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Thread: 57 Sqdn, missing ORB sections May 1940

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    Default 57 Sqdn, missing ORB sections May 1940

    I'd appreciate advice from anybody with knowledge concerning 57 Sqdn ORB's in 1940.

    I have all sections of Air 27 / 537 but find that Parts 10 and 12 seem to be missing and not apparently on the National Archives website listing. I have queried this with them but there doesn't seem to be a conclusion. I do know that the record for the month of April 1940 was lost when France fell and the squadron was evacuated - that much is stated at the end of Air 27 / 537 - 9. But I cant find the Form 541 Detail of work carried out for May 1940 and many of these Ops were flown from Hawkinge post evac.

    thanks Pete
    Last edited by PeteS; 19th November 2019 at 17:21.

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    Pete,

    I have a copy of the ORB as a whole, before TNA decided to split these documents into tiny chunks as a revenue earning exercise.
    Unfortunately it is as you have found it. One page for April 1940 stating the record for that month had been lost, four pages of F.540 for May but no F.541 and two pages of F.540 for June. There is a single page of F.541 for June but it just records "No operational flying carried out by this unit during the month of June 1940."
    There are Appendices, but these stop at March 1940 and do not resume until October 1944 ! Very frustrating for anyone trying to research this squadron for this period.

    Sorry not to have had any better news.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    That advice is sincerely appreciated Martin, at least I know now what the true situation is, and the fact that I havent missed something is reassuring.

    Those missing parts 10 and 12 did make me wonder and also the fact that an F541 for a period when they were flying from the UK was not there. I shall have to consider the documents for No. 70 Wing and maybe Hawkinge Station for May 1940 ?
    Any thoughts ?
    thanks Pete

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    Pete,

    It appears 57 Squadron records are the worst of the four Air Component Blenheim squadrons. I have not seen the 70 Wing or Hawkinge ORBs but would likewise be interested to learn how much detail they contain on daily operations, etc. especially for the late May 1940 period.
    On return from France 57 Squadron were briefly based at Wyton. I have checked their ORB but the only references to 57 Sqn. are that it arrived on May 20th to reform and left on May 28th for Gatwick. No mention of any operational flights.

    regards,

    Martin.

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    Sadly a common entry in many ORB's is "No operational flying carried out by this unit". This is especially frustrating when you look at the flying hours and notice that 45% of the flying was non-operational and in the case of 57 Sqn in June 100%.

    If only we had a time machine we could go back and say fill this out as per instructions. The appendices are a really mixed bag and many do not add much to histories being page after page of the same status reports or pages of detail on each station move, and even worse was one massive wad related to VIP visits only!

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    Thanks for your advice Gents, I shall update this thread when i get my hands on 70 Wing ORB
    Pete

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