192 Squadron radio countermeasures operations



192 Squadron radio countermeasures operations


Covers coastal patrols to determine density and frequency coverage of enemy radar organisation, discovery of new enemy radar type and monitoring enemy overland radar and communications. Mentions use of specially equipped Wellington flown over enemy territory in hope of attack by night fighter to collect enemy airborne radar information. Search for possible radio use with V1 and V2, D Day operations, sound recording of enemy VHF W/T and R/T transmissions, use of cameras, modification of aircraft and use of window. Lists of hours flown, aircraft flown, locations and squadron commanders.

Temporal Coverage




Eight page printed document


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[underlined] Brief History of 192 Squadron [/underlined]
No. 192 Squadron was always part of the 'Y' Service and, as such, its primary object was a complete and detailed analysis from the air of the enemy signals organisation. The first step in this direction was made by the Blind Approach Training Development Unit who, in addition to their Blind Approach Training, started to fly on the German Ruffian and Knickebein beams. At a later date, a special unit, the Wireless Investigation Development Unit was formed to take over special signals investigation leaving B.A.T.D.U. to concentrate solely on their Blind Approach Training.
The airborne investigation of enemy signals was then taken over by 'B' Flight of 109 Squadron, which later became 1474 Flight, being formed at Gransden Lodge on the 10th July 1942, and this in turn, became 192 Squadron on 4th January, 1943. With the formation of 192 Squadron, the aircraft establishment was 8+3 Wellington Mk.X, 1+1 Halifax Mk.II and 3+0 Mosquito Mk.IV. 192 Squadron had hardly been formed when it was called upon to undertake a very important and detailed investigation. The whole of the Western Mediterranean had to be surveyed in order to ascertain what enemy radar coverage existed in that area, and with this object in view, one Wellington Mk.X was detached to North Africa on the 18th February 1943. As the undertaking proved to be far too big for one aircraft, this aircraft returned to base on the 14th April, 1943. They made a complete survey of the Western Mediterranean bringing many important features to light and returned to base on the 25th August 1943.
On the 1st February 1944, 1473 Flight, who up to this time had been under the control of O.C. 80 Wing, Radlett, and whose activities in the main, consisted of signals investigation over friendly territiry [sic], were merged into 192 Squadron and the aircraft establishment was amended to 6+1 Wellington Mk.X, 8+2 Halifax Mk.V, 6+1 Mosquito Mk.IV and 1+0 Anson. The Halifax Mk.V on this establishment being changed to Halifax Mk.III on the 20th February 1944. The Squadron was then a three Flight Squadron, but on the 25th November 1944 the Wellington Mk.X were replaced by Halifax Mk.III and on the 27th December 1944 the Squadron Establishment was 17+0 Halifax Mk.III, 7+0 Mosquito Mk.IV and 1+0 Anson.
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It was the Squadron's responsibility to undertake rgular [sic] coastal flights in Europe, covering the whole of the coastal areas in the European theatre of operations. The West Coast of France, Belgium, Denmark and Norway were patrolled with the object of ascertaining that we always had full information regarding the density and frequency coverage of the enemy coastal radar organisation. At the same time a vigilant watch had to be maintained to see that new frequencies were not brought into operation undetected. The importance of this work cannot be overestimated and it is felt that no history of the Squadron would be complete without mentioning the survey of the Norwegian Coast which was carried out in September 1944. This survey was undertaken on orders received from Air Ministry and the object was to try and find some break in the enemy coastal radar coverage between the latitudes of 62° and 67° North which would enable an attacking force to get in undetected. As a result of the survey carried out by a detachment of this Squadron at Lossiemouth, it was found that such a break did exist, and if our aircraft crossed the Norwegian Coast north of 64°50' there was little or no chance of them being plotted. As a result of this information several successful attacks were made on enemy capital ships, the Command losses being slight.
In August 1944, 192 Squadron were the first to find and establish the identity of an enemy transmission 36.2 Mc/s which had a P.R.F. of 25. This was established as an enemy long range radar, and by means of a Fuge 16 homing loop, which was fitted to one of our Wellington aircraft, homing runs were made, and its site on the coast of N.W. Holland established.
The enemy inland radar coverage and communication system also had to be monitored and to enable this to be undertaken, it became the policy of his Squadron to route heavy aircraft in with Bomber Command formations accompanying them to he[sic] trget[sic]. In addition to keeping a constant watch on the enemy ground radar organisation, it became part of the Squadron's duty to investigate enemy airborne transmissions, but due to the lack of D/P facilities considerable difficulties were experienced. The enemy A.I. transmissions
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was known at the time but its general characteristics concerning radio frequency and pulse recurrence frequency were not. In all eighteen flights were made, the last being a more or less suicidal but successful attempt. A Wellington IC fitted with special investigation equipment was routed over enemy occupied territory in the hope that a Hun night fighter would intercept and attack. The enemy was most obliging and although he carried out ten or twelve attacks on the aircraft, doing considerable damage, wounding the special operator on three occasions and damaging the special investigation equipment, all the required information was obtained and sent back to base in code by the wireless operator. The after effects of this flight were far reaching in as much as it enabled countermeasure action to be taken from the jamming point of view and permitted the formation of the Serrate Squadron, which met with considerable success.
If all the various types of investigation undertaken by the Squadron were dealt with in detail, considerable space would be occupied and in view of this only details concerning the types of German radar which were investigated are given herewith. Freya types, including Hoarding and Chimney, both inland and coastal; Wuerzbergs, inland and coastal; Coast Watchers, mainly coastal but on several occasions inland flights were made to ascertain if the enemy was using the coastwatchers inland for aircraft reporting. Enemy A.I. (Fuge 202), SN2, Germonica (Fuge 216, 217 and 218). Radio altimeter, Fuge 201, I.F.F. Fuge 25 and 25A Jadgeschloss, Windjammers, Bernhard, Benito, Sonne, Schwanbuoy, Pulse Communication and also the Centimetre bands. As was expected some of these flights entailed considerable flying hours before any positive information was obtained and in certain instances, (such as investigation undertaken in the Bay of Biscay searching for submarine radar), well over 1,000 flying hours were expended on this search without any positive results.
With the advent of V.1. and V.2., 192 Squadron were prepared in as much as Mosquito, Halifax and Wellington aircraft were suitably equipped and kept at stand-by for immediate take-off in order to investigate the responsibility of some form of radio control being used with V.1. and V.2.
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The investigation for signals in connection with V.2., assistance was given by the 8th. U.S.A.A.F. Who had already detached a flight of P.38's to Foulsham, arriving on the 24th August 1944 under the command of Capt. Kasch. These investigations were continued until the end of February 1945, the Americans finally leaving the Squadron on the 6th March, 1945.
D. Day saw 192 Squadron in a new operational role. A constant patrol was maintained between Cap Gris Nez/Cherbourg to see if the enemy was using the Centimetre band for radar, all the known enemy radars being efficiently jammed. No positive results were obtained but the Centimetre investigations were continued right up to the last days of the Squadron and many interesting signals received. Although no definite information was obtained that the enemy had, at the time of the investigation, Centimetre radar equipment, it was established that the enemy was using Centimetre radar.
Sound recorders, both on film and on wire have been used extensively on investigations and have proved invaluable. The Squadron has always played an important part in the interception of V.H.F. R/T and W/T traffic, both air-to-air, and air-to-ground, and numerous valuable sound recordings of this traffic were made. Its value was doubly increased from D.Day onwards due to the old question of optical range and such transmissions being outside the normal interception of a ground Listening Sation [sic].
A sound recorder also played a very important part in establishing the use by the enemy of what is known as the Bernhardine Gerate, this being a somewhat complicated system, ground to air, involving the transmission of Hellschreiber traffic. When one considers that this traffic was only operative for approximately ten seconds a minute and the nature of the traffic, without a sound recordr [sic] this particular type of of transmission could not have ben [sic] broken down.
Sound recordings were also of considerable assistance in assessing the efficiency of our R.C.M. As sound recordings were made of our countermeasures with the actual signal when it was being jammed in the background. These recordings could, therefore, be examined at leisure and the efficiency of the jammers assessed accordingly.
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Cameras also played an important part in signals investigation, such cameras as the Leica, Contax, Kodak Cine and Bell and Howell were used. The duration of certain enemy transmissions being so short, it was not always possible for a detailed analysis of a signal to be made by the special operator, but in many instances the duration of the signal did permit a photographic to be made, enabling further information to be obtained. Cine cameras played a very important part in establishing the polar diagrams of enemy radar transmiters [sic]. Some very good results being obtained on the Jadgschloss type of transmitter.
As opposed to the straightforward investigation of enemy radar, a considerable number of flights were made to analyse various types of jamming which were reported. Gee, Oboe, Monica, Serrate etc. and other flights were made to check the efficiency of our own radar countermeasures. It is considered of outstanding interest that it was as a result of detailed investigation by the Squadron of friendly and enemy signals both checking the density and signal strengths, that the present Loran frequency of 1.9 Mc/s was allocated.
On 12th. December 1944, 192 Squadron played its first operational role as an airborne jammer. On this date the first Mosquito aircraft of the Squadron fitted with two channels of Piperack flew operationally. In time, all the Mosquitoes were fitted with Piperack and a dual role was played by the aircraft, from the point of view that it was the general practice to carry out a signals investigation on the way to and from the targets, but using Piperack itself over the target.
The type of work undertaken by the Squadron necessitates a high standard of skill and efficiency on the part of the Special Operator. Prior to November, 1943 the training of special operators was undertaken by T.R.E. but after this date, all training of special operators was done on and by the Squadron. A detailed course was given to the special operators involving 2 - 3 weeks of ground lectures and at the termination of these lectures, an examination was given On passing the ground examination, additional air training was given to the candidate. Generally the special operator had to have an average of from 6 - 9 air training flights before becoming operational. It is also of interest to note that the requirements
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of 1431 Flight A.C.S.E.A., with regard to special operators was met by the Squadron.
Considerable work has to be done on aircraft for signals investigation, such work involving a 230 volt A.C. power supply in addition to the 230 volt D.C. and 1,000 volt A.C. cycle being supplied. Mountings had to be fitted into the aircraft to house the special investigation equipment and when it is considered that the equipment itself differs with the nature of the investigation, the installation had to be designed in such a way as to enable any type of receiving equipment to be put in at a minute's notice. The following aerials also had to be fitted to the aircraft: ¼ wave general search aerial, vertically polarised, ½ wave dipole vertically polarised and horizontally polarised on the port and starboard sides, a ¼ wave band cone aerial for 1 - 5,000 Mc/s general search and a special wide band capped cone aerial of Bagful aerial for general search for 200 - 1,000 Mc/s.
Self recording receivers have also been used by the Squadron. The first of these was the Goldmark and although the recordings made were of value, they were not comparable with those that were made using the Bagful receiver (a T.R.E. Product). The usefulness of the self-recording receivers is limited by the fact that they only enable the radio frequency and the density of signals in the frequency band being being swept, to be recorded. Other special recordind [sic] units such as the Blonde were in hand, by means of which full details concerning the radio frequency, pulse recurrence frequency, pulse width and general characteristics of a signal could be determined, but unfortunately, these did not come to hand in time to be used operationally.
Window dropping was also undertaken by the Squadron. The first Window flight being made on the 6th October, 1944, and as they are of interest, the operational flying hours and sorties for the years 1943, 1944 and 1945 are given herewith:-

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1943.............Operational hours …................3,143
1943.............Operational sorties.....................440
1944.............Operational hours ….................6,817
1944.............Operational sorties...................1,394
(four 1945.............Operational hours ….................3,121
months) 1945.............Operational sorties......................602

The Squadron badge was presented to the Squadron on 15th May 1945 by A.V.M. E.B.Addison, C.B., C.B.E., A.O.C. 100 Group and the Squadron disbanded on 22nd August 1945.

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[underlined]AIRCRAFT TYPES FLOWN[/underlined]
Jan 1943 – Nov 1944 Wellington Mk X Vickers
Jan 1943 – Feb 1944 Halifax Mk II Handley Page
Jan 1943 – Aug 1945 Mosquito Mk IV de Havilland
Feb 1944 – Feb 1944 Halifax Mk V Handley Page
Feb 1944 – Aug 1945 Halifax Mk III Hndley [sic] Page
Feb 1944 – Aug 1945 Anson Avro

Jul 1951 – Mar 1953 Lincoln B2 Avro
Jul 1951 – Jan 1958 Washington B1 Boeing
Mar 1953 – Jul 1958 Canberra B2 English Electric
Jan 1958 – Jul 1958 Comet C2 de Havilland

04 Jan 1943 Gransden Lodge Squadron Formed
05 Apr 1943 Feltwell
25 Nov 1943 Foulsham
22 Aug 1945 Foulsham Squadron Disbanded

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[underlined]SQUADRON COMMANDERS of 192 SQUADRON[/underlined]
Wg Cdr C D V Willis DFC 4 January 1943
Wg Cdr E P M Fernbank DFC 12 March 1944
Wg Cdr D W Donaldson DSO DFC 13 June 1944

Sqn Ldr W A C Emmett 15 July 1951
Sqn Ldr A N Hoad AFC 18 January 1954
Wg Cdr W M Dixon DSO DFC 1 January 1956
Wg Cdr D S V Rake OBE AFC 7 July 1958



“192 Squadron radio countermeasures operations,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 6, 2023, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/15134.

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