Timeline

Last updated 16th January 2017
Information on this page are still part of ongoing research and as such are not yet complete. However, if you have events or corrections, please feel free to contact us.

On This Day in Manston’s History

  • #OnThisDay1935
  • Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' and his secretary discovered missing before their tenancy had expired.

All Events

Event DateEvent Name
19-03-1916First recorded operational landing at Manston by Lt. Horace Austin Buss in a BE2C Biplane S/N 1159, after taking off from Westgate in a fruitless sortie in pursuit of an Zeppelin airship.
29-05-1916RNAS (Royal Naval Air Station) Manston becomes fully operational.
29-05-1916No.3 Wing moves from Detling to Manston with two BE2Cs, one Short Biplane, four Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutters and a Curtiss Biplane.
05-06-1916Wing Commander R Bell-Davies, VC, DSO takes over command at Manston.
12-06-1916Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter 9407 of No.3 Wing badly damaged in a test flight. Pilot safe.
14-06-1916Wing Commander W L Elder takes over command at Manston.
27-06-1916Six aeroplanes, pilots and 40 ratings transfer from Westgate to Manston, forming the War Flight.
07-07-1916Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter badly damaged. Pilot safe.
09-07-1916Aircraft of the Manston War Flight including Flt Sub Lt Greig, Flt Sub Lt Mills, Flt Lt Sholto Douglas and others including Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter 9667 takes off in persuit of hostile aircraft sighted from the aerodrome, but lost contact with the German aircraft that was at a high altitude. It was the first 1 1/2 Strutter to be engaged in home defence.
11-07-19161 1/2 Strutter 9408 is 'wrecked' at Manston. Another damaged aircraft from Manston is sent to new 'Strutter' sub-contractor Fairey.
20-07-1916Bristol Scout Type C 1245 of 3 Wing, RNAS, attempted to loop the loop, but sideslipped got into a spinning nose dive before crashing at Manston. Flt Sub-Lt Douglas Whittier (24) killed and buried in Minster Cemetery.
26-07-1916RNAS 3 Wing 'Strutter' 9670 is damaged at Manston and goes immediately for repair to Oakey Ltd's Ilford Aeroplane Works where they are installing American Curtiss engines in BE2Cs.
08-09-1916Strutter 9744 arrives at Manston with a defective 130hp Clerget engine.
11-09-1916'Strutter' 9407 loses its undercarriage during a forced landing by Fl Sub Lt R Collishaw at Manston whilst 'Schneider' 3804 is totally destroyed by fire after just six weeks with Westgate's Nore Flight.
13-09-1916'Strutter' 9717 suffers a collision at Manston.
14-10-1916No.3 Wing moves from Manston to Luxeuil, near Nancy in France.
27-11-1916Three aeroplanes from the Manston Wing including Flt Sub Lt Carr, take off to intercept the first aeroplane (Gotha) raid on London. No contact made.
05-12-1916 Sopwith-built 'Triplane' N5424 joins RNAS Manston's War Flight as a fast-climbing high-altitude addition to the Home Defence force.
15-12-1916Manston is a very active naval home defence air station which now has unmodified 80hp Clerget Beardmore 'Pup' 9906.
21-12-19167 Sqn RNAS of Handley Page 0/100 bombers under command of Squadron Commander John T Babington, DSO leave Manston for Luxeuil in France.
28-12-1916No.3 Wing Handley Page 0/100 no.1457 crashes at Manston.
01-01-1917A Handley Page O/100, #1463 flown by Flt Lt Henry Connell Vereker accompanied by HP 1462 of Sub Lt Sands left for France on a foggy, wintery day. Two attempts had been made to fly the Handley Pages to France in December, but each had been turned back by engine problems. Vereker landed at an enemy airfield (Flieger Abteilung (A) 208 at Chalandry) and was captured along with his crew. The aircraft was painted and flown in German markings until it later crashed at Johannisthal aerodrome on 22 August 1917.
16-02-1917Flt Sub Lt Wincott on a dawn patrol sights a hostile aircraft five miles out from Ramsgate. 30 rounds fired without result. He may have flown in the Sopwith Triplane N5423 reported today being one of six machines sent up unsuccessfully to intercept a German Sablatnig SF 5 floatplane attacking shipping off the east Kent coast for the second time in two days.
18-02-1917The War Flight at Manston ordered to start providing a daylight patrol of two aircraft covering the area between Ramsgate and Whitstable.
16-03-1917A Sopwith Triplane of the War Flight took off in pursuit of enemy aicraft dropping bombs around Margate. In addition, it is recorded that Westgate and Manston 'Baby' floatplanes are amongst seven aicraft trying unsuccessfully to catch a German floatplane which inaccurately aims twenty bombs at Westgate airfield. One of the enemy aircraft may have been a Handley Page O/100 from Manston captured on the 1st Jan 1917 whilst transferring to Dunkirk.
03-04-1917Personnel and three Naval machines still there transferred to Manston, bringing the strength of the War Flight to nine machines.
27-04-1917Around 300 shells are launched at Ramsgate and Manston Aerodrome by German destroyers. Only one engine shed was damaged by the 37 shells that landed in the area. Two were killed and others wounded in Ramsgate. Other shells landed at Northwood, Dumpton, Westwood, Upton St. Peters and Margate.
13-06-1917Two Sopwith Triplanes, one Sopwith 1 1/2 Strutter and three Bristol Scouts took off to attack the enemy. Included Flt Sub Lt R H Daly.
23-06-1917'Operation X' commenced, requiring Manston to maintain at readiness 5 Sopwith Triplanes, 3 Sopwith Camels and a Sopwith Pup against the Gotha Daylight raids.
02-07-1917Probationary F/O Harold John Flynn aged 23 was killed when the engine failed in his Maurice Farman MF.7 Longhorn pusher, N5727. He was buried in Ramsgate & St Lawrence cemetery.
07-07-191722 Gothas bomb London. On their return, one was shot down by Squadron Commander Butler and three other pilots claimed unconfirmed victories.
28-07-1917Handley Page O/100 #3118 experienced an engine fire and made a heavy landing, breaking off the tail skid.
12-08-1917Camel B3761 flown by Sqn Cdr Butler took off in pursuit of a Gotha off the coast of North Foreland. Despite firing 420 rounds, the attack failed.
22-08-1917Last daylight raid on England, by 15 Gothas attacked by aircraft from Manston. Loss of 5 before reaching the coast, 3 destroyed and remainder damaged.
22-08-1917Fl.S.Lt J Drake in Sopwith Camel B3844 shot down a Gotha in flight over Dover around 11.20 British time
22-08-1917Camel B3834 'Wonga Bonga' flown by Lt Arthur Frank Brandon shot down a Gotha which crashed at Vincent Farm. It was the first enemy aircraft to crash on English soil. He landed back at Manston and took off again in another Camel, B3923 'Springbok', in pursuit of other attackers.
20-09-1917Various works and additions of buildings authorised, including construction of a permanent building for the Handley Page bombers. These may have included the 'underground' hangers.
04-10-1917Advance party of 'A' Sqn, under the control of No.7 Sqn leaves Manston for Hautvillers in France as part of the 41st Wing GHQ Brigade.
10-10-1917First four Handley Page O/100s leave Manston for Dunkirk en route to Ochey as part of 'A' Sqn, to be used for bombing of German munition centres.
26-10-1917Flt Lt Arthur Frank Brandon DSC RNAS in Sopwith Triplane N5382 'Ooslumbird' collided with a Sopwith Pup N6466 flown by Lt D.W. Gray. Flt Lt Brandon killed and is buried in Minster Cemetery.
03-11-1917A Handley Page O/100, #3116 crashed killing three crew and leaving another three seriously injured.
01-01-1918Temporary Flight Lieutenant Charles E. Burden crashed at RNAS Manston. Fate and aircraft unknown.
08-01-1918Air Department decides to make Manston an immense RNAS training establishment.
31-01-1918The Commanding Officer of the War Flight, Sqn Cdr Butler posted to Dunkirk, spelling the end of the unit.
12-02-1918Sopwith F1 Camel B6554, part of the RNAS War School, spun into the ground, killing 17 year old Second Lt Donald Roy Glenn RFC. Buried in Minster Cemetery.
06-03-1918Sopwith F1 Camel B5734, part of the RNAS War School, crashes killing Flt Sub Lt Wilfred Norman Cross RNAS, aged 18. He is buried in Minster Cemetery.
10-03-1918Camel N6343, part of the RNAS War School, crashed into the sea just off Ramsgate, killing F/L John William Kavanagh RFC, aged 19. F/L Kavanagh is buried in Ramsgate cemetery.
22-03-1918Aircraftman 1st Class Ernest Walter Johnson F/17153, aged 21 and Aircraftsman 1st Class George W. Prior F/31588 killed at RNAS Manston. Details and aircraft unknown. Aircraftman 1st Class Johnson is buried in Minster Cemetery.
30-03-1918Sopwith Camel B3832 spun into the sea off Westgate, killing Flt Sub Lt Norman Mallard RNAS.
01-04-1918RAF Manston's strength recorded as 139 officers, 973 airmen and 111 aeroplanes.
01-04-1918Three day-bombing training squadrons move into new buildings after work completed on large permanent hangers, Bessoneaux underground hangers, huge workshop and accommodation for 270 officers and 3,355 men.
01-04-1918The RNAS merges with the RFC to form the Royal Air Force. Women's Royal Air Force formed. Manston becomes RAF Manston.
06-04-1918Sopwith Camel B6588 of the Pilot Pool, crashes killing 18 year old Second Lieutenant Howard Raymond Gillett. He is buried in Hamstead Cemetery.
23-04-1918Air Mechanic 1st Class Bertie Reynolds (213766) killed but details unknown. He is buried in Hanworth (St. George) Churchyard. Shown as 1st Private on his headstone.
31-05-1918Unconfimed account that 470 Flight Camel N6634 involved in a close encounter with an enemy U-boat.
02-07-1918BE2c 9989 crashes, killing Flt Sgt William Rowland Felton and 2Lt Edward Percival John Hull. Reports differ on the circumstances.
05-07-1918Owner of Pouce's House wrote to attempt to recover the property commandeered in 1916, but was refused.
14-07-191855 Training Depot Station formed, equipped with de Havilland DH9.
17-07-1918Collision between two Sopwith Pups from the Pilot's Pool, just outside the airfield boundary, kills Sgt Edward Harper Sayers in B5992 and Sgt John Dudley Bishop in 9901. Sgt Bishop is buried in Minster Cemetery.
18-07-1918Two Sopwith Camels flown by Lt Jack Arthur Horton Pegram (B5601) and Lt Wagstaff (B7628) escorted two Short seaplanes from Westgate in a patrol. Both seaplanes were shot down by a pack of five German Brandenberg Seaplanes. Both crews lost.
24-07-1918A DH9 (B7608) of 55 TDS crashed into the sea, killing Flt Cadet Thomas Turner Whitley and Air Mechanic 1st Class Alfred Capes. Cause was structural failure of a wing. Alfred Capes is buried in Minster Cemetery.
25-07-1918A Handley Page O/400 arrives at Manston where it was prepared for the onward flight to France and beyond.
28-07-1918A Handley Page O/400 takes for France at 1515 hrs for France and later Egypt. It was used to bomb the Turkish HQ in the Battle of Megiddo.
28-07-1918A DH9 (D3118) of No.55 TDS stalled and spun into the ground, killing Air Mechanic 2nd Class George Frederick Frost, but the pilot, Flight Cadet R.J. Wickam survived with serious injuries.
12-08-1918A DH9 (D2924) overshot the runway, crashed into a field and caught fire. The crew, Lt Ratcliffe and Sgt Mechanic Alderton suffered only minor injuries.
12-08-1918Manston is overflown by a 40 seat German passenger airliner, flying from Berlin to Croydon, after being ordered to do so by those assembling aerial photos of RAF airfields. An illegal act.
22-08-1918A DH9 (D2830) of No.203 TDS spun into the ground, writing off the aircraft. The pilot, Flt Cadet Marshall was only slightly injured.
12-09-1918No.55 Training Depot Station (TDS) moves from Manston to Marham.
14-09-1918No.2 School of Observers with 125 aircraft including DH4s and Avro 504s, and 2539 personnel formed under command of Lt Col A C Bishop.
29-09-1918Lt Frederick Calhon Vincent takes off in pusuit of a couple of enemy seaplanes but loses sight of them.
24-05-1919Air Mechanic 1st Class Walter D.R. Brisley, aged 40, killed in unknown circumstances.
30-08-1919First mention of a civil aeroplane was an Avro 536, G-EACG owned by the A.V. Roe Company.
07-02-1920The seaplane station at Westgate officially closed.
21-02-1921RAF Manston visited by Air Marshal Sir Hugh Trenchard.
24-05-1921Wing Commander Primrose, as Commanding Officer at Manston, unveiled the war memorial in Manston village.
03-10-1921Vickers Vimy (F9157) of No.6 TDS crashed whilst taking off, killing all five airmen.
01-04-1924No.3 Sqn posted to Manston from Gosport, equipped with Sopwith Snipe, but never flew because of a bureaucratic failure where Vickers Vimy bombers of 9 Sqn would not fit their hangers at Upavon.
30-04-1924No.3 Sqn posted to Manston on 1st April swapped with No.9 Sqn from Upavon where their aircraft would not fit their hangers.
24-08-1924Vickers Vimy (F9182) of No.9 Sqn crashes on take off.
08-04-1925Vickers Virginia (J7439) of No.9 Sqn ditches into the sea near Birchington in thick fog whilst on a sortie from Manston. Pilot F/O Eric Alfred Claude Bushell slightly injured; Aircraftman Horace Eustace Grellis seriously injured; Co-pilot P/O Neil Coull Walker (19) drowned; AC1 Ernest Edward Mills (20) drowned.The wreckage was recovered and returned to Vickers Aircraft at Brooklands to be rebuilt as the prototype Vickers Virginia Mk.X.
24-09-1925Five Vickers Virginias of No.9 Sqn take part in a fuel endurance and range exercise in return flights to Leuchars.
16-12-1925Two Avro 504Ks of No.9 Sqn collide over the airfield at 700 feet. Leading Aircraftman Dunn was killed, Leading Aircraftman Parish escaped serious injury after parachuting.
24-07-1926An Avro 504 of No.9 Sqn crashed close to Chapel Hill in Ramsgate. The pilot, Leading Aircraftman Parrish bailed out and escaped with light injuries.
11-01-1927A Vickers Virginia (J7435) of No.9 Sqn flown by Sgt Richardson landed in Holland when he made a huge navigational error travelling from Lincolnshire to Manston.
20-04-1927No.2 Squadron officers and airmen leave Manston for China on the HMS Hermes sailing from Southampton. In China they would operate their Bristol F2.B fighters from Shanghai racecourse. They would return to Manston in October 1927.
11-07-1927The Oxford University Air Squadron at Manston inspected by the Chief of the Air Staff, Sir Hugh Trenchard.
31-07-1927No.605 (County of Warwick), an Auxilliary Air Force day bomber squadron equipped with the DH.9A was attached to Manston for 14 days' annual training.
04-08-1927A DH.9s of No.605 Sqn crashed while taking of from Manston. Casualties unknown.
13-08-1927No.13 (Army Co-operation) Sqn attached to Manston from Andover, until early September, equipped with Bristol Fighters then Armstrong Whitworth Atlas.
23-10-1927First elements of No.2 Sqn arrive back at Manston.
26-10-1927Second detachment of No.2 Sqn arrive back at Manston.
27-10-1927No.2 Squadron returns from China back via HMS Hermes to operate from Manston.
14-03-1928A Bristol Fighter of No.2 (Army Cooperation) Sqn and a Vickers Virginia of No.9 (Bomber) Sqn collide over Manston Airfield. F/O Horace James Joseph Mumford-Matthews and Lt David Francis Cumon Scott in the Bristol were killed. F/O Ratcliffe in the Vickers landed at Manston Court Farm.
17-03-1928A flight of Virginias from No.9 Sqn were detailed to fly to Hendon to take part in an air display for royal guests including the King and Queen of Afghanistan.
26-04-1930The giant German passenger airship, Graf Zeppelin was spotted by an observer at Manston whilst on the last leg of its round-the-world flight. The flight logs suggest it overflew Brighton on its way to London, over the FA Cup final then on to Cardington. On the way back, it crossed the channel via Dover.
10-10-1930A memorial service was held in the church at RAF Manston for those who had died in the R101 airship disaster.
04-11-1930No. 9 Sqn Vickers Virginia X (J5671) crashed near the airfield and burned out, killing F/O Frederick Robert Walter Goad (21) and Sgt George William Roberts (24). AC1 Alan William Edwards in the tail cockpit slightly injured.
09-03-1931No.2 Sqn's Armstrong-Whitworth Atlas J9561 piloted by P/Off C.M. Windsor crashes near cottages in Manston Court Road. Pilot and Corporal Miller safe.
16-03-1931No.500 (County of Kent) Squadron formed at Manston as a Special Reserve Squadron, eventually equipped with Vickers Virginia X bombers and two Avro 504N trainers.
26-03-1931Outbreak of cerebral meningitis at Manston claims the life of Aircraftman (AC) Curtis of No.500 Sqn.
27-03-1931No.2 Sqn Armstrong-Whitworth Atlas J9952 piloted by F/O Charles Richard Fildes Wintringham (21) crashes into the sea in fog near Reculver. Pilot and AC 1st Class Leonard Alexander Ellard (18) drowned.
14-04-1931Quarantine restrictions at Manston due to cerebral meningitis lifted.
05-05-1931Manston visited by General Gileaux and five Breguet XIX single-engine biplanes of the Belgian Air Force.
07-05-1931Airmen from the School of Technical Training at Manston win the 3rd Annual Route March Open Competition.
04-06-1931The aircraft, Vickers Virginia X bombers and Avro 504N trainers arrive at Manston.
04-06-1931Ceremony at Manston to name No.500 Sqn's Virginia J8240 the 'Isle of Thanet', in presence of mayors of Margate and Ramsgate, Alderman P.B. Osborne, Alderman H. Terry, Sqn Ldr Watkins and officers of 500 Sqn.
18-07-1931First Thanet Air Race took place at Manston after plans to hold it at Nethercourt Farm were abandoned due to weather.
20-07-1931No.502 'Ulster' Sqn based at Aldergrove, Belfast and equipped with Handley Page Hyderabad bombers fly into Manston for two weeks of training.
28-07-1931Wing Commander L.F. Forbes MC assumes command and instigates an extensive recruitment campaign in Kent.
12-09-1931Two Mexican officials of the Mexican Flying Corps tour the workshops at Manston.
07-10-1931Airmen from RAF Manston escort the bodies of the R101 airship from HM Destroyer 'The Tempest' at Dover.
11-03-1932A parade and ceremony followed the scattering of the ashes on Manston Airfield of the former station commander, Air Commodore Richard Charles Montagu Pink. He had died at Princess Mary's RAF Hospital, RAF Halton of cancer that he had been diagnosed with shortly after being posted to Manston in May 1929.There is at least one report that he had been instrumental in the formation of No.500 (County of Kent) Bomber Squadron.
11-06-1932A detachment of 50 airmen from Manston take part in a ceremonial parade in Dover, on the anniversary of the birthday of His Majesty the King. Included a two flights from No.2 Sqn in a flypast.
17-07-1932Air rally organised after the postponement of the Thanet Air Race.
20-07-1932Air Defence of Great Britain Exercise involved the Manston-based No.2 and No.500 squadrons as well as No.502 and No.603 on detachment to Manston.
27-07-1932No.501 'City of Bristol' Sqn's Westland Wapiti, K1369 piloted by F/O Peter Walter Johnson Pharazyn, a 21-year old New Zealander crashed at Bekesbourne whilst returning to Manston from his sister's wedding. Pilot killed.
11-08-1932No.608 Sqn's Westland Wapiti runs into an Avro Tutor of No.3 Flight Training School. No injuries.
17-09-1932The Thanet Air Race, postponed from July, due to be held today, but postponed to the next day due to bad weather.
18-09-1932Thanet Air Race takes place, with route of Nethercourt, to North Foreland, Sarre and back over the fuel filling point at the airfield. Won by Lt Col L.A. Strange MC DFC in a Spartan.
30-03-1933Lease agreement signed to use ground at Cheeseman's Farm adjacent to Manston for civilian flights between Thanet and London.
18-05-1933No.2 Sqn Gypsy Moth Practice Flight K1225, piloted by Fg Off Lionel Arthur Hutchings (29), crashed on the airfield during practice forced landing. Pilot Killed. Lt Charles Douglas Packard injured
18-06-1933No.501 'City of Bristol' Sqn with Westland Wallace aircraft arrive from Filton on attachment to take part in the Annual Air Defence Exercise of the Air Defence of Great Britain Command.
18-06-1933Flight of Virginias from No.10 'Bomber' Sqn arrive from Boscombe Down on attachment to take part in the Annual Air Defence Exercise of the Air Defence of Great Britain Command.
09-07-1933No.502 'Ulster' Sqn with Vickers Virginia X aircraft arrive on attachment from Aldergrove, near Belfast.
09-07-1933No.10 'Bomber' Sqn departs from Manston.
10-07-1933No.9 Sqn with Vickers Virginia X aircraft return to Manston from Boscombe Down to take part in exercises.
17-07-1933No.603 'City of Edinburgh' Sqn with Westland Wapiti IIA aircraft arrive to take part in exercises.
17-07-1933Annual Air Defence Exercise of the Air Defence of Great Britain Command begins at 6pm.
20-07-1933No.821 Sqn with Fairey Seal aircraft and No.822 Sqn with Fairey IIIF aircraft, both Fleet Spotter Reconnaissance units of the Royal Navy arrive for one of a number of visits in 1933.
21-07-1933Annual Air Defence Exercise of the Air Defence of Great Britain Command finishes.
28-08-1933No.822 Sqn departs Manston.
07-09-1933No.821 Sqn departs Manston.
16-09-1933No.500 Sqn Virginia X K2670 'Richborough Castle' from Manston overshot landing into ditch at Brooklands. F/O Leslie Maurice Few (29) killed (Special Reserve), Flt Lt Walter George Woolliams unhurt, F/O William Kent Le May unhurt (Special Reserve), LAC George Donaldson unhurt, LAC Leonard George Manning unhurt.
16-10-1933No.500 Sqn's Virginia K.2680 piloted by F/O L.M. Few flying over Weybridge, crashes. Pilot Lost.
29-10-1933No.821 Sqn arrives at Manston on attachment.
10-11-1933No.820 Sqn arrives at Manston on attachment.
30-04-1934No.33 'B' Sqn with Hawker Hart aircraft arrives at Manston on attachment.
24-05-1934Empire Day at Manston saw the public being escorted around the buildings and hangers. 600 people attended, raising money for the RAF Benevolent Fund.
22-06-1934Manston plays host to a visit to an inspection by a number of Japanese Officers.
22-06-1934Ten Hawker Demons of No.10 Sqn fly from Manston to Paris to celebrate Louis Bleriot's flight across the Channel of 25th June 1909.
05-07-1934Ten of No.2 Sqn's Atlas aircraft make the long distance flight from Manston to Montrose.
06-07-1934The ten Atlas aircraft on No.2 Sqn return from Montrose.
26-07-1934Records show scarce details of a fatality at Manston involving a warrant officer of the Territorial Army and an Audax. No.2 Sqn Aircraft hit man on ground during Territorial exercise, Roedean, near Brighton William George Outlaw (35) killed (Co Sgt-Major, TA)
18-02-1935No.500 Sqn Virginia K2325 piloted by F/Lt F.W. Morison (or Murison) bursts into flame on the starboard wing when approaching 500 feet, after take off from Manston. The pilot makes a quick turn and side-slips to keep the flames away from the fuselage. Losing height, he force-lands the aircraft u-wind, with the three occupants jumping from the aircraft. Ground crews rush to the aircraft with fire extinguishers to prevent the aircraft being totally destroyed.
09-03-1935The first parachute training course as part of the expansion of The School of Technical Training begins.
28-04-1935A civilian aircraft, a Miles Hawk Major MH2 G-ADCW crashed on arrival at Manston from London. Passenger George Manchester Steavenson died immediately, pilot Arthur Sebag-Montifiore died an hour later.
06-05-1935A detachment of the station's voluntary band took part in the local celebrations for the King George V's Silver Jubilee, which took place in Margate and Ramsgate.
16-05-1935Delegates from the Federation of East Kent's Chamber of Commerce are shown around the station, including No.2 Sqn's hanger and workshops of the SoTT.
24-05-1935RAF Manston was opened to the public as part of the second Empire Air Day, with proceeds to the Benevolent Fund.
15-06-1935A contingent of 20 airmen and a senior non-commissioned officer sent to the Empire Air Day celebratory service in Canterbury Cathedral.
23-06-1935The Tyne Electrical Engineers from the Territorial Army, arrive on attachment for their summer camp.
01-07-1935The School of Technical Training renamed to No.3 School of Technical Training.
03-07-1935An officer's course in the ukpeep and care of parachutes was transferred from Henlow.
06-07-1935No.500 (County of Kent) Squadron from Manston takes part in the first Royal Review of the RAF by King George V at Mildenhall and Duxford.
07-07-1935The Tyne Electrical Engineers from the Territorial Army depart after attachment for their summer camp.
07-07-1935The Essex Anti-Aircraft Group from the Territorial Army arrives on attachment for their summer camp.
14-07-1935No.502 'Ulster' Sqn (RAF reserve) arrive on attachment.
20-07-1935No.607 'Durham' Sqn (RAF reserve) arrive on attachment.
21-07-1935The Essex Anti-Aircraft Group from the Territorial Army depart after attachment for their summer camp.
27-07-1935No.502 'Ulster' Sqn (RAF reserve) depart after their attachment.
03-08-1935No.607 'Durham' Sqn (RAF reserve) depart after their attachment.
03-08-1935The Kent and Middlesex Group Royal Engineers from the Territorial Army arrive on attachment for their summer camp.
04-08-1935No.605 'Warwick' Sqn (RAF reserve) arrive on attachment.
04-08-1935The 26th Anti-Aircraft Battalion from the Territorial Army depart after their attachment.
04-08-1935No.501 'Bristol' Sqn (RAF reserve) arrive on attachment.
08-08-1935No.605 'Warwick' Sqn (RAF reserve) depart after their attachment.
10-08-1935No.608 Sqn (RAF reserve) arrive on attachment.
11-08-1935The ADF Signals from the Territorial Army arrive on attachment for their summer camp.
17-08-1935The Kent and Middlesex Group Royal Engineers from the Territorial Army depart after attachment.
17-08-1935No.501 'Bristol' Sqn (RAF reserve) depart after their attachment.
24-08-1935The ADF Signals from the Territorial Army depart after their attachment.
24-08-1935No.608 Sqn (RAF reserve) depart after their attachment.
29-08-1935Dr Goertz a Nazi, later known as The Manston Spy and his 19 year-old secretary Marianne Emig, arrive in Britain posing as uncle and niece writing a book about the RAF.
11-09-1935Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' arrives in Broadstairs, calling in at an autioneers acting as a house letting agent.
16-09-1935Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy', hires a bungalow 'Havelock' in Stanley Road, Broadstairs.
24-10-1935Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' and his secretary discovered missing before their tenancy had expired.
26-10-1935Mrs Johnson, owner of the bungalow that Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' rented, reports the suspected theft of his motorbike to the police who find the evidence of his spying.
08-11-1935Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' arrested on his arrival back in England without his secretary on the Harwich Ferry.
09-11-1935Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' charged and remanded in custody.
18-11-1935Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' transported from Brixton to Court in Margate at the Town Hall. He was remanded in custody to appear again on the 26th November 1935.
26-11-1935Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' appears in court again in Margate and is detained and sent for trial at the Old Bailey.
05-12-1935No.500 Squadron converts to Hawker Harts.
04-03-1936Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' trial begins in the Old Bailey, Goertz pleads not guilty.
06-03-1936The RAF's first operational 'modern' monoplane, the Avro Anson, equipped with a retractable undercarriage, entered service with No.48 Sqn, RAF Manston.
09-03-1936Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' found guilty and sentenced to 4 years penal servitude at Maidstone Prison.
10-05-1936No.500 Sqn transferred to the Auxiliary Air Force.
20-06-1936One officer and 260 airmen from Manston attend an 'Aviation Service' in Canterbury Cathedral forming a guard of honour.
25-06-1936No.48 Sqn's Avro Anson K6166 piloted by Plt Off R.A.Atkins pancaked into the sea, 6 miles off Tankerton when the engines failed whilst changing to the emergency fuel tank. Pilot safe.
09-08-1936An event was held at Manston to celebrate Empire Day with flying displays by the Flying Fleas, parachutists and the first two female airline operators. Two of the parachutists narrowly escaped death after becoming entwined.
09-10-1936No.3 School of Technical Training visited by Colonel Chang-Tsu-Chien, the liason officer from the Chinese army.
01-02-1937No.224 Sqn was formed at Manston from a group of men from No.48 Sqn.
15-02-1937No.224 Sqn moves from Manston to Boscombe Down.
22-02-1937No.3 School of Technical Training visited by Lt Okuda from the Japanese Navy.
22-02-1937No.48 Sqn's Avro Anson K6158 flown by Sgt Plt G.J. Maurice (pilot, aged 23), Flt Lt G.E. Strangman (navigator), Aircraftman Stanley McCabe (radio operator) and F/L Reginald John Cooper (navigator) crashed at Ewell Minnis. They were on a circular training flight at night in a snowstorm. The aircraft was hit by lightning and the pilot lost control. The aircraft crashed in a field, killing two airmen and injuring the other two, F/L Strangman would die later in hospital on the 24th Feb. Strangman and Maurice are buried in Minster Cemetery.
03-03-1937A Bessonneau Hanger is erected on the north west side of the airfield, near the Reception Flight.
16-03-1937No.3 School of Technical Training visited by Cdr L.H. Amontelay, Capt M.S.P. Tourmemire and Lt Col P.T.G. Fournier.
01-04-1937A new establishment issued to No.3 School of Technical Training to raise it to 1,818 airmen who would be training in various trades.
05-04-1937No.3 School of Technical Training visited by the Under Secretary of State for Air, Sir Philip Sassoon.
10-04-1937Commanding Officer, Wing Commander Bryson and 200 non-commissioned officers and airmen from No.3 SoTT were sent to London on Coronation Duty for the Coronation of King George VI on the 12th May.
18-06-1937No.48 Sqn's Anson K8763 piloted by Sgt Pilot William Hinson alone, crashed into an orchard near Leeds Castle after it stalled performing low-level manoeuvres. Pilot killed.
27-10-1937No.3 School of Technical Training visited by the RAF's Inspector General Sir Edward Ellington.
17-11-1937Sqn Ldr G.T.H. Pack, the officer commanding training and education officer Mr R.J. Steeple Esquire visited the Vickers Works in Weybridge to obtain the latest data on aircraft such as the Wellington.
18-11-1937Sqn Ldr Pack and forty other servicemen and civilian instructors visit the Ford plant at Dagenham to look at vehicle manufacture processes.
24-11-1937Lecture given at Manston by representatives from de Havilland about variable pitch propellers.
01-02-1938Wng Cdr Townsend, Sqn Ldr Pack and F.O. Mather visit the police college at Hendon to see how it trained police officers.
07-02-1938Sqn Ldr Pack briefly attached to the depot at Uxbridge to attend a ten-day course on anti-gas measures, because of the potential threat.
12-05-1938His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent drove himself from opening new buildings at King's School in Canterbury to Manston, then boarded his private plane and flew off.
14-05-1938Strength of No.3 School of Technical Training recorded as 10 officers, 8 education officers, permanent staff of 193 officers and NCOs, 73 civilian staff - total personnel was 2,511.
21-05-1938A detachment from No.3 School of Technical Training sent to Ypres Cathedral in France for the unveiling of a memorial to the British Army, the RAF and the memory of the late King Albert of the Belgians.
28-05-1938The workshops of No.3 School of Technical Training were opened to the public as part of Empire Day, along with displays including 'attacks' by Avro Anson of No.48 Sqn pursued by No.500 Sqn Hawker Hinds.
18-06-1938Local MP and Under Secretary of State for Air, Captain H.H. Balfour, visited RAF Manston to tour the workshops of No.3 School of Technical Training.
27-06-1938A detachment from No.3 School of Technical Training consisting of one officer and 100 airmen under the command of Sn Ldr Pack was sent to a service for seamen at Canterbury Cathedral.
21-08-1938No.500 Sqn returns to Manston from annual camp at Ford in Sussex.
01-09-1938No.48 Sqn moves from RAF Manston to RAF Eastchurch. The unit at one time had 80 Avro Ansons, had handed over its training role to the School of Air Navigation.
14-09-1938F/Lt A.C. Bolton MC took an advance party from Manston to RAF Detling to prepare for the squadron's move.
25-09-1938As a result of Munich Crisis, RAF Manston was in a state of emergency, with all leave cancelled. Normal training at No.3 School of Technical Training suspended, trenches dug and all service personnel and civilians issued with gas masks.
28-09-1938No.500 Sqn completes move from Manston to RAF Detling, earlier than planned due to the worsening international situation. It would later be equipped with Avro Anson as part of central command.
14-02-1939The Director of Training and Air Officer Commanding No.24 Group, Air Cdre Paul Copeland Maltby visited Manston and toured the workshops of No.3 School of Technical Training.
25-02-1939Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' released from Maidstone Prison after serving three years of the four year sentence received in March 1936. He boarded a ship from Grimsby bound for Hamburg.
27-05-1939No.3 School of Technical Training receive news that the design and artwork for its crest and badge had been approved by His Majesty the King, after eight years.
16-08-1939A plane described as a two-seat monoplane was spotted and again the next day, flying in over Pegwell Bay and making two circuits over what was then known as a Kitchener Camp. It was suspected as being a German reconnaissance.
01-09-1939General Mobilisation was ordered, leave cancelled, machine gun posts manned and the full defence scheme brought into operation. The strength of No.3 SoTT stood at 1,071 airmen, officers and employees,
02-09-1939School of Air Navigation moves from Manston to St. Athan and 200 personnel detached to Manston returned to their units.
03-09-1939ORB reports 'War declared against Germany'
04-09-1939Fg Off. A. Marlon and 43 personnel move to No.5 School of Technical Training at Locking.
04-09-1939Fg Off. B.J. Abraham, 119 personnel (No.3 Section Staff and trainees) and sixty-nine MT vehicles leave for No.4 School of Technical Training at St. Athan.
05-09-1939Remaining forty-two members of No.3 section leave for St. Athan along with five MT vehicles.
10-09-1939No.3 Sqn flies in equipped with Hawker Hurricanes under the command of Sqn Ldr H.H. Chapman.
17-09-1939No.3 Sqn returns to Croydon.
12-11-1939No.79 Sqn arrives at Manston under the command of Sqn Ldr Colin Campbell McMullen, from Biggin Hill, equipped with Hurricanes.
21-11-1939Three aircraft of 'Yellow Section' of No.79 Sqn ordered to patrol the channel near Folkestone. Only two took off due to engine failure. A lone Dornier 17 was attacked and crashed into the sea off Deal, the first enemy aircraft brought down over the channel.
04-12-1939No.79 Sqn Hurricanes provide top cover over a Royal Navy destroyer conveying the King to France to meet British Troops.
10-12-1939No.79 Sqn Hurricanes provide top cover over a Royal Navy destroyer conveying the King back from France after meeting British Troops.
12-12-1939A converted Vickers Wellington Mk1 arrives, fitted with a huge ring used to degauss magnetic mines as No.1 General Reconnaissance Unit.
27-12-1939A detachment from No.600 'City of London' Sqn arrives at Manston, to be equipped with Bristol Blenheim If.
01-01-1940RAF Manston strength stands at 116 officers and 1,877 other ranks. Commanding Officer was Wing Cdr Jordan.
02-01-1940No.79 Sqn Miles Magister P2508 piloted by P/O Thomas Spencer Lewis took off twice performing unauthorised aerobatics with passengers, the first with LAC Needham. On the second flight, the aircraft crashed into the ground. Pilot and passenger Aircraftman 2nd Class Sidney Herbert Smith killed.
08-01-1940A Wellington of the No.1 General Reconnaissance Unit successfully detonates a magnetic mine laid by the Germans with its magnetic ring.
12-01-1940Under-Secretary of State for Air, Captain Harold Balfour MC visited Manston to tour the airfield and to tell No.235 Squadron's Sqn Ldr Ralph McDougall that they would likely be re-equipped with Bristol Blenheim Mk1 fighters within a fortnight. They went on to have a three course luncheon in the officers' mess. In fact it would not be until February that the first machines were to arrive and the unit would still be receiving them two months later.
13-01-1940Six Hurricanes of No.79 Sqn including Fg Off. Mitchell, Plt Offs Morrice, Parker, Hulse and Client plus Sgt Spencer were sent off on patrol over Hawkinge.
15-01-1940A Wellington of the No.1 General Reconnaissance Unit successfully detonates a magnetic mine laid by the Germans with its magnetic ring. It flew below the safety height of 35 feet and sustained damage, but landed safely.
15-01-1940A heavy snowstorm reduces visibility on the airfield to less than 70 yards. By evening, aircraft were completely buried in snow and unfit for flying with further snow over the night.
17-01-1940Despite the wintry conditions, the taxiing abilities of a number of Blenheims were tested, subsequent examinations of their undercarriages, airscrews and air intakes.
19-01-1940No.600 Squadron were allocated use of the firing ranges at Sutton Bridge, but the winter weather prevented any take-offs.
02-02-1940Manston was able to operate again after being closed for several days because of the cold weather.
12-02-1940The severe cold closed Manston again, preventing No.253 Sqn flying its aircraft to Northolt as part of its move there.
14-02-1940Batch of nine Hurricanes arrived for No.253 Sqn.
16-02-1940No.79 Sqn's Hurricane L1699 piloted by F/O James Joseph Tarlington (40763), a 26 year old Australian, crashed into the sea off Reculver after a convoy patrol over the North Sea. The pilot was never found. Either an engine or oxygen failure was suspected.
18-02-1940James M. Wells arrived at RAF Manston to take up appointment as commanding officer of No.600 Sqn Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader.Sqn Ldr Wells was killed on 10th May 1940 after taking off from Manston.
23-02-1940No.235 Sqn Blenheim Mk 1F L6792 piloted by Sgt John Bessey suffered from the left undercarriage leg not locking down whilst attempting to land at Manston. He went round in a single wider circuit and used to the hand pump to attempt to lower it. Coming back in, the leg collapsed and the port wingtip dropped, gouging into the ground. He suffered from just the odd bruise and the aircraft was repaired.
02-03-1940F/O Davies of No.79 Sqn led three Hurricanes in pursuit when a high-flying aircraft was seen over Dover, suspected of being enemy reconnaissance, but it flew out to sea to high and fast for the Hurricanes.
08-03-1940No.32 Sqn arives at Manston from Gravesend in Hawker Hurricanes, relieving No.79 Sqn, also with Hurricanes, which returned to Biggin Hill.
11-03-1940120 Polish airmen arrive from Eastchurch, many later sent to Blackpool to be taught English and RAF procedures.
11-03-1940No.600 Sqn's Blenheim L6682 piloted by F/O Anthony Henry Hamilton Tollemache struck trees when on approach to the flare path. The pilot and Leading Aircraftman Smith, the air gunner found themselves uninjured and were able to scramble out of the aircraft. Realising that their passenger, Lt Philip Rowland Sperling of the Welsh Guards was still in the aircraft, Tollemache made a gallant attempt to rescue him, but ultimately failed. Badly burned, Tollemache became one of the RAF's first 'guinea pigs' for the experimental plastic surgery at East Grinsted.
15-03-194093 Polish airmen arrive from Eastchurch, many later sent to Blackpool to be taught English and RAF procedures.
20-03-194065 Polish airmen arrive from Eastchurch, many later sent to Blackpool to be taught English and RAF procedures.
14-04-1940On the night of 14th and 15th April, twelve Handley Page Hampdens of No.44, 50 and 83 Sqns were diverted to land at Manston, after being involved in the first mine-laying operations of the war.
15-04-1940No.83 Sqn's Hampden L4152 OL-S with crew including Fg Off. Kenneth Richard Hugh Sylvester and Sgt Ernest Clarke had taken off from Skampton at 1945hrs for a mine laying mission to the Frisian Islands in Netherlands. They sent a distress call at 4am, but trying to home in on Manston, they never arrived. F/O K R H Sylvester, Sgt E R Clarke, LAC JH Edwards, Sgt G C Perry all presumed drowned.
10-05-1940No.600 Sqn's Blenheim L1514 BQ-N forced to crash-land after being attacked by wave of German fighters. They had set one of the JU52 enemy transports on the ground on fire and shot down one of the attacking Bf109s. P/O Richard Cummings Haine and P/O M. Kramer both evaded capture and made contact with the Dutch Army. Both eventually made their way back to Harwich and were awarded DFCs.
10-05-1940Intensification of the war situation lead to tightened security at Manston. Detachments of the London Irish Regiment and Royal Artillery arrived with anti-aircraft guns.
10-05-1940Six Blenheims of No.600 Sqn ordered to attack the airfield at Waalhaven, Rotterdam just captured by the Germans. CO Sqn Ldr Wells in L6616 (BQ-R), L1335 (BQ-W), L1401 (BQ-K), L1514 (BQ-N), L1515 and L1517 took off, only L1514 piloted by F/L Norman Hayes, badly damaged made it back to Manston after they were outclassed in speed and armament. Sqn Ldr Wells was among those killed.
11-05-1940Green 1' of 'B' flight from No.600 Sqn engaged a He 111, 20 miles NW of Cape Gris. 'Green 1' had to force land back at Manston when the wheels and flaps could not be lowered.
16-05-1940No.604 'County of Middlesex' Sqn arrives from Northolt equipped with the Blenheim 1f, with No.600 Sqn travelling in the opposite direction.
18-05-1940The Wellingtons of No.1 General Reconnaissance Unit move to the Middle East, initially Ismailia in Egypt.
19-05-1940No.145 Sqn Hurricane N2598 piloted by P/O Kenneth Richard Lucas (41854) took off on patrol between Warlot-Baillon and Verennes-en-croix in France. During an attack on He IIIs he was shot down by Oblt. Homuth of 3./JG27, crashing at 1530hrs. Pilot killed.
23-05-1940No.600 Squadron Blenheim ordered to Calais with 2 fitters and parts to salvage the Spitfire force landed the day before by Sqn Ldr White. The two ground crew were captured by advancing Germans.
23-05-1940Sqn Ldr F. Laurie White, CO of No.74 Sqn makes a forced landing in his Spitfire at Calais-Marc after combat with a Hs 126. A rescue plan saw a Miles Magister fly from Manston escorted by two Spitfires, one flown by Plt Off Al Deere. Despite attack by a dozen or more Bf 109s after picking up Sqn Ldr White, they returned safely to Manston.
23-05-1940No.264 Sqn in Defiants took off from Manston to cover the French coast over Dunkirk, Calais and Boulogne. Seven Bf110s were sighted, one of them diving to break up the British formation. The other six followed, but seeing that the Defiants maintained good formation they climbed back into the clouds. That evening the squadron flew a similar patrol together with two Hurricane squadrons but no enemy aircraft were sighted.
24-05-1940No.12 Servicing Flight posted to Manston from Hemlow.
24-05-1940The first of the high-speed launches, HSL101, arrives at Ramsgate Harbour from Newhaven to carry out air-sea rescue duties, part of No.24 Air Sea Rescue Unit, with crew billeted to the Oaks Hotel.
28-05-1940No.264 Sqn Defiant of P/O Jack Elmer Hatfield and P/O Alexander McLeod took off from Manston to patrol Dunkirk. They failed to return from a combat with Bf109s having been shot down in the sea. Hatfield's body was later washed ashore, McLeod's body was never found.
28-05-1940No.213 Sqn's Hurricanes from Manston provided cover to operations disrupting enemy pressure around the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk, including a raid by Blenheims from 12 Sqn. Five aircraft lost, Sgt Thomas Boyd (safe), Sgt Samuel Leslie Butterfield (safe), P/O Laurence George Beauchamp Stone (killed), Sgt J.A. Lishman (wounded), F/L Edward George Winning (killed).
28-05-1940No.806 Naval Air Squadron on its first patrol from RAF Detling lost a Blackburn Roc which crashed on takeoff without casualties, but the remaining two aircraft in the patrol, Blackburn Skuas were attacked by friendly fighters near the Goodwin Sands. One Skua crewed by Lt. Campbell-Horsfall and Petty Officer Clare were shot down and picked up by a destroyer. The second piloted by Midshipman Hogg managed to limp to RAF Manston, but Naval Airman J.B. Burton, the Telegraphist Air Gunner was killed. Lt Campbell-Horsfall and Petty Officer Clare received bullet wounds. Airman Burton is buried in Minster Cemetery.
29-05-1940No.264 Sqn Defiant I L7109 piloted by P/O R.W. Stokes and L/A Henry Thomas Fairbrother whilst on patrol over Dunkirk was damaged in combat. L/A Fairbrother bailed out and was picked up from the sea by a tug with slight leg and foot injuries. The pilot P/O Stokes crash landed the aircraft at Manston. No.264 Sqn claimed 37 enemy aircraft on this day.
31-05-1940A Boulton Paul Defiant of No.264 Sqn arrives at Manston after being damaged during patrol between Calais and Dunkirk. The squadron had left RAF Duxford for a patrol over Dunkirk to Calais. Five other Defiants from the squadron were lost.
31-05-1940No.111 Sqn Hurricane I L1973 piloted by Sgt. J.Robinson crash lands at Manston after a patrol over Dunkirk. Pilot wounded in the ankle. Aircraft repaired back to service.
01-06-1940No.53 Sqn (TBC) Blenheim piloted by G/C Alan Coatsworth DSO DFC OBE from Winnepeg was hit and crashed back at Manston. Pilot safe.
06-06-1940The second high-speed launch, HSL100, arrives at Ramsgate Harbour from Calshot to carry out air-sea rescue duties.
12-06-1940Wg Cdr Richard Bowen Jordan takes over command of RAF Manston from Wg Cdr Hammer.
18-06-1940Flt Lt Alistair Stewart Hunter in a Blenheim from No.604 Sqn shoots down a Heinkel 115 Floatplane.
19-06-1940In a raid by British No.801 Squadron against Boulogne and Calais, Lt J. W. Collett was wounded. The Blackburn Skua he was observer in forced landed at Manston on its return. Other crew unknown.
20-06-1940Sqn Ldr E. S. Osborn takes over command of RAF Manston from Wg Cdr R. B. Jordan.
03-07-1940Number of Dorniers drop high-explosive and incendiary bombs across the aerodrome, damaging a grass mower beyond repair, although some bombs dropped close to the explosives store.
03-07-1940Spitfire K9928 of Sgt John Rex Burgess White from No.74 Sqn crashed at The Shallows, Margate in thunderstorm following a lightning strike, pilot killed.
04-07-194032 Sqn intercepts force of 30 German Messerschmitt Bf 109s. Pilot Officer D H 'Grubby' Grice force lands his damaged Hurricane at Manston afterwards.
05-07-1940No.1 'M' Balloon unit arrives at Manston to send 10 foot diameter balloons to Germany to release their payload of propaganda leaflets.
08-07-1940No.74 Sqn on patrol from Manston shoots down one Messerschmitt Bf 109 and a possible second. Manston found to be a perfect staging post to protect shipping in the Channel and Thames Estuary.
08-07-1940Sqn Ldr Desmond Cooke (26009), CO of No.74 Sqn in Spitfire K9907 was killed when shot down off the coast of Dover at 3.30pm.
09-07-1940No.54 Sqn Spitfire I N3183 (according to the ORB, but other listings show it as P9398 KL-B, 'Kiwi II') piloted by P/O Al Deere was scrambled with the squadron to intercept an enemy formation near Dover. They discovered a group of Bf 109 fighters escorting a seaplane undertaking pre-invasion surveys. P/O Deere sent one Bf 109 down in flames, but another ('White 2', Wk No 1160 flown by Ofw. Johann Illner, 4./JG51) headed straight for him, neither pilot willing to flinch until they collided. The engine was severely damaged, but unable to bail out and with the cockpit full of smoke he managed to make a forced landing in a corn field near Manston, although other reports suggest in a paddock ending against a stone wall. After bursting into flames Deere smashed his way out sustaining only minor cuts and burns and was back on patrol the next day.
09-07-1940The Luftwaffe mounted a second heavy raid of the day against a convoy in the Thames and passed North Foreland, heading north-west around 1530hrs. The RAF expecting an attack had ordered No.54, 65 and 74 (Spitfire) Squadrons forward to Manston to cover shipping. Nine Spitfires of No.65 Squadron were scrambled, although only seven got airborne, and climbed to 10,000 feet where almost at once sighted approximately seventy enemy aircraft heading for the Thames Estuary. Although the Spitfires of No.65 Squadron claimed three Messerschmitt Bf 109Es as destroyed, only one failed to return. That of Leutnant Hermann Striebel of 5th Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 51.
09-07-1940Gun emplacements strengthened and defence mechanism of mines, cables and rockets used to defend against attacking aircraft.
09-07-1940While P/O 'Johnny' L. Allen was dealing with the Heinkel He 59B-2, his colleagues were fighting a losing battle with the Messerschmitt Bf 109Es of the 4th Staffel of Jagdgeschwader 51. No.54 Sqn P/O Jack Wallace Garton (70887) in Spitfire I R6705 was shot down near Manston and killed. He is buried in Margate cemetery, section 50, grave 15935. Plt Off Sydney John Anthony Evershed in Spitfire I L1093 was shot down and killed off Dover, with some reports that he was never recovered. P/O Deere later recounted; 'I knew at least one of our chaps had been shot down; I had heard Yellow 2, P/O Jack W. Garton, screaming for help over the R/T. He said he was on fire and needed assistance as there were four Huns on his tail. He sounded hysterical, poor blighter. There wasn't anything I could do about it.'
10-07-1940Start of the Battle of Britain.
10-07-1940Six No.74 Sqn Spitfires using Manston as a forward base, were on convoy duty, seriously damage a number of Dorniers. Two Spitfires return with damage.
10-07-1940No.74 Sqn Spitfire K9863 piloted by Plt Off J Freeborn brought down at Manston.
10-07-1940No.56 Sqn Hurricane P3554 piloted by Flt Lt Edward J 'Jumbo' Gracie brought down at Manston with a ceased engine after combat with Bf 110s.
10-07-1940Visit by AOC Air Vice Marshall Keith Park to Manston.
12-07-1940No.74 Sqn from Manston protect convoy off North Foreland.
14-07-1940Manston receives some damage in an attack.
16-07-1940The first operations by No.1 'M' Balloon Unit this night of propaganda leaflets flown to Germany.
18-07-1940Visit by His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent to Manston.
19-07-1940No.74 Sqn led by 'Sailor' Malan attack Messerschmitt Bf 109s, claiming 3 shot down near Dover.
19-07-1940Luftwaffe attack at night, with bombs scattered all around Thanet, but none at the airfield.
20-07-1940Manston visited by Sir Archibald Sinclair, Secretary of State for Air.
24-07-1940No.54 Sqn's P/O Gray attacks a Bf 109 piloted by Lt Josef Schauff of 8/JG 26 over Margate. The German's parachute fails to open, his body landing on a local playing field and aircraft crashing in Byron Avenue at 1.05am. Lt Schauff is buried in Margate cemetery.
24-07-1940No.65 Squadron scrambled from Manston to assist 54 and 610 Squadrons defending a convoy sailing from the Medway. P/O John Laurence Allen DFC of 54 Sqn killed and buried at Margate Cemetery.
25-07-1940Flt Lt Basil Hugh Way of No.54 Sqn killed.
25-07-1940No.54 Sqn Spitfire P9387 piloted by P/O Turley-George shot down near Dover. Pilot uninjured and aircraft later returned to service.
25-07-1940P/O Archibald Finnie of No.54 Sqn in Spitfire R6816 was shot down near Dover at 1810hrs by a Bf 109 whilst on a convoy patrol. Aircraft crashed near Kingsdown, pilot killed and buried in Margate cemetery.
27-07-1940Orders issued to make full use of advanced landing grounds such as Manston, mainly for convoy attacks and probing raids.
28-07-1940No.41 Sqn and No.74 Sqn, ordered forward from Hornchurch, scrambled to intercept a raid approaching Dover. Fg Off A J Lovell piloting No.41 Sqn Spitfire R6627 brought down and injured.
28-07-1940No.41 Sqn, including 'Sailor' Malan shoot down the Luftwaffe Ace, Major Werner Molders, but although injured he nursed his badly damaged aircraft back to his base in Wissant
29-07-1940No.41 Sqn F/O D.R.Gamblen in Spitfire N3038 disappeared over Dover following combat with Ju87s and Bf 109s. Pilot Missing.
29-07-1940Funerals of P/O Allen and P/O Finnie of No.54 Sqn, plus Lt Schuaff of the Luftwaffe take place at Margate Cemetery with airmen from Manston as pallbearers and Sqn Ldr Obsborne presiding.
29-07-1940No.41 Sqn Spitfire N3264 piloted by P/O 'Ben' George Herman Bennions crash landed after combat with Bf109 at Manston despite battle damage which included the port flap being u/s thus requiring a landing without the assistance of flaps at all, and the port tyre being punctured. P/O Bennions claimed a Bf109.
31-07-1940The Inspector General of the RAF, Air Chief Marshal Sir Edward Ludlow-Hewitt visited Manston.
31-07-1940No.74 Sqn Sgt F.W.Eley from Hornchurch in Spitfire P9398 shot down off Folkestone.
31-07-1940No.74 Sqn PO H.R.Gunn from Hornchurch in Spitfire P9379 shot down off Folkestone.
05-08-1940No.65 Sqn Spitfire P9436 piloted by F/Lt. Wilford Hugh Maitland-Walker was in combat over the Channel with Me109s when the fuel tank forward of the instrument panel was hit, he was also wounded in a shoulder and foot and covered in petrol. Shutting down the engine, he was able to glide to Manston and force-land. After hospitalisation and leave he rejoined 65 Squadron, now at Turnhouse in Scotland in the convoy escort role.
05-08-1940No.41 Sqn Spitfire N3234 piloted by Sgt-Plt Jack Allison crashes near Sandwich shortly after take off from Manston due to engine failure, pilot unhurt. Aircraft classified Cat B but Written off 28 August 1940.
08-08-1940No.65 Sqn scrambled twice in the morning. On second flight, Sgt David Ian Kirton (550500) in Spitfire I K9911 killed at 1140hrs attempting to force land after being shot down by Messerschmitt Bf 109 of Oberleutnant Fronhoefer of 9/JG26. Sgt Kirton is buried in St James Cemetery in Dover.Flt Sgt Norman Taylor Phillips (365324) in Spitfire K9905 died after being hit by gunfire from a Bf 109, possibly Oblt. Muncheberg of III/JG26 at 1140hrs and crashed in flames after hitting trees, near Haine Road. F/Sgt Phillips is buried in Chatham Cemetery, Kent
08-08-1940No.600 Sqn Blenheim L8665 BQ-A flown by F/O Dennis Neve Grice appeared through the clouds over Manston, on fire and fell into sea near the harbour, all crew killed, included Sgt F.J. Keast, AC1 J.W.B Warren. They had been attacked by a Bf 109 of Oberleutnant Gerhard Schopfel of JG. 26. Campaign to award FO Grice a posthumous decoration for saving casualties in the town was not successful.
09-08-1940No.74 Squadron has moved from Manston to Wittering.
09-08-1940Air raid on Poet's Corner area of Margate at 1100hrs met by No.600 Sqn. Blenheim L8679 BQ-O of F/O Stanley P Le Rougetel hit by anti aircraft defences and crashed into sea off Westgate. Pilot rescued by lifeboat, Sgt Eric Smith swam ashore. Some reports suggest the aircraft was hit by friendly fire of an anti-aircraft battery, others it was shot down by Oblt. Karl-Heinz Metz from 8.JG2.
11-08-1940No.74 Sqn operating from Manston flew four sorties before lunch. P/O D.G. Cobden in Spitfire R6757 crashed into the sea after combat with Bf110 and P/O Denis Norman Evelyn Smith R6962 also failed to return after combat with Bf110 and crashing into the sea.
12-08-1940No.56 Sqn Hurricane piloted by P/O F B Sutton brought down at Manston.
12-08-1940No.65 Sqn scrambled to protect two small convoys passing North Foreland from reports of enemy dive bombers, but not before two ships had been sunk.
12-08-1940Manston bombed by twenty one Bf 110s from Erprobungsgruppe 210 and Dornier 17s from KG-2. All but one of 65 Sqn's Spitfires got into the air. Plt Off K.G. Hart's propellor stopped by explosion. 150 high explosive bombs hit, destroying two hangers and the workshops where a civilian clerk was killed. Manston unserviceable for 24 hours with at least 100 craters.
13-08-1940Manston not selected as a target on Eagle Day. Despite bombs jettisoned nearby airfield was made serviceable again. Several craters remained on Southern side because of proximity of unexploded bombs.
14-08-1940Two Bf 110Ds shot down were S9+NK hit by anti-aircraft fire, pilot Lt Heinrich Brinker and gunner Unteroffizier Richard Mayor killed; S9+MK damaged by AA fire and crashed into Lt Brinker's aircraft, pilot Unteroffizier Hans Steding killed, gunner Gefreiter Ewald Schank baled out wounded and was captured.
14-08-1940A third Bf 110, flown by Oberleutnant Werner Weymann damaged by ground-fire, but managed to return to Calais-Marck on one engine. Another two Bf 110s aborted attack on Manston midway over the Channel, but returned safely to Calais.
14-08-1940P/O Lee L. Pyman of No.65 Sqn force lands his aircraft at Manston. His aircraft was peppered with bullet holes.
14-08-1940Nine Bf 110s of Erprobungsgruppe 210 attack hangers in East Camp at Manston. Part of the attack was planned against Ramsgate Airport, but two large barrage balloons flying over Ramsgate Harbour prevented that attack. Three Blenheims destroyed and two Bf 110Ds shot down.
15-08-1940No.266 Sqn arrives from Eastchurch after attack there the previous day. Two Spitfires destroyed by straffing attack by eight Messerschmitt Bf 110s.
15-08-1940Sgt F.B. Hawley of No.266 Sqn in Spitfire N3189 crashed into the sea off Deal at 1715hrs after scrambling from Manston at 1154 hrs, then destroying a Heinkel He115 floatplane off Dunkirk. Pilot reported missing
16-08-1940Replacement Spitfires for No.266 Sqn arrive, with Sqn Ldr D.G.M. Spencer taking over as CO.
16-08-1940P/O N.G.Bowen of No.266 Sqn shot down and killed over Adisham. Near Canterbury P/O Bazle baled out of P9312 at 1245hrs. Plt Sub Lt H.L. Greenshields in Spitfire N3240 was shot down and killed over Calais by Lieutenant Mueller-Duhe of JG 26.
16-08-1940P/O Lee L. Pyman of No.65 Sqn in Spitfire K9915 shot down and killed over the channel near Deal at 1730 hrs.
16-08-1940At 1745, a Messerschmitt Bf 109 strafes the airfield destroying one No.600 Sqn Blenheim R3838 and a No.65 Sqn Spitfire R6618 on the ground. Two more Blenheims damaged (one, possibly R3835 of No.59 Sqn).
16-08-1940No.266 Sqn scrambles to patrol in response to 150 enemy aircraft over Dover. Four aircraft destroyed, two damaged, Commanding Officer Sqn Ldr Rodney Levatt Wilkinson aged 30 in Spitfire R6768 killed near Deal at 1235hrs. Three Bf 109s brought down. Sqn Ldr Wilkinson is buried in Margate cemetery.
16-08-1940P/O Leslie William Graham of No.56 Sqn in Hurricane I V7368 was shot down in flames in a surprise attack by Bf 109s at 1205hrs during a sector patrol and baled out near Manston, slightly injured.
18-08-1940Sgt Griffiths force landed his No.17 Sqn Hurricane in the morning. At 1530 hrs, twelve Messerschmitt Bf 109s strafed the airfield. Sgt Griffiths' Hurricane, No.266 Sqn Spitfires X4061 and X4066 destroyed, around six more Spitfires badly damaged, including X4063. Groundcrew in the open cut to pieces, one killed, 15 injured.
19-08-1940Manston attacked by Messerschmitt Bf 109s.
20-08-1940Manston attacked by Messerschmitt Bf 109s at 1530hrs dropping bombs and strafing. One No.600 Sqn Blenheim and a hanger were damaged with a couple of buildings hit by debris, but no casualties. No.65 Sqn Hornchurch Spitfires were sent to intercept but were attacked by the Bf 109 escorts in which one Spitfire was damaged by cannon fire and made a forced landing on Foulness Island. The pilot was unhurt although the aircraft was destroyed
22-08-1940Airfield attacked by Bf 110s of E 210 as 600 Sqn was readying to evacuate to Hornchurch. No casualties by severe damage caused to buildings including two hangers.
22-08-1940During attack, No.65 Sqn Spitfires were in combat near Dover. Two return with combat damage, a third, that of Sgt Keymer shot down over the channel.
24-08-1940Felwebel Herbert Bischoff force lands his Bf 109E 'White 9' of JG52 on the Minster Road, at Westgate. Claim made by P/O G.D. Gribble of No.54 Sqn, but Luftwaffe records claim engine failure. Pilot uninjured and POW.
24-08-1940Oberleutnant Werner Bartels force landed his Bf 109E Wk.Nr 6296F of III./JG 26 in a wheat field at Northdown near Margate at 1300hrs after combat with a Spitfire of No.65 Sqn. Pilot seriously wounded, but taken prisoner. Later repriated to Germany in 1943 possibly as part of a prisoner swap, was later involved in the Me 262 project.
24-08-1940Attack on Ramsgate Airport, damaging airport buildings and houses. ARP personnel machine-gunned by 2 low flying aircraft, casualties not reported
24-08-1940Raid on Ramsgate 'The Murder Raid', killed 29 people, destroyed 78 houses, 300 not fit for habitation, 700 damaged. More casualties would have been likely if not for the Ramsgate Tunnels.
24-08-1940No.264 Sqn Defiant L6965 piloted by P/O R.S. Gaskell badly damaged near Hornchurch. Pilot safe, but air gunner Sgt W.H. Machin died of his wounds.
24-08-1940No.264 Sqn Defiant L7027 failed to return from combat with Messerschmitt Bf 109s off Manston 12:45pm, Sgt Alan Berry (968035) and F/O Ian Garstin Shaw (40265) posted as missing.
24-08-1940Ju88 A-1 of 4/KG-76 crewed by Hans Grell, Uffz Henneberg, Fw Thomas and Uffz Wetzker shot down by a Defiant of No.264 Sqn over the Channel, south of Manston.
24-08-1940No.264 Sqn Defiant L7013 piloted by F/O Ernest William Campbell-Colquoun and P/O Gerald Robinson brought down at Manston from attack by Bf109s, after Verey cartridges exploded in the cockpit. Both men were unhurt. Three other Defiants missing in sea off Thanet, crews assumed dead.
24-08-1940No.264 Sqn Defiants sent forward from Hornchurch to Manston for air defence. They were refuelling when a force of enemy bombers was reported. Before the Defiants could form up, three were shot down by the Bf109 fighter escort from JG3. The squadron lost four aircraft and seven airmen this day, destroying four enemy bombers and two Bf 109s.
24-08-1940Six heavy attacks, the first at 0600hrs when approximately 80 aircraft crossed the coast to Thanet, left Manston unserviceable after the heavy raid at 1520hrs, restricted to emergency use.
24-08-1940No.54 Sqn Spitfire I X4019 piloted by P/O A. R. McL. Campbell (42393) damaged in combat by a Bf 109 over Manston, pilot injured.
24-08-1940No.264 Sqn Defiant N1535 last seen pursuing Ju88s over Manston 12:40pm, Sqn Ldr P.A. Hunter and P/O F.H. King posted as missing.
25-08-1940No.54 Sqn Spitfire R6969 piloted by P/O M. Shand brought down at Manston.
26-08-1940One of the Dorniers shot down on this day, Do 17Z-2 Wk No 1160 '5K + AR' piloted by Pilot Feldwebel Willi Effmert (POW) with Bomb Aimer Uffz Hermann Ritzel (POW), Wireless Operator Unteroffizier Helmut Reinhardt (killed) and bomb aimer Gefreiter Heinz Huhn (killed) was recovered in June 2013.
26-08-1940No.56 Sqn come to the assistance of No.264 Sqn, preventing more losses for 264. No.56 Sqn lose two aircraft in combat with Bf 109s.
26-08-1940Defiant of No.264 Sqn crashes, possibly flown by F/O I.R. Stephenson. Gunner Sgt Maxwell killed.
26-08-1940Seven of No.264 Sqn's Defiants under command of Sqn Ldr G.D. Garvin scrambled to intercept twelve Dorniers crossing the Kent coast near Deal. Five Dorniers and one Bf 109 destroyed. Defiant of Sgt Thorn and Sgt Barker's Defiant shot down over Chislet, but both only have minor injuries.
26-08-1940Unteroffizier Fritz Buchner in a Bf 109 Wk No. 3874 of 6/JG3 crashes near Stuart's Farm at St. Nicholas-at-Wade. Pilot killed but body not recovered until 1975 due to the severe impact. Some reports credited to F/O K.J. Marsden of No.56 Sqn or P/O Kennneth Marston of No.56 Sqn.
26-08-1940Defiant of No.264 Sqn, L6985 flown by Sgt Banham crashes into the sea near Herne Bay at 1230hrs, air gunner Sgt Baker killed.
28-08-1940Prime Minister Winston Churchill visits Manston, dressed in an RAF uniform with honarary rank of Air Commodore. Churchill was said to have been so appalled by the scene of destruction on the airfield, he contacted the Air Ministry to set up an organisation to repair Manston and other airfields at once. Churchill's photo was taken with No.615 Sqn by the wooden intelligence hut at what is now the 'Spitfire Junction'.
28-08-1940No.54 Sqn loses two aircraft, including Sqn Ldr D.O. Finlay's X4053 over Ramsgate. Pilot wounded.
28-08-1940No.54 Sqn picked their way through bomb craters to give the appearance of continued operations.
28-08-1940No.264 Sqn Defiants scrambled at 0845hrs to a number of German bomber formations detected building up off the French Coast, including over 50 Do17 bombers escorted by as many Messerschmitt Bf 109 and Bf 110s. 264 Sqn were preparing to disband and withdraw north to Kirton on Lindsay.
28-08-1940No.264 Sqn loses three Defiants, including two shot down over Thanet. Both aircraft and crews perished.
28-08-1940At 0900hrs, Manston received minor damage from the bomber formations.
28-08-1940Flt Lt Al Deere of No.54 Sqn bales out over Detling after being shot down in error by another Spitfire. Pilot unhurt.
29-08-1940603 Sqn's FL Richard.H. Hillary made a spectacular debut by destroying on Messerschmitt Bf 109 over Manston and a probable Bf 109 over Deal.
30-08-1940Heinkel 111 A1+JP of KG53 crash lands near the airfield on Goodman's Farm. Pilot Feldwebel Karl Eckert killed, observer Gerfraiters Albert Klapp took over the controls from the wounded or dead pilot to make the forced landing, but died in Ramsgate Hospital on 2nd September.
30-08-1940Heinkel 111 tried to make a forced landing on Cheeseman's farm, just short of the runway. One crew member killed.
30-08-1940At 1315hrs, a small wave of German bombers attacked the forward airfields of Hawkinge and Manston.
31-08-19406/KG53 He111H-2 damaged by fighters during attack on Radlett and crashed Manston. 1 crew killed 1 wounded 3 POW
31-08-1940New Station Commander, Sqn Ldr G A L Manton. Manston becomes focus of a highly secret commando unit of the Home Guard.
02-09-1940No.111 Sqn Hurricane returned to Debden with damaged to port wing following combat with Bf110s over Manston FO B.H. Bowring unhurt
03-09-1940One of the most famous pilots of the Battle of Britain, P/O Richard Hillary in Spitfire X4277 XT-M shot down at 1004hrs over Margate by Hauptmann Helmut Bode of II./JG26. Hillary's plane burst into flame burning his hands and eyes, unprotected by not wearing gloves and having his goggles up. He was picked up by Margate Lifeboat after three hours of searching. He went under the care of Archie McIndoe at East Grinstead as one of the 'Guinea Pigs' but was later killed in a Blenheim on 8th January 1943.
05-09-1940StabJG53 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-1 piloted by Technical Officer Wilhelm Meyerweissflog was shot down during free-lance sortie over Channel. Forced-landed at Monkton Farm, near Manston 3:45pm. Pilot POW unhurt. F/L Peterson Clarence Hughes of No.234 Sqn credited.
05-09-1940No.41 Sqn again scrambled at 1500hrs. Flt J.T. Webster in Spitfire R6635 killed at 1525hrs after bailing out, with the aircraft crashing at Laindon, Essex. Sqn Ldr H.R.L. Hood listed as missing after colling with R6635, with the aircraft disintegrating over Wickford.
05-09-1940No.41 Sqn (Hornchurch) ordered to Manston for patrol duties. Scrambed at 1000hrs to intercept over the Thames Estuary. Flt Lt J.T.Webster attacks a Messerschmitt Bf 109 over South London that was about to engage a Hurricane and it makes a forced landing just outside Aldington, Kent. Webster also thought to have shot down another Bf 109 over South London.
06-09-19407/JG53 Messerschmitt Bf 109E-4 '5+1' piloted by Unteroffizier Hans-Georg Schulte was shot down by fighters during free-lance patrol over the Thames. Forced-landed Manston 6:50pm, pilot POW.
06-09-1940No.603 Sqn Spitfire landed in France after engagement over Channel nr Manston 1330hrs P/O Caister captured
17-09-1940No.41 Sqn's PO H.C.Baker had to make a forced landing at Stelling Minnis after he took a hit while in combat with Messerschmitt Bf 109s over Manston.
17-09-1940No.41 Sqn's FO J.G.Boyle's Spitfire hit by gunfire from a Messerschmitt Bf 109 over Manston, and had to return to Hornchurch.
21-09-1940The Secretary of State for Air, Sir Archibald Sinclair visited Manston to assess the damage and state of morale.
22-09-1940Two Westland Lysander aircraft and crew of No.4 Sqn attached to Manston to assist rescue launches from Ramsgate to recover ditched aircrews in the channel.
30-09-1940Four 50 kilo bombs dropped by a Junkers Ju88 aircraft, but they failed to explode. No damage or casualties reported.
01-10-1940Air Chief Marshall Sir Edgar Ludlow Hewitt, the Inspector General of the RAF paid another visit to Manston. He was instrumental in campaigning for aircrew to gain professional status, establishing the Central Gunnery School and involved in changing policy from day to night bombing.
05-10-1940No.53 Sqn Blenheim IVF R2771 crewed by Sgt A.Hall (obs), P/O K.Faukner (Pilot) and Sgt G.Fielder (WOp/ag) left from Detling was damaged in a shipping strike. The aircraft lost height in the circuit at Manston in bad visibility on the return from a sweep to the Hook of Holland and flew into the ground, possibly at Sarre. Sgt. Hall killed, P/O Faukner and Sgt. Fielder seriously injured.
11-10-1940At 1445hrs an attack on Manston resulted in a single bomb being dropped, which landed on the station's swimming pool, already wrecked.
17-10-1940Oberleutnant Walter Rupp belly-landed his Messerschmitt Bf 109E at Manston after combat damage over the Thames Estuary. Aircraft believed to be 'Yellow 1' of 3./JG 53 from Le Touquet. Pilot taken POW.
21-10-1940Demonstrating that Manston was at this time free from fighter cover, a Dornier 215 dropped three small bombs on the airfield, then flew overhead for around 10 minutes, probably taking reconnaissance photos. Only anti-aircraft fire challenged the incursion.
22-10-1940In the early hours, a Wellington Ic R3158 of No.75 Sqn made a crash landing after taking off from Mildenhall for attacks around Cologne, Hamburg, Stuttgart and Reisholz. Piloted by F/O R.E. Elliot they narrowly avoided flying into the barrage balloons above Ramsgate Harbour, but in visibility restricted by mist, landed without sustaining any injuries to the six man crew. Other crew was Sgt. Day, F/O R.P. Elliott, Sgt.Johnson-Barrett, Sgt. McLauglin, Sgt. Musselwhite and Sgt. Sheppard.
25-11-1940E0234/W4050, the first prototype of the De Havilland Mosquito, took to the air for its maiden flight piloted by Geoffrey de Havilland, Jr, accompanied by John Walker, designer of the engine installation. It had been constructed in a small hangar, disguised as a barn near London Colney, well away from prying eyes. The Mosquito would go on to play an essential part in the war and operations from Manston. The first arrival of a Mosquito at Manston was on 7th May 1942. The W4050 prototype is now undergoing restoration at the De Havilland Aircraft Museum in Hertfordshire. http://www.dehavillandmuseum.co.uk/
27-11-1940Messerschmitt Bf109E '4101 / Black 12' of Leutnant Wolfgang Teumer from 2/JG51 was attacked by the Spitfire of 66 Squadron's Flt Lt George P Christie DFC over the Thames Estuary, damaging his radiator and radio. Lt Teumer belly-landed at Manston but was unhurt. The aircraft was recovered, repaired and used for evaluation purposes by the Royal Aircraft Establishment and Rolls Royce and is now held by the RAF Museum Hendon.
29-11-1940His Royal Highness the Duke of Kent arrived in Thanet in RAF uniform by car to visit Ramsgate, Margate, coastal defences and Manston, once more driving himself around.
05-12-1940An unidentified raider flew over No.1 Gun Post at 8,000 to 9,000 feet at 1945hrs. A number of bombs were dropped.
16-01-1941F/L R.P. Stevens in No.151 Sqn Hurricane receives reports of raiders heading towards London after taking off at 1256hrs from the squadron's forward base of Manston on the 15th. He destroyed a Dornier 17 of 4/KG3 that burst into flames and crashed into a wood near Hornchurch. Later the same day, F/L Stevens was scrambled again just before morning and found a Heinkel 111 of 2/KG 53 at 17,000 ft over burning London. He attacked and the bomber crashed near Southend. Three of the four crew members baled out and were captured. The night's work earned Stevens a Distinguished Flying Cross.
22-02-1941No.59 Sqn Blenheim IV left Manston with Corporal William Y. Odgers, aged 21. Corporal Odgers was killed in unconfirmed circumstances, but reports suggest a number of No.59 Sqn aircraft crashed at night at St.Eval after a mission to Brest. He is buried in Minster Cemetery.
25-03-1941No.59 Sqn Blenheim IV TR-J crewed by F/Lt Palmer, Sgt West and Sgt Derek Neil Buckley left for a Dundee patrol at 1440hrs. Reported shipping off Dunkirk then attacked by 2 Bf109s when just below cloud. Air Gunner Buckley fired but was killed instantly by cannon shells. The aircraft returned to Manston at 1830hrs. Sgt Buckley is buried at Minster cemetery.
10-04-1941No.74 Sqn Spitfire II P7854 piloted by P/O Peter Chesters RAFVR (84960) left to patrol Folkestone at 1645hrs, one of twelve spitfires ordered up. A number of Bf109s had been seeen in the area escorting bombers to Canterbury.P/O Chesters engaged with a Bf109E 'Black 8' of Feldwebel Friedrich Maoller from 2./JG51, shooting it down, crashing at Frost Farm, St. Nicholas at Wade, killing the pilot.On return to base, the pilot attempted a forbidden Victory Roll over the airfield, but lost control during the slow roll, resulting in the Sptifire spinning into the ground and exploding in flames. Pilot killed and buried in Southend-on-Sea (Sutton Rd) Cemetery.
15-04-1941No.266 Sqn Sptifire II P7901 piloted by W/C W.E. Coope (5201) was on a Channel patrol when he was shot up by Adolf Galland of JG26, then crash landed at Manston. Pilot safe.
28-04-1941No.101 Sqn Blenheim IV V5493 SR-G crewed by Sgt. H.T.H. Downes, Sgt G.W. Hickman and Sgt. R. Ridgman-Parsons took off from Manston at 1054hrs on an anti-shipping mission and lost off Calais. All crew killed.
03-05-1941No.101 Sqn Blenheim IV T2234 SR-H crewed by Sgt. J.F. Chell, Sgt. C.H. Deane and Sgt. G.D. Watkinson took off from Manston at 1929hrs on an anti-shipping mission, ditched 19 miles south of Dungeness. All crew killed.
03-05-1941No.101 Sqn Blenheim IV T1825 SR-Y crewed by P/O C.D. Brown, P/O C.H. Farvis and Sgt. A.J. Morgan took off from Manston at 1929hrs on an anti-shipping mission, was shot down by flak off Boulogne. All crew killed, but their bodies were never found.
04-05-1941No.601 Sqn Hurricane II Z2574 piloted by Sgt. Fearn crash landed at Manston after combat with a Bf109 on an ASR mission. Pilot wounded. The aircraft was later repaired.
15-06-1941No.110 Sqn Blenheim IV V6375 took off from Manston at 1830hrs on an anti-shipping operation over the North Sea. The aircraft was shot down by a Bf109E piloted by Ofw. Kurt Barein of 1./JG1, crashing into the North Sea at 1947hrs approx 60km west of Alkmaar, Holland. Pilot F/Sgt Arthur Edwin Guesford RAFVR (745814), Sgt Clifford Frank Shean RAFVR (935434) and Sgt Leslie Percy Charles Rolfe RAFVR (755505) all killed.
07-07-1941No.609 Sqn Sptifire W3313 piloted by F/L P.H.M Richey force landed at Manston. Pilot safe.
08-07-1941Sgt Germer of No.303 Sqn (PAF) in a Spitfire landed at Manston escorted by P/O Lipinski after being wounded whilst escorting 3 Sterlings near Dunkirk. Sgt Germer managed to claim one attacker before being hit.
12-07-1941Sgt. Wladyslaw Majchrzyk PAF (783296) of No.308 Sqn flying Spitfire P7629 crash-landed at RAF Manston after taking off from RAF Northolt for a Circus operation.
18-07-1941No.21 Sqn Blenheim IV V5595 YH-P crewed by Sgt. E.A. Goold, Sgt J.R.M. Kemp and Sgt. F.J. Soal took off from Manston at 1115hrs on an anti-shipping operation. It was shot down off Gravelines by Navy flak. All crew POW.
18-07-1941No.21 Sqn Blenheim IV V6369 YH-N crewed by Sgt. Bangor Jones, Sgt. Haskins and Sgt. Maguire took off from Manston at 1115hrs on an anti-shipping operation. It landed at 1150hrs with irrepairable damage, crew safe.
18-07-1941No.21 Sqn Blenheim IV Z7502 YH-R crewed by Sqn Ldr D. Graham-Hogg, Sgt J. Marsden and Flt Sgt. D.W. Wyatt took off from Manston at 1115hrs on an anti-shipping operation. It was shot down off Cape Gris-Nez. Sqn Ldr Graham-Hogg and Sgt Marsden POW, Flt Sgt Wyatt killed/missing.
19-07-1941No.242 Sqn with 4 cannon and 12 machine gun Hurricanes arrive from North Weald.
23-07-1941No.21 Sqn Blenheim IV V6035 YH-O crewed by P/O B.P. Ashby, P/O G.F. Lowes and P/O G.H Seeley took off from Manston at 1400hrs on an anti-shipping operation. It was shot down off Oostende. P/O Ashby and P/O Seeley killed. P/O Lowes POW.
23-07-1941No.21 Sqn Blenheim IV V6225 YH-W crewed by Sgt. N.J. Giblin DFM, Sgt. A.W. Handley and F/L H Waples DFC took off from Manston at 1400hrs on an anti-shipping operation. It was shot down off the Dutch coast with all crew killed.
23-07-1941No.21 Sqn Blenheim IV V6321 YH-Z crewed by Sgt. H.P. Hartridge, Sgt. K.B. Minty and Sgt. C.D. Phillips took off from Manston at 1400hrs on an anti-shipping operation. It crashed in the Scheldt Estuary with all crew killed.
23-07-1941No.21 Sqn Blenheim IV Z7438 YH-D from Manston, crewed by F/L Campbell-Rogers, Sgt. J.P. Sullivan and Sgt. D.E. Bingham shot down off Oostende on an anti-shipping mission. F/L Campbell-Rogers and Sgt. Bingham POW, Sgt Sullivan killed.
07-08-1941No.609 Sqn Spitfire W3240 piloted by F/L P.H.M Richey DFC was on Circus 20 mission to Mardyck when it sustained combat damage and force landed at Manston. Pilot safe.
07-08-1941No.107 Sqn Blenheim IV R3816 OM-J took off from Manston at 1755hrs crewed by P/O Harold Andrew Thomas Lind RAFVR (925050) and Sgt. Norman William RAFVR (63489) Paples, after repair work had been completed, but may have become airborne sooner than normal due to a bump in the grass airstrip. It commenced a right-hand turn at low speed and the undercarriage lowered as if the pilot was attempting to land again, but it stalled and crashed. Both crew killed.
18-08-1941No.18 Sqn Blenheim IV V6175 WV-G from Manston took off on a Circus 78 mission. The aircraft was hit by AA fire over the English Channel and crash landed at East Guldeford in Sussex. Sgt. Vernon Arkwright Stevens killed, Sgt. Lowe and Sgt. Vickers injured. Sgt Stevens buried in Hawkinge Cemetery.
02-09-1941No.139 Sqn Blenheim IV Z7274 crewed by Sqn Ldr Kevin Harrold Walsh, F/S Alfred George Hole and Sgt. George Henry Brook took off from Manston at 1023hrs on an anti-shipping mission off the coast of Belgium. The aircraft was hit by flak and seen to catch fire and dive into the sea. Sqn Ldr Walsh and F/S Hole killed, Sgt Brook missing.
10-09-1941No.242 Sqn sent to RAF Valley for rest. Replaced by No.615 Sqn
20-09-1941No.214 Sqn Wellington Ic R1712 BU-? crewed by Sgt. Avent, P/O Barnard, Sgt. Emmerson, Sgt. Harvey, Sgt. Kitney and Sgt. Nash took off from Stradishall at 1931hrs for mission over Berlin but were hit by flak near Munster and very severely damaged. On return they crash landed at Manston. Only the pilot was injured, but so severely that he was unable to continue his flying career.
20-09-1941No.214 Sqn Wellington MkII W5452 BU-U took off for Berlin from RAF Stradishall at 1924hrs. After a successful mission, low on fuel it was diverted to RAF Manston due to heavy fog at Stradishall. Whilst attempting an emergency landing, the Wellington crashed into trees. Pilot P/O Cyrill William Abrey RAFVR (69490), Sgt Laurence Douglas Kissack RAFVR (1169259), P/O John Benjamin Ruston RCAF (J/15002), Sgt John Aitken RAFVR (953705) and Sgt Ivan John Green RAFVR (1154443) killed, P/O White badly injured but survived.
24-09-1941No.101 Sqn Blenheims arrive at Manston to prevent enemy shipping passing through the Dover Straits.
25-09-1941The Prime Minister, Winston Churchill visits RAF Manston.
05-10-1941Wing Commander Ton Gleave arrives at Manston with orders to make it an operational station.
21-11-1941No.401 Sqn Sptifire Vb AD255 piloted by Sgt. C.R. Golden was on convoy patrol, but crash landed at Manston. Pilot injured. Aircraft struck off on 29th.
24-11-1941Hurricanes of 615 and 607 Sqns sent out to escort a Commando returning from France.
24-11-1941Two Curtiss Tomahawks of No.26 Sqn leave Manston on a photo-reconnaissance of beaches at Hardelot and Pointe de Lornel. Attacked a enemy training biplane but then attacked by Messerschmitt Bf 109s. Sqn Ldr Hadfield downed and rescued by launches.
15-12-1941No.253 Sqn's Flt Lt Richard Playne Stevens DSO DFC and Bar (87639) in Hurricane IIc (Z3465), credited with thirteen and a half aircraft at night without aids, reportedly left from Manston on an Intruder mission at 1940 hrs and crashed near Gilze-Rijen airfield in Holland. Pilot killed.
04-02-1942Six Fairey Swordfish torpedo bombers on 825 Sqn Fleet Air Arm under the leadership of of Lieutenant Commander Eugene Esmonde were moved from Lee-on-Solent to RAF Manston, as part of the readiness for Operation Fuller. Later on the 12th February they would take part in the Channel Dash.
11-02-1942825 Sqn Fleet Air Arm were stood down from their readiness status at Manston. Lt Cmdr Eugene Esmonde visits London to receive his Distinguished Service Order (DSO) from HM King George VI at Buckingham Palace for his part in the attack on the German battleship, Bismark, some seven months earlier.
12-02-1942Six Fairey Swordfish of 825 Sqn FAA commanded by Lt Cmdr Eugene Esmonde DSO take off from RAF Manston to attack the largest German battle fleet ever assembled, 'The Channel Dash'. All the aircraft are destroyed and only 5 aircrew rescued out of 18.
28-02-1942No.316 Sqn Spitfire Vb AD363R SZ-R piloted by P/O Tadeusz D. Dobrut-Dobrucki PAF took part in a Ramrod mission in the bombardment of Ostend, but abandoned after being damaged by a Bf109 near Manston. Pilot killed. Exact location not yet detailed.
03-03-1942First arrivals of the new WAAF Section arrive at Manston. They were accomodated at the Ursuline Convent in Westgate, with the officer in charge being a famous golfer, ASO Pam Barton. She would be killed later, aged 26 in an air crash at RAF Detling on 13 November 1943 when a de Havilland Tiger Moth EM902 in which she was a passenger hit a fuel bowser on take-off in bad weather. She is buried in Margate Cemetery.
12-04-1942No.41 Sqn Spitfire Vb AD477 piloted by P/O Roy Frank Cambridge was on Circus 122 mission to Hazebrouck railway yards. Crash landed at Manston, pilot injured. Some dispute in records over the forenames/initials.
12-04-1942No.303 Sqn Spitfire Vb BL926 piloted by F/L Z. Bienkowski PAF was on Circus 122 mission to Hazebrouck railway yards, damaged by FW190, engine cut out and crash landed near Manston.
25-04-1942No.403 Sqn took off from North Weald to act as part of the top cover for six Bostons. P/O Hurst, Yellow 4 was hit by 2 cannon and 1 machine-gun shell passing through his port wing. Staying with the Squadron back to England, he landed at Manston. He hit a soft spot in the field and nosed over, damaging the prop and receiving a slight head injury.
25-04-1942F/O Norman R.D. Dick of No.403 Sqn flying Spitfire Vb BL708 on a ramrod mission, collides with Spitfire piloted by P/O W Zoockhan. F/O Dick's propeller struck against Zookhan's port wing. With only two feet left on each propeller blade, Dick made a deadstick landing from 8,000 feet, crashing on landing at Manston and received a fractured skull. P/O Zoockhan was believed drowned.
07-05-1942First de Havilland Mosquito to be seen at Manston arrives for refuelling.
09-05-1942No.118 Sqn Spitfire Vb W3722 piloted by P/O Thomas from RAF Ibsley formed part of a close escort of no less than four Spitfire squadrons to 6 Boston III bombers tasked to bomb the railway marshalling yards at Hazebrouck. After the attack and on the way back, at 1335hrs, 118.Sqn was attacked from high altitude by at least 25 Focke-Wulf Fw190 and possible Bf109s of JG26. Amongst those hit, P/O Thomas was wounded and his aircraft severely damaged, but managed to make it back to RAF Manston where it crash landed.
19-05-1942No.121 Sqn Supermarine Spitfire BM578 Mk Vb piloted F/O N D Sintetos (TBC) by force lands at Manston after damage on operations. Repaired on site.
24-05-1942No.32 Sqn returns to Manston to take part in an Army exercise codenamed 'Tiger'.
24-05-1942A night fighter Mosquito arrives at Manston, which was soon surrounded by an admiring crowd.
29-05-1942Four Typhoons of No.56 Sqn arrive at Manston from Tangemere for an attachment of indefinite duration. The first Typhoons to be seen at Manston, they were the subject of some curiosity.
01-06-1942No.65 Sqn Spitfire Vb AB133 piloted by Sgt. V. Kopacek was amongst the Spitfires protecting eight Hurricane fighter-bombers forming Circus 179 carrying out an attack on a target near Bruges. The aircraft were attacked by Fw190s led by Major Gerhard Schopfel. Sgt. Kopacek also came under attack, but he managed to break free and landed a few minutes later at Manston with a shrapnel wound in his right thigh. His Spitfire was later classified Cat Ac although he resolutely maintained that the damage had been caused by flak and not by enemy aircraft. Kopacek's wingman F/L R.C. Brown was shot down before Kopacek was attacked and forced to bail out by the attack of Oberleutnant Johannes Schmidt. F/L Brown was picked up by motor launch after spending two and a half hours in his dinghy and taken safely back to Manston.
29-06-1942No.331 Sqn Spitfire Vb P8707 piloted by Sgt. Fredrik Arild Sverdrup Fearnley FAS crash landed at Manston after beiB442ng attacked by Fw190s on Circus 195 mission escorting a formation of Bostons on a bombing mission to Hazebrouck marshalling yards.
15-07-1942No.402 Sqn Spitfire Vb BM262 piloted by P/O W.Q. Dewar crash landed at Manston after twelve of No.402 Sqn were scrambled from Redhill to assist motor gunboats that were on a rescue mission in the Channel, but being attacked by Fw190s. Pilot seriously wounded.
19-07-1942No.121 Sqn Spitfire Vb BM578 piloted by Sgt. Nicholas Demetrius Sintetos force landed at Manston after being on unknown operations. The aircraft was later repaired on-site.
25-07-1942No.41 Sqn Spitfire Vb BM566 piloted by P/O S.R. Hoare (possibly Reginald Merrick 'Reggie' Hoare) landed damaged at Manston after a Rhubarb mission. Pilot injured.
25-07-1942No.41 Sqn Spitfire Vb piloted by Sgt. Leslie Alfred Prickett RAFVR crash landed at Manston after a Rhubarb mission.
29-07-1942First Lancaster to land at Manston came in from a raid on Saarbruchen. Six Mosquitos of No.23 Sqn attached to Manston.
18-08-1942North Weald Spitfire Wing under Wng Cmdr Scott-Malden arrived and briefed for operation against Dieppe the next day.
19-08-1942No.253 Sqn Hurricane IIc BP769 piloted by F/Sgt J.C. Tate was damaged and crash landed at Manston. Pilot injured. TBC - Other reports show this as Friston and not Manston.
19-08-1942Operation against Dieppe included nine sorties from Manston by Spitfires. 40 enemy aicraft destroyed or damaged, 9 Spitfires lost.
19-08-1942No.403 Sqn's Spitfire VB AR334 piloted by P/O Norman Mochier (J/15619) collided with Spitfire VB AR439 piloted by P/O John Edwin Gardiner (J/8140) also from No.403 Sqn, at St. Aubin-le-cauf whilst providing cover from the Luftwaffe at Dieppe. Both pilots killed in the mid-air collision and are buried next to each other in the St. Aubin-le-cauf Cemetery.
19-08-1942No.317 Sqn Spitfire Vb AR340 JH-P piloted by F/O Marian Cholewka landed damaged at Manston after combat with a Fw190 at Dieppe. Pilot injured.
23-08-1942No.23 Sqn Mosquito flown by Sqn Ldr Starr crash lands at Manston.
24-08-1942First Flying Fortress seen at Manston, lands badly shot up, with three aircrew injured after an attack on Le Trait shipyards.
26-08-1942Mosquito flown by FO Kaluger overshoots a practice night landing and collides with a steamroller.
28-08-194256 emergency landings in one night at Manston included damage to buildings. The scene of carnage led to the approval of the new runway.
28-08-1942No.218 Sqn Sterling I N3717 HA-S crewed by F/Sgt B.C. Bull, Sgt I.A. Campbell, P/O J.C.F. Du Toit, Sgt. Pool, Sgt S.V. Reeves, Sgt. W.V. Richardson and Sgt. G.A. Wishart crash lands at Manston after taking off from Downham Market at 2050hrs for operations over Nurnberg.
28-08-1942No.7 Sqn Sterling I R9158 MG-E crewed by Sgt. D.H. Jones, Sgt. J.W. Mackie, Sgt. R.H. Middleton, F/Sgt H.F. Russell and Sgt. N. Vickers crash lands at Manston after taking off from Oakington at 2038hrs for mission over Nurnberg.
02-09-1942A hedge-hopping Lysander out of RAF Manston crashes at Clifford's Farm, Althorne.
08-09-1942No.214 Sqn Stirling I R9355 BU-O crewed by P/O A.F. Arnold, Sgt. W.J. Dempster RCAF, Sgt. F.C. Fray, P/O C.D. Ince, Sgt. W. Johnson-Biggs, P/O R.S. Pearch, P/O C.J. Whittingham has an emergency landing at Manston after taking off from Stradishall at 2101hrs for mission over Frankfurt.
10-10-1942Manston attacked for first time in 18 months by two Fw190s. One is shot down by AA fire and crashed into the rear of 27 Wellington Crescent, Ramsgate. The pilot, Uffz Werner Schammert bailed out and was captured, then interned in Canada.
15-10-1942No.142 Sqn Wellington III DF642 QT-J crewed by Sgt. F.B. Hough, Sgt. G.T. Reyburn RCAF, Sgt. B.P. Shaddick RAAF, Sgt. E. Watcham and Sgt. E.C. Woolard left from Grimsby at 1900hrs for a mission over Cologne. It was hit by flak and crash landed at Manston on return. It ran into a parked No.320 Sqn Hudson EW918 and damaged it beyond repair. Crew unhurt.
25-10-1942No.137 Sqn Whirlwinds pursue four Fw190s a few miles off the coast of Dungeness during a shipping search. They were unable to prevent them bombing Littlestone-on-sea
26-10-1942No.142 Sqn Wellington III BK298 QT-L crewed Sgt. W.A. Gill (Pilot), Sgt. P. Bond, Sgt. N. Child, Sgt. W.E. Moore and Sgt. M.W. Sloan, had landed at Manston on return from Torino, but hit a hanger whilst taking off to return to Waltham. Only the pilot, Sgt W.A. Gill injured.
28-10-1942Two Whirlwinds of No.137 Sqn scramble at 1545 hrs to intercept enemy aircraft approaching Ramsgate. A Ju 88 was spotted but disappeared.
28-10-1942Air Marshal Trafford Leigh-Mallory visits 137 Sqn at Manston to alter their operations to offensive rather than routine shipping and defensive patrols.
31-10-1942Four No.137 Sqn Whirlwinds take off at 1100 hrs for attacks at Etaples and Camiers. Pilot Jowitt in Whirlwind P7115 hit by flak and not found. Pilot Waldron force landed and was captured, uninjured. Pilot Van Schaick P7064 crashed in the sea and was rescued.
31-10-1942Six No.137 Sqn Whirlwinds scrambled to 30 Fw190s with escort in an attack on Canterbury.
01-11-1942Two Typhoons of No.609 Sqn arrive at Manston from Biggin Hill.
01-11-1942No.332 Sqn Spitfire Vb AB848 piloted by Sgt. Edgar Hansen was damaged either in combat with an unknown German aircraft or by flak (references differ), landed back at Manston after a Ramrod mission.
02-11-1942Remainder of No.609 Sqn Typhoons arrive at Manston from Biggin Hill.
05-11-1942F/O Wells and W/O Stanley 'Joe' Spallin IN R76956 of No.609 Sqn, scrambled in Typhoons at 1153hrs after a Dornier bombing Deal. At Deal, the section is told to follow coast to Dungeness. Spallin disappears and hits a balloon cable at Dover and crashes into the water, with only a patch of oil found. Sgt Spallin Missing presumed killed.
08-11-1942No.350 Sqn Spitfire Vb piloted by F/O G.F. Deltour crashed at Manston after Circus 235 mission.
17-11-1942Sqn Ldr Beaumont of No.609 Sqn took a Typhoon to the Amiens area. This was the first time a Typhoon had taken part in a night work over enemy territory. Claimed Sqns first claim of one locomotive probably destroyed.
21-11-1942No.150 Sqn Wellington III BK538 JN-U crewed by Sgt E.O. Booth, P/O T. Howell, Sgt. J.H.N. Lisson, Sgt. L.J. Somerville, and P/O Julian Frederic Sweet crashes at Manston after taking off from Kirmington at 1910hrs on the 20th for a mission over Torino. Sgt. Booth injured but rest of the crew killed. F/O Sweet is buried in Minster Cemetery.
21-11-1942Two Whirlwinds of No.137 Sqn took off just before midnight to eventually attack seperately an electrical installation near Holque and a railway yard near Bourbourg.
21-11-1942No.571 Sqn Mosquito XVI PF379 piloted by F/O J.N. Campbell left from Oakington for a Pathfinder mission over Stuttgart, crash landed at Manston.
05-12-1942Manston strafed by four Fw190s. No damage, but one shot down off Calais.
06-12-1942At 0834 No.609 Sqn's F/O Wells and F/O Nankivell are scrambled. They are told of Fw190s attacking Lympne, but make no contact. Enemy activity had recently been on the increase, resulting in quite a lot of vectoring about. In the course of the day there are 7 standing patrols.
07-12-1942In the evening No.609 Sqn F/O's Creteur and Roelandt find themselves in the police station on account of the noise made by the formers car.
07-12-1942No.609 Sqn F/Lt de Selys returns from his month's captivity with the Air Firing School at Sutton Bridge. On his first patrol he reports sighting a large merchant ship off the French coast, unfortunately too late for anything to be done about it.
07-12-1942Pilots are accordingly taken aback when a new Typhoon arrives all the way from Dumfriesshire, flown by ATA pilot Mabel Glass - her first Typhoon flight. ('Very good for morale'! remarks the CO on returning). She stays the night, and F/Lt Atkinson announces that things have come to a pretty pass when even with a woman one can talk nothing but shop.
07-12-1942No.609 Sqn operational flying consists of 5 patrols, but weather is discouraging (though much warmer than of late) and on his way back from a visit to Predannock, the CO becomes stuck at Ford.
07-12-1942No.609 Sqn P/O Polek today goes on a 4-day course of 'liaison' with the Tank Corps near Ashford, but returns after two, announcing that he already 'knows it all' - an attitude that doubtless softened his departure in the eyes of the Tank Corps.
10-12-1942Four No.137 Sqn Whirlwinds take off at 1100 hrs to attack a petrol train arriving at Doullens. Low cloud forced them to abandon and seek alternative targets of airfields, flak posts and barges.
15-12-1942No.609 Sqn Typhoons and No.137 Sqn Whirlwinds scrambled from Manston to deal with five Focke-Wulfs.
15-12-1942No.609 Sqn Typhoon R8899 PR-X piloted by Sgt Turek hit tree on Rhubarb to Roulers.
17-12-1942No.609 Sqn F/O. Evans and P/O. Raw, on the last patrol of the day, are repeatedly told of the movements of bandits in the area south of Dover. All set to find them, they see two a/c approach from France, and getting on their tails, climb after them. Not sure of their identity, they hold their fire. F/O. Evans dives below to examine the markings of the one he is following. It ahs square wing tips - and it is too dark to distinguish markings. He has not heard any friendlies mentioned. The A/C turns back towards France, and convinced that it is an ME190E, Evans fires a short burst. Both A/C then open fire in head-on attacks, and after the third the other a/c catches fire and dives into the sea. It proves to have been a clipped-wing Spitfire - recent new equipment of 91 Sqdn at Lympne. Though signals have mentioned them, none have stated that they were being used operationally over the Channel. No one blames F/O. Evans - but chiefly the system that allows two separate sectors, independently and in ignorance of each other's action, to put two independent sections on to the same E/A
19-12-1942No.609 Sqn Typhoons and No.137 Sqn Whirlwinds from Manston dealt with four or five Focke-Wulfs bombing Sandwich. The patrol section of No.609 Sqn intercepted one part at Deal and two Whirlwinds on patrol took on another pair over the Goodwins. One of the best Typhoon pilots ever, F/O Raymond Lallemant 'Cheval' of No.609 Sqn in Typhoon R7855 PR-D scored his first victory off Deal at 1420hrs claiming the Focke-Wulf Fw190A-4 of Oberleutnant Muller of 10./JG26. Flt Sgt Alan 'Babe' Haddon damaged another Focke-Wulf before his guns jammed, two Whirlwinds claimed a probable and anti-aircraft guns at Deal took care of the fourth.
19-12-1942No.609 Sqn F/O. Evans, P/O. Raw and the I.O. today give evidence at the inevitable court of enquiry, held at Hornchurch, concerning the shooting down of the 91 Squadron Spitfire 2 days ago. Other witnesses are Hornchurch, Biggin and Swingate controllers, and the surviving pilot of the 91 section.
21-12-1942No.609 Sqn F/Lt. Atkinson and P/O. Raw, with railways south of Treport as their objective, take off at 1140hrs and become separated at Cayeux in 10/10 cloud at 2,000ft. Atkinson searches the rly from Gamaches to Hangest-sur-Somme, but finds no trains. Raw is luckier, finding a goods train on the Eu-Aumale rly, and after 3 attacks the engine is left. a mass of steam and smoke, and strikes are seen on the trucks. The pilots meet again on recrossing the coast E of Le Treport and get back at 12.42hrs. Enemy Casualties: 1 Locomotive Cat. B and rolling stock damaged (P/O. Raw)
22-12-1942No.609 Sqn Typhoon piloted by F/O John Christopher Wells damages a Ju88.
23-12-1942No.609 Sqn Typhoon R8837 PR-M piloted by Sgt A.P.N Davis and Typhoon piloted by F/O John Christopher Wells on morning patrol are told to go to some anti-submarine vessels 15 miles south of South Foreland as bandits were reported East of Dover. Near the coast Sgt Davis reports a dinghy. Wells tells Davis, his No.2 to remain as cover as he investigates. As he approaches he sees a large splash on his port bow, and calling up Sgt Davis receives no answer. Reports show Sgt. Davis was shot down and killed by Uffz Heinrich Schnell of 2/JG26 at 1110 hrs. The relieving section, F/O's Nankivell and Baldwin, are also ordered out to the boats, and again the No 1 goes to investigate the dinghy. This time the No 2 (F/O Baldwin) is attacked by one of the Hornchurch Spitfires patrolling the boats - from about 600 yds, with insufficient deflection. Baldwin calls, 'Stop firing at me, that bloody Spitfire'! Firing then ceases.
27-12-1942No.609 Sqn's chief activity is a Rhubarb by P/O. Raw and Sgt. Chef de Saxce, who leave in Typhoons at 11.38hrs with railways radiating from Abancourt in mind. On finding cloud down to 6/800ft. and visibility about 1,000yds, Raw wisely turns back.
27-12-1942Other flying being limited to one patrol and a flight by P/O. Raw to Biggin Hill in the Tiger, Intell. in the afternoon arranges a film show.
10-01-1943A wave of sickness, possibly flu affects No.609 Sqn including the C.O., F/O. Roelandt, F/O. Creteur and (soon) P/O. Raw.
11-01-1943No.609 Sqn has 3 patrols and 2 scrambles, none of which come to anything, although F/Lt de Selys and F/O Nankivell are followed about by 2 plus Germans, who seem minded to get another Typhoon somehow. Otherwise there is considerable shooting off of cannons off Clacton.
16-01-1943Albacore of No.841 Sqn developed engine trouble after take off, crash landed into the main guardroom. No one killed.
17-01-1943Whirlwind of No.137 Sqn flown by Fg Off Luing crashed and caught fire on take off. Pilot got clear before bombs exploded.
18-01-1943No.609 Sqn carries out 6 coastal patrols, 1 convoy patrol, 2 Scrambles and 3 intruders.
18-01-1943No.609 Sqn F/O Lallemand, on patrol, has an engine failure due to an internal glycol leak, and force lands in a ploughed field near Swingate. Pilot safe and returns to Manston by road.
18-01-1943In evening No.609 Sqn S/Ldr Beamont and F/L de Selys scrambled to patrol enemy aerodromes after 16 enemy aircraft activity against Dover. S/Ldr Beamont leaves at 2000hrs and attacks a Ju88 5 miles north of Dover - enemy is hit and smoke seen, but is lost in cloud. He subsequently immobilises a train SE of Gris and returns to Manston at 2036 hrs. F/S de Selys leaves at 2027hrs for an eventless mission to Chievres. F/O Roelandt sets out on a Belgian train-busting mission but returns after 12 mins after feeling unwell. Two enemy aircraft attempted Intruder operations over Manston with response by local defences.
20-01-1943F/O R Van Lierde of No.609 Sqn in Typhoon R8838 PR-N claims 1 Fw190 south of Dover.
20-01-1943A Typhoon from No.609 Sqn on its landing approach back to Manston shortly before 1300hrs was mistaken by Spitfires scrambled whilst the airfield was under attack. The pilot lowered his undercarriage just in time to avoid being shot down.
20-01-1943Sqn Ldr Beaumont of No.609 Sqn had taken off to defend Manston, but was attacked by Spitfires who fortunately missed him.
20-01-1943F/O Raw of No.609 in a Typhoon claims 1 Fw190 damaged.
20-01-1943F/L J.A. Atkinson of No.609 Sqn in Typhoon R8810 PR-R claims 1 Fw190 15 miles SE of Dover.
20-01-1943No.609 Sqn Flt Lt the Baron Jean de Selys Longchamps in Typhoon DN305 PR-M and Flt Sgt Andre Blanco in Typhoons attacked enemy trains and straffed Gestapo headquarters in Brussels. F/L de Selys claims 1 locomotive and F/S Blanc claimed two.
20-01-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon DN360 PR-A piloted by F/O J.R. Baldwin and Typhoon of F/O Creteur intercept eight Messerschmitt Bf 109s east of Manston. Four destroyed (three by F/O Baldwin), one damaged. The Typhoon of F/O Baldwin sustains Cat A damage but pilot unhurt.
20-01-1943F/O R.A. Lallemand of No.609 Sqn in Typhoon R7855 PR-D claims 1 Fw190 off the coast near Dymchurch.
21-01-1943No.609 Sqn F/Lt de Selys (on bail) and F/O Peter J. Nankivell in Typhoon R8838 PR-N (under police supervision) take off at 0823hrs on the first standing patrol. Enemy is reported 10 miles east of Deal. F/O Nankivell claims 1 Fw190 destroyed.
21-01-1943No.609 Sqn fly eight other patrols, on one of which F/O Baldwin hears two Spitfire pilots clottishly discussing whether the Typhoons they spy are Typhoons or Bf109s, also mentioning that Typhoons patrol in that area.
22-01-1943No.331 Sqn Spitfire IX BS144 piloted by Lt. Svein Heglund crash landed at Manston after an engine fire during Circus 253. Pilot safe.
22-01-1943No.609 Sqn carry out no less than 11 patrols, on 4 different patrol lines, including 1 from Ashford to Canterbury, the Spits that should be doing this being away on a sweep. 2 of the Sections land at 1810, when it is nearly dark. There is also 1 Scramble. Intruders are released at 2352. Otherwise the day is notable for the Typhoon at last emerging from its veil of secrecy and being splashed in the newspapers, as is the West Riding Squadron once more. The IO collects a good haul of cuttings.
23-01-1943For No.609 Sqn it was double patrols again, totalling 9, plus an abortive Rhubarb, led by F/O Lallemand, which returns owing to cloud being on the deck in Belgium. At 1940hrs men are released from duty, but at 2200hrs after going to the cinema 2 pilots come to readiness as defensive night fighters.
23-01-1943No.609 Sqn's S/Ldr Beamont DFC finally takes off at 2300hrs on a 'weather test' after a disagreement with the Group Commander who refused an earlier decision by him to go and get his 20th train. At Phien-les-Guines he claims his 20th, the engine on the 4th attack exploding into a cloud of steam 300ft high. Another train at Montreuil is lost in the haze, with cloud hampering the mission. He returns to Manston at 2340hrs.
24-01-1943No.609 Sqn carry out 4 patrols after which flying is stopped by fog.
26-01-1943Seven Hurricanes of No.3 Sqn led by Flt Lt Collins take off to return to Hunsdon, disbanding the Night Flight started in 1941.
26-01-1943No.609 Sqn ORB: 9 patrols and one unofficial Scramble when Ramsgate is bombed and 190's fly quite near the A/D. The CO visits Langley to fly an experimental A/C, returns without doing so. Has fun icing up in cloud, then using his de-icer.
30-01-1943Evening sees a session by No.609 Sqn at the Walmer Castle, with John Gale (who seems to have caused one) visiting from Hawkers. The Station Commander announces his intention of putting the Old Charles out of bounds, in case his pilots are lynched for failing to prevent the bomb next door. F/Lt de Selys, on the other hand, argues that the failure is a reprisal for the unwarrantable detention of himself and other pilots by the police.
30-01-1943Several scrambles today amongst the stormy weather and rain showers by No.609 Sqn partly down to activity by Fw190s but some seemingly imaginary, seemingly caused by a large enemy warship is suspected to be making its way down the Channel.
30-01-1943The only pilot who might have made any contact (i.e. with the Fw 190's which bombed and machine-gunned Ramsgate, scoring a hit near the Old Charles) is F/O Evans, who, taking off alone at 0844hrs, flies about with only a few feet to spare between cloud and the sea. 'I nearly hit a buoy' he reports.
30-01-1943Though F/Lt de Selys and F/O Nankivell of No.609 Sqn get off in one minute (thereby blowing their crews over) neither they nor subsequent patrols see anything, and believe that Swingate is suffering from 'specks in his eyes'. To find the enemy warship F/Os Renier and Baldwin are sent on a shipping recco from Gris Nez to Dieppe, they also meeting a lot of rain. Though Baldwin (accidentally) flies slap over Boulogne harbour, neither of them sees anything larger than a drifter.
30-01-1943In the afternoon F/O Peter Edward Raw of No.609 Sqn with some difficulty shoots down an escaped balloon, and several others are reported in the sea. For some reason the IO has to give an account to Group of all the days activities - whose, result, if the balloon be excepted, is precisely nil.
03-02-1943No.315 Sqn (Polish) Spitfire IX BS409 PK-B piloted by P/O Stanislaw Blok VM CV DFC, took off from RAF Northolt for a circus operation at St. Omer. After shooting down one enemy, Blok's aircraft was badly holed in the starboard wing by enemy aircraft which followed him as far as Manston. However, he made a perfect landing in spite of having the aileron and flap unserviceable. Those on the ground wondered why he came in so fast, but stopped wondering when they saw the aircraft. Blok had apparently tried to open his canopy to bale out, but it was stuck so he had to make it back to England. Pilot wounded.
03-02-1943No.21 Sqn Lockheed Ventura I AE910 YH-Y crewed by Sgt. B. Caunt, F/Sgt. J.L.H. Heagerty, P/O J.N. Jenkinson and Sgt. N.J. Coles took off from Methwold at 0957hrs on a Circus 258 mission and crash landed near Manston airfield.
05-02-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoons of F/O Nankivell and F/O Cameron take off from Manston at 0923hrs on a Dungeness Patrol. They spot 3 Fw190s approaching Eastbourne but on spotting the Typhoons they turn south and jettison their bombs. One is left at the rear and F/O Nankivell catches up with it and opens fire at 400yds. Closing further the Fw190 is hit and the pilot bales out with the aircraft crashing into the sea between Hastings and Fecamp. Immediately encountering two sets of three Bf109s which attack F/O Cameron without success. The aircraft are identified as Bf109Gs. Both pilots land back safely.
05-02-1943No.609 Sqn's F/O Evans leaves for Peterhead in northern Scotland to impart his experience to a new Typhoon Sqn there. His first plan - to go in 137's Oxford, piloted by twin-expert Nankivell - being frustrated by the non-availability of this, he reluctantly gets ready for a 2-3 day trip in the Tiger. Then someone reminds him there is also a Hurricane, and with a whoop of joy he takes off in this, though no-one seems to know if he has arrived or not for a few days.
05-02-1943No.609 Sqn's F/O Wells today adds another ring to his sleeve and takes over 'B' Flight. F/Lt de Selys temporarily drops a ring and goes as second in command to 'A' Flight. Everyone is very glad at his wish to remain in the squadron, a very creditable decision in the circumstances.
05-02-1943On patrols No.609 Sqn's F/O Renier and W/O Stevens endeavour to engage four Fw190s inshore of a convoy, but lose them in cloud; F/O Van Lierde frightens away a Spitfire firing at Baldwin.
06-02-1943No.609 Sqn ORB: Bad weather prevents flying in the morning, and the 1st patrol takes-off at 13:11, the total for the afternoon being 5, plus a Scramble. F/Lt Atkinson and colleague get to 14,000 feet, in good position to intercept E/A coming around by N. Foreland at 12,000 feet, but have no joy.
07-02-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoons of P/O Raw and Sgt Leslie take off from Manston at 1151hrs for Rhubarbs. When crossing the coast at Bray Dunes, they seperate. P/O Raw attacks and claims five locomotives, around Furnes, Dixmude, Thourout and Roulers, plus a barge on Canal de Loo. Sgt Leslie attacks trucks at a station north of Roulers, then another 8-9 trucks. He pulls up so violently to avoid a chimney, he appears to hit telegraph wires as some are later found in his radiator.
07-02-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoons of F/O Baldwin and F/O Nankivell take off from Manston at 1406hrs for Rhubarbs. Baldwin proceeds south of Bergues then east over Poperinghe and along the canal to Dixmude. Just South of there he hears Nanki call, 'I am behind you,' and sees him 1000 yards behind. He is not seen or heard from again. Baldwin attacks a string of four barges then three locomotives in a marshalling yard and another after travelling north west. NW of Dunkirk he attacks a gun post and soldiers. At the time F/O Nankivell was listed as missing but later on the 23/03/1943 the enemy reported that he had been killed.
07-02-1943No.609 Sqn CO S/Ldr Beamont is summoned to Hornchurch by the Under Sec. of State for Air, Capt Balfor. Beamont is congratulated on the squadron's success, and at the instigation of G/C Adnam puts on a nice aerobatic display, which is observed to continue as a sort of follow-through before he lands at base. He is then firmly ushered to Sick Quarters by the MO, and there put to bed for several days, much to his annoyance.
08-02-1943No.609 Sqn carries out 9 patrols of Dungeness and a scramble at 0834hrs. The CO (S/Ldr Beamont DFC) in the sick quarters is taken a bottle of medicine and a series of nude pictures by Lucas and Sopwith, which are duly hung at Dispersal.
09-02-1943At 0830hrs No.609 Sqn are called by Control to see if they can scramble to an enemy aircraft approaching the base at Manston, 15 miles away to the north. F/Lt Atkinson takes off at 0836hrs in driving rain and cloud down to 500 feet. His windscreen is so blurred by rain that forward visibility is practically nil. The aircraft is reported over Margate just as he is flying east along the south side of the airport. Turning to port, he sees a Dornier diving across it at 300 feet. He fires from the beam at 250 yards, then from astern at 800 yards as bandit goes into cloud. He sees a puff of black smoke, and the local gun crews, who are also engaging it, report they saw strikes - from the Typhoon. For 2 circuits thereafter, while trying to land, the ground defences turn their attention to the Typhoon. The noise awakens the IO. F/Lt Atkinson lands at 0859hrs after a very nice bit of interception. F/Lt Atkinson claims 1 Dornier 217 as damaged. No further flying on this day by 609. Details from No.609 ORB.He left No.609 Sqn in April 1943 after serving in the squadron for more than two years, an unusually long period to fly operations without a rest and longer than any other 609 Squadron pilot. When he left the squadron, having flown hundreds of hours in the RAF's latest fighters, he was still unable to drive a car.F/Lt John Alexander 'Alec' Atkinson was awarded the DFC in May 1943 for his 'keenness and devotion to duty'. After the war he embarked on a distinguished career in the Civil Service and was later knighted.Sir Alec Atkinson died 8 August 2015, aged 96.You can read his obituary here: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/11805997/Sir-Alec-Atkinson-airman-obituary.html
10-02-1943At 1655hrs No.609 Sqn F/Lt Wells and F/Sgt Stark are on the routine Dungeness patrol when 2 bandits are reported going south from Deal. Reaching South Foreland, Wells sees two Bf109s between Stark and the coast, and turns in behind them. The enemy aircraft spot him and drop down to 50 feet heading for Griz Nez some 400 yards apart. Wells is 800 to 1000 yards behind the second aircraft, with Stark the same distance behind him.With heavy rain, Wells can only keep them in sight through the quarter panels of his windscreen. Although closing quickly he knows there are only around three minutes before they reach the French Coast. He fires a few rounds to make the enemy weave, which he does, allowing him to close and destroy the aircraft.A further 800 yards ahead is the other enemy who is just visible. By Gris Nez the distance reduces to 400 yards. Again Wells fires to make the enemy weave. One of the port cannons stops, but the enemy rises over the cliffs before Wells fires off a final burst without success.
10-02-1943No.609 Sqn patrols on this day totalled 10 (Dungeness and North to South Foreland) and 1 scramble with no less than 4 sections becoming airborne before 0900hrs.
10-02-1943In the No.609 Sqn ORB, it records this entry today about the squadron's Goat Mascot: Significant: F/Lt Wells in the morning personally attended to the comfort of W/Cdr de Goat in his new Dispersal.
11-02-1943No.609 Sqn took part in 11 patrols, mainly of Dungeness. F/O Evans returns from Peterhead in the Hurricane, lands after dark in considerable mist after nearly following through to France. He was unable to receive on the R/T, causing much concern to a Northern Ops Room that fighters were put up to guide him to Acklington. Journey made in two hops, balloons at one point narrowly avoided. Details from No.609 Sqn ORB.
12-02-1943No.609 Sqn - 8 patrols and one Scramble.
13-02-1943From No.609 Sqn ORB: 11 patrols, all of N - S Foreland. On one of these F/Lt Wells sees 'glints' 6 miles to the East at sea level, about which controller has no information. He pursues, closing, and sees black exhaust smoke. Off Calais they pull up into cloud. Identification impossible owing to sun. F/O Roberts, trying to find his No 1, patrols the French coast in mistake for the English, but finds the sea on the wrong side. F/Sgt Haddon and Sgt Wiseman are about to land after another patrol when they are told of a bandit approaching Dover. Turning back, Haddon sees a Fw.190, silhouetted by the sun, turning at 14,000 feet Section climbs after E/A through thin cloud at 11,000 feet, and have reached 15,000 feet when 2 E/A are seen diving for France. CO pinches a Whirlwind from 137 and flies to Langley, where he abandons this A/C and returns in his beloved Typhoon 'G', adorned with black crosses denoting his score of E/A Destroyed, and 20 little puff-puffs to denote Locos. 'G', like other Typhoons, has undergone a tail-strengthening mod, which the CO celebrates on return with a pretty skittish series of aerobatics, to the delight of the ground crews, who have not seen much of this sort of thing since the departure of S/Ldr Robinson in 1941. Evidently S/Ldr Beamont has recovered from his sickness. Shortly afterwards Dispersal is graced by a visit of the Sec of State for Air, Sir Archibald Sinclair, with G/C Sir Louis Greig. He expresses his pleasure at 609's successes, and displays surprising knowledge of the Typhoons strengths and (former) weaknesses. The CO asks for more aircraft, more pilots. The IO then takes photographs, and F/O Lallemand lands just in time to be greeted and asked whether he has been on patrol. 'No, just visiting a friend,' says Cheval.
14-02-1943No.609 Sqn's F/O de Selys in Typhoon R8888 PR-Y and F/O Roy Payne in Typhoon R7845 PR-H take off and decided on a wide sweep to Calais then down to Cap Griz-Nez as they know the other section are with the MTB. As they turned south at Calais, they were attacked by three Fw190s flying north. F/O de Selys engaged one Fw190 which catches fire and crashed into the sea, but not without damage to the Typhoon's spinner and wings. Whilst returning from a chase of on of the other Fw190s, he spots three Bf109s and persues two into cloud again, hitting one which catches fire on the starboard fuselage and descends into the cloud still on fire.
14-02-1943No.609 Sqn's F/O Raymond 'Cheval' Lallemand in Typhoon R7855 PR-D and F/O Antoni 'Tony' Polek in Typhoon R8889 PR-X as Yellow Section, engaged with two flights of four German fighters. F/O Lallemand claims two Fw190s destroyed and F/O Polek on his first combat, claims two Fw190s probable.
14-02-1943No.609 Sqn's Sgt John George 'Johnny' Wiseman in Hawker Typhoon R7871 PR-S and F/Sgt Alan 'Babe' Haddon in Typhoon DN294 PR-O, take off from RAF Manston as Red Section in perfect flying weather. Red Section was tasked with close escort duties to a stricken MTB near Cap Griz-Nez that was being attempted to be recovered. The pair were both attacked by Fw190s and both seen to crash into the sea. Both pilots lost.
15-02-1943No.609 Sqn take part in 10 patrols plus 1 scramble. Which also becomes a patrol.C/O Sqn Ldr Beamont departs in Typhoon at 20:23hrs on an Intruder mission. After a heavy trip towards St. Omer, he passes Boulogne with seven searchlights coming up behind. He then patrols Abbeville - Le Treport - Dieppe Gamaches - Aurmale - Etaples without event. Near Villiers he finds a car with bright headlights and sets it on fire. He then sees two trains in a railway cutting and attacks both. On one he strikes all the trucks but the engine shuts off steam; the second is in a station and he attacks that four times, creating a column of steam when he hits the locomotive.F/L Wells patrols via Hazebrouck, then east between Wevricq and Menin where he attacks and destroys a goods train, attacking it twice and leaving it in shrouded in steam. West of Ingelmunster junction he attacks another train which explodes violently. Wells was concerned if he had been hit by the shrapnel from the explosion, but when he lands back at 21:15hrs, no damage is found.'NB A Spitfire with clipped wings, belonging to 91 Sqdn, is angry today at being chased about the Channel by F/O de Selys and F/Sgt Stark, even sending a report about it. Tit for tat at last.' ORB
16-02-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon piloted by F/O John Christopher Wells destroys a Messerschmitt Bf109G.
16-02-1943No.609 Sqn completes 10 patrols, all N - S Foreland, then Intruder sorties by Sqn Ldr Beamont, F/Lt Atkinson and F/O van Lierde.Beamont takes off at 22:34hrs and finds a lot of cloud, but no trains. He travels from St. Omer/Lumbres, Le Touquet then Abbeville - Amiens - Dieppe, but at times the cloud is to the ground and icing reported from 0 to 10,000ft. He lands back at Manston at 00:00hrs.Atkinson takes off at 22:56hrs and flies above the cloud before descending through a break north of a town, probably Bergues. He attacks a train there but does not observe the result, although the train stops in the town. He attacks a second fast travelling train and sees strikes on the engine, but breaks off when he is illuminated by searchlights and shot at by light flak. He lands back at base at 23:44hrs.F/O van Lierde travels deep into Belgium and has less trouble with cloud. He is shot at by Bofors guns at Dunkirk but proceeds to attack. He attacks one train four times between Leuze and Renaix, which stops even before his attacks, so he makes many strikes and steam; a second near Enghien which stops on his second attack with steam and a red glow; a third east of St Omer or Hazebrouck, again strikes and steam. By this time he has run out of ammunition.
21-02-1943No.609 Sqn: Mist worsens, and only flying is a weather test by the CO.
02-03-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon DN300 PR-W piloted by F/O Howard T. Skett along with F/O Baldwin take off from Manston at 15:41 hrs. They found Belgium littered with derelict engines from the last sortie - and that the flak guns had been brought to a high state of readiness! Skett got a Cat.B in a station north of Ypres and some tracer from a single gun. He pranged another just east of Dixmude, and the roof of a signal box which intervened. He then saw white tracer approaching head on from the fields and presently, despite evasive action, felt a thump at the rear of his Typhoon and found his elevator jammed in the climbing position and the engine spluttering at 140 I.A.S. After a mighty heave there was a grating noise and the stick moved forward. Holding it there with alternate hands, Skett got an emergency homing which took him through a large clear patch at 2,000ft over Dunkirk without a shot being fired. He then struggled back to Manston and landed, where the Typhoon was written off.
08-03-1943No.609 Sqn ORB: 12 patrols - convoy and N - S Foreland - plus 2 Scrambles, 1 to Dover. No incidents.
09-03-1943In the evening a Photographic Reconnaissance Unit Spitfire overshot when landing and crashed into the R & R's 900-gallon petrol bowser.
09-03-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon PR-R R8810 piloted by Sqn Ldr R.P. Beamont DFC was on patrol when the aircraft had engine trouble over the sea. He managed to just scrape over the cliffs when his engine stopped causing him to force land across a dip in a field near Deal hospital at 1745hrs. There, he was visited the next evening by F/Lt Atkinson who saw two very bloodshot and black eyes as the CO had cracked his head on the reflector sight and was suffering from concussion with some reports saying a fractured skull. Sqn Ldr Beamont continued to run the squadron from his hospital bed. The aircraft was used for spares. Sqn Ldr Beamont would return from sick leave on 29th March 1943.
09-03-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon PR-N DN481 piloted by Sgt Norman Booth RAFVR (1078687), aged 18, took off from Manston at 1429hrs to carry out an air-sea firing practice. It appears he performed some unauthorised low flying and aerobatics, with the aircraft apparently suffering structural failure causing it to break up and crashing at Great Knell Farm in Ash at 1450hrs. Sgt Booth was killed after serving just 13 days with the squadron and is buried in Penistone (Stottercliffe) Cemetery in Yorkshire.
09-03-1943No.609 Sqn: 11 patrols and 2 Scrambles. F/O Polek, over Deal, sights condensation trails at 30,000 feet over Dover.
10-03-1943No.609 Sqn ORB: 10 patrols and 1 Scramble at base. F/O Raw flies the Tiger to Heston to box in the evening for Fighter Command versus Ack Ack. Though he wins on points, his side loses by one point.
11-03-1943No.609 Sqn ORB: 7 patrols.
13-03-1943No.609 Sqn ORB: 14 patrols, all eventless. Final departure of F/O's Roelandt and Creteur, on posting to No. 10 Air Gunnery School, and a visit by Capt Balfour, Parl. Sec. for Air, and colleague. Several 609 pilots lunch at Doone House in their company, the IO returning from leave just in time for the free sherry.
15-03-1943No.609 Sqn ORB: Beginning of the mist phase. Flying is limited to 1 patrol, with Intruders at 60 minutes by night.
16-03-1943No. 609 Sqn ORB: Mist continues, 2 weather tests reporting 'mist and corruption' (roughly).F/Lt Atkinson and F/O Roberts try a patrol at 16:45, but in 20 minutes return discouraged.F/O Stevens takes-off with misguided enthusiasm on hearing the sirens (misguided because the CO has recently declared that permission must first be sought) but is only airborne 6 minutes.
17-03-1943No. 609 Sqn ORB: Similar weather. At 18:05 there is just one 10-minute Scramble by F/Lt Wells and F/O Cameron.Departure of F/Lt Humphreys on attachment to a ground attack instructors course.
18-03-1943No. 609 Sqn ORB: Pilots getting a little restive: unable to fly, and not released.F/Lt Atkinson and the IO go to Westgate to play golf, but give up the attempt on finding mist there even worse.A strange quiet reigns at Manston, broken only by the sound of the Hurricane taking F/O Evans to Hornchurch, and by the visit of F/O de Selys, bringing one of 3 Sqdn's Typhoons for a mod or repair evidently not obtainable at Hunsdon.Sudden recrudescence of interest in the Belgian Barouche when it is discovered that de Selys has outrageously taken this to Hunsdon. There are few pilots now who have even heard of the mythical vehicle. At least de Selys has frustrated the attempt of F/O's Creteur and Roelandt to take it to Barrow-in-Furness (set a thief to catch a thief!) Signal arrives asking why the above 2 pilots have not arrived after 5 days. F/O Lallemand reports they are finding it difficult to quit the capital.
19-03-1943No. 609 Sqn ORB: Patrolling weather once more, entailing 14 sorties - all eventless except that F/O Raw, with F/O Payne, again indulges his penchant for reporting black dinghies. Two sets of Rhubarbs both misfire owing to unfavourable weather.
21-03-1943Sortie by Lt Croome and Neale believed to be the first operational sortie by a Swordfish since operations against the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau on 12 Feb 1942.
23-03-1943No.609 ORB: Only flying is a weather test by F/O Payne, who finds it so bad that he lands at Hawkinge. New pilots receive instruction in escape from the IO, more civilian photos are taken, there is a showing of Fighter Command's latest combat films, a visit to local DF and Forward Transmitter Stations, and some photo-portraiture by the IO. 198 Sqdn fails to arrive.The enemy has now reported that F/O Nankivell was killed on his Rhubarb on 7/2/43.He is buried in Staden Communal Cemetery, West-Vlaanderen, Belgium.
25-03-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon DN560 PR-R piloted by F/O Baldwin shot down by Fw190 East of Ramsgate. He is rescued by a High Speed Launch from Ramsgate and taken to Ramsgate Hospital suffering from 2nd degree burns to hands, face and knees.
27-03-1943No.609 Sqn: 2 patrols, and no less than 3 Scrambles of base, 1 of 2 Sections. The weather however tends to resemble pea soup, and nothing of interest happens.
29-03-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon R8888 PR-Y piloted by Sgt H.W. Jackson suffered engine failure and crashed near Manston. Pilot lost.
01-04-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon DN619 piloted by W/O Barker shot down by flak 3 miles north of Dunkirk. Pilot posted as missing.
01-04-1943No.139 Sqn Mosquito piloted by F/O Talbot with observer Sgt Sleeman, appeared in the circuit after being badly damaged by enemy action. One engine had been feathered and artificial horizon, gryro, turn and bank instruments and TR9 radio were non-operational. Against the odds, F/O Talbot safely landed.
06-04-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon DN416 PR-P piloted by Sgt Van Zuylen van Nyevelt on the return back to Manston encountered engine failure, seen to make a 'perfect' ditch off Deal 1200hrs, but wasn't seen to get out. Pilot killed. Cheval maintains that he was given a ropey aircraft which had known engine problems, and worse, when he called the section leader - Remy ' Mony' Van Lierde - he was not told to bale out. Cheval has never forgiven Van Lierde as Etienne was a very good friend.
09-04-1943A meeting was held at Manston about the current status of the bouncing bomb trials to be held at Reculver. Lt Cdr Leo Lane reported in his diaries that there were 18 unbalanced Stores (test bombs) and 4 from Vickers that had been balanced. Balancing gear was to follow in 4 to 5 days. 1 Wellington and 1 Mosquito were at Manston. 1 Lancaster to follow on the 10th and another Mosquito.
10-04-1943No.90 Sqn Stirling III BF471 WP-L crewed by Sgt. N.J. Coles, Sgt. W.E. Edwards, Sgt. H.D.F. Hine, Sgt. E. Jones, P/O F.R. Pugh, Sgt. D. Rosser and Sgt. S. Tomany took off from Ridgewell at 0037hrs for a mission over Frankfurt. Crash lands near Manston.
10-04-1943By this day, 20 test Upkeeps and Highball bouncing bombs had reached Manston for the upcoming testing at Reculver. Barnes Wallis, the inventor of the bombs took off in a modified type 464 Lancaster from Farnborough at 4pm for the trip to Manston.
11-04-1943A briefing was held at Manston hut 28 for those involved in the Bouncing Bomb tests.
12-04-1943Wing Commander Guy Gibson and F/L Bob Hay head to Manston to watch the bouncing bomb trials. With the bombs not yet ready, they visit Margate. All the hotels were closed, Dreamland an army barracks and barbed wire along the beach. They resort to fish and chips.
12-04-1943No.609 Sqn ORB: 7 patrols during the morning period of Readiness, including the Barrow Deep convoy patrol. Kapt Haabjoern and colleague are shot at by the guns off Deal - a thing which hasn't happened for some time.
13-04-1943In the morning, the first trials of the bouncing bombs started at Reculver. Two Highballs (designed to be used against enemy shipping and not the dams) were dropped by a No.618 Sqn Mosquito but both bombs broke up. Gibson and Hay arrive to accompany Barnes Wallis and others to observe. A Wellington drops its first of two bombs that day (the 'middle' size), the outer casing shatters but the outer casing continues to spin and bounce.The Type 464 Lancaster first drops from too high and the Upkeep dissapears after hitting the water.
13-04-1943The bouncing bomb observation party travels back to Manston as an Upkeep was further strengthened for test in the evening back at Reculver. Gibson and Hay take off in No.137 Squadron's Miles Magister T9908 but the engine stops over Margate. They crash into a field, wrecking the aircraft.After 1900 the second run by the Lancaster drops from just 50 feet - the Upkeep shatters but again the cylindrical core continues to bounce on.
14-04-1943No.76 Sqn Halifax II DT698 MP-W crewed by Sgt. J. Carrie, Sgt. S.M. Davis, Sgt. R. Huke, Sgt. E.L. McVitie, Sgt. G.B. Thomason, Sgt W.W.A. Wanless RCAF and Sgt. M.F. Weir crash lands at Manston after taking off from Linton on Ouse at 2118hrs for mission over Stuttgart.
16-04-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon R7855 PR-D piloted by Sgt R.W. Aitken-Quack destroyed in landing accident at Manston after carrying out a defensive patrol between 1336 hrs and 1440hrs. Pilot safe. Aircraft assesses with Cat B damage. In the No.609 Sqn ORB it recorded 'Sgt Aitken-Quack prangs his undercarriage owing to the official runway being partially crosswind and the failure of the pilot to correct the resultant swing.'
17-04-1943Bouncing bomb trials at Reculver planned today are postponed because of poor weather.
18-04-1943Wg Cdr Sheen hands over command of Manston to Wg Cdr Raphael.
18-04-1943The Type 464 Lancaster is flown by Joseph 'Mutt' Summers at Reculver. On the first run, the Upkeep bounces once and disappears. On the second run, it disintegrates. On the third run at 1330, the casing disintegrates but again the core bounces for some 700 yards. Over lunch Barnes Wallis decides to abandon the outer casing.
21-04-1943Another test of the cylindrical form of the Upkeep at Reculver.
22-04-1943Barnes Wallis again present at Reculver to see another Upkeep tested, but it shattered and sank.
26-04-1943No.105 Sqn Mosquito crash lands at Manston at 1119hrs after being hit by flak over Tours in France. Its port wing tip, engine nacelle and fuselage were badly damaged and the pilot had lost all his instruments, electrics and hydraulics.
27-04-1943Guy Gibson and his crew, plus Sqn Ldr 'Dinghy' Young fly in to Manston in Lancaster 'H'. It became a round trip back to Scampton, but reasons are as yet unknown.
27-04-1943An Armstrong Whitworth A.W.38 Whitley from 24 OTU (Operational Training Unit) landed at Manston at 0352hrs after the pilot became lost after losing the artificial horizon and other vital instruments.
28-04-1943Barnes Wallis drives down to Kent, picking up Admiral Renouf for two days of trials at Reculver.
30-04-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon R8883 PR-K piloted by P/O Van Neste dived into sea 3 miles east-south-east of Dover 0645 hrs. Pilot killed.
30-04-1943Upkeep again trialled at Reculver, but it veers to the side.
01-05-1943Guy Gibson and his crew flies to Manston in Lancaster 'H', presumably to witness the trials, but the weather was bad and the sea was rough. The Upkeep barely ran at all.
02-05-1943Last of the Highball trials at Reculver. At Scampton, P/O Watson reports to Guy Gibson of the security breaches whilst at Manston about the objectives, which were meant to have been Top Secret.
04-05-1943Guy Gibson flies to Manston in Lancaster 'B'.
05-05-1943Sqn Ldr Beamont hands over command of No.609 Sqn to Sqn Ldr A. Ingle after leading the unit for six months.
06-05-1943Barnes Wallis travels to Manston with 'Mutt' Summers to watch 'Shorty' Longbottom drop the second of two Upkeeps at Reculver but it bounces short. Back at Manston it is clear that the caliper arms have become badly aligned.
07-05-1943Guy Gibson and his crew in Lancaster 'V', plus F/L Norm Barlow and F/O Charlie Williams fly down to Manston. Barnes Wallis oversees the realignment of the caliper arms before hurrying to Reculver to watch two further tests. Both ran well with little or no deviations.
08-05-1943Guy Gibson arrives at Manston in a Vega aircraft with F/L Cox, arriving from Hendon and departing for Scampton.
09-05-1943More than 20 Typhoons of No.124 Wing arrive at Manston from Hurn to take part in a long-range fighter sweep mission in areas over Knocke, Rheims and Grandvilliers.
11-05-1943No.617 Sqn pilots start testing Upkeeps at Reculver. First up were Gibson, Hopgood and Martin. Gibson's Upkeep bounces for 600 yards hitting the shore between the two screens erected on the shore to simulate the dam target. Barlow also dropped successfully.Barnes Wallis after watching the tests drives to Manston to meet the three crews before they travel back to Scampton.
12-05-1943More No.617 crews head to Kent, again landing at Manston before their runs including F/L Shannon in ED-929 'AJ-L'. His bomb aimer, F/Sgt Len Sumpter misjudges and drops the bomb too early. F/L Les Munro flies in too low and the spray from the Upkeep knocks a piece of fairing from the bomb bay. Their Lancaster would be repaired in time for their part in the Sorpe dam attack.
13-05-1943'Shorty' Longbottom flew out to sea and dropped a live Upkeep filled with Torpex from 75 feet, flying in a South West to North East direction, five miles off Broadstairs. This was the first drop of a Live Upkeep and was observed by Guy Gibson in a second Lancaster. The Upkeep bounced seven times for about 800 yards without deviation, then sank. A moment later the explosion from about 33 feet down, sent a plume of water nearly 800 feet into the air. It was a complete success.
13-05-1943More No.617 crews head to Kent to carry out bouncing bomb trials, including Sqn Ldr Henry Maudsley in ED-939 'AJ-Z' which suffers worse damage than Munro's the day before. Their aircraft would not be repaired in time for the mission. In between the Squadron's runs, the pilots from Vickers would continue their own test runs.
14-05-1943Cats-Eyes' Van Lierde from No.609 Sqn set off from Manston in a new role for a Typhoon, carrying bombs, dropped on a rail yard. On way back shot down Heinkel III.
14-05-1943Signals were received at Manston that No.198 Sqn was to move to Woodvale on the west coast of Lancashire. Most of the pilots and aircraft was at Martlesham on an air-firing exercise, so were ordered to proceed directly to Woodvale. The remainder at Manston would be responsible for packing kit and effects of all of the Squadron for transport to Woodvale.
14-05-1943News was received at Manston that Sqn Ldr Beamont was to be awarded the DSO, DFC and Bar by the King on the recommendation of the AOC of Fighter Command. He would be promoted to Wing Commander.
15-05-1943Another test of an Upkeep was carried out. It was live but unarmed and dropped from 4,000 feet to make sure it wouldn't split and explode on impact. The test again was successful.
16-05-1943On the night of 16th/17th May 1943, No.617 Sqn left Scampton for Operation Chastise, to bomb the dams of the Ruhr Valley with the bombs designed by Barnes Wallis and that had extensive testing at Reculver and worked on at Manston.
16-05-1943Two Republic P-47 Thunderbolts from USAAF 84 Sqn based at Duxford piloted by 2Lts Barba and Dowling land at Manston after Barba was badly wounderd in his left arm and suffering from shock. His Thunderbolt had Cat B damage and he was taken to Margate hospital to remove a number of bullets.
16-05-1943Four Typhoons of No.609 Sqn take off at 0515hrs for a Roadstead mission to Flushing and Ostend.
18-05-1943No.609 Sqn ORB: Return to day Readiness. At 16:01 there is a convoy patrol of Barrow Deep, at 20:00 a Scramble, followed by 2 more convoy patrols, one of them dusk.By night there are another 4 Intruder sorties, all more or less at the same time.P/O Geerts (02:30-03:50) takes-off on the run to Poix, but instead finds (it is believed) Moyencourt nearby. This is studded with fresh bomb holes, suggesting others have also made an error. He attacks a train in a railway cutting just near it, which opens its furnace door. On his first attack it stops and hides apparently in a tunnel.F/Sgt Leslie (02:35-03:53), sent to Abbeville and Amiens, finds the former dead and the latter lighted. It douses after a minute, and there is no further activity at either. He attempts bombing, sees a blue flash, but is surprised to find his bombs still on after landing - the usual finger-in-glove trouble.F/Sgt Stark (02:44-03:40) patrols Le Touquet and Berck A/D's. Both of these have been obstructed for some time, so it is not surprising that no activity is seen.Finally Kaptein Haabjoern (02:43-03:48) is despatched to the Lille airfields. Finding little of interest, he changes his mission to a night Rhubarb and drops a bomb on each of 2 trains near Lille and Bethune. The first scores a near miss on the engine, which stops, the second is not seen to explode, but this train also stops, and he follows up with cannon, seeing strikes and increasing steam. Meanwhile S/L's and light Flak have got busy. He returns via Le Touquet after a good round trip.Enemy Casualties: 1 Loco Cat C (P/O Geerts - Belgian) 1 Loco Cat B - bombs and cannon (Kapt Haabjoern - Norwegian) 1 Loco Cat C - 1 x 250lb bomb Our Casualties: Nil
19-05-1943Roy Payne of No.609 Sqn dropped 2 bombs on a runway at Glisy, shot up train at Amiens.
01-06-1943After midday, two Typhoons from 609 Sqn scrambled to investigate shipping. Spotted three Fw190s part of twelve attacking Margate to Broadstairs. Flt Lt Wells shot down two, F/O Idwal Davies three. One Fw190A - 5, WerkNummer 52529 of Unteroffizzier Otto Zugenrucker, fell near Manston at Lydden and pilot burried in Margate Cemetery. Wells was awarded the DFC.
01-06-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon DN360 PR-A piloted by FL E. Haabjoern hit by flak off Dutch coast and wheels up at Manston. Pilot safe.
01-06-1943No.609 Sqn with eight Typhoons set out in a strike against coastal shipping, in two groups led by Sqn Ldr Ingle and Flt Lt Habjoern.
09-06-19433 Sqn Typhoon DN409 QO-O piloted by FO B.S. Lumsden suffered engine failure on take off and wheels up at Manston. Pilot safe.
11-06-1943Typhoons of No.3 Sqn move to Manston from RAF West Malling.
12-06-1943Hawker Hurricane Ivs of No.184 Squadron arrive from Matlask.
13-06-1943No.182 Sqn Typhoon R8929 XM-H piloted by Sgt D.H. Castle suffers tyre burst on take off and wheels up at Manston. Pilot safe.
19-06-1943Six No.137 Sqn Whirlwinds flew from Manston to attack airfields of Amiens-Glisy, Piox and Abbeville.
20-06-1943Brand new, latest mark Fw190 of 1./SKG-10 flown by Unteroffiyier Werner Ohne lands after raid on London when low on fuel.
21-06-1943Five No.137 Sqn Whirlwinds fly from Manston to attack Poix airfield. One pilot failed to find the airfield and bombed a stationary freight train near Rue.
08-07-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon DN586 PR-N piloted by FO I.J. Davies suffered engine failure on take off and wheels up at Manston. Pilot safe.
08-07-1943No.3 Sqn Typhoon DN523 QO-T piloted by FO J.L. Foster destroyed in landing accident at night at Manston. Pilot safe.
19-07-1943No.119 Sqn re-formed at Manston with Albacores, used for anti-shipping patrols at night.
20-07-1943609 Sqn release to celebrate Belgium's National Day at the Savoy at the specific invitation of the Belgian Government.
21-07-1943The first two Meteors (EE213 and EE214) were transferred to RAF Manston from Culmhead, as officially did No.616 Squadron, still operating Spitfires.
22-07-1943No.609 Sqn left Manston for Matlask and replaced the same day by 56 Sqn. 609 Sqn would return often in August for operations.
15-08-1943Aircraft from Manston account for five locomotives, five rail trucks, two barges, a railway bridge and an airfield building.
15-08-1943Flt Lt Baron Jean Michel P.M.G de Selys Longchamps DFC formerly of No.609 Sqn but moved to No.3 Sqn after his raid on the Gestapo headquarters, was killed at Manston when his Typhoon QO-X crashed returning from a sortie over Ostend. It is a possibility that the aircraft was damaged by flak. He is buried in Minster cemetery close to the airfield.
16-08-1943No.3 Sqn Typhoon Ib EJ950 QO-X piloted by F/L Baron Jean Michel de Selys suffers structural failure, breaking into two and crashes on approach to Manston after a scramble in the morning from Manston. Pilot killed and buried in Minster Cemetery.
18-08-1943No.3 Sqn Typhoon H/JP586 piloted by FO R Schwarz lands wheels up at Manston. Pilot Safe.
23-08-1943No.198 Squadron with Hawker Typhoons arrives at Manston from Bradwell Bay.
01-09-1943Aircraftwoman 2nd Class Joan Mary Coveney McDonald WAAF (2146992), aged 18 was based at Manston HQ was kiled in a road traffic accident in Westgate. McDonald is buried in Minster cemetery.
03-09-1943No.3 Sqn destroy steamer ship and a dredger, leaving others in flames.
10-09-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoon JP508 TP-F piloted by F/S H Donaghty, shot down by flak North of Sluis. Pilot POW.
10-09-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoon MP116 TP-T piloted by F/L Desmond Palmer-Perrin RNZAF, tyre burst on take-off and crashed at Merville B.35. airfield Pilot killed.
17-09-1943No.3 Sqn Typhoon JP724 piloted bt FL G.L Sinclair, destroyed in night landing accident at Manston. Pilot safe.
20-09-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoons leave Manston in the afternoon to attack trains and other targets in the Bray-Dunes and Roeselare region in atrocious conditions. F/O B248 hit by flak during the attack, came down in the Rouen area at 1435hrs and became POW. Fl/Sgt Ronald Frederick Broad (1336532) hit by flak and was killed when his aircraft crashed at Vladslo at 1445hrs.
27-09-1943Seven No.3 Typhoons and Nine No.198 Typhoons led by Sqn Ldr Bryan took off from Manston at 0715hrs and 0718hrs respectively to attack shipping around the Dutch Islands. In low cloud and poor visibility, No.3 Sqn claimed category I one tug and one barge, category II - one 800 ton coaster and one tug and category III one barge. Two No.198 pilotes hit by flak and baled out. Sqn Ldr Bryan was hit by flak in the starboard outer ammo container which blew a hole two foot in diameter in the upper and lower surfaces which initially cause a spiral dive. Managing to return to Manston, he made three circuits before he could turn tight enough to position to the runway. Just at the point of touching down, at 140mph, the right wing stalled causing the right wheel to land, turning the plane to the right with the wing tip scraping along the ground.
27-09-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoon JP840 TP-? piloted by P/O Benjamin Franklin Gilland RCAF hit by flak and baled out near Schouwen. Pilot POW in Stalag 357
27-09-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoon JP837 TP-P piloted by Sgt James Athol Colvin RCAF hit by flak and baled out near Schouwen. Pilot POW in Stalag Luft IV Sagan and Belaria.
04-10-1943Eight No.3 Sqn Typhoons led by Sqn Ldr R.Hawkins and eight Typhoons of No.198 Sqn led by Sqn Ldr Bryan took off from Manston at 1055hrs, to carry out shipping attacks in the Oosterschelde and the Hollandsche Diep respectively. No.3 Sqn Mk.1B JP755 piloted by F/L George Leslie Sinclair was hit by Flak and seen to crash-land on Overflakkee near Herkingen at 1133hrs. Pilot POW. The squadron claimed one barge and a tug category I and six barges, two tugs, one coaster and one E/R Boat category II. No.198 Sqn Typhoon JP791 TP-C piloted by S/L Clifford C.Francis Cooper, hit by flak and baled out North West of Klundert. Pilot POW.
03-11-1943No.198 Sqn took off at 0850hrs to attack gun positions south of Veere. Typhoon MN702 TP-F piloted by F/O J.L Allan was hit by flak whilst diving at the target. Black smoke began pouring from his engine and he immediately turned and flew towards Zuid-Beveland which is held by our friendly troops. F/Sgt. Sellman accompanied him and saw F/O Allen make an unsuccessful forced landing resulting in considerable damage to the aircraft. Troops removed F/O Allan but assumed killed.
03-11-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoons took off again at 1605hrs with section of twelve aircraft led by CO Sqn Ldr A.W.Ridler to carry out FCP operations. On arrival over the Flushing area the conditions worsened, with aircraft recalled to base, where the cloud had descended to 1000 feet.
03-11-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoons took off again at 1155hrs with a section of four led by F/L Kirsch, to attack a jetty in Flushing harbour acting as an enemy strongpoint.
25-11-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoon JP509 TP-A piloted by F/O A.R.F Jones, hit by flak whilst on a Ramrod mission and crashed 8 miles off Ventnor. Pilot killed.
30-11-1943No.198 Sqn's Sqn Ldr Bryan led sweep over Dutch bases used by the Luftwaffe. At Deelen four Fw190s and a JU88 destroyed, one Fw190 damaged. Damaged two tugs and two barges on the way home.
01-12-1943Manston involved with a Fortress withdrawal, with 125 aircraft landing in two and a quarter hours.
01-12-1943No.198 Sqn's Sqn Ldr Bryan led long range sweep, destroying a Fw190, damaging another, hitting a tug and shot up a German parade.
02-12-1943Hawker Typhoons of No.198 Sqn from Manston were accompanied by No.609 Sqn Typhoons operating from Lympne on a sweep accounted for no less than eleven enemy aircraft.
14-12-1943No.137 Sqn Hurricanes move from Manston to RAF Lympne.
14-12-1943No.609 Sqn of Typhoons move from RAF Lympne to Manston.
20-12-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoon JR316 TP-? piloted by F/L Victor Smith DFC, RAFVR (128365), crashed onto the bank of the river Waal, west of Dreumel (Netherlands) at 1040hrs due to engine failure. The squadron was reportedly escorting American 8th USAAF bombers on their return journey from a mission to Bremen. Pilot killed. He was 28 and is buried in Uden War Cemetery, Plot 5, row C, grave 3.
21-12-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon P674 PR-D piloted by F/O C.W.Milller, shot down by P47s near Doullens (France). Pilot killed.
21-12-1943No.609 Sqn Typhoon R8845 PR-Z piloted by S/L P.G.Thornton-Brown, shot down by P47s near Doullens (France). Pilot killed.
30-12-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoon JP670 TP-V piloted by S/L J.H.Chrystall suffered engine failure and force landed near Sandwich. Pilot safe.
31-12-1943No.198 Sqn Typhoon JP652 TP-T piloted by F/O W.R. Widdess and JP727 TP-Y piloted by F/O K. Johnson collided with each other mid-Channel. Both pilots lost.
01-01-1944No.198 Sqn Typhoon 1b piloted by W/O J Allen RCAF crash lands back at Manston after the attack on Boulogne Harbour.
01-01-1944No.609 Sqn back at Manston under Sqn Ldr Wells joined forces with Sqn Ldr Baldwin with No.198 Sqn for attack on a blockade runner at Boulogne.
02-01-1944No.609 Sqn and No.198 Sqn Typhoons destroy two Focke-Wulfs a Messerschmitt and a Bucker 131.
03-01-1944No.609 Sqn and No.198 Sqn Typhoons destroy two Messerschmitt Bf 109s and damaged two more on a full ranger programme, destination at Juvincourt Airfield, taking off at 1143hrs.
04-01-1944No.609 Sqn Typhoon JR374 piloted by F/O Georges Joseph Chislain Daix (138838), a 30 year old Belgian pilot, was probably hit during the air battle and had engine trouble. He reached the North Sea but was forced to ditch off Ostend. The Typhoon disappeared under the waves with its pilot, who was never found again and is commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial.
09-01-1944No.10 Sqn Halifax III MZ847 ZA-A crewed by Sgt. P.J. Bunnell, Sgt. K.C. Davis, F/Sgt. R.S. Marks RAAF, Sgt. W. McDonagh, Sgt. H. McHugh, F/Sgt. F.H. Simpson RAAF, W/O R.G. Thorne RAAF force landed and damaged in a field near Manston after taking off from RAF Melbourne in Yorkshire at 0611hrs for mission over Lumbres. All crew safe.
13-01-1944No.198 Sqn Typhoon JR435 TP-E piloted by P/O M.Laman, shot down by flak near Juvincourt (France). Pilot killed.
13-01-1944No.198 Sqn led by Sqn Ldr Baldwin and former CO Sqn Ldr Bryan shot down four enemy aircraft. Others in 198 Sqn shot down further four.
14-01-1944No.609 Sqn Typhoon JR375 PR-B piloted by P/O J.G McLaughlin, suffered engine failure and force landed East of Helmond (Netherlands). Pilot evaded.
20-01-1944No.198 Sqn Typhoon 1b JR361 piloted by F/Lt R.O. Curtis was hit by flak and crashed near St-Omer. Pilot killed.
02-02-1944No.609 Sqn Typhoon EK121 PR-U piloted by F/O James Alexander Stewart (128449) DFC RAFVR destroyed in landing accident when the aircraft stalled at Manston. Pilot safe.
20-02-1944No.166 Sqn Lancaster III LM382 AS-Q crewed by Sgt. W. Birch (Air Gunner), P/O J.H. Catlin (Pilot), Sgt. T.P.F. Hall (Wireless Op), Sgt. T. Powers (Air Gunner), P/O A.W. Pragnell (Navigator), P/O F.C. Sim (Bomb Aimer - RCAF) and Sgt. H.C. Wright (Engineer) crash lands at Manston at 0605hrs after taking off from Kirmington at 2340hrs on the 19th, for a misson over Leipzig. They were attacked by night fighters on the outward trip and were unable to complete their mission because of the damage and injuries, so jettisoned their bomb load before returning. All crew injured, Wright and Powers badly, plus aircraft wrecked.
18-03-1944No.197 Sqn Typhoon Ib JR247 piloted by F/L J.C. Button crashes at Manston after a Rodeo mission.
21-03-1944No.183 Sqn Typhoon MN247 TP-T piloted by Flt Lt Peter Edward Raw DFC took off for fighter sweep over occupied area and Germany. Possibly hit mast of a ship at Afferden, or hit by flak. Aircraft crashes, pilot lost. F/L P.E. Raw is buried at Eindhoven - Woensel Cemetery, plot No. K K Grave No. 14.
23-03-1944No.312 Sqn Spitfire IX MJ893 piloted by P/O F. Miejnecky force lands at Manston after combat with Fw190 near Ostend during Ramrod 678. Pilot safe.
28-03-1944No.9 Sqn Lancaster III LM432 WS-O piloted by P/O K.L. Porter and with Cpl Wilfred Linley RAFVR as passenger (other crew not confirmed) left Manston at 1900hrs for transit, but crashed at Fir Grove Farm near Horncastle, Lincolnshire in very poor weather with limited visibility. Both crew killed.
05-04-1944New runway at Manston brought into operation. In first three weeks in operation, 56 emergency landings took place.
07-04-1944No.605 Sqn moves to Manston. Most of the aircrew were accommodated in a large house (Hurlingham Lodge) on the sea front at Westgate taking their meals at nearby Doon Hall. Three days later a new CO was welcomed when W/Cdr Norman John Starr DFC took over from Sammy Hoare who left to take up a posting in 100 Group.
17-04-1944Battle-damaged B-17 Flying Fortress lands at Manston TBC
18-04-1944No.605 Sqn scrambled in Mosquitos to attack hostile aircraft showing interest in the airfield, one enemy shot down.
24-04-1944546th Bombardment Squadron (Heavy) B-17, piloted by 2nd Lt Charles Fred Gowder landed at RAF Manston after a mission against Dornier factories in Germany. Gowder and three others of the crew were wounded, with Navigator 2nd Lt Vincent J. Fazio and Gunner Sgt. Robert Stephen Higgins killed. Despite being wounded Gowder and the crew completed their bomb run. Despite loss of oxygen forcing low altitude and attacks by enemy fighters, they managed to return to England and land at Manston. Gowder was awarded the DFC, rear gunner S/Sgt James E. Williamson the Silver Star.
24-04-1944359th Fighter Group Republic P-47 Thunderbolt 42-75068 'Daddy's Girl' piloted by Raymond Shuey Wetmore force landed at Manston. 'Daddy's Girl' was named after his daughter, Diane.
27-04-1944Enemy aircraft were back at Manston whilst crippled aircraft were in the process of recovering to the airfield. They were picked up in the searchlights installed to assist the homecoming of the damaged aircraft.
05-05-1944No.105 Sqn Mosquito piloted by F/L Robert Walter Bray, dropped a 4,000lb bomb on the IG Farbenindustrie AG chemical works at Leverkusen. Over the target, flak smashed into the starboard engine and the aircraft lost height rapidly. Bray wrestled with the controls and managed to reach Kent flying at very low level. With one engine on fire and the other malfunctioning, he managed to land on the crash strip at Manston. Pilot safe.
15-05-1944No.310 Sqn Spitfire IX MJ509 piloted by F/Sgt Antonin Sveceny lost power on take-off and made a belly landing at Manston. Pilot safe. F/Sgt Sveceny was a Czech born in the Ukraine.
15-05-1944No.312 Sqn Spitfire IX MK608 DU-D piloted by F/Sgt Antonin Prvonic (788090), landed at Manston but swung to starboard and was struck by the aircraft behind, being flown by Flt/Lt Ladislav Svelik. Pilot killed.
21-05-1944Ten Spitfires of No.303 Sqn left from Manston as a forward base at 0950hrs to take part in the first massed operation (Ramrod 905) against German communication and radar targets over Northern France.In total 30 aircraft lost, 9 pilots killed, 6 evading capture, 9 POW, 3 wounded, 3 escaped injury. Sgt Wiktor Kempa PAF (793627) in Spitfire VB BM565 and Stanislaw Brzeski VM, DFC in Spitfire EP461 both taken POWs.
05-06-1944Mosquitos of No.605 Sqn attacked anti-aircraft guns and searchlight positions.
06-06-1944No.143 Beaufighter squadron were responsible for carrying out anti E-boat patrols on the eastern flanks of the naval corridor linking southern England to the D-Day beaches in Normandy.
06-06-1944No.143 Sqn Beaufighter piloted by F/L John Anthony (Tony) Hawkey from Manston along with his navigator managed to sink two U-boats by aiming a bomb directly between them. They had been to the pub the night before, not knowing that they would be woken at 2am with a call to scramble.
06-06-1944No.605 Sqn Mosquitos' brief included the attacking of enemy searchlight and ack-ack positions prior to the mass parachute drops early in the morning. 605 put up a total of eighteen aircraft, most of which left Manston just before midnight, slipping away into the night with their individual targets.
06-06-1944No.137 Sqn Typhoons tasked with covering the landings in Normandy, protecting the left flank of the invasion fleet.
13-06-1944A Liberator making an emergency landing lost eight bombs at Manston, with only one exploding.
15-06-1944Two more V1 destroyed by No.605 Sqn during the night.
15-06-1944Flt Ltd Musgrave from No.605 Sqn became the first RAF pilot to shoot down a V1 flying bomb.
29-06-1944No.109 Sqn Mosquito XVI ML960 crewed by F/O J.B. Barker and F/L D.N. Russel took off from Little Staughton at 2315hrs on the 28th June. Badly shot up by a night fighter, and on return an engined caught fire as they neared Ramsgate. Crash landed at 0215hrs at Manston, both crew injured.
29-06-1944No.460 Sqn Lancaster I ME784 AR-? Crewed by Flt Sgt. M.L. Armstrong, W/O J.E. Brown RAAF, F/L J.A. Critchley RAAF, Sgt. G.W. Knott, F/O R.S. Samson RAAF, Sgt. F. Shaw and Sgt. W. Starkey force lands at Manston after taking off from Binbrook at 1227hrs for mission over Siracourt.
06-07-1944No.137 Sqn Typhoon MN468 piloted by W/O A.W. Emslie suffered engine failure and force landed at Manston. Pilot safe.
07-07-1944No.550 Sqn Lancaster I LL850 BQ-L crewed by Sgt. I.V. Browse, F/Sgt. S.G. Card, Sgt. R.H. Hoggard, WO 2nd Class E. Salte RCAF, Sgt. D.A. Stanley, P/O S.B. Taylor and Sgt. R.L. Wood took off from North Kilingholme at 1933hrs to take part in operations at Caen, with 283 Lancasters, 164 Halifaxes and 20 Mosquitos. All crew escaped injury after the aircraft was hit by two bombs of another Lancaster 3,000ft above them and went through the port wing. The pilot managed to return to RAF Manston, being escorted from Beachy Head by two Thunderbolts. On landing only the starboard wheel came down, the aircraft swung to port and the port outer engined caught fire. No casualties but the aircraft classified a CAT B.
09-07-1944No.137 Sqn Typhoon MN556 piloted by WO A.W. Emslie destroyed in landing accident at Manston. Pilot safe.
12-07-1944The RAF's 1st jet aircraft the Gloster Meteor - entered service at Culmhead in Somerset and would later move to Manston with 616 Sqn.
20-07-1944Two Messerschmitt Bf 109s landed at Manston, both pilots were uninjured although one aircraft landed on its belly and cheerfully surrendered.
21-07-1944Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6/U-2 Werke/Nr.412951, 'White 16' (pictured) piloted by Leutnant. Horst Prenzel of 1./JG 301 made a safe landing at Manston at 0240hrs after a 'Wilde Sau' sortie, thinking he was landing at a German airfield. Pilot uninjured and taken POW. Aircraft was initially evaluated at RAE Farnborough before passing to RAF Wittering. The Messerschmitt was written off after a take-off accident on 23 November 1944, the pilot unhurt. Leutnant Prenzel had twenty-five War Flights to his name.
21-07-1944Feldwebel Manfred Gromill of 1./JG 301 belly landed his Messerschmitt Bf 109G-6 from 1./JG 301 at Manston at 0245hrs or 0300hrs (unconfirmed), due to lack of fuel. The pilot apparently made a good landing but thought he was going to overshoot the landing strip so raised the undercarriage thus causing considerable damage.
21-07-1944Gloster Meteors with No.616 Sqn begin operations at Manston.
22-07-1944No.616 Sqn's W/Cdr McDowell put on a display in a Meteor for the visit of Harold Balfour M.C. M.P., Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Air. The first Meteor flight consisted of: W/Cdr McDowall DFM & Bar; W/Cdr Wilson AFC; S/Ldr 'Watty' Watts DFC; F/O Rodger; F/O McKenzie RCAF; P/O Clerc; F/O 'Dixie' Dean and W/O Wilkes.
23-07-1944Five more Gloster Meteors F.1s (EE215, EE216, EE217, EE218 and EE219) arrived at Manston from Farnborough to join No.616 Sqn. The ground crews had another busy day and F/L Watts arrived as Squadron Engineer Officer.
24-07-1944No.181 Sqn Typhoon WS536, unmanned damaged by jack at Manston and repair not completed.
26-07-1944No.616 Sqn 'Meteor Flight' was declared operational and the squadron was keen to start operations against the V1.
27-07-1944No.616 Sqn's F/O Bill McKenzie RCAF took off at 1430hrs to patrol a line between Ashford and Robertsbridge where the V1s were often encountered. It was the first operational sortie by an RAF Gloster Meteor Jet Fighter. In the Squadron log, it announced 'History is made!'. The anti-diver patrol (after the way the V1 rockets flamed out then dropped from the sky) was uneventful. Five other patrols were carried out that day by the Flight.
28-07-1944No.616 Sqn Meteor patrols were maintained, with each patrol being approximately 40-45 minutes long but no kills recorded. Two more Meteors arrived in the evening, flown in by F/O McKenzie and W/Cdr Wilkes.
29-07-1944No.616 Sqn's Wing Commander Wilson, flying on an engine test in a Meteor, sighted a Diver at 3,000 feet near Rye travelling at 360mph. He opened fire but was out of range and lost it in cloud. P/O Clerc sighted 3 Divers at heights between 2,000 to 4,000 feet but was unable to engage because of a Mustang attempting to shoot them down at an extreme range.
30-07-1944Two scrambles by the Meteors of No.616 Sqn. F/O Dean chased two V1s and fires at one with unobserved results because of cloud. All the Squadron was by then waiting to record the first Diver kill. A visit was made by Sir Roderick Hill A.D.G.B.
31-07-1944Low cloud and poor visibility led to only local flying and cannon testing for No.616 Sqn Meteors.
01-08-1944No.616 Sqn - The poor weather continued, so again only a little local flying. F/L Thomas joined the Squadron as Armament Officer.
02-08-1944The Meteor Flight consisted of six operational aircraft and the two prototypes. Again there was little operational flying. W/O George made a local flight. S/Ldr Watts, F/O Dean, F/O McKenzie and F/O Clerc all made uneventful patrols between Ashford and Robertsbridge of around 45 minutes. The weather was still cloudy and the Meteors continued to attract a lot of attention and visitors. In the evening, a visit was made by Group Capt. Fleming A.D.G.B.
02-08-1944No.501 Sqn, commanded by Sqn Ldr J. Berry with Hawker Tempest Mk V, arrive at Manston from Westhampnett.
03-08-1944No.616 Sqn - The weather had improved and at 0930 hrs, the Anti-Diver patrols commenced. F/L Mike Graves sighted a Diver in the Ashford/Robertsbridge area but he was too far behind and his shots missed. Whilst manoeuvring for a second attack a Mustang sent the V1 crashing to the ground.
04-08-1944Meteor F Mk.Is of No.616 Sqn destroyed two V1s, one by F/O Dean who took off from Manston at 1545hrs, 'tipping' the V1 which hit the ground four miles from Tonbridge when his cannons failed, the second by F/O Roger with his cannons.
05-08-1944No.616 Sqn - The day consisted of five uneventful scrambles and two patrols, but there was nothing of interest to report. Two more Meteors were delivered, bringing the Squadron to 10 operational and 2 prototypes.
06-08-1944No.616 Sqn - Two aircraft were scrambled after midday, following another morning of low cloud and mist. No Divers were reported in the afternoon. In the evening, two aircraft were scrambled, but there was nothing to report.
07-08-1944No.616 Sqn - At 1300hrs, the Rt. Hon Sir Archibald Sinclair Bt. F.C., C.M.G., M.P., Secretary of State for Air arrived at the Station. He was greeted by W/Cdr McDowall DFM and introduced to the pilots, from whom he was interested to heard first hand news. During the visit F/O Rodger and F/O McKenzie were scrambled, allowing them the ability to show off the Meteors.
07-08-1944No.616 Sqn - From first light at 0555hrs to 1345hrs, six aircraft were scrambled. F/O 'Dixie' Dean got another V1 near Horsham at 0620hrs at 1,000 feet, using all his ammunition on it.
08-08-1944No.616 Sqn - No operational flying, but W/Cdr Wilson and F/Sgt Epps made local and air firing tests.
09-08-1944No.616 Sqn - Eight aircraft scrambled and three aircraft were on Anti-Diver patrol, but all were uneventful. During the afternoon the CO flew to High Halden, near to Ashford to assess the possibilities of using it as a forward base for Anti-Diver patrols. The Squadron was split into an 'A' and 'B' flight, both of 16 pilots, under the command of W/Cdr McDowall.
10-08-1944No.616 Sqn - From first light there were six routine patrols and twelve pilots scrambled. F/O Dean got another V1 near Ashford using two short bursts from his cannons. F/Lt Thomas (Armament) left, with the Squadron Armoury taken over by P/O Jordan.
11-08-1944No.616 Sqn - Four Meteors were scrambled but all were uneventful.
12-08-1944No.616 Sqn - No operational flying, but some local. Another visit by Air Marshal Sir Roderick Hill A.D.G.B.
13-08-1944No.616 Sqn - W/Cdr Wilson took a Meteor up for an air test and made an uneventful Anti-Diver patrol at the same time. Three local flights were made and W/Cdr McDowall took off for a weather test.
14-08-1944No.616 Sqn - Uneventful anti-Diver patrols. Four aircraft were scrambled from Manston and two from High Halden, plus two routine patrols from High Halden.
15-08-1944The remaining Spitfire VII's of No.616 Squadron were finally allotted away. Two patrols were launched from Manston at 0615hrs and four from High Halden, plus two scrambles from there. During the evening, the first fatal accident would occur in a Meteor. F/Sgt D.A. Gregg took off from Manston to fly to High Halden, to take up his readiness duty, but unable to find the landing ground, he attempted to land at Great Chart Airfield and whilst doing so crashed.
16-08-1944No.616 Sqn F/O McKenzie shot the wing off a V1 and F/O Mullender claimed another.
17-08-1944No.274 Sqn, commanded by Sqn Ldr J.F. Edwards begin operations at Manston.
19-08-1944No.616 Sqn F/O Hobson and F/Sgt Watts each claimed a V1 in their Meteors. F/O Hobson also claimed a share of another. F/Sgt Cartmal saw his strikes on another, but was unable to see the end of the Diver when his gun sight bulb failed.
29-08-1944No.616 Sqn Meteor I EE222 YQ-G piloted by Wing Commander Andew McDowall DFM crashes three miles south of Manston after suffering a problem. The pilot was injured with a few cuts, but the aircraft was badly damaged.
29-08-1944No.616 Sqn F/O Hugh Miller destroyed a V1 at 1415hrs, south west of Sittingbourne, which was to be his first and No.616 Squadron's last V1.
03-09-1944No.504 Sqn and No.3 Sqn escorted 100 Halifaxes to Volkell in Holland where they bombed the airfield.
04-09-1944No.66 Sqn land at Manston due to bad weather conditions. Slow dispersal by the guide vehicle led to the Spitfires littering Manston as they overheated.
05-09-1944Gliders and tugs full of men land at Manston, ending with thousands of airborne troops at the airfield.
05-09-194437 gliders from Brize Norton complete with airborne personnel arrive at Manston.
05-09-1944No.609 Sqn, No.198 Sqn and West Hampnett Wing arrive at Manston, but operations cancelled.
06-09-1944No.257 'Burma' Sqn Typhoon JR219 piloted by FO F.J Broad, hit by MN947 at Manston. Pilot survived.
06-09-1944No.257 'Burma' Sqn Typhoon MN947 piloted by FO W.B. Richardson bursts a tyre on take off from Manston and hits JR219. Pilot killed.
11-09-1944Tempest mark Vs from 80 Sqn escorted bombers attacking Leeuwarden airfield in the Netherlands. Sqn Ldr R.L. Spurdle noticed what he thought was a V2 site SE of Den Helder.
13-09-1944No.80 Sqn take off at 0650 hrs to attack possible V2 storage site north of The Hague.
15-09-1944No.80 Sqn reports a V2 launch whilst on an early afternoon sortie.
15-09-194487 Albemarle tugs arrive at Manston in preparation for Operation Market Garden.
16-09-194416 Albemarle tugs arrive at Manston in preparation for Operation Market Garden.
17-09-194456 Albemarle tugs take off with their gliders to form part of 1st Allied Airborne Army's major operation in Holland, including Arnhem as part of Operation Market Garden.
17-09-1944The Manston Tempest Wing led by Wng Cdr Wray attack flak positions and armed barges in the Dutch Islands, Walcheren and Schouwen, in support of the Airborne attack.
17-09-1944No.80 Sqn Tempest EJ519 piloted by W/O Peter Leopold Godfrey (1318229) hit by flak and seen to crash into the sea with no bale out. Pilot killed.
17-09-1944No.80 Sqn Tempest V EJ657 piloted by F/L E.E.O. Irish was abandoned near Manston after being hit by flak. Pilot parachuted.
17-09-1944Remainder of No.80 Sqn return to Manston to re-arm and refuel before leaving again at 1825hrs for an armed recce on Hague, Wassener and Leiden, hitting 3 harges and other targets.
19-09-1944The West Hampnett Wing was involved in providing escort to gliders and tugs operating in the Rhine Delta. Bad weather meant the escort was abandoned and the wing returned to Manston.
19-09-1944Walrus brings in four survivors of a glider crew after an ASR patrol over the Albemarles' route.
20-09-1944No.274 Sqn (Tempest) leave Manston for Antwerp.
20-09-1944No.80 Sqn (Tempest) leave Manston for Antwerp.
20-09-1944No.501 Sqn (Tempest) move to RAF Bradwell in Essex
20-09-1944No.3 Sqn forced to divert to Manston due to bad weather.
21-09-1944Fog Intensive Dispersal Operations (FIDO) used to assist 19 landings.
22-09-1944Three Dakotas from No.233 Sqn took 54 Spitfire drop tanks to B56 (Brussels/Evere) from Manston as part of the 6th lift for 'Market Garden'.
23-09-1944Stirling LJ 622 including FO Burkby and FO Browne were badly damaged by flak and force landed at Manston.
23-09-1944No.3 Sqn finally leave Manston after being stuck there by bad weather.
23-09-1944Two Dakotas from No.233 Sqn took petrol tanks to B56 (Brussels/Evere) from Manston as part of the 7th lift for 'Market Garden'.
23-09-1944No.504 Sqn escort Dakotas and Stirlings dropping supplies to the encircled airborne forces at Arnhem.
23-09-1944No. 166 Sqn Lancaster III PB242 AS-E crewed by Sgt. F.W. Cridge, F/O C.T. Edwards, Sgt. R.T. Hallet, F/O H.L. Howling, Sgt. D. Sergeant, Sqn Ldr T.W. Rippingale and Sgt. R.C. Taylor left Kirmington at 1840hrs for mission over Neuss. They were attacked by a Ju88 possibly that of Oblt. Lothar Jarsch of 4./NJG2, resulting in one crew member being killed (not yet known). Later crash landed back at Manston. Sqn Ldr Rippingdale received the DSO and Sgt Cridge the CGM.
23-09-1944No.166 Sqn Lancaster III PB242 AS-E piloted by F/O H.L. Howling took off from Kirmington at 1840hrs for mission over Neuss and crash landed on return at Manston.
25-09-1944No.124, No.118 and No.229 Sqns arrive at Manston, joining No.504 Sqn to form the Manston Spitfire Wing, escorting three major bombing missions before the end of the month.
26-09-1944Ground crew for No.229 Sqn arrives at 0415 hrs in Margate after a train ride of just under 12 hours from Coltishall.
02-10-1944No.605 Sqn's FO Lelong and PO McConen in Mosquitos destroyed five Dornier 24 flying boats, damaged two more, plus a Blohn and Voss 138.
07-10-1944Ten Spitfires from No.229 Sqn from Manston fly as part of the escort for 351 Halifaxes and 90 Lancasters bombing Kleve (Operation Ramrod 1319) and Emmerich in Germany.
10-10-1944Five pilots and four Meteors of No.616 Sqn move to Debden as part of a training exercise so bombers and escorts can determine tactics to counter jet aircraft.
11-10-1944An exercise was carried out at Debden involving 140 B24s and 40 Mustangs and Thunderbolts against the four Meteors of No.616 Sqn.
12-10-1944An exercise continues at Debden involving 140 B24s and 40 Mustangs and Thunderbolts against the four Meteors of No.616 Sqn.
15-10-1944Exercise carried out at Debden of practice dogfights between three Meteors of No.616 Sqn and 20 fighters.
21-10-1944No.464 Sqn Mosquito VI 943 piloted by F/S Edward (Ted) George Wicky and F/S Oswald (Billie) Mountford returned from an operation over Dutch and German territory when one engine failed. They made an emergency landing at RAF Manston.
22-10-1944No.229 Sqn return to 12 Group at Matlaske at 1900 hrs from Manston.
23-10-1944No.432 Sqn Halifax VII NP722 QO-N crewed by F/O J. Bishop RCAF, Sgt. R. Brown RCAF, P/O J. Brusone RCAF, Sgt. J. Gallant RCAF, F/O C. Hemming RCAF, Sgt. E. Hemsley and F/O E. Holmes RCAF took off from East Moor at 1604hrs for mission over Essen. Crashed later at Manston 2103hrs after the rudder pin sheared due to icing. Crew uninjured.
30-10-1944No.420 Sqn Halifax III MZ903 ZL-Y crewed by F/O L.J. Ayres RCAF, F/Sgt D.J. Bennett RCAF, Sgt. J.S. Grant RCAF, Sgt. R. Harle RCAF, Sgt. G.F. Kinnear RCAF, F/O J.H. Nichol and Sgt. E.F. O'Keefe took off from Leeming at 1814hrs for mssion over Koln. The aircraft suffered an engine fire and later made a forced landing at Manston. Crew uninjured.
30-10-1944No.420 Sqn Halifax III LW388 PT-D 'Dusty Duke' crewed by F/O E.T.L Cantell RCAF, F/Sgt. J.H. Fitzpatrick RNZAF, P/O W.H.K. Macdonald RCAF, WO1 C.A. Minary RCAF, Sgt. R.W. Shepherd, F/Sgt. W.J. Sherrin RCAF and F/Sgt. G.W. Wilkins RCAF left Tholthorpe at 1704hrs for mission over Koln. Later crash landed at Manston on return.
01-11-1944No.419 Sqn Lancaster X KB767 VR-U crewed by F/O R.L. Cox RCAF, Sgt. F. Dennis, F/O S.B. Lindsay RCAF, F/O A.J. Palanek RCAF, F/O L.W. Sitlington RCAF, F/Sgt. R.A. Toane RCAF and Sgt. J. Wilkins took off from Middleton St George at 1701hrs for mission over Oberhausen. Initially attacked by an FW-190, the fuselage and tail severely damaged. A short time later they were hit by flak with more damage. They were attacked again by an FW-190. The stbd wing, intercom, hydraulics, instruments, and port inner were damaged. There was a fire in the stbd wing and both tires were flat. The stbd inner quit and twice the Lancaster went into a spiral dive only to be pulled out at 1,500 feet. The crew headed for Belgium where the port inner was restarted and they again turned for home. They landed safely at Manston. It was only then that the rear gunner, navigator, and wireless operator were known to be injured during the attack or while putting out the fire. F/O S. Lindsay RCAF, the navigator, F/O L. Sitlington RCAF, the wireless operator, and F/Sgt R. Toane RCAF, the rear gunner, were hospitalized with their injuries and were also decorated for their actions on this operation, along with the pilot F/O Cox. This Lancaster was totally riddled with holes and never flew again.
19-11-1944Eight Typhoons of No.257 Sqn led by F/L J.D. Howarth take off at 0830hrs for a rail over road target near Zwolle, with several direct hits. F/O Frederick Heath Broad (J/23898) in Typhoon PD526 FM-F crashed into a nearby field after appearing to burst into flames whilst releasing his bombs. Pilot killed.
21-11-1944No.425 Sqn Halifax III MZ364 KW-N crewed by F/O J.H. Bellinger RCAF and Sgt. C.R. Wilson (others unknown) took off from Tholthorp at 1511hrs for mission over Castrop-Rauxel. Attacked by an Fw-190 causing serious damage to the starboard wing and rear turret, seriously injuring Sgt Wilson the rear gunner. Over the target they were hit by flak, making the port inner engine unusable and the port tire flat. They crash landed at Manston on return with the rest of the crew uninjured.
21-11-1944No.571 Sqn Mosquito XVI PF379 crewed by F/O J.N. Campbell and F/L A.A.B. Cleaver crash lands at Manston after taking off from Oakington at 1707hrs for Pathfinder operation over Stuttgart.
10-12-1944No.582 Sqn Lancaster III ND880 6O-A crewed by F/O J.E. Brown, Sgt. F. Docker, F/S A.P. Gostling, Sgt. E.R. James, Sgt. P. Rayner, Sgt. D.M. Reid and Sgt. J.T. Smith. crash lands at Manston after taking off from Little Staughton at 0829hrs for operations over Wanne-Eickel.
13-12-1944FIDO operation when General Sir Stuart Menzies landed in a Hudson on his way to Canada.
15-12-1944FIDO operation to assist three aircraft landings.
17-12-1944No.77 Sqn Halifax III MZ336 KN-R crewed by F/Sgt. W. Flint, P/O E.L. Keddie, F/Sgt. J.L. Rennie, F/O R.C.A. Robinson, Sgt. A.F. Smith and P/O J. Walker wrecked on landing at Manston after taking off from Full Sutton at 0300 hrs for mission over Dusiburg.
18-12-1944The first delivery of Meteor F.IIIs (Mark IIIs) arrive at Manston for No.616 Sqn, flown in by W/Cdr McDowall and F/Sgt R.C.H. Easy.
24-12-1944Four pilots from No.616 Sqn flew in to Moreton Vallance in an Airspeed Oxford, returning later with another 3 Meteor F.IIIs.
25-12-1944A soccer match was played between pilots and ground crew of No.616 Sqn at Westgate (the ground crew won) then Officers and NCOs serve Christmas dinner in the Airmen's Mess. The Squadron's Christmas party was held in Margate in the evening.
29-12-1944No.576 Sqn Lancaster I NN750 UL-M2 had taken off from RAF Fiskerton at 1517hrs on the 28th December 1944 to bomb railway yards in Bonn. The aircraft was attacked by a Luftwaffe night fighter and was seriously damaged. F/S Fletcher skillfully brought the aircraft back across the channel using only his trim tabs to keep the aircraft in the air after both elevators had been damaged. After his first attempt to land at Manston failed, he opened the throttles and tried to go around again, but losing flying speed, it stalled and crashed. Pilot F/O Derrick Fletcher, Sgt Charles Gerrard Campbell, Sgt Kenneth Angus, Sgt Leonard James Bull, F/Sgt. Gordon Warren RCAF, Sgt James Norris RAFVR all killed. Reports that Sgt. Lake survived.
31-12-1944No.626 Sqn Lancaster III PB561 UM-X2 crewed by Sgt. J.W. Adamson, F/O M.H. Boyle RCAF, F/O J.H. Corsbee RCAF, Sgt G. Hopkins , Sgt. R.J. Jones RCAF, F/O W.A.T. White RCAF and F/O C. Wright RCAF took off from Wickenby at 1449hrs for mission over Osterfeld. Crash landed at Manston on return. Aircraft written off. Possibly crashed on 1st Jan 1945 - return time still TBC.
31-12-1944No.105 Sqn Mosquito B XVI MM225 GB-V crewed by F/L Gabriel Donald RAFVR (123.839), F/O Frank Taylor Watson DFM RAFVR (159930) took off from RAF Bourn at 1739hrs for mission over Mannheim. They were hit by flak and on return they force landed at Manston at 2130hrs. Both crew safe but aircraft wrecked. F/O Watson would be killed two days later in another Mosquito on their way to Bremen and is buried in Reichswald Forest War Cemetery, Kleve, Germany. F/L Donald was on the same aircraft but became a POW.
13-01-1945Between 0300hrs and 0400hrs 64 Fortresses and 67 Mustangs landed safely.
13-01-1945No.105 Sqn Mosquito IX ML902 GB-? Crewed by F/O Edward Povey RAFVR DFM and F/L Trevor Curzon Walmsey RAFVR took off from Manston at 1217hrs for transit to RAF Bourn in Combridgeshire. However on take off the port engine faltered, the aircraft swung and the undercarriage was lost. Crew safe, but aircraft was written off.
16-01-1945No.616 Squadron had a very busy day packing up for its move.
17-01-1945No.616 Squadron was transferred to Colerne.
01-02-1945No.692 Sqn Mosquito XVI MM183 crewed by F/L Bramwell Boothright DFC RAFVR and F/Sgt C.R. Clark RAVR took off from Manston at 1655hrs for transit, but when the port engine lost power they belly landed back at Manston at 1715hrs. Crew safe but aircraft written off.
03-02-1945No.426 Sqn Halifax VII NP819 OW-B had taken off from RAF Linton on Ouse on 2nd Feb at 2044hrs to attack the synthetic oil plant at Wanne-Eickel. In heavy cloud at the site, the aircraft sustained flak damage after releasing the bomb load. An emergency landing was sought at RAF Manston. After making two circuits they hit the slipstream of another aircraft throwing it into an uncontrollable bank. W/O McAllister bailed out and survived but rest of the crew (F/O S.G. Arlotte RCAF, F/S A.G. Bradley RCAF, F/S J.A. Chisamore RCAF, W/O 2nd class S.E. McAllister RCAF, Sgt. G. Needham, F/O J.M. Styles RCAF and F/O J.P. Talocka RCAF) were killed when the aircraft crashed into the ground at Castle Farm.
14-02-1945No.78 Sqn Halifax III MZ791 EY-T crewed by Sgt. W.C. Black RAAF, F/Sgt. K.C. Cutting, F/L J. Davidson, Sgt. W.J. Gall, Sgt. S. McGladdary, Sgt.W. Robertson and P/O E. Tidman took off from Breighton at 1723hrs on 14th Feb 1945 for mission over Chemnitz. The aircraft suffered from a failure of its navigational instruments while outbound and bombed and alternative target before landing damaged at Manston. No injuries reported but the aircraft was eventually struck off charge for being beyond economical repair.
21-02-1945No.166 Sqn Lancaster I RA501 AS-N crewed by Sgt. P. Bates, F/Sgt. Basil Richard Galvin RAAF, Sgt. E.J. Johnson, Sgt. A.C. Manktelow, Sgt. F.L.S Sharp, F/Sgt. M.J. Vinall and Sqn Ldr R. Walters DFC took off from Kirmington at 2135hrs for mission over Dortmund. Crash landed at Manston, F/Sgt Vinall injured.
22-02-1945No.582 Sqn Lancaster III PB652 60-L crewed by Sgt. J. Buxton RAFVR, Sgt. Charles A.H. Dixon RAFVR, Sgt. G.T. Everett RAFVR, F/O John Gale RAFVR, W/O2 C.M. Hutton RCAF, F/Sgt. A. MacDougal RAFVR and F/Sgt. N.P. Smith RAFVR took off from RAF Little Staughton on 21st Feb (2032hrs) to bomb Duisburg for the last time in the war, amongst 362 Lancasters and 11 Mosquitos. PB652 bombed the target at 17,000ft at 2300hrs. The mission as a whole was described as a success with major damage to the target, but on the return journey, the aircratft was hit by flak, losing one engine and suffering severe damage. After failing to get a response from fighter bases in France, RAF Manston granted permission for an emergency landing. Due to the damage, the undercarriage collapsed on landing. All crew survived with injuries, with Sgt. Dixon suffering severe head injuries and never flew again. Aircraft categorised as Cat E and struck off on 12th March 1945.
23-02-1945No.310 Sqn Spitfire Vb MA230 piloted by Sgt Karel Macura was posted as missing, presumed ditched in the transfer between Bradwell Bay and Manston. Pilot lost.
24-02-1945No.550 Sqn Lancaster I NF998 BQ-D crewed by Sgt. M.T. Ditson RCAF, F/O R.D. Harris RCAF, Sgt. D.J. Hicks RCAF, Sgt. G.P. Kelleher, F/O G.J. Nicol RCAF, Sgt K.J.B Smith and F/Sgt. D.J. Yemen RCAF took off from North Killingholme at 1558hrs on 23rd February 1945 for a mission over Pforzheim, one of 367 Lancasters in the mission. After they had bombed their target at 2008hrs, the aircraft was hit by a bomb load of another Lancaster causing a fire in No.1 engine and other damage. They landed on return at Manston at 0020hrs on the 24th February, where a tyre blew, veering them off the runway to the left. When they hit a concrete sewer pipe, the undercarriage collapsed. Sgt Ditson suffered a fractured shoulder, but others were unhurt. Aircraft written off.
27-02-1945Wing Commander Jaroslav Hlado led in No.310, 312 and 313 Sqns in Spitfires to operate from Manston as the 'Czech Wing'. They would use Manston until 7th August 1945.
04-03-1945No.608 Sqn Mosquito XXV KB411 6T-M piloted by Sqn Ldr E.S. Few DFC AFC and P/O S.S. Campbell took off from Downham Market at 1819hrs for a mission over Berlin. Loss of an engine forced a landing at Manston. Crew safe but aircraft written off.
15-03-1945No.102 Sqn Halifax VI RG498 DY-N crewed by F/L W.L.M. Dick (other crew not yet known) took off from Pocklington at 1332hrs for mission to attack oil plants at Bottrup with a combined flight of 121 Lancasters, 98 Halifaxes and 11 Mosquitos. The aircraft was hit by flak losing one engine, fin, starboard rudder and jamming the elevators, making it difficult to maintain a steady course. It was accompanied by a pathfinder Lancaster from No.35 Sqn that caught up with it and realised its difficulty, to provide support and to radio air-sea rescue should the need arise. When Manston was reached the Halifax swung viciously off the runway and thankfully the crew were seen to extricate themselves before the inevitable fire.
16-03-1945No.66 Sqn including Spitfire TB752 (the Manston Mk XVI Spitfire, located at the Spitfire & Hurricane Memorial Museum), night-stopped at Manston on its way from Fairwood Common to Schijndel.It would undertake its first operational mission on 19th March 1945 providing top cover to bombers attacking marshalling yards near Dortmund.
19-03-1945Spitfire TB752 (the Manston Spitfire) carries out its first operational mission as part of No.66 Sqn. Piloted by P/O Richard 'Dick' Edwards, it provided 'top cover' for bombers attacking marshalling yards at Dulmen near Dortmund.
25-03-1945No.431 Sqn Lancaster X KB874 SE-C crewed by P/O J.A. Keates RCAF and F/O J.O. Simmonds RCAF, Sgt. R. Westman, Sgt. A Paige RCAF, F/Sgt. W. McLean RCAF, F/Sgt. D. Jardine RCAF and F/Sgt. G. Petrie RCAF took off from Croft at 0611hrs for a mission over Hannover. The aircraft was hit by flak and seriously damaged over the target. Crash landed back at Manston, P/O Keates and F/O Simmonds injured, aircraft struck off.
04-04-1945No.406 Sqn (RCAF) Mosquito NT495 piloted by F/L Thomas William Trewin (J.8643) and navigator F/L John Ballantyne Kennedy (J/20410) left on a Night Intruder mission to the Altenburg area. Aircrew missing believed killed.
06-04-1945No.310 Sqn Spitfire IX MA845 NN-N 'Borough of Edmonton' piloted by Sgt Stanislav Zoul (788557) swung off the runway whilst landing at Manston. The aircraft hit the FIDO burners and overturned, seriously injuring the pilot.
08-05-1945VE Day celebrations included a parade and Victory Dance in the Loop hanger at Manston.
09-05-194512 Mosquitos of No.406 and No.29 Sqns take off to fly over the Channel Islands where a party was landing to take over control as part of the VE activities.
07-06-1945Czech Wing led by Wng Cdr Hlado escorted two Dakotas carrying the King and Queen and a Royal Party on their visit to the Channel Islands.
03-08-1945Czech Wing paraded and inspected by Air Marshall Sir John Slessor and Air Marshall Karel Janousek.
07-08-1945Czech Wing led by Wng Cdr Hlado leave on its last flight from this country to Prague, with more aircraft and men following during August.
01-04-1946No.91 Staging Post forms at Manston to assist with servicemen returning from Europe.
08-06-1946No.130 Sqn joins the Victory Day Fly Past at Pall Mall at 400 feet. In bad weather two of Manston's aircraft crashed before they could join the formation.
15-07-1946RAF Manston transfers from Fighter Command to Transport Command.
23-05-1947Dr Goertz 'The Manston Spy' commits suicide by swallowing a poison capsule, possibly at the thought of being repatriated to Germany after two failed attempts at espionage in Britain and Ireland.
01-06-1948A Mosquito aircraft was deliberately crashed by an Air Ministry Film Unit at the end of runway 29/11.
18-09-1948Crew and several spectators killed when a Mosquito crashed during a display on Battle of Britain Day.
14-07-1950RAF Manston transfers from Transport Command to Fighter Command, to share with USAF units.
15-07-1950Advanced party of the USAF base component arrives at Manston.
27-07-1950USAF 31st Fighter Bomber Wing equipped with F84E 'Thunderstreak' return to Turner Field, Georgia.
22-11-1950USAF 12th Fighter Escort Wing return to Bergstrom Air Force Base, Texas.
10-12-1950USAF 20th Fighter Bomber Wing equipped with F84E 'Thunderstreak' return to Shaw Field, South Carolina.
27-04-1952USAF Thunder Jet F84E 49-2111 based at Manston crashes at St Peter's at 1214hrs after an engine fire, killing the pilot, Captain Clifford Fogarty and three civilians. It crashed into the Lloyds Bank and Ironmongers shop on the corner of Ranelagh Grove and the High Street. Mr and Mrs William Read, the owners of the ironmongers and Mrs Ellen Collier were killed.
21-05-1952'The Skyblazers' Display Team of seven USAF Republic F-84 Thunderjets displayed at Manston. One aircraft, piloted by Capt John Patrick O'Brien as one of the solo pilots crashed after an engine explosion during a low-altitude pass, killing the pilot.
24-05-1952USAF F84 waiting to take off had an explosion and a fire, the pilot escaping safely.
01-12-1952RAF Manston becomes USAF Manston.
27-11-1954A USAF SH-19 (S-55) rescue helicopter from Manston locates the wreck of the South Goodwin Lightship, hit by a hurricane force 12, rescuing Andrew Murton who was on the lightship observing bird migration. The crew of seven were never found.
24-08-1955USAF Airman Napoleon Green, 21 from Chicago shot 10 people, killing 3 on a spree from Manston to Broadstairs harbour. Green walked into the sea and used his rifle to commit suicide.
20-05-1957US Air Force fighter pilot Milton Torres was one of two F-86Ds scrambled from RAF Manston to intercept a UFO with 'very unusual flight patterns' over East Anglia. He was ordered to fire on the track but it disappeared.
30-06-1958Manston returned to the Air Ministry and RAF Fighter Command control from the USAF. Manston had closed as an operational airfield, some believing the complaints about noise leading to its closure.
16-04-1959SAC Parker at the recently reopened Manston, untrained in emergency landings, helped four Belgian military aircraft seek the safety of the airfield. Awarded a commendation for his actions.
15-06-1959Inaugaral flight to Le Touquet for Silver City Airways, commencing civil activity at Manston.
01-10-1962Manston changes from control by No.12 Group, Fighter Command to No.3 Group, Bomber Command.
24-03-1963No.618 Sqn's Gliding School launched its first glider from Manston, training instructors throughout April and May 1963.
22-03-1964No.618 Sqn's Cadet Martin became the first student on a course to solo in a glider at Manston.
09-06-1965English Electric Canberra XM244 flown by F/L Ron Ledwidge and navigator F/L Martin Fortune suffer an undercarriage fault, so land in bad weather at Manston on the foam strip.
07-02-1966A Hawker Siddeley Dominie landed 'wheels up' using Manston's foam strip emergency landing aid.
14-04-1966A British Electric Canberra lands with a 'cocked' nose wheel, using Manston's foam carpet emergency landing aid.
03-05-1966A British Electric Canberra carries out an emergency landing, but Manston's foam carpet wasn't required.
25-01-1967An RAF Victor, reporting undercarriage failure, landed successfully on Manston's foam carpet.
20-04-1967A British Eagle Britannia G-ANCG, with 54 passengers and 11 crew bound for Kuwait from Heathrow, crash landed on the foam carpet after complete undercarriage failure. The airplane was damaged beyond repair, but all occupants safe.
14-11-1967An RAF Victor lands successfully on Manston's foam carpet.
09-05-1968A Hawker Siddeley (Avro) 748 of Skyways Coach Air, G-ASPLA carrying 26 passengers lands successfully on Manston's foam carpet after take off from Lympne and suffering a noseleg malfunction. The aircraft later had engine and nose gear repairs in the open air by a Hawker Siddeley working party.
31-10-1968Air Ferry based at Manston, closes down.
03-01-1969Wng Cdr Wills hands over to Wng Cdr Scott
30-03-1969Last day of service, after eight years at Manston for RAF Helicopter Search and Rescue No.22 Sqn, despite intense local representations. Two call outs.
01-06-1971Bristow International Helicopter Company in silver and orange Whirlwind helicopters commence a trial civilian rescue service. 2 crew are No.22 Sqn 'old boys'.
30-09-1974Bristow International Helicopter Company's civilian rescue service ends after scrambling 627 times, rescuing 174 people and 20 bodies.
07-07-1978The Manston Spitfire TB 752 after sitting as a gate guardian for over 20 years, was moved to Rochester for restoration.
22-12-1978Manston was the only airfield clear of bad weather in the south of England. Between 1810 and 2030, eight airliners diverted to the airfield that had to deal with 260 passengers.
12-06-1979The first man-powered flight of the English Channel was made by the Gossamer Albatross taking off from Folkestone. Several test flights were made from Manston.
15-09-1979The Manston Spitfire TB 752 returns from restoration.
13-05-1980A Handley Page Herald with seventeen passengers lands successfully on Manston's foam carpet.
02-10-1980Manston's emergency foam carpet system withdrawn from use with the equipment obsolete and replacement too expensive. The last use was by a Vulcan with a suspect nose wheel.
13-06-1981Air Vice Marshall J F G Howe CBE AFC RAF opened the Spitfire Memorial Building.
07-07-1981The first solar-powered airplane succeeded today in crossing the English Channel, landing at Manston.
06-01-1986After almost 26 years as a 18 Group station, Manston once more became an 11 Group station.
06-03-1987RAF Search and Rescue teams in helicopters from No.22 Sqn at Manston were part of the rescue operation for the Herald of Free Enterprise ferry which had capsized shortly after leaving the Belgian port of Zeebrugge.It saw the loss of 193 lives from a total of 463 passengers and 80 crew.Manston was also used as the forward operating base for other helicopters scrambled from RAF Brawdy, RAF Coltishall, RNAS Culdrose and RAF Bulmer. An RAF Hercules which had landed by chance at Manston on its way to RAF Lyneham was also commandeered to fly to Zeebrugge with underwater lighting equipment, divers, diving equipment and a team from the Kent Fire Brigade and their equipment.
31-03-1999Remainder of RAF Manston closes, leaving the RAF Fire Services Central Training Establishment as occupant on the previous domestic side of the base, also formerly known as 'Manston Camp'.
18-05-2006Work begins to recover a Pickett-Hamilton Gun Fort from the airfield at Manston, involving aviation author Robin Brooks. Now located at the Lashenden Air Warfare Museum at Headcorn in Kent.
10-06-2013The Royal Air Force Museum successfully raises Dornier Do 17Z-2 Wk No 1160 '5K + AR' that had to be forced landed on the Goodwin Sands on 26th August 1940 after combat with Defiants of No.264 Sqn. Now moved to Cosford for conservation.
11-01-2017The 3rd Battalion, the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, 'The Tigers', announce they are returning to Thanet and will be based at the Defence Fire Training and Development Centre (DFTDC) at Manston.