Wing Commander the Hon. E. F. Ward was the Commanding Officer for R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer for the month of March and signed the Operation Record Book.
The beginning of March started very cold and stormy with a large amount of mist and heavy rain. Towards the middle of the month the weather improved but was still misty and showery at times. The end of the month saw more improvements as the weather turned sunny with slight winds, the evening turning misty.
From the Station O.R.B
Very little was written for the month of March in the Station O.R.B.
No.302 ( Polish ) Squadron acted as high cover to bombers raiding Abbeyville, France. No combat took place.
Aircraft from No.302 ( Polish ) Squadron took part in a operation from R.A.F. Tangmere, Sussex as close escort to bombers raiding Le Trait, France. There were no claims or casualties.
From other sources :-
12th March Today - LAC William Maguire R.A.F.V.R. Service No.963796 was killed by being crushed to death between two vehicles. He was immediately taken to the Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse, Plymouth where he died from multiple injuries. A Post Mortem Inquiry was held on the 20th March 1942. William's body was then taken to his home town of Ipswich, Suffolk where he was laid to rest in the " Ipswich Old Cemetery ". He was 21 years old.
29th March At 1615 hours a Hornet Moth aircraft of No.78 Signals Wing Calibration Flight ( Serial No. AW 118 ) and detached to R.A.F. Harrowbeer force landed through lack of fuel at Highway, Lantigles by Fowey, Cornwall, two miles north by north west of Polruan Police House, Cornwall. The aircraft was undamaged. The two occupants were uninjured.
No.276 Air Sea Rescue Squadron " B " Flight :-
Most of March was spent on sector reconnaissance flights, air tests, practice dinghy drops, W/T and R/T tests and ferry flights.
On the 8th March and Air Sea Rescue search was carried out twenty miles south of Seaton to investigate red flashes. The only sighting in the area was a small Naval patrol.
An Air Sea Rescue mission was undertaken by No.276 A.S.R. Squadron on the 20th March when a Lysander aircraft was detailed to search an area ten miles off Torquay. A square search was carried out, but nothing seen.
The 25th March another Air Sea Rescue search was carried out forty eight miles from Start Point. The search was uneventful apart from a sighting that appeared to be an empty Mae West.
On the 28th March there was another search twenty miles off Lyme Regis by a Lysander aircraft which discovered a dinghy with five occupants. The Lysander orbited the dinghy until it was forced to return to base due to lack of fuel. On their return flight five miles from where the dinghy was could be seen rescue boats heading towards the dinghy.
No.302 ( Poland ) Squadron :-
During the month of March, No.302 ( Polish ) Squadron carried out a fair amount of formation flying, practice flying and night flying experience.
Operational flying consisted of :- sixteen convoy shipping patrols over the English Channel and twelve scrambles - four from R.A.F. Bolt Head and eight from R.A.F. Harrowbeer.
On the 8th March thirteen aircraft took off to join up with other fighter and bomber aircraft at R.A.F. Redhill, Surrey to carry out bomber escort duties over France. No.302 ( Polish ) Squadron acted as high cover. The operation was uneventful. On their way back to R.A.F. Harrowbeer the Squadron was diverted into R.A.F. Exeter for the night.
On the 10th March there was an uneventful scramble in the Exmouth / Torquay area.
A convoy shipping patrol was carried out on the 20th March to fourteen vessels under the code name " Watch ".
The 25th March saw twelve aircraft take off for R.A.F. Tangmere, Sussex. Nine aircraft flew from there to rendezvous with Boston Bombers on a ' Circus ' over France. The target was a factory in the region of Le Trait, France. On the way out eight ME 109's were sighted but not challenged. The bombing of the target was carried out successfully, all aircraft returned safely to their respective bases.
Knightstone RAF Harrowbeer Archives
Knightstone, Crapstone Road, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6BT GB
Archivist - Michael Hayes 01822 853679
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