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Thread: A few queries

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    Default A few queries

    Hello,

    I would really appreciate any help on the following queries. As I said in a previous post I have ordered and am now trying to decipher the war records of my father-in-laws father as a gift for him. There are a few things I'm a bit stuck on and would appreciate any help.

    Firstly, I have read that all RAF recruits received 50 hours flight training. Would this apply to my man who was in the RAF Regiment?

    1 EFTS. I know EFTS means Elementary Flight Training School, and I assume the 1 (or I) refers to the place, but I'm not sure.

    same with 1 GDGS

    also, what do 4172 AAF and 4061 AAF refer to?

    and finally, I can't work out what the abbreviation No 3 RC @ could mean.

    I hope it isn't too cheeky to ask all these questions.
    Thank you,
    Claire

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    Claire

    As a start point for you:

    It is incorrect to say that all RAF Recruits received 50 hours flight training; all recruits did however receive basic and trade training.

    Air instruction was given to some aircrew trades during their trade training (*) and then all aircrew received air instruction during their operational training.

    1 GDGS = Ground Defence Gunners School
    AAF = Anti-Aircraft Flight
    3 RC = Could be: 3 Recruits Centre (the @ denoting that he was attached there, rather than posted there)

    I can do a bit more digging regarding the locations for you but you will need to supply dates for each posting, as the location of the various schools etc changed throughout the war.

    Also, when I was doing some research for another family who had connections with the RAF Regiment I found this link which contains an electronic version of a book which provides an excellent overview of how the RAF Regiment was established and its role etc.

    http://forcespublishing.co.uk/pdfs/t..._adversity.pdf

    Hope this helps.

    Regards

    Pete

    (*) Flight Engineers did not receive any air instruction until operational training
    Last edited by PeteT; 9th March 2016 at 14:17.
    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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    Claire/Pete,
    Just a minor point. Basic Training and Trade Training were totally separate, and almost always carried out at different establishments.
    Basic Training (about 8 weeks) usually consisted of Kitting, Medicals/Jabs, Foot Drill (marching/saluting, etc), Arms Drill (Lee Enfield 303 rifle in WW2), Weapons Familiarisation/Firing (Lee Enfield 303 rifle, Bren LMG, Sten gun, and – maybe – hand-grenades), Air Force Law (what you get Charged (RAF F252) with, and what happened to you), Basic First Aid and Medical Films (depicting – in some gory detail!! – what you might catch by consorting with the Ladies Of The Night in foreign parts), and ‘Trade Assessment’. This latter was where ‘They’ decided what you were likely to be good at (not always, I might add, what you wanted to do! I knew a doctor who had failed his Finals and ended up as a Cook in post-war National Service!!!). You were then posted from Basic Training (assuming you had Passed Out!!!) to initial Trade Training – whatever/wherever that might be.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 9th March 2016 at 15:43. 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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    Thank you Pete and Peter, things are slowly becoming clearer.

    I did think it seemed unlikely that ALL recruits would have received 50 hours flight training (i read it on Wikipedia). It didn't seem like a practical use of resources during war time. Especially once I realised my man was in the RAF Regiment as a ground gunner.

    I've had a quick look at the e-book Pete, it looks really good.

    The first few lines of the service record read as follows, but please don't take too much trouble looking things up. I plan to write a short explanation for as many entries and abbreviations as I can (while trying hard not to accidently give misinformation!)

    9RC Blackpool 3/7/40 Where he was recruited
    50 Gp Pool 17/7/40
    1 EFTS No date given
    50 Gp Pool No date given
    1 GDGS 6/10/41

    I can see he was posted to a few different bases in Scotland (Edzell, Tealing and Dallachy) over the next couple of years. He also spent a few weeks in Stracathro Hospital from 12/8/43 to 6/9/43, although it doesn't say why.

    Peter- My man came from the boarders of Suffolk, in a very rural area. He did a lot of hare hunting, so I expect that was all the reason needed to make him a ground gunner!

    The end of the record lists the following:-

    2789 Squadron 4/12/43
    2871 Squadron 16/9/44
    'E' Coy Czech MB 1/1/45
    2871 Squadron 8/1/45
    'E' Coy Czech MB 29/1/45
    2871 Squadron 5/2/45

    I have looked up 2871 Squadron and can see they were in Eindhoven.

    Thanks for all the help, it is much appreciated.
    Regards,
    Claire

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    Hi Claire

    The time at 50 Gp Pool and 1 EFTS may have been for grading as aircrew but was found unsuitable and was then transferred to ground duties, what are his Musterings?

    Malcolm

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    One minor addition: The numbers were assigned as the Schools were formed or renamed, so 1 EFTS had the full name "Number One Elementary Flying Training School", and was the first EFTS to have a name assigned. They usually stayed at one spot, but a few relocated during the war.

    Another small addition: anyone who graduated basic training (or just about any training) before the next training post became available could be sent anywhere, "parked" as it were, until an opening came up. These poor souls spent a lot of time drilling, painting, and cleaning. In Canada they would sometimes be given dummy rifles, and become the night guard at some nearby bridge or train station, in case the Germans appeared in the middle of Saskatchewan one evening.

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    Claire

    I can't find any information on the two AAF that you mention; a quick search in the National Archives index for these flights also draws a blank.

    1GDGS was based at Ronaldsway in 1941 (having moved from North Coates in July 1940) [Source: FT&SU since 1912 by Ray Sturtivant / John Hamblin]

    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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    Thanks everyone,

    Pete, I will look up Ronaldsway now and see what i can write up.

    Bill, I can well imagine. I read one man's story on the BBC 'WW2 People's War' site that reported something similar. He was a ground gunner and stationed in Scotland like my man. He wrote that he was trained to use all kinds of anti aircraft guns but, at night when he was guarding the airbase he was given a metal pole with a bayonet soldered to the end. If you were guarding one of the smaller gates you were given a truncheon!

    Malcolm, I will type out the whole of the Musterings section of the service record, as I'm not sure what information is most relevant.
    I haven't attempted to decipher it yet. I only know he was a Leading Aircraftsman and a gunner. I believe he was in a rifle squadron towards the end of the war in Europe.

    Description and Date Date Rank Character Trade
    of Effect.
    31/12/40 acr VG Ach/GG

    ACH GD (GG) 31/12/41 LAC VG Gunner
    3/7/40

    ACH/GG 25/4/41

    Gunner 11/9/41 31/12/43 LAC VG Gunner
    26/12/44 LAC VG Gunner

    Thank you all again for your help, it is much appreciated.
    Claire

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    Hi Claire

    From his musterings I would suspect that his time at 50 Group Pool/1 EFTS was a holding posting pending availability of a training course but his musterings are intermingled with his annual assessments, can you give the contents of the two columns: -

    'Authy POR' and 'Description and Date of Effect'

    Malcolm

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    Ah, Sorry Malcolm,

    It looks like the information I typed out shifted out of line. I should have checked it more carefully.

    The 'Authy.C. Form' column etc are all under a section called 'Promotions, Reclassifications, Reversions'. Is this the section you are refering to?

    I have used full stops to separate each section, to prevent it jumbling up as it did before...it reads..

    ------....AC 2.....3/7/40
    88/41...AC 1.....3/1/41
    209/41..LAC......3/4/41

    Hope that all makes sense.

    Regards, Claire

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