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Thread: Squadron's Signals Leader/Officer duties

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    Default Squadron's Signals Leader/Officer duties

    I would like to know what a Sqn Signals Leader duties were please. My father F/Lt O'Neill was sinals leader in 1943
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    Kate
    A Signals Leader (whether Sqn, Wing, Station, Group, etc) was responsible for making sure that crews (and, in particular, the WoPs) had, inter alia, the right radio frequencies, the right call-signs, and the right recognition Colours of the Day. This was no sinecure. For the Main Force (and PFF) this information percolated down from Bomber Command in the various Tasking Signals. But for some of the “Funnies” (SOE/SIS drops/recoveries, ECM missions, and the various FORTITUDE missions prior to D-Day, etc, etc,) it was absolutely vital that all the communications were properly co-ordinated. Failure to do this meant the loss of valuable Agents, or a possible Blue-on-Blue mistake.
    The dark arts of the Wiggly Amp! Still goes on today!!!
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    Peter Davies
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    Thank you Peter for info about signals leader. Would you know if there might be a book or info sheets that would give me the information about the type of training they received? Sorry to ask but what do the following mean - PPF, Tasking signals, SOE/SIS and Fortitude missions.
    Kate

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    Kate, Hi,

    PFF = Path Finder Force (they went ahead of the Main Force and marked the target with various types and colours of flares).

    Tasking Signals were the formal instructions from Bomber Command (and other Commands to their forces) to the Groups and Stations telling them how many aircraft were to be sent to where, and when. Normally sent by secure teleprinter on the afternoon before that night's raid into Occupied Europe.

    SOE = Special Operations Executive. This lot worked with the Resistance movements in Axis occupied countries. People and equipment were often clandestinely parachuted and/or air-dropped into enemy territory. They often went round blowing up assets of value to the Axis! (M R D Foot's book "SOE 1940-46" will give you the 'flavour')

    SIS = Secret Intelligence Service. These were the real "spooks"! Mostly on intelligence gathering missions. Not always - it has to be said - were they singing from the same Hymn Sheet as the SOE lot!!!

    Operation FORTITUDE. There were two of these (North and South). F North was trying to convince the Germans that the Allies were going to land anywhere from Holland to Norway. F South was aimed at making them believe that the main Allied assault in 1944 was going to be in the Pas de Calais. All sorts of subtle communications tricks and falsehoods! Any good book on D-Day (Wilmot, Hastings, Beevor, etc) will give you quite a lot of detail.

    That's a very short pen picture of what you asked about. There were - as always - variations on those themes. The Experts on this Forum may chip in with further information! I hope so!!!

    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 5th November 2010 at 13:11. Reason: spelling
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
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    Kate,
    Just in case your heading causes any confusion, a Signals Leader in the wartime RAF was actually a Flying post (aircrew, GD Branch, as a wireless operator, although fully trained as a Wireless Operator/Air Gunner), while a Signals Officer was a ground post (Technical Branch), and as such had totally different duties, although they obviously also had quite a lot in common. Also, despite being in the GD (Flying) Branch, the Signals Leader was not normally part of a normal squadron crew, and as such was not, so far as I know, required to fly a specific number of operational sorties during his tour, although often they did fly on numerous occasions wih different crews.
    David D

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