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Thread: Bomber Command Night Reports.

  1. #11
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    Default Finding crew relatives

    I have found about 20 crew relatives , 3 old school friends & wartime training friends of KIA/MIA WW2 crews of 31/34 SAAF,102 RAF & 466 RAAF or helped with information.In Australia ,South Africa, UK & Canada .Using local newspapers, search notices in airforce magazines,Service Pals teletext on UK channel 4 TV & writing dozens of letters & occasionally a paid researcher. Most of the relatives are nephews,nieces & cousins, some born after the war & three are brothers.
    In most cases they were very pleased to have information, sometimes not having any since the war ,meet other crew relatives, visit CWGC graves & attend commemorations.
    I started looking for my MIA father's crew relatives because of commemorations to be held in Italy & South Africa & it just spread from there .

    My delight in finding someone, who was pleased to be found, spurred me on, so it perhaps for my own selfish benefit as well.I also supplied RAF Innsworth with addresses of relatives when a search was being organised in Lake Bolsena for my father's Lib KH158 .

    After the war my grandfather & mother could find out very little about my father's last mission, perhaps because he was MIA ?

    Innsworth will only supply service records to N of K & I understand the reasons for that.One can do a search to the NA at Kew, London.
    Nat.Archives of Australia have records digitalised or they can be requested by post, at a charge & that has been a great help.

    I have still felt intrusive, delving into peoples' lives to find crew relatives so have sympathy with the need for privacy laws .

    Anne

  2. #12
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    Default Night Raid Reports at TNA

    Hi Kevin,

    there are a range of reports available at TNA, Kew:

    1. AIR 14/2676 Night Bomb raid sheets Vol. XIII 1943 Jan.- May

    (I can't remember off-hand what these reports contain, but I think that they include tables of bomb tonnages by bomb type)


    2. AIR 14/3409 Operational Research Section: final reports on operations, night raids, Nos. 165-279 Vol. II 1942 Oct.-1943 Feb.

    (these are the final night raid reports, as prepared by the BC Operational Research Section, that give a summary of forces employed, the main routes flown, defences encountered, estimated causes of loss of missing or destroyed aircraft, and tonnages of bombs dropped etc. There is also a raid map, identical to those found in 3. and 4. below).


    3. AIR 14/3373 Interception and tactics: night reports 1943 Jan.- May

    (these reports, also prepared by the BC ORS, primarily focus on the enemy reaction and defences encountered during raids, and contain a summary map. Reports are identifical to those in AIR 14/3742)


    4. AIR 14/3742 Interception and Tactics Vol. V 1942 Nov.- 1943 Apr.

    (these reports primarily focus on the enemy reaction and defences encountered during raids, and contain a summary map. Reports are identical to those in AIR 14/3373)


    5. AIR 14/3460 Summaries of aircraft damaged by enemy action at night 1942 Dec.-1945 May

    (this, simply, is a fantastic resource. Prepared and updated by the BC ORS, it contains tables of all BC aircraft destroyed, missing and damaged on operations. I haven't seen the format of the tables for the middle-war years, but expect that the tables will show all relevant aircraft, identified by sqdn, serial, a/c code, organised by category (damaged by flak, damaged by fighter, damaged not by enemy action, destroyed etc). There will probably be a lot of hand-written amendments, since amendment sheets were issued at the later date, correcting details in previous entries. At the end of the war, the ORS manually updated the many entries in the tables based on testimony from returning PoWs, thus updating the cause of loss).


    6. AIR 14/3213 to AIR 14/3227 Raid plots : night 1942 Apr. to 1945 Jan.

    (unfortunately, although another great resource, these files are an incomplete sequence; files for many months, including January 1943, are missing. Prepared by the BC ORS, they contain copies of the Group Form Z telexes (detailing the time and place of various events that were experienced or witnessed during raids and reported by returning crews). Very large plotting maps were prepared, based upon the information in the Form Zs, which included the known crash sites of aircraft, probably based upon post-war information from returning PoWs and the RAF MRES. The exisitng files may be of use for other raids you are interested in).

    That, in a nutshell, is a list of the main series of reports relating to raids (excluding the bomb fall assessments etc). THere may be more Group-specific information in the Appendices to the BC HQ ORB and the Group ORBs.

    Cheers

    Rod
    Last edited by RodM; 16th November 2007 at 20:46. Reason: re-format reply

  3. #13
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    Rod,

    Thanks for all that information, it was/is very useful. A couple of questions if I may:

    1. Can you recall if any of the files include weather (especially the forecast) details and

    2. Do you, or does anyone, know the file references for HQ Bomber Command - I mean the Ops Room/Centre as opposed to the unit.

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lyffe View Post
    Rod,

    Thanks for all that information, it was/is very useful. A couple of questions if I may:

    1. Can you recall if any of the files include weather (especially the forecast) details and

    2. Do you, or does anyone, know the file references for HQ Bomber Command - I mean the Ops Room/Centre as opposed to the unit.

    Brian
    Hi Brian,

    yes, the Interception Tactics and Final Night Raid reports do include a summary of weather, both forecast and encountered.

    I'm not sure exactly what you mean by the file references for BC HQ, but I presume you mean what AIR series files are held at TNA. AIR 14 (BC Registered files) obviously includes Bomber Command-generated files/reports, and the BC HQ ORB Appendices - within AIR 24 (ORBs - Commands) - also contain reports.

    Cheers

    Rod

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    That is exceptionally helpful Rod. My interest in Met/RAF history began when, at loss after retiring, I idly started researching the history of the met office at HQ Bomber Command (met side of course), but my big problem was being unable to find the forecasts - that's a huge hurdle you've removed.


    Very many thanks
    Brian

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    Default Weather Info in reports

    Hi Brian,

    thanks for the clarification on your interest.

    With regards to the weather information in the reports that I mentioned, I should stress that the amount of information veries between the different report types.

    For example, here is what is written in a random Night Raid Report from 1945 (AIR 14/1214):

    "WEATHER OVER BASES

    2. Forecast: Fit
    Experienced: As forecast"

    "WEATHER OVER TARGETS

    6. Moon: New moon setting about 2140 B.S.T.

    Nurnberg: Forecast: May be some thin medium cloud above 15,000 ft. Wind at 14,000 ft. 265 degs., 28 m.p.h.

    Experienced: As forecast, except wind at 270 degs."


    Here is what is written in a random Interception Tactics Report from 1945 (AIR 14/3745):

    "4. WEATHER.

    Moon: Nil

    Rositz: Patchy thin Sa, tops 5,000 ft; 10/10ths thin A/Cu, base 9,000 ft, tops 10,000 ft. 10/10ths A/S, base 12,000 ft, tops 13-14,000 ft. Icing in top layer. Visibility moderate. Wind at 10,000 ft, 320 degs, 42 mph. Route: Over Continent, variable small amounts of So, tops 5-8,000 ft. From 0900E medium cloud 11-13,000 ft. Return similar to 0900E then clear to French coast."

    (...the report goes on to describe the weather conditions for the other four main targets during the night in question)

    Cheers

    Rod

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    That Nuremberg forecast is quite something - to get a wind forecast correct to within 5 degrees is something that today's forecasters, with their greater knowledge and computers, would give their hind teeth for. I would!

    Brian

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    Steve Smith.

    Sorry I haven't been in contact but real life has sort of got in the way. Back on track again now so I would like to take you up on the offer of copying the Night Report for the 17th/18th January 1943. I will PM you my details.

    Thanks again for your consideration.

    RodM.

    What a wonderful post with just the kind of information I am hoping for. Another trip to Kew is on the cards. It's absolutely amazing the wealth of information out there if only one knows where to look. Rod's generosity in listing these sources will be of immense benefit to me and, I suspect, many, many other forum members. So thank you for that.

    Regards,

    Kevin Mears.

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