Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: RAF Wartime Grid References

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default RAF Wartime Grid References

    I am researching my 'Uncle's' (Father's older brother) war service in RAF. He was killed on 28th January 1944 when his Lancaster PB 638 (153 Squadron) crashed near Michelbach on an operation to Stuttgart.
    I have recently been to the National Archives and have copied a large amount of information on the 29 operation he flew before being killed on the 29th. The orders sent to each squadron includes grid references for the flight including the turning points. On the night he died the route was

    (A) BASES - (B) READING - (C) 4900N 0240E - (D) 4910N 0725E - (E) 4918N 0906E - TARGET - (F) 4840N 0910E - (G) 4835N 0830E - (H) 4900N 0750E - (I) 4850N 0530E - (C) 4900N 0240E - (B) READING - (A) BASES

    Does anyone know how I can convert these references to present day references so I can track this and the routes of his other operations on present day maps.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,752
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

    Default

    I take each co-ordinate shown and map it onto Google Earth, creating a placemark for each one which I then link with a path, thereby creating a route for each loss.

    There is no conversion required as they are not "Modified British System" co-ordinates

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 21st October 2018 at 15:13.
    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]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,645
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 14 Times in 14 Posts

    Default

    I use the same system, but I try to use 'Decimal Degrees' to record the location. I find it much easier to manipulate in a s/sht, and calculations (using my poor basic maths) are easier using decimal degrees. My version of Google Earth defaults to 6 decimal places. This gives an accuracy (depending on latitude) to a about +/- 60cm (+/- 2ft in 'old money') - good enough for most things?
    Remember, though, that although the Command Nav might have laid down the precise track (and turning points) the a/c was only as near those points as the airborne nav was good!!
    On a low-level Para Assault Ex some years ago I was Supernumerary Crew. Approaching a TP the Nav said "TP7 in 1min 30secs - and incidentally, Skip, you're 1 deg off course!!" Volley of rude words from the 'front office'. When I was flying you could measure that sort of accuracy quite easily. In 1943 it was not as easy! The Nav might have been a trainee estate agent a year earlier!!!
    You can go to 18 decimal places of accuracy, but if you have to put "+/- 10%" after the figures, there's not much point!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 21st October 2018 at 16:14. Reason: QSD
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    250
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    As Pete says, no conversion is necessary because the majority of coordinates are Latitudes and Longitudes.

    Thus, "4900N 0240E" equals:


    49 Degrees, 00 Minutes of latitude North of the Equator, 02 Degrees, 40 Minutes of longitude East of the Prime Meridian at Greenwich.

    "Reading" simply refers to the town of Reading, west of London - a common assembly point for Bomber Command air armadas during the war.

    Cheers

    Rod

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks for your replies. I have plotted the route on Google maps and can now plotting the other routes. Plotting this route has at least answered one of the main questions we have always had as a family. It is now clear that the plane crashed before it reached the target.

    Just a supplementary question. The orders given are split into sections, namely A, B, C ...onto ... N1 Petrol, N2 Bomb Load etc. This looks like a standard format on all the orders I have seen so it would seem likely that there would have been a memo or something issued stating what information would be contained in each section. Does anyone know what this is.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    1,752
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 6 Times in 6 Posts

    Default

    The following thread provides information on the contents of the various forms:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...Forms-Lettered
    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]

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Belgium
    Posts
    686
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Hello ,

    Base - Reading - Fontaine/Chalis FR - Ohrenthal Germany - South of Mosbach Germany - Target - Stetten Germany - Hochdorf Germany - South of Climbach Germany - North of Sapigny France - North of Compand France -Reading - Base.

    Regards
    Alain12

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Shepperton
    Posts
    746
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    "Just a supplementary question. The orders given are split into sections, namely A, B, C ...onto ... N1 Petrol, N2 Bomb Load etc. This looks like a standard format on all the orders I have seen so it would seem likely that there would have been a memo or something issued stating what information would be contained in each section. Does anyone know what this is.[/QUOTE]"


    Hi Nigel

    It sounds like you're looking at the Operational Orders issued to each squadron for each raid? I don't know about any "memo or something", but I've seen a few of them over the years and I'm pretty sure these ops orders would've been in a standard format setting out the basic essential details for each squadron's required contribution - target, route, timings, heights, bomb loads, target markings, weather?, diversion airfields, etc. You can probably guess what each section related to by the contents.

    Let us know if you're not sure about any of them. I'm sure between us all we can give you a steer if necessary.

    Regards

    Ian

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •