View Full Version : Squadron and Group Records for Bomber Command Operations?

4th May 2008, 17:01
From Middlebrook and Everitt (The Bomber Command War Diaries) page 12: "...standard forms - The Airforce forms 540 and 541 - were to be completed for every operational flight by every single aircraft...Squadrons made composite reports of the crews flights; groups then consolidated the squadron reports; Bomber Command finally produced an overall report of every raid."

I am aware of the forms 540 and 541. I have these records for my fathers operations. I also have the Squadron History for 419, a rather folksy and not too scholarly document prepared post war an enthusiast from the squadron. So I ask the forum:

1) What are the squadron composite reports for the crews flights? Are these simply the ORB summaries (forms 540 and 541 that I already have) or is there some other document that was supplied to Group HQ?

2) What is the format of the Group HQ reports that M & E refer to?

3) What is the format of the summaries from High Wycombe?

4th May 2008, 19:47
Hi, as I have my own experience Squadron ORBs are the most detailed and concrete. Other reports are less detailed and more general.


4th May 2008, 20:34
But squadron ORBs must not be treated as 100% accurate, I'm sure you'll agree Pavel? And they also don't give the overall picture for a specific raid, for example the 100 Group countermeasures employed that night, diversionary raids etc.

4th May 2008, 21:21
Thanks Chaps! My goal here is to try and understand my father's operations within the context of the overall picture. While M&E provide excellent summaries, these by necessity a brief for some operations. Sometimes the route, tactics and weather play a major role in both the success of the individual crew's performance as well as the operation as a whole.


5th May 2008, 06:43
I fully agree Max - there can be errors in any records - ORBs, summary reports, Log Books, etc. But it depends on kind of search what are you doing - I was thinking Jim is interested in his father service and for such research Squadron ORB is the best to get info about his paticipation in operations. Sure for the overall context other reports or books may be useful:-)