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PeteT
28th August 2012, 17:47
Does anyone recall whether the forum has ever produced a listing which identifies the documents that were produced at squadron, station, group or bomber command level(s) about a specific raid, with a cross reference to the appropriate TNA files?

As an example, the flight engineer that I am researching was killed in action with 35 Squadron over Bonn on 4th February 1945. I have the ORB's from 35 Squadron, but how do I go about finding out what else I can get from TNA that would have been produced at squadron, station, group or bomber command level(s) about the raid and how do I then find the appropriate TNA references.

Any help would be much appreciated

Regards

Pete

78SqnHistory
28th August 2012, 18:52
Pete

I dont recall seeing a list produced by anybody, but I have found the following useful:

Sqn ORB in Air 27
Stn ORB in Air 28
Aircraft loss reports - K reports in Air 14/1442 and 1443
Summaries of Aircraft damage reports 1942-45 in Air 14/3460
Casualties amongst Aircrew in Air 14/4525
Group Operation Orders in Air 28/542 and 543
Air Combat Reports in Air 50/195
4 Group Operation Orders and Instructions in Air 14/756
4 Group Raid Analysis in Air 14/3231
POW Liberation Reports WO208
Escape and Evasion Reports in Air 40 and Air 23 also card index for WO208

I would suggest going on the TNA website and in the catalogue search enter 35 Squadron in the keyword section and then put the word AIR in the series section, do the same using the Station location as the keyword e.g. Graveley which gives you Air 28/323 for Jan 1945 onwards.

HTH
Daz

PeteT
28th August 2012, 20:18
Daz

Thanks for the response; much appreciated.

I will take up your suggestion and, if possible, produce a generic list that I can post back on here as I am sure there must be many newcomers like myself who are not aware of what documentation exists for each bomber command raid. They may then be able to use it to produce "a day or two at the TNA file list" (which is my aim).

Regards

Pete

78SqnHistory
28th August 2012, 21:12
Pete
I've amended my original post and added a few more that I've looked at in the past.

Daz

PeteT
28th August 2012, 21:24
Daz

Thanks for the update; I have amended the thread title so that it is more "subject specific".

Regards

Pete

Ross_McNeill
28th August 2012, 21:50
Hi Daz

The late Derek Sadler indexed the K Files and the index has been hosted here for 10 years.

http://www.rafcommands.com/kfile.html

Pete - the index is by aircraft rather than date

Ross

Mark Hood
30th August 2012, 01:12
Does anyone recall whether the forum has ever produced a listing which identifies the documents that were produced at squadron, station, group or bomber command level(s) about a specific raid, with a cross reference to the appropriate TNA files?

As an example, the flight engineer that I am researching was killed in action with 35 Squadron over Bonn on 4th February 1945. I have the ORB's from 35 Squadron, but how do I go about finding out what else I can get from TNA that would have been produced at squadron, station, group or bomber command level(s) about the raid and how do I then find the appropriate TNA references.

Any help would be much appreciated

Regards

Pete

Hello Pete

The then PRO produced a 137 page "PRO Readers' Guide No 8" called "RAF Records in the PRO", by PRO Publications 1994. My copy was s/h for 4, but before that I had a Library copy on loan for months when I started researching in the PRO.

On page 77 & 78, there is an Operation which gives two pages of lists, of the records series and files, along with all the PRO / TNA, Kew Catalogue numbers, available for that particular Op.

Although your Op will be a different one, to another place, the specimen examples of the type of records and related subjects to look out for and types of files to be consulted are useful. Examples for AIR 2, 4, 6, 8, 9, 14, 19, 20, 22, 24, 25, 27, 28, 34, AVIA 10, 18, CAB 65, 66, 69, 79 & 80, Casualty records TNA (excluding Casualty records withheld on 75 year closure by MoD).

It won't give you the TNA catalogue numbers for your particular op, but it will establish the principles of what records might be available and what type to search for, online and in the paper indexes. I have discovered occasionly that not every word search will return any results, or all of the results on that subject, so I have had to result to searching using other word/s which may be related to the subject and might be in the title. For example I was looking for a certain Committee, but got no search results by using a number of keyword searches, so in the end I did a "Committee" keyword search and trawled all the results lists and found my Committee I was looking for. Why it came back on initial searches as no results, I have no idea. However, the file did exist! Sometimes a paper index search may reveal a file of interest, but bear in mind that some new additions to the electronic catalogue, are not now added to the paper indexes at TNA, Kew.

I was interested in 1940 and discovered 1940 "Raid" forms and signals sent to the War Room, with different / additional information, to the War Room Intelligence / A.M. Intell Daily Summaries / Station Appendices Intelligence Signals - (debriefings), bound in a volume firstly in date order and then in Group order under the date, in an AIR 14 file which not only confirmed that the wireless must have been working on their return, but also confirmed other Squadrons on the raid and some other accidents not recorded by Bill Chorley etc, which was useful as I wished to discover all aircraft on the op and locate all the other aircraft which crashed / force landed back here.

Mark

PeteT
30th August 2012, 10:05
Mark

Thanks for you interest and detailed response; I did briefly come across the book you mentioned late last night and I was going to do a bit more research on it today.

I also seem to be falling foul of the TNA catalogue. Using the searches suggested by Daz, I keyed in 35 Squadron and found the ORB listing references and then Graveley and found the ORB listing references (I already have the ORB's but it was a useful double check).

I then keyed "No 4 Group" and all the documents that he had mentioned came up in the resultant listing. I then tried "No 8 Group" and I got nothing (apart from 1 HQ file) ... so where are the raid reports etc for No 8 group?

Regards

Pete

Mark Hood
30th August 2012, 11:08
Mark

Thanks for you interest and detailed response; I did briefly come across the book you mentioned late last night and I was going to do a bit more research on it today.

I also seem to be falling foul of the TNA catalogue. Using the searches suggested by Daz, I keyed in 35 Squadron and found the ORB listing references and then Graveley and found the ORB listing references (I already have the ORB's but it was a useful double check).

I then keyed "No 4 Group" and all the documents that he had mentioned came up in the resultant listing. I then tried "No 8 Group" and I got nothing (apart from 1 HQ file) ... so where are the raid reports etc for No 8 group?

Regards

Pete

Pete

Have you tried typing in:-

'8 AND Group' (in the Word or phrase box) sometimes being too specific and putting "No" or "No." (for Number 8 Group) in front of the figure '8' is no good, as the TNA database does not always recognise search terms which are too specific and then returns no results.

'1945' '1945' (in the Year range boxes) and

'AIR' (in the Department or Series)

You should currently get 9 results, although some are where you have "8" and the word "Group" in the same description and some of the results are not actually 8 Group, but several results do seem to be 8 Group.

You have to play about with the search words sometimes and link the Keywords / phrase, or the number alone and keyword with the word "AND" where they may not be exactly written together as "8 Group" when the html code was inputed to the PRO database computer when the original electronic PRO catalogue was set up.

Air Sea Rescue or ASR does not return all the rescue file results. However, typing in 'Sea' only, did return additional A/S Rescue files, amongst the 'Sea' returns.

Certain words and pluralised word searches can only be found by using the first part of the word only, in the Word/phrase box with an asterisk, e.g. "Operation" or "Operations", type in "Operat*"

Some ORBs can only be found by entering the number of the Unit only, plus date and "AIR" or "AIR 29".

Also No. 8 Group records could be on an RAF file which does not contain 8 in the title whatsoever, due to the file covering more than one Group.

They are trying to iron out the problems, but some remain and I am told it was how their database was set up.

Quite often when researching in the AIR 2 and AIR 14 files you will come across references to another original A.M. File Registry number and think if only I can find that other original file!
However, many original Air Ministry file Registry numbers do exist in AIR 2, but return no results in the top left search box with the A.M. File Registry number, unless you type it in, exactly as they entered it on the PRO database. Once the AHB reference is added to the original Air Ministry Registry file number, then you have difficulty finding the file from the original Air Ministry file Registry number references.

But I do find them and sometimes they can be quite rewarding, giving a little more detail.

Of course some original files seem to have been broken up, with bits of files, or duplicates in AIR 20. I have found bits of AIR 2 related A.M., file serials, in the AHB papers of AIR 20, or copies of certain letters in other Policy files.

Mark

PeteT
30th August 2012, 11:26
Mark

Thanks again; I will try various combinations later to see what I can come up with. I will also try Pathfinder / PFF to see if that helps.

I have found the book you mentioned and ordered a second hand copy; some sellers are advertising it for 1p on A****n (plus p+p of course!)

Regards

Pete

PeteT
4th September 2012, 10:43
I am trying to improve my understanding of this subject, so bear with me as I will probably make an a*** of my self, but if you don't ask you don't learn.

The first bit that I want to pull together are the forms (and the TNA link) used in the preparations for the raid. Based on Ross's "Lettered Form" section I have:

Form A: Command Operation Order
Form B: Group Operation Order

I am assuming that both of these would be in AIR14.

Would there have been anything put together "on station" for briefing purposes and if so, do they have a name and would they be held at the TNA?

Would any of the charts / maps produced by the crew be held on file?

The next set of reports appear to be "readiness" reports:

Form G / Q: Return of Airframes and Crews
Form J: Return of Group Operational Effort

I will try and get my head round these today, but at the moment I am assuming that these would also be found in AIR14.

Have I wandered too far from reality yet?

Regards

Pete

Mark Hood
5th September 2012, 00:37
Pete

Form B: Group Operation Order (I have mainly found these in Squadron AIR 27, the Station Appendices AIR 28 for 1940 Ops and AIR 14).

You can also check your Command AIR 24 and Group AIR 25 ORBs and Appendices, if you have not done so already.

Never come across any "on station" briefing material, apart from the information in the Orders and Instructions, unless you happen to be really lucky and find something in an AIR 2 Policy file, or other Policy file, due to say a poor briefing such as the weather, which may then have had drastic effects regarding aircraft getting safely back. I found one of these in the Cabinet papers for 1940 where Churchill was questioning what could be done to prevent the serious losses which had occurred last night and another example in AIR 14 where Met Staff of No.4 Group were stating that they were not able to give all the information to crews, due to the secrecy of how they acquired some of their Met information (from intercepts).

You could try a "planning" search too. Do you know if the Op had a name, or code name, as you can sometimes find a file on these. Say for example they were going to an oil refinery, you may find a file on policy relating to targeting Oil installations.

Would any of the charts / maps produced by the crew be held on file? Try a "Damage Diagrams*" "Damage" or "Diagram*" search.
Two examples (not seen) are AIR 14/3683 & AIR 14/3686 known as Damage Diagrams:, there may be other TNA catalogue listings, I can't recall how I found the two examples.

Form G / Q: Return of Airframes and Crews
In 1940 I have found a few Daily Returns on a Form 764 occasionly (incomplete) in AIR 27, but I expect the experts on here will give you some more examples.

Try also a search "Intell*" or "bombing" or "analysis" or "Tactics" keyword searches and AIR 14 for Intelligence. Some Intell Summaries and some narratives are incomplete.
Interogation of crews AIR 14/761 for early 1940

Form J: Return of Group Operational Effort
I presume you have typed in "effort" and tried an "operation*" keyword searches in AIR 14 and got a list of these?

There was a really good posting on here (or dare I say 12 Oclock High) about various Forms and TNA cat numbers, that researchers were using.

Have you got that book with the examples of an op? You might also find some information in AIR 2 files and other Intelligence Summaries in AIR 22.

Y REPORTS
Found it!! http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=17789

Rod from down under in NZ is very interested in all this stuff that is available, he has listed some AIR catalogue numbers and if you log in, you will see a few photgraphic examples which even show some of our own aircraft losses and collisions on an Op, observed by other crews.

My past research into the intelligence of returning crews, is in regard to our losses on an Op.

Mark

PeteT
5th September 2012, 10:12
Mark

Thanks for that fantastic feedback; I need to spend some time trying to absorb it all and update my notes. At the moment I am just trying to put a generic document together listing all the documents that might be available for a particular raid; I am trying to incorporate the TNA file reference(s) as I go along.

I haven't actually done any TNA searching yet, although I have tried both 35 Squadron and 8 Group and very little comes up ... but I will have another go for the raid I am interested in (Bonn 4th February 1945) once I understand what could be available and where.

I didn't have the opportunity to sort the inter-relationship between G / Q and J yesterday, so that is my first priority today.

Regards

Pete