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Thread: Patrolling the Bay of Biscay

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    Default Patrolling the Bay of Biscay

    Hi,

    I would like to ask if anybody can provide me any details about CC RAF patrols over Bay of Biscay in 1942.
    Was there any orders, regulations, patrol areas, etc?
    The only thing I know that the planes were patrolling up and down from the Isles of Scilly to the Spanish coast and back.

    Any additional information, orders, maps, etc. much appreciated

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

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    Hi

    Dont know if this helps but some years ago I was researching something relative to our local area and was shown a letter to the friend of a family which stated the family had recently lost their son who was serving with 25 Sqn on Mosquitos and was lost on 13 June 1943 after being attacked by a FW190 whilst undertaking a sweep over the Bay of Biscay operating out of Perranporth. The Squadron flight was on a detachment for that month only from their main base at Church Fenton. This would appear to clarify that it was not solely CC who undertake sweeps in the area, I am only sorry I cannot help further but perhaps the 25 Sqn Association could help.

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    Hi Royton,

    thanks for your add.
    I can add that I am researching No 311 Sq serving under the CC at the time so I am looking for the standard patrolling procedures for squadron which was supposed to do mostly regular A/S patrols over Bay of Biscay taking off from Talbenny in sout-west Wales.
    I have read that there were some rules like when for example 6 planes took off they were patrolling in something like parallel lines...

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

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    Hi Pavel,

    The sea areas were split into standard patrol areas.

    eg
    AP8
    Bishop Rock, 4724N 1500W, 4700N 1500W, Bishop Rock

    AP9
    Bishop Rock, 4700N 1500W, 4636N 1500W, Bishop Rock

    AP10
    Bishop Rock, 4636N 1500W, 4612N 1500W, Bishop Rock

    Depending on Enigma and other radio intercepts an aircraft would be assigned to a patrol area when there was a high chance of a U-Boat transiting it. On arriving at the area the search aircraft would carry out a CLA (creeping line ahead) search that slowly zigzaged through the assigned area.

    Assigned search areas changed on a daily basis so to ask for orders, regulations, patrol areas is like asking for a list of all Bomber Command routes to all targets 1940-1944.

    Special tasks like Operation Cork densed certain patrol areas with intention of preventing U-Boat attack on the D-Day convoys but this was at the cost of other patrol areas (the western approachs of the channel were split into small boxes and illuminated by radar or Leigh Light every 30 mins day and night for 5 days by over 1000 Coastal Aircraft).

    For one unit, operating from one aerodrome you need to identify the actual patrol names from either the squadron or group ORB then work from this.

    Regards
    Ross

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Hi Ross,

    many thanks for valuable information!
    As the Squadron ORB has no patrol identification I need to check the Group ORB if I will get once to the TNA again.

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

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    Hi Pavel:
    The IWM movie collection 'Coastal Command -The unseen Films' includes some descriptions and maps of the Bay of Biscay patrols.
    Regards:
    Robert

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    Many thanks for tip Robert!


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

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    Hi all once more,

    I came across a Log Book where a Navigator wrote down the coordinates of turning points on the A/S patrol.
    I would like to ask if any of the members have also the same experience and could share such a information? Any particular patrol information much appreciated, most interesting for me are patrols from the summer 1942.

    TIA

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

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    My Uncle was in Bomber Command; there were a number of newly trained bc crews "detached" to Coastal Command for a short period of time (on loan as it were). My uncle's crew was one - after completing 10 OTU Abingdon they were assigned to 10 OTU detachment St. Eval under Coastal Command patrolling the Bay of Biscay in their bc Whitley's. This was May 1943. They flew 6 ten hour plus patrols counting as 3 ops towards bomber command. On one patrol they sighted and engaged with two German subs (one of which was U666 which only hours earlier shot down a Halifax killing all crew). I have the ORB's for 10 OTU St Eval and find them quite detailed in terms of each crews patrol (crew names all listed, up/down time, duty description but no turning points or patrol grids) - also the ORBs contain a nice daily summary of all station intelligence, uboat sightings and attacks. In researching my Uncle I have been in touch with a pilot (Heathfield) who was also at St Eval (in the same detached arrangement) - this would have been early 1943 (Jan/Feb?). Anyways below is a link where I published his description of a typical anti sub patrol logistics

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?555-A-S-Sweeps-10-OTU-(Later-POW-with-57-Sqn)

    Cheers
    Rodger
    Last edited by rmventuri; 11th January 2012 at 00:32.

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    Many thanks for the link to the interesting description of the patrol.

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

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