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Thread: Flying Officer John STRAIN DFC, AFC #188185 a man with 3 Service Numbers?

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    Default Flying Officer John STRAIN DFC, AFC #188185 a man with 3 Service Numbers?

    John Strain is one of my pre-war bale-outs (though not an Irvin Caterpillar). On May 10, 1935 he was flying as an observer in a Hawker Hart piloted by P/O George C Pinkerton of 602 'City of Glasgow' Sqn over Stirling Scotland when the following incident occurred

    "During an exercise at 15,000 feet over the Trossachs, while leaping about in the rear cockpit trying to get his sights on one of the attacking Hawker Furies of No 1 Squadron, he trod on the control wires. Pinkerton, feeling the elevators and rudder stiffening up, and guessing what had happened, turned round and pointed down, mouthing silent but obviously urgent words. Strain, completely misunderstanding, leapt smartly over the side and pulled his ripcord. Pinkerton could only return to Abbotsinch, and it was a highly disgruntled pilot who motored to Kippen to pick up his gunner. The squadron, of course, were delighted, particularly when it was established that Strain's impromptu performance had set some kind of height record."

    I have a slight issue with the incident as described in that 'C' Flight No. 1 (Fighter) Sqn arrived at Abbotsinch on 26.4.1935 to affiliate with 602 (B) Sqn and they returned to Tangmere on 6.5.1935. However I know that Strain jumped on May 10, 1935.

    but that is by the by. My issue is with the service numbers of John Strain. Strain later trained as a pilot, got a DFC with 489 Sqn as Warrant Officer on Hampdens and further AFC as an Officer. He was born Glasgow, 9 December 1912


    His RAFVR Pilot Service number was 740003 - one of the first issued 740000 to 759999 from Jan 1937 for RAFVR Pilots)

    He was commissioned as #188185

    My issue is what was his Service Number with AAF - I have a John Strain AAF #802277 (one of 800000 to 879999 issued from Dec 1925 Auxiliary Air Force) - I want to know if it could be him in 1935!

    Would he have had to resign AAF to get RAFVR? So in effect he could have had 3 different services numbers in his service. AAF one, RAFVR one and commissioned one?

    Thanks

    Paul

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    In my experience with AAF, pre-war anyway, airmen resigned and were free to go where they wished. It was common for officers to resign from the AAF one day and take up a short service commission with the RAF on the following day. There would be a number change.

    Best Wishes.
    Robert.

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    Hi Paul

    Even today, you cannot hold two commissions or serve in two branches of the service at the same time, so he would have to resign or leave one before joining the other.

    Malcolm

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    Robert and Malcolm

    Thanks guys that "seals the deal" for me same guy 3 different service numbers

    Paul
    Last edited by paulmcmillan; 1st December 2012 at 13:32.

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