Thursday, 8 August 1940

North Weald – Whitchurch – Ringway

S/Ldr Knowles again borrows a Hurricane from 56 Squadron and flies to Ringway via Whitchurch. SIS has its eyes on six Dutch KLM DC-2 and DC-3 airliners at Whitchurch. These have been impounded along with other foreign airliners. But SIS is thwarted, and the airliners cannot simply be purloined; they are the private property of a foreign country. The Dutch airliners and their crews are subsequently engaged by BOAC for use on the Lisbon route; one will be shot down in 1943 with the actor Leslie Howard aboard.

S/Ldr Knowles is at Ringway to attend a conference on the development of glider troops. From the timing it is probable that Knowles uses the opportunity to brief F/O John Coghlan on his new responsibilities, but there is no record of any such contact; indeed, Coghlan is not present in the Ringway record at all. Knowles then flies back to North Weald.


TNA AIR 27/528, 56 Squadron ORB, August 1940
TNA AIR 28/512, ORB, Central Landing School, Ringway
TNA DEFE 2/791 Combined Ops papers on Parachute training