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The Canadian Aviation Moments were submitted by Dennis Casper from the Roland Groome (Regina) Chapter of the CAHS. Spoiler alert - if you read any further than each question, you will find the answer to the questions directly below. Good luck and have fun!

The Canadian Aviation Moments questions and answers for August are:

Question: What was the Kombinierte Nachtjagd that was formally introduced by the Germans during the latter half of 1941 and was it successful?

Answer: “A new system known as Kombinierte Nachtjagd(combined night fighting) was formally introduced by the Germans during the latter half of 1941 in an attempt to orchestrate the flak and the fighter assets as effectively as possible. These combined forces were to be concentrated around Bremen, Cologne, Darmstadt/Mannheim, Duisburg, Frankfurt, Hamburg and Munich in three sectors, each of which was equipped with a long-range Freya radar as well as two Wurzburg-Riese (Giant Wurzburg) units.” “However, for various reasons this system did not always work as its inventor had intended. Often the flak division commander, whether from personal ambition or through poorly interpreted data, failed to cease fire at the correct time, or else a fighter on a bomber’s tail would not break off before it flew into the flak zone. Thus, it was not rare for fighters to be shot down by their own flak. These losses ultimately led to the abandonment of Kombinierte Nachtjagd as a failure.”

Source: NO PROUDER PLACE – Page 43


Question: The raid on Mannheim on 16/17 December 1940 by the RAF Bomber Command was considered to be the first of its kind. Why?

Answer: “Because of bad weather the raid did not occur until 16/17 December 1940, when 134 Command aircraft were launched again Mannheim. For the first time, a British raid opened with an incendiary lay-down and subsequent crews were then instructed to bomb on the ensuing fires; an early and rudimentary form of target marking. While the damage was thought to be widespread at the time, subsequent analysis found it to be much less than had been claimed.”

Source: NO PROUDER PLACE – Page 36

Question: How many Canadians graduated from the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan? How many Canadians graduated as pilots, navigators, air bombers, wireless operators/air gunners, and flight engineers? How many Canadian graduates of the Plan were in England by mid 1941? How many Canadian graduates were serving overseas by the end of 1941 and how many of those Canadians at the time were serving in RCAF squadrons?

Answer: “By the end of November 1940 the first graduates of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan (BCATP), possibly Canada’s most important wartime contribution, had made their way overseas. The initial thirty-seven observers were joined by the first pilot graduates of the BCATP on March 1941. This early trickle quickly became a steady stream and then a veritable torrent of aircrew, generated for the war against the Axis powers. The Canadian portion of the BCATP graduated 132,000 aircrew of all categories during the war, including 73,000 Canadians. These men of Canada included, in round numbers, 26,000 pilots, 13,000 navigators, 6000 air bombers, 26,000 wireless operators/air gunners and 2000 flight engineers. A majority of these airmen served in Bomber Command. By mid-April 1941 1680 graduates of the Plan were already in England. By year’s end nearly 6700 were serving overseas, and yet only 600 of them were serving in RCAF squadrons.”

Source: NO PROUDER PLACE – Page 44