Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: 77 Squadron Air Gunner to Armament Instructor Rhodesia 1941

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    592
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default 77 Squadron Air Gunner to Armament Instructor Rhodesia 1941

    Can anyone proffer an explanation why an early Air Gunner in Bomber Command would be posted to 24 CAOS Moffat in early 1941 to serve as an Armament Instructor.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    268
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default

    There could be a couple of reasons but sometimes it was the case that if the AG concerned was an experienced and highly qualified armourer/tradesman then they were sometimes not allowed to remain as AG's - being deemed more valuable as tradesmen.
    Obviously injury or loss of aircrew medical category might be another possibility.
    My answer assuming he did not go to Moffat as an Air Gunner instructor.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    592
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thank you for replying, the selected Air Gunner was an early Cpl ranked man into mid 1940. A pre war enlistment who did an early tour with 77 Squadron and posted off to Rhodesia as Armament Instructor. I am struggling to establish the duties to that post and the differentials to Armament Servicing and Armament Officer.
    It appears no return to a second tour so your comment in respect of injury may explain.
    Again thank you and any help with these posts mentioned will be much appreciated.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    268
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default

    Hi Colin
    The prewar/early war Air Gunners were volunteers and still officially classified as their basic ground trade,they only became 'proper' full time Air Gunners if the RAF allowed them to 'escape' from their basic trade and promoted to Sgt with a Half Wing,but even then their trade experience/qualifications could still come back to haunt them at a later stage.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Posts
    268
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 27 Times in 27 Posts

    Default

    The way to becoming aircrew for some RAF groundcrew was quite tortuous -In his autobio The Best Of Luck - Denis Conroy describes being a prewar armourer/volunteer Air Gunner - in 1940 he was promoted and demoted twice from Cpl/Sgt/Cpl and ended up as a Cpl Armourer (still wearing the AG Half Wing) because of shortages of skilled tradesmen.
    He was then lucky enough to be posted to 70 sqn who were very short of AG's and was sent on another AG's course - returning to a frosty reception at 70sqn where it had been realised that he was supposed to have become groundcrew there.Luckily for Conroy his Pilot application then came up and he became an RAF pilot...a really good book :)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    592
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thank you, I think your information explains well how these situations rolled out. No doubt being a Cpl temporary Air Gunner served a purpose well but when convenient and a need perceived, the previous trade was almost more important. Hence a posting to Rhodesia on armaments. Mr Conroys experience tends to mirror these circumstances in his book. You have solved the question very well, thank you very much.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •