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Thread: Sgt FIIE

  1. #1
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    Default Sgt FIIE

    Hi All,

    We have on our records a Sgt post to to instructor school ( unfit to fly) but on our records as Sgt FIIE anyone got any ideas what that means.

    Regards,

    John Williams Assistant Archivist 158 Sqn.
    Last edited by John Williams; 28th February 2021 at 19:13.

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    Default Re: Sgt FIIE

    Looks to me like he was now a Fitter IIE (Aero-engines), this may have been his original technical trade before he volunteered to aircrew; this was known as "reversion" to basic trade. Other somewhat connected trades were Fitter IIA (Airframes), and Fitter I (cross trained and qualified as competent on both airframes AND aero engines). (The term "Fitter" generally indicated that the subject had passed through the earlier "introductory" stage of the process - these earlier trades being Flight Mechanic, and Flight Rigger respectively, although prewar there were other trades such as carpenter (airframe) and another equivalent for metal aircraft, something like "Rigger (Metal)" - somebody with a better knowledge of RAF pre-war tradesmen might like to correct me at this point!
    David D

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    Default Re: Sgt FIIE

    Hi David,

    Many thanks mate that looks like it would fit as he was a Flight Engineer and if he was unfit for flying he may have returned as an instructor in mechanics.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Default Re: Sgt FIIE

    Yes if he was a Flight Engineer - as David posted above - he would have reverted to his original trade but would have retained and worn his Half Wing if he had made it to operational flying.
    As David posted above - tradesmen classified as a 'Fitter' were highly qualified and experienced tradesmen.
    As David also alluded to - they normally had to go on a 'Fitters Course' of extra tech training to advance from Mechanic to Fitter trade title.
    Even up until the 1990's in the RAF - Airframe tradesmen were still unofficially called 'Riggers'.
    The 'Fitter' trade title remained in use until the mid to late 1970's when the title changed to 'Technician'.

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    Default Re: Sgt FIIE

    Thanks for the conformation bvs, he was a Flight Engineer so this seems to make sense.

    Cheers,

    John.

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    Default Re: Sgt FIIE

    Quote Originally Posted by bvs View Post
    Yes if he was a Flight Engineer - as David posted above - he would have reverted to his original trade but would have retained and worn his Half Wing if he had made it to operational flying.
    A minor point, but surely he would have retained his wing if he qualified for it, regardless of whether he participated in ops?

    Rgds

    Jonny
    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: Sgt FIIE

    Quote Originally Posted by jonny View Post
    A minor point, but surely he would have retained his wing if he qualified for it, regardless of whether he participated in ops?

    Rgds

    Jonny
    Hi Jonny
    I only worded it that way as I did not know how much operational flying he had done and when (date) he qualified as a Flight Engineer,there was sometimes a probationary period in the RAF where you could have the 'right' to wear a flying badge rescinded for a variety of reasons.

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    Default Re: Sgt FIIE

    Hi Lads,

    He did six Ops, and would have got his half wing late 1942 early 43, went to instructor school August 1943.

    John.

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    Default Re: Sgt FIIE

    The reason I mentioned the date was because of the way that the new Flight Engineer badge/trade came about .....

    from the Royal Air Force Flight Engineer & Air Engineer Association

    https://raffeaea.com/from-the-beginning/

    If a Fitter had volunteered for FE duties very early - he would not have been awarded the FE badge for some time,so an FE who was grounded early on might never have officially been awarded an FE Badge.

    The ‘provision of Flight Engineers for certain types of heavy bomber and flying boat aircraft’. It stated: for training as Flight Engineers only skilled men are eligible: Fitters 1, Fitters 2, Fitters 2(E) and Fitters 2(AE). All are to be promoted to acting sergeant in their trade.’ As early as December 1940 the question of a flying badge for Flight Engineers was raised within the Air Ministry ‘An aircrew badge should be struck for the Air Engineer’. This would have been a simple modification of the single wing `Air Gunner’ badge which, in turn, was based on the Observers badge. Nearly 2 years passed before it became a reality, a protracted period especially when set against the 4 months for the Air Bomber and less than 2 in the case of the Navigator! Conferences were held to discuss the matter!

    Flight Engineers took a three-week gunnery course as part of their training in order that they might take over a turret or gun if an Air Gunner were to be killed or wounded. In May 1941 an amendment stated that the Flight Engineer was now entitled to wear a flying badge — that of the Air Gunner – AG. The Outcome: ‘It is undesirable to deface or disfigure the design of the present air gunners badge by changing the letters AG for FE. The Air Gunners badge is highly prized and is now well known and respected and we do not want to have imitations of it which might tend to detract front its value.
    The qualifications needed to become elegible for FE training were lowered as the war progressed and allowed a longer training period.
    Last edited by bvs; 1st March 2021 at 09:44.

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    Default Re: Sgt FIIE

    Quote Originally Posted by John Williams View Post
    Hi Lads,

    He did six Ops, and would have got his half wing late 1942 early 43, went to instructor school August 1943.

    John.
    Thanks John - he would definitely have been able to retain/wear his FE Badge then unless there were other factors in his grounding.

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