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Thread: Aircrew medical standards WW2

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    Default Aircrew medical standards WW2

    Hello
    In addition to general Bomber Command history, as a retired doctor, I am interested in finding information on the medical standards applied to aircrew applicants during WW2. I have received helpful information from a fellow RAF Commands member but I wonder if there is anyone out there who has looked into medical standards in some detail. Any information appreciated including content of medical examination, techniques used, standards applied to determine fitness, explanation of nomenclature used to record outcome, etc. I know that, at least for some aircrew positions, the medical standards changed as the war progressed including some relaxation in, for example, eyesight (visual acuity). Perhaps there is a fellow medical type out there who can help??? Thanks in anticipation of help.

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    Dartnelljones, Hi,
    You will probably end up deep in the histories of the Central Medical Establishment, Aviation Candidate Medical Boards, and Aviation Candidate Selection and Medical Boards (there were similar organisations in the Middle East and India/Far East.). Much of the stuff I suspect you're after will be buried in TNA. There are Forum members well versed in the TNA, who will be the folk to advise what can (a) currently be found there on-line, (b) what is available, but not on-line (personal visit needed), or (c) what might be digitised (but that is very time-consuming and expensive!).
    Bruce Dennis is yr guy to advise you. He's usually L/O on the circuit most days.
    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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    The "bible" is Air Publication AP130.

    I have a copy of 4th edition, Aug 1936, reprinted Jan 1939.

    Selection is based on the following considerations

    I The Personal and family history of the candidate in relation to nervous stability, respiratory and circulatory efficiency and past illnesses.
    ii A general medical and surgical examination, including tests for physical efficiency
    iii An eye examination
    iv An ear, nose and throat examination
    v A Careful assessment of all the factors elicited under i, ii, iii and iv.

    The 84 page AP goes into detail of the Medical Examination for Fitness for Flying (Royal Air Force and Civil)

    Call out for specific and I'll transcribe the bit - depending on available time.

    eg Method of recording

    A represents fitness for air duties, B for ground duties
    Numeral after A denotes type of flying duties
    1 full flying
    2 limited flying
    3 combatant passenger
    4 non-combatant passenger

    p, t or h after both A and B indicates limitations of fitness

    p permanently unfit
    t temporarlily unfit
    h home service only

    h does not preclude service as far as Gibraltar or service on hM ship based at home port as long as ship is not ordered to tropical waters.

    There are some other specific limitations which medical board could apply to A.2 category.

    Ross
    The Intellectual Property contained in this message has been assigned specifically to this web site.
    Copyright Ross McNeill 2015/2020 - All rights reserved.

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    Thanks Resmoroh. I'll wait and hope to hear from Bruce Dennis.

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    Thank you Ross. It would be great if you could transcribe the section on visual tests (acuity, colour and night vision, etc.). Thanks in anticipation of your help. I note your copy of the document is 1939. Do you have any information about how the standards changed during wartime? I understand that visual standards were relaxed for some trades as the war progressed (presumably they had to be less choosy).

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