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  #11  
Old 31st May 2010, 19:45
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: National Archives Kew

Quote:
Originally Posted by RodM View Post
Hi Mike,

thanks for the answer. The likes of the K Reports, Inteception Tactics Reports, Ingelliegence Narrative of Operations reports all seem to exist in dublicate, even triplicate at TNA.

The 'Monthly Supplementary Narrative of Operations' is a gem for which not even one complete set appears to be preserved (see AIR 14/3433 for a fragmented set from 8/43-5/45; another fragment exists in AIR 50). What is so unique about this report, especially considering that the AIR 50 series is incomplete and has even been irrepairably vandalised, it that it lists and summarises all Bomber Command air combat claims accepted by BC HQ (as opposed merely to claims submitted) and tallies with the figures presented to the Air Ministry after the end of the war and considered official.

Cheers

Rod
Hi Rod,

Do you have any idea about how many pages there are in AIR 14/3433?
I have a copy of 'Monthly Supplementary Narrative of Operations' from March 43 (AIR 50/294) - 3 pages, as you mentions it list claims with identification letter of A/C and squadron but no names of gunners or pilots.
In AIR 50 there are also some documents called "H.Q. No. X Group: summary of encounters with enemy aircraft". I have found these for 3, 4, 8PFF and 100 Groups but only in fragments.

Regards,
Peter Hasselgren
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  #12  
Old 1st June 2010, 02:04
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: National Archives Kew

Hi Peter,

the file AIR 14/3433 has 99 pages, which encompasses the reports from August 1943 to May 1945.

As you know, AIR 50/294 is supposed to have the reports from 01/1943 to 04/1943.



Apart from the two TNA files, there is also a file at NARA in the US that has the reports from 10/44 to 01/45. A file at The Australian War Memorial in Canberra has one report, which is already found in the TNA files.

Thus, assuming that the report series commenced from January 1943 (and it may have actually started much earlier), it was issued monthly until the end of the war. There should be at least 29 monthly reports. From the known archived sources, however, eight of the 29 reports are not preserved, these being:

05/1943, 06/1943, 07/1943, 05/1944; 06/1944; 07/1944; 08/1944, and; 02/1945.

What I do know is that there were at least 25 distributed copies of this monthly report circulated to various commands/groups/units, plus copies to all Bomber Command Stations. I'm just surprised that at least one complete set doesn't appear to have survived.

Cheers

Rod
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  #13  
Old 1st June 2010, 20:54
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: National Archives Kew

Hi Rod,

Thanks for the info about AIR 14/3433. I plan to order copies and now I know how much it will cost.

Maybe some of the missing documents can be found among the Appendices for some unit. I don´t think there has been so many searching for this information. After all very little has been written about claims by non-fighter units. I´m doing a research on claims by New Zealand air gunners and sometimes it´s very difficult to find correct information. Of course shoting down enemy enemy a/c never was the main business of the bomber units.

I assume that some of the information from the missing 'Monthly Supplementary Narrative of Operations' can be found in the 'Interception and Tactics'. At least these cover the complete period from June 41 to May 45. Have you done any research on these documents?

Cheers
Peter
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  #14  
Old 2nd June 2010, 03:15
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: National Archives Kew

Hi Peter,

thanks for the reply. I've worked extensively with the Interception Tactics Reports, and while some info is available on claims, it is only a summary of original, unassessed claims. The monthly Supplemenatry Narratives were issued around 15 days after the end of the month (whereas the IT Reports were issued a few days after the raid in question), and are the only document containing a list of claims accepted by BC HQ.

For my own area od research, the Supplementary Narratives often have the only information on claims because Bomber Command combat reports for non-Mosquito units for the 1945 period were mostly either not preserved in AIR 50, or have been stolen from the archive.

You are right that some of the missing Supplementary Narrative reports may be buried in some file, but I have yet to discover them. There are still a few relevant files I haven't checked, but I'm not hopeful.

Cheers

Rod
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  #15  
Old 2nd June 2010, 21:30
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: National Archives Kew

Hi Rod,

Thanks, your comments are very valuable for my own research. I have a final question about the Interception Tactics Reports. Do you know if every raid including daylight operations are covered in these documents? I am especially interested in the daylight attacks on Brest in 1941. This period has very few remaining Combat Reports. At least for the squadrons I have researched.

Cheers
Peter

Last edited by phasselgren; 2nd June 2010 at 21:31. Reason: speling mistake
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  #16  
Old 3rd June 2010, 02:27
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: National Archives Kew

Hi Peter,

I have not worked with the IT Reports from the early war years, but note that the series in the bound volumes did not commence until April 1941. At least in the late war years, each report covered a 24-hour period, so both day and night raids were covered. That doesn't mean it was so in the early reports, and I expect that the format of the report developed over time. It may be that the early reports only covered night raids.

The precurser to the IT Report appears to have been a report entitled, "Phenomena Connected to Enemy Night Tactics", which commenced in Aug 1940, but appears to be only concerned with night raids (see AIR 14/627-628; 634-635)

In addition to the IT Reports, there are also the final Raid reports, but these don't appear to have commenced prior to Dec 1941, after the BC ORS was established in Sep 1941.

There are the Day Bomb Raid sheets (see AIR 14/3360-3364) for 1939-42, but these may not have much on enemy interceptions.

Cheers

Rod
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  #17  
Old 3rd June 2010, 21:37
phasselgren phasselgren is offline
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Re: National Archives Kew

Hi Rod,

Once again thank you. There seems to be more information than I expected about the Bomber Command claims if you just know were to look.

All that remains is to find the same information for the bomber units in the Mediterranean area.....

Cheers
Peter
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  #18  
Old 4th June 2010, 01:44
RodM RodM is offline
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Re: National Archives Kew

Hi Peter,

in terms of accepted claims, the 'official' figures are known; in a memo dated 28/06/1945 (*) to all Groups the SASO Bomber Command stated:

"The following figures, which have been agreed with the Air Ministry, show the total number of Enemy aircraft destroyed in air combat by Bomber Command during the period of the war, 1939-1945."

(under column headings of Year, Des, Pro, Dam)

1939 17-0-0
1940 93-2-3
1941 87-39-68
1942 74-45-59
1943 241-91-294
1944 536-108-379
1945 143-25-94

Having worked with the 1944-45 figures, I can state that the key to unravelling these figures are the BC Monthly Supplementary Narratives of Operations and the monthly BC Casualties and Claims reports (the former provides data on the claims and confirms monthly totals, while the latter confirms the monthly totals). The figures are not simply an aggregate of all submitted claims, but those accepted/confirmed by BC HQ after assessment, with the application of some (as yet) unknown criteria.

(*) Note - the final Monthly Supplementary Narrative report was issued on 15/05/1945 and the final Casualties and Claims report was issued on 18/05/1945.

Cheers

Rod
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