The Chronology: Page-49
Sunday September 22nd 1940

WEATHER:
The day opened to many fog covered areas and a mist layer remained for most of the morning period. During the afternoon visibility had increased lengthy sunny periods, but the heavy cloud rolled in late in the afternoon and many areas especially in the south experienced periods of rain.

OPERATIONS:
Again, just like the day previous turned out to be a relatively quiet day and was far from the usual 'business as normal' that had been experienced during the latter part of August into early September. In general things had quietened down considerably and one would possibly have feelings that the worst was over. Gone was the waves upon waves of bombers and fighter escorts that had previously crossed the Channel with monotonous regularity. The daytime activities had now slowed down to just the occasional bomber formation being detected and over the last few days the Luftwaffe had tried out the new tactic of mass Bf109s. But these hardly created any impression or panic and combat losses on both sides were fairly even, and considerably low.

The residents of the major cities and towns such as London, Merseyside and the ports along the north-eastern coast were now once again settling down to the task of cleaning up after the previous nights bombings that continued. After that they went about their business of enjoying themselves as best they could. The war was just another phase in their lives and they had settled down to accept the fact that the bombers would be over again that night, and the night after. They would make the usual trek down the garden or along the road to an air raid shelter and this would be their abode until daylight broke the following morning. Most of the tasks of the government departments carried on as per usual, the fire brigade, the rescue and demolition squads, hospitals, all these where now busier than they were before as is appeared that the war was taking a different turn. Gone is the consistent daytime raids where raids only came when the fighters could not stop the few that managed to get through. Now the days were quieter, but the nights were becoming increasingly busier.

Didn't know where to start; got me tin hat and gas mask to look okay and show that I knew something of what was wanted. Somehow got onto stuffing a corpse, an old woman, on a door, very heavy with three other people taking it out of first aid post round to back of hospital towards the garage where nurse (or sister) had said; on the way met "Eddie" young porter who said he was "in charge" of the mortuary. He said, fill up the mortuary before the garage, so slowly onward to mortuary. I very tired suggested a rest, gratefully accepted, one of the men said we should dump her anywhere, as she was beyond help, go and help the wounded. Nobody replied tho' I agreed with him mentally but thought it better to go up to mortuary - not to leave old girl in th' open. Then Eddie thought of barrow, got it, and we put her on it. Eddie and I took her up mortuary; fetched out a metal "marble slab" on wheels rolled her off door and on'o it, she being covered by a thick red curtain blood-stained; took her into mortuary where already four or five corpses in similar bloody condition. Took back barrow to first aid post, dumped it near door, and looked for more work.
Voluntary first aid orderly writing to Mass Observation in September 1940.

The first air activity of the day was during the late morning when a formation of Bf109s managed to get through and fly high over London. Sources state that two squadrons were despatched to intercept, but there appears not to be any record of action and the Luftwaffe database does not show if any of the fighters were shot down in the area.

A lone Ju88 on a photo or weather reconnaissance mission was detected over the Channel south of the Isle of Wight and 234 Squadron from Middle Wallop sent one flight to intercept. The Junkers was shot down and made a belly landing in the sea. All the crew managed to get out of the sinking aircraft and were captured by British authorities.

Another small number of enemy aircraft got through and according to the station records book at Fowlmere, they came under attack at 1530hrs. One Spitfire was destroyed and a number were damaged. There was no damage to any buildings or to the airfield. There is a possibility that the attack on Fowlmere, was by the Bf109s that were detected earlier over London, but this cannot be said for any certainty.

The afternoon was again peaceful, much to the delight of the aircrews, although one station commander stated to one of his squadron leaders "....that if things remain this quiet, you sure you won't get bored!!" But during the evening, as usual, things started to change. Wave upon wave of Heinkels, Junkers and Dorniers threw everything at London. The city had many heavy nights of bombing, but this was by far the heaviest. By midnight, it looked as if there was a sunset over London, the night sky was that red.

Fighter Command sent up a number of Defiant and Blenheim night fighters, but with Britain night fighting ability still in its infancy, and about a dozen 'nighties' up against an estimated 125 bombers, their task was almost an impossibility. After forty five minutes they returned to their bases.

Just for the records. the weather conditions in the north were considerably different to those in the south. This is shown by three Hurricanes of 85 Squadron who were at Church Fenton who crashed in bad weather conditions. All three were on a routine patrol off the coast when bad visibility caused them trouble in locating base. All three had extinguished their fuel and had to make forced landings well short of Church Fenton aerodrome. F/L G. Allard made his forced landing at Clitheroe, P/O J.E. Marshall forced landed at Burnley while P/O J.A. Hemingway made his force landing outside the town of Burnley.

CASUALTIES
There were no casualties on either side on this day.



The Battle of Britain - 1940 website Battle of Britain Historical Society 2007