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Thread: RAF F/E with RCAF Squadrons

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    Default RAF F/E with RCAF Squadrons

    Hi all,

    could anybody point me to a reason why in 1944 I have found that with the RCAF crews at the RCAF Squadrons (Halifaxes) there were RAF F/Es?

    I personally suppose that there were not so many schools for them in the BCATP so there were more of them trained in the UK and therefore they were RAF?

    TIA for any information

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Hi Pavel,
    Part of the reason is that at various times in the war there was a surfeit of trained pilots, so some re-trained as F/es. This was certainly the case of Max Venton, F/e on 467 squadron who qualified as a pilot in Southern Rhodesia in 1943/44, and whose grave is marked as "pilot".
    Also, I understand, in the set-up of EATS and BCATP there was no provision for the training of F/es, only pilots, gunners, navs and w/ops., so F/es were "home-produced" from RAF members and trained at St Athan.
    Regards
    Max

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    Pavel,

    No.1 (and the only one) Flight Engineers School, RCAF was not formed until 1 July 1944.

    Errol

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    Default Fkight Engineers

    Although the RCAF did not open a specialised Flight Engineer School until the summer of 1944, it had been training Flight Engineers on an ad hoc basis since at least mid-1943. This was in response to needs for such personnel in Home Defence squadrons on both the east and west coasts of Canada (Canso/Catalina crews and Liberator crews). Overseas, however, the RCAF squadrons drew upon the RAF for Flight Engineers in Halifax, Lancaster and Sunderland squadrons. Sometimes (but not often) an RCAF aero engine mechanic already overseas was trained in Flight Engineer duties, after which he might be posted to either an RAF or RCAF unit.

    I have no idea of how many RAF Flight Engineers served in RCAF overseas units, but I offer the following statistics. I have identified 760 awards (Mentions in Despatches to DSOs and MBEs) to RAAF, RNZAF, USAAF and RAF personnel bestowed for services with RCAF units (probably about 680 personnel in all as some received more than one award). Of these 760 awards, 125 involved RAF Flight Engineers.

    A useful fact to take to your next cocktail party. Push somebody into a corner, recite the above facts, and watch their eyes glaze over.
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 20th July 2008 at 13:57. Reason: syntax

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    Hugh,
    Unless, of course, your 'cocktail party cornered victim' has a First Class Degree in Statistics. Then you could be in Big Trouble!!!!!!!!!
    Yrs Aye
    Peter Davies

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    Thanks for infromation to everyone - now it is clear.
    Hugh - I am afraid if this will be not a cocktail party of flying fans they will recommend me an icy shower if not give me a shower with a cold drink on the spot:-)

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    There was some discussion about this on an earlier thread. Bill Walker had some information regarding the training of Flight engineers.
    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?t=2181
    My father's flight engineer on 419 was RAF. I only have some of the ORB records from 419 and only a partial record of postings for September 1944 but I can trace flight engineers (FE's) from 4 aircrew POSTINGS IN and all 4 of the FE's had RAF "style" serial numbers (is that the correct phrase?) with no "Letter" prefix to the number, unlike the RCAF aircrew. For the 1st full month (Oct 44) of ORB's that I have record of, all of the aircrew for each sortie/operation are listed. Of 42 sorties that month, fully 36 FE's had serial numbers with no letter prefix.

    I can also go through the detailed 419 Squadron history that I have. For each aircraft lost on an operation, the name, rank, and position of the aircrew are listed, as well as whether they are RAF or RCAF and whether they were POW, MIA, KIA or evaded capture. I will go through this and report back if there is interest.

    Jim

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    Hi Jim,

    thanks for info. I think this is enough what was already posted, I was interested in the general overview of this problem only.

    Many thanks for your kindness

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    As in the case of the RCAF, the RNZAF (and I think also the RAAF) trained their own Flight Engineers for "home service, quite outside the normal EATS/BCATP arrangements. In case of RNZAF the trainees were obtained by calls for volunteers from serving technical staff (from trades of Fitter IIE or Flight Mechanic, and I think the minimum rank/classification was LAC or Corporal, although Sergeants, etc could also volunteer), and they were given an 4-week Air Gunners course at Ohakea before posting to Fiji (for training on Catalinas) or to Whenuapai for ditto on C-47 aircraft. Later (1945) they also trained on Sunderland III transports. Some hundreds (perhaps 2 - 300) must have been trained in New Zealand, and all served as Sergeants before return to "normal" ground duties once they had completed their "tour of duty" (on flying duties).
    David Duxbury

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