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Thread: Rail Transportation Officer

  1. #1
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    Default Rail Transportation Officer

    Hi
    Was there any such function in the RAF - Rail Transportation Officer? I have an NCO listed as such.

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    No reason why not, there was a lot of transport or personnel and equipment by rail, and someone would have to be there for administration purposes, especially as the railways were notionally private operations at the time, but under government orders.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

    http://www.peakdistrictaircrashes.co.uk/

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    There is reference to one on Page 298 of this book: https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=...fficer&f=false, although it relates to WWI

    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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    I am surprised that NCO was a transportation officer. Also that there would be a person responsible for rail transport in particular, and not transport in general. I think that RAF owned some rail under their control, but this was a kind of ephemera.

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    I am at present reading David Gunby's First out in Earnest - The remarkable life of Jo Lancaster DFC, from bomber Command pilot to test pilot and the Martin-Baker Ejection seat that was published just a few months ago.

    On page 66 Jo (based with 40 Sqn at Alconbury at the time) comments following a night out:

    "The evening's entertainment over, we would usually make our way to the railway station where the RTO, Railway Transport Officer, had a large building in the station yard equipped with bunks for servicemen who were having problems on their travels. We didnt bother the RTO, but made a beeline for the hut, climbed into bunks, spent the night there and set off early in the morning."

    As the RTO was there for the needs of personnel of all the armed services he may have been specially authorised railway employee or perhaps attached to the army. I don't see the role as one specifically RAF.

    Errol

    PS: An excellent book by the way. The title refers to the fact that Jo Lancaster (who, incidentally, had also flown a tour on Lancasters) was the first to make an emergency ejection using a Martin-Baker seat.

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    Errol
    That is the problem, actually. I have a Polish NCO of the PAF being listed as RTO. The PAF followed in organization the RAF, so there should have been such RTOs in the RAF as well. I am confused, to say the least.

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    There are lots of RAF related references on the web which refer to the RTO

    There is a poster on: http://www.wilmslow.org.uk/wilmslow/...ropaganda.html
    which reads: Don't just sit on the floor! If lost or in trouble on a journey a WAAF should apply to the RTO. That's the Railway Transport Officer.

    and this on: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peop...a2773028.shtml

    We had been posted to 87 Squadron, Desert Air Force, but had no idea as to its operational role. Eventually, after making a fuss with the Railway Transport Officer, a truck arrived to pick us up. Little did we know how familiar we would get with these trucks after a while on the Squadron.

    and this on: http://www.rafcaa.co.uk/joinlet.html
    A railway warrant for the journey to WENDOVER is enclosed. This warrant is to be used as a ticket and not handed in at the railway booking office. The boy should travel to London to join the 12.55 p.m. train from MARYLEBONE; Station (London and North Eastern Railway) to WENDOVER on the date indicated in the first paragraph of this letter. Every endeavour should be made to travel by this train, on which accommodation has been reserved and the boy should report to a Warrant Officer, who will be in uniform, on the platform at 12.30 p.m. Boys from remote districts who may have to commence the journey on the previous day in order to connect with this train should report to the Railway Transport Officer for instructions for the journey to Wendover.

    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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    Hi

    I beleive all three services has RTOs which stood for two thing Rail Transport Office, the location of the RTO's staff including NCOs and Rail Transport Officer the person in charge.

    In the RAF they may have come under the Directorate of Movements

    Malcolm

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    Malcolm (et al),
    IIRC the RAF had a special brassard for the RTO staff. I can vaguely remember (from infesting Peterborough North station collecting train numbers!) that it resembled the sort of brassard worn by Provost staff!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Thanks, though I am still a little confused.

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