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Thread: Service numbers in RAFVR

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    Default Service numbers in RAFVR

    Hi,

    According to the chapter "Service Numbers" in the book Aces High volume 2 by Shores, the foreign - early - were commissionned into the RAFVR o arrival in the UK. Later the nations which set up thein own Air Forces (FAFL for the French) allocaed their own specific numbering.French in UK were 3XXXX and French in M.E were 4xxxx

    Nevertheless I have for 1944 a service number for a French : Caporal Marcel PISSINGER, FF 75134. I suppose that FF is for "Free French" and this number 75134 is for a RAFVR.

    Does anybody know numbers for some French in 7xxxx (for example) and if the Nationales Archives at Kew hold listings of these RAFVR ?

    TIA

    Bertrand

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    Bertrand, Bonjour!
    I think that your 3xxxx, and 4xxxx, series were strictly Free French Air Force. Your 7xxxx must also be FFAF. The various 7xxxx numbers issued by the RAF were in 1917!!!!
    I have an RAFVR Block 791000-791099 which is described as being issued to “Free French Pilots”. The last issued was 791094. So that means 95 Free French (non-Commissioned) Pilots were Enlisted into the RAFVR. These Enlistments were said to have been in Aden, and The Middle East. They started issuing on 1 July 1940. I do not know when they stopped issuing numbers in this Block. There are very few patterns to the issuing of RAFVR Commissioned Officer Numbers!!
    I do not know if Jim Routledge is still on the circuit, but he is our expert on RAF Service Numbers. I don’t know if he would know about FFAF Numbers – but he might know who does?!!
    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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    Thanks for the reply Peter. Most of RAFVR I had was for Free French crew in ME and for 1941 year.

    In different archives I have found 52 names of French with RAF VR between 791002 and 791101 (six digit)

    Up to now I did not know any FF 7xxxx service number (5 digits !) for a French and especially for a soldier arrived after September 1943.

    I hope that Jim Routledge will read my request and your reply and may told where are the listings in 7xxxx

    Bertrand

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    Bertrand, 75134 as an RAFVR number was issued as per the link: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...4756/page/8406 Obviously missing the prefix FF.
    Regards, Terry

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    Hello Terry

    There can't be a Free French number before Général de Gaulle's call on 18th June 1940.

    You provide an interesting information with the double issue of the service number 75134, which means that the prefix FF is indeed important in order not to confuse people. But I think many clerks omitted it in ordinary paperwork...

    Regards

    Joss

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    Thanks Terry for this RAF VR Number but Marcel Pissinger arrived in UK after August 1943

    As told Joss the FF is indeed important in order not to confuse people and you know now that we had a double issue of the service number with and without FF.

    The goal now was to find the listing/the register with prefix FF

    bertrand

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    Bertrand,

    I spotted your personal email but am responding on the forum as your thread is attracting some interest. Really, there is very little that I can add and confirm that the block 791000 - 791094 was issued as per Peter Davies' posting. However, a further small block of 100 numbers - 79100 to 791200 - was allocated in November 1940 to "Enlistments in Middle East". The photocopy of these records, which I obtained many years ago, as "French" added in ink after this.

    French aircrew were awarded some 210 DFCs and 6 bars during WW2 and these are all listed in Nick and Carol Carter's splendid book "The DFC . 1918 - 1995". The medals were not gazetted but their service numbers and squadron details are in Nick's book. Not one has a number from the blocks above. What is it that I am not understanding.

    Jim
    Last edited by jimroutledge; 30th August 2019 at 22:43.

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    Jim ,

    Thanks for your reply. I think I have a friend who has the book of Nick and Carol Carter. I will check what he wrote

    Bertrand

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