Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service 28 July 1942.

Date                Time   Location         Damage

28/07/1942                Foulness       1 – H.E unexploded found in a ditch 100 yards

Island             North of cart track and 300 yards South East of Eastwick Farm.  No damage or casualties.

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service 22 July 1942.

Date                Time   Location         Damage

22/07/1942    12.20  Great              Mr Albert Collicut of “Seaview Road, age 57 years,

Wakering       was employed at “O” Battery, New Ranges, Shoeburyness fixing plates in the butt, when a round was fired from the gun killing him instantly.

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service 9 July 1942.

Date                Time   Location         Damage

09/07/1942    08.40  Raweth          Bombardier No 1474857 Harry Owens age 20

years, a single man of the 329th A.A. Heavy Battery R.A. was examining a hand grenade at the A.A. gun site when it exploded killing him instantly.  The Army Hut in which the explosion occurred was damaged.

09/07/1942    Found  South            1 – A.A. unexploded Shell in a field 200 yards

Benfleet         South of “Winifred” a house in Thundersley Park Road.  No damage or casualties.  Date and time of falling not known.

09/07/1942    Found  Canvey         1 – H.E. unexploded in a field at the Western end

Island           of Waterside Farm.  No damage or casualties.  Date of falling believed 24.10.40.  (Disposed of BDS   42).

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service 3 July 1942.

Date                Time   Location         Damage

03/07/1942    Found  South            3 – 2″ British Trench Mortars near the Seaplane

Benfleet         obstructions, Benfleet Creek.  Removed to Canvey Island Police Station.

03/07/1942    Found  Billericay      1 – H.E. unexploded at Snail’s Farm Jackson’s

Lane.  Time of falling not known.  No damage or casualties.

SECOND WORLD WAR

July 1942

(Britain)

The first USAAF B-17 Flying Fortresses arrived in Britain on the 1st July 1942 and were distributed to various purpose built airfields in England, Administration staff had begun arriving at High Wycombe in Buckinghamshire during May 1942 in readiness for the deployment of American units to Britain to form the 97th Bombardment Group. With the arrival of the United States Army Air Force (USAAF), alongside RAF Bomber Command the Allies were in a position to attack Germany on a regular basis. The combined bombing forces were now able to undertake both daylight and night-time raids. The Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress was a four-engine heavy bomber developed in the mid-1930s. The first B-17 flew in July 1935 and was introduced into service with the United States Army Air Corps (USAAC) in April 1938. When the war began in 1939 the RAF did not have many heavy bombers until March 1942 when the Avro Lancaster bombers entered service. The Lancaster was developed from the twin-engine medium bomber Avro Manchester and soon became the principle heavy bomber for the RAF, overshadowing the Halifax and Stirling.

The first USAAF unit selected to bomb targets in occupied Europe was the 15th Bombardment Squadron and the raid was on the 4th July 1942. The raid had been specifically ordered by General Henry “Hap” Arnold who believed the 4th July American Independence Day would be the ideal day for the attack. After a few weeks of familiarisation training, six American crews from RAF Molesworth in Cambridgeshire joined up with six RAF crews from RAF Swanton Morley, Norfolk. Their targets were Luftwaffe airfields in the Netherlands. The attacks were made at low-level and the badly damaged aircraft of the 15th Bombardment Squadron commander, Captain Charles Kengleman, only just managed to return. For this action Kengleman was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and a British equivalent for his bravery and valour. Of the twelve attacking bombers three did not return, two American and one British.                                q                                                                    

A motion of censure was brought against Prime Minister Winston Churchill on the 2nd July 1942. Following two weeks of reversals on the North African Front, the House of Commons proposed they had no confidence in the general direction of the war. The House payed tribute to the endurance and heroism of the Armed Forces of the Crown in the most difficult of circumstances and directed their censure against Churchill’s leadership. Before the vote was taken Churchill gave a lengthy speech where he conceded the war had not been going well. With the campaign in North Africa stalling and the war in the Pacific being a series of disasters, Churchill assured the House that things would soon improve. Once the vast amounts of American military supplies began arriving the war in Europe would take a turn for the better. When the vote was finally taken the motion of censure was heavily defeated 475 to 25.

(Germany)

Four German submarines were commissioned between the 1st /4th July 1942. Three were Type VIIC and one was a Type IXC/40. Type VIIC was the workhorse of U-boat force which had limited range before being required to be refuelled. They had five torpedo tubes, four in the bows and one at the stern. One 8.8cm (3.46 inch) naval gun was supplied for deck armament. Type IXC/40 was a large ocean-going submarine capable of sustained operations far from support facilities. They had six torpedo tubes, four in the bows and two at the stern. One 10.5cm (4.1 inch) deck gun was supplied for surface firepower.

Commissioned on the 1st July 1942 was U-414 (Type VIIC, built in Danzig) and commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Walther Huth. She was deployed in the Battles of the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Also commissioned on the same day was U-707 (Type VIIC, built in Hamburg) and commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Oberleutnant zur See Günther Gretschell. She was deployed in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Commissioned on the 2nd July 1942 was U-629 (Type VIIC, built in Hamburg) and commanded by Oberleutnant zur See Hans-Helmuth Bugs. She was deployed in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Commissioned on the 4th July 1942 was U-167 (Type IXC/40, built in Hamburg) and commanded by Kapitänleutnant Kurt Neubert. She was deployed in the Battle of the Atlantic.

Operation Outward was a British programme to attack Germany by means of free flying balloons. The balloons were surplus weather balloons and when fitted with simple timing and regulating systems were released to fly over to Germany. Nearly 100,000 balloons were released during the course of the war with half carrying incendiaries and half carrying trailing wires. The most successful 0peration 0utward raid was on the 12th July 1942 when a balloon fitted with a trailing wire struck an 110Kv power cable which caused the Böhlen power station to be destroyed by fire. The free flying balloon attacks were successful and had an economic impact on Germany far in excess of the cost to the British government.

The first successful test flight of the Jet Messerschmitt Me 262 fighter aircraft was carried out on the 18th July 1942 at Leipheimer near Günzburg in Germany. This version was the third variant air frame housing a jet powered engine. The engine had been developed and constructed by Hans Joachim Pabsi von Ohain in 1936. The gradual development of the aircraft entailed various flight tests ultimately leading to the first successful first jet powered flight. Frank Whittle, a 22 year old English RAF officer proposed the concept of the jet engine in 1930. When he presented the design to the RAF the idea was turned down as impractical. Whittle patented the idea in January 1930 but could not finance the patent renewal fee when it became due in 1935. Although he entered a partnership to set up Power Jets Ltd, finance was difficult to obtain for further development. The Germans were able to capitalise on Whittle’s design.

(France)  

Following France’s defeat and the signing of an armistice with Germany in 1940, Pierre Laval served two prominent roles in the Vichy French regime of Phillippe Pétain. His first role was vice-chairman of the Council of Ministers and from April 1942 as head of government. Laval had won the trust of German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler and increasingly Pétain was only a figurehead in the Vichy regime. As the effective premier of Vichy France Laval collaborated with the Nazis programme of genocide and oppression. In Paris, on the 16th July 1942 Laval encouraged the French police to carry out a massive arrest programme of Jewish families’ codenamed the “Vel’ d’Hiv Roundup”. The name of “Vel’ d’Hiv’ Roundup” was derived from Vélodrome d’Hiver (Winter Vélodrome). Aimed at eliminating the Jewish population in France, the roundup consisted of both Jews who resided in the German occupied zone in the north and the French free zone in the south. Over 14,000 Jews were arrested in Paris of which 4,000 were children. They were held at the Velodrome d’Hiver without food or water. The accommodation was crowded and with no sanitary facilities the conditions were appalling. The Jewish population of Paris were transferred to Auschwitz in rail cattle trucks where they systematically murdered.

(Eastern Front)

The Siege of Sevastopol began on the 19th May 1942 following the Battle of the Kerch Peninsular. Sevastopol is a port in the Crimea which is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea. The German/Romanian attack defeated the Soviet troops at Kerch on the 15th May 1942. The port of Sevastopol with approximately 162,000 Soviet soldiers were left stranded and completely surrounded by German soldiers. After a month’s delay the German commander Erich von Manstein turned his attention to the capture of Sevastopol. Using of the Luftwaffe and a large number of heavy artillery guns including super heavy 600 mm (24 inch) Kari-Gerät mortars and the 800 mm (31 inch) ‘Dora’ Railway Gun the assault began on the 2nd June 1942. The bombardment continued for another five days before the ground assault began. The troops who were victorious at the Battle of the Kerch Peninsular were the same soldiers attacking Sevastopol. Casualties were high on both sides as the month dragged on. A surprise amphibious attack was ordered by von Manstein on the 29th June 1942 which was a success as Soviet resistance was almost non-existent. On the 1st July 1942 the German army overran Sevastopol whilst the Soviet forces conducted a disorderly evacuation. The entire city of Sevastopol was in German hands on the 4th July 1942 and the siege was over. For his success German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler promoted von Manstein to Field-Marshal on the 1st July 1942.

When Germany invaded Poland in September 1939 they converted the Auschwitz army barracks into a prisoner-of-war camp for Polish political prisoners. Gas chambers had been added to the converted barracks in May 1940 and the first gassing of inmates began about the end of August 1941. Using concentration and extermination camps the Germans attempted to solve the “Final Solution to the Jewish Question”. As Director of the Reich Main Security Office, Gestapo Reinhard Heydrich outlined this solution at the Wannsee Conference in Berlin. The conference was held on the 20th January 1942. Jews from all occupied Europe would be transported by freight train and delivered to Auschwitz. Selected prisoners would be separated for slave labour and the remaining prisoners would be gassed on arrival. By the 4th July 1942 the Germans were systematically gassing Jews at Auschwitz. 

In April 1942 Treblinka in Poland was built as an extermination camp and equipped with gas chambers disguised as shower rooms and located 8Okm (50 mile) northwest of Warsaw. Treblinka first opened on the 22nd July 1942 when the systematic deportation of Jews from Warsaw Ghettos began. The camp comprised two separate units.Treblinka 1 was a forced-labour camp. Cutting wood in the forest to fuel the cremation pits was one of the tasks the prisoners were forced to undertake. When not cutting wood they worked in the gravel pits or the surrounding irrigation areas. Of the 20,000 inmates who resided in Treblinka 1 between 1942 and 1944, more than half died from starvation, disease, malnutrition or shooting. Treblinka 2, the second camp, was the extermination camp.Treblinka 2 was divided into three sections. The first was the guard’s quarters and administration compound, the second was the off-loading of incoming prisoners. The third was the location of the gas chambers.Treblinka 2 stopped gassing operations in 0ctober 1943 following a revolt by the prisoners in August 1943. The camps Treblinka I/2 were dismantled and a farmhouse built on to the site. In an attempt to hide the evidence of the gassing operations the ground was ploughed over. In the period between July 1942 and October 1943 when Treblinka 2 was operating an estimated 700,000 to 900,000 Jews were killed in the gas chambers. More Jews were killed at Treblinka Extermination Camp apart from Auschwitz-Birkenau. When the Soviet forces began approaching from the east in July 1944 the Germans had already destroyed Treblinka leaving very little evidence.

As a continuation of Operation Barbarossa of 1941 the Germans launched Fall Blau(Case Blue) on the 28th June 1942. Case Blue was intended to knock the Soviet Union out of the war. On the 26th June 1942 a two-pronged attack was proposed by German Fuhrer Adolf Hitler, one from the Axis left flank would advance toward Rostov-on-Don and on toward Stalingrad. This move was designed to protect the advance on the Baku oilfields. On the 28th June 1942 the Germans advanced 48km (30 miles), on the first day toward Rostov-on-Don. Their 1.37 million man army, assisted by the Luftwaffe, easily overran the 1.7 million Red Army troops. With the collapse of the Soviets the Germans captured Voronezh on the 5th July 1942 despite becoming embroiled in the battle to seize the city. The Soviet leaders had expected a German offensive on Moscow and for which they held back troops in reserve. Slowed down by their overstretched supply lines and constant counter-attacks by the newly deployed Red Army reserves the Germans reached and crossed the River Don near Stalingrad on the 24th July 1942. A three month battle for the control of Stalingrad began. After having the River Don crossing secured, even though his army was flagging through lack of supplies, Hitler issued the directive for the attack in the Caucasus on the 23rd July 1942. The Axis right flanks advanced over the Caucasus Mountains in order to seize the oilfields at Baku in Azerbaijan. However, the offensive slowed as it entered the Caucasus Mountains and the Germans were obliged to embrace a defensive mode as they had not reached their 1942 objectives.

(The Mediterranean and Desert War)

Malta was suffering a further German air raid on the 1st July 1942 when a flying boat approached the Grand Harbour in Valletta. Air Office Commander (AOC) Air Commodore Hugh Lloyd ordered the plane to stay clear until after the raid was over. However, the flying boat landed in the Harbour which was a flagrant disregard of an order by the AOC. Lloyd, intent on giving the pilot a dressing down, sent for him immediately. Instead of a junior pilot who entered his office, the man who walked in was Air Marshall Keith Park. In a firm but soft voice Park informed Lloyd he had arrived to take over command. Park, who went by the nickname of “Skipper” or by the Germans as “The Defender of London”, was one of The Few who had fought in the Battle of Britain in 1940.  He was Wing Commander of 11 Group Fighter Command and devised tactics to combat German air attacks. Over Malta, with plenty of Spitfires available, Park changed the strategy from purely defensive to intercepting incoming bombers and their fighter escorts. The impact of his Forward Interception Plan was virtually instantaneous as all German daylight raids were abandoned by the 31st July 1942.

With the fall of Tobruk during the Battle of Gazala on the 15th June 1942, the British Eighth Army, under the command of General Sir Claude Auchinleck (The Auk) retreated east into Egypt and took up a position near El Alamein. The line the British chose to defend straddled between the coast-line of the Mediterranean and the impassable Qattara Depression on the outskirts of the Sahara Desert, a distance of 35 miles (56 km). Alamein was a small hamlet with a railway station on the coast and approximately 10 miles (16 km) to the south was the stony Ruweisat Ridge which afforded excellent observation over the surrounding desert. The Ridge is a low east-west rocky outcropping and was defended by the infantry of the 18th Indian Brigade and included support by Nepalese Gurkhas. The Eighth Army had constructed three “boxes” with open desert between them. Each box was basically a defended dug-out and the open desert was covered by minefields and barbed wire. The nearest to El Alamein was complete, the one nearest Ruweisat Ridge was only partially completed owing to the rocky terrain whilst the one nearest the Depression had very little done to make it effective.  The Auk’s defensive plan was aimed at funnelling the Afrika Korps between the “boxes” and to attack them from the flanks. The First Battle of El Alamein began on the 1st July 1942 when the Afrika Korps of General Erwin Rommel (The Desert Fox) had acquired sufficient supplies to open the assault against the British defences.  His aim was to attack the defensive line at El Alamein with a combined Afrika Korps and Italian armoured forces. By the evening Rommel had managed to destroy and occupy the British positions on the Ridge’s western edge. The Indian Brigade controlled the eastern edge. He concentrated on the main area of El Alamein and the Ridge, as his favourite tactic of outflanking his opponent was curtailed by the impassable Qattara Depression. His supply line was unable to maintain the delivery of food, water, oil and ammunition and by the 11th July 1942 Rommel’s forces began to experience shortages, especially fuel. Attack and counter-attack occurred along the length of the line. On the 26th July 1942 The Auk attacked Rommel’s forces in an offensive but were driven back by the Afrika Korps. By the 30th July 1942 German supplies were not getting through. The British had halted Rommel’s advance toward Alexandria and the Suez Canal and both sides spent time re-supplying in readiness for the 2nd Battle of El Alamein in August 1942. The Auk had approximately 150,000 men and Rommel had approximately 96,000 men at their disposal at the beginning of the First Battle of El Alamein. At the stalemate by the end of the month the Eighth Army had suffered approximately 13,250 casualties and the Afrika Korps had suffered approximately 10,000 killed and wounded with 7,000 captured.

On the 15th July 1942 Captain Charles Upham was commanding a company of the 20th Battalion (Canterbury Regiment). The battalion was part of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force (NZEF) and was originally held back as reseve. The area around El Alamein was witnessing light skirmishing from both British and German troops. An attack had been ordered against the enemy-held Ruweisat Ridge. Whilst under fire and leading his company to attack the Ridge and crossing open ground Upham was wounded. However, he managed to destroy a truck load of German soldiers with hand grenades. Despite his wounds, and after being treated, he insisted on remaining with his company to take part in the final assault. Communications with the front assault troops had been broken and Upham received an order to send an officer to go up ahead to report on the progress of the attack. Armed with a sub machine gun, he opted to go himself, after several encounters with German machine gun posts he reported back with the required information. The reserve battalion was ordered forward and had almost reached the top of the Ridge when they ran into heavy fire from tanks and machine gun posts. He led his men against two defended positions and they knocked out the machine gun posts and a tank with hand grenades. In this engagement Upham was again wounded with a bullet through his elbow which broke his arm. Some of his men had become isolated and he went out to bring them back. Before having his wounds dressed he stayed with his men until they had beaten off a counter attack and consolidated their position. With his wounds dressed he returned to his company where he remained all day under heavy artillery fire. He was wounded for a third time and with 6 of his remaining men he fell into German hands when their position was overrun. For this action Upham was awarded a bar to his previously awarded Victoria Cross for his actions in Crete in 1941. He spent the remainder of the war as a prisoner of war eventually ending up in the infamous Colditz Castle. Upham was one of only three men to be awarded the VC and bar. Noel Chavasse and Arthur Martin-Leake were the other two.

(Pacific)

The “Flying Tigers” flew and fought their final engagement on the 3rd July 1942 and were replaced by the China Air Task Force on the 24th July 1942. The “Flying Tigers” was the nickname of the American Volunteer Group (AVG) of the Republic of China Air Force. Before America entered the war President Franklin D. Roosevelt recruited Brigadier General Claire Lee Chennault to form the “Flying Tigers”. The Sino-Japanese war between Japan and China had begun in 1937. Chennault had worked in China as military aviation advisor to Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek from that date. By the summer of 1940 fighter and bomber squadrons supplied by the Soviet Union to China had been withdrawn as they were required on the Eastern Front. Chiang sent Chennault to Washington as an adviser to China’s Ambassador to request for American combat aircraft and pilots. Chennault spent the winter of 1940 – 1941 in Washington following Roosevelt’s recruitment of Chennault. He supervised the purchase of 100 Curtiss P-40 fighters, the recruitment of 100 pilots and 200 ground crew and administration personnel. The “Flying Tigers” began arriving in China in April 1941. Their mission was to bomb Japan and defend the Republic of China. Many delays meant the AVG didn’t see combat until the 20th December 1941, 12 days after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbour. The AVG was composed of pilots from the United States Air Corps (USAAC), Navy (USN), and Marine Corps (USAMC) who was commanded by Chennault. Their Curtiss P-40 aircraft, marked with Chinese colours, flew under American control. Chennault had observed Soviet pilots in China and devised a different attack approach. Knowing his actual combat pilots and fighters were never greater than 62 he prohibited his pilots from entering a turning dogfight with the more manoeuvrable and superior numbers of Japanese fighters. His doctrine was to attack in teams from an altitude advantage. They were to execute a ‘dive and zoom’ approach where they attacked the Japanese fighters from above and zoomed away to set up another attack. Hundreds of villages throughout China were equipped with radios and telephones to give warning of the approaching Japanese air attack force. The AVG were in the air awaiting their arrival. When the AVG was replaced they were officially credited with 297 enemy aircraft destroyed including 229 in the air. Fourteen AVG pilots were either killed in action, captured or missing on combat missions. During the time of the “Flying Tigers” existence as a combat unit force two air crew died of wounds sustained in bombing raids. A further six were killed in accidents. Many of the AVG pilots received the Chinese Air Force Medal. Each AVG ace was awarded the Five Star Wing Medal. Finally 33 AVG pilots and 3 ground crew received the Order of the Cloud and Banner Medal.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               

United States submarine USS Growler was on her maiden patrol under the command of Lieutenant Commander Howard W. Gilmore. Growler was built in Groton, Connecticut on the 2nd November 1941 and commissioned on the 20th March 1942. Growler’s first war patrol began on the 19th June 1942 when she cleared Pearl Harbour for her assigned patrol area around Dutch Harbour in Alaska. She stopped off at Midway Island on the 24th June 1942 and entered her patrol area on the 30th June 1942. Whilst patrolling off Attu Island on the 4th July 1942 Growler sighted three Japanese destroyers and she entered her first action. She was submerged when she closed in for the attack. She launched her torpedoes and surfaced. Growler’s torpedoes struck the Japanese destroyers Kasumi and Shiranui amidships and severely damaged them and putting them out of action. The third destroyer Arare was hit in the bow but before she sank she had launched two torpedoes at Growler, which passed either side of her. In the meantime Growler had dived deep but she was not subjected to attack by depth charges. Without finding any more targets Growler completed her patrol and on the 17th July 1942 she berthed at Pearl Harbour.

As part of the strategy to isolate Australia from the United States the Japanese objective was to seize Port Moresby on the Australian Territory of Papua New Guinea. Japanese forces landed and established a beachhead at Gona and Buna, on the north coast on the 20th July 1942. To enable the Japanese to seize Port Moresby the advance needed to be overland along the Kokoda Trail. The trail traversed the mountains and the Japanese pushed back the minimal Australian defenders and captured Kokoda and its strategically vital airfield on the 29th July 1942. The Japanese advanced to within sight of Port Moresby but they had outrun their supply line and withdrew in September 1942.

(Other Theatres)

British forces began the invasion of Vichy-French Madagascar on the 5th May 1942. When the Vichy defenders surrendered at Antanamitarana on the 7th May 1942, Vichy forces still held the south of the island. To consolidate the remainder of the area the British sent an invasion force to the Vichy held island of Mayotte on the 2nd July 1942. Mayotte is located north west of Madagascar in the Mozambique Channel. The island was an ideal base for British operations in the area as it would give control of the channel. Most of the Vichy defenders were either sleeping or taken completely unaware the British had invaded and were captured. The occupation of Mayotte included the capture of radthe io station and the whole operation was carried out with no loss of life or major damage.

In America the SS Alexander Macomb was a Liberty Ship built in the Bethlehem-Fairfield Shipyard, Baltimore, Maryland. Construction began on the 18th February 1942 and she was launched on the 6th May 1942. Final completion was carried out on the 2nd July 1942 and she sailed for New York on her maiden voyage. Leaving New York City on the 3rd July 1942 with a cargo of tanks, aircraft and explosives she joined Convoy BX-27. The convoy was forced to sail around Cape Cod instead of the northern end of Cape Cod Canal. The grounding of a cargo vessel in the canal was the cause of the diversion. On the evening of the 3rd July 1942 the convoy sailed into heavy fog. To avoid colliding with other ships of the convoy Alexander Macomb fell behind. Maintaining an intermittent zigzag course Alexander Macomb had hopes of re-joining the convoy in daylight. Within sight of the convoy Alexander Macomb was torpedoed by German submarine U-215. The torpedo caused her cargo of explosives to ignite and burst into flames and she sank at 1.00 pm on the 4th July 1942. In the meantime the crew of 8 officers, 33 of the 37 crewmen and 25 armed guards were able to abandon ship. They evacuated onto a raft and three lifeboats, one of which capsized after striking the still moving ship. Canadian corvette HMCS Regina picked up 14 crewmen and 11 armed guards and British trawler HMS Le Tiger picked up 23 crewmen and 8 armed guards. The remaining 6 armed guards and 4 crewmen died in the attack. U-215 attempted to escape but was pursued by Le Tiger and HMS Veteran who succeeded in sinking her, with the loss of her crew, by depth charges.

Off the east coast of America, the German submarine wolf-pack system entered what was known as the “Second Happy Hour”. This period lasted from January 1942 to August 1942 where German U-boats were able to inflict massive damage for little risk. 609 Allied merchant ships, totalling 3.1 million tons, were sunk for the loss of 22 U-boats. The “Second Happy Hour” was so successful because the United States defences were weak and disorganised and merchant ships had not formed into escorted convoys. With the Royal Navy and Canadian Royal Navy as escorts the convoy system developed whereby merchant shipping losses to U-boats began to drop. On the 19th July 1942 Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz ordered the last of his U-boats to withdraw from the United States Atlantic coast and shifted his attention back to the North Atlantic.

——————————————————————

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service June 1942.

Date                Time   Location         Damage

01/06/1942    Found  Shenfield     A portion of a German Meteorological Balloon on a

tree in Alwynne Avenue.  Subsequently sent to H.Q.

16/06/1942    Found  South            1 – 2″ British Trench Mortar Shell near the

                                    Benfleet         seaplane obstruction.  (Removed by BDS 22.6.42).

20/06/1942    11.30  Wallasea        Norman Sidney Hales of 4 Dogget’s Close

Island             Rochford an employee of the Stambridge Thrashing Machine Coy. Ltd. Was working on the Island when he was tampering with a German Cannon Shell which he had found at Hockley a few days previously which exploded.  Hales received the following injuries:- Tops of 3 fingers and thumb of left hand and ( Rest of entry on original missing).

22/06/1942    17.00  Hadleigh        1 – 2″ British Trench Mortar found in the creek near

the Old Jetty, opposite the Salvation Army Colony, removed to South Benfleet Police Station  (removed BDS 14.7.42).

SECOND WORLD WAR

JUNE 1942

(Britain)

The “Thousand Bomber Raid”, was a term used as propaganda for the Royal Air Force (RAF), to describe three heavy bombing attacks on German cities in the summer of 1942. The bulk of the aircraft were twin-engine medium bombers such as the Vickers Wellington (Wimpy). To reach the number of aircraft required for the attack existing operational aircrew from RAF Bomber Command were reinforced by aircrews from Operational Training Units (OTU). Commander-in-Chief of Bomber Command Sir Arthur “Bomber” Harris had successfully sent the first “Thousand Bomber Raid” against Cologne on the 30th May 1942. For the second raid on the 2nd June 1942 the Krupp Steel Works in Essen was the prime target. 956 aircraft were dispatched but the target was obscured by industrial haze and the bombing was not very effective. For the third “Thousand Bomber Raid”, on the 25th June 1942 Bomber Command had assembled 960 aircraft to which RAF Coastal Command had added another 102 aircraft to attack Bremen. The assembly shop of the Focke-Wulf factory was flattened and 17 buildings receiving varying degrees of damage. Shipyards, two large dockside warehouses and the Korff oil refinery were also damaged. 572 houses were completely destroyed and 6,108 damaged. A total of 85 people were killed, 497 injured and 2,308 bombed out. The RAF were using the radio navigational GEE system which afforded them limited success. But the success came at a cost. 48 Bomber Command aircraft were lost, of which 23 were from the OTU and 5 from Coastal Command. Following the third raid never again were one thousand bombers sent against a single target.

As he was about to leave for America by air on the 16th June 1942, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill took the unusual step of writing a letter to King George VI.  Churchill advised the King that should he not arrive in Washington for his talks with President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the King should make Anthony Eden Prime Minister.

On the 24th June 1942 Dwight D. Eisenhower arrived in London as Commanding General, European Theatre of Operation USA (ETOUSA). Since America’s entry into the war Eisenhower had been assigned to the General Staff in Washington. Upon arrival he took over the position from James E. Chaney and was based in London. He was provided with a house at Kingston-on-Thames.

(America)

On the 5th June 1942 the United States of America declared war on Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania. Bulgaria and Hungary had allied with Germany and Romania was under German occupation. The relationship between the U.S. and Germany was not one of mutual trust. Germany viewed America’s lease-lend policy to Britain as being a partial act of war from a neutral state. The attack on Pearl Harbour by Japan on the 7th December 1941 brought America into the Second World War. On the 11th December 1941 Germany declared war against the U.S. with the immediate response that America declared war against Germany on the same day. President Franklin D. Roosevelt thought it improper to engage in hostilities without a formal declaration of war against another country. On the 5th June 1942 Roosevelt signed the declaration of war against Bulgaria, Hungary and Romania, being allies of Germany.

The United States Office of War Information (OWI) was created on the 13th June 1942 when the U.S. government agency opened an office based in Washington. Communication between the various battle fronts and civilian population were established through radio broadcasts, newspapers, posters, photographs and films. Large scale information and propaganda campaigns became effective when several overseas branches were incorporated into the agency.

The Manhattan Project was a research and development undertaking that eventually produced the first atomic bomb. When the project document was placed before Roosevelt on the 17th June 1942 he approved it by writing “OK FDR” on the document. German chemists had discovered nuclear fusion in 1938 which made the development of an atomic bomb theoretically possible. Refugee scientist from Nazi Germany had fears that a German atomic bomb could be produced. Albert Einstein signed the Einstein-Szilard letter on the 2nd August 1939 which warned of the potential development of extremely powerful bombs. A breakthrough investigation by British scientists of the University of Birmingham indicated the critical mass of uranium-235 could be turned into an atomic bomb. The critical mass breakthrough occurred in June 1939 and by July 1940 Britain offered the United States its scientific research. By this stage the American project was smaller and not as far advanced as the British. America and Britain exchanged nuclear information but did not initially combine their efforts. Although America was prepared to meet the development costs Britain was reluctant to agree. On the 18th June 1942 America started the Manhattan Project which was the beginning of the scientific approach to nuclear weapons.

Having flown from Stranraer in Scotland to Baltimore, Winston Churchill arrived in Washington for talks with Roosevelt on the 18th June 1942. This round trip was the only time Churchill had crossed the Atlantic by air during the course of the war. During the talks of 20th/25th June 1942 the two agreed the priority should be the opening up of the front in North Africa. They also agreed the invasion of Europe across the English Channel would be postponed. The United States began direct military assistance in North Africa on the 11th May 1942 and troops were deployed on the 30th June 1942.

(The Eastern Front)

In Prague, following an assassination attempt to kill Reinhard Heydrich, he was in hospital having been operated on and apparently making a recovery from his wounds.  He was the chief high-ranking S.S. Officer in German occupied Czechoslovakia and was on his way to meet Fuhrer Adolf Hitler in Berlin. On the 3rd June 1942 he fell into a coma and never regained consciousness and died aged 38 on the 4th June 1942. Heydrich was buried in Berlin’s military cemetery on the 9th June 1942 with Hitler in attendance.  Infuriated by Heydrich’s death Hitler ordered reprisals to be carried out against the Czech people. On the 10th June 1942 the villages of Lidice and Ležáky were burned to the ground and at least 1,300 Czechs including 200 women were killed in reprisal for Heydrich’s assassination. The assassins hid in a safe house but rather than surrender they killed themselves after they had been betrayed.

(Mediterranean)

The war in the desert had been ongoing since June 1940 with the major problem being the distance from either side’s headquarters to the front line. The Axis HQ was in Libya while the Allied HQ was in Egypt. The length of the battle front was something like 1,300 miles with supplies and communications dictating the success or failure of the actions which tended to go in fits and starts. German General Erwin Rommel (The Desert Fox) had set up a defensive line west of Tobruk at the end of May 1942. German supplies to the Western Desert had been reduced owing to the success of the Allied aerial bombardment and torpedo attacks, from Malta, on the Axis convoys. However, sufficient supplies had arrived to enable Rommel to prepare for an assault to capture Tobruk. He had at his disposal 90,000 men, 560 tanks of which 332 were German and 228 were Italian. He also had available 497 serviceable aircraft. Facing Rommel was the British Eighth Army under the command of General Sir Claude Auchinleck (known as The Auk) whose forces consisted mainly of Dominion, Indian and Free-French troops. The Eighth Army had at their disposal 100,000 men, 843 tanks and 604 aircraft stationed along the Gazala Line which protected Tobruk. The Gazala Line consisted of huge mine-fields from Gazala on the coast and 50 miles south into the desert at Bir Hakeim. Between the mine-fields were a series of “Keeps” which housed a large number of men and equipment. The 1st South African Division was garrisoned on the Gazala Line near the coast with the50th(Northumberland) Infantry Division to the south and central section. The 1st Free French Brigadewere concentrated at the southern end of the line at Bir Hakeim and the 5th Indian Infantry Division were held in reserve. By the end of May 1942 Rommel was ready to begin his offensive. He made a decoy attack in the north and central areas while Italian engineers cleared some of the mine-fields. His main attack force moved south in a sweeping movement around the left flank of the Gazala Line at Bir Hakeim then moved north behind it. On the 1st June 1942 Rommel launched his attack on the British 50th Infantry Division who were soon overcome.

By the 5th June 1942 British forces of the 8th Army counter-attacked Rommel. In the meantime on the 9th June1942 Rommel renewed his attack on the 1st Free French Brigade and by the 10th June 1942 he had forced the Free French out of Bir Hakeim. From Rommel’s launch date to evacuation 3,700 French soldiers immobilised 40,000 Axis troops, losing 800 either killed or missing. Also on the 10th June 1942 the 1st Free French Brigade were ordered to withdraw and on the 14th June 1942 The Auk authorised a British withdrawal from the Gazala Line. South African Major-General Hendrick Klopper had been appointed commander to defend Tobruk. By 17th June 1942 Tobruk was surrounded and The Auk viewed Tobruk as being expendable but expected it could be besieged and hold out for two months, by which time he planned to return and relieve Tobruk within this period. On the 21st June 1942, 35,000 Eighth Army troops surrendered to the Afrika Korps. The perimeter for the defence of Tobruk was approximately 35 miles plus another 20 miles of coastline. Klopper concluded any value gained by continuing the fight would not be worth the additional casualties and thought it more expedient to surrender. The fuel and equipment stored there had been allocated for an Allied advance and Churchill did not want it to fall into Rommel’s hands.

The surrender allowed the Axis Powers the ability to use British supplies, and resupply the Afrika Korps, in their pursuit of the Eighth Army into Egypt.  The British Command ordered the retreating Eighth Army to prepare a decisive action at Mersa Matruh to halt the Axis advance. On the 28th June 1942 the Afrika Korps captured Mersa Matruh, took 6,000 prisoners along with a great deal of supplies and equipment. The remainder of the Eighth Army survived to arrive at El Alamein in time for Rommel to begin the assault at the First Battle of Alamein on the 1st July 1942.

It would appear, but not confirmed, that Churchill had informed Roosevelt that Tobruk would be held. Churchill was desperate for a victory to boost British morale as the Allies were not doing well against the Axis forces or the Japanese in the Far East. He concentrated his frustration on The Auk who he considered was not aggressive enough with his strategy. The Auk offered to resign but the offer was refused. The two men were on a collision course. On the 14th June 1942 The Auk received a message from Churchill saying that a “retreat would be fatal” and added “comply or resign”.

On the morning of the 15thJune 1942 another message from Churchill confused matters more by using the phrase “Presume there is no question in any case of giving up Tobruk”. The Auk sent a reply to say there were sufficient troops to hold Tobruk. At the time of the fall of Tobruk Churchill was a guest of Roosevelt at the White House, and it was the President who gave him the news. So close was the relationship between the two leaders, when Churchill heard of the fall of Tobruk he said “I am ashamed”, to which Roosevelt replied very quietly “What can I do to help?” His offer was to send 250 new M4 Sherman Tanks to the Eighth Army. However, for Churchill the stunning American victory at the Battle for Midway, caused him concern. Would Roosevelt give in to the popular American enthusiasm and give priority to the Pacific? Politically Roosevelt needed to get the GIs into the fighting as soon as possible and would therefore stick to the agreed “Europe First” strategy.                                 

Aircraft carrier HMS Eagle undertook a total of five deliveries of Spitfires to Malta by the 8th June 1942. 64 Spitfires had been despatched to Malta with the assistance of American carrier USS Wasp for the first two deliveries. Eagle undertook her three final deliveries of Spitfires when a further 78 were despatched. Between the two carriers 164 Spitfires were launched of which 135 successfully reached their destination. By the middle of June 1942 the Germans were forced to divert many of their aircraft from Malta to the Eastern Front to replace losses sustained during the Battles of the Kerch Peninsular and the Second Battle of Kharkov. Aircraft were required to support Rommel’s offensive in the desert campaign which took precedence over continued attacks on Malta.   The pressure on the island decreased with the removal of the German aircraft. The arrival of the latest variant Spitfire, contributed to German sorties against the island being drastically reduced. Although slower than the German Messerschmitt ME-109, the Spitfire with its greater manoeuvrability and fire power was soon the master of the Malta skies. Malta was desperately short of food and fuel and a decision was taken to send two separate convoys from two separate locations to bring relief to the island. Convoy “Operation Harpoon” sailed from Gibraltar on the 11th June 1942, consisting of five freighters and a tanker. On the same day eleven freighters forming convoy “Operation Vigorous” sailed from Alexandria in Egypt. Both freighter convoys were heavily escorted by the Royal Navy. Both convoys ran the gauntlet of German and Italian aircraft, U-boats, Italian submarines and MTB’s. In addition “Vigorous” faced the Italian fleet including the battleship Littorio while “Harpoon” faced two Italian cruisers and two Italian destroyers. Air cover for “Harpoon” was non-existent and they encountered almost constant air attacks by German and Italian aircraft. By the time the convoy reached Malta on the 16th June 1942 only two freighters had survived. However, they arrived with 15,000 tons of desperately needed supplies. None of the freighters from “Operation Vigorous” reached Malta. The Royal Navy lost or received damage to a number of the escorting ships. Despite only two of the seventeen freighters who survived the journey reaching their objective, the tide of events were turning against the Axis powers. The arrival of the Spitfires enabled future convoys to receive vital air cover as they approached Malta.

In Nazi occupied Greece, the Greek Communist Party (KKE) called for national resistance. Various minor left-wing parties joined the KKE to form the military arm of the left-wing National Liberation Front (EAM). Permission had been given to a communist veteran Athanasios Klaras (later to be known as Aris Velouchiotis) in February 1942 to examine the possibility of a successful armed resistance movement. The movement was to become the Greek People’s Liberation Army (ELAS), led by Aris Velouchiotis, a journalist, a politician and a communist. ELAS began action against the occupation. Velouchiotis with a small group of 10 – 15 guerrillas entered the village of Domnist on the 7th June 1942. In front of the surprised villagers Velouchiotis proclaimed the guerrillas had begun to “start the war against the forces of Axis and their local collaborators”. He also recruited local mountain bandits who helped to create a small group of experts in guerrilla fighting.  

(Pacific)

The Midway Islands are located roughly equidistant between North America and Asia. The Americans first had a presence on the islands in 1903 and in the mid-1930s they had gained importance as a seaplane stop for Pan American Airways Clipper planes. By August 1941 a naval presence began to build up and the Naval Air Station Midway Island was established. The Japanese objective was to force America to evacuate the islands. This would also have the advantage of denying America a base from which they could attack Japan. Unbeknown to Japan the Americans had broken the Japanese code and were aware of the forthcoming attacks. The Aleutian Islands are part of the American Territory of Alaska and are located almost directly north of the Midway Islands. One of the reasons the Japanese attacked the Aleutian Islands was to draw American forces to that theatre, and therefore not be available for the defence of Midway Island. They also thought that they had destroyed the aircraft carrier USS Yorktown, unaware she had retired to Pearl Harbour for repairs. On the 3rd June 1942 Admiral Isoroku Yamamoto’s Japanese North Area Fleet launched a two day air attack against the base at Dutch Harbour in the Aleutians. Hampered by fog and bad weather only seventeen Japanese torpedo bombers reached their objective. Confronted by anti-aircraft guns and the 11th Air Force fighters, the Japanese released their bombs and returned to their carriers having inflicted little damage in the harbour. The following day, the 4th June 1942, the second air attack on Dutch Harbour was more successful as the Japanese pilots were better prepared and organised. At the end of the raid the hospital was partly destroyed and the Dutch Harbour oil storage tanks were burning. When the American pilots located the Japanese carrier fleet, attempts to sink them failed as contact was lost due to bad weather. The Japanese carrier fleet cancelled any plans to continue the air raids on the Aleutian Islands. The Japanese invasion and occupation of the Aleutian islands of Kiska on the 6th and Attu on the 7th June 1942 met with very little resistance from the local population. The successful landing and occupation was mainly due to the fact that Admiral Chester Nimitz, newly promoted Commander-in-Chief Pacific Fleet, did not send naval reinforcements to defend the Aleutian Islands. Instead he concentrated on the defence of the Midway Islands. The American nation was shocked at the occupation of Kiska and Attu as American soil had not been invaded for over a hundred years.

When the Battle of Midway began on the 4th June 1942 Nimitz had at his disposal 3 fleet carriers, 7 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 15 destroyers and 16 submarines. He also had 233 carrier-based aircraft and 126 land-based aircraft. The Japanese attack force comprised of 4 fleet carriers, 2 battleships, 2 heavy cruisers, 1 light cruiser, 12 destroyers, 16 float planes and 248 carrier-based aircraft.  In addition Yamamoto had many ships with varying functions either as reserve support vessels but they did not take part in the battle.  The Japanese had a two to one advantage over the Americans but with the Japanese code broken Nimitz, with all that was left of the United States Navy after Pearl Harbour, was able to position the fleet between Midway and Hawaii. Yamamoto knew that he needed to destroy the U.S. carriers which comprised the USS Enterprise, USS Hornet and repaired USS Yorktown, of which he was not aware. He was expecting to lure the American fleet into a trap and occupy Midway to extend Japanese defensive perimeters. Early on the morning of the 4th June 1942 the Japanese launched their initial attack on Midway Island with a total of 110 dive bombers, torpedo bombers and fighter aircraft. On the Midway Atoll the U.S. garrison had a compliment of over 3,000 men, 115 aircraft and was bristling with anti-aircraft guns. At 06.20 am the Japanese bombed and damaged the U.S. base on Midway. The fighters left to defend the island suffered heavy losses and only two remained airworthy. American anti-aircraft fire was heavy and accurate, and combined with the fighters they destroyed or damaged 54 of the 110 Japanese aircraft involved in the attack. The Japanese failed to neutralise Midway as most American aircraft could still use the airbase to refuel. Nearly all the land based defences were intact. Japanese pilots reported that a second aerial attack would be necessary if troops were to go ashore on the 7th June 1942.  Yamamoto assumed Nimitz would not commit his fleet to a major sea battle until the 7th/8th June 1942. What he didn’t know was Nimitz knew of his battle plans and was therefore surprised to learn from submarines that the U.S. ships were already at sea. The Japanese were 240 miles off Midway when 26 U.S. fighters took off to engage them, but they lost 17 of the 26. Reports reached USS Enterprise of the attack on Midway and the aircraft on the three carriers were scrambled to attack the Japanese carrier fleet. After a two hour search the Japanese carriers, Soryu, Hiryu, Akagi and Kaga were located. The bombers launched their attack on the Japanese carriers which left three of them on fire. At about 11.00 am aircraft from carrier Hiryu attacked Yorktown, which received three direct hits on her flight deck. The aircraft which flew from Yorktown were therefore required to land on Enterprise. A second torpedo attack on Yorktown, later in the day, caused her to heavily list to port. Yorktown Had to be abandoned as it was in danger of sinking. In the meantime dive bombers from Enterprise and Yorktown attacked the remaining Japanese carrier Hiryu. A direct hit tore her bow apart and spread fires below deck. Yamamoto ordered his fleet to finish off Hiryu and Akagi with torpedoes. The entire Japanese carrier fleet had been lost. With his fleet widely scattered Yamamoto ordered the abandonment of the assault on Midway. His fleet’s troubles were not over as two of his cruisers collided during the night. Badly damaged Mogani was out of action until mid-1943, Cruiser Mikuma sank on the 7th June 1942. Later the same day, the disabled Yorktown was being towed by destroyer USS Hamman to Pearl Harbour. A Japanese submarine sank both vessels with torpedoes. The Battle of Midway came to a close on the 7th June 1942. The final toll for the Battle of Midway for the Americans was the loss of 1 carrier, I destroyer, 307 men and 147 aircraft. For the Japanese their losses were 4 carriers, 1 cruiser, 3,500 men and 352 aircraft. The battle proved the Japanese could be beaten, and gave the Allies hope they would eventually be defeated. Japanese strategy following the Battle of Midway, was one where they were generally not in a position to attack but they needed to defend their conquests.

It was during the Battle for Midway Island that the newly introduced Grumman TBF Avenger saw its first action. There were six new Avengers stationed at Midway out of a total of 126 aircraft including seventeen B-17 Flying Fortresses. Five of the sixAvengers were lost at the Battle for Midway. TheAvenger was an American torpedo bomber developed for the United States Navy and Marine Corps which first flew in August 1941. The Avenger was the heaviest single-engine aircraft in the Second World War capable of carrying a torpedo or a single 2,000 lb (900 kg) bomb or four 500 lb (207 kg) bombs. The Wright Twin Cyclone fourteen cylinder radial engine was capable of carrying its 3 man crew and fully loaded up to a range of 1,000 miles (1,600 km) with a ceiling of 30,000 ft. (9,000 m).

The Japanese attacked Sydney Harbour in Australia with submarines on the 8th June 1942 which was more of psychological exercise to create fear of an impending invasion. The attack was also intended as a diversion ahead of the attack on Midway Island in the North Pacific. The Allies failed to respond to several warnings of Japanese activity in the area prior to the attack. Sydney Harbour’s anti-submarine boom nets were incomplete and on the day of the attack the inner and outer loop nets were inactive. Three Japanese 2 man midget submarines entered Sydney Harbour avoiding anti-submarine boom nets on the 1st July 1942. Two midget submarines were detected, attacked and sunk before they could engage any Allied vessels. The midget submarine crews were killed. The third submarine attempted to attack USS Chicago but instead sank the converted ferry HMAS Kuttabul killing 21 sailors. The fate of this midget submarine was unknown until 2006 when the wreck was discovered off Sydney’s northern beaches. With the failure of the midget submarine raid five Japanese fleet submarines embarked on a campaign to disrupt merchant shipping in Eastern Australian Waters. Over the next month at least eleven merchant ships were attacked and three were sunk with the loss of 50 sailors. It was during this period that on the 8th June 1942 two submarines bombarded the ports of Sydney and Newcastle. Submarine I-24 surfaced and her commander ordered the gun crew to target Sydney Harbour Bridge. Ten shells were fired of which nine landed on the eastern suburbs and one landed in the water. Only one shell exploded which caused minimal damage. Crash-diving allowed I-24 to avoid retaliation by coastal artillery batteries. Submarine I-21 shelled Newcastle when she fired 34 shells primarily the BHP steelworks but the shells landed over a large area causing minimal damage and no fatalities. The only time an Australian land fortification fired against an enemy was when Fort Scratchly returned fire. Submarine I-21 escaped unscathed.

(Other Theatres)

On the 1st June 1942 a Warsaw underground newspaper first reported that gas was being used to kill Jews. The newspaper, the Liberty Brigade, made public the news of the gassing of tens of thousands of Jews at a Nazi-operated death camp at Chelmno in Poland. The news leaked nearly seven months after the extermination of the inmates of the camp had begun. The killing of Jews was not denied by the Germans. They wrote very little down and most orders were verbal in order to maintain a state secret of the extermination. Hitler’s orders to gas the Jews was on a need-to-know basis.

Convoy PQ17 sailed from Hvalfjord, Iceland on the 27th June 1942 bound for the port of Arkhangelsk in the Soviet Union. Under British command the convoy was the first large joint Anglo-American naval operation. When the Germans launched Operation Barbarossa against the Soviet Union in June 1941 the British and American governments agreed to send unconditional aid to their Soviet allies. PQ17 consisted of 35 merchant ships and 6 auxiliary ships and their escort vessels. On the 1st July 1942 German forces located the convoy and began shadowing it. From information received the Allies believed they would be facing the German battleship Tirpitz, but in fact Tirpitz was not amongst the German fleet. The British Admiralty ordered the escort vessels away from the convoy to intercept the German raiders. The same order told the convoy to scatter and as the escort vessels withdrew the convoy was left defenceless. The undefended merchant ships were attacked by the Luftwaffe and U-boats which created such carnage that only eleven of the 35 merchant ships reached their destination on the 4th July 1942. Convoy PQ17 suffered the worst losses of any convoy during the Second World War. The delivery of only 70,000 short tons of cargo demonstrated how difficult it was to arrange for adequate supplies through the Arctic waters. A standard ton weighs 2,240 lbs while a short ton weighs 2,000 lb.

—————————————————————

Air Raid Damage Reports Brentwood Division Essex Fire Service May 1942.

Date                Time   Location         Damage

02/05/1942    Found  Warley          1 – Unexploded bomb believed to have fallen on

the 8.8.40 found in Magpie Wood Warley (near refuse dump).  No damage or casualties.  Report Centre informed.

21/05/1942    Found  Foulness      1 – Yellow Metrological Balloon about 6ft in

Island           circumference with a tin can attached containing paraffin found in a tree at Ridge Marsh Farm, Foulness Island.  Removed to Rochford Police Station.

25/05/1942                Barling           1 – Deflated Naval Barrage Balloon grounded at

Barling Hall 500 yards N.E. of Barling Hall Dock.  Number on Balloon 6162, R.N.  (Naval Authorities informed).

27/05/1942    11.40  Rayleigh        1 – Smashed Aircraft at Rayleigh at junction of

Eastwood Rise and Hillside Road.  Map Ref. 275096.  Machine completely smashed.  British Spitfire.  Occupant Pilot Officer Woodhead 81st Squadron, Hornchurch killed.  Number of plane B.467 RAF Hornchurch informed.