Some scenes from RAF campaign action on 20-21 July 1940.
Seventy-nine Squadron seem to have a habit of chasing after Dorniers who have just bombed the port of Dover. I led Green Section into them as they turned for home...
There goes the crew, bailing out from my first victim...
And there they go bailing out from my second, after I had chased them out over the Channel.
I had another go too. Must have been half-way to France at this point...
The green flash behind me is I think from one of several hits I took as I pulled up and away. That's me done - this is no place for a solitary Hurricane to linger.
The sun is getting low in the West as I near the safety of the south coast. The headland to my left is Dungeness.
Dover was still smoking as I crossed the coast. Both town and shipping in the harbour had been hit. Dover Castle, on the high ground to the east, seemed to have escaped, though.
Nothing for it but to head for home, the others apparently having already done so.
Next day, same squadron same area, but this time the bombers bypass Dover although just like yesterday, we're caught on the hop and left chasing after them. The port area of the town seems to be full of rubble as we fly over. There's no time for romantic nonsense about white cliffs or blue birds today! I lead Green Section up above the rest of the squadron - today we can see that the bombers have an escort and we're low enough already without wasting any time in gaining a bit more height.
Nevertheless, I have become dangerously accustomed to dealing with unescorted bombers, lately. So even though I knew they are there, I'm still caught by surprise when the escort reacts and a shower of Messerschmitts goes sailing past in front of us.
They missed us completely! A moment of elation, then the realisation that they weren't after us at all - they are going for the rest of the squadron.
I thought about going after the bombers, which seemed to be heading for the airfield at Manston, which had already been hit hard. Then I roll over and dive down to join the others - having been bounced, they need all the help they could get.
This was the last picture I took on that flight. I had just had an inconclusive fight with a 109, which rolled over and dived away below after I got turned inside him and got some hits. There were already many crashes at sea and on land. A call for help from Green 2 had me turning back towards Dover. From that direction, I could see three specks against the ble sky at about my level, which rapidly grew bigger as they approached.
The specks turned out to be Green 2 chased by two 109s. I went head to head with one of these in an effort, if not to nail him, at least to get him off my section-mate's tail. I did both, by colliding with him. Both Hurricane and 109 disappeared in a flash of fire and a billow of dark smoke and whirling aircraft debris.
This campaign is certainly generating missions at a pace, and (unlike other sims) of a scale, which is certainly giving me a unique sense of what it must have been like to participate in sustained and intensive defensive air operations over SE England in that iconic air battle nearly eighty years ago.