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Thread: Form 543 RAF Service Records - Abbreviations

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    Default Form 543 RAF Service Records - Abbreviations

    Please could someone tell me what the following abbreviations stand for and where the unit was based. They are from the RAF service records of a former Halifax Bomb Aimer. All of the abbreviations are while he was under training in Canada. Thank you.

    (6 Apr 1943 Embarked for Canada)

    13 Apr 1943 31 DD or could be 3 IDD
    15 May 1943 AWS or could be ANS
    12 Aug 1943 1 "M" Depot
    31 Oct 1943 5 SFTS or could be 55 FTS
    11 Dec 1943 1 BGS
    27 Mar 1943 4 AUS or could be AOS
    9 May 1944 31 PD or could be 3 IPD
    15 Jun 1944 H.E.

    (16 Jun 1944 Embarked for UK)

  2. #2
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Norman

    31 PD (or PDC) was at Moncton

    1 "M" Depot, Halifax, Nova Scotia

    No. 1 BGS (Bombing and Gunnery School) Jarvis, Ontario

    No. 4 AOS (Air Observer School) London, Ontario

    No. 5 Service Flying Training School, Brantford

    Air Navigation School - there were more than one unless it is CNS (Central Navigation School, Rivers, Manitoba). Is there a number?

    H.E = Home Establishment

    Hope this helps

    Cheers

    Eddie

    Eddie

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    Thanks Eddie. There is no number for the ANS. What was the H.E. Home Establishment ?

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    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Norman

    Home Establishment was basically when they were no longer 'part of' the RCAF (I believe). I'm sure somebody will have a more accurate description

    The Air Navigation Schools were at

    No. 2 at Pennfield Ridge NB (moved to Charlottetown PEI 2/44)
    No. 31 at Port Albert, Ontario
    No. 32 at Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
    No. 33 at Mount Hope, Ontario

    in case any of those location feature in the record

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    The troop ships left from Pier 21, Halifax, Nova Scotia bound for England but that doesn't tie in with your man's dates embarkation date.

    M depot for muster ???

    Anne

  6. #6
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Anne

    There were a number of these depots at various places to hold those arriving and departing (that's as technical as I get)

    No. 1 "Y" Depot Halifax, Lachine and Moncton
    No. 1 "M" Depot Halifax
    No. 2 "Y" Depot Moncton (for a period in 1942)
    No. 3 "Y" Depot Debert also for a period in 1942.

    Most seemed to go through No. 1 "Y" Depot at Halifax but I'm sure one of our Canadian colleagues can better explain the system

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    I think Home Establishment was used early in the war to refer to the RCAF operational units within Canada, with Eastern Air Command and Western Air Command. This included some OTUs. I have also seen it identified as HWE (Home War Establishment). Later in the war the same group of units was the WHO (Western Hemisphere Organization).

    Another thought: prior to July 1941 No. 1 ANS at Trenton was the only RCAF ANS (not including the RAF ANS's), and they sometimes refered to themselves as "the ANS", even after No. 2 was formed.
    Last edited by Bill Walker; 7th October 2008 at 21:45.

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    Norman,

    12 Aug 1943 1 "M" Depot
    On this date would not have been Halifax (long since designated 1 "Y" Depot), but may refer to No.1 Manning Depot at Toronto.

    Eddie,

    "No. 1 "Y" Depot Halifax, Lachine and Moncton
    No. 2 "Y" Depot Moncton (for a period in 1942)
    No. 3 "Y" Depot Debert also for a period in 1942."

    Halifax became No.1 "Y" Depot in August 1941 (previously at Debert) and appears to have remained so until at least 1944. Moncton and Debert look to have been used from time to time to take the overflow from Halifax. Lachine appears to have become part of or a sub-unit of No.1 "Y" Depot c.early 1944.

    Any of our Canadian lads care to elaborate further?

    Errol

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    Home Establishment in this case probably refers to the date on which the airman was transferred to the establishment of a holding unit in the UK and removed from the establishment of his previous unit prior to his embarkation. In other words responsibility for his food, pay and allowances becomes a UK one.

    Malcolm Barrass

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    Malcolm is correct, I believe.

    Home Establishment actually dates back to the days of WWI. Often seen in relation to postings of those moving from France back to England.

    Errol

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