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Thread: Central Flying Control, HQ Bomber Command

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    Default Central Flying Control, HQ Bomber Command

    During 1942 a Central Flying Control (CFC) was established at HQ Bomber Command, its main function being 'the diversion of aircraft which could not return to their own base' (AP 1134). One of the CFC's main considerations was the weather (hence my interest), and I'm trying to determine the month the CFC was established. It was after December 1941 and before May 1942 - I could get away with 'early 1942', but if possible would like to be more precise.

    AP1134 is a little vague about this, and although I've identified a number of NA files that would provide the answer, it's not sensible to travel 100 miles for this one bit of information.

    Just wondering if anyone has any idea from their own researches.

    TIA
    Brian

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    Interesting you say December 1941, Brian, as Arthur Harris in "Despatch on War Operations" states that it was November 1941. The page can be accessed via Google Books:

    http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=jzzl8wUn52cC&pg=PA187&lpg=PA187&dq=%22Cen tral+Flying+Control%22&source=web&ots=CZjrLrITfU&s ig=l3HwYhVgagWCMJ7Q6bJCCBsAgUk&hl=en&sa=X&oi=book_ result&resnum=1&ct=result

    A

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    What don't you know Amrit!

    Many thanks for the link, I will try and obtain the book through my library. My comment about early 1942 was based on AP1134 "A Central Flying Control organisation was formed at Command HQ early in 1942 ..... ", so I took that as gospel and think it still holds good.

    Reading your reference I wonder if there is a bit of a red herring in para 14 which refers to the 'creation' of a CFC in November 1941. The next para (15) starts "By February 1942, therefore, the necessary machinery for the orderly diversion of aircraft on a large scale was already in existence ............ . One further step was necessary, however, before the way was really clear for the flexible manoeuvering of the bomber force to alternative landing airfields."

    Taking the two paras, I suggest para 14 implies the intention to establish a CFC (ie Harris signs a document ordering this be done), whilst para 15 implies that although the machinery was in place by Feb 1942, but was not yet operational.

    Mmm, food for thought, but that would make the two references consistent.

    Incidentally Resmorah has suggested you should be made an Honoury Met Man!

    Brian

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    At 80 a copy inter-library loans is probably the best bet. Re-reading that page, and other pages, makes me doubt the date too. He seems to have leapt around with his dates etc.

    Thank you and Resmorah for the honour but I think my maths would let the side down a bit. Actually I was looking at a met instruction book being sold on ebay a few weeks ago, and the few pages shown made me run away :-)

    A

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    Nah, weather forecasting's easy - you just blame the computer when things go wrong!..
    Brian

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    Come on Lyffe old sport, Harris couldn't have been involved with paragraph 14, he wasn't C-in-C then. Poor old "Butch" has been blamed for a lot of things but he's innocent in this case. I daresay though that if the CFC wasn't operational when he took command in Feb. 1942, it would not have been long before it was up and running!
    Best Regards,
    Bill.

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    There's always one (sometimes me!)

    Sloppily written on my part Bill; because of the book's title I carelessly assumed it all referred to Harris. Having now looked at the earlier pages I realise this was one of several appendices that cannot be attributed to him; indeed I have no doubt that a fair bit of this particular section has been lifted from various APs, including AP 1134 "The Second World War 1939-1945: Meteorology" - parts of it are word perfect.

    No excuse though, I should have been more careful. A pity therefore that the credit for this 'good idea' probably goes to one of Harris' predecessor's - Air Marshal R E C Peirse.

    Brian

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    Default Central Flying Control

    Hello Brian

    A Committee of Inquiry into RAF Flying Control began around the 28th August 1941 and into early September.

    AIR 20/4018 Flying Control History - Various Papers on page 11 (which is possibly a draft for publication or a talk), as parts are penned across in pink, has the following regarding general statistics of RAF Flying Control:-

    "(i) Central Flying Control, during the period November 1941 - May 1945 planned 159,274 and actually carried out 31,465 diversions of aircraft to airfields where a safe landing was effected, this total representing approximately 20% of all diversions planned."

    "(ii) During the period August 1941 - May 1945, no less than 4,000 cases of urgent assistance to aircraft were recorded by Flying Control Liaison sections, and of these 1,608 cases were clearly proved to have made all the difference between a lost aircraft and aircrew and a safe landing. These constitute about 10% of the total instances of assistance which were probably effected."

    Regarding Central Flying Control they were anxious to start changes as early as possible after the Committee of Inquiry had been considered, which suggested a phasing process toward the end of 1941 for C.F.C., I will have a further look to see if I can find a formal date for the take-over. However, late 1941 is around the right period of the introduction of C.F.C.

    Regards Mark
    Last edited by Mark Hood; 21st March 2013 at 18:24.

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    Default A Central Control Staff at HQBC to Assist Groups with Aircraft Diversions

    Further information

    It was decided at HQBC Conference held on 5th July 1941 that having regard to the increasing operational strength of the Command, that assistance be given to the Groups in planning diversions and arranging for the use of other aerodromes at short notice and that this assistance could best be given by a Central Control Staff situated at HQBC and that this staff should be ready to function by 1st November 1941.

    Regards Mark

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    Many thanks Mark, that's another little bit of my jigsaw in place. I look forward to reading the fruits of your labours.

    Regards

    Brian

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