Circus 170 : José Blairon, 350 Squadron’s first casualty.
( ©Wim de Meester - Allan Hillman - Serge Bonge)
09 May 1942
Circus 170 took the squadron to act as High Cover with 64 Squadron of 6 Boston’s Mk III of 88 Squadron in an attack on oil storage tanks near Bruges. Protection was the responsibility of no less than 49 Spitfires from four squadrons (nos. 64, 313, 72 and 350), a number that would prove to be largely sufficient! Rendezvous was made at Clacton at 17.00 (it had OO, these are capital O’s) hours and the Circus went according to schedule. The Squadron came out at Knokke at 26,500, knowing, from the Flak at Ostend, that the bombers had re-crossed the Belgian Coast. About 12 E/A were seen altogether, including an FW-190 with a yellow engine cowling. Five Messerschmitt's of 5./JG1 observed approximately 30 Spitfires to the west of Walcheren and started to pursue them. During the following interception White 4 (Sgt Ester) of 350 Squadron fired from about 300 yards with both cannon and M/G at a Me-109F which was on the tail of Red 4 (Sgt Blairon, Spitfire Mk Vb, AA857). Sgt Ester made no claim, but Red 4 was hit and tried to make the English coast and jumped at less than 1,000 feet. (Both Ofw. Lüth and Fw. Hutter of 5./JG1 claimed to have shot down a Spitfire respectively at 17.45 and 17.43, on position 05 Ost S/32/3/1/6 and -5, which would correspond to a location to the west of Walcheren. However, only the victory of Fw. Georg Hutter was later confirmed.). Red 3 (P/O Plisnier) orbited the spot and called “Mayday” successfully, the Air Sea Rescue Service were out and on the spot within a short time, Sgt Blairon was alive when rescued, but died at 20.30 hours. José Blairon was buried at Brookwood Cemetery on 13 May 1942.
Am 9.5.1942 am 17.20 Uhr startete die Staffel auf einen englischen
Verband westlich von Vlissingen.Wir sahen den Verband im Quadrat MF3 und
setzten uns dahinter. Ich griff die letzte Maschine aus Überhöhung von
hinten an. Im selben Augenblick sah ich, wie ich von rechts oben
angegriffen wurde und mußte dadurch abdrehen. Was mit der Maschine
geschah, konnte ich nicht mehr beobachten,Uffz. Stellfeld, der mit mir
flog, sah wie die Maschine brennend mit starker Rauchfahne trudelnd nach
unten ging. Der Aufschlag konnte auch vom Uffz. Stellfeld nicht beobachtet
werden.Zeit des Abschüsses: 17.45 Uhr in XE4.
0521 Kriegswache Achtung und
Marine Artillerie Abteilung 202
1048 (bis 1114) Flakalarm der 1./-, 4./-,
6./- und 7./-
--//-- HH12 und HH19 auf Position Wielinger Fahrwasser