Despite a rather complicated ordering process (which led me to believe they would come as a digital download), the Operational Record Books (ORB’s) for 1945, 1944 and 1943 arrive on 3 CD’s from the National Archives at Kew this morning. A quick reformat to pdf, and a saving as a single document for each year allows me to transfer them to my iPad for easier reading. It feels fortuitous that they arrive so quickly after Wayne sending me the March ’45 crew list to Dortmund.
These documents are incredible.
I am not sure what I was expecting, despite the general advice and recommendations from the guys on the LAF – the documents seem remarkably detailed and cover not only the individual raids (including crew lists, up and down times and to varying degrees aircraft numbers), but also a daily diary and more interestingly a record of crew movements in and out of the Squadron. Closer viewing shows that there were certainly changes in approach to this documentation – the 1943 record seems far more accurate and detailed regarding the movements and promotions of the individuals than the equivalent records for 1945.
I get out a pad, a pen and start searching for Bob……..