WAAF at RAF Tempsford

Discussion in 'Top Secret' started by Cfaulkner74, Jul 24, 2021.

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  1. Cfaulkner74

    Cfaulkner74 New Member

    Hi All - I have my nan's oak leaf and certificate, together with a photo of her at the presentation, in a lovely frame (see attached) and I'm interested to find out more about RAF Tempsford and what she would have received the mention in despatches for. I have been to RAF Tempsford and understand it was top secret, so not sure if all details will be contained in her service record? Any pointers would be gratefully received. KR, Clare
     

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  2. CL1

    CL1 116th LAA and 92nd (Loyals) LAA,Royal Artillery Patron

    Apply for her service record anyway
     
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  3. Qu1ckn1ck

    Qu1ckn1ck Member

    Tempsford was the airfield used by SOE to fly out agents and arms into German occupied Europe and was obviously highly secret.

    History - Tempsford Memorial
     
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  4. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    There will not be any mention of reason in her service record.

    Looking at the date of Gazetting it corresponds to a New Year Honour listing so most likely to be for long meritorious service rather than a specific action. MiD for specific action tended to result in immediate citation/award and those are normally Gazetted outside NYHL or KBH (Kings Birthday Honours).

    Hugh Halliday wrote an excellent piece about MiD and where to find traces in AIR2 documents at The National Archives.

    Mention-in-Despatches – RAFCommands

    I would suggest following his advice for AIR2 as the best route to find reason - but also echo the advice above on obtaining service record to complete the picture on her trade and service progression.

    Ross
     
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  5. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    As an aside. Tempsford as regards its location was easy to recognise as a RAF operational station. It was alongside the eastern side of the Kings Cross to Edinburgh LNER line for anyone to see it on a passing train.

    It's purpose was, as far I can see ,was never appreciated by Luftwaffe intelligence, It might well be that there were insufficient No 138 or No 161 Squadron captured personnel going through the Luftwaffe intelligence centre at the Frankfurt to glean information from. On the other hand Luftwaffe intelligence had abundant information about B.C stations, squadron commanders and even favourite pubs from POWs whose loose talk at the interrogation centre immediately after capture gave a basis of the RAF B.C operational structures

    These squadrons also used Tangmere for their clandestine Lysander flights and again I have not seen where the Luftwaffe were aware what was going on. Other BC squadrons operating from their regular airfields also carried out SOE work and it is very likely that their home airfields would have been known by the Germans.

    However, the lack of success in gaining intelligence by German agents in Britain was down to Ultra and the control of captured agents by John Masterman's Double X counter intelligence committee. Those did not cooperate were put to the sword and those who did provided the conduit for duff gen to be fed to their masters, the Abwehr.
     
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