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Thread: R.J. Unit and FLTU

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    Default R.J. Unit and FLTU

    Two acronyms, the meaning of which elude me. I would guess that "F.L.T.U" signified "French Liaison Training [or Technical] Unit" but "R.J." is a real puzzle. Following texts will give some context:

    MASON, John Ernest Edward, Sergeant (1209418, RAFVR*) - No.72 Wing - British Empire Medal - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1945. Public Record Office Air 2/9056, courtesy of Steve Brew, has citation.

    "At the time of the German advance into the Ardennes this airman was in command of a R.J. unit which was operating in the neighbourhood of Halmedy [Malmedy ?]. Although shelled and attacked by flying bombs and parachute troops, he succeeded in man-handling his two technical vehicles to the main road over 400 yards over 400 yards of track which U.S.A. armour had made practically impassable. In weather conditions of snow and ice he succeeded in evacuating his crew of eleven men through enemy patriols to the north. The evacuation took four days to complete and throughout this period Sergeant Mason had no means of contact with higherr formations. Under such hazardous circumstances this Non-Commissioned Officer displayed qualities of leadership, initiative and determination of a high order."


    CHAPMAN, Reginald John, Flight Sergeant (813020m RAFVR*) - No.2 F.L.T.U., Blida - British Empire Medal - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1945. Public Record Office Air 2/9056, courtesy of Steve Brew, has citation.

    "From November 1943 to January 1945 this Non-Commissioned Officer has been in sole charge of the Aeronautical Inspection Section of this unit. By his patience, attention to detail and devotion to duty under unusual and often trying circumstances he has played a large part in the successful functioning of this Section and, in particular, has done much to foster perfect liaison which exists between the French and Royal Air Force personnel."

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    Hugh,

    FLTU should perhaps read FTLU?

    From 'RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912':

    No.2 French Technical Liaison Unit
    Formed 16.6.44 ex French Air Force Parc d'Avions No.95 (RAF Element) at BLIDA; Disbanded 31.7.45. Aircraft: Wellington X, XIII, XIV (NB865); Argus II, III (KK472); Harvard IIb (FS747); Spitire Vb (ES276).

    Errol

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    Default RJ Unit

    Hi Hugh

    A complete and utter guess here but maybe "R..." is an abbreviation for some sort of radio or radar equipment? Perhaps it was some sort of mobile radar station or ground-based fighter control unit which got caught up in the 'Bulge' and had to evade getting captured?

    I have tried putting 'r j unit radar raf' in Google but it doesn't seem to come up with anything much.

    Maybe some other technical experts will know.

    Ian

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    Hugh,

    And as another utter guess...possibly Radar (or Radio) Jamming Unit?

    Errol

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    Default R.J. Unit and FLTU

    It is pretty obvious (especially when locations are noted) that FLTU (as typed by an RAF clerk) should indeed be FTLU and I have noted that in the transcription.

    Re the guesses re "R.J. Unit" - would the duties of No.72 Wing go any distance to explaining this term ?

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    Eddie Fell Guest

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    The function of 72 Wing was Signals (according to The source book of the RAF - Delve) so that would probably fit with Errol's quesses

    Eddie

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    This probably explained what Mason was up to..

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/ww2peopleswar/stories/99/a3146799.shtml

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    No 72 (Signals) Wing was, from 15 May 1944, responsible for the radio navigational aids on the Continent following the Normandy landings, ie primarily Gee, G-H and Oboe. These extended the coverage of the radio navigational aids provided from ground stations in the UK. However other associated signals units also came under the control of the Wing, including several RJ units.

    The Wing Operations Record Book entry for December 1944 notes that "an RJ unit in a forward position was withdrawn when seriously threatended." It also contains the following report by an officer named Craig (possibly a Flying Officer) regarding the evacuaton of Laroche:

    "On 17th Sgt Mason of RJ Unit 5369 informed me the German tanks had shelled Malmedy and Eupen. He asked me for advice and I told him to prepare vehicles for an immediate move, and if he could move them to take the Liege Rd when he thought it necessary. This was the last contact I had with Sgt Mason."

    As is usual with ORBs, I can find no explanation for the meaning of abbreviations. However, I'm fairly certain RJ stands for Radio Jamming and the function of the unit would have been to monitor German jamming of the radio navigational chains and possibly counter such jamming.

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    Default R.J. Unit

    Thanks to all for insights (and the lead to that BBC site). The Mason entry in data base will now read as follows:

    MASON, John Ernest Edward, Sergeant (1209418, RAFVR*) - No.72 Wing - British Empire Medal - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1945. Public Record Office Air 2/9056, courtesy of Steve Brew, has citation.

    "At the time of the German advance into the Ardennes this airman was in command of a R.J. unit which was operating in the neighborhood of Halmedy [Malmedy ?]. Although shelled and attacked by flying bombs and parachute troops, he succeeded in man-handling his two technical vehicles to the main road over 400 yards over 400 yards of track which U.S.A. armour had made practically impassable. In weather conditions of snow and ice he succeeded in evacuating his crew of eleven men through enemy patrols to the north. The evacuation took four days to complete and throughout this period Sergeant Mason had no means of contact with higher formations. Under such hazardous circumstances this Non-Commissioned Officer displayed qualities of leadership, initiative and determination of a high order."

    NOTE: The reference to "R.J. unit" appears to mean something akin to "Radio Jamming". The following was posted by Ian Brown on the RAF Commands website (Message Board) on 27 November 2007:

    No 72 (Signals) Wing was, from 15 May 1944, responsible for the radio navigational aids on the Continent following the Normandy landings, ie primarily Gee, G-H and Oboe. These extended the coverage of the radio navigational aids provided from ground stations in the UK. However other associated signals units also came under the control of the Wing, including several RJ units.

    The Wing Operations Record Book entry for December 1944 notes that "an RJ unit in a forward position was withdrawn when seriously threatended." It also contains the following report by an officer named Craig (possibly a Flying Officer) regarding the evacuation of Laroche:

    "On 17th Sgt Mason of RJ Unit 5369 informed me the German tanks had shelled Malmedy and Eupen. He asked me for advice and I told him to prepare vehicles for an immediate move, and if he could move them to take the Liege Rd when he thought it necessary. This was the last contact I had with Sgt Mason."

    As is usual with ORBs, I can find no explanation for the meaning of abbreviations. However, I'm fairly certain RJ stands for Radio Jamming and the function of the unit would have been to monitor German jamming of the radio navigational chains and possibly counter such jamming.

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