Length of Tours

Post Reply
User avatar
smudgersmith218
3 Group Researcher
Posts: 952
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:58 pm
Location: LONDON

Length of Tours

Post by smudgersmith218 »

Gents,

While researching the exploits of W/Cdr Arthur James Samson DFC ( former flight commander, 218 Squadron) I chanced upon this page in the No.33 Base ORB. I found it interesting to read the thoughts of the C/O's and station commander. The meeting was chaired by Air Commodore Gayford CBE DFC AFC on January 31st 1944. Perhaps the topic was on the agenda due to the very heavy operational losses over the winter of 1943/44 against Berlin?

Regards

Steve
Attachments
IMG_5243.JPG
IMG_5243.JPG (77.01 KiB) Viewed 1155 times
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron 1918-1945
The Nomads

User avatar
K4KittyCrew
Air Chief Marshal (RAAF)
Air Chief Marshal (RAAF)
Posts: 3635
Joined: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:55 am
Location: Gold Coast, Queensland - Australia

Re: Length of Tours

Post by K4KittyCrew »

Tour expired after 25 ? ................. Wonder if Harris knew of such comment.

I have read of individuals being 'tour expired' at different numbers of ops but only for crews that had done a second tour or more.
Example - Most crew may have done say, 60 ops but a individual or two in the crew may have only done, say 58 & 59 ............... The whole crew were deemed as 'tour expired' after that given op.
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

User avatar
smudgersmith218
3 Group Researcher
Posts: 952
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:58 pm
Location: LONDON

Re: Length of Tours

Post by smudgersmith218 »

Hi John,

I have come across a number of occasions when crews were taken off operations before reaching the magical 30 operations. On 218 Squadron during the winter of 1943 a number of crews were tour expired with 25 operations to their credit. This was obviously a decision by the squadron commander, I think if anything this was more to keep up morale on the squadron. On the flipside of this I have a 218 crew, F/Lt Klenner RAAF who completed 40 operations on their first tour, this was however late 1944 – early 1945. I have never heard of a first tour of 40 operations before.

Steve
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron 1918-1945
The Nomads

User avatar
PAFG
Group Captain
Group Captain
Posts: 803
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:34 pm
Location: Wiltshire, UK

Re: Length of Tours

Post by PAFG »

Interesting find Steve - I wonder what was driving this further up the chain? Nothing in the B.C ORB relates to this.

Cheers,

Richard

User avatar
smudgersmith218
3 Group Researcher
Posts: 952
Joined: Wed Sep 09, 2009 6:58 pm
Location: LONDON

Re: Length of Tours

Post by smudgersmith218 »

Hi Richard,

I very much doubt if this went any higher than No.33 Base Commander.

My perception on it is simple, losses and morale. The high operational losses being sustained by the Lancaster equipped squadrons of No.3 Group during the winter months of 1943/ 1944 and the debacle of Berlin were having a detrimental effect of crew morale. Seasoned senior officers on the front line (many of whom were operating) were astute enough to see the signs amongst the aircrews.

I cannot think of any other reason, would be interested to hear any other members thoughts !

Steve
No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron 1918-1945
The Nomads

Post Reply