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Thread: Sqn Ldr Donald Garth Ross 32161 and General Duties

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    Default Sqn Ldr Donald Garth Ross 32161 and General Duties

    Found a similar 2006 post by myself in the archives... http://www.rafcommands.com/archive/09325.php .... but provided more background here...

    The above was classified as a 'Captain Navigator' with RAF Ferry Command. He delivered five Fortresses (including one B-17C) and one Liberator as captain and flew four round trips as navigator on Return Ferry Service Liberators operated by BOAC. According to AC 'Taffy' Powell's memoir Ferryman, Ross became Powell's Air Staff Officer at Montreal.

    Ross was born in Bournemouth in June 1909, making him ~32 when he delivered the B-17C, his first delivery with the organization, so he obviously had considerable prior experience. His London Gazette entries all refer to him as falling under the General Duties Branch.

    Questions...

    What were Ross' flying activities prior to joining ATFERO/Ferry Command in January 1941?

    Was it unusual for someone to be GD Branch but still flying like this?

    Thanks in advance:

    Robert
    Last edited by robstitt; 28th February 2021 at 18:03. Reason: Added intro sentence

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    Default Re: Sqn Ldr Donald Garth Ross 32161 and General Duties

    Robert

    He's recorded as a 'Commercial Pilot' on the passenger manifest of the Royal Mail ship 'Almanzora' arriving into Southampton from Madeira on October 31st 1934. He'd travelled out to Madeira on the Royal Mail Lines ship 'Arlanza' on October 6th 1934.

    There's also a Donald Ross, aged 30, on the manifest of the United States Lines ship Washington, arriving into Plymouth on January 25th 1939, recorded as being an 'Aviator.'

    Regards

    Simon
    Researching R.A.F. personnel from the North East of England

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    Default Re: Sqn Ldr Donald Garth Ross 32161 and General Duties

    Hi Robert
    All Commissioned Aircrew were/are in the General Duties Branch.

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    Default Re: Sqn Ldr Donald Garth Ross 32161 and General Duties

    Thanks, BVS. Somehow I'd imagined General Duties meant behind a desk/admin.

    Simon: Thanks for those. Could being a 'Commercial Pilot' in 1934 fit with, from the achieved responses, 'Appointed to a SSC as a PO on prob wef 11 Mar 32. Transferred to the Reserve of Air Force Officers (RAFO), Class A wef 4 Nov 32.'? I gather that 'Reserve' meant an individual had been marked for service but could still undertake civilian activities until needed.

    If so, then I think this is another candidate for me to check with BA Archives as Ross may have been with Imperial Airways pre-war and, as previously noted, did fly as a navigator on BOAC-operated RFS Liberators.

    Robert

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    Default Re: Sqn Ldr Donald Garth Ross 32161 and General Duties

    Yes Rob
    RAFO meant that he was in effect a 'civvy' but liable for immediate call up for any Wartime Duty.

    General Duties was very different for non commissioned men - A Clerk (GD) was indeed a pen pusher,some GD Airmen did much of the menial work around camp (such as Dustcart or SWO's working Party etc) and the Guardroom Staff were usually GD.

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    Default Re: Sqn Ldr Donald Garth Ross 32161 and General Duties

    Thanks for the clarifications. Very different!

    Robert

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    Default Re: Sqn Ldr Donald Garth Ross 32161 and General Duties

    Hi Rob,
    Ross was a Hudson pilot with the PDU/PRU prior to joining ATFERO.
    Best regards
    Andy Fletcher

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    Default Re: Sqn Ldr Donald Garth Ross 32161 and General Duties

    Many thanks, Andy. Not an area I know much about, especially the use of the Hudson, so will do some digging.

    Robert

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