Douglas Bader's radio log jargon

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Jan 29, 2007
I've been reading the transcripts of the radio log of the day Douglas got downed and there are loads of things that I don't understand. I don't suppose anyone could help me out with any of this stuff? Even if you only know one, it would be a big help. On the other hand you guys might know all of them and think I'm super dumb. I reeeeallly need your help though, I've been googling them all day and can't find any answers. Welll here they are, I super super hope you guys can help.
(The sentence extract is: Sorry my A/S is U/S.)

V (As in V.270)

Thaaankyoo for any help you might give me.
U/S = Un Serviceable or Broken

A/S = Air Speed indicator, how fast you going.

XMN = Transmission recieved. eg. Bader recieved a message.
XMT = Transmission sent. eg. Bader sent a message.

V was usually Vector. "V.270 for 10" would mean "come to compass bearing 270 degrees for 10 minutes flight at your present speed."

Post web address or the transcript and we can help a bit further having the context of it.
yaayyy thank yooo. the transcript isn't online but I could type it out maybe. i could put it on my blog. might take me a little time. thank you thank you though. i started getting interested in planes about a year ago and there is a world of stuff i still have to learn. but i have to start somewhere! :D your help is soo needed though thank yoooooo.
so i typed up the full transcripts. i think you will really enjoy them. i dont understand every word but somehow its better than poetry i swear.


DB to Woody: This is the most obvious farce (?) I have ever seen in my

Woody to Doug: Your message understood r/o.

DB to Ken: Are you OK?

Ken to DB: Yes.

DB to Ken + Elmer: Start getting height as quick as you can now will you.

Ken to DB: Elmer’s not with us.

Elmer to DB: ….?....

DB to Elmer: Cannot understand what you say. We’re on out way.
If you’re not with us you’d better decide for yourself
whether to come or go back.

Elmer to DB: Unreadable XMN.

Ken to DB: Making smoke.

DB to Ken: Levelling out. I'm going down very slightly.

Ken to DB: OK.

DB: KSL you don’t see them very well against this stuff.

Beetle to Walker: DB is 20 miles ahead of you.

WL to B: I think I see trails above and on out left.

Ken to ?: Yes I have seen ‘em. I think we might get up a bit. I
think it was very ? that trail we made.

? to Walker: Unreadable XMN.

Woody to DB: There are 2 + 5 miles to the E of you.

DB to Woody: OK. That transmitter is quite impossible. Please use the

Woody to DB: OK. Is this better?

DB to Woody: Perfect.

Ken to DB: Throttle back a bit, I can’t keep up.

DB to Ken. Sorry my A/S is U/S, throttling back.

DB: I will do one? Left now quickly.

Woody to DB: There are now 20 +, no height 5 miles E of U.

Doug to Woody: That’s getting better OK.

Roy: There’s 3 coming down astern of us now. I’m keeping my
eye on them.

To Roy: OK.

Roy: Sorry there’s now 6. open out a little. I make it 11 now.

To Roy: Cut out the running commentary and just let us know
where they are.

To DB: Smoking.

DB to Ken: ?ing left.

Beetle to DB: There are 40 + 15 miles to the NE of you.

DB to Beetle: Are our friends where they ought to be? I haven’t much
idea where I am.

B to DB: Yes, you are exactly right and so are your friends.

To Walker: Take it easy will you. A/C at 9 o’clock a little above over
the smoke trail.

Roy to DB: Keep turning left and you’ll see a/c at 9 o’clock.

DB to Ken: Can you see those or is it you yourself?

To DB: Look beneath you over the cloud.

DB: Will you tell where to look?

To DB: Underneath Billy’s section now.

DB: OK. I’ve got em.
2 XMNs. TOG.
There’s plenty of time, get into formation. Straight
underneath you.

DB to Stan: Are you OK? Are you with us?

Stan to DB: Just above you.

To Crow: Keep me in sight.
Unreadable XMN.

DB to Elfin: A/C on our right.

DB to Ken: Look out for right.

DB to Crow; Is that you behind me to the left. Stay with me that a/c
at the front turning left.

DB to YQR: Stay with me.
Several XMNx TOG.

To Elfin: A/C behind us a little to the left. Join up. Join up.

Rusty: Join up.

Walker to Walker: A/C 2 0’clock down. Big?? Here and some buggers coming
down behind us. Turn PRT they’re coming down behind.
PRT that a/c. I’ll weave about over you.

? to Walker: They’re 109s all right.

To Crow: One? STP now. Line astern.

Walker to Walker: Sg about A.20.

Walker to Walker; OK.

To YQa/c: 109s coming down again. form up with YQC you’ll form a 4 Come on, I’m on your left here.

Rusty to Beetle; RURM. Get onto formation or they’ll shoot the ****ing lot
of you down.

To Crow; ? PRT I’ll follow you.

Crow: Above or below this cloud?

To YQR: Throttle back.

Beetle to DB: Withdraw now.

Crow: 2 buggers just above now.
Unreadable XMN.
Several XMNs together.

To YQY: Get on to my PRT other side of YQR.

To Tony: Can you see it?
Who the ****ing hell is…tracer bullets (interference).
Are you going out now?

Tony: Yes, what is that behind me? There are about 4 just
above the murky cloud behind. I think they're Spits.
Yes, they’re all Spits.

Control to All Beetle:Make your way out now.

To a/c: Are you turning left?
Just going out now.

To Jimmy: Turning left.

Beetle to DB: Withdraw as soon as you like.

To Beetle: We all heard it.
Pretty good too.
Break right.

To Billy: If you can bring you ?? to STA this time to get back.
There’s difficulties.

To YQR: Go into this cloud and seek refuge Spitfire. Go under the
cloud with me. Everybody with us?
One short.
Go under.

To Jimmy: Watch the sun now Jimmy.
Look out.
When do you want to break?

To Elfin: Keep watching the sun.
OK Spitfires. OK.

To Crow: Keep fairly close I’m going to look round by the coast.

To Crow; Coming in behind you.

To Jimmy: Unreadable XMN.
109 coming up on your right.
Who the hell’s taking to whom.
Join up boys.

To Crow: Are you still about?

Crow: I’m right behind you.

To Crow: Good show.

To YQ: Are you going to B?

To Tony: Are you going out? I’ve lost you.
We’re low down so we wouldn’t see anything in any case.
Look out on the left.

Roy to Tony: Throttle back a bit.

Tony to Roy: OK sorry.
Single Spitfire flying on my left.
Turn STA and follow me.

Beetle to DB: Do you want any assistance?

B to Walker: Do you want any assistance?

WL to B: Received your message. We are OK.

Elfin to B: No, I am OK.

B to Rusty: Do you want any assistance?

B to DB: Are you OK?

To Jimmy: Close up.
I think Crow’s on the left-at least half of it.

To Elfin: All go straight down on your pre-sent course. I’ll meet
you underneath.

B to Elfin: How far are you from B now?

Elfin to B: 20 minutes.

B to EL: Thank you. L/O.

Elfin to Elfin: Do you want anything?

Elfin to Beetle: RURM.

Elfin to Beetle: Elfin Y1 is calling you. Will you answer?

B to Elfin: RURM.

Elfin to Elfin: Beetle is calling you also RURM.

B to Elfin: RURM.

Elfin to Elfin; RURM.

Elfin to Elfin: Elfin Y1 is going over for homing from Munga,

Elfin to Elfin: Will you XMT for homing?

E Y1 to B: RURM.

B to EY1: Call Munga on B for Beer.

EY1 to B: I believe I had you but could not hear.
Will call again in a few moments.

Ken to Dick: They said call Munga on B.

Elfin TO b: RURM.

B to EB1: RULC.

EB1 to B: I can get no answer from Munga.
I want a heading.

Beetle to EB1: Steer 340 for the coast.

Tony to EB1: That’s right.

B to Elfin: Do you know your pos yet?

EB1 to B: No I don’t know my pos. I’ll go over to B and give a fix.

B to EB1: Thank you.

Elfin B1 to B: Did you get that fix?

B to EB1: Stand by for a minute.

EB1 to B: S/A.

B to EB1: Stand by for a minute.

Crow to Tony: Can you see the coast yet?

To Walker: Break left now.

B to EB1: I am unable to get a fix. Call Munga again now on B for

? to Tony: What’s your height? Can you see the coast?

Elfin to B: Strikes me E. B1 and the others are going?

B to EB1: V.270.
Steer 270.
Your XMN for fix not long enough. Make them longer.

To Elfin: You’re about to lose your hood if you’re not careful.

Elfin: I know that.

Beetle to Elfin: Have you any idea where E. Blue should be?

Elfin to Beetle: I’ve no idea from their position (interference). That’s why
they’re getting out of range.

Elfin to B: Have you got Elfin B yet?

B to EL: No, we have not contacted them yet. We are still trying.

EL to B: I am just app B.

B to EL: OK.

YQG to YQB: Got enough petrol to make B otherwise let down right
below us.

YQB to YQG: S/A.

YQG to YQB: There is an aerodrome right below us it you are running
short of petrol.

YQB to YQG: Message received.

Beetle to Elfin: RURM.

Once again, thank yooo for any help you can give mee.
Oooh plus, I don't suppose anyone can tell me any websites with other radio logs on them? Just so I can get more of a feel for them.
Thaaaank yooooo
By reading it I thinks XMN's are shorthand for transmissions of whoever wrote this down as tape would not have been used ay this time. I guess there must be a standardized shorthand for this but you'd have to find an old fighter cop to translate
STA = Starboard As in turn right.
PRT = Port turn Left

YQB YQC etc. Aircraft identification letters, different Sqns mixed together would use letters to get the pilots attention.

B to EY1: Call Munga on B for Beer.

That would be "Select radio channel X and call the Direction Finding Station code named Munga for a fix bearing so we can find out which way home."

TOG Possibly shorthand for Transmission Overly Garbled, or "we couldn't understand that message due to static or interference.

B as in
B to Elfin: How far are you from B now?

Elfin to B: 20 minutes.

B = Base.

STA = Station, as in your position in the formation of planes.
TOG Possibly shorthand for Transmission Overly Garbled, or "we couldn't understand that message due to static or interference.


Good ones K9. Regarding above..

How would that be different from "XMN unreadable"? Note that each time TOG is used it appears to be the wing leader either stating his intent or commanding action. Makes more sense for the rest of the wing to acknowledge. And a simple keying of the mic is a common way of accomplishing this while keeping the channel clear (which was a seperate command by the way).
garbled is garbled i don't think it could be overly garbled and if it was a type of shorthand in atc l was left a r right prt is a lot ofwriting for left but then again its plausable
DB = Douglas Bader callsign Dogsbody
Woody = Group Captain A.B.Woodhall station commander at Tangmere whose callsign was Beetle
Elmer = Sqd Leader Elmer Gaunce of No 41 Sqd callsign Walker
Elfin = 610 Sqd
Rusty = 616 Sqd
Roy = Flt Lt Roy Marples(616)
Ken = Sqd Leader Ken Holden(610)
Crow = Flt Lt Dennis Crowley-Milling
Stan = Stan Turner
" YQ-R" etc = aircraft code L = Leader
RURM = Are you receiving me ?
XMN = Transmission
SA = Say again

The whole thing was taken down longhand by LAC Tom Howells in a Commer van on Beachy Head August 9 1941
See After the Battle magazine No 125

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