Canada in the Second World War

Arms & Weapons

406 Squadron Combat Report, 30th September 1941

Sector Serial No. (A)
Serial No. of Order detailing Flight or Squadron to Patrol (B)
Date (C) 30th. Sept. 1941. Beaufighter II
Flight, Squadron (D) Flight: A/C 1 Sqdn.: 406 Sqdn.
Number of Enemy Aircraft (E) One
Type of Enemy Aircraft (F) JU. 88
Time Attack was delivered (G) 2209 hours.
Place Attack was delivered (H) Approx. 45 miles E. of Tynemouth
Height of Enemy (J) 9,000 ft. (Approx.)
Enemy Casualties (K) One JU. 88 destroyed
Our Casualties Aircraft (L) Nil (Slight damage by enemy fire).
Personnel (M) Nil
Searchlights. (Did-they illuminate enemy; if not, were they in front or behind target?) (N)(i)
Anti-Aircraft guns (Did shell bursts assist pilot in intercepting the enemy) (N)(ii)
Range at which fire was opened in each attack, with estimated length of bursts (P) Three Attacks at 100 yds. of 2 secs. I Sec and 2 Secs. First two attacks with M/G’s [Machine Guns] and Cannon. Third attack with M./G only. 4 Cannon fired total 115 rounds. 6 Browning fired 600 rounds. Believed 3 stoppages in Cannon. Causes will
be ascertained in daylight. Reflector sight type G3A used. No Deflection.


D.G. Morris (right) and Flight Lieutenant Johnston standing by Beaufighter of 406 Squadron.

D.G. Morris (right) and Flight Lieutenant Johnston standing by Beaufighter of 406 Squadron.
National Defence Image Library, PL 4651.

Weather – clear sky with bright moon about south and bearing 110 degrees starboard of line of attack. Beaufighter II left Acklington 2116 and was ordered by sector to orbit base at 12,000 ft. when this height attained was handed over to G.C.I. [Ground Control Interception] Controller who gave various vectors off and over Tyne area. At about 2203 hrs. when approx. 11,000 ft, steering 80 degrees MAG and about 20 miles E. [East] of Tynemouth got momentary A.I. [Aerial Interception Radar] Blip of E/A [Enemy Aircraft] slightly above and to starboard at Max range and flying approx. due east. Our A/C [Aircraft] turned to 100 degrees and regained A.I. contact which was maintained until visual obtained at about 3,000 ft. range. Visual then temporarily lost again but was soon regained at same range and maintained. Beaufighter closed to 100 yds. range with E/A slightly to port and above. Pilot saw bright red exhaust flames two on each side of round engines thus identifying E/A as JU.88. At approx. 2209 hrs, at about 9,000 ft. and about 45 miles E. of Tynemouth Beaufighter attacked from level and dead astern. Pilot saw flashes in E/A fuselage. One flash very brilliant. E/A immediately returned fire from Dorsal position. Our A/C attacked twice more. After final attack return fire from E/A ceased and E/A rapidly slowed down. Beaufighter then overshot E/A 20 ft. above and 140 ft. to starboard narrowly avoiding collision. Even then no fire experienced from E/A and both pilot and observer saw red glow of fire in E/A cockpit. E/A turned starboard underneath our A/C which turned nearly complete circle to port. Pilot then saw E/A burst into flames, go into steepening dive to starboard, and saw patch on water where E/A had hit sea. Beaufighter port engine then started vibrating seriously and throwing out sparks. Pilot had to stop it and return to base on starboard engine only. After landing, port engine found seriously damaged by enemy fire, starboard engine slightly damaged and various Bullet strikes mainly in port wing. Pilot believes success of operation due to no evasive action by E/A which was flying at about 260 mph (I.A.S.[Indicated Air Speed]) and slowly losing height before the combat. Pilot surprised at brilliancy of E/A exhaust flames. Beaufighter landed Acklington at 2234 hours. No failures of Technical equipment.

Pilot: W/CDR. D.G. Morris.
Observer: Sgt. A.V. Rix.