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Thread: Canadian Databases

  1. #1
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    Default Canadian Databases

    Hello All,
    Apologies for showing my ignorance. I normally leave things ‘Canadian’ to the Canadians.
    However, I have come across some RCAF guys who were used as MAOs (Meteorological Air Observers) by 251 Sqn at Reyjavik. These are on very poor images of the 251 ORBs. No number, or name, is completely legible – only a few numbers/letters in the majority of cases. Now when confronted with a similar problem in UK I can turn to Air 78, FREEBMD, CWGC (for actual casualties), etc, etc. I have used these for many years and have learned how to manipulate their contents (sometimes only changing one fig/letter, and searching again (and again, ad infinitum!)). These iterations are usually very time-consuming – but that’s something I have!
    My question is: are there equivalents in Canada, and can one access them for free?
    I think there were RAAF and RNZAF bods there as well - but I'll cross that bridge when I come to it - and some who were used as MAOs were not really meteorologists (they had, presumably, learned what to do by watching what the MAO did (a modern version of "sitting by Nellie")!
    TIA
    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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    Hi Peter,

    Short answer is "no".

    The Library and Archives Canada (who hold all service files) have an in-house only database. You can ask them and they will have a look....but you'll wait eight or so months.

    I've been using find-my-grave a lot. You'd be surprised just how many ex-RCAF have "something" on their markers signifying service. I'm reminded of a No. 192 Sqn airman who I only had initials for. His marker had a Halifax a/c on it.

    Another site (pay, though) I use is newspapers.com. Great for obituaries.

    All the best,

    Dave

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    Hi Peter,
    if they were officers you can try your luck in Canadian gazette which is also available online:

    http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/d...e/index-e.html

    but to be honest the OCR was not done so successfully as in case of London Gazette.
    But out fellow Mojmir may be able to help you as he is very good in searching the Canadian gazette.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Dave/Pavel (et al),
    In some cases all I've had to go on was that the first character in the s/n was either 'J' or 'R', and sometimes the compiler of the ORB has remembered to put '(RCAF)' after the illegible name. Also some numbers began with 'A4x' which made me think Australian? And I think I saw a possible '(RNZAF)'! Now none of these surprised me. One RAFVR Sgt MAO on 1407 Flt (predecessor to 251 Sqn) became, eventually, OC MMU - i.e. my Boss! And I know that 1407 Flt, and 251 Sqn, were always short of blokes. And there were all sorts of people transitting through Iceland, at that time, to Europe (with, or without, airframes!!). Some of the MAOs were LAC Met Assts (who were, I suspect, Support Staff in the Reykjavik airfield Met Office and who had simply been ordered to go and be the MAO on the next Met Recce flight), or, several, had what I took to be 'TTO' after their names, but before 'MET/OBS' on the manifest! Now I thought 'TTO' was a 'Target Towing Operator' - can't see how he would be good at airborne Met observations? Basically, "they were making it up as they were going along" - but that's what you have to do if there are no 'rules' in the 'new place'! If you get it right We Win - if you get it wrong They Win!! QED!!
    But I think that the appalling quality of some of the images (forget actual typos!) would make solving some of the ident problems possibly above "A-level" in difficulty, and possibly tending towards "1st Degree Dissertation" level? (sorry if I use UK analogies!). I do not, in most cases, have the complete name - or complete number!
    I like a puzzle, but some of these defeat me completely (thus my question about Canadian databases). I do not know why the camera has recorded 2 figures (out of 6) perfectly legibly - but the other 4 are no more than blurs!!
    Looks like we might have to put this one on the very far back burner?
    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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    Peter. You can search the canada gazette by meteorology branch and end up with a few names that have been commissioned. This being said, i am not sure if they were on active service. Here is a link to one group commissioned in late 1945. I did not search in earlier Gazettes. http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/d...bcsve2gfc2lah0

    Richard

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    If the problem is the scanning of the documents you can always ask to see the originals at TNA. They are very accommodating and usually oblige within 45 minutes (if you are there). I may well be going there at some point next week if you let me know what you want checking I can probably help you out. I have checked out quite a few and the originals are much clearer.

    Chris

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