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Thread: Sydney Alexander Grieve - Glider Pilot

  1. #1
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    Default Sydney Alexander Grieve - Glider Pilot

    Hello,

    I am trying to find out more information on my father Sydney Alexander Grieve who was a glider pilot during WWII and took part in crossing the River Rhine which I believe was part of Operation Varsity. My father is now deceased and he did give brief details about crossing the Rhine, but didn't say much about the whole event and how he managed to get back to safety after landing his glider. I remember he talked about a Polish pilot who was fired at during the landing and how he commandeered a motor bike to return home. My father trained in various places including South Africa and was for a time stationed in or near to Devon, UK.

    I have very few of his possessions from the war (just his RAF wings badge and another badge an eagle all in red) and he never really talked about his time during the war. I believe he was a flight lieutenant but I am not sure. I would be very grateful if anyone could help with more information or how I could obtain more information on my father. It would just be good to find out more and in a way wish I had encouraged my father to talk about his time as a glider pilot.

    Thank you for any help on this.

  2. #2
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    Welcome to the forum Braveheart. Just for starters your father enlisted in the RAFVR at Edinburgh, probably in February or March 1941, and eventually rose to become a Flight Sergeant; his service number at that time was 1342613. He was commissioned as a Pilot Officer on 21 August 1943, at which time his service number became 155043. At the time he was commissioned he was in the General Duties Branch - which means he was aircrew. This information comes from the London Gazette; I have not delved any deeper as all the LG will provide are the dates of his subsequent promotions - and any medal awards.

    Your best way forward is to obtain his service record from the RAF, details as to how to proceed, and the relevant forms you need to complete, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/requests-for-pers...sonnel-records . The service record will include the dates of all promotions and the units with which he served - these are usually in acronym format but forum members will be more than happy to help interpret these. That said the documentation you receive will include a guide as to the most commonly used ones. I should add you will need to include your father's service numbers, hence my reason for including them above.

    Since your father was in the General Duties Branch several/most of his units will be various levels of training schools followed by operational squadrons. These were required to maintain Operational Record Books (ORBs), which are accessible at the National Archives at Kew; most of the squadron ORBs can be downloaded.

    Should be enough here to help you move forward, but please ask for help should you need it.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 11th February 2017 at 19:07. Reason: Grammar

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    Hello Brian,

    Thank you so much for your rapid response, it is much appreciated and so full of information on my father. I will start on further checks for information an I am grateful for the link and helpful information. The National Archives at Kew will I am sure prove useful. Thank you again and yes I will take up your kind offer to contact you again if necessary.

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    RAF aircrew 'volunteered' for the Rhine Crossing to replace the GPR losses at Arnhem. They didn't take part in D-Day or Arnhem.

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