View Full Version : Online Loss Report Database?

28th Jun 2012, 20:57
I'm hoping some kind soul can point me in the right direction in the research of air losses.

For example when visiting CWGC cemeteries, often its plain to see related deaths where whole crews are laid to rest beside each other. One is left however in the dark as to the circumstances of their demise, and I wondered if there are any online resources which would detail the nature of the accident from the crash date/crew names?

Thanks in advance

28th Jun 2012, 22:58
If you're talking about WWII losses, Air-Britain has an ongoing summary of aircraft destroyed in or over the UK during the war. Would that help ?

29th Jun 2012, 17:13
Well maybe, but let me give you an example of what I'm really talking about. The CWGC cemetery at Chittagong, Bangladesh.

It was mainly a hospital cemetery but was also later adopted for random losses such as a RCAF crew of 9, now all lain together in a row. The headstones give the names and crash date, but one is left wondering as to the aircraft type, crash location, specific circumstances.

Anyone got any ideas where I might find this sort of information?

1st Jul 2012, 12:43
Hello Coochycool,

I assume that your RCAF crew are these chaps (http://www.cwgc.org/search-for-war-dead.aspx?cpage=1&sort=name&order=asc)?

The aircraft was Liberator KH323, which crashed whilst on a dropping operation over Burma.

357 Squadron's ORB (Form 540) is online here (http://www.rquirk.com/357oper/357apr45f540.pdf).


3rd Jul 2012, 21:09
Critter, just noticed your reply, thanks muchly for that.

Kind of guessed the example I gave had to be a Liberator with such a large crew.

I am ignorant of the MoD 540 form though, am I to presume that every squadron has a history formatted such as this? :confused:

Coochy :ok:

4th Jul 2012, 00:27
Not a problem, glad to be able to assist! :)

The Form 540 (Operational Record Book) gave the day-to-day happenings of a Squadron or Station, everything from postings in/out, to accidents.

There were frequently two (or more, depending on how many units were resident there - each would have its own ORB), one for the squadron, and one for the Station itself.

WW2 aircraft losses are one of my interests; I even have a website documenting some of the losses in my area. :8


4th Jul 2012, 18:28
To add to the above. In addition to the RCAF crew, there were two Army officers aboard - Captains Godfrey Marchant 35 MC and Peter Charles Henry Vickery 24. In addition there were four Burmese irregulars, whose names are not recorded.

Old Duffer

4th Jul 2012, 21:32
Top effort boys

Sorry to be a pain but I'm still a bit in the dark however as to how you managed to reach that info.

Is there an online library that hosts all the 540s? Admittedly that would be a lot of data! Or is it the luck of the draw with individual squadron websites etc?

I'll look out some other examples I've "visited" and see if the CWGC website does the job ;)

4th Jul 2012, 22:28

No worries! ;)
Researching these losses can sometimes be a bit difficult...

For 'your' crew, I entered "Chittagong War Cemetery" into the CWGC search engine and checked the "Canadian Forces" box. From there, I filtered the results.
This gave me the 9 RCAF crew.

I then looked at the Certificate attached to one of the crew's names, this gave me his/ their Squadron. I then entered "357 Squadron Losses" into Google, which brought up the page with the F540. It was then a matter of looking through the ORB for the relevant entry.

The two Army officers are listed in the ORB as being part of Force 136, as are the four Burmese irregulars mentioned by Old-Duffer above.

If there is anything else I can assist you with, please feel free to PM me.

My website is here: Midlands Air Crash Research (http://macr.moonfruit.com). You can also e-mail me directly via the site, using the "Contact Us" link.


fauteuil volant
7th Jul 2012, 20:12
But just to pursue Coochy's enquiry further, because probably I am more ignorant than him, are all ORBs acessible online or just a selected number, being those that interested parties have copied or transcribed, from originals at Kew and/or Hendon, and posted. If all ORBs are available online, can someone please post a hyperlink(s) to the website(s) where they can be found and read.

7th Jul 2012, 20:47
Hello fauteuil volant,

Quite a few ORBs are available online; here are a few links:

Military Aviation History (http://www.rquirk.com/history.html) - Includes ORB transcripts.

There is this thread (http://forum.12oclockhigh.net/showthread.php?t=5448) on TOCH with a huge list of online ORBs.

And this one (http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/forumdisplay.php?9-The-National-Archives-(TNA)-File-copy-service) over on RAF Commands.

These are just a few of the ones I use.
Hope this helps.


fauteuil volant
7th Jul 2012, 20:51
Thank you, Don. I'll take a look at those sites.

8th Jul 2012, 09:44
All the ORBs (F540) I have seen referred to as being available on-line are 2WW - are any later ORBs availaible on-line? I am particularly interested in RAF Watton 1966-69, where I served on 360 (RN/RAF) Sqn, not knowing that my birth mother lived a few miles away (Necton), and under the approach or standard departure (depending on the wind) and that as Chairman of her Parish Council, V-C of the District Council and Chairman of the local school governors was probably invited to the BoB Cocktail party and other events - just interested to find out if I had been in the same room as her without knowing! Her name was Ivy Bengefield.

8th Jul 2012, 23:50
Tad busy lately so apologies for the tardy feedback boys. Thanks however to the Flying Armchair for asking my next question for me.

And to Don once again for his savant-faire, many congrats on the website too of course. This stuff's so poignant surely a natioanl database is merited, Lottery Fund hrumph hurrumph etc?

This is the real history, the small forgotten stories which really bring it to life, Lest We Forget. Hence our mutual interest I guess, educational as well as fascinating, I will save those links and merrily play away!

Thanks once again,

Coochy :ok: