Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: two questions about form 541 and debriefing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Zwolle ,the Netherlands
    Posts
    129
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default two questions about form 541 and debriefing

    Hello,

    Two small questions.

    On the ORB 541 Form you can find 'details of sortie or flight' behind each crew who took part on a certain mission.My question is who provided the information to the people who typed it on the 541 Form.Was that a certain crewmember or could it be any crewmember?

    How many crewmembers were present at a debriefing?The entire crew or certain crewmembers?

    Thanks and regards Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Shepperton
    Posts
    749
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Debriefing

    Hi Mike

    From photos you see from time to time it looks (in the case of BC) that upon returning crews were taken in to debriefing, given a cup of tea - or stronger - and sat around a table with a debriefing officer (sometimes a WAAF), so they'd ALL be involved and able to comment on their trip from their own perspective.

    The notes in the ORB are very brief so presumably there was something more detailed that they had to go through in debriefing.

    I don't know if there was any sort of standard questionnaire, but presumably the debriefing officer knew that he/she needed to cover certain subjects like weather encountered, combats, aircraft seen shot down, effectiveness of target marking, what it was like over the target, where they bombed, etc so that the 'big picture' could be compiled and any new intelligence could be picked up.

    Mind you, you also see stories mentioning exhausted crews getting through debriefing as fast as they could so that they could clear off to bed.

    I guess it was the main details from these debriefings that made it into the ORB.

    Ian

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,663
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 17 Times in 17 Posts

    Default

    Ian/Mike,
    As I understood it the vast majority of post-op debriefs were carried out by the Sqn/Wing/Station Int Off(s) who may have been WAAF, and who were not necessarily aircrew, although some aircrew may have done the job at times.
    Most of the information gathered was then transmitted to Group/Command where it was all collated. This information would then be used in planning the next raid, etc. The Sqn/Station 540/541 would contain a precis of what had been reported, input from the IO. All this was "post-facto". The Station Met Man (or woman) also did this post-facto reporting but also had a much more immediate role during any raid. The crews would radio back found winds whilst actually still in flight to the target. These would then be collated at Group, and Bomber Command, and (if needed) revised forecast winds would be issued as a result.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Zwolle ,the Netherlands
    Posts
    129
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Ian and Peter,

    Thanks for your responses.

    Mike

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire UK
    Posts
    673
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Mike
    If of interest, when you are in UK, there is [or was a few years ago] a model of a debriefing room ,with model crew at RAF Hendon Museum. I presume it's an accurate representation ?

    Anne

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Zwolle ,the Netherlands
    Posts
    129
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks.That sounds interesting.I hope to visit the NA in Kew end of the year or jan.2011 and I hope to combine this trip with a visit to RAF Hendon so I will be able to have a look.

    Mike

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,011
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 5 Times in 5 Posts

    Default

    Although the debriefing varied according to the routines and facilities of the station, the practice of hearing from all members of the returning crew was, I believe, strictly followed.

    There was a standard way of the conducting the debriefing in order for the Air Intelligence Officer(s) to fill in Form Y. Form Y was a detailed account of the mission flown by the crew being interviewed, and covered defences encountered and specifics of the bomb-run as well as notes about the route taken and any decoys, own/enemy aircraft sighted, losses, in fact anything of interest. The accounts were then collated by the AIO and reconciled in order to fill in Form Z, a summary of the experiences of a squadron or station. This was passed up the chain to analyse results and tactics. After the submission of Form Z, it would seem there was no merit in keeping the individual Forms Y and they were generally discarded. There are many examples surviving of Form Z, but the intriguing detail carried in the Form Y is rare to find.

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Zwolle ,the Netherlands
    Posts
    129
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks Bruce for your interesting additional info.

    Mike

Posting Permissions

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