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Thread: Help Finding Service Records (RAF WWII)

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    Default Help Finding Service Records (RAF WWII)

    My name is Charles Frederick Davies and I'm writing from New Zealand in the hope someone can shed some light on My Grandfather, Charles Frederick Fisher. He served as a navigator aboard Lancasters with the Pathfinder Force. From wedding photos it appears he was either a sergeant or flight sergeant (photo is unclear).

    I have a group photo of D Flight, No. 4 Squadron of 17 ITW (which I believe was in Scarborough?) from May 1943 before being stationed briefly in South Africa for flight training and this is the only record of any group of which he was part.

    He died before I was born and my family moved from Macclesfield to Auckland, New Zealand so we have had very few records and photos to go by. I'm a soldier with the Countess of Ranfurly's own 3rd Auckland Regiment and I've become very interested in my family's military history.

    I have tried in vein to dredge up any information on him, his unit or even where he was stationed. Of all of the forums I have come across, this one seems to have the most comprehensive and detailed information so If anyone can help in any way that might lead to finding his service number or record, it would be greatly appreciated by my family and I.

    Thanks,

    Charles

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    Default Information for you.

    Hi Charles
    The best place to obtain his would be from RAF Cranwell. Is your Grandmother still alive because if so she can get them for free. If she isnt it will cost you 30 but it is worth it I gather. Heres a link that will help you:
    http://www.veterans-uk.info/service_records/service_records.html
    If you do go for it then make sure you get a photocopy not a transcription. If there is stuff you dont understand its better to have the original cos the experts will be able to decipher lots of it...
    That will also tell you what medals he was awarded. Some of them didnt ever take them so you may be able to obtain those if you dont already have them. It is possible to replace most of the standard ones.
    You might also like to google the Pathfinder Museum (its based at RAF Wyton) and email them for information.
    The other place you might like to go apart from here where the guys will help if they can is www.rootschat.com/forum as they are good at restoring photos and it help to ID whether he is a Sgt or FS.
    Hope this helps a little.
    Best wishes
    Dee

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    Charles,

    The RAF do not as a routine tell you what campaign medals were awarded to personnel. You may have to write a letter to the MoD Medal Office at Innsworth in order to obtain that info. It is, however, free to do, providing you meet the qualifying criteria.

    When obtaining a service record from the RAF, you will be provided with a mixture of photocopy and transcription. The photocopy will be of his postings and promotions. The transcription portion will state enlistment date, date of birth, place of birth, date of end of service, final rank etc.

    As we speak, requests for service records by family members are taking well over 6 months to process. If you apply using the UK's Freedom of Information Act, any request made must be processed within a set period. I have seen these come back to UK addresses within 20 days.

    Rgds

    Jonny
    Last edited by jonny; 30th June 2011 at 13:58.
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Default

    That's assuming there's any RAF left at Cranwell (or anywhere else for that matter!!) after The Cuts to process your request (Freedom Of Information notwithstanding!!!).
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    I recently got some back from Cranwell in 8 weeks. The did manage to send them to the wrong address, mind!
    Better than the Army who are currently looking at requests from Sept 2010. So my request from November should be sorted around August/September, great!

    Dave

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    Dave,

    You didn't state whether yours was a Freedom of Information Act request or a 'family' request. It makes a marked difference in the time taken to process an application for a service record.

    Rgds

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Jonny

    I did it as a 'General Enquirer' not an FOI or next of kin. I've double checked the dates and it was actually six weeks from sending off the form to receving the document. It would have been a few days quicker if they hadn't sent it to the wrong address.

    DAve

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    Thanks everyone. In the scheme of things, 8 weeks or even 6 months is nothing so well worth trying. I have a feeling his medals were never claimed so I will certainly try to get hold of them. My mother (his daughter) should be able to make the application as immediate next of kin if I can't. Again, thanks for the advice, very helpful indeed.

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    Since requesting the info from the MOD, I've found some other things out that may help.
    He was indeed a flight sergeant, service number 1806557 and flew as a navigator with the pathfinders. If anyone could help work out from this what unit he flew with outside of the official MOD channel, it would be a huge help.

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