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Thread: Tracing a Lancaster pilot. Help!!!!

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    Default Tracing a Lancaster pilot. Help!!!!

    Hello

    I'm just beginning to trace the RAF career of my uncle Kenneth Austin Thomas. I have very few details of him and am normally to found researching family members activities during WW1 so I'm feeling a little out of my depth. The details I know of him are listed below:-


    Kenneth Austin Thomas, born 1916, 9 Fairview Avenue, Levenshulme, Manchester.
    Rank. Sergeant
    RAF Occupation. Lancaster/Wellington pilot
    Civilian occupation. Mechanic for Tommy Spann (TT Motorbike racer)
    Possible service No. 1670546 (not been able to confirm this but definitely the correct name)
    Enlistment. Late 1941, early 1942
    Initial training. RAF Padgate, Warrington
    Further training. No1 flight, No4 Squadron, No 10 ITW (Scarborough)
    Awarded wings 1943, Manitoba
    Death. Approximately 1991
    I understand he was stationed at some point in Egypt, Bari and East Anglia. There are a few photographs but none appear to reveal any clues. One photo is a group shot showing him wearing the white cadet flash on his forage cap dated 1942, there are no other notes or names on the photo. A second shows him clearly sporting sergeants stripes. I also have a very poor quality copy of him and his crew standing in front of a Lancaster, the original bore the signatures of his crew but they aren't legible on my copy and the original is no longer available. I hope to visit my mother shortly and obtain copies of the photos.


    I understand from my mother that among his possessions were his medals (no idea what his entitlement was except no gallantry medals). His flight log and no doubt other documentation as he was very proud of his RAF career. Unfortunately after his widows death everything passed out of the family it seems irrevocably. At his funeral in Norwich his coffin was adorned with the RAFA flag so I assume he had been a member. After the funeral as the family stood outside the crematorium an RAF jet came screaming low overhead almost as if he'd booked it!


    I have many questions I'd love to know the answers to but to keep it brief if anyone can advise me on how to further my search I'd be grateful, preferably in layman's terms as I'm far more at home "in the trenches" so to speak. Obviously if anybody can supply direct information about him I'd be delighted to hear from them.


    Many thanks


    Simon

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    Default

    Welcome, Simon.

    To avoid duplication of work already done:

    http://ww2talk.com/forums/topic/6055...lington-pilot/

    As DaveB pointed out on ww2talk the service number he pulled up from AIR78 doesn't show up as gazetted. Had he been commissioned he would have been given a new number but his old one would have been gazetted with his new one.

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Dave

    His rank was definitely Sergeant as confirmed by my parents this morning and a photo in her possession which clearly shows his stripes


    Simon

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    You need to apply for the Record of Service.

    The RAFA who loaned the flag for his funeral might be able to provide some information.

    In wartime, he wouldn't have stayed too long as a Sgt before promotion to F/Sgt and on to WO.

    I'll see what I can find out about his later life.

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    Died 1991 and death registered at North Walsham.

    The crematorium will have a record of the service and that will lead you back to the undertaker

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    Oldduffer

    Thanks for your help so far and your offer of future assistance. Unfortunately it's not the pre or post war periods I'm stuck for, my mother has all her diaries still . The wartime entries are rather bland mentioning only the Christian name of him and his brothers Jim and Geoff who were also in the RAF. In fact they don't reveal even a place name! (She was still at school).
    I have contacted his local RAFA but to no avail. It may have been that he had not been an active member for a long time before his death.
    I intend to apply for his service record but I am hoping that something will turn up that confirms the service number I've listed is in fact the right man, my budget won't allow for a 2nd search so I want to be sure my 30 is spent in the right direction.


    Dave


    Forgot to thank you for posting the link, I'd probably never have thought of the idea and the thought of being capable of handling the technology involved chills me to the bone!


    Thanks again


    Simon

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    Ive just found a little more about K. A. Thomas

    A photo reveals him as part of Course 80, 13 Elementary Flying Training School, St Eugene, Ontario. Photo shows bi-plane in background and is dated 22/6/43.


    A graduation banquet menu (Inc. Graduates names and signatures) dated 1943 places him as part of Course 84, No17 Service Training Flying School , Souris, Manitoba.


    I don't know if this helps as I've no idea if any archive material exists with regard to these establishments.


    Thanks Simon

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    Default Flight logs

    Hello

    I believe my late uncle possessed his flight logs but they are no longer within the family. Would copies of such documents exist anywhere?


    Thanks


    Simon

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    Simon,

    'Officialdom' did not require copies of log books (not 'flight logs') to be made, therefore anyone copying such a document would have done so on a private/unofficial basis. How can you ever prove this occured?

    Jonny
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Jonny

    I take your point entirely. I don't have the WW2 research experience to know what would or wouldn't be ruled by officialdom but thanks to members on this and other fora I'm (happily) learning fast.


    Thanks


    Simon

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