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Thread: LAC Andrews 1585857 help Understanding my grandads service record

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    Default LAC Andrews 1585857 help Understanding my grandads service record

    Hi all,
    Having recently gained my Grandads RAF service record and I'm stuck trying to understand which units he was in and where they were based. I've got his medals and some photos Below I have listed his unit movememnts, in the hope that you guys might be able to guide me somewhat.
    A few bits of what I do know: I DO know that he falsified his age and remember him speaking about Italy and Egypt, In particular he spoke of Borg El Arab, Siwa and Alexandria (all of which I re-visited with him via hero's return). He spoke about driving trucks in the desert and also of being a "tail-end-charlie" Another oddity, was a story he told me of him being in an aircraft to look for a downed aircraft in the desert, near Siwa.
    The thing that has added to my confusion is that he was a DMT but there is a note in the miscellaneous section saying "Selected for Pilot - 24/1/44" and then "Selected by HQ for AG (Air gunner?) 3.12.44". Good conduct badges section shows 1st, A on 2/10/44 and D5D on 25/3/44.
    So with no further ado, below is the full list of unit movements, hopefully you guys can help me to track his units and where these were.
    Thankyou in advance!

    "Weston S Mre/3RC" - 1.10.41
    2 M.T. School - reason "H" - 6.12.41
    W. Zoyland - Reason IIIII - 4.2.42
    M.EAST - 17.4.42
    21 P.J.C - 6.9.42 (writing unclear, could be 21 P.F.C)
    136 MAD - 10.9.42
    Admitted Hosp. Benghazi - 1.11.43
    Discharged Hosp. Benghazi - 6.11.43
    373 ASP - 3.9.44
    373 ASP (MAAF) 2.11.44
    7 ARU - 1.4.45 (some possible variations, either 7 AFU OR 7A could be half scribbled out and it simply has RU)
    HQ 281 WING -15.6.45
    Admitted 6 F.N - 6.7.45
    H.E Hullavington 7.3.46
    100 POC release 30.4.46

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    Default Re: LAC Andrews 1585857 help Understanding my grandads service record

    tomandrews41-46, your Weston Super Mare would be 3 Recruit Centre, 21 PJC more likely to be 21 PTC (Personnel Transit Centre), HE (Hullavington) most likely Home Establishment, but I am just an amateur, so quite happy to leave it to the real experts!
    David D

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    Default Re: LAC Andrews 1585857 help Understanding my grandads service record

    W Zoyland is probably RAF Weston Zoyland in Somerset; ASP is Air Stores Park; 281 Wing was part of the Balkan Air Force. Regards, Terry

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    Default Re: LAC Andrews 1585857 help Understanding my grandads service record

    Hello,

    21 P.J.C. possibly: No.21 Personnel Transit Centre - Formed 1.7.42 ex-Middle East Pool at KASFAREET; Disbanded 1.4.47.

    100 P.O.C. possibly: No.100 Personnel Dispersal Centre - Formed 1.9.44 at UXBRIDGE (mostly on C&M basis); activated 15.5.45 to handle demobilisation of RAF officers, airmen aircrew and ground airmen; Disbanded 15.11.46 into No. 101 PDC.

    See:FT&SU since 1912/Sturtivant & Hamlin/Air-Britain/2007.pp.209-210.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 1st November 2020 at 07:46.

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    Default Re: LAC Andrews 1585857 help Understanding my grandads service record

    Guys, just to say a big thankyou for the info you've managed to pass on so far. The bits I'm still trying to work out are 136 MAD and 7ARU.

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    Default Re: LAC Andrews 1585857 help Understanding my grandads service record

    Hi Terry, thankyou for this. Particuarlaly interesting is your info regarding 281 wing.
    A quick search gives me an overview of the types of operations that they were running and it has reminded my dad, that grandad spoke about being in Bari, Italy and seemed to have a huge knowledge of the political situation of Yugoslavia.
    Considering that Balkan Air Force was running SOE support operations, could this explain why a DMT is selected as pilot (21/1/44) and then officially as air gunner (3/12/44), without appearing to have been in either an aircrew or pilot training school? It seems even more interesting that an LAC was piloting, I was under the impression that flight seargent was the lowest flying rank!?
    Interesting/odd that he was made pilot and then moved unit to 373 ASP. Is it possible that the 373 refers to the usage of form 373, being used for a non-com pilot?

    I'll be honest, this is getting far more exciting than I thought and also begins to explain why Grandad wouldn't let me see his record when he was alive, simply saying "you'll see it when I'm gone and you'll understand"

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    Default Re: LAC Andrews 1585857 help Understanding my grandads service record

    I would suggest that being selected for aircrew trades wasn't necessarily the same thing as qualifying for them. There is nothing in his record (as you have transcribed it) to suggest that your grandfather served at any aircrew training school. LACs didn't pilot aircraft in WW2, unless they were students, or had stolen the thing.
    I would also respectfully point out that your grandfather was posted to 281 Wing over a month after the war in Europe had ended. I'm not sure they were running too many (SOE?) clandestine air ops by that point (although the Balkans was still dealing with its own issues).
    "Admitted 6 F.N." probably menas he was admitted as a patient to No. 6 F.H (i.e. Field Hospital).

    Rgds

    Jonny
    Last edited by jonny; 1st November 2020 at 19:12.
    In fond memory of Corporal James Oakland AGC (RMP), killed in action in Afghanistan on 22 October 2009. Exemplo Ducemus.

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    Default Re: LAC Andrews 1585857 help Understanding my grandads service record

    tomandrews41-46, please also note that the lowest rank or classification in RAF during most of WW2 for QUALIFIED aircrew was Sergeant, rather than Flight Sergeant. Incidentally the word "Flight" in the RAF has many meanings, sometimes indicating flight (flying) status, but more often than not simply in the sense that in an air force that does NOT use traditional Army or Naval terminology for ranks, units, formations, etc. (as was the case in RAF from almost its beginning in 1918), it was normal to use more aviation-oriented terms such as "flight", "wing", "pilot", etc. As part of my general knowledge of such things I have to frequently point out such misunderstanding on RAF terminology. For instance, a very common assumption is that the rank of Pilot Officer indicates that this person is a Pilot. Of course it means no such thing, but conversely he COULD be a pilot! Nor does a Squadron Leader necessarily lead a squadron, nor does a Wing Commander automatically command a Wing (although they might!) Incidentally a "Wing" in the RAF is not usually referred to as a "unit" as such, but as a "formation" (following Army practice), because a "Wing" is physically rather larger than most units such as a Squadron, and is sometimes (if an Operational Wing) of a more temporary nature, composed of attached squadrons which may be rotated in and out in response to the needs of the moment, with sometimes more, or less squadrons. In the RAF the internal organisation is complex, but clearly heirarchical, with "Air Ministry" usually at the top, then down through Air Forces, or Tactical Air Forces, Commands, Groups, Wings, Squadrons (and Schools, etc), then sub-units such as Flights (also independent Flights), and sections. A quick list of the rank structure of the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in WW2 (better known as the WAAF) illustrates this best, where this hierarchy provides a general structural template for the rank titles (in reverse order here): Assistant Section Officer, Section Officer, Flight Officer, Squadron Officer, Wing Officer, Group Officer, Air Commandant.
    David D
    Last edited by David Duxbury; 1st November 2020 at 21:58.

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