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Thread: 21/22 February 1945 - No 38 Group - Route (using GEE)

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    Default 21/22 February 1945 - No 38 Group - Route (using GEE)

    Hi Everyone,

    as a follow-up to a thread on a Bomber Command route to Duisburg using a GEE fix, I have a question about another route on the night of 21/22 February 1945.

    Fifteen Stirlings from No. 38 (Airborne Force) Group conducted tactical bombing at Rees on the night of 21/22 February 1945, using GEE as a bombing aid. The prescribed route includes what I presume is a GEE lattice grid reference:

    Base [Shepherds Grove] - Dartford - Beachy Head - Cayeux [Cayeux-sur-Mer] - Brussels - 3132H. 03443 - 5146 N, 06 24 26 E - and return Eindhoven - 5147 N, 05 07 E - Base

    Can anyone (Terry in particular : ) ) decipher the rough Latitude/Longitude of the GEE reference "3132H. 03443"?

    Thanks

    RodM

    PS - the raid is interesting because the route, altitude [7,000 feet], and timing [circa 21.00 hrs] of the bombing attack put the Stirlings slap-bang in the path of a large force of No. 5 Group Lancasters returning from Gravenhorst...
    Last edited by RodM; 30th September 2018 at 21:20.

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    Rod, Working on it. Regards, Terry

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    Rod, I don't think 3132H. 03443 is a GEE fix. I have checked maps for the Reims, Ruhr and Eastern chains and none fit the figures. Also, there are too many numbers, GEE fixes tend to be a letter and four numbers. You will recall that the Duisberg Gee statement identified the chain and the fact that it was from the C slave station and then the figures: "Ruhr C = 36.29". I also looked at several Nav Logs (F441a) that I have, all from 75 Sqn, and the nav shows his GEE fixes as X B10.99 C35.99. I have also looked at the Ord Survey maps for the area and none show anything that would match that reference. As to the altitude and the fact that Lancs were crossing the area. I seem to rmember that one of the hazards for Stirlings was that their performance was altitude limited and they were often forced to fly below Lanc bomber streams. Regards, Terry

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    Hi Terry,

    thanks for looking up the reference. Could the "3132" mean "31.32"? The route is written in a circumstantial report relating to one of the missing Stirlings from the raid and I wasn't sure if the "3132H. 03443" was some sort of radio navigation reference or a corruption of a Latitude/Longitude...

    Regarding the height of the Stirlings and the Lancaster force - at this stage of the war, Bomber Command streams often lost altitude shortly after bombing and in this particular case they flew homeward over the continent at altitudes between 7,000 - 10,000 feet.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Rod, Even if it was 31.32 it doesn't match up with GEE chain figures on the chains mentioned as an intersect between Brussels and Rees, and it wouldn't match a Lat/Long for that area. Thanks for the info re altitudes. Regards, Terry

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    Hi Terry,

    thanks for the confirmation. I may try the AHB, as they have access to the original Circumstantial Reports for the two Stirlings lost on the Rees raid.

    I thought the coordinates were a corruption/clerical error in the Circumstantial Report for 299 Sqn Stirling LJ896 originally, but I guess they could refer to some type of radio or visual beacon.

    Unfortunately, I have found little information from archival sources on the routes flown by the Shepherds Grove squadrons (299 Sqn included) when tactical bombing in Jan-Feb 1945. The ORBs for the Rivenhall squadrons contain the routes for several raids, none of which contain anything similar to the nomenclature used in "3132H. 03443".

    Cheers

    RodM

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