COMBAT REPORT F/LT Forbes
Date: 7/9/40 / Flight B / Sqdn 303 Polish
Number of enemy aircraft 40 DO 215 and 50 ME 109
Time attack was delivered 1700
Place Attack was delivered Essex
Height of Enemy 20,000 Ft
Enemy Casualties 1 Do 215
Our Casualties 1 Huricane Cat.2
Pilot slightly wounded
We were ordered into the air to rendez-vous with No1 Squadron who took off first. We were sent up 15,000 ft and then to 20,000 ft and proceeded North and then East. No1 Squadron remained below us to Starboard and in front. I led the Squadron up to 24,000 ft., determined after my experience yesterday not to be caught napping at too low an altitude. It is easy to get down to the enemy and impossible to attack climbing when the slow speed makes one an easy prey to the ME 109's. I sighted a formation of about 40 enemy bombers flying northwards. Their rearguard of ME 109's were engaged with Spitfires at 25,000 - 30,000 ft. No1 Squadron went in to attack the enemy's tail and drew off most of the remaining fighter escort. It was a perfect combination of circumstances.
We were flying in Vics line astern. The enemy was flying also in Vics line astern with 3 and 5 A/C in each Vic. The AA fire had loosened their formations. As soon as No1 Squadron attacked, the enemy wheeled Eastwards , and we caught them on the turn. We reformed towards the enemy and launched the attack in Vics abrest, striking the formation a little to the rear of centre. They were easy meat. We came at them from partially up sun and at great speed as they turned away from us. I led in, and attacked a DO 215, hitting the starboard wing and engine, which stopped. I gave another good burst into the cockpit and more stuff fell off. E/A fell away sideways in a long glide and hit the sea. I broke away, and whilst in a steep turn, a shell hit my starboard wing root and exploded. I felt my leg was wounded and there were 3 or 4 glycol and hydraulic system leaks in the cockpit. I decided to return to an Aerodrome and got the machine down whole. I succeeded in regaining Northolt and landing without mishap.
Signed Forbes F/Lt
Section Blue 1
Squadron 303 Polish