First Contact With The Enemy

I find I have completely missed out the epic first contact of 601 with the Germans, it was on 27th November while we were at Biggin, 601 had to provide 6 Blenheims for a special job, so we, the erks, went by lorry to Northolt and worked far into the night fitting special equipment, the following is a copy of the official report.

Northholt, Nov. 27.:- Three aircraft from “A” flight and 3 aircraft from “B” flight left Biggin Hill for Northolt at 14.55 hours.  On arrival at Northolt, the pilots received orders to participate in a projected raid at the German seaplane base at BORKUM the following day.  Crews of aircraft, wireless personnel, and armourers arrived at Northolt shortly afterwards, and spent the entire night equipping the aircraft for the operation.

Northolt Nov 28th:- The equipment was completed by 10.30hrs on 28.11.39. Six navigators and three Wireless Operators (Air Crew) joined the detachment, and together with three Wireless Operators and six pilots from 601 Sqdn., completed the crew of the six aircraft.  The aircraft took off in company with six aircraft of No 25 Sqdn. at 11.30hrs, and flew to Bircham Newton.

The twelve aircraft left Bircham Newton at 14.15 hours, flying in four sections, led by Sqdn. Ldr. Pott; Flt. Lieut. M.F. Peacock leading the second section, and Flying Officer M. Aitken leading the fourth section.

Front gun attacks were made at Borkum at 15.25hrs by all aircraft, which returned immediately and made a landfall at Great Yarmouth at 17.05 hours.  It was then decided to follow No 25 Squadron back to Northholt, and not to return to Manston as had originally been intended.

At 17.50 hrs the formation arrived at Debden, and S/Ldr Pott decided to land there; all aircraft landed successfully.

The detachment stayed at Debden for the night.

36 hours flying had been carried out.

The six aircraft took off at 10.30 hours 29th Nov. and flew back to Northholt and company with No 25 Squadron. The crews dispersed there, and S/Ldr Pott confirmed a full report of the operation which he had previously made to the A.O.C.

The aircraft left Northholt at 12.30hours and landed successfully at Biggin Hill at 13.00 hours.

So ended 601 Squadron’s first contact with the enemy, the first of many.

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