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Thread: Commission terminated?

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    Default Commission terminated?

    Gent,

    With the kind help of Col, I am trying to understand the following sentence taken via the LG.

    "The comm of Pilot Officer (Prob) K S Helliker is terminated 9th Jan 1943"

    Can any kind soul please explain what this actually means?

    Regards

    Steve

    Sorry, the title should read commission!! Too long down the pub :-)
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
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    Hi

    As he was a Pilot Officer on Probation I would assume he failed to come up to the required level of ability and the Air Ministry terminated his commission.

    Malcolm

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    Hi Malcolm,

    Thank you for your reply. He had completed 4 operations as captain and a further 2 as second pilot, all of which were successfully completed. I have a photo of him supposedly taken in 1944 still a pilot officer. If he failed to come up to the required level of ability and the Air Ministry terminated his commission, would he have been demoted or taken off flying duties?

    Sorry for all the questions.

    Steve
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    Steve,
    Termination of commission usually means just that - the end! However an interesting case just happens to be still visible on this particular Board, under the title of Donald Scratch, RCAF. He was, I think terminated (or possibly dismissed from the service, which amounted to much the same thing), but almost immediately applied for further service as an airman and was accepted. He was re-appointed as a Sergeant pilot, but unfortunately his second flying career ended tragically.
    David D

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    Hi David,

    Thanks for the post, not sure what Kenneth Helliker did, but it must have been something serious!

    Kind regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
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    Steve,
    A termination usually meant the end of that officer's career, but it did not necessarily mean that he had done something really silly or had been found guilty of a disciplinary offence - it could simply have been a health problem (very common in aircrew who had to maintain the highest health category, particularly hearing, eyesight and general mobility). All it would take was a ruptured ear drum (although these might heal after a decent interval), and you can sometimes read of somebody's eyes simply "giving out" (deteriorating below the minimum standard for instance). Some aircrew managed to conceal deteriorating eyesight or hearing for a considerable period of time, but most would eventually be detected. Of course if the outcome was that the individual concerned was found to be permanently unfit for flying duties under any circumstances, and that person was not interested in any other position in the RAF (many of course did remain in the RAF in other fields), then he might decide to transfer to a previous civilian occupation (or a new one) where he would be of more service to the war effort than remaining in an armed service. This would then count as a relinquishment of his commission by more-or-less mutual agreement. In other words it was not a case of being cashiered or being cast out in disgrace under any of the other ignoble types of termination which could befall officers of His Majesty's RAF. A perusal of KR&ACI under the officer section should show all the horrible ways you could be involuntary discharged from RAF service.
    David D

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    If the commission was terminated and there is a photo taken a year later, is there any evidence that he had been subsequently recommissioned/reinstated?

    There are records of people who leave one sort of appointment and then immediately re employed under other T&Cs. however, I agree that the use of the word: 'terminated' does suggest something more than 'relinquished'!

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    Hi David,

    Thank you for your detailed reply. I overlooked the obvious possibility, ill heath. He was involved in a prang during training that required a period of rehabilitation, perhaps this caught up with him. However, this seems a rather drastic reaction to a chap with a medical problem.

    I must confess I am struggling with this officers RAF career, I have a pile of documents, log book, photo's, travel passes, mess bills, RAF ID passes. But all the information recorded by Kenneth is so brief and cryptic it is difficult to unravel. Even his log book is at odds with the squadron ORB. I will get there in the end.

    Regards

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

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    If discharged for ill health, I would have thought the LG entry might have said something like; 'on account of medical unfitness for service'.

    Colin Cummings

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    Terminated sounds like something more serious than illness. Harry Dent wrote about Bunny (George Emmett)....'Bunny was very unlucky. He had some back trouble due to an ancient kick in the back at rugger and after about a month of it the RAF decided it was not their business and bowler-hatted him. Heís had an operation and a lot of pain and I think when itís all over in a few months heíll go back to the Army.'
    The LG lists George Emmett as having 'relinquished his commission' on account of his ill-health.From Sapper to Spitfire Spy. Pen and Sword Publishing
    Motherbird

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