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Thread: Highest RAF ranks for two men (1 modern, 1 WWII era)

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    Default Highest RAF ranks for two men (1 modern, 1 WWII era)

    I have an oversized coffee table book of aviation artist Robert Taylor's paintings (the first of six volumes, so far, of his works) signed on one reproduced painting by numerous aviation personalities I met at the Smithsonian Air & Space Museum in Washington, DC, among other places. Recently, I finally got around to compiling a list of the names of those who signed, and I have been writing mini-biographies of the men, and one woman.

    I've added the highest known (to me) military rank for each who served in the military, as well. However, I'm not certain of the final ranks for two of the RAF men. I'm admittedly behind the times on accessing everything available on the web, though I found a few things to help me through snooping around the web - not that the info is accurate! (I've discovered ridiculous errors in places. Don't blindly trust wikipedia, for example...or even Hall of Fame details! But beggars can't be choosers, beyond a certain point, so I'll go with some info initially, hoping it proves to be accurate.)

    If I don't have the final highest RAF ranks for these two men, would someone in the know kindly correct me?

    Likewise, if anyone has additional or corrected biographical info, I am interested. Even little tidbits, such as dates of enlistment, postings and movements, and date when the man separated from the RAF.

    The two men in question, and their brief bios, are as follows.

    Thanks,

    Matt
    +++++++++++++++++++++
    Group Captain (at least) Trevor Beney (Signed 3 July 1991, British Embassy, Washington, DC)

    A modern RAF pilot, he was Assistant Air Attaché at the British Embassy in Washington, DC, in the 1990s. He graduated from the Royal Air Force College at Cranwell, UK in 1969; the RAFC is the Royal Air Force training and education academy which provides initial training to RAF personnel who are preparing to be commissioned officers.

    +++++++++++++++++++++
    Pilot Officer (at least) Jack A. Shortis (Signed 4 June 1991 at his home, Louth, UK)

    Shortis was an RAF Bristol Beaufighter and de Havilland Mosquito navigator who flew a full tour on 27 Squadron over Burma.

    His CO on 27 Squadron, Wing Commander James Nicolson – the only Battle of Britain pilot, and the only pilot of Fighter Command, to receive the Victoria Cross – told him that he would be submitting paperwork for Shortis to receive the Distinguished Flying Cross. Nicolson was killed as an observer aboard a 355 Squadron Liberator on 2 May 1945; Shortis never heard another word about a possible DFC. He was called an “ace navigator” by RAAF Wing Commander Lionel Hudson, a pilot with whom he flew on his next assignment.

    On 19 December 1944, then on 82 Squadron, the Mosquito in which Shortis was navigator, serial number HR403, crashed in enemy-occupied territory near the junction of the Chindwin and Irrawaddy Rivers in central Burma. His skipper was RAAF Wing Commander Lionel Hudson. Though injured, Shortis and Hudson endured mistreatment, and both survived their PoW incarcerations and were liberated on 3 May 1945.

    Post-war, Shortis was a London policeman.

    +++++++++++++++++++++
    I may eventually post the bios of the eighteen additional Englishmen who signed (with only one being a civilian, artist Robert Taylor), but what I've written is very sketchy, so far, and needs work. No doubt I can add more dates and so forth before I reach the point of begging for more tidbits from the experts.

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Default Re: Highest RAF ranks for two men (1 modern, 1 WWII era)

    Hi Matt

    Beney retired in 2003 as a Gp Capt.

    Malcolm

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    Default Re: Highest RAF ranks for two men (1 modern, 1 WWII era)

    Hi, Malcolm,

    Excellent -- one down, one to go. I met then-Group Capt Beney at the British Embassy in Washington, DC on 3 July 1993, ten or so years before his retirement. Thanks for your help!

    Cheers,

    Matt

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    Default Re: Highest RAF ranks for two men (1 modern, 1 WWII era)

    Shortis was serving with Secretarial Branch on 1 Nov 1947 when he was granted rank of Flying Officer (subs) with seniority 5 Oct 1946. There was a listing in the London Gazette recording his transfer as Flying Officer from RAFVR General Duties Branch to Secretarial from 18 Aug 1947 as Flying Officer. I'll see if I can find him later in his career.

    He was born 24 Sep 1921 at Kings Cross in London, served in the Metropolitan Police rising from PC to Chief Inspector at Ilford, Barkingside, Bow and Dagenham and died in 1993 at Louth in Lincolnshire.
    PeteS
    Last edited by PeteS; 19th July 2021 at 09:07. Reason: additional info

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    Default Re: Highest RAF ranks for two men (1 modern, 1 WWII era)

    This is all I could find in the LG (but with the proviso that the LG searches are very hit and miss for me)

    460 SUPPLEMENT TO THE LONDON GAZETTE, 19 JANUARY, 1945


    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Confirmation and promotion.
    Pit. Offs. (prob.) confmd. in appts. and to be
    Fig. Offs. (war subs.): —

    J. A. SHORTIS (185119)
    SUPPLEMENT TO THE 'LONDON GAZETTE, 2 DECEMBER, 1947 5709

    GENERAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Transfer between branches.
    Flying Officer J. A. SHORTIS -(185119) to the
    Secretarial Branch as war substantive Flying
    Officer -(seniority jth Apr. 1946). iSth Aug. 1947.

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