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Thread: RAF Branch Structure Details

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    Default RAF Branch Structure Details

    I am chasing the RAF career of a rellie. He was Frederick Robert Eden (191250) but always known as 'Tony'.
    He was Cmd (I think - but can't get the LG to cough his Cmd entry up!) in the RAFVR GD Branch. I've got most of his LG entries. He was a Pilot. At some stage he becomes RAF. At some stage he transfers to the GD (Ground) (Supplementary List) Branch. Now I am assuming that the invention of the GD (Ground) Branch was to provide a home for those GD's who were no longer flying, and/or engaged in duties that later became Branches in their own right (Air Traffic, Ops, Int, etc, etc).
    The GD (Ground) (Supplementary List) Branch is new to me. What was it - and who was in it?
    The reason for all this interest is that it has just come to my notice (out of the family woodwork!) that he was, at one stage, in the King's/Queen's Flight. Now any tips as to how that little gem may be researched will be gratefully received!
    Rgds
    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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    I can tease a bit of info on his commission date from the 1975 Retired List

    Eden, F R, Born 06/10/19** (drop me a PM if you do not have his DoB). Commissioned 30/1/1945. Sqn Ldr 1/1/67. Retired GD(G) 6/10/72.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Hi Peter

    As you suspect GD (Ground) was formed to absorb Air Traffic, Fighter Controllers etc but it was not for 'grounded' GD officers, some GD officers did transfer but most GD(G) officers joined as such.

    Malcolm

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    Ross,
    Tks. I'm fairly certain I have his BMD info sorted. He was in Mauripur when he married my aunt (PMRAFNS and now deceased, no progeny). I'm fairly sure he was a 'Truckie'. The only RAF station I can remember him being at was Oakington. The rumour about him being on TKF/TQF is difficult to discern. As far as I can see TKF/TQF was never based at Oakington. Nor was 161 Sqn (who did the 'KF' duties during the 2nd Unpleasantness). And I know (from a couple of tours at Benson) what a 'Private Air Force' TQF was - and I was 'persona grata' with them!

    Malcolm,
    Tks for the confirmation. But it was the 'Supplementary List' bit which intrigued me. Just what was that?

    Tks both for yr inputs
    Rgds
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 26th February 2012 at 14:01. Reason: Secondary change of emphasis
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    Hi Peter

    I believe 'Supplementary Lists' weera bit like a post war SSC as I have come across a number of officers who began their careers on the Supplementary List and were later awarded Permanent Commissions moving them off it.

    Malcolm

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    Malcolm,
    Mni tks yr reply.
    I thought it was going to be something like that!
    But as one who has been in more parts of the RAF (mostly illegal!) than you could shake a stick at Tom Cats in a Fish Market on a Sunday you may imagine my concern that this was yet another 'wangling of the Rules' to suit a problem at the time!!!
    Heigh-Ho - let Research continue!!
    Yrs Aye
    PeterDavies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    The RAF operated two lists of officers until about 1970 from the end of the war (possibly earlier). These were the General and Supplementary Lists.

    General List (GL) officers were normally those for whom a 'full' career was predicted ie they would become the higher ranks of the RAF. Very many of these officers were those who had completed the three year cadetship at Cranwell.

    The Supplementary List (SL) were 'the rest'. These might be personnel who had joined on short service commissions or those on permanent commissions up to their 38/16 point (age 38 or 16 years service, whichever is the later). Most officers in this cohort would have the prospect of promotion to flight lieutenant but with a possibility of some promotions to squadron leader. An officer seen fit to be promoted to wing commander would be transferred to the GL.

    It was possible to apply to transfer from the SL to the GL and if accepted, this offered service until age 55.

    Some officers who were viewed as particularly good 'artisans' but who might not be the 'right stuff' for high command, could be assimilated to serve after their 38/16 point usually on the SL.

    There were many variations and exceptions to the summary above. Aircrew had several different options to serve 5, 8 or 12 years, ground branches could have a short service commission as well. Personnel commissioned from the ranks could either start on the SL as though they were being commissioned late or they could be 'Branch officers' if commissioned after age 30 or from the rank of warrant officer. 'Branch' means they would be employed within their professional specialism, rather than do all sorts of odds and ends.

    Your man Eden appears in the 1966 Air Force List as a Flt Lt Air Traffic Controller on the SL and with seniority of 30 July 1948. He is still in the Retired List in 2006 but as a squadron leader of course.

    The summary above had many variations and special cases. It was abandoned in favour of a single list (within each branch) because it worked against late developing talent and also the perception of 'us' and 'them' was not thought to be good for the service image.

    In recent years, the officers branch structures have been changed several times and new specialisms created and alliances forged - too difficult to explain it all here!!

    Colin Cummings

    PS If you really want to wind me up, ask a question about promotion exams and the graduate entry scheme!!

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    Colin, tks yrs

    1 Promotion Exams.
    2 Graduate Entry

    Winds key and waits for Officer Cummings to explode/implode (as appropriate)!!!

    But seriously, Colin, my chap being an Air Tragicer is the first I've heard. He could have been that at Oakington. But he was often detatched (haven't we all been?) to some far-fetched loc.

    I'm not trying to write this bloke's history, but just trying to work out where he fitted in, and where, and when.

    Everything I ever knew is now on the internet. When my grandkids ask "What did you do" I can, at least, have some answer(s) which will set them off on their iPads (etc) to research the nearest approximation to the truth as we can do.

    Tks again, Yrs Aye
    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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