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Thread: Rank progression 1940-41

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    Default Rank progression 1940-41

    Can anyone advise on war commissions.

    What was the criteria used for rank progression from LACs to Pilot Officers and LACs to Sergeants.

    43 Course November 1940 3SFTS South Cerney

    49 LACs had their photograph taken at the beginning of November, they completed their training at the end of March 41. Those successful received their wings and went on to OTUs. 16 became pilot officers the remainder Sergeants. The officers duly had their promotion recorded in the London Gazette 2 May 41.

    One young face in the crowd did well for himself ending his career as Commander-in-Chief RAF Strike Command.

    Can anyone help on what set them apart on that first step.

    Thanks

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    One of our local pilots joined the RAF in June 1940 with the rank of AC2, becoming an LAC when he commenced his Elementary FTS course on July 25. That completed he moved onto his FTS course and when this successfully achieved in January 1941 he was accorded the rank of Sergeant. An OTU course followed then posting to his first operational squadron, still with the rank of Sergeant - at that time this was the minimum flying rank at operational level. He was unfortunately killed, still with Sgt rank, in November 1941. I think, but not 100%, that a years further service was required before further promotion to say Pilot Officer. Those showing the right aptitude could be made up to Flight Sergeant, but at what period service I know not, but I bet someone here will chip in.

    Hope this helps as a start.

    Regards,

    Ian

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    Hi

    At some point towards the end of the flying training course commissioning boards would be held and those passing would be appointed to commissions as Pilot Officers on Probation, usually after a further year their rank of Pilot Officer would be confirmed and at the same time they were promoted to Flying Officer (War Substantive) and a further year year would see them becoming Flight Lieutenant (War substantive). During this time they could of course be promoted to higher acting ranks.

    Commissioning was determined by the airman's leadership qualities and abilities rather than flying prowess.

    Those not commissioned were appointed Sergeants, with promotion to Flight Sergeant after, at the earliest, six months and a further six months to Warrant Officer. NCOs could apply for or be appointed to a commission at any time, there was no time requirement to be served before applying.

    Malcolm

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    Many thanks to you both. Although I am sure all tried to get their commission those that went through their first tour as sergeant pilots seemed to prefer a crew on equal rank with whom they socialised and lived. It would appear some even put off putting in for commission during their first tour. I think my father once referred to all their costs, needs and uniforms were supplied, only having to make sure they paid their bar bills. Later in 1942, when he had become a Pilot Officer, letters from home for the first time talk about getting his laundry to him.

    I think there was an underlying wish to progress, along with the importance of awards, he was advised of his DFM the day before being advised of his commission and although a lot was not talked about this was occasionally mentioned.

    Thanks again Malcolm for clarifying the Commissioning Boards role at the end of training.

    John

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    Were those officers holding 'Acting and Temporary positions paid the same amount as 'War Substantive'officers

    Norman

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    Hi John

    A board is a panel composed of at least two officers who interviewed the candidate and decided whether they would be commissioned or not.

    My board was composed of the Regional Commandant (Group Captain) and the Regional Staff Officer (Squadron Leader)

    At the SFTS it was probably the OC and one or more other officers.

    Malcolm

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