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Thread: ORB Changes, 1 November 1939?

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    Default ORB Changes, 1 November 1939?

    1 November 1939 is notable in the 41 Squadron ORB for two reasons:

    i. It appears to be the first date upon which the weather conditions are recorded on the F540 in World War II, after which such reports appeared on a daily basis; and

    ii. Times of flights appeared on the F541, constituting the first proper appearance of the Form in the Squadron’s history. There are F541 entries for a combat on 17 October 1939, therefore pre-dating this entry, but this represented little more then an expanded account of what appeared on the F540 with timings, rather than the 'usual' list of pilots, aircraft serials and timings, as they do from this date forward. In fact, the F541 of 17 October does not list the aircraft serials or participants of the two airborne sections that day.

    Was there therefore an order or formal change to procedures on this date, or did 41 Squadron possibly just get a bo##ocking from above and told to fill in the ORB properly?

    Further, can anyone tell me when the F541 was formally introduced in the RAF, please?

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Steve,

    Are you referring to just 41 Sqn or generally? My impression from the ORBs I've seen is that the content depended very much on who was responsible for completing them - but I'm happy to be corrected.

    Brian

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    Hi Brian

    I'm wondering, generally, if there was a change in procedure on 1 November 1939, as 41's ORB changed dramatically on this date. Admittedly, the Squadron's Adjutant was posted away on 15 October 1939, and I'm not sure when he was replaced, so you may well be right that it may have been a change in writer that made the difference - and I'll also admit that this didn't occur to me until you'd mentioned it - but I guess I'm trying to eliminate possibilities, wondering if there was perhaps an official tightening-up of ORB reporting around this date. However, I have also added a final, general query, asking (in any case) when the F541 was introduced by the RAF, since it does not appear in 41 Squadron's records before October 1939.

    Cheers
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    hello,

    I share Brian's opinion about ORBs. It mostly depended on the people tasked with it. Peter Cornell, in "The Battle of Britain then and now" clearly mentions the diarist of No. 73 Squadron, which made a point of recording the unit's life. I have pictured lots of ORBs, and while a few contains lots of additional details (609 Squadron is typical in this case) others contains almost nothing (616 Squadron for example, with sentences like "W/C and 11 aircraft took off for a sweep over France", no names, no serial numbers, no times...).

    We have discussed the subject here before, someone produced the text of the document about ORBs and how they were supposed to be written, but I'm afraid it really depended on the people with the typewriter (when they had one !).

    Joss

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    Hi Joss,

    That someone was me I copied the extract from AP1301.

    Basically it stipulated what was to be in the Form 540 and Form 541 from when the books were closed on the onset of war then reopened.

    It seems that 41 Sqn were being wrapped over the fingers and told to get it right in Nov 1939.

    Standards were allowed to slip in 1940.

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
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    Thanks Joss and Neil

    Ah, a telling-off or a cleaning-up-of-their-act, after all. Thanks for your input.

    Cheers
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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