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Thread: WW2 RAF Flying Documents

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    WW2 RAF Flying Documents

    Just been reading my late father-in-law's RAF logbook. I never knew him personally as he died before I met my wife but he sounds quite an interesting bloke. In the same case as his RAF flight records (that I'm told he shouldn't have kept after the war) there was a copy of Mein Kampf. Confusing, eh?

    Anyway, due to his Christian beliefs, he refused to kill anyone and so they made him a radio operator on board a Wellington. He missed the Battle Of Britain by a few months but some of the entries make fascinating reading, such as the following ...

    30/10/42 Zeebrugge - saw JU88
    17/08/42 Borkum - crashed on landing (hit?)
    13/10/42 Dutch Coast - "Jerry Baiting"
    09/03/43 Convoy - enemy attacked other convoy
    25/07/43 Essen - attacked by JU88
    03/03/45 Ladbergen - enemy intruders - diverted

    However, there are a lot of entries simply marked "SD (Ops)" which I suspect contain all the best bits that cannot be revealed in the flight records

    He clocked up over 800 flying hours in total and, according to those who know more about these things than myself, was very lucky to have survived the war. Also inside the logbook was a short German phrasebook with about 30 translations in case he was shot down over enemy territory. One of the phrases given was "Heil Hitler!", which apparently translates as "Heil Hitler!"

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    I finally got round to scanning the phrasebook that all airmen carried and in fact it covers all the languages they were likely to need during operations. Here is the German page but be careful who you tell about this because it's still 'Top Secret'

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    I've resumed going through this fascinating RAF logbook, now that I've deciphed many of the codes and abbreviations used in it and am more familiar with the key dates of WW2. It's interesting to see what operations my father-in-law took part in, all of them as a Wireless Operator, and then doing some research on wiki to get a fuller picture of what the missions entailed.

    To my surprise, he only averaged about 1 bombing raid per month (I thought it would be considerably higher!) and most of the time was spent doing such things as maintenance flights, night flight training, aerial firing practice or 'circuits and bumps' (better look that one up ).

    Most of the serious action he saw during the first half of the war was in fact over the Mediterranean in places such as Sicily and Sardinia but here are some of the later 'highlights' (?) from the European theatre ...

    * He was involved in the first 1000 bomber raid on Cologne (May 30th 1942) but only for 55 minutes because he had to return to base due to a mechanical failure.

    * He made two raids on Hamburg (codenamed "Operation Gomorrah") during the final week of May 1943. The first run on the night of the 25th was unsuccessful due to being attacked by a JU88 near to Essen (this was mentioned in my first post, above) but the second one on the 27th appears to have gone as planned.

    * He was not on the Dresden raid but was instead sent to Chemnitz on the night of the 14/15th Feb 1945. This was by all accounts a failure, hampered by poor weather with most of the bombs falling in the surrounding countryside.

    Some serious history here, although it was tragic that we ever had this damned war in the first place!!! I would also venture to add that, were he still with us, Flight Lieutenant ****** (name withheld) would wonder why the hell he bothered since Britain is now an occupied land that has lost its sovereignty and he was told - wrongly! - that this was precisely why he was fighting the Germans

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