No. 82 Squadron, Royal Air Force.
The XXII Corps in co-operation with French and Italian troops will attack tomorrow morning.
Owing to the very short notice and difficulties with regard to the use of French maps, the usual procedure of a Corps Squadron will be modified as follows:-
(1). Contact, Counter attack and Artillery Patrol duties will not be allotted to special machines, but Pilots and Observers will combine all these three duties.
(2). Pin points will not be used in dropping messages, but the positions required will be indicated carefully on a skeleton map carried by the Observer.
(3). Communication with Artillery, both ours and French, will be entirely by dropped messages using the above-mentioned skeleton maps. Wireless may be used for urgent messages with regard to enemy movement, which may be sent in clear.
(4). TRECON Aerodrome (Western side) will be used as an advanced landing ground. Officers will report to the B.I.O. there before and after each flight.
The Corps Dropping Station will be at either AY or HAUTVILLERS and will be indicated by ‘XII’.
Divisional dropping station (51 and 62 Divisions) will be at ST ILOGES and will be marked ‘XI’.
Infantry Brigades have been allotted ground strip calls as follows:-
152 Brigade – A.
153 “ – E.
154 “ -F
185 Brigade – H.
186 “ – K.
187 “ – L.
Pilots seeing any of these letters on the ground will at once mark position on skeleton map and drop report, stating time, at Division or Corps, acknowledging by the call letter and ‘RD’ on klaxon. Similarly, Pilots ordered to find one of these units will sound call letter on his klaxon and drop any messages near the ground strips.
Messages dropped to Artillery will be normally in skeleton map with clear indication of time, nature, and movement of target. If battery is able to reply, another skeleton map shewing approximate fall of rounds will be dropped.
Owing to the wooded nature of ground and the presence of troops of many nationalities making it difficult to identify troops on our front line, information is particularly wanted as to the line our barrage is covering at a given time. British troops have been ordered to wave their hats at British contact machines.
EQUIPMENT OF MACHINE.
Machines will carry either wireless or a camera and 18 plates.
Bombs will be flown on machines to the advanced landing ground and left there for Pilots specially detailed for bombing.
Each Officer will be in possession of sheet 10 1/250,000 marked map 1/80,000, 4 copies skeleton map. At least six message bags and an official report pad will be carried in each machine.
The Wireless Officer will arrange an aerial to be in working order at Trecon by 7 a.m.
N.C.O. i/c Photography will detail three Photographers to proceed in Wireless tender to Trecon and will supervise the fixing of cameras (8 & 4½“) under orders of the Flight Commanders. Any plates exposed will be developed at Trecon by the French.
The Equipment Officer will detail a red cross tender, an orderly tender and two motor cyclists to be at Trecon by 7.30 am and report to the B.I.O.
One tender, making several journeys will transport mechanics and two tool boxes per Flight to Trecon as soon as the last machine of each Flight has left Haussimont.
‘A’ Flight will detail one N.C.O. and two men and a tool box to proceed with the above mentioned orderly tender leaving the aerodrome at 6.30 a.m.
Owing to the fact that the line is in a more or less fluid state, the exact ‘jumping off’ point for tomorrow’s attack cannot be indicated. Italian and French, and possibly American troops, may be involved and the very greatest care is necessary before any ground target is engaged either by bombs or machine guns. No Pilots, but those specially detailed, may carry bombs, which will be left at Trecon.
The N.C.O. Armourer will arrange for ammunition and necessary spares to be carried on orderly tender leaving at 6.30 a.m. together with two Armourers.
DETAILS OF MACHINES.
All machines to be marked with contact strips and provided with klaxon horn.
‘A’ Flight machines to be ready if required to ascend at 5.30 a.m.
The following programme of patrols is, however, expected to hold good:-
7 a.m. to 9.30 a.m. ‘A’ Flight – 2 machines
8 a.m. to 10.30 a.m. ‘A’ “ – 1 machine.
9 a.m. to 11.30 a.m. ‘A’ “ – 1 “
10 a.m. to 12.30 a.m. ‘A’ “ – 1 “
11 a.m. to 1.30 p.m. ‘A’ “ – 1 “
12 noon to 2.30 p.m. ‘B’ “ – 1 “
1 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. ‘B’ “ – 1 “
2 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. ‘B’ “ – 1 “
4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. ‘B’ “ – 1 “
5 p.m. to 7.30 a.m. ‘C’ “ – 1 “
6 p.m. to 8.30 p.m. ‘C’ “ – 1 “
7 a.m. to dusk. ‘C’ “ – 1 “
Machines will carry camera or wireless at the discretion of Flight Commanders.
Squadron call letters for tomorrow will be ‘KL’.
All wireless messages will be preceded by Squadron call letters and Pilots personal number. Machines fitted with wireless should report ‘OK’ every 30 minutes.
NB. All Officers will be acquainted with XXII Corps Operation orders.
J. B**** Solomon
Commanding. No. 82 Squadron,
Royal Air Force.
In the Field.
19th July 1918.