Dornier Do 17 under the fire of RAF fighter during Battle of Britain. Photo: IWM
This time, the RAF was ready, and Spitfires from No. 611 (West
Lancashire) Squadron were dispatched to the anticipated inbound route just after 1730h. These aircraft came out of Ternhill.
Berrie Heath and Tommy Williams of Yellow Section apparently
shot down Dornier Do 17 Z-5 (W. Nr. 2772) “7T+EH” of 1. Staffel,
crewed by Lt. zur See Jürgen von Krause, who ditched the aircraft
in the sea. However, the German crew was able to hit Williams’
Spitfire. The damage was bad enough for Williams to contemplate
bailing from his stricken aircraft, but he ultimately did make it
back to his base. One member of the German crew was listed as
missing, while the remaining ones were taken prisoner.
Pilots of Red Section, F/L W. J. Leather, P/O P. S. C. Pollard and
P/O J. R. G. Sutton claimed the destruction of two bombers, the
second of which was observed to have flames coming out of both
engines, and two parachutes escaping from it. The first victim was
likely Do 17 Z-5 (W.Nr. 3475) “7T+FK” of Oblt. Friedrich-Wilhelm
Richter of 2. Staffel. None of his crew survived. The aircraft with
both engines flaming was without a doubt Do 17 Z-5 (W.Nr. 2787)
“7T+HH” of 1. Staffel, under the command of Oblt. z. S. Karl-Franz
F/O Heath, Sgt Angos and Sgt Pattison of Blue Section attacked another two Do 17s and came away with one probable and
one damaged. During the fight, a lone Hurricane from No. 312
Squadron joined in. Kenneth Clifton Pattison chased one of the
attackers in his Spitfire for some hundred miles to Kidderminster
in Worcestershire County. Ultimately, he was hit by defensive fire
from the bomber and suffered serious injuries in the ensuing crash
at Cooksey Green, the results of which he did not survive.
The Czechoslovak unit dispatched two three ship flights of
Hurricanes against the German bombers at just before 1800h.
P/O Alois Vašátko and Sgt. Josef Keprt of Yellow Section lost contact with their British leader F/Lt Harry A. G. Comeford. So, they
joined up on Red Section that included both commanders of the
squadron, S/L Frank H. Tyson and S/L Ján Ambruš with P/O Josef
Jaške. The five Hurricanes then attacked a lone Do 17 heading
southward. After several hits, the left engine began belching smoke, but was soon lost in the clouds. Jaške’s Hurricane was badly
damaged from return fire. The five fighters used up virtually all
of their ammunition, and some even fired at point blank range.
Harry Comeford, who’s Hurricane was observed by his colleagues
in the Spitfires, also attacked one of the Dorniers, but other than
the rear gunner got silent, no other result was observed. Unfortunately, the Intelligence Officer of the Czechoslovak unit, P/O
F. S. Lamping, did not prepare victory claims on time. But from
today perspective, it would appear that the end result was two
damaged Do 17s.
Liverpool docks photographed by RAF after bombing raids from 1800 feet. Photo: IWM