On 27 July 1940, HMS Wren and Montrose raced to aid two stricken minesweepers under attack by German dive-bombers. It was to cost the Wren dear; at least three bombs struck the Wren and she sank soon thereafter. 37 of her crew lost their lives when she went down, fortunately my grandfather wasn’t among them.
On the 25th of September the Battle of Britain was entering its third month. While there may never be complete agreement on the specific the win/loss ratios, it is nevertheless true to say that through August and early September the RAF had barely managed to replace its losses in aircrew and aircraft. Aircraft production had been heavily targeted by the Luftwaffe and the RAF’s operational aircrew losses were only just matched by the training unit output; the exhaustion of both its physical and material reserves was a real and present danger.