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Thread: Pilots log / flying record.

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    Default Pilots log / flying record.

    Hello, newbie here so please excuse wrong question / wrong forum / dealt with before type stuff.

    I am trying to research my Dad's history. Usual story of a WWII pilot who didn't say much. I know for certain that he was stationed at Tempsford because I have a copy of his service record. I believe that he flew Lysanders and Halifaxes ( I do know about the SOE operations out of Tempsford ), but I would love to get hold of a copy of his flying log / record to tie up some loose ends.

    If anyone can help, I would be most grateful. Thanks in advance, Mark.

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    Hi Mark,

    well if his Log Book does not exist now you have only one possibility from my point of view. You need to research the number of squadron he was flying with - if he was flying. Than you can go to the TNA in Kew (personally or through their website http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/) and order the Operations Record Book (ORB) of his unit and find his sorties there.

    If you will provide us his name and serial number I am pretty sure members of this forum will be able to help you with the general background for your further research.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Hello Mark,

    As you already have a head start with yr father's service record you know the squadrons/units and dates that he served and trained with. Yr next port of call is our Naional Archives , Kew , London who hold the Operations Record Books (ORB) for these units. By searching the dates you hold his flying details will be revealed. For Operational squadrons these records are in the AIR 27 series of records.

    Details of promotions/awards can be found on the London Gazette web site.

    That should be a good start for you.

    Additionally you could add his name here for the experts to comment on ?

    a book to look out for "We landed by moonlight" by Hugh Verity.

    Regards,

    Ian
    Last edited by ian94avenge; 17th August 2012 at 09:30. Reason: book title amended

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    Thank you for the quick replies ! I have tried to find out more about 138 and 161 squadrons that were at Tempsford, but my Dad does not show up. The nature of what went on at Gibraltar Farm could mean that his activities are not recorded anywhere. The record that I have is more like a personell record and although it gives mustering info showing him at Tempsford, the form is full of codes and acronyms, so I can't be sure. It also shows him going out to, and returning from, South Africa, which ties in with the one photo that I have. Also, his half-sister ( Helena ) recalls him flying to St Helena for some reason. He had a moustache as long as I remember, and it was to cover a wound which she says was from a crash in a Halifax, and his record does shows him hospitalised at one point. It also shows him as a Pilot 2 and the document is stamped " Not to be employed other than as PNB Aircrew without reference to the Air Ministry".

    My dad is James Albert Frazier Litherland. 1815517 He passed away in 2000.

    Thank you again, really appreciated, Mark.

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    Mark,
    Between what period was your father at Tempsford, and when was he hospitalised please.
    Alan.

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    Well the first bit from LG:

    TRAINING BRANCH - P/O
    http://www.london-gazette.co.uk/issues/38723/supplements/4615/page.pdf

    So I think he was only NCO during the WWII.

    Also the acronyms from the service record may help.
    If you want you can send me scan off-board as it is not possible to attach a picture here and I can try to decode what I know.
    Otherwise try to transcribe the parts like postings and trades.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Mark, Hi,
    You spell your father's 3rd forename as 'Frazier'. Some sites give his mother's maiden surname as 'Frasier'. Which is correct?
    The aircrew rank of Pilot II existed, I think, between 1946 and 1950.
    If he is supposed to have flown to St Helena then it is probable that it was not the S Atlantic St Helena. They only started building the first airport there in 2011. If you look on GE you will see the only place for a strip is northeast of Longwood in a NE/SW direction. The prevailing wind is SE - i.e. 90 degree crosswind a lot of the time!! Going to be some interesting landings!
    I think the phrase "Not to be employed other than as PNB Aircrew without reference to the Air Ministry" may be what I would have known as Specialist Aircrew (but the experts will confirm - or not!!).
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 17th August 2012 at 13:28. Reason: Spelling
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Thanks again to everyone.

    AlanW. The only date against Tempsford is 20/12/43 The only date against Stn hospital is 15/10/45 Not much help I guess.

    PeteT. Thanks for your PM and offer of deciphering. I have e-mailed to you a scan of the document that I have.

    Pavel. Thank you. It's the first time I have ever seen his name in print reagarding his RAF carreer.

    Resmoroh. It's definitely Frazier, I have his and Alice's ( his mom ) birth certificates. There are lots of false trails with this name though, and I get where you were coming from. There are 2 dates against Pilot 2 on the document that I have ; 27/11/42 and 28/7/45. The whole St Helena thing is as murky as the South Africa one, and this is why I am trying to get facts. Your info is well appreciated, and could put a tin hat on one matter at least.

    It seems that I have fallen on a wonderful resource here. I really don't mind what I discover, but I guess that the whole uncertainty is eating away at me and I would rather know for certain that he didn't do much as opposed to thinking that he did loads. Hope that makes sense.

    Cheers all, Mark.

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    Mark, Hi,
    Yr man may have GONE to St Helena, but not FLOWN to St Helena (see Wiki below)

    Helena Airport is a proposed airport that will be constructed from 2012 through February 2016 in the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, a remote island in the South Atlantic Ocean which can only be reached by ship today. The first considerations for an airport on St Helena were made in 1943 by the South African Air Force which undertook a survey on Prosperous Bay Plain from October 1943 until January 1944 but concluded that while technically feasible, an airport was not a practical proposition.

    Prosperous Bay is at the NE point of the island. The current airport building is at Dry Gut Bay at the very E of the island, still with a N/S runway (SE'ly usual wind direction!!). Africa (of whatever sort) is a minimum of 1000 nm away. Ascension is 650nm in the other direction. So got to be an aircraft capable of carrying that sort of diversion fuel! So got to be fairly big. So landing a big, heavy, aircraft on a fairly short runway (in a crosswind) is going to be quite "sportif" on many occasions. I give you all this niff-naff and trivia simply to illustrate that the SAAF got their sums/opinions (as I see it) quite right!!
    HTH
    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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    Peter,

    Thanks, this helps steer me away from St Helena ( the island ) altogether. The info I got was from a very old lady ( Dad's half-sister Helena, who was actually his cousin but he didn't know ) who was tickled at Dad bringing her a present from St Helena. Anyway, following your helpful and interesting post, at first I wondered about the SAAF expedition you mentioned, and if Dad was on that, but the dates don't tie up. But I think I have nailed it - there is a reference on his record for Westlake. Googling Westlake South Africa, I came across the fact that there is a St Helena Bay nearby. I bet that's what it was all about, and aunty Sis ( as we called her ) was confused ( or mis-lead ? ) !

    Maybe everything else will have such an ending.......

    Cheers, Mark.

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