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Thread: Abbreviation KIA MIA KOAS usage

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    Default Abbreviation KIA MIA KOAS usage

    Hi all, I would like to confirm the correct using of those abbreviations.

    Killed in Action (KIA) - when killed on sortied
    Missing in Action (MIA) - when lost without trace on sortie
    Killed on Active Service (KOAS) - other losses for example when on training flight, crashes etc.

    But what about cart accident for example and other deaths which were not "in service"?

    I have read quite a lot of threads but still I am a little bit lost and I would like to make it clear once for all.

    TIA

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

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    DOAS, died on active service.

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    See this 1942 Casualty list for a slightly expanded version of the categorys.
    http://www.flightglobal.com/pdfarchive/view/1942/1942%20-%200156.html?search=ground%20through%20enemy%20act ion

    KILLED IN ACTION (WHILE FLYING IN OPERATIONS AGAINST THE ENEMY).

    KILLED ON ACTIVE SERVICE (WHILE ENGAGED ON NON-OPERATIONAL FLYING DUTIES OR ON THE GROUND THROUGH ENEMY ACTION)

    DIED ON ACTIVE SERVICE

    The distinction at times is that if you crashed on take off or landing while on your way to bomb Germany, Ramrod France, patrol the Atlantic, etc although you weren't met by the enemy, you were 'in action' as you were going to/returning from' an operational mission.

    There are many permutations of these things, men ferrying aircraft to the Medd for example, they were 'in action' if something befell them. if ferrying an aricraft from London to Scotland, 'on active service'. Shot down while on a training flight over the midlands of England by a German intruder ? Not sure what the later would be??
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 26th August 2011 at 14:23.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Alan and Dennis, many thanks for you explanation! It covers most of my cases I ma interested in.
    But what about a man who shot himself by machine gun from the plane on the ground?
    From the list I would gues DOAS fits for this case?

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

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    I would have thought "KOAS" for this one

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    Many people are confused by the term "on active service" and tend to read too much into it. All it seems to mean (im my experience) is that the individual in question was a full time member of that armed service; however if they were killed in the course of their duties, or were off duty, or even on official leave (but probably NOT those who were absent without leave or a deserter) then they were deemed to be officially "on active service". Too many people believe that it means they are actually on active military operations of some kind, but this was NOT the case. However the average person of reasonable intelligence would naturally assume the opposite! This is why wartime casualty lists have several categories including those more obviously indicating the unfortunates were lost in action with the enemy. Incidentally MIA and such like are ubiquitous Americanisms which, with all due respect, were never used by British forces in WW2 (although those same armed forces may use them in today's circumstances, as American spellings and expressions seep into all other languages both on and off the web.)
    David D

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    What was the British version of MIA [missing in action] ? Posted missing ? PMIA ? Or just Missing
    Anne

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    I find 41 Squadron using the term 'failed to return' on a regular basis, so have used 'FTR' where it has been impossible to establish exact circumstances and there's no other explanation, even though it does not appear to be an 'officially' recognised term. Another I use is 'missing, presumed dead', or 'MPD', again, I know, an unofficial term.

    However, 'FTR/MPD' seems to suit in the case of one pilot who was sent back alone from the attacks against Scharnhorst, Prinz Eugen & Gneisenau in the Channel in February 1942 but never made it back, and is listed today on the Runnymede Memorial. Logical thought suggests he went into the Channel when his engine stopped on the way home, but there were many Luftwaffe aircraft about, so was he a lone aircraft that was attacked and shot down, did he ditch and not escape from the aircraft, did he bale out and die of hyperthermia before he could be could be found? KOAS? KIA? DOAS? That's why I've used FTR/MPD.

    My work includes a list of abbreviations, so there's no chance of it being misunderstood.

    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Possibly of interest are these headings as published above the respective names in a typical 1944 Air Ministry's 'Casualty Communiqué':

    Killed in action
    Previously reported missing, believed killed in action, now presumed killed in action
    Previously reported missing, now presumed killed in action
    Wounded or injured in action
    Died of wounds or injuries received in action
    Missing, believed killed in action
    Missing
    Missing, believed killed on active service
    Killed on active service
    Previously reported missing, believed killed on active service, now presumed killed on active service
    Previously reported missing, now presumed killed on active service
    Wounded or injured on active service
    Died of wounds or injuries received on active service
    Died on active service
    previously reported missing, now reported prisoner of war

    Errol

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    The Malta Memorial in Floriana, Valetta is for those Commonwealth servicemen based in the Mediterranean area "who have no known grave " . Hence missing or NKG ??

    As Runnymede Memorial in Surrey - for the same purpose.

    Did these terms only originate with WW2 rather than WW1 where many soldiers' bodies are still "missing " but presumed to be in the ground in France [and Belgium ?] ?

    Anne

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