Iíve been trying to get the flight paths of enemy and defending aircraft right in my mind; the flight path of the action at a local level is the one area I have never seen documented graphically either in the e-book, or anywhere else. It helps in my understanding of the way this incident panned out.
However, there are two things that niggle me regarding the accounts given by eyewitnesses.
Iím not dismissing them; quite the opposite - itís just that I canít fit them into the whole story easily. Can anyone help make the statements fit the known facts?
Firstly, a recap of what is known may be useful:
1. The enemy aircraft is noted by observer on George Henry Lees flying up river
2. 312 Squadron notified of incoming raid
3. The Ju88 target is the Rootes Factory at Speke Ė so the Ju88 must have flown close to the factory
4. 312 Squadron Yellow Section scrambled to patrol Hoylake
5. 289 AA Battery of 93rd Artillery at Ince open up at lone Ju88 heading from Helsby direction and heading Northwest
6. 312 Squadron airborne and climbing Ė Yellow 3 notices the AA bursts over Stanlow area and turns to port to intercept. Yellow 1 and 2 follow.
7. Guns cease with the arrival of the 3x312 Squadron Hurricanes
8. Enemy aircraft engaged and shot down, landing on reclaimed land at Bromborough Dock, close to Magazine Village
So now the bits that I canít get to fit in my mind.
One eyewitness states they were 5 years old and living in Western Avenue in Speke and saw the Ju88 being pursued by 2 Hurricanes. How can that be when the two sets of aircraft only engaged in the Ince area (when the AA guns ceased firing)? I donít think they turned around and had a battle over Speke?
The other thing is that I donít get is another eyewitness report that stated that the Ju88 ďveered, and nearly hit Bromborough Church steepleĒ. Given that the crash site was just over a mile away, the twists and turns required to get back onto the known crash glide path donít make sense (to me). Nothing is mentioned in any reports of two 90 degree turns in the final seconds of the battle, so how can the flights proximity to Bromborough Church be explained?
And another thingÖ. (thatíll be 3 things then
) Iíve never understood how Denys Gillam (Yellow Section Leader - "Yellow 1")could be at the crash site within 15 minutes eitherÖ thatís some going in a 30s car, through the Mersey Tunnel from Speke. My father, who witnessed the final moments of the action, did see one of the pilots, but he was a Czech, and had walked along the river side from Hooton Park where he had landed after the action.
Iíve knocked up a plan of what Iím Ďassumingí to be the flight paths, compiled from the known facts (1 to 8 above) Ė I hope itís close. I would also hope that the questions I have posed make more sense when applied to the paths plotted on it. The inset picture shows the projected Bromborough Church manoeuvres in a bit more detail to try and explain what Iím on about. Iím not sure how the picture will appear in the forum environment, so here's hoping it's OK.