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Thread: Operation Flat 12A

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    Default Operation Flat 12A

    Hello
    When looking into the circumstances of the death of an RAFVR airman named on the local war memorial, I discovered he was lost while on 'Operation Flat 12 A' departing from Tempsford (Special Operations) to Poland. Does anyone know what 'Operation Flat 12 A' means? Was it a single operation with that name or number 12A in a series of Operation Flat missions? I realise that the Tempsford connection means the operation was probably connected to dropping supplies or agents into Poland but I am interested to find out more. Thanks all.

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    Default Re: Operation Flat 12A

    While I don't know about Tempsford-based squadrons, I can say that supply drops into Poland from 148 Special Duties Sqdn, Brindisi, in summer 1944 used similar designations e.g. Operation POLISH 215B. The night of 1/2 August 1944, for example, saw 4 Halifaxes on ops: POLISH 214B, POLISH 204A, POLISH 225B and POLISH 225C. The letter suffix seems to have referred to the individual aircraft sortie, with the codename and number designating the recipient - if I'm right, on 1/2 August POLISH 225 was scheduled for a two-aircraft drop, while POLISH 214 received its second drop (but the only one that night), etc. I can't see a repeated letter suffix code in the ORBs. If 138 Sqdn followed a similar protocol Operation FLAT 12A would be the first drop to FLAT 12. However, as I say I'm not 100% sure, this is deduction.

    Other drops in the Balkans, Southern Europe and Northern Italy by 148 used a codename for the recipient and a sequenced number e.g. Operations ICARUS 21, ICARUS 22, etc. Destinations were in fact often military missions to the partisans, and so the DZs could change while the recipient, ICARUS, remain the same.

    Hope this is more helpful than confusing, at least!

    Pat

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    Default Re: Operation Flat 12A

    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    While I don't know about Tempsford-based squadrons, I can say that supply drops into Poland from 148 Special Duties Sqdn, Brindisi, in summer 1944 used similar designations e.g. Operation POLISH 215B. The night of 1/2 August 1944, for example, saw 4 Halifaxes on ops: POLISH 214B, POLISH 204A, POLISH 225B and POLISH 225C. The letter suffix seems to have referred to the individual aircraft sortie, with the codename and number designating the recipient - if I'm right, on 1/2 August POLISH 225 was scheduled for a two-aircraft drop, while POLISH 214 received its second drop (but the only one that night), etc. I can't see a repeated letter suffix code in the ORBs. If 138 Sqdn followed a similar protocol Operation FLAT 12A would be the first drop to FLAT 12. However, as I say I'm not 100% sure, this is deduction.

    Other drops in the Balkans, Southern Europe and Northern Italy by 148 used a codename for the recipient and a sequenced number e.g. Operations ICARUS 21, ICARUS 22, etc. Destinations were in fact often military missions to the partisans, and so the DZs could change while the recipient, ICARUS, remain the same.

    Hope this is more helpful than confusing, at least!

    Pat
    Thank you so much. Your reply does make sense! I appreciate your going to the trouble to respond.

    Stephen

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    Default Re: Operation Flat 12A

    Try this

    https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/172806

    Seems it was a combined agent supply drop to Poland. There appears to be more Flat numbered operations, I have found reference to Flat 22 which mentions a DZ codenamed Kufer 208.

    Regards
    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 12th April 2021 at 19:29.

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    Default Re: Operation Flat 12A

    Quote Originally Posted by 78SqnHistory View Post
    Try this

    https://aviation-safety.net/wikibase/172806

    Seems it was a combined agent supply drop to Poland. There appears to be more Flat numbered operations, I have found reference to Flat 22 which mentions a DZ codenamed Kufer 208.

    Regards
    Daz
    Thank you. This is very helpful too. A bad night for the squadron. Only crew members were listed so I wonder if this particular aircraft was used only for supplies, not agents. It was lost on the outward journey to Poland, so it would have been carrying its cargo (human and supplies); that said, I suppose for security reasons agents would not have been listed in the ORB or other sources.

    Stephen

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    Default Re: Operation Flat 12A

    Quote Originally Posted by Dartnelljones View Post
    Thank you. This is very helpful too. A bad night for the squadron. Only crew members were listed so I wonder if this particular aircraft was used only for supplies, not agents. It was lost on the outward journey to Poland, so it would have been carrying its cargo (human and supplies); that said, I suppose for security reasons agents would not have been listed in the ORB or other sources.

    Stephen
    Stephen

    I have found another reference to FLAT operations which states that they were supply operations and that agent drops at the same time were under the code name of NEON. This all comes from a 2008 document, "The Polish Country Section of the Special Operations Executive 1940-1946: A British Perspective". by Jeffery Bines.

    Regards

    Daz

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    Default Re: Operation Flat 12A

    Quote Originally Posted by 78SqnHistory View Post
    Stephen

    I have found another reference to FLAT operations which states that they were supply operations and that agent drops at the same time were under the code name of NEON. This all comes from a 2008 document, "The Polish Country Section of the Special Operations Executive 1940-1946: A British Perspective". by Jeffery Bines.

    Regards

    Daz
    Thanks for this further helpful information. The use of FLAT in the operation name confirms it would only have been supplies, so not surprising that names of the 'human cargo' were not mentioned (only RAF aircrew). Just as a matter of interest, had this been a NEON operation, and on an outward leg of the mission when the loss occurred, would the names of the agents have been included with the losses/survivors, or where these not recorded in records that have since been made available to the public??

    Stephen

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    Default Re: Operation Flat 12A

    Hello. I managed to answer one of my own questions about whether agents would have been named along with aircrew when an aircraft was lost on a NEON operation (carrying supplies and agents). The answer is 'yes', at least in some cases. I found a comprehensive list of special operations losses.

    http://www.harringtonmuseum.org.uk/w...Operations.pdf

    On page 119 there is an entry for a NEON operation where the aircraft was lost (same night as the person I was looking into). The names of the agents on board are shown as well as the aircrew. They are also listed on the CWGC website.

    I hope the website will be of interest to others.

    Stephen

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