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Thread: Whole Month Missing from 1690 BDTF's ORB

  1. #1
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    Whole Month Missing from 1690 BDTF's ORB

    As several of you know, I am researching the history of 1690 BDTF. I have now obtained a 'complete' copy of this Unit's ORB from Kew, but have noted that the entire entry for February 1945 is missing, although the page numbering indicates that they were created.

    Could anyone suggest why they might have been removed, by whom, whether they might still be retained by the RAF's AHB and, if so, may perhaps still exist somewhere.....

    As always, all advice and suggestions are welcomed. Thanks in advance, Andrew

  2. #2
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    There was a well-publicised case of an individual removing documents and pages from the PRO (as it was) some years ago. As a result, every so often you come across a note in a TNA file which explains that some pages of the relevant document are missing because of this. Some documents were recovered but then PRO staff had to try and work out the file they'd come from and didn't always succeed. It's why you sometimes come across pages out of order or missing.

    Not saying it's what happened to the ORB, but it's certainly possible.

  3. #3
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    Assuming that this isn't just a copying error and the pages are indeed missing from the paper copy then it's likely they are gone.
    There are/were pages missing from the microfilm copies but in my experience these were usually present in the paper copy held downstairs.

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    For those who are bemused by all of the acronyms quoted (I was for example not familiar with BDTF), the following link is to a site which contains a very useful explanation of RAF and related ones. Scroll past the slang terms also explained and you will find a pretty comprehensive listing. Hope this might be of help / interest to readers.

    http://www.rafaberporth.org.uk/page25.html
    Last edited by Consul; 14th January 2018 at 22:59.
    "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind."(Mary Baker Eddy)

  5. #5
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    Thanks all for the comments (Sorry I didn't think, but BDTF is shorthand for Bomber Defence Training Flight). Given that the missing records are for such a 'low-profile' unit, I can't see why anyone would want to steal them, nor can I understand why else they would have been removed - but they are certainly missing from the original book, and they do not appear to have been torn out. The truth is that I doubt we shall ever know what happened to them - oh, well...... Thanks again, Andrew

  6. #6
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    Hi Andrew, out of curiosity, when was 1690 BDTF set up? For some years I have been researching my mother's cousin Ernest Deverill who was awarded his AFC for work relating to setting up a training programme for fighter evasion tactics for bomber crews, and for putting bomber crews through this, while assigned to the AFDU (Air Fighting Development Unit) during 1943. Information on this part of his career has been scant and I wondered if there was possibly a cross-over with the origins of 1690 BDTF. Apologies for the thread hijack!

  7. #7
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    Tony, there's no problem with thread hijack as far as I'm concerned although, unfortunately, I don't think there's any direct connection with your mother's cousin. 1690 BDTF was formed, on 15th February 1944 - out of 1485 Bombing and Gunnery Flight, initially using Miles Martinets, at RAF Syerston. There is, unfortunately, no reference to the surname Deverill in 1690 BDTF's ORB. The only (loose) connection that I've found between 1690 BDTF and the AFU that I have found to date is that the Flight received five ex-AFU Spitfires in March 1944. I'm sorry I haven't anything further at present. The only other thing I can think of is that one of the AFU test pilots wrote an autobiography - but its title and his name escapes me at present. If no-one else comes back with it, I'll try to look it up and get back to you. Best of luck with your research and kind regards, Andrew.

  8. #8
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    Tony, the book is "A Very Unusual Air War: From Dunkirk to AFDU - the Diary and Log Book of Test Pilot" by H. Leonard Thorne. Cheers, Andrew

  9. #9
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    Thanks Andrew! I will see about getting that book - there appear to be copies available through Amazon. It was a bit of a long shot asking - he would have left the AFDU in mid November 1943, to rejoin 97 Squadron for a second tour, so before the formation of 1690 BDTF. Hoping to get access to his log book and other documents during this year as they were acquired last year by the Pathfinder Archive at Wyton, so that should provide a bit of insight - strangely a request to the National Archive showed that the AFDU ORB only recorded his arrival and his leaving the unit. Will see what I can find out on 1485 Bombing and Gunnery Flight too. Cheers! Tony

  10. #10
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    You're welcome Tony. I have a copy of the book so, if you get stuck, let me know and I will try to help - although it isn't to hand at present. It is quite detailed though. I also have the NA reference for 1485 B&GF's ORB somewhere so, again, let me know if you need a hand. Sadly though, in my (albeit somewhat limited) experience, the content of these records can be a bit disappointing. Good luçk with your research ! Andrew

  11. #11
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    TonyL1962 - I've sent you a PM. Cheers

    Andrew

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