Tag Archives: Combined Ops

Combined Operations

Thursday, 18 July 1940

56 Squadron, North Weald

S/Ldr Knowles, now a ‘Whitehall warrior’, borrows one of No. 56 Squadron’s Hurricanes. He flies to Ringway in L1764, taking off at 1200. The flight lasts about an hour. He returns between 1805 and 1905. There are obviously enough spare fighters for him to borrow an operational fighter aircraft from a front-line station during the battle.

There’s a gap in the Ringway ORB between the 17th and 22nd. It appears that bad weather prevents any parachute training drops over Tatton Park.

On 30 September Knowles’s borrowed Hurricane will be crash-landed on Chesil beach by P/O M.H. Constable-Maxwell, after 56 Squadron intercepts a raid by He111s on the Westland factory at Yeovil.

Saturday, 29 June 1940

The Admiralty, London

In his continued search for the organisation responsible for whatever unit he’s been posted to at RAF Ringway, P/O Louis Strange is sent over to the Admiralty, where he finds Group Captain Bowman, DSO MC* DFC. Geoffrey Bowman (‘Beery’ Bowman, one of the 56 Squadron aces who in 1917 fought Werner Voss in his gallant fatal combat) is still trying to find a replacement for S/Ldr Ross Shore as CO of the Parachute Training School, for which he is responsible as the Combined Operations Air Director. P/O Strange is told to visit his tailor and take over the PTS on Monday.

Monday, 24 June 1940


France and Italy sign an armistice. Italy’s crumb from the table of Nazi conquest is the old province of Savoy.

Four small scale raids are mounted against coastal targets between Boulogne and Berck-sur-Mer, with one at Plage du Merlimont, four miles south of Le Touquet.

RAF Ringway

Louis Strange arrives at Ringway. He doesn’t knows why he’s been sent there, and no-one there, not even the Station Commander, can tell him.

Wednesday, 19 June 1940

RAF Bassingbourn, Cambridgeshire

Squadron Leader Donald Ross Shore, a career officer who has become a parachute specialist, jumps from the tail of a Whitley and is concussed on landing. He also twists an ankle. He has been appointed to command the Parachute Training School, which is due to form at RAF Ringway in two days’ time.

Combined Operations HQ, London

Group Captain Geoffrey Bowman, DSO, MC*, DFC, Deputy Director (Air) of Combined Operations, has to find a replacement commandant for the parachute school, as Sqn Ldr Shore is now out of action.