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Thread: Help needed to understand ORB

  1. #1
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    Default Help needed to understand ORB

    I recently purchased some RAF 178 squadron ORBs but unlike others I have seen they do not list what each crew members role was on the aircraft. The previous ones I have read would say e.g. Sgt F Bloggs Captain or Sgt F Bloggs WOP/AOG. The 178 ones just state the crew names.

    As I need to record what each persons role was on the aircraft I was wondering if there was a standard format used, like the e.g. WOP/AOG or F/Eng will appear each time in the same place in list?

    Cheers

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    Hi,
    if we are talking about the same aircraft the crews are always in the same order.
    For example wellington crew in 1941:
    Captain
    2nd Dickie
    Navigator
    W/T Operator
    Front Gunner
    Rear Gunner

    Similar "order" would be also for another types.
    You did not mentioned which period of 178 Sq you are after, i.e. type? B-24?

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

  3. #3
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    Looking at a few ORBs from the mid to late war period the order (for 7 crew aircraft) tends to be:
    Captain
    Navigator
    Bomb Aimer
    Wireless Operator
    Flight Engineer
    Mid-upper Gunner
    Rear Gunner

    However, I have a handful where the FE appears between the two gunners, and another put the FE immediately after the Captain.

    What you are probably best doing is look at any losses and try to figure out trades by using CWGC & any casualty files which are available and then see if they always appear in that Squadron's 541 in the same order.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

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

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    In No.103 Sqdn RAF during WW2 the ORB is consistent in listing the aircrew as:

    1. Pilot
    2. Flight Engineer
    3. Air Bomber
    4. Navigator
    5. Wireless Operator
    6. Mid Upper Gunner
    7. Rear Gunner

    I’m not sure why the trades are listed in that order.
    Possibly in relation to the direct physical control of the aircraft?

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    Thanks all. I am looking at Halifax crews for the short period 178 used them (May-September 1943), I know for RAAF 462 they went: -

    Captain
    2nd Pilot (when on board)
    Observer
    WOP/AG
    Mid/Gunner (where fitted)
    F/Eng
    T/Gunner
    Bomb'dier (when on board)

    I have identified one WOP and it seems to match this layout and one pilot. Any one know of any good 178 crews sites? I looked at CWGC and found only one crewmember so far, which is good of course meaning they survived.

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    If you look at ORB of 159 Sqn in India November you will find the crew positions are mostly in the following order but the positions of the gunner varies:
    1. Captain
    2. 2nd Pilot
    3. Nav
    4. 1st WOP
    5. 2nd WOP
    6. Rear Gunner
    7. Beam gunner
    8. Mid-upper gunner

    There is no dedicated 178 Sqn-site but you will find some info on two Liberator-sites:
    RAF Liberator Squadrons http://www.rafb24.com/
    Robert Quirk’s homepage http://www.rquirk.com/ go to Information on aircraft and squadrons 159 and 160 Sqns Mediterranean detachments are the predecessors to 178 Sqn.

    Cheers,
    Peter

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    Another angle you may want to try is to search your 178 Sqdn ORB for a Halifax that was shot down, crashed, or didn't make it back. Then search online, and other possible sources, for a write-up on the loss of the aircraft and crew. If you luck-out and find a write-up, it usually lists the trade along with the individual aircrew members. Then consult the ORB to see how the individuals correspond to their position on the list. I have done the same thing with other Sqdn ORBs with success. So, that research technique may work for you as well.

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    Hello,

    No.178 Squadron lost only one Halifax on ops., that being Halifax II BB414, on 4/5-9-1943. This aircraft had a crew of six, 3 of whom were members of the RNZAF, two of them did not survive

    Errol Martyn has details in his book, For Your Tomorrow Vol Two. p.138. He 'might' have a Circumstantial Report for this loss, or maybe a Post-Presumption Memorandum, which 'might' tell you the positions of the crew used by 178 Sqn at that time.

    Errol?

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 23rd February 2015 at 01:12.

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    Thanks all some really helpful advice. I will look up the lost Halifax BB414 and see if I can ID all her crew and cross check it, I have the Sept 43 ORB to start with.

    Cheers guys :)

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    I had a similar query about 148 Sqdn aircrew and discovered the information I needed in the squadron ORB Appendices for the period 1944-46, which gave a list of aircrew by rank and trade (so, all Sergeant pilots were listed together, etc, etc - I just went through them until I'd found the trade of each man of the crew I was researching). Perhaps 178 Sqdn Appendices for the period you're interested in would contain something similar? Not sure how standard that sort of record was, but perhaps worth a shot - I'm assuming like 148 Sqdn's they're available from TNA.

    Pat

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