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Thread: What Counted as a BC Op?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    California USA
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    Default What Counted as a BC Op?

    I may be reading way too much into this but here goes. One would think this should be well defined/straight forward but now I’m not so sure. I know at different points of the war some short ops (say France) counted as one third or a half op. When BC crews were loaned to coastal command their ant sub patrols counted as a half op towards their BC tour (10 hr patrols I might add).

    My question is did early returns every count? A couple of examples. First 2 August 1943 Hamburg raid the main force encountered a large thunderstorm area over Germany and many crews turned back early or bombed alternative targets. My uncle’s logbook states “early return” after 1 hr 40 minutes. Other examples are after some mechanical failure, icing, or failure to climb often after 3 hrs flying – usually bombs being jettisoned in the safe area.

    A Halifax pilot once told me when the raid was other than France or Italy passing a certain point (he vaguely recalled 5 deg east) and then returning for a valid reason still counted but I don’t know how this could be proved. This was mid 1943.

    I see that photo evidence over the target was inconsistently required (by the wing commander?)

    A follow up question is where was the official op count recorded for each crew member? Some crew kept a running total in their log books but from what I have seen most did not. ORBs did tract this.

    Any insight would be much appreciated

    In remembrance of the crew of Halifax HR732
    51 Squadron Snaith - All LWT Leipzig 4 December 1943

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
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    I can only tell you that my navigator father flew seven ops with BC to France from March 1944 onwards. Each counted as a full op. So the change from half to full must have been late 1943/very early 1944.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Half an op

    Hi Norman

    I believe the ones that counted as half an op were some of those to France around the build up to D-Day, and just after, but were reinstated to full ops after complaints from crews - but, for the life of me, I cannot find anything definitive at present.

    The heavy losses to the Panzer depot at Mailly-le-Camp on 3/4th May '44 proved that French targets were not always soft targets

    See also this piece from 2010 and this as well from 2012 - where it is mentioned in a piece about nickelling

    Allan Hillman

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