On this day, eighty years ago, the German Luftwaffe upped the ante with a series of attacks on allied shipping convoys off the south-east coast.
Fortunately, Spitfire production had returned to strength in July which was timely, as the battle of Britain which it would become known, raged through until the end of October of the same year.
Whilst the RAF were heavily outnumbered, they took on the enemy and won, changing the final outcome of the conflict as we now understand.
The RAFB100 “EB.G” has just been sold to a new customer and will be collected shortly. This bike is linked with the Battle of Britain aircraft flown by Eric “Sawn Off” Lock DSO DFC
The Battle of Britain was already two months old when No 41 was sent south to RAF Hornchurch, east of London. His first victory down south was a Heinkel He 111 and then two Bf 109 fighters on 5 September. From then on, Eric – who had already been nicknamed ‘Sawn Off’ by his squadron mates on account of his stature – scored most of his successes against German single-engined fighters. He stayed with No 41 during the hectic fighting of September, with his score creeping up after engagements with Bf 109s as well as, unusually, a Henschel Hs 126 army scouting aeroplane, probably found over Occupied France. Most of his victims were flying the fast and agile Bf 109, so by the time of his death on 3 August 1941 he had destroyed 18 of them in a total ‘bag’ of 26 enemy aircraft. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross on 1 October and was promoted Acting Flight Lieutenant and awarded the Distinguished Service Order on 17 December 1940 in recognition of his skills.
The patron of the RAFBF100 series, Alan Scott, one of the last remaining Spitfire pilots and sole survivor of the Battle of Malta, can be seen in this short film