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Thread: Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

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    Default Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

    Hi

    I am trying to find out as much as possible about the RAF career Sgt (later P/O) Graham “Taffy” Rich

    I know he was at one point in 1 PRU and flew reconnaissance Spitfires (he landed one on a beach in Portugal in 1943 on route to Gibraltar) - this forum has really helped me piece together the story - thank you

    I am very interested (for a book project) to learn more about his RAF career in WWII and subsequently in the 1950’s- i am pretty sure he was still in the RAF in 1956 and stationed in East Anglia somewhere, i think he may have been involved in Suez.

    After he left the RAF he became a stunt pilot for a number of well known movies and was the Chief Instructor at Norfolk and Norwich Aero club (famous for flying his plane thru hangers)

    any information on his WWII career outside his Portuguese adventure and his 1950’s career would be very much appreciated

    many thanks

    Simon

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    Default Re: Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

    Hi Simon,

    Just to clarify Rich was never a member of 1 PRU, the unit was disbanded on 19 Oct 42 and used to form five new PR squadrons (540-544) at RAF Benson. The squadrons at Benson were always referred to collectively as the "PRU" even though it was no longer the official name. Prior to posting to Benson on 06 Apr 43 Rich was on No.12 course at 8(C) OTU (12 Jan 43-29 Mar 43).

    Cheers

    Andy Fletcher
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Default Re: Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

    Andy
    thanks for the clarification , everything i have found to date refers to 1 PRU, but this is helpful, i will try and find out which of 540-544n he was in !

    best

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    Default Re: Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

    As per my previous post in your original query if on arrival at RAF Benson Rich was destined for overseas service he probably joined 'B' Flt 543 Sqn which was being used as an unofficial FTU for PR aircrew at the time and shortly afterwards became 309 FT&ADU. There is no mention of Rich in the 543 Sqn ORB which mainly deals with operations by 'A' Flt from St Eval.
    Last edited by Andy Fletcher; 28th January 2022 at 11:46. Reason: typo
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    Default Re: Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

    Thanks Andy.
    I have made a bit more progress he joined 142 Squadron on 5th Dec 1940 from OTU and flew Wellingtons on raids to Berlin, Duisburg and Magdeburg. He left 142 on 29th Sept 1941 for Central Flying school to train as an instructor - trying to join the dots between CFS and posting top Benson on 6th April 1943

    I have looked at the ORBs for 540,541,542, 543 and 544 Squadron , but could not find any mention of him

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    Default Re: Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

    Seems strange for someone with such a long career to still be a Sgt when he arrived at Benson in Apr 43. Did he perhaps have disciplinary issues?
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    Default Re: Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

    He was commissioned in 1944

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    Default Re: Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

    I'm assuming your man was a Sgt when he joined 142 Sqn. During war time NCO and officer aircrew were on time promotion. A Sgt would be promoted to Flt Sgt after 12 months and Wt Off after another 12. As a previous NCO after commissioning to Plt Off he would be promoted to Flg Off after 6 months and Flt Lt after 18 months. Are you sure the individual with 142 Sqn and the G.A. Rich who joined RAF Benson in Apr 43 are the same person?
    Per Speculationem Impellor ad Intelligendum

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    Default Re: Sgt (later P/O) Graham Alan “Taffy” Rich Careern WWII & 1950’s

    Quote Originally Posted by Andy Fletcher View Post
    I'm assuming your man was a Sgt when he joined 142 Sqn. During war time NCO and officer aircrew were on time promotion. A Sgt would be promoted to Flt Sgt after 12 months and Wt Off after another 12. As a previous NCO after commissioning to Plt Off he would be promoted to Flg Off after 6 months and Flt Lt after 18 months. Are you sure the individual with 142 Sqn and the G.A. Rich who joined RAF Benson in Apr 43 are the same person?
    Andy is right the Sgt Rich on 142 Squadron was James Augustus RICH 741105 DFM RAFVR. He was posted to CFS wef 27/09/41. He was killed on 06/11/41.
    This is confirmed with service number in the ORB

    Chris

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