Pilot Accounts Battle of Britain



Pilot Accounts - Battle of Britain, July-October 1940

The accounts you'll find here have been collected from various sources. Some of them were written almost immediately after the flight (like the ones originating from 303 Squadron's chronicle), others have been taken from books published after the war. They all have one thing in common - they have been written by the pilots themselves and thus relate the first-hand experience of flying in the Battle. For convenience, I have arranged these accounts in chronological order. 

August 8

This is the account of Witold Urbanowicz's first sortie in the Battle, and his first hard-won victory. At the end of the Battle he was the most successful Polish pilot, credited with 17 victories.

August 13

This day, prematurely pronounced 'Adler Tag' (or Eagle Day) by Goering, turned out very successful for the RAF Fighter Command. It was also successful for Tadeusz Nowierski who, having flown P.23 bombers in the Polish Campaign, was now adjusting to his new role of a Spitfire pilot.

September 2

501 Hurricane Squadron featured probably the largest contingent of Polish pilots of all British squadrons during the Battle. One of them was Stanislaw Skalski, who on September 2 was already an ace with 7.5 confirmed victories.

September 7

This was a day of great success for 303 Squadron, one of the few squadrons which intercepted German bombers in time to prevent them from reaching London. With 14 confirmed victories, 303 Squadron set Fighter Command's new daily record.

September 15

On this crucial day over 80 Polish pilots took part in the fighting. Again 303 Squadron enjoyed the greatest success, scoring 15 confirmed victories in two missions. Please check out Witold Urbanowicz's unique account of a large, heavily escorted bomber formation being turned back by a well-executed attack of five (!) Hurricanes.

October 29

By this time, the Battle was drawing to a close, and the Germans refrained from large bomber raids in favor of attacks carried out by low-flying Jabo (fighter-bomber) formations. On this day North Weald airfield was hit by such a raid.
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