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The Backward OX
10-25-2010, 02:44 PM
I think there’s a WWII RAF jargon word that was used to mark a group departure of planes on a bombing mission. I know the word ‘scramble’ was used for sudden departure of fighters, but I’m thinking here of orderly planned departure of bombers.

Anyone know it? Thank you.

Stanmiller
10-25-2010, 04:04 PM
Try this link.
http://books.google.com/books?id=5GpLcC4a5fAC&pg=PA67&lpg=PA67&dq=RAF+jargon&source=bl&ots=2xlVN1kdBa&sig=BJRVQ1U2hM575UuTZCalRaSwU7U&hl=en&ei=j3HFTPnqJoOBlAe_ofQG&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAzgK

Kenn
10-25-2010, 04:20 PM
I think there’s a WWII RAF jargon word that was used to mark a group departure of planes on a bombing mission. I know the word ‘scramble’ was used for sudden departure of fighters, but I’m thinking here of orderly planned departure of bombers.

Anyone know it? Thank you.
Try 'sortie'.

Noah Body
10-25-2010, 04:23 PM
Yep, sortie would be my choice as well, though I'm not nearly old enough to know if that was part of the RAF lexicon of the day. And since the Allies won the war, I certainly wasn't in the RAF. ;)

The Backward OX
10-25-2010, 04:29 PM
I think 'sortie' might be what they're doing once they get going. What I'm seeking is a word that indicates 'leaving on a sortie'.

Shakesbear
10-25-2010, 05:25 PM
Just spoke to Dad who was in the RAF during the war. Sortie meant going there, dropping the bombs and getting back. He does not recall a word for the bombers going off, so to speak. But he is 90. The weather had to be right and everything was meticulously planned. Dad suggested contacting Duxford - see here: http://duxford.iwm.org.uk/

PeterL
10-25-2010, 07:00 PM
I think that Shakesbear's father was correct. A sortie would takeoff, or they might get off the ground, or something else; but i don't believe there was a specific word for the bombers taking off. There are many ways to state that action, so there was no reason for a new word or a it of jargon.

RJK
10-25-2010, 07:09 PM
Sortie is a geographical point and a time for joining up the formation to carry out the mission. The bombers would leave the airfield at X hour and sortie at X+y minutes, at point Bravo.

I don't know what term was used for the takeoff.

Noah Body
10-25-2010, 07:44 PM
In Army aviation, we would use terms such as "jump out" or "pull pitch"... still no clue was to what might have been said in that time frame, though. "Grab a pint"? "Pinch me loaf"? I think in this instance, you could probably make up something and not worry about it, if it's impeding your progress.

Kenn
10-25-2010, 10:05 PM
Sortie is a geographical point and a time for joining up the formation to carry out the mission. The bombers would leave the airfield at X hour and sortie at X+y minutes, at point Bravo.

I don't know what term was used for the takeoff.
Not in the RAF it's not. Sortie is the mission or trip, so you would say leaving on a sortie or going on a sortie.

Scramble really means just to get airborne quickly and it is not restricted to fighters (although you would be hardly likely to scramble a heavy bomber!). I think that dispatch might be the word needed if you are contrasting it with scramble.

Hallen
10-25-2010, 10:09 PM
I think "scramble" is pretty good. "Scramble the Spitfires", would be a common phrase. The Brits did have a rudimentary radar system so they could see the bombers coming in some cases and they would then launch the fighter to intercept. (often times, they weren't called fighters back then, they were "Pursuit" hence the P in the P-51 designation).

A book called "The Battle Of Britain" (unfortunately, I can't find it on Amazon). It was a short book centered on a group of Spitfire pilots during the Blitz. I read it back when I was in the 7th grade, so you might have a hard time finding it, but it would have that kind of nomenclature in it.

For example, the pilots would "waggle" their wings when coming in to land if none of their comrades had been shot down.

Kenn
10-25-2010, 11:36 PM
It's the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain and there have been quite a few TV programmes on the radar systems recently. They were more than just rudimentary; they saved the day. It took the Germans some time to realise why there were always so many fighters there to greet them. The number of German bombers that came across was quite staggering also.

Pursuit aircraft is strictly a US term. They have always been fighters in Britain.

Shakesbear
10-25-2010, 11:40 PM
Not in the RAF it's not. Sortie is the mission or trip, so you would say leaving on a sortie or going on a sortie.

Scramble really means just to get airborne quickly and it is not restricted to fighters (although you would be hardly likely to scramble a heavy bomber!). I think that dispatch might be the word needed if you are contrasting it with scramble.


Dad said that 'scramble' was used in relation to the fighters as they had no way of knowing when they would need to get airborne. The bombing raids were planned and those who needed to knew when they were going so there was no need for any jargon. Dad did say that at 90 he can't be expected to remember everything!

Kenn
10-26-2010, 12:09 AM
I think the only reason they might have scrambled bombers was to get them off the ground pending a raid by the enemy.

waylander
10-26-2010, 12:51 AM
I have read a lot of books of the period e.g Guy Gibson's 'Enemy Coast Ahead' and I do not recall seeing a specific term for the deparure of a group of aircraft.
The aircraft would take off in sections, and the squadron would meet with the escort/pathfinders over a radio beacon. Then they would set out in formation for the target.

whacko
10-26-2010, 01:06 AM
It depended on what they expected to meet. "Milk Run" was for an easy target. After that, I'm firing blanks.

The British Radar, invented by Watson-Watt I think, was rather good. Before the war started, the Germans sent the Graf Zeppelin or the Hindenburg on a recce mission. Whatever dirigible it was, they dropped a wreath in the middle of Yorkshire for some reason, but the mission was to probe Britain's defences.

The Germans had Radar too. But they gave it away by codenaming it... Heimdall, I think. In Germanic mythology Heimdall, if it was he, could see a 100 miles in darkness. Which soon had us plucky chaps forming Commando groups and investigating strange radio installations.

There's a hell of a tale to be told in those missions. But, I'm really drunk. So you'll need to Google it yourself.

Regards

Shakesbear
10-26-2010, 01:17 AM
I think the only reason they might have scrambled bombers was to get them off the ground pending a raid by the enemy.


Good point!

waylander
10-26-2010, 01:45 AM
The Germans had Radar too. But they gave it away by codenaming it... Heimdall, I think. In Germanic mythology Heimdall, if it was he, could see a 100 miles in darkness. Which soon had us plucky chaps forming Commando groups and investigating strange radio installations.


Quite so.
In 1942 they stormed a German radar station on the French coast at Bruneval, took it apart and brought it back. It was called Operation Biting
http://www.combinedops.com/Bruneval.htm

The Backward OX
10-27-2010, 11:35 AM
Thanks everybody. I thought there was a word or phrase. Perhaps I was wrong.

tallus83
11-09-2010, 07:30 AM
Bombers take-off, they would not scramble.
During the RAF night bombing missions, they would take off in intervals. They would not fly in formation.
A sortie is the RAF word for mission, as used by the USAAF.

Kenn
11-09-2010, 03:57 PM
...During the RAF night bombing missions, they would take off in intervals. They would not fly in formation...
I think it depended. The Dam Busters did fly in formation (I believe). On the earlier bombing raids, the bombers made their own way to the target, but problems with night-fighters meant they travelled in bomber streams later in the war. The USAAF flew in formation on the daytime raids for two reasons. Firstly, the B17Gs were vulnerable to fighter attack individually and secondly, it allowed for a better bombing pattern.

tallus83
11-23-2010, 07:45 AM
Ox, if you go to Google and enter "WW2 RAF jargon", it will list several good websites that will answer most questions you have as to how they spoke.

Kenn
11-23-2010, 04:15 PM
Tallus 83, the bomber stream was (I think) a response to the problems caused by night fighters. Their weakness was they could not stay airborne for long and there was a wide front that they needed to defend. It was in response to heavy losses that this was introduced.

The dambusters did fly (and take off) in formations (not streams), although I don't think that means formation flying as such. If you want to talk about suicide then think of the height at which they flew to get under the radar. One (or maybe two?) of them actually hit a power line in Holland. Night fighters were not a problem at that altitude! If you are interested in this sort of thing then this is worth a look (skip down to the flight details about the individual aircraft).

http://www.dambusters.org.uk/docs/recordbook.pdf

maplegypsy
05-07-2011, 04:05 AM
I think there’s a WWII RAF jargon word that was used to mark a group departure of planes on a bombing mission. I know the word ‘scramble’ was used for sudden departure of fighters, but I’m thinking here of orderly planned departure of bombers.

Anyone know it? Thank you.
The word "Sortie" is French for "To go out". The use of this term in the RAF started in WW1 when the RAF was in France. A sortie in RAF terms is any war flight from takeoff to landing, regardless of the mission and regardless of the type of aircraft flown.
The word "Scramble" applies only to fighters, since bombers, ground attack, rescue and recce. 'planes flew only on planned missions.
The fighter pilots would be at varying stages of readiness, either in the dispersal hut, on the grass, or actually in their 'planes with the engines idling. The command "Scramble" meant "Take off immediately", and while forming up, their altitude ("Angels") and heading ("Vector") would be given over the Radio-Telephone ("RT"), together with a description of their target flight e.g. 100+ bombers heading for Biggin Hill with fighter escort". Maximum speed to intercept would be coded as "Buster".
Hope this clears up the confusion

maplegypsy
05-10-2011, 05:25 AM
Tallus 83, the bomber stream was (I think) a response to the problems caused by night fighters. Their weakness was they could not stay airborne for long and there was a wide front that they needed to defend. It was in response to heavy losses that this was introduced.

The dambusters did fly (and take off) in formations (not streams), although I don't think that means formation flying as such. If you want to talk about suicide then think of the height at which they flew to get under the radar. One (or maybe two?) of them actually hit a power line in Holland. Night fighters were not a problem at that altitude! If you are interested in this sort of thing then this is worth a look (skip down to the flight details about the individual aircraft).

http://www.dambusters.org.uk/docs/recordbook.pdf

Hello friends
In the last year of WW2 the allies in the west had so many bombers (escorted by long range fighters) that the numbers of aircraft in any major raid could stretch for miles and miles, like a stream. Hence the phrase "Bomber stream". The Dam Busters had only a few aircraft, that split into 3 units to attack the Moehne, Sorpe and Eider dams years before the numbers could reach "Streaming" proportions.

In the early years, the Bf109 and FW190 operating over Britain had little fuel after crossing the channel. They could not operate north of London.The German night fighters operated at short range, since they were operating over home territory. Most were twin engine Me110, some with upward firing cannon. Others were converted Ju88's, with plenty of "Up in the air" time, a few were Bf109's and FW1090's.

whacko
06-13-2011, 01:57 AM
May be too late to be of help, but I've just read Spitfire by Jonathan Glancey and he mentions Rhubarbs and Circuses.

A Rhubarb was a low-level attack on enemy targets.

A Circus was a small force of bombers on daylight missions over the Low Countries.

Regards

Whacko