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Thread: flights-squadrons

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    Default flights-squadrons

    Hi all,
    Can anyone explain in simple terms the make up of a squadron.
    Interested in pathfinders especially 35 squadron at graveley.
    Also make up of a pathfinder lancaster crew, my late father was a wireless operator, who as far I can remember knew nothing of morse code-or was it quickly learnt/quickly forgotten?


    thanks
    Paul

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    Hi Paul

    The simple answer is NO.

    It depends on the type of squadron and the period you are interested in.

    Bomber squadrons probably began the war with 12 Initial Equipment and 6 Immediate Reserve aircraft but by the end of the war many bomber units had over 30 IE in three flights.

    This was to cut down the number of executive officers on a squadron, a squadron with an extra flight required one extra flight commander (Sqn Ldr), whilst an extra squadron required a Wg Cdr and two Sqn Ldrs.

    In the early part of WW2 AGs also had to be Wireless Ops but many never practised the WOp part of their job and later AGs were trained without the need to undergo WOp training.

    The standard Lancaster crew was 7 except on 101 Sqn, who carried a extra crew member, the Special Operator, who listened to the German frequencies in order to jam their radio channels.

    An extra crew member was sometines carried in the form od "2nd Dickey" (Pilot) who joined an experienced crew prior to taking his own crew on operations.

    Malcolm

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    paulh wrote............."Also make up of a pathfinder lancaster crew, my late father was a wireless operator, who as far I can remember knew nothing of morse code-or was it quickly learnt/quickly forgotten?"


    My father was a Wop/Ag. He attended 9 B&G School and learnt morse to the tune of 18 words per minute.

    His first tour was with 50 Squadron on Hampdens and he used morse there.

    His second tour was with 97 Squadron on Lancasters but I don't think he used morse then.

    I would be interested to know when morse code ceased to be used.

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    Default flights-squadrons

    Thank you for your answers, i was a little confused before now I'm totally confused!!
    I am interested in 35 squadron based at Graveley during 44/45.

    Out of interest morse was a requirement of a class 'A' amateur radio operator until a few years ago when it ceased to be a requirement on hf 'worldwide' bands. Morse was more populartly known as CW (continuos wave) in amateur radio.
    PaulH

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    Hi Paul and David

    Morse code has never ceased to be used and is still used today, althougfh maybe not as much as it used to be.

    Malcolm

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    Hello Paul,

    As I explained you in pm, I have No. 35 Squadron ORB for a period in 1941-42. At that time, the Squadron only comprised 2 flights, 'A' and 'B'. I can't tell for sure, but to my opinion, they were still operating with 2 flights in 1944.

    When there was a third flight, it was logically known as 'C' flight.

    I've made a very quick check in "We act with one accord" and couldn't find any reference to 'C' flight, only periodically to 'A' or 'B' flights, for example when a flight commander was replaced by another.

    I don't know if you are far from the National Archives at Kew, but there you would probably find many answers to your questions.

    Joss

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    I cannot accept that a wireless operator in the RAF (especially in WW2) did not know anyhting about Morse code! Morse was their primary means of communications, and W/Oprs rarely if ever used voice communications in their normal duties. I think your dad was just reluctant to talk about his war experiences. My father was a Wireless Operator too (in the RNZAF, WW2), but not of the airborne variety. Just as a joke he would start to read us our bedtime stories in Morse (honestly!), but needless to say we did not find this very enlightening and called loudly for "normal human voice communications".
    David D

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    I would be interested to know when morse code ceased to be used
    Don't know about RAF use but we in Trinity House had to learn it in 1965. It was only taught as a standby and with lack of use easily forgotten. Used to be regularly in diaries as well.

    Best Wishes.
    Robert.

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    Default 'Bath tub' morse key

    The Avro Vulcan bombers had the 'bath tub' morse key fitted on the right of the AEOs table up to when the aircraft were withdrawn in the 1980s. The morse key was exactly the same type as fitted to WWII aircraft such as the Halifax and Lancaster bombers.

    Norman

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    Hi All,
    Dad (W/Op/Air Gunner) before leaving #1 Wireless School in Montreal Canada (Nov 1941) had to pass morse at rate of 18 words per minute anything less and the trainees were not sent overseas (UK) for further training and postings. Receiving of morse seems to be slightly less at 16 words per minute which I found interesting.
    On posting to #9 A.F.U. Penrhos he did 30hrs on Harwell Boxes and 21hrs morse with total of 230hrs W/T Flying (training).
    As an Instructor in 1944 and 1945 morse was still being taught to all new W/Op trainees in UK.

    Regards,
    Rob Jerram.

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