It was 60 years ago today - Valentines day 1943.

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A Story Of St. Valentines Day
February 14th, 1943.
By Mark Crame

60 years ago today, the World was at war. Much of Europe was occupied by the Third Reich, with German soldiers on the streets of, amongst others, our European neighbours; France, Belgium, and Holland. The ‘Chindits’ of the British Fourteenth Army (among whom were many men of the Royal Norfolk Regiment) had just crossed the River Chindwin in the Far East, The Germans and Russians were battling it out at Stalingrad, whilst the Americans and Japanese were fighting at Guadalcanal in the Pacific. While all this was going on abroad, the South Coast of England was under daily attack by fighter – bomber ‘raiders’ of the German Luftwaffe, flying from airfields on the Continent. The aircraft belonging to the Royal Air Force’s Fighter Command were the first line of defence, with 609 (West Riding) Squadron, based at RAF Manston in Kent, being one of the major units involved in the patrolling and defending of the English Channel. Among the men of 609 Squadron involved in this task was a young Norfolk pilot, who, with a colleague, was killed in action on Saint Valentines day, 1943.

1333551 Sergeant John George ‘Johnny’ Wiseman was born on January 31st 1923 and lived and grew up at Grange Farm, in Martham, Norfolk, (about 10 miles from Great Yarmouth) with his Father Percy, Mother Hilda, and sister Betty (three years his elder, and still living in Norfolk. She joined the ATS during the war to try and ‘do her bit’. She was at home on leave with her mother when the dreaded telegram arrived, notifying the family of Johnny’s loss). The farm consisted of around 200 acres of mainly arable land. Johnny’s father was from Ashby-With-Oby, a few miles away, a village to which he returned during the war years. A popular, kind, and intelligent boy, Johnny was a scholar and prefect at Great Yarmouth Grammar School, although he completed his Grammar schooling in Sevenoaks, Kent, as the school had been moved from Great Yarmouth (though not all the boys had gone, some having stayed in Martham due to it being a rural farming community, where they were needed). He returned to Martham after completing his schooling, and worked on the farm, doing all the tractor work, (it was the only tractor they had in those days) until he was old enough to join the Royal Air Force, having always been keen on flying. After completing his training as a pilot in Canada, Johnny returned to England in 1942 and was posted to 609 (West Riding) Squadron at Duxford, Cambridgeshire, flying Hawker Typhoon fighters. In October of that year, the Boulting Brothers were making a short propaganda film for the Royal Air Force Photographic Unit featuring 609 (West Riding) Squadron. Johnny appears twice in this film, once being described by Flight Commander Joe Atkinson as being “from Yarmouth, where they catch herrings”, and another segment where he discusses the merits of Polish Vodka with ‘Tony’ Polek.

Johnny is fondly remembered as a bit of a local hero, coming home on leave in RAF uniform at a time when the heroes of the Battle of Britain were still held in great esteem. One local boy, Roy Sales, was born and brought up on Grange Farm, as his grandfather was team manager looking after the horses. He often used to ride on the tractor with Johnny, from when he was about 5 years old. He remembers that there was an anti-aircraft gun and two searchlights stationed at the top of Grange Hill, about half a mile from the farm. On one night the Germans dropped several incendiary bombs in the area. Johnny was on leave at the time and he found one stuck in a hedgerow that had not detonated – which he promptly took home. The next day, he asked the young Mr Sales if he would like to have it. Receiving a positive reply, he dismantled the bomb, taking out all the explosives and combustible contents and igniting them out on the field, and gave him the empty bomb casing. He went back two days later, and Roy never saw him again.

On the day of Johnny’s death it was ‘A’ flights turn to come to readiness, and Johnny, flying Hawker Typhoon R7872 PR-S was paired with Flight-Sergeant Alan ‘Babe’ Haddon in Typhoon DN294 PR-O as Red Section. Together they took off in perfect flying weather from RAF Manston in Kent. Also patrolling was Yellow Section, consisting of the Belgian (and future Commanding Officer) Flying Officer Raymond ‘Cheval’ Lallemand in R7855 PR-D, and Polish pilot Flying Officer Antoni ‘Tony’ Polek in R8889 PR-X. Their mission was to protect some Royal Navy Motor Torpedo Boats, which had got into difficulties close to the French coast. During the night, the MTB’s had been making a nuisance of themselves around the French ports, and one was now lying disabled off Cap Gris-Nez, having struck some hidden wreckage. With dawn breaking, and still in range of the German coastal artillery, attempts were made to tow it to safety, as the men on board were now at the mercy of both this, and the German Luftwaffe who would surely soon appear.

Sergeant Wiseman and Flight-Sergeant Haddon (from Leicester) were tasked with the job of close escort, while Lallemand and Polek patrolled close by, ready to help if needed. Then bad luck struck the Navy. The cable that was being used to tow the stricken vessel snapped (although by this time they were out of range of the German guns). With the boats now stationary, Wiseman and Haddon could do no more than circle relentlessly around them. It was around this time that contact was lost between Red Section and Bill Igoe (the Sector Controller at RAF Biggin Hill, codenamed ‘Swingate’) and Yellow Section (who were now mid-Channel)

At around 11am on 14th February 1943, Sergeant ‘Johnny’ Wiseman was shot down, by one of two Focke-Wulf FW190’s of Stab III./Jagdgeschwader 2 ‘Richtofen’ based at Vannes-Meucon in France. One of these also shot down Flight-Sergeant Alan ‘Babe’ Haddon. Luftwaffe records show three claims from that day (at 11:36, 11:40, and 12:12 hrs) made by the Squadron Commander Oberleutnant Egon Mayer, holder of the Knights Cross, and one by Leutnant Fritz Rösle (at 11:38 hrs.) Mayer, the first Luftwaffe pilot to reach 100 kills on the Western Front, was officially credited with shooting down 102 enemy aircraft in 353 combat missions, and developed the head on attack against the American daylight bombers in conjunction with Major Georg-Peter Eder. He was killed in action just over a year later on 2nd March 1944, believed to have been shot down by an American pilot of the 365th Fighter Group flying a P47 Thunderbolt fighter 1½ miles south of Montmédy, France. The Captain of the immobile MTB was later to tell ‘Cheval’ Lallemand that the Focke-Wulfs had come up on the Typhoons, which were patrolling at 500ft and a 1000yds apart, from just above sea level, and being unable to give a warning to the pilots in time, they could only watch as one aircraft was seen to go down in flames, while the other folded up ‘like a book’, its wings shot away, and also crashed into the sea.

Shortly afterwards, Yellow Section engaged the first of two flights of four German fighters, with Lallemand altogether claiming two Focke-Wulfs confirmed destroyed and one probable, with Polek (in his first combat) claiming two probables. They were then joined by fellow 609 Squadron pilots Flying Officer Roy Payne, flying Typhoon R7845 PR-H, and another Belgian, Flying Officer Jean De Selys Longchamps in R8888 PR-Y, who proceeded to destroy another Fw190 apiece off Calais.

Official Luftwaffe losses were three pilots with their Focke-Wulf Fw190-A-4 aircraft. JagdGeschwader 2 ‘Richtofen’ recorded losing 3 aircraft destroyed and 3 pilots missing, believed killed, in the area of this combat on this day: Fw190-A4 Werknummer 0733 flown by Unteroffizier Fridolin Armbruster of 7/JG2, to the west of Boulogne at 12:20 hrs, Fw190-A4 Werknummer 2421 flown by Leutnant Leonhard Deuerling of 9/JG2, north west of Calais at 12:08 hrs, and Fw190-A4 Werknummer 7177 flown by Unteroffizier Gerhard Bischoff of 7/JG2 around Gris Nez at 11:50 hrs)

The Nine O’ Clock News that night announced: “In the course of defensive patrols over the English Channel, Typhoons of Fighter Command destroyed five Focke-Wulf 190’s, the latest type of German fighter. Two of our pilots failed to return.”

Sergeant ‘Johnny’ Wiseman has no grave but the sea.

Outside Martham Church, in the heart of Norfolk, there is a War Memorial to those from the village who died in the two World Wars. Johnny’s name is inscribed here, as well as on the Runnymede Memorial at Windsor; along with the 20,450 other Commonwealth and Allied aircrew whose bodies were never recovered. It is my goal to erect a permanent stone memorial to Johnny’s sacrifice now, 60 years after his death. Mr Peter Norton, the current owner of Grange Farm, Martham (himself ex-aircrew, flying operationally during the war on Lancasters as a member of Bomber Command) has generously agreed to the placing of a stone on land next to the roadside that once belonged to Johnny’s family, and Timpson’s Ltd (Lowestoft Branch) have pledged two large engraved brass plaques engraved with John’s name and details, and his Squadron badge, to affix to it.

I would like to ask all who read this today to think of Johnny for a minute or two, and also Alan 'Babe' Haddon from Leicester who was lost with him in the same action, along with all those countless others who have died in the various wars and conflicts which the people of this country have had to fight.

If you have any information or anecdotes about Johnny Wiseman’s earlier life, or would like to make a donation towards providing a permanent memorial to him in Martham, please write to: Mark Crame, 38 Tennyson Road, Lowestoft, Suffolk, NR32 1PS.

Further Background Information

Valentines Day 1943
Various Newspaper Reports On The Engagement

TYPHOONS GET FOUR FW’s
FOUR F.W. 190s which were attacking high-speed launches in the Channel yesterday afternoon were shot down by Typhoons in 20 minutes.
Daily Sketch 15th February 1943

Typhoons Win Fighter Battle
Four FW190’s were shot down over the Channel yesterday afternoon by a Scotsman, two Belgians and a Polish pilot. Two of our pilots are missing.
Six pilots from the West Riding of Yorkshire Auxiliary Squadron were over the Channel in their Typhoons when they saw a couple of high-speed launches being attacked by five or six FW 190’s. The Typhoons sailed in and a “dog-fight” developed.
One of the Belgians had already shot down two FW 190’s and yesterday he doubled his score.
News Chronicle, 15th February 1943.

Typhoons to rescue: four F.W.s down
Four F.W.190’s were shot down for a cost of two R.A.F. planes in fights over the Channel yesterday. In one fight Typhoons of the West Riding Auxiliary Squadron broke up an attack by six F.W.190s on two high-speed launches.
Daily Express, 18th February 1943.

TYPHOONS ROUT NEWEST NAZI FIGHTERS
F.W.s Routed While Attacking Launches
The battles of the F.W.s began when six pilots from the West Riding of Yorkshire Auxiliary Squadron, flying over the Channel in their Typhoons, saw a couple of high-speed launches being attacked by five or six enemy planes. The Typhoons promptly went in to attack.
A Belgian pilot was leading a section when, in his own words: “We met four F.W.190’s. They did not see us until we fired. They split up immediately and after a dogfight for four or five minutes I saw my No. 2 shooting at one F.W.190 and being chased by another.
“I turned to help him and hit the Hun, who went straight into the water. I climbed again, found my No. 2 and resumed patrol, as there were on other enemy aircraft in sight.
A Second Clash
“After fifteen minutes we saw another formation of four F.W. 190s making for Gris Nez, so we started climbing and got on theoir tails. I saw my fire hit one, but did not see what happened to him after he had turned on his back because I overshot him. I made a steep turn and got in some good bursts on another F.W. 190, which went down in flames.”
The Belgian pilots pilot’s No. 2 was a Polish flying officer, who severely damaged other F.W.s
“I could not wait to see if they crashed, because we weretwo against four,” he said “I got in a long burst against the the first F.W. 190. He was climbing and turning very steeply all the time, but I saw a number of strikes and smoke. The Hun disappeared in cloud.
“In the second dog-fight we were again two against four. I got in a burst before my target disappeared again in cloud. When I turned I saw him going down with smoke pouring out, making for the French coast.”
Another Belgian, also a flying officer, shot down his first enemy aircraft.
The fourth F.W. 190 destroyed was shot down by a Scottish-born flying officer.
Yorkshire Evening News, 15th February 1943.

TYPHOONS ROUT NEWEST NAZI FIGHTERS
F.W.s Routed While Attacking Launches
The battles of the F.W.s began when six pilots from the West Riding of Yorkshire Auxiliary Squadron, flying over the Channel in their Typhoons, saw a couple of high-speed launches being attacked by five or six enemy planes. The Typhoons promptly went in to attack.
A Belgian pilot was leading a section when, in his own words: “We met four F.W.190’s. They did not see us until we fired. They split up immediately and after a dogfight for four or five minutes I saw my No. 2 shooting at one F.W.190 and being chased by another.
“I turned to help him and hit the Hun, who went straight into the water. I climbed again, found my No. 2 and resumed patrol, as there were on other enemy aircraft in sight.
Daily Telegraph.

Scot gets one of 4 F.W.s over Channel
Four FW 190s were shot down over the channel early yesterday afternoon – one by a Scotsman, two by a Belgian, and one by a Polish pilot.
Six pilots of the West Riding of Yorkshire Auxiliary Squadron were over the Channel in their Typhoons when they saw a couple of high-speed launches being attacked by five or six FW 190s. The Typhoons sailed in.
A Belgian pilot was leading a section when in his own words: “We met four FW 190’s. They did not see us until we fired. They split up immediately and after a dog-fight for four or five minutes I saw my No. 2 shooting at one FW 190 and being chased by another.
INTO SEA
“ I turned to his help and hit the Hun who went straight into the sea. I climbed again, found my No. 2 and resumed patrol as there were no other enemy aircraft in sight.
“After 15 minutes we saw another formation of four FW 190s going to Gris Nez, so we started climbing and got on their tails.
‘I hit one but did not see what happened to him after he had turned on his back, because I over-shot him. I made a steep turn, however and got in some good bursts on another FW 190 which went down in flames.”
After a Polish flying-officer had downed a third the fourth was shot down by a Scottish-born flying officer.
“My leader chased two of them,” he said “and I chased another, but lost him in cloud. When I came down again I saw two FW 190s but they also took cloud cover.
“I followed, got right behind one, and gave a good burst which sent him down.”
The Scotsman

INTELLIGENCE FORM “F”
COMBAT REPORT

609 Squadron Manston
Battle of the M.T.B

F/O Payne F/O Lallemand F/O De Selys F/O Polek F/Sgt Haddon Sgt Wiseman

A. 14/2/43
B. 609 (West Riding) Sqdn
C. Typhoons 1B
D. 1150, 1200, 1210 hours
E. Between Dover and Gris Nez
F. 10/10ths cloud at 1000ft, 500ft thick
G. 1 Typhoon Cat.B 2 Typhoons Cat E
H. F/Sgt Haddon and Sgt Wiseman missing believed killed
J. 4 Fw190’s destroyed 3 Fw190’s probable

609 Squadron was detailed to supply sections to patrol in defence of an M.T.B lying between Dover and Gris Nez disabled after striking hidden wreckage. Altogether 3 sections, of 2 Typhoons, were involved, taking off between 1030 and 1145. The first section (F/Sgt Haddon and Sgt Wiseman) left at 1030 and both pilots failed to return. The skipper of the M.T.B reported that he saw the 2 Typhoons flying at 500ft in line astern, 1000yds apart. 2 Fw190’s then bounced the second Typhoon and it crashed in flames, they then attacked the first Typhoon and cut off both the wings, this Typhoon also crashed into the sea.

The remaining 4 Typhoons shot down 7 Fw190’s destroyed, or probably destroyed and prevented any further attacks on the M.T.B

F/O Lallemand (Belg) and F/O Polek (Polish) left Manston 1129 on defensive patrol and were then vectored to the position of the M.T.B Flying at 300ft they sighted 4 Fw190’s in square formation, on the deck and heading W. Typhoon’s attacked and the 190’s split up, there was a dogfight. On his first burst from astern Lallemand saw no result. After various gyrations he saw Polek chasing a 190 with another 190 behind him and firing. Lallemand approached from the beam and fired at the 190 behind Polek, obtaining hits on the cockpit. Lallemand almost rammed the enemy aircraft which crashed into the sea. Polek meantime had fired at a 190 while it was turning and diving, and then gave it a long burst as it climbed. The 190 poured thick white smoke and made cloud at such a low rate that Polek, following, was at stalling point. Polek believes the pilot was dead as he made no attempt to evade or avoid stalling.
Our two pilots then rejoined and continued patrol for about 10 minutes near Gris Nez when Swingate reported bandits approaching them from the east. Presently 4 Fw190’s were seen, again in 2 pairs and flying parallel, ahead and to port. Typhoon’s and 190’s all climbed and orbited. F/O Lallemand reports he had no trouble in out turning them. With the leading pair turning on a parallel course to port, he fired at one of the second pair from 15 degrees and it turned on its back. Whilst it was inverted he fired again from above, seeing strikes on its belly. As he overshot the e/a was still inverted, travelling at great speed in a dive from 300ft. He believes it went straight into the sea. (It is requested that if the evidence is considered sufficient, this claim be stepped up to Destroyed). Lallemand then fired a full beam shot at the second E/A of the pair from 350-400 yds, E/A dived and to his surprise burst into flames – Polek saw it go in. Polek himself got on the tail of another E/A (presumably one of the leading pair). This made a sharp climbing turn and Polek fired from the quarter at 100yds range shortly before the E/A reached cloud and he had to break away as the fourth E/A was on his tail. Though he saw no results of his fire, Lallemand saw this E/A flying slowly along the coast below cliff level, losing height and pouring blue-black smoke. (Claim:- probably destroyed) The 2 Typhoons landed Manston at 1217hrs.

F/O De Selys (Belg) and F/O Payne (airborne 1145-1233) hearing E/A reported, and knowing the other section of Typhoons were with M.T.B’s decided first on the wide sweep towards Calais from West, then down the French Coast to Gris Nez. As they were approaching Calais, and turning south, they were attacked by 3 Fw190’s flying North. The shooting missed and De Selys, warning his No.2 behind, turned sharply – observing the third E/A to be continuing North – the second was flying inland over Calais and the third was finishing a wide turn.
F/O De Selys engaged this third E/A in a head on attack, opening fire as he closed to 700 yes and seeing the E/A catch fire as it flashed overhead. Turning, he saw it stall at 300ft and spin into the sea about half a mile off Calais. Fire from the 190 had hit De Selys’ aircraft in the wings.

F/O Payne chased a 190 up into cloud and lost him. On re-emerging from cloud, off Calais, he saw 2 Fw190’s behind another a/c which he thought was De Selys and called a warning (De Selys was not in the area at that moment). The 2 E/A’s broke away however and climbed up into cloud over France. Payne followed and above cloud found himself 350 yds behind the starboard E/A. Opening fire from a slight angle he saw many strikes on the starboard wing and flames from the side of the fuselage. The 190 turned right and fell away into cloud still on fire. The other 190 turned left and was not seen again despite a search below cloud.

The two Typhoons met up over the Channel and returned to base.

Enemy Aircraft Camouflage.
The first quartet of 190’s were painted very dark, with black crosses on the wings, without white outline and no crosses on the fuselage.
The second quartet were a light grey with grey-blue bellies, yellow fins, a yellow band round the rear of the fuselage, and a yellow stripe running from leading to trailing edge, halfway along the wing. One of them also had a yellow arrowhead on the fuselage, and had the lower half of the fuselage painted black fro exhaust to cockpit. One of the final 190’s appeared black from the plan view.

4 Fw190’s destroyed.
2 Fw190’s probables.

F/Sgt Haddon and Sgt Wiseman, missing believed killed.

Roy Payne Recalls His Part In The Battle In November 2002

Roy Payne and Jean De Selys Longchamps were scrambled to help out the previous pilots - it probably took about ten minutes to reach the MTBs, flying to mid-Channel at about 300 mph. He said:- “Just as we flew overhead the MTB’s, we couldn’t believe our luck; just about two miles ahead we spotted a very old Junkers 52 three-engined transport plane heading North, just inside the French coastline. We headed towards it, but fantastic flak came up at us from the coastal defences. As we were concentrating so hard on the JU 52 we made the classic mistake; we stopped scanning the sky for enemy aircraft. In those few seconds, I saw tracer flash over my wings from behind. We both broke away suddenly. I turned steeply then saw them (the FW190’s) go up into cloud. I followed them in, and on re-emerging saw two planes. I thought the one in front of the other was Jean, so I called out to him on the radio. Then I opened fire on the closest of the two and saw my shells rip into his wing and lots of white smoke emerge from the fuselage. I thought I couldn’t claim it as destroyed because I hadn’t seen it hit the water, however on returning to Manston the Intelligence boys gave it to me. I think they wanted to keep the numbers up. Afterwards, de Selys and I wondered whether the JU52 was there as a decoy, but quickly realised that logistically it would have been impossible. It turned out that Jean’s was not one of the pair of aircraft that I saw emerging from the cloud, as he had corkscrewed away.”

Roy says that after that day he insisted that no tracer rounds were ever loaded on his aircraft, because it really takes away the element of surprise. In response to a query about the markings of the Fw-190’s in the Combat Report, Roy says that as he came up right behind the FW190 he personally couldn’t have seen any markings, and none of the Typhoons had arrowheads on their fuselages.

His Logbook Records The Following:

Feb 14, Typhoon PR-H, Escorting MT Boats, 50mins duration, 1FW 190 destroyed over Calais. Plus a swastika of course...
There is also a pull-out page headed ‘Fighter Pilot’s Gunnery Record’. It shows that on Feb 14th 1943, Roy Payne fired 120 rounds (cannon) and used 1.5 feet of film when attacking the FW190.

The days entry from the diary kept by 809082 F/Sgt F.II.E Robert ‘Bob’ Walling

Feb 14th
Babe Haddon and Johnnie Wiseman both went for a Burton.
They were shot into the sea off the French coast by one Fw190.
There was a general mix up over some MTBs in the Channel and in the end 4 Fw’s had been definitely destroyed and three probably destroyed.
Cheval got two and one probable and De Selys got one Payne got one and P/O Polak a probable.

Original post
Profile picture for user kev35

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RE: It was 60 years ago today - Valentines day 1943.

What can one say? Other than congratulations!!! A fantastic piece of research well presented. And above all, a fitting tribute to Johnny Wiseman and Alan Haddon. I think they would be justifiably pleased and proud that their efforts, and their sacrifice, is remembered some sixty years on.

Regards,

kev35

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RE: It was 60 years ago today - Valentines day 1943.

Yes

A great bit of work, well done.

Moggy

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RE: It was 60 years ago today - Valentines day 1943.

Nice work Snapper,all this research and organising a memorial aswell!
No mean feat,you deserve a pint or ten! :)

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Latest, Latest, read all about it!

Form 540 - Operations Record Book for 609 (West Riding) Squadron, Manston. February 14th 1943.

Feb 14th. For the IO to go away on a Sunday is as effective as the CO saluting W/D de Goat.
Today it results in the 'Battle of the MTB', a success comparable to the classic 'Battle of the Dinghy' on 8/5/41. Though F/Sgt Haddon and Sgt Wiseman are lost, 4 other Typhoons between them score no less than 7 Fw190's destroyed or probably destroyed. Initial situation: an MTB disabled between Dover and Gris Nez after striking hidden wreckage. First to be airborne, at 1030, are Haddon and Wiseman. Concerning them the skipper of the MTB reports that he saw 2 Typhoons flying at 500 ft in line astern. 2 190's converged to attack No 2, and the Typhoon went into the sea on fire. They then attacked No 1, cutting off both his wings, and this aircraft also went into the sea. At 1129 F/O's Lallemand and Polek go off.After some minutes they see 4 Fw190's on the deck, and attack. E/A split up and a dogfight begins. After a burst from astern Lallemand sees Polek chasing a 190, with another behind him, shooting. He aims at Polek, from the beam, and hits the 190 behind him. It slips sideways into the sea. Polek continues his attack, finally firing from astern as it climbs. There is thick white smoke from both sides of the engine, and E/A makes cloud at such a slow pace that Polek, following, nearly stalls himself. He thinks the pilot is killed, no attempt being made to evade or avoid stalling. (Probably destroyed). After resuming their patrol for another 10 minutes, they are near Gris Nez when Swingate reports bandits coming from the east, and presently 4 new 190's, again in 2 pairs, loom to port and ahead. Typhoons and 190's climb and orbit, Lallemand reporting little difficulty in out-turning them. Finally he gets into position to fire at one of the second pair: it turns on its back. While it is inverted he strikes it again in the belly and overshoots, leaving it diving inverted at 300 ft (probably destroyed). He then fires a full beam shot at the second E/A of the same pair from 350-400 yds, and to his surprise it bursts into flames and Polek sends it into the sea. Polek gets on the tail of one of the others, and he fires from the quarter at 100 yds shortly before it reaches cloud, and he has to break away on finding the 4th E/A on his own tail. Though he himself sees no results, Lallemand saw the E/A attacked flying slowly along the coast, below cliff level, losing height and pouring blue-black smoke (probably destroyed). Lallemand altogether has only fired 50 rounds from each gun, a total of 5 secs.
The last pair, off at 1145, are F/O de Selys and F/O Payne. Knowing the other section is with the MTB, de Selys decides on a wide sweep to Calais and then down to Gris Nez. As they are turning south at Calais they are attacked by 3 Fw190's flying north. The shooting misses, and de Selys, warning Payne, turns steeply and sees the third E/A continue north, the second steer inland over Calais, and the first finishing a wide turn. He engages this one head-on, opening fire at 7/800 yds and seeing E/A catch fire before it flashes over him. Turning, he sees it stall at 300 ft and spin into the sea ½ a mile off Calais. E/A has also been firing, and the Typhoon is hit in the spinner and wings. Meanwhile Payne has chased E/A No 2 into cloud over land and lost it. Returning below cloud off Calais he sees 3 190's and pursues 2 of them into cloud over France again. Above cloud he finds one 350 yds in front, and firing from a slight angle, sees many strikes and flames on the starboard fuselage. E/A descends into cloud still on fire. No further attacks are made on the disabled MTB.
Enemy Casualties: 2 Fw 190's destroyed F/O Lallemand - Belgian)
1 Fw 190 destroyed (F/O de Selys Longchamps - Belgian)
1 Fw 190 destroyed (F/O Payne - Scottish)
2 Fw 190 probable (F/O Polek - Polish)
1 Fw 190 probable ( F/O Lallemand - Belgian)
Our Casualties: 2 Typhoons Cat E F/DSgt Haddon and Sgt Wiseman missing.
1 Typhoon Cat B.
N.B Our aircraft were outnumbered by at least 2 to 1.
This brings 609's score on Typhoons to 17 destroyed, 6 probable and 7 damaged, for the loss through enemy action of 5 pilots. Total score for the war is now 180 destroyed, 64 probable and 94 damaged for the loss of 36 pilots.
Evening sees a dance at Doone House, at which F/O Baldwin appears wearing the DFC (the first since 1941, and F/O Van Lierde the Croix de Guerre Belge. The CO turns up very angry because the G/C night Ops at 11 group has refused to let him take off on an Intruder, on the ground that it is still 6 days before full moon - albeit conditions are ideal and previously the CO has Intruded at an even greater distance from the full moon. Result: next day the CO writes another letter.

Also, received a phone call from Alan 'Babe' Haddons brother, Ronald, on Saturday, in response to a letter I sent out to 15 Haddons last week. So I shall have the Brother of Babe and the sister of Johnny at the unveiling hopefully.