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Thread: Half a bombing mission

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    Default Half a bombing mission

    I am researching a young man of my village in Herefordshire - R.S. Thompson RAFVR who served with 427 Squadron RCAF. He was killed in a raid on Berlin 20/21st January 1944. The Squadron ORB says he had done Twenty Nine and a half (or possibly twenty three and a half) missions , it is not very clear. What was a half a mission? I assume an 'aborted' one but was there a 'clear line they had to pass' before it counted. Bill Webb

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    Hi Bill,
    A topic I have brought up in the past
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?13561-What-Counted-as-a-BC-Op
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?7568-terminology&highlight=counting%20sorties

    From your chaps timeframe (early 1944) I believe short hops to France would count as a 1/2 and sometimes 1/3 op - this practice was later abolished due to crew complaints. Early returns were usually not counted but there are exceptions (I beleive if the master bomber called off the raid when they were well into it everyone got credit for the op - other exceptions too). Also BC crews loaned to CC in the first half of 1943 had each of their anti-sub patrols count as a half op towards their tour of 30. What constituted an op or even a tour was not well defined - I think the WC had the final say as subjective as that could be. You'll see in the link above one Halifax pilot I spoke to vaguely remembers on ops (not to France or Italy) once a certain point was crossed even an early return counted (this would have been early 1943 as he was shot down POW June 1943) - another Halifax pilot from the same squadron (but last half of 1943) told me early returns never counted - but like everything I beleive there were exceptions.

    Cheers
    Rodger
    Last edited by rmventuri; 15th January 2013 at 18:14. Reason: more info
    In remembrance of the crew of Halifax HR732
    51 Squadron Snaith - All LWT Leipzig 4 December 1943

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    Bill, The other mission that counted as half an op was a search mission. My chap from 226 Sqn flew several search missions over the Channel/North Sea which each counted as half. Regards, Terry

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