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Thread: Tiger Force

  1. #1
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    Default Tiger Force

    A document which sets out the history of No. 35 Squadron states that the squadron was nominated for Tiger Force in May 1945, but this statement does not seem to be supported by the Order of Battle (August 1945).

    Working on the assumption that the statement in the history is correct, has anyone got any information on the development of the Tiger Force which shows how the Force evolved between the end of hostilities in Europe and the disbandment of the Force in October 1945 (in essence, I am trying to establish where No. 35 Squadron fitted into the overall picture)

    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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    Alan Coopers 'We act with one accord' refers to 35 squadron and tiger force.

    'Now that the war in Europe was over it was time for Bomber Command to think about the war with Japan. As one would expect 35 Squadron were nominated as one of the squadrons in Tiger Force' set to go out to Okinawa in Lancaster B1 (FE) which were tropicalised B1’s. However, before they could go, Japan surrendered after the atomic bombs had been dropped.'

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    Thanks Paul

    Very similar wording appears in a number of written documents, but I have yet to find the evidence to support it (which I am sure must be out there somewhere).

    The records that I have do not seem to support the fact that the squadron had received many (if any) "tropicalised" aircraft for use overseas within the timeframe, which is why I was digging deeper

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 4th November 2017 at 07:36.
    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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    As far as the RCAF was concerned with 6 Group and for the Tiger Force, two wings were formed in Canada on 15 July 1945, Nos. 661 (428, 419 Sqns) and 662 (431, 434 Sqns), followed by two more Nos. 663 (425, 420 Sqns) and 664 (405, 408 Sqns) on 1 August. They were all disbanded on 5 September. The UK-based squadrons began to be repatriated for reorganisation and training in June. I imagine that the RAF had similar plans.
    Phil

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    Thanks Phil

    I am not sure how many RAF squadrons were initially "nominated" for Tiger Force and then how many of those were subsequently allocated to the Force. I am assuming that if the books are correct, No. 35 Squadron was originally nominated but did not make it into the August "Order of Battle" (assuming that the August "Order of Battle" which is available online is correct).

    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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    I've been accumulating data on Tiger Force, what little there is, for many years and most recently have obtained information on the strength of the Force at 4 separate dates; 17 November 1944, May 1945, 6 June 1945 and 15 August 1945. Only the first and the last of these has squadron nos detailed and 35 squadron appears in neither. This comes from the RAF Historical Society Journal 44 in an article on Tiger Force refuelling.

    https://www.raf.mod.uk/rafcms/mediaf...B8B8BFC500.pdf page 68 onwards.

    So initially there were to be 3 bomber groups each with 6 bomber and 6 air refuelling squadrons and 6 Mustang squadrons and Fig 1 in the article details the squadrons earmarked.

    The article also details the electronic equipment fit for the bombers as agreed in June 1945, necessitating the rotation of all aircraft to be deployed to 32MU at St Athan and to Waddington / East Kirkby to have bulged bomb doors and Tallboy bomb modifications.

    There is then an Order of Battle at 15 August 1945.

    Other units that I have identified as part of Tiger Force include:-

    381,382,383 and 384 Maintenance Units
    81 Mobile Field Hospital
    38 Field Hygiene unit
    39 Malarial Control Unit
    The Lancaster Archive website also has a page on Tiger Force with some more information on the Canadian squadrons and aircraft serial numbers for aircraft they held in Aug 1945.

    The RAF was supposed to be responsible for building its own airfields on Okinawa and deployed 5358 Airfield Construction Wing by sea it June / July 1945. The first of these units had reached Eniwetok by the time the war ended. This was then redeployed to liberate Hong Kong in late August / Sept 1945.

    The elements of Tiger Force that teh Americans were keen to receive were 9 and 617 squadrons with their Tallboy bombs. They wanted them operational in time for operation Olympic on 1 November 1945. Their role was to be to take out bridges and tunnels that linked northern and southern areas of Kyushu to delay the redeployment of Japanese troops.

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    Ewen

    Thanks for the comprehensive feedback; your time and effort is much appreciated.

    It is interesting to note that RAF Graveley's June 1945 Record Book stated that:

    1. Owing to the increased demand for overseas examinations, the whole of the ground crew personnel over the release group 27 have been medically examined and inoculated and vaccinated ready for overseas posting.

    2. A Bomber Command signal has requested that all aircrew personnel on this station should be brought up to date with inoculations and vaccinations (including typhus) at an early date.

    I am not sure if this suggests that the squadron had been short-listed for inclusion in Tiger Force at that point, but they certainly were not provided with any relevant aircraft at the time.

    ..... it is an interesting conundrum

    Regards (and thanks again)

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 26th November 2017 at 21:44.
    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]

  8. #8
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    Pete
    I think we need to bear in mind the effects of the Python repatriation scheme from SEAC in 1945 and the general shortage of personnel for the armed forces in the UK in 1945. The former resulted in a great number of personnel who had been sent East in 1942 with a promise of a limited time overseas being due for repatriation by summer 1945. With the war on going on in SEAC and the Pacific replacements would have to be found from somewhere. The reference to “release group 27” suggests a group of personnel well down the list for release to civvy street in the UK who might be lined up for transfer overseas to plug the Python gap.
    I’m not saying that 35 wasn’t being lined up to go overseas just that another explanation might be that it was about to be stripped of ground personnel who were medically fit for overseas service.
    Perhaps if we can find out what “release group 27” actually meant we might get a better idea.
    Regards
    Ewen

  9. #9
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    Ewen

    In addition to your feedback, either (or both) statements could also have related to the fact that the squadron was involved with Operations Liberty, Dodge, Exodus etc, many of which involved overseas stops.

    It is hard to put a release date on release group 27 because of the complications of the system but I am sure we can work one out (although obviously they would have had a rough date in mind when they published the statements) {Note: The Times shows that RAF Group 48 was due for release in January / February 1947}

    The problem I have is that the published history of No 35 Squadron states that it was part of Tiger Force so I am having to assume that the statement is correct .... but I am struggling to find proof, so I am exploring all the avenues that I can.

    Regards (and thanks again)

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 26th November 2017 at 17:04.
    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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