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Thread: Help needed please - Sqdn Ldr. S.W. Gould, 83 sqdn, Pathfinders

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    Default Help needed please - Sqdn Ldr. S.W. Gould, 83 sqdn, Pathfinders

    Hi All

    I am new to the forum, but have been a militaria collecter (particularly medals) for around 10 years now.
    I received a nice 39-45 Star, Air Crew Europe, Defence & War Medal (MID) group from my wife as an anniversary gift, and have tried to research the chap as best I could.

    Stanley Wilfred Gould
    NCO number 542820
    Officer number 47704

    I have only been able to find details of his time at 83 squadron in 1943, but believe that he signed up in 1937, and was at 15 OTU for a while.

    Some other info that may be of interest, is that he was Mentioned in Despatches in 1941, with 83 squadron in 1943 on Pathfinder duties, and that on his last mission to Essen his Lancaster was shot down, and he was the only surviving crew member. He was captured, and sent to Stalag Luft 3 for the remainder of the war I believe.

    Please can anybody with more experience in researching this type of thing offer any assistance with finding info on my chap pre-1943? ORB's from 15 OTU would be very much of interest, as would any detail of his MID (unlikely, I know). Also, his POW details are something I would be interested in if available (POW no. 1325), and any info of his service after the war.

    P.S. I have framed the group and other bits and pieces nicely, so will add a picture when I figure out how to!

    Thanks in advance,
    Colin

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    Anybody???

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    Hi Colin,

    Re : 542820
    542608 enlisted RAF 28-7-1937
    542953 enlisted RAF 16-8-1937

    Air Force list October 1945
    47704 F/L 19-12-1943 - Air Gunner and Wireless Operator Air

    Mark

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    I am guessing, from experience of examining OTU ORBs at Kew, that the 15 OTU ORB is still in hard copy, i.e. not digitised nor available online. As such, and unless anyone has their own copy on here, you are going to have to trot down to London or hire a researcher to do it for you.

    Rgds

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Thanks guys. I guess this will have to wait until the next time I head down South!

    Mark - Do you have any idea why he would have so many service numbers? Where did you get this info from, if you don't mind me asking?

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    Colin,

    Your man had two service numbers. An OR number (542820) and an officer's number (47704). This was normal. The other two numbers are examples provided by Mark to illustrate similar numbers/enlistment dates for other servicemen.

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Ahh, apologies. So an NCO number and then an officer number, gotcha!

    It was a long time after signing up in 1937, before he was posted to a squadron straight from 15 OTU in 1943 then?
    I believed the training to be under a year normally...

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    It was not technically 'an NCO number'. His service number was allocated to him at the very start of his service as an airman, not as an NCO. All non commissioned types started off life as airmen in the rank of Aircraftman 2nd Class, before being promoted through the ranks to become an NCO or qualifying for NCO rank as aircrew (from 1940 onwards). His OR number would have followed him through the ranks, until he was given another upon commissioning. As his OR number comes from a block allocated for civilian entrants to the RAF from Oct '25 onwards, and his enlistment comes at the end of this block, circa 1937, it would suggest that he joined as a regular in a ground trade. He did this for a few years, before being selected for aircrew when the RAF suddenly found a need for more flying types. This would explain the delta.

    You need his service record to fill in the gaps.

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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