Traces of World War 2 
RAF - No. 248 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940

      home - latest update 3 February 2008

248 SQUADRON - Fighter cruiser, Bristol Blenheim IVF
Coastal Command | Fighter Command

History | Operations and losses | Sources | Links | Books | Questions and/or remarks

On 30 October 1939, No 248 reformed at Hendon with an establishment of eighteen Blenheim 1fs for night defence duties and received its first operational aircraft early in December. Lacking any form of radar, its initial night flying was ineffective and at the end of February 1940 it was transferred to Coastal Command, equipped with seven Blenheim Mk.IVFs.

It moved to North Coates and later to Thorney Island and Gosport, where it acquired its full number of Blenheims. On 22 May the squadron returned to Fighter Command on its movement to Dyce, a detachment being based at Montrose to extend the coverage of its patrols over the coastal waters of eastern Scotland.

On 20 June, it was once more transferred to Coastal for reconnaissance flights off the Norwegian coast and attacks on enemy shipping from the Shetlands, where it had moved at the end of July.

In January 1941 it deployed further south to Dyce and flew escort patrols over coastal convoys and reconnaissance missions, using Wick as a detached base.


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Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 30/06/1940
Not all operations listed; those with fatal losses are.

20/05/1940: practice fighter attack, UK
, 1 Plane lost, 2 MIA
01/06/1940: Patrol, Dunkirk

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20/05/1940: practice fighter attack, UK

Bristol Blenheim IVF
Serial number: P4837, RK-?
Operation: practice fighter attack
Lost: 20/05/1940
Pilot Officer Arthur E.Q. Bourgeois, RAF 42100 (NZ), 248 Sqdn., age 21, 20/05/1940, missing - see the Cenotaph Database for a photo.
Pilot Officer Semon G. Tatar, RAF 42684, 248 Sqdn., age unknown, 20/05/1940, missing
During a practice fighter attack on a 42 Squadron Beaufort I (L4501), Pilot Officer Bourgeois's Blenheim IVF collided with Blenheim L9455, but continued with the exercise. P4837 then appeared to become caught in the slipstream of the target Beaufort and crashed into the sea between Selsey Bill and Thorney Creek, off the south coast of West Sussex.

The two missing airmen are commemorated on the Runnymede Memorial

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01/06/1940: Patrol, Dunkirk

At 04.50 hours on Saturday 1st June 1940, two Blenheims of No. 254 Squadron and two of No. 248 Squadron took off from HAF Detling to make a three-hour shipping cover patrol of the Dunkirk evacuation shipping route. The patrol was commanded by Flying Officer J.W. Baird of 254 Sqdn.

Soon after take-off first one and then the other of the No. 248 Squadron Blenheims radioed that they were returning to Detling due to aircraft unserviceability, The two No. 254 Squadron aircraft commenced their patrol at about 0500 hours and had made several circuits up to 0745 hours. During two of these circuits, they engaged in unresolved encounters with first a Junkers 87 aircraft and later with a Heinkel Ill.

At about 0750 they started their last circuit before returning to Detling and at 0755 they were at 8,000 feet approaching Dunkirk, two miles out to sea flying parallel to the shore, when they were attacked by eleven ME 109 aircraft diving on them from the South in line astern.

The two Blenheims of 254 Sqdn. were shot down.

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Air of Authority - 248 Squadron
Auckland War Memorial Museum Cenotaph Database
Australian War Memorial
Bail-outs for 1940
BBC WW2 People's War: Shot Down Over Dunkirk 28th May 1940
Canadian Virtual War Memorial
Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Royal Air Force - 248 Squadron
RAF Battle of Britain - 248 Squadron
RAF - Campaign Diary - The Battle of France (May-June 1940)
RAF Museum: British Military Aviation in 1940
RAF Order of Battle, France, 10th May 1940
Royal Air Force History Section
The Royal Air Force, 1939-1945
The Second World War - a day by day account

The War in France and Flanders, 1939-1940, by Major L.F. Ellis, 1954

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H C Randall 'Moths to Mosquitos' (Historic Military Press 2001)

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Air Aces
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Armée de l'Air - Order of Battle, 10th May 1940
Australian Wargraves
Axis History Factbook
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
British Aircraft Directory
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
Canada's Air Force History
HMS Cavalier
Ciel de Gloire (in French) RAF Squadrons
CWGC Cemeteries Germany
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
Danish WW2 Pilots

Dutch Pilots in RAF Squadrons
Eagles Squadrons (American pilots in the RAF)
Håkans aviation page (from Sweden, in English)
'High flight', poem by John Gillespie Magee
An Irish Airman Foresees His Death, poem by W.B. Yeats
Jagdgeschwader 27 (in German)
Luchtoorlog ('Arial War', in Dutch, with many photos)
Land Forces of Britain, the Empire and Commonwealth
The Luftwaffe, 1933-1945
Luftwaffe and Allied Air Forces Discussion Forum
The National Ex-Prisoners of War Association
Nordic Aviation during WW2 aircraft of WW2
Polish Air Force 1940-1947 Operations Record Books
RAF Battle of Britain
RAF Upwood
De Slag om de Grebbeberg
Warbird Alley
War over Holland
World War II Aircraft wrecksites in Norway
The Lancastershire Aircraft Investigation Team
Luftfahrt-Archäologie in Schleswig Holstein (in German)
North East Diary 1939-1945
Wartime Leicester and Leicestershire

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1
WW1 Cemeteries

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This page is dedicated to the men of 248 Squadron.

© Bart FM Droog / Rottend Staal Online 2008. Permission granted for use of the data gathered here for non commercial purposes, if this source is mentioned with a link to