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Thread: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

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    Default AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    Does anyone have an electronic copy of this document which they would be willing to share, please? Thanks

    Andrew

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    Default Re: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    Hi Andrew,

    I’m not sure if there was an RCAF No 3 PRC that was separate from the RAF one, or if they are one in the same. The ORB for the unit No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, for June 1941 - July 1946 is available at https://heritage.canadiana.ca/view/o...2429/4?r=0&s=1

    I’m not sure if that’s what you’re looking for...but I hope it helps.

    Mike
    Last edited by anglin.mj; 27th November 2020 at 02:58.
    Mike Anglin

    Barrie, Canada

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    Default Re: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    Hi all, in any case PRC ORBs are not helpful in searching an individual. There were so big incomes and outcomes that there are only numbers, no names. Named is only personnel serving with the unit not personnel going through.

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

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    Default Re: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    Thanks, Mike and Pavel, for your prompt and helpful responses: from what I can make out, it must have been a joint RAF/RCAF operation. I have an English chap, whose logbook shows that he passed through this unit in December 1941 after completing flying training in the USA, but only six days seem to have passed between him leaving the flying training school in Florida and arriving in Bournemouth. This doesn't seem very long so I was hoping to check his arrival date but, as I half-suspected and Pavel has confirmed, the numbers of people passing through were too large to allow the recording of individual's details. Having said this, the record on the Canadian website does appear to be incomplete, so I do wonder if the original has survived in its entirety. Thanks again guys, Andrew

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    Default Re: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    Hi Andrew,

    Six days is quick indeed! My Dad took the Queen Mary out of New York and embarked on 8 Oct 43 and disembarked on 16 Oct 43 and she was one of the fastest troop ships afloat. Even then, the QM landed at Gourock, Scotland and it was another day to get to Bournemouth from there. Six days is very fast and I’d suggest impossible by ship.

    I was able to track my Dads arrival through 3 PRC, (not by name - but only by the “draft” he was in) and only through significant cross referencing with various ORBs and my Dads service record. Through his personal oral history I was also able to find him in a Pathe newsreel https://www.britishpathe.com/video/m...ighting-forces arriving from the tender to Gourock. So incredibly lucky to have that moment he set foot in the UK. He’s the second RCAF Officer getting off the tender at approx 29 second mark.

    When researching Canadians killed with my Dad’s Sqn, 77 RAF, I did come across at least 2 airmen who flew to England via Newfoundland, Greenland etc. As just graduated pilots I presume they flew as passengers in aircraft being ferried to the UK?

    So perhaps that is a possibility to account for the short trip for your fellow.

    Mike
    Last edited by anglin.mj; 27th November 2020 at 17:02.
    Mike Anglin

    Barrie, Canada

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    Default Re: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    Mike, I think you are seriously underestimating the service speeds of the two "Queens" (Mary and Elizabeth) which were in fact both 28.5 knots. Q Mary managed 32.79 knots on trial when new in 1936. As for speeds of Atlantic crossings, in WW2, "Mary" made a crossing between Southampton and New York between 25 - 30 July 1943 with 16,683 passengers and crew, although unfortunately do not have exact times, but I believe this was very typical crossing time in peace and in war, could have gone even faster in war for lessening chances of interception by U-boats. "Mary" also managed 6 days on her maiden voyage 27 May - 1 June 1936. Immediately postwar, Mary also made an Atlantic crossing, Canada to UK, probably travelling light, in 3 days, 22 hours, 42 minutes, at average of just under 32 knots. So six days for the North Atlantic run in peace and war conditions was seemingly perfectly routine, possibly even conservative, although the wartime crossings were (I think normally) undertaken on a zig-zag course which must have added many extra hours sailing time and additional fuel. Q Elizabeth made its first (non-commercial) crossing of North Atlantic to New York in March of 1940 in 6 days at average speed of 26 knots, probably also in fairly light condition, passenger/cargo speaking. (All this of course just from Wikipedia! A more comprehensive search would doubtless turn up much more detailed information.)
    David D.
    Last edited by David Duxbury; 27th November 2020 at 23:00.

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    Default Re: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    Merchant Shipping Movement Cards are readily available for World War 2.

    For Australia: The RAN has the PDF files to view/download. See Row 50 set for the Queens on the Aus run
    https://www.navy.gov.au/media-room/p...ords-australia

    For UK: The National Archives BT 389 has two sets, PDF, watermarked to view, free to download on regn.
    British: https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...wse/r/h/C89690
    and
    Allied: https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...wse/r/h/C89691
    Follow your nose via the right hand column or if you prefer start here with the Notes and a convenient vessel Search bar
    https://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/...rds-1939-1945/

    to find
    Queen Mary https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8655056
    and
    Queen Elizabeth https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/D8655760
    Some care needed to interpret but there are 4, 5, and 6 day Atlantic crossings right enough.

    On Atlantic crossing times generally, 4-6 days was regularly attainable in merchant service from 1907 (Mauretania) and certainly through the 1930s
    See eg https://transportgeography.org/?page_id=2135
    Last edited by Don Clark; 28th November 2020 at 02:24.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    Thanks again to all for your input and help with this. I am in contact with 'my' man's relative, so I'm hoping that they may be able to throw some light on his transatlantic journey. Then it's on to the next challenge! Cheers all, Andrew

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    Default Re: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    The records of RCAF personnel proceeding overseas frequently show a date of taken on strength of RAF overseas which is actually the date of embarkation from Halifax or New York.
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 1st December 2020 at 18:34. Reason: spelling

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    Default Re: AIR 29/479 No. 3 Personnel Reception Centre, Bournemouth

    Thanks Hugh. That is a useful nugget of information, although the chap I'm dealing with a present was definitely British, not Canadian. Cheers, Andrew

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