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Thread: Ramrod

  1. #1
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    Default Ramrod

    Hi all,

    My request is as follows: did every mission led by RAF units during WWII have a specific number?

    For example, I have found that 401 Sqn took part in 'Circus 250' on 13 January 1943, but I cannot find any indication regarding the 'Figther Ramrod' they led two days later. Is there any chance that I can find it somewhere, since the ORB doesn't report any number for that particular day?

    Thanks for your help,

    Fox.
    Author of Crash in Bayeux - The Last Flight of Sergeant Ferguson (ISBN 979-10-91044-13-4) - www.facebook.com/crashinbayeux.

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    Some very general comments, based on my reading. Hopefully somebody has a more official answer as well.

    The numbered operations (Ramrods, Circus, etc.) seem to involve multiple units. It would make sense that planning these missions could take some time, and it would be necessary for every unit involved to use a common name.

    Operations performed by a single unit might have a code name (such as code names for standard Coastal Command patrol routes), but usually did not have a number. Many small scale single squadron operations, including air defence and photo recconaissance, don't appear to have offical names at all.

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    Hi Fox, from ORBs of Czech Fighter Squadrons I can say that operations like Rodeo, Circus, Ramrod, Roadstead, Rhubard were in the most cases numbered BUT there are few cases without number. Now it is hard to say if it wa snot only recorded or it was never assigned to the particular operation.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Bill was quicker:)

    Interesting theory Bill but I am pretty sure that tehere were some Ramrods without a number with two and more units taking part.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    A quick look at Tony Wood's documents for 15 January 1943 shows 401 Squadron flying a Ramrod, but without number. The same date shows a Rhubarb by 402 Squadron, and "10 Group Circus 13" by a Spitfire squadron and a Boston squadron.

    A quick unscientific look at Wood's document for 1943 shows numbered operations seem to involve multiple bases and even multiple Commands . I suspect a wing size operation, perhaps flown from a single base, might not get a number.

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    Thank you very much -- it helps a lot.
    Author of Crash in Bayeux - The Last Flight of Sergeant Ferguson (ISBN 979-10-91044-13-4) - www.facebook.com/crashinbayeux.

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    Rhubarbs were often flown in poor weather conditions such as low cloud to help the attacking aircraft evade defending forces. As such they were organised at short notice and I have never seen any numbered ones. The majority of Circus and Ramrods do appear to be numbered befitting the much larger forces involved. There could also be more than one of these type of ops taking place during a given day so it makes sense to number them.

    Ian

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    Default Numbered Rhubarb operations

    Sorry to contradict you Ian, but I have seen some 10 Group Rhubarbs that were numbered in July 1942. One of them, Rhubarb 85 on 23/7/42 was a so called "mass Rhubarb" involving five squadrons. Other Rhubarbs in the same series were more standard (one or two sections). I may add that all operations were numbered on a Group basis (i.e. there was a 10 Group Circus 22 and a different 11 Group Circus 22). It also seems that the series were re-initiated at the beginning of each year.

    Best wishes,

    Jérémie

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    Hello,

    The Circuses were not re-numbered at the beginning of the year. There's a list in the appendices of "2 Group RA.F." by Bowyer, one dealing with 1942-43 and the other for 1941.

    Clearly, the Circus were numbered from 1 (Guines, 10th January 1941). What happened later in the war, is that No. 10 Group started its own, hence the "10 Group" prefix in it. In the early days, Circuses involved No. 2 Group (Blenheims) and an escort of fighters usually provided by No. 11 Group. In July 1941 Bomber Command Stirlings were used briefly.

    I have seen Rhubarbs numbered as well, but these are rarer.

    Joss

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    Good complement of information. Merci.
    Author of Crash in Bayeux - The Last Flight of Sergeant Ferguson (ISBN 979-10-91044-13-4) - www.facebook.com/crashinbayeux.

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