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Thread: C/O's op's per month

  1. #1
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    Default C/O's op's per month

    Gents,

    What was the agreed or standard requirement for operations flown by a squadron commander per month during the war. I know that some C/O's operated more than they were required but I am sure that there must have been some guidelines. I also appreciate this may have changed between 1939-1945.

    Any ideas ?

    TIA

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

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Steve,
    As you have not indicated any preference for types of squadrons (Command, theatre, etc) I can only offer the observation that in Bomber Command, COs often flew very few operations, (in some cases almost never, particularly early in war) while in Fighter Command, almost always! Seemed to depend a lot on the proclivities of the man in question - there were still some were real action men in BC of course! The administrative and disciplinary demands of commanding different types of units must have varied greatly, with a BC squadron having from say, about 100 aircrew and perhaps 2 -300 groundcrew (although later in war groundcrew were not directly under squadron), while later in war the three-flight squadrons (30 aircraft and crews of 7 men each) might have over 200 aircrew. Fighter squadrons (single seaters) probably had 20 - 30 pilots throughout war, and say approx 150 - 200 groundcrew, although often these were administratively split off later in war too, although the Sqdn CO was possibly still partly responsible in part for their discipline, etc. In other words in Bomber squadrons the emphasis was more on guidance, supervison and adminstration of a large body of men (with assistance from flight commanders and other "leaders", mostly from your office), while fighter leaders were still expected to lead from the front. I would imagine that Transport and Coastal Command squadrons might be similar to Bomber Command, and OTUs, etc, even more so. However one thing was almost a given, that the squadron CO (with hardly an exception) was a pilot, and would always be quite capable of flying on operations (by tradition and almost certainly one of the requirements of getting the job in the first place) if required, and usually tried to "keep his hand in" by flying at least once a month on ops. I also believe that COs and leaders were later strongly discouraged from flying as a crew (after a few disasters), and that the "leaders" (Nav, Sigs, Gunnery, and later F/Eng) were not really encouraged to fly on ops too often, as that was not really their job, but flight Commanders were required to fly almost as often as normal "line" crews. These are all simply observations of mine from extensive reading and a bit of wisdom from veterans.
    David D
    David D

  3. #3
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    Hi David,

    Firstly thank you for the comprehensive reply and my apology for not making the original post clear. I am after clarification on the number of op's "required" to be flown by commanding officers of Bomber Command squadrons.
    Your comments on C/O's flying with trade leaders rings true especially with No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron. Australian C/O Wing Commander Don Saville DSO DFC FTR from Hamburg 24.07.1943, on board was the gunnery leader F/Lt Birbeck DFC and the signals leader F/Lt Stanley DFC. A very sad day for the squadron.

    Thanks again

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

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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