Posted by: T.A.G. | 28/05/2017

Battle of Britain Campaign – 43 Squadron RAF’s First Sortie

Recently, I was invited to join an aerial campaign based around the Battle of Britain in 1940. Each of the participating players has been asked to select an RAF fighter squadron and the premise is that, chronologically, the air battles of the selected squadrons will be played out using the Wings of Glory WW2 gaming system. I have selected 43 Squadron RAF which was equipped with Hurricanes and based at Tangmere. Tangmere is located between Portsmouth and Brighton on the South coast of England.

43 Squadron’s first action was against a group of bombers escorted by fighters. The bombers were of two types, Messerschmitt Me110s and Heinkel He 111s (but due to no He 111 models being available, these were substituted for Dornier Do 17 models). The German fighters were Messerschmitt Me 109s.

As four Hurricanes from 43 squadron vectored in to engage the enemy aircraft from a higher altitude, they saw four Me 109s in finger four formation slightly ahead of and above the bombers, two Do 17s astern of the fighters and 4 Me110s loaded with bombs flying also in finger four formation in between the other two formations and flying at a slightly lower altitude.

43 Squadron matched the altitude of the Do 17s, attacking the rear right quarter of that German formation. The leading pair of Hurricanes engaged the trailing Do 17 and shot it down with a critical hit that caused the bomber to explode in mid-air.

The Hurricanes then closed in on the second Do 17, now supported by a third Hurricane and engaged it but were in turn engaged by the Me109s that had turned and closed the distance to 43 Squadron mush quicker than anticipated. The second Do 17 was shot down but the combined fire of the German aircraft critically damaged the leading Hurricane causing the pilot to bail out into the English Channel and also badly damaged the wing man’s machine.

However, the other two Hurricane’s now closed in and the in the ensuing dogfight three Me109s were lost in exchange for another Hurricane down and the remaining two heavily damaged.

The flight of Me 110s continued on its way but without fighter cover as the surviving Me 109 was forced to return to base for repairs. The two surviving Hurricanes broke off the engagement and returned to Tangmere for repairs. 43 Squadron will fly again…

The pilot that bailed out was my own personality figure so his fate was determined as being picked up from the Channel by a rescue boat. His injuries were minor and so would not prevent him from rejoining 43 Squadron and continuing to fly sorties.



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