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Thread: Squadron Leader Help

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    Default Squadron Leader Help

    Hi,

    Trying to establish the identity of a Squadron Leader J.F Booth who arrived on 195 Squadron March 1945. Sadly I have no other info.

    Any pointers / suggestions most welcome.

    TIA

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Default Re: Squadron Leader Help

    Steve, in the Internet Archive/Library of Scotland digitised Air Force List issues for April and July 45 there are just four men surname Booth, initials some variant of JF etc.
    Three of them are F/Lts, leaving just

    S/Ldr JFH Booth DFC 37958 (col 556)

    Entered the RAF on a SSC in 1936:
    "Acting Pilot Officers on probation with effect from and with seniority of the dates stated:
    6th Aug. 1936. James Frederick Henry BOOTH."
    London Gazette https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...4321/page/5793

    March 1939 Air Force List (own copy):
    JFH Booth Pilot Officer (wef 6 Apr 1937) No 70 Squadron Habbaniya.

    March 1943: DFC
    "Squadron Leader James Frederick Henry BOOTH (37958) No 142 Squadron"
    London Gazette, no citation: https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/1309

    So, S/Ldr James Frederick Henry Booth DFC 39857, ex 70 Sqn, ex 142 Sqn.

    More entries in the Gazette for you to follow if wanted, some under full name, others under surname/service no.

    Sources:
    Air Ministry, Air Force List March 1939
    Air Ministry, Air Force List July 1945 (Internet Archive)
    London Gazette issues
    Last edited by Don Clark; 23rd December 2020 at 03:55. Reason: AFLs 1945 doublecheck; LGs search terms
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Squadron Leader Help

    Hello,

    S/L J. F. H. Booth had a very short stay at No.460 Sqn RAAF, during August 1942:

    Given the casualty rate throughout the command, it was unsurprising that it took until 4 August (1942), before the Air Ministry managed to get a replacement B Flight commander to the squadron: he was Squadron Leader J.F.H. Booth, an RAF officer extracted from a safe job at RAF Wymeswold, a bombing training base in Leicestershire. He made little impact upon the unit, staying less than a month before transferring to No. 142 Squadron RAF, having flown only three ops*.

    * Booth's transfer to 142 Sqn on 1.9.1942 - Men of 142 (City of Worcester) Squadron 1941-42 - http://www.aviationarchaeology.org.u...personnel41-42

    See:
    RAF Bombers Over Germany 1941-42
    Cooper,Anthony.
    Dural:Rosenberg Publishing,2016.
    pp.185 & 217(fn).

    S/L Booth's DFC was a joint award/citation** with 1317475 Sergeant Jack EDWARDS and 911963 LAC James Arthur Skingsley, for events that occurred on 18/19 January, 1943 (see BLME2/Gunby&Temple/Tonbridge/A-B,2018/p.18):

    Crew of Wellington III DF732:"V" on 18/19 January, 1943:

    37958 S/L (Capt./Pilot) James Frederick Henry BOOTH RAF - Awarded DFC
    134656 (2nd Pilot) P/O William Jolliffe WHITEWOOD RAFVR (later DFC)
    1317475 (Bomb Aimer) Jack Edwards RAFVR - Awarded DFM
    AUS403958 Sgt (W.Op./Air Gnr.) Edward William SALMON RAAF (later DFM)
    AUS400243 Sgt (Air Gnr.) Geoffrey Maxwell WALDIE RAAF
    911963 LAC (A/Flt Eng.) James Arthur SKINGSLEY RAFVR - Awarded DFM

    ** Citation in London Gazette and The DFC & How it was Won, Vol.I, A-L/N & C Carter/Savannah,1998/p.165.

    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 23rd December 2020 at 09:11.

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    Default Re: Squadron Leader Help

    Steve,
    Possibly 923511 John Frederick Booth, commissioned into the G.D.branch 19/7/41 (London Gazette 22/8/41), number 102121 , M.I.D. 1/1/45 as A/S/L.
    Regards, Mark.

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    Default Re: Squadron Leader Help

    Hi all,

    Thank you for your most welcome help.

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

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    Default Re: Squadron Leader Help

    Welcome Steve.

    MSIMPSON has raised a good point re the Ag S/Ldr rank of JF Booth 923511.
    Note your OP refers to 195 Squadron in March 1945.
    You might think that'd be a good check - in that for much of the war 195 Squadron was a single seater unit, as opposed to the several Bomber Squadrons of JFH Booth 37958...
    Until another check reminds that 195 Sqn r/f as a Lancaster unit from Mar 44!

    So, possibly not yet definitive: both may be candidates.

    The MiD to Booth 923511 might reveal more but only when/if Hugh is able to look 'em up again...
    Also possibly resolvable if the 195 Ops Record Book makes note of Acting rank v Substantive....

    At least from the AFL link in my post above you can track all four men further by name &service no if wished.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 23rd December 2020 at 22:08.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: Squadron Leader Help

    Don talking good solid horse sense here. Correct me if I am wrong, but am fairly certain that generally, during years of WW2, (with possible exception of Air Rank officers), the only ranks shown in the lists are wartime substantive (usually referred to as w.s.), whereby a w.s. F/L could be in actual fact anything up to and including a Acting Group Captain. Others with a much better understanding of this wartime peculiarity can confirm or deny this statement (almost certain oversimplified) , but I think that I am not too far wrong. Thus hunting for a man by his apparent rank (as worn on uniform) may not be very helpful.
    David D

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