View Full Version : Todd Papers

3rd June 2008, 14:07
I have come into temporary possession of artifacts associated with the late F/L Robert Knox Todd, DFC (RCAF). These items are to be donated by his widow to the Nanton Lancaster Society. They include his log book, memoires, and memorabilia. I have found that some minor items hold great interest and share them here.

On 16/17 January 1943 (target Berlin), a passenger on the Lancaster (No.57 Squadron) was James MacDonald, New York Times who on 2 March 1943 sent a letter to Todd, saying in part: "I'm awfully pleased that you liked the yarn about the trip to the Big City. It was a joy to tell the readers what a tremendous pot you are. The U.S. Air Force are very sticky about letting me get a trip in one of their Flying Forts; they say I'm too old , blast them, and I don't feel one bit like my forty-seven years. One reason that poor old Bob Post got in on the Wilhelmshaven trip last Friday was that he came within the required age limit of thirty-two."

I shall be trying to get a copy of the article that MacDonald wrote.

Included in the papers is a DICTIONARY OF PHRASES "Not to be produced in public" - English, Spanish, Dutch, French, and German. It includes (in the various languages), numbers (one to twenty plus selected higher numbers such as 30, 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90, 100, 500, one thousand. Also days of the week. The German list was very short, the others were longer and more practical:

I am (we are) British (American)
Where am I ?
I am hungry, thirsty
Can you hide me ?
I need civilian clothes.
How much do I owe you ?
Are the enemy nearby ?
Where is the frontier ?
Where are the nearest British (American) troops
Where can I cross this river ?
Is this a safe way ?
Will you please get me a third class ticket to...
Is this the train (bus) for...
Do I change (i.e. trains) ?
At what does the train (bus) leave for...
Right, left, straight on
Turn back; stop
Thank you; please
Yes; No
Good morning; afternoon
Out of bounds; forbidden

Todd was a Wireless Operator, and the papers include a guide to Signals Codes (although I am not sure if these were used in wartime or postwar):

Interrogation: QAB - Are you making for ?
Interrogation: QAH - What is your height ? (metres)
Interrogation: QAL - Are you going to land at .. ?
Interrogation: QBA - What is the visibility at .. (metres) ?
Interrogation: QBB - What is the height of base of low cloud at ...

QCA - You are causing delay by slowness in answering.
QCB - You are causing delay by answering out of turn.
QCO - Your note is (a) Good (b) Bad (c) Varies
QDL - I intend to ask for a series of bearings
QFG - You are above the aerodrome
QFO - You may land direct
QHF - Your frequency is slightly (or kcs) high
QJC - I will call you again at ... on present frequency
QLF - Your frequency is slightly (or kcs) low
QLI - Am about to send call sign on my present frequency
QLO - Cannot determine your position - your bearing
QMN - Bearing of you was ... from ... at ...
QNN - Bearing is approximate only due to unfavourable circuits
QON - Cannot determine your position
QOX - Decrease frequency slightly
QOY - Increase frequency slightly
QPH - Decrease frequency slightly to clear interference
QPJ - Increase frequency slightly to clear interference
QPZ - Affirmative (yes)
QQZ - Negative (no)
QRD - I am bound for ... from ...
QRM - I am being interfered with
QSZ - Send each word or group twice
QRJ - I cannot receive you - signals too weak
QUZ - Airborne

Duties of a WOP included tasks before take-off - Carry out normal check of equipment, check intercom, ensure that he was in possession of all necessary spares, signals information and publications.

Also of interest is the WINGS CLUB - 51 Grosvenor Place, London. His membership card was dated 25 October 1943 for "All British, Dominion, Colonial and Allied male officers commissioned in, or serving with, the Royal Air Force are honourary members of the club." It is the source of the following information including some of the regulations:

Patron: H.R. The Duchess of Kent

Committee: Mrs. James Corrigan
The Duchess of Marlborough
Marie, Marchioness of Willingdon
Henry Channon, M.P. (Hon. Sec)
Bertram de N. Cruger (Hon. Treas)
Air Commodore S. Graham, M.C., G.M.
Squadron Leader P.N.L. Nicholson

Scale of Charges

Bed and Bath - 5/0 per night
Breakfast - 1/6
Lunch - 2/6
Dinner - 3/6
Tea - 1/-

"Staff are not allowed to accept tips: members are asked to co-operate with the Committee by refraining from offering tips to the staff."

"One civilian or Service lady guest may be admitted in the company of each member, between the hours of 4.30 p.m. and 11.00 p.m. daily. The Restaurant, Entertainments Hall, Snack Bar and Ladies' Cloakroom only are open to lady guests. Each member introducing a lady guest is responsible for entering her name in the Guest Book in the Hall, and signing, as the member introducing such guest, at the time the lady enters the Club house. The Committee reserve the right to refuse admittance to any proposed lady guest or, after admittance, to request such guest to leave the Club premises."

Only members could order or pays for meals or refreshments (guests could not).

All accounts to be paid before leaving - no credit.

Resident members could stay 24 hours a day; otherwise, open to non-resident members, 8.00 a.m. to midnight.

Sale of intoxicating liquor (Licensing Act of 1921) - Weekdays 12.00 to 3.00 p.m. and 5.00 p.m. to 11 p.m.
Sundays, 12.00 to 2.00 p.m. and 7.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.

"No member may book sleeping accommodation in the Club for more than nine consecutive nights. After this period he may be permitted to stay on at the discretion of the General Committee on a daily basis only (provided his room is not required by another member."