Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Raid pictures taken from bombers on bomb run

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    4
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Raid pictures taken from bombers on bomb run

    Hi all.

    Does anyone know where the photos are kept that the bombers took on the bomb runs following dropping their bombs before turning for home? Are these at Kew or the RAF museum Hendon etc?

    Also does anyone have any ideas what the repatriation reports contain in Kew? I am trying to get hold of repatriation reports for a number of POW's. Do they include a description of capture or what happened when airman were shot down etc? If anyone can point me in the right direction, I would appreciate it, any start point etc as to how I go about getting these records.

    Any info would be great.

    Cheers.

    Marc

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Prague, Czech Republic
    Posts
    3,546
    Thanks
    21
    Thanked 15 Times in 14 Posts

    Default

    Hi Marc,

    about the photos I can not give you any info but I have studied several folders WO with the interview of RAF airmen returning from the captivity. The result is following:

    1) not all PoW reports are there
    2) some of them are very simple - with personal data, few info about service, shot down (can be only a date) and captivity
    3) most of them has N/A in many fields
    4) there are several interesting ones but from my poit of view in case of army members -I do not know why.
    5) sometimes if you are lucky there is an appendix for example with description of escape attempt

    If you are interested in example, just drop me a line and I will send you photo.
    Also I can provide you the general reference where to look for them in TNA, Kew.
    To get them - you need to come to TNA, make the registration (there are only the paper original, not all of them were digitalized yet when I was there a year ago) and order in reading room where you can take a photo with your digital camera.


    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Cambridge, UK
    Posts
    115
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Hi Marc,

    At the risk of plugging my website (Shameless!) I do have a couple of examples of POW Questionnaires from the WO 344 series.

    http://homepage.ntlworld.com/laurieburley/jeff/pilots.html

    (See bottom of the page)

    They are pretty light on information about capture other than date and place. Escape & Evasion reports (WO 208) are much more informative; I suspect Evaders were questioned more closely given that their information might be useful to help others, whereas for the POWs the War was already over.

    As Pavel says, your best friend on a trip to Kew is a digital camera. I try to work out exactly what I need to look for and where ahead of time, then photograph everything I can lay my hands on and digest it later.

    Hope this help,

    Jeff

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Sussex
    Posts
    526
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Bombing photos

    Dear Marc
    I think there is a photography depositry somewhere in Scotland.... possibly Strathclyde or Edinbugh University that has the photos taken the day after a raid. Maybe they have something? Whoever they are? Sorry not to be more accurate, it is something stuck in the back of my head. It could even be a Scotish govt dept. If you do find out I would be very interested to know where they are.
    Best wishes
    James

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Aubers, France
    Posts
    2,382
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default

    Hello Marc,

    You need to clarify what you mean by "repatriation report" as I don't know of documents with that name. Here are what exists at The National Archives in Kew :

    - Prisoners of War questionnaires (all services, army, navy, air force, even merchant navy, all theater of operations). They are in the WO 344 series. As Pavel and Jeff explained, these are usually not detailed about the circumstances of capture. Usually 3 pages, the first one gives interesting details such as the service number (sometimes useful to be sure of ID), first names (always better than just initials), date of birth, date / period they joined, wartime address, units they were serving with, date and place of capture (sometimes location is precise, often not, date can be different from the date when the plane came down, if the airman was "on the run" for a while), if he was wounded or not, and then the various camps he was held in. Page 2 is often not filed in details, but can contain details about OTU and HCU (the latter for bomber men) attended, and attempted escapes.
    - Escape & Evasion reports, which are in WO 208, from WO 208/3297 to WO 208/3327. That represents 3122 reports alltogether. These were filed by servicemen who escaped or evaded capture, and managed to reach Gibraltar, Switzerland, or Sweden.
    - Liberation reports, which are also in WO 208, from WO208/3328 to at least WO 208/3351. The first volumes are indexed, the last ones are not. These reports were filed either by servicemen who remained more or less at the place where they came down, awaiting for the allied armies to "liberate" the area (although others in the same case filed an E & E report...), for it was safer for them not to move than to try to cross the front line, avoiding to be too close to German soldiers. The other category of reports is filed by servicemen who were "on the run" for a few days / weeks, but eventually captured. These reports, when they exist, give details about the area where they came down, the help received from locals, and the circumstances of their capture (their untidy look, german sentries on a bridge, given to the Germans for a reward, etc...).

    Some of the "liberation" reports are missing. The originals were stolen from the volumes at Kew a few years ago. Very very frustrating, because the report is indexed, but the document is not there anymore...

    In the E & E reports, no names of helpers are given, only locations. Still considered secret...

    One can also mention the "K reports", which is more about the circumstances of the loss of a plane, usually a bomber, from statements collected from the survivors. There's a section on this website which lists most of them.

    Joss
    Last edited by jossleclercq; 28th January 2010 at 19:50.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    563
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    Marc

    with regard to bombing run photos, i.e. the photos taken by the crews onboard camera showing how close they were to the actual aiming point; these were put up on a board on the Squadron so that the crews could see who was the best (closest to the a.p.) a chap who I used to be in touch with had the forethought to take all of his photos off the board and keep them. I have a couple myself which are connected to 78 Squadron and I have recently purchased 130+ photos taken by PRU aircraft as damage assesment photos, these are taken 24 to 48 hours after the raid, weather dependent so that damage can be assessed and future raids planned. If there is anything in particular that you want a picture of then PM me and I will see if I can help out.

    With regard to the 'repatriation reports' as has already been mentioned the Escape and Evasion reports are normally quite detailed and can be found at the NA at Kew. The liberation reports of POW's vary greatly in their content as has already been stated some run into pages and pages of added letters diagrams etc and others contain very little. I have copied a number of these from Kew (all of those relating to 78 Sqn) which I could send you an example of if you are interested.

    I would also have to disagree with one point raised by Joss, he said that the names of helpers are not given; I have a number of reports which name all of the people who helped and gives their addresses. I also have one which mentions the name of a collaborator who gave information to the Germans which resulted in several Resistance people being executed.


    Regards

    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 29th January 2010 at 20:08. Reason: spelling mistakes

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    Location
    East Sussex
    Posts
    526
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hello again Marc
    I found it!

    Reconnaissance photographs of Western Europe
    from World War Two were held by the University of
    Keele until early 2008 but the collection is being
    transferred to the Royal Commission on the
    Ancient & Historical Monuments of Scotland. It is
    hoped that more from World War Two will become
    available soon.
    http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/documents/e-Info%20Sheet%206%20Aerial%20Photographs.pdf

    I hope this is of help.
    Best wishes
    James

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •