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Thread: RCAF personnel files nomenclature

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    Default RCAF personnel files nomenclature

    Hello group,
    I was wondering if anyone could help me understand what "51 Base" was?
    I have a Navigator (Frederick Arthur Horning) who was Taken On Strength to 51 Base from 16 OTU on July 11, 1944 and from there went to 1660 Conversion Unit on September 25.
    I have no clue what 51 Base refers to.
    After CU he was posted to No. 50 Squadron.
    Sincere thanks for any and help.
    Bob

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    51 Base HQ was based at Swinderby at the time, and controlled a number of other stations, mainly CU's, such as Winthorpe, Wigsley and Syerston among others. If you want any info on his time at 50sqdn, let me know.

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    Hi Bob

    See my website - http://www.rafweb.org/Organsation/Bases.htm

    This should explain it.

    Malcolm

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    Alan and Malcolm, sincere thanks. Now I know what it was BUT I still am struggling with what happened there:
    Horning was crewed up at No. 16 OTU and then TOS at 51 Base on July 11, 1944. Seemingly he went 1660 CU on September 25.
    What would he have done there during the interim? Would he have been on ops?
    I know he did 5 ops with No. 50 Squadron before he was lost on November 6-7 (confirmed by a review of the ORBs and by a letter to his family stating he died on his sixth op).
    Thanks again,
    Bob

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    Bases were basically HQ units controlling 2 to 4 stations, each base was commanded by an Air Commodore who acted as a link between Group HQ and the Squadrons on the Base.

    An airman would be posted to the Base, which then allocated him to a HCU or other unit on one of its stations before being allocated to a squadron, usually within the same group.

    Malcolm

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    Got it!
    Thanks again,
    Bob

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    Would it be fair to say that Bases were paper holding units similar to PRC, Y Depot, etc etc

    Similar to those units where one had to be posted so that you were on ration strenght, and were somewhere to receive pay and a bed. A holding system to keep you within BC until an opening came up in HCU or Sqn.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

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    Hi Dennis

    No, they were part of the chain of command placed between Groups and Stations as Groups had become too unwieldy for a single HQ to control by that stage of the war.

    Also the main station in each Base often provided the major servicing facilities for the units in the Base.

    Malcolm

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    I posted some info relating to 42 Base HQ Pocklington to the gallery a while back, it gives an idea of Establishment and function.


    http://www.rafcommands.com/galleries...um=32&q=basehq


    Pete

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    Hello

    I've also seen the time spent by a crew in a Base was spent in "Battle School" (if my memory serves me well), a short course in which the crew was taught to evade capture, if fallen in an occupied country.

    Confirmation from other forumites would be welcome.

    Joss

    PS : Alan, I'd be interested in a copy of No. 50 Squadron ORB, if possible... I plan to access it during my next vist at Kew, but if you have it for 1944, I'm interested in the tour of operations of the W/O J.H. MASON crew (posted in about April for the second tour of Mason, Harris, Waters, Henry), and P/O McFARLEN, both shot down on 10/11th May 1944.

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