14 November 1940

14 November 1940

Northern Front

Three Bristol Blenheims of No.8 (RAF) Squadron took off between 19h15 and 02h20 to attack individually various infrastructures at Dire Dawa. L6648 (Pilot Officer R.C. Young, Flying Officer Montcalm and Pilot Officer Saward) is damaged by air defence. Italian fighters were also reported. In any case, Pilot Officer R.C. Young managed to land his aircraft at Ras Ara after crossing the Red Sea.[1]

Southern Front

Following reports of Italian planes above Yabelo, a combined attack by No.11 and No.12 (SAAF) Squadron is being organized. Three Fairey Battle from the first unit take off in the morning and arrive above the enemy’s airfield where they spot at least five Caproni Ca.133 scattered on the airfield. The South African pilots drop their bombs, despite an important anti-aircraft defense, and claim two bombers probably destroyed, while the other three are supposed to be damaged. They are followed by four Ju.86 Junkers who individually bombard the target at an altitude ranging between 2 500 and 1 200 meters, at 18h25, with incendiary bombs. This second attack is, however, considered a failure due to lack of visible results.[2]

Note that a fight is said to have opposed 411a Squadriglia CT and an opposing formation of four bombers over Jimma airfield. Three aircraft are then claimed destroyed by the Italian pilots (including Maresciallo Giuseppe Mottet). This event does not seem to match with the South African archives during the month of November which prevents, unfortunately, to know more.

[1] No.8 (RAF) Squadron : Operations Record Book (Form 540 and Form 541). Kew : TNA, AIR 27/114 ; SHORES, Christopher ; RICCI, Corrado. Dust Clouds in the Middle East – The Air War for East Africa, Iraq, Syria, Iran and Madagascar, 1940 – 1942. London : Grub Street, 2010 (Reprinted). p. 78 ; CANWELL, Diane ; SUTHERLAND, Jon. Air War East Africa (1940 – 1941). The RAF versus the Italian Air Force. Barnsley : Pen and Sword Aviation, 2009. p. 77.

[2] November – Narrative Norther Operations SAAF. Kew : TNA, AIR/54/8 ; No.11 (SAAF) Squadron : War Diary. Kew : TNA, AIR/54/3 ; No.12 (SAAF) Squadron : War Diary. Kew : TNA, AIR/54/4.

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