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Thread: Recruits / Trainees

  1. #1
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    Default Recruits / Trainees

    Whilst men were progressing through the aircrew training system during WWII, were they referred to as Recruits, Trainees, Cadets or did they have a more official generic name?

    Did the name change as they progressed through the training process (eg Were they referred to as "Recruits" when they started the process (ACRC) but something else as they progressed through the Initial Training / Technical Training / Operational Training Phases).

    Sorry if the question is a bit basic, but I am never sure how to refer to them when I do my research write-ups.

    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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    Default

    Pete, Hi,

    http://www.raf-lichfield.co.uk/GroundUnits.htm has a list of TNA File refs for many of the WW2 Recruit Training Stations. Some have surviving Daily Routine Orders (DRO) within which you may find how the trainers referred to the trainees. Sturtivant (p.216 in my copy) has lists of Recruit Depots which became Recruit Receiving Centres which became Recruit Centres. So one must assume (very dangerous!) the “fodder” was Recruits. After initial “Square Bashing, etc, etc,” they would then become Trainees and go off to be trained (either as aircrew, or ground trades) at a School in whatever they were to do. It was not until post-WW2 that initial recruit training (Padgate, Bridgnorth, Hednesford, etc, etc) took place at “Schools of Recruit Training". We were Recruits until such time as we ‘Passed Out’ at the end of Square Bashing.

    HTH

    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 5th May 2015 at 11:50. Reason: QSD
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default

    Hi Pete
    As you are dealing with aircrew be careful. In 1956, ie 11years after WW2, I entered as a trainee Air Signaller. I started at Cardington where we were issued with uniform etc and I left Cardington after 2 days with instructions and Travel Warrant to report to Swanton Morley which was home to ! Air Signallers School. I never went to a Recruit Training station, all my" Square bashing" was incorporated into the Signaller Training. On my 1250(I.D, Card) my rank was recorded as C/S- Cadet Signaller. How much this was a hangover from wartime practice I do not know, but as in wartime it was known that on getting the Aircrew Badge we would all be promoted to Sergeant. In WW2 the early aircrew specialists other than Pilot/Observer were all ground tradesmen who had volunteered to take their trades into the air, You need to look up when and how the RAF started recruiting and training the specialists such as W/ops, A/Gs, FEs etc from scratch
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 5th May 2015 at 11:45.

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    Dick, Hi,
    Yr sentence #4 explains a lot!! I was, for my sins (which were many), involved, at one stage, with a number of ex-Kipper Fleet Siggies. I thought these Sgts/Flt Sgts would know the Drill Manual by heart!! Not so!! Ho Ho!
    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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    Thanks for the feedback; it is much appreciated as always.

    As you say it is a complicated subject but my quest is to find the correct generic term so that when I do a write-up I can say, as examples,

    - "..... who successfully completed the course"
    - "over the next few days ................ were kitted out"

    ...... = Recruits or trainees or cadets [which I think is wrong for WWII??] or another generic name.

    I currently utilise Peter's suggested convention of the word "Recruits" being used up until completion of the Initial Training Course at ITW, with "Trainees" used for the remainder of training, but the word "trainees" is bugging me for some reason (hence this thread)

    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]

  6. #6
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    Cadet was in RAF use prior to 1939 at Cranwell as Flight Cadet then at overseas flying training schools.

    Recruit was used during time at RC but after passing out as ACH it would normally be u/t trade.

    For prospective aircrew then it was Aviation Candidate after selection and then u/t aircrew category during the various stages to qualification.

    However "sprog" is a useful unofficial generic.

    Ross
    Last edited by Ross_McNeill; 5th May 2015 at 13:09.
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    "Sprog":- been there done it!!
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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