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Thread: Interpreting Service Record Card

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    Default Interpreting Service Record Card

    Hi

    Hoping someone can shed light on the gaps in a service record card.

    On 15.8.41 my relative was enlisted and then put in the Reserve, so is it correct that he only joins the service when he is transferred to 3RC in late Nov 41? That would figure with his 19 month gratuity he was entitled to on death in service June 1943.

    Does anyone know which was 3 RC and 9 RC?


    I can kind of see his progress into bomber command once he goes to ACRC in June 42, 14 ITW July and 1 AAS in August then to 29 OTU then 1660 and 1654 conversion units and finally 44 squadron.

    What puzzles me is the long lead up to this from Nov 41, and especially a posting to Wittering which seems associated with fighter planes.

    I believe Bomber Command was a volunteer only posting. Is it likely that earlier moves were part of general induction training before airmen made a choice?

    I am also puzzled as to why he was enlisted age 20. He may have been in a reserved occupation beforehand, but is it possible that term would be used for someone transferring from other arms of the military?

    Many thanks in anticipation

    Andy

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    Default Re: Interpreting Service Record Card

    Hi Andy
    All wartime RAF recruits were in the reserve (RAFVR) (RAF Volunteer Reserve).
    Sometimes people were offered the choice of joining immediately (as a lowly airman) to do menial tasks on a station or just remaining as a civvy (with a VR badge) until a training place materialised.
    Sometimes there were long waiting times to be allocated a place in the training pipeline/sausage machine.
    Bomber Command was not volunteer only - other than the fact that all aircrew were 'volunteers' to join the RAF,once in the training pipeline the u/t aircrew were placed either where the RAF thought they were the most suited or perhaps more importantly - where they were required to fill squadron vacancies/requirements.
    Wittering might have been a 'holding posting' - in the RAF when awaiting the next training course - all service personnel had to be posted 'somewhere' and be on the 'books' of a station or unit,so if there was a (say) 3 month wait for a place on the next required course/training then the serviceman would be posted wherever the RAF decided to post them,it would not matter which command the station/unit was part of.Once a training/course place became available then the serviceman would be posted to that course.

    rgds baz
    Last edited by bvs; 11th October 2022 at 21:07.

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    Default Re: Interpreting Service Record Card

    Many thanks Baz for taking the time to advise this Rooky!

    I think the only mystery is how he came to be delayed joining the armed forces till age20.

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    Default Re: Interpreting Service Record Card

    Hi Andy
    There was no shortage of volunteers for aircrew duties and sometimes there were long waiting times as the training pipeline could only cope with a finite number of airmen.
    Once the various commonwealth and overseas training establishments (ie Canada,USA,Southern Africa) got up to speed there was a far greater capacity available for training.
    Training in britain was restricted by various factors inc the geographical size of the country,weather and possibility of enemy action.
    Of course there may be other factors causing delays but I have read many autobiographies by WW2 pilots and many of them chafed at the delay getting into the training system.

    rgds baz

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    Default Re: Interpreting Service Record Card

    Thanks again Baz. Really appreciate you taking time to respond

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    Default Re: Interpreting Service Record Card

    Andy. My father received his wings, December 1941. He went overseas to England, January 1942. He was “very pleased” to learn that he went to No. 4 FIS Cambridge that was surely “Fighter Instruction School”. He was very disappointed to learn that it was actually “Flying Instruction School and he ultimately went to No. 14 EFTS at Fairoaks. He moldered away there, frightfully bored for almost 3 years although his spirits were sometimes bouyed by some of the fine individuals he served with. During his leaves, he would go to London to the RCAF Overseas office, so see if there was anything they could do. Eventually, he was able to get transferred to No. 3 AFU, South Cerney and Bibury and then to various training units in Bomber Command.

    Jim
    Last edited by JDCAVE; 22nd October 2022 at 20:06.

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    Default Re: Interpreting Service Record Card

    What young men want, old men fear. I managed to contact a second cousin who provided a transcript of a short diary

    I had a chance to stay at Manby & have another course & be an instructor but I couldn’t stick the Lectures & I want to get on Ops

    I winced at that because I knew he was dead within 9 months

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    Default Re: Interpreting Service Record Card

    Jim,
    FIS = Flying Instructors' School, not Flying Instruction School.

  9. The Following User Says Thank You to David Duxbury For This Useful Post:

    JDCAVE (2nd November 2022)

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    Default Re: Interpreting Service Record Card

    Quote Originally Posted by David Duxbury View Post
    Jim,
    FIS = Flying Instructors' School, not Flying Instruction School.
    Roger that! Sloppy on my part!

    Jim

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