SECRET. Copy No 8
15th WING OPERATION ORDERS No 101.
In the Field
1. Intentions. The 4th Australian Division is to attack HAMEL, and the ridge to E. and S.E. on Z day. Zero hour will be promulgated at noon on Y day.
O.C. 3 Sqd., A.F.C. will send an Officer to Anzac Corps Headquarters at 1 p.m., and 7 p.m. on Y day, to synchronize his watch.
Other Squadrons will work to signal time.
2. Army Squadrons. The 3rd Brigade R.A.F. is extending their Army Patrol area for the purpose of this operation to the River SOMME – and the 9th Brigade, and 22nd Wing will have strong Patrols at varying heights from MORLANCOURT to MOREUIL throughout operations.
3. Contact Patrols. No. 3 Sqd. A.F.C. O.C. No. 3 Sqd A.F.C., will arrange Contact Patrols from zero till dusk – flares will be called for at zero + 90 minutes at which time 2 machines should be on the line to avoid failures.
4. Counter Attack Patrols No. 3 Sqd A.F.C. O.C. No 3 Sqd A.F.C. will arrange Counter Attack Patrols from zero + 90, til dark. Counter Attacks are less likely on the Northern side as the Valley of the SOMME is marshy, and open to our observation.
The WARFUSEE – CERISY valley should be specially observed as a likely assembly position.
The responsibility for observation of Counter Attacks up to the line MARCELCAVE – BAYONVILLERS – CHIPILLY – MORLANCOURT rests with O.C. 3 Sqd A.F.C. This will be partly the duty of Artillery Patrols & Counter Attack Patrols. Beyond the line stated the Army Squadrons will take up the work of observation.
5. Artillery Patrols. No. 3 Sqd A.F.C. O.C. 3 Sqd .A.F.C., will arrange to keep Artillery Patrols on the Corps front throughout the day from zero till dark.
Certain Batteries have been detailed for M.Q.N.F. work, but until after zero + 2 hours, smoke is likely to interfere with serious shooting, and Pilots will be best employed on NF, GF, and LL calls.
Normal conditions will be resumed under instruction from C.B.S.O. Australian Corps.
O.C. 35 Squadron R.A.F. will arrange to extend his Artillery Patrol area on Z day, as far S. as MORLANCOURT.
6. Ammunition Dropping No 9 Sqd R.A.F. O.C. No 9 Squadron will detail 12 machines for ammunition dropping work to start dropping at zero plus 3 hours, in accordance with orders already issued.
7. Bombing etc No 3 Sqd A.F.C. All machines crossing the line except ammunition carrying machines will carry 25 lb bombs, and will drop them on favourable living targets – and will engage such targets with M.G. fire from a low height.
In default of favourable living targets, bombs will be dropped on any of the targets shown in Bombing Map attached.
No. 6 Sqd D.F. No. 6 Sqd D.F.)
No. 9 Sqd. No. 9 Remaining Flight) will work as one formation by arrangements to
be mutually fixed, and will cross the line at approximately 5-30 a.m., and 2 p.m. to bomb.
They will descend at intervals to 3,000 feet to look for living targets – if found they will bomb and machine gun them from a low height. If no favourable targets seen, bombs will be dropped on one of the bombing targets shown on map North of the SOMME.
No. 82 Sqdn R.A.F. Working as 2 formations will cross the line to bomb at approximately 8-30 am, 10-30 am, 5 pm and 8 pm.
Their orders are as for No. 6 Detached Flight above, except that bombing targets (other than living targets) will be selected from those South of the SOMME.
I. All bombs will be 25 lbs.
II. Formations must be kept.
III. Great care must be taken if targets are seen nearer that 500 yards East of the final objective owing to the danger of attacking our own troops.
8. Orders for the day or days succeding Z day, will be issued later, O.C. 3rd Squadron, A.F.C. will in any case ensure that Michelon Flare reconnaissances and patrols keep the line without further instructions.
Commanding 15th Wing,
Royal Air Force.
Copies 1 to 3 5th Brigade, R.A.F. Time issued…..
No 4 3rd Squadron, A.F.C.)
No 5 No 6 Sqdn Det Flt )
No 6 No 9 Squadron ) Time issued…………
No 7 No 35 Squadron )
No 8 No 82 Squadron )
No 9 & 10 Filed
Zero day 4/7/18
“ Hour 3.10 AM