Sketch by Jack Chalker

Battle of Britain

In August 1940, while Norman was completing the successful test flying of the A-20 bomber, Britain had come under the massive assault of fighters and bombers of the German Luftwaffe.   This was the beginning of the great air war known as the “BATTLE OF BRITAIN”.   The RAF Fighter Command was pressed to their limit to supply planes and pilots for the battle.   Due to the early heavy losses, Norman was “loaned” to Fighter Command and posted to No. 242 Squadron, flying Hawker Hurricane fighter planes.   Many air battles took place over Britain in the next few months.   In one, Norman said that he noticed a German ME-110 in the mirror of his Hurricane.   Just as he was deciding which way to break, he was hit with a burst of machine gun fire, and wounded in both legs.   He was also wounded in the face, but managed to evade the enemy and was able to make a successful emergency landing on the Isle of Wight.  Norman was hospitalized for a number of weeks at East Grinstead Hospital, where he received good care and excellent plastic surgery. Later, after discharge from the hospital, he was posted to Keflavik, Iceland with RAF No. 98 Squadron. There he participated in a smoke screen test program, and another with balloon cable cutters, while he recuperated.

NOTE: The RAF lost 832 fighter aircraft in the Battle of Britain, but many pilots survived.   They shot down 668 German fighters and over 600 bombers, which caused Hitler to put his invasion plans on hold.

Hawker Hurricane Fighter

Hawker Hurricane Fighter  

Norman flew these in the Battle of Britain in 1940

In early 1941, back in the A-20 “Boston” bomber, Norman participated in the bombing of the Nazi controlled Vichy French fleet and was then assigned to No. 21, South African Squadron, flying Beauforts and Marylands.   They flew support in the capture of the Island of Madagascar, to secure the vast supply of grafite, a strategic war materiel.   From there he went to No. 84 Bomber Squadron in Calcutta, India, where he flew Bristol Blenheim Mark IV bombers.


Next Chapter

Far East



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[Norman] [War Clouds Gather] [German Onslaught] [Battle of Britain] [Far East] [Croix de Guerre] [Love of Adventure]


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