Flight Lieutenant G. V. Jolleff remained in command of R.A.F. Harrowbeer until the 24th September when Wing Commander the Hon. E. F. Ward reported to the Station and assumed command of it.
Wing Commander the Hon. E. F. Ward signed the R.A.F. Harrowbeer Station Operation Record Book for the month of September.
Visitors to R.AF. Harrowbeer included :-
Major General C. F. Liardet CB, DSO - Inspector General of Aerodromes
Air Commodore P. F. Fullard CBE, DSO, MC, AFC - SASO No.10 Group
Group Captain C. Walter MBE
Wing Commander Stubbs - Headquarters Fighter Command
Brigadier T. Fairfax Ross MC
I5th September At 1700 hours No.500 Squadron arrived on temporary attachment from R.A.F. Bircham Newton with Blenheim IVL aircraft.
No.500 Squadron :-
There was no reference found in either the R.A.F. Station Bircham Newton or No.500 Squadron Operation Record Books to the Squadron or an detachment moving to R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer. However the following summary was found in a book titled ' Ensor's Endeavour ' written by Vincent Orange and published by Grub Street - London :-
On the 15th September 1941 No.500 Squadron flew a detachment of Blenheim IV aircraft from R.A.F. Bircham Newton, Norfolk to R.A.F. Station Harrowbeer situated on the edge of Yelverton, Devon. One of the pilots from this detachment was Pilot Officer Meachel ( Mick ) Anthony Ensor who states that :-
The Squadron carried out numerous daytime sweeps from R.A.F. Harrowbeer and several night time raids on ports and shipping which were undertaken from R.A.F. Station St. Eval, Cornwall. This required the Blenheim aircraft to be flown backwards and forwards from one airfield to the other as required.
On one particular occasion, the night of 17th - 18th September 1941 six aircraft plus crews were sent over to St. Eval, Cornwall to carry out a night strike, but only two of the Blenheims took off on the operation, the other four being unserviceable. One of the two found it's target and bombed successfully the other failed to find the target.
The No.500 Squadron detachment mostly flew over the English Channel and in the area towards the Bay of Biscay. Many of the night raids and attacks were to areas such as St. Nazaire and the Biscay Ports. There had been no training carried out by the aircrew of No.500 Squadron on the tactics of night raiding which left them inexperienced and vulnerable. This resulted in many losses which may have been avoided and caused a lot of sadness within the Squadron.
On the night of the 29th - 30th September a Blenheim aircraft of No.500 Squadron took off from R.A.F. Harrowbeer on an operation and is believed to have been severely damaged by Anti-Aircraft flak causing the Blenheim to make a forced landing on a Breton beach. The pilot, Frank Reece managed to evade capture from the German soldiers for five months before finally being caught and finishing up in a German Prisoner of War Camp.
On October the 30th 1941 the Squadron detachment returned to R.A.F. Bircham Newton, Norfolk where they re-equipped with the Hudson aircraft.
Knightstone RAF Harrowbeer Archives
Knightstone, Crapstone Road, Yelverton, Devon, PL20 6BT GB
Archivist - Michael Hayes 01822 853679
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