Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Times in ORBs and Nightfighter Reports

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    552
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default Times in ORBs and Nightfighter Reports

    Can someone please explain something for me? The times shown in Squadron ORBs for take off, landing, time of bombing etc I am presuming are shown as being British Double Summer Time (BDST) i.e. GMT plus 2 hours, is this correct? So a take off time of 2330 is a local time of 2130? I am assuming that the times shown in Nightfighter reports/records are shown as Central European Time (CET) so an attack of 0126 hrs would equate to what in GMT or BDST?

    Im trying to work out if an aircraft was lost on its way to or from the target and I can't get it into my head.

    Many thanks

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    552
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Alan

    thanks, so if the time shown for take off is 2330 and the time for bombing the target was 0230 is the time of bombing the target CET or GMT or BST BDST?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,765
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    As far as i'm aware, and stand to be corrected if not, the time in the ORB would be for the exact time, whether or not on BST or double BST, so if it was 23.30, it was 23.30 and not 21.30. An attack by a Nightfighter would be recorded at the time in use by the Germans at the time, which i think was 1 hour ahead of normal BST, confused or what. As i said, if i'm wrong, i stand to be corrected.....

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    1,765
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Once again, if the take off time was BDST, then the time over target would apply as same. Just think about the fact that the crew having to put their watches backwards and forwards, or vice versa during the trip, would not be practicable. But..........!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SW Wiltshire
    Posts
    222
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Alan - we had this discussion long ago on the Lanc Forum, but never reached a definitive answer. FWIW (not much!) the date/time group on BC Form B's is given as 'Alpha' time, i.e. A1230. Thousands of years later, A time in BAOR meant local time. So, when a Night Raid report says Zero Hour is 03.15, or a bomber squadron ORB says 'X took off at 19.25 hrs', my assumption has always been that the actual time is UK local - i.e. GMT, summer time or BDST, depending on the time of year. I'm 99% certain that no crew over Europe - whatever Command - would have been required to change the time on their watches during an op to conform with shifts from GMT to continental time or whatever.

    Hope this helps,

    Richard

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,493
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default Dbst/bsdt

    78Sqn,

    We've had this discussion many times on RAFCommands, the most recent (I think) being http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...highlight=DBST . This link provides several links to other threads on the subject - all worth reading.

    Unfortunately you have not indicated the date(s) in which you are interested, but DBST was not used continuously during the war as you imply. Local time in the UK during the autumn of 1939 remained as BST (GMT+1) until 19th November when it reverted to GMT (sometimes known as 'Z'). On 28 February 1940 BST was adopted as local time, but during the spring of 1941 it was decided to adopt DBST (GMT+2) from the first Sunday in May until the second Sunday in August, and these change days were used for the remainder of the war. A comprehensive account can be found at http://www.polyomino.org.uk/british-time/ .

    There is a very good summary of date changes in the NA at http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...g?m=1391534958 (this comes from my first link and was posted by Mark Hood). The link also notes that times taken from ORBS were usually local time, although times taken from navigators' logs were usually GMT; this is consistent with Night Raid Reports using the GMT datum.

    Provided DBST was in use for 'your' aircraft, if it was taking off at 2130 GMT, it would be logged as departing at 2330 local time (DBST); similarly time over target would be in DBST in the ORB.

    There is also a good thread at http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...me-differences which provides an excellent comparison of UK/German times.

    DBST (Double British Summer Time) and BDST (British Daylight Saving Time) are both used equally, although I suppose the BDST is the 'correct' version.

    As an aside Ireland never adopted DBST/BSDT (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Time_in_Ireland)

    Edit: I forgot to add (although it is apparent in one of the above links) Germany adopted much the same approach with its time datum, so German times will always be one hour ahead of British times. Thus a fighter attack on an Allied bomber at 0130 hours, would be timed in the German log as being made at 0230 hours.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 3rd January 2015 at 20:51. Reason: Year correction

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    552
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Brian

    Thank you, the aircraft I am currently researching is a Halifax shot down on the night of 13/14 July 1943. Its take off time is shown in the ORB as 2333 hrs and was shot down by a night fighter at approx 0126 CET. The Sqn committed 18 crews to operations and three were lost. Take off times range from 2330 and 2349 with the crew that returned reporting that they bombed between 0146 and 0204. My theory is that the aircraft in question was shot down before bombing, the night fighter attack taking place at 0026 UK time.
    I'll have a read through the links that you've mentioned. thanks again Daz

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,493
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Given the time between take-off and attack (53 minutes), and time to target, the aircraft would have been less than halfway to Aachen when it was lost.

    Brian

Posting Permissions

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