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Thread: D or E Forms 5 Group.

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    Default D or E Forms 5 Group.

    Good Morning.

    I am looking for D or E forms for 5 Group from 1941. Specifically looking for 408 Squadron call signs for the months of August and September 1941.

    Thanks in advance, Richard

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    Hello Richard

    AIR 14/3188 No.5 Group Forms E Jul to Aug 1941
    AIR 14/3189 No.5 Group Forms E Sept 1941

    The Bomber Command War Orders refers to the D Form only being completed when the aircraft lands at a Station outside its own Group, which should not then be entered on a Form E according to the BCWO rule. The odd D Form number appear in "Forms E" which also uses the aircraft MSI for each aircraft and a brief note of load, time at target, smoke seen, or bright flash etc., one aircraft missing etc., completed in pencil in August 1940.

    I've found D Forms amongst the Station ORB and Appendices in AIR 28. If no joy there go to Group ORB and Appendices records in AIR 25, or Command Records in AIR 24.

    In AIR 14, or AIR 28 or AIR 24 you will find some Operation Orders or called Operation Instructions, very occasionly some vary, so you know there was possibly a change and signal regarding changes in AIR 24.

    I found the Intelligence [for 1940] so 1941 probably in AIR 22 too? Being the Air Min War Room Daily Summaries and separate War Room Daily Summaries.

    You should find the Raid Sheets in AIR 14/2673 Vol. X covering the Groups from June 1941 to December 1941, these give RAF serials of aircraft damaged / if accident etc., in 1940. In 1940 they usually confirm if crashed aircraft had achieved their objective.

    I think you will be lucky to find an aircraft call-sign, but you should find the MSI (Movement Serial Indicator) which were passed to the MLS (Movement Liaison Section) at Fighter Command as well, before they took off. In 1940 each Squadron was allotted two letters which gave their Group (as a 2nd letter) and Station [3rd letter], a further letter was added (making 3 letters) and this was followed by usually 3 numbers.

    The MSI letters are not to be confused with aircraft lettering. E.g. in August 1940 No.77 Sqn at RAF Driffield had DM as their MSI, but their aircraft lettering was KN- .

    The MSI was used to ID the A/c to Fighter Cmd on approach to the coast, but in 1940 was heavily congested by returning a/c.

    If a Whitley was transmitting an SOS on MF D/F, they sent SOS - 5 Souls - MSI - position and if they still had time Call-sign - Whitley - time. The MSI number would narrow it down to one aircraft on that Op, the letters would confirm Group and RAF Station and the Post Office chap in the SOS / ML Section with the MLS Officer could ring Station and start any Search, Rescue and SOS transmission to Shipping and other Services to look out for etc.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 22nd March 2015 at 13:22. Reason: altered ref to BCWO re Form D

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    Hello Mark. I have copies of all the 5 Groups files you mentioned. Most have a code example XRH 197 etc for the month of July and August and half of Sept. In Sept they also have some that show a 3 letter code example M9K F and M9K S which I assume is the Squadron call sign and aircraft letter. I was hoping that somewhere I could find the changing Squadron code for individual raids. Thanks for your help. Richard

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    Hello Richard

    XRH 197 sounds like the Identification MSI (Movement Serial Indicator), which has changed since my 1940 photocopy list.

    You should be able to check the Bomber Command MSI in AIR 14/407 Identification and Movement of Aircraft in War - September 40 to December 1941, some of these files are incomplete, but the Bomber Command MSI have been kept for Summer 1940, so hopefully the subsequent changes have been kept.

    The mixed number and letter combinations might be a call-sign? Some late 1940 bomber aircraft call-sign examples can be found on the MLS/H SOS Forms near the back of AIR 2/4520 Aircraft Distress Organisations (orig file ref S60223).

    You will find general information on the MF D/F Identification procedure AIR 2/2588 (continuation of AIR 2/2587).

    AIR 14/406 has a Summer 1940 Bomber Command MSI list at folio 20A (see also 127A which has the Group Letter list, covered in folio 20A). For example the second letter E denoted 5 Group and third letter H denoted Hemswell, in 1940. EH was Hemswell, ES was Scampton and EW was Waddington, MSI in 1940.

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 22nd March 2015 at 07:15.

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    Hello Mark. You are correct about the MSI records. I have 405 Sq from August 1941, well into 1942. These seem to change with every operation with each aircraft having a different number, not always in order. I will have someone have a look at the files you mentioned.
    Thanks, Richard

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    Richard

    You might find D Forms? in:-

    Marked as Intelligence Reports and Narratives of Operations
    AIR 24/234 August 1941
    AIR 24/235 September 1941

    Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 21st March 2015 at 23:20.

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    Hi Richard and Mark,

    Mark has explained very well how these MSI codes work. I can add that the code system with Group and Station letters was used until October 1940 and from that moment the 3 letter code was used till half September 1941. For some unknown reason the system was switched to the way Coastal Command used to record aircraft: squadron and letter, e.g. 408/V.

    So Richard, individual letters of 408 Sqdn aircraft can be retrieved from the Form E summaries of 5 Group. I have all of these, so please contact me at hnautaATquicknetDOTnl. Please replace AT and DOT for the obvious symbols.

    Kind regards,
    Hans

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