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Thread: ToT 514 & 619 Sqn over Berlin 2/3.12.43

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    Default ToT 514 & 619 Sqn over Berlin 2/3.12.43

    Dear all,

    Who can give me the Time over Target for 514 and 619 Squadron during the Berlin raid of 2-3 December 1943?

    Cheers and thanks, Theo

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    Hi Theo - There won't be a single ToT for each Squadron. At the start of the Battle of Berlin, Bomber Command adopted the policy of spreading experience across the stream, so 'specially selected' crews acted as supporters and also filled the first wave whilst the tyros would be in the final wave or two. For 2/3 Dec, the original Plan had 29 Supporters from 5 Group, with 'specially selected crews' in the 1st and 3rd waves.

    The 29 Supporters were briefed to bomb at Z minus 2 - i.e. 20.04 hrs as Zero Hour was 20.06hrs. Coming from 5 Group, this may have included some from 619 Squadron.

    The 1st and second waves were ordered to bomb from Z to Z+3 and Z+3 to Z+6 respectively. These were meant to be Halifaxes, but they were cancelled due to fog developing in the 4 Group area. Martin Middlebrook says this was 210 aircraft, but the B.C. Form A (issued before 10.00 hrs?) only details 123 split across the two waves. To add to the confusion, the Form B for 1 Group (issued at 12.35A hrs - i.e. GMT+1) details 199 Halifaxes across the first two waves. The Night Raid Report details 78 Halifaxes under the 'Method of Attack', 39 in each wave. In the end, no Main Force Halifaxes operated but there were 15 from PFF.

    The Night Raid Report and the Tactics Report don't mention any re-jigging of the Lancaster ToT's to account for the cancellation of the Halifaxes, but I assume it must have happened. That said, a quick look at 626's ORB shows them all bombing after Z+10.

    As well as 5 Group's 29 Supporters at Zero minus 2, the Night Raid Report says the rest of the Main Force Lancs were to operate in the 3rd, 4th and 5th of 5 waves. 3rd Wave, 111 Lancs from Z+6 to Z+10, 4th wave, 109 Lancs from Z+10 to Z+14 and 5th wave, 108 Lancs from Z+14 to Z+18 (i.e. up to 20.24 hrs).

    I only have the 1 Group Form B - this gives the allocation of squadron aircraft to each wave (e.g. 12 Sqn - 3 Lancs in 3rd wave, 4 in 4th wave and remainder in 5th wave). It also confirms that 3, 5, and 6 Groups were to split their aircraft across the 3 waves, but you'd need their respective Form B's to get their allocation by Squadron.

    HTH,

    Richard

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    Richard, straying off track just slightly, did you get the Form B copes for 1 Group from the National Archives? I'd be very keen to know the file reference if you have one?

    Thanks and best wishes,

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Hi Greg - They're in the Group ORB Appendices, AIR25/1 through to 25/17. There are also monthly collections of each Group's Form B's in the Series AIR14/3086 to 3136.

    Cheers,

    Richard

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    Hi Theo,

    Following on from Richards detailed reply. Info taken via No.3 Group Appendices (Air25)

    The group dispatched Lancaster's from No.115 & No.514 Squadron, these were divided into the last three waves :

    3rd Wave 7 Lancaster's T.O.T Z+6 to Z+10
    4th Wave 8 Lancaster's T.O.T Z+10 to Z+14
    5th wave 7 Lancaster's T.O.T Z+14 to Z+18

    On checking the No.514 Squadron ORB the crew bombed between 20:20hrs and 20:25hrs. Sadly the information I have does not record what squadron aircraft was in each wave.

    Kind regards

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

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Thanks Richard - I copied the 1 Group ORBs a few years ago when the only option was to photocopy them - it cost me a small fortune!! I likely didn't add the Form Bs to the order at the time as I'd already risked the wrath of the War Office by copying just the 540s. It looks like I need to pull those files out again and make busy with my digital camera :)

    Many thanks for the references, much appreciated.

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Hi Richard and Steve,

    Many thanks for your helpful replies -the reason for asking was that I am trying to tie two Lancaster losses of these squadrons (both of which were reportedly shot down by NFs) to individual German claims, for that I needed to know the approximate ToT for these a/c.

    Cheers and thanks, Theo

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