Spitfire IX , LZ898 (AH-N)
Ramrod 144. The North Weald Wing was to act as 2nd Fighter Sweep with the Northolt Wing above as cover on this operation. This Squadron, led by W/Co., Major H. Mehre, D.F.C., took off from North Weald together with 331(N) Squadron. The Wing started climbing from base and crossed the French coast at Pointe D'Ailly at 22-23,000 feet. At this time a message was received that the bombers were in trouble owing to their escort failing to take up position, so the Wing climbed to 27,000 feet and made a wide orbit in the Abbeville area. During this orbit the bombers were seen to cross out over the French coast and numerous aircraft were all around the Wing. Blue Section dived down to investigate four aircraft orbitting below at 20,000 feet, but these were found to be friendly, so Blue section climbed back up to the Wing. Yellow section dived down on two F.W.190's, but were unable to close in to attacking range, so they broke off and climbed back to the Wing. Just as Yellow section were about to reform with the Wing, they were attacked by two sections of two F.W.190's from above out of very thin cloud. The forms of these aircraft had been seen through the cloud, but it was very difficult to distinguish what they were. One or two combats took place following the attack of these e/a during which the W/Co. destroyed one, and 2/Lt. Bolsted K. destroyed another. Sgt. Kolling R. and Sgt. Bøge A both made attacks, but make no claims. While these combats were taking place, 331(N) Squadron was engaged and the claims were 1 probable and one damaged, the Wing had no loss. After the combats the Wing was split into sections of four aircraft and they crossed out over the coast between Berk-sur-Mer and Cayeux. When out in the Channel, the sections were able to reform together, and the Wing came back in formation and landed at base without further incident. CLAIMS:- 1 F.W.190 destroyed by Major H. Mehre, D.F.C. 1 F.W.190 destroyed by 2/Lt. Bolstad K. LOSSES:- NIL. Weather: 1/10 cloud in very small patches - visibility very good - slight wind about 20,000 feet.