V Group News, May 1944

Title

V Group News, May 1944
5 Group News, May 1944

Description

Five Group Newsletter, number 22, May 1944. Includes a foreword by the Air Officer Commanding, and features about armament, war savings, flying control, engineering, flight engineers, gardening, prisoner of war fund, air bombing, navigation, equipment, H2S track and ground speed bombing, air sea rescue, enemy agents and careless walkers, accidents, signals, tactics, gunnery, second thoughts for pilots, aircrew volunteers, photography, sports, economy and salvage, training, recent good shows, honours and awards, air training, link trainer, operations and war effort.

In accordance with the conditions stipulated by the donor, this item is available only at the International Bomber Command Centre / University of Lincoln.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Date

1944-05

Contributor

Anne-Marie Watson

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

20 printed sheets

Language

Identifier

MStephensonS1833673-160205-26%20may%2044

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

V GROUP NEWS V MAY * 1944 * SECRET * NO * 22

[Stamp]

FOREWORD by A.O.C.

The results achieved by the Group during May far exceed those of any previous month. They represent a full contribution to the great effort put in by the whole of Bomber Command which, it can now be seen, was a big factor in the safe arrival on French soil of the “Armies of Liberation”.

Not only did the Group carry out more attacks, but each attack was more effective than in the past. Throughout the month, the centre of the pattern of bombs averaged only 100 yards from the aiming point. A great improvement on previous results. This improvement has been brought about mainly by the steady development of the system of marking, and I wish to pay tribute to those pilots of No.627 Squadron who have gone in low to mark the target and who have not allowed their aim to the spoilt by the light flak defences. Their accuracy has been consistently of a very high order, far exceeding tat of any other system of marking so far tried.

The Group also owes a great deal to the Master Bombers who remain throughout the attack directing the marking and assessing the bombing. With better communications, their task will become easier, and I hope that, before long, all aircraft in the Group will be fitted with V.H.F. Crews will then be able to hear the orders which are given to the Flare and Marking Forces and will know what is happening, and the reason for any hold up. Without this means of communication, it is impossible to keep crews informed when things go wrong, with the result that they have often had to delay their bombing without knowing the reason.

In spite of these great improvements, half the bombs dropped against these small precision targets fell [underlined] more than 250 yards [/underlined] from the aiming point, where they were wasted. This percentage of bombs wide of the aiming point coincides almost exactly with the percentage which fell at similar distances on the practice ranges during May. These errors are too great for, not only is the bombsight capable of achieving errors of less than 100 yards from 10,000 feet, but errors below this figure are consistently achieved by a number of crews in the Group, not only on the ranges but also on operations.

If the bombing error of all crews can be reduced to the level of the best 25%, it will be equivalent to doubling the effective striking power of the Group.

I, therefore, make a special appeal to the bombing team for practice and yet more practice; in accurate flying; in executing the small alterations of course during the bombing run, and in the quick test of the sight to ensure that it is producing the correct sighting angle and is properly aligned. These may seem small matters, but it is on details such as these, that our efficiency as a Bomber Group depends.

I want every crew to realise that each stick of bombs which can be dropped even a few yards nearer the marker, will directly affect the duration of the war. At present, more than at any other time during this war, it is the effort and accuracy of each individual crew which can expedite or delay victory. If each crew can place their centre bomb within 100 yards of the marker, the result will be overwhelming. Individual effort for greater accuracy by each crew is the keynote now. This improvement will first appear in a marked reduction in crew errors on the practice ranges.

Let each crew check their own bombing error at the end of this month and see what progress they have made towards achieving this result.

Copies Sent: Wadd. 9
Skell. 10.
Bard. 6

[Page break]

ARMAMENT

The attention of Armament Officers has recently been fully occupied with the introduction of target markers and the more general use of high explosive bombs within the Group. This has had a detrimental effect on the investigation of gun and turret failures and it would be folly to assume that the present decrease in gunnery failures is other than a temporary relief brought about by the milder weather conditions prevalent at this time of the year.

The gun ‘Bogey’ must be beaten before next winter, and with this end in view all new evidence must be examined and forwarded to those most qualified to analyse and correct the many small faults combining to cause major unserviceability. An appeal is therefore made to all Armament Officers, Gunnery Leaders and, above all, to the gunners themselves to report all faults, however petty they may seem.

A recurring fault is often accepted as a matter of course and not reported to a higher authority, as it is assumed that “everyone knows about it”. Unfortunately, those scions of industry responsible for corrective action are often office bound due to causes beyond their control, and a serious fault is only recognised by a number of units reporting the same defect.

The failure to report defects is attributed to the feeling of competition when comparisons are printed, and as a result false records are being received. These records are, in fact, printed to avail armament specialists of figures and facts normally reserved for higher formations, so they too may have data for research and modification. It is not intended that these tables should indicate the relative efficiency of units.

[Underlined] All defect reports are gratefully received. [/underlined]

[Underlined] GUN TURRETS [/underlined]

Yet another new turret failure has recently appeared, which requires the urgent attention of all Armament Officers.

Hydraulic pipe lines located in the leading edge of the Lancaster aircraft are being fractured, and preliminary investigation has shown that there are several factors contributing to this failure:-

(i) Pressure and return pipes are positioned too close together and, in some instances, the unions are actually touching.

(ii) Pipe positioning cleats are of inferior design and are not standing up to the job. This is aggravated by the fact that there are insufficient cleats, and those that are provided are badly positioned.

(iii) The packing between the cleat and the pipe line vibrates out of position, leaving the pipe to chafe against the cleat, resulting in a fractured pipe.

At present only three small inspection panels are located between the two power plants and it is impossible to inspect the full 13 feet of pipe lines through these small panels.

Recommendations have been made to Command for:-

(a) Additional cleats.
(b) Re-positioning of existing cleats.
(c) Re-design of pipe layout.
(d) More effective packing between pipe and cleat.

An early answer is expected.

In the interim, Armament Officers should make an immediate check of all turret hydraulic pipe lines, and so ensure that the possibility of a fracture is kept to an absolute minimum.

[Underlined] HYDRAULIC MEDIA [/underlined]

Trials have been carried out this month with a mixture of 70% DTD.585 and 30% DTD.472B and although these trials were only of a short duration, the unanimous opinion appears to be that this mixture seems to be the “best yet”. A definite decrease in leaks has been apparent turret functioning has been normal, and several squadrons are of the opinion that turret speeds have, if anything, slightly improved.

Requests have been made to higher authority for permission to fill all hydraulic systems with this new mixture as soon as possible.

(Continued on Page 17, col.3)

[Table of failures by Squadron]

A = MANIPULATION B = MAINTENANCE C = ICING D = TECHNICAL E = ELECTRICAL F = OBSCURE

WAR SAVINGS

(a) Pence saved per head of strength
(b) Percentage of personnel saving
(c) Total amount saved

[Table of War Savings by Unit]

TOTAL AMOUNT SAVED £7828.0.4.

An increase of £1,518.7s.0d. over April figures.

FLYING CONTROL

Once more the average landing times for the Group have been reduced and our target of two minutes per aircraft is drawing nearer. There are still the same one or two Stations, however, who seem unable to reduce their landing figures. Circuit drill is easy and causes no difficulty whatsoever to crews. The main fault lies in a straggling return and Stations must stress continually the need for discipline in maintaining the airspeeds on which crews are briefed. It is noticed from other Groups’ figures that they are not very far behind, and since we regard ourselves as the pioneers of quick landing, then we must hold our lead.

Below are the three best performances for the moth, but at the time of going to press, these figures have all been beaten and the new record will be published in next month’s News.

[Table of Best Landing Tines by Station]

(Continued on page 3, col.2)

MAY LANDING TIMES

[Table of Landing times by Station]

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 2

[Page break]

ENGINEERING

The number of sorties undertaken by the Group achieved still another record, some 2254 sorties being carried out during the month.

The serviceability figure still remains high, although the number of engine changes which are carried out before the engine has completed its life is still far too high. This is due to defects which have been occurring now for a long period, the main being:-

1. Failure of oil pipe between the relief valve and the dual drive.

2. Flame trap failures due to blow-back.

3. Leaking cylinder blocks due to cracks on Merlin 22’s and 24’s.

The percentage of early returns due to defects in equipment controlled by Engineer and Eng. Elect. Was 0.8% and the aircraft failing to get off provided a further 0.5%

Now that a test crew is attached to each Base Major Servicing Section, full advantage should be taken of this crew for testing aircraft with any unusual flying characteristics which are reported from time to time by squadrons. Any adjustments found necessary should be carried out by experts in the Base Major Servicing Section and not by any gang who happens to be available.

No. 55 Base has now formed and all stations in 5 Group are under Base Organisation. 55 Base is not yet functioning as such in every respect, but everything is working in the right direction and it is anticipated that the results will be good.

[Underlined] CONVERSION UNITS [/underlined]

Again a record number of flying hours has been produced by the Conversion Units, and No. 5 L.F.S., and the number of hours required to produce the crews necessary has not been exceeded. Major Inspections are progressing satisfactorily, and the organisation is such that the maintenance can keep pace with the amount of flying produced. The major troubles experienced with the Stirling during the month have been coring subsequent to going over to summer grade oil, and undercarriage pylon failures which occur usually when the undercarriage is being lowered prior to landing. It is hoped that the coring troubles will be cured by returning to the use of winter grade oil, together with the fitment of the approved blank.

[Underlined] ELECTRICAL AND INSTRUMENTS [/underlined]

Within the next few days a start will be made to modify the bomb aimer’s panels of Lancaster aircraft, details of which have been issued to all Bases. A modification gang will be formed at Scampton to undertake the alteration to all Bomb Aimers’ panels in the Group aircraft. Panels will be issued in batches of 20 at a time, so that there will be no delay in the change-over. It should be the aim of Electrical Officers to remove the old panel and fit the new in all aircraft of a squadron within 24 hours. By good co-operation it will be possible to complete all aircraft in the Group within three to four weeks.

Recent precision targets demand that the accuracy of the Mark XIV Bombsights must be given absolute priority. We must aim at errors of not more than 50 yards at 10,000 feet in the immediate future. To achieve this, greater care must be taken in the tuning, levelling and lining up of the sights, and discussions with Bomb Aimers on the analysis of practice bombing results will also help. Base Bombing Leaders have realised the necessity for this co-operation, and Electrical Officers must do all in their power to reciprocate.

Trials have recently been carried out in all squadrons with a synchroniser for the two inboard engines. This permits synchronisation within 1 r.p.m. and flight engineers state that the device is very satisfactory, particularly from the point of view of crew comfort, since the severe periodic vibration which occurs when the engines are de-synchronised is entirely eliminated, and fatigue on long flights is reduced. There has also been a marked decrease in the incidence of instrument failure, noticeably engine speed indicators. Up to the present a single lamp has been used which merely indicated de-synchronisation and a method of trial and error is necessary to obtain synchronisation. A new indicator consisting of three lamps is being tested at East Kirkby which will give an indication of which engine is running fast. This indicator will be submitted to Bomber Command after further trials have been completed.

[Underlined] TRAINING UNIT SERVICEABILITY [/underlined]

[Tables of Stirling and Lancaster Training Aircraft Serviceability by Unit]

FLYING CONTROL (Cont. from page 2)

[Underlined] WOODBRIDGE [/underlined]

Crews are now aware of the facilities available at the emergency landing field at Woodbridge. The staff at Woodbridge are only too glad to see operational crews on ‘non-emergency’ visits. Although landing instructions have been circulated and (we hope) read by all aircrew, a visit to Woodbridge or even a run down there during N.F.T. to look at the lay-out from the air will provide a more permanent image of the landing drill required. One point which is to be particularly stressed is that crews must not attempt to turn off midway along the runway at night time. They must continue right along to the end of the runway where marshalling crews are ready to direct them to dispersal.

[Underlined] FLYING CONTROL COMPETITION [/underlined]

All Stations are now reported to be getting down seriously to improving their airfields and Watch Offices for the competition which closes on the 31st July. S.F.C.O’s must remember, however, that although 31st July is the official date for closing, inspections by the G.F.C.O. can be expected any day.

Flight Engineers

When checking logs it is found that some Flight Engineers are filling in the details on the top of their logs before they examine the aircraft. Such things as “Hatched checked and found secure”, “Auto Controls out”, “Air Intakes cold” and many other vital checks are being taken for granted. This log is for the benefit of all the crew and the safety of the aircraft; therefore these checks must be carried out on dispersal just prior to start up, and only then recorded on the log.

The Flight Engineer Leader on each Squadron must check all logs returned, and bring to the notice of all pilots and flight engineers any bad engine handling; if no notice is taken, and such combinations of revs and boost as 2700 revs + 3 lbs boost or 2850 revs + 2 lbs boost etc., continue to be used, then the Flight Engineer Leader must take these culprits to task.

5 Group has laid down a drill for climbs and engine conditions to be used on operations; therefore until any amendments to this order are published, no alterations should be made unless in case of an emergency. The above drill is being taught by No.5 L.F.S. and must be stressed from time to time by squadrons; they should bear in mind that engineers who come on to operations now have spent most of their initial training on Stirlings; the engine handling differs greatly between the two types of aircraft.

The Flight Engineer Leader must have closer liaison with his C.T.O. and report to him any little snags that crop up from time to time, instead of what happens at present – Flight Engineers talking it over between themselves. Improvements can only be brought about by reporting any defects or peculiarities to the right person.

[Cartoon]

Dot and Dash the immaculate W.A.A.F’s. …”if this is your idea of a domestic night, may I never marry!”

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 3

[Page break]

GARDENING

On the 21/22nd of the month more vegetables were planted by any one Group than ever before. 5 Group were the authors of this horticultural masterpiece, in planting 382 out of 418 vegetables lifted. 298 of these were Mark VI’s – in which hitherto undreamed of depths of frightfulness have been reached, and some varieties of which were used for the first time this night. 4 and 6 Groups also took part in the operation, bringing the Command total for the night up to 501. Three 5 Group aircraft were missing.

The Armament staffs at the Stations concerned did a great job of work – not made any easier by having also to prepare bomb loads – and East Kirkby performed the unprecedented feat of loading 154 Mark VI vegetables.

The operation was carried out entirely on H2S. Only three failures of sets occurred.

Results? – So far the immediate effect of this attack has been fully up to expectations, namely complete paralysis of all sea-borne traffic in areas vital to the movement of both warships and supplies. Sinkings can be expected as soon as the enemy releases the shipping held up, which he is bound to do soon despite his known inability to sweep his channels clear. The link between this operation and the coming invasion is obvious and the final effects can only be seen in the light of future events.

Other Gardening by 5 Group during the month were as follows:-

48 plantings off the FRISIANS
30 plantings in the HELIGOLAND BIGHT
36 plantings at the Southern end of the KATTEGAT.
24 plantings at the Northern end of the KATTEGAT.

The last two of these are worthy of note, first for the excellent P.P.I. photographs obtained by three aircraft of 44 Squadron, which proved conclusively that their mines were right in the channel; and secondly the success of the long low level flight in daylight conditions by four aircraft of 57 Sqdn.

Facts and figures for the month are:-

Sorties 93
Successful 87
%age successful 93.5
Aircraft missing 3
Mileage flown 91,120
Total successful plantings 520

The total has only once been exceeded by the Group, in April, 1943, when the total was 543. A fine job of work, contributed to by the six H 2 S Squadrons.

Gardening by Command again broke all records, resulting in the planting of 2,749 vegetables plus a small but highly effective effort by Mosquitos of 8 Group. Bomber Command’s war against communications has, in fact, reached a new degree of intensity on land and at sea.

[Cartoon]

“THE VOICE THAT BREATHED O’ER WAINFLEET”

5 GROUP P.O.W. FUND

By now, everyone is probably aware of the formation, on a full Group basis, of the 5 Group Prisoners of War Fund.

The Fund has been formed with the object of obtaining monies for sending monthly parcels of cigarettes and tobacco to each 5 Group Prisoner of War and, where possible, regular consignments of musical instruments, gramophone records, sports equipment, books, etc.

Sending foodstuffs and comforts, such as jerseys, stockings, scarves, etc., is subject to restrictions and is only handled by the B.R.C.S. and the next-of-kin. However, it is not possible for the Red Cross to send foodstuff parcels to any specific person; they are, in fact, sent in bulk to each Camp and distributed evenly amongst all the prisoners. The Fund will, therefore, make contributions to the B.R.C.S. who are requesting the Captain of each Camp containing 5 Group Prisoners of War to put up a notice in the Camp to the effect that the parcels for 5 Group prisoners are being provided by the Fund. It will be appreciated by all that the calls upon the B.R.C.S. at the present time are enormous, and any help we can give by taking over the responsibility for providing the monies for these parcels will be greatly appreciated, and will release money for the other many calls on the Society. Similar contributions will be made to the Canadian, Australian and South African Red Cross Societies and the New Zealand Patriotic Fund.

The next-of-kin are being requested to inform this Headquarters of the type of gift they wish the fund to send and, if possible, their requirements will be met. The next-of-kin are also allowed to send four special parcels per year, and those parcels may contain quite a number of articles. Should the next-of-kin find difficulty in obtaining these articles, they may inform this Headquarters, who will lend assistance in obtaining them.

All parcels, such as cigarettes and those referred to above, originating from this Headquarters, will be marked that they are being sent by the Fund.

Each Base has taken on the responsibility of providing a certain sum of money each month. The organisation and running of the Fund is being undertaken by the Group Headquarters, in addition to their committed financial contribution. The amount of voluntary work entailed to make this scheme a success is large, and is being met mainly by parties of volunteers from all Sections of Group Headquarters.

It is hoped that every member of 5 Group will endeavour to assist the Fund by means of financial contribution. The amount of money required to ensure its success is considerable; any monies left in the Fund at the close of hostilities will be dealt with at the discretion of the Executive Committee, either to help prisoners after their return, or to send to the R.A.F. Benevolent Fund.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 4

[Page break]

AIR BOMBING

The most disturbing feature of the month’s bombing is the continued high Crew errors in the summary of practice bombing. We have, over the last three months, made intensive efforts to improve our standard of bombing and the steady decrease in our bombing errors, both operational and practice, is reflected in the practice bombing figures and the P.R.U. pictures of shattered enemy targets.

However, we are not bombing as well as we MUST in order to ensure that the minimum number of bombs and aircraft are used to destroy the numerous targets awaiting our attention.

Now in what ways can we ensure that, instead of making a monthly decrease in our Crew errors of from 10 to 30 yards, we crack them down in one month by 100 yards and achieve the immediate goal of 150 yards at 20,000 feet.

The following points are designed to make practicable this target for the month:-

1. The last two weeks have seen the introduction of the A.P.I. and Datum point method of finding the bombing wind velocity. A marked decrease in Vector errors has resulted. This method of wind finding, detailed in 5 Group Aircraft Drills, will produce vector errors of less than 60 yards.

[Underlined] NOTE: [/underlined] The Navigator’s Union must therefore concentrate on the perfection of this technique, and one of the main sources of bombing errors will be finally eliminated.

2. Bombsight Serviceability:- Large errors are still directly attributable to technical faults in the Mark XIV. 5 Group Aircraft Drills detail the pre-bombing checks that must be carried out by Air Bombers. Further it is important that the suction that goes into the bombsight is at least 4 1/2“. To ensure this, the reading on the ground of the gauge on the pilot’s panel, with the changeover cock at the Emergency or No.2 position, must be 5 1/2” or more when the inboard engine feeding the sight is run up to at least 1800 revs.

[Underlined] NOTE: [/underlined] It is essential that the Air Bomber teams up with the instrument man responsible for the serviceability of his bombsight. Discuss your bombing results with him, tell him whether your errors are in line, range or are random and go through the causes of particular types of error with him. Reference to paragraph 63, Chapter 9, of the Mark XIV Bombsight booklet held by your Bombing Leader will make you an authority on sources of error.

3. Flying for Bombing:- Much has been said about this most important subject. There is no other type of flying which calls for precision measured in yards, and therefore it is not something that comes automatically, but only with hard training.

[Underlined] NOTE: [/underlined] Pilots must study both the services required by the bombsight and the limitations from which it suffers in its quest for the correct bombing angle.

4. Bomb Aiming:- Unless the drift is absolutely accurate and the pilot’s flying perfect, the target will not drift down the graticule length to the intersection. Therefore it will be seldom that you will have an

(Continued on page 6, Column 1)

HIGH LEVEL BOMBING TRAINING

(Errors in yards converted to 20,000 ft.)

The results of bombing for the period 28th to 31st May (inclusive) will appear next month.

[Table of Bombing Errors by Squadron and Conversion Units]

THE BEST RESULTS FOR MAY

25 Results with Crew Errors below 100 yards at 20,000 feet.
Next month should see a record number!

Squadron or Con. Unit Pilot Air Bomber Navigator Crew Error at 20,000 feet.

9 W/Cdr Porter F/O Pearson F/O Logan 63 yards
P/O Campbell F/O Tyne F/O Bennett 72 yards
P/O Bunnagar F/O Isfan Sgt Henderson 93 yards
49 P/O Graves-Hook F/O Sinden F/O Johnson 92 yards
F/L Matheson F/O Matthews Sgt Launder 77 yards
F/O Hill Sgt Bell F/O Jones 78 yards
P/O Sullings F/S Haines Sgt. Christian 83 yards
P/O Green F/S Hinch F/S Neal 89 yards
50 P/O Oliver Sgt Leonard Sgt Morris 63 yards
61 P/O Street F/S Brown Sgt Waghorn 90 yards
P/O North F/S Jarvis F/S Crawley 96 yards
P/O Dear Sgt. Wray Sgt Reeve 65 yards
106 P/O Durrant F/S Buchanan Sgt Pittaway 87 yards
617 Lt. Knilans F/O Rogers ? ? 98 yards
619 P/O Aitken P/O Whiteley Sgt. Levy 85 yards
F/S Donnelly F/O Grant F/S Johnson 98 yards
F/S Bennett F/S Griffiths Sgt Lyford 53 yards
P/O McCurdy W/O Stern P/O Hawkes 23 yards
F/L Roberts F/S Deviell F/S Lott 29 yards
F/S Morcom Sgt Lebatt Sgt Whitehurst 91 yards
630 P/O Lindsay Sgt Cummings F/S Rayner 91 yards
1654 F/O Rabone F/o Bjarnason F/O Dilworth 86 & 96 yards
Sgt. King Sgt Harder Sgt Stevenson 78 yards
F/S Jeffery F/S Downie F/S Benson 90 yards
5 LFS F/S Rose Sgt Chatteris F/S Richards 38 yards

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 5

[Page break]

AIR BOMBING (CONTD:)

(Continued from page 5, Column 1)

ideal run up to the release point. It is best to realise this and thus avoid these panicky last moment corrections which will upset the aircraft’s attitude at the vital moment of release. It is far better to accept a small error in line and note on your Form 3073 the amount the graticule was left or right of the target, using the known size of the target to estimate your error. Allowances can then be made in the analysis.

Further, Air Bombers must realise that it is quite impossible for a pilot to stop a 4-engined aircraft dead when making a turn in response to your corrections “LEFT, LEFT” or “RIGHT”. In any case it would be detrimental to the bombsight’s calculations.

[Underlined] NOTE: [/underlined] Air Bombers must, by close co-ordination with their Pilots, develop a smooth unhurried technique on the run-up and correct inter-com patter will aid good team work.

5. [Underlined] TO AIR BOMBERS:- [/underlined] You are the men who actually fire the bomb release switch, and therefore the greatest responsibility is yours. Remember, however, that you are part of a large team, and when you reach the stage of scoring direct hits every time, remember the credit is due to

The Pilot
Navigator
Fitters and Riggers
Bombsight Maintenance Men
Armourers
And
YOU

BOMBING LEADERS’ CORNER

Base Bombing Leaders have been appointed as follows:-

51 Base – F/Lt Brewer, D.F.C.
52 Base – F/Lt Walmsley, D.F.C.
53 Base – F/Lt Murtough, D.F.C.
54 Base – F/Lt Stoney, D.F.C.
55 Base – F/Lt Wonham, D.F.M.

Squadron changes are as follows:-

9 Sqdn. – F/Lt Quilter from 92 Group.
50 Sqdn. – F/Lt. Hearn, D.F.C.
106 Sqdn. – F/Lt. Morgan from 1654 Conversion Unit.
463 Sqdn. – F/O Kennedy from 467 Squadron
619 Sqdn. – F/Lt Ruddock from 6 Group.

Conversion Unit changes are:-

1654 Con. Unit – F/O McRobbie, D.F.C.

1660 Con. Unit – F/Lt Wake, D.F.C. from 106 Squadron.

1661 Con. Unit – F/O Price, D.F.C.

No. 5 L.F.S. – F/O Mercy.

[Underlined] BOMBING LEADERS’ COURSES [/underlined]

F/O Honig (57 Sqdn) and P/O Pinches (630 Sqdn) obtained “B” categories on Nos.81 & 82 Courses.

Congratulations to P/O Page (1661 C.U.) on obtaining an excellent “A” category on No. 83 Course!

[Underlined] SQUADRON BOMBING COMPETITION [/underlined]

“Records are made to be broken” !! – an old saying, but very true this month. Firstly all qualifying Squadrons obtained errors below 100 yards, and secondly 619 Squadron, the stalwarts of the competition, are back at the top with a record low error.

[Underlined] PILOT AND AIR BOMBERS’ ERROR [/underlined]

1st 619 Squadron 42 yards
2nd 61 Squadron 53 yards
3rd 49 Squadron 59 yards
4th 50 Squadron 72 yards
5th 57 Squadron 80 yards
6th 207 Squadron 81 yards
7th 44 Squadron 83 yards
8th 9 Squadron 85 yards
9th 106 Squadron 86 yards
10th (630 Squadron 98 yards
(467 Squadron 98 yards

463 Squadron failed to qualify this month owing to lack of Avro Adaptors necessary to carry out 6-bomb exercises. The Squadron state, however, that they will not only qualify in June, but will win the competition.

Last month’s competition news stated that as 52 Base Squadrons obtained places in the first five. 54 Base have rightly pointed out that the 1st and 2nd places were held by Squadrons who had only just left that Base. It is interesting to note that the same two Squadrons are still on top, but have exchanged position.

Navigator’s Error has been left out this month. The Group Navigation Officer intends to run a wind-finding competition commencing in June.

[Underlined] GEN FROM THE SQUADRONS [/underlined]

[Underlined] 44 Squadron (F/Lt Lowry) [/underlined] have now constructed a first-class bombing panel mock-up in the Bombing Office. It is of inestimable value in checking Air Bombers on panel drill and general manipulation. It is understood that great credit for both this installation and the Mark XIV mock-up referred to in last month’s News is due to F/Lt. Hodgson, Eng. Elect. R.A.F. Station Dunholme, and his instrument men.

[Underlined] 619 Squadron (F/Lt Walmsley) [/underlined] makes the following report on the Squadron’s bombing accuracy (see competition results).

(i) Every aircraft on the Squadron carried out at least one High Level exercise during the month.

(ii) Every morning and afternoon the N.C.O. i/c Bombsight maintenance visits the Bombing Office to report on investigations into previous bombsight failures and to interrogate Air Bombers on current ‘snags’.

(iii) As soon as possible after each operation Air Bombers assemble for their own private raid assessment. Useful suggestions that result are passed on to the appropriate authorities by the Bombing Leader.

Finally a word of thanks is due to Pilots and Navigators of the Squadron for greatly improved flying and wind finding, for bombing.

Publicity has already been given to the outstanding bombing results obtained by two 619 Squadron crews captained by F/Lt Roberts and F/O McCurdy, who obtained errors of 29 and 23 yds. respectively, converted to 20,000 feet. Special mention however, is merited by the exercise carried out at [underlined] Syerston [/underlined] by a crew doing only its first bombing detail in a Lancaster.

PILOT – F/SGT ROSE
AIR BOMBER – SGT CHATTERIS
NAVIGATOR – F/S RICHARDS

The average error for 4 bombs aimed from 12,000 feet was 29 yards – a most creditable performance!!!

[Underlined] 207 Squadron (F/Lt. Billington) [/underlined] have introduced the following excellent scheme:-

From several 1;500,000 maps, a number of cuttings were taken of prominent and likely landfalls on the enemy held coastline. These cuttings measure approximately 5” x 5” and so cover quite an appreciable area of coastline. The landfalls shown were then painted black, with the exception of the towns and rivers or estuaries which are printed in red and blue respectively.

Each cutting was then orientated in a different direction and pasted on a large notice board. The various orientations made identification more difficult and provided useful practice in landfall recognition.

Each pinpoint was then clearly numbered and a corresponding number was attached to a 1;1,000,000 “area of operations” map in the vicinity of the pinpoint in question. At briefing, the route to the target was outlined with a suitable length of cord, and the bomb-aimers could see if the route passed over or near any of the pinpoints! The ‘numbers’ of such landfalls could then be referred to the notice board (as above). By virtue of the blacked out land masses, an impression of the landfall as it would appear either visually or on the H2S – P.P.I. tube, could easily and accurately be obtained.

[Underlined] STOP PRESS [/underlined]

619 Squadron report that F/Lt. Buttar, a pilot, carried out an exercise as Bomb Aimer and obtained average error of 18 yards from 12,000 feet!!!!

[Underlined] AIR BOMBERS’ QUIZ [/underlined]

1. Where and how would you read the suction for the Mark XIV Bombsight?

2. What is the minimum suction on the ground for the Mark XIV and what minimum reading on the suction gauge is required to ensure the necessary suction for the bombsight?

3. What is the correct vectored wind velocity for the Mark XIV Bombsight for True Wind of 090°/30 m.p.h. bearing and distance of marker from Aiming Point 045°/200 yards at a height of 8,000 feet?

4. What are the T.V’s of 4 lb incendiary, 4000 lb H.C., 500 lb G.P. and 1000 lb H.C. bombs?

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 6

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NAVIGATION

All operations this month, with the exception of two, have been of short range. Navigation has therefore been very much easier. Broadcast w/v’s have been used on only two occasions. The results were not very satisfactory in either case. On the Brunswick operation (23/24 May, 1944) nearly half of the windfinders detailed did not transmit a single W/V! Navigators in H2S aircraft must realise they are fortunate in being able to check constantly their aircraft’s position. Non-H2S Navigators are not so fortunate, and they [underlined] do need [/underlined] assistance from you luckier fellows. Bear this point well in mind, windfinders, and the next time we use broadcast winds, let us have 100% co-operation!

With the approach of summer and the consequent drop in “darkness hours available” night sorties will decrease in range. Navigation will therefore become much easier. We must [underlined] NOT [/underlined] however “slacken off” our efforts. Concentration, track and time keeping are still essential to the success of any operation. Station Navigation Officers must carefully check the work of each Navigator and curtail immediately any attempt to “slacken off”. We may be called upon to carry out long range operations at any time, therefore constant practice in the use of Broadcast Wind Velocities, obtaining D.R. positions, etc., is essential, particularly for those new crews who will be arriving at Squadrons during this coming period. To maintain and improve the present standard of navigation, it is suggested that short plotting and computation exercises (similar to those already forwarded to squadrons) should be completed two or three times every week. If they are run in a competitive spirit, they will cease to be a “bind”, and much valuable experience will be gained. Here again particular attention should be paid to the less experienced Navigator.

[Underlined] WIND FINDING [/underlined]

There has been a gradual improvement during the last few months in the accuracy of winds found on operations. The “spread” now experienced in approximately half that of 4 or 5 months ago. An analysis is being made of winds found by the wind finding aircraft on the night 24/25th April, target – MUNICH. The analysis is not yet complete, but a rough indication shows that the probable error in wind finding is now down from 17 to 9 m.p.h. A big improvement, but no one can say there wasn’t room for one! The “spread” on this raid was 60° and 30 m.p.h. 75% of the winds being within 20° and 10 m.p.h. – here again a slight improvement.

It will be seen from the foregoing figures that errors are still far too high. The main causes of such errors are as follows:-

(i) Inaccuracies in taking and plotting of Gee and H2S fixes.

(ii) Inaccuracies in reading and plotting of A.P.I. positions.

(iii) Inaccuracies in measuring the w/v.

These are elementary points and should have been mastered long ago. Nevertheless, they [underlined] do [/underlined] exist and [underlined] must [/underlined] be eliminated. This can only be done if navigators make a regular practice of checking and re-checking all their plotting. It is far better to obtain two Gee fixes and plot them correctly than to obtain four and plot them all incorrectly. There is absolutely no reason why three of four navigators flying in aircraft at the same height, place and time should find w/v’s differing by 40° and 10 – 15 m.p.h. – but this does happen – even when in Gee range. Stations and Squadrons Navigation Officers must check the winds found by all navigators on each operation, and find out what large discrepancies do occur.

[Underlined] PRACTICE BOMBING WINDFINDING. [/underlined]

It is now a known fact that the most accurate method of finding a W/V is by the A.P.I. and datum point method. Instructions have therefore been issued that this method is to be used on all practice bombing exercises. The “vector error” in practice bombing has decreased considerably since this method was introduced. We still have a long way to go however. Not until the “vector error” is 50 yards or below can we claim to be doing our bit. This, therefore, must be our aim. It is not by any means impossible to achieve, providing we carry out the drill correctly and do not make stupid mistakes. Do not for example try and find a w/v over a period of less than ten minutes – it can’t be done!! Always see that you pass over the “datum point” on the [underlined] same [/underlined heading as the first time. This is very important, otherwise large errors creep in.

We now have available a method of checking the w/v’s found by navigators. Downham Market (near Skegness) obtain accurate w/v checks every 6 hours. They are accurate to within 5° and 2 m.p.h. These winds are forwarded to Base and Station Navigation Officers daily. It is hoped that full use is being made of this valuable means of checking navigators work. Navigators should also check with their Squadron or Station Navigation Officers the post-Met. Wind applicable for their exercise.

To foster the competitive spirit, the best 8 wind finders for each month will appear in the Monthly News, commencing next month.

Any criticisms or suggestions for the improvement of the present wind finding procedure will be welcomed. So, go to it, and let us have your opinions – now!!!

[Underlined] TRAINING BASE SUMMARY [/underlined]

During May 229 details were flown on Command and Local Bullseyes, and excellent co-operation has been forthcoming from Nos.12 (F) and 10 (F) Groups. These exercises enable navigators to practice Gee and H2S fixing and learn the troubles associated with defensive manoeuvres. Many special radar routes have been laid on especially across the coasts of Wales, N.W. England and Northern Ireland, and on several occasions squadron aircraft have come in on these exercises (one C.U. pupil on one such flight took no less than 146 H2S fixes – and plotted them!)

H2S training is being extended in the Base and Wigsley will be staring early in June. Preparations have gone on steadily all through May. A trainer, radar mechanics and a training staff are standing by waiting for the next course. At Swinderby and Winthorpe nearly half of each course is now being radar trained and it is hoped that squadrons will appreciate the trouble which has been encountered with aircraft serviceability and stress of other training. Like Gee in the early days, H2S has been thrust upon C.U’s with very little extra staff and inadequate equipment to cope with demands. The second Radar buildings will very soon be ready, and extra bench sets available, so the Group can confidently look forward to a greater number of H2S crews coming through during the summer.

Priority is being put on wind finding by A.P.I. on all exercises – particularly during bombing practices. Trouble is being experienced in fitting the complete modification to the new Stirlings, but this work is being pressed on with as fast as possible. There are now approximately 70 aircraft in the Base fitted with the A.P.I. so that most navigators will receive air practice during their course. Ground Demonstration sets are also being made for all units so that pupils may see the A.P.I’s working on the ground. They will also receive resetting practice. Coupled with A.P.I. instruction, a long D.R. plot using broadcast w/v’s is incorporated in C.U. training. Therefore navigators should be arriving on squadrons fully trained, and well “genned up”. If they are not, then let us hear about it!

The training staffs at H.C.U’s have changed considerably during the last three months. Predominance is now on youth – navigators fresh from Squadrons, and there is only a small percentage of instructors who have been off operations longer than six months. Several Instructors have lately gone to Mosquito squadrons while others have returned to operations in 5 Group and P.F.F.

[Underlined] H 2 S [/underlined]

Operational results on H 2S have been quite good this month, and its potentialities in gardening have at long last been recognised. In this connection, various methods of gardening with H2S have been used effectively.

Dunholme had the first opportunity of using Leica cameras for photographing the P.P.I. at the gardening areas, and proved without doubt that the vegetables were planted in the correct furrows. Unfortunately the shortage of cameras still prevents us using them on operations to any great extent. Training is also restricted to one Base.

This month we welcome 619 Squadron into our select band. It is hoped that they will prove as capable in the use of this new aid as they have in the past with Gee. The responsibilities of training are considerable, and crews in 619 Squadron will have considerable extra flying training to carry out to master H2S. It must be remembered that H2S is primarily a navigational aid, and this must be borne in mind during training; complete mastery of H2S as a navigational aid means better track keeping, better winds, and above all better bombing. By bombing I mean that crews using H2S will ensure arriving at the correct target on time.

Training at Conversions Units is improving considerably, and increasing numbers of crews are being turned out practically fully trained. Wigsley is now ready to commence training and have been fortunate in securing a synthetic trainer. This increase in H2S training reflects great credit upon all the sections concerned, and considerable benefit should be derived by the operational squadrons.

Bomber Command have recently issued a sum-

(Continued on page 8, Column 1)

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 7

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NAVIGATION (CONTD.)

mary on H2S navigation, proving that the most effective method of track keeping is by frequent fixing. Frequent fixing ensures a higher reliability of fixes, and in addition it has been found normal navigation is not neglected. This indicates that successful H2S navigation requires frequent checks on position (at least one fix every ten minutes) combined with the normal navigational procedure. It is realised that most H2S operators in this Group are taught to take H2S fixes every six minutes; however, this point is mentioned in order to prevent the failure of navigation by H2S due to infrequent fixing, which has occurred on several operations in the past.

Nos. 83 and 97 Squadrons are concentrating on blind bombing trials with H2S Mark III and he 184 Indicator, and it is eventually hoped to come to some conclusion regarding the errors of respective methods of blind bombing.

Whilst it is realised visual bombing is the most effective when targets are small and can be identified, H2S Squadrons must by no means relax in their blind bombing training.

In this direction, operators should practice bombing runs on suitable targets whenever airborne. Then the set operator can so tune his set that only the town, the course marker the range marker and the very faintest of ground returns can be seen, he can consider himself approaching proficiency. With this is mind, 55 Base have designed an extremely efficient poster of H2S Track and Ground Speed Bombing, and a copy of this is reproduced in this issue. It is hoped that Command will eventually issue this as an official poster for use on the Navigation Section of all H2S Units.

H2S photography has been rather disappointing this month. Instructions detailing the steps to be taken when photographing the P.P.I. are available on the Squadrons carrying out this training and they must be followed to obtain good quality photographs. Remember poor photographs reflect upon your set manipulation, and individual assessments of your operation of the equipment can be made from the photographs you obtain.

[Underlined] GEE [/underlined]

Operations this month produced no exceptional ranges on Gee, partly due to the fact that most targets were within normal range.

Certain discrepancies were noticed in the North Eastern Chain by navigators in this Group, and steps have been taken to ascertain the error to correct the phasing. Until such time as this is done, the error, although opinions differ as to its limits, will have to be accepted.

Instances have also occurred recently where lattice charts have been found to be inaccurate due to the colour plates slipping during printing. Whilst all Lattice Charts are hand checked, inaccurate charts have on occasions reached navigators, who have been at a loss to explain the difficulties experienced with the Gee chain.

Care is being taken to see that faulty charts are not set [sic] out to units, but in the meantime, every navigator should check his charts to see if the coloured registration crosses (either green, red, or purple) found at each corner of the printed map surface are superimposed one above the other. If one of these crosses is displaced, then the particular coloured lattice lines have been inaccurately positioned and the chart must be exchanged for a correct one.

Good D.R. navigation enabled both the above inaccuracies to be found out and one navigator actually assessed the error which he applied to all his fixes.

Against this we have the navigator who puts the whole of his navigation on to the box and this month a little story with a moral is printed. Acknowledgement for this is due to F/O Craven of 1660 Conversion Unit.

COX AND THE BOX

COX AND THE BOX

You’ve heard of Salome and Lulu,
They’re as well known as Nerve and Knox,
But listen to me while I tell you
The tale of young Cox and the Box.

For 12 months he’d listened to lectures
(Such a bind, and so orthodox),
But just at the end of his training,
An Instructor said “Now meet the Box”.

At the end of a few simple lectures,
He mused on his way to the Blocks;
“Damn the D.R. and the Astro –
Why work when you’ve got the old Box?”

Navigation henceforth seemed so easy,
Bang on! – Back to Base from Clyde Docks.
On return they repeated the warning;
“Use D.R. – don’t go round on the Box”.

On the Squadron, his first trip was simple,
From the time he heard “Out with the chocks”,
To the time that Control replied “Pancake”,
He chewed – and got round on the Box.

The next was to Essen – they bombed and came out,
But were coned, and took several hard knocks;
The kite had been hit, but what shook him most
Was to find he’d no joy on the Box.

The petrol was low, they couldn’t find Base,
But by now accustomed to shocks.
No D.R. – no air plot – he vainly looked up,
But still found no joy on the Box.

The sequel is morbid, and sad to relate,
It’s all filed away under “Cox”,
Read on if you will, and you’ll see what we say,
Use D.R. – don’t go round on the Box”.

“You had a son, in the Air Force,
In Aircrew I think, Mrs. Cox?
Well, he’s been pretty rapid and finished his trips.
And they’re sending him home – in a Box”.

EQUIPMENT

The present grave shortage of manpower is causing increasing difficulties to Maintenance Units and Station Equipment Officers should therefore ascertain by personal investigation whether all their demands are being correctly prepared. If all stations regularly raised their demands in the official manner, there would be considerable economy in manpower and time spent in satisfying demands at M.U’s. and numerous queries would be obviated. For easy reference, some of the salient points are set out as follows:-

[Underlined] Forms 600 Demands. [/underlined]

(i) Insufficient address. Units should always state full postal address, and it is important that the accounting serial number is clearly endorsed as part of the address.

(ii) Nearest railway Station muse [sic] be quoted directly beneath the address.

[Underlined] Urgent Demands (A.M.O. A.481/43) [/underlined]

(i) These demands must be placed together in a separate envelope, stamped in RED, “PRIORITY 1 C”.

(ii) Date for delivery must be quoted in all cases, and an interval of at least ten days should be given.

(iii) The endorsement must be initialled by the demanding officer.

(iv) Aircraft or engine type and serial number, or the purpose for which other items are required, must be quoted. In the case of M.T. the chassis number must invariably be given.

(v) Immediate despatch of all Urgent Demands to Equipment Parks by their transport or D.R.L.S.

[Underlined] A.O.C. or I.O.R. Signal Demands. [/underlined]

It is important that this type of demand be raised strictly in accordance with A.M.O. A.1312/42, as amended by A.M.O. A. 326/44. These demands are of the very highest priority and therefore it is essential that the method of raising the signal is uniform in every detail at all Units. Signals must be made out very clearly, and only one section may be demanded on one signal, and not more than 8 items of one particular section – and each of these items must be given a separate line (see A.M.O. A.604/40).

If all concerned comply strictly with the letter of the law in this respect, there is every reason to hope that the goods will be received with the minimum of delay with consequent reflection of increased serviceability and efficiency.

[Underlined] AIR SEA RESCUE (Continued from page 10 Col.1)

New crews are now getting a thorough introduction to the Lancaster Dinghy and Parachute Drills at the L.F.S. and the dummy fuselage is paying high dividends. The record time for a dummy ditching at Syerston is 10 seconds. It was encouraging to hear a gunner remark as the crew stood on the starboard mainplane with their drill completed in 16 1/2 seconds – “That’s not good enough, Skipper, let’s have another go.”

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 8

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H.2.S TRACK & GROUND SPEED BOMBING

IDEAL BOMB

Set on Dalton Computer W/V and True Air Speed. From the measured track compute the course to make good this track. Make any alterations as necessary. Set Range Drum to 10 miles in order to know when to switch to 10/10 scale. [Diagram] No. 1

When on 10/10 scale make final corrections of heading to ensure correct tracking. Range marker is set to correct radius on range drum ground speed settings. [Diagram] No. 2

No. 3 [Diagram] Height pulse must be set against first ground return before ground speed is set on the Range Drum.

No. 4 [Diagram] Ground speed is found to be 200 m.p.h. Rotate range drum until 200 ground speed line is against range pointer. This pre-sets range marker ring to a set radius on 10/10 scale.

Note the time that range marker ring cuts response. 30 seconds plus time delay for real bombs from this time the aircraft has travelled to bomb release point. At this point bombs away. [Diagram] No. 5

[Underlined] NOTE [/underlined] The 30 second delay release lines on the H2S range drum is calibrated for the ideal bomb. To ensure that real bombs strike the target, a time delay has to be added to 30 seconds. This time delay differs for different categories of bombs and will be given at briefing by the Bombing Leaders.

No. 6 [Diagram]

Point where range marker ring cuts response on 10/10 scale.

Distance denoting timed run of 30 plus seconds to release point.

Release Point. Bombs Away.

Forward trail of bomb carries it to objective from release point.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 9

[Page break]

AIR SEA RESCUE

There was one known ditching in the Group during May. On the night 27/28th May, a Mosquito of 627 Squadron was heard to transmit “Engine on fire – ditching”. The aircraft was flying at low height over the sea after attacking the target, and later was sighted burning on the surface. Search on the following morning revealed aircraft wreckage off the enemy coast. Unfortunately no one was rescued.

This one incident does not mean that 5 Group crews are “Ditching free” or are unlikely to have to ditch in future. The most recent monthly analysis shows that 189 lives were saved from aircraft in all Commands which ditched in home waters. A total of 467 lives were lost, however, in ditchings – a high proportion of 71%. A majority of these losses occurred in ditchings when no W/T messages were received. This proves that sea crossings, even on short range targets, are still a hazard for aircraft which may have been damaged by enemy defences.

Regular practice of dinghy and parachute drills must continue. Saturday morning is the time for such practice. Several squadrons have got down to this very quickly, but others are not carrying out the instructions from this Headquarters in either the spirit or the letter.

Ten crews were tested during the month in the Safety Drill Competition. Generally crews has a good idea of what was required, but the majority revealed lack of practice. One Flight Commander provided a refreshing example. His crew drills were perfect. A Flight Commander is a busy man, and yet he and his crew made the time to set an example and give themselves a wide safety margin if ever they have to ditch.

(Continued on page 8, Column 3)

Results of the Safety Drill Competition for May are as follows:-

Place Dinghy Drills Parachute Drills

1 52 Base 55 Base
2 53 Base 54 Base
3 54 Base 52 Base
5 55 Base 53 Base

The best and worst crews were in 55 Base, and one crew with just over 50% of marks placed the Base last in order of merit. Details of Squadrons tested and marks gained are as follows:-

[Table of Safety Competition Results by Squadron]

[Underlined] NOTE [/underlined] The Training Base Record for a Dinghy Drill is 10 seconds. The best Squadron time was [underlined] 18 seconds [/underlined], the worst [underlined] 43 seconds. [/underlined]

ENEMY AGENTS CARELESS WALKERS

With the lighter evenings and finer weather there is a great deal to be said for a country walk over the fields after working in an office all day.

You may not be interested in birds nests or flowers but even in flat country like Lincolnshire there is some amazingly pretty scenery if you will only walk to see it. If you are lucky, you may be able to take a pretty picture of scenery with you, which will make all the difference.

Do remember though, that when walking in the fields, you are really trespassing and owe a debt of gratitude to the owner or tenant of the land for letting you enjoy yourselves. Hardly any farmers will raise any objection wherever you walk, if you for your part will take just a little trouble to avoid two things,

(i) trampling on growing crops
(ii) leaving gates open.

The farmer is putting a great deal of very hard work into his land nowadays and suffering just as badly from the manpower problem as we are in the Service, perhaps even worse. You will see Mrs. Farmer nowadays doing much heavier work in the fields than many of us would care to tackle, and for very long hours too.

If you walk along the hedgerows or fence sides you will do no harm to crops; its [sic] the best place to walk too if you are interested in nature, but most important of all DO SHUT EVERY GATE you go through, even if its [sic] open when you get there. It was probably left open by someone careless ahead.

Gates left to swing in a wind soon break and farmers can’t get new ones nowadays. Cattle get through from the roadside or neighbouring fields; a flock of sheep in the wrong field can easily cause a loss of a hundred pounds or more to a farmer. He won’t want you in his fields at that price, and it’s no good blaming the sheep. The farmer’s doing a vital job of work in this war to provide our food, so help him as much as you can when you enjoy his fields and [underlined] PLEASE SHUT THAT GATE [/underlined] and don’t be a CARELESS WALKER.

ACCIDENTS

During May [underlined] over 50 [/underlined] aircraft were damaged in accidents within the Group – the majority seriously. At least 14 were written off completely, and 8 were [underlined] Cat. B [/underlined] The Cat. AC total will probably be 16, which leaves only about 12 aircraft which sustained minor damage. These are depressing figures, and are all the more regrettable because at least 20 of these accidents were “avoidable”.

Squadrons damaged 21 aircraft including six Mosquitos, and 51 Base damaged 29. One Spitfire of 1690 B.D.T.F. was also damaged.

Details of avoidable accidents during the month are as follows:-

[Underlined] Squadrons [/underlined]

Taxying…3
Swings…2
Overshoots on Landing…1
Mid-Air collision…1
Others…3
[Underlined] 10 [/underlined]

[Underlined] 51 Base [/underlined]

Taxying (M/T)…1
Overshoots on Landing…3
Swings…2
3 engined overshoot crashes…1
Maintenance errors…1
Others…2
[Underlined] 10 [/underlined]

[Underlined] TROPHY FOR ACCIDENT FREE SQUADRON [/underlined]

A Silver model of a Lancaster has been presented to the Group by Messrs. A.V. Roe. The Air Officer Commanding has decided to award this model Quarterly as a trophy to the Squadron or Training Unit with the least number of avoidable accidents. The first award will be made at the end of June for the period January to June and thereafter every three months. The Squadrons in the lead at the end of May are 49, 57 and 106 Squadrons.

[Underlined] TAXYING [/underlined]

Taxying accidents were fewer this month. It is notable that Training Base had only [underlined] one [/underlined] and this an M/T collision, which did minor damage, A most peculiar accident, which is classed as “Taxying” for want of a better category, occurred on a Squadron recently. A Lancaster pilot turned off the runway and stopped all his engines because of low brake pressure. He re-started his inners with the idea of proceeding to a position more favourable for towing and had just started moving when a ground crew N.C.O., entered the cockpit, grasped the throttles and commenced manipulating them. The Lancaster gathered speed, left the perimeter and finished up with a broken undercarriage when it hit an obstruction. As ground personnel are strictly forbidden to taxy aircraft this episode needs no further comment.

[Underlined] SWINGS [/underlined]

Mosquitos provided the two serious swinging accidents in Squadrons this month – one landing and one taking off. Both occurred in a cross wind.

One Stirling swung on take-off and sustained only minor damage when the tailplane struck some bushes. The pilot did the right thing after the swing started. A Stirling

(Continued on page 16, Column 1)

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22 MAY, 1844. PAGE 10

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SIGNALS

[Underlined] INT QEF? [/underlined]

The R.1082/T.1083 W/T G.P. installation departed from Bomber aircraft about three years ago; with it went the crystal monitor, and we were all very pleased! Since then the Marconi G.P. installation has performed excellent service, and with operators who are kept in practice, has tuned to within a kilocycle of the required frequency.

When an aircraft is acting as W/T control for a large force, it is imperative that the W/T equipment is accurately tuned, otherwise the vital control messages are lost in the welter of interference which hems in all frequencies those nights.

On two occasions this month the control aircraft has been off frequency. This has necessitated the re-introduction of the crystal monitor as an essential item in aircraft carrying out the duties of Controller, Deputy Controller and W/T link, and good results are now once again being obtained. The crystal monitor is, however, a rather clumsy device and requires some skill. Thanks to the ingenuity of Ludford Magna we are trying out a crystal controlled T.1154, which eliminates – almost entirely – the human element. Ludford Magna id obtaining excellent operational results, which we intend to emulate. Thank you 1 Group.

[Underlined] WE HEARD [/underlined]

During the month we have obtained several excellent recordings of the intercom. and R/T in control aircraft during controlled attacks. These recordings, in addition to providing accurate minute by minute pictures of the course of attacks, have brought to light several technical difficulties and enabled them to be overcome. One, in particular, was the loud high pitched whine which had been accepted by crews as an unfortunate regular feature of V.H.F. R/T over the Continent. Thanks to the recordings this whine has been identified and almost completely eliminated. Arrangements are in hand to make permanent recordings for issue to Squadrons and training units. Main Force crews will then fully realise the many problems with which the Controller has to contend.

[Underlined] WIRELESS OPERATORS (AIR) [/underlined]

As far as Aircrew Signals is concerned, the month resembled the old adage – “Came in like a lion, went out like a lamb”. And what a lion?

Nevertheless, we have derived much profit from our mistakes, and have emerged the purer for our trials, although it is to be regretted that our major “boob” occurred when our comrades from No.1 Group were helping us. We hope that on the next occasion we can prove to them that all is now well with our Operators. All Wireless Operators (Air) are fully aware by now of what is expected of a Controller’s Operator, and without any excuse for the repetition we would say [underlined] Practice makes for Perfection. [/underlined]

To improve the standard of speech throughout the Group, not only on V.H.F. but on R/T generally [underlined] and [/underlined] intercomm., it is hoped to install a Speech Training Section in our Conversion Units and at the Aircrew School at Scampton. Instructors have had a special short course a A.D.G.B. Headquarters where all Sector Controllers are taught the art of making themselves clearly understood without the need for repetition. The idea is not to produce an Oxford accent, but rather to give all crews the perfect “Mikeside Manner”, and if we can achieve this end, we shall be a step nearer to perfection.

[Underlined] TRAINING ROOMS [/underlined]

All Signals Leaders by now will have had a copy of the schedule of equipment laid down for Signals Training Rooms. This is just one more step in the right direction, and it is hoped that all concerned have taken advantage and put in all the necessary demands.

[Underlined] GROUP W/T EXERCISE. [/underlined]

A few Squadrons did not produce their past form this month. Little points like not using the correct aircraft letters allocated to the Squadron, starting the exercise late, giving one message and then asking permission to close down. Now all Signals Leaders will agree that the Group exercise is an invaluable method for keeping operators on top line, and more attention must be paid to it in future.

[Underlined] RECALL SIGNALS [/underlined]

Why is it that Wireless Operators (Air) take so long to answer a recall signal? The need arose during this month to recall the few aircraft that had taken off for an operation, and considerable time elapsed before all aircraft had acknowledged the message. This state of affairs hardly ties up with Instructions in force about maintaining a continuous listening watch on Base. The Group Signals Leader would like to see an improvement, please.

[Underlined] TAIL WARNING REPORTS [/underlined]

There is another corner of the Signals Leaders’ domain that could stand a clean up with the help of our sister section, the Gunners (Bless ‘em). There is still a good deal of duff gen reaching this Headquarters on the Form “Z”. The Operator states that there were no sightings of enemy aircraft not picked up by the E.W.D; the Gunners sign that statement, but someone tells the Intelligence Officer a different story. You can help the war effort by vetting the Intelligence reports and preventing this duff gen from leaving your Station. It would save the writer’s telephone extension from overwork too.

Apart from these few moans, the general standard of Wireless Operators (Air) in the Group is high. They are doing an excellent job, and playing a worthy part in the present battles. Make sure that we can continue this be profiting [sic] from our mistakes in the past, and training at every available moment.

[Underlined] POINTS TO NOTE [/underlined]

1. Has the new Bomber Command General Instruction governing attacks at night by aircraft in home and enemy waters been seen and read by all Wireless Operators (Air) of this Group?

2. M/F D/F Sections now send out an interval signal, if not already on the air. Are you au fait? Note – no DIT DITS in acknowledgement, by order.

3. Have you all met Monica’s baby brother Walter – by Pickup out of Her?

[Underlined STOP PRESS [/underlined]

Congratulations to F/Lt Cawdron, D.F.M., No.630 Squadron, who topped No.7 Signals Leaders’ Course.

[Underlined] W/T FAILURES [/underlined]

The W/T failure percentage for the month of May has, regrettably, shown an increase over the previous month. Congratulations are however, extended to Signals Officers and their Maintenance staffs for having no maintenance failures in Sqdns throughout the month. It is interesting to see how the maintenance failure percentage has slowly decreased to zero, and it is hoped that during the forthcoming months this can be maintained. During May there were no cases of aircraft failing to take off on operational missions as the result of Signals defects. It is also gratifying to learn that there were only five “early returns” due to signals failures out of 2,254 operational sorties flown. Of the remaining 42 failures, approximately 90% of them are attributed to equipment defects. A good show, chaps – keep it up.

[Underlined] V.H.F. R/T FITTING [/underlined]

All stations have received during the month, a policy letter on the projected programme of V.H.F. fitting for the remainder of 5 Group Squadrons. The supply of all items of equipment, apart from connector sets, has been kept up to schedule. The first consignment of connectors is due, while the 26 Group Fitting Party should be with us any day. Fitting of 44 Squadron should therefore commence without much delay. All indications are that the flow of connector sets will be steady from then onwards.

[Underlined] RADAR CONFERENCE [/underlined]

The Radar Conference held during the month was attended by all Base Signals Officers and Radar Officers in the Group, as well as representatives of Bomber Command. The agenda

(Continued on page 12, Column 1)

ELEMENTARY MY DEAR WATSON

Flight Lieu-ten-ant Jo-seph Soap
Re-port-ed every wire-less slip
In the de-cent pi-ous hope
That R.A.E. might take a tip,
And fab-ric-ate su-per-ior mods
For fit-ing by main-ten-ance nods.

He viewd with sca-thing scorn-ful jeers
And wide su-per-ior smiles,
Dis-com-fit-ure of dull con-freres
Whose in-eff-ect-ual wiles,
And urg-ent eff-orts ne’er re-lax
To co-ver up their sec-tions’ blacks.

E-vas-ive ac-tion reaps re-ward
By kee-ping fail-ures down.
On hon-est men a-buse is poured;
Con-tume-ly is their crown.
A pa-ra-dox you must ad-mit.
The mo-ral’s there, dis-cov-er it!!

ANON (CIRCA 1944)

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22 MAY, 1944. PAGE 11

[Page break]

SIGNALS (CONT.)

was long, and a great divergence of opinion was shown on many items. All agreed, however, that the conference had cleared up numerous points, and such conferences should be held more often.

The introduction of Base Servicing was the main item on the agenda. This subject was discussed in detail, and it was agreed that Base Servicing would be introduced when appropriate accommodation and test equipment became available. Some Bases have, at present, a system of Base servicing, and are of the opinion that it produces a great saving in time. The systems now in use, however, are not all-inclusive and to make them so, many changes will be necessary. Bomber Command is at present working out the final details of a complete Base Servicing system. It is probable that they will send representatives to each Base to study the accommodation position.

Another complicated issue was the standardisation of Daily Inspections. There has long been a requirement for some D.I. card, similar to the Form 700, to standardise Daily Inspections, and to ensure that nothing is forgotten. This was not thought necessary by many Radar Officers. However, some days ago, a check was made on man-hours spent in the daily inspection on various equipments, and it was found that Bases often differed by 100 per cent. This confirms our opinion that there is a lack of standardisation which may be responsible for some of our failures. Trials are now being carried out by all Groups on D.I. cards forwarded to Command by this Headquarters. Any suggested alterations will be made to Bomber Command, and a final card is to be printed and issued. It will then be up to the Squadron Radar Officers to ensure that these cards are correctly used. H.Q.B.C. is also preparing a Form 22E for major and minor inspections of Radar equipment. This form will be similar to the present Signals Form 22, and will cover inspections of Col.7 and Col.9 equipment.

[Underlined] H 2 S FITTING [/underlined]

The fitting of H2S in the Stirlings of out Heavy Conversion Units has now been completed. This provides 41 aircraft for training in H2S and Fishpond, with the resultant increase in the number of trained H2S crews arriving at Squadron. Metheringham and Wigsley received their synthetic trainers during the month, and there is a good chance of all H2S Squadrons being so equipped by the end of June.

The introduction of H2S to 619 Squadron is now under way, and it is expected that this squadron will be completely equipped by the end of June.

[Underlined] SERVICEABILITY [/underlined]

Last month’s forecast of an increase in serviceability was no doubt greeted with laughter. However, fine weather, short range targets and greater attention to detail have brought their reward with an increase in the serviceability of all equipments except H2S Mark III.

[Underlined] GEE [/underlined]

The short range targets attacked during May provided ample opportunity for Gee to regain much of its old glory.

Serviceability was the highest yet – 96.9% an increase of 0.4% over April. The other types of Radar equipment are, however, catching up rapidly, and it appears that there is a possibility of Gee losing its leadership in the coming month.

[Underlined] MONICA IIIA [/underlined]

This equipment came the nearest to overtaking Gee, with a serviceability of 93.5% out of 745 sorties. This is very commendable indeed, and it is hoped that squadrons can maintain this high figure when the weather and target ranges are not so favourable. Congratulations to 467 Squadron, who have completed their last 134 sorties without a single Monica defect. This is a record well worth beating.

[Underlined] H 2 S MARK II [/underlined]

May brought us to the end of the second round in our battle for increased H 2 S. Mark II serviceability. For the first time the Group serviceability for a whole month was 90.0%. This is good. Let us now try, during the third round, to bring it up to 100%. There still remains, however, a serious number of cases of switching off and flashing on the screen, which seems to indicate that the old sources of trouble still predominate, viz., filament transformers, and H.T. condensers. H.Q.B.C. are making every effort to divert the new type filament transformers from the production lines for retrospective fitting. They have been informed however, that it will be a few weeks yet before this can be done. Crystals and cases of no signals are also assuming a large proportion of the failures, and to combat this, improved versions of valves are being tested.

[Underlined] H 2 S MARK III [/underlined]

Unfortunately a setback in serviceability of H2S Mark III was experienced during May. Out of a total of 75 sorties, there were 14 difficulties reported, giving a serviceability of 81.2%. Among these failures there do not appear to be any outstanding breakdowns, but considerable work remains to the done in clearing up the various minor snags which only become evident after considerable operational experience.

[Underlined] FISHPOND [/underlined]

Fishpond has made a favourable advance in serviceability, with an increase of almost 3% over April. A total of 937 sorties was flown of which 89.1% were serviceable. As Fishpond serviceability largely depends on H2S, an increase in H2S serviceability will cause a corresponding increase in Fishpond. In last month’s V Group News, reference was made to trials to reduce Fishpond minimum range. The filter unit which was produced has proved unsatisfactory, and at present there are no signs of this problem being solved.

TACTICS

[Underlined] EARLY WARNING DEVICES [/underlined]

The following extracts from combat reports show again what Monica and Fishpond can do is properly used:-

(i) “The only indication of E/A’s presence was on Visual Monica which first indicated at 2,000 yards. The W/Op. gave running commentary until E/A closed to 800 yards – fighter not identified visually by either gunners. W/Op. instructed “corkscrew to port”, tracer from fighter then seen to pass on the starboard beam – gunners still unable to make visual contact.” (467 Squadron).

(ii) “After breaking away from first contact (this was indicated by Monica) E/A continued to shadow our aircraft until time of this attack, during the period between attacks the W/Op. reported contacts on Visual Monica but no visual was obtained owing to bad visibility.” (50 Squadron)

(iii) “Contact by Fishpond at 2 1/2 miles dead astern, and the bomber corkscrewed at 800 yards, visual by both gunners at 500 yards. Both gunners opened fire at 500 yards and strikes were seen on the fuselage, followed by a bright white flash. E/A did not return fire and broke away on the starboard quarter down.” (50 Squadron)

(iv) Contact on Fishpond at 2 miles port quarter. Bomber corkscrewed at 800 yards. Visual by gunners at 400 yards; both fired short bursts before E/A disappeared from view. No return fire.” (44 Squadron)

It appears from other combat reports that some crews are getting contacts quite early (up to 2000 yards), but do not corkscrew until the fighter is at a range of 600 yards, or until the gunners obtain a visual. The outcome in several encounters of this nature has been for a gunner to order “corkscrew” and the fighter to open fire at the same moment, often causing damage to the aircraft before the manoeuvre has begun. The moral is quite obvious. If you have adequate warning of an E/A go into a corkscrew at 750 yards. This technique has put fighters off time and again.

[Underlined] WINDOW [/underlined]

Frequent reminders have been seen in these pages in recent issues emphasising the necessity for dropping Window at the correct rate. If some people have taken note of these reminders, there are still others who have yet to realise the importance of launching Window correctly. A long and interesting paper has been produced by the Window experts and will be forwarded to units in a day or so. All crews must take the opportunity of finding out all about Window from this informative paper.

[Underlined] RECORDINGS OF CREW PROCEDURES [/underlined]

An excellent portable wire recording and reproducing unit, lent to us from the USAAF has supplied us with some interesting recordings of crew intercommunication and V.H.F. R/T procedure in Controllers’ aircraft during recent attacks. Experiments are being carried out to convert these recordings into permanent records for use in squadrons and training units. One point which stands out clearly is the reluctance of the bombing force

(Continued at foot of Column 2)

[Underlined] TACTICS (Cont. from Col.3)

to comply quickly with the Controller’s orders. After he orders bombing to cease there should be no delay in withholding your bombing run. Even a Mosquito which probably has to fly low and re-mark or back up, cannot cope with a shower of bombs falling on top of it.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 12.

[Page break]

GUNNERY

[Underlined] TRAINING WITH CINE GYRO ASSESSORS [/underlined]

This training showed a very welcome increase during May, particularly in the 51 Base units, who have now got the scheme working smoothly, but could produce even better results is [sic] more gyro assessors were available. 20 more assessors have been asked for, and it is intended to distribute them within 51 Base to reduce the amount of fitting and removal in aircraft. This, at present, is considerable, and rapid changes have to be made each time an aircraft detailed for gyro work becomes unserviceable. With the increased allotment of assessors, more aircraft will be fitted, and less wear and tear imposed on the assessors.

Squadron training with gyro assessors has also improved, but there still remain several squadrons who are lagging behind. These Units should make an effort to exercise more crews during June, and aim at giving each gunner at least one exercise during each month. 97 and 83 Squadrons have now been equipped with assessors and will commence training early in June. Squadron Gunnery Leaders have been instructed in assessing the films, and all processing can be carried out on the spot. Instances have occurred when processed films have remained in the Photos. Section 24 hours after processing; this shows a lack of co-operation between Photos. and Gunnery; it is essential that films be shown as soon as possible after landing, while details of the exercise are still fresh in the gunners’ minds. All operational units are being equipped with an “Ampro” projector, for projecting cine gyro films, and all existing silent projectors will be replaced by the “Ampro”, which is particularly suitable for film assessing. Details of the issue and exchange are contained in Bomber Command letter BC/S.23964/E.4. dated 25th March, 1944.

[Underlined] SIGHTING CHECKS IN SQUADRONS [/underlined]

During May, personnel from 1690 B.D.T. Flight carried out a series of sighting checks on Squadron gunners; the results are given below:-

[Table of Gunners’ Test Results by Squadron]

Squadron Average 64.64

Gunnery Conferences were also held at each Base, and all Gunnery matters, particularly training were discussed; minutes of these Conferences have been circulated to all units. The suggestions put forward at these conferences are under consideration, and decisions will be communicated to Units shortly. The suggestions that each squadron should have a training aircraft was of particular interest to Gunnery Leaders, as it will ease the problem of gyro fitting and harmonising considerably.

[Underlined] FROSTBITE [/underlined]

After a period of warm weather, and medium height attacks, the return to high level attacks on Duisburg and Brunswick produced several instances of frostbite amongst gunners. Precaution against frostbite must be observed at all times. A recent examination of gunners’ helmets in one unit revealed that quite a number had not the metal parts of the harness covered with tape, thus increasing the risk of frostbite to the face. Both the use of Lanolin and the abovementioned precaution are vital if frostbite is to be avoided.

The use of Balaclava helmets has proved successful, and a request has been made to establish this a as a stores item; this will eliminate the necessity for relying on the local knitting circle and the Comforts fund as a source of supply. While we are very grateful for the efforts of those concerned, some units had difficulty in obtaining enough to equip all gunners.

[Underlined] CLEANLINESS OF PERSPEX [/underlined]

Units are reminded that “SINEC” cleaning outfits, stores reference 336/767, are available on a scale of one per aircraft, for cleaning perspex, and gunners should avail themselves of this equipment for cleaning turret cupolas. The outfit consists of three bottles of cleaning and polishing preparations together with cleaning rags. One squadron has twenty of these outfits held in the Gunnery Section, which are issued on signature to Gunners each morning when gunners are allotted aircraft for daily inspection.

[Underlined] MARK IIIN REFLECTOR SIGHT {Stores Ref. 83/2465 [/underlined]

The above item has been introduced in sufficient quantities to equip all rear turrets in operational aircraft, letter dated 21st May, reference 5G/618/2/Armt. gives full particulars of this issue. The sight embodies a new type dimming control and has no metal hood, which improves the search position. No sunscreen is fitted to the Mark IIIN sight, but special sights are available fitted with a sunscreen. Reports from gunners who have used the sight on operations are all in favour, and Gunnery Leaders should press for the fitting of this item.

[Underlined] ODD JOTTINGS [/underlined]

Experiments are being made to ascertain the possibilities of using a pilot type parachute in the rear turret.

Fiskerton have received the first F.N.121 rear turret on a demonstration stand. This turret includes Mark 2C Gyro Gunsight, electric motor for servo feed, and improved valve-box.

Supply of microphone heaters is held up for three months, but an allotment of 100 has been received; these will be distributed early in June.

Standard Free Gunnery Trainer at Swinderby is completed.

Squadrons are now being equipped with electric gun heaters in rear turrets.

1690 B.D.T.F. personnel at Swinderby are producing a synthetic trainer for teaching the corkscrew.

Tests with infra-red cameras in rear turrets against Hurricane aircraft at night, will be made during June.

[Underlined] GUNNERY LEADERS’ MOVEMENTS [/underlined]

Congratulations to S/Ldr. Patten on appointment to the C.G.I. post at Aircrew School, Scampton.

F/Lt Hamilton will fill Gunnery Leader vacancy at Aircrew School.

(Continued on page 14, Column 2)

This month’s bag:

[Cartoon]

[Underlined] DESTROYED [/underlined]

Squadron. A/C letter Date Type of E/A

44 Y 3/4.5.44. ME.109 (c)
207 X 3/4.5.44. ME.110 (c)
106 Q 9/10.5.44. JU. 88 (c)
61 P 11/12.5.44.. JU. 88 (c)

[Underlined] PROBABLY DESTROYED [/underlined]

630 Z 3/4.5.44. ME.109 (c)
57 T 21/22.5.44. JU. 88
57 C 22/23.5.44. JU. 88

[Underlined] DAMAGED [/underlined]

57 T 1/2.5.44. ME.210
97 N 3/4.5.44. ME.210 or 410
57 A 7/8.5.44. ME.410 (c)
97 E 7/8.5.44. ME.109
57 L 7/8.5.44. JU. 88
57 L 7/8.5.44. T/E u/i
619 A 7/8.5.44. DO.217 (c)
630 E 12.5.44. ME.110 (c)
57 T 21/22.5.44. JU. 88
619 G 21/22.5.44. JU. 88 (c)
630 Q 21/22.5.44. T/E u/I (c)
207 F 22/23.5.44. JU. 88
106 V 22/23.5.44. JU. 88
106 R 27/28.5.44. ME.110

The claims marked (c) have been confirmed by Headquarters, Bomber Command.

[Cartoon]

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 13

[Page break]

SECOND THOUGHTS FOR PILOTS

[Underlined] VETERANS [/underlined]

Read paragraphs 1 to 3 for Freshmen. The same applies to you. The 90° test for the Mark XIV Bombsight is as new to you as to the freshmen, so get it buttoned up. It has been proved that experienced pilots who can fly accurately in normal flight, and keep the top needle of the turn and bank indicator central, develop a consistent creep as soon as they commence the bombing run. Are you one of the offenders?

Take an interest in the analysis of your practice bombing results. Take an interest in the technical staff who maintain your bombsight. Talk things over with your Air Bomber. You’ve probably some these things before, and you must concentrate on them even more from now on.

Don’t expect your navigator to get accurate pinpoints on H2S unless you are assisting him by flying straight and level. If you fly unsteadily, the images he gets will be blurred and indistinct.

There’s a landing ground at Fristen near Eastbourne which you may see homeward bound sometime. This is not an airfield with facilities comparable to Woodbridge and is now unsuitable for night landings. The airfield surface is grass and the longest run, 1650 yards, has a sheer drop into the sea. Don’t use this landing ground except as a last resort in a grave “emergency”.

If your hydraulics are unserviceable and you are attempting a belly landing or a ditching, don’t use the air bottle to lower some flap otherwise the wheels will come down as well!

If you have to land using Fido, turn on your internal cockpit lights. This will help to counteract dazzle from the glare of the burners.

[Underlined] FRESHMEN [/underlined]

Flying for bombing must be your main preoccupation from now on. You are attacking small targets and are putting night precision bombing on the map. First of all learn the limitations of the Mark XIV Bombsight, and the flying errors that can creep in.

Study the 90° method of testing the Mark XIV Bombsight in flight. Don’t leave this to your Air Bomber. You play a very large part in making this test productive.

Do correctly banked turns for correction on your bombing run. Keep the top needle of the turn and bank central. Don’t slip or skid. Practice correction with your Air Bomber, and when you get the “Steady” from him, come out of your turn in the normal way. Don’t hurry the recovery from the turn.

Several pilots got into difficulties last month through flying in or near cumulo-nimbus cloud. This type of cloud is dangerous for all aircraft, and the moral is – avoid it!! Get a copy of A.P. 1980 – “How to Avoid Flying Accidents due to Weather” – it’s well worth reading.

If you experience juddering after take off it is probably due to the wheels spinning as the undercarriage retracts. Apply a touch of brake to stop the wheels. Check your cowlings in case the juddering is due to other causes.

This is old “gen” but it is still ignored. Don’t rush your throttles open on take-off, just because you are on a short runway with a full load. Your airscrews will only be slipping, and you won’t get the thrust equivalent of the power used. Open up easily and gradually. You’ll “unstick” just as soon and you won’t swing.

Aircrew Volunteers

(a) New Volunteers

(b) Accepted by A.C.B.S.

(c) Posted for training

(d) Awaiting interview by A.C.S.B.

[Table of Aircrew Volunteers by Station]

GUNNERY LEADERS’ MOVEMENTS (Cont. from page 13 Col. 3)

F/Lt. Wynyard, ex 57 Squadron, will take over Gunnery Leader’s post at 49 Squadron.

F/Lt. Harper, ex 207 Squadron will fill Gunnery Leader’s post at 1660 Con. Unit) [sic]

F/Lt. Clarke, ex 1660 Con. Unit to fill Gunnery Leader’s post at 467 Squadron.

F/Lt. Cleary, ex 27 O.T.U., Lichfield, to fill Gunnery Leader’s post at 44 Squadron.

F/Lt. Gross appointed Gunnery Leader at 9 Squadron.

F/O Wyand posted from 9 Squadron to 619 Squadron.

F/Lt. Howard posted to Coningsby for special duties.

PHOTOGRAPHY

The number of photographic attempts during the month of May was 1515, of which 1045 produced plottable ground detail; it will again be noted from the analysis that the percentage of failures remains high. Many of these failures should not have occurred.

Small stocks of Kodacolour films do not permit its extensive use, but a proportion of aircraft in all squadrons except No. 54 Base, have been detailed to carry composite film. It is still necessary to centralise processing at Scampton to economise in the use of special chemicals. Nos. 53 and 55 Bases have now undertaken the assembly of their own composite film, and it is interesting to note that no major difficulties have been experienced. It is, however, obvious that all photographers do not yet realise the extreme care that is necessary when dealing with composite film assembly. Senior N.C.O’s are directly responsible for studying the preliminary instructions issued from this Headquarters, and ensuring that he whole of their staff are trained and practiced; this is particularly important in respect of processing, and when sufficient chemicals and film are available, each Base Photographic Section will commence its own processing. No deviation from these instructions will be permitted.

[Underlined] H 2 S Photography, [/underlined] the small supply of miniature cameras has retarded progress, but an improvement is expected during this month. Results have been obtained with the few cameras at our disposal, but some of them were out of focus. This is thought to be due to the focussing device. Examine this item of equipment, and ensure that the matt surface, of the glass is [underlined] towards the camera lens and the packing piece between the glass surface and the screw locking ring. [/underlined]

It is necessary to draw attention to the curious fact that there are still some photographic personnel that imagine that their only duty is F.24 night photography, and that when new methods and equipment are introduced they should be attended by increases of staff. That this attitude should be obvious id an indication of poor control on the part of certain N.C.O’s; it is, therefore, necessary to correct this idea immediately. It does not matter what photography is undertaken, the photographic section on the Station and Squadron will treat each branch with speed and efficiency. There are no trade union hours in the R.A.F. and Senior N.C.O’s are reminded that the question of priority of work, should it arise, will be given by the Senior Intelligence Officer.

ANALYSIS OF RESULTS BY SQUADRONS

[Table of Photographic Results by Squadron]

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 14

[Page break]

[Cartoon] SPORTS [Cartoon]

The month is remarkable for the scarcity of station reports. The change-over from winter to summer games may have some bearing on this, but reports are essential if this column is to mirror the Group activities, so next month, chaps, please let us have it by the 2nd, missing nothing from the activities of the local trout-ticklers to the best figures of the station Henry Cotton.

[Underlined] FOOTBALL [/underlined]

[Underlined] SCAMPTON’s [/underlined] final game in the Lincoln League was with Avro. They lost 5- 3 to their “case hardened” rivals, but have put up the following significant record:-

Played. 52
Won. 38
Lost. 10
Drawn. 4
Goals for 193
Goals against 113

[Underlined] DUNHOLME LODGE [/underlined] completed their season with two games, losing 1 – 3 to Waddington and beating Scothern 2 – 0 at home.

[Underlined] FISKERTON [/underlined] football has seen a memorable rivalry in the knock-out competition, between “B” Flight and S.H.Q. These two teams have now played four games with extra time in the last two, and still no result. The winners of this Homeric duel meet B.A.T. Flight to battle for the cup.

[Underlined] BARDNEY [/underlined] wound up their season with a 4 – 2 win over the 1st Border Regiment, leaving them with the following satisfactory season result:-

Played. 18
Won. 12
Lost. 3
Drawn. 3
Goals for 65
Goals against 42

RUGGER

[Underlined] WINES RUGGER CUP [/underlined] – The Wines trophy was finally won by Winthorpe in a hard tussle with Dunholme. The result was 11 – 8 for Winthorpe after a keen game with both sides going all out. In the second half some pretty passing was produced, and it was certainly anyone’s game until the final stages when Winthorpe got on top although their right three-quarter had left the field. Air Commodore Hesketh presented the trophy to the winning team. Winthorpe are to be congratulated on reaching the final of both the Wines Cup and the Matz Soccer Trophy – well done Winthorpe.

[Underlined] HOCKEY [/underlined]

[Underlined] SCAMPTON [/underlined] would [sic] up their season with three games, all of which they won. A Men’s team beat Ingham 4 – 0 at Scampton. Their next two matches were the semi-final and final of the Group Mixed Hockey Competition. In the semi-final they beat Waddington 4 – 3 in a hard fought game, and defeated East Kirkby 5 – 3 at Swinderby in the final.

[Underlined] 5 GROUP MIXED HOCKEY TROPHY [/underlined]

The latter stages of this Competition were rather long drawn out, and East Kirkby stood patiently by, waiting for the other finalist to be decided. Scampton and Waddington met in the semi-final, Scampton winning 4 – 3 by a last minute goal. The final was played off at Swinderby. Scampton had a very forceful forward line and led 5 – 1 until Kirkby staged a rally and added two quick goals, leaving the final score 5 – 3 for Scampton. So Scampton became the first holders of the 5 Group Mixed Hockey Trophy. This latest addition to the Group Cups has been purchased by the officers of 5 Group Headquarters, and presented for annual competition amongst the Group Stations.

[Underlined] CRICKET [/underlined]

[Underlined] THE GROUP COMPETITION [/underlined] is going well. Sections A and B have already produced finalists. In Section B two powerful teams are to meet in the final – Swinderby and Syerston. In Round 1, Swinderby beat Dunholme by 5 wickets; in Round 2 they beat Waddington without losing any wickets. Syerston scored 115 – 0 against Skellingthorpe’s 26 all out in Round 1. In Round 2 they beat Headquarters 5 Group side, scoring 70 – 10 against Group’s 52 – 9. This last game was quite a thriller. Group batted first on a well soaked wicket, and scratched together 52. The formidable Syerston opening pair (MacKenzie (Hants) and Warburton (Lancs)) soon rattled up 30, and looked set for the night. Then inspiration came to the Group’s change bowler. MacKenzie and Warburton fell in successive overs and Todd went on to return an average of 7 for 8. Group passes out of the competition, but got a tremendous moral fillip at having “shaken ‘em”. Even the fielders, floundering (and sitting), in knee high grass, felt the flush of near-triumph. Wigsley, in Round 1, were unlucky to lose to Group. The Headquarters side were all out for 102 and Wigsley made 94 for 5, not realising until too late in the game that the 15 overs were nearly spent.

In Section A, Metheringham beat Spilsby (62 – 8; 58 – 10), and Woodhall (33 – 4) beat Bardney (32-10). East Kirkby had a bye to the second round and Coningsby beat Fiskerton to become the other semi-finalist. Metheringham (95 – 8) beat Kirkby (79 – 10) in Round 2, the other finalist not yet being decided. It should be possible to play off the Section finals and the Group final before this month end, leaving the warmer (we hope) weather for more leisurely friendly games.

[Underlined] SCAMPTON [/underlined] played five Station matches during May, and in addition had several inter-section matches and W.A.A.F. games.

[Underlined] DUNHOLME [/underlined] managed three games, losing to Swinderby in the Group Cup, beating Scampton and playing a draw with De Ashton Schools. In addition five section games were played.

[Underlined] FISKERTON [/underlined] were very industrious and laid two practice wickets and two pitches in a field adjacent to the camp, and practice wickets at Watch Tower, A and B dispersal, and B.A.T. Flight Hangar. There is no better way of ensuring a full and profitable season than this adequate provision of pitches – well done Fiskerton.

[Underlined] BARDNEY [/underlined played Border Regiment, losing 43 – 62; their second games was with Woodhall in the Group Cup. Woodhall, who field a powerful side, defeated them33 – 4 against 32 – 10.

[Underlined] 5 GROUP [/underlined] boast a cricket pitch with fielders’ amenities, in the form of trees within whose shade the more cunning deep slips lurk. The wicket is not so kind, and emphatically earns its title “sporty”, in true village tradition. The Group side beat Wigsley in Round 1 of the Cup, but lost to Syerston. An evening game v 93 M.U. at Collingham was marred by Home Guard charging about the field in their Salute the Soldier manoeuvres. A R.A.F. – W.A.A.F. game Is planned, the only limits imposed on the R.A.F. being that they bat left-handed, bowl underhand, and take catches one handed!

[Underlined] SOFT BALL [/underlined]

Fiskerton beat Skellingthorpe 25 – 2 in the first match in the South Lincoln Zone Competition. The game is arousing considerable interest among non-Canadian personnel. Any station that would like to field a team is invited to contact Fiskerton or Bardney.

[Underlined] GENERAL [/underlined]

Tennis, Squash, Swimming, Cycling, Golf, Badminton – every game has its enthusiasts throughout the Group. Sport is doubly important just now – it’s a duty to be “fit to fight”.

ECONOMY AND SALVAGE

DUNHOLME LODGE received a “special mention” for Economy and Salvage in the Bomber Command Bulletin No. 35 for May, 1944.

Most people in this country, and probably in many other countries as well, are keyed up for the biggest military operation in history, which is scheduled to begin on “D” Day.

There is no doubt that when the plunge is made, very great demands will be made on transport for some time, and the supply of materials will be a matter of first-rate importance.

“Ah, yes”, you say, “but the plans are already made, and sufficient materials will be available and provision made for their transport when the day arrives. Anyway, what’s that got to do with my job?”.

Just this. Each of us has the opportunity day in and day out, of effecting some economy, either by means of using less of certain things than we have become accustomed to, or by ensuring that minor repairs to equipment are carried out promptly, and so preventing major repairs or renewals.

Our first aim should, therefore, be to take care of materials and equipment so that their repair or replacement is reduced to a minimum, and, secondly, when things cannot be used any longer, they are disposed of as salvage.

The most important items are Paper and Cardboard, Heavy Ferrous Metal, Drums of all types, and used Oils.

The Scots have a saying – “Every mickle makes a muckle” which, being interpreted, means “A stitch in time saves nine”!

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 15

[Page break]

ACCIDENTS (CONTD:)

also on landing, and damaged another aircraft in dispersal. This accident has not yet been fully investigated.

[Underlined] OVERSHOOTS [/underlined]

A Squadron pilot made a wheel landing on a long runway in a Lancaster, and did not take into account his all up weight of 55,000 lbs. He was late in applying brake, and overshot. The undercarriage broke in a ditch. There was no wind at the time. Remember the slower rate of deceleration with a heavily laden aircraft!

Two of the Stirlings which overshot were on three engines. One pupil Pilot landed on a short runway in a light wind. He should have asked Flying Control to let him use the long runway, as three-engined landings on less than 2000 yards runways are forbidden in 51 Base. Details of the other three engined overshoot are not yet available, but it follows the usual pattern – an error of judgement by and inexperienced pilot who approached too fast.

[Underlined] OTHERS [/underlined]

One pupil in a Stirling crashed while attempting to go round again from a low height, with one propeller feathered. This accident is still under investigation.

A Lancaster pilot returned from an operation this month and forgot to lower his undercarriage before landing. Such accidents are fortunately few and far between on Lancasters. Sufficient to say that the log books of both Pilot and Flight Engineer have been endorsed in RED. This aircraft had a noisy TR1196, which probably accounted for the F/Engineer not hearing the order “Wheels Down”, but….

A Lancaster was taking off when the leading edge of the port wing came loose and folded back. With great difficulty the pilot got the aircraft in the air. He made a fast approach out of necessity but the resultant heavy landing wrecked the aircraft. The primary cause of this accident was faulty maintenance, but it must be remembered that when examining leading edges for security before starting up, pilots and Flight Engineers must get [underlined] under [/underlined] the wing and see that the panel is flush with the mainplane. It is no good just looking at the screws from the front.

Included in the other accidents (not classed as avoidable) are 7 caused by tyre bursts, 3 undercarriage pylon failures in Stirlings, and 4 obscure crashes. One Lancaster landed on top of another which was about to take off, and caused fatal injuries. This accident is under investigation.

[Underlined] HEAVY LANDINGS [/underlined]

The ‘score’ of heavy landings this month is [underlined] nil. [/underlined] – first month for a long time. This is just as it should be. Keep it up!

GIVE ALL YOU CAN TO THE 5 GROUP PRISONERS OF WAR FUND.

(SEE PAGE 4 FOR DETAILS)

TRAINING

There was a record number of crews produced by 51 Base during the month. A total of 131 crews were posted to No. 5 L.F.S. and 136 passed out from 5L.F.S. to squadrons. The Base, therefore, produced eleven crews in excess of the commitment for the month. To achieve this, the Heavy Conversion Units flew 5,650 hours and the L.F.S. the exceptionally fine figure of 2,240 hours. The weather was exceptional throughout the month, and hard work by maintenance personnel provided all units with the aircraft necessary to meet commitments.

A high light during the month was provided by 1661 Conversion Unit which put up 21 Stirlings on the night of 24/25th May, on night cross countries, Bullseye and bombing exercises. There were 21 aircraft detailed, no cancellations, no early returns and no accidents. The take off was on Operational lines and the aircraft took off at about a minute and a half intervals.

Accidents, unfortunately, marred the picture. The problem of tyre creep and busts is still a major one. Undercarriage defects have involved extensive co-operation with the manufacturers. It is hoped that “coring”, which has been a chronic complaint, will be cured as a result of the month’s investigations. Experiments are being made with tractors to tow aircraft instead of taxying, to see whether braking during taxying is the prime factor contributing to tyre defects.

H 2 S training is expanding in quantity and quality with each week. The difficulty of keeping the necessary serviceability balance between H 2 S and non-H 2 S aircraft is a serious headache for engineers. The new radar buildings will enable extra bench sets to be installed and more ground training completed.

A new syllabus for ground training has been introduced to provide instruction on better crew co-operation lines. Lecture room accommodation is inevitably an associated problem. The Instructor check staff now fly more frequently with crews under training, and some improvement in al specialist sections is apparent.

[Underlined] COMMITMENTS FOR JUNE [/underlined]

The month of June will see the summer training programme in full swing. The commitment will be 132 crews per month from the 3 Heavy Conversion Units, and 128 from No.5 LFS. From 15th June, LFS. are scheduled to produce 132 crews per month. This should be regarded as the minimum, and all Units should endeavour to exceed their commitment without loss of quality.

To ensure that the demands of No.5 L.F.S. are not excessive, and that crews will get a maximum amount of supervised training a revised Lancaster training syllabus has been produced. This will give crews at L.F.S. a total of 11 hours Lancaster flying, of which 6 hours will be dual. The instruction is confined basically to conversion to type and all cross country and affiliation exercises will be done on the squadrons. Instructors have been detached from 51 Base to supervise squadron training which will amount to 11 hrs 10 minutes, not including an experience sortie. Careful organisation by Operational bases is essential to ensure the smooth running of the supervised training in squadrons.

(Continued from previous column)

H 2 S commitments are increasing steadily, and with the fitting of H2S in 619 Squadron, approximately 50% of crews under training will now be required for H2S Squadrons. This means that 15 crews going into our Heavy Conversion Units from now on should be ear-marked for H2S training.

[Underlined] BOMBING TRAINING DRIVE [/underlined]

A drive on bombing, and the need for the most intensive application to bombing training is paramount. The night precision bombing which this Group is carrying out will receive its foundation of consistent accuracy in 51 Base. Crews at the Aircrew School must receive a thorough grounding in the checking of the Mark XIV Bombsight and its use on operations. On all flying exercises when practice bombs are carried, the correct bombing procedure and the elimination of error is to be regarded as the main object of the flight. The bombing exercises are to be thoroughly analysed after every flight, and the Base Bombing Leader must check the progress of the bombing drive in the Base. The motto is- Think bombing, talk bombing, practice bombing, analyse bombing and BOMB ACCURATELY.

RECENT GOOD SHOWS

P/O Secker and Sgt Gillespie of 619 Sqdn. set a fine example of airmanship on a recent sortie. During take-off P/O Secker found the A.S.I. was unserviceable. He continued the take-off, however, and in spite of the unserviceable instrument, set a course for the target. Sgt Gillespie, the Flight Engineer, traced the fault to a stripped nut in a pipeline. He repaired the pipeline with adhesive tape, and the crew completed a successful sortie.

P/O Dunne, pupil pilot of 1661 Conversion Unit, was taking off in a Stirling when at about 50 feet the port inner engine caught fire. He feathered the propeller and made a safe three-engined landing. This was a good show which reflects credit on his instructor.

Quick thinking and decisive action on the part of Sgt. Spears, a pupil Flight Engineer of 1654 Conversion Unit, saved a Stirling last month. Due to faulty manipulation by the 1st Engineer, all four engines cut through lack of fuel. Sgt Spears, however, tackled this failure and managed to restart the engines when the aircraft had reached 600 feet.

P/O Monaghan of 106 Squadron, showed excellent captaincy and skilled flying under very difficult conditions. He was shot up over the target, and on his return to this country could only get one leg of his undercarriage down. He made a superb landing on the one main whell [sic] in 500 yards visibility at Carnaby emergency airfield, without causing injury to the crew.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 16

HONOURS & AWARDS [Cartoon]

The following immediate awards have been approved during the month.

44 SQUADRON

F/Sgt. K.L. SUMNER D.F.M.
P/O W.A. STRATIS D.F.C.
S/L S.L. COCKBAIN D.F.C.

49 SQUADRON

P/O G.E. BALL D.F.C.
A/S/L J.H. EVANS, DFC Bar to D.F.C.
P/O A.G. EDGAR D.F.C.

57 SQUADRON

SGT. R.D. CHANDLER D.F.M.

61 SQUADRON

P/O R.J. AUCKLAND D.F.C.
F/O G.A. BERRY D.F.C.

83 SQUADRON

W/O K.A. LANE D.F.C.
F/L N.A. MACKIE, DFC Bar to D.F.C.

97 SQUADRON

A/F/L G.S. CHATTEN D.S.O.

106 SQUADRON

S/L E. SPRAWSON D.F.C.

207 SQUADRON

W/C J.F. GREY D.F.C.

463 SQUADRON

A/S/L W.L. BRILL, DFC D.S.O.
F/O D.F. WARD D.F.C.
W/C KINGSFORD-SMITH D.F.C.

467 SQUADRON

F/O J.A.C. KENNEDY D.F.C.

617 SQUADRON

F/O P. KELLY, DFC Bar to D.F.C.
F/O L.J. SUMPTER, DFM D.F.C.

619 SQUADRON

SGT. H.G. BRADY D.F.M.
P/O D.A. WADSWORTH D.F.C.
SGT F.H. JOY D.F.M.
SGT. J.H. MALTBY D.F.M.
W/C J.R. JEUDWINE, OBE D.F.C.
A/S/L W.N. WHAMOND, DFC Bar to D.F.C.
F/L J.A. HOWARD, DFC Bar to D.F.C.
F/SGT L.J. BIRCH D.F.M.

627 SQUADRON

F/L D.W. PECK, DFC D.S.O.

630 SQUADRON

P/O R.C. HOOPER D.S.O.
A/F/L T. NEILSON D.F.C.

The following Non-Immediate awards were approved during the month.

9 SQUADRON

F/SGT N.D. OWEN D.F.M.
F/SGT J.L. ELLIORR D.F.M.
SGT. A. FIELDING D.F.M.
SGT A.G. DENYER D.F.M.
SGT. K. PACK D.F.M.
F/O C.P. NEWTON D.F.C.

44 SQUADRON

F/SGT B.H. WHITE D.F.M.
SGT. H.R. PITCHER D.F.M.
F/SGT C.W. DIMBLEBY D.F.M.
P/O R.A. McKITRICK D.F.C.
F/O J. GOURLAY D.F.C.
SGT. V.F.G. LAKER D.F.M.
P/O Q. SNOW D.F.C.

49 SQUADRON

F/L R.N. GIBSON D.F.C.
P/O L.F. TAYLOR D.F.C.

50 SQUADRON

P/O J.M. LAING D.F.C.
F/O W.R. FRANCIS D.F.C.

57 SQUADRON

F/O G.K. KING D.F.C.
SGT. H. JOHNSON D.F.M.

[Page break]

57 SQUADRON cont.

F/O H.H. CHADWICK D.F.C.
P/O J. SHERRIFF D.F.C.
P/O W.A. WEST D.F.C.
F/SGT W. DAVIS D.F.M.

61 SQUADRON

F/L A. SANDISON D.F.C.
F/O C.E. LANCE D.F.C.

106 SQUADRON

F/O H. JOHNSON D.F.C.
F/SGT W.P. AHIG D.F.M.
F/SGT J. BOADEN D.F.M.
A/S/L A.H. CROWE, DFC Bar to D.F.C.
SGT L.J.B. BLOOD D.F.M.
F/SGT A.G. MEARNS D.F.M.

207 SQUADRON

P/O C.M. LAWS D.F.C.
SGT H.C. DEVENISH D.F.M.
SGT G.H. CASTELL D.F.M.
A/F/L H.J. PRYOR D.F.C.
P/O S.V. SAFELLE D.F.C.
F/SGT A. BRUCE D.F.M.
SGT. A. BARKER D.F.M.

467 SQUADRON

P/O B.R. JONES D.F.C.
P/O R.M. STANFORD D.F.C.

617 SQUADRON

W/O W.J. BENNETT D.F.C.
P/O W.G. RADCLIFFE D.F.C.
F/SGT R. BATSON D.F.M.
F/SGT M.G. DOWMAN D.F.M.

463 SQUADRON

F/O A.E. KELL D.F.C.

630 SQUADRON

SGT D.J. TAYLOR D.F.M.
F/O J.H. PRATT D.F.C.

[Page break]

OPERATIONS (CONT.)

damage, although on a rather less severe scale can be seen at the Power Station to the N.E. The attack by a small force on Annecy on 9/10 was outstandingly successful. Apart from one small building in the S.E. corner of the factory, the whole target has been almost completely destroyed. On the 24/25th the raid on Eindhoven was abandoned owing to 10/10ths cloud, but this disappointment was to some extent compensated by a successful attack on the General Motors Assembly Plant on the same night. The main building group is about 75% demolished, while damage can be identified to dockside buildings and servicing tracks.

Sea mining was undertaken on five nights during the month.

A note of extreme optimism perculated into the month’s operations by the introduction of four coastal defence battery targets. The first to be attacked was Marselines and St. Valery-en-Caux, both on 27/28. The former battery received many near misses within 50 yards, but it is difficult to speculate on the resultant damage to the primary weapons. Some damage to personnel accommodation is, however, apparent.

St. Valery was more successful 208 craters can be seen in the target area, resulting in four of the emplacements receiving direct hits, with very near misses to the remaining two positions. The following night, 28/29, the battery at St. Martin de Varreville was attacked. An extremely heavy concentration of craters throughout the battery area was achieved, with obliteration of all but one of the emplacements. The coastal defence battery at Maisy, singled out for attack on the night of 31st, had 10/10ths stratus to thank for a quiet night.

Although the true Allied design is cloaked, and little can be gained from the study of the month’s air tactics, it can at least be tendered that our offensive is producing results which are measurable and progressive.

AIR TRAINING

There was a satisfactory improvement in the number of fighter affiliation details flown by aircraft of 1690 B.D.T. Flight during the month, Squadrons and Training Units trebled the number of Gyro Assessor exercises compared with the April figure.

The fighters carried out 440 hours day affiliation (over 1700 exercises) and 251 hours other flying, which included standing patrols for “snap” interceptions of Stirlings in 51 Base, night training, air tests and drogue towing for the R.A.F. Regiment. The posting of five Hurricane pilots in a week towards the end of the month seriously handicapped Squadron affiliation and replacements are urgently required.

Hurricane pilots of the detached elements of the Flight in the Operational Bases who were out of touch with night flying, were given a short refresher at R.A.F. Station, Cranwell. No. 52 Base showed initiative and enthusiasm by completing their night Hurricane training during the month and doing some searchlight co-operation by arrangement with 50 A.A. Brigade (5 A.A. Group). They were all set to start night affiliation with their own bombers when two of their three pilots were posted. The other Bases have yet to complete night training. This must be done in the early part of June. The absence of flame shields and V.H.F. is no restriction; neither is essential.

The following table shows the details of air training in the Group, and the flying times of 1690 B.D.T. Flight.

AIR TRAINING CARRIED OUT IN CONVERSION UNITS AND SQUADRONS DURING MAY

[Table of 1690 B.D.T. Flight Flying Times by Base]

[Table of Fighter Affiliation Exercises by Squadron]

LINK TRAINER

There is a slight increase from last month in the total number of hours Link practice carried out during the month. This was, however, due entirely to an increased effort by Flight Engineers, pilot times being slightly less than the previous month. This decrease was due mainly to operational commitments, but there is still room for improvement in Link Hours. Don’t neglect your Link practice, accurate instrument flying is essential for accurate bombing.

LINK TRAINER FLYING TIMES

[Table of Link Trainer hours carried out by Squadron]

ARMAMENT (Continued from page 2 Col. 2)

[Underlined] VISIT TO STEEL FOUNDRY [/underlined]

The Armament Brach at this Headquarters was fortunate enough to pay a very interesting visit to a Steel Foundry which is casting out 1000 lb M.C. bombs for us. It is understood that this particular firm were the pioneers of the new method of casting steel bomb bodies and consequently a very comprehensive story of the evolution of the 1000 lb cast steel MC bomb was obtained from the people who really know.

The visit was of about four hours duration and all stages of the process were witnessed under the watchful eye of a very competent guide. The visit was not without its comic side; the Group Armament Officer at one time was seen diving into a heap of wet sand as a very large crucible of hot molten steel swept smartly past his ear. Incidentally the crane carrying the steel was in the very skilful hands of a member of the fair sex, which may account for the C.A.O. not seeing the crucible a little earlier.

Efforts are being made to obtain permission for all Armament Officers to have the opportunity of visiting a similar foundry.

[Underlined] TRANSPORT [/underlined]

There is at last news of the 30 cwt van for Armament Officers, and as it is now on the establishment, a daily visit to the transport section might prevent a mis-allocation.

The Army have provided 24 lorries and 50 men to assist in handling explosives – a duty new to them, which they are performing with great zeal.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944. PAGE 17

[Page break]

OPERATIONS

The high light of the month’s offensive was the dropping of more than 37,000 tons of bombs by Bomber Command – the greatest weight of bombs ever dropped in a single month. Our contribution to the blue print pattern of the Second Front has been a rather varied one, including attacks on railway centres, ammunition dumps, military depots, aircraft factories and explosives factories. 2254 sorties were flown, with 3.2% casualties.

The campaign against the enemy’s aircraft production, commenced in April last, was continued with unabated vigour, culminating in five successful missions. The attack against the Usine Liotard Aircraft Repair Works on 1/2 set a particularly high standard for the month. Of the three main buildings comprising the works, two were completely destroyed and the third severely damaged. On the same night an attack was launched against the same S.N.C.A.S.E. aircraft assembly plant at Toulouse. The whole factory sustained severe damage, including in particular, the destruction of the three main buildings, the assembly plant, the testing shop and the components store.

The main weight of the attack on TOURS airfield on 7/8th was distributed among the administrative buildings and the N., S., and W. hangar areas. In the former, seventeen buildings have been more than 50% destroyed – only eight out of the 41 buildings in the area remain undamaged. Damage is also severe in each of the hangar areas.

Both the Airfield and Seaplane Base at Brest/Lanveoc-Poulmic were attacked on 8/9. All five hangars at the airfield were hit, causing serious damage. Other incidents can also be identified. The principal damage at the Seaplane Base is to the main hangar and officers’ quarters, which have sustained several direct hits.

Mobility, and the resultant power of rapid concentration, which the Hun no doubt hoped would assist in countering the invasion threat, has made transportation the objective of much of May’s 37,000 tons. This Group was detailed to attack the railway yard and workshops at Lille on 10/11. Photographs taken after the attack indicate that two locomotive sheds and a car repair storage shed have been destroyed – the transhipment sheds and other buildings being severely damaged. There are also numerous hits on the tracks. Cover of Tours following our attack on the marshalling yard on 19/20, shows particularly severe damage to railway facilities and the passenger station. The goods depot is more that [sic] 50% destroyed, while the locomotive workshops and depot are severely affected. All tracks are interrupted. Weather affected our effort on the Amiens marshalling yard on 19/20, although some aircraft bombed. P.R.U. cover is awaited. In the raid on Nantes on 27/28, only half the effort could be brought to bear owing to smoke obscuring visibility. Despite this, a total of at least eighty hits were secured on the railway tracks, causing considerable dislocation. The railway junction at Saumur was attached [sic] with some effect on the night of the 31st. On this occasion also, smoke tended to obscure the target, but not before rather more than half of the attacking force had bombed, securing hits on the tracks, railway station and sheds and causing damage to the road bridge.

Two main targets were selected during the month – Duisburg on the 21/22, followed immediately by Brunswick on 22/23. At Duisburg further damage has been caused to business and residential property, especially in the town centre, and also to important industrial targets, chiefly in areas south of the docks. Brunswick, unfortunately, continued its charmed life, and apart from a few incidents near the eastern marshalling yards came through its ordeal unscathed.

It is interesting to note that there is some evidence that already the German repair system is overtaxed to such a degree that no attempt has been made to repair much of the damage to his communications.

If evidence is required of the rapid approach of invasion hour, this can surely be found in the recent shifting od the main weight of attack to the methodical disorganisation of the Western Wall itself. Not only have coastal defence batteries commanded our attention, but also ammunition dumps, military camps and powder works. The attack on the Pouderie Nationale Explosives Works at Toulouse was outstandingly successful. Extensive damage has been caused, which has virtually written off the plant. Sable-sur-Sarthe on 6/7th was equally effective. Photos taken the day following the raid show smoke emitting from the remains of the ammunition dump. All the principal buildings in the ammunition filling installation have been destroyed or damaged – the site of the storage units in the central sector of the dump being marked by large craters. The Salbris Explosives Works and Depot attacked on 7/8th sustained severe damage. Of the larger of the two factory units not one building has escaped. Despite the dispersal if the storage depot, which consist [sic] of ten separate areas, five have been damaged, three particularly severely.

The tank training centre at Mailly le Camp received our attention on the 3/4. Some 5000 troops and between 50 – 60 Tiger tanks were believed to have been housed here. The results achieved by the attack were impressive. Not one building in the group of M/T and barrack buildings has escaped damage, 34 out of a total of 47 buildings being totally destroyed. In the remaining group of 114 barrack buildings, 47 were destroyed and many of the remainder damaged. Bourg-Leopold (11/12) the largest enemy barracks in France was a most attractive target, but again the weather was fickle, with the result that the mission was abortive. It is interesting to note that Command has since attacked this target, producing very heavy damage throughout the entire barracks area. Our agenda for the month included four more pre-invasion targets of a rather miscellaneous variety – namely the Gnome and Phone Foundry at Gennevilliers, the Ball-Bearing Factory at Annecy the Phillips Works at Eindhoven and the Ford and General Motor Works at Antwerp. Very severe damage can be seen throughout the Foundry and Stamping Plant at Gennevilliers following the attack on 9/10. The adjoining Electrical Engineering Works and Tyre and Rubber Works have also suffered. In addition

(Continued on Page 17, Column 1)

WAR EFFORT

[Table of Sorties carried out during June including awards by Squadron]

ERRATUM: In the above table 463 Sqdn should occupy fifth place, with all subsequent squadrons amended accordingly.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.22. MAY, 1944.

Collection

Citation

“V Group News, May 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed August 18, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17757.

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