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Thread: 1944- pilots of Lancs & Halifaxes to be Flying Officer

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    Default 1944- pilots of Lancs & Halifaxes to be Flying Officer

    I heard from a former air gunner that during 1944 there was a general instruction that pilots of 4 engined bombers were to be Flying Officers and conseqently his pilot went from Sergeant to Flying Officer virtually over night. In some ORB's I have seen evidence of this happening but havent as yet found the actual instruction with a date. It is also obvious that some RAF pilots of Lancs rose to Warrant Officer rank (not Flying Officer) and served operationally in that rank through spring of 1945.

    Please can anybody tell me more.

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    It may have been latter part of 1944 or early 1945, but in 75 (NZ) Squadron it was normal for all officer captains of aircraft on squadron, it not already holding rank of Flying Officer (that is, just Pilot Officer) were to be appointed to the ACTING rank of Flying Officer, in recognition of "Being captain of a heavy aircraft." However this ruling certainly did not extend to non-commissioned captains, who remained in their normal "war substantantive" rank. To be fair there were not normally any Sergeant pilots arriving on the squadron in the rank of Sergeant by this time anyway, as Sergeants were normally automatically promoted to Flight Sergeant six months after their original promotion to Sergeant (at the time of their graduation from SFTS). As the long period of training required for 4-engined pilots for Bomber Command by this time exceeded six months anyway, particularly if they had coming from New Zealand or Canada as had many of the (NZ) pilots, all would have been promoted to F/Sgt by the time they arrived on the squadron. The appointment to acting F/O was efffective from the date the pilots were posted to their first OPERATIONAL unit (that is, the squadron.)
    David D
    Last edited by David Duxbury; 26th May 2013 at 23:22. Reason: spelling errors

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