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Thread: RAF Training (1943/1944)

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    Default RAF Training (1943/1944)

    A few questions have come up in our research, regarding RAF training which hopefully someone may be able to help with:

    1. When recruits were at eg 1ACRC (Regents Park), they were formed into groups of about 50 men. Did these groups have a name, a number, a name and number?

    2. Did recruits "die stamp" their own identity tags, along with the rest of their equipment (and was their religion included on the tag?)

    Any help, would be much appreciated

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    PeteT,
    I'm not WW2 intake, but - I suspect - the system when I "went in" was not all that different from WW2 days.
    I "went in" at Cardington. Some of us were regarded as POM (Potential Officer Material!). We got issued with our Mug & Irons. These were machine stamped (by experts - not us!) with our issued Service Number. Ditto our Dog Tags (I've still got mine - having used them operationally up until 1996!!!). My Religion was also stamped on my dog-tags. In those days unless you said anything to the contrary you were automatically "CofE"! There was (I think, but my memory fades!) a system for printing, in indelible ink, one's s/n on shirts, kit-bags, etc. Then, when 4 bus loads of POMs were gathered together at Cardington at any one time, then 4 coaches would appear and the 4 bus loads would embus and be transported to Hednesford for the horrors of Square Bashing - ITW, probably, in your time-scale!
    I suspect that only the detail has changed!
    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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    Peter

    Thanks for the response; I think the question we are asking re the "groups" is if there were say 4 groups of 50 men, was a recruit assigned to a group called A,B,C,D or Flight A, B, C, D or Intake 1,2,3,4. If they were not allocated a name or number, how did the recruits know what group was being instructed to do what.

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    Hi Pete,

    I have a letter from, I think, 1940, which states the address of the new recruit as:
    "4 Squadron,
    'B' Flight,
    No 5 ITW, RAF,
    Adelphi Hotel,
    St Leonards on Sea"

    Thought it might be of interest.

    Cheers,

    Tom

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    Tom

    Thanks for the response; I have seen that they were called "Flights" somewhere else, so it may well be the answer to our question (and it makes sense) .... I think we will work on this basis for the time being and see if anyone else is able to confirm (or dismiss) this idea.

    Thanks again

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    Following on from Toms example, Initial Training Wings were subdivided into (numbered) squadrons and (lettered) flights. I once researched someone who was on 'C' Flight (50 trainees) No 2 Squadron, No 5 ITW Torquay, Devon There were three flights per squadron and three squadrons per wing. As each flight had 50 trainees, if they were at full capacity, there could be 450 airmen under training. There were several other ITWs similarly operating up and down the land, mainly in seaside resorts where there was plentiful accommodation available. Part of Cambridge University was also requisitioned for a ITW. Numbers under training at all the ITWs would of course be subject to service requirements.

    I don't know No5 ITWs movements in WWII so unable to indicate whether it moved out of Torquay and went further East along the south coast to St Leonards or reverse. As Tom indicated the letter may have been from 1940, I'm inclined to think the unit moved out of St Leonards to Torquay, probably to be able expand its operations with the greater availability of hotels. Incidentaly, with reference to your post no. 3, Peter Davies was replying to your question regarding the stamping of id discs.

    2008 thread on RAF Identity Discs 'dog tags' = http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?1516-RAF-dog-tags

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 3rd February 2012 at 16:37. Reason: adding last sentence

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    Thanks again; I had read that thread on tags and got very confused!

    We are working on the basis that the tags were the orangey brown / bottle green fibrous ones and that the recruits stamped their names, service number and religion on themselves using metal die(s).

    We are making the assumption that the same kind of designation of groups (ie Flight / Squadron) was used at ACRC as well as at ITW .... unless anyone knows different.

    Just widening the subject a bit .... when recruits had their medicals and innoculations at the ACRC .... certificates were issued on various RAF Forms ..... I know the information was recorded in the Service and Pay Book but were the certificates given to the recruits too (or were they held on file)?

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