Reported in the News Letter on December 13, 1939: Tougher times lie ahead for British airmen


Forecast of a new and more strenuous chapter of air warfare in the spring was made in the House of Commons, Westminster, yesterday, by Sir Kingsley Wood, Air Minister.

He said: “We must be prepared to face, perhaps soon, perhaps in the spring, another and more strenuous and difficult chapter. But we can be confident that our air defence system is sound, that our personnel and aircraft are superior to the enemy’s, and that our strength, defensive and offensive, is growing steadily, so that every day we are in a better position to establish our ascendency in the air.”

Sir Kingsley gave a heartening review of the courageous way in which our airmen had protected Britain from air attack, and told of one squadron which had flown 3,000 hours on long-distance tasks, its aircraft travelling nearly half-a-million miles. The squadron had protected 700 merchant vessels, sighted seven enemy submarines and carried out attacks on five occasions. Its motto was “Omnia Videmus” (“We see everything”) – a motto that was fully justified.

[The Battle of Britain would later take place from July 10 to October 31, 1940]