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Thread: Bostons 88 squadron

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    Default Bostons 88 squadron

    Hi there I'm researching my grandfather's RAF service and have his two log books covering 1941 until his death in a air crash in 1950.
    In the log, during his time in 88 sqd, there are references to op Ramrod and circus. Can someone tell me what these two phrases mean.
    There are 25 missions underlined in red, does that mean they were combat operations? They span active service from Feb 43 until May 22nd 1944.

    He was a wop/AG and later became a Flight Sergeant at the Empire Air Navigation School RAF Shawbury. Here he flew on "Airies" Flights. Again does anyone know about that flight programme.
    Thanks in anticipation.

    Salop Boy

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    Hi
    Ramrod and Circus were low security codenames for Operations against German bases in the north of Occupied Europe.stretching as far Holland and largely against Airfields but also designed to provoke German fighters into combat.They were often Fighter sweeps but many were light Bomber operations,sometimes on their own and sometimes escorted.As an example during one such a spare pair of legs were dropped,during a bombing op, for the use of Douglas Bader after he was shot down and captured.
    The Aries Flights were post war and were research flights using modified Lancasters, designed to explore and solve the problems of Navigation in difficult areas where Nav aids and even compasses and Radio Communications were unreliable. I think that they were largely into and over the N Polar regions.This is a start but there are many others on this Forum who have more detailed knowledge than I.
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 27th October 2009 at 18:36.

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    Thanks Dick that certainly helps, but I forgot to mention there are also references to Op Ramrod "No Ball" Target, any ideas.

    Martyn Smith

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    hello,

    What's the name of your grand-father ? I have some parts of the Squadron Operations Record Book, and it is very likely that he attacked targets in my area, northern France.

    As for the entries underlined in red, I confirm they were combat missions (we call them operations, or ops for short). Some aircrews actually wrote the whole entry in red, others just underlined them, some added a number to make a count.

    Joss

    PS : Noball is the slang word for the "constuctionnal works" in northern France, the V1 flying bomb bases. The overall operation was named "Crossbow". These targets were attacked from December 1943, both by the R.A.F. and the U.S.A.A.F.. Indeed No 88 Squadron had his share of raids against them.
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 27th October 2009 at 18:50. Reason: added answer for noball

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    hello Joss,

    My Grandfather's name is Ernest Hansom. His operational flights began in nov 43 with 107 sqd and concluded May 44 with 88 Sqd. He then went to No 8 (AFU) as staff wop in Ansons ( is that advanced flying unit?)

    Martyn

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    hello Martyn

    Indeed A.F.U. stands for Advanced Flying Unit. Aircrews who had been trained abroad followed a course in A.F.U. to get used to English and European weather.

    8 (A.F.U.) was No. 8 (Observers) Advanced Flying Unit, formed 15th November 1943 in No. 24 Group at Mona, with Ansons and one Magister. Disbanded 14th June 1945.

    I've checked the sample of No. 88 Squadron I have but he's unfortunately not on the few pages I have for 1944. I also have a number of No. 107 Squadron as well, but not for late 1943 and 1944.

    Did you grand-father transfer from No. 107 to No. 88 Squadron alone, or with his crew ? Can you give a date for this posting ?

    Joss

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    Hello Joss

    I suspect my grandfather arrived from 107 to 88 on his own. He arrived at 88 sqd on 11th March 1944. He flew his last operational sortie with 107 on 25th Jan 1943, which was Circus to Foret Nationale De Tournheim (turned back mid channel no fighter cover). But he missed all their sorties in Jan before 25th, because his wife, my grandmother, had given birth on 1st Jan to twin girls and she was gravely ill. He was flown to RAF Valley to see her in North Wales as one twin had died and it was suspected his wife would not live. Thankfully she survived, and the other twin girl that lived is my mother. I think this explains his transfer to 88 on his return from compassionate leave because he had only flown 10 op sorties with 107. He went onto fly 20 op sorties with 88 sqd.

    His first operational sortie with 88 sqd was March 23rd 44 - Op Ramrod railway sheds & yards at Creil. Followed on 26th by bombing an E boat factory at Ymuiden, Holland. His log book says the Flak was very heavy and accurate.

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    Hi Martyn,

    I've a special interest in the attack on IJmuiden on March 26th 1944 and would be very interested in a scan of his entry at that date.

    If you like I can supply the page from the ORB at that date and a picture of the result of the attack.

    My emailaddress is hnauta AT quicknet DOT nl . Please replace AT and DOT for the obvious symbols.

    Kind regards,
    Hans Nauta
    Holland

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    Can I ask who your grandfather was flying with (his log should note the pilot), only I have been researching a chap who flew his second tour with 88 Squadron from August 43 to September 44. He was also an WOP/AG, although for most of his ops he is down as an Air Gunner.

    Johnnie

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    hello johnnie,

    my grandfather flew with F/S Davies during his stint with 88 squadron.

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