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Thread: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

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    Default ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

    The Night Raid Report for Pforzheim, February 23/24, 1945 records that a Film Unit, 5-Group participated in this raid. Some very frightening and famous film was taken by the crew of that A/C that night, as a Youtube video search will reveal. I did some digging and a google search revealed a photo caption on the IWM website, (but not the photo): "Pilot Officer R D Buckland of the RAFFPU pointing a mounted Eyemo film camera from an open hatch in the starboard doorway of Avro Lancaster B Mark I, PD329 'JO-Y', an aircraft of No. 463 Squadron RAAF based at Waddington, Lincolnshire, which was specially converted for filming Bomber Command operations. Plt. Off. Buckland and four other cameramen filmed a daylight attack on enemy troop movements in Dortmund from this aircraft four days before this photograph was taken."

    For this night, the 463 Squadron ORB records only one A/C detailed. It’s a poor carbon copy so difficult to read:

    PB337 F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim February 23 24 1945
    Sortie completed. No cloud. Slight haze; bright moonlight. A.P.I. [?] of a cluster of six red T/I’s. 9,500 ft 20.03 hrs. 1x4000 lb (minol) + 1880 [could be 1080] x 4 lb Inc. Good concentration. Bombs were bursting near and obliterating markers. Smoke rising 4/9,000 ft. One very big explosion at 20.03 [last digit not clear] and four minor ones. This attack appeared to result in its desired intention of destroying a built-up area with its associated industries. Moderate light flak, mainly from south of target. Lively fighter activity around Pforzheim. From Pforzheim to 48.15N 08.00E 20.03-20.19 hrs 9/9500 ft ten aircraft were seen shot down in flames and no parachutes were seen. Air to Air tracer observed on each occasion.

    No other A/C from 5-Group were detailed that night.

    No mention of film taken! I had hoped to learn how this was accomplished. Did they orbit? Was the camera mounted or was it hand held? All sorts of questions and no answers! I did learn, though that they carried a bomb load and bombed.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 30th October 2020 at 04:38.

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    Default Re: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim


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    Default Re: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

    Hello,

    There was no Lancaster serialled PB337. One of the aircraft used by AUS418872 F/Lt Thomas Allan PERRY RAAF (later DFC), was Lancaster I PD337:JO-L.

    Couple of shots of AUS424082 P/O R A Buckland RAAF at his photo position:

    https:www.awm.gov.au/collection/C267848
    https://www.awm.gov.au/collection/C267849

    F/Lt Perry's Ops (Second Tour) in Photographic aircraft:

    01/02.02.45 ----Siegen---------------------PD337:JO-L
    22.02,45--------Gelsenkirchen-------------PD337:JO-L
    23/24/02.45----Pforzheim------------------PD337:JO-L
    12.03.45--------Dortmund------------------PD337:JO-L
    15.03.45--------Bottrop---------------------PD329:JO-Y
    16/17.03.45----Wurzburg-------------------PD337:JO-L
    19.03.45--------Arnsberg Rail Viaduct-----PD329:JO-Y
    23.03.45--------Bremen Rail Bridge--------PD329:JO-Y
    24.03.45--------Sterkrade Rail Siding------PD329:JO-Y

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 30th October 2020 at 13:51.

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    Default Re: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

    Jim, A.P.I. perhaps Aiming Point Indicators? Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

    Hi Jim,

    the Interception Tactics Report for this night (which should contain the same statistical info as the Night Raid Report) records:

    1 Grp:
    258 Lancasters bombed from heights of 5,000 - 11,000 ft while over the target between 19.58 - 20.10 hrs.

    6 Grp:
    50 Lancasters bombed from heights of 5,000 - 8,500 ft while over the target between 19.59 - 20.11 hrs.

    8 Grp:
    53 Lancasters bombed/marketed target from heights of 6,500 - 13,000 ft while over the target between 19.54 - 20.08 hrs.

    5 Grp:
    1 Film Unit Lancaster bombed (and filmed) target from height of 9,000 ft while over the target between 20.03 - 20.09 hrs.

    The impression I get from viewing various film footage of night raids taken by the Film Unit, is that the Lancasters orbited the targets.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    Default Re: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

    Hello

    Quote Originally Posted by Terry View Post
    Jim, A.P.I. perhaps Aiming Point Indicators? Regards, Terry
    A.P.I. usually stands for Air Position Indicator, which was a navigation device.

    Joss

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    Default Re: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

    All: Thanks for your corrections and clarifications. As I mentioned, the carbon copy of the ORB from which the PDF was taken is darkened and not sharp and the image becomes pixelated when I attempt to zoom in on the magnification. So the Pilot's last name was Perry, not Merry and the A/C was PD.337. What I initially thought was perhaps A.P.I. is perhaps H.P.I., M.P.I. or N.P.I. I have not seen these abbreviations before.

    I assume that the W/Op was likely the cameraman and that it was hand held? If from the Bomb Aimers blister possibly the Bomb Aimer? It was a 7-man crew and the positions are not given on the ORB.

    Jim

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    Default Re: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

    Hello

    M.P.I. is more likely in the context : Main Point of Impact.

    Joss

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    Default Re: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

    Quote Originally Posted by jossleclercq View Post
    Hello

    M.P.I. is more likely in the context : Main Point of Impact.

    Joss
    Ok. But itís a term I would expect to find in an ORS document, not an orb.

    Jim

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    Default Re: ORB Film Unit Lancaster 463 Squadron F/Lt. Merry (A.418872) and Crew Pforzheim

    Hello,

    The cameramen aboard No.463 (RAAF) Sqn Lancasters (mostly consisting of two members), were over and aboye the normal complement of a Lancaster. Although the ORBs sometimes commented on the "good film shot", the cameramen were not listed.

    Col.

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