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Thread: F/O B.P.Bidstrup RAAF (A.416536)

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    Default F/O B.P.Bidstrup RAAF (A.416536)

    Hello,

    I am hoping someone on this forum may have information relating to the operational service of Brian Percival Bidstrup. Late last year I was in contact with Bidstrup's surviving family who knew nothing of their late father's wartime flying and do not have any records of service. National Archives Australia website shows no record for this pilot. The AWM has one photo in their collection search (id number SUK12309) of F/O Bidstrup with other RAAF aircrew & a Hurricane taken at East Bengal 1943. The other pilots in the picture all served with 79 Sqn RAF. Presumably this was at least one unit Bidstrup served with or perhaps the photo of aircrew was taken at Armarda Road? His AWM service card has a final rank of F/Lt and a postwar service number of O4723. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    regards, Drew H

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    Drew,

    Let me know if you need any legwork done in Canberra.

    Adrian
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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    Drew,

    You and/or the family should still be able to request a copy of his service record through National Archives even though it does not come up on record search (post-WW2 ones do not usually show here).

    A few years ago I obtained a copy of the record (100+ sheets) of a New Zealander who served with the RAAF postwar from 1949 until killed in a flying accident in 1967.
    I wrote direct to NA but from memory had to wait a few months for the record to be accessed and cleared for copying.

    Errol

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    Hello Drew,

    Welcome.

    I have just checked the NAA; A12372 Series (RAAF Personnel Files - All Ranks [Post-War]).
    Afraid there is no mention of Bidstrup in this series, there should be, but there ain't ! The service numbers jump from A4707 to O4729, thus O4723 missing.

    The A12372 Series consists of RAAF Personnel Files - All Ranks. Post World War II service men and women (All ranks are represented).

    Where the service person served in World War II and then continued to serve in the Post-World War II period, the records of War Service are top numbered into the later file ie O4723.

    Bidstrup's Post-War number indicates an Officer who enlisted or commenced their services from South Australia or the Northern Territory.

    So:-

    O (Not zero) = Officer.
    4 = Place of enlistment or commencement of service (In this case, SA or the NT).
    723 = his running number.

    Take Errol's advice and contact the NAA, they have many hidden delights ! I suggest you contact, Laura Shannon, who is the Inquiries Officer in the Canberra Office. Her E-mail address is: ref@naa.gov.au

    Over the years, like you, I have had no success locating Bidstrup's files, finally putting it in the too-hard basket.

    Let the Board know how you get on.

    Best of luck,
    Col.

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    Thanks Adrian, Col and Errol. The info about postwar serial numbers is particularly useful. Iíll try Colís contact in Canberra and see what can be turned up. Adrian, I have sent you a pm.

    Drew

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    Drew,

    You will notice on Bidstrup's Service Record (Nominal Roll), at the AWM., that his posting at discharge was - 1 Air Support Unit.

    1 ASU., was basically a wireless unit. There is an ORB for this unit ( NAA: A9186 281), it consists only of 10pp. There is no mention of Bidstrup. A useful summary of 1 ASU., can be found here:- http://home.st.net.au/~pdunn/raaf/no1airsupportunit.htm

    I must admit, that I have had lingering doubts as to whether Bidstrup was an airman at all !
    I have checked many training unit ORBs., particularly around the time of his enlistment, and his name has never cropped up. Can you, in fact, inform me if Bidstrup was a pilot ?

    Keep us informed,
    Regards,
    Col.
    Last edited by COL BRUGGY; 7th January 2009 at 00:25.

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    Col,

    I hadnít thought of checking the 1 ASU documents. A handy tip!

    The family only ever recall mention of their father flying Tiger Moths. That could have been as pilot or passenger! It is possible Bidstrup was ground or support staff, my initial thoughts were actually a flying instructor. Unfortunately, no pilotís wings are visible in the AWM picture. However, 79 Sqn RAF did have a high quota of RAAF aircrew during 1943.

    Drew

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    The WWII nominal roll confirms South Australia as an enlistment point:

    Enlisted 21 Jul 41 in Adelaide, South Australia, with a listed locality of Wallaroo, South Australia.

    The rest of details you seem to have.

    Adrian
    Interests include Spitfires in Malta 1942 and 460 Sqdn 1943-44 (including Black Thursday)

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    Hi Adrian,

    Thanks. Already had Nom. Roll data. That is where I first encountered Bidstrup !

    Bit of an 'Invisible Man', our Mr.B

    Col.

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    Col, Errol & Adrian

    It has taken a while, however, Bidstrupís file has now been digitised and can be viewed at the National Archives Australia website
    http://naa12.naa.gov.au/scripts/ResearcherScreen.asp

    Either type Bidrup (not Bidstrup) or O4723 into keyword search. The file confirms he was a pilot with 79 Sqn RAF from around Sept 1943 until Sept 44. It also suggests a brief posting to 5 Sqn RAF & 31 Sqn RAF for possibly training duties.

    Regards, Drew

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