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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
no casualties on either side on this day.