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Thread: Unknown reference in debriefing report

  1. #1
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    Default Unknown reference in debriefing report

    I have been reading a report concerning the loss of a 78 Sqn Halifax and have come across the following statement:

    "It was invariable practice in the Squadron to memorise the "Sisters" and no documents relative to these were allowed in the aircraft"

    Not something I've come across before, so what were the "Sisters"?

    Thanks

    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 13th March 2017 at 09:43.

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    Hi Daz

    I seem to recall seeing that name somewhere too.

    Was it the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau in Brest harbour? Would that make any sense in your reference?

    ... May be completely wrong there of course! Wouldn't be the first time!

    Ian

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    Ian

    a good call but I don't think so in this case as they were returning from bombing Frankfurt when shot down near Namur. I think it has something to do with documents which they had to destroy in the event of being captured/shot down as the previous paragraph mentions "W/T flimsies" and the next paragraphs talks about the Navigator and his maps.

    Thanks
    Daz

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    I think it refers to recognition flares, "sisters" were the colours of the day.

    Pete

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    Pete

    Thanks, that would fit.

    Regards

    Daz

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    Hi Daz - 'Sisters' were the German recognition colours of the day. Air Ministry had access (via Enigma?) to a maximum of 15 enemy 24 hour visual recognition signals in any 4 week period, to a maximum of 3 successive days. Details are:

    Sister 1 - ESN (coloured flare), any one of 7 colour choices
    Sister 2 - Morse lamp signal (dots, dashes or letter)
    Sister 3 - Emergency signal
    Sister 4 - Aircraft/shipping challenge letter
    Sister 5 - Aircraft/shipping reply letter
    Sister 5 - Aircraft recognition lights (front first, rear second)

    Example given in the doc I have (AIR14/1463) is:

    )Via scramble phone) "Information regarding Sisters from 1000 hrs GMT 1 September to 1000 hrs GMT 2 September: the first is 4, the second is dots, the third is red, the fourth is 'Y', the fith is 'C', the sixth is Red/Green."

    Looking at Station log books, Sisters were frequently not available or only partial info supplied.

    HTH,

    Richard

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    Richard

    Many thanks, very interesting.

    Daz

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