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Thread: Looking for uncle's crew from 462 M.E.

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    Default Looking for uncle's crew from 462 M.E.

    I wonder does anyone know if any of these servicemen are still alive or know of their relatives?

    P/O RHV Thomas – pilot. His son Quieten has posted pictures and info on facebook via the Friends of 466/462 Squadrons group. I have sent him an email and hoping he will reply, I know not everyone is like me and online everyday all day :)

    F/O EG Page – observer. I know nothing on him other than he was transferred out of 462 in Jan 1944.
    F/O LJP Dunlop – observer.
    SGT DC Munroe – wireless operator
    SGT C Weston – tail gunner
    SGT CRB Ainlie – Bombardier

    They were all in 462 M.E. squadron during 1943 and flew with my Uncle Sgt. John H Thomas. I know its unlikely any of them are with us now but maybe sons or daughters are and might be willing to share pictures or stories of those days when they served with my uncle.

    Uncle John is unknown to us and all that is known of him is my research, even his children did not know him as he died quite young at 27 in 1949. My objective it learn as much about him as possible and record his life, not only for the history of my family but his daughters also. There is only so much you can gain from records and as there is no one alive in my family that knew him I was hoping maybe someone out there did or have info on him. A long shot I know but of you don’t ask you never find out :)

    Cheers
    Rob

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    Rob,

    It is not a good idea to open a new thread for each query you have. You will have people chasing up details that have already been posted. Keep it tight, mate.

    A bit more information on the personnel you have mentioned:

    P/O R H V THOMAS - l have already identified for you.

    F/O E G PAGE - AUS407623 Ernest Goldsmith PAGE RAAF. Page went on to a long stint in the post-war RAAF, including a 50-mission tour with No.1 Sqn RAAF during the Malayan Emergency. (Page's post-war service number was O4406 - the O, being the letter "O", and not "Zero".) A later photograph of Page can be found, here:

    http://www.awm.gov.au/collection/P03170.006

    F/O L J P DUNLOP - 128366/(119722) Leslie John Patrick DUNLOP RAFVR.

    Sgt D C MUNROE - No further info.

    Sgt C WESTON - 1325255 Charles WESTON RAFVR

    Sgt C R B AINLIE - In fact, C R B AINLEY. More info on Sgt Ainley's activities with No.462 Sqn RAAF, can be found here:

    http://static.awm.gov.au/images/coll...25_012--1-.pdf

    see: p.20 of 47.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 8th May 2014 at 01:03.

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    Hi Col

    Thank you for that.

    Ernie Page certainly did a long stint not to mention an awful lot of missions, a brave man.

    I believe the VR in RAFVR is volunteer reserve? Would a RAFVR always wear a VR insignia? I have seen some pictures where personnel have a VR on their lapels.

    On the subject of uniforms. When a warrant officer was promoted to pilot officer he immediately would wear the uniform/insignia of that rank or would/could he still wear the WO one? I have John’s wedding picture and he is a WO but it may be it was after he was promoted. I have applied for his wedding certificate now but that won’t be here for days yet to pin the wedding date exactly. His daughter is convinced they married 31st March 45 but the London gazette lists his promotion from the 18th Feb 45.

    C R B AINLEY was lucky to escape after being shot down, its always sad to read when men are lost although we know it happened it brings it to life I find. I checked the ORBs again and in all but one he is spelt with an E, guess they got it wrong at the time I expect he is not the only one.

    I was at the Halifax in the Yorkshire air museum yesterday and it not that big, it must have been tight in all there gear in there let along trying to bail out. Brave men.

    Cheers
    Rob

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    How different is a probationary pilot officers uniform form a warrant officer’s? I have googled it but have not come across any satisfactory images to show it, anyone know of any?

    Cheers

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    Welshbob, have a look at Malcolm Barrass' highly rated site at http://www.rafweb.org. There are excellent pictures of both the Warrant Officer badge and the Pilot Officer single, 'thin', ring. It made no difference whether he was Probationary and/or Acting.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter

    Thank you for that, I can see what he should have been wearing now. My uncle was John Hewson Thomas and according to the London gazette and the RAF list on 18th Feb 45 he was promoted to pilot officer yet clearly on 31st March 45 at his wedding he is not in a pilot officers uniform but a warrant officers. A mystery for sure :)

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    Welshbob, Hi,
    What you have to be aware of is that an RAF Warrant Officer is a very powerful rank and duty. One of the duties of a Station Warrant Officer (the dreaded SWO!) was ". . and the further training of Junior Officers.". These were Pilot Officers, Flying Officers, and Flight Lieutenants. I have seen a SWO 'pull up' a Fg Off for returning the SWO's salute in a very sloppy manner! I can imagine why your man wanted to be married as a Warrant Officer - top of the non-commissioned pile! As a Pilot Officer he would become the very bottom of a very big pile!! Make sense?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter

    I like your answer it does indeed make sense, we will never know why he was in that uniform but your answer is one I like :) Cheers for that.

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    Welshbob,
    Although Peter's description of the power and status of the SWO is perfectly correct, the 'wartime only' aircrew warrant officer was merely just another non-commissioned member of aircrew with absolutely no special powers or influence, and there must have been thousands and thousands of them in the RAF in 1945 throughout the world. Many air gunners in particular could see that seeking a temporary (wartime only) commission would be financially a backward step in their (probably short) air force career, so would prefer to remain in the non-commissioned airmen ranks, and be thereby able to hang onto more of their pay. However 'your' man obviously thought otherwise, judging by his appointment into the commissioned (GD) branch of the RAF, and would have been given a new service number.
    The subject of the official date in the records of promotions or appointments to commissions has been covered many times on this Board, including claims of posthumous commissions, but the simple fact is that there is almost invariably a delay following the official date, and the subject learning of this new rank, from only a few days, but normally at least a month, and sometimes up to six months. This would be why your man was still in the rig of a warrant officer at the wedding, as once he had learned of official approval for his commission he was required by KR&ACI to immediately take rapid steps to acquire all the new uniform items befitting an officer and gentleman, get measured up and fitted with his tailored uniform, and hand in all his old airmen-type items of clothing. He would also have to advise his Station Officers' Mess of his impending arrival and be assigned a place (although in wartime most aircrew officers had small huts with several other officers, not much better than the standard airmens' barracks). In peacetime it was customary to post a newly commissioned officer to another station so that he would not have the difficulty of having to treat his previous compatriots quite differently (as officer to airman), and thus have a clean break and a fresh start, where the resident airmen would only recognise him as an officer.
    David D

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    Thank you David for clarifying this matter, it makes sense now why he is still a WO at his wedding. It is very likely he had not been notified yet of his commission and probably was very soon after his wedding. By what we know of John we think he liked the RAF and was planning on staying in and only left when his daughter was born, the story goes he did not want the family being moved around on postings all the time. When he came out I am not sure yet as I am waiting for his service records.

    Thank you again
    Rob

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