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  History :: Airfield Call Signs

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Updated: 7 Feb 12

EXPLANATION OF THE BOMBER CODE SYSTEM.

Stations were each given a call sign, which was a word (occasionally two sandwiched together), that contained two distinct vowel sounds.
Each Station (but later each Base for those Groups that adopted the system), was allocated a list of codes in blocks of 5 or 2 for the squadrons and other flying units stationed there.
There are two code books CDO270(3)& CD0272(5) "RT War Call Signs - Ground Stations & Aircraft Home" that applied to aircraft operating from the UK, so RAF & USAAF. The first code book lists all the stations and is followed by a series of columns of reference numbers that relate to the blocks of codes in the second book. Lissett was part of 43 Base at Driffield. From April 44 Driffield was allocated code block 176 which included Luxsoap, Catfish, Beaten, Utter, Palin and code block 263 which was Daygown and Rudkin. When a squadron moved to a new station they would be allocated a new call sign from the list.
At the drop of a hat Air Ministry could move everyone on to the next column in the list, so the blocks associated with Driffield would overnight be allocated to-another area and probably another command. The change in April 44 was pre D-Day, but remained the same until VE day so the only changes felt at squadron level would be on moving to a new station. Before that the changes were more frequent.
In the earliest days the system would have been different as the code names only work where RT is involved. Simple alpha-numeric codes work better over WT.

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