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Thread: Help with RAF Service Record Abbreviations

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    Default Help with RAF Service Record Abbreviations

    I'm researching the crew of a Stirling that crashed in 1942 and there are a couple of postings on the pilots service record that I'm not sure what they are. I wonder if anyone could help?

    From no.8 Initial Training Wing he went to what looks like 51 Group Pool was there for 2 months and then went to 3 SFTS for 3 months. Any thoughts on what '51 Group Pool' and '3 SFTS' are?

    TIA

    Dave

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    Hi Dave,

    51 Group Pool - pool was some kind of depot, in this case for No. 51 Group, I suppose there cadets were passing basic RAF training + waiting for further posting.

    SFTS = Service Flying training School - school of advanced pilot training

    From my point of view there is missing EFTS = Elementary Flying Training School which was always before the SFTS as it was for the elementary pilot training.

    Pavel
    Last edited by CZ_RAF; 8th June 2011 at 13:38. Reason: typo
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    51 Group was Flying Training. Those 'posted' to No. 51 Group Pool seem to have moved on to flying training after that, so it was the initial stage, probably where elementary written, medical and other tests were conducted.

    I have several examples in service records, with the next unit, an Advanced Flying Unit, SFTS and an Aircrew reception Centre amongst others.

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    Yr man would probably have done his Square Bashing, medicals, jabs, etc, etc, at No 8 ITW which seems to have been at Newquay, Cornwall. 51 Group Pupil Pilot's Pool was at Wolverhampton. That seems fairly straightforward. But was not 3 SFTS at RCAF Calgary in Canada? Which may explain the lack of a UK EFTS? And, after getting his wings, on to some OCU. The time at 51 Gp PPP was, possibly, while they were collecting enough bods to make a draft to Canada. For those of you who have not experienced the delights of the very early training weeks/months in the RAF (either in war, or peace) you must realise there was (and probably still is?) an awful lot of "hanging about". The trick was (is?) to avoid the Station Warrant Officer (and his army of Discip Sgts/Cpls) by marching purposefully from one place to another clutching a piece of paper. Otherwise you ended up in the Tin Room of some Cookhouse (been there, done it!!!)
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 8th June 2011 at 16:01. Reason: Horrendous flash backs to my own Square Bashing
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    Thanks chaps. I think that's nailed it. From 3 SFTS he went onto 21 Operational Training Unit on 10/8/41 and then to 149 Squadron on 6/11/41, he then spent a few weeks with 149 Conversion Flight from 20/3/42 and back to 149 Sqdn on 6/4/42. He was killed returning from a mission on 21/08/42.

    His promotion the Sergeant (6/8/41) ties in with the end of his time at 3 STFS, he was promoted to Flight Sergeant on 1/8/42 and then to Pilot Officer wef 3/8/42. That seems pretty quick or was it something of a formality?

    Last question from me on this - The posting to 149 Conversion Flight is prefixed with an 'A' in a circle, does this mean 'Attached'?

    Thanks once again for all your help, much appreciated.

    Dave

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    Hi Dave

    He had probably been recommended/applied for a commission prior to his promotion to Flt Sgt and the two just coinsided. Also the date of his commission was probably back-dated to the date of his interview but he may nowt have actually been advised for a month or so. My interview was in February, which is the date on my commission but it was March before I received the official letter telling me, so from Feb to Mar I was still walking around as a WO.

    Malcolm

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    Hi Malcolm

    Thanks for that. It probably explains why he was still listed as a Sergeant in the squadron orb, even on his last mission. It also means that he probably didn't know he was successful in his promotion before he died. Very sad.

    Dave

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    Gentlemen,

    Bringing this thread back to the top.

    51 Group pool as on many service records was a 'Wing' responsible for a number of ITW's. It does not tell you where he went, further examination is required.

    He would have gone to an ITW to learn to fly unless he had some Red Bull and went straight to SFTS.

    Regards,

    Nick
    kenFentonsWar.com

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    Hi Nick

    51 Group Pool wasn't a Wing it was an administrative holding posting for personnel waiting to move to EFTS.

    No flying training took part at an ITW it was effectively where a candidate undertook his general service training (drill and PT) and his ground school training prior to beginning flying training at EFTS or AOS.

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcolm_raf; 17th May 2014 at 09:56.

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    Malcolm,
    Your right, I meant by putting Wing in inverted comments that 51 Group was an administrative or controlling groups and l meant to say of the EFTS's, not ITW's. I was in a rush. 51 Group being in charge of a number of EFTS's
    My Fathers record and many l have seen do not have make any reference to an EFTS, going from ITW to SFTS via 51 Group pool, as per the originator of this post. Some other records are more inclusive and informative.
    I have previously been told that my Father learnt to fly at 51 Group pool, Yeardon, attached to Leeds/Bradford airport but this is not the case. They held the records, it would appear, but he was sent elsewhere to receive this training.
    In his case he went to 11 EFTS for the period he is listed as being at 51 Group pool and was then posted to 2 SFTS.
    Others will have been sent to other EFTS's.
    There seemed to be some confusion on the web about 51 Group pool and hopefully we can now agree and can give some element of clarity here.
    Regards,
    Nick
    KenFentonsWar.com

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