V Group News, July 1945


V Group News, July 1945
5 Group News, July 1945


Five Group Newsletter, number 36, July 1945. Includes a foreword by the Air Officer Commanding, and articles on training, signals, navigation, radar navigation, air bombing, gunnery, tactics, Japanese fighter control, air crew safety, accidents, engineering, photography, armament, medical and decorations.

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


IBCC Digital Archive




Anne-Marie Watson


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41 printed sheets





Temporal Coverage




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[Underlined] BASE INTELLIGENCE [/underlined] [Indecipherable]


[Stamp] [Underlined] Copies to Stns [/underlined]


[Circled] [Indecipherable [/circled]





No. 36


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Foreword by A.O.C.

At mid-night yesterday, Mr. Attlee, our Prime Minister, our Prime Minister, announced the final cessation of the War with Japan. This is great news. At last the world is at peace. To-day, August 15th, is VJ-Day and there can be no doubt in anyone’s mind that we are all greatly relieved that the end of hostilities has at last come. Nevertheless, for some, and particularly those who had volunteered to go to the Far East, there must be a certain sense of disappointment and, no doubt, many will feel annoyed that they personally have not been able to have a crack at the Japs.

The future of 5 Group is now very much in the air and I am unable to give you the answer to the many queries you may have at the moment. I doubt if many heavy bomber Squadrons will be required as part of the occupation forces in Japan, although it is more than possible that one or two of the Squadrons will proceed somewhere out to the East in the near future. It is unlikely that the Government and the Air Ministry will be able to review the many difficult problems and agree on new policy for some days, and, until definite orders are received, all Squadrons should continue their normal training and their normal routine of work.

More than any other Group, 5 Group has had a particularly difficult time since VE-Day. The Squadrons have undergone many changes; some Squadrons have been disbanded; others moved to new Stations; there has been a vast change round of personnel to ensure that only those fit and eligible for the Far East were left in those Units proceeding overseas. Many others have left the Service but, in spite of all this change, I have noticed that many long and arduous hours of training have been put in by Squadron and Station personnel to prepare themselves for what was to have been a very hard role in the Pacific. In addition to this training, I decided to carry out a series of inspections of all Stations. I have now completed six out of the ten and have been very impressed with the high standard of smartness and efficiency which have been attained at those Stations which I have inspected. I realise that many man hours of hard work have been put in by all ranks, both in the training and preparation of Squadrons for war against Japan and also to attain such a high standard of cleanliness at Stations.

Much of the material and information contained in this “5 Group News” is now out of date, but I have, nevertheless, decided to issue it in spite of the fact that all hostilities have now ceased. I thank all ranks for their hard work and fine spirit of co-operation during these last few months, and I know full well that, if 5 Group had managed to reach the Pacific before the end of hostilities, the various Units that have been preparing themselves for War, would have put up a very fine show.


[Underlined] 15th August, 1945. [/underlined]

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Drawing] training

The weather, particularly at the beginning of the month, did not prove very helpful in enabling the Group to put in as many flying hours as was hoped for. The G.T.I’s Flying Training Chart shows little or no increase in night flying training from the period 6th – 11th July to the period 23rd – 29th July, while the day flying line shows a steady rise with very few breaks throughout the month.

During their visits to Stations and Squadrons throughout the Group, the G.T.I. and his training Specialist Officers have noticed a lethargic attitude in some Squadrons to Tiger training. Such phrases as “We’ve got plenty of time to go yet”, “The War will be finished before we get there”, and “Do you think we’ll go?” have been heard time and time again. It should have become apparent by now that there is only a limited time available for training and that every opportunity should be made to seize every spare hour for ground training and every period of fine weather for air training. Certain Squadrons have already found out that there is even less time than they thought left for training on this side of the world.

As for the phrase “The War will be finished before we get there” – unless crews finish their training thoroughly they won’t get there at all, and it is to be borne in mind that there are still immense areas of land and sea yet to be regained. As is well known, the Jap is a fanatical fighter and does not give up until he is dead. There are millions of Japs who have yet to be made to give up in Burma, Malaya, Borneo, Sumatra, Thailand and French Indo-China, to say nothing of Japan, China and Manchuria, where the Japs are most firmly rooted. As regards to the question “Do you think we’ll go?” – the answer is “Yes”.

The G.T.I. and the Training Specialists welcome 460 and 75 Squadrons into the Group. When the G.T.I. first visited these Squadrons and explained the number of hours flying and number of hours ground lectures required from them, one of the first remarks was “What – only 22 1/2 hours training per crew per month: that is 675 hours per Squadron … We shall get over 1,000 hours in next month”.

Whilst figures of flying times are not a perfect indication of training done, they provide a fairly sound means of assessing the training efforts of individual Squadrons. Therefore to enable Squadron Commanders to appreciate the position of their Squadron in relation to the rest of the Group, the flying times for June and July are given below:-

[Table of Flying Times by Squadron]

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] TRAINING [/underlined]

[Underlined] OTHER SPECIAL UNITS [/underlined]

[Table of Flying Times by Unit]

No. 467 Squadron is congratulated on its training effort, particularly since it has been at R.A.F. Metheringham, where it has done over 1,000 hours during July.

[Underlined] LINK TRAINER [/underlined]

Tiger Squadrons in Nos. 53 and 55 Bases and R.A.F. Stations Syerston are progressing satisfactorily with Link Training in B.A.B.S. and Radio Range. No.54 Base Squadrons, however, are a long way behind and there is room for great improvement.

Nos.44 and 619 Squadrons put in a total of 90 hours before they left the Group in the middle of the month.

[Table of Aircrew Hours by Base and Squadron]

Total hours by Group – 1,285

[Underlined] CATEGORISATION OF PILOTS [/underlined]

[Table of Pilot Categorisations by Base]

Total Categorised in Group = 270

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Drawing] signals

Group Captain Vickers, D.S.O., Chief Signals Officer, Tiger Force, who has just returned from a tour of the American Theatre of Operations, visited this Headquarters on Saturday, 4th August, and gave us a very interesting and descriptive lecture on the Signals facilities in use there. As the Tiger Force will be operating in conjunction with the American Air Forces, the existing facilities are practically those which Tiger Force will be required to adopt. A brief outline of these facilities is given below.

[Underlined] AIR-GROUND COMMUNICATIONS [/underlined]

Group or Wing (American equivalent to our Group) have W/T control channels in the 3 mc, 6 mc and 8 mc bands, keyed simultaneously throughout the 24 hours, thus affording the air operator three channels of reception, dependent upon the time of day or night the aircraft is airborne. Broadcasts are made at half-hourly intervals and control, in general, is similar to that of our G.C.F. Weather information is broadcast on these channels every hour in the U.C.O. P.A.C. (the weather code used in that theatre).

H.F./D.F. facilities are available, but our Wireless Operators must train themselves to request QUJ instead of QDM as used in this country. H.F./D.F. fixing facilities are available in an emergency. MF/DF facilities are not available, but other aids, such as M/F Beacons, Radio Ranges and V.H.F. Homing facilities are numerous. I.F.F. is also carried and can be used for fixing purposes in an emergency. R/T communication is by V.H.F. and each Group or Wing has V.H.F./D.F. facilities for homing when within 100 miles from Base. Weather information is also broadcast by R/T at four minute intervals once aircraft are within 100 miles from Base.

[Underlined] CODES AND PUBLICATIONS [/underlined]

As all ground W/T Stations already hold C.S.P.1270 (the American Aircraft Code) the problem of supply is greatly reduced if Tiger Force adopt the same code. Wireless Operators will find this code similar to our own C.D.0250 except that it is a four letter code instead of two as in C.D.0250. The lay-out is similar and spare groups are allotted for any specific requirement. In each of these codes, which change about every four days, is an authenticator table which is used extensively. The method of authentication, while not quite similar to that in C.C.B.P.127, is on the same lines, and Wireless Operators should have no difficulty in learning the procedure. Weather information is obtained, normally by the Group or Wing W/T broadcasts, in code, using the U.C.O. P.A.C. – a code similar to our own U.C.O. Request. If a more detailed weather report is required, it can be requested, and this information is supplied in another weather code – W.A.F.3. In any message where the need for speed outweighs the need for security, Q Code or plain language can be used.

[Underlined] AIR/SEA RESCUE [/underlined]

As most operations involve long hours of flying over water, the facilities for Air/Sea Rescue are well organised. Practically every island in Allied hands has an Air/Sea Rescue Unit located on it. In addition to these units, which maintain a continuous W/T watch on two

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] SIGNALS [/underlined]

exclusive distress frequencies, there is an elaborate organisation of Naval aircraft (Dumbos) at rendezvous points along the track. B.29 aircraft (Super Dumbos) are also circling rendezvous points on track, and submarines and destroyers are at pre-arranged stations on the route. Aircraft, surface vessels and submarines all maintain a continuous listening watch on the above two distress frequencies, and in addition on the international distress frequency (500 k/cs). A V.H.F. watch is also maintained so that aircraft in distress have no less than four channels of communication with rescue craft.


The climactic conditions in the theatre where Tiger Force aircraft will be located, will at times adversely affect radio reception, and Wireless Operators must be trained to overcome “atmospherics”. Morse reception through interference must be regularly practiced to enable Wireless Operators to overcome the conditions which prevail.

[Underlined] SIGNALS SECURITY [/underlined]

W/T and R/T silence are normally maintained throughout an operation, unless otherwise ordered, or when aircraft are in an emergency or distress.

[Underlined] BULLSEYES [/underlined]

As everyone must know by this time, the latest Bullseye exercise carried out by this Group was practically ruined by another case of inadvertent radiation of intercomm. on V.H.F. The details have been fully covered in this Headquarters letter 5G/S.14500/9/Sigs., dated 3rd August. At the risk, however, of being accused of emphasising the obvious, the main points to be noted are repeated below:-

(a) If satisfactory V.H.F. reception is not obtained by H – 10, the whole set is to be switched off. Instructions can still be obtained by W/T.

(b) All crews of Marker Force, Flare Force and Master Bomber aircraft are to be reminded of the need to watch the neon “V.H.F. R/T on transmit” indicator lamp from H – 30 until the end of the attack.

(c) Captains of Nos. 9 and 617 Squadron aircraft which require V.H.F. for landing, are to ensure that the V.H.F. H/T switch is not put in the “On” position until the aircraft are within 50 miles of Base on return.

(d) All crews must receive constant instruction on the contents of 5 Group A.S.I. Part VI, Sigs/1.

(e) The transmissions made by the Master Bomber, his deputy and the Link aircraft during the period H – 16 to H – 10 serve as the V.H.F. R/T reception test for all other aircraft. These transmissions must therefore be made in a precise, deliberate manner. All volume controls should be set at maximum volume during this period.

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

[Underlined] Tiger Training [/underlined] Throughout July the training of Wireless Operators (Air) for Tiger Force continued satisfactorily and results so far obtained are gratifying. Many Squadrons have almost finished the Ground Training Syllabus and revision will ensure that all Wireless Operators are 100% trained. The results of loop and Radio Range training have been very good – Wireless Operators obtaining good loop bearings and Pilots carrying out successful Beam flying. Perfect-

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] SIGNALS [/underlined]

ion in this type of homing to an airfield is absolutely essential in the new theatre and only constant practice at every available opportunity will ensure this. It Is hoped to have all aircraft fitted with American type Radio Range Receiver for use by Pilots only, thus the Wireless Operator will have his Marconi equipment free to use for any other purpose. The training on “Consol” beacons has been held up due to lack of information regarding the beacons in use and for charts to cover them. It is hoped, however, to have all the information of these beacons which are in operation in the European Theatre very soon, so that air training can be carried out, but as there are not yet “Consol” facilities in the new theatre this training should come at the bottom of your priority training list.

[Underlined] Squadron Signals Training Trophy [/underlined] The result of the Squadron Signals Training Trophy competition was announced during July. The winner was No.44 Squadron, whose training room was an outstanding example of what can be done to make these rooms places where Wireless Operators can really find inspiration and interest in every phase of their work. Second and third places in the competition were won by 57 and 83 Squadrons respectively. The standard of all Signals training rooms was very high throughout, and showed that Signals Leaders and Wireless Operators really had taken a keen interest in their layout and cleanliness – Good work chaps – keep it up, and remember when you may be in a tent in some far land, that these too can be kept clean, tidy and made places of interest. The same spirit which prevailed in your training rooms here can be maintained despite all they may say about fungus, mosquitoes, sunshine and rain – not to mention some yellow rats which will soon be dealt with.

[Underlined] Group W/T Exercise [/underlined] This exercise has been re-arranged, thus enabling the two new Squadrons to No.5 Group to take part. The work carried out during July has been up to standard, though there are still a few cases of incorrect tuning which must be eliminated. Nos.75 and 460 Squadrons will find this exercise their introduction to 5 Group W/T Control, and practice will soon make them quite familiar with the procedure.

[Underlined] W/T Controllers’ Test [/underlined] Nos. 83 and 97 Squadrons are to be congratulated on their splendid efforts to get all their Wireless Operators qualified as W/T Controllers. At the end of July only four Operators of 97 Squadron and 7 of 83 Squadron had still to pass the tests laid down in 5 G. S.S.I. No.13. We should like to see a percentage of all Wireless Operators in each Squadron passing out as W/T controllers, as there is always the possibility that they may be called upon to carry out these duties.

[Underlined] Signals Leaders [/underlined]

We extend a hearty welcome to the two new Signals Leaders to the Group, namely F/Lt Baxter, Signals Leader, No.75 (N.Z.) Squadron and F/O Moir, Signals Leader, No.460 Squadron. We hope that they are now settled down in their new quarters and will soon be familiar with 5 Group Signals technique.

[Underlined] RADAR [/underlined]

[Underlined] Gee [/underlined] The news came as a bombshell late last month, that as a result of consultations in the Theatre, and the need to conserve shipping space, Gee was not to be used by the Tiger Force. Training in this equipment for both aircrew and maintenance personnel was to cease immediately. Although the consternation of the navigators was great, the maintenance side was no less concerned, because in three years of operational development Gee became a sound and reliable equipment, easy to maintain and relatively fault free. However, the Loran and Rebecca combination will do the work of Gee from the operational point of view. We have had experience of Loran, and if our efforts to obtain Modification IV are successful, with the divider troubles elimin-

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] SIGNALS [/underlined]

ated, we can hope for high serviceability. Few of us have had experience with Rebecca, but the equipment was developed by other Commands and with constant practice there should be little difficulty in maintenance.

[Underlined] Workshop Convoys [/underlined] At a rather sultry conference at Coningsby the final form of the workshop convoys was decided. Bomber Command rules that the 3 H.P. Motors were not to be removed from the R.V. 421B, although provision could be made to allow this to be done in the Theatre. The only major modification what was approved by Bomber Command was the installation of a scanner on the roof of the R.V.420B, this work to be carried out by Coningsby.

The task of the preparation of these vehicles for operational use fell on the No.381 M.U. detachment at Coningsby. The work included the installation of bench sets, the scanner modifications, minor re-arrangement of shelving and other work. Five convoys had to be completed in ten days, and the fact that the work is well up to schedule reflects great credit on F/O Milsom in charge of the job, and the remainder of the personnel concerned.

[Underlined] ADMONITORY SONNET [/underlined]

O, ye who venture forth in War’s array
To fight vile Nippon’s hordes, the yellow foe,
From some Pacific islet far away,
Know ye that there ye’ll find no G.P.O.?
All those of ye with gadget minds take heed,
The surplus fittings of the German war
Will vanish quite. Austere will be, indeed,
Your future days compared with those of yore.
Reproach us not in future when you find
That telephones are quantitively few,
And qualitively very far behind
The standards which in England you once knew.
One cheerful note! Be very sure we’ll fix
That telephones supplied aren’t candlesticks!

(Anon. (Circa 1945))

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Drawing] navigation

[Underlined] PROGRESS OF NAVIGATION TRAINING [/underlined]

The training programme is proceeding satisfactorily. Navigators and Set Operators are making ample use of the aids available with the exception of loop and radio range bearings. These seem to be avoided like a plague, or, if they are not entirely neglected, the Navigators [underlined] do not use them. [/underlined]

They lack faith in them. Why? Providing the loop is swung satisfactorily and the Wireless Operator takes great care in obtaining his readings, the resulting bearings should be very accurate. “Alright”, you may say, “but the bearings we get are hopeless, never nearer than 10 miles to the actual position.” Well, you have the solution in your own hands – either the loops are not correctly swung or the Wireless Operator is not doing his job properly. We repeat, the solution is in your own hands.

Apart from these two aids, however, the impressive array of navigational aids are being used to full advantage. In fact, too much so in the case of Gee. A few navigators have taken a commonsense attitude towards “Gee” and so not use it unless it is required in an emergency. They navigate with the assistance of the other and more difficult-to-manipulate aids. This is sound common sense and can result in one thing only – a very high standard of efficiency. But what of those people who do not adopt this rightful attitude, who continually obtain Gee fixes even though they have serviceable H2S, Loran and loop? By pursuing this policy they will never attain a high degree of manipulation skill, nor will they gain real confidence in other aids. Therefore, leave Gee alone. Discard it altogether. Use it only in an emergency – then you will quickly gain efficiency – and confidence – in all your other “boxes of tricks”.

The Drift Sights and G.P.I’s are not yet available in sufficient quantities to allow fitting to aircraft, and it may not be possible for crews to obtain flying practice with these instruments until Squadrons receive their new aircraft, which is leaving it very late. To compensate for this crews must get the maximum ground practice. It is not quite the same thing, but nearly so. Both these instruments are easy to manipulate and it requires but a little time and effort to become proficient in their use. Therefore, get as much practice as you can, reduce the drills to habit and then you can perform the actions automatically. (A tip here- always try to reduce your work to a series of habits, it then becomes much simpler to perform. If you have to think about a thing before you can do it, you use up energy – a lot of energy. If you can do it habitually then very little energy is required. There is no need to wear yourself out navigating for a few hours – so, make a habit of each and every drill. On every occasion you obtain a fix, go through the complete cycle of obtaining a wind, G/S and E.T.A. check and altering course if necessary. Do this a few times and you have reduced the whole thing to a habit – a very good habit too, because as a result you will be a very reliable and efficient Navigator).

To sum up, Navigation training is proceeding satisfactorily, but a little more attention is required in the direction of Loop bearings, Drift Sights and G.P.I’s. Polish off these three and we may

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] NAVIGATION [/underlined]

consider the training situation very satisfactory.

[Underlined] FAR EASTERN NAVIGATION FLASHES [/underlined]

(a) Serviceability of Radar aids ‘out there’ is approximately 92%.

(b) Loran ranges fluctuate violently, maximum 1500 nautical miles, minimum 700 nautical miles.

(c) Wireless reception satisfactory, no undue interference from any source. Bearings and emergency fixes therefore easily obtainable and reliable.

(d) Maps and Charts for the Far East are now ready. Two copies of each sheet are being forwarded to Squadrons for perusal.

[Underlined] ASTRO COMPASS [/underlined]

Agreement has at last been reached on the position to be occupied by the Astro Compass in Lancaster aircraft. This is on the starboard side of the coaming which is just forward of the Navigator’s table. A trial installation was held at an 8 Group Station recently and this position seemed very satisfactory. It is easy to get at, very easy to manipulate and is also easily stowed.

Owing to great pressure of work it may be impossible for the Astro Compass to be mounted in this position in the existing aircraft, but some compensation will be found in the fact that the new aircraft which we shall shortly receive will have the Astro Compass correctly positioned. Crews will, therefore, not have much opportunity of practice in using this instrument in the correct position, but continue to obtain the maximum possible practice whilst it is situated in the present position, so that when you do get the new aircraft you will require only familiarisation.,

[Underlined] DRIFT SIGHT [/underlined]

A final position for the fitting of the U.S. Navy Mark VI Drift Sight into Lancaster aircraft has not yet been decided. The present approved position is aft of the flare chute; it is considered to be far from ideal. We in this Group are therefore experimenting by fitting the sight in different positions in the nose of the aircraft. The most obvious and easily accessible position has been vetoed by the larger escape hatch about to be incorporated in the production line aircraft. A second position just aft of the bomb sight is now being perfected and it is earnestly hoped that it will be satisfactory for everyone. A decision on this matter will be reached before the end of August.

Once again, however, no matter what the approved position, it will be impossible to have the sights installed in the existing aircraft, so crews must obtain the maximum practice, ground practice in this instance, on the instructional “mock up”. It is not very difficult to manipulate this new drift sight and fifteen minutes practice should be sufficient to make everyone at least partly proficient. Much experience can be gained of course, either during the short time between the arrival of the new aircraft and the “fly out”, or whilst on the “fly out”.

[Underlined] UNION NEWS [/underlined]

(a) [Underlined] Station Navigation Officers. [/underlined]

53 BASE – Waddington – S/Ldr Evans, D.F.C.
Bardney – S/Ldr Rumbles, D.F.C.
Skellingthorpe – S/Ldr Bray, D.F.C.
551 Wing - F/Lt Johnson.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] NAVIGATION [/underlined]

54 BASE – Coningsby – S/Ldr Baxter, D.S.O., D.F.C.
Woodhall – S/Ldr Bennett, D.F.M.
Metheringham – S/Ldr Martin, D.F.C.
552 Wing – S/Ldr Hatch, D.F.C.
553 Wing – S/Ldr Ayles, D.F.C., D.F.M.

55 BASE East Kirkby – S/Ldr St.Clair Miller, D.F.C.
Spilsby – F/Lt McKinnon, D.F.C.

SYERSTON – S/Ldr De Friend, D.F.M.

(b) [Underlined] Squadron Navigation Officers. [/underlined]

53 BASE 9 Squadron – F/Lt Peasfield
189 Squadron – F/Lt Booth
463 Squadron – F/Lt Markham
617 Squadron – F/Lt Martin

54 BASE 83 Squadron – F/Lt Bowes
97 Squadron – F/Lt Woolcott
106 Squadron – F/Lt Curry
467 Squadron – F/Lt Pickard
627 Squadron – F/Lt Tyce

55 BASE 57 Squadron – F/Lt Bradley
75 Squadron – F/O Parsons
207 Squadron – F/Lt Gully
460 Squadron – F/Lt Young

SYERSTON 49 Squadron – F/O Prentice

This month we have said goodbye to two stalwarts of the “Union”, namely S/Ldr Mould, D.F.C, and S/Ldr Crowe, D.F.C. Both of them have been with us for a very considerable period and have done outstanding work. They have been responsible in no small part for the progress of Navigation in this Group during the last two years. We are very sorry to see them go, because they will be sorely missed, but we wish them every success and the very best of luck in “civvy street”.

[Underlined] BOUQUETS [/underlined]

After omitting the “bouquets” for two months, it has been decided to re-introduce them. Below is a list of the two best training efforts from each Base during the month of July. The navigators have been chosen for their consistently accurate work, rigid adherence to system, constant checking of winds, ground speeds and E.T.A’s, and log and chart work, particularly chart work, of a very high order.

53 BASE 1. F/O Burke 463 Squadron
2. F/O MacIntyre 453 Squadron

54 BASE 3. F/Lt Stevens 106 Squadron
4. F/S Barker 97 Squadron

55 BASE 5. F/S Mancer 57 Squadron
6. F/O Huggins 57 Squadron

SYERSTON 7. F/O Prentice 49 Squadron

No one is barred from this competition. We do not ask for ultra neatness; the qualifications are as stated in the introductory paragraph. All of you can produce exemplary work if you try. You have the knowledge, you have the necessary Navigational aids available, and all that is required is hard work and common sense on your part. You will

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] NAVIGATION [/underlined]

see that it is possible for anyone to qualify as one of the seven best Navigators in the Group. You have been given knowledge, now apply it, and produce some really first-class work. We do not like to see the same name appearing each month and are always anxious to replace the “old timers” with a newcomer. Let us therefore see a new list of names next month, and YOU make sure your name is on the list.


Checks carried out in all Navigation Sections throughout last month have shown that a number of Navigation Officers are loath to appoint the more senior Navigators to assist them in their multifarious tasks. It is the view of a few of them that as they are responsible for the entire section they should do all the work; but this is an unwise policy. It is impossible for a Squadron Navigation Officer to carry out all the necessary work himself. Consequently it is necessary to delegate authority to the senior Navigators in the Section. In nine out of every ten cases it will be found that these people are only too willing to assist the Navigation Officer in any way. Therefore, Squadron Navigation Officers, do not take upon yourselves entirely the burden of the Navigation Section – share this responsibility with your experienced Navigators and make your task, and in fact your life, much easier to bear.

A word to you Senior Navigators – do your bit for the “Union” and give your Navigation Officer all the assistance you possibly can. Take over one or two of his minor duties, such as looking after Order Books, supervising stores etc., By such action you will help not only the Squadron Navigation Officer, but you will also improve the efficiency of your Section.

[Underlined] PRACTICE BOMBING VECTOR ERRORS [/underlined]

The average error for the month was 2.7 knots, an improvement of .3 knots on the last two month’s figures.

Once again we are treading the path of progress! By the combined and determined efforts pf every Navigation team the bombing vector error is being systematically reduced to what may well be considered a negligible error.

Don’t forget that we set ourselves the task of reducing this error to 2.5 knots. It can be done as five Squadrons have shown this month; press on therefore, and let us obtain our objective immediately.

[Table of Vector Errors Ranked by Squadron]

No.189 Squadron have dropped with a very big bang from 3rd place last month to bottom of the ladder this month. This month’s vector error is the highest ever obtained by No.189 Squadron since their formation. We hope they will never again obtain such a distinction. Come on now 189 Squadron, make a really determined effort this month and let us see you at the top of the ladder next month!

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] NAVIGATION [/underlined]

[Underlined] NAVOGRAPHS [/underlined]

Did you decipher the word picture couplets included in last month’s News? If you didn’t here they are:-

[Underlined] Couplet No.1 [/underlined] “Destination Tokyo – a very long hop,
Maintain track or you’ll get the chop.”

[Underlined] Couplet No.2 [/underlined] “Loran, H2S. Rebecca and Gee,
Keep your future trouble free.”

[Underlined] Couplet No.3 [/underlined] “Accurate winds so timing sound,
Target pranged, then homeward bound.”

Now, although these word pictures may have provided a very welcome diversion when reading through the News, it was our intention that they should bring home to you, with great force, the morals enclosed therein. Did they have this effect on you, and did you apply the morals immediately?

Those of you who did not decipher them and did not, therefore, get the gist of the thing, now have the answers given to you – now it is up to you to apply them immediately [underlined] and always. [/underlined]

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Drawing] radar nav:

[Underlined] GEE [/underlined]

Considerable changes have taken place amongst the Gee transmitting stations during the past month – changes intended to standardize [sic] the system in Europe for peace time Air Force flying, for certain operations taking place in the Italian zone, and to bring all frequencies on the same RF Unit.

As the majority of these changes have taken place with little or no warning, there may still be doubt amongst some Navigators as to the correct frequencies to use for the now standardized [sic] chains. To counteract this confusion, details of the new frequencies are outlined below.

[Table of Gee Chain Frequencies and Ident Blinks]

+ New chains – not yet working.

Information relating to Gee in the Far Eastern Theatre is going to cause considerable heartburning amongst Navigators and Pilots alike, as it is now definitely known that no Gee Chain is to be provided there. To ensure that crews reach a high standard of efficiency in navigating without this aid, it is expected that instructions will shortly be issued for Gee to be taken out of all aircraft. It must, however, be emphasised that Gee is not the be all and end all of navigation and has never superceded [sic] the basic principles of navigation. Therefore, however great the loss of this aid may seem at first, air navigation will not become impossible. Other aids are available, equally as accurate, and crews must develop them to a high standard.

When this instruction is issued, Pilots, Navigators and Set Operators must therefore concentrate on Loran, to ensure a higher standard of fixing accuracy, and on Rebecca and Radio Range for more accurate homing. Only by determination and continued training can crews overcome the disadvantages which will necessarily result from the taking out of Gee.

[Underlined] H2S [/underlined]

The training of crews in H2S Navigation and Blind Bombing is progressing satisfactorily throughout the Group despite the shortages of equipment and the lower serviceability rate.

With the expected loss of Gee, H2S is quickly becoming the most accurate method of overland navigation, and much greater importance must be paid to its homing facilities in view of the nature of the Pacific Bases.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Underlined] RADAR/NAVIGATION [/underlined]

An accuracy in fixing, equal to that of Gee, is not expected but one of less than 1 1/2 miles (this is about the present error) is demanded and can be obtained, providing set operators are made aware of their responsibilities, particularly when using H2S fixes for windfinding. The less accurate a crew is in H2S fixing, the lower will be their standard in blind bombing.

No relaxation in H2S training can therefore be allowed, in fact greater effort is essential and instructors and crews alike must take every opportunity of furthering their ability in the use of H2S, both for navigational and blind bombing purposes.

On the last Bullseye, instructions were issued for all crews to blind bomb on Bristol and take a P.P.I. photograph within 30 seconds of release. The results obtained were far from gratifying, and it was noted that many operators had forgotten the most elementary principles of blind bombing and P.P.I. photography.

It is hard to realise that some crews even attempted bombing on the 30 mile scan, others had too large 10 mile zeros, and many did not make any serious attempt at obtaining a decent photograph.

Great emphasis is being placed upon Blind Bombing and P.P.I. photography in the Far East, and results such as these reflect seriously upon the upon the attitude which is being adopted in the training for the Pacific. No.5 Group has been, and is, a precision bombing Group on visual targets, it must retain that distinction in Blind Bombing. Let the results obtained on the next Bullseye prove this beyond doubt. It is up to every crew to see that it turns in the best effort possible, and Instructors must watch their briefing if this is to be achieved.

No.97 Squadron have challenged the remainder of the squadrons in 5 Group to a blind bombing competition. This competition to take place as soon as sufficient crews are blind bombing trained and the Plotting Unit at Ipswich is operating. By the use of IPSWICH and the plotting unit all crews will have the same advantages and each aircraft will be plotted within the same degree of accuracy. Conditions of the competition are to be agreed shortly and forwarded to all Units. The results should prove interesting in view of the various types of equipment which will have to be used.

[Underlined] REBECCA [/underlined]

More Rebecca equipment is becoming available daily, and many crews will soon have the opportunity of testing this aid for themselves.

With the likelihood of Gee being taken out of aircraft, Rebecca will be the main Radar homing aid, and if used correctly is far more accurate than Gee.

Training is comparatively simple and quick, but requires constant practice. Don’t let the equipment lie forgotten once you’ve learnt how to use it. Make it your job to home on Rebecca to your Base after every flight – you may have need of it someday.

[Underlined] LORAN [/underlined]

Loran is coming into it’s [sic] own. Gee is out in the Pacific Theatre.

This is a plain statement of fact, not to be passed over lightly. Loran facilities in the Far East are not all they ought to be but providing an operator has the basic principles at his finger-tips, can take a fix accurately and can correct simple faults, navigation in the Far East should be just as simple as in Europe.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Underlined] RADAR/NAVIGATION [/underlined]

It is known that the United States Army Air Forces are obtaining Loran with a reasonable degree of accuracy to the coast of Japan. A further Master Station and Slave are being provided to give position lines running N.E. to S.W. and coupled with the present facilities, reasonable coverage should result.

It has been evident from reports received after Cross-countries and other flying exercises that insufficient care is being taken in fixing. Complaints have been made that Loran is inaccurate over this country, fixes being in error etc. Investigations often prove that the wrong skywave has been used, or that the count has been made incorrectly. Watch these points carefully, particularly identification of skywaves, as this will be extremely important in the areas in which you may be operating in the Pacific Theatre.

[Underlined] RADAR ALTIMETER SCR718C [/underlined]

Supplies of this equipment are extremely short, and up to the present time little use has been made of the aid.

There is one little point to stress however. This altimeter can be used to show when an aircraft is over sea or over land. Over sea the reflected pulse is very steady – over land the pulse moves about most irregularly. Watch this point when you have a chance and see if you can detect your change from sea to land.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Drawing] air bombing

During the month S/Ldr S.J. Abbott relinquished the post of Group Bombing Leader to go back to “Civvy Street” and his old job in the Special Branch, Metropolitan Police Force.

Never the spectacular type, as probably became his Police Force training, S/Ldr Abbott’s quiet efficiency was a contributory factor in the Group’s present high standard of bombing accuracy. Much was achieved during his 10 months spell of duty, and, in saying farewell, all of us wish him every success in his new post.

His is one job where the bowler hat will be useful anyway!!

[Underlined] CATEGORISATION [/underlined]

Far too many crews saw the end of July without achieving a bombing category. It is realised that most crews were starting July from scratch, owing to re-shuffling, but every effort must be made to categorise all crews as soon as possible.

[Underlined] AN OUTSTANDING RESULT [/underlined]

No.97 Squadron (F/Lt Coates) report a magnificent effort on the part of F/Lt Wilkinson and crew. The error achieved was a CREW error of 23 yards converted to 20,000 feet. This is really excellent, particularly so as their Air Bomber is actually a Squadron trained PILOT/FLIGHT ENGINEER; what makes the feat even more remarkable is that it was the first exercise completed by this crew.

This is an all time record for No.5 Group, and can’t possibly fall far short of the “best ever” for Mark XIV bombing.

Congratulations to:-

F/Lt Wilkinson (P) F/Sgt Salter (P/FE) F/O Collins (Nav)

not forgetting the Rear Gunner for keeping his turret still!!

[Underlined] REMOTE CONTROL INDICATORS [/underlined]

No.207 Squadron have been carrying out trials with a Remote Control attachment to the Mark XIV Sighting Head. This attachment is operated by the Navigator who feeds Sighting Angle and Drift to the Sighting Head. The object of the attachment is to cope with winds above those for which the Mark XIV is built (i.e. over 66 knots Indicated) and it is worked in conjunction with the Emergency Computor [sic] You will be hearing more of this later.

[Underlined] THE M.P.I. TRAINER [/underlined]

The purpose of this trainer is to give Air Bombers practice in judging the Mean Point of Impact of various Target Indicator Patterns. S/Ldr Graham Rogers (No.54 Base Bombing Leader) reports that the Trainer is proving extremely popular and Air Bombers are not finding it easy to judge the centre of a group both quickly and accurately. The trainer works on a similar principle to the A.M.B.T. and is about the size of a

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Underlined] AIR BOMBING [/underlined]

pin-table (hence its popularity!) Twenty slides are provided, each having a pattern of six Green T.I’s. No.1 slide being a compact group, the groups becoming more scattered as the slide number increases until finally, No.20 requires considerable thought. Errors can be measured both for Line and Range from the scales provided. It is hoped that all Air Bombers will see that they derive maximum benefit from the trainer when it is allocated to their Squadron.

[Underlined] NEW INCENDIARY BOMBS [/underlined]

Models of new incendiary bombs, which we shall use “out there” will be coming along to all Squadrons. Study these and get all the gen you can on them from your Armament Officer.

[Underlined] “GEN” FROM WAINFLEET [/underlined]

The N.C.O. i/c Wainfleet Bombing Range reports that 2,286 bombs and 667 T.I’s were plotted during the month. This number could be stepped up considerably if only Squadrons would spread their bombing times more evenly throughout the day. Early morning and evening details are the answer.

[Underlined] BEST CREW ERRORS FOR JULY [/underlined]

Squadron Pilot Air Bomber Navigator Crew Error

9 F/O Bloodworth F/S Turner F/S Walker 64 – 75
F/O Plowman F/O Frazer F/S Esterman 48 – 57
F/O Myatt F/S Cubitt F/S Smith 62
S/L Blair F/O Skinner F/O Herks 58

57 F/L Nichols F/S Knight F/S Sheldon 72
S/L King F/O Crate F/O Thom 67
F/L Karop F/S Drackett F/S Fishman 76
F/O Wood F/S Crowther F/S Streathfield 72
F/L Appleton F/S Stevens W/O Cobb 68

97 F/L Wilkinson F/S Salter (P/F.E.) F/O Collins 23

463 F/O Houngan F/S Niblock P/O Pepper 58
F/O Ferris F/S Cliff F/O Richardson 74

467 F/L Morris F/S Gillespie F/S Silver 51

617 F/O Taylor F/S Shires F/S Bache 54
F/O Young F/S Hill F/S Howell 53
F/L Martin F/S Tedder P/O Barlow 65
S/L Ward F/L Sumpter F/O Christian 66

[Underlined] SQUADRON BOMBING COMPETITION [/underlined]

[Table of Bombing Competition Results]

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Underlined] AIR BOMBING [/underlined]

[Underlined] HIGH LEVEL BOMBING PRACTICE [/underlined]

[Table of High Level Bombing Practice Results by Base and Squadron [/underlined]

[Underlined] No.627 Squadron [/underlined] 668 T.I’s – Average error 118 yards.
176 Practice Bombs – Average Error 81 yards.

F/O George’s average error was 54 yards for 5 exercises – good show!

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Drawing] gunnery

Since our last issue, Squadrons preparing for service with the Tiger Force have completed 75-80% of the Training Syllabus. This is a remarkably good effort, and Gunnery sections concerned are to be congratulated on the fine showing and the results obtained.

During the next few weeks it is hoped that aircraft recognition will be given as much priority as possible, in order that there will be no doubt in the mind of any gunner when called upon to identify aircraft. Most gunners by now have an excellent working knowledge of the .5 and a little study in one’s spare time should be sufficient to keep in touch with this gun.

It is refreshing to note that gunners have taken an active interest in subjects dealing with the “other fellow’s jobs” and Base Gunnery Leaders report that of the many gunners questioned, quite 75% have exhibited a marked degree of “gen”.

The new type of flying suit has been tested recently and most gunners have commented with enthusiasm on this equipment. The diligence displayed during the test of this clothing has given satisfaction, and we look forward to a general issue of the new suits as and when such issue becomes possible.

Owing to the fact that all Squadrons within the Group are conforming to the Tiger Training Syllabus, the “Order of Merit” for Fighter Affiliation Exercises is now cancelled.

Trials have been carried out in the FN.82 – reports of which have been submitted to Bomber Command. In the meantime, gunners are advised to rehearse speedy exit from the FN.82 – one or two helpful points being:-

(i) Avoiding the V.O.M. adjacent to the right leg.
(ii) Ensuring the freedom of the right foot before falling out.
(iii) Familiarising oneself with the Hand Rotation Lever (This is difficult to operate in its present position and will call for practice in manipulation).

[Underlined] SUMMARY OF AIR TRAINING EXERCISES [/underlined]

[Table of Air Training Exercises by Squadron]

Total Day Affiliation = 333: Total Night Affiliation = 142.
Total Number of Affiliation Exercises for July = 475.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Drawing] tactics

Recent reports from 21st Bomber Command, U.S.A.A.F., have shown that Japanese night ground defences are rapidly assuming the proportions, if not the accuracy, of the Germans’. Superforts operating at night have reported accurate coning by radar controlled searchlights, with intense concentrations of heavy and light flak in the cones. The Japs’ task is, of course, made easier by the low altitude at which the Superforts operate at night, and also by the very low concentration rate over the target, allowing a large proportion of the attacking aircraft to be engaged individually.

Japanese night fighters have still apparently got a lot to learn, and are learning the hard way by attacking with navigation and cockpit lights burning. They have, however, had some success when attacking aircraft illuminated by searchlights, the old German “Wilde Sau” technique, and have on occasion pressed their attacks to very close range. We can expect an increase in this form of attack, as it has the advantages of not needing efficient A.I. and also, day fighters can be used.

The latest phenomenon over Japan at night is the “Ball of Fire”. Variously described as a “flaming onion” or “Fiery rocket”, it has all the hallmarks of the rocket projectile used by the Germans in the closing weeks of the war. In fact, one Superfort crew has reported “a small winged projectile with flames emitting from it”. Unless it is a great improvement on the German model it is likely to be merely an interesting addition to the other fireworks commonly seen over a target at night.


The one Bullseye flown this month, on the night off the 23rd, showed once again the overwhelming advantage possessed by night-fighters in moonlight conditions. We had 154 Lancasters airborne and the fighters claimed 161 successful combats, a total amassed by only 24 Mosquitos! The fighter pilots reported that our Gunners were keeping a very poor look-out over the Channel, but improved over the land. One Mosquito carried out 12 unseen attacks, although burning navigation lights! The loss of mid-upper gunners has, of course, made the carrying out of a thorough search more difficult, but the figures show that a great many crews either have incompetent gunners or else are not taking sufficient interest in a training exercise designed to increase their chances of survival once they start operating over Japan. It cannot be overemphasised that a Group Bullseye is the best experience a crew can get without risking being shot down, and as such it should be treated as a real operation from take-off to landing. The pilot who thinks that a Bullseye is just another training bind is heading right for a posthumous Pacific Star.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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Jap Fighter Control

As yet there is no comparison between Allied and Japanese fighter control, for though the enemy early warning system is considered adequate for giving general warning of the approach of large Allied air formations to Japan, Japanese fighter control is in an undeveloped state. The limited scope of Japanese fighter operations control is demonstrated by the type of fighter reaction experienced on Allied bomber missions over Japanese-held territories and by the poor performance characteristics, for purposes of fighter control, of radar and communications equipment known to be in operational use in the Japanese Air Force. The Japanese have under development a number of special devices for use in ground and air-controlled interception and they have been conducting research and experiments in fighter control organisation and procedure. Eventually, these activities may be expected to result in fighter control operations of wider scope.

The present Japanese early warning and fighter control system for air defence, however, is in a state of development roughly comparable to German development in the period from 1939 to 1941. The Germans also used picket boats to supplement the early warning radar and their first night interception system depended on illumination of raiders by searchlights. The Japanese early warning system appears to be adequate for the purpose of giving general warning of the approach of Allied aircraft to Japan. In view of the inferior performance of the radars, however, and of the apparent lack of a well organised filtering system, it is doubtful if accurate and prompt information on pin points, courses, speeds, heights, identifications and strengths is being supplied to Japanese Air Force Control Centres.

Without such information, the operations of these Control Centres must be quite restricted, and it is not likely that they are in a position to make material changes in the disposition of fighter squadrons to meet the special tactical requirements of individual raids. As a corollary, it may be stated that Allied diversionary raids staged in connection with bomber attacks against primary targets in Japan probably have little effect on lessening the number of fighters available for attack against the main force.

Operations at Japanese Fighter Control Centres appear to consist of scrambling fighters, broadcasting warning to airborne aircraft of the presence of enemy aircraft, and ordering fighters to proceed to designated general areas in the vicinity, most often a target area, for “attack” , or in other cases to take appropriate action for evasion.

Night interceptions are accomplished by co-ordination of night fighters with searchlights and in other cases by night fighters free-lancing in the target area, often with no detection aid of any kind.

It is possible that in the immediate future the Japanese will perfect a system of air control interception based on homing fighters on to a shadowing aircraft by means of airborne detection finders. This system might be fairly effective for day operations, when spotting and closing can be done visually, but does not seem to be suited for night operations.

It is unlikely that the Japanese Air Force will be able

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Underlined] JAP FIGHTER CONTROL [/underlined]

to organise an effective system for ground control interception or fighter control, especially for night operations until such time as they have in operation ground and airborne radar more suitable for the purpose than any now in operation. It is possible, however, that the Japanese are developing specially designed fighter control radar, perhaps an adaptation of the Giant Wurzburg, and also A.I. equipment possibly adapted from Allied airborne 10-centimetre equipment.

[Underlined] Extracted from H.Q. Air Command, S.E. Asia. W.I.S.86. [/underlined]

Further light on this subject is now cast by the capture of a document on Luzon which gives a description of Japanese fighter direction methods, as they existed in April, 1944. It is reprinted from A.T.I.S. Translations, No.156. Particularly interesting is the dependence of the Japanese on reconnaissance aircraft – which should make good targets – and on a constant speed and course of the attacking aircraft.

The physical system is not unlike our own shore-based system in basic respects. Various radars report to a control station which we should call a filter centre. At this location pilots are displayed and evaluated and action is taken. (Apparently each radar reports bearing and range from itself and does not convert to a common reference point; nor does it appear to use any sort of “grid” system). The Japanese have an organisation designated an “intelligence squad” which would compare to our intercept team. One sketch indicated that D/F equipment is used in some manner for tracking their own intercepting aircraft.

Numerous references in the document indicate that Japanese radar bearings and range discrimination are not reliable. Furthermore, the enemy does not seem to have any search radar which is dependable for altitude determination on incoming raids.

To compensate for shortcomings in bearing, range and altitude from their radar, scouting aircraft are sent out initially to contact our raids. These scouts shadow and report position, type, strength, altitude etc., as an aid to directing the intercepting group. This would suggest the conclusion that our raids frequently will be spotted by Japanese reconnaissance aircraft, which will act as shadows and not as attacking units. The reconnaissance aircraft represent an important cog in the intercept system.

Due to the time element required in the filter centre, the method of radio relay, and the fact that mechanical methods are utilised for computation of vectors, much time is wasted; time lag in plot is an obvious conclusion. All computation is on the premise that the “enemy raids” will remain on almost constant course and speed. This suggests that a few diversionary raids with marked changes in course and speed might create confusion in Japanese intercepts.

After their intercepting aircraft are given the initial “vector” and “range” on the “point of encounter” (intercept position), the subsequent changes in vector seem to be given in a manner similar to our clock-code method; e.g. “03.10” equals “right front ten kilometres”.

[Underlined] Extracted from H.Q. Air Command, S.E. Asia, W.I.S.87. [/underlined]

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Drawing] aircrew safety

There was no operational activity during the month. Four aircraft of No.54 Base “stood by” for a search on the 24th but were not required. This followed a report by a No.463 Squadron aircraft of what appeared to be a dinghy in the sea off the East Coast, and A.S.R. Warwicks carried out a search although there were no aircraft missing at the time.

Casual sightings are going to be just as important in the new theatre as they were over here, maybe more so, and all that is required to ensure a happy ending to someone’s troubles is:-

(a) A careful description of what is seen.

(b) The most accurate fix possible.

(c) The time of the sighting and good signals procedure.

Accurate information will assist both those below and those above – if passed quickly.

Training on all Squadrons has made good progress during the month. The Mark II Airborne Lifeboat commenced a Group tour, and a mobile parachute instruction unit is also going ahead.

Yet a third circus is lining up to spread knowledge on Air Sea Rescue and land and sea survival in all theatres.

[Boxed] [Underlined] “CAN YOU SWIM?” [/underlined]

(If you can’t you are missing a lot of fun and – by the way – if you ditch you may not reach the dinghy!! [/boxed]

As was stated in last month’s News, S/Ldr Becker left this Group to take up a Safety and Rescue appointment with Transport Command. B.B. was one of the earliest members of the team, then led by W/Cdr Dabbs, by whose efforts such vast improvements were made in Air Sea Rescue throughout Bomber Command, and to whom a lot of chaps indirectly owe their present existence.

During his long stay with No.5 Group, S/Ldr Becker played a big part in improving both training and equipment, and we wish him the best of luck in his new appointment and also when he returns to his tobacco manufacturing in Southern Rhodesia.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Drawing] accidents

During July flying accidents in the Group rendered one aircraft Cat. B., one Cat. A., and completely destroyed four others. Three Formal Investigations were convened to inquire into the more serious ones and two of them are still incomplete. Evidence so far places three of the six accidents in the avoidable category, viz:-

Swing on take off – 1; Overshoot on landing – 1;
Crashed on overshoot on one engine (Mosquito) – 1.

In addition one aircraft burst a tyre and crashed on landing; another had an engine failure on take off and crashed with fatal results. The remaining accident in unclassified as results of the investigation are not yet to hand: the aircraft belly landed after engine failure on a three engined practice overshoot.

One accident is singled out for special mention this month as the errors made by the pilot provide lessons for all Mosquito pilots in the Group. A Mosquito with the port engine feathered returned to Base and was given permission to land (in daylight) on the 2,000 yards runway. The pilot made a [underlined] right hand [/underlined] circuit and turned in for his approach rather low. He came in too fast and purposely delayed his selection of wheels down. The aircraft levelled off 300 yards along the runway and floated for some 600 yards. At this stage the pilot [underlined] decided to go round again [/underlined] as the wheels had not locked down. Full flap had been applied. The aircraft climbed to approximately 40 feet, at which height the left wing dropped and the aircraft stalled. The pilot was killed and the Navigator seriously injured.

The greatest mistake this pilot made was to try to take a Mosquito, with one engine feathered and wheels and flaps down, round again from ground level. Pilots Notes state that going round again in only possible in these circumstances if the decision is made at an early stage in the approach when it is clear that the undercarriage and flaps can be raised and speed increased by diving in the height available. Contributory factors to this crash were the [underlined] right [/underlined] hand circuit and the low, excessively fast approach. Final approach speed should be 122 knots and circuits should be made left handed irrespective of which engine has failed.

[Underlined] CASUALTY SIGNALS AND FORMS (765C) [/underlined]

Of recent weeks some slackness in the compilation of casualty signals has been evident. Once again Units are reminded that [underlined] every type [/underlined] of damage to an aircraft, including straightforward engine failure, requires notification by signal. Under para. “G” should be stated “765(C) yes” or “765(C) no”. A.M.O. A.1348/43 gives detailed instructions on the compilation of casualty signals. This A.M.O. must be obeyed to the letter. Those Officers who are concerned in any way with signals for aircraft damage must have this A.M.O. by them at all times.

[Underlined] STAR AWARDS [/underlined]

All Units have Gold Stars this month with the exception of Nos.627 Squadron (Blue) and 97 Squadron (Red). The position of No.106 Squadron is still undecided.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Drawing] engineering

The following are the main observations made during the Group Engineering Staff Inspection of Stations, prior to the A.O.C’s inspection:-

(i) On the whole the Base Servicing Sections and Servicing Wings are organised on sound and efficient lines.

(ii) The inevitable chopping and changing between Units of both aircraft and personnel is causing some dislocation in Servicing Wings.

(iii) A considerable amount of surplus equipment exists in most Servicing Wings.

(iv) M.T. Servicing leaves much to be desired on some Stations.

With regard to (ii). It is a well known fact that the standard of servicing in one Unit is not acceptable to another. The spirit behind this is natural and it cannot be expected that anyone will accept full responsibility for the serviceability of a strange part worn aircraft without a very careful and critical inspection. This applies particularly to engine, airframe, instrument and electrical trades, whose responsibility covers almost entirely the safety of the aircraft and a single point overlooked is liable to have most serious consequences for both the aircraft and crew and tradesmen concerned.

Although it is appreciated that the swopping od old aircraft is bad business, it is inevitable at this stage and in dealing with this problem the following points should be noted:-

(i) In view of possible changes it is now more important than ever that all defects are recorded on F.700.

(ii) The servicing of such aircraft on receipt should as far as possible be carried out by experienced tradesmen.

(iii) Cases of indifferent servicing by the previous holding Unit should be reported officially, the reports being confined to statement of facts.

The surplus equipment referred to in para.1 (iii) should be returned to the Equipment Section on paper and stored under arrangements made by the C.T.O. and equipment Officers pending final disposal.

The present shortage of personnel and equipment is undoubtedly reflected in the comparatively low standard of M.T. servicing. This standard has recently improved but there is still room for improvement with the existing resources. It was apparent during the inspection that some C.T.O’s were not keeping up to date with the progress of unserviceable vehicles and where this was the case, the number of unserviceable vehicles was comparatively high.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Underlined] ENGINEERING [/underlined]


[Table of Aircraft Serviceability and Hours Flown by Squadron]

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Drawing] photography

Further information has now been received from Headquarters Tiger Force regarding the requirements and commitments of Photography. The growing importance of careful preparation is further emphasised, and the points enumerated below will prove to be of paramount importance to all concerned.

[Underlined] F.60 CAMERAS [/underlined]

It can now be stated that the F.60 (35 mm) fully automatic camera with scanner contact, and fitted with visor mounting, will be issued on 100% basis to all aircraft proceeding with Tiger Force. This camera will supercede [sic] the Bantam and Kodak 35 mm now in use, and will entirely eliminate manipulation failures. The camera is on a fixed mounting and is operated by the Bomb Firing Key. This feature will be greatly appreciated by the Set Operator, as he will have no knobs and triggers to bother about, and we are certain that operational photography will be thereby improved.

[Underlined] F.67 CAMERAS [/underlined]

In addition to the F.60 cameras, each Squadron will be equipped with two F.67 (16 mm) cameras. This camera is similar in operation to the F.60, being fully automatic and operated by the scanner contact making one exposure per second and like the F.60 it is operated by the bomb firing key.

[Underlined] TYPE 35 CONTROL DIAL [/underlined]

The existing Bromide Paper Control Dial is considered unsuitable for use in all conditions of high humidity. Arrangements have therefore been made for the production of dials manufactured from some suitable plastic material which would stand up to the wear and tear of exacting tropical conditions. The lay-out of the dial has been arranged to suit bombs having a terminal velocity above 1200 feet per second. In order to ensure accuracy, the R.A.E., Farnborough, are checking the dials against a stop watch, and will amend the calibrations as necessary. It is anticipated that 400 of these new dials will be ready for issue at an early date.

[Underlined] TYPE 20A, 35 CONTROL [/underlined]

In future the No.20 Controls will be fitted with contact springs and will be known as type 20A. These controls will be made a general issue to Units from 1st September, when they will be coming off production at 50 per week.

[Underlined] PHOTOGRAPHIC TENT – TRIALS [/underlined]

Good progress has been made by Nos. 54 and 55 Bases in the use of the photographic tent, and from the reports so far received, the tents appear very satisfactory. The chief difficulty with the equipment appears to be the limited size of the film drying drum and the fact that it has to be revolved by hand while the film is drying. For this reason the standard portable type 14B/528 complete with motor and belt is being issued instead. It is also hoped to include 3 or more table fans to ensure a speedier method of drying.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

[Page break]

[Underlined] PHOTOGRAPHY [/underlined]

[Underlined] HIGH SPEED DAY FILM [/underlined]

The poor keeping qualities of High Speed Night Film has rendered it unsuitable for use in the East, and High Speed Day Film is to be issued instead. It will be necessary in the initial stages however, to cut the present 125 exposure lengths into 14 exposure lengths until such times as the manufacturers supply the film in the requisite size.

[Underlined] CAMERA – F.24 – TRANSPORTATION [/underlined]

It can now be confirmed that cameras will be housed in their storage cases with ancillary equipment and flown out direct to the Theatre of operations. Units have been instructed to demand storage cases for the purposes from the appropriate M.U.

[Underlined] INITIAL EQUIPMENT [/underlined]

As preparation against any unforeseen emergency, or the delay of equipment arriving by sea, quantities of photographic materials are to be conveyed by other methods ready for immediate use if necessary. Early in the campaign R.A.F. photographers may have to use the American type Photographic Tents pending the arrival of the standard R.A.F. equipment. Some considerable time may elapse before pre-fabricated buildings are erected, and in consequence use will have to be made of these tents until more permanent buildings are available.

[Underlined] PHOTOGRAPHIC PERSONNEL [/underlined]

Some anxiety has been experienced regarding the ever increasing problem of staff who are eligible for overseas service. The matter has been taken up with Records, and it is thought that we shall soon have a much clearer idea of the personnel required. The confirmed establishment of photographic personnel for two Squadrons proceeding with “Tiger” Force is as follows:-

1 F/Sgt. 1 Sgt. 2 Cpls. 13 A.C’s.

[Underlined] WATER SUPPLY [/underlined]

It is of interest to note that the estimated consumption of water by the Tiger Force for photographic purposes alone will be approximately 8,000 gallons per day! In order to secure this supply special well boring equipment is being taken to the area.

[Underlined] H2S PHOTOGRAPHY [/underlined]

Results now being received show a marked improvement in H2S photographs, but it is felt that there is still room for more care and attention in the developing and printing of the films. Special attention is necessary to ensure that each film has the “Start Frame” recorded, and also that cameras are in correct focus. On the last Bullseye training exercise carried out on the night of 23/24th July, several H2S films received at this Headquarters indicate that no attempt had been made to record the “Start Frame”. As pointed out in last month’s News, frank criticism is very necessary, and W/O’s i/c Bases and N.C.O’s i/c Sections should pay particular attention to this, and thereby ensure that such “snags” are brought to light. Bullseye exercises provide excellent training of personnel and it is important that this training is used as fully as possible.

[Underlined] CONCLUSION [/underlined]

Photography is a recognised indispensable factor in war;

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] PHOTOGRAPHY [/underlined]

the article of military intelligence in the Encyclopaedia Brittanica [sic], written by a great military authority, mentions photography as a main source of obtaining information form the enemy. We must always keep this in mind and realise that only by the continuous vigilance of all photographic personnel, and their extreme care and attention to detail, can this be achieved.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Drawing] armament

[Underlined] 2,000LB. MARK II WINCHES [/underlined]

In our last issue we referred to the trials being carried out with the modified Mark II, 2,000lb Bomb Winches. We are pleased to say that these trials have been successful and the modified winches can be positioned on all bomb stations in the Lancaster aircraft.

[Underlined] RETURNS – GENERAL [/underlined]

Again!! We request Armament Officers to ensure that [underlined] ALL [/underlined] returns to this Headquarters are made on the appropriate days and [underlined] NOT [/underlined] three or four days later. Also, please ensure that the information is accurate. The importance of accuracy cannot be over-emphasised, because all information submitted to this Headquarters is consolidated and passed on to Higher Authority. Finally, to eliminate unnecessary telephone calls to Stations, please submit “NIL” returns where applicable.

And, while we are on the subject of telephone calls, may we draw your attention to the paragraph headed “Co-operation” in Issue No.28 of this News. We repeat that we are always prepared to help the Armament Staffs at Bases and Stations in every way possible, but please first try to settle your problems at Station and Base level. If you cannot obtain satisfaction there, then telephone us by all means. A day in this office would convince you that it was never more aptly named than by the word “Madhouse” which appears on one of our telephones.

[Underlined] DEMANDS [/underlined]

A tip! when a demand has been submitted, do not just sit back and wait. Periodically “chase” those concerned. With the end of the war in Europe, the pressure of work at Maintenance Units and Equipment Sections has, if anything, increased, but we are certain that an occasional reminder, stating fairly the reasons for your inquiry, will be received in the spirit in which it is given.

[Underlined] DEFECT REPORTS [/underlined]

Here we would like to draw your attention to the Editorial of the August issue of the Bomber Command Armament Bulletin, in which reference is made to Forms 1022 and 1023. Especially do we concur with the last paragraph, having noticed the fall-off in the number of 1023’s received. Please note that we require a “Nil” return, but it is very unlikely that such a return will be necessary.

Having relieved ourselves of these moans and as we are talking about the BOMBER COMMAND ARMAMENT BULLETIN – you will by now have received your copy of this month’s bumper issue. It is full of most interesting information.

As this Group us carrying out an extensive training programme, we feel sure that the Booklet on the Handling etc., of Practice Bombs, mentioned in the Bulletin, will be most useful in reducing the number of accidents, and look forward to receiving our copies.

Another matter likely to be of interest to Armament

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] ARMAMENT [/underlined]

Officers in the near future, is the article on Tropical Storage of Explosives. We recommend you study this thoroughly.

We are now beginning to receive reports on the effectiveness of our bombing of Germany. A very interesting article on this subject appears on Page 37 of the Bulletin. It is gratifying, to say the least, to know that the work of the Armament Sections throughout the War has yielded such worth while results.

To close this month’s News, we should like to wish those Armament Officers who will be leaving us for warmer climes, the best of luck in their new assignments, and hope that their job will not be a long one.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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In the forthcoming operations overseas, the following information may prove of value to all personnel concerned.

[Underlined] D.D.T. [/underlined]

The above initials represent a white, crystalline powder with the full chemical name of dichloro-diphenyl-trichlorethane. It is a comparative newcomer to the field of preventative medicine, but promises to be of the greatest value in the prevention of insect-borne diseases. Supplies of D.D.T. are now adequate for its full use on operational areas overseas.

In tropical and sub-tropical areas, many diseases are conveyed by insects which fly or crawl and which transmit the diseases by biting or being crushed into skin abrasions during scratching, and so convey to man the disease which the insect carries. Any substance which will kill insects in an efficient manner will thus help to reduce the incidence of disease. To date D.D.T. is the most effective substance to be discovered.

In brief, D.D.T. exercises its lethal effect by producing paralysis of the insect followed by death. The precise way in which D.D.T. reaches the body of the insect is uncertain, but absorption through its feet is believed to be the principal route. Swallowing, during feeding, of D.D.T. is also important. The absorption of D.D.T. is hastened by incorporating it into a liquid such as Kerosene or a water emulsion. The precise way in which D.D.T. is used will vary according to the insect. Thus, it may be dissolved in Kerosene, or in a water emulsion, and used as a spray, or incorporated in a dust with talc, flour or road-dust, and dusted onto the surface requiring such treatment.

In the prevention of malaria, the anopheline mosquito which carries the parasite of malaria, is attacked in all its stages.

The young mosquito, or larva, may be killed by covering the surface of the water in which the larva breeds with a dust containing D.D.T. Large areas of water may be dusted by aircraft. The adult mosquito is more effectively killed by spraying with a solution containing D.D.T. in Kerosene.

Typhus Fever, which is conveyed to man by the body louse, can be most effectively prevented by dusting the skin of people exposed to the disease with a dust of talc and D.D.T. The louse is killed before it can bite. Underclothing, such as shirts, can be impregnated with D.D.T. and is still lethal after a number of washings. The method of dusting was used in Naples in 1943, during an outbreak of typhus, with outstanding success. The whole civil population was dusted, and for the first time in history a typhus outbreak was halted.

The above information is only of the briefest, and should not be regarded as in any way exhaustive.

[Underlined] SCHISTOSOMA JAPONICUM [/underlined]

This disease is likely to be met with in the operational

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] MEDICAL [/underlined]

area overseas.

The schistosome is a small worm, 1 to 2 1/2 cms in length and is capable of living within the body of a man for long periods. It can cause serious disease unless treated adequately.

The young worm leaves the body of man as an egg. This egg will only hatch out in [underlined] fresh [/underlined] water, and the young worm so liberated enters, and lives for a period, in the body of a small water snail. Subsequently, it leaves the snail, and in swimming about, it will readily attach itself to and enter the human skin. Thenceforth it grows to maturity in the body of man, sets up disease, and produces eggs which are voided in the urine or faeces.

With the above in mind, it is easy to see how streams, rivers and water holes can easily become infected with the young worm in an area where the native population exercises no sanitary control.

To avoid infection one should never bathe in rivers or streams which are likely to be infected. Also, water for drinking or washing should come from an approved source – that is, water which has been filtered and chlorinated.

Sea-bathing is quite safe if well away from the mouths of rivers.


In view of the lessening of the incidence of malaria in the operational area, it will not be necessary for personnel travelling by sea to take suppressive meparine. Parties travelling by air, however, will still take meparine from the date of their departure from the United Kingdom, as they will be living in malarious zones en route. The improvement has been effected by American anti-malarial unites and by R.A.F. anti-malarial workers already in the theatre.

Other anti-malarial precautions, already mentioned in previous articles in this section, will continue to be necessary.

“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Drawing] decorations

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

[Underlined] 9 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 44 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underline] 49 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 50 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 57 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 61 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 83 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 97 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 106 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 207 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 227 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 463 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 467 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 617 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 619 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 627 SQUADRON [/underlined]


[Underlined] 630 SQUADRON [/underlined]


“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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[Underlined] DISTRIBUTION LIST [/underlined]

[Underlined] EXTERNAL [/underlined]

NO. 53 BASE … 26
NO. 54 BASE … 27
NO. 55 BASE … 23
R.A.F. Station, SYERSTON … 10
No. 75 Base (For attention Base Intelligence Officer) … 4
Headquarters, Bomber Command. … 6
Headquarters, Bomber Command – Eng. Staff … 1
Dr. B.G. Dickins, O.R.S., Headquarters, Bomber Command …1
Headquarters, Flying Training Command … 1
H.Q. P.F.F. Wyton … 1
R.N.Z.A.F. Headquarters, Strand, W.C. (via H.Q.D.C.) … 1
R.A.A.F. Overseas Headquarters, Kodak House, 63 Kingsway, W.C.2. .. 2
Air Ministry, T.O.I. …1
Air Ministry (D.D.T. Nav.) … 2
W/Cdr Nairn, Map Room, 6123, Thames House, Millbank … 1
A/Cdr H.L. Patch, C.B.E., Air Ministry (D.Arm.R.) … 1
G/Capt. C. Dann, O.B.E., M.A.P., Millbank … 1
Air Chief Marshal Sir E.R. Ludlow Hewitt, K.C.B., C.B.E., C.M.G., D.S.O., M.C., A.D.C., 136, Richmond Hill, Richmond, Surrey …1
Air Marshal The Hon. Sir R.A. Cochrane, K.B.E., C.B., A.F.C., A.O.C. in C. , Transport Command … 1
Air Vice Marshal Coryton, C.B., M.V.O., D.F.C., A.O.C., 3rd Tactical Air Force, South East Asia … 1
Air Vice Marshal H.V. Satterly, C.B.E., D.F.C., R.A.F., Bushy Park, Teddington, Middlesex … 1
W/Cdr G.W. Gilpin, D.F.C., R.A.F. Staff College, HAIFA … 1
Headquarters, No.25 Group … 8
Headquarters, Nos.1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7, 21, 23, 54, 91 Groups … 1
Headquarters No.29 Group … 9
Nos.11, 14, 16, 18 O.T.U’s … 1
No.16 O.T.U. (Intelligence Section) … 2
S.I.O., No.27 O.T.U., Lichfield … 1
S.I.O., No.29 O.T.U., Bruntingthorpe … 1
T.A.D.U., Cardington … 1
Director of Studies, Advanced Armament Course, Fort Halstead, Nr. Sevenoaks, Kent … 1
R.A.F. Station, Jurby … 1
R.A.F. Station, Manby …1
R.A.F. Station, Silverstone … 2
N.C.O. i/c Bombing Range, Wainfleet … 1
No.93 M.U. … 1
R.A.F. Staff College … 1
Polish Air Force Staff College … 1
Empire Air Navigation School, Shawbury … 2
No. 25 Group School of Air Sea Rescue … 1
R.A.E., Farnborough … 1
Headquarters, Tiger Force, R.A.F., Bushy Park, Teddington, Middx. 1

[Underlined] INTERNAL [/underlined]

A.O.C. … 1
S.O.A. … 1
OPS. 1. … 1
S. MET. O. … 1
C.S.O. … 2
O.R.S. … 1
G.T.I. … 1
G.F.C.O. … 1
P.R.O. … 1


“V” GROUP NEWS. NO.36. JULY, 1945.

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Recognition Test

Here are the 17 aircraft hidden in last month’s puzzle – did you find and name them correctly?


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“V Group News, July 1945,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 14, 2019, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/18696.

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