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Thread: Lt H E R Torin DSC, RN & FAA, died on active service, September 30th 1942

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    Default Lt H E R Torin DSC, RN & FAA, died on active service, September 30th 1942

    According to a death notice in The Times Lt Harry Ernest Richard Torin DSC, RN & FAA died on active service at Perth on September 30th 1942.

    Torin had joined the Navy in about 1936, but according to a couple of London Gazette entries I've found he was seemingly almost permanently on attachment to the RAF. There is even an RAF promotion for him from Flying Officer to Flight Lieutenant in late 1938, which also records his Navy rank.

    On May 7th 1940 he was gazetted DSC for services in the Norwegian campaign, but no specific action is mentioned. I assume this was for some sort of air exploit, but he is not mentioned in the index to Shores' "Fledgling Eagles".

    CWGC gives his unit as HMS Jackdaw/RNAS Crail

    Any information, pointers or explanations gratefully received!

    (Torin was the owner of an ex-Tazio Nuvolari Maserati Grand Prix car which had been converted for road use - a rather potent beast with 3 litres of supercharged engine!)
    Last edited by Vitesse; 11th July 2011 at 22:58.

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    The death register lists him as dying from a gunshot wound to the head at an address in Perth.

    Hi name is not in the index of Fleet Air Arm Aircraft 1939-45 so the DSC is unlikely to have been linked to the loss of an aircraft.

    So either award for campaign or act that did not end with the aircraft being SOC.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Hi
    Try and get a look at an authoritative History of Naval flying in the years between the wars. From 1918,all military flying was the responsibility of the RAF and it stayed that way until the late 30's at which point the orders were issued transferring shipborne aviation to the Royal Navy and creating the Fleet Air Arm(although that title was in use on ships prior to the split) and leaving shore based flying to the RAF leading to the creation of Coastal Command.Aircrew were recruited into both services and the RN began to create its own "ground" servicing echelons. This took time, as a/c maintainance is never a simple matter, and there were still RAF personnel serving aboard Carriers well into the war. A look at the Glarac site,dealing with the loss of the carrier HMS Glorious will show a great many RAF personnel among the casualties. Many of these were evacuees from the Norwegian Campaign but there are a considerable number who were the maintainance staff of the FAA Sqns on the carrier. A career such as Torin's could well have run as a parallel RN/RAF matter,and the DSC awarded was a Naval decoration. By the start of WW2 there is a good chance that all RN Aircrew were Naval personnel but the ground crews certainly were not until about the end of 1942
    Regards
    Dick

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    Dick,

    One of the long running bone of contention between the Admiralty and the RAF was the rank and standing of FAA compared to RAF.

    This stemed from the transfer of RNAS to the RAF on 1st April 1918.

    Maritime tasked aircrew and aircraft between the wars were to be lodged at RAF aerodromes when not embarked on RN vessels. The Admiralty fought long and hard to have complete control over Maritime assets and part of this claim was that RN Officers could only be FAA aircrew and when ashore in an RAF establishment they would only be subject to RN discipline not RAF.

    There was much too and fro on this matter with each Admiralty attempt to recover Maritime air and one of the consents traded on rank and pay was that all RN FAA Officers would also hold ranks in the RAF that would establish their status and pay rate when on RAF aerodromes.

    This is why prewar FAA Officers also held RAF List Commissions with subsequent rank increments.

    With an eye to budgets the Admiralty was more than ready for the procurement and maintenace of the assets to be borne by the RAF budgets. This was one of the reasons that no extensive FAA ground crew establishment was in place between the wars.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Thanks Ross, you've tidied up something that I only gleaned from several disparate sources
    Dick

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    royal navy casualties 1942 has him killed in accident....

    http://www.naval-history.net/xDKCas1942-09SEP.htm

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    Prob got DSC for action with 803 Sqn (Skuas) Glorious against Vaernes airfield and other military targets at Trondheim on 25th April 1940 in which he was shot down and returned to England

    http://www.patriotfiles.com/archive/navalhistory/xDKWW2-4004-13APR04.htm

    Later 1st Commanding Officer 808 Sqn

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    Thanks for the replies so far. I had a feeling there must be some sort of complicated FAA/RAF relationship problem.

    Re the DSC: is it likely to have been gazetted within 10 days? Seems rather quick. I had already found references to the attacks by 800 and 803 which sank the Koenigsberg on April 10th. If I read the posts above correctly, he was with 803, so a month or so would seem to me to be a more likely timescale.

    "Gunshot to head" and/or "accident". Obviously a story there. But probably not a very nice one.

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    Hi,

    Checking the Air Force List March 1938 :-

    F/O 22.5.1934
    RAF GOSPORT Under Instruction 24.3.1937
    LT RN

    Air Force List April 1939
    F/L 1.9.1938

    Mark

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    Default Harry Torin

    Hi Guys

    His Norwegian activities are recorded in FLYING SAILORS AT WAR Volume 1 published by D&V.

    Well worth spending a few pounds to obtain a copy!

    Cheers
    Brian

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