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Thread: Graduation from SFTS

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    Default Graduation from SFTS

    Hi all,

    When graduating from SFTS, pilots would be automatically promoted to the rank of Sergeant. The 'best' students of each promotion would be commissioned Pilot Officers.

    My question is: what was the necessary score for being commissioned?

    I am thinking of a Sergeant pilot who graduated from No 2 SFTS (Uplands, Ont.) in December 1941 with a total score of 1587/2250 (let's say 70%).

    Thanks for your help,

    Fox.
    Author of Crash in Bayeux - The Last Flight of Sergeant Ferguson (ISBN 979-10-91044-13-4) - www.facebook.com/crashinbayeux.

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    Fox, Hi,
    Being Commissioned had very little to do with being able to fly the beast well. One could pass out from SFTS with near 100%, but of one picked one's nose in public, passed wind in a loud and raucous fashion in polite company, and generally behaved in a boorish fashion, then (in those days) one might not actually be considered as Potential Officer Material. If asked at a Commissioning Interview "Do you hunt?" and if you replied "Yes, for tarts in the pub on a Saturday night" then your chances of obtaining the King's Commission would, possibly, be seriously reduced.
    Things was different in them days!
    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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    Thank you for your answer.

    However, apart from this interview you are talking about, can you tell if commissions had something to do with the amount of points by the time of graduation?

    Edit : I should have precised -- SFTS in Canada.
    Last edited by Fox; 21st July 2011 at 15:44.
    Author of Crash in Bayeux - The Last Flight of Sergeant Ferguson (ISBN 979-10-91044-13-4) - www.facebook.com/crashinbayeux.

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    Fox,
    It is a very complex problem which I tried to illustrate in a flippant/frivolous way. The Commissioning Board will obviously not only look at the newly qualified Pilot's ability to control aircraft, but also whether they think he had "potential". And by this I mean if he should be Promoted then would he be the sort of Officer who could exhibit Command & Control over more junior Officers and/or Airmen.
    There may be those who disagree but I am fairly certain that a large number of technically brilliant Pilots were not Commissioned (for, possibly, the problems alluded to in my previous). They may have been better (SFTS 'score')Pilots than some who were Commissioned, but being an RAF Officer is not (and - I suggest - was not, then) just about flying aeroplanes.
    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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    To my knowledge, what Peter posted more or less applied in Canada. Enlistees were identifed as "officer material" when they signed up, based on a number of loosely defined things like character, family background, etc. If they didn't screw up during training those identified would become officers at graduation. The RCAF was actually given a quota, a pre-determined per centage of candidates to become officers. Some within the RCAF and the government of the day opposed this, and argued that all aircrew should be officers. The compromise worked out during the war was that all aircrew would eventually become officers. The pre-arranged quota would be promoted at graduation, the rest would be promoted after fixed time intervals, again assuming they didn't screw up somewhere.

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    Many thanks to both of you, I appreciate your help.
    Author of Crash in Bayeux - The Last Flight of Sergeant Ferguson (ISBN 979-10-91044-13-4) - www.facebook.com/crashinbayeux.

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    Hi Fox,

    I fully agree with Bill and Peter.
    I have some own experiences with RCAF records and in the attestation papers there were notes like "acceptable for promotion to officer - YES/NO"
    The same note was in the course papers together with another one like "acceptable for instructor duty - YES/NO"
    The other thing I found out were officers from the 1st and 2nd Observer course in Canada where several men finishing the course on the top were promoted after graduation.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    My father wrote about a pilot on his course...Poor old G told us his woes. His father is Indian, made a lot of money and owns a car factory. Gs father has given two Spitfires to the British Government, sent G to England to join the RAF (which cost 1,000) and yet G cannot get a commission although he has a degree from Bombay University.

    Motherbird

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    Fox

    I was told by an ex 31 SAAF x RAF Sergeant that he was offered a commission but could not afford the uniform ??

    He was later awarded a DFM for helping the co-pilot of a damaged Liberator, hit by ack ack over Poland , land in the Ukraine , when the pilot suddenly took a parachute and jumped out of the plane, leaving the crew " to it ". Presumably he had a sort of breakdown ?

    Anne
    Last edited by aestorm; 23rd July 2011 at 11:33.

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    Hello

    Quite similarly to Ann, I knew a former RAF NCO, Spitfire pilot, who was offered a commission but refused it. He said that as a NCO, he didn't have to pay for his uniform, accomodation, food, etc... Everything was provided by the R.A.F. (except the bar bill, from my various readings, I didn't ask him about this...). If he had accepted the commission, he would have to pay for taylor made officer uniforms, and other things like that, and he wasn't just willing that. He was only interested in flying and have no other responsability.

    Another Spitfire pilot I know told me that if he was disappointed at first when he got his wings but no commission, this left him more time to learn properly to fight in a Spitfire when he got posted to an operational Squadron. He could really concentrate on flying. Those who were Pilot Officers, with the same experience than him, had other responsabilities within the Squadron (especially when the Squadrons strength were reduced in the 2nd TAF to make them more compact and mobile units) and had to share their time between flying and ground duties. He was an experienced combat pilot when he received a commission later on, which was very important for him, because his own father had been an officer in WW1.

    Joss

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