Traces of World War 2 
RAF - No. 600 Squadron
10/05/1940 - 31/05/1940

      home - latest update 17 January 2008

600 SQUADRON - Fighter, Bristol Blenheim Mk IF

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

On the outbreak of war day and night patrols were flown, experiments with airborne radar beginning in December 1939.

In February 1940 F/O Tollimarche won a George Cross as a result of attempting to rescue his passenger following a crash landing in which his aircraft caught fire. Not expected to live he actually recovered, becoming one of the first 'Guinea Pigs'.

On the 18 February 1940, James Wells arrived at RAF Manston to take up his appointment as commanding officer of 600 Squadron Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and was promoted to Acting Squadron Leader.

The day the Germans invaded France and the Low Countries, 10 May 1940, the squadron dispatched 6 aircraft/ to attack Waalhaven Airfield in Rotterdam. 5 of the 6 were shot down by German Bf 110's and 7 aircrew killed, including Sqn Ldr "Jimmy" Wells the CO.

In view of the inadequacy of Blenheims for daylight operations, No 600 was allocated to night defence only a few days later and in September 1940 the first Beaufighter was received.


Manston 20 June 1940
Hornchurch 22 August 1940
Redhill 12 September 1940
Catterick 12 October 1940

back up

Operations and losses 10/05/1940 - 31/05/1940
Not all operations listed; those with losses are.

10/05/1940: Waalhaven, NL. 5 Planes lost, 7 KIA, 1 POW
24/05/1940: ?, UK. 1 Plane lost, 2 KIA

back up

10/05/1940: Waalhaven, NL

In the morning of the 10th May six Blenheim 1F fighter-cruisers from Squadron 600 (Squadron Leader James Wells) had been directed to Waalhaven. The planes left Manston at 1030 hours. They would never reach Waalhaven, for the Messerschmitt Bf-110's of 3/ZG1 [Cmdt: Oberleutnant Streib] would intercept the British planes over Pernis. Five of the six Blenheims were shot down; the sixth plane, the BQ-O (F/O Hayes and Cpl Holmes) escaped with heavy damage.

back up

Type: Blenheim 1F
Serial number: ?, BQ-R
Operation: Waalhaven
Lost: 10/05/1940
Squadron Leader James M. Wells, RAF (Auxiliary Air Force), 90081, 600 Sqdn., age 31, 10/05/1940, Rotterdam (Crooswijk) General Cemetery, NL
Corporal (Air Gnr.) Basil A. Kidd, RAF (Auxiliary Air Force), 800235, 600 Sqdn., age 30, 10/05/1940, Rotterdam (Crooswijk) General Cemetery, NL
Sergeant David survived the crash and escaped from Holland by HMS Hereward.

back up

Type: Blenheim Mk IF
Serial number: ?, BQ-W
Operation: Waalhaven
Lost: 10/05/1940
Flying Officer Charles R. Moore, RAF (Auxiliary Air Force), 90098, 600 Sqdn., age unknown, 10/05/1940, Rotterdam (Crooswijk) General Cemetery, NL
Corporal Laurence D. Isaacs, RAF (Auxiliary Air Force), 800520, 600 Sqdn., age 20, 10/05/1940, Rotterdam (Crooswijk) General Cemetery, NL

back up

Type: Blenheim Mk IF
Serial number: ?, BQ-L
Operation: Waalhaven
Lost: 10/05/1940
Pilot Officer Michael H. Anderson, RAF 90497, 600 Sqdn., age 23, 10/05/1940, Spijkenisse General Cemetery, NL
Leading Aircraftman Herbert C.W. Hawkins, RAF 800567, 600 Sqdn., age unknown, 10/05/1940, Spijkenisse General Cemetery, NL

back up

Type: Bristol Blenheim
Serial number: ?, BQ-K
Operation: Waalhaven
Lost: 10/05/1940
F/O (Pilot) Rowe, PoW
Pilot Officer (Air Gnr.) Robert W. H. Echlin, RAFVR 77117, 600 Sqdn., age 36, 10/05/1940, Piershil Protestant Churchyard (Zuid-Holland), NL

back up

Type: Blemheim Mk IF
Serial number: ?, BQ-N
Operation: Waalhaven
Lost: 10/05/1940
P/O Haine
P/O Kramer
Crashed at Herkingen, NL. Both crew members survived the crash and escaped from Holland by HMS Hereward.

back up

24/05/1940: ?, UK

Blenheim Mk IF
Serial number: ?, BQ-?
Operation: ?
Lost: 24/05/1940

Flying Officer (Pilot) Patrick C. Hannay, 24/05/1940, RAF (AAF) 90097, 600 Sqdn., age 27, 24/05/1940, Cranbourne (St. Peter) Churchyard, UK
Leading Aircraftman James D. Short, RAF 74937], 600 Sqdn., age unknown, 24/05/1940, Northwood Cemetery, UK

back up

HUGHES, Sgt. D. E. NZ40920 New Zealander, 600 Squadron. Killed October 3rd 1940

Wednesday, 23rd October 1940 D417

A Blenheim from 600 Squadron based at Catterick in Yorkshire, crashed into a hillside at Kirkby Malzeard, Yorkshire during practice flights through cloud at 10.55. Pilot Officer P.R.S. Hurst was killed and is buried in Catterick Cemetery. The aircraft, a write-off. (source: NE Diary 1939-1945)

back up


Commonwealth War Graves Commission
Men of the Battle of Britain
RAF Battle of Britain - 600 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

War over Holland - 600 Squadron

back up


J R Bushby 'Gunner's moon' (600 Sqn 1040) (Ian Allen 1972)
H Onderwater 'Gentlemen in Blue: history of 600 Sqn' (Leo Cooper 1997)

back up


Air Aces
Airwar over Denmark
Allied World War II Casualties in the Netherlands
Australian Wargraves
De Belgen in Engeland 1940-1945 (in Dutch)
Belgian Aviation History Association Archaeological Team
British Aviation Archaeological Council - Books and research links
CWGC Cemeteries Netherlands
Czechoslovak airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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)
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
De Slag om de Grebbeberg
Warbird Alley
Wings Museum, RAF Redhill

The Aerodrome - Aces and Aircraft of World War 1

back up

This page is dedicated to the men of 600 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