Could anyone tell me briefly what the records of the Schools of Technical Training contain and whether they are likely to provide any indications of the content and the dates of the courses they held?

We are looking at the Service Record of a Fitter/Armourer (Bombs) who served on No.53 Squadron, Coastal Command from April 1941 until March 1945.

He gave up his reserved occupation as a metalwork/woodwork teacher and joined the RAF at Uxbridge in July 1940 as an AC.2 and was posted to 3 Wing, No.12 School of Technical Training in August 1940 and then to No.4 Wing, No.8 S. of TT., the following November.

Having consulted Ray Sturtivant’s “RAF Training and Support Units since 1912”, I think it is possible he undertook a basic Armourer’s course at No.12 S. of TT., Melksham and then an Armourer/Fitter’s course at No.8 S. of TT., at Weeton.

The “Special Qualifications” box on his service record includes the entry “…3 TTB at 12 S of TT..” Could this be mean No.3 Wing held Technical Training Armourer’s courses on Bombs?

He joined No.53 Squadron as an AC.1 on 1st April, 1941 and was made up to LAC on 1st October and to T/Corpl. on 15th Dec 1941. By this time No.53 Squadron was equipped with Lockheed Hudson and Posting and Movements records “Boulton Paul @ Wks – 20.4.42”, which may mean a course on the Hudson’s turret. He moved with the squadron to various locations in the UK and then as a member of the “ground echelon” was posted to the USA in July and to Trinidad in August 1942.

On their return the squadron began to re-equip with the Whitley. On the Corporal’s service record the Posting and Movements show “32 MU (A) – 6.2.43” and the Special Qualifications record “Alt. Specialist Turret – 7/2/43”. It is tempting to link this posting with the squadron’s conversion to the Whitley but it could also have been a course to upgrade his qualifications. No.4 S of TT was located alongside No.32 MU at St Athan which may also be relevant.

Postings and Movements also records “Prestwick (A) – 4.7.43” which coincides with 53 Squadron’s conversion to the Liberator.

I understand that Boulton Paul Heritage Association has some records of company’s RAF courses and also that nothing similar survives in Scottish Aviation’s archives.

Aside from lists of names of the airmen involved in the squadron movements there is very little recorded about the ground crews in the 53 Squadron’s ORBs and Appendices. Therefore, I am asking if someone on the forum has accessed the records of Nos. 8 & 12 Schools of Technical Training and No.32 Maintenance Unit and could advise me as to whether these records are likely to enable us understand more of this Armourer/Fitter’s career?

Tony Broadhurst