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Thread: White "Training" Stripe

  1. #1
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    Default White "Training" Stripe

    At what point would a pilot in training stop wearing the white stripe on his cap? Is it after the successful completion of ITS or ITW? Helps identify source of group photos

    I have seen group photos where the white stripe has been removed however no brevet/no sgt stripes earned yet

    Cheers
    Rodger

  2. #2
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    Rodger

    Based on my limited research to date on 1943/1945 training, my understanding is that the white insert would be worn throughout ITW, EFTS (Grading Scheme) and then throughout pilot training (overseas).

    Having passed out at one of the overseas training schemes, he would be entitled to his aircrew badges and could relinguish the white insert.

    Obviously there are exceptions to the standard training programme, but normally the pilot would then return to the UK and attend (P) AFU before posting to OTU.

    Since I started my research (October 2011), many queries have arisen about photographs with varying combinations of white inserts and aircrew badges. My understanding is that the white insert would be seen in photographs if:

    (a) they were taken at ITW / Grading Scheme / Elementary Flying Training [or overseas equivalent]
    (b) they were taken of a new intake at Service Flying Training [or overseas equivalent]
    (c) they were taken just before "passing out parade" at Service Flying Training [or overseas equivalent]
    (d) they were taken just after "passing out parade", before the trainee had removed the insert and sewn on their aircrew badges

    It may well be that your photos are a variant of scenario (c) above where the pilots have "passed their exams" and removed their inserts and some time later are attending the formal passing out parade to collect their aircrew badges.

    In principle, the aircrew badges, which were formally presented at the passing out parade, signified that the trainee was no longer "under training" and therefore the white insert was no longer relevant.

    As I say, this is my understanding based on limited research; hope it is of use

    Regards

    Pete
    Last edited by PeteT; 23rd May 2012 at 09:40.
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Thanks Pete,

    So discounting for the logistics/time to actually sew on the brevet, sgt stripes and remove the white insert a pilot would earn this right at the successful completion of SFTS.

    I was just looking at some photos of my Dad (RCAF) and see one he described as "In Prepearion for Wings Parade" which has four new pilots including himself with (all four of them) the white cap insert, and no sgt strips but cloth wings sewn on. Then in another picture where an officer is presenting/pinning him with his wings (wings parade) he still has not sewn on his sgt stripes (cap is turned awasy from photo so don't know if the white insert had been removed yet).

    Anyways thanks for the info as basically was unsure at what point they were allowed to remove the white insert

    Cheers
    Rodger

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    A final small point re the FS cap "insert" or "flash". The wearing of the white insert of course applied to ALL aircrew trainees throughout WW2, not just pilots, and likewise was removed on graduation by all categories of aircrew.
    David D

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