Roof over Britain - the official story of the A.A Defences, 1939 - 1942

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40 ROOF OVER BRITAIN light A.A. and Searchlights joined hands and responded to the opportunity. Quoting from the War Diary Night Feb. 9/10:15-20 Aircraft. S.Ls. illuminated eight aircraft some for two minutes. Two shot down, one by H.A.A. and one by L.A.A., both illuminated throughout engagement. Night Feb. 10/11:30 Aircraft including HE 115 floatplanes. Several illuminated. S.L. 05G picked up target, passed it onto S.L. 05H who passed in turn to S.L. 05J. “ RR ” L.A.A. site engaged, firing 5 rounds 40 mm. and 340 rounds .303. Plane shot down into the sea. Night Feb. 14/15:20-30 Aircraft. Ten illuminations averaging l£ minutes“ RR ” L.A.A. site got another—a Ju 88—with 12 rounds 40 Hmm. umber suffers as a “stand ”because a gun loses so many of his birds in the water but it was a good and exciting time which lasted till losses such as the above, with many others which could not be seen and substantiated, drove the Hun away to do his mine-laying in less expensive areas. Heavy A.A. shared in the bag but the light A.A. had most of the fun at this Onetime. of their Sergeants gave an excellent broadcast on it. February, March and April were packed with raids, mine-laying raids, raids on Hull and raids on other parts of the area. On March 22nd a daylight raider, who had lost his way, came out of low overclouds a well-defended area inland. A hot reception drove him back into the clouds unhurt. His next descent from the clouds found him in the very centre of the Humber area with Heaven knows how many fingers itching on their triggers. Light machine-gun fire instantly wrecked both engines and killed the observer. The pilot just had time to release his bombs before he hit a tree. Somehow he got out alive. Everyone claimed this ’plane, but an extremely tough Light A.A. Subaltern got there first and abolished the claim of the Balloon Barrage. It was eventually allotted to his Troop, though the work may well have been shared by a Lewis Gunner of the Searchlights, who apologised to his Colonel for shooting in front o f the target. All through these months R.A .F. fighters were co-operating as before, but these low flyers were more the guns’ meat than theirs. There is a satisfactory list of enemy ’planes engaged by the R.A.F. with and without A.A. co-operation from January to April. Blitz attacks had been an anxiety for sometime. Afire control team, sent out from Humberto assist in training other gun zones, had brought back first-hand information from Coventry. Sheffield, a sister gun-zone, handed on the lessons learnt there. Continual thought and work had been given to the problem, and May brought full trial Humberto A.A. Defences. Each night from the 2nd to
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