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Thread: taken on charge (toc)?

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    Default taken on charge (toc)?

    Can anyone explain the terms--’Taken on charge’ and ‘struck off charge’.
    I’ve assumed it means when an items responsibility is accepted or discharged, I.e when accepting a new aircraft or revoking responsibility for it.
    Thanks for your time.
    Paul H.

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    Taken on charge usually refers to a unit. For example, a Lancaster might serve with two Squadrons before ending its days at a training unit. The ToC would be the date it was taken on by each respective unit.

    The Struck Off Charge date refers to the final date the aircraft was taken off the RAF's books. This usually meant that the aircraft had crashed or was lost, so taken off the list of aircraft on strength with the RAF, or that the aircraft was surplus to requirements and taken off charge. In many cases this would result in scrapping, but equally could mean an aircraft sold to another country, an individual or even an aircraft allocated for museum use.

    Likewise, aircraft lost in combat, and therefore SoC, have of course been recovered in recent years and rebuilt to fly
    Last edited by Unverified 9395; 6th December 2010 at 13:26.

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    there was an analogy in RCAF Personal records - TOS - Taken on Stength and SOS- Struck off Stength - when an airman was posted in/out particular unit
    Last edited by CZ_RAF; 6th December 2010 at 13:47. Reason: typo
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
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    Paul, your assumption is basically correct. This is accounting terminology, and refers to when an organization becomes responsible, or gives up responsibility, for the aircraft. It may, or may not, indicate an actual move of the aircraft. The first TOC in military records usually indicates the transfer of the aircraft from the manufacturer or seller to the military in question. The last SOC can mean the aircraft is no longer treated as aircraft, even though it may still exist. It may have become so many pounds of scrap metal, and was no longer stored, maintained, and recorded as an aircraft.

    TOC/SOC also allows a unit to realistically report its actual strength. I have found many cases of a damaged aircraft being SOC by an operational unit and transferred to a repair unit, without the aircraft ever moving. This allows the operational unit to show on the books that it is "down one", and is therefore entitled to request a replacement.

    I have also found several instances of aircraft being loaned between units or otherwise moved in advance of the paperwork, resulting in delays of several days or weeks in the formal transfer of ownership. In Canada the paperwork often preceeded the aircraft movement by several days, particularly when aircraft were taken out of storage at a maintenance facilty. You need to be aware of this if you are trying to understand the actual location of the aircraft, or who is really using it, on any given date, based on TOC/SOC dates.

    RCAF records seem to use the terms TOC and TOS (taken on strength) interchangeably. In comparing RAF and RCAF records for aircraft transferred between the two services, there are often overlaps (aircraft on charge with both) or gaps (aircraft struck off by one but not yet taken on by the other) of up to weeks. Today things like that make lawyers rich.

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    In the RAF that I was in Every Thing and Every Body had to be somewhere. I did not matter if it was an aircraft, or a pair of boots, or an Erk! If the RAF did not sign for the aircraft as having Taken it On Charge then, technically, the manufacturer did not get paid for making it until he could prove the RAF actually had possession of it! The guy in Stores would have, say 10 prs of boots. You get issued with a pair of boots - which you sign for. You are then responsible for those boots - and the bloke in Stores can prove he should only have 9 prs left. Same with your Erk! If you were not Taken On Strength at the New Station (or Taken Off Strength at the Old Station) then you did not get paid or get any meals. That is all a bit simplistic. But the RAF worked very much in accordance with the first sentence above! And still does as far as I know!!!!!!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Peter, the RCAF operated exactly the same way. If you were supposed to have 10 airplanes (or typewriters, or officers, or boots) and you actually had 9, or 11, you were in trouble. "Writing off" was a formal process of admitting and recording that an object no longer physically existed in a useful form, and therefore didn't need to be in anyone's possession.

    The TOS/SOS of individuals in Canadian records can cause some confusion. Given the size of the country, and the speed of trains back then, it was very common for an individual to be in transit for several days or even a week or two between units. In order to be legally travelling about, and to get paid and fed, the individual would be put on the books of a manning depot for this period, even if he never came within a thousand miles of the depot. This can confuse people looking at their grandfather's records today, which appear to show he was (for example) SOS in Alberta, TOS in New Brunswick for 3 days, and then SOS there and TOS in Saksatchewan. In fact, the person was only travelling from Alberta to next door Saskatchewan, and using a few days of leave along the way.

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    Thank you gentlemen for your response. I had been looking at a list of DH Dominies that included some shown in my fathers log book( at 4 radio school undertaking w/op training )-thus the query. Another one to file away in the grey matter.
    My thanks
    Paul H
    Last edited by paulh; 6th December 2010 at 22:27. Reason: miss-spelling of dominies

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