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Thread: Looking for Air Ministry Order 190/41 and RCAF info

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    Default Looking for Air Ministry Order 190/41 and RCAF info

    Good day.

    I am a serving RCAF flight engineer, currently a MWO and fly Search and Rescue on a CH149 (EH101 variant).

    I am researching the inception date for the RCAF FE and have come across several references to Air Ministry Order 190/41. From what I can gather, this order apparently recognizes FE as an official air trade in the RAF.

    RCAF flight engineers seem to have lost touch with their history in regards to their origins in my opinion. Something that should not be allowed to happen in these days where we still make a valuable contribution to current air ops (although perhaps not in a "traditional" FE Role) and our constant evolution to remain a viable and valuable air trade.

    Even a Canadian Military Flight engineer Association (CMFEA) takes 1959 (when MOC 091 FE was given) as the origin date of the RCAF FE. While there are many respected and knowledgeable members there, I believe 1959 is selling ourselves a little short.

    As I see it, the RCAF FE should have originated with 190/41. While we were RCAF during WWII operating Lancs and the HP Halifax, my understanding is 6 Group contained the RCAF 400 series bomber Sqns, which would put them under the RAF umbrella like the rest of the commonwealth operating from the UK. This would seem to indicate that 140/91 applies to the RCAF, as it appears to with other commonwealth nations (IE: RNZAF and RAAF associations also appear to quote 140/41 as the beginning of FE).

    This becomes and item of significance because 190/41 would make 2016 a 75th anniversary, a significant achievement for any military trade. If this can be supported, we are planing a few commemorative items for distribution to serving and retired members.

    But I need to substantiate my claim with research. I have to date been unsuccessful at finding the contents of 140/91.

    If anyone can provide a copy this document (or where to request one), it would be greatly appreciated.

    I have contacted the Canadian war museum which, unfortunately, has no relevant documentation other than there were FE's in Lancs and HP Halifax's.

    Several "fast and loose" references to the RCAF FE are present in some places and there is some physical evidence such as the RCAF half wing badge with the "E". There's also some history available about 1 FE school that was set up in Arnprior Ontario and later, Alymer Ontario for the Commonwealth air training program from WWII.

    I am currently waiting to hear back from the Directorate of History and Heritage, which maintains the Canadian War archives on Ottawa, as to what information they can provide.

    Concrete evidence on an actual "start date" for FE is proving rather elusive though. I was hoping 140/91 would shed some light on the matter if I could read the actual content.

    Other documentation, either for or against my claim of 1941, would also be greatly appreciated if anyone has anything to offer.

    Anecdotal evidence is welcome in first hand accounts, but will not carry as much weight in my case for justifying a date of 1941 without documentation.

    Thank you for your time to read this and any help offered.

    Cheers.
    Last edited by great white; 20th June 2014 at 00:07.

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    Also of note: I have also found references to Air Ministry order 746/42, which seems to also officially establish FE along with Navigator, Bomber, Air gunner and Wireless Air Gunner.

    It would likely be beneficial to review this document as well, if anyone has it available.

    Cheers

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    Hello,

    W/C Jefford had this to say about the establishment of Flight Engineers in the RAF"

    Flight Engineer Training.

    Despite a need for them having been identified well in advance, the RAF did very little to provide itself with flight engineers before the Spring of 1941 when the requirement suddenly became urgent. As a result, the first few were obtained on a somewhat 'ad hoc' basis, in effect by, by misemploying qualified engine fitters. The Flight Engineers function soon gained a degree of official recognition, however, and they began to be acknowledged as quasi-air crew on completion of a three-week stint at a B&GS and a short manufacturer's course.
    A year later the training sequence had been more formally defined, a qualified fitter selected for flying duties spending five weeks at an ITW before embarking on the same brief manufacturer's and gunnery courses as his predecessors. This sequence was more protracted for a flight mechanic (engines) who had volunteered to fly, since he had first to be given the necessary additional technical training to permit him to be remustered as a Fitter II(E) and he was also required to pass the junior NCO course.
    In the Summer of 1942 the flight engineer was finally recognised as being a fully-fledged air crew category and, in an attempt to obtain the numbers required, it was decided to broaden the intake to include airframe fitters. This involved their having to be given appropriate instruction on aero-engines at No. 4 School of Technical Training (SoTT) at St Athan. This unit soon began to assume responsibility for the necessary special-to-type instruction as well and attachment to industry had ceased before the end of the year...

    See:
    Observers and Navigators and other non-pilot aircrew in the RFC, RNAS and RAF.
    Jefford,C G (W/C.) MBE, BA, RAF Retd.
    Shrewsbury:Airlife,2001.
    p.177

    Check 2nd. edition for updates.

    Although applicable to the RAAF, you might find the following of interest:

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetri...4569804&isAv=N

    Click on View Digital Copy.

    See: pp.6-8 of 72. (note particularly, the reference to AMO A.190/41 and AMO A.262/42 on p.7)

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th June 2014 at 02:39.

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    Great White, I expect the introduction of FEs in the RCAF would have been done by an RCAF order, even if it matched the RAF documents you reference. Hopefully Chris can direct you through the archives in Canada to find such a document. As you said, FE wings were being awarded at RCAF schools as early as 1944, there must have been a basis for this. By this time the trade of FEs was being practiced in home defence squadrons (B-17s and B-24s), although maybe under a different name. Have you looked at Squadron ORBs for 168 and 10 Squadrons for 1944 and 1945?

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    I have some Air Ministry orders relating to the establishment of Flight Engineers but unfortunately my computer has crashed so I don't have access to my research files at the moment. As soon as I do (hopefully next week) I will check for you. [Please remind me if you don't hear from me]

    Regards

    Pete
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL BRUGGY View Post
    Hello,

    W/C Jefford had this to say about the establishment of Flight Engineers in the RAF"

    Flight Engineer Training.

    Despite a need for them having been identified well in advance, the RAF did very little to provide itself with flight engineers before the Spring of 1941 when the requirement suddenly became urgent. As a result, the first few were obtained on a somewhat 'ad hoc' basis, in effect by, by misemploying qualified engine fitters. The Flight Engineers function soon gained a degree of official recognition, however, and they began to be acknowledged as quasi-air crew on completion of a three-week stint at a B&GS and a short manufacturer's course.
    A year later the training sequence had been more formally defined, a qualified fitter selected for flying duties spending five weeks at an ITW before embarking on the same brief manufacturer's and gunnery courses as his predecessors. This sequence was more protracted for a flight mechanic (engines) who had volunteered to fly, since he had first to be given the necessary additional technical training to permit him to be remustered as a Fitter II(E) and he was also required to pass the junior NCO course.
    In the Summer of 1942 the flight engineer was finally recognised as being a fully-fledged air crew category and, in an attempt to obtain the numbers required, it was decided to broaden the intake to include airframe fitters. This involved their having to be given appropriate instruction on aero-engines at No. 4 School of Technical Training (SoTT) at St Athan. This unit soon began to assume responsibility for the necessary special-to-type instruction as well and attachment to industry had ceased before the end of the year...

    See:
    Observers and Navigators and other non-pilot aircrew in the RFC, RNAS and RAF.
    Jefford,C G (W/C.) MBE, BA, RAF Retd.
    Shrewsbury:Airlife,2001.
    p.177

    Check 2nd. edition for updates.

    Although applicable to the RAAF, you might find the following of interest:

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetri...4569804&isAv=N

    Click on View Digital Copy.

    See: pp.6-8 of 72. (note particularly, the reference to AMO A.190/41 and AMO A.262/42 on p.7)

    Col.
    Thanks for the info and the link.

    Unfortunately, the link has "timed out" and will not open....
    Last edited by great white; 20th June 2014 at 21:24.

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    Hello Great White,

    To connect to the file:

    1/ Click on the link l have given to the National Archives of Australia (the file itself might appear). lf not:

    2/ Click on "guest" (highlighted) in final line.

    3/ Enter 28053 in Keywords box.

    4/ Click on the Digitised Item symbol of the final item (A9301 file of WADE).

    5/ Go to pp.6-8 of 72 for information.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 20th June 2014 at 21:33.

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    Great White

    I am away from home right now, but will get in touch with you when I get back to CYYB on Saturday.

    Were you at the 424 Change of Command Parade on Thursday?

    'Rescue!'

    Cheers...Chris

    424 'Tiger' (T&R) Squadron Deputy Historian

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    Great White I am away from home right now, but will get in touch with you when I get back to CYYB on Saturday. Were you at the 424 Change of Command Parade on Thursday? 'Rescue!' Cheers...Chris 424 'Tiger' (T&R) Squadron Deputy Historian
    No sir. CYQX. Although, I did "make off" with the Tiger once .....:) I've been 103, 442 and 413. Never a member of 442.
    Last edited by great white; 22nd June 2014 at 00:25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by COL BRUGGY View Post
    Hello Great White, To connect to the file: 1/ Click on the link l have given to the National Archives of Australia (the file itself might appear). lf not: 2/ Click on "guest" (highlighted) in final line. 3/ Enter 28053 in Keywords box. 4/ Click on the Digitised Item symbol of the final item (A9301 file of WADE). 5/ Go to pp.6-8 of 72 for information. Col.
    Got it and thank you. While it isn't RCAF, it is perhaps another link in the chain to building a case. Cheers
    Last edited by great white; 21st June 2014 at 15:08.

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