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Thread: Raf aqm

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    Default Raf aqm

    Hi all

    I met the daughter of my Uncle's Flight Engineer today, who escaped their fated Lancaster and was a POW.

    After the war, in his Log book, he was flying in Dakota's as "AQM"

    Is this Air Quatermaster?

    If so, what did an AQM do?

    the log book states "VIP SQDN BASSINGBOURN TRANSPORT COMMAND"
    On one flight he lists a passenger "A Bevan"
    He was also somehow involved at the Nuremberg trials. Perhaps ferrying officials?
    In his effects was a Nuremberg Trial leaflet listing all those on trial and he denoted in pencil their sentence.
    Any thoughts welcomed.

    Many thanks
    Neil
    Last edited by Neil Grantham; 6th April 2016 at 22:35.

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    G'day

    Essentially the same thing as a loadmaster.

    Cheers...Chris

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota View Post
    G'day

    Essentially the same thing as a loadmaster.

    Cheers...Chris
    Thanks Chris,
    So what did a loadmaster do!

    I'm guessing that these professions were to do with looking after the cargo?

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    Hi Neil
    His care for the cargo,goods or people, would have included distributing it in the a/c to keep the CofG within limits as well as to ensure its safety so it did not move in flight etc. If his a/c was involved in supply dropping he may well have acted as despatcher as it left the a/c or supervised those did the despatching.
    If you haven't guessed already A Bevan was probably Aneurin Bevan, the post war Labour Minister who oversaw the introduction of aspects of the Welfare State notably the NHS. Just for the benefit of some you younger ones!!!
    Regards
    Dick

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    The formal aircrew category of Air Quartermaster (AQM) was not established until about 1962 and Jeff Jefford discusses some aspects of this and all that went with it, in his book: "Observers and Navigators". The category was changed to Air Loadmaster (ALM) this subsequently morphed into Weapon Systems Operator (WSop), covering all manner of rear crew.

    Initially the role of quartermaster was taken, when required, by either other flying trades or members of groundcrew who were probably paid a couple of shillings a day - taxable - but only when so employed.

    In helicopters, for example, the role was transferred to surplus Air Signallers in the early 1960s and to these were added the odd air engineer. On search and rescue the aircraft were often crewed by a pilot, navigator and winchman, the latter probably being a signaller, later an AQM and finally an ALM or Wsop. On support helicopters, originally styled 'short range transport' (along with single Pioneers etc), the man in the back was described as the 'crewman'. On tactical sorties he might stay on board to manage the 'self loading freight', man the GPMG (if carried) or be at the tactical base to manage the ground aspects and prepare the refuelling point etc. On jungle work, the greatest danger was putting one's arm in the dark recesses between the stacked 45 gallon fuel drums!!! all sorts of nasty things hiding in there, hence always carry a stick.

    With the introduction of more sophisticated helicopters (Sea King, Chinook), the crew became four: two pilots, a radar operator/winch operator (in the Sea King) and winchman. In the support helicopters it was often two pilots and two - and sometimes in Afghanistan - three crewmen.

    That's just a very generalised potted explanation.

    AQMs on the Comets, Britannias, VC10s etc were often female SNCOs as time progressed and eventually AQMs were eligible for a commission - big fuss when Pat Howard (I think) became the first female AQM.

    Colin Cummings

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldduffer View Post
    The formal aircrew category of Air Quartermaster (AQM) was not established until about 1962 and Jeff Jefford discusses some aspects of this and all that went with it, in his book: "Observers and Navigators". The category was changed to Air Loadmaster (ALM) this subsequently morphed into Weapon Systems Operator (WSop), covering all manner of rear crew.

    Initially the role of quartermaster was taken, when required, by either other flying trades or members of groundcrew who were probably paid a couple of shillings a day - taxable - but only when so employed.
    Thanks Colin,
    Interesting stuff.

    This chap, as I mentioned, was a Flight Engineer in Lancasters - 61 Squadron, until they crashed on 8th July 1944, when he parachuted, was captured and then POW in Stalag Luft 7.

    The log book page was directly after his 61 Squadron listings, and the dates are March/April 1946, and he is clearly labelled AQM.

    As well as 'A Bevan and Mr Stanton' he also lists a passenger 'Sir T Nugent'.
    I know A Bevan was indeed Aneurin Bevan - confirmed by the aboves daughter, but I can't seem to find who Sir T Nugent is to see what possible significance he may have been.

    Neil

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    Hello Neil,
    This sounds like a contender ...

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terenc...t_Baron_Nugent

    Bruce
    http://www.filephotoservice.co.uk/
    RESEARCH AT THE NATIONAL ARCHIVES & OTHER UK INSTITUTIONS

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