Spitfire IX , EN177 (AH-Z)
Circus 267. After a quick lunch, the pilots were again called to briefing in connection with Circus 267. The North Weald Wing was going to act as target support for 20 Liberators bombing an armed merchant ship in Dunkirk Harbour. At 1505 hours, 11 aircraft of this Squadron, led by W/Cdr. P.G. Jameson D.F.C., took off together with 331(N) Squadron. Course was set for Dunkirk with the Wing climbing from base. The French coast was crossed W. of Dunkirk at 1535 hours flying at 24,000 feet. The Wing, being early, flew a short distance inland and then turned ans crossed the coast W. of Dunkirk. Seeing the bombers and their escort coming in, the Wing turned to starboard and flew in over Dunkirk. Although the target itself was not seen, pilots reported to have seen numerous bomb bursts on quayside. As the bombers turned after bombing, the Wing followed them out. One bomber was seen to be hit by flak and spun down. Crossing the French coast, 5 F.W.190's were seen in line abreast to port flying at 20,000 feet. W/Cdr. Jameson turned down along coast to get into the sun, and led his section into the attack. During this attack, two F.W.190's were destroyed, one by the W/Cdr. and one by 2/Lt.Gilhuus J., - the remainder took evasive action by diving inland. The section then climbed to rejoin the formation. At this time the bomber escort was split up as they went into attack. Two more e/a were destroyed, one by W/Cdr. and one by 2/Lt. M.Eriksen D.F.M. The pilots were split up following these combats and returned individually to base after escorting the bombers. 2/Lt M.Eriksen followed one damaged bomber, and he saw a F.W.190 flying on the deck so he went after it. He was not able to close in to a short range so he gave an 8 seconds burst from dead astern. As a result of this firing, e/a dived into the sea and no trace of the wreckage or the pilot was seen. The damaged Liberator went into the sea off Manston and Eriksen circled the spot until the H.S.L. arrived and picked up the survivors. The Squadron had landed at base at 1640 hours. The North Weald Wing destroyed 7 e/a and damaged two without any casualties to our pilots or aircraft. The Squadron claimed three out of the seven.