out of control,
levelled out momentarily and then went into a spin which ended in an
explosion as it hit the deck.
Three relatively quiet weeks followed this series of successes. W/C
Elms left the squadron on 18 February after nine months in command and
in his place came W/C G.A. Hiltz who led the Cougars until the closing
days of the war. They were sorry to see Elms go; under his able
guidance the unit had risen to a high degree of efficiency as its
achievements during the past few months clearly testified. Building on
this foundation, No. 410 under the leadership of the new C.O. went on
to even greater triumphs. F/L Don Creed, who had been senior
navigation leader, also finished his tour in February and relinquished
his post to F/L K.N. Eyolfson.
Although March began quietly, in the end it proved to be almost as
good a 15 month as February. On the 14th about 140 raiders were
plotted in four waves over East Anglia and the Home Counties, and the
Squadron sent up ten night fighters. One was flown by an RAF crew, S/L W.P. Green, DFC and W/O A.L. Grimstone, DFM, temporarily attached
supernumerary to the Cougars. Assisted by searchlight intersections,
they picked up a Ju.88 fitted with external bomb racks, and quickly
shot it down to crash on the ground where it burned.
A few minutes
later, Lt. A.A. Harrington (USAAF) and Sgt. D.G. Tongue (RAF), who
were on their way back to base after an uneventful patrol, saw some
bomb bursts and searchlight beams. Although short of fuel, they
proceeded to investigate and obtained a contact on a Hun. Showers of
window and skilful evasive action made it difficult to retain the
contact, but Tongue held on until Harrington sighted the target, a
Ju.188. A short burst of 35 rounds from the 20 mm. cannons had
spectacular effect. Strikes flashed on the cockpit and wing roots; a
red glow appeared in the cockpit and almost immediately both engines
burst into flames. The fire grew until it enveloped the whole centre
section and a solid sheet of flame streamed back, two or three times
the length of the aircraft. Large pieces of debris flew off and
explosions erupted through the flames as the Junkers went down through
the clouds, its course marked by a vivid glow. Suddenly there was a
brilliant flash below, and then the darkness closed in. As the bomber
went down Harrington flew around it noting the large black crosses on
the fuselage and the swastika on the tail fin.
15 It was apparently at this time that No. 149 Airfield was formed at
Castle Camps. No. 410 was a part of this Airfield, or No. 148,
throughout the rest of the war.
There were further raids or threats of raids in the next few nights,
but the enemy did not penetrate the North Weald sector in which No.
410 operated. On the 19th, for instance, about 50 Huns came in over
the Wash to strike at Hull and Norwich. The night fighter units in
that area had a good night, destroying at least eight and possible
nine of the raiders, but apart from brief contact the Cougars could
not get in on the fireworks. Two nights later about 95 Huns were
plotted coming over from the Rouen and Dutch Islands areas and the
Squadron sent up six crews on patrol. While investigating a series of
searchlight intersections, F/O S.B. Huppert and P/O J.S. Christie
(RAF) picked up a contact on their A.1., and closed in for a visual
which they identified as a Ju.88 when it was momentarily caught in a
searchlight beam. With two short bursts from port and starboard rear,
Huppert set fire to the port wing fuel tanks and blew up the starboard
wing. Searchlights followed the flaming wreckage earthward until it
crashed and exploded.
After two small
"scalded-cat" raids*** on the 22nd and 23rd, the
Luftwaffe reappeared in some strength on the 24th, about 120 aircraft
coming in over the south coast to strike at London and other targets.
W/Os W.F. Price and J.C. Costello were on patrol doing searchlight
co-operation when the controller informed them there was "trade"
abroad and directed the Mosquito to patrol east of London. Twice the
crew chased targets at very high speed (over 400 m.p.h.), but the
raiders dived into the clouds before a visual could be obtained. They
were then vectored onto a third, fast-moving target, 40 miles out to
sea. Using emergency boost the Mosquito gave chase, closing in at last
to 800 feet range where the e.a. was identified as a Me.410. The
controller called Price, telling him to "make it quick” as they were
getting near the Dutch coast. The enemy pilot had been doing mild
evasive action, but as he neared home he settled down to straight and
level. Price then opened fire with a burst of 100 rounds from dead
astern, observing numerous strikes on the tail and fuselage. Pieces of
burning debris tore away and flew past the Mossie as the bomber dived
into a cloud. Because of his proximity to the coast Price turned back
at once and did not see his target again. He claimed it as probably
*** Webmaster's Note: "scalded-cat" raids =
Intense but brief air-raids
The last week of March was quieter, with only one large (100 e.a.) 16
and one small raid by the Luftwaffe. S/L C.A.S. Anderson left the
Cougars now, after a long period of service which included a number of
ferrying flights to North Africa. He was posted to an O.T.U. for
Mitchells. S/L I.A. March took over "A" Flight and was
replaced in "B" Flight by S/L J.D. Somerville.
April and May were less strenuous than February and March had been;
the number of sorties, which had risen to over 130 for the earlier
period, fell off to 96 for April and 109 in May. The results likewise
diminished to a total of two destroyed and one damaged in the ten
weeks preceding D-Day. The Squadron had aircraft up on patrol or
scramble almost every night, but the raiders, less numerous than in
the previous months, seldom came into the Cougars' area. April passed
with only four encounters. Twice the raider was too fast to be
caught, although the Mosquitoes continued the chase right to the
enemy-held coast. By contrast, the other two encounters were almost on
the Squadron's doorstep. About 50 Huns came over on the night of the
18th in a scattered raid 16. Several of them flew right over the Castle
Camps sector with the result that No. 410 had an active night. F/O R.L.
Snowdon and F/S A. McLeod got a contact a few minutes after they had
been scrambled and held it through streams of
"window" until the
Mosquito had climbed to the raider's altitude. At 19,000 feet they
caught sight of a Ju.188 which, after some mild evasive jinking, was
now flying straight and level. A 100-round burst of 20 mm. shells
knocked fragments from the cockpit and starboard wing, whereupon the
Junkers turned on its back and disappeared below. Some seconds later
the Mosquito crew noticed a large explosion and fire on the ground,
about 12 miles from base, but it was not their Hun and they had to be
content with credit for a damaged. Snowdon and McLeod patrolled for 90
minutes more without any further luck.
16 This was a large-scale attack for the enemy, but for Bomber Command
it would be a relatively minor effort.
The explosion which Snowdon observed may have been the crash of a
He.177 which Huppert and Christie shot down in flames at just this
moment near Castle Camps. They had taken off somewhat earlier on a
searchlight co-operation exercise which developed into the real thing
when "trade" appeared. Aided by a good searchlight intersection, they
picked up a target, closed to a visual on a He.172 heading for the
London area, and let it have a long burst at 300 feet range. Debris
from the port wing and motor struck the Mosquito which received
further damage in the starboard wing and aileron from an accurate
burst fired by the Heinkel rear gunner. For a moment Huppert lost
sight of the big bomber as it peeled off, but he found it again thanks
to the glow of a fire that was beginning to spread. Three more bursts
were smashed in as the Hun went down. Then it burst into flames,
stalled and went into a spin, exploding and blazing as it crashed.
Another chase had to be broken off when the raider was engaged by the
heavy ack-ack batteries of the London defences.
These combats were the Squadron's farewell to Castle Camps. On 28
April it moved back to Hunsdon in Hertfordshire where it had been
stationed for about two months late in 1943. The seven weeks which the
Cougars spent hare on their second visit covered the pre-invasion
build-up and the first fortnight of the campaign in Normandy.
Shortly before leaving Castle Camps, S/L A.I. Higgins, who had spent
many months with the Cougars as their chaplain, was posted to Overseas
Headquarters. Several crews also departed and replacements arrived
The May nights passed quietly with a round of defensive patrols off
the East Anglian coast on the Thames estuary. Usually the aircraft
worked with Trimley Control and occasionally with Foreness. Some
nights there was practice with a mobile G.C.I. But not until the month
was almost spent did any "trade" appear. As a break from the normal
routine one crew did an Air/Sea Rescue patrol on the afternoon of the
21st, locating a dinghy 38 miles out sea off Bradwell Bay. The
Mosquito orbited overhead until a rescue launch arrived.
The one victory won in May was unusual in that the Hun was destroyed
well inside enemy-held territory. P/O L.J. Kearny and F/O N.W.
Bradford were doing a routine defensive patrol in the early hours of
the 28th when they were put on a bogey heading east. Pursuing the
contact, they were able to close to 1000 feet and identify a Ju.88. A
long burst from dead astern made flames erupt from the starboard
engine and wing-root. Kearney followed the Junkers down to 800 feet
where he left it falling through the clouds like a ball of fire. The
chase had taken the Mosquito as far as Lille, France, and was the
first time a Mark VIII A.1 equipped night fighter had pursued its
quarry over enemy-held territory. Kearney conservatively claimed only
a probably, but it was confirmed as destroyed.
17 Ross night glasses were also used for the first time in May and
were reported to be most satisfactory.
At the end of May F/Ls Schultz and Williams completed their tour with
the Cougars, during which they had destroyed five Huns and won the DFC.
F/L Huppert succeeded Schultz as deputy commander of ”A" Flight.
The short nights of May gave way to June. For five nights the Cougars
continued their patrols over the North Sea, spending their time mostly
in practice runs to maintain that high state of efficiency and
co-operation which was so essential to night fighting. Some night
cross-country flights were also made in preparation for the possible
resumption of intruder work. Except for several references to this
training the Squadron Diary for this period does not reflect the
spirit of tension and expectancy that appears in the record books of
the day fighter units as D-Day drew nearer. But 6 June 1944 marked the
beginning of the most successful period in the history of the Cougars.
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