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Thread: Duty 'bp' or 'Gp' on a Flying Accident Card

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    Default Duty 'bp' or 'Gp' on a Flying Accident Card

    In the 'Duty' box on an AM1180 it has the letters 'bp' or 'Gp' marked separately, in addition to the letters 'Op' and the place.

    The bomber aircraft was flying with a Bomber Operational Squadron with experienced Officer Pilots on a night bombing mission in August 1940.

    No other 1940 AM1180s I have seen to date, have this additional lettering in the 'Duty' box, anyone come across the 'Duty' lettering before, please?

    Mark

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    What date in August and the aircraft serial?

    I may be able to look up the Form B in the group ORB appendices to see if the duty listed has any significance.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Thank you for replying Ross

    14/15th August 1940. I have the No. 4 Group ORB described as 'Form 540' from AIR 25/93 photocopied and it refers to B.193.

    Three Squadrons were operating from No.4 Group and I have several B193s (both in different layout format) from two of the Station records. The relevant teleprinted 77 Squadron Driffield form has lettering down the left hand side.

    I will scrutinise the B193s photocopies I have again, or will there be another / Master B193 elsewhere?

    The No.4 Group Appendices for the particular P5044 aircraft are missing. Although the other Whitley P4982 crew casualty does have a teleprinted signal (but no 'bp' or 'Gp' on their AM1180 though). There are no Intelligence records for either aircraft as the crews died, but the Raid Form does confirm that both Whitleys had been in contact by wireless that their mission had been successfully carried out.

    The funerals of the No.1 OTU Hudson T9320 and Whitley P5044 were paid for by Three RAF Stations, RAF Silloth, RAF Driffield and RAF Boscombe Down. The letter we managed to get later in 1940 said that they were involved in a most important operation over occupied territory, (which I suppose is standard RAF speak). One of the P5044 crew went to the cemetery as unidentified and the RAF at Eastleigh recorded the Whitley with "5 or 6 crew".

    The Forms E don't help either.

    Some aircraft (No.2 Group) were visiting places named (listed as aerodromes in Forms E) in RCM files where the GAF were known to transmit their navigation signals from and an attack was planned on Liverpool that night according to 'Wireless experts' at Fighter Command, but the attack on Liverpool did not materialise.

    Regards Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 17th January 2012 at 19:58.

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    Is the bp/Gp above the word duty?

    The reason for looking at Form B was that once or twice I've seen the target code added eg CC.12 or tasking and this would usually be given in line C of the Form B from the Group to the Station/Unit.

    eg
    http://www.rafcommands.com/Images/Lettered/FormB/DSCF9818.JPG

    I have a suspicion that the answer to my first question will be the key.

    Regards
    Ross
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    The link you gave me for the B Form takes me to a post titled Operational Report Form D.

    Form D is missing for P5044 in the RAF Station Driffield Appendices, of the Forms D being sent to No.4 Group by Teleprinter.

    However, Forms D for the other 77 Squadron crews who returned do all seem to be there and Line C is the MSI (Movement Serial Indicator) of the aircraft which is DM for Driffield followed by 3 numbers and they used the set of numbers, which followed on from the numbers last used by the Squadron on their last Op.

    The letters on the Flying Accident Card appear to be "Gp" (although the 2 letters could be a small 'b' followed by a 'p'). They are definitely in the Duty box. I have cut part of the card out in paint, but I don't know how to post the extract.

    In AIR 24/220 there is another Signal from HQBC to 2,3,4 & 5 Groups for 14/8 giving numerous Targets (all with either their letter and number/s, or 5 letters only such as 'ADIEU' and 'SIMOR' and also one for the Bismarck).

    According to the P5044 Loss Card the target is Oil Refinery at Ambes, which was apparently Z158.

    The Form B193 is their last Teleprinted Order from 4 Group to RAF Driffield which says "All Aircraft" "Primary Z158", with Secondary and Last Resort targets as ADIEU (peferably Z175). This B193 is in addition to another Operational Order which lists each aircraft by letter and their MSI number, bomb load, route which I have also got a copy of.

    Regarding Bomber Command Loss Cards, I wrote and asked why P4982 did not have a Loss Card and the RAF Museum replied that Loss Cards were only completed when 'enemy action' was involved, which is what locals were led to believe too, despite knowing the Whitley had hit a balloon cable.

    However, the No.4 Group ORB only has a reference to friendly fire, but no damage. The intercom and mechanical failure relate to other aircraft according to Squadron ORBs.

    Some AA Units War Diary or Appendices are missing for the IOW, Portsmouth, Gosport, Southampton and Eastleigh areas according to the August 1940 area AA Brigade Layout and none of the remainder even mention any aircraft flying over.

    There was one Blenheim up from Tangmere (logged by the Observer Corps Centre) about an hour beforehand and the FIU generally states that IFF Tests and practice interceptions were being made on 14 & 15th August 1940.

    Unfortunately, I don't have any other Flying Accident Cards photocopied with the letter combination in the 'Duty' box.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 18th January 2012 at 00:01.

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    I've checked the previous link and it goes to a Form B for Nickel Operations.

    As to posting the extract of your card:

    Images need to be stored on the web remote from the Forum then the URL link cut and pasted into the text.

    eg
    http://www.rafcommands.com/Images/Form1180/00000429.jpg

    http://www.rafcommands.com/Images/Form1180/00000430.jpg

    These are the front and back of an August 1940 friendly fire incident on a Battle from No.1 Group on Ops.

    As you can see in the unit section above duty another hand has added Op to the card.

    This hand appears on all the cards with a similar notation with the O being normally written similar to the greek symbol Theta.

    Added to the Duty box can also be Op or N

    The inference is No.12 Sqn was an operational unit and that the duty was Ops rather than Non Operational (but just to confuse it was a Night Op)



    Regards
    Ross
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    Hello Ross

    I have the 12 Squadron 1st August and No.10 OTU Friendly Fire 5th August 1940 Accident Cards Copies and the full Court of Inquiry paper work photocopied, along with various Bomber Command correspondence.

    Regarding the 12 Squadron Battle L5568, our Fighter Pilots in August 1940 had authority to shoot down any aircraft which failed to conform to S.D.158 by not flying at a set agreed height, or who had navigation lights on above 2,000 feet and more than 5 miles from their base. I also have an Air Consolidation Order amended in 1938 and still in force in 1941, which indemnified our Fighter Pilots from blame. The 29 Squadron Blenheim Pilot said he indentified the Battle as a GAF aircraft to which the President quizzed, did you not see it was a British type? The Controller could not confirm identity, so the fighter challenged the Battle, opened fired and the identification signals were seen from the Battle as the bomber fell away toward Anderby Creek. I think it was unfair to blame the Battle Pilot for the loss of his Battle aircraft and crew and Bomber Command argued against blaming their Pilot, on the basis:-

    that there should be better liaison between Sector and Bomber Stations.
    that the Controller did not know the recently new Bomber Station was there.
    that Groups should filter all movements of bombers instead of Fighter Command.
    that there should be closer liaison between Commands.
    that the Battle was not plotted on Digby Ops Room Table.

    It was a pretty poor show all round and trying to blame the poor Battle Pilot who lost his life!

    However, the 10 OTU Pilot and crew survived and the Pilots were furious when he force landed at Squires Gate with a damaged Whitley and I noticed that the Air Ministry referred in the Court of Inquiry to a Signal of late July 1940 sent to Coastal Command stating that it was better for an enemy aircraft to escape, than to shoot down one of our own.

    The chap at RAF Silloth said see that Whitley go and shoot it down. Apparently the GAF were flying a Whitley. Hurricane pilots from Silloth made paractice challenges across the Whitley, the Whitley fired its identification and the Hurricanes disappeared. Later the Whitley Pilot was being challenged again by the fighters from Silloth and they opened fired into the mainplane wing tanks and also causing the starboard pump to fail, without official Orders and without sufficient reason to believe that the Whitley was hostile, which had to crash land at Squires Gate. The Duty Officer also failed to give explicit orders and the Hurricane pilots had acted beyond their remit, be reprimanded and moved to another Unit.

    By September 1940 the onus was placed on the intercepting Pilot to identify the other aircraft visually and not the Control Officer. I believe Bomber Command also got the RAF Fighter to Bomber Challenge arrangement stopped. But if a Fighter opened fire, the RAF bomber still needed to fire or show their identification signals. They were given instructions not to open fire unless the other aircraft commits a hostile act.

    I note some Accident Cards which have 'Ms' or 'M/S' adjacent the Accident file 'A' or 'P' number and many of these were friendly incidents according to the Nature of Accident.

    Anyway back to your 'N' in the Duty box, it seems that 'N' mainly meant Not on Ops, as I have some day accidents with 'N' in the Duty box.

    The Duty box on Accident Cards for training flights sometimes gives places on route. Regarding the letters 'bp' or 'Gp' I have looked at my Navigation manual.

    'Gp' could be 'Gnomonic Projection'
    Naval sources for 'Gp' give Gunnery Practice and they were over a Naval area.

    If the letters are saying 'bp' it could be 'bombing photography'?

    At the top of the Accident Cards for Balloon Collisions you get letters BA; or BC; or BD.
    On one Card when the Balloons were culpable it stated BD.
    BC could be Balloon collision, or Below cloud?
    BA could be Blind Approach or Battle Accident?

    Whitley P5044 has 'BA'.
    Whitley P4982 has 'BC'.

    Regarding RAF fighter losses I have seen 'BA' in a Fighter ORB and also on the same page the words 'Battle Accident' for another fighter loss. Although RAF aircraft hit balloon cables, I am aware from other Reports found at TNA, Kew that some RAF aircraft were also engaged by our defences and had started to disintegrate before actually impacting the balloon cable.

    I shall have to have another look at some Accident Cards for 'bp' or 'Gp'.

    Incidentally Whitley P4982 which crashed at Larborne Farm, Near West Drayton 15.8.1940 was from 51 Squadron Dishforth and the Daily 51 Squadron Statistical Return confirms that a 51 Squadron Whitley had expended 600 rounds whist on Active Air Operations. The 51 Squadron Form 540 and 541 does not mention why the 600 rounds were expended, nor anything about any incident, but the typewritten 51 Squadron ORB pages are not marked 'Original'.

    There was 6,600 rounds on the wrecked 51 Sqn aircraft etc.

    Regards Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 18th January 2012 at 15:35. Reason: missing text

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    Default 'bp' in the 'Duty' box - Flying Accident Card P5044 15th August 1940

    Ross

    I may have settled the query and the letters were likely 'bp' in the 'Duty' box?

    In the Bomber Command Intelligence Summary for 14/15th August 1940, some of the bomber aircraft missions that night were "Bombing and Photographic".

    It would appear that photographs were received back of:-

    Bayon and Bec D'Ambes (near Bordeaux)
    Ile du Nord
    Pauillac
    St. Lambert
    St Brieuc
    Ile de Boueheau NE of Blaye
    Blaye

    and the Bomber Command intelligence was signed by the Duty Intelligence Officer and distributed to:-
    C.in C.
    S.A.S.O.
    Ops 2.
    Ops 3.
    Narrative Officer
    A.O.A.
    Training /C.Arm.O.
    Org.1.
    H.Q. Fighter Command
    H.Q. Balloon Command [I presume as the crews had discovered 8 to 9 enemy barrage balloons at 8,000 ft in the Bochum -Herne area]
    A.I.3.b. (F/O Lane)
    A.T.
    I.G.
    P.I.U.
    Intelligence.

    Not sure who the A.O.A., or A.T., was please?
    I presume C.Arm.O. (was Armament. Operations)?
    I realise A.I.3.b. (F/O Lane) was an Air Intelligence section, but any additional information about their role would be of interest please?

    But no photographs mentioning the Oil Tanks at Ambes where P5044 was detailed, as I expect they were destroyed in the aircraft fire, as Whitley P5044 was on fire in the air, prior to the crash.

    I was hoping I might find some additional information / references now about P5044 crashing, amongst photographic files and records? But it would seem that the photographs were taken and analysed by Bomber Command themselves?

    I noted that this Bomber Command Intelligence Summary was a typed and signed daily copy and was to be sent by Teleprinter, but this is not the teleprinted copy.

    I have already checked the AVIA 15 file regarding Ignition of photoflash flares due to enemy action, but the file relates to a later 1940 No.4 Group Whitley crash according to the photographs of the crashed Whitley aircraft lettering in the AVIA 15 file.

    Thank you for your interest.
    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 11th April 2012 at 21:24.

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