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Thread: Bletchley Park Meteorology

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    Default Bletchley Park Meteorology

    Dear All,
    In this I am calling in all the favours on the Forum that I don’t really have! I’m sorry if it’s a bit long-winded (but that’s me!) and the plot is complex!
    On 6 Feb 2010 the UK Daily Telegraph published the Obit of Peter Calvocoressi who had died on 5 Feb 2010. He was described as being the Head of Air Intelligence at Bletchley Park. As far as I can see (from the LG) he never rose above the rank of Fg Off RAFVR. In that Obit was a photograph purporting to show Calvocoressi (front row, far left) and 16 other members of the Air Int Sect at Bletchley. If true this must be a fairly rare photo? 14 of the figures in the photo are in RAF No1 Uniform. Many have their arms behind their backs (thus hiding any sleeve rank badges). It is noticeable that of the RAF uniformed members there is not one flying brevet visible (but this might have been removed by any possible Censor?). There are three possible single medal ribbons (back row second from right, front row fourth from right, and front row third from left). There are several Flt Lts, and one (possible) Sqn Ldr (centre of the three seated figures?).
    There are two apparently USAAF Officers (again, no flying brevets visible). And one character (back row fourth from left) in a grubby mackintosh. Was he the dreaded “Bletchley Flasher” – or did that mac hide a uniform (if so, what was it?).
    If Calvocoressi was, indeed , Head of Air Int, then how come there are rank superiors in the photograph?
    As you may know, I am chasing the career (amongst others) of a John Bedford Leno (Fg Off RAFVR (73974)). (There is a Zombie thread on this some time back). He received an MiD in the Birthday Honours 1945 but with the (LG) annotation “Missing”. I don’t believe he was. There are two others in the same MiD list with “Missing” annotations (Vinall (RAFVR, 169518) and McFee (RAFVR, 187266)). McFee was in PoW cage in Germany (according to Ross’s list). Leno gets his “Missing” annotation formally removed on 3 Jan 47 (LG). No mention (in the LG, as far as I can see) of Vinall having that “Missing” annotation removed.
    So far, so good. Now comes the difficult part!
    Who does that photograph in the DT belong to – and where did it come from? It is clearly annotated with names – else how did the DT discover that the image (far left) was of Calvocoressi?
    So I email Bletchley Park. No response (not unusual – I’ve not had a response from them to (now) 4 emails stretching back over 4 years).
    I email the Daily Telegraph. No response – even though I am one of their fee-paying customers.
    I try to disembrangle the complexities of the IWM Foto Library (in case it was one of theirs). No go there either!
    First Question to The Experts. Do many of these organisations routinely ignore emails from us hoi poloi, and only respond (by email!!) to snail-mail letters? It reduces, to them, the amount of incoming mail!!!!
    Second Question (and more important!), what do I do now? I can’t go and hammer on the doors of Bletchley (or the Obit Dept of the DT) – ‘cos I’m a KOS.
    I would, in all sincerity, appreciate your words of wisdom on how I should proceed with this one. And – if anyone has the time, patience, and effort – can they check what I have found is true. Or, at least close enough for Govt work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    TIA
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 12th February 2010 at 17:00.
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi Peter

    streth you like a challenge, don't you?

    Anyway, a few snippets for you.

    1) Calvocoressi did become head of Hut 3A when his predecessor E J N Rose was promoted to the Air Ministry in 1944 (source: Codebreakers: The Inside Story of Bletchley Park by Hinsley & Stripp)

    2) Though the LG states F/Lt other sources keep referring to hom being W/C. I haven't found confirmation

    3) Two Americans who were seconded to 3A were Landis Gore and Bob Slusser. Gore became a famous architect after the war. And he wrote a book of his time at Bletchley - "Ultra: I was There". From the picture of Landis on wiki I would say that he is the American on the left.

    4) Calvocoressi wrote abook in the early 80s about Bletchly called "Top Secret Ulta"

    5) One of his books was a set text for my A level politics - and I was at a college conference where he spoke :)

    A
    Last edited by Amrit; 12th February 2010 at 17:45. Reason: typo in name
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Amrit,
    I thought you might have been one of the first to "take the bait"!!!
    However, your words of wisdom make sense. Our Calvocoresii was, from your observations, a Substantive Fg Off - but A/Flt Lt, A/Sqn Ldr, and A/Wg Cdr- none of which were in the LG!
    One problem solved! It's good to have Experts on tap!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Yrs Aye
    Peter
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    He is referred to as W/C in some docs held at TNA:

    http://yourarchives.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php?title=FO_371/51073

    A
    RAF Armoured Car Companies 1920-45 http://www.rafacciraq.com/

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    Hi Peter

    You are correct in your current assumption in that only substantive promotions are shown in the London Gazette and the Air Force Lists, so there would be no 'evidence' of his acting promotions in these sources. However, he would wear the uniform, draw the pay (providing he was acting (paid)) and be referred to by his acting rank.

    The same still applies to RAFVR(T) officers, in the AFL they will be listed as either Plt Off or Fg Off but sone these will be Acting Flt Lt (as I was), Acting Sqn Ldrs and Acting Wg Cdrs. On resigning or relinquishing their commissions they would then be given permission to retain their acting rank, providing they hadn't 'blotted their copybook'

    Malcolm

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    Peter, From the LG:
    Air Ministry, October, 1942.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE.
    ADMINISTRATIVE AND SPECIAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    Flg. Offs. to be Flt. Lts. (tempy.):
    1st Sept. 1942.
    P. J. A. CALVOCORESSI (83826)

    Air Ministry, 30th November, 1945.
    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE
    ADMINISTRATIVE AND SPECIAL DUTIES BRANCH.
    The undermtd. are granted the rank of Flt. Lt. (war subs ) :
    Flt. Lts. (temp.):
    P. J. A. CALVOCORESSI (83826). 27th Oct. 1945.

    Air Ministry, 2lst January, 1958.
    EMERGENCY LIST.
    The undermentioned relinquish their commissions under the provisions of the Navy, Army and Air Force Reserves Act, 1954, and have been granted permission to retain their rank, as stated, with effect from the dates stated :
    ROYAL AIR FORCE VOLUNTEER RESERVE,
    Flight Lieutenant P. J. A. CALVOCORESSI (83826), retaining the rank of Wing Commander. 17th Nov. 1957.
    Regards, Terry

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