No. 100 Group RAF

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No. 100 Group RAF
Active 1943 - 1945
Country United Kingdom
Branch Royal Air Force
Role Electronic Countermeasures
Part of RAF Bomber Command
Royal Air Force Ensign Ensign of the Royal Air Force.svg
Commanders
Notable
commanders
Edward Addison
Aircraft flown
Electronic
warfare
Boeing B-17 Flying Fortress, Consolidated B-24 Liberator, Handley Page Halifax, Short Stirling, Vickers Wellington,
Fighter Bristol Beaufighter, de Havilland Mosquito

No. 100 (Bomber Support) Group was a special duties group within RAF Bomber Command. It was formed on 11 November 1943 to consolidate the increasingly complex business of electronic warfare and countermeasures within one organisation. The group was responsible for the development, operational trial and use of electronic warfare and countermeasures equipment. It was based at RAF stations in East Anglia, chiefly Norfolk.

The group was a pioneer in countering the formidable force of radar-equipped Luftwaffe night fighters, utilising a range of electronic 'homers' fitted to de Havilland Mosquito fighters which detected the night fighter's various radar and radio emissions and allowed the RAF fighters to home in onto the Axis aircraft and either shoot them down or at the very least disrupt their missions against the bomber streams. Other Mosquitoes would patrol around the known Luftwaffe fighter airfields ready to attack any landing night fighters they came across.

This constant harassment had a detrimental effect on the morale and confidence of many Luftwaffe crews, and indirectly led to a high proportion of both aircraft and aircrew wastage from crashes as night fighters hurried in to land to avoid the Mosquito threat (real or imagined).[citation needed]

During 1944-5, the Mosquitoes of 100 Group claimed 258 Luftwaffe aircraft shot down for 70 losses. The gradually increasing threat from the RAF fighters also created what the Luftwaffe crews nicknamed Moskito Panik as the night fighter crews were never sure when or where they may come under attack from the marauding 100 Group fighters.

A Lancaster with Airborne Cigar (ABC) radio jamming equipment - the two vertical aerials on the fuselage

Top Mosquito ace with 100 Group was 85 Squadron's Wing Commander Branse Burbridge with 21 claims in the period 1944-45.

The bomber squadrons of 100 Group utilised various specialist electronic jamming devices to disrupt enemy radio communications and radar. During 100 Group's existence over 32 different devices were evaluated and used. Specially equipped 100 Group aircraft would fly within the bomber stream. Much of this equipment was developed at the Telecommunications Research Establishment (TRE).

Special equipment used included Airborne Cigar (ABC) jammer, Jostle (jammer), Mandrel (jammer), Airborne Grocer (jammer), Piperack (jammer), Perfectos (homer), Serrate (homer), Corona (spoofer), Carpet (jammer) and Lucero (homer), and were used against German equipment such as Lichtenstein, Freya, and Wurzburg radars.

The combination of the Pathfinders' operations, the activities of No. 100 Group, the British advantage in radar, jamming and Window techniques, combined with intelligent attacking tactics, as well as the discipline and bravery of the RAF crews, have been remarkable. We had our (sic) severe problems in trying to defend Germany in the air

General der Jagdflieger, Adolf Galland., Lancaster - the Biography[1]

Order of battle[edit]

An electronic warfare Fortress III of 214 Squadron

No. 100 Group was headquartered at Bylaugh Hall, Norfolk from January 1944, a central location from which to administer the group's airfields in north Norfolk. No 100 Group operated from eight airfields with approximately 260 aircraft, 140 of which were various marks of Mosquito night fighter intruders with the remainder consisting of Handley Page Halifaxes, Short Stirlingss, Vickers Wellingtons, Fortresses and Liberators carrying electronic jamming equipment. The group also operated the Bristol Beaufighter for a short time.

The group disbanded on 17 December 1945. During its existence it had one commander, Air Vice-Marshal Edward Addison.

100 (Special Duties) Group order of battle[2]
Squadron Aircraft First 100 Group operation Base
192 Mosquito II, B.IV, B.XVI, Wellington B.III, Halifax IV December 1943 RAF Foulsham
141 Beaufighter VI, Mosquito II, VI, XXX December 1943 RAF West Raynham
239 Mosquito II, VI, XXX 20 January 1944 RAF West Raynham
515 Mosquito II, VI 3 March 1944 RAF Little Snoring, RAF Great Massingham
169 Mosquito II, VI, XIX 20 January 1944 RAF Little Snoring
214 Fortress II, III 20/21 April 1944 RAF Sculthorpe, RAF Oulton
199 Stirling B.III, Halifax B.III]] 1 May 1944 RAF North Creake
157 Mosquito XIX, XXX May 1944 RAF Swannington
85 Mosquito XII, XVII 5/6 June 1944 RAF Swannington
23 Mosquito VI] 5/6 July 1944 RAF Little Snoring
223 Liberator VI, Fortress II, III September 1944 RAF Oulton
171 Stirling II, Halifax III 15 September 1944 RAF North Creake
462 (RAAF) Halifax III 13 March 1945 RAF Foulsham

Other units and stations:

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Iveson and Milton 2009, p. 122.
  2. ^ Moyes 1976, p. 307.

Bibliography[edit]

  • Bond, Steve & Forder, Richard Special Ops Liberators 2239Bomber Support0 Squadron, 100 Group and the Electronic War. Grub Street 2011 ISBN 978-1-908-11714-4.
  • Bowman, Martin W. 100 Group (Bomber Support): RAF Bomber Command in World War II. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen & Sword/Leo Cooper, 2006. ISBN 1-84415-418-1.
  • Bowman, Martin W. and Tom Cushing. Confounding the Reich. Barnsley, South Yorkshire, UK: Pen & Sword/Leo Cooper, 2004. ISBN 1-84415-124-7.
  • Iveson, Tony, DFC and Brian Milton. Lancaster - the Biography. Andre Deutsch, 2009. ISBN 978-0-233-00270-5.
  • Moyes, Philip J.R. Bomber Squadrons of the RAF and their Aircraft. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishers) Ltd., 1964 (New revised edition 1976, ISBN 0-354-01027-1.)
  • Peden, Murray. A Thousand Shall Fall: the True Story of a Canadian Bomber Pilot in World War Two. Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Stoddart Publishing Co. Ltd., 1988 (reprinted in 2000). ISBN 0-7737-5967-0.
  • Streetly, Martin. Confound & Destroy. London: Macdonald and Jane's (Publishing) Company Ltd., 1978. ISBN 0-354-01180-4.

External links[edit]