Friday, 14 March 1941

Stradishall – Operation BENJAMIN

The Duty Officer reports back with an answer to Knowles’s request:

Spoke to Group re Fighter escort for Whitley. They consider there is sufficient hours of daylight i.e. 11 hours between out & return journey east of 3°E for Whitley to take off & pass that point 40 minutes after sunset & still return before sunrise. Doubtful too if escort will be provided for just one a/c. There is an escort patrol by 11 Group to 20 miles off coast in any case. Group are not doing anything further in the matter.

Eleven hours of daylight? Between sunset and sunrise, almost, but not between twilight and first light. (Group’s idea of darkness, at 40 minutes after sunset and before sunrise, was still light enough for a patrol to spot a lone Whitley.) At best the pilot would have about nine hours of darkness in which to fly more than 1100 miles, drop the agent somewhere near the target, and return to less hostile skies.

Stradishall – Tangmere

F/Lt Gordon Scotter and F/O Ron Hockey fly to Tangmere in Lysander T1508.