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Thread: 1942 unknown Training Unit.

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    Default 1942 unknown Training Unit.

    Calling the boffins,

    I have recently obtained an interesting photograph of a unknown unit, believed to be from the second half of 1942, but could be a little earlier or later.. The photo is approx A4 size with 27 passport size portraits/mugshots spread left to right in rows. Below each photo is a faded typed name & post. Two names/posts are obscured through a fold crease. The only name I recognise is the C.F.I., Sqn Ldr FWS TURNER, a Canadian in the RAF who went on to become OC 'B' Flt on 76 Sqn from Jan 1943 to Sep 1943 when he was shot down and killed on ops. I have his movements logged from joining Uxbridge Depot in Jan 1936, No.2 FTS , 99 Sqn, 149 Sqn & to joining 419 Sqn in Jul 1942. And joining 76 Sqn in Jan 1943. He had been fighting since the first op of the war, the bombing German Shipping on Sep 3rd 1939 so this was probably a rest tour. So I think the date of this photo is 1942, possibly a little later. Its the staff make up that leads me to think its a training unit, possibly a Heavy Conversion Unit (and Turners rest tour)~ . I have been unable to figure out the abbreviations of Nos 4, 13, 15 and the 'T' before Wing but think that could be 'Training'. Please could you take a look at the list and tell me if you recognise the unit (and any names). Thank you

    Norman


    1. Group Captain Arthur Ronald COMBE - Station Commander (w.e.f 6 June 1942)
    2. Wing Commander J.A. RONCORONI - Chief Instructor (Stn Cdr w.e.f 3 June 1942)
    3. Wing Commader C. WEBSTER - Chief Training Instructor.
    4. Squadron Leader F.W. CARRYER - S.AD.O
    5. Squadron Leader F.W.S. TURNER - Chief Flying Instructor
    6. Squadron Leader R.H. MORETON - Chief Ground Instructor
    7. Squadron Leader N.R. MANSFIELD - OC 'A' Flight
    8. Squadron Leader A.D. SAUNDERS - OC 'B' Flight
    9. Squadron Leader S. ROBINSON - OC 'C' Flight
    10. Squadron Leader A.K. PASSMORE - OC 'D' Flight
    11. Squadron Leader J. HARVEY - OC Servicing
    12. Squadron Leader (illegible, lost in crease) - Station Signals Officer
    13. Squadron Leader H. NELSON - F/Control
    14. Squadron Leader G.M. EMERSON - Station Intelligence Officer
    15. Squadron Leader J. FLEMMING - C.A.I
    16. Squadron Leader C.D. AUSTIN - (illegible - lost in a fold crease)
    17. Squadron Leader E.D.W. MERCER - Station Equipment Officer
    18. Squadron Leader WATSON - Senior Medical Officer
    19. Flight Lieutenant F.R. BENSON - Station Navigation Officer
    20. Flight Lieutenant G. RYDER - Signals Officer (T.Wing)
    21. Flight Lieutenant J.W. HEWITT - Gunnery Leader
    22. Flight Lieutenant S.J. BAKER - Station Adjutant
    23. Flying Officer D.V. READ - Bombing Leader
    24. Flying Officer E.J. READ-SMITH - Adjutant (T.Wing)
    25. Flying Officer M.F. ARKELL - Officer Commanding WAAF
    26. Reverend F.T. MAYHEW - Chaplain
    27. A/S/O M.P. SPENCER - Asst Adjutant
    Last edited by namrondooh; 3rd August 2012 at 13:53. Reason: adding dates for Combe & Roncoroni

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    Hello Norman,

    Google is your friend. Take the least common name here (Roncoroni) and have a go.

    From Hugh Halliday's Honours and Awards entry on J16149 F/L Derek Arnold Inman:

    http://airforce.ca/awards.php?search=1&keyword=&page=359&mem=&type=rc af

    Assessments: On 19 October 1942 (before his commission had been gazetted), W/C J.A. Roncoroni, Training Wing, No.23 OTU wrote, “Flight Sergeant Inman was a pupil at this OTU and returned here two months ago, having completed an operational tour. He is an exceptional navigator and a very capable instructor. He possesses powers of leadership and can control subordinates well. It is thought that Flight Sergeant Inman will make a first-class officer, and he is strongly recommended for a commission.”

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Hello Dave,

    Thank you very much for your speedy reply, so its 23 OTU at Pershore, Worcestershire. I'll now try uncover what I can on the staff and post results back here

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 3rd August 2012 at 03:34.

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    Norman,

    A little further confirmation for you comes from Malcolm's site:

    http://www.rafweb.org/Stations/Station%20OCs-Wales.htm

    Scroll down to RAF Pershore and Roncoroni is listed as OC 3 June 1942 being replaced by G/C AR Combe on 9 June 1942.

    Photo of Arthur Ronald Combe here:

    http://cas.awm.gov.au/item/SUK14985

    Does he looks as huge in your photograph?

    Dave

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    Thank you Dave,

    He looks massif, in fact he overlaps the sides of my 42" computer screen - big rugger player of his time as was Roncoroloni. Guess his nick-name may have been 'Titch'

    Thank you for your help. Now off the air - TFN - hols. I'll research the whole lot when I return & post results back here

    Norman
    Last edited by namrondooh; 3rd August 2012 at 13:57.

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    Default Abbreviations

    [QUOTE=namrondooh;78901],
    I have been unable to figure out the abbreviations of Nos 4, 13, 15 and the 'T' before Wing but think that could be 'Training'. Norman
    .............................................

    Hi Norman

    Not sure, but how about the following as 'possibilities' for these abbreviations? (Just guessing!)

    4. Squadron Leader F.W. CARRYER - S.AD.O - An unfortunate acronym! : ) Maybe: Senior [...?] Officer?
    13. Squadron Leader H. NELSON - F/Control - Flying Control?
    15. Squadron Leader J. FLEMMING - C.A.I - [...?] Instructor?

    Worth a try, maybe?

    Regards

    Ian

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    Hi Norman

    4 = Senior Administration Officer
    13 = Flying Control
    15 = Chief Armament Instructor?

    I agree 'T' is probably Training

    Malcolm

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    S.AD.O = Senior Air Defence Officer ?

    edit
    Scrub that, Malcolm will be right with Admin.
    Last edited by pete102; 3rd August 2012 at 19:21.

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    Default No. 19 F/L Ernest Ryan Benson, Station Navigation Officer, 23 OTU Pershore

    Hello Norman

    I was most interested to read your post as my late Father, F/L Ernest Ryan Benson is no. 19 on your list (initials ER not FR). I can confirm he became Station Navigation Officer at 23 OTU Pershore on 9 Sept 1942. I can provide you with the following information.
    Enlisted Uxbridge. Recommended for training as Observer 30 Oct 1939
    No. 4 Initial Training Wing, Devon 18 Jan 1940
    No. 10 Bombing & Gunnery School, Dumfries 7 Sept 1940
    Granted Commission - Pilot Officer 2 Nov 1940
    No. 11 Operational Training Unit, Bassingbourn/Wellingtons 9 Nov 1940
    No. 99 Squadron Newmarket /Wellingtons 20 Jan 1941 moving to Waterbeach with 99 Sqdn 18.3.1941

    The following is his time at 23 OTU Pershore

    Posted to 23 OTU Pershore as Instructor 5 July 1941
    On operation – nickel drop Paris 14 Oct 1941
    Promoted to Flying Officer 3 Nov 1941
    Mentioned in Despatches (unfortunately do not have details of this) 1 Jan 1942
    On operation – 1000 bomber raid to Cologne 30 May 1942
    On operation – Essen (Krupps Factory) 1 June 1942
    Promoted to Flight Lieutenant 7 Sept 1942
    Station Navigation Officer 9 Sept 1942
    Promoted to Squadron Leader 25 Nov 1942
    Posted from 23 OTU to 109 Squadron July 1943

    I guess this dates your photographs between 9 Sept - 25 Nov 1942. While at 23 OTU my Father was awarded the Africa Star. His ribbon has a rosette which I believe denotes the period 23 Oct 42 – 12 May 43. As yet I have found no trace of any operation in the 23 OTU ORB – unfortunately I do not have my Father’s logbook. I understand this was awarded for a minimum of one day service in an operational area of North Africa and other designated areas. Any ideas how to locate this information would be appreciated.

    No. 109 Squadron Mosquito Pathfinders, Marham, Norfolk 10 July 1943 then moving with 109 Squadron to Little Staughton 2 Apr 1944
    Awarded Distinguished Flying Cross 21 Apr 1944
    Awarded Bar to Distinguished Flying Cross 19 Nov 1944
    Recommended for the award of the Distinguished Service Order having completed a total of 145 operations 22 Dec 1944
    Awarded DSO 13 Feb 1945
    No. 18 Personnel Despatch Centre 22 Jan 1945
    Posted to India as Instructor and Administrator with Directorate of Combined Operations 8 Feb 1945
    No. 227 Group India 19 July 1945
    Base Reception Depot, Worli, Bombay, India 20 Aug 1945
    No. 104 Personnel Despatch Centre Hednesford, Staffs for release 2 Oct 1945

    Hope this helps you with the detail you require.
    Mike Benson

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    Hi Mike,

    Just to keep my records up to date. I take it the reference to No.107 Sqn in the LG is a typo:

    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/36937/supplements/879

    Could you confirm?

    Also, you make no mention of the following relinquishment:

    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/40923/supplements/6415

    Are you aware of the entry?

    Thanks for the other bio details. It is to update/correct your father's entry in Doug Hearns', Companions of the Distinguished Service Order 1920-2006 Air Awards, which contains several references to No.107 Sqn.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 14th August 2012 at 14:17.

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