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Thread: Bomber Command form Y

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    Default Bomber Command form Y

    Hello

    I was looking for the meaning of the letters in Bomber Command forms D and Y, as filed, in the case Im actually researching, by Blenheim units from Wattisham in May 1940. Ive seen examples of these in appendices of ORBs in Kew. Ross has explained in full the meaning of the letters in form D in http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?11862-Forms-Lettered
    (thanks a lot for that, Ross) but the meaning of some letters in form Y is still missing. Has anybody, or Ross, found some more meanings since the initial messages ?

    C : type of machines used and number of machines in addition to place of attack
    D : not sure : observations made during the attack ?
    E : NIL ???
    F : Flak met during the attack ?
    G to J : NIL ???
    K : observations on the ground (tanks, AFVs, lorries, etc)
    L : NIL
    M : relates to K ?
    N : task, number of machines used, weather, if photographs taken, casualties, bomb loads,
    O : time of landing

    Im also looking for the meaning of KBL 398 and KBL 400 which obviously relate to Blenheim, but what means the K in front, and 398 and 400. The raid was carried out by 6 Blenheim IVs.

    And at last Im looking for the meaning of T.H.I., which may be about landing time ?

    This would clarify a few points for me, and Im sure for other forumites.

    Regards

    Joss

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    Hi Joss,

    The KBLXXX is the MSI or movement serial indicator and it's just an accident that the BL part has been used for a Blenheim.

    In general the MSI for aircraft on ops on the same day and with take off times within a few minutes had the same alpha part of the MSI but sequential nemeric parts.

    The senario is that the aerdrome Watch Office staff plan the take off and route (or in the later part of the war are instructed by Group on take off and route).

    They then assign aircraft and crews, telephone Flying Control at Fighter Command and request a MSI for x aircraft with take off time y and route z.

    Flying Control then use the three letter code of the day for that aerodrome and time period and assign the request the code with the sequential numeric portion.

    Now Flying Control have an aircraft serial with a route and estimated times logged against an MSI.

    Later the Chain Home station picks up a track and reports it to the Filter Room, the flying control liasion officer compares this to the MSIs and advises on possible hostile, possible friendly or unknown. The teller then "tells" via the telephone the plotter at Fighter Command/Sector the narrative for unknown or possible hostile and the Plotter puts it on the table.

    Any subsequent reports from Observer Corps are compared to the raid track to see if possible hostile or unknown can be resolved into an MSI and taken off the Fighter Command table.

    From about 1941 then GCI stations and Gun Laying Radar reports were also added to the mix for FCLO resolution but key to all this activity was the MSI relating to a known and planned aircraft movement.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Hello

    Thanks for your explanations Ross, in this thread and in the other one about the flying tower log and the MSI. I was completely wrong with the BL part, as you point it, a coincidence the planes were Blenheims...

    Regards

    Joss

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    Hi chaps,

    I would like to thank to Ross for explanation of MSI as it was quite a nightmare for me in the last book as I was not able to find any info about it!

    Joss: As for the From Y - I have some examples more filled from 311 sq but mainly I was able to find out a draft by Intelligence Officer who was using prepared sheets of paper for it with the headings which stated following:

    B - Date and period ending hours
    C - Enemy A/C seen but not encountered
    D - Enemy A/C encountered
    E - AA Artillery Encountered
    F - Balloon Barrages
    G - Searchilghts
    H - Activity on Aerodrome, raods and rail
    I - not used
    J - Activity at sea or at ports
    K - Other operations
    L - Routes

    The heading looks like following - was the same for each letter:

    B. Date and period ending hours
    --------------------------------------

    M.S.I. - PLACE - TIME - HEIGHT - REMARKS

    in fact individual letter was used in 99% of cases instead of MSI


    Hope this helps

    Pavel

    P.S. This form was always used for all the planes from the unit not for individual plane only.
    Last edited by CZ_RAF; 6th January 2013 at 10:19. Reason: additional info
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Hello Pavel,

    Thanks for your message. I fully agree that Form D and Form Y were filed for a Squadron, not for a single crew, unless the raid was carried out by a single machine/crew.

    My understanding of the Form Y is slightly different though :
    A : form number
    B : date and hours of landing (= end of mission)
    C : MSI numbers and number and type of aircraft involved in the mission
    D : enemy aircraft seen
    F : Flak encountered, location, height, accuracy
    K : observations on the ground (vehicles, troops, movements, location and hour observation, direction)
    N : (1) task
    (2) numbers of planes, airfield, time of take-off, number of plane coming back, time of landing
    (3) weather
    (4) photos taken [or not]
    (5) casualties [or NIL], individual letter of missing aircraft quoted
    (6) bomb load
    O : time of landing

    I can say that Wattisham used KBL for most of May 1940 as MSI reference, and used ZBL in June 1940. Still with the BL part in it, which made me initially think they were meant for Blenheim. Ross' explanations about this cleared this matter.

    What is also surprising in the pages I'm studying is that they come from No. 110 Squadron ORB appendice, but clearly originate from Wattisham, and in fact concern both Wattisham Squadrons, No. 107 and No. 110. And no Squadron number is quoted in the form at all ! There's just sometimes a hand-written addition at the bottom, with "110", or with both "107" and "110" hand-written, and a "tick" in front of "110".

    These appendices are actually very interesting material about these raids on northern France during the German attack on the west.

    Regards from France

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 7th January 2013 at 11:00.

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    Hi Ross,

    I do not want to argue, I have only written what I have found in the archive in the folder of 311 Sq in the 1941.
    The draft papers agree with the teleprint copy of the final report sent to HQ.
    Well there could be possibility that the form was slightly changed between 1940-1941?
    I will try to look for Form Y from late 1940 but in this period the information is very vague.

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

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    Hello Pavel,

    I didn't want to argue either... I too believe that there may have been some variations of the form, in time, and from one Group to another.

    As some fields were noted "NIL" in the examples I'm studying, I was very happy to get answers both from Ross and from you. This helps me a lot to understand some of the Blenheim raids in May 1940, the losses they sustained and the eyewitnesses accounts that we can find, in order to have a better understanding of the whole case.

    Thanks for your help

    Joss

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