Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: AAASF night activity for March 23/24th 1940

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,650
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default AAASF night activity for March 23/24th 1940

    Gents,

    Looking for information on any AASF night activity for March 23/24th 1940. Likewise any operations flown by No.2 Group for this night. Also if possible can anyone confirm the weather conditions for this night?

    Thanks in advance.

    Steve
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 6th November 2013 at 07:46.
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    621
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Hello Steve

    Although I don't have any Met Office Weather Reports for the date, I have looked at several newspapers.

    The Western Daily Press dated Monday 25th March 1940 refers to yesterday's German High Command communique and states:- "In spite of very unfavourable conditions the German Air Force carried out reconnaissance flights over Eastern France."

    Immediately underneath is:-

    "INVISIBLE STORM OVER BRITAIN"
    "Unknown to most people, many parts of Great Britain were affected yesterday by a magnetic storm."
    "Telegraph and telephone cables and wires were made inoperative for a time by continuous crackle, which was also heard on some wireless sets."
    "Trans-Atlantic cable services were also upset during the afternoon, later conditions returned to normal."

    There is a reference to a Vickers Wellington one parachutist landed safely and was taken prisoner and two others taken to hospital with burns and shock, but are not in danger. It seems that the report is of German origin?

    Regards Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 6th November 2013 at 22:05.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,650
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Mark,

    As ever, thank you.

    Great stuff.

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    621
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Steve

    I expect you are interested in the Blenheim losses 23rd March 1940. One after presumed control problems in cloud and has crashed. Another making a crashed landing.

    Two days earlier P/O Hulton and Sgt Dumbreck crashed at the English South coast and there is a Report when you roll through the film in the Squadron ORB at the back, or with the appendices. I have a copy.

    Two things that stood out were 10/10ths cloud with heights stated and that no recognition signal was seen to be fired over the coast.

    "0900 hrs. March 21st. Height of cloud 2,000 feet. 10/10 total."
    "1000 hrs. March 21st. Height of cloud 800 feet. 10/10 total."
    "Wind at 2,000 feet. 10/270. Light drizzle."
    "Visibility poor."

    crash at Jeffery's Point, Portslade, near Brighton.

    "Height of point at which crash occurred 800 ft."


    Regards Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 7th November 2013 at 10:00. Reason: missed out "seen to be" regarding recognition signal

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,650
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Mark,

    I am researching the activity of 218 Squadron on this night. The squadron dispatched two Battles to recco & Nickel the Rhine between Boppard and Mainz. Flight Lieutenant A Roger and Sergeant C Dockrill were the skippers in question.

    I am trying to establish the identity of Sergeant Dockrillís Battle, this was ommitted from the ORB, I was wondering if there is a AASF HQ record of opís that night.

    Thanks again Mark.

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    621
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Steve

    RAF MOD say:-

    "Following the despatch of the AASF, plans, prepared in peacetime, were put into effect to form a new Headquarters No. 1 Group which, it was intended, should assume command of the Battle Wings on the arrival of the Second Echelon (formerly No. 2 Group) in France, Headquarters AASF assuming command of both echelons. Headquarters of the new No. 1 Group began to form at Benson on 12th September. On 29th September, however, the Air Ministry decided to postpone the despatch to France of the Second Echelon (of which No. 1 Group Headquarters formed part), less certain units, and eventually, on 22nd December 1939, Headquarters No. 1 Group were disbanded."

    I presume you have tried Group ORBs and AIR 35

    AIR 35 such as:-
    AIR 35/106 British Air Forces in France: Registered Files. Reports on flying accidents and forced landings : policy.
    AIR 35/138 British Air Forces in France: Registered Files. Flying accidents and forced landings : monthly returns.

    and

    AIR 29/780 4 Air Stores Park including 1 Supply and Transport Section, Advanced Air Striking Force; formed St Athan (UK) September 1939, moved to France September 1939, moved to Halton and disbanded June 1940 (ASP AASF).

    AIR 29/812 and 29/781

    There are also some Wing ORBs?

    Regards Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 7th November 2013 at 10:28.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,650
    Thanks
    44
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Mark,

    Thank you for your detailed reply.

    In a nut shell no, I have not. But, on my next visit I will be for sure.

    Thank you once again.

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    621
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Steve

    It was over a decade ago, but my very brief summary notes about AIR 35/87 Reports of Firing on Friendly Aircraft by Allied A.A. Defences say:-

    "UP 2234 24-3-40 24A" [folio 24A]
    "UP 9224 24-3-40"

    AIR 35/256 Ops Room Diary [my notes say very good but only up to June 1940, but I was looking for any later 1940 Ops Room references]
    AIR 35/257 Ops Room Diary [my notes France June 1940 4th A.A.S.F. in France]
    AIR 35/284 Diary of Ops [my notes seem to indicate only up Feb 1940]

    When I write 'very good' it means it was detailed, (rather than just a brief summary).

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 7th November 2013 at 14:25.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •