With the Battle of Britain in its early stages, on the morning of Wed.10 July 1940, a convoy of slow-moving cargo ships heading along the south coast came under attack from a formidable force of Dornier Do17 bombers, escorted by five squadrons of fighters.
RAF Fighter Command scrambled several squadrons to meet the oncoming force in an effort to protect the ships, and a massive dogfight involving more than a hundred aircraft developed in the vicinity of Dover. Here we see a head-on attack between two seasoned pilots high over the port of Dover late that morning.
A Spitfire from 610 Squadron, flown by Squadron Leader Andrew Smith, has taken on a Me109 from I./JG3, the two aircraft having flashed past each other at a closing speed nearing 800mph. Smith was forced to crash-land his damaged aircraft at Hawkinge following this encounter, but the gallant squadron commander was to lose his life following combat with Me109s just two weeks later