Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

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Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Andy H » 16 Apr 2011 00:27

Hi

The following docs are from AIR 2/7210 and contain docs from August 40 to January 41
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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Andy H » 16 Apr 2011 00:33

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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Andy H » 16 Apr 2011 00:39

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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Andy H » 16 Apr 2011 00:43

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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Andy H » 16 Apr 2011 00:49

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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Apr 2011 00:54

Andy, by September 1940 Bomber Command still hadn't carried out any exercises with the Army (Lavery discusses this in some considerable detail) but in this document at least one exercise by elements of No.2 group has taken place, with two more periods of training/exercise to come, one at the end of the year and one into the start of 1941. Good to see they got their arses into gear at last! Interesting they also mention about communications equiment for close air support...they obviously weren't simply relying on ground marking by the Army.

Some more points of interest in there...first of all regarding BANQUET! By the time of this document BANQUET seems to have extended to arming trainers with guns and letting them drop H.E. as well as the gas we know about. BANQUET is pretty badly recorded at the minute, but this is the first time I've come across a CONVENTIONAL element to it! 8O

Second is the plan to fit tank-busting cannon to Lysanders :lol: :lol: :lol:
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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Andy H » 16 Apr 2011 01:02

Hi Phylo

Yes tank busting Lysanders jumps out doesn't it :D

I'm presuming that the cover word Tomahawk used in the docs is in ref to these cannon armed Lysanders? as I've never come across its use before!

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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Apr 2011 01:09

I'm presuming that the cover word Tomahawk used in the docs is in ref to these cannon armed Lysanders? as I've never come across its use before!
LOL no, that first doc is from January 1941....by which time the first Army Coop squadrons were converting to P40s! :wink: The first Tomahawk Mk1-equiped "tactical recce" ops were flown by No. 26 Sqn from Gatwick in February 1941. Nos.11, 26, 171, 231, 239, 268 and 613 Sqns were busy working up on Tomahawk Mk1s before that.
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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Apr 2011 01:19

Since I wrote above about BANQUET...you've posted up the docs regarding Bomber Command/Army Coop protocols/procedures from September 1940 - and my view of BANQUET has greatly changed!

There IS mention of the "Banquet Lights" I.E. the converted Tiger Moths and other ab initio trainers....but I'm particularly interested in all the NEW "layers" that have suddenly appeared in BANQUET! 8O Looks like bomber and other multi-engined aircraft from conversion units and OTUs were to be armed and replace frontline losses under BANQUET, as well as operate in scratch formations themselves. The Fleet Air Arm was to arm and formate ITS trainers in "Banquet Ceiling" if I've read the handwriting correctly.

But what was going on at Evanton in Scotland that IT had a specific formation - "Banquet Evanton" - organised there? And what was No.70 Group??? It too seems to have formed a separate element of BANQUET, "Banquet 70 Group"....!

Interestingly - THERE there is no mention at all of dropping gas munitions by the "Banquet Lights" :wink: I presume for security reasons as it should have had quite a large circulation.
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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Andy H » 16 Apr 2011 01:31

phylo_roadking wrote:
I'm presuming that the cover word Tomahawk used in the docs is in ref to these cannon armed Lysanders? as I've never come across its use before!
LOL no, that first doc is from January 1941....by which time the first Army Coop squadrons were converting to P40s! :wink: The first Tomahawk Mk1-equiped "tactical recce" ops were flown by No. 26 Sqn from Gatwick in February 1941. Nos.11, 26, 171, 231, 239, 268 and 613 Sqns were busy working up on Tomahawk Mk1s before that.
Hi Phylo

:oops: :lol: :oops: :lol:

I blame the lateness of the hour and my need for sleep, see you on the flip side

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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Apr 2011 01:42

Did a bit of Googling in the meantime....
The airfield initially expanded to become a repair base, and a school for flight, bombing and armament training by September 1939, with bomb storage being added by 1940, together with additional buildings for accommodation, transport, servicing, repair and storage.
The RAF shared Evanton...RAF Evanton when THEY referred to it...with the Fleet Air Arm to whom it was known as HMS Fieldfare. At the time that document was written it was home to Handley Page Harrows. Originally No. 8 Armament Training Camp, by February 1941 at least this was known as No.8 Air Gunnery School, from then until 1944 when Evanton was handed over to the FAA completely. So it makes sense that this squadron, a training unit of heavy bombers for air gunnery and bombing training was considered a cohesive unit within BANQUET as "Banquet Evanton".

Also - while that document talks in some detail about No.71 Group...No 71 (Army Co-Operation ) Group - formed 25 Nov 1940 from No 22 (Army Co-operation) Group in Fighter Command and transferred to Army Co-operation Command, 1 Dec 1940...

...it turns out that the "No.70 Group" that formed "Banquet 70 group" was a similar formation -
No 70 (Army Co-Operation Training) Group

Formed 25 Nov 1940 from No 22 (Army Co-operation) Group in Fighter Command. Transferred to Army Co-operation Command, 1 Dec 1940.
(Rafweb)
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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Gooner1 » 16 Apr 2011 01:58

phylo_roadking wrote:
There IS mention of the "Banquet Lights" I.E. the converted Tiger Moths and other ab initio trainers....but I'm particularly interested in all the NEW "layers" that have suddenly appeared in BANQUET! 8O Looks like bomber and other multi-engined aircraft from conversion units and OTUs were to be armed and replace frontline losses under BANQUET, as well as operate in scratch formations themselves.
"When a decision to do so is made by the Air Ministry, Bomber Command will be augmented (under the 'Banquet Training' and 'Banquet 70 Group' scheme) by certain aircraft at present in Flying Training Command and No. 70 Group. The forces at the disposal of A.O.C.-inC., Bomber Command may be further augmented by aircraft of the O.T.U.s under the 'Banquet 6 Group' and 'Banquet 7 Group' schemes. These aircraft, however, will normally be used o replace wastage in the front line units."

Reads like we have all go this wrong. Banquet were not beginners in Tiger Moths :roll: but more advanced trainees.

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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Apr 2011 02:12

Reads like we have all go this wrong. Banquet were not beginners in Tiger Moths but more advanced trainees
Trainees - and their aircraft - come in ALL shapes and sizes and levels of training :wink:

"Banquet Lights" were the Tiger Moths etc. of the Flying Training Schools - which we've heard of before in various threads and have at least one memoir from the trainees themselves regarding the gas element of BANQUET.

"Banquet 70 Group" would have been the activated No 70 (Army Co-Operation Training) Group

"Banquet Evanton" was the Harrows etc. of No.8 Air Gunnery School at RAF Evanton

"Banquet Ceiling" was the Fleet Air Arm's training aircraft activated

"Banquet 7 Group" would have been the training aircraft of No 7 (Operational Training) Group in Bomber Command.

I'm assuming that likewise No.6 Group Bomber Command would also have an OTU to provide the training aircraft of "Banquet 6 Group" :wink:

These last two, flying the same types of aircraft as Bomber Command did operationally, per the document would have provided combat replacements directly for Bomber Command as well as operating as BANQUET formations.

I wonder if there are any MORE bits of BANQUET's organisation to appear???
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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by phylo_roadking » 16 Apr 2011 02:36

Here we are - "Banquet 6 Group"
The first No. 6 Group in Bomber Command administered the Auxiliary and later, Pool squadrons, ultimately being disbanded when the latter were replaced by operational training units.
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Re: Air Action in event of seaborne invasion of UK

Post by Andy H » 16 Apr 2011 12:01

Found this within another file AIR 16/1021

Point Number 15 refers to the use of Training aircraft to combat the invasion but under Operation Alert-maybe a precursor to Op Banquet. This page is from a doc dated July 17th 1940

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