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Canadian Forces In S. E. Asia - WW2 - Nickelling Operations ??

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Valued Member
United Kingdom
356 Posts
Posted 02/20/2020   6:41 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add Anthraquinone to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I have just got a cover from a Canadian PO Diggins who was in SE Asia in 1945 with the RAF and after a bit of searching on the web found this link

http://www.rquirk.com/357oper/357%2...n%201945.pdf

It contains a record of 357 squadron in 1945 and some of the operations Diggins was involved in. If you are interested in Canada's involvement in S/E Asia in WW2 the whole document makes interesting reading. Several operations are noted as follows
Quote:
24 packs of nickels were dropped in posn. 1835N 9555E at 0805 hrs
The position given is over what was then Burma. I have yet to find any info as to what the purpose of the so called
Quote:
nickelling flights
was. Were they actually dropping nickels or was this a code of something else. I would have thought nickels dropped into the Burmese jungle were unlikely to be found. These drops were very frequent though.

Any info, ideas or web links would be much appreciated.

One comment made me smile but I would not have wanted to be in the agents position I am not that brave.

Quote:
The agent was very keen on take-off, but became very quiet as flight progressed & finally had to be pushed out of the a/c.


AQ

***Title Updated***
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Edited by Anthraquinone - 02/20/2020 6:54 pm

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Posted 02/20/2020   7:15 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I have just got a cover from a Canadian PO Diggins who was in SE Asia in 1945 with the RAF


Why make a post and not show us the cover? Please don't play games.
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Posted 02/20/2020   7:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


AQ..Lets see a scan of your cover my friend...Would be nice.

Robert
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Posted 02/20/2020   8:45 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
RAF term for dropping propaganda leaflets. The usual usage in European theater was "nickel raid."

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Edited by jleb1979 - 02/20/2020 8:55 pm
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Posted 02/21/2020   05:29 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anthraquinone to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
John Becker
Quote:
Please don't play games.


I do not like being accused of "playing games" the cover was very plain and I did not think it was worth showing. This tone of your post is not appropriate for this forum.

AQ
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Edited by Anthraquinone - 02/21/2020 07:52 am
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Posted 02/21/2020   05:51 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anthraquinone to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Jleb 1979

Thank you for that very helpful comment. I did wonder about that but reading through the 413 page document for the first time (see original link) I found references for one mission
Quote:
12 packets of leaflets were dropped on the Meho area from 13000'. Weather was fairly good throughout trip.
but then for another mission
Quote:
10 packets of nickels were dropped on Kyaukkyi, Kanyutkwin & Paungde, respectively.

That made me think that Nickels and Leaflets were different items. However I have just scanned through the documents again found one any that says


Quote:
Nickels have now become a feature of most operations, & 16 to 20 packets of 25 lbs. each are carried on almost every sortie. These are dropped at convenient & strategic spots en route to the D.Zs. On the 16th of the month, some special nickelling flights were carried out for the P. W. division in connection with the 19th Division's fight for Mandalay. Each aircraft carried 3570 lbs. of leaflets, & as 7 aircraft unloaded into the same area, the Japanese should be almost ankle deep in paper. Somewhere around 10 million were dropped in this one operation, which was spread over two nights


I wounder why the term nickel was ever used as it was hardly a secret what was being done.

AQ
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Edited by Anthraquinone - 02/21/2020 05:59 am
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Posted 02/21/2020   08:22 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jleb1979 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Anthraquinone,

Some aircrew developed a folk etymology for the term, claiming that nickel raids were worth only half of a bombing raid in terms of points toward standing down from flights over enemy territory. This is not correct. It might be a later Canadian explanation, 'cause the British did not have dimes and nickels....

The true derivation is that during the early months of the War, the British were reluctant to bomb urban targets in Germany out of concern for civilian casualties that would provoke German reprisal, primarily against London. But they wanted to do something so during 1939 they dropped millions of leaflets in what was code-named "Operation Nickel." The term "nickel raid" stuck long after the initial operation concluded.
https://codenames.info/operation/nickel/

Later in the War nickel raids were often a capstone exercise for newly trained aircrew. They would get training, then do a nickel raid, then start carrying bombs. A number of oral histories mention this. However, experienced crews also went on nickel raids, and sometimes the nickel raid also incorporated bombs.
Here is an example of an oral history from the BBC from a young fellow who wrote a poem about his nickel raid. They had all the discomfort and terror of a "real" raid. He also saw Coventry burning from the air on a training flight.
https://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2pe...927382.shtml

edited to add oral history link
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Edited by jleb1979 - 02/21/2020 08:35 am
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Posted 02/21/2020   09:13 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I do not like being accused of "playing games" the cover was very plain and I did not think it was worth showing. This tone of your post is not appropriate for this forum


AQ...Dont be alarmed at John's remarks...He is not ignorant, he is just John..An expert...He (and me) would love to see the cover..Thats all.

BTW..I have a massive collection of WW1 and WW2 information and articles. myself.

Cover my friend..cover, cover and cover...haha

Robert
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Posted 02/21/2020   09:45 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add sak to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
If the cover was very plain and of no interest philatelically, why ask the question here? I suggest querying a military forum. Luckily, Jleb1979 knew the answer.
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Posted 02/21/2020   10:12 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add John Becker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
AQ, I will stand by my post. And here is why. Over the years you have posted a number threads often relating to military postal history. Frequently you post only a cropped image of the mark in question and omit an image of the entire front or the reverse side. In other words, you provide incomplete information, yet expect a complete reply from the rest of us. Postal history is about the entire mail piece. To reference an item and then not show it is not in the spirit of the board. It can be taken a playing games. You might be surprised at the additional information about the most mundane looking item.
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Edited by John Becker - 02/21/2020 10:13 am
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Posted 02/21/2020   10:47 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anthraquinone to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
If the cover was very plain and of no interest philatelically, why ask the question here?


Because people here are normally very helpful and knowledgeable and share that info freely. ALso my question was specifically about Nickelling

AQ
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Edited by Anthraquinone - 02/21/2020 10:48 am
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Posted 02/21/2020   10:52 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anthraquinone to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Wert

The scan you asked for

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Posted 02/21/2020   11:03 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add wert to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Good boy AQ...Nice cover...First time I have seen a cover from The legion...
Those who are interested in the Canadian Legion..A link
https://www.legion.ca/remembrance/h...y-of-service

And if you enter the legion with a hat on, everyone will yell at you to take off your hat to show respect..Found that out the hard way...haha

Robert

Not sure what the cancel in bottom left corner is..??..Maybe the legion number.
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Posted 02/21/2020   1:01 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Anthraquinone to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Standard RAF censor. The sender a Canadian was attached to the RAF in India. The cover is a fairly normal cover from India. I have seen a few more from the Legion.
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Edited by Anthraquinone - 02/21/2020 1:06 pm
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Posted 02/22/2020   05:23 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joy Daschaudhuri to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply


This cover has connection to my city Kolkata.

5 Base Postal Unit RAF/RAF Base PO 5 was located in Kolkata from Sep 3,1943 to Sep 18,1946 and from Nov 11,1943 to Sep 18,1946, it was accomodated at 39B Acharya Jagadishchandra Basu Road, opposite to "haunted" South Park Street Cemetery, when this cover was processed there.

The 5 RAF POST 5 S.E. ASIA screwhead postmark dt. Apr 5,1945 of BPU/RAF Base PO 5 is Proud type D15 datestamp which is recorded by Proud used for a short period from Mar 24,1945 to Jun 11,1945.

5 BPU was the most important mail center of RAF as it covered the RAF operations in Myanmar sector as well as the entire Eastern India, until the formation of 8 BPU RAF in Imphal on Dec 3,1944.

The bisymmetric concave hexagonal R.A.F. CENSOR 524 rubber stamp in violet is Garrard & Colley/FPHS type R35 censor mark used by 357 Squadron RAF in Jashor (23.1778N 89.1801E).
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India
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Posted 02/22/2020   05:24 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Joy Daschaudhuri to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Postage Rate: From Oct 1,1943 to Jul 12,1945, RAF personnels in India were allowed concessional airmail rate of 8A applicable only for letters sent to "home" and weighing strictly under 14.18gm (oz).
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