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Thread: Biggin Hill ORB _ August 1940

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    Default Biggin Hill ORB _ August 1940

    During August 1940 the met office at Biggin Hill was staffed by four men, a civilian officer in charge and three airmen, two of whom were LACs. I don't know the rank of the third but suspect he was also an LAC, one R H Jessop. Jessop was the only survivor of the four when the airfield was attacked around teatime on 30 August. The met office was abandoned and Jessop established a temporary office in a butcher's shop in the village, which he maintained until support arrived a few days later.

    I appreciate there was a lot of damage and that many units moved into temporary accommodation, but I'm wondering if there is a summary of the aftermath of the attack and if so, any reference to the move of the met office. I am especially interested in any reference to Jessop - and particularly his service number.

    A very long shot I know, but any advice would be appreciated.

    To save duplication I hasten to add I know the names of those killed and am in touch with two of their families*:

    Mr Norman A Roberts*
    LAC Edwin H F Buttfield
    LAC Thomas C J Brunning*

    Brian

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    Brian,

    some years ago I photographed the August and September 1940 pages from the Biggin Hill ORB (AIR 28/64), just 12 pages cover these two months. Very disappointing from an operational point of view, but they do record bombing raids. The vast majority of the entries for these two months consist of weather reports !
    I can send you these pages if you wish. My email address is;

    mandkgleeson7 AT gmail DOT com

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Thank you, Martin. My interest was in Jessop, who I thought was a serviceman, and hoped there might have been a reference to him (as sole survivor of the met personnel) with a service number. In fact I have just discovered, via an off-board message, that he was a civilian observer at the time,. I have a copy of the weather observations from the Met Office Daily Register for the station, so that is covered, thank you, but I would appreciate the dates and times of the August raids. I think the one on the 30th was at 6 pm local time (plus/minus a few minutes).

    Brian

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    Hello,

    Summary of Enemy Air Attacks on R.A.F. Biggin Hill.

    Date......Time....No. of enemy a.c....No. & Type of bombs.....Ground Defence..Summary of Damage
    18 Aug...1330.............30...............500 (500 K max.) 90 D.A.....Yes............Direct hit on M.T. sheds. No other damage. 2 killed, 3 wounded. 90 D.A. bombs on aerodromes which remained operational.

    22/23 Aug..03.25......1................H.E. Number not recorded.....N/K.Bombs did not fall on aerodrome.

    27/28 Aug..22.30....N/K...............H.E. Number not recorded......N/K.None.

    29/30 Aug..22.30....N/K...............H.E. Number not recorded......N/K.Craters on A/D which remained operational.

    30 Aug.......12.25....N/K..............H.E. Number not recorded.......N/K.Surface of A/D damaged. Remained operational.

    30 Aug.......18.00....30................16 x 1000 lbs H.E. 1 b. also dropped. N/K.Severe damage to workshops, equipment section, hangars, M.T. sheds, barracks, dining halls etc. Main and camp roads. Electricity, water, gas, sewage and telephone services severed. 3 air raid shelters hit, 39 killed, 36 wounded. A/D remained operational, temporary telephone and power hook-up arranged.

    31 Aug.......12.00....N/K...............H.E, Number not recorded.......N/K.Further damage to buildings and services. No casualties. A/D operational.

    31 Aug.......18.38....204...............H.E. Number not recorded.......N/K.Further extensive damage to services to domestic and technical areas. Ops room received direct hit. Emergency Ops room in Biggin Hill village brought into immediate use. 8 a.c destroyed on ground, seven personnel casualties. Telephone and power cables again severed. A/D remained operational.

    See:
    Biggin On The Bump The story of the most famous fighter station in the world.
    Ogley,Bob.
    Westerham:Froglets Publications,1900.
    p.72.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 6th April 2019 at 14:39.

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    Thank you, Col, much appreciated.

    Brian

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    I'm trying to access Geoff's Search Engine at http://www.hut-six.co.uk/cgi-bin/search39-47.php to find the names of those allegedly killed on 18 August 1940 (see Cols #4). Unfortunately although the page comes up it is immediately replaced by a Petition to Revoke Article 50 - which I'm completely unable to remove. Is this just me or is it general.

    My reason for asking is that the Biggin Hill ORB makes no reference to any raid on the 18th, the only entry being a summary of the weather.

    Brian

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    Brian,

    Geoff has closed down his search engine. Details and reasons by Geoff here

    http://www.ww2talk.com/index.php?thr...d.74035/page-3

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Thank you, Ross. A great pity as it was one of the most useful research tools going, even if one did not use it every day. However, I can appreciate Geoff's reason for closing down, and can only say "Thank you" to him.

    Brian

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    Having just received a copy of a page from the diary of one of the Metmen I sometimes think someone must be smiling on me. His entry for the 18th reads:

    Air raid warning about 1 o'clock - went down shelter - lots of bombs dropped - one just behind met office. Over by 13.50 - lots of craters on field but no hangers hit. Quite close enough for my liking. Another warning about tea time but they did not get here. Our planes from this station brought down 36. Altogether 144 planes brought down over England today.

    The entry for the 18th in the Biggin Hill ORB is a summary of the day's weather!

    Brian

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