Operations by O.T.U.'s

Discussion in 'World War 2' started by David Layne, Apr 21, 2008.

  1. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    Attached are two pages from my Father's Logbook, the entries being made when he was with 14 O.T.U.

    Attachment 1 shows that on 12/5/1941 he participated in a trip in a Hampden of 4.25 hours endurance. It is logged as "Raid 1 Alternative."

    Attachment 2 notes that on 11/6/1941 he again participated in a "Raid 1," this one being of 3.30 hours endurance.

    My questions are, what exactly is a "Raid 1 Alternative?"

    Is it possible to discover where they went on these alternative raids?

    Did all O.T.U.'s participate in such "practise" raids?
  2. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    11th/12th May 92 aircraft (91 Wellingtons and a solitary Stirling) went to Hamburg while 81 aircraft (48 Whitleys, 31 Hampdens and 2 Manchesters) raided Bremen

    During 11th/12th June, 241 sorties were flown against Dusseldorf, Duisburg and Boulogne and on Gardening sorties. Unfortunately, a thick haze over Dusseldorf affected the accuracy of the attack, whilst the 80 aircraft sent to Duisburg managed to find a target of sorts.

    RAF History - Bomber Command 60th Anniversary

    Those were the intended targets - however, each mission had an alternative target incase weather or other factors intervened, and so they may have bombed the secondery target.

    As for OTU participation, not all crews undertaking a course would have taken part but if an opportunity and/or need arose then OTU crews would be used. Most often they were sent on short raids, nickeling or gardening, to gain experience on realtively easy missions.
  3. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    I see that 97 Squadron participated in the Bremen raid too:

    97 Squadron Association - Flight Operations

    and from that it seems to imply that Bremen was the primary target and Hamburg was the secondary. The Bomber Command diaries may have decided not to differentiate the two.
  4. Kyt

    Kyt Άρης

    Just had a look in the paper copy of the BC Diaries and for 11/12 June there is the additional:

    20 Hampdens minelaying in Kiel Bay and the Frisians, 12 OTU sorties. I minelaying Hampden lost.
  5. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    As far as the Bremen raid on 12/5/41 they would not have particpated in that as they were aloft for 4.25 hours. In a Hampden a trip to Bremen and back would have been in excess of 6 hours.

    My thoughts are they must have been leaflet drops but I am curious as to where.
  6. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Reading about the range of Wimpys, Whitleys and, as Max Lambert wrote, "little" Hampdens last night. Found the little comment quite endearing, for want of a better word.

    If it was a diversion, I imagine your Dad would have referred to it as a Bullseye, DL?

    RAF History - Bomber Command 60th Anniversary - it's almost a year beforehand but this sounds interesting.

    No. 14 OTU continued to provide Hampden-trained crews for No. 5 Group squadrons but, from the night of July 25, 1940, periodically undertook leaflet-dropping sorties over the Continent. None of its Hampdens were lost during these operations.
  7. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    Just came across this rather fascinating "leaflet diary". It makes mention of OTU sorties over France etc for leaflet dropping.


    May 12/13
    Amiens, Beauvais, Lille.
    F.68 x 28,500 b. 53
    F.83 x 127,500 b
    F.87 x 300,000 a

    June 11/12
    Arnay, Avallon, Bourges, ChâlonsurSaône, Meulan, Nevers, Orléans, Paris, Pontoise, Saulieu.
    F.50/9 x 270,000 a
    F.50/10 x 44,000 a
    F.83 x 180,000 a
    F.87 x 162,000 a
    F.94 x 12,000 a
    F.95 x 81,000 a
  8. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

  9. David Layne

    David Layne Active Member

    We had for many years some propoganda leaflets around the house. I think my family gave them to the "Pathfinder Museum."

    On reflection, after reading Andy's replies to this thread I conclude that they must have been kept by my dad after one of these "Raid 1 Alternatives" and really have nothing to do with Pathfinders.
  10. Antipodean Andy

    Antipodean Andy New Member

    It was Kyt who put me onto it as he mentioned "OTU sorties" and nickeling in his posts so I put two and two together and came up with 74...
  11. Brian S

    Brian S Guest


    I have come across E&E Reports made by a few men from 24,27,10,& 15 O.T.U. They must be detailed as the appendecise were only released in recent years.

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