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Thread: What happens to RAF flight school drop outs?

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    Default What happens to RAF flight school drop outs?

    This is my first post. I live in Tulsa, OK, USA and collect British Flying Training School #3 items. That WW2 school was located about 80 miles NE of me in Miami, OK. My most recent acquisition is a Miami, OK school girl's autograph book. She collected the autographs of 24 RAF Cadets who were training at BFTS #3 in late 1941. Each Cadet also listed his home town. Using the list of school graduates in Paula Denson's book "The Royal Air Force in Oklahoma" I was able to identify 18 of the autographs. The other 6 are either unreadable or the cadets did not graduate (or both). All of the 18 cadets I have identified graduated in classes 1, 2 or 3 between October and December, 1941. While I am researching the 18 cadets I can identify, I was wondering what happened to cadets who washed out of flight school in late 1941. Were they released from service? Or transfered to a non-flying position? Or what?

    Thanks,
    Paul

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    Officer pilots would be offered retraining as navigators/bombaimers - assuming their maths was up to it. There were a few other officers in aircrew positions that were normally held by NCOs and possibly at least some of these could have been ex-pilot cadets. Presumably NCO cadets would be offered other NCO aircrew jobs. Otherwise yes, barring non-graduating for medical reasons (eg crash injuries) they'd be transferred to a ground job.

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    One correction to Graham's post

    If a cadet did not graduate then they wouldn't have been commissioned or made up to Sergeant, they would have remained as LACs and been transferred to other aircrew duties as mentioned but if they failed this course they would then have been transferred to ground duties.

    Malcolm

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    Hi Paul

    Are you able to tell us the names of the pilots that you've identified, as we may have more information on them that we can share with you? e.g. I have a pilot on 41 Sqn who undertook training at 3 BFTS during the period you mention.

    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Steve,

    Here are the 24 names from the autograph book. The ones with the * are hard to read and may be incorrect. I have posted another search request for another BFTS #3, Dec. 1941 grad under the heading "An Americans' question on RAF research"

    Ron "Ace" Lamb
    Eric Heilhicon*
    Teddi Gibson
    Donald Tidy
    Ian D Singer
    Allen Shackleton
    R. H. Prior
    Anthony J Payne
    Denis J Curling
    Kenneth A Jenkins
    T. Parfitt
    W. B. Edwards
    C. T. Kongsborough-Cody
    A. Walton
    WSO Randle
    F. G. Thomson
    Alan Kenyon
    Dick Davies
    John L. Harpes*
    Stewart Leonhen*
    L. Drowr*
    A. Dounton*
    D. D. Davies
    Eric G. Hill

    I am just getting into this research and also research on other graduates.

    Thanks,
    Paul

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    Thanks Paul

    As it so happens, your D. D. Davies is 'my' man that I was referring to. I don'0t have a lot on him, but this should provide you some basic detail:

    DAVIES, DAVID DOUGLAS ‘Daibach’, 122377, RAFVR; b Ammanford, Carm, Wales, 18 Aug 20; ed Aberystwyth Uni; enl in RAFVR, Weston-super-Mare, Jan 41; 3 BFTS, Miami OK, USA, 1941; Sgt Plt (1337830), 1941; com Prob Plt Off (122377), 14 Mar 42; 9 (P)AFU (Master I/III), Hullavington, 1942; 57 OTU (Spit), Hwdn, Flint, 1942; Prob Fg Off (WS), 1 Oct 42; B Flt, 41 Sqn, 18 Nov 42-ca 1 Aug 43 (last mentioned on this date); att 91 Sqn (Spit Vb), Hwkge, with Fg Off P. Cowell for op trng, 24-27 Mar 43; com rel due ill health, rtng Fg Off, 18 Feb 44

    Hope this is of assistance

    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Steve,

    Thanks. That helps a lot. What is 'Daibach'? Incidently he lists his hometown as Ebbe-Val S. Wales in the autograph book.

    I can send you a scan of his autograph if you would like to see it.

    Paul

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    Dai Bach is Welsh for David.
    Researching my father's time with 50 Squadron, 97 Squadron, Dulug Luft, Stalag Luft VI, Stalag 357 and Stalag Luft III.

    http://wallyswar.wordpress.com/

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    Welcome to the Forum Paul

    The place name is Ebbw Vale - this wiki link will give you some information on his home town http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ebbw_Vale

    If you need any expansion on the piece from Steve I am sure that he will assist further - terminology or place names familiar to us on this forum might not be so familiar to you.

    I wish you luck in tracing all of the other names on your list - one sure fire way to find out if they survived the war is to go to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission website (www.cwgc.org) and following the links to trace a casualty.

    If they are on the site it will give details of their unit, rank, serial number, squadron, final resting place, family details etc. etc., and of course, if not on the site - they survived.

    Allan
    Allan Hillman

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    "C. T. Kongsborough-Cody" appears to be Cecil Thomas Kingsborough CODY. See: http://www.cieldegloire.com/002_raf_cody_c_t_k.php
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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