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Thread: Route(s) for Cologne Raid 11th / 12th December 1941

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    Default Route(s) for Cologne Raid 11th / 12th December 1941

    Does anyone have any documents which contain the route(s) for the raid on Cologne on 11th / 12th December 1941?. I am particularly interested in the route taken by No. 35 Squadron (4 Group).

    Any help would be much appreciated

    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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    Hi Pete
    I can only help with the direct course taken by the four Hampdens of 144 Squadron.
    Take off was between 16.00 and 17.00 hours from North Luffenham, crossing the English coast at Orford Ness and the Dutch coast at Westkapella, on virtually a straight line course for Cologne. One flew south of their intended track and found themselves south of Bonn. Their return course was on a reciprocal bearing. Flight duration 5 and a half hours. All landed back in England before midnight, but not all at North Luffenham.

    John
    Last edited by WOODHEAD; 25th September 2014 at 19:22.

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    Hi Pete,

    I have sent you an email with info from Interception/Tactics report

    Regards,
    Peter

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    Dear John and Peter
    Are your documents at Kew? I would like to see if there are similar for other raids. Can you give reference numbers etc? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    Thanks
    James

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    Thanks for the responses (including your e-mail Peter)

    I am working on the basis that the five No 35 Squadron aircraft are the ones using the route Orfordness - Dinant - Cologne (although if it is Dinant, Belgium, it seems to be quite a lengthy route)

    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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    Hi,
    John: Interception/Tactics report are available at TNA. AIR 14/3371 cover the months Aug-Dec 1941. The information in these documents is mostly at Group level and covers mostly encounters with enemy fighters but it has also information about main targets, bombing particulars, weater and routes.
    Pete: observe on route (iii): Halifaxes - 1 missing

    Regards,
    Peter

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    James

    The Kew ref for 144 Squadron ORB is AIR 27/981. I obtained hard copies a number of years ago, now available online. The course directions given are extracted from the debriefing notes for this particular operation. Referred to as the direct route. The squadron flew to Cologne six times from July 41 to April 42. An earlier alternative course taken on the 31 July was via Clacton, the Belgian coast between Ostend and Dunkirk down over Belgian to Namur with a course change to Cologne. My father flew on both the operations, the latter dog leg became a familiar course down to various targets in the Ruhr area. Most returned on reciprocal bearings occasionally circumstances required a quicker more direct course home. His log books I have as a source are not published.

    I have not tried to source the official maps. 144 Squadron crew members were good at putting a fair amount of detail in their debriefs to illustrate the individual courses they actually took.

    Hope this helps, John

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    Peter

    I did wonder about whether that meant 4 Group had one Halifax lost or whether the one Halifax lost relates to that last line .... but is it likely that if 35 Squadron dispatched five aircraft, four from the squadron (along with one from another squadron) were tasked with following one route, with the other 35 Squadron aircraft tasked with following a completely different route?

    Any thoughts?

    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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    Dear John
    Thank you for your help. I will look this one up. I am researching 83 Squadron, though as each ORB was compiled in a different way it will be good to see how they compare. I am finding it very hard to find routes given, however you may find the 5 Group ORB worth a look at. It gives a list of waypoints but does not say which squadron used each one.
    There is a huge amount of cross referencing to be done. Debriefs are something I have not found anywhere, as with maps, but talking on other posts it seems that not all documents from that era were kept.
    Thank you again for your help.
    Best wishes
    James

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