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Thread: KE reports held at Kew

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    Default KE reports held at Kew

    Hi All,

    A German friend of mine believes that a report called a KE report which was a report done by the Luftwaffe on every British aircraft that crashed in Europe is held by the National Archives at Kew.

    Can anyone confirm that such reports exist and are held at Kew?

    Thanks,

    John.

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    Air Intelligence (K) reports, under various AIR file references in a number of ledgers cover the entire war, but they are the exact opposite of what you're after, reports completed by the RAF when Luftwaffe aircraft crashed in the UK.

    I have a feeling someone did mention Luftwaffe reports on a forum once, and it might have been with reference to the US National Archives, though the Bundesarchiv would be the obvious place to start looking.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    Hello John. If the KE reports exist I don't think they are at Kew. They are more likely at AHB Northolt. I believe that towards the end of the war documents were captured by the British. Some of these are I believe what you are looking for. They were copied and one part was held by the British and the others were sent to the USA. The British apparently did not catalogue them but the US did. I believe they are held at the NA in Washington USA. During research for a missing Lanc lost in 1943 I obtained copies of a report called Luftgau Kommando. These reports were split into areas and included the date time and location of a crash. They did not always give the a/c ID because it was not known. These reports of which I have copies were obtained from Washington. If you could be specific about what you are looking for then please let me know and if I can help I will. Tony

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    Just to extend the discussion slightly, are the KE Reports (where available) included in the relevant RAF Casualty File.

    As we know, these are currently being transferred (albeit slowly) from the RAF Air Historical Branch to the National Archives, with 1939 and (some of?) 1940 now available for viewing.

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Hello

    One of our canadian forumites (Rod, where are you ?) is a real expert in the KE reports. When Germany was occupied in 1945, huge piles of archives were seized by the allies. KU reports concerned the U.S. bomber crashes (K for Kampf, like in KG, bomber group translated in English, U for US), KE for the RAF bomber crashes (E for England / Englander), J for Jäger = fighters, with no distinction of the air force. The americans roughly separated the KU from the KE files, and also the J reports they were interested in, and the lot was transfered in the US. The information usually found it way into the U.S. Missing Air Crew Reports. The index file for the reports held in the U.S. National Archives was RG242.

    The question of the actual whereabouts of the KE reports comes back regularly. I think that some bits of them could be held in the relevant files still held in the Air Historical Branch.

    There are some parts of it, or informations coming from them, in the personel files that we can access in the Canadian archives in Ottawa (genealogy package as we call it, not an official name). I think the same kind of information found it way in the A705 "casualty file" we can purchase / digitise / consult at the National Archives of Australia in Canberra.

    The RAF casualty files, a first batch having been transfered to the National Archives in Kew in the AIR 81 series specially created for that, goes so far up to May 1940, at my last check. So there shouldn't be much "KE material" in them yet, as many losses occured in allied held territory.
    One has to check each one in order to be definitively sure. But the next batch might contain more KE reports. I've only accessed one AIR 81 file, so it is not enough to draw any conclusion, each case being different.


    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 9th April 2014 at 05:16. Reason: typo

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    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for the details on the reply, the crash I am interested in was the loss of 158 Sqn HR980 23/24 August 1943. Crashed at Reiersdorf Germany, with a mixed crew of two Aussies, one Canadian and four English. All KIA.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Hello,

    Re KE or KU reports.
    The lists of these reports is available via the "Flag 3" American website.
    over time I have downloaded them and hold them in a file.
    These are not the actual reports but give date/time, aircraft type, and crashplace and other info including KE/KU numbers.
    For example the first on the list is for 4th Sept 39 for a 2 engined a/c near the ship "Emden". The last is for an Invader on 23 April 45, with a hand written note of a B24 for the same date. Most after 43 are indeed for US aircraft but not all.

    John, sorry the list goes from 22nd to 27th.
    But if you wish to chase up the Australians then you may have better luck if yo look in this sight and look up the airman F/S. W A Burgum and Sgt. H C Harber by name.

    http://www.naa.gov.au/collection/exp...ords/raaf.aspx

    In pereonnel files there is photo of airmen and in accident file details of crash. Looks like some of the crew are still within the aircraft.

    Ross, if you wish I can forward the file to you and perhaps if you wish can place it on site ?

    Alex
    Last edited by Alex Smart; 9th April 2014 at 11:07.

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    Hi Alex,

    Thanks for the information even though it is not what I was hoping for. I have both Burgum's and Harber's files here already.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Regards,

    John.

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    Hi John,

    'just to confirm what others have said:

    - at the end of the war, at least two large German archives relating to Allied air crashes were captured: (a) the Dulag Luft/Intelligence Centre West Allied aircraft crash files, and (b) a large cache of Luftgaukommando XI documentation that included crash files and indexes.

    - The so-called "KE" files were those given one of several prefixes by Dulag Luft/Intelligence Centre West. These were split between the US and the Brits. The original files allocated to the Americans are held at NARA under:

    RG 242.9.4 Luftgaukommando Reports pertaining to downed Allied aircraft 1939-45

    The original files allocated to the British were "dismantled", with relevant documents either being placed on the MRES Casualty Investigation files, sent to the RCAF in Canada, or simply destroyed. The "KE" files, relating solely to losses of British multi-engine aircraft over north-west Europe, numbered at least 10,400 individual files.

    There are two interesting points about this - (a) the British made a index to the reports sorted by geographical location (i.e. by GSGS Map Sheet) that was used by the Air Ministry and the MRES teams during their post-war investigation work, and (b) there was also captured a significant number of intelligence files containing information obtained by Allied PoWs under interrogation, which, I suspect, were held on separate files to the crash reports. In both cases, the location or the preservation status of these documents is unknown (at least publically). If both of these series of documents still survive then they remain in the custody of the British Govt, remain classified, and are not publically acknowledged to exist.

    - at Kew, there are a number of files containing original photoprints and translations of the German interrogation notes, see, (for example):

    AIR 40/2308. Air Ministry, Directorate of Intelligence and related bodies: Intelligence Reports and Papers: Copies of German Interrogators' reports (crews of crashed Allied aircraft), 1945.
    AIR 40/2310. Air Ministry, Directorate of Intelligence and related bodies: Intelligence Reports and Papers: Copies of German Interrogators' reports (crews of crashed Allied aircraft), 1945.
    AIR 40/2316. Air Ministry, Directorate of Intelligence and related bodies: Intelligence Reports and Papers (Dulag Luft: photostatic copies of German interrogation reports (captured Allied pilots and aircrew), 1943-1945.


    - The Luftgaukommando XI crash reports may have been captured from the Germans in microfilmed form, and constitute some 30,000 pages of documents for the period 1939-45. I don't know the exact history of these microfilms but apparently a duplicate of the films was given by the British to the Americans, who in turn used them to compile their post-war crash indexes, along with their portion of the Dulag Luft files. The indexes are now available digitally on the Fold3 website. The Americans also made photoprints of all the microfilm pages and these are available at NARA under RG 242.9.4 mentioned above.

    Besides Fold3, the American crash indexes are held on microfiche at NARA under:

    RG 92.9.2 Missing Air Crew Reports, Air Crashes by Date: 4 September 1939-8 May 1945 (Lists of Allied air crashes prepared from German sources, 1939-45), Records of the American Graves Registration Service (AGRS) Missing Air Crew Reports, National Archives Microfiche Publication M1380, fiches 5970-5984.

    The location and preservation status of the original Luftgaukommando XI microfilms is unknown, but I suspect that they were last held by the British.


    It is important to note that the American index is not an index to all of the captured reports. It only includes crashes from the Luftgaukommando XI archive (1939-45) and information from the American portion of the Dulag Luft/Intelligence Centre West files (1943-45). Thus, most of the British portion of the Dulag Luft/Intelligence Centre West archive is not included.

    I hope this information is of assistance

    Rod (a Kiwi and not a Canuck :))
    Last edited by RodM; 10th April 2014 at 10:34.

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    Hi Rod,

    Thanks for all the detail mate, I'll contact you off board as to the details of my question.

    Regards

    John.

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