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Thread: Number of RAF Pilots 1938 1938

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    Default Number of RAF Pilots 1938 1938

    Is there a reference source for the number of trained pilots in the RAF for 1938 and 1939 ?

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    I could be wrong(its usual) but wouldn't the RAF Lists give you that ?
    Pre WW2 I believe the lists gave each squadron and names, adding as extra Sgt pilots but only the number in sqdn, not their names.

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    From a post on operational strengths:

    Strength of the RAF on 31st August 1939:

    Metropolitan Air Force

    - Fighter: 773.
    - Bomber: 1.313
    - Torpedo Bomber: 30
    - Army Co-operation: 132
    - General Reconaissance (landplane): 261
    - General Reconaissance (Flying boat): 64
    - Total: 2573

    Overseas:

    - Fighter: 143
    - Bomber: 344
    - Bomber transport: 44
    - Torpedo Bomber: 36
    - Army Co-operation: 78
    - G.R. Flying boat: 32
    - Total: 677

    Grand total: 3250



    Compared with another list from the AHB Monograph on RAF Manning.

    This table gives snapshots of the number of Officers and Other Ranks serving in the R.A.F.

    Date RAF Officers RAF Other Ranks RAF Total WAAF Officers WAAF Other Ranks WAAF Total Officers Other Ranks Total
    03 September 1939 11519 162439 173958 234 1500 1734 11753 163939 175692
    01 January 1940 15561 199171 214732 359 8403 8762 15920 207574 223494

    and another from AHB Monograph on Manning gives a graph for Groundcrew and Aircrew numbers on the Deferred Scheme between Oct 1939 and Aug 1945
    Date Ground Trades Aircrew
    28/10/1939 500 500
    30/12/1939 500 1000

    So 3250 planes and 1939 officers some of whom were not active flying plus and indeterminate number of Flying sergeants ? And then AIR 22/31 War Room Daily Strength Returns Sep-Dec 39 showing about 800 operational planes each with at least 1 pilot.

    Confusion reigns

    Operational strength of aircraft by Commands

    Fighter Command as at 18:00, 10th September
    Group 11: 48 Blenheim, 36 Spitfire, 6 Gladiators. 110 Hurricanes.
    Group 12: 12 Blenheim, 33 Spitfire, 57 Hurricanes.
    Group 13: 12 Blenheim, 35 Spitfire, 24 Gladiators.
    Total: 373.

    Bomber Command as at 18:00, 10th September

    A.A.S.F: 147 Battles.
    No 2. Group: 85 Blenheim.
    No 3. Group: 59 Wellingtons.
    No 4. Group: 48 Whitleys.
    No 5. Group: 75 Hampdens
    No 6. Group: Not given
    Total: 414

    Coastal Command as at 18:00, 10th September

    No 15 Group: 9 ansons, 6 Sunderlands.
    No 16 Group: 54 Ansons, 24 Vildebeestes.
    No 18 Group: 54 Ansons, 9 Londons, 6 Stranraer, 9 Hudsons.
    Total: 171

    AIR 22/31 War Room Daily Strength Returns Sep-Dec 39

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