Tag Archives: Wing Commander H.L. Thompson

08/xi/43 – First Scramble of the tour

8th November 14:15
DH Mosquito XII HK227 (A/I Mk.VIII)
Pilot: P/O Scott
Navigator (R): Self
NFT & Ciné-Gun

R/T Test
R/T still U/S

SCRAMBLE – Sandwich
Down Channel & vectored over Kent to S.E London, thence chasing Hun back to French Coast near Gris Nez, but no contacts. Hun was below icing cloud at about 10,000 ft – we at 22,000 ft. Weather bad at base, so diverted to Colerne via Ford
[1 ME410 destroyed by F/O G.Reed & P/O R.Bricker]

Graeme Reed & Ralph Bricker were known as the “Train Busting” experts of the squadron, but their success as recorded by Broody above was the Squadron’s first ME 410. The Squadron’s Operations Record Book shows Reed and Bricker taking off at 21:50 and returning at 00:25. The accompanying text reads:

“Scrambled by Trimley, contact obtained on enemy aircraft speed 320 m.p.h, visual at 3,500 feet range, identified as ME.410. Opened fire from 250 yards, 2 second and 3 second bursts, starboard engine ccaught fore, port wing buckled and enemy aircraft disintegrated in flames, 15 miles north of Manston.”

Approximate position of Reed & Bricker's ME.410 success

Approximate position of Reed & Bricker’s ME.410 success
(Produced on Google Earth)

F/O Reed described the contact in his own words:

“I was scrambled for incoming raids and whilst at 25,000 feet was vectored on to a possible enemy aircraft at 17,000 feet, distance 6 miles. I put my nose down increasing speed to 320 m.p.h. and my navigator obtained a contact at 1¾ miles range, crossing port–starboard at 10,000 feet. I turned hard to starboard and although the contact was lost it was later regained. Closed to 4,000 feet, target well above. I had a vague visual and closed into 800 feet when target went into light cloud, exhausts being visible. As both aircraft came out of cloud I identified the enemy aircraft as a Me410. I opened fire with two second burst of cannon from 250 yards from slightly above and to starboard and the enemy’s starboard engine caught fire but it then appeared to fly straight on with no evasive action or return fire. I gave a further three seconds burst from 250 yards, above and to starboard, and the enemy aircraft rolled over to port diving vertically. My navigator saw the port wing buckle under and the aircraft disintegrate in flames in cloud.”
(Source, “New Zealanders with the Royal Air Force (Vol. II)” by Wing Commander H.L. Thompson (1956))

Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse

Messerschmitt Me 410 Hornisse
(Image from Wikipedia)