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Thread: Log books with details from RAF squadrons in Battle of France, May/June 1940 -

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    Default Log books with details from RAF squadrons in Battle of France, May/June 1940 -

    Hi all,

    I am compiling details from Log Books, beginning with the months May-June 1940, in order to create an open database from which info graphics and data can be drawn, from as many individual pilots as possible.

    I am starting with my father's log book, which lists his duties in from May 1940 in 245 squadron in the B or 2nd second section - as I understand it the squadron was divided into 2 parts. He was posted to 245 squadron and his entries show flights to and from Drem to Abbeville, Moorseele, Ath, Aloost, Norrent-Fontes, Rouen and Dunkirk between May-June 1940.

    I will be looking up other log books and flight information at the RAF Museum and National Archives, but am also aware that some log books may now be privately held.

    I intend to make the database free for general use as soon as it has enough information to draw conclusions from. I think this would be a great way to commemorate the pilots from this era and also be an open data base that could be built by a community over time.

    I will also be posting on this forum from time to time to check any facts or names that appear unclear (for example in my dad's log books DO17s are recorded as DD17s, the name of the F/LT is not clear on all signed pages, etc) particularly when these do not match National Archive or other public notes that I have found. I am happy to cite any useful information and those able to provide sources. I am not an RAF expert, and expect that I will come across much to educate me over the coming months.

    My day job includes compiling trade data in such a was to make data mining and analysis possible, and I would like to use these skills to compile flight information from individual pilots during the second world war, but am beginning with these 2 months. I would like to make the information as accessible as possible, and easy for people to search according to pilots' names, squadron numbers, locations and so on. I am also working with a software engineer to make sure that the information will be as accessible as possible online, and to help find a way to eventually make this a collaborative project from which any researcher can draw information/cross reference information from individuals.

    If you happen to have a log book which you would be happy to share information from (I only need photos - I can log the information into databases myself) I would very much appreciate this. Again, happy to cite any sources; I would like this to be a collaborative project, and once I have enough information I will begin making the digitised records public.

    If you would like more information on the project or myself, please do ask and I would be happy to get in touch.

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    Hello Clare.

    I should be able to help you out. I just have to get through my log book copies to find the relevant ones.

    I have also sent you an email.

    John Engelsted.

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    Clare

    John Engelsted maintains a list of online log books here (all links may not still be valid)

    http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=17129

    Please can you let me know how your father recorded his flight on 1st June 1940 in Hurricane N2593 did he write N2593 or '2593' or just the aircraft code such "A" to "M" (A Flight) "N" to "Z" (B Flight)


    Your father was originally in A Flight for 245 Sqn

    Any details of his flights in 615 Sqn Hurricanes in Battle of France may be interesting to historians to confirm aircraft histories

    Many Thanks


    Paul

  4. The Following User Says Thank You to paulmcmillan For This Useful Post:

    JohnE (23rd December 2019)

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    Hi Clare,
    Can I ask if you would be willing to visit the following website and see if there is anything you would like to add to your fathers entry:- www.bbm.org.uk
    A better quality photograph in uniform would be a wonderful addition.
    Kind regards
    Gerry

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    Hello Clare,

    and welcome to the forum. Many aircrew logbooks from the Battle of France period were lost or destroyed at that time or later unfortunately, making your project more difficult. That your father retained his is wonderful news because almost every squadron that sent pilots and Hurricanes to France during May 1940 did not or were not able to record the individual flights by pilots in their Operational Record Books. These ORBs are now held in The National Archives in Kew, London. Digital copies are available to purchase from TNA.

    I have a copy of the 245 Squadron ORB, and unfortunately not one flight or sortie by a pilot who went to France during May 1940 is recorded. This is why logbooks like your father's can be of great importance to researchers. As Paul writes any details you can give us from it would be much appreciated.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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    Hi Clare

    If you haven't already a copy of 'Twelve Days in May' let me know and I'll pop a copy in the post for you. It's a bit outdated but may help.

    Regards (and Happy Christmas)

    Brian

    briancullauthor@gmail.com

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    Hi all,

    Thank you for your replies! Paul - he just wrote the code. It looks like he only occasionally wrote a letter + 4 numbers, usually when he was flying with another pilot or a passenger. I can send you some photos if you like?

    Happy to share information from his log book once I have it all compiled - it should only take a few more weeks as I have logged most of the information from 1940 now, so only 5 more years to go. It appears the next squadrons he was posted to were 253 in October 1940 and 124 in 1941.

    I will still be trying to digitise information from any other log books I can for May and June 1940, so if I add any more I will also share this as I go along.

    I have also found the Operations log book for the squadron in the National Archive for 1940, so I will be putting it all together in the coming months and will send you all a link to the website where I intend to make all the information searchable - it may take a while but I'll get there! I should be able to see if there is anything to compare or contrast with the log book itself as well, which may be interesting. Some of the information I have found online about the squadron seems to be missing info that is in my dad's log book especially about France.

    Brian thank you very much - I will send you an email tomorrow morning as I'll be spending the day on this project tomorrow.

    Thanks again all, and I'll be back checking this thread every week or so so I will see anything else added on a regular basis.

    All the best!

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    Clare thanks for the update out of interest what was the code your father wrote on 1 June 1940?

    Paul

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