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Thread: "P.R.C." at 26EFTS (Theale)

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    Default "P.R.C." at 26EFTS (Theale)

    Hello everyone,

    I'm after some help with abbreviations. Trying to work out what my great uncle, a navigator, was doing for two and a half weeks at RAF Theale when he first arrived in the UK from Australia, in March-April 1943.
    His logbook records about 30 hours of Tiger Moth flying, mostly "map reading" as a navigator. The ORBs show in this period a mix of "grading" flying and "PRC" flying. It shows an intake of "2 officers and 7 sergeants (Aus) for the "PRC flight" on the day that he arrived, so I'm thinking he was part of that.

    I know PRC as Personnel Reception Centre. That sort-of makes sense - he was sent to Theale direct from Bournemouth after arrival - but I didn't think that these were flying units. Is there another meaning I can't work out?

    My theory is that it may well have been a 'fill in time' sort of posting before an AFU(O) became available, in which case calling it 'PRC' sort-of makes sense.

    Thanks,
    Adam

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    Kookabat,

    It would help if you let us know your great uncle's name.

    Pending a reply, the following is known:

    No.26 ELEMENTARY FLYING TRAINING SCHOOL>

    Formed 14.8.41 at THEALE (known as Sheffield Farm to 8.41) in No.50 Group, operated by Phillips & Powis Ltd (renamed Miles Aircraft 5.10.43) as Class C with 24+12 Tiger Moth (RLG at at Waltham St.Lawrence, night flying from White Waltham): 1.1.45 to 40 a/c. Disbanded 9.7.45.
    Representative Aircraft.
    Tiger Moth II (BB790 A12). Support aircraft: Hind (K5465); Puss Moth (DR607); Hornet Moth (AV969). Codes: flight letter plus an individual number.

    See: FT&SU since 1912/Sturtivant/A-B(2007),p.103.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd October 2018 at 05:56.

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    G'day Col,

    AUS412686 W/O Royston William PURCELL

    Adam

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    Kookabat,

    Thanks for that, it helps.

    It would appear that Royston was attached to 26 EFTS (19-3-43 to 9-4-43), pending posting to 9(O)AFU. Better than cooling your heels at Bournemouth! As to the meaning of 'PRC Flight', can't help.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 2nd October 2018 at 10:54.

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    Kookabat, Hi,
    Can’t help with ‘PRC’ I’m afraid.
    There is very little evidence left of 26 EFTS.
    The grass airfield itself was used as a gravel pit when the M4 was being built. It is now Burghfield Sailing Club (GE 51.428416 -1.063637).
    There was, for many years, a hangar (possibly a Bellman) at GE 51.425423 -1.069183. It was used as the base for a road freight company, but was torn down when the current business park was built.
    At the same time, though, the local authority changed the name of the road that ran through the EFTS from ‘Station Road’ to ‘Hangar Road’ (GE (street view) 51.424389 -1.068592). It is the only trace of the airfield left.
    26 EFTS SHQ, however, was a mile away at Sulhamstead House (GE 51.419089 -1.079654). One of the more imposing SHQs? You great-uncle would surely have been there? It is now the Thames Valley Police Training School (see http://www.berkshirehistory.com/cast...ead_house.html).
    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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    I suspect it was simply a group of personnel sent to 26 EFTS to occupy them until a course at AFU became available and the EFTS formed them into a PRC Flight for the duration of there stay to avoid confusion with other trainees.

    Malcolm

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    Hello,

    Here are the ops of Royston Purcell's crew on No.467 Sqn RAAF:

    http://pandora.nla.gov.au/pan/25490/.../smithdps.html

    Col.

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    Thanks everyone, I reckon Malcolm's probably close to the mark.
    Cheers,
    Adam

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