August 6th 1940

249 Squadron Operational Record Book, 6 August, Church Fenton
During the last few days a considerable amount of practice flying has been carried out and much attention paid to beam attacks and dog fighting practice. There seems to be very little activity in the North now, but things are boiling up in the South of England and attacks are being carried out by large numbers of e/a on convoys and South Coast ports. We are all hoping to get a move South.

August 9th 1940

249 Squadron Operational Record Book, 9 August
Friday morning boredom relieved at the sound of shots being discharged during the pay parade in the Squadron hangar, as a result of which no. 566614 Cpl Parry Jones of B Flight grasped his side and fell to the ground. He was found to have been wounded by a bullet and was taken to York Military Hospital by Ambulance. On subsequent investigation, it was found that a Hurricane aircraft of no. 73 Squadron was being loaded whilst in the flying position, pointing towards our hangar and 2 rounds had inadvertently been fired. This incident did a lot towards fostering the already excellent competitive spirit between the 2 squadrons on the station.

August 16th 1940

249 Squadron Operational Record Book – 16 August, Boscombe Down
A formation of Me109s were seen and Red Section, Flt Lt Nicholson, PO MA King, Sqdn Ldr King were ordered to investigate. Red Section unfortunately bought it, being heavily attacked by fighters. Flt Lt Nicholson, Red I was hit by a cannon shell and his aircraft caught fire. Flt Lt Nicholson remained in the cockpit in order to get a burst at a Messerschmitt 110 which appeared in front of him. He was then forced to abandon aircraft owing to the heat. He made a successful descent, but when about 40 feet from the ground he was fired at by a member of the LDV. He was very badly burnt and taken to Royal Southampton Hospital. PO MA King, Red 2 was attacked at the same time, and also abandoned his aircraft. His parachute had been severely damaged however by a cannon shell, and collapsed during the descent. Pilot Officer King was killed. Sqdn Ldr King’s aircraft was hit in several places but he was able to return to base.

Note – Flt Lt Nicholson was subsequently awarded the VC – the only member of Fighter Command to receive this honour.

August 24th 1940

249 Squadron Operational Record Book – 24 August
2 aircraft of Blue Section ordered to intercept e/a over Bristol at 30,000 feet. No further information was given them by R/T, and no interception was made. It is worthy of note here that the controllers at Middle Wallop appear to be working under very difficult circumstances with untrained personnel and lack of equipment. On many of the patrols so far carried out, no information other than the original telephoned order and the order to land has been received.