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How The Battle Of Britain Began
With a Battle in Scotland

The City of Glasgow Squadron at Abbotsinch in 1939. by Trevor Royle

Luftwaffe pilots dubbed the Firth of Forth ‘suicide corner’ after falling to Scots air aces – eight months ahead of ‘the big one’.

On the afternoon of 16th October 1939 some of the first Spitfires were in the skies around the Firth of Forth. Intelligence had brought, first, Edinburgh’s 603 squadron “Yellow Section” and soon after,their “Red Section” into contact with a German Junkers JU88 dive bomber, of the Elite 1/KG30 unit.

In the ensuing battle from Edinburgh’s Colington Hill through Wallyford and Prestonpans the fighters finally brought down the German plane in waters off Port Seton. So becoming the first hostile aircraft to fall to the might of the Spitfire.

A second bomber, KG30's leader, was brought down just moments later by Glasgow’s 602 Squadron Spitfire likewise into the icy waters of The Firth of Forth, near Crail. To this day the squadrons argue amiably as to which squadron was the first Spitfire to bring down hostile aircraft.

The surviving German crewmen were all rescued by local fishermen. continue

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