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Thread: Grandfather's badge "178 Squadron"

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    Default Grandfather's badge "178 Squadron"

    My grandfather's blazer had his RAF badge on it. He was a machine toolsetter and operator and his scrapbook talks about him being in 16 CMU. However his badge had "178 Squadron" on it. Any ideas why that would be?

    Any help greatly appreciated.

    Picture at www.splatsnaps.com/badge.jpg
    Last edited by gtgnash; 30th September 2011 at 21:54.

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    You might need his Record of Service to solve this one!!

    CMU stands for (I think) Civilian Maintenance Unit. However, 16 MU was located at Stafford and was one of the seven purpose built pre-war dispersed MUs. Although a storage depot, it had workshops for repair and refurbishment of equipment.

    178 Sqn was formed in the Middle East from elements of - inter alia - 160 Sqn. Is there any prospect that the entry should actually read: '160' and not '16 C'?

    A 160 MU was planned to be formed from the No: 4 (Middle East) Aircraft Repair Unit but this did not go ahead and the unit eventually became Aircraft Engine Repair depot at Aqir.

    Assuming your grandfather served in the Middle East, it is possible he was detached to 178 Sqn for a time or worked so closely with the unit that he became 'affiliated' to it; officially or otherwise.

    The shortage of aircraft engines, which were badly affected by the climate, was always a problem with the heavy bomber and special duties sqns operating in the Middle East so it would be natural for a close liaison to develop between the sqns and the second line repair teams.

    Can you tell us more about your grandfather's scrapbook contents? For example, are there captioned photos of Liberator and Halifax aircraft, anything which suggests operating from an airfield rather than a depot type environment? Do you have your grandfather's Discharge Certificate and/or his medals?

    However, as mentioned the key will be the Record of Service.

    Listening Out - Old Duffer

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    Thanks for the reply.

    My grandfathers overseas service was in India for about five months at the end of the war, December 45 to May 46. The rest of the time from 1941-1945 he was stationed in West Drayton.

    The scrapbook only ever mentions 16 C.M.U and the pictures of him and others never show any aircraft but do show the billets etc. Places mentioned include Cownpore and Worli.

    I've filled in the forms for his service record and will be sending off for it when I have the spare cash.

    Thanks for the help so far.

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    BLACK MARK ON ME !!!

    I've just had another look at my sources and I realise that I have misled you regarding 16 CMU.

    16 Civilian Maintenance Unit was in India and was part of 226 Gp at Sion, Bombay. "RAF Flying Training & Support Units" by Sturtivant, Hamlin and Halley records that the RAF Section of the MU opened in late Mar 44 and closed on 31 Jan 46. So service at 16 CMU would have only been for two months or so. Where might your granfather have spent the remaining months until May 46?

    This makes the link with 178 Sqn even more difficult to explain unless there is a gap in your grandfather's scrapbook and memorabilia.

    If your grandfather was only in for the war, it seems strange to send him to India for barely 6 months, unless his trade and specific experience required his presence in India to carry out some special work. There was, at that time, very considerable turbulence as the services ran down and 'hostilities only' personnel wanted to get home and on with their lives. This was the time of the various mutinies of which you may have heard.

    Apart from his blazer badge, does your grandfather's letters, conversations with family members, membership of or attendance at association reunions, give any clues to what he did? Are there any brothers/sisters who might know about his service and who are still alive?

    This is an interesting search. Good luck with it and my apologies for posting a red herring.

    Old Duffer

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    Thanks for your help...

    I'm unlucky in that his brothers who would remember have passed away. One was Black Watch and died in France during WW2. His remaining brother is considerably younger than my grandfather and doesn't seem to know much.

    I do know...

    Grandad was a MTSO which I understand to be Machine Toolsetter and Operator.
    From one letter he boarded a boat on 09/12/1945.
    From another letter he says he arrived in Bombay 28/12/1945.
    Grandad's last letter from India dated 16/04/1946 ...
    http://www.splatsnaps.com/2.jpg


    I know that earlier in his service he was in Colnbrook, Slough as he wrote to his future in-laws asking to marry my Nan.

    I have a thankyou type certificate from the No1 Signals Depot in West Drayton which is by where he was staying in Middlesex.

    Thanks again.

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