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Thread: What was No. 11 Observer Screen (RAF Air Component, Norway, 1940)

  1. #1
    Bart FM Droog Guest

    Default What was No. 11 Observer Screen (RAF Air Component, Norway, 1940)

    What was "No. 11 Observer Screen"? I Know it was part of the RAF Air Component during the Norwegian Campaign, but am I right in thinking it was a unit of ground based observers?

    Regards,

    Bart

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    Bart,

    Found a likewise reference here on http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/UK-RAF-I/UK-RAF-I-9.html

    Selected paragraph says:

    "Yet the opposition was far from negligible. Though Slatter's squadrons in general had the measure of the enemy, the Italians were quite capable of bring off an unpleasant surprise. On 16th October eight Wellesleys of No. 47 Squadron and two Vincents were drawn up on a forward landing-ground at Gederaf, to which they had flown to help the patriot forces operating near Lake Tana. With no warning—there being no local observer screen—an S.79 and seven Cr.32's and 42's swept out of the sky. Before our pilots had time to rush to their aircraft a well-placed stick of bombs from the S.79 and a spate of incendiary bullets from the fighters had reduced all ten British machines to burning wrecks."

    For sure the above is in a different part of the world, but evidently an oberver screen had to be on the lookout for enemy action. Human radars, so to speak.
    Same function as the Royal Observer Corps had?

    Regards,

    Leendert

  3. #3
    Bart FM Droog Guest

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    Hello Leendert,

    'Same function as the Royal Observer Corps had?' - was the ROC under RAF or Army Command? If under Army, then 'No. 11 Observer Screen' could have been Army also, what could explain why I found no casualties for this unit in the CWGC Database, as I was looking for Air force personnel. On the other hand: maybe No. 11 Observer Screen suffered no losses.

    Cheers,

    Bart

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    Hi Bart
    Look at http://freespace.virgin.net/richard.wordsmith/roc/rochist.htm#RCINTRO for a History of the ROC. In WW2 it was a civilian voluntary organisation under the control of the RAF,.It was always a UK organisation so it would not have been involved in Norway but the function that it performed would have been necessary in the absence of mobile Radar and would have been performed by service personnel used rather like Artillery Observers and probably linked to a central control by radio or phone.
    Regards
    Dick

  5. #5
    Bart FM Droog Guest

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    Hello Dick,

    Thanks - I remember from a recent posting regarding civilian casualties on Jersey that the CWGC lists ROC casualties as 'civilian'. But these Observer Screen men - would they have been Army or RAF? Or Army under RAF control?

    Regards,

    Bart

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    Hi Bart
    For Norway I'm afraid your guess is as good as mine! I can only suggest Royal Artillery or RAF Regt. personnel as both would have people who were accustomed to Anti Aircraft operations. It is quite likely at the time to have been improvised
    Regards
    Dick

  7. #7
    Bart FM Droog Guest

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    Hello Dick,

    I see - maybe someone from Norway can enlighten us.

    Cheers,

    Bart

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    Bart, Using this link: http://ibiblio.org/hyperwar/UN/UK/UK-NWE-Norway/UK-NWE-Norway-B.html
    you can see that 11 Observer Screen was part of the RAF Component under Gp Capt M. Moore.
    Regards, Terry

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    Default No. 11 Observer Screen

    G'day Chaps


    The following does not address the question but does give a brief and personal insight into the man's experience in Norway as a member of No. 11 Observer Screen.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/54/a5897154.shtml

    Cheers...Chris

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    Bart, I have also had a read through Auchinleck's desptach for the period concerned and there is no mention of 11 Observer Screen. Regards, Terry

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