Heinkels hit city

Looking down London Road circa 1903. The Horndean Light Railway tracks are on the right.  Picture: Barry Cox Collection

NOSTALGIA: Tramlines await the first cars to climb to top of Portsdown Hill

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It was a fine summer’s evening when 12 Heinkel bombers escorted by 12 Messerschmitt fighters approached Portsmouth, on this day in 1940.

The radar station at Ventnor detected them and Hurricane crews at Tangmere were alerted.

As a result of the encounter, two Heinkels collided and fell into the sea, but the remainder went on to attack the city.

In this, the first air raid of the Second World War, 19 people were killed and 26 seriously injured.

The Rudmore gas holder at Mile End, the Blue Anchor pub at Kingston, several houses and part of Drayton School were destroyed – from John Sadden’s The Portsmouth Book of Days.