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Thread: Fractions of Ops counting towards a Bomber Command tour

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    Default Fractions of Ops counting towards a Bomber Command tour

    In the early war I know an Op counted as an Op and at a set figure a chap's tour was assessed as complete, whether they were bombing or minelaying, he was off, posted for instructing or whatever.

    At some stage in late spring 1944 I think, an instruction was issued that Ops against French targets (and possibly others) were in future to be counted as 1/3 (a third) of an Op in terms of completion of tours by aircrew.

    I have read of the obvious uproar and the instruction was amended (I think) to the effect that - all future ops - were counted in this way and any already completed were allowed to count as an Op.

    Please can anybody advise if there is a known date/instruction and exactly how it worked in detail ?

    Thanks for any help.

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    Hi Pete - Harris requested the amendment to tour policy to differentiate between 'two entirely different types of operation' in a letter to Air Ministry BC/C.28437/P/C-in-C dated 8th March 1944. This reported that he had already given instructions for ops carried out in an area 'W of 70E and N of 53N, and W of 6E between 53N and 46N' to count as only a third of one op. Exceptions were mining 'in the inner harbours of Brest, Lorient, St Nazaire and La Pallice'.

    If I can find the order that eventually cancelled this unpopular instruction I'll let you know.

    cheers,

    Richard

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    Thank you Richard.

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    1/3? So how about those that already counted as a fraction in the earlier period?
    I am currently researching a Wellington W/Op who had a complete tour of 30 Ops during 1943 made up of 29 regular bombing or minelaying sorties plus 2 'missing aircrew dinghy search' ones, the latter being clearly marked in his log as 1/2 of an operational sortie each. Would these also become 1/3 later on, or less?

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    I believe that the situation only affected aircrew who were then flying an operational tour, any men who had already completed a tour were OK.

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    Sorry, I didn't make myself clear. I know that the guy who had completed his tour in 1943 was not affected by the changed policy of 1944, but I wonder what happened to his pals who would fly similar 'dinghy search' sorties in, say, mid-1944. What fraction (if any) of an operational sortie would they be credited with?

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