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Thread: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

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    Default Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    I have all of the turning points for all of dad's operations. I have plotted these on Google Maps. However I have determined that "letters" for some or all TP's. These are not archived in any documents that I have found. What survives are the coordinates (Lats and Longs) and they match the maps in the Night Raid reports and other navigational summaries I have seen.

    Can one reassign these letters with reasonable confidence? Is turning point "A" the first point after base? Or is it after some other location? Is the AP assigned a letter or does the lettering go something like "F", "AP" and then "G"?

    Did the crews orbit the station in some pattern before set course time? Or was set course time at the first TP?

    Jim

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    Default Re: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    Jim, I have a number of completed 441s for 75 Sqn Ops Jul - Dec 44. The man was an idle nav (the Nav Leader's words not mine), but A is sometimes Base or a Set Course point. Set Course was specified at one of the briefs and would be included in the Orders section of the 441. It could include setting course over the base or flying to a point and then setting course. If the latter, he made that point A. Given that almost all his nav was by GEE and not D/R it is a somewhat vague answer. Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    Thanks Terry: That still leaves us as uncertain as to whether "set course" was over base, or the first turning point, 70 miles from Middleton St. George, heading 174 degrees True. This turning point is 5 miles WSW of Doncaster, located over a farmers field at 53 degrees 30' N and 1 degree 15' W. So still uncertain if MSG is "A" or the farmers field is "A" or some other location is "A". If other southern Groups are involved in the operation, it could well represent some other turning point.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?m...GE&usp=sharing

    What is a "441"?

    Jim

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    Default Re: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    Jim, It is Form 441, the Navigation Log that contains the navigator’s workings. In Oct 44 75 Sqn was flying out of Mepal in Cambridgeshire. On 7 Oct my man was airborne at 1206. He reached A and set course for B at 1300. A was Waterbeach, prob RAF Waterbeach, that was 8 nm from Mepal. On 14 Oct he was airborne at 0712 and reached A, again Waterbeach, and set course for B at 0747. I can only conclude that both periods between 1206 and 1300, and 0712 and 0747 were spent climbing to altitude and achieving formation. I think unless you have the 441 for that op it will remain an unknown. Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    Terry. Was the op on Oct 14, the daylight to Duisburg? Dad was on that op. Here are the turning points I have.

    https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/ed...2b&usp=sharing

    Waterbeach is not a listed turning point for 6 Group a/c, although it looks like they flew near it.

    Hmmm. 76 years ago today.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 14th October 2020 at 15:28.

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    Default Re: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    Jim, Yes it was Duisberg. The route for 75 Sqn was from Waterbeach (A) to Orfordness (B) to 5110N 0330E (C) to 5132N 0520E (D) to Duisberg to 51445N 0645E (E) then back via D, C, B, and from B direct to Base (Mepal). Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    Very interesting Terry. The routes are quite different (except for 51o23N 05o20E) which I find very interesting! I have:

    Base-Bradwell Bay-50o50N 03o15E-51o23N 05o20E-Target-51o19N 06o48E-51o05N 06o00E-50o50N 03o15E- Bradwell Bay-53o30N 01o15W-Base

    These from the Tholthorp briefing document and also from the Middleton St. George "Y" Report. The turning point, 53o30N 01o15W, is shown on the outward and homeward routes on every one of dad's operations, EXCEPT for this op to Duisburg, where on the outward route they flew directly to Bradwell Bay. I interpreted this as an error, but I think I'm going to change my route so they travel directly to Bradwell Bay.

    There could be tactical reasons why they were different: There were over 1000 a/c over the target on this one and there were several aiming points. We need to see the Form "B"s for the individual Groups for this operation to understand the differences.

    Jim

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    Default Re: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    I've been thinking about this and perhaps there was a need to funnel a large number a/c into the stream gradually rather than risk collision over the Cambridge area. The "routes" converge at 51o32’N and 05o30’E. It is notable that fighter cover was to rendezvous with the force at 51o32’N and 05o30’E. Similarly on the route home, the two forces turn in opposite directions upon leaving the target area, which might be consistent with the positions of the separate aiming points assigned to different "Groups" of a/c. Risk of collision over the T/A would be concern if after bombing a/c cross the bombing runs for a different aiming point. However, I'm not sure where that leaves the fighter cover on the homeward journey.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 15th October 2020 at 20:06.

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    Default Re: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    Jim, Duisberg was a busy place over the period 14/15 Oct 44. There was the daylight raid where my man was airborne at 0712 and back at base by 1130. There were also two night raids: the first had an H Hour of 0129 and the second H Hr was 0325. 75 Sqn flew both the daylight raid and the early raid during the night 14/15 Oct. Both different routes: Daylight, crossing the English Coast at Orfordness (B); and the night time raid, at Beachy Head (C). When you compare your raid route with my route previously stated (the daylight raid) it looks like they are designed to feed the aircraft into the bomber stream. I found an article on the web that suggested, "A typical bomber stream of 600 to 700 aircraft was on average 8 or 10 miles broad, and 4,000 to 6,000 feet deep." Comparing our routes, and agreeing with your statement re funnelling aircraft into the stream: Crossing the English Coast the squadrons were 36 nm apart, at 5110N 0330E (my C) they were 21 NM apart, and at 5132N 0520E (my D) they were 10nm apart. If it helps the bombing altitude for 75 Sqn on the daylight raid was 17000 ft. Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: Bomber Command. Assigning letters to turning points.

    Yes Terry. A busy place! Dad did both the daylight and the night op. He bombed at 0145 hrs. I’m not sure if this was the first or second raid that night. Evidently both the marking and the bombing were extremely accurate that night. The ORB for F/Lt. C.M. “Blackie” Black 419 OC “B” flight stated: “The marking was excellent and it looked as if the TI’s were poured out of one can and the bombs out of another. Whole place one large blaze. Met winds exactly correct for bombing.”

    Jim

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