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Author Topic: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal  (Read 24794 times)

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Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #29 on: January 28, 2014, 17:06:26 »
   Rochester                     
   S.7.      8.2.1941            One Gun out of action owing to the changing of barrel (No. 2 Gun).   
         11.2.1941            Changing of barrel on No. 2 Gun completed and that of No. 3 Gun started.   
         14.2.1941            Changing of No. 3 Gun completed and that of No. 4 Gun started.   
   S.9.      15.2.1941            There was a short Alarm in the morning and for the first time in many days an enemy aircraft was observed, a Me. 110 flying at 15000 ft.  Fire could not be brought to bear as the target was spotted when receding   
                     During the night there was a longer Alarm than usual and although enemy  activity was very slight and no firing took place the number of bombs were dropped by a single aircraft on the Dockyard, about 3 appearing to fall in the same place.   
   S.7.      17.2.1941            Changing of barrel on No. 4 Gun completed.   
   S.9.      20.2.1941            An early Alarm in the evening was soon cancelled.  The first real Alarm took place at 0114 hours and numerous raiders passed over, Alarm was eventually cancelled at 0700 hours.   
                     In the early hours visibility was excellent but subsequently clouded over.  The searchlights appeared to be incapable of pursuing numerous smoke trails to their logical conclusion.   
                     The majority of predicted concentrations were, unfortunately, out of range of this site although raiders were streaming constantly overhead.  A number of flares and H.E. bombs were dropped in the neighbourhood.   
   S.7.      21.2.1941            Changing of barrel on No. 1 Gun commenced.   
         23.2.1941            Changing of barrel of No. 1 Gun completed.  Great difficulty was experienced in changing this gun barrel.  The breach ring threads were badly burred and were found to be in a filthy condition when ring was eventually removed.     
                     In addition the first new barrel sent for this gun was damaged and very badly rusted.  This was changed.   
   S.9.      27.2.1941            During the evening a few single raiders passed over the area.  One predicted concentration was fired were upon the enemy aircraft loosed its bombs which appeared to fall in the direction of Gravesend.   

   Rochester                     
   S.7.      1.3.1941      1307      An Me. 110 was engaged at 26,000ft.  No effect of fire was observed, bursts were obscured by clouds.   
   S.7. & S.9.      3.3.1941            2 predicted concentrations, were fired during the night.   
   S.7. & S.9.      8.3.1941            Large numbers of enemy aircraft passed over the area between dusk and midnight, only one predicted concentration was fired which was probably due to the presence of friendly fighters.   
   S.7. & S.9.      9.3.1941            6 predicted concentrations were fired during the night.   
   S.7.      11.3.1941            Predicted concentrations.   
   S.7. & S.9.      12.3.1941            Visibility was excellent and although enemy activity was slight 6 predicted concentrations were fired.  The majority of planes seemed to skirt the area.   
   S.7. & S.9.      13.3.1941            Visibility again excellent and enemy activity slight over the area during the night, 8 predicted concentrations were fired.   
   S.7. & S.9.      14.3.1941            During the early part of the evening activity was slight, most of the raids skirted the area.  Subsequently activity in the area increased to an almost constant procession.  Visibility was again good and 10 predicted concentrations were fired.   
   S.7. & S.9.      15.3.1941            Although the Alarm only lasted until Midnight enemy planes were much more active than of late, 18 predicted concentrations being fired.   
   S.7. & S.9.      18.3.1941            In the evening nothing tool place until midnight when the Alarm started.  Enemy activity was not on a very large scale and the enemy aircraft appeared to be making for London, 7 predicted concentrations were fired.   
   S.9.      19.3.1941            During the night incendiary bombs were dropped on bearing 90°.   
   S.7. & S.9.      20.3.1941            Enemy aircraft was slight during the evening, 4 predicted concentrations being fired.   
   S.7. & S.9.                  Incendiary bombs were dropped in the direction of Thames Haven.  Fires that were caused thereby were very soon under control.   
   S.9.      27.3.1941            During the morning an Me. 110 was seen at 23,000 ft. no rounds were fired because of low flying clouds interfering.   


Offline peterchall

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #28 on: January 28, 2014, 08:32:03 »
I wonder if it was un-aimed barrage fire whereby all the guns blaze away into a designated area, of the sky in the case of AA guns, more as a deterrent to the enemy than in hopes of hitting anything. Very inefficient but very reassuring to the population below.

But my theory is rather spoiled by S9's entry for 10/11/40, which reports a Defiant being engaged (ie - aimed fire) by a Young Barrage.
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Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2014, 20:23:33 »
Another mention of it here:

Offline peterchall

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2014, 19:51:31 »
The term 'Young Barrage' arises again. I found this:
http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/44503-young-barrage/

Are there any gunners among KHF members who can explain?
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Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2014, 18:54:27 »
   Rochester                     
   S.9.      1.1.1941            Breech, Ring and Barrel of No. 1 Gun removed.   
         2.1.1941            Changing of No. 1 Gun barrel completed.  All four guns are now ready for action.  Enemy activity was confined to the early hours of darkness during which one Barrage was fired.   
                     This appeared effective as the plane unloaded and turned South at once.   
         12.1.1941            At night enemy activity was quite significant during the early part of the evening.  Bombs were dropped on Bearing 40° and 9 Young Barrages were fired.  However the Alarm was cancelled at a comparatively early hour.   
         19.1.1941            At night enemy activity was much more pronounced than of late.  The enemy aircraft appeared to be raiding London and the S.E. Area. 12 Young Barrages were fired.   
   S.7.      30.1.1941      1454      A Do. 215 appeared out of low mist at Bearing 180°, height approximately 200 ft. and range 700-800 yds.  It appeared to be either trying to find a landing ground or carrying out a machine gun attack.  No. 1 Lewis Gun opened fire but the effect is unknown, although the Naval sentries posted on top of the Naval Barracks express the view that it had been hit.   

Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2014, 16:04:14 »
   Rochester                     
   S.9.      4.12.1940      2300      Shortly after this hour a stick of bombs from one of the targets engaged bracketed the site.  Four bombs fell between the site and the Gads Hill and one in the Dockyard.   
   S.7.      12.12.1940      1151      Two Mes. 109 were observed and one was engaged.  Good salvo but target was rapidly going out of range and rounds were short.   
                     No.1 gun failed to fire because the Loading Tray was pulled back before round was fully rammed, and it fell out of the breach.   
   S.9.            1153      An Me 109 was engaged at 22000 feet (Fuze 25).  A dog fight was heard to the South of the site but nothing was seen.   
   S.7.            2318      After firing one barrage one enemy aircraft appeared from the sound of its engine to be in difficulties.   
   S.9.      16.12.1940            There was an alarm in them morning although nothing was seen owing to the clouds.  However the enemy plane was heard to pass overhead.  In the afternoon there was another Alarm and a stick bombs fell by the river.   
                     Again visibility was bad and the plane was no engaged.   
   S.9.      19.12.1940            During the night one barrage seemed to take effect as the enemy aircraft dropped its bombs to N.W. of the site, and then made off in a South easterly direction.  Visibility was not very good.   
   S.9.      21.12.1940            There was an alarm in the early morning and the doubtful plane was engaged at Fuze 24.   
                     The plane was first observed only at the crossing point, thereafter it was flying towards the sun and only a rear view was obtained.  No turret was observed amidships and in view of the triangular quality of the tail plane and large radial engines the plane was assumed hostile (Savoia 85) and engaged with one salvo.   
                     Later in the day an Me 110 was seen at 3400 feet with Hurricanes chasing it.  Mes 109 were also observed.  The Me 110 was reported to have been brought down in the sea.   
   S.9.      24.12.1940            One gun out of action owing to the necessity of changing the Barrel, (No. 2 Gun).   
   S.9.      27.12.1940            Changing of Barrel on No2 Gun completed, that of No. 3 Gun started.   
   S.9.      29.12.1940            Changing of Barrel on No. 3 Gun completed, that of No.4 Gun started.   
   S.9.      30.12.1940            Changing of Barrel of No. 4 Gun completed.   
   S.9.      31.12.1940            Changing of No. 1 Gun Barrel started.   

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2014, 12:29:06 »
I can't add to this but PC's contribution is priceless.

Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2014, 12:12:59 »
I wondered if it meant a smaller gun, such as the Bofors on site.  Not sure if S.9. had a Bofors too?

Offline peterchall

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #21 on: January 27, 2014, 12:02:59 »
Regarding the October entry, I was hoping for a bit more detail about the incident of the bombs on Ross Street, Rochester. It was late on a Saturday morning in October 1940, and Saturday dates were 5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th.

Mum and I were in the garden and saw 2 formations of planes merge and mill around in the Maidstone direction – they were only dots but it was obviously a dog-fight. We saw a single-engined plane coming towards us and 2 dots fall from it. To the rushing sound of falling bombs we dashed indoors and made for the cellar. At the top of the cellar steps I felt a ‘thump’ through the ground and saw the living room windows fall in. Then it was over.

All the windows had gone, part of the ceiling was down, the front door was wide open but still on its hinges and (we found later) some roof slates were off. Stupid though it seems, mum and I laughed our socks off until the Air Raid Warden called through the door “Is anyone hurt in there?” We went outside and saw this scene, but before it was cleaned up:

Our house was 6 doors along to the right.

Dad was working in the Gun Wharf and saw the smoke go up. He had an anxious bike ride home and I remember him coming in the door saying “bloody mice” before almost crying with relief.

So what have we got?
For 5th October:
Rochester City Archives: “High explosive, Rochester. 1 house demolished. 1 killed, 8 injured.
166th AA Battery: “S9. 11:32. Several bomb laden Me109 circling south of S9 engaged by one salvo”
City archives don’t fit the 2 houses destroyed in Ross Street, and there were no fatalities, or injuries that I am aware of.
S9’s report fits to some extent, but what we saw was too far away to see if they were bomb laden and for S9 to have fired


For October 26th:
Rochester City Archives: “High Explosive and oil bombs, Rochester. 3 houses demolished, others damaged. Signal box and (unreadable) damaged. 3 injured”
166th AA Battery: “S7. 12:44. 4 rounds fired at 5 plus Me109s with little effect”
The 3rd house and signal box could have been a separate incident. Was what I thought a lone plane one of the 5 that S7 fired at? Or did S7 not see ‘my’ plane?

I guess I never will find out, but the date of 26th October for the incident seems most likely. Any opinions?

Regarding the November entry, does anyone know what is meant by ‘Young' Barrage? (S7, 4/11/40 at 20:41 and S9, 10/11/40)
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Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2014, 09:04:23 »
   Rochester                     
   S.7.      1.11.1940      1931      11 rounds fired at illuminated target which was probably a Do. 215. no effect of fire was observed.   
   S.9.            2240      During the hours of darkness enemy was at first very active and a number of bombs was dropped at bearings 10°, 180°, 300°.  Fires were started.  What appeared to be an hostile plane crashed and burst into flames at bearing 350°.   
   S.9.      2.11.1940      0820      During an alarm a dog-fight was observed over Maidstone.  1 plane, believed to be a Me. 109 was seen shot down.   
               2330      The noise of a plane diving out of control was heard from approx. bearing 220°.  G.S.15 reported a crash in their vicinity.   
   S.7.      4.11.1940      2041      Young Barrage.  1 H.E. bomb dropped on Fort Borstal at approx. 0115 hours 5.11.40.  No casualties resulted.   
   S.7.      5.11.1940      1454      5 plus Mes. 109. were engaged.  Bursts were hidden by clouds.  No known effect of fire.   
   S.7.      7.11.1940      2234      A plane was illuminated at 32,000'.  Fire was not opened as the target was out of range.   
   S.9.      10.11.1940            During the night the enemy was not active in this area.  "Defiants" operated from Gravesend.  This caused fire to be held for long periods.  1 Defiant was in advertantly engaged by "Young Barrage" with no ill effects.   
   S.7.      11.11.1940      1042      10 plus Mes. 109. were engaged in open vic formation.  11 rounds were fired with Nil effects.   
   S.9.                  Alarm during the morning in the course of which 8 Mes. 109. were engaged at 28,000'.   
                     8 rounds were fired with Nil effect.  An Me. 110. was observed later, but was out of range.  Visibility was good with high cloud ceiling.   
   S.9.      13.11.1940      1335      Ju. 88. observed on Bearing 160°.  Flying N.W. at 20,000'.  Target altered course to South and dropped bombs near Upnor.  Target was engaged at fuses 19 and 25.  1st salvo good, 2nd rather ragged.   
   S.7.            1341      Ju.88. observed.  6 rounds was fired with no apparent effects.  No3 gun was out of action (Breech down) and No. 4. gun misfired on 1st round.   
   S.9.      14.11.1940      1350      An Me. 110. was observed on bearing 190° flying N.W.  Engaged at fuse 24.  Plane was turned by A.A. fire and re-engaged at fuse 22.  Avoiding action was taken following close bursts.  "Cease fire" was ordered owing to the presence of friendly fighters.   
   S.9.      15.11.1940            During the morning there was an Alarm and an Me. 110 was observed at 38.000' flying west followed by 3 Hurricanes which headed the Me. Off from London and shot it down on bearing 30°.   
                     During the night a large unidentified bomber passed low over the site in the early hours, apparently with engine trouble and was last heard going South misfiring badly.   
   S.9.      17.11.1940      0845      Several Mes. 109. were sighted flying at a great height and taking avoiding action.  2 salvos were fired at targets flying at 34,000' but owing to their height and the avoiding action they took no more could be fired.     
                     Several Mes. 109. carried out a dive bombing attack on bearings 165°.  The enemy aircraft were too quick to bring guns and telescopes to bear.   
   S.7.            0904      30 plus Mes. 109 in several vic formations of 6 - 10 observed.  One formation was engaged.  This took violent avoiding action, as also did a fresh target consisting of another formation.   
                     A number of enemy aircraft were observed to dive about 3,000' over the Dockyards and bombs were dropped.  S.7. were in action at the time and fresh target was not engaged.   
   S.7.      23.11.1940      1608      4 rounds fired at 6 Mes. 190. flying in Vic Formation, avoiding action was taken but no other effect of fire was observed.   
   S.7.      28.11.1940      1240      1 salvo of 4 rounds were fired at 4 Mes. 109.  No effect of fire was observed.   
   S.7.      28.11.1940      1348      4 rounds fired at Mes. 109. with no visible effect.   
   S.9.            1350      1 salvo fired at a Me. 109. flying at 29,000'.   

Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #19 on: January 25, 2014, 16:32:33 »
   Rochester                     
   S.9.      02/10/1940      1255      Five Me. 109s crossed the Site W. to E. at 20,000' and were engaged with one salvo.  Bursts were close to target and caused planes to take avoiding action.   
   S.9.      04/10/1940      1248      A hostile aircraft appeared through the clouds at Bearing 150 and was engaged with one salvo before climbing back above the cloud base.  It re-appeared, but was taking avoiding action and was not again engaged.   
   S.7.            1255      16 rounds fired at Ju. 88.  Violent avoiding action taken.  Bombs were dropped on Bearing 205, approximately Burham.   
   S.9.      05/10/1940      1132      Several bomb-laden Me. 109s seen circling S. of S.9, engaged by one salvo at 24,000' Bearing 150 as they flew E.   
                     Shortly afterwards a large formation of Ju. 88s and Me. 110s aircraft approaching from the S. were scattered and driven back by fighters; bomb loads were obviously jettisoned.   
   S.7.      07/10/1940      1602      Twelve Me. 109s were engaged.  Three rounds fired.  Owing to faulty telephone, No. 3 gun received no order and did not fire.   
   S.9.      08/10/1940      0200      Two mines were dropped near Rochester Gas Works at about 0200 hours.   
   S.7.            1140      A Spitfire crashed near Fort Borstal.  The pilot was found dead behind No. 2 gun.  A guard was mounted from Fort Borstal over the wrecked plane.   
   S.9.            1144      Several Me. 109s were observed through gaps in the clouds, and one salvo was fired.  One Me. 109 is believed to have been hit by S.9.  (unconfirmed).   
                     During the hours of darkness, a Ju. 88 was illuminated by searchlights at 30,000' and engaged by one salvo at fuze 35.   
   S.9.      09/10/1940      1510      Me. 109s flew over the Site E. to W. at a great height.  One was engaged as it returned E. and 7 rounds were fired.  There was a misfire on No. 4 gun.  Primer well and truly stuck.   
   S.7.            1512      Me. 109s in open Vic formations were engaged at great height with no apparent result.   
   S.9.                  During the hours of darkness, several illuminated targets were observed, though only one, an He. III, was in range and was engaged.   
   S.9.      10/10/1940      0845      Twelve plus Me. 109s observed at Bearing 320 flying S.e. at Height 22,800'.  They were engaged after crossing point with one salvo before going out of range.   
   S.7.            1437      One Do. 215 engaged, with no effect.  Plane took violent avoiding action.  Bombs were dropped on Brompton.   
   S.9.            1500      A Do. 17 was observed at Bearing 150 flying S, but it climbed into clouds before fire could be opened.   
                     Plane re-appeared at Bearing 150 flying N. and was engaged at 17,800'.  Plane altered course after first salvo and flew E.   
                     A second salvo was fired, but plane took avoiding action.   
   S.7.            1528      One salvo of 4 rounds fired at 3 Me. 109s flying at 27,000'.   
   S.9.      11/10/1940      1045      Alarm.  No hostile planes were observed, but at approximately 1115 a Hurricane was seen crashing, and landed at bearing 170, about 1/2 mile distant.  The pilot bailed out.   
   S.7.            1606      One salvo of 4 rounds fired at 3 Me. 109s flying at 28,000'.  Planes were later engaged by friendly fighters/  One Spitfire crashed at Bearing 180.   
   S.7.      12/10/1940      1331      Ten Me. 109s in open vic and line abreast formations engaged .  One salvo of 4 rounds was fired.   
   S.9.            1615      A formation of Me. 109s passed over the Site flying W. and were engaged with 2 salvos.  On the return flight they were engaged y fighters and one pilot was seen to bale out at Bearing 140.   
   S.7.            1617      Twenty plus Me. 109s in open Vic formation were engaged approaching and on return journey 5 minutes later.  One Me. Shot down on Bearing 150 (unconfirmed).  15 rounds fired.   
   S.7.      14/10/1940      1128      One Ju. 88 engaged at long range.  One salvo fired at fuze 25.  Plane increased height.  No effect observed.   
   S.7.      15.10.1940      1133      Six Me. 109s engaged.  One salvo went very close to planes, which they took avoiding action.   
               1243      One salvo of four rounds fired at twelve Me. 109s.  No effect of fire.  Visibility and general conditions bad for effective shooting.   
               1249      One salvo of three rounds at twelve plus Me. 109s.  No effect of fire.  Visibility and general conditions bad for effective shooting.   
               1605      One salvo of four rounds at twelve plus Me. 109s.  No effect of fire.  Visibility and general conditions bad for effective shooting.   
   S.9.                  R.A.F. removed wreckage of Hurricane which crashed on 11.10.40. and stayed on site for the night.  One corporal, ten men.   
   S.7.      17.10.1940      1335      Twenty plus Me. 109 at 30,000' in open vic formation.  Planes took full advantage of high clouds and target was only in view for a minute.  One salvo of four rounds was fired with no effect.   
   S.9.            1526      A number of Me. 109's crossed S.9. flying E to W at 27,000'.  One of them was engaged with a single salvo.  Later three Me. 109's returned W to E at about 10,000', but were cloud hopping and could not be engaged.   
   S.7.            1632      Twenty plus Me. 109 at 23,000' in various formation were fired at with one salvo of four rounds.  No visible effect.   
   S.7.      20.10.1940      1344      A single Me. 109 was engaged with two salvos, each of four rounds.  Both went very close.   
               1436      Twenty plus Me. 109's were engaged.  One salvo of four rounds was fired.   
   S.9.      26.10.1940      1202      One Me. 109 was engaged at 28,000' - Fuze 36.  One salvo was fired.  Large formations of friendly fighters in this area.   
   S.7.      27.10.1940      0855      Twenty plus Me. 109's in three wide vic formations just within range.  Two round fired with no visible effect.   
   S.9.            1400      Me. 110's were observed at 21,000' and were engaged at Fuzes 28 and 33.  Eight rounds were fired and planes took avoiding action.   
                     During the night a stick of bombs (H.E.) fell near the gun site and damaged the G.L. Generator.  No casualties to personnel.   
   S.7.      29.10.1940      1244      Four rounds fired at five plus Me. 109's with no effect.   
   S.9.            1652      A flight of Me. 109's was engaged at Bearing 240 flying W, at 19,000'.  One salvo was fired with no effect.   
   S.7.            1654      Ten plus Me. 109s at height 18,000'.  No effect of fire.  Flying lower than usual.   

Offline peterchall

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #18 on: January 22, 2014, 23:12:53 »
The reports for 15th September bring back one of my most vivid memories of WW2 – the crash of the Dornier 17 in The Chase, Chatham. There is a rather protracted thread on it at “Aviation>Aviation Disasters>WW2 Dornier Crash near Boundary Road, Chatham” for those who want to delve deeper, so I will make only a few comments here.

From my garden in Ross Street, Rochester, I saw a Do17 flying south, roughly over the Jackson’s Field/Chatham area, low enough to see its markings. I saw 2, 3, or 4 men bale out before it disappeared over the houses in Queen Street. A few seconds later it reappeared, evidently having made a 180deg turn to the right, much lower and flying towards me but, because it was still turning, vanished again over the houses in Church Street to my left, and a column of smoke rose up from where it had crashed. I then became aware of a British fighter circling and believed, and still do believe, that it was the fighter that had shot it down. There is a report, the origin of which escapes me at the moment, that it was shot down by Sgt. Innes of No 243 Squadron.

The report by S9 (Oak Street) at 14:58 fits what I saw. From Battle of Britain Day by Alfred Price we know that it had been damaged earlier by a head-on attack by RAF fighters and forced out of its formation, and I believe it was this aircraft that was observed by S9 flying north. It could then have turned to its right round the Wainscott area and over the site of the present Rochester City Estate, and then coming into my view as in the above paragraph. It would accord with the report of being seen to crash on a bearing of 150deg from S9. Note that there is no mention of AA fire and it certainly was not being fired at when I saw it. The attack by Sgt Innes could have taken place while it was making the turn round the Wainscott area.

Regarding the report by S7 (Fort Borstal) at 15:00, there is firstly the ‘three direct hits in fuselage’ – a 4.5” AA shell (the equipment of S7) weighed 58lb and was time-fused, so in the (unlikely) event of the shell exploding inside the aircraft as it passed through, there would be very little left for the 2nd and 3rd ‘direct hits’ to hit, nor would the crew be likely to be in a fit state to put on their parachutes and bale out. There is no mention of the aircraft’s position when fired on (whether to the north, east, south, or west of S7) or of the direction in which it was flying, although B of B Day states that it approached S7 from the north-west. The crew don’t mention AA fire or fighter attack but state they baled out because the aircraft became uncontrollable, and eye-witnesses describe it ‘diving to the left over Borstal’ and ‘falling out of the sky’. There was also mention from other sources of one of its crew baling out over Bredhurst, suggesting that after being hit the plane did an anti-clockwise tour of Chatham/Gillingham before coming into my sight flying south again, and definitely not ‘falling out of the sky’.

Those reports from S7 and S9 are rather an enigma.

Other memories evoked by Kyn’s posts, not necessarily the September reports, are of seeing a formation of He111s going over the towns from east to west, keeping formation with AA shells bursting all round them and their escorting fighters weaving above them; of about 4 Me109s, fairly low and in a hurry, going over from west to east; and a single bomber trailing smoke from one engine lumbering homeward with AA shells bursting all round it, but apparently bearing a charmed life. Observations of the accuracy of AA fire could be misleading – bursts ‘in-line’ with the aircraft and the observer will seem to be near misses, whereas they might actually be far short of, or far beyond, the target

I await the October instalment with eager anticipation, because that was the month when some German pilot decided he had a grudge against Ross Street. :)
It's no use getting old if you don't get artful

Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #17 on: January 21, 2014, 18:35:35 »
Excellent, thank you Bromptonboy!

Offline bromptonboy

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #16 on: January 21, 2014, 18:34:58 »
Hi KYN
Any idea what Kings rules and regulations section 383 covered? Seems a lot of it about in that unit.

Para 383 Kings Regulations, Discharged as urgently required in Civil Employment. I would assume there were a lot of these in Dockyard towns as men were reclaimed for dockyard duties.

Offline kyn

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Re: Anti-Aircraft Battery (166) Fort Borstal
« Reply #15 on: January 21, 2014, 13:02:57 »
Thank you for adding to this thread Peterchall, it is interesting to hear your memories of these incidents.  Here are Septembers records:

   Rochester                     
   S.7.      01/09/1940      1058      Approximately 20 Heinkels supported by fighters engaged.  30 rounds fired.  Returning hostile aircraft engaged.  No apparent results.   
   S.9.            10.57      24 Heinkels sighted on Bearing 125° out of range.  Opened fire on bearing 130° at 18000ft.   
                     17 rounds fired.  Fresh target on bearing 290° at 17400ft.  3 rounds fired.  Fresh target at  240° at 18000ft. 1 round fired.  Formation broken up.  Bombs dropped on Tower Hill and near Wainscott.  1 unidentified plane shot down on bearing 270°   
   S.7.            2215      4 aircraft, not illuminated by searchlight engaged by salvo fire, 20 rounds.   
                     Heights:- 11000, 20000, 10000, 15000.  Bombs dropped at 77°, 79°, 140°, 55°, 112°, 123°, 115°, 164°, 120°, 140°.  These were mostly incendiary, including Molotov Breadbaskets, but there were some H.E.   
   S.9.            2215      Several raids by single planes.  Bombs dropped on bearings 160°. 170°, 180°.  Fires started by incendiary bombs.   
   S.7.      02/09/1940      0801      Approximately 30 Dorniers 17 accompanied by fighters engaged.  Several seen hit, 40 rounds fired.  Bombs on Rochester.   
   S.9.            0801      12 Dorniers and escort fighters sighted on bearing 150°.  Opened fire on bearing 160° to bearing 290°.  77 rounds fired.  3 Dorniers seen losing height rapidly.  Spitfire seen to be on fire and making for Hornchurch.  Bombs dropped near Cobham.  M.F.S. in No.3 Gun jammed with shell in position.  Height 14,000ft.  Formation was broken up and did not appear to reach any definite objective.   
   S.7.            1636      Large number of Bombers engaged.  Bomber formation accompanied by fighters.  All planes very spread out - difficult target. Bombs in direction of Rochester Airport.   
   S.9.            1635      Large formations of Dorniers 17 and escort of fighters observed out of range flying west on a bearing of about 10°.  Target altered course to south and came into range, bearing 320°.  Opened fire at Fuze 14, height 15,500ft.  Electrical transmission from Predictor to Guns broke down after a few rounds per Gun.  Temporarily rectified and action continued.  Formation by was split up, with aircraft covering some square miles of sky.  Fresh target at bearing 200°, height 14,700ft.  Opened fire at Fuze 16.  Transmission again broke down.  Ceased fore at 1640 hours.  36 rounds fired.   
               2308      Unseen target engaged by 1 round salvo fire at height 19,000ft bearing 30°.  A of S 52°.  Good group obtained in convergence of searchlights.  Hostile plane altered course to east and went out of range.  Hostile plane seen falling in flames on bearing 180° - distant G.O.R. reported that it crashed at west Malling.  Line of incendiary bombs dropped on bearing 170° to 30° - nearest about 1,000 yards.   
   S.7.      04/09/1940      1317      17 Heinkels engaged.  45 rounds.  Stick of bombs from Rochester Airport to Fort Borstal.  Two bombs inside moat of fort - one unexploded.   
   S.0.            1314      Small Vanguard of ME 109 followed by force of approximately 20 Heinkels IIIK Mark 5 Bombers flying in open formation (V) observed approaching out of the sun on a bearing of 165°.   
                     Under fire from bearing 170° to 210°.  37 rounds fired.  After dropping bombs in the region of Shorts the formation withdrew in broken order but without visible casualties.   
               2126      Illuminated Dornier 17 flying south observed on bearing 270°.  This was at first below angle but turned south east and was engaged by height control between bearings 255° and 190°.   
                     Results were difficult to observe owing to blinding effects of engagement over Command Post.   
               2159      Junkers 88 engaged; several very close bursts observed and the target appeared to lose height although it continued north on course.   
               2329      Heinkel IIIK Mark 5 at 18,000 engaged.  57 rounds fired in all.  Visibility good.  Sire searchlight twice first light on target.  Numerous flares dropped, some in the vicinity of the site, at 21.20 hours.  Large fire started by incendiary bombs bearing 190°.   
   S.9.      05/09/1940      0039      Heinkel IIIK Mark 5 at 18,000ft engaged on bearing 290°.  6 rounds fired.   
               1510      12 Heinkels observed north of the site flying east at 19,000ft out of range.  Oil dumps on the Essex bank apparently the objective as smoke continued to rise on a bearing of 20° for several hours.   
               1515      Dogfight overhead.  Fighter crashed in river off Upnor; pilot's parachute failed to open.   
               1529      ME 109 crashed bearing 100.   
               1534      ME 109 crashed, bearing 250.   
   S.7.      06/09/1940      1305      Formation of Heinkels engaged.  These attacked Rochester Airport out of sun.  2 seen hit.   
   S.7.      07/09/1940      1654/1807      Between these times several formations of Heinkels, Dorniers and ME 110 were engaged.     
                     Number of hits obtained.  Apparent objective - London area.   
   S.9.            1652      Formation of approx. 20 Junkers 88 aircraft, first of large force raiding S.E. London was engaged from bearing 190° to 270° at a height 22,400ft.  37 rounds fired.   
               1731      A second and larger formation of over 40 Junkers 88 was engaged from bearing 95° to 300° as it passed directly over the site.  The leading Flight on the right of the echelon was observed to draw the a mjority of the A.A. fire.  48 rounds fired.  The rammer wire on No.2 Gun was broken.   
               1744      A formation of Dornier 17 returning from London was engaged from bearing 260° to 200°.  20 rounds fired, height 17200ft.   
               1800      A returning formation of Heinkels III Mark 5 aircraft was engaged from bearing 315° to 110° at a height 12500ft.  45 rounds fired.   
               1806      A rather broken formation of Junkers 88 was engaged from bearing 258° to 190° as it flew S.E. on its return flight at a height of 16600ft.  1 plane was observed on fire.  44 rounds fired.   
                     Visibility was excellent.  The formation engaged were disturbed and several planes were seen to quit their flights.  A large fire was started beyond Tilbury while the one previously burning at Thameshaven was increased in volume.  Friendly fighters were not greatly in evidence after the first raid.  194 rounds fired.   
   S.9.      08/09/1940      1115      Formation of about 20 Dorniers 17 observed flying towards London.  Target out of range.  Visibility very bad due to thick pall of smoke from fires on north bank of Thames.   
   S.9.      09/09/1940      1655      A Do.17 was observed on bearing 220°, flying S.W. height 5800 out of range.  Target was engaged by A.A. and was shot down on bearing 110° after having taken avoiding action.   
   S.9.      10/09/1940      0327      A Heinkel II5 Seaplane was illuminated by searchlights.  Height 15,000ft, course West.  Engaged at Fuses 22 to 25 - 9 rounds fired.  Target altered course and went out of range.   
   S.9.      11/09/1940      1518      40 Heinkels III observed on bearing 200° flying N.W. out of range.   
   S.7.            1532      1 Me 109 engaged.  7 rounds fired.  Nil effect.   
               1604      1 Heinkel engaged.  18 rounds fired.  Aircraft smoking badly.   
   S.7.      12/09/1940      1640      1 Heinkel engaged.  25 rounds fired.  Avoiding action taken.  Nil effect.   
   S.9.            2200      Unseen target engaged by G.L. drill at 15,000ft.  Bearing 350°.  6 rounds fired.  Engine noise ceased and G.L. reported "Target lost".  Other G.L. stations also lost target, which may have been destroyed.   
   S.9.      13/09/1940      1046      Junkers 88 (4-engined plane) engaged at 9,200ft.  23 rounds fired.  Visibility very poor due to low cloud.   
               1054      Dornier 17 engaged at 8,600ft.  32 rounds fired.   
   S.7.            1054      1 Do. 17 engaged.  17 rounds fired. Avoiding action taken.   
               1110      Junkers 88 engaged.  6 rounds near.  Avoiding action taken.   
   S.9.            1110      Do 17 engaged at 2,200ft.  15 rounds fired.  Target took violent avoiding action, before climbing into cloud.   
   S.7.            1116      1Do. 17 engaged.  13 rounds fired. Violent avoiding action taken.   
   S.9.            1117      1 Do. 17 engaged at 2,600ft, climbing steeply into clouds.  9 rounds fired.   
               1205      An unobserved plane above cloud base dropped bombs in neighbourhood of site.   
   S.9.      14/09/1940            The following illuminated targets were engaged:-   
               0320      Junkers 89 17,600ft.   
               0408      Do. 17 2,3000ft.   
               0517      Junkers 88 17,000ft.   
                     Hostile plane seen shot down by Blenheim on bearing 0° distant.   
   S.7.            0515      Heinkel IIIK Mark 5 illuminated by searchlights engaged.  15 rounds fired.  Violent avoiding action taken.   
   S.7.      15/09/1940      1428      24 Heinkels IIIK engaged.  12 rounds fired.  Good effect.  Height 21,400ft.   
   S.9.            1427      A formation of 20 Heinkels IIIK Mark 5, flying N.W. towards London was engaged from Bearing 195° to 255° at a height of 20,600ft.  After reduction of height close bursts were observed and one plane seen to be on fire.   
   S.7.            1431      35 Do. 17 engaged.  11 rounds fired.  Bursts caused formation to split.  Height 21,200ft.   
               1446      25 Do. 17 engaged.  16 rounds fired.  Height 10,200ft.  Difficult target.   
               1500      1 Do. 17 engaged.  40 rounds fired.  Three direct hits in fuselage.  Aircraft destroyed.  Four of crew baled out.  Wreckage seen.  Confirmed.  Height 7,000 to 6,400ft.   
   S.9.            1458      A Do. 17 was seen flying north towards the station at a height of 6,200ft.  It was obviously in difficulties, one engine appeared to be out of action.  The crew of four bailed out and the plane, making a sharp circuit crashed on bearing 150°.   
   S.7.      18/09/1940      1249      12 Heinkels IIIK Mark 5 engaged.  19 rounds fired.  Nil effect.  Bombs dropped at bearing 65° - 35°.   
   S.9.            1250      Hostile fighters on high level reconnaissance.  1 Hurricane crashed 1000 bearing 115°.   
                     12 Heinkels III Mark 5 approached Chatham from S.E.  Height 21,000.  Bombs were dropped on Bearing 160°.  33 rounds fired.  Spotting difficult owing to target crossing sun.  1 ME 109 and 1 Hurricane seen to crash.   
   S.7.            1711      20 Heinkel IIIK Mark 5 engaged.  53 rounds fired.  Close formation well broken by A.A. Fire.     
                     Fighters went into attack. Several Bombers destroyed.   
   S.9.            1712      8 Unaccompanied Junkers 88 observed on bearing 150° flying N.W. at a height of 19,000ft.Providing an excellent target, they were engaged as far as bearing 234° when they turned East and were immediately attacked by a large numbers of fighters.   
                     One bomber was seen to crash in flames in the vicinity of Cooling two of its crew bailing out.  61 rounds fired.   
   S.9.      19/09/1940      1441      Cloudhoppng Do. 17 picked up quickly with the assistance of G.L. and engaged at 10,200ft and 9,400ft.  Target changed course and reduced height and withdrew S.E.  20 rounds fired.   
   S.7.      20/09/1940      Night      One large Bomb observed dropped by parachute.   
   S.9.                  Sound locator arrived at site.  By night two illuminated targets were engaged, one of which appeared to drop a parachute mine.   
   S.7.      24/09/1940      0838      17 Heinkel IIIK Mark 5 and Junkers engaged.  62 rounds fired.  Nil effect.  Good bursts.   
                     Fighters engaged and turned off attack.  Approx 100 Me 109 escorted bombers.   
   S.9.            0840      A formation of 16 Junkers 88 with large fighter escort was engaged from bearing 200° to 290° as it flew N.W. towards London at 20,000ft.  Shortly after passing out of range the raid was attacked by friendly fighters and immediately turned east.  Some bombs in the vicinity of Gravesend were reported.  36 rounds fired.   
   S.7.            1146      Several Me. 109's engaged.  No effect.   
   S.9.            11.45      A number of Me 109 in formation flying at 15,400 feet were engaged on bearing 190° in order to indicate their presence and whereabouts to friendly fighters.  10 rounds fired.   
   S.9.      25.9.1940      1045      A Me 110 passed over the site at 34,500 feet flying west.  Could not be engaged owing to limitations of predictor.   
                     Machine was later reported by G.O.R. as having been shot down by R.A.F.   
   S.9.      26/09/1940      1535      One low flying Do. 215 was engaged with one salvo as it crossed a cloud gap at 6,200 feet.   
   S.7.      27/09/1940      1159      20 Heinkel IIIK's engaged.  Height 21,000 feet.  34 rounds fired.  Good bursts.   
                     Formation widened and turned off course.  Dog fight over site with Me. 109.   
   S.9.            1200      A formation of 12 Heinkel IIIK Bombers was observed approaching out of the sun and was engaged from bearing 140° to 130° at a height of 20,200 feet.  The formation opened and was engaged by fighters as it withdrew.  11 rounds fired.   
   S.7.            1508      11 Junkers 88 engaged.  63 rounds fired.  Formation widened and successfully attacked by fighters.   
   S.9.            1510      14 Heinkels with Me. 109's escort on bearing 140° flying N.W. height 19,800 feet.   
                     Target altered course to West, as soon as in range.  6 rounds only fired.   
                     Several bombers were seen shot down by R.A.F. at various points, and there was some fighter activity over the site.   
                     Trouble developed in Predictor Transmission of Q.E. and the site was out of action until  0800 hours 28/9/1940.   
   S.7.      30/09/1940      1347      8 Rounds at Me. 109 already damaged.  Flame took violent avoiding action but finally crashed at bearing 0° (Broom Hill, Strood).   
   S.9.            1348      A Me 109 appeared through the clouds on bearing 290°, height 5,200 feet and was engaged.  Several good salvoes were obtained and the plane was seen to be losing height and emitting smoke.   
                     After several changes of course a final salvo rocked the machine and the engine cut out.  It made a forced landing by Strood Waterworks.   

 

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