Friday, 1 October, 1943
The weather was dull, mainly 10/10ths cloud all day. The Wing did not go on a sweep today but F/O Beurling, along with three other pilots of 421 Squadron went over to France on a sweep. Nothing was seen. There were twelve non-operational sorties carried out on low-level cross-countries, aircraft tests formation and cine-gun practice. An Intelligence Officer from the Air Ministry, who interrogates German aircrew that are taken prisoner in this country, gave a lecture to all of the officers. It was very interesting and should prove very useful to any of us who are taken prisoner by the Germans.
Saturday, 2 October, 1943
It was dull with 10/10ths cloud in the morning. This cleared up somewhat around noon to high scattered clouds. The Wing went on a sweep today but there was no enemy reaction. Five non-operational sorties were carried out on local flying and cine-gun. Six of our a/c were on readiness at dawn this morning until 0830 hours, when we were given a bad weather state and put on 30 minutes notice. The state of readiness remained the same until after the sweep when, at 1800 hours, six a/c were put on immediate readiness until dusk. Sgt L.C. Rowe, who was supposed to go before the AOC regarding commissioning, was on a 48-hour pass and could not return in time for his interview. F/L Angus (Adj of 421 Squadron) went on a few days of leave today. I will endeavour to look after his Squadron while he is away. I made out a 765(C) for 421 Squadron. That was the first time that I have ever had to make out a 765(C) on a Cat A incident. A pilot from this Squadron, Sgt K.D. Windsor, who was reported as missing, escaped from France and is now being posted back to this Squadron.
Sunday, 3 October, 1943
There was a heavy ground fog in the early morning, which cleared up to a very sunny and nearly cloudless day. Three sweeps were carried out today and, on the third, our Wing did very well destroying six FW 190s. Sgt S. Barnes of our Squadron is posted as missing. Only two non-operational sorties were carried out today. The ground fog this morning caused an early morning sweep to be cancelled. During the operation today, F/L Coles of this Squadron claimed two FW 190s as destroyed.
Monday, 4 October, 1943
The weather started out today as dull with much cloud. It cleared slightly before clouding over again in the afternoon. Six non-operational sorties were carried out today on aircraft tests and low-level cross-country flights. The Wing went on a sweep at noontime. Our Squadron was released at 1600 hours today until dawn tomorrow. We are busy with an investigation and with collecting the personal kit of the two missing pilots. There has been another change of command for the Squadron. S/L Fowlow has been taken off ops and F/L R.A. Buckham, who is on his second tour, came to us from 421 Squadron where he was a Flight Commander. His score is 6 and1/2 destroyed.
Tuesday, 5 October, 1943
The weather was dull with 10/10ths cloud all day. There were no operations carried out today but the Wing did do a practice rhubarb against troops and transport this morning. Four non-operational sorties were carried out on aircraft tests. Six of our a/c were put on readiness at 1300 hours today and remained on readiness until they were released at 1650 hours. I am busy with committee of adjustments for both missing pilots. I wrote next of kin letters and turned in their service equipment to stores. Mr. Badger, the Canadian Legion representative, reported to the Airfield to take over from Capt Boyle (K of C) who is going to 128 Airfield.
Wednesday, 6 October, 1943
The weather was very dull all day with 10/10ths cloud. There were no operations carried out today and only one non-operational sortie flown. There were six aircraft on immediate readiness today at dawn. Later in the morning, this was changed to one section on immediate notice and one section on 15 minutes. In the afternoon six a/c stood by on immediate readiness. A posting notice was received indicating that F/O Lindsay is to report to the Squadron. The Squadron Medical Officer, F/L D.S. Munroe, returned from a tropical medicine course at Halton from 23-9-43 to 6-10-43. F/O J. Preston went on a Merlin Engine course from 5-10-43 to 8-10-43 inclusive, at the Rolls Royce School at Derby. P/O P.K. Gray was posted to NO 1 PDC, West Kirby, on an overseas posting. Our CO, S/L N.R. Fowlow, was posted to 17 Wing HQ today as the Gunnery Instructor. Our new CO, S/L R.A. Buckham, arrived today from 421 Squadron.
Thursday, 7 October, 1943
The weather was dull with much cloud all day, clearing up towards the evening. No operations were carried out today but there were twenty-six non-operational sorties flown on cine-gun, low-level cross countries, aircraft tests and local flying. F/O H.J. Dowding is posted to No 8 AFDU wef 11-10-43.
Friday, 8 October, 1943
It was very sunny and warm today with very few clouds. A sweep was carried out late this afternoon but no enemy aircraft were seen. There were twenty-two non-operational sorties for local flying, cannon and aircraft tests, practice rhubarbs and air to air firing. F/O Lindsay reported to the Squadron for flying duties today.
Saturday, 9 October, 1943
The weather was dull with a large amount of ground fog in the early morning that cleared around noon to hazy conditions with 8/10ths cloud. Notice was given this morning of a briefing at 1130 hours, which was later postponed to 1345 hours. In the meantime a sweep was planned and the Wing was about to take off when it was cancelled. At 1430 hours, our Squadron took off on a sweep. Only five non-operational sorties were flown today, mainly on local flying. We received a signal from an Army Lieutenant saying that S/L Conrad will be along in a few days. He was reported missing on 17-8-43 and he has made a very early return from enemy occupied territory. 421 Squadron received word that F/O Love is a prisoner of war.
Sunday, 10 October, 1943
There was much ground fog early in the morning and it was very dull. The weather cleared a little around noon. Six of our aircraft were on readiness at dawn this morning but shortly thereafter, a weather state came through and only one section remained on immediate readiness with two sections on 15 minutes, and all were released at dusk. At noon today, the Wing was about to take off to proceed to Bradwell Bay for a sweep but at the last minute, it was postponed. A little practice cine-gun was carried out this afternoon, making a total of eight non-operational sorties.
Monday, 11 October, 1943
It was dull with 10/10ths cloud all day and a lot of haze. No flying was carried out today and the Wing was released this morning with the exception of two pilots who had to remain on readiness from each Squadron for the day. I made two 765(C)s on broken ‘U’ frames on the aircraft. The reason for the break is unknown. F/O H.J. Dowding left on his posting today.
Tuesday, 12 October, 1943
The weather was dull again with 10/10ths cloud all day and much haze. There were no operations carried out today and the only sorties flown were on cine-gun and practice deck landing approaches with nine non-operational sorties flown.
Wednesday, 13 October, 1943
It was 10/10ths cloud with haze again. There was no flying carried out today. An advance party left 127 Airfield this morning and proceeded to Kenley. Everyone has been busy today packing and getting ready for the move to Kenley tomorrow.
Thursday, 14 October, 1943
In the morning there was much ground fog and 10/10ths low cloud with intermittent showers. This cleared in the afternoon to sunny conditions with scattered clouds. Our Squadron moved from 127 Airfield, Headcorn, Kent, to RAF Station Kenley, Surrey, this afternoon. There was no other flying today. Everyone had breakfast at 0630 hours this morning, struck camp and had everything loaded on the trucks by 0815 hours. The convoy was lined up in order by 0945 hours and started for Kenley. Quite a slow trip but very pleasant. The convoy arrived at Kenley at 1345 hours and all had lunch before unloading the trucks and getting settled at our winter quarters.
Friday, 15 October, 1943
The weather today was sunny with scattered clouds. A sweep was carried out this afternoon and there were also four non-operational sorties conducted on local flying. At dawn this morning, one flight was on immediate readiness and one flight on 15 minutes notice. We were released at dusk. Our Squadron is in the former 421 dispersal, using only one half of the HQ building. 127 AFHQ are using the Orderly Room and offices. F/L Southwood was posted again to the Squadron today as a Flight Commander. F/L N.J. Ogilvie was posted to ‘R’ Dept pending repatriation to Canada for duty as an instructor.
Saturday, 16 October, 1943
The weather was sunny at times with scattered clouds. No operations were carried out today but there were a total of twenty-nine non-operational sorties flown on cine-gun, local flying and low-level cross-countries. F/O Lambert was granted the acting rank of F/L and is to be a Flight Commander in place of F/L Dover.
Sunday, 17 October, 1943
It was very dull in the morning with 10/10ths cloud and intermittent showers. This broke up in the afternoon to scattered clouds. Our pilots were briefed at 0800 hours this morning but, as the weather was duff, the sweep was cancelled. At noon, our Squadron went on a convoy patrol. One section was on immediate readiness at dawn this morning and two sections were on 15 minutes notice. Later on as the weather broke, one flight was put on immediate readiness and the other on 15 minutes notice. S/L W.G Conrad visited the Station and gave the pilots a short talk on his escape from occupied territory. All were very pleased to see him once more. He now returns to Canada for a much-deserved rest. S/L Magwood has left us to take over command of 421 Squadron.
Monday, 18 October, 1943
There was some haze this morning that cleared to a very sunny day with high scattered clouds all day. Three sweeps were carried out today; also five non-operational sorties were made on aircraft tests. On one of these sweeps, S/L Buckham came back with flak holes in his a/c, one just behind the cockpit. On the last sweep, F/O Beurling called on the R/T, “I’ve had it.” He landed ten minutes after the rest of the Squadron. F/O Beurling had gone after some Huns and could not pull his a/c out of a dive. He managed to turn it out and, after blacking out, came to at 1,700 feet before flying back home. We were al very pleased to see him return. RCAF HQ Personnel Officers visited the Squadron this afternoon.
Tuesday, 19 October, 1943
The morning was dull with intermittent showers and 10/10ths cloud, which cleared around noon to scattered clouds with showers. One flight was put on readiness at 0629 hours this morning and one flight was at 15 minutes notice. This state was maintained until dusk. There were no operations flown and seven non-operational sorties were carried out on aircraft and cannon tests, cine-gun and tail chase practice.
Wednesday, 20 October, 1943
In the early morning, there was a thin layer of haze and a layer of cloud that cleared to scattered conditions. There were three non-operational sorties flown today on local flying and two sweeps were carried out.
Thursday, 21 October, 1943
It was very dull with 10/10ths cloud and rain for most of the day. There was no flying at all today, the weather being unfit. One section was on immediate readiness and two sections at 15 minutes this morning at dawn. The Squadron was released around noon for the remainder of the day.
Friday, 22 October, 1943
There were only scattered clouds in the morning but the weather closed in during the afternoon to 10/10ths low cloud and showers. One sweep was carried out this morning and the aircraft took off this afternoon on another sweep but were recalled at the English Coast due to bad weather. There were eight non-operational sorties flown on aircraft and cannon tests.
Saturday, 23 October, 1943
It was dull in the morning with intermittent rain. This cleared somewhat during the afternoon. Ten non-operational sorties were done today on aircraft tests, air-to-air firing and local flying. No operations were flown today. One flight was on immediate readiness at dawn with another at 15 minutes. The Squadron was released at 1100 hours until dawn tomorrow. F/O A.J.A. Bryan was posted to us today from 57 OTU.
Sunday, 24 October, 1943
Today was sunny with a few scattered clouds. Four non-operational sorties were flown on local flying and aircraft tests. There were also two sweeps. On the first sweep, our Squadron became engaged and F/O J.D. Browne destroyed one ME 109 and damaged another. F/L H.J. Southwood is posted a missing today.
Monday, 25 October, 1943
It was sunny in the morning with haze that increased in the afternoon providing poor visibility. There was no flying today other than one non-operational sortie flown on an aircraft test. At dawn today, there was one section on immediate readiness and two sections at 15 minutes notice. This state was maintained until dusk.
Tuesday, 26 October, 1943
There was a very thick haze all day with poor visibility. There was no flying at all today, the weather being unfit. The Squadron was released at 1630 hours for the remainder of the day.
Wednesday, 27 October, 1943
The weather was clear and sunny in the early morning which, later on changed to a very thick ground fog with poor visibility. This cleared up somewhat in the afternoon. One flight was on immediate readiness and one flight on 15 minutes notice at dawn this morning until 0830 hours when the Squadron was given a bad weather state with one section on readiness and one flight on 15 minutes notice. The Squadron was released for the day at 1145 hours with the exception of one section, which remained on readiness until dusk. In the afternoon, six non-operational sorties were carried out on cine-gun, tail chase and reflex tests. WO Myers, a former pilot of this Squadron, was re-posted to us today as an officer. WO Weaver was posted to us today and arrived as a Pilot Officer.
Thursday, 28 October, 1943
There was a very thick ground fog in the morning that cleared in the early afternoon only to close in again late in the day. Our Squadron was at 30 minutes notice today. There was no flying in the morning and five non-operational sorties were flown in the afternoon on cine-gun, a/c tests and local flying. The Squadron was released this afternoon for the remainder of the day. F/O Beurling was made a Flight Commander wef today to replace F/L Southwood. F/L Coles was posted to 412 Squadron as a Flight Commander today. F/O C.T. Brown was posted to the Squadron for flying duties from 53 OTU.
Friday, 29 October, 1943
There was very poor visibility in thick fog all day. One section was on immediate readiness and two sections at 15 minutes at dawn this morning. This bad weather state remained throughout the day. There was no flying carried out today. F/L McKelvie and F/O J.D. Orr were posted to this Squadron today for flying duties. They reported from 53 OTU.
Saturday, 30 October, 1943
It was clear and bright early this morning. Later on, thick fog came in and remained for the day. There was no flying carried out today. Our Squadron was on 30 minutes notice until 1300 hours when it was released until dawn tomorrow.
Sunday, 31 October, 1943
The weather was very dull with 10/10ths cloud and slightly hazy which partly cleared in the late afternoon. One flight was on readiness and one flight was at 15 minutes notice at dawn this morning. At 0830 hours, the Squadron was put on a bad weather state with one section on readiness and two sections at 15 minutes notice. There were two non-operational sorties flown on aircraft tests today.
403 Squadron Establishment and Flying Times for Month of October 1943
No. of Officers – Flying 25 1 (USA)
No. of Officers – Ground 2 –
No. of Airmen – Flying 7 –
No. of Airmen – Ground 1 1 (USA)
Flying Times for the Month
Tiger Moth: _30:45
Aircraft on Squadron Strength: 19 Spitfire Mk IX
1 Tiger Moth
Our Casualties for the Month: (2) Sgt S Barnes Missing 3-10-43
F/L H.J. Southwood Missing 24-10-43
Enemy Casualties: (2) FW190s destroyed
(1) ME 109 destroyed
(1) ME 109 damaged