V Group News, August 1944


V Group News, August 1944
5 Group News, August 1944


Five Group Newsletter, number 25, August 1944. Includes a foreword by the Air Officer Commanding, and features about sports, engineering , war effort, gunnery, training, equipment, photography, gardening, war savings, second thoughts for pilots, honours and awards, signals, armament, navigation, radar navigation, air bombing, air sea rescue, link trainer, operations, special operations, flying control, wishful thinking, tactics, accidents, and the Stirling.

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AUGUST 1944 * [deleted] SECRET [/deleted] * NO * 25


In August the Group set up several new records for operations and training, and Squadrons got more hours flying out of their aircraft than ever before. Top of the list is No. 61 Squadron with a total of 105 hours per aircraft on charge, and close behind are Nos. 50 and 44 Squadrons with 103 and 101 hours respectively. These are splendid figures which reflect great credit on the maintenance staffs. The total flying for the month was 34,000 hours with 3,600 operational sorties.

A high proportion of the attacks was directed against naval targets, more especially the six ships in Brest Harbour, including the battleship Clemenceau and the cruiser Gueydon, all of which were sunk, thus preventing the enemy from carrying out his intention of blocking the harbour.

Two highly successful mining attacks were also undertaken against the ship canals at Stettin and Konigsberg. At Stettin a dredged channel crosses a six mile wide lake between the coast and the docks, and it was decided that a complete hold up of enemy shipping could best be caused by laying a considerable number of mines in this Channel. The sides of the channel were marked at the two ends and in the middle by small towers intended for lights, and between these by a double row of buoys. For the attack the area was first lit with flares and in their light, three marker aircraft laid flame floats down two sides of the canal, using the buoys as their guide, so that the aircraft carrying the mines had a well marked line in which to put them. The marking was magnificently undertaken in the face of considerable searchlight and light flak opposition and the whole operation proved an outstanding success. The average height of laying was 300 feet. The operations against the Konigsberg canal a few nights later was on a smaller scale, but two aircraft succeeded in placing all their mines in the channel again from a very low height and in the light of flares. It was after these two attacks that all Swedish shipping was withdrawn from Baltic trade.

During the month valuable support was also given to the Army in the Falaise area, and many sorties were directed against the flying bomb sites. This commitment has now happily come to an end with the capture of the flying bomb country, but the following message from the Air Ministry to Bomber Command will show the considerable part which the Command played in reducing the scale of this menace.

“The continuous and heavy bombing of the experimental stations, production plants, launching sites, storage depots and installations, which has been carried out by your Command, not only imposed on the enemy a prolonged and unwelcome delay in the launching of his campaign, but effectively limited the scale of effort which he was able to make. This notable achievement has added one more to the long list of successful operations carried out by Bomber Command.”

The month ended with two attacks by the Group on Konigsberg, capital city of East Prussia. The first attack had all the elements necessary for a decisive success but the misunderstanding by a few crews of their briefed instructions, led to the attack, which was the most concentrated ever undertaken by the Group, being centred 2000 yards from the aiming point and doing relatively little damage. As a result a further attack had to be carried out in much less favourable weather. Happily this attack was successful and resulted in the almost complete destruction of the chief port supplying the German armies in East Prussia.

The success which has, in general, attended the attacks delivered by the Group over the past six months has been largely due to the system of low level marking by Mosquito aircraft which was first tried out by Wing Commander Cheshire with No. 617 Squadron. I am sure that all in the Group will join me in congratulating him on the award of the Victoria Cross in recognition of his great gallantry over 4 years of War and 100 operational sorties.

[Page break]

[Cartoon] SPORTS [Cartoon]

[Underlined] CRICKET [/underlined]

The end of the season weather proved most unkind, and most teams found their last month’s activities very limited. Scampton completed three games, beating Rustons and A.A. Command but losing to R.A.F. Cranwell. Dunholme lost to Ruston Bucyrus away, beat Hartsholme away, and the local Cadets at home. Metheringham managed to complete only one inter-station game, and then operations caused them to field a weak side and they were well beaten by R.C.A.F. Digby. Metheringham have now completed eleven games in the season, won five, lost five and drawn one. The outstanding teams of the season were Woodhall and Syerston, both of whom were blessed with “stars”. It was fitting for them to meet in the final of the Group Trophy, and although Syerston were unlucky in having lost S/Ldr MacKenzie, Woodhall put up a splendid effort to add the cricket Trophy to 54 Base collection.

[Underlined] SWIMMING [/underlined]

Coningsby Squadrons took advantage of the last day of summer, and held the Inter-Squadron Swimming Trophy in the Open Air Pool at Woodhall Spa in the 13th August. Events were held in Free Style, Breast and Back Stroke over the usual distances, together with plunging and diving. No.83 Squadron emerged as winners, with 26 points, the next best being Metheringham with 22.

[Underlined] BADMINTON [/underlined]

Several Stations find the Badminton Court in great demand. Dunholme have just concluded a Doubles Tournament in which Cpls Pigott and Hurst beat ACs King and Wright by 21 – 19, 18 – 21, 21 – 17. Scampton have a Badminton Club. Here is a big field for inter-station friendlies, and it is hoped Stations will not miss the opportunity of taking Badminton teams to play away matches during the coming winter. Inter-station games do much to improve the standard of play, by giving players an opportunity of comparing themselves with entirely new opposition. Mixed Doubles is a successful Badminton event, giving the W.A.A.F. another opportunity of a vigorous winter sport. A combined Badminton cum Darts cum Billiards Inter-station tourney cannot fail to be successful.

[Underlined] WINTER SPORTS [/underlined]

On September 4th a Conference of Group P.F.O’s met at this Headquarters to discuss the winter programme. The starting dates for the three knock-outs were agreed as follows:-

MATZ CUP (SOCCER) – Early November
WINES TROPHY (RUGGER) – Early December
MIXED HOCKEY – Mid October.

In the near future invitation letters for the above tournaments will be issued, and a busy season is anticipated. It is hoped that as many Stations as possible will support the Mixed Hockey Trophy; mixed hockey is an enjoyable sport and provides, together with Netball, an excellent opportunity for the W.A.A.F.

[Underlined] VARIETIES [/underlined]

Winthorpe sport an enthusiastic W.A.A.F. Soccer Eleven. Any other Station that can produce eleven Amazons is invited to roll up and meet the Winthorpians in battle.

[Underlined] TRAVELLING [/underlined]

It is hoped to obtain an early decision from Command on the 5 Group suggestion that the limit for which a station can provide sports transport be increased from 5 to 20 miles (single journey). This measure will give an immediate fillip to all inter-station sport and alleviate the task of P.F.O’s in endeavouring to get variety into the programmes.


Another record number of sorties has been carried out, which entailed in turn a record number of flying hours.

The flying hours for aircraft on charge in the Squadrons has exceeded anything which has yet been achieved, and is proof of what can be done by good technical organisation and co-operation and the will to keep aircraft serviceable on the part of Officers, N.C.O’s and men.

It has been rumoured that the establishment of tradesmen was based on the assumption that a Lancaster should produce 40 hours flying a month. The hours actually flown per Lancaster on charge has varied between 80 hours and 105 hours in Squadrons for August. This means of course that the Maintenance Personnel have worked twice as hard as the Establishment Committee calculated they would. Many problems present themselves as a result of this high pressure flying, but one point is predominant: the flying has been done, and at the month end serviceability was still 90% of the U.E. aircraft.

Quite a number of aircraft are still operating although their flying hours are in excess of 1,000. The condition and work required on the 3rd major should be watched, and full advantage must be taken of 43 Group facilities for those aircraft which will require too many man hours to overhaul locally.

The increased periodicity between inspections has been approved at 75 hours for Minor and 600 hours for Major Inspection for Lancaster aircraft. This amendment will be issued within the next few days by Bomber Command.

Of the 3,600 sorties detailed 1.66% were unsuccessful due to engineering faults. This constitutes a slight increase over the July total.

No Squadron was entirely free from unsuccessful sorties, and No.52 Base are to be congratulated on having the lowest percentage.

[Underlined] TRAINING UNIT SERVICEABILITY [/underlined]

[Table of Aircraft Serviceability by Training Unit]


[Table of Aircraft Serviceability and Sorties, including Star 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. 9, 49, 83, 97, 617, and 627 Squadrons are shown separately. In cases where a crew has flown in an aircraft of another Squadron the [missing] is divided between the two Squadrons.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO. 25. AUGUST, 1944. PAGE 2

[Page break]


[Underlined] OPERATIONS [/underlined]

Compared with July, this month’s total of combats shows a big reduction. There have been a total of 70 combats for day and night operations; the claims being:-

7 destroyed
- probably destroyed, and
4 damaged.

During the daylight operation on Bois de Cassan on 6th August, 13 combats were reported, 2 enemy aircraft being claimed destroyed and 3 enemy aircraft damaged. In this operation the enemy fighters exploited the old tactics of attacking out of the sun, and all gunners should take note of this and ensure that in future daylight operations they are equipped with anti-glare glasses. In one instance a Lancaster was attacked from below and seriously damaged, two members of the crew being killed and another seriously wounded. The first intimation of the attack was when hits were registered on the Lancaster, the first burst from the enemy aircraft neutralising both rear turrets. Search must be carried out assiduously to cover all sections of the sky, above and below, by day as well as by night.

As a trial, tracer has been removed from the first 300 rounds in each belt, and gunners’ views are required after having used this sequence in combat, as to whether sighting is easier without the trace or vice versa. Gunners must appreciate that success, the destruction of the enemy fighter, will only be achieved by the correct application of the sight.


Night affiliation with Hurricanes of 1690 B.D.T. Flight has been available to Squadrons since the beginning of August. Full information and details have been sent out to Bases and Units under reference 293/Trg. dated 3rd August, 1944, and it is encouraging to note that some Squadrons have already availed themselves of these facilities. In view of the advent of longer hours of darkness which means operations of longer duration, it is most essential that gunners’ night vision and practical experience of night interception be brought to the highest standard of proficiency by constant practice. From results of recent exercises, the fighter has not been observed until a range of 150 – 200 yards. The remedies lie in the more skilful use of Early Warning Devices and better night vision.

[Underlined] ODD JOTTINGS [/underlined]

A 400 yards range will shortly be available to the Group and Dunham Cliff. Instructions will be issued shortly. It is hoped that another 400 yards range will be sited at Wainfleet which will be more accessible to those Stations in the Eastern half of the Group.

An Air Staff Instruction has been issued for Skeet Range Shooting. This is to be adhered to closely to obtain the maximum benefit from this form of training.

Details have now been issued regarding Night Vision Training Exercises in blacked-out gymnasiums. The maximum use should be made of this training which will combine fitness with night vision training.



[Underlined] DESTROYED [/underlined]

Sqdn A/C Letter Date Type of E/A

44 “A” 6.8.44. FW. 190
630 “L” 12/13.8.44. JU. 88
50 “L” 16/17.8.44. ME. 410
44 “F” 25/26.8.44. ME. 410
106 “B” 25/26.8.44. JU. 88
207 “K” 25/26.8.44. ME. 110
619 “G” 29/30.8.44. ME. 109

[Underlined] DAMAGED [/underlined]

Sqdn A/C Letter Date Type of E/A

57 “U” 6.8.44. ME. 109F

57 “B” 6.8.44. ME. 109F

57 “D” 6.8.44. ME. 107F

9 “B” 12.8.44. JU. 88

All the above claims have been confirmed by Headquarters, Bomber Command.


[Table of Training Exercises by Squadron and Conversion Units]

X 49 Squadron employed on special training.


[Underlined] No. 1690 B.D.T. FLIGHT [/underlined] Grand total 760 hours and 712 details.


[Page break]


During August 51 Base produced 151 crews and topped the previous month’s record by one crew. This was achieved despite several days unseasonable weather. The Base is confident that it can improve on this total for September. No. 5 L.F.S. continued to take Lancaster Conversion in its stride and completed its third month with over 2,000 hours flying.

Final training in Squadrons was abreast of the time throughout, and the Base Training Pilots and Flight Engineers did a good job in getting the crews fit for operations without any hold up despite the increased number of crews passing through their hands. 10 and 20 sortie checks were also carried out. Gunnery categorisation is now forging ahead, and towards the end of the month categorisation of Navigators was introduced. This will be followed shortly by categorisation of pilots and Flight Engineers.

The detached elements of 1690 B.D.T. Flight, comprising Martinets and Spitfires, were withdrawn from 51 Base airfields and centralised with the Hurricanes at Syerston. This did not interfere with fighter affiliation training and 1690 B.D.T. Flight as a single Unit are now providing both day and night affiliation for the Group from one Station, and in addition are affiliating with No.49 Squadron for special training. The number of details flown and gunners exercised are dealt with elsewhere in the News.

The formation of 1668 Lancaster Conversion Unit and 1669 Halifax Conversion Unit also took place during the month, and 5 Group is responsible for the training up to the present.

No.1668 Conversion Unit is due to open on the 1st September, and 1669 later in the month.


[Underlined] ECONOMY IN THE USE OF EQUIPMENT [/underlined]

The war has now entered its sixth year and although things are going better for us, Equipment Officers should still strive after perfection in economy of equipment. This is an old and well known subject, but owing to its importance, it cannot be rammed home often enough.

Only by frequent review of establishments can correct provisioning be maintained. If provisioning is good, then the Station will not want and Station Sections will cease to hoard.

Therefore, all Equipment Officers can, by good provisioning, plus foresight, and good liaison with the other Sections on the Station, make every item of equipment do its correct job and prevent waste.

[Underlined] A.M.O’s OF INTEREST [/underlined]

A.738/44 (Parts III, IV and V) Civilian Repair Organisation – Repair of R.A.F. Equipment.
A.759/44 Contract Washing, Procedure for. Articles of Service clothing and equipment in the U.K.
A.774/44 Introduction of new small F.600.
A.775/44 Preparation of Carriers’ Notes.
A.806/44 Removal of components from aircraft in Category AC.
N.828/44 Revision of Scale of Watch, Clock and Instrument repair tools.
N.846/44 Revised scale of issue of Testers Insulation resistance, types A, B, C and D.
N.873/44 Introduction of Lubricator sets for Type B Mechanical Sweeper.


Condensation has again been the cause of a number of failures, and it is now considered that the majority of instances are the result of conditions at Base rather than conditions at or en route to the target. Experiments are being conducted to determine whether it is practicable to remove the register glass in the camera. So far success has attended our efforts and results are being watched carefully. If this can be done, then one of the surfaces on which condensation can form will have been eliminated.

Composite film join failures are still occurring and it has been decided to use French chalk on the linen side of the tape in order to prevent this sticking to the register glass of the camera. Photographic N.C.O’s are to select the tape used for this purpose with great care, as the quality of different rolls varies considerably.

The titling of photographs often leaves much to be desired. Operational air photographs without adequate and readable titling are useless. N.C.O’s are therefore to watch this point carefully. The printing of films could be much improved in many cases. Whilst speed is essential in the production of results, do not let the result be marred by bad workmanship. A green, badly titled print is an offence to the photographer’s eye.

The use of Standard Day Panchromatic Film on Day Operations should make for better quality results with much finer grain, but will, however, necessitate more frequent magazine loading in the changes from Day to Night Operations. Very great care must be exercised in handling the film during these changes.

Standard Day Film is to be used whenever possible for day operations.


[Table of Photographic Results by Squadron]


[Page break]


Business has been brisk this month In all departments of the offensive, but the Gardeners have certainly had their share of the task, and excellent results have been achieved, in High and Low Planting. The Command Gardening, totalling 1587 vegetables has been divided as follows:-

(a) A constant stream of planters directed at the U-Boat Bases on the West Coast of France.
(b) Large scale operations in the Baltic area with the object of dislocating the enemy’s sea-borne supplies for the Russian Front, and of severing all trade with Scandinavia.

[Underlined] The U-Boat Offensive. [/underlined] 5 Group, represented by 44, 97, 619 and 57 Squadrons carried out 6 operations in these areas, laying accurately by H.2.S. with slight to moderate interference from Flak.

[Underlined] Results. [/underlined] At the time of going to press, it is believed that all West Coast bases have been closed to U-Boat traffic for some time. This is more than embarrassing to a frantic enemy endeavouring to check our advances. The U-boat command must now be at pains to form any systematic plan of control for their U-boats already on patrol in the Atlantic. Individual Commanders are certain to be confused, dissatisfied and hampered by the continuous stream of contradictory instructions issuing from their superiors, on the best methods and routes for their return. Offensive patrols – already minimised to a large extent – will now have to be reduced to even shorter periods through lack of fuel, food and water; in short, lack to the North Sea Bases they will have to go, and the days of the U-boats are numbered. In co-operation with out Gardening efforts in this sector, the most striking results have been achieved by the brilliant bombing of 617 and 9 Squadrons on the Pens and Berths in these Bases. Naval Patrols have also been most successful along this stretch of water, and the future reading in Weekly Intelligence Reports should contain some interesting home truths of our enemy’s state of mind.

[Underlined] The Baltic Offensive. [/underlined] Among the many and varied targets on hand during this past month, not the least were our long and hazardous trips far into the Baltic. The nature of these operations involved dangerous low flying through heavy and light flak, concentrations of searchlights, and surprise flak ships placed in the most awkward positions. On the 16/17th August, the first strike at Stettin took place, and a special Gardening operation was co-ordinated in the main attack. 23 Lancasters were detailed from 44, 106, 57 and 97 Squadrons to pounce on the Kaiser Fahrt Channel, 97 Squadron performing marking duties ad carrying two choice vegetables apiece.

Little was known of the garden to be attacked, the only guide being the Light houses positioned in pairs, every 3 1/2 miles along the channel 157 yards wide, by about 10 miles in length. Careful timing, concise intercommunication, and cool heads were the Orders of the Day. When the force arrived the Light houses were lit, and remained so for sufficient time to reveal the line of the channel. Down went 97 Squadron to mark at mast head height with lines of flame floats. The Controller was first to mark, and laid most accurately, which was quickly confirmed by his Deputy flying between the Lighthouses at the time. The Gardeners were then called in to lay at 200 feet, meanwhile the main bomber force went for the town of Stettin, and other Groups were planting furiously to seaward. Two Gardeners were unfortunately shot down in the area – including the controller after performing an excellent task – two more were forced to jettison through flak damage, three were forced to jettison and return early with engine trouble, and two were unhappily non-starters. Out of 81 vegetables carried, 61 were successfully planted. It is estimated that a very high percentage of these now lie gracefully in the narrow waterway, including two discreetly dropped 3 1/2 miles inside the canal itself by Z/106 Squadron – a very fine piece of work. It can therefore, be said that this enterprising evolution was carried out with highly commendable skill and determination on the part of all crews in the face of intense opposition, and their combined team-work has added a further page in the history, already outstanding, of the Group’s Gardening efforts.

On the 26/27th, a similar operation took place, but this time in the Konigsberg area. Extensive planting took place to seaward in the approaches to important Baltic harbours, in which 44, 106 and 630 Squadrons took part, while four selected crews from 44, 57, 106 and 207 Squadrons made for the Konigsberg inland canal.

Illumination was provided by the main force as they retired from their target area, enabling the Gardeners clearly to identify their target. Unfortunately two aircraft were seen to be hit by flak and did not return, but R/106 and E/207 pressed home their attack with great zeal, and skilfully planted 10 of the best in the waterway. A fine example of courage and airmanship.

The main force returned to this target again on 29/30th and this time opportunity was seized to back up the previous lays in the outer gardens. 10 Lancasters representing 44, 49, 106 and 630 Squadrons completed a 100% planting of forty Mark IV vegetables with little opposition using H 2 S from high altitude. Very good records have already been received from P.P.I. photographs.

[Underlined] All is not well in the Baltic [/underlined] – The Swedish Home Service stated on the 22nd August that the State War Insurance Board had decided to stop granting war risk insurance to German Baltic Harbours for the time being, on account of the prevailing conditions.

The following tribute to the efficiency of British mining operations was paid by Rear Admiral Gadow, the Naval correspondent of the Deutsche Alhgemeine Zeitung. He wrote that the mining of the shipping routes of the North Sea had reached such a pitch of intensity that it was putting the heaviest strain on the German minesweeping flotillas.

[Underlined] General Summary [/underlined]

Sorties – 65
Successful – 53
% Successful – 81 1/2
Aircraft Missing – 4
Nights operated – 8
Mileage Flown – 96,312

Total Planted successfully – [underlined] 260 [/underlined]

[Underlined] NAVAL SUPPORT [/underlined]

In close connection with the general plan of denying the U-Boat Bases to the enemy is also the all important object of preventing the enemy from totally destroying or blocking these bases before they can be used by the Allies. With such enormous forces having to be maintained in Europe it is essential that we should have every available harbour working at full pressure for the off loading of stores and equipment from suitable big ship berths, rail and roadway centres. The enemy has been quick to realise this point, and has taken every step to bring about total destruction where he can, by the use of expert demolition squads, and the subsidiary use of Block ships in harbours.

Immediate steps were necessary, and taken, in the case of Brest, by allocating Block ship targets to 5 Group Squadrons. Great care and attention to detail wrought havoc to the enemy’s intentions, as one by one, the ships at anchor in the harbour were singled out for devastating attack, and successfully sent to the bottom by pin point bombing. The 11,000 ton tanker capable of completely filling the main entrance was the first to ‘settle’ safely in her berth, quickly followed by the aged French Cruiser “Gueydon”, a Sperbrecher berthed alongside the quay, and the half completed battleship “Clemenceau”. This stripped the saboteurs of any immediate facilities, but as they had previously disclosed their intentions by sinking one tanker and two small coasters near the entrance, the job was completed by satisfactorily destroying one large Merchant Ship and a large Sperbrecher undergoing repairs in the dry docks.

Such accuracy in bombing ships, for the sorties carried out, has seldom been reached before; the Squadrons involved are to be congratulated on their work, and helping hand given to the Royal Navy, which will greatly assist the common task of feeding our armies in the future.


(a) Approximate savings in pence per head.
(b) Approximate percentage of personnel saving.
(c) Total savings for the month.

[Table of War Savings by Station]

TOTAL SAVED [underlined] £6,625.15.5. [/underlined]


[Page break]


Longer nights and longer sorties make accurate flying more important than ever. Here are three occasions when accurate flying is essential if you are to keep “ON TRACK AND ON TIME”.

(i) On the short leg out of the target. An incorrect airspeed can make you overshoot and put you several miles off track.

(ii) During the banking search. If poorly flown, or done more to one side than another, you will also wander off track.

(iii) During the corkscrew. If carelessly executed you might get on a reciprocal. It’s been done before.

[Underlined] FLYING INTO CLOUD [/underlined]

It takes all pilots 5 to 10 seconds to “settle down” on instruments after changing over from visual flying. Always go over the instruments well BEFORE entering cloud, and avoid adding that unsettled feeling to other difficulties that you may encounter. Check pitot head “ON”, Suction on both pesco pumps, all instruments O.K., and note outside air temperatures.

[Underlined] NOTES ON PURE FLYING [/underlined]

(i) Look round before starting a turn.

(ii) In turns, correct slip or skid with rudder and keep the nose in the correct position on the horizon with the elevators, not rudder.

(iii) Aileron drag produces yaw, and it is most notable when a large amount of aileron is applied. The solution is in the rudder. Use it.

[Underlined] USE OF BOMB DOOR SELECTOR LEVER [/underlined]

If the bomb door selector lever is half-up or half-down, you will get a runaway film on the camera. So make sure the lever comes right down when selecting bomb doors OPEN. Avoid selecting bomb doors open until on the bombing run, as each time they are selected open an exposure is turned over in the camera. If you have to test the bomb doors ensure that the bombsight is switched off first.

[Underlined] FIRE IN THE AIR – DON’T DIVE [/underlined]

Diving an aircraft in an attempt to put out a fire is forbidden. It invariably leads to disaster because:-

(i) The increased air flow in a dive feeds and spreads the fire.

(ii) The risk of structural failure, if the airframe is weakened by fire, is increased.

(iii) Baling out is difficult, and in a violent dive almost impossible.

[Underlined] CREW AIRMANSHIP [/underlined]

Most new captains have at least 2 – 300 hours flying experience. The crews may not have more than 100 hours. Take practical steps to ensure your crew’s airmanship is as good as your own. Remember the old adage “A chain is as strong as its weakest link”.

(Continued at foot of col. 2)

[Underlined] OVERSHOOTING [/underlined]

The length of landing run depends on many variables, including airspeed at touchdown, strength of wind, all up weight, amount of flap used and strength of brakes. The bar of white lights 800 yds from the upwind end of the runway, therefore, can only be used as a measure of distance and not as a safety limit before landing.

[Underlined] Motto for the Month:- [/underlined]



The following IMMEDIATE awards were approved during the month:-

[Underlined] 44 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 50 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/Lt B.H. BOTHA, D.F.C. D.S.O.

[Underlined] 57 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 83 SQUADRON [/underlined]

S/Ldr L.C. DEANE, D.F.C. D.S.O.
W/Cdr J.R. JEUDWINE, O.B.E., D.F.C. D.S.O.

[Underlined] 207 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 467 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined} 617 SQUADRON [/underlined]

W/Cdr J.B. TAIT, D.S.O., & BAR, D.F.C. 2ND BAR TO D.S.O.

[Underlined] 630 SQUADRON [/underlined]

A/W/C W.A. DEAS, D.F.C. & BAR D.S.O.

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

[Underlined] 9 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/Sgt C.R. BOLT D.F.M.

[Underlined] 44 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 44 SQUADRON (CONTD) [/underlined]

Sgt E.C. WREN D.F.M.

[Underlined] 49 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 50 SQUADRON [/underlined]

Sgt C.A. HORN D.F.M.

[Underlined] 61 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/Sgt K. VOWE D.F.M.

[Underlined] 83 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/O R.A.C. HELLIER, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.
W/O C.W. GRAY, D.F.M. D.F.C.
F/Sgt F. JOHNSON [sic]

(Contd. On Page 17 Col 2)


[Page break]


[Underlined] SIGNALS TRAINING [/underlined]

The month of August saw the start of controlled daylight formation flying, and again the Wireless Operator (Air) came in for a fair share of the work. The Master Bomber and Base Leader’s Wireless Operator had the task of transmitting instructions to the force, and reception of their transmission was very good.

From the W/T point of view, the control of operations during August was very good. The standard of operating by Controller’s Wireless Operators was good throughout, and the work of these operators is appreciated. It was unfortunate that, on the night on which both Link 1 and Link 2 failed to reach the target area, the primary W/T frequency was heavily jammed. We are now all well aware of the tremendous effect of “Jostle” – it really does amount to complete wipe out over a large band.

The initiative shown by the Link 3 Wireless Operator in taking over control, assessing the impracticability of the primary frequency for W/T control, issuing instructions to change to the alternative, and using this channel for W/T control, was very commendable. Also, in this respect, our congratulations go to the 97 Squadron Wireless Operator who, although not detailed as a deputy link, assumed the duties of one, and acknowledged all instructions sent by the Link3. A very good show by both Wireless Operators (Air).

[Underlined] CONTROLLERS’ OPERATORS [/underlined]

No. 54 Base again led the field in the number of Wireless Operators who carried out successful tests as laid down in No. 5 Group Signals Instruction No.13. No.55 Base have now taken up the challenge, and very soon we hope to see a healthy competition between all Bases in carrying out these tests.

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

Daylight operations during the month interfered a little with the Group W/T Exercise though some Squadrons made a good attempt to carry out every exercise. This is, perhaps, the best W/T Operating practice afforded to Wireless Operators while on the Squadrons, and every effort must be made to ensure that every Wireless Operator does take part. Some good exercises were carried out, but we still have a few offenders who will not listen out before transmitting; some still send VE before callsigns, and the proper use of QVU is not made. Signals Leaders please note.

[Underlined] EARLY WARNING DEVICES [/underlined]

The use of Early Warning Devices during the month was curtailed quite a bit by daylight operations, but, when required on night operations, they again proved their worth, judging by the number of contacts reported. Now that Squadron Signals Leaders are being given a three days course at the Bomber Command Tactics School, some very valuable information on the tactical use of Early Warning Devices and Radio Countermeasures should be gained, and passed on to the Squadrons, thus showing W/Op (Air) the value of his efforts.

[Underlined] GOOD SHOWS [/underlined]

An outstanding example and inspiration to all Wireless Operators (Air) was given by F/Lt Bean, Station Signals Officer, Coningsby, on the night of 16/17th August. The Controller detailed for the operation that night was without a complete crew, and F/Lt Bean, who had been primarily responsible for the high standard of W/T operating carried out by the Controllers’ Wireless Operators on 54 Base, and who had himself passed the test laid down in 5 Group S.I. No. 13, was detailed to carry out the duties of Controller’s Wireless Operator (Air).

Whilst over the target, the aircraft was hit and set on fire. F/Lt Bean, who was already transmitting his Captain’s instructions for the attack, sent out in plain language to the force the message “Hit and on fire”. Immediately after this transmission, he transmitted further instructions to the force to carry on the attack.

F/Lt Bean set a very fine example of coolness and devotion to duty, and it is hoped that he and all members of his crew were able to make a safe landing.

Further good shows were the commendable efforts of the two 97 Squadron Wireless Operators already mentioned, and a Wireless Operator of 44 Squadron, who, while sending an immediate sighting report of a dinghy, switched his I.F.F. to distress while over the dinghy, informed the M/F section of his action, and when leaving the area again informed the M/F Section of time of switching off. This action enabled a good fix to be taken on his aircraft. It is to be noted that an aircraft crew were rescued in this area the following day.

[Underlined] SIGNALS FAILURES [/underlined]

The percentage of Signals failures against the 3,600 sorties flown in August was 1.722. This is an increase of 0.32 per cent over the figure for July. There were no failures which prevented aircraft from taking off on account of Signals defects. Two early returns were attributed to Signals “equipment failures”. The remainder of the failures reported had no adverse effect on any of the operations.

Over 80% of the total defects were due to component failures, the others being under the category “Miscellaneous”. There were no “manipulation” or “servicing” failures. The result of five of the Signals defect investigations was “No Fault Found”. This is a most unsatisfactory type of report and every effort must be made to get at the roots of such reported defects.

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

During the past month, replacement TR.1143 equipment has been in very short supply. It appears that the production of this equipment is decreasing whilst the requirements of A.D.G.B. are steadily increasing. As a result is has been decided to withdraw TR.1143’s and TR.1143A’s from all 5 Group aircraft, and refit the Group with the American version of this equipment, which is known as SCR.522. The problem presenting itself with this changeover is that a complete change of frequencies is also taking place. This means that a normal, steady re-equipping of, say, six aircraft per Squadron each day cannot be done, because all aircraft must be on the same V.H.F. frequencies, and TR.1143 crystals for the new frequencies are not available.

Full quotas of SCR.522 equipment have already been received by 53 and 54 Bases, and now 52 Base have received 75% of their quota. As the equipment arrives at the Squadrons, it is being set up to the new frequencies, modified and bench tested. This will ensure that, when sufficient equipment has been received to fit all Squadrons, a 100 per cent changeover throughout the Group can be effected upon receipt of the executive from this Headquarters.

[Underlined] RADAR [/underlined]

During August the disposition of Radar personnel underwent several changes. Radar Officers have been deleted from Squadron strength and placed on Stations as Station Radar Officers. A Radar Officer has also been allocated to R. & I. at Base Stations. Where two Squadrons are based on a Station, the Station Radar Officer controls the Radar servicing of both. The Radar mechanics are divided between the Daily Servicing Section and the R. & I. Section, and thus a division is made in the two maintenance aspects. This should improve the organisation very considerably. The decision to use Wireless Operators (Ground) to assist in Radar Servicing is now being implemented, and the advantage to be derived from this new arrangement will be self-evident.

[Underlined] LORAN [/underlined]

Although the policy on the use of Loran has not yet been decided upon, the intervening period between now and its installation should be utilised to train the greatest number of Radar Mechanics possible on its maintenance. The six mechanics who attended the course at Headquarter, Bomber Command, were selected as evenly as possible from Bases, and now they, with the aid of those who have had previous experience with the equipment in America, will instruct personnel within their respective Bases. Sets of equipment have been distributed to all Bases for instructional purposes. All relevant technical literature available in the form of the Bomber Command Radar Servicing Manual, Section XIII and C.D. O.526-A, has been issued.

[Underlined] REPEATER INDICATORS [/underlined]

Numerous unexpected delays have occurred in the production of these indicators, due to the great difficulty in procuring certain components. In some cases diversion orders had to be placed, and consequently temporary bottlenecks developed. Metal screens for the C.R.T. are extremely difficult to obtain, and in an effort to complete a sufficient number of indicators to equip the two Squadrons at Skellingthorpe, all redundant screens have been collected from Stations within the Group. It is hoped that by the time this summary comes off the press, this fitting will have been accomplished as well as that of the remaining Monica IIIA and V Squadrons. We take this opportunity of commending those concerned in 53 Base for their very fine work in constructing these units.

[Underlined] GEE [/underlined]

The serviceability of Gee maintained its usual high standard, during the past month, although we did not succeed in boosting it much above July’s figure (.02% to be exact). When it is remembered that at times less Gee sets were held than aircraft, all sue credit should be given to the maintenance personnel for keeping the serviceability at this high level. There were a total of 3207 sorties completed, and out pf these 88 difficulties arose, giving an overall percentage of 97.26. The difficulty in the supply position appears to be due to the shortage of crystals, and so,

(Continued on page 8, col. 1)


[Page break]


bearing this in mind, all crystals should be returned to Group Headquarters for repair and re-issue immediately they become unserviceable.

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

Despite the new switching procedure used on two operations during August, the serviceability of H 2 S Mark II was slightly improved. For an increase in sorties of approximately 30% (1635 sorties), 90.52% were completely serviceable. Headquarters, Bomber Command, are analysing the effect of delayed switching of the modulator at high altitudes, and will, if found necessary, take adequate steps to counteract any adverse effect it may have. It would appear, judging from the last operation on which this procedure was used, that provided this switching is done at altitudes of 2000 – 4000 feet, there would be no decrease in serviceability.

Unfortunately Mark III serviceability dropped below July’s figure by 4.73%. Of the 172 sorties completed, 19 developed defects. The percentage free from defects was therefore 88.96. Two of the faults were due to enemy action, and amongst the remaining 17 there were no outstanding component failures. Nos. 83 and 97 Squadrons are almost completely fitted to Mark III now, and all replacements are of this same type. Several stabilised scanners have been received but at this stage it is difficult to assess their value and efficiency.

[Underlined] FISHPOND [/underlined]

Last month saw a slight improvement over July in the serviceability of Fishpond. 1424 sorties were completed, and of these 90.52% gave very satisfactory results. The minimum range of this device is one of the major problems and is one which requires continual attention. Where any evidence exists that the minimum range is abnormally high, immediate steps must be taken to bring it down to the shortest range possible by replacing the defective units.

[Underlined] MONICA [/underlined]

Monica IIIA resumed its normal position in serviceability during August. There were 36 defects out of 941 sorties completed, giving a percentage of 96.18 serviceable, or an increase of 2.36% over July. The end of the Monica IIIA supply has now been reached, but our first issue of Monica IIIC is being made from Headquarters Bomber Command early in September, to Waddington. Future replacements will be Mark IIIC, and should be in good supply at a very early date.

Monica V, by relinquishing second place, which it held in July, did not by any means experience a decrease in serviceability. Rather, an increase was obtained, and out of 649 sorties completed, 96.0% functioned in the most efficient manner. This fact adds further evidence that, regardless of the odds which may exist, no problem is insurmountable when the proper thought and energy is applied.


[Underlined] BOMBING [/underlined]

Headquarters, Bomber Command Armament Bulletin, Issue No. 6, dated September 1st, covers many of the points which would otherwise have been raised in this News.

Special attention is drawn to the responsibilities of Armament Officers in connection with bomb aiming problems. There are two courses now running. The first is the Mark XIV Bombsight Course, at present conducted in No. 4 Group. F/Lt Rogers, the Armament Officer from Winthorpe attended the first course. It is hoped that the Group will have further vacancies on subsequent courses, and it will be possible in time to give all Armament Officers the benefit of such a course. The second course is the Mark XIV Bombsight Analysis Course now being run at Bruntingthorpe. The first few vacancies on the technical courses are being allocated to Base Electrical Officers, and subsequent vacancies will be allocated to Armament Officers.

[Underlined] CIRCULATION OF INFORMATION [/underlined]

Do you circulate your copies of the Armament Bulletin to other Sections who may be interested in the various items? This is particularly applicable to Issue No.6.

[Underlined] DE-BELTING AMMUNITION [/underlined]

It looks as though we have at last found a solution to that vexing problem of de-belting and cleaning ammunition. The machines referred to on Page 29 of the Armament Bulletin are now improved and working at R.A.F. Station, Swinderby, where the Base Armament Officer will be pleased to demonstrate this equipment. Owing to the pressure of operations it is difficult to lay down a time for a visit, but Base Armament Officers should contact S/Ldr Rowed, and make arrangements to see and copy this equipment.

[Underlined] BOMB CARRIERS [/underlined]

Credit is due to R.A.F. Station, Bardney, for producing a prototype Triple Adaptor for the Lancaster centre Stations, to take 3 x 500 lb H.E. bombs.

[Underlined] ARMAMENT QUIZ [/underlined]

Do you know what the letter “G” on a bomb trolley means? If not refer to A.M.O. N.1236/43.

[Underlined] GUNS AND GUNNERY [/underlined]

With the approach of winter, gunnery problems will become more acute. In your keenness to obtain gun serviceability, do not forget that gun aiming problems as well as bomb aiming problems are Armament problems.

[Underlined] CO-OPERATION [/underlined]

Co-operation should extend beyond one’s own Unit, and when stores are required urgently for operational use by other Stations, any delay in delivery means inconvenience to other Units. If this Headquarters asks you to send stores immediately by road, make certain that any delay in sending them is reduced to a minimum, and if such a delay is unavoidable, let us know – in other words keep us in the picture.

[Underlined] WAR EFFORT [/underlined]

August has been a busy month, and all previous records have been easily surpassed by the totals of 3,600 sorties and 14,952 tons of bombs dropped.

Credit is due to all Armament personnel in having the goods ready for delivery to the place where it hurts the Hun most.

[Underlined] BOMB DUMPS [/underlined]

In order to keep up the tonnage of bombs dropped on the Hun, Bomb Dump organisation must be still further improved, and every yard of storage space used to the best advantage.


[Table of Armament Failures by Squadron]




[Page break]


Fifteen months ago our chief concern was whether the Navigational standard was sufficiently high to ensure that all aircraft would reach the target. With the increase in the number of aids available, this problem has solved itself, and our main worries these days are the finer points of navigation, i.e. rigid adherence to track and timing, and the finding, and the finding of accurate winds for bombing. The standard achieved in track keeping during the last two or three months does not leave much to be desired. We must now concentrate on the two remaining difficulties, i.e. Timing and bombing wind velocities.

If we are to achieve the concentration in timing necessitated by current tactics then all aircraft must arrive at each turning point en route and at the target within ± 1 minute. It is very hard to do this, but on the other hand it must be done. Constant checking of ground speeds and revision of E.T.A’s plus a change of air speed where necessary is the only way that really accurate timing can be achieved. Every Navigator must check and re-check his E.T.A’s as often as possible and must revise the air speed as soon as it becomes evident that revision is essential.

The finding of an accurate bombing wind in the target area is equally important. Here again this is only possible if those Navigators detailed as windfinders realise their responsibility, and work to the utmost limits of accuracy, e.g. do all the plotting necessary to find the target area wind on a large scale chart, plot air positions and fixes by use of dividers and finally check all computations and plotting again and again.

Station Navigation Officers are to concentrate on these two points during the next two months and are to make sure that all Navigators realise the necessity for accurate time keeping, and the finding of accurate wind velocities in the target area.

[Underlined] BROADCAST WIND VELOCITIES [/underlined]

The broadcast wind velocity procedure has been used on five occasions this month. In each instance the results have been very good. It is good to note that the majority of Navigators are transmitting every wind they find. This is of course essential if the Met. Staff are to note any sudden change in the wind velocity.

It would be wise to recall the Berlin raid of March this year, when the winds experienced were 50 miles an hour stronger than forecast. This change took place very suddenly and a vast majority of Navigators suspected their instruments and refused to believe the wind velocity could have increased by such a large amount. The result was that almost all of them “watered down” their wind velocities before transmitting. The Met. Staff, having no other data to work on, had to assume that the ”watered down” wind velocities were correct. At this time not many Squadrons in the Group were equipped with H 2 S, and also aircraft were flying over a continuous sheet of cloud. Consequently the majority of aircraft had to fly on D.R. using broadcast wind velocities for a period of 4 hours. At least 50% of the aircraft were 70 miles south on the return journey, and eventually passed over the Northern fringe of the Ruhr defences, without of course, realising where they were. The results were not as disastrous as they may well have been.

This must not happen again. Once again we repeat “[sic] If you obtain a wind velocity differing from the previous found wind velocities, then provided you are confident about the fix obtained and have checked the A.P.I. you must transmit that found wind velocity. If it is wrong it will be very apparent to the Met. Staff and no harm will be done. If, however, it is right and you do not transmit it, then a great deal of harm may well be done. Read this paragraph over again very carefully and digest it well.

Now to come back to a more cheery and less threatening note. The results obtained this last month have, as was said earlier, been very good. There are still, however, one or two points which are not entirely satisfactory. The chief one is coding and transmission of wind messages. A number of instances occur where the message is coded incorrectly and sometimes this is not very apparent to the receiver of the message. Also Wireless Operators make mistakes in transmission. In each instance the message is of no use. It is very annoying to think that you have worked so hard finding an accurate wind velocity, and then nullified its value by a small slip like wrong coding or transmission. Another point is that wind finders tend to slacken off on the return journey. It is realised that fatigue is partly responsible for this, but nevertheless the wind still blows and will still play tricks on you. So [underlined] DON’T [/underlined] slacken on the return journey no matter how great the temptation.

The best wind finders on each operation were as follows:-

1. BRUNSWICK (12/13.8) – F/O REID (106 Sqdn)
2. STETTIN (16/17.8) – F/O BAILEY (630 Sqdn)
3. DARMSTADT (25/26.8) – F/S KNIGHT ( 44 Sqdn)
4. KONIGSBERG (26/27.8) – F/O YOUDALE (619 Sqdn)
5. KONIGSBERG (29/30.8) – F/O McCAMM (630 Sqdn)

Good work – keep it up!


(i) Don’t “flap” – ever!

(ii) Always work to a system, but see that the system is good. The cycle of operations, i.e. fix, air position, alter course if necessary, wind velocity, ground speed check, new E.T.A., should not be repeated oftener than once every 10 minutes nor less than once every 20 minutes.

(iii) Check every calculation at least once. If you are a slow worker, then to ensure you have sufficient time to check all your calculations, use a 15 or 20 minutes system.

(iv) When orbiting or dog legging, before setting course, keep the pilot informed of the number of minutes in hand, e.g. “5 minutes to go” – “3 minutes to go”, etc.

(v) Remember that an aircraft requires time to alter course. The heavier the load, the longer the time required. Make allowances for this, and so avoid overshooting any of the turning points, and subsequent displacement off track.

[Underlined] LOG AND CHART WORK [/underlined]

Four months ago we began a drive on more work on the chart and less in the log. The initial trials were a success, and the method was adopted throughout the Group. It was decided, however, not to force it on to the more experienced Navigators who had been used to keeping a very full log.

The reason for reducing the log work was to have more time available for the checking and re-checking of all calculations, and to enable Navigators to obtain that extra fix or ground speed check which is so often vital. A few Navigators can do all this and still keep a full log. If they wish to waste their time by recording unnecessary details, then providing their Navigation suffers in no way, there is no objection. It has been noted, however, that a few Navigators are keeping a detailed log at the expense of accurate Navigation, and constant checking. This must stop immediately. Station and Squadron Navigation Officers are to watch carefully for this, and must ensure that no Navigator is wasting valuable time writing a detailed log at the expense of accurate navigation.

[Underlined] A.P.I. ATTACHMENT FOR WINDFINDING [/underlined]

It was stated in last month’s News that 5 A. P. I. attachments were installed in aircraft in this Group and trials were to be carried out. The trials have now been completed, and the results achieved have come well up to expectations. More than 20 windfinding exercises were completed, and the winds found were compared with the Balloon Sonde Winds issued by the Met. Office. In every single instance the difference between the two sets of w/v’s was negligible. Practice bombing was completed after 10 of these exercises, and the average vector error obtained was 3 1/4 m.p.h.

The attachments have also been used on operations with equally good results. It is not possible to state the vector error obtained on these sorties, but the winds found by all A. P. I. attachment windfinders were very consistent.

One or two instances of completely “phoney” winds found by the attachments have occurred, however. Investigation has proved that in each case the error was attributable to incorrect tracking over the datum point on the second run up. A displacement of the datum point from the graticule of 500 yards, or a tracking error of 15 °, would give a wind error of 6 miles per hour. Errors of such proportions cannot obviously be tolerated, otherwise the attachment loses all its value.

It is obvious, therefore, that very great care is to be taken on the second run over the target to ensure that the aircraft approaches on the correct heading and the datum point is on the graticule. Such accuracy as is required can only be obtained by constant crew practice, and in view of the fact that these attachments will shortly be distributed to all Squadrons, crews are urged to practice constantly until they can achieve the required accuracy on each run up to the datum point. Windfinding is the responsibility of the Navigators, therefore, it is up to you Navigators to ensure that your pilot and Bomb Aimer practice constantly.

[Underlined] PRACTICE BOMBING WINDS [/underlined]

The average vector error obtained by all Squadrons and Conversion Units this month is as shown below:-

Average error of Squadrons – 6.5
Average error of Con. Units – 6.6

(Continues on page 10, col. 1)


[Page break]


These figures show an improvement for the Squadrons of 1 m.p.h. and for the Conversion Units of 1.4 m.p.h. This is very good. We must now endeavour to reach the ideal overall average of 5 m.p.h.

[Table of Average Vector Errors ranked by Squadron and Conversion Units]

It will be noted that 9 and 50 Squadrons are holding two of the first three places for the third month is succession. Also 207 Squadron have jumped from 16th place last month to first place this month. A very creditable performance on the part of these three Squadrons.

[Underlined] UNION NEWS [/underlined]

S/Ldr Creeth Base Nav. Officer, Swinderby to be Squadron Nav. Officer 83 Squadron.

F/Lt Patchett 49 Squadron Nav. Officer to be Base Navigation Officer, Swinderby.

F/Lt Catty, DFC. No. 54 Base to be Squadron Nav. Officer, No.49 Sqdn.

S/Ldr. Mason, DFC. Base Navigation Officer, Coningsby, to be Flight Commander, 97 Squadron.

F/Lt Warwick, DFC. Radar/Nav. Officer, No.1661 Conversion Unit, to be Base Navigation Officer, Coningsby.

F/O Bennet, DFM. No.617 Squadron, to be Sqdn. Navigation Officer.


H2S Operators were presented with numerous opportunities of using H2S to full advantage this month in view of the long range targets that were attacked. It is gratifying to note that after the slackening off in the use of H2S which was noticed last month, operators have at last realised they were neglecting excellent opportunities for obtaining valuable experience of the set under operational conditions. That H2S has been used to advantage has been shown in the number and accuracy of winds received back from windfinding aircraft particularly on this Group’s attacks on Konigsberg. Opportunity was taken to examine some of the Navigators’ and Air Bombers’ charts on these attacks, and they indicated that excellent use had been made of H2S pinpoints en route, and in addition, track keeping, timing and concentration were extremely good. It is therefore up to Navigators, Air Bombers and H2S Instructors to see that this standard is maintained on all future operations.

With the winter months coming along, and the possible increase in the number of stand-downs due to bad weather, more and more time will be available for practice on the H2S synthetic trainers. It is realised that certain inaccuracies inherent in the trainer mechanism, make exact D.R. navigation difficult, but providing the potentiometers on the control panel are matched daily, and the trainer is run for 20 – 30 minutes before each exercise, wind vectors can be found to an accuracy of ± 10° and ± 8 m.p.h.

Standardised routes have been issued as navigational exercises for the Zuider Zee, Hamburg – Bremen and Frankfurt – Saarbrucken trainer maps, and Operators should endeavour to carry them out at frequent intervals, as if they were real flights. Fixes should be made as frequently as possible, and winds found every 15 – 20 minutes. H2S Instructors should check each exercise for accuracy of winds found, ground speed checks, adherence to planned track, E.T.A’s and reliability of fixes. Whilst it is appreciated that both the Navigators’ and set operators’ reactions to H2S may be entirely different in the air, these exercises may help to iron out a lot of difficulties, and assist in forming an accurate assessment of the capabilities of the navigational team.

A system of categorisation of H2S crews has been issued for Nos.83 and 97 Squadrons. This system depends on complete analysis of all operational and training flights, and is being done to ensure the best set operators are matched with the best equipment. It will also ensure that the best navigational teams are chosen as blind markers.

If this system is successful at 54 Base it may be possible to extend it to other H2S Squadrons and assist in ensuring that only the best crews are chosen for the two marker Squadrons.

This month we had the first opportunity of attacking a target entirely blind on H2S equipment. Unfortunately, due to numerous factors, the attack developed over a large area, but many lessons were learnt by this experience and should serve to make another such attack successful. Whilst it may not be possible to carry out this type of attack again, crews are reminded that they must take every opportunity to practice blind bombing, both on the trainer and in the air. Why not make it a habit to carry out at least one practice blind bombing run on H2S every N.F.T? Even if photographs cannot be taken you are at least developing the technique.

H2S mining has been carried out on numerous occasions during the month, and from P.P.I. photographs it is evident that the vegetables were laid in the correct gardens. A considerable collection of excellent photographs of different H2S Coastal landmarks has now been built up, and it has been suggested to Command that slides be issued of these landmarks for use at briefing. Incidentally if your garden is situated at a position which is covered by your H2S trainer maps, why not carry out your H2S briefing in the trainer room with an actual demonstration incorporating the method to be used? Crews will obtain ideal indications of the picture they can expect, and the difficulties they may experience. If you haven’t the map coverage try making your own training maps of the garden areas likely to be visited.

P.P.I. photography still continues to give a few headaches, both to Navigation and Photographic Sections. However, an improvement has been noted during the latter half of the month, and Squadrons are to be congratulated on the quality of the mining photographs taken. 97 Squadron obtained an excellent photograph of the French Coast near CAEN, the details of which have been confirmed by Command.

When using P.P.I. Cameras, a good photograph depends upon the complete absence of light except that from the cathode ray tube. Watch your cabin lights and the blackouts, and above all see that you give the correct exposure for the type of camera you are carrying.

PPI Photographic Interrogation Reports are being loosely filled in. If you want to be plotted in the position you actually were at the time the photograph was taken, please see you enter correct details on this form. You are probably saving yourself from an investigation at a later date.

By examination of P.P.I. photographs, several manipulation errors have come to light, particularly:

(i) Operators are still having too large a 10 mile zero in the centre of the P.P.I. on the 10/10 scan. By manipulation of the 10 mile zero control this hole should be more of the size of a sixpence, not a half crown.

(ii) Operators are not paying sufficient attention to the correct tuning of the set. They are content with the initial tuning, completely ignoring any retuning at half-hourly intervals, and before carrying out blind bombing runs.

(iii) Too much or too little gain is being employed, and consequently the responses are completely swamped by ground returns or the responses appear too faintly to be recognised or photographed.

(iv) The Contrast control is not being used to advantage. Whilst it is not the usual policy to allow untrained operators to use the contrast control, experienced operators may obtain considerable benefit by slight manipulation of the contract control, particularly when land/water definition is essential.


During the month, navigators have taken full advantage of the extended ranges now being experienced on Gee with a resultant improvement in navigation.

(Contd. At foot of Col.1)

(Contd. From Col.3)

Excellent use is being made of the frequencies on the RF27 Unit, and many operators report that fading signals are the only restrictions on range.

The new Channel Chain has come into operation this month, and so far the only indications of its range have been obtained on one operation when the average was 0530E at 4900N. No jamming was experienced.

Gee Operators are warned that the practice of calling charts be Series Numbers has been abolished. Sheets which have been re-printed are identified by the name of the chain only. A block has now been inserted to the right of the top margin for operators to insert the number of identification blinks for each chain.

A reshuffle of Gee frequencies is likely in the near future, and Gee operators should take every precaution of checking studs and frequencies before every flight in case sudden change has been made.

Once again it is necessary to warn Navigators that XF frequencies not allocated for their particular targets are not to be used by them. Fixes taken from such transmissions are likely to be in error up to 15 miles. Always ensure that when an XF transmission is given to you that it is for [underlined] your [/underlined] target.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.25. AUGUST, 1944. PAGE 10

[Page break]


[Underlined] SQUADRON BOMBING COMPETITION [/underlined]

In spite of very heavy operational commitments during August, twelve Squadrons qualified for the competition.

52 Base are to be congratulated on winning the competition for the fourth successive month (in June the Conversion Units were included and 619 Squadron were second to 1654 Conversion Unit).

49 Squadron have won the competition for the second successive month, and 44 and 619 Squadrons tie for second place. Next month all THREE Squadrons are fighting for 1st place. Any other opposition will be welcomed.

52 Base has also provided the three entries for the “Big Chief” Competition. Group Captain Weir improved his previous month’s result and won the competition.

Next month all crews must guard against larger errors, because we are now measuring all bombs from T.2. and [underlined] not [/underlined] from the C.M.P.I. If you are careless the errors will inevitably be larger. Air Bombers must take care to set on the bombsight the wind the Navigator gives him, and the Navigator must plot his A.P.I. wind correctly to avoid getting a reciprocal wind.

Are all Bombing Leaders aware that for competition purposes, only 5 bombs need be counted, but all 6 must be included in the weekly return?

[Underlined] SQUADRON BOMBING COMPETITION [/underlined]

1st – 49 Squadron – 71 yards
2nd – 619 Squadron – 78 yards
44 Squadron – 78 yards
4th – 9 Squadron - 84 yards
5th – 97 Squadron - 88 yards
6th – 83 Squadron – 90 yards
7th – 630 Squadron – 91 yards
8th – 106 Squadron – 104 yards
9th – 57 Squadron – 105 yards
10th – 207 Squadron – 106 yards
11th – 50 Squadron – 116 yards
12th – 61 Squadron – 117 yards
13th – 463 Squadron, completed only 5 exercises with 121 yards error
14th – 467 Squadron, completed only 2 exercises with 89 yards error

[Underlined] “BIG CHIEF” COMPETITION [/underlined]

1st G/Capt. Weir (Fiskerton) – 69 yards
2nd W/Cdr. Millward (619 Squadron) – 76 yards
3rd G/Capt. Jeudwine (Dunholme Lodge) – 125 yards

[Underlined] CONVERSION UNIT COMPETITION [/underlined]

1st – 1661 C.U. – 60 yards
2nd – 1654 C.U. – 66 yards
1660 C.U. – 66 yards
3rd – 5 L.F.S. – 92 yards

Congratulations to 1661 Conversion Unit on winning the competition for the second successive month.

[Underlined] HIGH LEVEL BOMBING PRACTICE [/underlined]

[Table of High Level Bombing Practice Results by Squadron and Conversion Unit]


Once again, owing to the number of crew errors below 100 yards, only those below 80 yards can be recorded.

Sqdn. or Con. Unit Pilot Air Bomber Navigator Error at 20,000 (in yards)

617 F/L Iveson Sgt Chance F/O Harrison 75 and 79
F/L Orum P/O Cole P/O Brand 79
S/L Cockshott P/O Booth F/S Gosling 80
F/O Joplin F/S Hebbard Sgt Fish 74 and 49
F/O Hamilton F/O Atkinson P/O Jackson 71
97 F/L Parker W/O Carvell F/S Fripp 46-48-54
61 F/O Gibberd P/O Roberts F/S Michael 70
1660 C.U. F/S Atkinson F/O Coyne Sgt Kingston 73
F/S Eakins Sgt Wente Sgt Moulds 80
F/S Croscombe Sgt Devine F/O Reeves 66
1661 C.U. F/S Barratt Sgt Berry Sgt Towle 35
F/O Dow F/O Muddle F/O Orrell 55
F/O Findlay Sgt Hemmingway F/S Larkin 76 and 67
F/O Symes Sgt Bayliss F/O Smith 70
W/O Harrison Sgt Barnett Sgt Smart 69
1654 C.U. W/O Ross Sgt Finch W/O Hayes 66 and 76
F/O Jory F/O Pooley Sgt Craig 61
5 L.F.S. P/O Arndell F/O Porter ? 60
F/S Wiley Sgt Evans Sgt Verry 72

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.25. AUGUST, 1944. PAGE 11

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[Diagram] Fig. 1

[Diagram] Fig. 2

This article is addressed to ALL pilots, veterans and freshmen. At the top of this page will be found a plot of 15 bombs dropped by two pilots acting as Air Bombers. For reference purposes we will call the pilot who flew the aircraft for the first 9 bombs – No. 1 Pilot, and No. 2 Pilot flew the aircraft when 9 – 16 were dropped.

Now all fifteen bombs were dropped from the same aircraft, using the same bombsight, and wind velocity which was from 230°. The time taken to drop the bombs was seventy minutes. In other words, the aircraft did not land between the two exercises, not were any settings on the bombsight altered.

If we study the two groups of bombs for a few minutes, we see that there are two very definite groups. No. 1 Pilot (as Air Bomber) has obtained a much smaller group than has No.2 Pilot. [Underlined] WHY? [/underlined] – Can [underlined] YOU, [/underlined] as a pilot give an explanation? Don’t read any further for the moment; have another look at the plot (Fig.1). Now look at the bombs plotted on the same heading (Fig.2).

From these plots we see that there is a tendency for the Air Bomber to overshoot, but also present is a large pilot error. In short, the pilot who flew the aircraft for bombs 9 – 16 was steadier and flew more accurately, more relaxed if you prefer it. This was because No.2 pilot is an experienced Lancaster pilot, whereas No.1 Pilot has not yet mastered “The flying for bombing technique”.

Can [underlined] YOU [/underlined] as a pilot, see just how important you are in the bombing team? Grudgingly as Air Bombers, we have to admit that [underlined] you [/underlined] are definitely responsible for about 75% of the success of a successful exercise or operational sortie.

Remember that “flying for bombing” is an art, and only constant practice will ensure you becoming a good bombing pilot.

Remember, also that, as a pilot, flying for bombing with the Mark XIV, your worst crimes are flat turning, skidding, side-slipping and crabbing. The bombsight is fully stabilised. That means that if you bomb in a turn, you [underlined] must [/underlined] apply bank and rudder. In other words, do a PROPER TURN.

If you fly your aircraft in the correct manner on every run-up, you can be sure that [underlined] you, [/underlined] as the pilot, are contributing a great amount to cutting out errors in line.

In short, if you, as a pilot, fly your aircraft correctly, and your Air Bomber aims correctly, you automatically look after “line”. Your stick length looks after “range”.

There is another error present in [underlined] both [/underlined] exercises, and the main clue to finding it is in the above article. Bombing Leaders, Bombing Analysis Officers and Air Bombers – DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT ERROR IS??? The answer is in another column!!!


F/O Baker (207) was 10th on No.89 Course with “B” Category.
F/O Arkieson (630) was 6th on No. 89 Course with “B” Category.
F/O Wilkie (1661) was 6th on No. 90 Course with “B” Category.
F/O Thomas (617) was 7th on No.90 Course with “B” Category.
F/O Points (61) failed to qualify as a Bombing Leader, obtaining a “C” Category.

Congratulations to F/O Soaper (5 L.F.S.) and P/O Alley (1654 C.U.) on obtaining 1st and 2nd places respectively on No.37 A.B.I. Course.

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.25. AUGUST, 1944. PAGE 12

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[Underlined] CREW CATEGORISATION [/underlined]

[Table of Crew Categorisation by Base]

A+ = 85 yards or less. A = 140 yards or less
B = 210 yards or less. C = 280 yards or less
D = Over 280 yards.

Congratulations to 50 Squadron on obtaining the 2 A+ categories!

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

[Underlined] F/L Campbell, D.F.C. (9 Sqdn) [/underlined] reports that No. 9 Squadron is now fully equipped with Mk. XIVA bombsights, and intend to win the Competition in September. At present they are having “teething” troubles.

[Underlined] F/O Clegg (619 Sqdn) [/underlined] is commencing a photographic album, 18” x 18”, in which is to be inserted the best photograph on any operation obtained by any one crew. Alongside the photograph is written such “gen” as bearing and distance from A.P., bearing and distance of markers from A.P. and marking technique etc.

Apologies are due to A/Cdre Sharpe, 54 Base, who carried out a dive bombing exercise in a Lightning during last month, averaging 9 yards for 6 bombs. This information was inadvertently missed last month.

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

[Underlined] Wainfleet [/underlined] plotted 4123 bombs dropped by 841 aircraft.

[Underlined] Epperstone [/underlined] plotted 1397 bombs dropped by 242 aircraft.

[Underlined] Owthorpe [/underlined] plotted 1901 bombs dropped by 317 aircraft.


S/Ldr Brewer leaves 1660 C.U. to take up duties as Bombing Leader at 83 Squadron.

F/Lt McRobbie takes over 1660 Base Bombing Leader duties.

F/O Kennedy (ex 100 Group) has joined No.49 Squadron’s Bombing Section.

F/Lt McCarthy (467 Squadron) tour expired, has moved to 1654 C.U.

F/Lt Woods has succeeded F/Lt Astbury as Bombing Leader to No.617 Squadron.

[Underlined] BOMBING “LADDER” [/underlined]

617 and 627 Squadrons maintain a Bombing “Ladder”. Top positions this month are as follows:-

617 Squadron 627 Squadron


[Underlined] ?? BOMBING QUIZ ?? [/underlined]

1. Your Computor [sic] Box Compass over-reads by 30 ° on all headings. What type of error would result?
2. A certain type of P.F.F. technique uses sticks of flares. Is it Musical Paramatta, Paramatta, Newhaven or Wanganui?
3. If you land away with your bombs fused with ?? you must inform the Armament Officer immediately. What fuses would be used to necessitate this procedure?
4. Some Squadrons have panels modified so that they have a 32 way distributor and [underlined] two [/underlined] pre-selector boxes. Your first pre-selector box reads:-
[Underlined] PRESELECTOR [/underlined] 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16.
[Underlined] STATIONS [/underlined] 7,8,9,2,11,12.

You wish to drop 2 separate sticks of 3 flares; what selector switches would you use for each stick?
[Underlined] WARNING: [/underlined] This is not as easy as it first appears. It is vitally important that crews who have to carry out more than one bombing run, know the answer. SEE THAT YOU DO!!

[Underlined] WERE YOU RIGHT??? [/underlined]

The other error present in the two exercises plotted on the opposite page is a “Linear” error common to both exercises. This was caused by a sluggish D.R. compass.


[Table of Link Trainer Exercises by Conversion Unit and Base/Squadron]

There was a slight increase in Pilot’s Link Times for the month but Flight Engineers dropped a little and the overall total was 20 hours less than July. Nos. 9 and 617 Squadrons were engaged on other special practices throughout the month and only Flight Engineers of 617 did any Link. It’s a point to note, however, that the Link flies well on a rainy day – there were several during August.


Two ditchings occurred in the Group during August. Both crews were saved. Neither ditching was “copy book”, nor were the drills up to the required standard, but in each instance, good use was made of the time available.

[Underlined] “G” of 1654 Conversion Unit. 14th August. [/underlined]

This aircraft was engaged on Air to Sea firing on the afternoon of the 14th, when the pilot found he was unable to maintain height at t low altitude because two engines gave trouble on account of fuel shortage.

There was no time to send out distress messages, but the pilot, seeing a trawler, ditched nearby. The ditching was very well carried out and no-one was hurt, though the Flight Engineer and the two Gunners had not reached their ditching stations and therefore were not braced for the impact.

No crew member inflated his Mae West before the impact and no emergency equipment was taken out of the aircraft. The crew was not aware of the existence of a locking pin in the Dinghy Manual Release and as a result of this and the failure of the immersion switch, the dinghy had to be forced out of its stowage.

The crew were picked up by the trawler within 20 minutes and after being transferred to an H.S.L. were taken to Grimsby.

[Underlined] “J” of 97 Squadron. 15th August. [/underlined]

This aircraft was returning from a daylight operation with the two port engines u/s due to enemy action. The Port inner engine failed to feather and its windmilling action together with other damage caused the aircraft to lose height until it ditched just off the Dutch coast.

W/T distress messages were sent out and the aircraft was in V.H.F. contact with the rest of the formation. It was also escorted by the Controller in a Mosquito.

The aircraft ditched successfully and no-one was hurt though the Wireless Operator stayed too long at his set and on impact was caught in the bulkhead doorway. Again in this ditching no crew member inflated his Mae West until after impact, and no emergency equipment was taken out of the aircraft.

Within two hours of ditching A.S.R. aircraft were on the scene and a Lindholme dinghy as well as an airborne lifeboat was dropped. The crew got the airborne lifeboat under way but because of the proximity of the coast, an H.S.L. was sent out an picked up the crew before they had gone very far.

[Underlined] POINTS TO WATCH [/underlined]

(i) Inflate your Mae Wests before impact.
(ii) Get to your ditching stations smartly on the Captain’s order.
(iii) Know where your emergency equipment is and take it with you.

[Underlined] NOTE: [/underlined] Due to the fact that no emergency equipment was got out of the aircraft and that the crews concerned did not inflate their Mae Wests until after impact (some members were stunned in each case) both these ditchings might have had sadder endings had not weather and light conditions been so favourable.

For the sake of your own lives don’t be half-hearted about your Safety Drills.


5 GROUP NEWS. NO.25. AUGUST, 1944. PAGE 13

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August started with three abortive attacks on Siracourt, La Beteque and Mont Candon. Unfortunately all three areas were cloud covered and aircraft brought their bombs home.

[Underlined] BOIS DE CASSAN – DAY, 2ND AUGUST. [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- S/L. Owen

PLAN 100 Lancasters were to attack this target visually using Oboe Markers as a guide on their bombing run. The majority of crews bombed visually and only a few reported seeing the Oboe markers.

RESULTS Partial P.R.U. cover obtained shows that the Northern half of the target was obliterated.

[Underlined] TROSSY ST. MAXIMIN – DAY, 2ND AUGUST. [/underlined]

Master Bomber :- W/C. Simpson

PLAN The target was marked by P.F.F. Oboe Mosquitoes. The 94 Lancasters and 2 Mosquitoes attacked in conditions of 3-7/10ths patchy cloud.

RESULTS P.R.U. and strike photographs reveal fresh damage in the target area, a large rectangular building partially wrecked, and a number of craters to the South and South East of the target area.

[Underlined] TROSSY ST. MAXIMIN – DAY, 3RD AUGUST. [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- W/C. Porter (Lanc.)

PLAN The aiming point was marked by Oboe Mosquitoes and crews were to bomb visually using these as a guide.

RESULTS 1 Group attacked this target 15 minutes before 5 Group, and consequently the aiming point was difficult to identify, owing to thick smoke in the target area. P.R.U. cover showed the area to have been well plastered, and certainly one and possibly three of the tunnel entrances were blocked.

[Underlined] ST. LEU – DAY, 5TH AUGUST. [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- W/C. Woodroffe

PLAN The aiming point was to be marked by both Oboe and 54 Base Mosquitoes and 189 Lancasters were detailed to bomb visually using the markers as a guide.

RESULTS 6/10th cloud at the target made bombing difficult. The majority of crews made runs from land marks in the target area, and consequently bombing was scattered. P.R.U. cover shows further subsidence round the Southern entrance to the caves, and road and rail communications leading to the entrance were blocked.

[Underlined] BOIS DE CASSAN – DAY, 6TH AUGUST [/underlined]

PLAN This Flying Bomb Storage target was to be marked by Oboe Mosquitoes and 101 aircraft were to attack the aiming point visually.

RESULTS This attack was unsuccessful due to the force running into heavy Cu.b. cloud on track about 20 miles from the target. The force became disorganised, and many aircraft returned to Base because they heard an order from the Master Bomber over R/T to do so. Considerable interference was present and the Master Bomber is missing so that it is impossible to check this order. 39 aircraft carried on and bombed the target which was clear. Fighter escort found their task extremely difficult with the result that more than 12 of our aircraft were attacked by enemy fighters in the target area. Two enemy aircraft were claimed destroyed and three damaged, while the fighter escort without loss, destroyed two and damaged two.

P.R.U. cover showed that what bombing took place was good and the storage units and buildings immediately South of the aiming point were hit.

[Underlined] SECQUEVILLE BATTLE AREA – 7/8TH AUGUST. [/underlined]

PLAN This target was planned to assist land forces. In all, five aiming points were marked by Oboe Mosquitoes. The first phase of the bombing went according to plan, but after five minutes the Master Bomber ordered crews back to Base as smoke was making bombing impossible.

RESULTS The attack, though generally concentrated around the aiming point spread to the North/North East for a distance of approximately 1500 yards.

[Underlined] CHATTELERAULT – 9/10TH AUGUST. [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- W/C. Woodroffe (W.A/P) W/C. Simpson (E.A/P)

PLAN On this attack two aiming points were allotted and a common marking point was selected. One force was to use an over-shoot and the second force a vector. Marking to be carried out by 54 Base.

RESULTS Marking was difficult and was delayed due to hazy conditions. The marking point however, was eventually marked with reasonable accuracy and both Master Bombers ordered their forces to attack as planned. After five minutes bombing the markers became obscured by smoke and further T.I’s were dropped; these undershot by some 20 yards, and fresh bombing instructions were given to each force, who completed their bombing.

P.R.U. cover shows storage areas around both aiming points to be heavily cratered. The effect of blast and fire is seen over a considerable area. This attack shows that although a minimum quantity of marking is necessary for a good concentration, initial marking should be adequate to ensure that it will stand the smoke caused by subsequent bombing.

[Underlined] BORDEAUX – 10/11TH AUGUST. [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- S/L. Owen

PLAN The aiming point was marked direct by Green T.I’s. Again there was some trouble from smoke and further backing up was ordered. Owing to crew manipulation error, incorrect switches were selected and the markers fell in a long stick, approximately 1,00 yards wither side of the aiming point. Bombing however, continued on the concentration of markers.

RESULTS P.R.U. photographs show the Eastern bank of the river to be heavily cratered and severe damage caused to an oil and petrol storage park and also to corn silos and warehouses. This is an occasion when bad drill on the part of a member of a crew can cause scatter to what might have been an extremely concentrated attack.

[Underlined] BORDEAUX – DAY, 11TH AUGUST [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- W/C. Woodroffe

PLAN The Master Bomber dropped yellow T.I. cascading on the aiming point. This was to serve as a guide for crews in the run-up. A visual vector point was selected and a vector wind broadcast by the Master Bomber.

RESULTS The attack went according to plan and a good concentration was reported, although P.R.U. cover showed little damage to the submarine pens.

[Underlined] GIVORS – 11/12TH AUGUST [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- (Northern Aiming Point) W/Cdr Simpson (Southern Aiming Point) S/Ldr Owen

PLAN Two aiming points were detailed for this target.

(i) Marshalling Yard to the South (Red Aiming Point).
(ii) Junction to the South (Green Aiming Point).

On the Northern aiming point vector bombing was employed and on the Southern direct bombing of the aiming point.

RESULTS On the Northern Aiming Point some uncertainty existed about the accuracy of marking. The force was instructed to stand off for five minutes and instructions were passed to backers up. Backing up was not accurate and a large concentration of markers resulted. Master Bombers ordered the crews to bomb the M.P.I. of the markers, which formed a triangle with sides about 500 yards, with zero wind. The correct wind vector, however, should have been 214/13 m.p.h. on the Southern Aiming Point, but bombing was completed before the Deputy Master Bomber realised his error. The direct marking went according to plan and accurate bombing followed. P.R.U. cover shows that the attack was fairly successful and that damage was inflicted around both aiming points.

[Underlined] BRUNSWICK – 12/13TH AUGUST. [/underlined]

PLAN This attack was of an experimental nature to determine the accuracy of blind bombing on H2S.

RESULTS P.R.U. cover shows some fresh incidents in the town but these are mostly scattered. There is one small concentration in the Northern part of the city.

[Underlined] RUSSELSHEIM – 12/13TH AUGUST [/underlined]

PLAN Approximately 200 aircraft of this and other Groups were to attack the Opel Works at Russelsheim. A Master Bomber was provided by P.F.F. and the aiming point marked by controlled Paramatta.

RESULTS The markers were rather scattered and although results were difficult to assess it would appear that bombing was not

5 GROUP NEWS. NO. 25. AUGUST, 1944. PAGE 14

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particularly concentrated. P.R.U. cover shows that new damage was caused to the South West area of the target although fires spread to woods some three miles away and to residential property to the South East.

[Underlined] FALAISE – 12/13TH AUGUST [/underlined]

PLAN 25 aircraft from this Group were called for at short notice, together with 85 aircraft of other Groups to attack land positions in support of our land forces. Musical marking was carried out by P.F.F.

RESULTS P.R.U. shows very heavy cratering around the aiming point, with very few loose sticks.

[Underlined] BORDEAUX – 13TH AUGUST [/underlined]

PLAN 20 aircraft of 53 Base were detailed to attack oil storage. There was no marking and all crews identified the aiming point and bombed visually.

RESULTS Although several sticks were reported to have straddled the aiming point and strike photographs show bomb bursts in close proximity, P.R.U. cover showed only minor damage to the aiming point.

[Underlined] QUESNEY – 14TH AUGUST [/underlined]

PLAN This was a large scale attack in which Bomber Command gave support to our land forces. Aiming points were marked by Oboe Mosquitoes and as our troops were only approximately 2000 tards from the aiming point, accurate bombing was essential.

RESULTS Crews bombed either markers or the upwind edge of the area of smoke. Apart from one stick which appeared to fall about 600 yards North of the markers, bombing was concentrated. P.R.U. photographs taken show that the area was saturated and severe destruction inflicted.

[Underlined] BREST – EVENING, 14TH AUGUST [/underlined]

Shipping in Brest Harbour was the target for 130 aircraft of this Group. Targets were assigned as follows:-

No.52 Base – a hulk
No.53 Base - a tanker
Nos. 54 and 55 Bases – a cruiser

PLAN All crews were to bomb visually, no markers being dropped. The Master Bomber was to precede the force to the target and broadcast the direction and lie of the ships.

RESULTS Weather at the target was clear and all Bases claimed a proportion of hits on their aiming points. P.R.U. photographs taken on the 15th August at almost half tide showed that:-

(i) The hulk was still afloat.

(ii) The tanker was awash.

(iii) The cruiser had disappeared.

Photographs taken the following day show an object in the former position of the cruiser, which may be its wreck.


These airfields were allotted to this Group with approximately 100 aircraft on each.

PLAN 54 Base Mosquitoes were to drop cascading yellow T.I’s on each aiming point and these were to be used as a guide to visual bombing. The aircraft were to fly in company, led by 54 Base.

RESULTS All crews were able to identify and bomb the target visually and heavy damage was inflicted on both targets.

[Underlined] STETTIN – 16/17TH AUGUST. [/underlined]

PLAN Approximately 450 Bomber Command aircraft were to attack Stettin with full P.F.F. Marking. The marking in the early stages was reported as accurate but as the attack progressed, the marking became more scattered. The Master Bomber controlled the operation as the situation demanded although bombing spread back on track and to some woods to the North West of the target.

RESULTS From P.R.U. photographs taken, devastation could be seen through a gap in the cloud, but the extent of this has not as yet been ascertained.

[Underlined] BORDEAUX – 18TH AUGUST [/underlined]

PLAN 25 Lancasters were to attack oil storage – all bombing to be carried out visually.

RESULTS The weather was clear but hazy. The attack was scattered due to accurate heavy flak, making a steady bombing run almost impossible.

[Underlined] L’ISLE D’ADAM – 18TH AUGUST. [/underlined]

PLAN 160 aircraft were despatched to attack a supply depot in the forest of the L’Isle D’Adam. Oboe Mosquitoes were to mark a point three miles from the target to assist crews on their run-up. Two aiming points were allotted which were marked by 54 Base Mosquitos dropping smoke bombs.

RESULTS All crews were able to bomb visually and P. R. U. photographs show the target area to be heavily cratered.

[Underlined] LA PALLICE – 19TH AUGUST [/underlined]

PLAN 51 aircraft of 53 Base were to attack oil storage installations. All bombing to be carried out visually.

RESULTS Cloud made target observation difficult and the attack was somewhat scattered, although some bursts were observed near the oil storage depot.

[Underlined] DARMSTADT – 24/25TH AUGUST [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- S/L. Owen

PLAN This town was to be attacked by the Group in strength. A point in the centre of the town was to be marked and each Base to use a separate false vector so that bombing would be well distributed over the town centre, around the aiming point.

RESULTS Weather conditions were perfect, and flares, although doubtful at the time, were proved by photographs to have been dropped accurately. Difficulty was experienced by the visual markers in identifying the aiming point. This was eventually recognised but before the Mosquitos could manoeuvre into position and carry out marking, the last of the flares had died out. The Master Bomber had to return early due to failure of VHF and Deputy 1 and Deputy 2 were shot down before reaching the target area. The main force therefore arrived at the target without a Master Bomber. In the absence of any marking and control, W/T Link 3 took charge and ordered the force to bomb on instruments.

P.R.U. photographs show some incidents scattered throughout the built up area. Although there was no control at the target, and the main reason for failure of the attack was due to no marking being down; the weather was favourable and the flares were accurate, and this case proves that it is impossible to spend too much time on careful study of target photographs. The visual marker, has only at the best a fleeting glance of the aiming point and he must arrive at the target with a complete and real picture in his mind of the aiming point and land marks in relation thereto.

[Underlined] KONIGSBERG – 26/27TH AUGUST [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- W/C. Woodroofe

Konigsberg was singled out for attention by 5 Group, 174 aircraft from all Bases being detailed. Weather at the target was clear, visibility good.

PLAN The normal 5 Group technique of illumination was employed, the aiming point to be marked visually and backed up if accurate. Crews were to bomb T.I’s direct.

RESULTS Illumination was punctual, three markers identifying the target simultaneously, and dropping their markers together. The first was 350 yards North West of the aiming Point, the second 1200 yards to the North East. The Master Bomber dropped his own markers about 500 yards East of the aiming

[Underlined] O.R.S. ANALYSIS OF RAIDS [/underlined]

(a) Percentage of loose bombs.
(b) Radius of 50% circle (i.e. half the bombs dropped fell more than this distance from the centre of concentration).
(c) Distance of M. P. I. from Aiming Point.

[Table of Analysis of Raids]

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.25. AUGUST, 1944. PAGE 15

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point and midway between the two previous markers. He then ordered the backers up to back these up, but the first backer up disobeyed these instructions and backed up those which had fallen 1,200 yards to the North East, which he believed to be accurate. The Master Bomber was not aware of this misplacement of the concentration and once the bombing started he found assessment difficult due to glare. As a result the concentration of bombing fell to the North East of the aiming point. This failure proves two points, firstly that the technique of one aircraft marking and this marking being assessed is the only way to achieve success. The fact that three markers dropped their load together was the primary cause for the great spread in bombing. Secondly, had the backer up obeyed the Master Bomber’s instructions implicitly, then the attack would have been misplaced by some 500 yards instead of 1500yards. There must be one Controller only at the target, and his orders must be obeyed rigidly.

[Underlined] KONIGSBERG – 29/30TH AUGUST [/underlined]

Master Bomber:- W/C Woodroffe.

Another heavy attack was despatched against this target the following night, and it was hoped on this raid to make up for the failure of the previous raid. 8-10/10ths strato cu, base 11,000 feet was encountered at the target.

PLAN The marking force was allowed 12 minutes to illuminate and mark the target. On this attack a marking point was chosen, and was to be marked visually with Red and Green T.I’s. Each Base was allotted a separate heading of attack and release of bombs was delayed for varying time intervals, in order to get a good distribution of bombs around the aiming point.

RESULTS The attack went according to plan and P.R.U. photographs show that almost the entire built up area of the city has been devastated, except for two small areas. This area of devastation, almost entirely by fire, stretches nearly 3,000 yards from East to West, and 2,000 yards from North to South. This area is confined to the main built up area of the city and does not extend West of the railway bridge across the river.


Three forces of aircraft were despatched from the Group to attack the above three flying bomb targets.

PLAN In each case 54 Base Mosquitos were to drop smoke markers as a guide for visual bombing. Weather was uncertain and aircraft were instructed to orbit if the targets were temporarily obscured by cloud.

RESULTS Some orbiting was necessary, but all three attacks were carried out according to plan. Bombing on each target was fairly concentrated and P.R.U. cover gives evidence of very extensive damage.

The most successful attack of these three was on Rollencourt.


[Underlined] ETAPLES – 4TH AND 5TH AUGUST [/underlined]

617 and 9 Squadrons attacked the railway bridge at Etaples in daylight on August 4th. The weather over the target was clear although some patches of cloud were encountered on the run-up.

RESULTS Photographic cover shows that four direct hits were scored on the double track bridge, whilst the single track bridge also sustained damage.

This bridge was attacked by 9 Squadron on the following day, but although conditions were good the attack was generally disappointing. Due to a miscalculation on the part of the formation leader the actual bombing heading carried out was almost parallel to the bridge itself, and consequently 75% of the sticks burst to the West of the bridge. Although there are two possible fresh hits on the Southern end of the target, the attack must be considered a failure due to the wrong heading of approach.

[Underlined] BREST – 5TH AUGUST [/underlined]

On the 5th August 617 Squadron attacked the submarine pens at Brest with 12,000 lb. bombs. Aiming was visual and weather at the target was good.

RESULTS P.R.U. cover confirms at least five direct hits on the pens, of which three were definite penetrations.

[Underlined] LORIENT – 6TH AND 7TH AUGUST [/underlined]

On this attack 617 Squadron were supported by No. 106 Squadron and had submarine pens for their target in daylight. The 617 Squadron leader was to drop two red T.I’s as areas markers to assist visual bombing.

RESULTS It is believed that at least two direct hits were scored on the submarine pens with a number of near misses. P.R.U. photographs show four hits on the wet pens and further damage caused by 12,000 pounders between the wet and the dry pens.

617 and 9 Squadrons were detailed to attack this target the following day, but weather prevented visual bombing and bombs were brought back to base.

[Underlined] LA PALLICE – 9TH AUGUST [/underlined]

In this attack 617 Squadron were allotted the submarine pens whilst 9 Squadron were given adjacent oil installations. A 9 Squadron aircraft was to precede the main force by 20 minutes to find a bombing wind by means of the API attachment. All bombing was to be carried out visually.

RESULTS [Underlined] 617 Squadron. [/underlined] 12 x 12,000 lb. bombs were dropped and P.R.U. cover confirms that a direct hit or hits on the S.E. corner of the pens caused a collapse of the roof over an area of 240 feet x 120 feet. There were also three further direct hits with possible penetration.

[Underlined] 9 Squadron [/underlined] reported the attack to have been fairly successful although many under-shoots and over-shoots were reported. The storage tanks are not therefore thought to have received the full weight of the attack.

[Underlined] LA PALLICE – 11TH AUGUST [/underlined]

The submarine pens were again the target for 617 Squadron who were carrying 2,000 lb. A.P. bombs. Bombing was to be carried out visually from beneath 16 and 18,000 feet.

RESULTS The bombing was accurate although smoke tended to become troublesome towards the end of the attack. P.R.U. cover shows at least four hits although none of these appear to have penetrated the roofs of the pens.

[Underlined] BREST – 12TH, 13TH AND 14TH AUGUST [/underlined]

Continuing the attacks against submarine pens, 617 Squadron visited Brest in a daylight attack in which 8 x 12,000 lb bombs were to be aimed visually at the aiming point.

RESULTS Weather at the target was clear and only one bomb reported to be wide of the target. P.R.U. cover shows that two bombs penetrated the roof, one in the centre making an opening of almost 50 feet across, whilst a third has taken off part of a corner of the roof at the Western side. There are two other possible hits which have not penetrated the roof.

[Underlined] 13TH AUGUST [/underlined]

On the following day 9 Squadron supported 617 Squadron in a second attack on the pens and shipping in the harbour. 5 x 12,000 lb. bombs were carried, the remaining loads being made up of 1,000 lb. A.P. bombs.

RESULTS P.R.U. cover reveals one direct hit which may have penetrated the pens, with two other very near misses close to the Northern wall.

9 Squadron were allotted a tanker in the harbour whilst aircraft of 617 Squadron were to attack the cruiser. P.R.U. cover showed that the cruiser was still intact, but that the tanker was awash at the stern and was resting on the bottom.

[Underlined] 14TH AUGUST [/underlined]

The cruiser was the target for 617 Squadron whilst 14 Lancaster of 9 Squadron were to attack a hulk which had been towed into the harbour. Weather was clear at the target. Bombing was not as good as had been experienced in previous attacks and P.R.U. cover showed that both vessels were still intact and undamaged after the attack.

[Underlined] LA PALLICE, 16TH AND 18TH AUGUST [/underlined]

617 and 9 Squadrons were detailed to attack the submarine pens but 9/10ths cloud was encountered at the target and the attack was abortive. On the 18th August, however, the Squadrons paid a second visit in good weather conditions. 6 x 12,000 lb. bombs were carried, the remaining aircraft carrying 2,000 lb. and 1,000 lb. A.P. bombs.

RESULTS P.R.U. cover shows at least one hit and possibly two on the roof of the pens by the 12,000 lb. bombs, but no bombs

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.25. AUGUST, 1944. PAGE 16.

[Page break]


appear to have penetrated.

[Underlined] IJMUIDEN – 24 TH AUGUST [/underlined]

Enemy E and R Boat pens were the target for 617 and 9 Squadrons in a daylight attack when 12,000 lb. bombs and 1,000 lb. bombs were carried. The attack was carried out in clear weather.

RESULTS All crews were able to identify the aiming point and bombing appeared concentrated. P.R.U. cover shows one hit in the Western half of the pen which has penetrated into the pen and blown out a large portion of the rear.

[Underlined] BREST – 27TH AUGUST [/underlined]

A hulk and Sperrbrecher were detailed for 617 and 9 Squadrons respectively for a daylight attack. Weather at the target was clear with slight haze. All crews to bomb visually.

RESULTS Hits were claimed by both squadrons on their aiming points, and these are confirmed by P.R.U. cover, which was taken on the same day. This revealed that the hulk has disappeared and that there are signs of mud displacement around the position of this vessel. The Sperrbrecher is still afloat with much debris on the decks.

Wishful Thinking

I saw a Service switchboard,
A most amazing sight,
It filled me with deep wonderment,
And thrilled me with delight.
For dainty creatures fingered
Their cords with grace and charm,
And [underlined] rarely [/underlined] gave wrong numbers,
And [underlined] never [/underlined] lost their calm.
They all had silvery voices,
Melodious and untarnished,
And each had lovely finger-nails,
Not one of which was varnished.
Their speed was quite phenomenal,
Their tact a perfect joy;
Their supervisor sat at ease,
With nothing to annoy.
They never cut subscribers off,
They always saw calls through,
And never, never argued
With their clients as others do.
Their calm serene detachment,
No traffic could abate.
They scarcely ever faltered
Or were known to hesitate.

A vision so astounding
Pure phantasy did seem.
The shock it gave awoke me
And dispersed my precious dream.

Anon. (Circa 1944)



[Underlined] 97 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/Lt E.F. CAWDERRY, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.
P/O J.P. DOWN, D.F.M. D.F.C.
F/O R.M. NELSON, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.
F/O W.G. WISHART, D.F.C. Bar to D.F.C.

[Underlined] 106 SQUADRON [/underlined]

F/Sgt A.M. McKIE D.F.M.

[Underlined] 207 SQUADRON [/underlined]

Sgt H.G. HALL D.F.M.

[Underlined] 463 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 467 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 619 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 627 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 630 SQUADRON [/underlined]



Successful trials at Dunholme Lodge of an addition to the present landing scheme have resulted in its introduction throughout the Group. The addition has been effected by bringing back the call-up point to the funnel and renaming the existing call-up point “CHECK” where the pilot does actually check his Stud ‘B’. This has entailed an amendment to the Plus 1/2 and Plus 1 position which are now defined as QDM of runway plus 90 degrees. The additional position gained by moving the call-up point has minimised stacking and given the pilots further time in which to adjust their positions. The major gain made by the move is, however, that at all airfields the call-up point is very definitely marked by the first lead-in light.

Experiments are being conducted at Waddington with “American High Lights”, located in the centre of the airfield to define the various positions on the circuit. These lights give a beam of 15°and are of the type now being installed at Winthorpe for runway lighting in conditions of poor visibility.

Following the success of Spilsby’s experiment of utilising the second Duty F.C.O. to “shepherd” the aircraft on the circuit, the practice is to be made general throughout Group. “Shepherding” has resulted in regular spacing with consequent greater safety margin and improved landing times. In effect, the F.C.O. “talks down” the aircraft. For weather protection, Spilsby have given the F.C.O. a m/u turret on the roof. Their lay-out and the method of control used are worth seeing and will well repay a visit.

Landing times can still be much improved. Aircraft are still arriving at irregular intervals. S.F.C.O’s must continue to impress on crews at briefing the essential point of a regular flow of aircraft on return. Spasmodic “bunching” and unnecessary delay break down the whole principle upon which the landing scheme is based. Crew drill can give the same regular flow to one squadron airfields as to two squadron airfields, and crew drill is solely dependent on discipline of the highest order.

One final point about overshoots. The airfield controller has a large responsibility in that final instructions to overshoot if necessary will emanate from him. Although the airfield controller will always err on the safe side, there are still far too many instances of aircraft being instructed to overshoot, when in actual fact they could land with safety. This is proved time again by the fact that the overshooting aircraft rarely overhauls the aircraft on the runway until is clearing the runway.

It is also realised that the airfield controller finds difficult to access the range of approaching aircraft solely by means of

(Contd. In Col.1)

(Contd. From Col.3)

navigation lights. To assist them therefore simple range finders will be provided.

S.F.C.O’s should point out to airfield controllers that an overshoot is not without a certain amount of risk, and that whenever possible aircraft should be allowed to land, and not just be given instructions to overshoot in order to be on the safe side.

[Underlined] AUGUST LANDING TIMES [/underlined]

[Table of Landing Times by Station]

5 GROUP NEWS. NO.25. AUGUST, 1944. PAGE 17



“V Group News, August 1944,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed April 19, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18150.

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