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Thread: Post War Operations and Exercises

  1. #1
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    Default Post War Operations and Exercises

    I am just doing some research on the post war era and wondered if anyone has any information on the following operations / exercises:

    Operation Jink: (I understand this was "Repatriation of soldiers of the 8th Army" [and I have recorded it as such on my No 35 Squadron website] but I have no confirmation that this is accurate

    Operation Flashlight: Carried out at Graveley February 1946

    Exercise Expense: Started March 1946

    Your usual input would be much appreciated

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Pete,

    100 Squadron took part in a number of "Operation Flashlight" exercises after the war. As I understand it, they were night cross-country exercises that included affiliation with searchlight units in towns and cities across the UK. Bristol is mentioned several times in the 100 Squadron ORB in connection with "Flashlight".

    Hope that helps a bit.

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    Flashlight missions were simulated bombing by photograph where the target area was a pattern of lights laid out over a city and the "target" was a set of three lights in a triangle, red I think. The aim was to get the target in the centre of the frame as the photo was taken on "bomb" release. The lights were normally manned by a military unit, either searchlight or guns and were in a known layout so the photo would show which direction and probably height. This was a more realistic version of the camera obscura bombing of the pre-war years and a variation of the Infra-red targets. As the bomb-sights were set to to make release and impact vertical (infinite TV?) they were not as good for bomb-aimer practice but were more geared to navigation. Flashlights were usually incorporated into a long cross country exercise and may include dropping a TI or practice bomb on a range near the end.

    Flashlight targets were at Bristol, London, and Newcastle but the London one was shut down after the war. The remaining two carried on for a few years but was replaced by "Din Dong" and other radar plotted systems. Dates are sketchy for removal and I am constantly find references to use later than expected!
    Last edited by PNK; 20th March 2017 at 13:27.

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    Thanks for the additional info and correction to my post PNK, that's useful for me too :)

    L/O

    Greg
    "You can take the boy out of Wales,
    But you can't take Wales out of the boy!!"

    Greg Harrison
    100 Squadron and 100 Squadron Association Historian
    100 Squadron Researcher 1917 - present day
    1 Group Researcher 1940 - 1945

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    I forgot to add that Flashlight missions were sometimes referred to as Flashlight Bullseyes indicating it was a Bullseye mission incorporating a Flashlight target instead of a practice bomb on a range or an IR target. However the Bullseye bit was more commonly omitted.

    Some more information I remembered after I posted: The Flashlight targets came into use around 1943 and the lights that were laid out across each target city would flash a different morse letter. The film was on a long exposure so the flashing lights would reveal their morse letter on the film as the aircraft flew over the lights. The exposure was stopped on "bomb" release and in theory the three light target would be in the centre of the film.

    The lights were bright enough to be recorded on night film up to 20,000 feet. I haven't seen an example exposure but there was a set on sale on eBay a few years back but I was at work so I lost the bid. The reason for this system was that the single light of the infra red target was often missed and crews may have been close but there was no way of telling. With Flashlight the large area of lights and the flashing morse letter meant the location could be accurately plotted and near misses could be measured.

    Peter

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    Thanks, as always, for the feedback on Flashlight.

    I would appreciate any information on Jink and Expense, and I have now found another exercise "Frontline" which I am interested in.

    Regards (and thanks again)

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Having just re-read your original questions I am now a little concerned by the use of the word "operation". Although it is unlikely that an operation would use an exercise name it might actually refer to something other than the flashlight targets. Of course the records may use operation and exercise in the same context. It may be worth double checking though.

    I haven't come across JINK or EXPENSE at TNA. Dodge was repatriation of POW's but I wonder if that was Germany only and Jink was for Italy or the Med in general? Expense sound intriguing, I wonder if it was financially related?

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    The ORBs use both terms to describe the various exercises / operations, sometimes referring to them as Exercises other times Operations .... so it does get a bit confusing!

    Just found a bit more on Expense; ORB reads " Operation Expense; 3 Group instruction No. 86 received 21/02/1946" ... not much, but someone may have a copy in their archives

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  9. #9
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    A couple more that I have come across which I would be interested in details on:

    Exercise "Front Line"
    Exercise "Constant Speed"
    Exercise "Sun Bronze"

    These were all carried out from RAF Graveley by either 35 Squadron and/or 115 Squadron in June 1946

    Any thoughts?

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  10. #10
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    Hi Pete

    I am going through a service record for a pilot on 83 Sqn in 1946.

    'Dodge' was repatriation of 8th Army personnel from Italy.

    Could 'Jink' be 'JUNK', which was the delivery of Lancasters to Aston Down pending re-equipment with Lincolns.

    83 Sqn also carried out 'Frontline' as well as 'Bombard', 'Victory' and 'Carfax'

    Malcolm

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