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Thread: Promotion policy in the RCAF

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    Default Promotion policy in the RCAF

    Gents,

    I have a flight sergeant pilot ( F/Sgt McGillivray ) who within two months of operations jumped from a flight sergeant directly to a acting flight lieutenant. Was this usual? What was the RCAF policy of promotions amongst it pilots?

    TIA

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

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    Did your subject volunteer for the pathfinder force? I seem to recall reading that PF crews were automatically pushed up a rank.

    PaulH

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    I'm away from the library today so can't quote details, but the RCAF did evolve a policy of automatic promotions for flight crew, on a time basis. Providing they didn't screw up of course. This was a compromise worked out after the RAF rejected a Canadian government proposal that all graduate flight crew should be officers, i.e. making P/O when awarded wings.

    You should try to find when your man made F/S. It was probably 1 to 2 years before this promotion. Possibly buried in the records is a paper promotion to P/O, at about the same time as his current unit expressing a need for an acting F/O. The timing w.r.t. his posting to PFF may have just been a coincidence.

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    Gents,

    Left 623 Squadron a F/Sgt on December 6th 1943, posted No.90 Squadron. ORB records him as being promoted a A/F/Lt on 1st December 1944. No PFF involved?

    Kind regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

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    Steve

    6 Dec 1943 to 1 Dec 1944 is actually nearly a year, plenty of time for an experienced Flt Sgt to be commissioned and reach Act Flt Lt

    Malcolm

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    Malcolm,

    Sorry promoted to A/F/Lt 1st January 1944!!!

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    For such a promotion there would have to be a good reason - he must have had some sort of appointment to a post, but the normal reason for this sort of thing was usually restricted to non-pilots, such as air gunners or navigators being apppointed as "Leaders" within the squadron. However the only such appointments for "line" pilots in a squadron (fighter or bomber) was flight commander, and by this stage of the war this would automatically require the rank of acting squadron leader for a bomber squadron. Of course there has to be an underlaying appointment to a commission in the first place before you can be appointed to a higher acting officer rank, and this would almost certainly be as a war substantive Pilot Officer - this appointment and its effective date should be recorded in both the ORB as well as being published in the Canadian Gazette. So still a bit of a mystery for a pilot, but the other day I came across an almost identical commissioning from the ranks and then appointment to a higher acting rank. However this was RNZAF, but he was a fellow serving in Bomber Command in 1944/45, a F/Sgt Air Gunner being appointed to a temporary commisison as P/O, and from the same effective date being appointed to acting rank of F/L to fill a post on same squadron. This type of appointment would normally follow successful completion of a course at the Central Gunnery School (or equivalent in case of other trades) which was specifically a "Leaders" course. However to best of my knowledge most appointments of flight commanders required no such special course, as they were often chosen "locally", often by the unit CO who would always be on the lookout for leadership material and would nomally have a few promising junior officers in mind who might seem suitable should the need arise.
    And although not an expert on commissioning practices in PFF squadrons, I would doubt that the posting of any individual to such a squadron would automactically entitle any person to a non-standard promotion to the next level, unless it was for the purpose of taking up a post which brought additional duties and responsibilities such as a Leader or flight commander.
    David D
    Last edited by David Duxbury; 22nd August 2013 at 01:29.

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