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Thread: Forfeiture of flying badge?

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    Default Forfeiture of flying badge?

    Hi All

    I've just received a service record for an airman who qualified as an air gunner but after two months he was reduced from Sergeant to AC2 and his records are annotated with what looks like "Classified as a 'Waverer' and forfeits Air Gunners Badge"

    Has anyone come across this before and know what it means?

    All the best

    Malcolm

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    Malcolm, Hi,

    Not come across the term "waverer" before but I've a 'feeling in my water' that this procedure might well have been activated in order to avoid going down the "Lack of Moral Fibre" (LMF) route? I have come across a similar procedure when a trained fighter pilot Officer was adjudged to have shown insufficient aggression in (practice?) combat situations and was transferred to Met Recce/PAMPA duties! Interesting subject. I look forward to comments from the experts!!

    HTH

    Peter Davies
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    Malcolm,

    I think the term 'waverer' in wartime probably meant that the individual was displaying tendencies which suggested he was not fully committed to being aircrew and his attitude and robustness was in doubt. This is not the same as LMF. He was probably thought to be too much a risk to get others to fly with him.

    In the postwar era, retention of the RAF Flying Badge (pilots wings) and other flying badges were and still are dependent on passing certain 'gates' in professional training and progress to 'combat ready' status. As you know, over the years, flying badges have been awarded at different stages in the training regime and they can be withdrawn if a 'gate' is not passed successfully.

    As an aside, in 1975 a friend who had completed his flying training had his flying badge withdrawn because with cutbacks he was being remustered to another officer ground branch. He appealed against this but was unsuccessful until he became the personal staff officer to someone very senior. All of a sudden a fresh appeal was successful and he sported his 'wings'. The basis being that he had passed the 'gate' for retention of the badge as it was in 1975 - one happy squadron leader!!!!!!

    Colin Cummings

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    Malcolm/Colin (et al),

    Now I have no axe(s) to grind on this subject – except to say that “LMF” was still being muttered during the only hot/shooting war I was personally involved in (CORPORATE 1982) – so it’s had a long life!

    There is a paper (http://www.kcl.ac.uk/kcmhr/publicati...es2006-LMF.pdf) which goes into the subtle differences between “waverers” (the word is specifically mentioned in the paper – just search) and LMF. Well worth a read. Indeed, it says, the papers of Wing Commander W. C. J. Lawson, who administered the Special Disposal and Releases branch (in WW2), appear to have been lost – and those of us who have worked in the arcane depths of Air Min/MoD(Air)/MoD all know what that is likely to mean?!!!!.

    I simply bring this to the attention of the Forum because many currently on it are too young to know that even the slightest sniff of LMF might bring indications of cowardice, etc. Similar, possibly, to "shell shock" in WW1?!!

    Big, important, subject, often pontificated upon by those not so qualified to do so (including me!).

    HTH

    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 9th May 2016 at 14:37. Reason: QSD
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    Thanks Colin and Peter

    That certainly all seems to make sense the comment was added at the OTU stage out of interest. Interestingly on his discharge certificate he is recorded as having been awarded the AG badge.

    Malcolm

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    TNA has AIR 19/632, 'Policy on LMF (lack of moral fibre) and W (waverers): disposal of members of aircrew who forfeit the confidence of their Commanding Officers.'

    The Policy was issued/reissued in September 1941, June 1943 and March 1945. Wavering was the crime, LMF the judgment. The TNA file contains the different versions and some correspondence on amendments. It doesn't cover the policy in action - ie there are no details of individual cases.

    HTH,

    Richard

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    Please humour me for 'drifting' this Thread but I have always found the term: 'forfeiting his CO's confidence', the most wonderful of phrases.

    It can and has been used to deal expeditiously with somebody who isn't quite up to the mark or is simply a (descriptive expletive deleted) nuisance. It's use saves all sorts of lengthy and often nugatory staff work and still gives the recipient the chance to go somewhere else and make a fresh start. In my opinion it is only one stage removed from: the Air Force Board letter of Grave Displeasure - but that's for another day!!!!!!!!!

    Colin Cummings

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    Hello,

    Maybe a look at a couple of actual RAAF "W" Cases, might help clarify matters:

    Firstly, a straight-forward "W" Case:

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetri...aspx?B=5529234

    Secondly, what could happen when a case was reviewed sympathetically, away from the heat of battle (and in Australia):

    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/SearchNRetri...aspx?B=5528693

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 10th May 2016 at 08:50.

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    Hi

    Col certainly very interesting to read the two files, it sheds a bit more light on the likely causes of my airman, especially as he is supposed to have been involved in three crashes.

    Does anyone have the ORB for No 5 (C) OTU for Nov/Dec 1941?

    Malcolm

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    Hi Malcom - interjecting on this older thread. My grandfather's RAF records have the same phrase 'Classified Waverer" and forfeits flying badge on his RAF service records. He was booted out of the RAF and into the Navy in June 1944 after only one trip to Schweinfurt as a M/U gunner in 9 Squadron.

    I have research the dickins out of his situation and it seems that he fell foul of the RAF LMF/ Waverer policy that got rid of people even if they were being a pain. He was sent to RAF Chessington for a month which was an LMF/ Waverer clearing house before RAF Usworth for a few days (Air Crew Disposal Unit) then to an RAF maintenance unit then off to the Navy.

    My next task is to go to Kew to read the ORB for Usworth but I doubt there is much there.

    My grandfather was a punchy and gobby sort and likely simply fell foul of either his pilot (the crew went through 6 m/u gnners in 1 month!!) or he annoyed his CO asking for leave to get married after his 1st op. Harsh system, but that was the wartime RAF.

    Cheers

    Danny (newb)

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