Defiants over Dunkirk by Mark Postlethwaite

‘Defiants over Dunkirk’, by Mark Postlethwaite, used with permission.

Boulton Paul Defiants of 264 Squadron engage Heinkel 111s of III/KG51 over Dunkirk on the second day of Operation Dynamo, 27th May 1940.

“This final painting of the three shows Squadron Leader Phillip Hunter in L6973 PS-A under the starboard wing and Pilot Officer Young under the port wing in L7003 PS-L pouring fire into a Heinkel by flying in the bomber’s blind spots. This tactic also proved to be a success for other crews on this day and was one of many pre-planned attack profiles that the squadron had practiced.”

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27th May 1940:

In the afternoon, patrolling at 1300hrs, No.264 Sqn using Manston as a forward operating base found a formation of a dozen HE 111s of KG 51. Sweeping down to attack them, they claimed three shot down and two damaged.

One joint claim was made by made by F/L Nicholas Cooke in L7005/PS-X with Cpl Albert Lippett, P/O Terence Welsh with Sgt L.H. Hayden and P/O Whitley.

P/O Whitehouse shared a second with P/O Michael Young and the third credited to the CO, Sqn Ldr Hunter and P/O Young.

F/L Nicholas Cooke wrote in his combat report: ‘1245 hrs Dunkirk. Blue Section attacked one He 111 in a formation of 12 – several bursts from each member of Blue Section in converging attacks and cross-over attacks. I could see the pilot and navigator duck at each burst. Then the enemy aircraft’s engines went on fire and stopped. The enemy aircraft burst into flames on landing. During the action we followed the enemy aircraft through several cumulus clouds at 4000 ft’.

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