V Group News, June 1944

Title

V Group News, June 1944
5 Group News, June 1944

Description

Five Group Newsletter, number 23, June 1944. Includes a foreword by the Air Officer Commanding, and features about gunnery, air bombing, navigation, armament, navigation training, public relations, signals, gardening, equipment, air sea rescue, recent good shows, and shows not so good, engineering, training, flight engineers, enemy agents - careless talkers, signals, second thoughts for pilots, accidents, radar / nav, honours & awards, photography, aircrew volunteers, war savings, link trainer, flying control, 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

1944-06

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

18 printed sheets

Language

Type

Identifier

MStephensonS1833673-160205-27

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

Copies sent to:

Stns. 9
S Th 10
B 6.
[Indecipherable] 2
Base 1

[Stamp] Base Copy.

V GROUP NEWS V

JUNE * 1944 * [deleted] SECRET [/deleted] * NO * 23

FOREWORD by A.O.C.

June has proved to be a month of record achievements. For the first time in its history the Group despatched 3,000 sorties of which a very high percentage were successful. Much of this success is due to the flare and marking teams who are now getting into their stride, and there has been a similar improvement in bombing. For the first time the average crew bombing error from 20,000 feet for the whole Group is below 200 yards. If the reduction of 50 yards which was achieved during June can be repeated during July, the number of bombs falling on the average target will be increased by something in the order of 50. This can be seen by looking at any P.R.U. photograph and counting the number of craters which are shown in open fields on either side of the target.

I therefore ask all crews to continue with their efforts to reduce bombing errors in the knowledge that by doing so they will add to the striking power of the Group to an extent which could be achieved by no other means. The new orders for maintenance which have recently been issued should help the Instrument Section, upon whom so much depends, to improve the serviceability of the sight, and eliminate minor inaccuracies.

On two occasions during the month the Group came up against the main strength of the German Night Fighter Defences, and on both occasions suffered serious losses; although over the whole month the missing rate was below the average for previous months. Nevertheless these instances show the vital importance of gunnery and the need for improving results by every means in our power.

There is ample evidence that the combined power of the rear and mid-upper turrets will bring down enemy fighters if the aim is correct. As an example, there is the case of “M” of 207 Squadron whose crew on the night of June 9/8th destroyed two JU. 88 and one ME.110. Although results such as this will always remain exceptional, it should be possible to improve the accuracy of aim over the present general standard. Fighters are now available in 1690 Flight for affiliation exercises and every chance must be taken whenever the weather is suitable especially at night. The bombing team has shown how greatly it can improve its results by methodical training and analysis and I now look to the gunnery team to do likewise. I will do everything in my power to provide them with means and facilities for training, but much is a matter for each gunner. Night vision, methodical search, aircraft recognition, turret manipulation, clearing stoppages, can only be improved by hard individual work.

The effort which the Group has put in during the month had been made possible by the high standards of serviceability which have been achieved, and I congratulate all ranks who have helped to get aircraft and equipment into the air. The Armament sections have loaded a record tonnage of bombs while all other sections on each station have contributed their full share to the success achieved.

Finally, I congratulate No. 51 Base on completing more than 8,000 hours of training and passing out a record number of crews. In particular I would mention No. 5 L.F.S. who completed a month’s flying with no avoidable flying accidents.

[Page break]

GUNNERY

[Underlined] BASE GUNNERY LEADERS [/underlined]

June has seen the establishment of a S/Ldr Air Gunner at each Base, and a list of the officers concerned is appended at the foot of this paragraph. Whilst these officers will be concerned with all Gunnery matters, their main functions is to improve the standard of training throughout the Group, as it has long been realised that with long periods of operations the Squadron Gunnery Leaders are fully occupied and can find little time for all the other aspects of Gunnery. The Base Gunnery Leaders will, therefore, be able to devote their time to improve training facilities and equipment, and to ensure that the equipment is available in sufficient quantity to ensure the maximum benefit being obtained from it. They will also be able to supervise the preparation of Gunners for Gunnery Leader, A.G.I. and Specialist Sighting Courses, to enable the candidates to have the best possible chance of passing these courses, thus avoiding wastage of valuable vacancies. The appointment of these Officers to S/Ldr posts offers more advancement for Gunnery Leaders, and is an indication that the importance of air gunnery is receiving recognition. We wish the officers concerned good luck in their new appointments, and hope that very shortly dividends will be paid by this new establishment.

51 BASE – S/LDR HIPKIN

52 BASE – F/LT McCURDY

53 BASE – F/LT BEALE

54 BASE F/LT HOWARD

55 BASE – F/LT BREAKEY

[Underlined] GUNNERY LEADERS’ MOVEMENTS [/underlined]

An error appeared in the Movement’s column for May, regarding 467 and 44 Squadrons, and is corrected below.

F/Lt Clarke ex 1660 Con. Unit to 44 Sqdn.

F/Lt Cleary ex 27 O.T.U. to 467 Sqdn.

Other movements are:-

S/Ldr Undery ex 1690 B.D.T.F. to H.Q. No. 5 Group.

F/Lt Cass, ex L.F.S. to 630 Sqdn.

[Underlined] COMBAT REPORTS [/underlined]

Considerable time is wasted in returning incorrect combat reports to Squadrons, through claims being made which do not conform to the standards laid down by Bomber Command, as issued to all Units. The Gunnery Leaders must ensure that information entered is correct in every detail and that all claims are submitted under one of the headings, i.e. “Destroyed”, “Probably Destroyed” or “Damaged”. Numerous incidents occur when information regarding Tail Warning Devices is incomplete, and it is emphasised that this is most important and must be included in combat reports. Combat reports could be forwarded to Headquarters 5 Group more quickly than at present; the standard pro-forma is now in general use and should help in the preparation of reports. Units should check that only this amended pro-forma is used for this purpose.

This Month’s Bag

[Cartoon]

[Underlined] DESTROYED [/underlined]

Sqdn. A/C Letter Date Type of E/A

207 “M” 7/8.6.44. JU. 88 (c)
207 “M” 7/8.6.44. JU. 88 (c)
207 “M” 7/8.6.44. ME. 410 (c)
630 “Y” 9/10.6.44. JU. 88 (c)
44 “O” 9/10.6.44. ME. 109 (c)
97 “D” 9/10.6.44. DO. 217 (c)
50 “U” 15/16.6.44. JU. 88 (c)
207 “F 21/22.6.44. ME. 109
57 “G” 24/25.6.44. ME. 109
57 “G” 24/25.6.44. JU. 88
97 “Q” 24/25.6.44. JU. 88 (c)
207 “B” 24/25.6.44. ME 109

[Underlined] PROBABLY DESTROYED [/underlined]

106 “G” 6/7.6.44. ME. 110 (c)
467 “X” 21/22.6.44. T/E.

[Underlined] DAMAGED [/underlined]

207 “J” 1.6.44. T/E (c)
57 “P” 1.6.44. JU. 88
50 “D” 6.6.44. ME. 410
9 “O” 6/7.6.44. JU. 88 (c)
630 “O” 6/7.6.44. JU. 88 (c)
630 “V” 9/10.6.44. JU. 88 (c)
97 “Q” 9/10.6.44. JU. 88 (c)
106 “F” 14/15.6.44. FW. 190 (c)
207 “D” 24/25.6.44. ME. 109

Claims annotated (c) have been confirmed by Headquarters, Bomber Command.

[Underlined] ODD JOTTINGS [/underlined]

A new type of two-piece flying suit is on trial in 53 Base, and the results will, in due course, be made available.

Replies have been received from all Units in the use of the Pilot type parachute for rear gunners and recommendations forwarded to H.Q. Bomber Command. With slight modification to the turret, this idea seems feasible, but may call for a revision in the type of clothing to be worn.

Ampro projectors are appearing in operational units for assessing Cine Gyro films. The establishment is one per station.

Units are again reminded that filters suitable for the Shadowgraph and 16 m.m. projector for use in night vision training are available. When requesting an issue of these filters from H.Q. 5 Group, units are to confirm that they have a [underlined] fully [/underlined] blacked out room for night vision training.

CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING

Instructions have now been issued to all Stations to construct a sandbag traphouse for clay pigeon shooting, and full details given for the layout of the range. Severn P.F.O’s are attending the Instructor’s Course on the 7th July, and the remainder on the 23rd July; these instructors will pass on to Unit Gunnery Leaders instructions for these practices, to ensure that at least two officers are available for conducting the exercises. Gunnery Leaders should press for the construction of the traphouses and ensure that all equipment is overhauled and ready for use.

AIR TRAINING CARRIED OUT IN CONVERSION UNITS AND SQUADRONS DURING JUNE.

[Table of Fighter Affiliation and Air Firing Exercises by Squadron]

Fighter Affiliation Grand Total = 1493

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 2

[Page break]

AIR BOMBING

[Underlined] ATTACKS ON LIMOGES MARSHALLING YARDS [/underlined]

1,424 bombs were dropped. Of this total 844 craters have been counted on the P.R.U. photographs. We can therefore only consider 59% of the total number of bombs dropped.

The M.P.I. of all craters was established and a circle of radius 150 yards was drawn. Inside this circle the number of craters that could be counted totalled 152 and the remaining 692 craters were counted outside the circle. Therefore the Pilot and Air Bomber’s error for 692 bombs was greater than 150 yds.

With our 152 bombs inside the 150 yards circle we achieved 10 hits per acre and if we assume that of the bombs not counted, we obtained the same percentage inside 150 yards our hits per acre would increase to 17.

There were 211 bombs between the 150 yards and 250 yards circles. The maximum errors permissible for these bombs to get them into the 150 yards circle are:-

125 yards – average line error
160 yards – average range error

We all agree that these limits are reasonable and that crews should not have errors in excess.

Now, if the bombs had been contained in the limits of 125 yards line and 160 yds. range, our resultant average radial error about the M.P.I. would be 175 yards. This would mean that instead of sending the 96 aircraft to Limoges that we had to, we need only have sent 59 aircraft to achieve the same number of hits. We would then have had 37 aircraft free to attack the factory at ??? There were, of course, 330 bombs seen outside the 250 yards circle and great effort must be made to eliminate the errors that were responsible.

The Moral! – You must practice, practice and practice until you are a certain “A” category crew.

!!! [Underlined] CREW CATEGORISATION [/underlined] !!!

A+ Crews – 60 yards or less
A Crews – 100 yards or less
B Crews – 100 yds. to 150 yds.
C Crews – 150 yds. to 200 yds.
D Crews – Over 200 yards.

[Underlined] RESULTS [/underlined]

[Table of Crew Categories by Base]

[Underlined] “GEN” FROM THE BOMBING RANGES [/underlined]

[Underlined] EPPERSTONE: [/underlined] Plotted 1597 bombs aimed by 309 aircraft.

[Underlined] OWTHORPE: [/underlined] Plotted 1510 bombs aimed by 319 aircraft.

[Underlined] WAINFLEET: [/underlined] Plotted 2056 bombs aimed by 440 aircraft.

HIGH LEVEL BOMBING TRAINING

[Table of High Level Bombing Training Statistics by Squadron and Conversion Unit]

THE BEST RESULTS FOR JUNE

In the April “News” it was threatened that owing to the improvement in Crew Errors, it may be necessary to lower the qualifying figure for the inclusion of errors in this column. June has produced the largest number of below 100 yards errors yet, and in consequence only those crews who have obtained crew errors of 80 yards or less, converted to 20,000 ft. can receive publicity.

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

9 F/O Blackham F/O Elphick F/O Wenger 72 yards
44 F/L White Sgt Jenkins F/S Jones 66 yards
P/O Baxter W/O Young W/O Rutherford 50 yards
P/O Stewart Sgt Stubbs Sgt Wright 65 yards
49 P/O Appleyard F/S Jameson F/S Blumfield 78 yards
P/O Arnold F/O Dewar W/O Fleming 72 yards
57 F/S Clark Sgt Johnson Sgt Lugg 65 yards
83 P/O Meggeson W/O Franklin F/O Wicker 65 yards
F/O Kelly F/O Irwin Sgt Burleigh 58 & 64 yards
97 F/L Van Raalte F/O Arnold F/S Williams 52, 69 & 78 yards
S/L Ingham F/O Perkins F/L Chatten 69 yards
467 P/O Waugh F/S Southgate F/O Semple 67 yards
F/L Brine F/S Luton F/S Sutton 80 yards
617 P/O Duffy F/O Woods F/O Bell 42 yards
F/O Knights P/O Bell F/O Rhude 48 yards
P/O Jingles F/S Hazell F/O Beal 63 yards
619 P/O Johnson Sgt Vaughton F/S Tranter 79 yards
F/L Howes F/O Baker F/L Harrison 74 yards
1654 C.U. F/S Beharrie Sgt Dean Sgt Brownhall 74 yards
F/S McKechnie F/S Wallace Sgt Little 53 yards
1660 C.U. P/O Dyer F/S Howard F/S Lemaire 74 yards
F/S Millar F/O Banks W/O Wilday 70 yards
1661 C.U. F/O Franks F/O Orry Sgt Roe 78 yards
F/O Furber Sgt Le Marquand F/O Hassel 78 yards
5 L.F.S. S/L Smith Sgt Wallis Sgt Page 49 yards
F/O Edwards F/S Wallace F/O Nunn 54 yards

Congratulations to F/L Van Raalte and crew, 97 Squadron for the outstanding 3 exercises!!!

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 3

[Page break]

AIR BOMBING (CONTD.)

[Underlined] “GEN” FROM THE SQUADRONS [/underlined]

[Underlined] 50 Squadron (F/Lt Hearn, D.F.C) [/underlined] report that to try and reduce bombing errors to a minimum a system of practice bomb plotting on small perspex covered boards is being inaugurated. The errors will be plotted on this board and the reason explained verbally to the Air Bomber, Captain and Navigator. In case of suspected instrument error the Bombing Section will examine the results plotted with the Instrument Section.

[Underlined] 57 Squadron (F/L Keats) [/underlined] report that a modification to permit the emergency jettisoning of smaller H.E. bombs only when a mixed load of 4,000 H.C. and other H.E. bombs is carried has been suggested by an Air Bomber and submitted for approval. An isolation switch would be incorporated in the circuit between the Connell Pre-Selector and No. 13 Station. This switch would be permanently wired down except when the special load of 4,000 H.C. and other H.E. bombs is carried, in which case it would be left up for take-off and put down by the crew when a height of 4,000 feet is reached. In the event of engine failure at take-off, the pilot could jettison the smaller H.E. bombs safe with the jettison toggle instead of the normal jettisoning of containers by Type H Jettison.

[Underlined] 52 Base [/underlined] report that [underlined] 12 [/underlined] aircraft took off between [underlined] 08.30 hours and 09.30 hours [/underlined] on 4th July to carry out High Level Practice Bombing. Early morning details can be sure of the best bombing weather!!

[Underlined] 106 Squadron (F/L Morgan) [/underlined] report the following outstanding exercise:-

Pilot:- F/O Meredith
Air Bomber:- F/O Mitchell.

As the port outer engine had to be feathered before completion of the cross country, bombing was carried out on only three engines. As Gee was thus u/s and as petrol was running short, no wind was found, but the wind velocity found on the last leg of the cross country was used for bombing. This wind velocity was found at 18,000 feet, whereas the bombing was carried out at 14,000 feet owing to having only three engines. Thus a fairly large vector error of 214 yards (Converted to 20,000 feet) resulted, but the bomb aimer’s error was only 16 yards at 14,000 feet, which is an error of 19 yards when converted to 20,000 feet.

[Underlined] BOMBING LEADERS’ CORNER [/underlined]

Bombing Leaders in 54 Base are:-

83 Squadron – F/L Bedell
97 Squadron – F/L Rogers, D.F.C.
627 Squadron – F/L Mitchell

[Underlined] F/L Harris, D.F.C. [/underlined] has arrived from H.Q. 6 Group to take over Bombing Leader duties at No. 5 L.F.S. Syerston.

[Underlined] F/L Honnibal [/underlined] (ex 92 Group) has succeeded F/L Keats as Bombing Leader to 57 Squadron.

[Underlined] F/L Keats [/underlined] (57 Squadron) has moved to H Q 92 Group.

[Underlined] BOMBING LEADERS’ COURSES [/underlined]

F/O Clegg (44 Squadron), F/S. Booth (619 Squadron) and F/O Linnett (207 Squadron) obtained “B” Categories on No. 84 Course and F/O Nugent (61 Squadron) obtained “B” Category on No. 85 Course.

[Underlined] SQUADRON BOMBING COMPETITION [/underlined]

The month of June was notorious for bad weather, numerous operations and stand-by’s. Hence the competition entries were fewer in number than of late. It has been decided to include the Conversion Units in the Competition under the same rules as for the Squadrons. It is realised, however, that they have an advantage over Squadrons in so far as they have considerably more qualifying entries from which to make selection. However it is hoped that squadrons will make determined efforts to beat the Conversion Units in July. Out [sic] congratulations are extended to 51 Base for their high standard, and their commanding positions in this, their first entry!!

PILOT AND AIR BOMBER’S ERROR AT 20,000 FEET

1st 1654 C.U. – 60 yards
2nd 619 Squadron – 62 yards
3rd 1660 C.U. – 68 yards
4th 1661 C.U. – 69 yards
5th 44 Squadron – 70 yards
6th 467 Squadron – 78 yards
7th 5 L.F.S. – 83 yards
8th 49 Squadron – 85 yards
9th 83 Squadron – 90 yards
10th 9 Squadron – 92 yards
11th (630 Squadron- 96 yards
(106 Squadron 96 yards
13th 463 Squadron- 107 yards
14th 97 Squadron – 109 yards
15th 207 Squadron – 116 yards
16th 57 Squadron – 124 yards

Non-qualifying Squadrons:-

17th 50 Squadron (6 exercises)- 106 yards
18th 61 Squadron (3 exercises)- 91 yards

[Underlined] BOMBING LEADER COMPETITION [/underlined]

F/Lt Walmsley, D.F.C. – 52 Base – 76 yards

[Underlined] BIGCHIEF COMPETITION [/underlined]

G/Capt Johnson, D.F.C., A.F.C. – 88 yards
(R.A.F. Station, Syerston)

[Underlined] ? ? AIR BOMBERS’ QUIZ ? ? [/underlined]

1. What can cause an apparent Vector error in practice bombing?

2. List the possible causes of Large Random Errors.

3. What errors in practice bombing will be caused by low suction?

4. If you set the wrong T. V. what kind of error will you get?

[Underlined] MARK XIV BOMBSIGHT – DO’S AND DON’T’S [/underlined]

DO:- (i) set Bomb T.V. (the TV’s of all bombs likely to be dropped should be recorded on the levelling card on the top right-hand corner of the computor).

(ii) Set Target height against Q.F.E. ([underlined] SEA LEVEL PRESSURE [/underlined]).

(iii) Set [underlined] INDICATED [/underlined] Wind Speed because Bombsight Computor works on Indicated Air Speed and indicated height (indicated wind can be found from true wind by SUBTRACTING 1.5% per 1000 ft of height).

(iv) Synchronise bombsight compass with Pilot’s D.R. repeater (by pressing in and turning the synchronising knob on the side of the Computor box.)

(v) Check that sufficient suction is reaching the bombsight gyros.

(vi) Remember to turn on air supply to the bombsight by means of the Bombsight Cock.

(vii) Be sure that the Pilot puts main control cock of “George” to OUT when Bombsight is to be used, or no compressed air will be available.

(viii) Keep the bombsight clean and check all the loads are correctly attached.

(ix) Liaise with the Instrument Section who maintenance [sic] your bombsight.

DON’T (i) Use the Emergency Computor until you have checked the bombsight and tried to correct the fault.

(ii)Touch the reflector glass of the Sighting Head when the gyro is running (the gyro is always running when the engines are running).

(iii) Forget to adjust the levelling scales for the all-up weight. (The Flight Engineer will know the A.U.W.).

(iv) Put any pressure on the reflector glass – even the edge of a map may lead to the toppling of the gyro when the engines are running.

(v) Let anything, not even your oxygen mask, press on the Sighting Head. (The upper part is supported on anti-vibration mountings which prevent the bearings of the gyro being damaged – the least pressure can make the alignment inaccurate).

(vi) Stow parachute, window, etc. near any of the leads to the Computor Box or Sighting Head.

(vii) Forget to liaise with the bombsight maintenance staff.

[Underlined] OPERATIONS (Continued from back page) [/underlined]

were daylight attacks) with varying degrees of success. Notable among these attacks were the operations in daylight against WATTEN and SIRACOURT on the 19th and 25th respectively. In both cases direct hits are claimed on the launching ramps involving damage which, it is hoped, will put them out of -commission at least temporarily.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 4

[Page break]

NAVIGATION

No long range sorties have been carried out during the month; in fact almost all the targets have been in Gee range. No Navigational difficulties therefore have been experienced. Broadcast winds have not been attempted during the month because of shallow penetration.

One major navigational “boob” was, however made during the month by a Navigator of No. 106 Squadron. The aircraft was detailed to attack a Ruhr target, and reached the enemy coast on track and on time. The Navigator then gave the next course to the pilot who in error steered 100° different from that given him. The Navigator was at fault in not checking the course with the pilot. The aircraft continued on the wrong course for six minutes until a Gee fix was obtained. The sortie was eventually abandoned because of the time element. This is another example of what can happen if you do not carry out the correct drills. Immediately the pilot says “on course” make it your first duty to check the true course steered.

[Underlined] ANALYSIS OF WIND FINDING. [/underlined]

During the month an analysis of errors which may arise in windfinding has produced the following probable error:-

Probable Error

(i) Inability to read A.P.I. to nearest half minute of Lat. and Long. 1 mile

(ii) Inability to plot a position in Lat. and Long. accurately (e.g. Air Position and Gee fix) 1/2 mile (at least)

(iii) Inherent error in H2S fixes of at least half a mile. 1/2 mile

(iv) Inability to plot an H2S fix to within 1/2 mile because of mile scale limitations on chart 1/2 mile

(v) Probable error in synchronising of D.R. compass repeaters when airborne. 1 mile

(vi) Error in Compass swing of at least 1°. 1 mile

(vii) Probable error in measuring off length of wind vector, because of mile scale limitations, on chart. 1/2 mile

[Underlined] Total [/underlined] 5

Therefore if a wind was found over a period of 15 minutes it would be possible to obtain an error of 20 m.p.h!! Fortunately, of course, some of the errors will cancel out, but even then there will always be a residue which, multiplied by four, may still give a large error.

It will be noticed that careless errors in taking of Gee and H2S fixes, reading off A.P.I. co-ordinates, incorrect plotting etc. have not been mentioned.

The problem now is, how can we eliminate the above errors. Action has already been taken to eliminate points (iv) and (vii). Station and Squadron Navigation Officers are urged to discuss the above list with all Navigators on the Squadron, and submit any suggestions to Group Headquarters immediately.

Don’t be afraid to give us all your suggestions. Remember, the more accurate w/v’s we obtain, the more accurate the bombing, concentration and timing.

Referring back to careless errors, by far the largest of these are plotting and computing errors. A list of exercises to improve plotting and computation was forwarded to each S.N.O. some weeks ago. It is the responsibility of each S.N.O. to see that these exercises are completed at regular intervals. Short computation tests, lasting 15 – 20 minutes should be completed every morning if this is possible. There is always a spare half hour between assembly at the flights and commencing N.F.T’s. The plotting tests should be carried out at least once every fortnight, particular stress being laid on wind finding. Make it a point always that the tests are analysed immediately after completion, and the results made known as soon as possible.

Many Squadrons have adopted the above procedure, and are being well repaid. There are still one or two Squadron Navigation Officers, however, who say they are too busy to do such things. Don’t let this be your excuse – try it conscientiously and well for the next fortnight, and note the improvement in the work of your Navigator.

[Underlined] AIR POSITION INDICATOR [/underlined]

All Navigators will now be conversant with the resetting modification fitted during the past months. It is hoped that maximum use is being made of this device, which should considerably simplify resetting.

Yet another modification to simplify resetting has been suggested by the Navigation Staff at Syerston. It is the fitting of a “winder handle” to the resetting knob. Only one handle need be used when resetting and, much more important, the time taken to reset will be reduced by at least 2/3rds. The above modification has been submitted to Bomber Command for approval, and as soon as this is obtained, all aircraft will be modified.

Several Squadrons have been persevering with the graphical resetting procedure, but this has not proved very successful. When the modification suggested by Syerston has been fitted to all aircraft, all objections against resetting regularly will have been overcome, and it will be possible to adopt the standard procedure of resetting the A.P.I. regularly.

[Underlined] NAVIGATION TECHNIQUE [/underlined]

During the summer months it is hoped we may further the Navigation technique to such an extent that Navigation will be considerably simplified during the winter period. We must aim for simplification and standardisation in use of A.P.I., H2S and log and chart keeping. This will be of considerable benefit to the Conversion Units. At the present time a Navigator is taught one method at the Conversion Unit and another on the Squadron – consequently he is proficient at neither. Ideas are being collected from Squadrons and it is hoped to present to Squadrons and Conversion Units the ideal Navigation technique. Let us have your suggestions.

[Underlined] PRACTICE BOMBING WINDS [/underlined]

The results of the drive on practice bombing and wind finding have, on the whole, been satisfactory – but in certain cases they have been disappointing. The Conversion Unit Navigators have surpassed many operational Navigators. A vector error of less than 5 m.p.h. should be your aim.

Improvements have been made during the last 7 or 8 weeks, and the average vector error produced this month is 7 3/4 m.p.h. – a commendable effort on the whole but there is still room for improvement.

It was stated in last month’s News that a monthly Bombing Wind Finding Competition would be held. It was the intention to publish the best eight vector errors for the month, but so far there have been 14 instances where NIL vector error was obtained and a further 14 instances of vector errors of 2 m.p.h. and below! It has therefore been decided to issue the AVERAGE vector error obtained by each Squadron and Conversion Unit for the month. The order is as follows:-

[Table of Average Vector Error by Squadron]

[Underlined] Average Error: [/underlined] Squadrons – 7 m.p.h.
Con. Units – 8 m.p.h.

It will be noted that only one Squadron has achieved the ideal, i.e. a mean vector error of 5 m.p.h.

[Underlined] UNION NEWS [/underlined]

S/Ldr Day, D.F.C. Base Nav. Officer, Scampton to Ops.II H.Q. 5 Group.

S/Ldr Mould, D.F.C. S.N.O. Dunholme to Base Nav. Officer, Scampton.

F/Lt. Bray, D.F.C. 207 Sqdn. to S.N.O. Dunholme.

F/Lt. Woodhouse, D.F.M. 44 Squadron Nav. Officer reported missing.

F/Lt. Craven 50 Squadron Nav. Officer reported missing.

F/Lt. R. Adams, D.F.C. 630 Squadron Nav. Officer reported missing.

F/Lt. Lascelles, D.F.C. 1654 C.U. Navigation Leader to be Squadron Nav. Officer No. 50 Squadron.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 5

[Page break]

ARMAMENT

[Underlined] A RECORD MONTH [/underlined]

The month of June produced two new records when a total of 3000 sorties was flown, resulting in 11,708 tons of bombs dropped on enemy territory, an increase of 3,000 tons over our previous record in May. All armament personnel can be justifiably proud of their contribution, particularly as this phenomenal tonnage represents only a fraction of the tonnage actually handled during the month.

[Underlined] ELECTRICAL BOMBING GEAR [/underlined]

One drop of water in the wrong place may result in several thousands of pounds of high explosive failing to reach the target – a startling yet true statement. Bad weather has necessitated leaving aircraft bombed up for several consecutive days, and as no aircraft can be guaranteed waterproof, it is quite possible that some of our recent “summer weather” has seeped into the bombing circuit.

All Armament Officers are reminded if the correct procedure to be carried out when aircraft are left bombed up after the cancellation of operations, and a quick reference to Air Staff Instructions would not be amiss at this stage. Are your electrical circuits tested each day, and do you always remove pyrotechnics from the aircraft immediately after the cancellation? Check up on these and all other relevant points, and ensure that the [underlined] full [/underlined] load reaches its destination, and not just a small fraction of it.

[Underlined] ARMAMENT BULLETIN [/underlined]

The Bomber Command Armament Bulletin for June has now arrived and contains some very interesting and useful information, particularly the suggestions made for improving the condition of bomb dumps in general. Page 9 of the Bulletin refers to the difficulties encountered in the storage of cluster projectiles and introduces a new type of tracking which is intended form a temporary hard standing in bomb dumps which have no suitable storage space for this particular weapon. Supplies of this Summerville tracking have already arrived at some stations in the Group and although it is, as yet, too early to express an opinion as to the efficiency of this equipment, it is considered that it will prove to be a very great asset.

FAILURES TABLE

[Table of Armament Failures by Types and Squadron]

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

[Underlined] GUN FREEZING [/underlined]

Although the immediate danger of gun failures due to freezing has now passed, the problem of preventing such failures is still being very carefully investigated, and to assist in this investigation samples of hydraulic fluids have been taken from gun turret systems of operational aircraft for analysis by the Ministry of Aircraft Production.

A [indecipherable] of water in suspension in hydraulic fluid is sufficient to cause the oil to freeze at a considerably higher temperature, and consequently the importance of ensuring that oil containers used to fill gun turret systems are free from water, cannot be too strongly stressed. Results of this analysis will be forwarded to all Bases and Stations when received. We hope that they will be negative.

[Underlined] AMMUNITION [/underlined]

The repeated changing of ammunition from night to daylight sequence results in all ammunition bolts being handled several times a week. If ammunition is transported in suitable containers and handled carefully when being loaded into the aircraft, no misalignment should occur.

The necessity for ensuring that only correctly aligned ammunition is loaded into gun turrets should be brought to the attention of all armourers and air gunners.

NAVIGATION TRAINING

The emphasis during the past month has been on wind finding for practice bombing, and we are pleased to say that Navigators on the Training Base have risen to the occasion and produced excellent results. The most notable performances have come from Winthorpe, where seven Navigators obtained a Nil vector error. This drive on wind finding has created a desire to find equally correct winds during Navigational exercises. The result has been a big improvement in track keeping and timing.

From time to time improvements on the A.P.I. are suggested. The latest suggestion comes from F/O Richardson of No.5 L.F.S., who has suggested a modification to facilitate re-setting. This modification, if adopted, will reduce the time taken to reset the A.P.I. by at least 2/3rds. Good work Syerston!

H2S training is getting into its stride at Wigsley, and 1/3rd of each course is now being trained. Only one trainer is available at Wigsley at the moment, but as soon as the second trainer arrives it is the intention to train 50% of all crews. Winthorpe and Swinderby Conversion Units are already training half their inputs. Pupils are receiving approximately 14 hours air training, and at least 20 hours ground training. When more aircraft are available it will be the policy to train more crews rather than increase the number of flying hours per pupil.

Bullseye exercises have been seriously interrupted by bad weather, but 10 and 12 Groups have co-operated to the maximum extent on every possible occasion, and several good exercises have been completed.

[Underlined] THIS MONTH’S “OVER KEENNESS” [/underlined]

A Navigator on a cross country flight who was endeavouring to work the Swinderby system of obtaining six minute fixes and winds, experienced Gee failure. He immediately instructed his W/Operator to obtain a M/F fix every six minutes. The W/Op. found the ether rather congested, so he attempted priority fixes – much to the concern of the M/F Section, R.O.C, 5 Group and No. 51 Base!

Public Relations

Public Relations work during June has been rather confused owing to the altered nature of the Command’s operations, and the uncertainty of many circumstances. Only a few reports were issued to the press at any length by the Air Ministry News Service.

Three war correspondents have flown in Group aircraft on operations: Mr. Ronald Walker, of the “News Chronicle” who went over Caen with S/Ldr. Fairburn of 57 Squadron on June 12/13; Mr. R.J. Kiek, of the Netherlands Press Agency, who flew over a French target with his countryman, F/O Overgaadu of No. 207 Squadron, on June 16/17; and Mr. Kent Stephenson, B.B.C. War Reporter, who unfortunately failed to return with W/Cdr. Crocker of No. 49 Squadron on June 21/22.

(Continued in Column 2)

(Continued from Column 3)

Three parties came to our stations: June 1st, Dunholme, Mrs. Billingham (Reuters), Miss Tredgold (South African Argus) and Mr. Fletcher (Sport and General Press Agency Photographer) for the visit of the Prime Minister of Southern Rhodesia: June 17th, Waddington, Mr. W. Farmer, of the “Melbourne Herald”; and June 22nd, Waddington, Mr. Wilkins and Miss Elizabeth Riddell (journalists) and Mr. J. Warburton (Sport and General photographer), for the visit of the Duke of Gloucester.

A party of employees of the Firma Chrome Plating Co., of Sheffield, visited the Sheffield Squadron (No.49) on June 3rd.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944.

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SIGNALS

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

June was quite a fair month from the aircraft signals point of view, but improvement can and must be made. It is hoped every endeavour will be made by Signals Leaders to raise the standard of Aircrew Signals operating to a high state of efficiency.

Have all Signals Leaders read and digested 5 Group Signals Instruction No. 13, and acquainted all their operators with its contents?

This instruction lays down the requirements for W/T Control Operators. Endeavour should be made to bring every Operator up to the standard required. Two Squadrons have already carried out air tests with quite satisfactory results. One important point – once an operator reaches the standard required, he must, by constant practice maintain that standard, and to ensure that he does, he may be required to do an air test with Group at any time, without previous warning.

[Underlined] DAILY INSPECTIONS. [/underlined]

Signals Leaders, do you ever take a quick run out to your aircraft and check over the “Daily” done by your W/Ops?

An aircraft of this Group took off on Ops one night, was only airborne a short time when the intercom. failed. Cause – faulty 2v 20 Acc! The W/Op did not carry out the correct drill for the use of emergency intercom. as laid down in 5 Group Aircraft Drill No.11, Appendix “A”. Result – one early return and one load of bombs the Hun did not receive. Was this the only dud 2v 20 Acc. airborne that night? Or was he the unfortunate W/Op. who, through his lack of knowledge or carelessness in carrying out his emergency drill, was found out? We wonder!! It would be worthwhile checking up on these accs. in the aircraft. Yes, there was a lot of truth in the film “BOOMERANG” !

The new Wireless Operators (Air) log has now gone to the printing press and should be available for issue very soon. We hope to see some very neat and fully detailed logs returned, just to show your appreciation.

[Underlined] GOOD SHOWS [/underlined]

This month’s Good Show comes from 57 Squadron, by an operator who showed coolness and initiative in fixing up his broken dinghy aerial (fixed) and operating his dinghy radio, thus enabling the rescue aircraft to “home” on his signal.

The aerial mast was broken while erecting, and the operator fixed his aerial lead into the aerial part while other members of the crew took turns at holding the aerial aloft, by the insulated part which separates the aerial from mast.

This is an excellent example of cool and intelligent thinking under very difficult circumstances.

[Underlined] EARLY WARNING DEVICES [/underlined]

The co-operation of W/Op. and Gunner reporting on unserviceability of Early Warning Devices is improving, but there are still the few cases of discrepancy appearing in these E.W.D. reports and Combat reports. Just a little more drive in this direction will eradicate this, so Signals Leaders and Radar Interrogators, do your stuff.

Manipulation failures are still occurring, mostly due to lack of experience, and every effort must be made to eliminate them. Efforts are being made for every Squadron to have one Early Warning Device Instructor, and quite a few Squadrons have them already. Signals Leaders, get your W/Ops over to them for that little extra instruction which means all the difference between failure and serviceability of your E.W.D. and sends your Squadron percentage of serviceability soaring.

The cards, depicting combats on Monica, sent from this Group to Headquarters Bomber Command, are now in the process of being reproduced and will soon be available for issue to Squadrons and Conversion Units.

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

The alteration to the time of the Group W/T exercise has met with universal approval from all Squadrons, and there has been some good operating. The reallocation of Squadrons to Sections 1 and 2 should also help to make the exercise more interesting by eliminating the possibility of any two transmitters “blotting out” each other due to their close proximity.

[Underlined] VALETE ET SALVETE [/underlined]

Our heartiest congratulations to W/Cdr. Skinner on his promotion and his appointment as Officer Commanding No. 14 Radio School. We wish him every success in his new sphere.

Our congratulations also go to S/Ldr. Andrews on his appointment as Signals Leader, 92 Group.

Five Group are poorer by two very popular officers.

44 Squadron will welcome F/O Hughes (a former 44 Sqdn. W/Op) as Signals Leader.

[Underlined] W/T FAILURES [/underlined]

The W/T failures percentage against total operational sorties has shown a great decrease during the month. There were 27 failures reported out of 3,000 sorties – the percentage being 0.9, the lowest figure for many months. The maintenance personnel are to be commended for repeating last month’s record of zero maintenance failures. Out of this enormous number of sorties, only two aircraft returned early as a result of signals defects. The number of component failures (equipment) was 14. Surprisingly enough, not one condenser or resistor defect was reported; R. 1155 output valves again proved troublesome.

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

At the time of going to press, 200 aircraft are fitted with V.H.F. equipment. The speed of fitting has placed us well ahead of schedule. Units are reporting that they are receiving a considerable number of crystals which on test have been found inactive. R.A.E., Farnborough, have evolved a modification (R.T.I.M. No.629) employing a choke unit type 45, which, in A. D. G. B. aircraft has proved quite successful. When the choke units become available, units will be notified.

[Underlined] MANDREL [/underlined]

There are two main reasons why the total number of Mandrel fitted aircraft in this Group has fallen. They are (a) supplies of Col.9 not forthcoming, and (b) large scale V.H.F. fitting drive, which has absorbed all available Signals manpower in the squadrons. It is emphasised, however, that squadrons must ensure that all their complete Mandrels are fitted as soon as possible. The Countermeasure Party is still available at Group Headquarters in readiness to offer assistance.

[Underlined] CARPET II [/underlined]

Contrary to many beliefs, Carpet II is in no way connected with Persian Markets. It is, however, a new radio countermeasure device fitted to the Illuminating Force aircraft of this Group. It is quite popular with the C.S.O!

[Underlined] RADAR [/underlined]

Base Signals and Radar Officers attended a conference at Group Headquarters on 16th June, to discuss the Bomber Command proposed establishment of Radar personnel. After considerable discussion and divergence of opinion the proposals were accepted. Some alterations were suggested in connection with accommodation and holdings of spare equipment, and these were forwarded to Bomber Command. It is understood that the proposals are now being considered by the Establishment Branch at Bomber Command.

[Underlined] BOOZER [/underlined]

Sufficient Boozer equipment became available during the month to enable fitting to proceed in our two Boozer squadrons. As this equipment is in very short supply, every effort must be made to make immediate use of all that is available. Test equipment is at the moment, difficult to obtain, but a proposed re-distribution of the total Command holdings should ease this situation.

[Underlined] REPEATER INDICATORS [/underlined]

It has become increasingly obvious from scrutiny of combat reports that Tail Warning Devices are not being watched continuously by the Wireless Operator. Originally it had been hoped that with training and experience a W/Op would be able to carry out his W/T work whilst, at the same time keeping one eye on the Tail Warning Device, but this has been found to be very difficult. The possibility of repositioning the Tail Warning Indicator so that two of the crew can watch it, has been thoroughly investigated, and found impracticable. Experiments have been made to ascertain the possibility of using a second indicator. This repeater indicator is located adjacent to the Gee indicator. An indicator standard for both Monica IIIA and V, has been designed and tested by the Group Trouble Shooting Party. It has proved quite satisfactory and Bomber Command have been asked to arrange for its early introduction. The design of a simple Fishpond repeater indicator proved too great a problem, and it is now expected that a second standard Fishpond indicator will be the only answer.

[Underlined] GEE [/underlined]

Gee was once again the leader in serviceability, showing a new high percentage of 97.77 out of 2,639 sorties. This was obtained in spite of the decrease in new equipment available, and a consequent reduction in the spare sets which squadrons were able to hold.

(Continued on Page 8 Column 1)

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 7

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SIGNALS (CONT.)

[Underlined] H 2 S [/underlined]

A total of 1249 sorties was completed by aircraft equipped with H 2 S Mark II, and of these 103 experienced difficulty; the remaining 91.76% were serviceable throughout the sorties. The fitting of this equipment to 619 Squadron has not yet been completed, but it is proceeding as fast as circumstances will allow. The movement of the Bomber Command Fitting Party to Dunholme will ease considerably the strain of fitting now being carried out by squadron personnel. The supply of fitted aircraft is keeping pace with the number of trained crews.

Mark III H 2 S has shown a decided improvement and the 76 sorties completed resulted in a serviceability of 92.11%. Supply of this equipment is still very grim, but does show signs of improving.

[Underlined] FISHPOND [/underlined]

As is to be expected, this equipment followed in step with H2 S, 92.72% of the 1236 sorties being free of difficulty. Training has shown very decided improvement and the operational reports indicate that W/Ops. are having increased success with this equipment.

[Underlined] MONICA [/underlined]

Monica IIIA remained at almost the same level as May. 830 sorties were completed, and there were 39 difficulties reported. The remaining 95.31% gave completely satisfactory results. Monica V came closer than ever to overtaking its predecessor with a percentage serviceability of 93.91. The more prevalent causes of unserviceability have been almost eliminated, and the lesser difficulties will no doubt diminish as further experience is gained by Radar personnel. The supply position of both types of Monica becomes increasingly difficult, so squadrons must do their utmost to conserve their existing equipment, and to keep all sets serviceable. The delivery of a Monica Trainer to the Aircrew School at Scampton should help squadrons considerably in their training programme.

The serviceability figures for the month are very gratifying. They indicate a decided increase in the standard of training and workmanship of Radar personnel. In these days of intensive operations, it requires hard work to keep all our equipment serviceable, but the bombing results are more than worth the effort. With the introduction of the proposed establishment, and an adequate number of Radar vans, we should be able to meet the rain and altitude trials of winter on better than equal terms.

[Underlined] TELEPHONE EXCHANGES [/underlined]

Last month’s issue of the News contained a cartoon for which we, in Signals, accept no responsibility. We are delighted, however, to be given the opportunity to refute the allegation of inefficiency which was inferred by publishing the following bouquet.

Skellingthorpe has produced some surprising figures showing the number of calls handled by the Admin PBK during a 24-hour non-operational period. A total of 3,725 calls was handled during this period, and of these 3,143 were extensions – to – extension calls. The Station Commander comments – “My opinion of our operators, always high, has gone up still further”, and – “at Skellingthorpe we have an exchange staff second to none”. We hope that this latter remark will be accepted as a challenge by other exchanges within the Group.

[Underlined] TELEPRINTER TRAFFIC [/underlined]

In April of this year, this Headquarters Signals Office was handling about 9,000 teleprinter messages per week. A drive was then inaugurated to divert traffic to less congested channels, such as D.R.L.S., and our weekly total fell in five weeks by 4,000 messages!

Now that “D” Day has passed, however, the total is commencing to rise. This must be checked, since as the Western Front develops, our commitments increase – It’s often quicker by postagram – at any rate for Admin messages.

EQUIPMENT

[Underlined] LANCASTER SPARES [/underlined]

This month sees a changeover in our method of demanding spares for Lancasters. Instead of demanding straight on to the M.P.O. demands are now placed on No.207 M.U. who are in a position to supply.

Equipment Officers will help No. 207 M.U. provisioning to a great extent by keeping a close watch upon demands for Lancaster spares, and ensuring that demands are going to No.207 M.U. and not to the M.F.O.

[Underlined] MECHANICAL SWEEPERS [/underlined]

A point to watch is the serviceability of mechanical sweepers. If these machines go u/s it means that runways cannot be kept clear of flints and stones, which means a rise in consumption of tyres. The aircraft tyre situation is still acute, and every care must be taken to get the maximum amount of life out of every tyre.

Equipment officers should therefore look into the holdings of spares for mechanical sweepers, and in conjunction with the M.T. Officers provision wisely on those parts which have a habit of going u/s. This will keep the sweepers serviceable and the consumption of tyres down.

[Underlined] WINTER CLOTHING [/underlined]

Now the English summer is upon us it would be wise to overhaul items of winter clothing such as overcoats, waterproof overalls, leather jerkins etc., and get them into good trim for the forthcoming winter.

It would be better to do it now instead of waiting for the winter when these items will be in great demand.

[Underlined] BLANKETS [/underlined]

Instances have occurred where it has been found that Stations have been holding blankets far in excess of their entitlement as laid down in A.M.O. A. 700/43. A quick check of stocks may mean the release of many blankets with a subsequent saving of man-hours at the factory which manufactures them.

[Underlined] EQUIPMENT (Continued from column 2) [/underlined]

[Underlined] OXYGEN TRANSPORT CYLINDERS [/underlined]

Attention is drawn to Headquarters Bomber Command letter BC/S.21459/E.6, dated 30th June, 1944.

The scale of issue of these items is 32 per squadron. Equipment Officers should make every effort to reduce any surplus holdings and return these cylinders to the M.U.

GARDENING

5 Group’s gardening this month amounted to two small but useful operations by No.44 Squadron against two of the Biscay U-Boat lairs, on the nights of 6/7th and 8/9th. Planting was done in H 2 S from high altitude and some excellent P. P. I. photographs were obtained. A total of 30 vegetables was planted.

Although the record breaking figures of April and May were not reached, the Command planted the considerable total of 1772 vegetables, in some 20 gardens. Over 1,000 were directed against the U-Boats – off their bases and in their approach routes to the Western end of the English Channel. This, combined with vigorous and successful action by air and surface striking forces has brought almost to nothing the threat to our Invasion supply lines, in spite of the massing of the U-Boats to the West of the Channel in the first few days. Nearly 600 vegetables were laid in the Channel itself, to impede enemy surface craft – principally E-Boats – in their anti-invasion operations. (Here, we gratefully admit, we were helped more than a little by the wholesale slaughter of these vermin in their harbours by the bombers). Certain North Sea gardens received some 150 vegetables, and Mosquitos of 8 Group planted a small number in the Kettegat.

During the three months preceding “D” Day well over 7,000 vegetables were planted by the Command, 5 Group being responsible for 908. These figures show that in actual quantity we distributed about one eighth of the Command total. What they do not show is that nearly all our operations were special ones, involving either exceptionally long distances (DANZIG); exceptional accuracy from very low level (KONIGSBURG CANAL); exceptional weight of attack in one night (KEIL BAY) or gardening in daylight (KATTEGAT). We do little routine gardening, and so do not get regular practice, but our recent successes show the value of keeping up to date in slack periods.

Results are beginning to come through, but details of casualties still refer to at latest three months ago; in fact, in the latest list we discover that 5 Group sank a U-Boat in April [underlined] 1943! [/underlined] Fortunately some reports get through more quickly than that, and news of the tremendous indirect effects of the pre-invasion gardening is plentiful. We hear of the route from TRELLEBORG to KIEL (150 miles) being marked with a [underlined] WRECK [/underlined] buoy every 1 – 2 miles; of Swedes and Finns laying up their ships rather than risk out mines, and the Ministry of Economic Warfare states that the mining of the Kiel Canal, backed up by the mining which preceded and followed it in the Baltic and North Sea approaches to the Canal, caused an [underlined] IRRECOVERABLE [/underlined] loss of 3 million tons of overall imports/exports to the German War Machine.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 8

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AIR SEA RESCUE

June brought a record number of operational sorties and, at the same time, an increase in the known number of incidents involving Safety Drills.

A squadron aircraft disappeared over the Irish Sea on a navigational exercise with the loss of the entire crew. Four crews had occasion to use the Parachute Drill, two were successful; in the third, four members who baled out were lost in the sea; in the fourth the rear gunner had a cannon shell through his parachute, and a gallant attempt by the Air Bomber to share his own parachute was un successful.

[Underlined] 9/10th June. [/underlined] S/44 Squadron returning from operations, got out of control in bad weather. Its position was uncertain, and the captain ordered the crew to abandon the aircraft. Four members had jumped when the pilot regained control. They fell into the Thames Estuary and were drowned. The aircraft landed at base. None of those lost attached their K-type dinghies before jumping. [Underlined] MORAL [/underlined] – If in doubt about your position always take your dinghy with you.

[Underlined] 21/22nd June. [/underlined] Z/44 Squadron was hit in the starboard elevator from extreme range by a night fighter over enemy territory. The aircraft dived sharply with the elevators jammed, and when over the vertical the pilot considered he had no hope of recovery and ordered the crew to abandon. The Air Bomber was jammed against the rear of his compartment. The Rear Gunner was caught in his turret and trapped by piles of ammunition on his lap, caused by a runaway servo feed. Four members baled out and their parachutes were seen to open. The captain eventually regained control and flew the aircraft back to base, navigated by the Air Bomber.

S/630 Squadron was badly shot up by a fighter. Wings and fuselage were riddled, and the rear turret so badly damaged it was a wonder the gunner escaped injury. The rear gunner had a cannon shell through his parachute.

With the assistance of two crew members, the pilot flew the aircraft back to this country where, due to damage, he found he could not turn and so was forced to bale out his crew.

At the risk of grave personal injury, the Air Bomber allowed the Rear Gunner to attach his parachute clips to the “K” Dinghy ”D” rings of his (the Air Bomber’s) harness, and the two went out together. Unfortunately, his “D” rings tore through the webbing when the parachute opened and the Gunner was lost.

[Underlined] SUCCESSFUL DITCHING [/underlined]

A/57 Squadron on the same night was returning across the North Sea at 7000 feet when all engines failed, apparently through shortage of fuel. The Captain immediately warned his crew, and ordered the Wireless Operator to transmit S.O.S. The Wireless Operator switched I.F.F. to “Distress” and transmitted “S.O.S.” and the aircraft callsign about ten times before being ordered to his ditching station.

The aircraft ditched ten minutes later. The pilot made use of his landing light which helped him to judge his height, but having no power the aircraft struck the water very severely breaking off the tail. The Captain’s harness had not been tightened sufficiently and he was flung upwards, making a large hole in the perspex and cutting his face deeply. The pilot left the aircraft by means of this self-made hole. The Flight Engineer was also flung upwards and cut his nose on the fuselage roof. The gunners were flung over the flapjack but were uninjured, falling on top of the Air Bomber who was also unhurt, and the Navigator cut the back of his head.

Exit was made from the aircraft “except-

(continued on page10, col.3)

[Underlined] SAFETY DRILL COMPETITION RESULTS [/underlined]

[Underlined] Place Dinghy Drill Parachute Drill [/underlined]

1 52 Base 52 Base
2 53 Base 55 Base
3 55 Base 53 Base

[Table of Drill Results by Squadron]

No crews in No. 54 Base were tested during the month.

[Underlined] Points arising from Safety Drill Tests. [/underlined]

(a) A number of crews have not thoroughly read “5 Group Aircraft Drills”.
(b) Insufficient use of made of the intercom in practicing “Safety Drills” – the more use that is made of the intercom the more informed and less worried the crew will be.

[Underlined] FOOTNOTE. [/underlined]

The monthly summary of Ditchings in Home Waters for May, 1944, shows that 508 airmen were concerned, of whom 242 (47.2%) were saved – a marked percentage increase in lives saved.

RECENT GOOD SHOWS

An aircraft of No. 207 Squadron, flown by F/O Smart, collided over the target with another Lancaster which broke cloud above on the port quarter. In spite of the fact that the entire port fin and rudder were torn away and the port tail plane, elevator and aileron badly damaged, F/O Smart completed the bombing run and showing great skill, flew the aircraft back to this country where he made a successful landing.

By his prompt action, F/O Sanders of No. 463 Squadron averted what could have been a serious accident. He was taking off with full bomb load when the starboard tyre burst at a speed of approximately 90 m.p.h. Displaying great skill, he controlled the swing and made a successful take off, and after completing the sortie landed his aircraft in such a way that only minor damage was sustained.

P/O. Meggeson of No. 83 Squadron showed a fine example of airmanship. The port inner of his aircraft caught fire. Though he was unable to operate the fire extinguisher or feather the propeller, by maintaining a very low airspeed, he succeeded in controlling the fire and few his aircraft back to base, where he made a successful landing.

As a result of combat with an enemy fighter, and aircraft of No. 61 Squadron, piloted by P/O Passant, was severely damaged. The starboard fin and rudder were shot away, the fuselage and starboard main plane badly damaged, and the starboard tyre burst. P/O Passant displayed great skill and determination in flying the aircraft back to this country where he made a successful landing.

- AND SHOWS NOT SO GOOD

Whilst making a night approach in 7 miles visibility, and aircraft struck a tree 1000 yards from the end of the runway. When the aircraft eventually landed the Pilot stated he had had a successful trip but that the aircraft felt very heavy to handle. This was not surprising as he was still carrying full bomb load when he landed.

Whilst flying at 8000 feet, all four engines of a Stirling cut. The aircraft lost height to 600 feet before the engines were re-started. The First Engineer was changing tanks when the engines cut. They started again when the Second Engineer turned the petrol on!

In broad daylight, after a clear straight run of 200 yards, a pilot taxied his aircraft into an M.T. vehicle standing on the perimeter track.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 9

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ENGINEERING

The number of sorties carried out totalled exactly 3,000; this constitutes an excellent effort when it is considered that this number of sorties affected serviceability very little and a much larger number could have been laid on had the weather permitted and circumstances required them.

A large number of acceptance checks had to be carried out during the month and some excellent work was carried out by the Group Servicing Section, and the very fine spirit which exists within the Group was made evident by bases which had few acceptance checks to carry out volunteering to accept aircraft for check from other bases. This greatly decreased the period which would normally have elapsed to bring this large number of Lancasters to operational standard.

1.003% of aircraft which either failed to take off or returned early were due to technical faults for which the Engineering Branch is responsible. This 1.003% includes defects beyond our immediate control and remedial modification action is being taken in respect of many of the defects. It is good to know that not one of these aircraft failed due to a maintenance defect, and squadrons are to be congratulated on this aspect. The following squadrons had no early returns or cancellations due to Engineering defects during June, and are awarded a “big hand”:-

44, 83, 97, 467 and 619 Squadrons.

Failures are still occurring of the now famous oil pipe from relief valve to dual drive, and it is hoped that all promises made during June will reach fruition during July.

[Underlined] GROUND EQUIPMENT [/underlined]

The effort which is put in by maintenance personnel to maintain this high standard of aircraft serviceability has been increased on many stations to maintain a similar high standard of serviceability of ground equipment. It is pleasing to see the drive which is progressing to maintain these essential aids to serviceability. When a “set-up” looks efficient, it invariably is efficient. Nothing looks so inefficient as a dirty hangar with trestles, wheels, cowlings and any odd items lying around the floor in pools of oil, whilst engine platforms are oil saturated and the equipment generally filthy. This state of affairs does not exist at any station in this Group, but there is considerable room for improvement on certain stations. Once a high standard of efficiency has been achieved it can easily be maintained, but don’t sit back and maintain your present standard unless it is highly efficient.

Many grand jobs have been carried out during June to keep the serviceability high and it is very difficult to pick out any single base in this News.

[Underlined] ELECTRICAL AND INSTRUMENTS [/underlined]

During the past month a drive was made to improve the maintenance of the Mark XIV Bombsight. Results have shown a marked improvement, but we will not be satisfied until every sight in the Group can be guaranteed accurate. Much more care must be taken in the levelling and lining up, as it is in these operations that most of the errors occur. The Mark XIV Bombsight is one of those instruments which requires plenty of liaison between Electrical officers and the Air Bombers’ Union, and it has been noted that this is now very effective.

Electrical sections deserve a pat on the back for the very intensive efforts they have put in during the latter half of the month. The list of modifications does not get any shorter, yet initial checks are still being completed in 24 hours.

[Underlined] TRAINING UNIT SERVICEABILITY [/underlined]

[Table of Aircraft Serviceability for Stirlings and Lancasters]

Flight Engineers

[Underlined] ADMINISTRATIVE ADJUTANTS [/underlined]

Many more administrative adjutants to the Chief Technical Officer are required; these adjutants will be volunteers from tour expired commissioned Flight Engineers. They will be responsible to the C.T.O. for the efficient administration of the Servicing Wing, and for the discipline and welfare of all the technical personnel on its strength.

Apart from this new post for Flight Engineers, there are also vacancies for administrative duties in the M.T. Section on Base Stations, and the duties will generally be the same as Adjutant to the C.T.O.

It will be seen that these posts have created quite a new avenue for Flight Engineers, but every facility will be given them to improve their engineering knowledge while undertaking administrative duties as their primary roles.

Flight Engineer Leaders must bring those vacancies to the notice of the commissioned Flight Engineers who are about to finish their tour of operations.

[Underlined] NON-COMMISSIONED FLIGHT ENGINEERS [/underlined]

A course of instruction for newly screened N. C. O. ‘s commenced at St. Athan on 7th June 1944. The object of this course is to train screened Flight Engineers to take up their new duties as Instructors in Heavy Conversion Units and Lancaster Finishing Schools.

Revision and technical subjects are included in the syllabus, but the course is designed mainly to teach the technique of lecturing.

As this course is most important to new instructors, it is hoped that all Flight Engineers will be enthusiastic, for much will depend on their results if the standard of lecturing is to improve in our Conversion Units and Schools.

TRAINING

Despite the bad weather towards the end of the month, 51 Base flew a total of over 8,000 hours and produced 130 crews for Squadrons.

Twice during the month, 1654 Conversion Unit, taking a leaf from the book of 1661 for May, laid on “operational” take offs for aircraft on night exercises. They got 17 and 22 off on these occasions in almost as many minutes.

Re-organisation of the Heavy Conversion Units commenced in the last week of the month to ensure that training of crews under the summer output can be increased to the highest level. Under this new system intakes of 11 every six days will go into the Heavy Conversion Units and the Group target figure for the month is 160 crews.

Each Conversion Unit now consists of 3 large flights, each of which is sub-divided into two. The Stirling Academy has also been split up into three parts, each one becoming the nucleus of a small flight at each Conversion Unit.

The Base had a very much better month from the accident point of view, and tyre bursts are now the only chronic complaint left. Undercarriage pylon failures have been reduced and coring has slipped rapidly out of the Base vocabulary.

New appointments within Base include Wing Commander Derbyshire, D.F.C., as Chief Instructor, 1660 Conversion Unit, and Wing Commander Kingsford Smith as Chief Instructor 1654 Conversion Unit.

[Underlined] AIR SEA RESCUE (Continued from page 9) [/underlined]

ionally quickly” and all the crew members were in the dinghy almost before they knew it. The kite container was lost in transit, but all other equipment was transferred to the dinghy – a parachute found its way in, but was afterwards lost in the excitement of getting clear of the aircraft which was keeling over and threatening to come down on top of the dinghy.

This crew merely got their feet wet in boarding the dinghy but later got the seats of their pants wet because of a small hole in the dinghy which was subsequently plugged.

The pilot was weak from loss of blood, and shock, so the Air Bomber took charge and bullied the rest of the crew into activity. They say this did the world of good. The aircraft floated for about 10 minutes.

The dinghy mast was broken when being stepped, but the Wireless Operator managed to connect the aerial to the dinghy radio and almost continuous transmissions were made with other crew members holding the mast erect. Some hours later they were spotted by 91 Group Wellingtons which brought in an A.S.R. Hudson. A Lindholme dinghy was dropped, but failed to inflate though the crew managed to collect three of the ration containers. About 14 1/2 hours later a Naval Launch picked up the crew and took them into Yarmouth.

This crew had done a practice dinghy drill on the day before the incident, and attribute much of the success of this ditching to that fact.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 10

[Page break]

ENEMY AGENTS – CARELESS TALKERS

On the 30th January, 1942, there was published a document of some importance – to wit A.M.C.O. A.9 of that year.

It was important because it cleared the air of a good deal of confusion on the subject of security, and it achieved this by defining the functions of Security Organisation – thereby defining what is meant by the term ‘Security’ – and it laid down the organisation by which these functions were to be performed.

Security was by no means a new subject. Prior to the appearance of A.M.C.O. A.9/42, a vast number of thoughts on the subject had already made themselves felt, chiefly in the form of posters. They bore a slogan – “CARELESS TALK COSTS LIVES” – they sought to impress the truth of this slogan by representing pictorially such distressing events as ships being blown up, aircraft being shot down, and so on, all, by implication, the result of the wrong word being spoken at the wrong time in the wrong place. These were reinforced, in lighter vein, by coloured drawings, more or less amusing, of Hitler listening beneath a table at which, presumably, two people were discussing the future plans of the Allies; of Hitler repeated ad infinitum in the pattern of the wall paper; of Hitler looking out of the frames of otherwise harmless pictures: all of them indicative of the ubiquity of Hitler, and of the truth of that apalling [sic] statement “Walls have ears”.

And since the appearance of A.M.C.O. A.9/42, these pictorial exhortations to verbal discretion have been emphasised to us, in the R.A.F., by a quantity of printed matter in the form of lectures, bulletins, reports, instructions which, if expressed in terms of tonnage of paper they consumed, or if placed end to end, or on top of each other in one column, would, one feels sure, provide much indigestible food for thought in the shape of one of those totals which impress more by number of their digits than by any meaning they are able to convey to the ordinary mind. Add to this the number of words which must have been spoken in lectures on this subject since the 30th January, 1942, the countless man-hours devoted to the study and promulgation of this gospel of silence, and our total will become more astronomical and, therefore, more meaningless than ever.

Staggering as this total would be, however, it would never reach the dimensions of those our enemies could provide in the same field of endeavour, for the very good reason that they had been at it long before we commenced piling ours up. Japan, for instance, had been preaching the gospel of silence to her people for something like twenty years before Pearl Harbour. She taught it not only to her soldiers, sailors and airmen, but to the man in the factory, the woman in her home, the pedestrian on the street; with the result, as the writings of any of the foreign newspaper correspondents, some of whom had been in the country for years, will tell you, it was next to impossible to find out anything worth knowing about the country’s strength, or her intentions.

And what of Germany? Those Germans who were not born silent, or had not achieved silence by the time Hitler took them over, had silence so thoroughly thrust upon them that they really came to understand how and to know that even the walls of their own homes could grow ears. They were left in no doubt whatever upon the value of silence when it came to discussing either the affairs of the Party or of the Fatherland.

All of which surely points to the conclusion that silence in war-time, or, in other words, Security of Information, must be a matter of very great importance. Of course it is. You know that already. The meanest intelligence, you will point out, can grasp quite easily the simple truth that, if you prevent the enemy from knowing what you are up to, you place him at a serious disadvantage; you render him, so to speak, both deaf and blind, and, therefore, easier to deal with. Any fool knows that.

They [sic] why do people talk? Why do they write home letters full of chatty information about their stations? Why does one feel so certain that, were it possible to tap, at once all the telephone lines in the vicinity of our stations all over the country, one would become possessed of a mass of service information about all sorts of things and people – whither, why and when such a squadron is moving, who have finished their tours, where people are posted to, who didn’t come back last night, who the new C.O. is, and where he comes from, what the weather is like, what are the chances of a scrub tonight, how the R.A.F. is fed, clothed, housed, organised – and so on and so on? Not to be too depressing about it, let it be stated at once that one would probably, even certainly, gain much less information than would have been the case say two years ago; but who would like to bet that there still wouldn’t be plenty to be picked up?

So, why, after all the effort that has been made, all the money that has been spent, the paper that has been used, the words that have been spoken, should this be so? Now here, it is suggested, lies the root of the matter, and if this root can be dug up and examined, the apparently indestructible weed of Service Gossip, a weed which, while harmless, perhaps, nine times out of ten, can, on that tenth time, produce enough poison to be fatal to precious lives and expensive material, can be understood, and to understand any problem is the first step towards solving it.

Let us examine it then. People talk because that is the easiest and most natural way for them to express their thoughts. They talk their thoughts, they think about their daily lives; therefore, they talk about their daily lives. Now apply that formula to the R.A.F. and what do you find? You discover a service filled, for the most part, with very young people, a number of them still in their formative years. They talk their thoughts, they think their lives, their lives are, at the moment, the R.A.F; therefore they talk about the R.A.F. To go on from here; they are young people who have been brought up in countries in which free speech, outside the debateable limits of the law of scandal, is as instinctive as breathing. They have never had occasion to practice this habit of silence - a most difficult habit to acquire – and finally, they serve in a force which has been publicised, photographed and if one may use such a word, glamourised, more than any other organisation ever has before. Flying, as the R.A.F. flies, is a continual source of wonder to the lay mind. This business of lifting tons of explosive material off the earth at one spot, transporting it at phenomenal heights to another spot hundreds of miles away, and there dropping it in spite of such discouragements as flak, fighters, the weather, and so on, is something of a miracle to the civilian, and, naturally enough, he wants to know about it. The youngsters of the R.A.F. are, of course, the horse’s mouth, which is given every encouragement to open itself, and to remain open. And when a W.A.A.F. goes home on leave Mother wants to know what it’s all like – the food, the quarters, the station, what they do there and that gives her mother something to talk about to somebody who will pass it on to somebody else who will…..why go on?

It is, you see, a personal problem. There is no mass-produced solution to it. It is every man and woman for himself, and only he and she can deal with it. How? Well, try this recipe. Try writing home letters in which you never even refer to the Station upon which you work, beyond, of course, the address in the top left hand corner. Apply the same rule when you leave your Station, even when you meet another R.A.F. type. Regard every telephone you use as a menace because it is you who are using it, and finally, when you have finished your work for the day, don’t make conversation out of it in the mess or the canteen. Try these four riles as an act of self-discipline, and never relax, and you will solve all your problem and, what is far more important, you will solve one of the great problems which confront your country. Difficult? Yes, very. Impossible? No. It has been done. There is a station which once had the privilege of guarding part of a great and important secret. It wrote its letters by the thousand, it went to the nearest town, it went on leave. But never a word got out. No less than 12,500 letters from that Station were opened over a period of three weeks, and only two minor indiscretions were discovered in them, both after the great event. If you were a stranger, you couldn’t get very far on that station without being questioned; every rumour heard on or off it was faithfully reported – just in case. The result is history, not only because the event referred to was one of the best kept secrets and, therefore, one of the most successful undertakings of the war, but because it provided proof that, with the problem fully explained to them, the A.C.2. and A.C.W.2. can keep a secret, can keep their mouths shut and their pens discreet, and can do so as a matter of conscience, and as an act of self discipline.

Now if only the civilian could be persuaded not to make the R.A.F. talk……

(Continued from Col. 3 page 12)

(c) I.A.S. within 2 m.p.h. and height within 50 feet.

It’s practice which, makes perfect.

Gunnery is the order of the day for you and your crew again. Keep a banking search going. See that your guns and gunners are in first class condition. Check up on your corkscrew and patter.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 11

[Page break]

[Cartoon] SPORTS [Cartoon

[Underlined] CRICKET [/underlined]

June was not a cricketers’ month; the weather was “flaming [sic] but not in the sense of the old adage. Fielders and batsmen alike quailed before wind and rain. As a cricketers’ month it was grand for Rugger. In spite of the weather, however, several stations got in a full programme.

[Underlined] SCAMPTON [/underlined] – This station managed to complete the amazing total of 25 games. In addition, W.A.A.F. personnel played four games. Any challengers for an inter-station W.A.A.F. game? The Aircrew School represented the Station in five of the games, and themselves played 10 inter-course matches.

[Underlined] FISKERTON [/underlined] – had five station matches, one of which, with Woodhall, was abandoned after Fiskerton had knocked up 87 for 8. Their other games were as follows:-

V Dunholme at Dunholme – Fiskerton 72 for 7 Dunholme 68 all out

V Fiskerton Village at the Camp – Fiskerton 108 for 6 Village 29 all out

V Bardney at Fiskerton – Fiskerton 62 all out Bardney 22 all out

V Scampton at Scampton – Scampton 120 for 9 Fiskerton 71 all out

In addition to this successful record several inter-section games were played.

[Underlined] BARDNEY [/underlined] managed five station games, and are now getting into their stride under the captaincy of F/Lt Wardle.

[Underlined] DUNHOLME LODGE [/underlined] had three wins, one draw, and one loss from five games. They beat 5 Group H.Q., Welton Home Guard and Scampton, drew away with 5 Group H.Q. and suffered their only defeat at home with Fiskerton. An inter-section knock out is in full swing, with 12 teams competing.

[Underlined] METHERINGHAM [/underlined] had an unlucky month, with four postponed matches out of the six arranged. Against Coningsby, Metheringham scored 37 for 1 (Coningsby 179 for 7) before rain stopped play. The only completed game was with R.C.A.F. Digby, who hit 60 for 6 against Metheringham 56 all out.

Inter-section games produced some close results, viz:

Flying Control 55 for 7 V R.A.F.Regt. 50 all out

“B” Flight 60 all out V “A” Flight 36 all out

Servicing Wing Fitters 60 all out V Servicing Wing Riggers 65 all out

“B” Flight 43 for 5 V “A” Flight 39 for 9

In the Base Commander’s Trophy, 106 Sqdn dismissed 617 for 70 runs, but they could not bat and the game was abandoned.

[Underlined] 5 Group H.Q. [/underlined] played five games, four of them being away, since the 5 Group pitch has not yet “settled down”. They produced the following results:

V Dunholme, at Morton. 5 Group 148 for 8 Dunholme 89 for 8 (Draw)

V Dunholme at Dunholme. Dunholme 129 for 6 5 Group 64 all out (Lost)

V Swinderby at Swinderby. Swinderby 88 for 7 5 Group 83 all out (Lost)

V 93 M.U. at Collingham M.U. 77 all out 5 Group 84 for 6 (Won)

V Newark Town at Newark Newark 77 for 8 5 Group 72 for 5 (Lost)

There were two intersection games, in one of which the “Hall” beat the rest by 136 for 8 against 99 for 8.

[Underlined] GROUP CRICKET COMPETITION [/underlined]

Woodhall beat Coningsby in the final of “A” Section, so now Syerston (winners of “B” Section) meet Woodhall in the deciding game for the Trophy. The game will probably be decided on Saturday or Sunday (July 15th or 16th) at Woodhall Spa. Woodhall have taken over the town’s local ground, and with the addition of a score board and sight screens now have one of the finest grounds in the Group. The game will be one of the features of Woodhall’s “Wings for Victory” Week, and given good weather will be a highly successful event between two of the strongest Group teams. It is hoped that the A.O.C. will be able to present the handsome silver bowl to the winning side.

[Underlined] ATHLETIC MEETINGS [/underlined]

[Underlined] METHERINGHAM [/underlined] ran a highly successful Athletic Meeting on Saturday, 3rd June, when favourable weather for once coincided with a stand-down. Fourteen events were contested on an inter-section basis, the trophy being a shield presented by Corporal Ward, Instrument Section. The final placings of the teams were as follows:-

Winners: Navigators – 137 points
Second Pilots – 93 points
Third W/Ops. – 83 points
Fourth Rear Gnrs. – 82 points
Fifth Air Bombers – 78 points
Sixth Engineers – 63 points
Seventh M.U.Gunners – 43 points

Mrs. McKechnie presented the shield to F/Sgt. Croft, who assisted the Navigators by winning the 440, 880 and mile. Another outstanding performance was by F/O Gantschi (Air Bomber) who won the 100, 200, 220 and Long Jump.

[Underlined] 54 BASE INTER-SQUADRON SPORTS MEETING [/underlined] was on Saturday 17th June. 83 Squadron won the Base Commander’s Trophy, scoring 35 points, but 106 Squadron, with 33 points and 617 with 32 points, were good losers. 106 Squadron, feeling fit, provided winners for the 440, 880, mile, 3 miles and Long Jump. F/Sgt. Croft again had a field day, winning the 440, mile, 3 miles, and running second in the 880 yards. There was a big crowd at the games, and enthusiasm ran high. Lord Brownlow, Lord Lieutenant of the County, presented the prizes.

[Underlined] 93 M.U. SPORTS [/underlined] 93 M.U., whose work is so completely bound up with 5 Group, ran a highly successful Field Day on June 24th. Besides the usual athletic events, side shows, boxing and dancing made up an excellent programme. They plan another Gala Day, in aid of the P.O.W. Fund on August Bank Holiday Monday, and any personnel who can reach Swinderby will be sure of an enjoyable day.

SECOND THOUGHTS FOR PILOTS

[Underlined] FRESHMEN [/underlined]

Get down to crew Gunnery problems in July. Check your knowledge of the corkscrew, polish up your patter and do all the fighter affiliation you can.

Careful trimming of your aircraft ensures accurate flying. The correct sequence of action is:-

Fly the aircraft straight and level, trim the elevators, trim all load off the rudder and finally trim out any aileron load.

2.5° of skid at 10,000 ft. means an error of 250 yards on the ground. This common bombing error is often unconsciously caused by pilots sitting tense and rigid on the bombing run. Ensure the aircraft is properly trimmed and the [underlined] relax [/underlined] and fly the aircraft naturally and carefully.

If you find it difficult to read the instruments when coned by searchlights, get your navigator to call the airspeed. Make it a standing arrangement with him.

Here are the common faults in night circuits, don’t allow these errors to “creep” in.

(i) Edging in towards the flare path on the down wind leg.

(ii) Not allowing for drift on approach.

(iii) Failing to close the throttles when touching down.

(iv) Going too far across wind before the final turn in.

Should you have to land without flaps, remember to lengthen your downwind leg as the approach will be flatter and therefore longer. Start the final turn in earlier since the turn without flap will be wider, and approach at 125 m.p.h. Touch down as soon as possible and expect a longer landing run, and be prepared to use brake progressively.

[Underlined] VETERANS [/underlined]

Are you brake conscious? Brake efficiency falls off with rise in temperature of – brake shoes and drums. Avoid continual use of brakes, control direction by engine and release brakes as soon as possible to allow heat to go into the air and not up into the tyres. Never apply full brake at once. This induces tyre creep.

If you have to land in a very strong, gusty wind, use only 40° of flap and aim to do a wheel landing. Make a normal approach and when the wheels touch, ease the stick [underlined] slightly [/underlined] forward and keep it steady till the tail sinks on to the ground.

A word on Met; remember that forecast height of cloud base id always height above sea level. Bear this in mind if you are forced to break cloud at a diversion aerodrome, and allow for height of ground.

Have you and your crew an “A” category for bombing? You can have if you accept nothing less than these limitations;

(a) Course within 1° (b) Bank within 2°

(Continued on page 11 Col.3)

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 12

[Page break]

ACCIDENTS

The award of the Silver Model Lancaster to the Unit having the best accident rate for the six months ended June goes to No. 106 Squadron. This squadron had one accident for a total of 6,848 flying hours. Nos. 49 and 57 Squadrons also had one avoidable accident, for a total of 6,743 and 6,294 hours respectively. These squadrons are to be congratulated on a splendid achievement, It’s up to the other Squadrons to dethrone the champions during the next three months. GO TO IT!!

Altogether there was a decided improvement in the number of avoidable accidents during June.

36 aircraft were damaged in the Group by causes other than enemy action. This is a reduction of 15 compared with May, and the improvement is also reflected in the avoidable accident total which stands at 16 for June as opposed to 20 in May.

Of the aircraft damaged, 12 were CAT A, 5 CAT AC, 5 CAT B, and 14 CAT E.

[Underlined] AVOIDABLE ACCIDENTS – 51 BASE RECORD [/underlined]

51 Base are to be congratulated for the lowest number of avoidable accidents for a long time; 4 aircraft were damaged under this category. The squadron total of 12 for the month was an increase of 2 over May’s total. Details are as follows:-

Squadron – Ground collisions (taxying) 3; overshoots landing 2; undershooting 1; Swings landing 1; Flying into high ground 1; Collision in air 1; errors of judgement 3; TOTAL 12.

51 Base – Swings taking off 1; Swings landing 2; Taxying 1; TOTAL 4

[Underlined] ACCIDENT CAUSES [/underlined]

[Underlined] Taxying. [/underlined] 3 of the 4 taxying accidents in the Group follow the usual pattern. One struck a trestle outside dispersal at night, and no taxying light was being used. Another hit an M/T van left unattended just off the perimeter track, while a third (a Stirling) broke its tail wheel when it ran off the perimeter track. The 4th taxying accident was caused by a Flight Engineer starting up the engines of a Lancaster without permission. Brake pressure was low and the aircraft moved forward and struck another parked alongside.

[Underlined] Swings [/underlined] Three of these occurred on landing. One was a Mosquito in which the pilot, flying a Mosquito for the first time, was not quick enough in correcting. The other two landing swings were by pupil pilots on Stirlings, and were due to inexperience more than anything else. They both knew the correct drill, however, but were slow to react. The swing on take off occurred in a Stirling, when a pupil pilot opened the throttles too quickly and failed to control the violent starboard swing which followed. The undercarriage collapsed.

[Underlined] Other Accidents. [/underlined] A Lancaster returning in poor weather descended through cloud and hit a hill 500 feet above sea level. This accident has not yet been fully investigated, but preliminary evidence indicates that the pilot lost height contrary to orders at briefing.

Another Lancaster on return from Ops. in good weather hit a tree 1000 yards from the runway on his approach. The wing tip was torn off but the pilot went round again and made a good landing on his second attempt. In this instance the bombs were still on board unknown to the pilot. His Air Bomber had told him that all bombs had gone. Air Bombers please note!!

Two Lancasters overshot on landing at strange airfields on return from operations. The bomb load exploded after one of them crashed.

A formation flying collision resulted in the destruction of two aircraft this month. Number 3 of a “Vic” formation knocked the tail off the Leader.

The two remaining avoidable accidents cocurred [sic] on operational flights. One pilot lost control in cloud on return and ordered his crew to bale out. Four of them left before control was regained. They had not been told to take their ‘K’ type dinghy packs with them and landed in the sea. The aircraft made a safe landing at base.

A Mid-Upper Gunner firing at searchlights on the ground damaged the port fin of his aircraft with a burst. The solenoid had jumped from its bracket. The gunner was at fault.

RADAR/NAV

[Underlined] GEE [/underlined]

Most operations were within normal Gee range and no exceptional results have been recorded. There has, however, been a substantial decrease in jamming which may be due to the increase in the number of frequencies now in use.

Non-H 2 S squadrons are now equipped with the new R.F. Unit 27 and have had several chances of using it during the month. As yet there has been no opportunity to test its efficiency at long range, but reports indicate the signal strength to be good with little or no interference. It is hoped that the supply position in regard to these new units will improve shortly and H 2 S Squadrons can then be equipped.

Several changes in Gee transmissions have taken place recently, and it would be advisable for all navigators and wireless operators to check upon these and make sure they are using the right frequencies and aerial loading stud at the right time.

One word regarding Gee homing. It is apparent from recent operations that navigators are not checking up with Gee on the position of the markers. There is little excuse for this, as most operations at the present time are within normal Gee range and subject to little or no interference. Navigators would be well advised to check up on their homing procedure now – because sooner or later the time will come when owing to weather conditions bombs may have to be released on Gee.

With regard to Gee training, a modification is being issued shortly which will enable navigators to carry out dry swims and Gee homing procedure with the trainer. The first will be issued to Scampton Aircrew School and should prove an interesting and invaluable “toy”.

[Underlined] H 2 S [/underlined]

The targets this month have been rather disappointing for the H 2 S operator, and H 2 S has been little used. Whilst Gee may seem much simpler to use it is essential for all operators to use H 2 S as much as possible on these short range operations to augment training. We may switch to the longer range targets with little or no notice, and if operators have been relying to a very great extent on Gee, some difficulty with H 2 S may be experienced.

Just a word to Captains; your navigator depends to a very great extent upon the bomb aimer and his efficient manipulation of the equipment. If you are keeping him in the nose the whole of the time on these short operations he is getting little or no H 2 S training. A.S.I. BL/17 dated 26th April, 1944, details the duties of Air Bombers in H 2 S aircraft and however short the operation, Captains must see that this instruction is complied with.

One word with regard to H 2 S training on operational squadrons. With the present commitments there is very little opportunity for air training, but this does not prevent operators from obtaining as much ground training as possible. Ground trainers are available at all Units and they are yours to use at will. Squadron Navigation Officers and H 2 S Instructors should ensure that all operators get at

(Continued in Col. 2)

[Underlined] RADAR/NAV (Continued from col.3) [/underlined]

least 30 minutes practice every day and should make periodic tests to see that operators are remaining efficient.

H 2 S operators will be interested to hear that 54 Base have been carrying out some experiments in the assessment of a Paramatta attack, and conclusions reached show that assessments can be made to within approximately 1/2 mile of the correct position. If this assessing can be carried out on operations it may prevent many attacks from developing around T.I’s a considerable distance from the aiming point. Preliminary trials are now being attempted with regard to Wanganui attacks and it is hoped that something useful may be produced for next winter’s operations.

Training at Conversion Units is progressing satisfactorily and Wigsley is now producing H 2 S trained crews.

There are still a few people in the Group who are sceptical about the amount of H 2 S. training carried out at No. 51 Base and in fairness to the effort being made by the Conversion Units, it would be advisable to outline the training being carried out by them.

Up to June 1st this year, 111 H 2 S trained crews have been produced by the Conversion Units, of which only 6 were sent to non-H 2 S squadrons (of these crews, 3 were Flight Commanders and 3 Australians).

With the increase in the number of H 2 S squadrons it became increasingly apparent that more crews would have to be trained by the Conversion Units and instructions were issued to that effect.

Despite the fact that [underlined] extra time or aircraft [/underlined] are allowed for this training, the Conversion Units are now taking 50% of the

(Continued on page 14 col.1)

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 13

[Page break]

HONOURS & AWARDS [Cartoon]

The following IMMEDIATE awards have been approved during the month:-

[Underlined] 44 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/L P.A. DOREHILL, D.F.C. D.S.O.
F/O McKENZIE D.F.C.

[Underlined] 50 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/O B.H. BOTHA D.F.C.

[Underlined] 57 SQUADRON [/underlined]

P/O R.E. WALKER D.F.C.

[Underlined] 106 SQUADRON [/underlined]

W/O J.A. CUNNINGHAM D.F.C.

[Underlined] 207 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/O T.T. SMART D.F.C.
F/O W. McINTOSH, D.F.M. D.F.C.
P/O C.B. SUTHERLAND D.F.C.

[Underlined] 617 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/O G.S. STOUT D.F.C.

[Underlined] 627 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/L H. STEERE, D.F.M. D.F.C.
F/L R.F. DAVIES, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.

[Underlined] 630 SQUADRON [/underlined]

A/F/L/ G.H. PROBERT D.F.C.

The following NON-IMMEDIATE awards were approved during the month:-

[Underlined] 9 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/L L.C.A. HADLAND D.F.C.
F/O W.W.W. TURNBULL D.F.C.
A/F/L E.M. ARMSTRON D.F.C.
F/O M.J. MAY D.F.C.
F/O F.B. HALL D.F.C.
F/SGT J.W. GREENWOOD D.F.M.
SGT J. WATERHOUSE D.F.M.
P/O A.E. GILES D.F.C.
P/O B.G.L. ROGERS D.F.C.

[Underlined] 9 SQUADRON (Contd.) [/underlined]

P/O W.A. GALL D.F.C.
F/O J.A. PRIOR D.F.C.
P/O W.F. POSSEE D.F.C.
P/O F.G. HAYLER D.F.C.
F/SGT J. LEVER D.F.M.
F/SGT W.I. WILKINSON D.F.M.
F/SGT J.C. DICKINSON D.F.M.
SGT D.E. LAYSHON D.F.M.
F/SGT R.H. McFERRAN D.F.M.
F/SGT F. LOMAX D.F.M.
F/SGT J. RYAN D.F.M.
SGT J.H. TURNER D.F.M.
F/SGT LOMAS D.F.M.
F/O D.H. PEARCE D.F.C.
F/O McMASTER D.F.C.
P/O J.D. DUNCAN D.F.C.
P/O S.W.A. HURRELL D.F.C.
P/O H. BLOW D.F.C.
F/SGT H.F. SMITH D.F.M.

[Underlined] 44 SQUADRON [/underlined]

SGT L.J. HUMMELL D.F.M.
SGT F. GARRETT D.F.M.
P/O F.B. SOAPER D.F.M.
F/SGT K.R. BLUNDELL D.F.M.
SGT R.H. BATEMAN D.F.M.
A/F/L R. McCURDY, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.
P/O T.W. BLACK D.F.C.
F/SGT E. BARTON D.F.M.
F/SGT P.A. DEACON D.F.M.
F/SGT M.C. WRIGHT D.F.M.
F/SGT E.D. PRATT D.F.M.
P/O A.C. BAKER D.F.C.
F/O R.H. MAURY D.F.C.
F/O A. RIMMER D.F.C.
SGT D. CHARLES D.F.M.
F/SGT A.J. GURR D.F.M.
F/SGT W.H. BARKER D.F.M.
SGT WILLETT D.F.M.
SGT R.H. TURRELL D.F.M.
P/O J.A.W. McCALLUM D.F.C.
SGT H.G. CAPPS D.F.M.
F/SGT H.S. TILLER D.F.M.
SGT J.C. THOMPSON D.F.M.
F/SGT F.H. BARNES D.F.M.
SGT E. HEDLEY D.F.M.
F/SGT M.M. SCOTT D.F.M.

[Underlined] 49 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/SGT J.H. PRYOR D.F.M.

[Underlined] 49 SQUADRON (Contd.) [/underlined]

P/O J.V. REDDISH D.F.C.
F/SGT S.E. STEVENSON D.F.M.
P/O C.R. ROANTREE D.F.C.
F/SGT D. ANDREW D.F.M.
P/O BLACKHAM D.F.C.
F/SGT M.R. PRICE D.F.M.
F/SGT V.F. PITCHER D.F.M.
P/O D. JONES D.F.C.
F/O W.J.V. HAMILTON D.F.C.
F/SGT J.J. PAGE D.F.M.
P/O G.M.E. WELLER D.F.C.
SGT J.A. KIRWAN D.F.M.
W/CDR A.A. ADAMS D.F.C.

[Underlined] 50 SQUADRON [/underlined]

P/O D.J. LUNDY D.F.C.
P/O L. DURHAM D.F.C.
F/O M.J. BEETHAM D.F.C.
P/O P.E. THOMPSON D.F.C.
F/O H.R. MOSSOP D.F.C.
F/O K.W. ODGERS D.F.C.
F/O P.A. CUNNINGHAM D.F.C.
F/O A.H. BIGNELL D.F.C.
F/SGT J.C.A. RODGERS D.F.M.
F/SGT N. HORSLEY D.F.M.
F/SGT A.D.F. SPRUCE D.F.M.
F/O L. HORNER D.F.C.
F/O H.S. SHORTT D.F.C.
F/O R.G.G. PAGETT D.F.C.
F/SGT D.E. WESTERMAN D.F.M.
F/SGT R.A. COLLINGWOOD D.F.M.
F/SGT C. TURNER D.F.M.
F/SGT R. STANWIX D.F.M.
F/SGT A.L. BARTLETT D.F.M.
F/O A.S. KEITH D.F.C.
P/O A. MORRISON D.F.C.
W/O J.A. WILDING D.F.C.
SGT W.M. RUNDLE D.F.M.

[Underlined] 57 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/L D.H. REID D.F.C.
SGT J.C. EVANS D.F.M.
P/O E.A. DOWLAND D.F.C.
P/O C.J.M. MARTIN D.F.C.
SGT T. DAVIES D.F.M.
F/O J. SIMMS D.F.C.
P/O J.H. COLLINS D.F.C.

(Continued on page 15, Column 1)

[Underlined] RADAR/NAV (Contd. From page 13 Col.2) [/underlined]

crews passing through and giving them full H 2 S ground training with 10 – 15 hours air training. This output will be sufficient to satisfy the requirements of all H 2 S squadrons. These crews should reach the squadrons by the middle of August.

In the meantime H 2 S squadrons will have to put up with a quota of non H 2 S crews and continue to train them.

To further ease the training commitments of both the Conversion Units and squadrons, it is hoped that H2S training will be introduced into the Scampton Aircrew School by the middle of August. This training will consist of approximately 5 hours lectures with further time in manipulation of the H 2 S synthetic trainer. It is to be appreciated that this training will have to be in addition to the present essential navigational training carried out at the School, and navigators and air bombers must be prepared to undertake some of it in their spare time.

PHOTOGRAPHY

[Underlined] SUMMARY OF PHOTOGRAPHIC RESULTS [/underlined]

[Table of Photographic Results by Squadron]

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944. PAGE 14

[Page break]

Aircrew Volunteers

(a) New Volunteers
(b) Accepted by A.C.S.B.
(c) Posted for training
(d) Awaiting interview by A.C.S.B.

[Table of Aircrew Volunteers by Base and Station]

WAR SAVINGS

(a) Pence saved per head of strength
(b) %age of personnel contributing
(c) Total amount saved

[Table of War Savings by Station]

TOTAL £15,498 13 9

LINK TRAINER

The number of hours link practice carried out by pilots during the month shows an increase over last month’s total. There is, however, still room for improvement in the standard of instrument flying. This can only be achieved by close co-operation between Link Instructors and Pilots.

The new Link Syllabus was distributed to Stations in the middle of the month and should now be in use at all Units. It is again emphasised that this Syllabus is progressive and if full value is to be obtained from it, Pilots and Flight Engineers must ensure that they complete all exercises, and keep an accurate record of the exercises carried out.

[Table of Link Trainer by Squadron]

[Page break]

[Blank page]

[Page break]

HONOURS & AWARDS

(CONTINUED)

[Underlined] 57 SQUADRON (Contd.) [/underlined]

SGT J.T.WATTS D.F.M.
SGT F.A. SIMMONDS D.F.M.
F/O G.S. JOHNSON D.F.C.
SGT F. ROBERTS D.F.M.
F/O R. DAVIS D.F.C.
F/SGT R.W. CLEARY D.F.M.
F/O K.D. SMITH D.F.C.

[Underlined] 61 SQUADRON [/underlined]

P/O E.A. WILLIAMS D.F.C.
P/O J.E.R. WILLIAMS D.F.C.
SGT L.G. BOLTON D.F.M.
F/SGT C. BALDWIN D.F.M.
P/O E.H. WALKER D.F.C.
F/SGT L.W. CROMARTY D.F.M.
F/SGT R.A. BUNYAN D.F.M.
P/O W.C. MacDONALD D.F.C.
F/O N.F. TURNER D.F.C.
P/O D.E. TREVETHICK D.F.C.
P/O G.A. TURNBULL D.F.C.
SGT. W.A. LEE D.F.M.
P/O J. BARR D.F.C.
P/O C.A. HAIGH D.F.C.
F/SGT LYNCH D.F.M.
F/O S.J. BEARD, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.
F/SGT C.P. STEEDSMAN D.F.M.
SGT G.M. WARD D.F.M.
SGT McQUILLAN D.F.M.
F/SGT C. WILCE D.F.M.

[Underlined] 106 SQUADRON [/underlined]

P/O J.C. BELL D.F.C.
F/O A.F. POORE D.F.C.
F/O G.E.D. TOOGOOD D.F.C.
P/O A.E. BRISTOW D.F.C.
F/SGT J. GRAVES D.F.M.
F/O R.J. ELSEY D.F.C.
F/O R.A. ROBERTS D.F.C.
F/SGT V. LYNCH D.F.M.
P/O P.J. RICHARDS D.F.C.
F/O W.R. LEE D.F.C.
F/O J.H.S. LEE D.F.C.
SGT T.C. WALLER D.F.M.
F/SGT G.R. CARLILE D.F.M.
F/O F.M. MIFFLIN D.F.C.
F/SGT A.D.J. GROOMBRIDGE D.F.M.
F/O C.J. DUNN D.F.C.
P/O R.A. HINCKLEY D.F.C.
F/O D.L. CRAMP D.F.C.
F/O D.V. GIBBS D.F.C.
F/L C.J. GINDER D.F.C.
F/SGT D. PINCKARD D.F.M.
F/SGT F. MYCOE D.F.M.
F/LT W.A. WILLIAMSON D.F.C.
F/SGT F.L. HIGGINS D.F.M.
F/O D.A. PAGLIERO D.F.C.
F/O R.L. WAKE, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.
F/SGT R. APPLEYARD D.F.M.
SGT V.H. BLACKWELL D.F.M.
P/O J. O’LEARY D.F.C.
F/O A.V. WITHERS D.F.C.
F/O R.P. RAMSAY D.F.C.
F/SGT S.J. HALVORSEN D.F.M.
SGT J.G. LANCASTER D.F.M.
F/SGT E. CLODE D.F.M.
SGT R.F. LAWRENSON D.F.M.

[Underlined] 207 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/SGT J.G. MYERSCOUGH D.F.M.
SGT D. FRISKEY D.F.M.
F/SGT E.C. THOMPSON D.F.M.
P/O C.W. BARNETT D.F.C.
SGT W.G. LAMONT D.F.M.
F/SGT J. SKELTON D.F.M.
P/O R.G. CAMPBELL D.F.C.
P/O D.R. DEARMAN D.F.C.
P/O K.L. WRIGHT D.F.C.
F/SGT E.H. BUNN D.F.M.
SGT D.C. MARK D.F.M.
SGT F.H. HAZEL D.F.M.
SGT F.C. DOWLING D.F.M.
SGT R.M. GALLOWAY D.F.M.

[Underlined] 207 SQUADRON (Contd.) [/underlined]

F/LT H.L. McCARTHY D.F.C.
F/O D.S.P. SMITH D.F.C.
F/O C.T. HARPER D.F.C.
F/O A. HOLLINGS D.F.C.

[Underlined] 463 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/O R.A. CURTIS D.F.C.
F/O E.R. FREEMAN D.F.C.
F/O A.E. VOWELS D.F.C.
F/O W.H. BROOKER D.F.C.
P/O H.R. MAHON D.F.C.
F/O F.B.M. WILSON D.F.C.
F/O J.E.R. REES D.F.C.
F/SGT J.B. CHILDS D.F.M.

[Underlined] 467 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/LT D.F.S. SMITH D.F.C.
F/O F. MORRIS D.F.C.
P/O A.R.T. BOYS D.F.C.
F/O W.H. GOLDSTRAW, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.
W/O H.C. CHANDLER D.F.C.
F/O D.T. CONWAY D.F.C.
F/O J.A. COLPUS D.F.C.
P/O M.F. SMITH D.F.C.
P/O N.D. MARSHALL D.F.C.
F/O F.J. NUGENT D.F.C.
F/O H.S.L. CROUCH D.F.C.
F/O G.G. ABBOTT D.F.C.
P/O A.A. TAYLOR D.F.C.
P/O A.P. SPERLING D.F.C.
F/SGT G. NOBLE D.F.M.

[Underlined] 617 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/O P.N. BUTTLE D.F.C.
P/O P.E. PIGEON D.F.C.
P/O H.A. WEEKS D.F.C.
P/O J.H. CLAY D.F.C.
F/O E. WILLSHER D.F.C.
W/O J. DACEY D.F.C.
F/O J.S. WATSON D.F.C.
F/SGT McCLELLAN D.F.M.
F/SGT L. EATON D.F.M.
F/SGT R.J. HENDERSON D.F.M.
F/SGT APPLEBY D.F.M.
F/SGT W. HOWARTH D.F.M.
F/O R. ADAMS D.F.M.
F/O A. HILL D.F.C.
F/LT WILSON, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.

[Underlined] 619 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/O J.G. THOMPSON D.F.C.
F/O H.L. VICKERSTAFFE D.F.C.
F/O W.E.D. BELL D.F.C.
P/O G.G. TAYLOR D.F.C.
F/SGT J.A. FEATHERSTONE D.F.M.
F/O N.B. MORRISON D.F.C.
W/O B.T.J. HUCKS D.F.C.
W/O C.G. TURNBULL D.F.C.
SGT M.H.G. KING D.F.M.
P/O J.P. HIND D.F.C.
P/O J.I. JOHNSON D.F.C.
P/O E.K. ALLEY D.F.C.
P/O R.T. BOULTBEE D.F.C.
F/O P.H. TAYLOR D.F.C.
W/O R.A. WESTAD D.F.C.
F/O T. WILKIE D.F.C.
F/O JOHNSON-BIGGS D.F.C.
F/LT R. AYTOUN, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.
F/SGT J.H. BRYANT D.F.M.

[Underlined] 630 SQUADRON [/underlined]

P/O A.C. BLOIS D.F.C.
P/O T. SMART D.F.C.
W/O L.H. TODD D.F.C.
P/O R.T. HUGHES D.F.C.
F/O G.W. BRAKE D.F.C.
W/O D. ROBERTS D.F.C.
F/O A.J. WRIGHT D.F.C.
F/O K.R. AMES, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.
P/O F.R.G.A. HIGGINS D.F.C.
W/O H. GLASBY D.F.C.
F/SGT T.H. SAVAGE D.F.M.

FLYING CONTROL

All stations are to be congratulated on the excellent landing times produced this month, in which the average for the Group is below the 2 minutes per aircraft mark. In particular, Waddington recorded consistently good times for each operation. One [sic] the night of the 24/25th June this Station landed 32 AIRCRAFT IN 31 MINUTES, the average being less than 1 minute per aircraft. This is a record for the Group, and probably for the Command.

One word of warning, however; recently aircraft from another Group were diverted and on arrival at the diversion airfield proceeded to use their own Group landing scheme, with which the diversion control staff were not familiar. It is sufficient to say that confusion followed, with extreme danger to the aircraft and crews concerned. A.S.I. FC/11 contains the standard diversionary control procedure and must be adhered to.

[Underlined] STONES, CONCRETE AND METAL [/underlined]

Every stone, every sharp edge of concrete, every spent cartridge or piece of metal, constitutes a menace to tyres.

During the last 3 month there has been a very high average of tyres changed on accounts of cuts – (25 per station per month). Recently, endeavours have been made on stations to overcome this menace, but the intensified clean-up of perimeters, runways and dispersals must be maintained.

FLYING CONTROL must ensure that not the smallest break in the perimeter track or runway is overlooked, that grading does level up with the perimeter track and runways, and that any looseness in the surface of the French drains is attended to at once. Station Admin and Clerks of Works must help to the utmost.

GROUND CREWS must assist by seeing that their dispersals are thoroughly clean, and AIRCREWS watch carefully that cartridges cease to be a menace to tyres.

TRANSPORT – keep the sweepers fully serviced and see that nothing is loose on vehicles employed on the airfield.

ARMAMENT, too, can assist by ensuring that the access roads to the bomb dump are clear of stones and that wooden chocks from bomb trolleys are recovered before aircraft move. A 4” x 3” block with nails in it is not healthy treatment for a tyre!

ONLY BY FULL CO-OPERATION CAN THE ULTIMATE AIM BE ACHIEVED-AN AIRFIELD 100% SERVICEABLE.

JUNE LANDING TIMES

[Table of Landing Times by Station]

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944 PAGE 15

[Page break]

OPERATIONS

At dawn on the 6th of this month, the first Allied troops landed on the Normandy coast. A contribution towards the success of this amphibious operation was no doubt made in the effective silencing of most of the shore batteries. During the last month and again on three nights prior to D – Day this was one of the Group’s tasks. The heavy railway gun battery at WIMERAUX was attacked on the 2/3rd and although the interpretation report embraces previous attacks, there is no doubt that severe damage was inflicted; a large number of new craters being seen around the target. Both the western turntables have received direct hits.

The coastal defence batteries at MAISY (4/5th), ST PIERRE DU MONT (5/6 th) and LA PERNELLE (5/6th) next received our attention. Little could be gleaned from photographic cover as to the precise damage to the targets, but their apparent failure to contest our landing bears testimony to the success of the raids.

Another pre-invasion target was the Radar Jamming Station at FERME D’URVILLE. This target was attacked on 3/4th and, to quote A.I.C.U. “The station is completely useless”.

Our beachhead having been secured, our bombing role turned to close support of the land forces. The 21st Panzer Division was moving into CAEN to threaten the British Beaches. Two road bridges in this town were accordingly scheduled for attack on the 6/7th; both bridges were hit, and the road approaches heavily cratered, presenting an embarrassing obstacle to the Hun. On the same night an attack was directed against the ARGENTAN Railway centre. This raid also was calculated to hamper the arrival of reinforcements, which object was achieved by the severing of almost all the tracks and the destruction of many essential buildings.

During the day of the 7th, elements of the 17th Panzer Division were concentration [sic] in the FORET DE CERISY, a number of ammunition dumps, fuelling points and tank harbours having been located in this area. This was our assignment for the night 7/8th, and although results were not spectacular, many bombs fell on the aiming point.

The battle of communications continued on 8/9th against targets south of the battle area, when the marshalling yard at RENNES and rail junction at PONTAUBAULT were attacked. Severe damage was sustained at the former target while at the latter, the tracks were cut at several points.

One of the outstanding operations of the month was against the SAUMUR tunnel on the 8/9th. Already the railway junction had been attacked on 1/2nd with excellent effect, but the later attack on the tunnel left no doubt that the line would be denied the enemy for some time to come. A direct hit on the roof of the tunnel at its southern entrance has probably caused a major collapse while the tracks and embankments are severely damaged.

Our attack on the railway junction at ETAMPES on 9/10th was rendered extremely difficult owing largely to adverse weather, although hits were scored on the electrified railway north east of the junction.

The possibility of the enemy using the PARIS/ORLEANS route to effect troop movements led to a request for the destruction of the marshalling yard at ORLEANS on 10/11th. The mission was successfully undertaken, all through lines being severed and further damage sustained to rolling stock railway depots etc.

The attack on POITERS on 12/13th in which very severe damage was inflicted on the railway facilities was designed to delay the 2nd S.S. Division, believed to be moving up from South France.

On the same night support was given to our troops advancing East and West of CAEN, by the further bombing of the town’s road bridges.

The Lehr Panzer Division is reported to have visited AUNAY SUR ODON on the same night as aircraft from this Group, namely, 14/15th. AUNAY is completely obliterated – speculation is rife as to the fate of the Panzers.

Photos taken the day following the attack on the LIMOGES marshalling yard (23/24th) indicate that fires were still burning in the area, and that all tracks in the sorting sidings have been blocked.

AT VITRY LE FRANCOIS on 27/28th damage was almost entirely confined to the west end of the marshalling yard where all the tracks have been cut. Other damage throughout the yard is apparent.

For 48 hours the spotlight of war turned from the battlefield to the sea, to the harbours of LE HAVRE and BOULOGNE where a powerful force of small craft had been assembled by the enemy with a view to menacing our supply lanes. It is now reported that as a direct result of the two raids on 14/15th and 15/16th no fewer than 80 vessels have been sunk or seriously damaged. Damage to port installations is also severe.

Oil targets have been attacked sporadically since the war began, but in the knowledge that the enemy is suffering from fuel shortage we returned on three occasions to attack his resources.

At CHATELLERAULT on 15/16th a fuel dump was raided, considerable damage resulting to storage units.

The attacks on WESSELING and SCHOLVEN Synthetic Oil Plants on 21/22nd were not, however, satisfactory and, influenced by bad weather conditions, were off the mark.

During the month two gardening operations were undertaken, on 6/7th and 8/9th.

In the concluding phases of June our attention was diverted from Normandy to the rather more immediate problem of combating the flying bombs which had commenced to operate over this country on 12/13th. On the whole, weather was exceedingly unco-operative, but, despite this, 10 missions were launched (three of which,

(Continued on page 4 Col. 2)

WAR EFFORT

[Table of Operations with Sorties, Accidents and Stars Awards, by Squadron]

Squadrons are placed in the above table in order of “successful sorties per average aircraft on charge”. In view of their special duties, Nos. 83, 97, 617 and 627 Squadrons are shown separately. In cases where a crew has flown aircraft of another squadron, the sortie is divided between the two squadrons.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.23. JUNE, 1944.

Collection

Citation

“V Group News, June 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed December 8, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/17816.

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