Spitfire IX , LZ919 (AH-T)
Rodeo 122. The North Weald Wing proceeded to Redhill daring the morning to take part in this operation Acting as Escort to the second formation of B.17's. This Squadron, led by Major H. Mehre, D.F.C., who was also leading the Wing, took off togehter with 331 (N) Squadron from Redhill and made contact with the Northolt Wing at 4,000 feet 5 minutes after take off. The French coast was crossed near Stretat [?] at 28-29,000 feet in cloud. Height was lost to 27-28,000 feet below cloud and the bombers were sighted 10 miles South of rendevous at 1256 hours. About 12 or 15 a/c, presumed hostile, were observed in the sun over 30,000 feet, so the Wing climbed to intercept there, but they made off before identified. Position was taken up to 2,000 feet above and behind the bombers and maintained to the French coast North of Caen where cloud caused Wing to alter height several times. Many Spitfires were seen close around the bombers, and after crossing the coast the Wing again took up position above and behind the bombers which were flying in one large loose formation. The escort were maintained to two miles off English coast. A few e/a were seen diving towards bombers but it is doubtful if any made more than a single high speed diving attack. Several of these e/a attacked at long range without results. Just after crossing the coast a formation of about 15 e/a approached from behind but turned and dived South as soon as the Wing turned towards them. Weather: 10/10 cloud from Brest to Le Havre from 22-32,000 feet, otherwise clear exept from a light cumulus.