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30th June 2015, 10:11
Hi all,

I am looking for some more information about a few records from AIR 34:

I know the main subjects for each of letter Section are:

A - Naval and Shipping
B - Army
C - Enemy Airfields
D - Industry in occupied Europe
E - Enemy Camouflage
F - Railways and Transport
G - Radio, radar and wireless
K - Damage assessment
L - Aircraft
N - Night photography during bombing raids
Q - Hunting for decoys
T - Target folders for bomber crews
V - Model making
W - Photogrammetric or detailed measuring of objects on aerial photos
Z - Second phase unit including various specialist groups such as topographical

However I did not find any Reports from C Section in AIR 34 Record. Are they somewhere else for example in AIR40 ?
Most of the Section has their own sub-section like, and it is my general questions:

XR or XS Do you know what does it mean ?

I also did not find any descriptions for Sections: S, SA and U.

Reports XY were Special interpretation report.

Reports Y were Regional review of military activity.

And what about Preliminary interpretation reports: 1 - 7586 made by Photographic Interpretation Unit/Central Interpretation Unit between 1940 May - 1945 Apr. Can I find there information about each reconnaissance sortie or not ?

Best Regards


Jérémie Tarpon
4th July 2015, 08:54
Hello Wojtek,

I was very interested by Central Interpretation Unit (CIU, mid-war period designation) some years ago and I would be happy to provide information.

Most, probably all, Interpretation Reports may be found in the Appendices of the CIU ORB in AIR 29 Class. For example, AIR 29/271 (Central Interpretation Unit Medmenham Nos. 3175-3185 1943 Apr) contains:
- Reports Nos. A.228 (2.4.43) to A.236 (26.4.43);
- Reports Nos. A.S.49 (3.4.43) to A.S.50 (23.4.43);
- Reports Nos. B.495 (31.3.43) to B.523 (28.4.43);
- Reports Nos. C.1007 (29.3.43) to C.1049 (29.4.43) & C.5314 (3.4.43);
- Reports Nos. D.232 (4.4.43) to D.276A (22.4.43);
- Report No. E.45;
- Reports Nos. F.332 (6.4.43) to F.336 (24.4.43);
- Reports Nos. F.S.109 (9.4.43) to F.S.113 (28.4.43);
- Reports Nos. G.919 (1.4.43) to G.1068 (30.4.43);
- Report No. H.248 (1.4.43);
- some Negative Damage Reports;
- several Reports in the 'K' series.

A large number of these reports, but not all, are also available in the AIR 34 Class. The AIR 34 documents are easier to find and to copy, since de CIU ORB Appendices are organised on a monthly basis in very tightly bound volumes.

For my part, I have only seen 'C' Reports in these CIU ORB Appendices.

'S' Reports deal with naval shipbuilding. They provide descriptions of German ships with some photos and rough drawings.
'SA' Reports are associated with the day bombing photos taken during Bomber Command, Coastal Command, 8th Air Force etc. strikes.
Unfortunately, I have no information about 'U' Reports.

Regarding the Preliminary Interpretation Reports, I know that the 'K' (Damage assessment) Reports were generally issued in two parts: a preliminary report just after the return of the Photographic Reconnaissance aircraft and a final report following an in-depth interpretation of the photographs.

To find details about each sortie (reference and photographed area), you may look at the Information Summaries in the CIU ORB Appendices.

Best wishes,


6th July 2015, 09:40
Hello Jérémie,

Thanks for your answer and information. So We can add sections:

S - Naval ship building, descriptions of German ships Section S = it looks similar to A Section

SA - Day photos taken during bombing raids of Bomber Command, Coastal Command, 8th Air Force etc.

By the way I seen a lot of reference numbers and photography from day bombing raids which have been started at: SAV ...

To find details about each sortie (reference and photographed area), you may look at the Information Summaries in the CIU ORB Appendices.

I have most of details for sorites above Poland (includes information from ORB, overlays of photographed area etc) I have also some details for German photography from GX records from NARA - which were most part of aerial photography made above Poland during WW2. However I would like to find preliminary report for each sortie made after flight. Is it possible to find something like this in AIR 34 or in similar records.

Best Regards


Jérémie Tarpon
10th July 2015, 06:38
Hello Wojtek,

You are right about the 'A' and 'S' Reports which are very similar. From those I have seen, it seems that the 'S' reports are more focused on the shipbuilding side (how many U-Boote of a given type are being built at one time? where? how long does it takes? ...), but I only have a partial view of these reports.

Regarding the preliminary reports for each sorties, I have never seen such documents at TNA. You may have a broad idea of all the sorties through the daily Information Summaries in the AIR 29 CIU ORB Appendices. These preliminary reports are possibly still associated with the photographs and may be kept in the RCAHMS National Collection of Aerial Photography. At least, a lot of information is available (but with a subscription fee) from their website.

Best wishes,


17th July 2015, 11:11
Thank you for your answer Jérémie ;)

I have one more question to your first reply. What is a subject of the H Section reports ?

#2 (http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?18942-National-Archives-AIR-34-Records&p=111155#post111155)
- Report No. H.248 (1.4.43);