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Thread: Is This an RAF Uniform and what does the Cap signify?

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    Default Is This an RAF Uniform and what does the Cap signify?

    Hello All.
    My, now sadly departed, Dad grew up absolutely fascinated by aircraft and instilled in all us children a wonder at man's great achievement. So it's not surprising that he wanted to enlist in the RAF when he was 18 in 1944. He told us he did enlist but I don't remember why he didn't stay in the RAF and as said he's not here now for me to ask. He ended up joining the Gloucester regiment and finished the War out in Burma.

    I'm putting together all the family photos and there are several of Dad in different uniforms, so I'm trying to identify them properly for all 8 of us to have.

    I can't post attachments so will describe his uniform as best I can. Dad is sitting side on and the uniform has a bird possibly an eagle on the top of the arm. He's wearing a cap which is worn slightly on the side and it has two small badges at the very front. The cap also has a white (looks white in the black and white photo) flash of material inserted at the front.

    Is this an RAF uniform? What does the white flash signify? Is this a cap worn by newly enlisted personnel?

    I have a vague memory Dad said something about, it being the end of the war and that's why he didn't stay. Any help really appreciated.

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    Yes RAF, the flash on the cap signifies under training.
    Alan Clark

    Peak District Air Accident Research

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

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    Quote Originally Posted by alclark View Post
    Yes RAF, the flash on the cap signifies under training.

    Thanks for the quick response. How long was the training? Is there any way I can find out where histraining would have been? Also, would there still be a record of his enlisting even if he didn't actually serve with the RAF?

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    As the end of the war neared the need for aircrew diminished and many trainee aircrew were transferred to the other services including the Army, which could explain why he ended up in the Gloucestershire Regiment in Burma.

    Malcolm

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    Quote Originally Posted by malcolm_raf View Post
    As the end of the war neared the need for aircrew diminished and many trainee aircrew were transferred to the other services including the Army, which could explain why he ended up in the Gloucestershire Regiment in Burma.

    Malcolm
    Yes I do kind of remember him saying something like that. That's great, it gives me a starting block. Do you have any idea about the length of training? I presume there would be a record somewhere?

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    Clarebern,
    A little clarification on the uniform issue. The white "flash" on front of the field service cap (proper name), signified AIRCREW under training, an important distinction, particularly from your point of view. The two "small badges" on the front of the cap are not badges, just small RAF gilt buttons. I think this size of button was only found on caps. These caps were also known by other informal names, including forage cap, side cap, and glengarry (all quite inaccurate or rather unhelpful) as well as other names which should not sully this Board! The "eagles" on his shoulder (and they are supposed to represent a generic eagle, although any similarities between these notional eagles and the real thing are purely coincidental) simply signify that the man or woman in question was an enlisted person, that is, not an officer. In other words, the eagle was a symbol of the RAF, although plenty of other air forces also used eagles for the very same reason. However officers wore eagles as part of their cap badges, etc., but not the embroidered cloth shoulder badges. I imagine the uniform he is wearing in the photograph you are describing is probably RAF-type battledress(in the usual blue-grey colour), which should have shoulder straps, a baggy, short "jacket" (officially a blouse, truly!), with the waist pinched in with an attached partial fabric strap and small buckle across the front, and fairly large and slightly baggy trousers below the waist. There will probably be at least one large patch pocket on the front of the trousers. He might also be wearing a horizontal "propeller" badge on his upper arm, which signified his classification as an LAC (Leading Aircraftman), which was more or less mandatory for aircrew under training. Hope these observations (and guesses) might prove to be of some use. However I endorse the comments of Malcolm immediately above your last reply.
    David D from New Zealand.

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    Clarebern,

    I suggest you attempt to obtain his service record as I've described in another recent thread (http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...e-Glider-Pilot). While it would be preferable for you to have his service number I believe it is possible for a record to be traced from just a name and date of birth. I doubt there will be a great deal of information given how briefly you suggest he served with the RAF, but the record should provide a date for his enlistment, where he trained and when he transferred to the Army. It might even provide an Army service number, from which you can go through the whole exercise again, but this time from Army records.

    We'd be interested to hear if you have any success.

    Good hunting

    Brian

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    Quote Originally Posted by David Duxbury View Post
    Clarebern,
    I imagine the uniform he is wearing in the photograph you are describing is probably RAF-type battledress(in the usual blue-grey colour), which should have shoulder straps, a baggy, short "jacket" (officially a blouse, truly!), with the waist pinched in with an attached partial fabric strap and small buckle across the front, and fairly large and slightly baggy trousers below the waist. There will probably be at least one large patch pocket on the front of the trousers. He might also be wearing a horizontal "propeller" badge on his upper arm, which signified his classification as an LAC (Leading Aircraftman), which was more or less mandatory for aircrew under training. Hope these observations (and guesses) might prove to be of some use. However I endorse the comments of Malcolm immediately above your last reply.
    David D from New Zealand.
    Thank you for all this information. Shame I can't attach the picture, but anyway. I also have a full frontal picture as well as the chest and head shot. The uniform in both pictures appears to be the hat as described, but definitely a long, thigh length close fitting jacket with 4 breast buttons, 2 chest pockets, 2 lower pockets with flaps and a cloth belt with buckle. I know the blouse jacket you're referring to but this definitely isn't one of those. Nothing on the shoulders that I can see though, that looks like a propeller. Had a look at the propeller badges on google images,but can't see anything like that on the arms.

    The fact that there are two photos of him and no others of his time there, would this have been a special ceremonial type of dress as opposed to the everyday wear that you describe?

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    Clare - if you have a photobucket account (or similar) you can post images on the forums,it is how I normally do it.
    If not I could always give you my email address and I can post on your behalf.

    rgds baz

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    Quote Originally Posted by bvs View Post
    Clare - if you have a photobucket account (or similar) you can post images on the forums,it is how I normally do it.
    If not I could always give you my email address and I can post on your behalf.

    rgds baz
    Oh okay.i'll give it a go.Thanks.

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