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Thread: Query on Name of RAF Wireless Operator

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    Default Query on Name of RAF Wireless Operator

    Hello - First post so not sure if I am in the right place for this but here goes..

    Could anyone please advise if it is possible to find out if Patrick Ahern(e), Wireless Operator, AC2, RAF No. 625621 was the only Private with that name? He enlisted about 1938 and was killed in action in May 1940 as part of 110 Squadron.

    Thank you

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    Hullo Hobbie and welcome to this forum.

    Almost - if not - all people joining the RAF and its reserves and auxiliaries, do so (did so) in the rank of Aircraftman/woman 2nd Class - that is 'Private' in Army speak. These people might have been officer cadets in the RAFVR or flight cadets at the RAF College Cranwell but their rank was AC2 on enlistment. the exceptions would be people with professional backgrounds eg chaplains, doctors etc.

    Are you able to explain the significance of your query? I ask because there is no 'master listing' of personnel but if you are trying to resolve an issue with perhaps several people of the same name, it might be possible to eliminate some of them when we know more of the background.

    In the final analysis, you could always pose a question to the RAF under Freedom of Information which asks: 'please can I be told how many personnel with the name Patrick Ahern(e) joined the RAF between 'X' and 'Y'?'. For the RAF, this is a very simple question because it does not reveal any personal information and only requires a count of a small number of Records of Service files.

    Colin Cummings

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    Hi
    In Bomber Command Losses Vol 1 by W R Chorley,he records Aherne's loss on 14 May 1940 when BlenheimIV,
    L9217, crashed at Torcy,on the western outskirts of Sedan whilst attacking Sedan. Aherne was the only fatality the other 2 crew members becoming POW. They were P/O E R Mullins(pilot) and Sgt R Lowe(Observer). In Vol 9 of his work Chorley lists all the losses by year as a Roll of Honour and there he gives the full name as Patrick Aherne and the service No. that you have quoted, and the fact that he was from Eire. Upon repatriation all POWs were debriefed and the records may still exist in the National Archive. It is possible that they give some details of how the a/c was brought down and what happened to the crew. I'm afraid I don't know the NA ref. Nos.
    Regards
    Dick

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    AIR78/2 Index to airmen is something of an index though its not 100%, there are Patrick Ahern(e)s as follows listed

    P Ahern's with serial numbers 296224 and 309092
    Patrick Ahern 8071632 Born in 1948, not your airman
    Patrick Edward 5026979 Post war enlistment
    Patrick Finbarr 1906015 -------------> Enlistments 1900000 to 1910000 From Sep 1943 N Ireland Non ATC
    Patrick Joseph Vincent 2592552 --------Post war enlistment
    Patrick Terrence 2594769 ----------------Post war enlistment

    Then Aherne's
    Patrick 540660 -----------------------------> Enlistments 505001 to 549999 From Oct 1925 Civilians
    Patrick 625621 as discussed above, enlistments 610000 to 654720 from Mar 1938 Civilians
    Patrick Christopher 1901810 -------------> Enlistments 1900000 to 1910000 From Sep 1943 N Ireland Non ATC
    Patrick Francis 1797621 ------------------> 1700001 to 1800000 Sep 1941 Inspector of Recruiting for Local Enlistments for deferred service at CRCs.
    Patrick Joseph 1910037 ------------------> Enlistments 1900000 to 1910000 From Sep 1943 N Ireland Non ATC

    And thats all that on that index.

    This thread will give you a guide to time periods when numbers were allocated,
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?27-RAF-RAF-OR-Service-Numbers

    So he was possibly the only Patrick Ahern(e) in the RAF at that time but one could not be 100% certain.

    YOu can purchase an abrivated copy of AC1 P Aherne 625621's service record from the RAF even though you are not related, (are you not?), details how to and what it costs are on http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/AboutDefence/WhatWeDo/Personnel/ServiceRecords/MakingARequestForInformationHeldOnThePersonnelReco rdsOfDeceasedServicePersonnelAndHomeGuardRecords.h tm

    Simple address eh!
    Last edited by dennis_burke; 23rd November 2012 at 23:12.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Default Thank You!

    Thank you to everyone who replied to my message about Patrick Aherne. I will answer you all together if that is ok.

    dennis_burke - Thanks for the Index to airmen - great to know you did not find anyone else with the same name, even if not 100% conclusive. I know he enlisted in 1939 and that seems to match up with the numbers in the allocated list. I am not directly related to him, and it sounds like I would not be certain to discover if he was the only private with that name, even if I requested his service records (and I know quite a lot about him already), but thanks for the link in case I do need it. Great info thank you!

    Dick - I did not know POWs were debriefed and the records may still exist in the National Archive. I do know he was the only member of the crew to be killed but P/O Mullins and Sgt Lowe may have made some comments about him in their debriefs so I will see if I can find anything there of interest. Thanks.

    Colin - I wanted to be sure I had the right person because all I knew was a name and I have tracked him down to this airman. I was hoping that if I could be sure he was the only private with that name then I could be sure it was him. My reason is not militarily-related - just personal. I love your idea of asking the RAF under Freedom of Information: 'please can I be told how many personnel with the name Patrick Ahern(e) joined the RAF between 'X' and 'Y'?'. You said that for the RAF, this is a very simple question that only requires a count of a small number of Records of Service files and does not reveal personal information. I know for a fact he enlisted in 1939 so that should not give them too wide a range to search. I wonder what they would charge me for such a request?

    Thanks again to you all for such great help and advice!
    Hobbie

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    Hobbie,

    Thank you for the reply above.

    From the responses you have received and which appear to have answered your query, I think the information I gave you was not strictly accurate and others have posted better information and advice here.

    The AIR78 files are possibly what you need and my suggestion to go for an FoI question might be judged a bit 'over the top' given the information given already.

    Colin Cummings

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    It might help Hobbie if you explained what your doing! Is yiur Patrick Aherne a family relative, does family lore tell of him going off to the war? How do you know he enlisted in 1939???
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Default Clarification

    Hello Dennis

    I have a lot of information, including when he signed up, from letters that were shown to me from a close relative of Patrick Aherne. I am just trying to establish whether he was a relative or not - it is a rather complicated situation.

    Thanks Colin, no problem re your information and advice - I'll consider any ideas!

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    Default POW Repatriation reports.

    Hi Hobbie

    There is a gentleman on Rootschat whose handle is ADM199 who is researching all the POW reports. He may well have a copy of the Repatriation report for the two other crew members who became POWs.

    You have been on www.cwgc.org and got his details of there as he should be listed if he enlisted after 1939?

    WOPs and AGs were not being promoted straight to Sgt on award of their brevet in 1939 if I remember rightly. Later they were ACs in training and then got Sgt as soon as they became qualified in trade...

    Dee

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