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22 September 2010

Saturday 21st September 1940: "A great red ball of flame..."

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"Mrs Webb's house... is just a pile of rubbish."


(Fred's entry runs on from yesterday, as do the air raids) ...raid recommenced at 1.20 a.m. but it was over E. & N.E.London. Am convinced I saw a German plane blown up in mid air by a direct hit from a shell. A great red ball of flame suddenly appeared which developed into a vertical line of fire and smoke: I then heard a terrific explosion. We shall see if I was mistaken.... I am inclined to think now that it was a barrage balloon hit by a shell, all clear at 5.20 a.m.
   21 Sat (con.) Mild, dull, chilly at night. Warnings from 11.13 to 11.25 a.m., 6.7 to 7.0 p.m. four bombs dropped. Went to see Mrs Webb's house in Durham Road; it is just a pile of rubbish, yet the greenhouse is intact - glass and all. The nightly raid began at 8.15 p.m. One bomb whistled overhead and landed somewhere to Northward. The guns allowed this plane to do its work firing only afterwards. The bombs on Dupont Road might not have fallen if the guns had fired sooner. Last night not a single bomber was permitted to approach: they were all turned back by spirited gunfire. All clear at 4.37 a.m. on 22 Sun.
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