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"We flew into the evening sun when the East End was burning"

The late Hurricane pilot Wing Commander Bob Foster describes to us how he and his squadron (605) joined the Battle on one of its most decisive days.

605 Squadron had previously been at drem in Scotland, but on 7 September they flew south, to Croydon, to join the intense air battle that was taking place.

"We flew in that day, 7 September," says Foster.

"We'd been having a nice time up in Scotland, listening and hearing about the battle that was going on in the south, but we weren't involved at all – only on one day on 15 August – but that was a one-off job, so we didn’t know what to expect when we flew south, but we literally flew into the evening sun when the east end was burning and that was our first sight of what was going on in London and the south."

The East End was burning on 7 September because the Luftwaffe had switched its attention to Britain's towns and cities and this raid was the biggest of the war so far, involving almost 1000 Luftwaffe aircraft.

"Our defences have actively engaged the enemy at all points," said a communiqué issued that evening. "The civil defence services are responding admirably to all calls that are being made upon them."

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