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Allied and Soviet Air Forces Please use this forum to discuss the Air Forces of the Western Allies and the Soviet Union.

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Old 8th December 2018, 19:35
Larry Larry is offline
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Bomber Command overseas?

So I understand Bomber Command was a UK based Command only. But were any of Bomber Command Sqns ever based abroad outside the UK? I know that HP Hampdens were sent on detachment to Northern Russia, but perhaps they were in Coastal Command even though some reverted to Bomber Command afterwards. Were there any shuttle missions that necessitated being temporary bases elsewhere?
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Old 8th December 2018, 20:51
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Bomber Command overseas?

The Hampdens in Russia were torpedo bombers and thus Coastal Command, as you supposed. 2 Group Blenheim units were sent on temporary detachment to Malta, I'm not sure about the Wellington units on Malta but I suspect not. Wellingtons were sent to France in early 1940 in order to bomb Italy but no missions were flown. The initial Halifaxes sent to North Africa were supposedly only a temporary detachment. Another possibility is the Battle squadron sent to Iceland.

I don't know of any shuttle missions, although Halifaxes on SOE duties would go on to North Africa at times, rather than returning directly home. I'm not sure they were strictly under Bomber Command.
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Old 8th December 2018, 21:04
Bruce Dennis Bruce Dennis is offline
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Re: Bomber Command overseas?

617 Squadron did shuttle missions to North Africa, bombing Rome.

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Old 9th December 2018, 12:21
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jonny956 jonny956 is offline
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Re: Bomber Command overseas?

9 Sqn certainly engaged in shuttle bombing sorties, rotating through Blida in North Africa.
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Old 11th December 2018, 19:18
edwest2 edwest2 is offline
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Re: Bomber Command overseas?

The following covers the RAF in the Far East.

https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documen...st-Air-War.pdf
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Old 12th December 2018, 01:33
Laurent Rizzotti Laurent Rizzotti is offline
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Re: Bomber Command overseas?

The main Bomber Command deployment outside UK was in 1939-1940 when most of the Battle and Blenheim squadrons were based in France.

In June 1940 there was a short deployment of Wellingtons in France to bomb Italy.

The next deployement outside UK was by 138 Sqn, the Bomber Command "special operations" squadron that flew sorties from Malta in late 1940-early 1941.

And then there are the shuttle missions by 9 and 617 Sqn from UK to Algeria and return in late 1943.
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Old 12th December 2018, 04:48
Orwell1984 Orwell1984 is offline
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Re: Bomber Command overseas?

Operation Bellicose is one worth looking at:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Bellicose


from the wiki:
Quote:
Operation Bellicose targeted the German Zeppelin Works in Friedrichshafen, and the Italian naval base at La Spezia. It was the first shuttle bombing raid in World War II and the second use of a Master Bomber.[1] In early June 1943, a Central Interpretation Unit photo interpreter (Claude Wavell) identified a stack of ribbed baskets (Würzburg radar reflectors) at the Zeppelin Works. After Winston Churchill viewed the photos at RAF Medmenham on 14 June, No. 5 Group RAF received the surprise orders on 16 June to attack Friedrichshafen during the next full moon.[2]
After take-off from Britain, Wing Commander Gomm (No. 467 Squadron RAAF) took over when the aircraft of Group Captain Slee developed trouble.[1] The Avro Lancasters bombed from 15,000 feet (4,600 m) rather than the planned 10,000 feet (3,000 m) due to heavy flak. First the Pathfinder Force (PFF) dropped offset markers at a distance from the target for the main bombing force to use unobscured by smoke. The second stage was to use 'time-and-distance bombing runs'[3] from a location on the Lake Constance shore along a measured distance to the target.[1]
The attack hit the V-2 rocket facility of the Zeppelin Works, which made Operation Bellicose the first mission that bombed a long-range weapon facility. From Friedrichshafen the planes refueled at El Bouleïda, Algeria.[4] On 23–24 June, eight of the original Operation Bellicose force of sixty Lancasters remained in Algeria for repairs and the remaining 52 bombed the Italian naval base at La Spezia, damaging an "oil depot" and an "armaments store" and continued to Britain without loss.[1]

Also see Operation Paravane (Sept. 1944)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Paravane


which was a Bomber Command mission against the Tirpitz staged out of the Soviet Union
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Old 12th December 2018, 15:50
Graham Boak Graham Boak is offline
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Re: Bomber Command overseas?

Surely the bomber squadrons in France from 1939 were detached to a completely different command structure rather than being merely deployed, which does imply a temporary nature. Not that promises of returns were always kept, for example the initial deployment of Halifaxes to North Africa. In the case of the Blenheims to Malta, the surviving aircrew were returned, I believe, although not the aircraft.

By any other definition there were a lot of RAF bomber squadrons operating in other theatres.
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