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Thread: T/F/Sgt AJ Nicholas RNZAF 427032

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    Default T/F/Sgt AJ Nicholas RNZAF 427032

    Firstly, good day to you all.

    I found this forum whilst doing a search on my great uncle Alan Jack Nicholas, who served with 165 Sqn towards the end of the war (Jan.-Oct. 1945) after being with 5 (P)AFU from July '44. This archived thread brought me to you and I was hoping to find out more info about 165 Sqn while he served with them. This archive URL from 2005 is what got me started in this forum.

    http://www.rafcommands.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=7491&forum=DCForumID 6

    I have a Airman's record sheet (active service);
    Certificate of service and discharge of;
    Character and Trade proficiency;
    Movements and Promotions;
    Special quals. and medals.

    I can confirm that he was the same man who was killed post-war during a flying accident in Fiordland, South Island NZ in '65, I have a copied newspaper of his obituary.

    One notable thing that my uncle would do while serving in the RAF (according to the obituary) was, that when King George VI ordered a memorial chapel commemorating the Battle of Britain to be dedicated in Westminster Abbey, my uncle apparently was the model for artist Hugh Easton's "conception of the crucifixion" which was reproduced on one of the stained glass windows on the eastern wall. The painting depicts a sargeant pilot kneeling at the foot of the cross. Below is a further description of the artwork:

    http://www.bbm.org.uk/Abbey-Chapel-window-opt.jpg
    http://www.westminster-abbey.org/__data/assets/thumbnail/0009/36549/Battle-of-Britain-window-key-1.jpg

    If I'm right it's the 2rd row, fourth from the right...

    I was hoping to find out more detail about aircraft he flew whilst with 165 Sqn, aircraft serials, R/T call signs, or aircraft ID letters, any info at all about his flying time with 165 or 5 (P)AFU. I also wanted to see if anyone could confirm if he was part of the Empire Air Training scheme or not, as he was 18 1/2 years at the time of enlistment in the RNZAF.

    If anyone could assist I would be most grateful.
    Last edited by Vige67; 15th May 2010 at 13:45.

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    From my trilogy 'For Your Tomorrow - A record of New Zealanders who have died while serving with the RNZAF and Allied Air Services since 1915 (Volume Three: Biographies & Appendices)':

    Airmen Sailing appendix:

    17 Jun 44 Port Phillip Lyttelton-Liverpool via PC, arr 22 Jul.
    RNZAF for att to RAF: 10 Pilots survived: Bennett, H G; Hounsell, J D; Hunter, O O; Lange, H J; Nicholas, A J; Parker, G M; Pevreal, W J; Priestley, J R; Roderick, L D; Tombs, N W; (10).

    All of these men had graduated as pilots in New Zealand as part of the Empire Air Training Scheme.

    It is not clear from your message if you have obtained a copy of the papers that survive from his RNZAF service record as held by Personnel Archives, New Zealand Defence Force. If not see here for details - http://www.nzdf.mil.nz/personnel-records/nzdf-archives/

    Errol

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    Thanks for the info Errol (and confirming re the Empire Air Training Scheme), I shall follow that up with NZ archives. The info I have has been kept by family for some decades, I am unsure of it's origin.

    Do you think that they might have any info on 165 Sqn RAF specific? I guess I won't know until I ask for it but it would be very handy.

    Cheers

    Geoff
    Last edited by Vige67; 16th May 2010 at 00:08.

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    Geoff,

    PA/NZDF won't be able to help regarding 165 Sqn info.

    There does not appear to be a published history of the squadron, so your best bet is probably the squadron's Operational Record Book (ORB) as held by the National Archives at Kew, London.

    Possibly someone on this forum may already hold a copy of the pages for 1945 and be able to assist.

    Errol

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    Thanks Errol, have made an enquiry at National Archives re this.

    Will buy "Swift to the sky" sometime ; )

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    If this is in the wrong place, or if this falls outside the bounds of this forum, I apologise in advance...

    I received a reply from NA stating "that specific information within this document is not easily identifiable and will require research."

    They have given some further options, I don't mind paying money to search further with their paid search service, but am I missing something out when requesting the information? All I'm trying to find out is squadron specific info on my great uncle - do I have to make the search terms broader?

    The search was in "Air Ministry and successors: Operations Record Book AIR 27/1087" (No 165 Squadron: Operations Record Book ) And I made my search pretty close to the title of this thread, including the dates January - October 1945 when he served with 165.

    Any tips on improving my chances of finding this info would be great appreciated, thanks.

    Geoff

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    Hi
    Your best bet is to get a readers ticket for Kew Records Office which takes about 20mins when you get there (if you have proof of identity) Then you can order these documents...
    AIR 27/1088 No 165 Squadron: Operations Record Book: Appendices
    AIR 27/1087 No 165 Squadron: Operations Record Book.
    They will usually be available to view in about 40 mins.

    They allow you to take a camera and you can photograph as many pages as you need.
    If you are unable to do this maybe you can ask someone who is going up there to do this for you.
    I would offer to do this but may not be up there for a while.

    Cheers
    Motherbird.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vige67 View Post
    If this is in the wrong place, or if this falls outside the bounds of this forum, I apologise in advance...

    I received a reply from NA stating "that specific information within this document is not easily identifiable and will require research."

    They have given some further options, I don't mind paying money to search further with their paid search service, but am I missing something out when requesting the information? All I'm trying to find out is squadron specific info on my great uncle - do I have to make the search terms broader?

    The search was in "Air Ministry and successors: Operations Record Book AIR 27/1087" (No 165 Squadron: Operations Record Book ) And I made my search pretty close to the title of this thread, including the dates January - October 1945 when he served with 165.

    Any tips on improving my chances of finding this info would be great appreciated, thanks.

    Geoff
    Geoff,

    Before shelling out money for a search which, as motherbird has indicated, may not even be needed you may want to look at this thread from March of this year:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?t=7927

    For the £45.00 being asked by TNA (I realize this is a copying estimate only) I would suggest that it is money far better spent on a paid researcher, in the event that you cannot, as I suspect, travel to London from Brisbane.

    At least after you have given a paid researcher the 45 quid you will have something to show for it.

    Regards,

    Dave
    Last edited by alieneyes; 22nd May 2010 at 08:24.

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    Geoff
    You could try this lady researcher who offers airforce research ---
    http://london-archive-searches.com/

    I don't know her present day rates but as you are in Brisbane it might help to have a contact in UK ? I have found her professional & reasonably efficient.

    Anne

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    Thank you Dave for the thread and Anne for the referral, using a researcher definitely sounds like a better idea. Cheers

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