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Thread: Researching a WW2 Airman Simple Example..

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Thanked 279 Times in 259 Posts

    Default Researching a WW2 Airman Simple Example..

    Letter to Royal Air Force Flying Review
    March 1957

    Flying Postbag

    War Medals
    I was a Class " E" RAF reservist who was called up in September, 1939, and went to France
    with the British Expeditionary Force. I served six months over there and was then recalled
    for service on UK stations. In all I served six years. Can you tell me what medals I am
    entitled to for my war service ?

    On his statement, the writer would appear to be eligible for the Defence Medal
    and War Medal 1939-1945. Application should be made to Air, Officer Commanding,
    RAF Record Office, 3 Division/2, RAF, Gloucester.

    I wondered who H. A. FORD was ?

    Class E

    E 1918 1923 Ex-regular airmen. In April 1921, the Air Ministry announced that Class E reservists could not enlist in the Army. 14 days/year if required for ground trades, 12 hours/year for pilots

    So I went to

    found entry for

    H A Ford 359507 with Record Year 1922

    OK so who is H A Ford 359507

    so I went to


    First name(s) Last name Birth year Birth county Attestation year Service number Occupation
    Henry Albert

    Essex looks promising then I went to Ancestry on

    Henry Albert Ford born 1905 and found

    Henry Albert Ford
    12 Jul 1905
    Jul 1983 Chelmsford, Essex, England

    Death Chelmsford - More evidence

    It provided more info on his RAF Airman Record

    Name: Henry Albert Ford
    Gender: Male
    Age: 19
    Birth Date: 12 Jul 1905
    Birth Place: Romford, Romford, Essex, England
    Service Date: 6 Apr 1925
    Service Number: 359507
    Father: W H Ford
    Next of Kin: W H Ford
    Relation to Airman: Father

    So Henry Albert Ford born 12 Jul 1905 Essex is the same man who died Qtr 3 1983 Chelmsford (Family Tree suggest Sept 1983) QED!

    RAF Airman Records in this index are all those who left
    service before WW2 started - which matches his note about being
    a class E Reservist

    I also checked his Air 78 Record
    Page 160, bottom left - He has an F in a Circle
    which means "Class F Reservist"
    In addition pre-war cards are stamped F in a circle denoting Class F reserve.

    I think this is not strictly true as I think Henry Albert Ford was ground crew. But have never seen Air 78 card with E in a Circle?


  2. The Following User Says Thank You to paulmcmillan For This Useful Post:

    Andy Mitchell (26th October 2021)

  3. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Thanked 74 Times in 69 Posts

    Default Re: Researching a WW2 Airman Simple Example..

    359507 is right at the end of the block 340001-360000, RAF, Civilians, 01-Sep-19 - 6-Jun-25. This gave me, mathematically, an Enlistment date of 24 Apr 1925 – which stacks up against your 6 Apr 1925 (best I’ve had!!). I would also run him through the LG!
    Looks like a well trodden path of data excavation?!! FREEBMD can sometimes (if the names are not too common!) add a bit more in that it can be possible to excavate siblings.
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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