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Thread: Photo ID - unknown Air Vice-Marshal + another officer of 'Air' rank

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    Default Photo ID - unknown Air Vice-Marshal + another officer of 'Air' rank

    I would be most grateful if anyone can assist in identifying the officers in this photo. The gent in the foreground is an Air Vice-Marshal and behind him is another officer of unknown 'Air' rank.

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    I am also curious to know the reason for the tags attached to the Air Vice-Marshal's jacket.

    Any help appreciated!
    Last edited by BabaAndrew; 25th December 2019 at 04:37.

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    The tags appear to be those common at 1920-1940s events such as air displays, pageants, county shows and the like, they identified the wearer as an event official or those entitled to enter certain areas such as VIP tents.
    Ian Macdonald

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    I did a google search on ranking RAF officer’s hats. The double band of “scrambled eggs” on the brim of the other officer’s hat suggests to me that he is at least at the rank of Air Commodore.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 26th December 2019 at 21:49.

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    The cap badge also confirms that the other officer is an Air Officer (Air Commodore or higher).

    It's hard to see for sure but does the officer at the back have a 'badge' on his lapel? If so this could be a 'A' for Auxiliary Air Force and would narrow down the candidates significantly.

    However, looking at the rows of medals, it suggests he may have served in WW1 as he seems to have too many for service in WW2 up to that point.

    It's possible the AVM could be ACM Sir John Steel who was recalled at the beginning of the war and served as an AVM in the Ministry of Aircraft Production

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcolm_raf; 26th December 2019 at 20:20.

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    You can try to compare his face with this photo - if it is really ACM Sir John Steel :

    https://www.shutterstock.com/editori...-camp-3972766a
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Quote Originally Posted by CZ_RAF View Post
    You can try to compare his face with this photo - if it is really ACM Sir John Steel :

    https://www.shutterstock.com/editori...-camp-3972766a
    I am also looking at photos held by the IWM, but do not think it is a match... https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205449069 and https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/i...ject/205449067 .

    I will try to see if I can make out anything on the lapels of the gent behind.

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    I think I can see a single medal ribbon below the normal arrangement? Is this a foreign decoration? In which case it might narrow the search parameters?
    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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    Before WW2 Steel had three rows of ribbons so the extra one could simply be a WW2 ribbon added subsequently.

    Three/four rows of ribbons are not common even amongst AVMs

    Malcolm

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    I did ponder if the pipe smoking AVM is Matthew Frew,the medal group is similar to what Frew was awarded but I have not found an older image of him as yet.
    The younger (looking) officer behind does bear a fair resemblance to Claude Pelly (later ACM Claude Pelly).

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    Herewith a close up of the medal ribbons, in the hope that this may help to narrow the field:

    [FONT=Verdana,Arial,Tahoma,Calibri,Geneva,sans-serif][/FONT]

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