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Thread: Canadian promotions RCAF

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    Default Canadian promotions RCAF

    Hi All,

    I have tried to search for an answer to this query but for some reason the search function is not working. All I get back is an error message (no data) is there a problems on the site? (Mods please help).

    Well, here is my question: Did airmen of any Nationality change there service number when they were promoted? this is concerning RCAF airmen on this occasion. I have a few Pilots/airmen that appear in ORB's that match the name but have acquired a new number.
    for example:

    TV Sylvester: R107129 Sgt Apr 1943 but by May 1943 he has been promoted to P/O with a service number of J17282. In Aug 1943 he was killed. I believe that the initials being the wrong way around was a typo by the clerk at the time, so he is the same man.
    My problem begins when a more common surname crops up e.g. Smith and the clerk puts in the wrong initials. One way I have used to cross examine this is the crew & a/c they are with but many crew have been found to go on an Op with another crew. Pilots do seem to be easier to verify but the rest cannot.

    So what was the criteria? R: is an NCO & J: an officer but was it strictly done? And did RAF etc do the same?

    Many thanks for your help

    Nick

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    Chapter and verse on search problem and the works rounds are given in the sticky messages at the top of this forum.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?11062-Forum-Search

    Ross
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    Thanks for the pointer Ross.

    Have done that and will search for an answer on that. Sorry to be a pain.

    Cheers
    Nick

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    Hugh's piece on RCAF service numbers

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?6411-RCAF-Service-Numbers

    Ross
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    Thanks again Ross. That is that query sorted out.

    My only problem seems now to be that the Clerk on the station was not always up to speed on who was who. My main members of 428 Sqdn, namely the McRae crew of Aug-Sept 1943 seem to have different initials and the wrong aircraft but many sleepless nights can be seen to be heading my way over the coming months.

    Thanks again

    Nick

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    TSGNO: "SYLVESTER, VICTOR THOMAS P/O(P) J17282/R107129. From Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan. Killed In Action Aug.3/42 age 21. #428 Ghost Squadron..."

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    Thanks PennfieldParish,

    I had worked out that the TV Sylvester was the same person but it amazed me how long it was in the ORB that his initials were in the right order. Unless of course he wished to be called Tom.

    There are so many mistakes in the ORB, it is unbelievable. But I suppose with the number of personnel within a squadron, the clerk cannot be expected to remember everyone. From reading the ORB's it was dependant on who was completing the log as to the correctness of the information. Early on in the Squadrons life it was quite comprehensive but later many mistakes were made; initials wrong, a/c that had been lost still recorded as in use, etc.

    Although I now understand the numbering system that was used it does not make my research any easier.

    Cheers

    Nick

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    As you are finding out nothing can be taken at face value.

    All documents have errors, all you can do is to check every detail and find the confirmation from elsewhere.

    That is what eats up the time but you start to form an opinion of what is reliable and what is not.

    Rather than the diligence of the scribe it was more what the OC was prepared to sign off that coloured the accuracy of the documents.

    One famous scribe admitted that he added the aircraft serials by looking out the window and writing down the aircraft he could see against the crews. Even log books could be incorrect if they were written up in batches rather than on return.

    I'm afraid that errors are compounded by repeated cut and paste both in research papers as well as the internet.

    Case in point is Alan Storr's use of Alpha, Alpha, Numeric, Numeric, Numeric, Numeric for RAF aircraft serials where they can only have been Alpha, Aplha, Numeric, Numeric, Numeric or Alpha, Numeric, Numeric, Numeric, Numeric. I'm starting to see this error treated as gospel on the internet cut and paste rounds.

    In the case of CCL I use several Air Force Lists, several London Gazette entries and ORBs to give a balance of probability on a Officer name, initials and service number and it all takes time.

    Just keep checking or add a note where it needs to be confirmed.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Thanks again for the heads up Ross.

    I am just starting on this extended research project and your advise is most welcome. This forum is a goldmine of good solid advice and pointers from some very knowledgeable members.

    regards

    Nick

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    Ross,

    Could you tell us the squadron where that scribe plied his trade ? It would be very useful to know which one and the period concerned. I am working through a sizeable number of ORBs at present.

    Regards,

    Martin Gleeson.

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