Results 1 to 7 of 7

Thread: Form 'E' v ORB Detail Issues

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    232
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts

    Default Form 'E' v ORB Detail Issues

    Hi,

    This a question that I hope someone may be in a position to answer. The squadron ORB on this instant for No.38 Squadron records in the AM Form 541 a summary of the operations flown on any given date. Which is no different than any other squadron.

    However, the issue is the disparity between the information recorded in the ORB, and the information recorded in the No.3 Group Form E Operational Summaries (Air 14) and the No.3 Group HQ Record Book (Air25)

    I know the ORB was usually written up days, if not weeks, after the events. However, I am not sure if this is true of the Form 'E'. These pencil-written documents give far more details than the ORB ( circa 1940-1942 ). On numerous occasions, the Form 'E' gives exact details on target(s) bombs, times, and altitudes that the ORB for the same raid simply does not mention.

    The details recorded in the Form 'E' can only have been provided by the squadron, so my question is, why is there such a large discrepancy in the details recorded in the ORB, and that in the Form 'E'.

    TIA

    Chaz

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lions Bay, BC
    Posts
    882
    Thanks
    43
    Thanked 57 Times in 49 Posts

    Default Re: Form 'E' v ORB Detail Issues

    You will have to be a little more specific, I think. I have not seen references to a Form "E", but suspect it was subsequently replaced later in the war by the Form "G". I have a 2 page outline of the types of forms passes back and forth between, BCHQ, Groups, Stations, and Squadrons: Form "A" passed by teleprinter to groups, presumably the Operational Order. This is processed at Group and a "Group Specific" version is sent as Form "B" to Stations. This outlines the details for preparation by Squadrons. After the attack, the Stations send a report, Form "G" to Group, which is processed and a report Form "M" back to BCHQ. I also have examples of the "Y" Report, sent to Group. This includes a record of the attack and observations from individual crews of aircraft and locations seen to be shot down on route and at the T/A.

    I have never seen Form "A", Form "G", or Form "M". I'm pretty sure the Group ORB for the date includes most of the material in the Form "M" and the Form "B" has all the necessary information from the Form "A". The form "B" and the "Y" reports are really the "Holy Grail" of the observations from any specific operation. At the crew level, the navigator Form 441 and chart are are the Gold Standard of

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    494
    Thanks
    48
    Thanked 79 Times in 73 Posts

    Default Re: Form 'E' v ORB Detail Issues

    If not done, suggest check 38 Squadron Ops Record Book Appendices 1940-1942 for more detail than in Monthly Summary Form 540 or Daily Record Form 541.
    Both forms likely list any Appendices incl eg Ops Orders or Raid reports.

    A quick browse (not an exhaustive check) at TNA shows that

    AIR 27/403 Appendices from Sep 39 to Apr 1940
    Includes among other Sqn detail, both ops orders and narrative raid reports, eg the Heligoland Bight op of 3 Dec 1939
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2503038

    AIR 27/404 Appendices from May 1940 to Dec 40
    Certainly includes narrative reports of raids.
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2503039

    AIR 27/405 Appendices from Feb 41
    Incl ops orders, may also have raid reports
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2503040
    Last edited by Don Clark; 15th March 2023 at 23:06.
    Toujours propos

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lions Bay, BC
    Posts
    882
    Thanks
    43
    Thanked 57 Times in 49 Posts

    Default Re: Form 'E' v ORB Detail Issues

    Thanks Don: Just to clear though, the "Y" Appendices are not the same as the Y-Report. I have the "Y" Appendices for 419 Squadron, and they include Battle Orders and Combat Reports and a few other bits and bots. The few "Y" Reports I have are the raid summaries and sent by Middleton St. George Station, and include both 419 and 428 Squadrons. I have been told that they are as scarce as hen's teeth.

    Jim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2021
    Posts
    232
    Thanks
    3
    Thanked 7 Times in 6 Posts

    Default Re: Form 'E' v ORB Detail Issues

    Gents,

    Thank you. I have all the documents mentioned. My question is, why, and how can the information vary so much from one form/document to another.

    Chaz

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Lions Bay, BC
    Posts
    882
    Thanks
    43
    Thanked 57 Times in 49 Posts

    Default Re: Form 'E' v ORB Detail Issues

    ...because one is a more complete summary than another. For an example, I have the BC Night Raid Report for 5/6-March-1945 (Bohlen and Chemnitz) and it has a certain amount of detail, for sure. More so than the Group summaries for the same raid, however, the 100-Group "Raid Analysis Report" has much more detail on the raids.

    Jim

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 3 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Re: Form 'E' v ORB Detail Issues

    Chaz,

    I feel your pain as I have encountered numerous discrepancies with Fighter Command ORBs and I have come to the conclusion that, while the WD is a great starting point, one has to cross reference numerous "primary" sources to get a sense of what happened. Even the operational times recorded in the 540 and 541 sometimes differ between 5-15+ plus minutes. Why is that? I have also come across operational sorties omitted in the WD, yet show up in other primary documentation. No.421 Squadron RCAF comes to mind as they neglected to enter several "Weather Recce" operations in their WD. One thing to keep in mind are the appendices, which i think is why the 541 entries in the ORBS lack substance and details. There I suspect is where all the good information is. Sadly, I am not sure if any were kept for Fighter Command as I have yet to come across them. I do know some accompanied the WD's of the RCAF day/night fighter squadrons that were sent to Canada after the war, and at a later point were split up, as I have come across parts of the appendices; nothing complete yet.

    Stephen
    Stephen

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •