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Thread: Manston airfield, August 1940.

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    Default Manston airfield, August 1940.

    Could anyone with access to the Manston airfield ORB for August 1940 please tell me if the base was attacked by the Luftwaffe on the 16th ? Were any aircraft casualties recorded ? Also how detailed is that ORB for 1940 generally ?

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Hi Martin,
    Here are the details from Manston's ORB re August 1940.

    12. 8.40: At 1250 hrs the aerodrome was heavily attacked by approximately fifteen Me110's and some Heinkel's and bombed at low altitude; some 150 HE bombs were dropped; the aerodrome was pitted with approximate 100 craters and rendered temporarily unserviceable; two hangars were damaged, and workshops were destroyed; in the latter building a civilian clerk was killed, this being the only fatal casualty; the raid lasted approximately five minutes

    13. 8.40: The aerodrome was rendered serviceable, although several craters on the southern ridge remained, and could not be filled in immediately owing to their proximity to unexploded bombs

    15. 8.40: At 1210 hrs the Stn was attacked by nine Me110's; they were heavily engaged by ground defence's and two E/A were destroyed; two hangars on the east camp were partially wrecked and damage was caused to a Bellman and a Bessonneau hangar; one large crater was made in the centre of the aerodrome

    16. 8.40: At 1745 hrs the Stn was attacked by eight Me 109's; hangars and grounded aircraft were machine gunned; there were no casualties but one Blenheim and one Spitfire were destroyed by fire; two other Blenheim's were rendered unserviceable

    18. 8.40: At 1530 hrs an attack was made by twelve He 113's with cannon and machine gun fire; two Spitfires were destroyed on the ground; one airman was killed and fifteen injured, mostly on the Servicing Flt

    20. 8.40: At 1500 hrs the Stn was attacked by eight Me109's with cannon and machine gun fire; one grounded Blenheim was damaged, but there were no casualties

    22. 8.40: At 1900 hrs an attack was made by a squadron of Me109's and Me110's; about seven bombs were dropped, and hangars in East Camp damaged; no casualties

    24. 8.40: At 1250 hrs a very heavy bombing attack; seven fatalities; one E/A brought down by ground defence's; living quarters were badly damaged, and the presence of a number of unexploded bombs made it necessary temporarily to vacate the area; later it was decided to evacuate permanently all admin personnel and those not required in connection with Stn defence and servicing of aircraft; accommodation for evacuated personnel was found in Westgate

    28. 8.40: Stn visited by the Prime Minister

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    Gerry,

    Thank you very much for taking the time to include all the attacks on Manston during August 1940. I had not expected the ORB to have as much information as that on the individual raids.

    Regards,

    Martin.

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    It goes to show that even for ORB, cross-referencing is essential. The events shown of the 15th and 16th were apparently actually on the 14th and 15th. Me 109s on the 15th now recorded elsewhere as Bf110s (presumably after cross-referencing Luftwaffe records etc). Also the supposedly fictitious He 113 gets a mention, showing how successful the propaganda by Goebbels could be. As for the issues, given the attacks and pressure they were under at the time, I think they can be well and truly excused.

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