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Thread: Deciphering W/OP service records and family stories

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    Default Deciphering W/OP service records and family stories

    Greetings,

    My Great Uncle served with the RAF during WW2 as a wireless operator. He is deceased now, and I am trying reconcile his service records with some fragments of stories I remember as a child.

    It was always said that he was attached to a mobile wireless unit in the UK. They often set up at remote villages, and drank a lot of beer and played a lot of village cricket . They happened to have a county class player in their group, and some decent amateur players. It's a nice story that he did his bit , and got to play cricket. But it was always suggested that they were involved in some intelligence or secret work. I know enough about family mythology that stories often get embellished hence the interest in seeing if there was any evidence to support this.

    I had wondered if he was part of 80 Squadron who carried out ECM work (his brother was in the RAFR and was attached to 80 Squadron).


    Via his daughter I have a copy of his service records which I'm trying to decipher. His "Unit To" Column includes:

    2 RC
    Res.
    3 RC
    10(S) RC
    27 O.T.U.
    10(S) RC
    4 RS ( note could be H RS)
    Cheadle
    Langham (a)
    Cheadle
    Portreath (a)
    Cheadle

    he was released under section 5(2)Armed forces act 1939 in August 45 for six weeks, but recalled after two weeks

    then to:

    Tempsford
    100 PPC then released 14 Jan 1946

    He was promoted from AC2 to AC1 to LAC by 1944.

    His qualifications are hard to read. Looks like he took L.I.T.T.B twice in 1944 scoring 65.8 and 80.2 %

    It doesn't look that interesting to a casual viewer.

    I see that 10(S) RC was wireless school. he seems to have spent the longest periods with 27 OTU and Cheadle.

    If anyone has any insight into this I'd be very grateful

  2. #2
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    You need to take care with RC and RS.

    RC was Recruit Centre
    RS was Radio School

    Also needed are the dates to see where long course or short course postings against admin ones waiting for course dates

    2 RC
    Posted to No.2 Recruit Centre

    Res.
    Sent back to civilian life awaiting space on initial training

    3 RC
    Posted to No.3 Recruit Centre

    10(S) RC
    Posted to No.10 (Signals) Recruit Centre, Blackpool

    27 O.T.U.
    Either admin holding post or to No.27 OTU as WOp/AG (unlikely). Dates and character assessment/promotions will define.

    10(S) RC
    Return to No.10 (Signals) Recruit Centre. From previous posting may be actual course now space available.

    4 RS ( note could be H RS)
    Posted to No.4 Radio school

    Cheadle
    Looks like main posting. Possibly mobile signals unit working d/f equipment.

    Langham (a)
    Attached from parent unit

    Cheadle

    Portreath (a)
    Attached from parent unit

    Cheadle

    For RCs see
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?4224-Recruit-Centre-amp-Central-Recruit-Centre

    Note that No.10 (S) RC became No.13 RS not No.10 RS

    If aircrew I would have expected to see a progression from RS to OTU and promotion to Sgt between dates for leaving RS and before arrival at OTU.

    All looks like a mobile d/f ground unit bod with periods on attachment to provide d/f cover for stations while major refurb/upgrade work done.

    But never discount family lore as the lack of unit for Cheadle also suggests some associaction with Station Y.
    http://www.caverswall.org.uk/y-station-cheadle.html

    Regards
    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2018 - All rights reserved.

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    Many thanks Ross, for such a fast and full reply.

    To answer the point about dates:

    2 RC 7.5.41
    Res 8.5.41
    3 RC 31.10.41
    10(S)RC "/41 (assume date as above) Reason : H
    27 OTU 20/6/42
    10(S) RC 26.1.43 Reason : H
    4 RS 20.5.43
    Cheadle 16.9.43 Reason : HM
    Langham (a) 30.4.45
    Cheadle 31.5.45
    Portreath (a) 25.7.45
    Cheadle 10.8.45
    released 14.8.45
    recalled to TEMPSFORD 26.4.45
    100PPC Released 14.1.46

    In RAF "code" what do the reason codes mean ?

    I don't recall any mention of him being aircrew , which agrees with your point about not being made Flt Sgt I'd guess. he was born in 1911 , so was 30 years old when conscripted, not that that means anything. I'm also separately looking at Lancaster LL841 which had a couple of gunners in their late thirties

    I also wondered if his work at Cheadle might have been connected with it being a Y station ?

    http://www.caverswall.org.uk/y-station-cheadle.html

    Perhaps that might have been the reason for the story about secrecy ?

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    Jives11,
    One small morsel I can add is that the appearance of a lower case A in brackets "(a)" indicates an attachment rather than a posting, and this tends to be confirmed by the rather short period of same.
    David D

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    Jives11
    I believe that 'H' in the reason column is for 'holding'-every serviceman had to be posted somewhere.
    Are you sure that it is HM and not HH- the meaning of which still eludes me.
    My late father was posted to 10(S)RC reason 'H' August '41 then Bigging Hill reason 'HH' then off to India before returning to UK in '43 for air crew training as w/op.
    Paul H

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    many thanks to paulh, David and Ross. It becomes clearer.

    One last oddity about his records, on the first page with the personal detailsit has

    Civil occupation
    secretary

    Employer
    ZM.173.3.


    Rather odd ? Was some form of code used on employers names ? I don't know where he worked previously, but perhaps industries involved in war work were encoded for security reasons ?

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    government agencies have been using occupation codes for a long time. It is a quick was of classifying the working population-though is prone to error either from transcription error or simply misunderstanding the relationship between employment type and code.
    My father was a solicitors clerk shown as 172.25.ZH.
    Possibly the letters are for the location?
    Perhaps the tables could be recreated, if enough replies with code and occupation come forward?
    regards,
    Paul h

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