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Thread: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

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    Default Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    I suspect one of these lists of times is incorrect. At the bottom of the page of the Battle Order for Gelsenkirchen, November 6, 1944, the main briefing is given as 0230 hrs and the Nav briefing as 0300 hrs. This makes sense as one would expect that navigators would require more than 30 minutes to do their charts.
    http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oo...92/914?r=0&s=3
    However the Battle Order for Munster November 18, 1944 records the Nav briefing as 0830 and the Main briefing as 0900.
    http://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/oo...92/916?r=0&s=3
    I believe the Munster one to be in error.

    Thoughts?

    Jim

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Main briefing first. The crew/Navigators don't know where they are going yet until the main briefing. Then, the navigators, gunners, w/o's, bomb aimers are given their individual briefings.
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    I examined the Battle Orders in the ORB’s for 428 Squadron and the times of the briefings chronology are different than recorded for 419. Both squadrons are on the same station, (MSG), so one would expect consistency. These events are not given for many of the ops, so I think these are almost an afterthought. As such you probably cannot draw any conclusions as to what actually did occur.

    I was unable to get in contact with dad’s navigator today, so will bring this up when I have an opportunity.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Thanks! That is what I understood as well.

    Ji

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    I just got off the phone with F/O M.E. Seale, my father's navigator. He informed me that he just turned 98 last month! I asked him questions concerning this topic. Without hesitation, he said the timing of the main and navigation briefing could be either way depending on the timing of information. Sometimes the Main briefing was first and sometimes the navigation briefing was first. Sometimes you had a panic briefing and not all the information was available at the time of the briefing. Sometimes the target was changed. The original target being site A and the target being changed to site B. He also referred to the famous footage you see in films of the Wing Commander pulling back the curtain revealing the target and saying "Gentlemen, your target tonight is Berlin". It didn't happen that way. Often you knew what the target was prior to briefing. Also, in the case of 419 and 428 Squadrons, they did not have combined briefings. The two Squadrons were in completely different buildings.

    Concerning charts: He said it took 20 minutes to half an hour to prepare a chart, but sometimes not all the information was available until just before take-off and they had a "bus" waiting for you to take you to the aircraft just before take off.

    He was very definite on all of the above. There was no hesitation in his voice or searching his memory.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Have many battle orders from Canadian Squadrons. Nav briefing is between 30 minutes to 1 hour before the main briefing. 431 Sq op to Dusseldorf on April 22/23, Nav briefing 18:00 hours, main briefing 19:15 hours.
    April 26/27,1944 op to Essen. Nav briefing 19:30 hours, W/Op briefing 20:00 hours, Main briefing 20:30 hours.
    Seeming like the navigators got extra time to deal with the course and turning points.
    Hope this helps.

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Richard,
    it doesnt make sense to brief the navigators when the crew as a whole do not know the target for tonight. The following four pages are from the book 'Bomber Intelligence' by WE Jones who was responsible for the briefings at Kirmington, and explain very eloquently the nightly briefing proceedure, in this case Berlin. Note at the end where he says "individual crew members go to navigation, bombing, gunnery and signals for their final preparations"




    Andrew

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    It came to my mind to reveiw the briefing scene from 'Appointment in London' being that it is the most accurate Bomber Command film I have seen, to see if our point of discussion is actually illustrated in the movie, only to find that entire film has been uploaded to youtube, so for the benefit of everyone here, this is the link, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LqqfHJXdamc ,the briefing scene being at the '54.15' point, even though the navs etc going to separate briefings is not shown, the main briefing is absolutely superbly captured on film, and agrees with the briefing as described by Jones in his book.
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    106 Squadron Order of Battle for Königsberg August 1944 shows -

    Meal 16.40
    Navigators 17.00
    Specialists 17.30
    Captains 17.30
    Main 18.00

    HTH

    Mike

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    Default Re: Main Briefing or Nav Briefing first?

    Appendices for 625 Sqn O.R.B. (AIR27/2144) give timings for briefings, meals and transport quite regularly from March 1944.A typical one, for operations 15-16/3/44, is; 15.00 Nav. and A/B meal, 15.30 transport to crew room Nav. and A/B, 15.45 briefing Nav. and A/B, 15.45 meal for remainder, 16.15 transport to S.H.Q. remainder, 16.30 main briefing, 17.00 snack in crew room, 17.15 transport crews to aircraft. 170 Sqn appendices typically time Nav briefing 45 minutes before main briefing when times are given.
    Regards.

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