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Thread: 3 Group Master Bomber November 1944

  1. #1
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    Default 3 Group Master Bomber November 1944

    Hi,

    I am trying to establish the master bomber of a all 3 Group raid on November 11th 1944 against Castrop-Rauxel.

    It was on this raid that No.3 Group started supplying it's own M/B. On this occasion it was supplied by a squadron from No.32 Base, No.XV,90, 622 Squadron. I have the squadron, base, and group ORB but cannot determine the identity of "Marlow" and the D/M/B "Stringbag".

    Any pointers, suggestions where to look most welcome.

    TIA
    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    This is what I look for in 8 Group squadron ORBs when trying to identify who was the Master Bomber when the ORB doesn't.
    - a unique bomb load. The Master & Deputy in 8 Group carried different coloured TIs than the other marking aircraft.
    - an early departure. 8 Group Master Bombers had to be on the target earlier than the main force and were required to announce their arrival.
    - look for a reference to "basement". One of the first things 8 Group Master Bombers did on arrival was check the cloud height and there was usually a comment "gave basement" which was the height of the lowest cloud layer.
    - any radio communications were broadcast by either the Master and Deputy and usually had some bombing instructions to the main force.

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    Hi David,

    Thanks for the post. For some strange reason 3 Group only divulged the identities of the M/B occasionally, I think more by accident than design. There are a few exception, W/Cdr W Watkins, DSO DFC DFM C/O of 15 squadron springs to mind. The 3 Gp M/B would have carried the same TI Markers as the G-H Leaders, the tactics for 3 Group differ from both 8 and 5 Group in that the majority of attacks were over 10/10th cloud and dependent on a strong G-H signal from the CAT & Mouse stations. I have spoken to a Base leader, who's duties were similar. Basically the role of M/B was to determine the marking method, either Sky Markers / Ground Markers. If the target was visible and visual bombing was undertaken then he would broadcast any instructions to the main force, in a similar fashion to 8 PFF. I have piles of 3 Group documents collected over 20 plus years, however I have never found anything relating to 3 Group's Master Bombers at the NA at Kew.

    Thanks again David.

    Cheers

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

  4. #4
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    The only records that show who the Master Bomber's identity in 8 Group are the Squadron ORBs. Some show it in the Form 540, some in the Form 541, some don't show it at all. If you can get the 3 Group Form B for the op it will likely tell you the squadron the MB was from. 8 Group was also dependent on strong Cat and Mouse signals in all conditions when the primary marking was done by Oboe. 8 Group always used different coloured TIs for Oboe marking than the other Pathfinders TIs on an op.
    Cheers

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    Hi David,

    PM sent.

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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