The South East Echo
The book focuses on the airport between 1940 and 1944, when it became a Fighter Station in its own right. It details the various Squadrons and their activities while they were based there, and traces the day-to-day running of the Station, from being a forward fighter base for R.A.F. Hornchurch at the beginning of the hostilities, to becoming an Armament Practice Camp in the final months of the war.
54 Squadron was up at 04.30 hrs, and at 06.00 hrs the usual Barrow Deep patrols over convoys. In the afternoon various Rhubarb operations were carried out when Squadron Leader Robert F. Boyd and Sergeant Horace Cordell (100598) flew in a north-east direction over the North Sea and towards the Dutch Coast. No enemy aircraft were sighted and there was no activity. But at 17.26 hrs Pilot Officer Baxter and Sergeant Hall reported four aircraft approaching them from behind and to port. Pilot Officer Baxter then saw four Me-109’s about 200 ft below and ahead of him, and he fired two short bursts at the leading Me-109. Hall reported that he saw the enemy aircraft crash into the sea, and so Baxter won his first victory against the enemy.