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Thread: Research help please, 6616 SE Hartford Bridge (combined ops)?

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    Default Research help please, 6616 SE Hartford Bridge (combined ops)?

    Hi all

    I'm new to the forum and was wondering if anyone could help shed light on deciphering an RAF service record.

    A friend of mine is researching his late grandfather's RAF service record and has been struggling to understand a certain period when his grandfather was posted to Hartford Bridge as part of 6616 SE. Although he was groundcrew and trained on engines and airframe, his record indicates that he took part in operations (denoted by an X after the entry). He was also issued the Air Crew Europe Star?

    My friend recalls his grandfather mentioning trips in Lancasters and being associated with combined operations? He was posted to Hartford Bridge on the 8/8/44 until 16/11/45, during that period 6616 SE was renamed 6263 SE.

    I realise that this is a bit vague, but any help or suggestions would be of great help to my friend.

    Many thanks

    Jon...

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    Hi Jon,

    Welcome to the forum.

    This may give you a little background:

    http://yorkshiresquare.co.uk/d-day-l...tter-17051945/

    You can post sections of the service record (feel free to delete the man's name) and folks here will be happy to help you decipher it all.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Hi Dave

    Many thanks for the prompt reply and information, much appreciated. Here is a small section of the service record. If any forum members could help decipher it, that would be most helpful.

    Best regards

    Jon..

    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...g?m=1451502832

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    Hi Jon,

    I think a name would be useful in this instance, as it would help anyone holding the Operations Record Books of squadrons based at Hartford Bridge/Blackbushe to look for his name. No Lancaster squadrons were based at the airfield during the war - see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Blackbushe . The reference suggests that the only aircraft based at Blackbushe suitable for carrying personnel additional to aircrew during your period of interest, were Vickers Warwicks of 167 and 301 Squadrons.

    Brian

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    Hi Jon,

    As a general rule of thumb if you remove the 1st number of a Servicing Echelon you are left with the squadron whose aircraft they serviced. They came with various prefixes, the 6 in this case indicating that they were part of the 2nd Tactical Air Force.

    Rgds

    Pete

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    Jon,
    Having had a look at the record of service, I very much doubt that the 'x' after the posting has anything to do with participation in operations. Nothing I have ever seen in literally thousands of records of service has ever included any such thing, and quite frankly the service itself was not really interested in whether you have been in actual action or not (and it would not be included on your records - in fact there was no such provision for any such detail - main purpose of this document was to record your vital statistics as well as your promotions/demotions, and units posted to or attached, as indicated by "P" or "A"). Remember that tens of thousands of civilians in the UK had been exposed to real enemy action from 1940 to 1944, so for servicemen to suffer the same was only to be expected in the greater scheme of things.
    David D

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    6616 SE was attached to 616 Sqn and 6263 SE was attached to 263 Sqn

    Malcolm

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    Hi all

    Many thanks for all the replies, very interesting information and really appreciated.

    Jon..

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    X in the reason column usually means authority denoted in the Miscellaneous Section of POR.

    It can also be X list which was the Army method of listing OR transfer eg death, injury, attachment, posting etc but this is rare for RAF 543s usually only seen on units which had strong Army local control eg AOP units under RA control and occassionally Servicing Echelon/Commando in initial stages of assault before RAF Command structure fully implemented.

    Ross
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    Adding a little to Malcom's reply (#7), 616 Squadron was flying Gloster Meteor jets at the time, while 263 Squadron was equipped with Hawker Typhoons.

    Brian

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