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Thread: ORB Discrepancy

  1. #1
    ian1944 Guest

    Default ORB Discrepancy

    I've finished some primary research, but been left with an anomaly. In essence, the brief account of a Lancaster crewman's life in his local paper after he was KIA mentioned a particular previous operation that supposedly he took part in. The likeliest source for this information would be his family, it probably coming to them when he was on leave between the operation referred to and the final one.

    The operation in question (target and date) took place. However, the 24 crews listed in the (115 Squadron) ORB do not include the name of the airman concerned, nor that of any of his regular crew. Of the various possible explanations, the one I think vanishingly unlikely is deliberate misrepresentation. My guess is that he stood in for someone in another crew, possibly at the last minute, and this was never recorded officially. Could this indeed have been the case, going from what is known of the accuracy of ORBs? Helping out would be one thing, but not getting due credit towards completing the tour would be quite another.


  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Lions Bay, BC
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post


    Ian: I don't think you'll ever determine which source is in error with certainty. Certainly ORB's are not without error, but we all know that newspapers often contain major errors. Occurrences of mis-spelled names are common in ORBs--I've noticed that. In addition, I do know that my dad took an Air Commodore up with him on a raid to Dessau in March 1945, but the man's name is not in the ORBs. I'm not certain if there was ever another document, such as a crew manifest, that would record the names of aircrew or visitors.

    I would check the ORB's again to search for not just the name but permutations of the name as well as the service number see if this is marked. I do know that there are accompanying documents with some of the ORB's that list the crew separately. This is the case with 434 squadron.


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
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    My father, who was an A/G (tail-end Charlie) with the RCAF flying Wellingtons and Halifaxes, told me of swapping places with a fellow a couple of times (they were still in training). The story was that, on the final time, when Dad said "enough's enough, this is the last time" the fellow changed his mind at the last minute, went on the flight and... you guessed it... didn't come back. (In fact, I must try to verify this one... when I find his log books.)

    But then, Dad also told me he slept through an air raid once, so I'm not sure what to believe.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 29th January 2009 at 21:17. Reason: spelling

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