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Thread: Temporary Rank Question

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    Default Temporary Rank Question

    I have an airmen who was granted a commission 8 June 1942. He was made T/F/O 8 December 1942 and subsequently killed in action 23 June 1943.

    My question is what exactly is a temporary rank? Would there be a subsequent promotion to the rank in question or can the airmen be promoted to the next higher rank?

    Regards,
    Christian

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    Christian,

    All wartime promotions were temporary.

    Errol

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    To expand on what Errol has mentioned.

    To accommodate the expansion of the RAF units were given increased (but temporary) establishments so people promoted to fill the places were given temporary ranks.

    Personnel holding temporary ranks could be promoted to higher acting ranks and usually after six months in an acting rank the holder would be promoted to war substantive rank. Therefore a Temp Flt Lt, promoted to Act Sqn Ldr would be promoted to War Sub Flt Lt after six months in acting rank of Sqn Ldr.

    Pre war regular officers still continued to receive substantive promotions throughout WW2 to keep them inline with where they would have been had the war not intervened.

    So a Sub Sqn Ldr could be a Temp Wg Cdr and Act Gp Capt.

    Malcolm

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    Malcolm
    I've often wondered about this temporary ranking .

    My RAAF father ,missing in action 10/44, was based in Italy with 104 RAF then 31 Sqdn SAAF and is officially listed as a F/O in Australian & CWGC records He was made a F/O in August 1943. He became the Leading Squadron Bombaimer when seconded to 31 SAAF in July '44

    Yet his bombaimer friend, who survived the war and his Base Commander ,whom I met in South Africa and with whom my father flew many times, told me that my father was made a Flt /Lt in July or August 1944 .He also told my mother in a letter to her .
    I could not find an official record of this promotion nor in my father's service records ?

    Anne

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    Malcolm, Hi,
    So let me get this straight (forget Temporary, or Acting, for the moment).
    Are you saying that ALL RAFVR "War Substantive" held Ranks were, in fact only temporary - in the sense that the rules had changed.
    Having chased a lot of my RAFVR War Commissioned Met Persons all over the place, I don't think I have found one who actually reverted to his/her War Substantive Rank on Relinquishing his/her Commission. They were (almost!!) all given the Rank (on Reliquishment) that they had been wearing on sleeve/epaulette. This only seems fair!
    But to complicate matters even further, what Pay Rates would this mythical War Substantive Flt Lt, Temp Sqn Ldr, Temp Wg Cdr, and Acting Gp Capt really be paid? I ask because a Gp Capt's Mess Bill would be difficult to meet from a Flt Lt's pay!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I'm not trying to complicate matters but merely to understand. Do I hear cans of worms being opened?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
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    Hi Peter

    Again don't quote me as gospel and I haven't been able to locate exact descriptions of each category but have deduced wwhat I stated from ploughing through the AFLs from 1918 to the present day (well 2007 which appears to be the last one issued.

    I believe everybody was paid at the rate of the rank worn on their sleeve/shoulder unless the acting rank was unpaid as opposed to paid. My own example here is that when I was a squadron commander (ATC), I was an Acting (paid) Flt Lt but when I relinquished my command and moved to another squadron I became an Acting (unpaid) Flt Lt and reverted to the pay of a Fg Off whilst continuing to wear Flt Lt rank badges.

    If you look in the Retired Lists you will see many officers who are listed as e.g. Sqn Ldr retaining Gp Capt, so on reliquishing his commission was either a Temp/War Sub or Substantive Sqn Ldr but at some point had held the rank of Acting Gp Capt, not necessarily his final rank. An example here is 'Ginger' Lacey, he was listed in the retired lists as a Flt Lt retaining Sqn Ldr, because after the war he reverted to Flt Lt on being awarded a Permanent Commission but never held the rank of Sqn Ldr in the post-war RAF and he finally retired down the road to me in that rank but was immediately permitted to retain the rank of Sqn Ldr as he had held in WW2.

    I think the subtantive/war substantive aspects were more to determine pension rates rather than pay rates.

    Are there now more worms in the can?

    Malcolm

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    Anne,
    Hope I can throw a little light on your problrm of acting ranks, and particularly the problems of British Commonwealth airmen serving on attachment with the RAF, although their parent service was of course that of their respective Domionion or equivalent. These attached personnel were serving under the articles of the EATS or equivalent, which made them more-or-less de facto RAF members, and all their postings, promotions, demotions, reversions, appointments, etc were undertaken by the RAF (Air Ministry and their Records office). I am aware that RNZAF personnel, for instance, appeared in the RNZAF (Officer) Lists throughout the war, with all home (NZ/Pacific, or at least those NOT attached to the RAF) based officers appearing with full details of substantive and acting ranks, but those officers serving on attachment with the RAF only appeared under their war substantive ransks. No acting ranks were ever shown for these men in the lists, probably because of the difficulty and slowness in receiving this information from the Air Ministry - this information almost always arrived in NZ, but this would be many months after the event, so it would appear that the transmission of such information had a low priority. The RNZAF in Wellington always knew of the substantive promotions of officers, as the promotion periods were set by the RAF in the first instance, but appointments to acting ranks were often undertaken at a much lower level within the organisation of the RAF (often at Group or even station level) and would only be confirmed later by the RAF Records Office. This delay seems to have been the reason for the initial gazetting of acting ranks (if they were in fact gazetted) and subsequent confirmation by Air Ministry which in turn resulted in the acting rank (unpaid) and acting rank (paid) scenario so often seen in personnel records of service. There must have been thousands of clerical staff engaged in the maintenance of these personnel records throughout the RAF, and sometimes information went astray and had to be sorted out later when the aggrieved person questioned why he/she was not receiving the correct pay or had not been promoted when they were told they would be at local level.
    David D

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    David
    Thanks for your detailed reply .I had to read it carefully to take in all the info.but understand what you have written .
    I have wondered if promotions of the allied servicemen based in Italy took longer to "get through " than if they were in Britain-even though 31 SAAF was part of the RAF 205 group ?
    Your words might explain why my father's promotion didn't arrive in time, officially, or be recorded before he was posted missing in Oct.'44 ? Or it was never granted and /or recorded, officially .
    I don't have his log book .

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 2nd March 2011 at 21:46.

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    Errol, Malcolm, Anne, Peter & David...thank you for your input.

    Peter you may have opened a can of worms (and Malcolm added to it), but it all helps to give me a clearer understanding, for example, as I read through the station ORBs for No.34 OTU, Pennfield Ridge. For example: Anthony Caron Evans-Evans (GB19018), O/C No.34 OTU, is described W/C (A/G/Cptn.) when posted there 17 April 1942. Now I have a better understanding what all this means.

    Christian

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    Does becoming a "Temporary, Local Acting, Unpaid, Corporal" for 48 hrs in 1954 mean I am part of this debate?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 3rd March 2011 at 15:10. Reason: Spelling/Finger Trouble
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
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