Throughout this site you will notice that several abbreviations are used. This list, although far from complete, should assist you in the explanation.
Also shown are codes that are entered in the pilot's log books.
Abbreviations commonly used on Air Ministry Forms 78 and 1180 (Aircraft Movement Cards and Accident Record Cards)
(See end of page for Luftwaffe code names)
RAF Operation Code Names:
Circus: Bombers heavily escorted to bring enemy fighters into combat.
Diver: Anti V-1 "Doodlebug" sorties.
Flower: Bombing night fighter bases.
Gardening - Sea/coastal mine-laying by aircraft
Instep: Fighter patrols over the Bay of Biscay - looking for "U" boats and JU88s of KG40.
Intruder: Day or night sortie to attack German aircraft or ground targets of opportunity.
Jim Crow: Fighter recce sortie over English Channel.
Lagoon: Anti-shipping operations in company with Coastal Command Beaufighters.
Mahmoud:Bomber support operations using rear-facing radar. On being engaged from behind, the fighter would do a 360 degree turn to come behind the E.A.
Neptune: Low cover patrol.
Noball: Attacking V-1 flying bomb storage, manufacturing or launch sites.
Nickel - Leaflet dropping operation
Popular: Photo-recconaissance sortie.
Ramrod: Similar to a Circus, but with the intention of destroying a target.
Ranger: Large formation freelance intrusion over enemy territory with aim of wearing down enemy forces.
Rhubarb: Small scale freelance fighter sortie against ground targets of opportunity.
Roadstead:Low level attack on coastal shipping.
Rodeo: Fighter sweep without bombers.
Rover: Armed reconnaissance against targets behind enemy lines.
Scramble: General term for fighters being given the order to get airborne urgently.
Sweep: Offensive formation of fighters or fighter bombers over enemy territory, designed to draw the enemy.
Tac/R Tactical reconnaissance.
ABC - Airborne Cigar - transmitter aboard aircraft which jammed German fighter control frequencies
AC Plonk - An Aircraftsman
Abbeville Kids - A particularly aggressive bunch of Luftwaffe fighter units based at Abbeville
Adj - Adjutant, the administrative assistant to the Squadron CO
Acc (Trolley Acc) - Accumulator (battery) - for starting engines on ground
ace - Pilot credited with bringing down five or more enemy aircraft, established in WWI
ack-ack - Anti Aircraft fire sometimes termed AA or simply flak.
aiming point - During a bombing run the aircraft had to fly level and steady for aiming purpose before bomb release and for a short period afterwards to enable the camera on board to take a series of pictures (at night a photo flash flare was dropped) to provide evidence of where the bombs had been aimed.
aircrew - Anyone who had a winged brevet, e.g. pilot, navigator, air gunner etc.
airmaids - Crew of an Air Sea Rescue boat
airscrew - Three or four propeller blades on a hub and with a spinner
ammo - Ball, Dewilde incendiary, tracer, armour piercing
angels - Altitude in units of 1000 feet e.g. Angels 20 over Dover = 20,000 feet over
Aphrodite - Use of aged aircraft as radio-controlled bombers
API - Air Position Indicator. An electro-mechanical device that combined the input from the Air Mileage unit which gave the true airspeed, and the heading being flown from the Distant Reading Compass (DRC – a gyro-magnetic compass that also had a manually input correction for magnetic variation) to give a constant reading of the aircraft's theoretical position (i.e. the position of the aircraft assuming there was no wind).
By constantly taking fixes the navigator kept a check on the aircraft's actual position and by comparing the difference in actual and theoretical positions was able to calculate the wind-speed.
apron - Hangar tarmac
armourer - Ground crew responsible for bombs, defensive ammunition, flares etc.
arrival - Clumsy or otherwise defective landing
arse end charlie - The man who weaves backwards and forwards above and behind the fighter squadron to protect them from attack from the rear
Ash - Narrow beam radar used for low-level operations
arsy-tarsy - Aircrew Reception Centre
Aspirin - Jammer to counter the German Knickebein navigational aid
aviate - Showing off when flying a plane
Backers Up. Support aircraft following the pathfinders that dropped incendiaries to increase, intensity and refuel fires started by the pathfinders at the aiming point. Other Backers Up were positioned at intervals among the main force and were responsible for remarking or reinforcing the marking of the target area.
bag - Parachute
bail out - To leave an aircraft by parachute: those doing so to save their lives qualified for a Caterpillar Club membership and badge: usually in forced circumstances as distinct from a practice drop
Balbo - Large formation of aircraft
balloonatic - Member of Balloon Command
bandit - Enemy aircraft
bang on - To be right on target - absolutely correct
Bar - Second or more the award of the same decoration, also shown by an asterisk e.g. DFC* = DFC and Bar
beat up - To fly very low over those who are watching in celebration or to show off, sometimes with disciplinary action resulting or tragic consequences - also to attack
Beau - Bristol Beaufighter aircraft
Beer-Barrel - Brewster Buffalo aircraft
beehive - Very close formation of bombers (hive) with fighter escort (bees)
beer-lever - Joystick
beetle-juice - Betelgeux, bright red star which with Sirius and Procyon form an equilateral triangle
Belinda - Frequent nickname of barrage ballons
bell (rang the) - Got good results
belly - Underpart of aircraft fuselage
belly landing - To land with the undercarriage retracted
belt (to) - Travel at a high speed or to hit target heavily
Benjamin - Jammer to counter the German Y-Gerät bombing aid
Bernhard - German ground-to-air communication system
binders - Brakes of an aircraft
black box - Instrument that enables bomb aimer to see through clouds or in the dark - see also gen box
Blenburgher - Bristol Blenheim aircraft
Blighty - The UK
Blind Markers. Aircraft of the Pathfinder Force utilising electronic navigation systems as opposed to human sight in order to located and subsequently mark a target with flares thus showing the main bomber force where to drop its bombs.
blister - Enclosure/housing for a machine gun or cannon; a bulge in a perspex canopy to enable a better view
blitz - Large formation of close flying enemy aircraft
blitz time - Time briefed for all aircraft to pass over target
Blockbuster. See HC Bomb.
Blower - Aircraft supercharger; telephone
boffins - Scientific or technical types who worked on new aircraft or equipment developments
bogey - Unidentified aircraft
bomb up - To load the bombs on to an aircraft
bomphleteers - Airmen engaged on the early pamphlet raids (later called Nickels)
boomerang - Returning early from an uncompleted operation because of alleged technical problems - see also DNCO
boost - The amount of supercharging given to an engine to increase power (eg: +5 lb)
Boozer. Equipment fitted to an aircraft that was able to detect when it was being tracked by enemy radar, both ground and fighter based. Boozer warned the pilot that his aircraft was being tracked by warning lights in the cockpit.
bounce - Surprise attack
briefing - Meeting of all crews before they set out on an operation, to receive instructions for the op: some might have further specialist briefings e.g. navigators
Brock's benefit - Very intense display of flares, searchlights and AA fire (after the firework manufacturer who also supplied many of the flares used)
brolly - Parachute
Bromide - Jammer to counter the German X-Gerät bombing aid
bumps - See circuits and bumps
bus - An aircraft
bus driver - Bomber pilot
Buster - As fast as possible.
buttoned up - Job properly completed, all sorted out
buzz - Rumour
cabbage - Bomb
Cat - Consolidated Catalina aircraft
cat's eyes - Particularly keen eyed pilot
Caterpillar Club - Club for those who had survived by using their parachutes - the pin was a small caterpillar (representing the insect that made silk) and was given by Irvin, the maker of parachutes
Carpet operation - Supply dropping sortie to Resistance forces
Chain Home - British early warning radar system
champagne glass - Handley Page Hampden aircraft
Chance light - Powerful light at end of runway which could be requested by a pilot in difficulty
chocks away - Let's make a start
chute - Parachute
circuits and bumps - repeated touch and go landings in training, a pilot training exercise in landing an aircraft and immediately taking off again
Circus operations - Fighter-escorted daylight bombing attacks against short-range targets with the aim of bringing the enemy air force to battle
clapped out - An aircraft or person nearing the end of its useful life - worn out, tired
Clarion - American plan to disrupt German communications and morale by widespread bombing attacks
clobber - Flying gear it was necessary to wear in a wartime bomber
Cluster Bomb. A bomb containing many small bomblets designed to explode in the air scattering its contents over a wide area. When used against towns and cities the small bomblets were more usually incendiary devices rather than explosives.
comb out - Make an extensive ground target sweep with gunfire
coming to town - Enemy aircraft approaching
coming and going - Applied to an aircraft fitted with a wireless set
con course - Conversion course e.g. when switching from one trade to another
coned - When a master searchlight, often radar controlled, frequently described as having a blueish beam, picked up an aircraft, other searchlights in the area would swing onto the aircraft, thus coning it - then flak would be poured into the cone
conservatory - Cabin of a plane (from the perspex on three sides)
Cookie - 4,000lb High Capacity blast bomb, usually dropped with incendiaries; also called a blockbuster (demolish a block of houses)
corkscrew - Evasive manoeuvre when attacked by night fighter - sharp diving turn to port followed by sharp climbing turn to starboard: one of the gunners, watching the attack, would order the pilot "Corkscrew GO!"
Corona - Counterfeit orders to German fighters
crab - Avro 504 training aircraft
crabbing along - Flying near the ground or water
crack down - When applied to an aircraft, to shoot it down: to crack down on the deck (in the drink) - to crash land on the ground (on the sea)
crate - Aircraft, particularly one which is obsolescent
cricket - German night fighter plane
Crossbow - Attack on V-weapon launching sites
curtains - Killed
Crump Dump - The Ruhr
crump hole - Bomb crater
cu - Cumulus cloud
cu nim - Cumulo nimbus cloud
CWGC. Commonwealth Graves Commission. Established by Royal Charter as The Imperial Graves Commission in May 1915 it is responsible for recording, commemorating and tending to the maintenance and upkeep of graves and memorials to the 1,700,000 men and women killed in two world wars in 154 countries throughout the world.
Daffy - Boulton Paul Defiant aircraft
daisy cutter - Faultless landing
Dalton Computer - Early mechanical hand held computer used in air navigation
Darkie - System of homing at night on radio bearings provided by base when requested
Day Ranger - Operation to engage air and ground targets within a wide but specified area, by day
dead stick - Engine failed - e.g. dead stick landing is a landing without engine power
debriefing - Interrogation over mugs of tea with the Intelligence staff to elicit what happened on the op
deck - The ground : "crack down on the deck" - to "pancake" an aircraft
dickey flight - Training flight where a pilot not experienced on operations or a senior officer returning to operations would go on an op with an experienced crew as a "second dickey"
dicky seat - Seat originally designed for a second pilot
Distil operation - Fighter operation to shoot down enemy aircraft minesweeping.
ditch - To force land on water
Dog-fight - Aerial scrap
Domino - Jammer to counter the German X-Gerät bombing aid
dope - Nitrocelluloid liquid, similar to nail polish, used to tighten and harden fabric (linen) airframe covering
down the flights - The area on an airfield where the aircraft were serviced between ops
Drem lighting - System of outer markers and approach lights installed at many airfields in the early years of the war
drome - Airfield
dud - Weather: when not fit to fly - bombs/ammunition: didn't go off
Düppel - German name for metal foil dropped to confuse radar
dustbin - Ventral gunner's position in aircraft
dust-up - Heated action/flight/altercation
egg - A bomb or mine (lay eggs - lay mines)
Eureka - Ground radio transmitter for guiding bombers to their target everything under control - all is well
Eyetie - Italian (plane)
Faithful Annie - Avro Anson
Fighter Night patrol - Fighter patrol over area where anti-aircraft gunners were ordered not to fire, sometimes restricted to certain altitudes
fitter - ground crew responsible for engines and related controls
Firebash sorties - sorties by Mosquitoes of 100 Group with the aircraft delivering incendiary or napalm loads on German airfields
fireproof - invulnerable
fireworks - heavy anti aircraft fire
FISHPOND. Similar to Monica but worked as an additional part of the H2S system. It was inclined to give false warnings and was withdrawn in 1944 together with Monica when it was discovered that the Germans had developed a method of homing in on their signals.
Flak - Fliegerabwehrkanonen - anti-aircraft gun: in reports heavy/light flak referred to to the calibre observed not the intensity - "getting some flak" - being criticised
flame float - Small floating incendiary device thrown down the flare chute so that the rear gunner could centre the "pip" on his reflector sight on the point of light and then read off the degree of deviation from a scale on his turret ring - thus providing the navigator with the degree of wind drift blowing the a/c off track
flamer - aircraft shot down in flames
flaming onions - Anti aircraft tracer
flare path - a row of lights (either kerosene gooseneck flares or permanent base electric lights) marking the boundary of the runway for taking off/landing
FLASH BOMB. Magnesium filled bomb with a time delay fuse which when detonated illuminated the ground and a photocell triggered the on board camera shutter release. The camera shutter stayed open for a comparatively long time resulting in strange photographs of white streaks on a black background but eventually it was learned how to interpret the images produced
flicks - searchlights or cinema.
flight - a bomber squadron was in one or more Flights - e.g. A and B each consisting of 6-8 aircraft and crews: each Flight was commanded by a Squadron Leader or Flight Lieutenant - A Flight aircraft were lettered A-N and B Flight from M-Z
flip - Short flight, especially when as a favour to a friend
flying log - every aircrew member was required to keep a flying logbook of every flight taken - including air tests, transport, training and operational flying - this was signed by the Flight Commander each month and by the CO. At the end of a tour the C/O and the Trade Leader would sign (eg: a Bomb Aimer's log would be signed by the Bombing Leader, The Gunner's by the Gunnery Leader etc.)
Flying Pencil - Dornier bomber
(Tadpole) - Handley Page Hampden
Flying Tin-Opener - Hurricane in tank busting role
fold up - Suddenly crash
football feet - make excessive use of rudder
Form 78 - RAF form also called Aircraft Movement Card which followed the aircraft from the manufacturer to its final resting place
Form 540 - Pages of this form make up the Operations Record Books (ORB): the column headings are date, aircraft type and number, crew, duty, Time up, Time down, Details of sortie or flight, References
Form 541 - Pages of this form were used for the Appendices to the ORB
Form 700 - Form setting out the serviceability status of an aircraft, signed by the captain to signify taking over responslbility for it from the ground crew: the Form had to list any defects
Fort - Boeing B-17 Heavy Daylight Bomber
Freya - German early warning radar
frozen on the stick - paralysed with fear
Fuller - Counter measures agains the escape of the Scharnhorst and the Gneisenau from Brest
full bore - Flat out, at top speed
GARDENING. Low level mine laying in rivers, estuaries, ports etc.
gate (through the) - Apply maximum power
GEE. Radio Navigation system utilising the time delay of two radio signals to pinpoint a position.The system had an effective range of about 500km.
Giant Würzburg - German fighter control radar
Grand Slam - 22,000lb penetrating (earthquake) bomb
George - Automatic pilot
Gerry or Jerry - German
goggled goblin - Night fighter pilot
going (around again) - repeating the bomb run to get a better result
goolie chit - A scrap of paper or piece of cloth that when shown to the natives of a country over which you might be shot down offered a reward if they would return you alive and entire to the nearest Allied unit: arose from NW frontier and Iraq where the ladies of some tribes played nasty games with sharp knives
Gossage - Barrage balloon (after AOC Balloon Command Sir Leslie Gossage)
GP BOMB. American term for a medium capacity bomb. See MC Bomb.
Grab for altitude - try to gain altitude in flight: become very angry
Gravy (the) - Atlantic: gravy - fuel
green (in the) - All engine control gauges operating correctly - a needle which swung into the "red" indicated a malfunction
green (to get the) - to receive permission to take off (expanded to get permission for anything) - the airfield control officer would signal with a morse code Aldis Lamp with a green lens to give an aircraft permission to take off - usually the message was the letter of the aircraft (eg: P for Peter - .. -)
greenhouse - cockpit windows
greens - (when referring to undercarriage instrumentation) green lights referring to the retractable undercarriage legs, red lights indicate legs moving between up/locked and down/locked. When all up and locked there are no lights showing (makes bulbs last longer, most old indicators had two sets of green lamps switchable to cater for a blown bulb)
groceries - Bombs see also cabbage, cookie, egg
grope - Ground operational exercise
grounded - Not permitted to fly: someone newly married (can't fly by night)
ground-strafe - low flying attack
Group - A formation of Wings
Groupie - Group Captain - usual rank of officer who commanded a Wing
Guinea Pig Club - After an incident where aircrew were extremely badly burned they would be sent to East Grinstead Hospital in the U.K. where some of the foremost plastic surgeons of the day performed "cutting edge" surgery - the term was made up by the patients themselves - many today proudly wear the maroon tie of the club
H2S. Ground scanning/mapping radar system for night bombing introduced in 1943.It was designed to work beyond the range of radio navigation systems such as Gee and Oboe that were only effective up to about 500km. The system was so successful that an advanced version was still in use during the Falklands War and in service on Handley Page Victors until 1993.
HC BOMB. High capacity bombs sometimes referred to as a 'Cookie' or 'Blockbuster'. Originally 4000lbs. larger ones were made as the war progressed up to 12000lbs.
HCU. Heavy Conversion Unit. Set up from 1941 onwards to give medium bomber crews experience on four engines heavy bombers prior to their posting to operational squadrons.
Halibag - Handley Page Halifax four engine bomber
Ham-Bone - Handley Page Hampden
Happy Valley - The Ruhr, much bombed and very heavily defended
heavy - heavy bomb or bomber
hedge-hopping - Flying so low that the aircraft appears to hop over the hedges
Herc - Bristol Hercules sleeve valve air cooled radial engine
Himmelbett - German system of controlled night fighting
hockey stick - Bomb loading jack or hoist
hoosh - Land at great speed
Hoover - Fighter sweep
hours - on 24 hour clock - time - 2345 hours would be 12:45 p.m. ,also could be the amount of time in the air as calculated in your log book: night hours were usually written in red
Hun - German
Hurryback - Hurricane fighter
Hurrybuster - See Flying Tin Opener
IB. Incendiary Bombs.
IFF (Identification Friend or Foe). Worked in conjunction with British home chain radar to identify friendly aircraft. Friendly aircraft using the system carried a transponder that on enquiry from the home chain transmitted a signal that enabled the radar operator to identify the aircraft as friendly. If no such signal was received, the aircraft was regarded as foe. IFF is therefore a misnomer in that it could not identify enemy aircraft but merely assumed that if an aircraft was not identified as friendly it must be an enemy aircraft.
Illuminator - A crew tasked with dropping flares on a night target so that the following a/c could aim accurately
intell - intelligence officer (I/O) or intelligence report
intercom - System by which the various crew members communicated with each other by voice in the aircraft
Irvin Jacket - Standard RAF leather flying jacket lined with fleece
Jerry - German (plane)
Jerrycan - Excellent German heavy duty portable can for holding water, fuel or other liquid - quickly replaced the leaky tins used by the RAF, was manufactured in England to the German pattern
Jink away - Sharp manoeuvre, sudden evasive action of aircraft
Jostle – 2.5kW airborne jamming transmitter carried in sealed bomb bays of 100 Group Fortresses, from Telecommunications Research Establishment.
Juice - Aviation fuel (as in "we are low on juice") - also "gravy" - AVGAS was 100 Octane petrol
K site - Airfields with dummy aircraft for deception by day
Kipper Kite - Coastal Command aircraft which protected fishing fleets in the North and Irish Seas
Knickebein - German navigational aid
knot - Measure of air or ground speed - one nautical mile per hour (1.150 statute miles per hour)
Lagoon - Shipping reconnaissance operation off the Dutch coast
Lanc - Avro Lancaster bomber
let down - Descend through cloud
let up - Ease up on throttle
Lib - Consolidated B-24 Liberator
Lichtenstein - German night fighter radar
Lindholme gear - Equipment dropped from air-sea rescue aircraft to crews ditched in the sea, developed at RAF Lindholme
line book - book kept in the Mess in which two or more officers could record a 'line shoot' by someone
line shoot - shooting a line - exaggerating one's accomplishments - usually responded to by the line "there I was upside down, nothing on the clock but the makers name...."
Loran - short for long range navigation, was a hyperbolic radio navigation system developed in the United States during World War II. It was similar to the UK's Gee system but operated at lower frequencies in order to provide improved range up to 1,500 miles (2,400 km) with accuracy of tens of miles.
Lorenz system - Blind beam approach system
Mae West - Inflatable life vest worn over flying suit (when inflated resembled the pigeon breasted movie star)
Mahmoud sortie - night fighter sortie to specific point over enemy territory to engage his night fighters in that area
mahogany Spitfire - desk - "flown" by penguins and ground walla's
main bit - Major section of an aircraft
MC BOMB. Medium capacity bomb usually identified by their weight and/or fuse type/delay.
Mandrel - Airborne radio swamping of the German early warning system, device used by 100 Group
Meacon - Stations set up to broadcast signals aimed at 'bending' or altering German navigation transmissions
Met - Meteorology Officer or weather report
Mickey Mouse - Bomb-dropping controls - the bombing panel consisted of a clockwork distributor and selection switches (hence like a mickey mouse watch)
milling around - Aircraft forming defensive circle
mixed death - Various types of ammunition combined in a belt
Monica - Radar fitted in rear of Bomber Command aircraft to provide some early warning of night fighters; in July 1944 it was found that Monica was being detected as a homing signal for the Luftwaffe
Mossie - De Haviland Mosquito aircraft
Musical Paramatta - method of ground marking a target by coloured target indicators dropped blindly on Oboe
Musical Wanganui - method of sky marking a target by parachute borne coloured markers dropped blindly on Oboe
Naxos - German radar device enabling fighters to home on H2S transmissions of bombers
Newhaven - Method of ground marking a target by flares or target indicators dropped blindly on HS followed by visual identification
Nickels - Propaganda leaflets
Night Ranger - Operation to engage air and ground targets within a wide but specified area, by night
NJG. Abbreviation of nachtjagdgeschwader. ( German Night Fighter Squadron).
NoK - or N.o.K - Next of Kin
OBOE. Introduced in early 1943 Oboe was a radio navigation system. Two radio transmitters in England broadcast signals to the aircraft carrying the Oboe equipment and these signals were then transmitted back. One of the transmitter stations guided the aircraft on the correct course by sending signals to the pilot if he wavered off the correct course whilst the other one calculated by reference to the aircraft's ground speed when he was in the correct location to drop his bombs. The system was only effective up to about 500 km and because it was capable of controlling just one aircraft at once it was necessarily used by Pathfinders to more accurately locate the target to be marked.
office - Cockpit of aircraft
On the beam - Some stations were equipped with a landing beam which told the pilot he was on the correct glide slope for landing - if he flew too high he would hear a series of morse dots and if too low a series of morse dashes - the idea was to keep a steady tone in one's earphones - also showed up in some aircraft as a set of lights showing that one was on the correct beam or too high or low - also used for flying on a navigation beam such as Gee or Oboe - generally translated to being on the right course of action about anything as in "I think the Wingco's on the beam about not flying over the Alps again."
op (operation) - Attack on the enemy (USAAF term - "mission")
opsum - Operational Summary - prepared by the Intelligence Officer from debriefing notes recording the results of an operation
ORB - All RAF units produced historic records of their activities. They are known as Operations Record Books [ORB] and contain a collection of RAF Forms 540, a monthly record of events that include details of exercises, training, technical matters, sports and entertainment, health and a variety of other day to day activities. These monthly records were signed by the station's Commanding Officer. The ORB also has detailed attachments containing RAF orders relating to exercises and operations and a few photographs. Units completing ORBs include RAF Commands, Groups, Wings, Sections, Stations and Squadrons. The ORB was used to furnish a complete history of the unit and was collected, amongst other things, to be used to improve organisation, equipment and administration. Form 540 was classified 'Secret'. It must be born in mind that the official record was heavily censored, often before it was put into the public archive and so in many instances further research needs to be carried out to 'fill in the gaps'. (from RAF Davidstow Moor site)
OTU. Operational Training Unit.
overload tanks - Extra fuel tanks required when for example a Wellington was operated at i ts extreme range - two could be fitted in the bomb bays and one could be fitted on the rest cot in the fuselage
Overlord - Allied invasion of northern France in June 1944
pack up - cease to function - "My port engine packed up coming out of the target area"
Pampa - Long-range weather reporting sortie
pancake - To land
party - Air battle
PATHFINDERS. Aircraft that flew ahead of the main force to mark the target and approach route with coloured flares (target indicators), incendiaries and/or bombs.
peel off (to) - Break formation to engage enemy
perch - To land
PFF. Pathfinder Force.
piece of cake - An easy target with little opposition - anything easily done
piece of nice - Any pleasant entertainment
Pink Pansy - an incendiary bomb - made from Benzol, rubber and phosphorous. Also used as a marker (Usually around 2,800 lbs)
plaster - To bomb heavily and accurately
play pussy - Hide in the clouds.
pleep - A squeak, rather like a high note klaxon.
plug away - Continue to fire, keep going for target
plumber - Armourer
poop off - Open fire
port - The left side of a/c as seen from pilots seat
posted - Orders sending a crewman to another station or responsibility
prang - To crash an a/c or to hit a target well
Prata - Weather reconnaissance flight
pulpit - Cockpit of aircraft
pundit - Flashing light which signalled the airfield identity in order to assist navigation
Q-site - Site flashing lights to represent a mock airfield to attract enemy attention at night
Queen Mary - An articulated "semi" trailer used to transport aircraft or aircraft parts by ground to Maintenance Units for service or refurbishment
quick squirt - Short sharp burst of machine-gun fire - "quickie"
Ramrod - Bomber raid escorted by fighters aimed at destruction of a specific target in daylight
Ranger - Usually a deep penetration flight to a specified area, to engage targets of opportunity
Rhombus - Weather reporting flight
Rhubarb - Low-level strike operation mounted in cloudy condition against enemy targets in Occupied Countries
rigger - Ground crew responsible for airframe (specialists might include "instrument bashers" and "sparks" to look after instruments and electrical systems)
rings - Rank designation on officer's cuffs e.g. half ringer = Pilot Officer, one ringer = Flying Officer, two ringer = Flight Lieutenant, two and a half = Squadron Leader, three = Wing Commander
Roadstead - Fighter operation mounted against shipping
Rodeo - Fighter sweep
roddie or rodded bombs - bomb fitted with a rod in the nose so that it would explode above the ground - used in antipersonnel ops
round - One cartridge of .303 ammunition, ammunition was measured in number of rounds carried
Rover - Coastal Command armed patrol to search for enemy shipping
runup - To test engines for magneto drop before taking off - also the route taken into the target area before the bomb dropping point was reached
SSQ - Station Sick Quarters
salvo - Bomb selection which released all bombs at the same time
sardine-tin - Torpedo carrying plane
Sashlite bulb - Photo-flash bulb used for training and experimental purposes
scarecrow - Crews reported aircraft blowing up without evidence of attacks (e.g. tracer), and the story arose that the Germans were firing scarecrow shells to simulate stricken aircraft, so as to demoralise crews. Probably actually the result of Schräge Musik attacks, but less easy to explain in daylight reports.
scarlet slugs - Bofors tracer fire
Schräge Musik - Devastatingly successful upward firing gun fighter attack using tracer-less ammunition against bombers used by expert Luftwaffe pilots.
scramble - Immediate operational take off
scream downhill - Execute a power dive
screamer - Bomb that makes a whistling sound as it comes down
screened - Period after completing a tour when aircrew could not be called on to do operational flying
scrub - Cancel an op
scrub around - Evasive action
second dickey - Additional pilot usually aboard for experience on an operation before starting ops with his own crew: the first pilot is however not called a first dickey
Serrate sortie - Operation to locate and destroy enemy night fighters and combined with night bomber raids. Made use of airborne radar
Shagbat - Supermarine Walrus aircraft
SHIVER. Radio transmission system used by bombers to jam or swamp German ground radar.
silver sausage - Barrage balloon
sky-piece - Smoke trails
snake about - Evasive action when chased by enemy fighters or searchlights or AA fire
snappers - Enemy fighters
soggy - Aircraft with unresponsive controls; soggy type
sortie - One aircraft doing one trip to target and back
soup - Fog; "tangled in the soup" - astray in the fog
spam can - B-24 Liberator
Spit - Supermarine Spitfire aircraft
spoof - Diversionary raid or operation
Spartan - Exercise to establish methods of making entire airfield formation mobile
squadron vic - V shaped formation of aircraft
squirt - To fire a short burst from machine guns - as in "the R/G gave him a squirt before we went into the corkscrew"
stand down - no operations planned
starboard - Right side of the a/c as seen from pilot's seat
Starfish - UK decoy sites with various fire and illumination effects simulating targets to lure Axis bomber formations e.g. Langstone Harbour for Portsmouth
stick - Bomb selection so that bombs would be released at timed intervals from their carriers in the bomb bay (also to release only a part of bomb load, going around a second time to drop the rest)
Sun - Short Sunderland aircraft
Sunray - Overseas training flight for bomber crews
Sunray - Code for any CO
sweep - Systematic operation to flush out targets in a given area e.g. fighter sweep
Tallboy - 12,0001b penetrating (earthquake) bomb
tail end Charlie - rear gunner or rear aircraft of a formation
take it on - (aeroplane) climb rapidly
Tame Sow/Zahme Sau - German tactics, designed to bring night fighters in contact with bombers moving to and from target, using co-ordinated groups
taps - Controls, indicators in the cockpit or cabin of an aircraft
taters (sack of) - Load of bombs delivered to same address
taxi - Plane carrying small number of passengers
taxi-driver - Instructor at a school of air navigation
TD. Time delay referring to a bomb fuse.
teat - Electric button which fires the guns (or tit, also for dropping bombs)
Tee Emm - RAF Magazine (as in Training Manual), post war retitled Happy Landings
tee up - Prepare a job, to get ready.
ten-tenths - No visibility because of total cloud cover - also 10/10ths flak - very heavy concentration
three pointer - Excellent landing (on all three wheels)
Thum - Weather reporting flight
TI. Target Indicator (see Pathfinder)
TINSEL. Jamming system whereby engine noise, picked up by a microphone in a bomber's engine housing was transmitted by the wireless operator on German fighter frequencies to disrupt or drown out their communication with their controllers.
tool along - Fly aimlessly
totem-pole - Airfield lighting equipment of this shape
touch bottom - Crash
touch down - Land
tour (of operations) - initially a period of time, later a number of ops, that a bomber crewman had to complete before being screened
toy - Training aircraft or Link Trainer
tracer - Type of machine gun round which glowed as it moved showing the way to the target and allowing for adjustments in sighting - unfortunately also gave away the firer's position - usually every fourth round was a tracer
train (driving the) - leading more than one squadron into battle
trip - an op
trousers - Fairing of the undercarriage legs of certain types of aircraft
turn up the wick - Open the throttle
twitch - body tremors developed by aircrew after a number of operations - "he's got the twitch" - sign of operational stress
undercart - Undercarriage of an aircraft - two main wheels and a tail wheel in the case of "taildraggers" like the Wellington - two main and a nosewheel for "tricycle" aircraft like the B-24 - attempting a landing with the 'cart "up" was considered a "putting up a large black" for the pilot
upstairs - In the air
up top - Flying high
UP - Projector for firing Z rockets
vegetables - Acoustic or magnetic mines sowed on gardening expeditions to various "beds"
vic - Aircraft formation in the shape of a "vee" usually three aircraft but could be more
visiting card - Bomb
waffle/waffling - Out of control, losing height; or cruising along unconcernedly and indecisively
washed out - scrubbed - to fail as a student pilot - bomb aimers or navigators in particular were often scrubbed pilots
Wassermann - German early warning radar
weaving - Gentle form of corkscrew - evasive manoeuvre to allow gunners maximum view around aircraft, especially below.
whiff - Oxygen
Whispering Death - Beaufighter
whistle (to) - Depart hurriedly e.g. scramble
whistler - High explosive bomb as it comes down
Wild Sow/Wilde Sau - German tactics to engage bombers over the target by individual fighters
Wimpey - Vickers Armstrong's Wellington Bomber
WINDOW. Foil strips dropped via the flare chutes on bombers in order to disrupt or fool German radar into believing it was detecting a much larger force than it was. The foil was covered in black card so as not to be seen by enemy searchlights.
Wing - Unit made up of two or sometimes three squadrons
Wingco - Wing Commander
wizard/wizzo - Really first class, superlative, attractive, ingenious
wop - Wireless Operator
wopag - Wireless Operator/Air Gunner
wom - Wireless Operator/Mechanic
woof - To open the throttle very quickly
wrap up - Crash
Würzburg - German radar used to direct A.A. guns, searchlights, and briefly, night fighters
X-Gerät - German bombing aid
Y-control - Method of controlling night fighters using modified Y-Gerät equipment
Y-Gerät - German bombing aid
Y Service - Ground based signals monitoring service, using German or Italian speaking operators
yellow doughnut - collapsible dinghy carried on aircraft
yellow peril - training aircraft
LOG BOOK TRAINING CODES
1.A. Familiarisation - Ground
2.A. Familiarisation - Air (Including simple explanation of flight)
1.C. Tarmac check - (Including starting up and handling of the engine)
2.The flying controls
4. Straight and level flight
4.I.F. Straight and level flight on instruments
5. Climbing, descending, gliding
5.I.F. Climbing, descending, gliding on instruments
6.A. Climbing turns
6.B. Descending turns
6.C. Gliding turns
6.I.F. Turning on instruments
7. Take off
7.A. Out of wind take off
7.I.F. Take off on instruments
8. Gliding approach and landing
8.A. Out of wind landings
9. Engine assisted approach
10. spinning - (Including further demonstrations of stalling and incipient spinning) No. of spins each watt to be inserted.
10.I.F. Spinning on instruments
11. solo check (Including overshoot and undershoot procedure)
12. Side slipping
13. Precautionary landings
14. Low flying
15. Steep turns
15.A. Steep descending and gliding turns
16. Gliding turns - (see sequence 6)
17. Forced landings
18. Action in event of fire
19. Instrument flying (General)
23. (1) Steering by compass
23. (2) Turning from one course to another
23. (3) Recognition of pinpoints
23. (4) Use of time scale
23. (2) Turning from one course to another - solo
23. ℗ Pinpoints - solo
24. Cross country - solo
25. Night flying (number of landings to be inserted)
Flight Commanders Test
At and from 12-09-1942 the numbers only of the above sequences are to be entered in the log book. Those above which are underlined must be entered in RED INK. The numbers for all sequences carried out on any one trip may be entered on one line in order to conserve space. All wording necessary must be in BLOCK capitals. The utmost neatness and accuracy is essential.
LUFTWAFFE CODE NAMES AND EXPRESSIONS
Deutscher Funkverkehr / Codewörter
ANTRETEN Auf kürzestem Wege Kurs nehmen
AMPULLE Angriff starten
BUCHBINDER Angriff abbrechen
AMPULLE RICHARDUS Angriff fortsetzen/wiederholen
ÄQUATOR In den Wolken
AUGUSTUS Aufklärer -> NACHTWÄCHTER -> SPÄHWAGEN
AUSSENSEITER Nebenangriff -> MARKTPLATZ
AUTOBAHN DRÜCKEN Landefunkfeuer an
AUTOBAHN UMLEGEN Landefunkfeuer aus
AUTOS Feindliche Zweimotorige Flugzeuge
DICKE AUTOS Feindliche schwere Bomber 4-mots
BERGE Tieffliegende Feindflieger
BLAUE TRUPPEN Eigene Truppen
ROTE TRUPPEN Feindliche Truppen
BLIND Keine Fühlung
BODO Bodenstelle, Gefechtsstand
BRUCH IM GARTENZAUN Bruchlandung auf dem Platz
DAMENWAHL Führer eines Verbandes wechseln
DICKE AUTOS Feindliche Viermotorige Flugzeuge
DICKE MÖBELWAGEN Eigene drei- oder viermotorige Flugzeuge
DREIMAL ROLF|LISA Kurs 30° nach rechts / links verbessern
EILE Eigene Geschwindigkeit
EINBRECHER Eintritt in Flaksperrgebiet
ENTE Entfernung zum Feind
EXPRESS Fliegen Sie schneller
EXPRESS-EXPRESS Äußerste Geschwindigkeit
FAMILIE Welle, Pulk
FEIERABEND Starte Zielanflug
FRAGEZEICHEN Unbekannte Flugzeuge
GEBEN SIE AUF ... Mit Gefechtsstand/Heimat sprechen
GEHEN SIE INS VORZIMMER Warten Sie
GLEICHER KIRCHTURM Gleiche Flughöhe wie Feindmaschinen -> KIRCHTURM
HALBZEIT Luftkampf abbrechen
HALLO TONI Höhe 1 bis 100m
HALLO 23 Höhe 2300m
HALTEN Fliegen Sie langsamer
HANNY Höhe des Feindes
HAUS (KENNZIFFER) Ausweichhafen mit optionaler Kennziffer
HAUS ZWEI Ausweichhafen zwei anfliegen
HAVANNA Sofortige Landung auf schnellstem Wege
ICH BERÜHRE Visueller Kontakt zum Ziel
ICH BIN ANGESTRAHLT Liege unter Beschuss
ICH BIN BLIND Fühlung verloren
ICH BIN DA Bin am Platz
ICH HABE DURST Treibstoffmangel
ICH STEIGE AUS Fallschirmabsprung
ICH STOPFE Waffenausfall
ICH SUCHE Ziel nicht gesehen/verloren
INDIANER Feindliche Jäger
JUGENDZEIT Flugzeit bis zur Landung
KARUSSELL LISA Kreisen über links
KARUSSELL ROLF Kreisen über rechts
KIRCHTURM Eigene Höhe
KLEINER RUTSCH Bauchlandung
KONDOR Befehl ausgeführt
KREUZUNG Bin in Not, bitte auf taktische Weise anpeilen
LISA Kurs 10° nach links verbessern
MARIE Kurs liegt richtig
MEIN PFERD LAHMT Motorschaden
MÖBELWAGEN Eigene zweimotorige Flugzeuge
MYO Sirene, Feindflieger am eigenen Flugplatz
MYO NIL Eigener Flugplatz frei
NAPOLI Achtung Nebel
NATRON Nicht verstanden
NORDPOL Über den Wolken
NORMALUHR Bleiben Sie in...
ORKAN Geschwindigkeit des Feindes
PAUSE Flugzeit in Minuten
PELIKAN Feindliches Schiff
RADFAHRER Eigene einmotorige Flugzeuge
RENNAUTO Schnelle Kampfflugzeuge
REISE, REISE NACH Raum verlassen nach
RICARDUS Nicht verstanden, bitte wiederholen
ROLF Kurs 10° nach rechts verbessern
ROLF-LISA Flügelwackeln zur Erkennung
ROTE TRUPPEN Feindliche Truppen
SCHEIBENSTAND Lage noch ungeklärt
SPIELBEGINN Feindverband erkannt
STACHELDRAHT Sperre fliegen
STAUBWOLKE Viele Flugzeuge
STERNTALER Nachfliegende Feindjäger
STOLA WACHS Stellungswechsel
SÜDPOL Unter den Wolken
TAMPEN M.W. Kurs
TERMIN Flugzeit (Treibstoffvorrat)
VERDOL Vordere Linie
VIKTOR Verstanden und Bestätigung
WOLGA HALLO Wolkenhöhe
ZIRKUS ÜBER... Sammeln über...
ZITRONE Eigenes Schiff
ZWEIMAL ROLF/LISA Kurs 20° nach rechts/links verbessern
FUNK und Y Führung
ACHTEN AUF FALSCHMÜNZE Gegner gibt auf unserer Welle mit Sprechsender
(Der bei Windstille einzuhaltende Kurs zu einer Peilstation)
BLEIBEN SIE AUF BALKON Auf Qmp-Höhe bleiben
(Höhe bei Blindanflug)
ICH ZÄHLE AB Ich zähle zu Ihrer Abstimmung
EISENBAHN Auf Gemeinschaftswelle schalten
GEHEN SIE INS BÜRO Auf Meß- und Verständigungshöhe gehen
GROSSE FREUDE Messungen vorhanden
(Frage an Peiler: Kann Ich nach dem Durchstoßverfahren landen?)
KUH MELKEN Auf Eigenpeilung gehen
KUH PASSIV Eigenpeilung unklar (Sichtanzeigegerät)
LASSEN SIE STERNE BLINKE Drücken Sie Prüfknopf FuG 25a
LEINE ZIEHEN Auf Gruppenbefehlswelle gehen
LOKOMOTIVE Auf Y-Messwelle schalten
RÜBEZAHL Übergabe von einer Y-Stelle an eine andere
SIE SIND HEISER Schlechte Abstimmung, nachstimmen
(Ruf eines Peilers: Ich peile Sie rechts weisend in ... Grad)
STERN FuG 25a
STIEFMAMA Falsches Rufzeichen
STRASSE DRÜCKEN Jägerbake an
STRASSE UMLEGEN Jägerbake aus
TAUB Kein Empfang
TIEFE TRAUER Keine Messungen vorhanden
TUBA Peilzeichen geben
TUBA DRÜCKEN Zielfunkfeuer einschalten
WEITLING Führung mit FuG 25a
WELLE AKTIV Funkgerät klar
WELLE PASSIV Funkgerät unklar
ZEBRA Mit Fu G 16 ZE ausgerüstet
ZYPRESSE Mit Fu G 16 ZY ausgerüstet
ALLES BEIM ALTEN Wetter unverändert
(Luftdruck am jeweiligen Flugplatz zur Einstellung des Feinhöhenmessers)
KINO LANGWEILIG Sicht schlecht
KINO SCHÖN Sicht gut
KÜCHE GROSS starker Dunst
KÜCHE KLEIN schwacher Dunst
LAUBFROSCH Geben Sie Kurzwetter
VORHANG 20 23 5-6 Bewölkungsunter- und obergrenze
(Untergrenze 2000m, Obergrenze 2300m, Bedeckungsgrad 5-6/10)
VORHANG WANDERT 6-7 Wechselnde Bewölkung 6-7/10
WINTER IN... Vereisung in... (Höhe in Hektometer)