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Old 30th December 2008, 16:00
AndrewMS AndrewMS is offline
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8AF post Mission Intelligence Charts May & July 1944

Greetings - I have just joined this site as I hope to be able to find someone who can help decipher some of the US & Luftwaffe icons on two Mission intelligence time-lapsed charts dated 28th May 1944 and 7th July 1944. The charts are about 3 feet by 4 feet double sided outline maps of England east coast/Channel/Low Countries/France/Germany with the mission progress clearly shown. The May chart is augmented by a WAAF commentary on significant events/& post D-Day relevant intelligence debriefs of the leading Luftwaffe pilot who had been captured in France but who had led the German defence on that day. The July chart clearly identifies where Colonel Duncan was shot down. I have been to Hendon and IWM to obtain assistance but more time was spent looking at the charts rather than deciphering the icons.

The charts are multicoloured - I obtained then from my aunt who was a WRAF controller seconded to 8AF - enjoyed her trolley flights so she said. She obtained these highly confidential charts, rolled them up very tightly and plastered them into her wall at home where they were found by me some 45 years later when her house was being cleared after her death. Her husband worked in some confidential signals unit and they were both very secretive about what they did.

The charts were in a very delicate state and after a certain amount of delay - I lent them to (I think) RAF Bomber Museum who weren't able to look after them properly so after 2/3 years I eventually got them back and took them to Shepherds in London where they became unrolled in the controlled conditions of a humidity cabinet over 3 months. The additional May typed commentaries on brown thin flimsies have been backed and also stabilised. The charts themselves are now kept iflat in special light restricting plastic sleeves and then in a specialised archiving light, humidity and dust free box.

All this cost a few bob and am now saving up to have them replicated so that others may see them - although I do take them to RAF stations if anyone wants to see them - so far I believe they are unique - over 10,000 were created in WW2 and I have not been able to find any similar despite many requests.

I am part way through a History degree with the Open University, work full time so aren't able to devote as much time as I would like to these wonderful objects but slowly I am beginning to unravel their secrets - anyway if anyone can assist or suggest where I could find some help it would be much appreciated - thanks Andrew M
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