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Thread: RAF/RAF OR Service Numbers

  1. #11
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    As per typical!

    Col Bruggy found this, undigitised

    DPS [Director of Personnel Services] - Adoption of prefix "AUS" before numbers and names of RAAF personnel serving overseas [0.5cm]
    A705 163/1/322

    I'mm in a funny spending mood so might get this scanned maybe!
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

  2. #12
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    I should have said that the introduction in 1940 of NZ and AUS prefixes was primarily intended for use when said airmen were serving on attachment with the RCAF or RAF, whereas Canadian prefixes (R, J, C, etc) were probably intended originally for Canadian internal administrative use, but were also useful in the EATS context in that they could be used to quickly distinguish Canadian airmen in long lists of postings, casualties, etc from the more common RAF personnel who, as far as I know, NEVER had any kind of prefix. NZ prefixes in the RNZAF were used in a universal fashion, without exception between the end of August 1940 (when introduced by ADO A.95/40) and 1949 (when these numbers were superseded by an entirely new system, without any nationality prefix). I hasten to add that this cosy scene was disturbed slightly by the insertion, in some instances, of a secondary prefix letter, such as a "C" to denote those personnel sourced from the Air Training Corps, or a "W"" for certain Works trades, to distinguish them from non-works trade with a similar trade description. However these secondary prefixes were intended purely for internal RNZAF use, although many aircrew sent to the UK or Canada had the "C" secondary prefix (as in NZC4312799 as an example), which probably caused some confusion when they first popped up in RAF or RCAF Routine Orders. I have always assumed (probably quite mistakenly) that the Australians would have used their "AUS" prefix in the same universal way as did the much smaller RNZAF, as their (Australian) prefix was introduced for identical reasons and probably at the same time (to preclude any possible confusion with RAF airmen, including officers, when they appeared in RAF generated lists or in casualty signals).

    I therefore look forward to hearing the Canadian perspective on this interesting (and little covered) subject for further (and obviously much-needed!) enlightenment.
    David D

  3. #13
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    A very limited Canadian point of view:

    From my readings of RCAF School and Squadron diaries, and some other records I have access to, the use of AUS and NZ prefixes appears to be intermitant. The Canadian prefixes were always used, as you might expect. What I do notice is that most non-RCAF people mentioned usually have the service appended to the name, i.e. RAF, RNZAF, etc. The service would often be listed even when a service number is not quoted.

  4. #14
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    David

    Would a service number have been used twice between the services ie army & airforce ?
    Re my posts of 11th & 13th May, as copied below .

    My RAAF father's service number was 422612. He enlisted in the RAAF 1942 .Year of birth 1916.[F/O T R Millar]
    This number had earlier been given to an army man who enlisted 4/3/31, 18th AFA Brigade & was discharged 8/7/31
    [E J S Dillworth. Army Number - 422612; Date of birth - 23 August 1907]
    from National Archives of Australia digital records


    The only time I've seen Aus. used after a RAAF airman's name was in a crew list of 104 RAF sortie reports.

    Anne

  5. #15
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    Anne,

    In the case of New Zealand, yes. You will find some numbers were used both by Army and Air Force. The two services acted independently when issuing numbers during WWII. I imagine that each had enough trouble keeping track of what they were issuing to their own without worrying about what the other service was doing with theirs!

    Also, if you search by number of the LG you will sometimes find there numbers common to both Army and Air Force men.

    Errol

  6. #16
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    Errol

    Thank you --

    Anne

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    Hi Peter

    Your list has been very helpful to me on a number of occasions ..... until now!

    CWGC gives:
    Sinden John - Sgt - 519693 - Runnymede Memorial
    Sinden Robert - Sgt - 577701 - Runnymede Memorial
    Sinden Valentine B - Sgt -213336 - Boughton St Aluph

    for whom your list would suggest:
    Oct 25 Civilians and Jan 26 Aircraft Apprentices respectively!

    To quote Winston Churchill, "Pray advise me"

    Regards,
    Aubrey

  8. #18
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    210317 to 225060 1 Apr 1918 RNAS Enlistments 1916

    Valentine B Sinden was 55 years old per CWGC, thus his enlistment in the 1910's makes perfect sense.

    The other two mens numbers then are from a batch of numbers which I understand were 'begun' to be allocated in Oct 1925, it does not mean that these two men, aged 18 and 26 in 194x were enlisted in 1925. There are 45000 numbers in that batch, it is a bit of a stretch to see then being still allocated in 1941-1942.

    John Sinden has a 519xxx number suggesting an early enlistment, take up of enlistments would be low during the 1925-1939 period, this recruiting station would not have taken on 45000 people prewar. John might have enlisted early in the war or just pre war, there are still 14690 odd numbers before his.

    Robert Sindon then has a much later number and is a much younger man, later enlistment again.

    Note they are Royal Air Force and not RAF Volunteer Reserve, I don;t know if these batchs were RAF/RAFVR separated.

    That would be my interpretation of the number lists.
    Dennis Burke
    - Dublin

    Foreign Aircrew and Aircraft Ireland 1939-1945
    www.ww2irishaviation.com

  9. #19
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    Aubrey,

    519802 enlisted April 1935 !
    576930 apprentice enlisted August 1939 !

    Hope this helps

    Mark

  10. #20
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    Hi Dennis

    Thank you for your clear explanation in this matter

    Your remark re the extended use of the "25" batch into the 40s was certainly fair comment - and fully justified in the light of the subsequent posting

    Regards,
    Aubrey

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