Route Map sought for US Bombing Mission

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by TImobeanie, Feb 11, 2024.

  1. TImobeanie

    TImobeanie Active Member

    On 17th May 1943, two USAF B.17 bomber groups (one comprising 100 aircraft and the other with 59 aircraft) went on a mission (code named ‘Circus 29’) to bomb the ‘U’ Boat pens in Lorient, France.

    Does anyone have the route map of either of those bomb groups please?

    This will just finish off my research on a story connected with that mission.

    Thank you

    JDCAVE Well-Known Member

    Hi Tim: This site has some information on this raid, although not the route:
    Research | 8th Air Force Historical Society (8thafhs.

    You have to click on Research, Targets, then under target type enter Lorient and the U-Boat Pens come up as an option. Choose Date.

    This site shows the route but the "Turning Points: are not given:

    037.pdf (

    Between the two sites, there's a fair bit of info.

    Edit: On the first link note the information on the 3rd raid by 11 B-26's: One early return and 10 shot down. Medium Bomber Raids abandoned!

    TImobeanie likes this.
  3. TImobeanie

    TImobeanie Active Member


    Fab … thanks for this; the map given is good enough. It is the approx route I had imagined
    (I live in Guernsey and knew they’d avoid the German flak guns of the Channel Islands, and therefore route to the west of them).

    Can you assist with the following:
    I have a question: the local time of the bombing was approx 1215 local time (French time I assume).
    In 1943, what was this time in the UK (local time)? Also, was GMT one hour less than UK local time?
    This is very important in the story ….
    Lastly, were the times in RAF Combat reports either GMT or local?

    Thank if you can help!


    JDCAVE Well-Known Member

    I don't know about the standard procedure for the USAAF, however, the chronology of the 4 Navigator's logs and charts I have for my father's operations indicates they maintained the times from England all the way to the target and back, i.e. no time changes. I believe these were GMT, i.e, Greenwich Mean Time, currently referred to as Universal Time Coordinated (UTC), however, this should be verified.

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  5. Finn Buch

    Finn Buch Active Member

    Attached Files:

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  6. TImobeanie

    TImobeanie Active Member

    Okay thanks Jim.
    I am an airline pilot myself and familiar with UTC - which we use for recording times; so maybe the same in WW2 with the RAF to keep UTC. That is a help. Thanks I’ll try to corroborate

  7. TImobeanie

    TImobeanie Active Member

    Many thanks Finn …. This is the last piece of the puzzle .. the Turing point times are perfect.

    JDCAVE Well-Known Member

    Following up on this Peter Hoare, navigator with 5-Group Pathfinders, late 1944-1945, records "GMT was always used" (page 205, 2007. J. Navigation 60: 201-215) and on his participation on the operation to Bohlen, 5-6-March-1945, "We took off from Coningsby at 17.03 GMT and set course (S/C) at 17.10 climbing to 3000 ft on the first leg to Reading (A)." (Page 210). Note that on this raid, the Bohlen force trailed the force to Chemnitz, sharing the same route as far as 51Deg35' N and 12Deg06' E. I think the use of GMT would have been consistent for all RAF forces operating out of bases in Great Britain and the USAAF would have likewise used GMT. As an aside, "Standard Time" is used for Canadian Hydrographic Service Tide Tables in Canada.
    RosyRedd likes this.

    JDCAVE Well-Known Member

    This is a correction. On the RAF Commands Forum, Rod McKenzie provided compelling references that the RAF did not remain on GMT during the war but used whatever Time zone in force locally. This is the link to Rod’s post:

    Help wanted on Bombing Mission/RAF Combat report times


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