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Thread: First RAF victory WW2

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    Default First RAF victory WW2

    20 Sep 1939 - Sgt F Letchard, a gunner in a Fairey Battle, claims the first RAF victory of the war after shooting down a German Bf 109 during a patrol near Aachen.

    Can anyone add more to the above statement? - Aircraft ID - Squadron.
    I believe two Battles were lost during this engagement.

    Any help as always is appreciated.

    Regards
    Peter.

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    Peter,

    The Battles lost were of 88 Squadon: K9242 and K9245.

    Squadron flew a recce mission over the German-French frontier (Saar area).

    Peter Cornwell's "The Battle of France" book mentions no Luftwaffe loss on 20 Sept 1939 due to a RAF claim...

    Regards,

    Leendert

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    Leendert,

    Many thanks for your reply. the question now arises, is this statement true?

    Regards
    Peter.

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    London Times published a detailed account of this action on 2 October 1939 from an Air Ministry bulletin released the previous day. The date of the action was not provided.

    The British gunner shot down two "Messerchmidts", three British aircraft were shot down and a fourth made a forced landing in England. Of the twelve men in the shot-down aircraft eight were seen to parachute.

    The squadron commander was pilot of the aircraft that bagged the two German fighters. Badly shot up, it made a belly landing on return to England. All on board were injured or burned, but none seriously.

    The Squadron Leader was a native of Cork, the navigator from Kent and the gunner from Aberdeenshire.

    These British losses do not match the numbers posted previously, so the bulletin may not have been accurate. However the 1 October release of the Air Ministry bulletin would seem to support the dating of this action in late September.
    Last edited by Ken MacLean; 21st September 2008 at 07:18.

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    Many thanks Ken for adding a bit more info, seems it did happen then, one would have thought this notable event would have been better recorded over the years.

    Regards
    Peter

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    Shores et al in "Fledgling Eagles" also disputes the claim, and states that the surname was Letchford.

    A

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