19 June 1940

19 June 1940

Nine pilots take off from Kenley at 06h45 hours to reach Hawkinge airfield. They left at 08h00 for an offensive reconnaissance of Abbeville, Flixecourt, Poix, Rouen and Dieppe. While flying over Rouen, the pilots noted the presence of about 45 German aircraft on the airfield. Flying Officer Anthony Eyre was forced to make a forced landing at Wilmington due to fuel exhaustion. If the pilot was not injured, the Hawker Hurricane Mk I P2793[1] was damaged. On returning to Hawkinge at 09h45, Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll was ordered to remain to provide an escort for twelve Bristol Blenheims from 12h55. The bombardment seems however to have failed and it is indicated that only a section of the bombers hit the Dieppe airfield. The eight aircraft of No.615 Squadron landed at 15:55[2]. Flight time : 04h45.

At the same time, three pilots took part in aerial combat training over the Sutton Bridge firing range, while six hours of night flying training were conducted.

Pilots and Aircrafts : Flying Officer Anthony Eyre (P2793) ; Pilot Officer Keith T. Lofts (P2578) ; Pilot Officer John R. Lloyd (P2764) ; Flying Officer Herbert S. Giddings (P2801) ; Squadron Leader Joseph R. Kayll (P2871) ; Pilot Officer Cecil R. Montgomery (P3390) ; Flight Lieutenant Lionel M. Gaunce (P2966) ; Flying Officer John R.H. Gayner (L1584) ; Pilot Officer Petrus H. Hugo (P2963).

Loss : Hawker Hurricane Mk I P2793 (Flying Officer Anthony Eyre) : damaged on landing at Wilmington (fuel exhaustion).

[1] The damage seems however limited and we find the aircraft in action on 27 June.

[2] No.11 (Fighter) Group ORB. Kew : The National Archives, AIR 25/193.

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