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Thread: Brest - Trinity

  1. #1
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    Default Brest - Trinity

    Hi,

    I have noted that 3 Group started to use the code 'Trinity' when attacking Brest. The usual and much often used code was 'Toads' seemed to be replaced ( by 3 Group) in December 1941 for a period.

    I am wondering if there was a reason for the change, was 'Trinity' a specific target within Brest?

    Any pointers welcome.

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
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    Hello Steve,

    La Trinité is a part of the town of Brest, perhaps also, as it was a hot target, before you begin a prayer you have to sign you,it is called the Trinity, and La Trinité is just on the way to the harbor...so the crews had to sign them before to go to the hell …..


    So a form of RAF humor ????


    Alain .


    Alain

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to alain charpentier For This Useful Post:

    Steve Smith (12th February 2019)

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    Hi Steve,

    Trinity was the codeword for a series of trials/attacks by Stirlings of 7 and 15 Squadrons, specifically trying to target the German battleships using the new Oboe radio nav set.
    These started on the night of 6/7 December 1941 when two Stirlings of 7 Sqn, N6094 and N6095, took part. The attacks continued through December.
    Peter

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    Hi Peter,

    Thank you for that. Was
    it just confined to the Stirling's. The Marham based Wellingtons of No.115 and 218 appear to be using it?

    Regards

    Steve
    Last edited by Steve Smith; 12th February 2019 at 12:38.
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
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    Hi Steve

    No they were not. This was very early days in the Oboe project and only a handful of aircraft were involved. Equally the operation of Oboe involves control from a ground station of individual aircraft which always limited its use, leading later to "bomb on the Oboe Leader" operations to get more bombs on target.
    Wellingtons did go along on these operations but presumably using conventional methods of attack.

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    Hi Peter,

    Thanks for that, by using it, I did not mean Oboe, I meant the code 'Trinity'.

    Did the Stirling's use flares for marking the target, or was it purely bombing?

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
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    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Hi Steve,

    At that time purely bombing. As Alain says it was a "hot" target to say the least so possibly the Wellingtons went along to make up the numbers if you like and spread the defences. The Stirling Oboe attacks would have required a steady course and made them attractive targets on their own. As such ALL part of the same operation although differently prosecuted and therefore the same codeword used??

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    “Trinity”, as I understand it, did NOT refer to Oboe, but to the early experiments with Beam bombing, the so-called “J-beams”. The Trinity trials were seemingly a “joint venture” between 80 (Signals) Wing, TRE and 3 Group. 80 Wing provided the beams (Worth providing the beam for line, West Prawle for distance) and (from 109 Squadron) beam-experienced pilots to fly as second pilots in the Stirlings and special radio operators. TRE provided the modified IFF transponders “Broody Hen” used for range measurement.

    There were some very specific rules around these experimental flights . . . 2,000-pound bombs only and to be dropped in a short stick rather than salvo. Presumably all in the interests of getting easily-interpretable post raid photography even though a 2000lb light case bomb would be a pretty useless weapon to aim at a warship.

    These tests were also somewhat disruptive to other operations – a product of almost all of the RAFs RDF and navaids operating in a very narrow frequency band. The operation of “Broody Hen” was seriously impaired if it was “painted” by pretty much all of the radars in use at the time. Some stations were taken off the air when Trinity ops were in progress, GCI stations were instructed not to track the Stirlings on their outbound journey and restrictions were placed on the use of AI Mk IV on certain headings. Around this period there are frequent references in the ORBs of night fighter squadrons to “Nights of Trinity”.

    Niall

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    Niall & Peter,

    Thank you for both your posts. I think on my next visit to the NA I will try and pull the 'Trinity' file.

    Interestingly, the squadrons of Marham report that they bombed on flares dropped by Stirling's for the December 11th 1941 raid on Brest. Sergeant Richard Forsyth (X9755 HA-K) and Sergeant Ivan McPhail (Z8970 HA-W ) both reported bombing on flares dropped by higher flying Stirlings?

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

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    Hi Steve

    Unless you have the correct answer already, Trinity wouldn't have been a general code word for the Scharnhorst, Gneisenau and Prinz Eugen at Brest, would it?

    Just a guess

    Ian

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