Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Nationalities within RAF units

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Orleans, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,366
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 4 Times in 3 Posts

    Default Nationalities within RAF units

    Wartime Squadron Operational Books usually gave, at the end of each month, a summary of nationalies in the unit. For example, No.56 Squadron reported that as of 1 September 1942 it had 29 pilots of whom two were Norwegian, one USA, three RAAF, and three five RCAF.

    May I ask those who are in possession of ORBs - particularly of units operating in the Italian, Mediterreanean, East African and West African theatres - to provide sampling of such "nationality" breakdowns. It would be interesting to know just how large a proportion of aircrew were "non-RAF" and the degree to which such proportions changed over time. While this is a general query, I would be especially interested in breakdowns within No.73 Squadron (autumn 1944) and No.259 Squadron (1943) but other units will also provide context and content.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Posts
    881
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hugh,
    I'll go thorugh the ones that I have at hand, but I do not think that one can generalise on the ORBs including this kind of information.

    I am sure, that not all that I have in my archive even include a summary of men at the unit, let alone a breakdown on by nationality. I am in fact sitting with the 33 Sqn ORB for Dec 42-Mar 43 in front of me, and this does not include a summary.

    Regards

    Mikkel
    Britain's Victory, Denmark's Freedom. Danish Volunteers in Allied Air Forces During the Second World War
    fb.me/britainsvictorydenmarksfreedom
    danishww2pilots.dk - a resource on Danish aircrew during the Second World War

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,050
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default

    Hugh,
    It seems to have become the practice in RAF units (including Article XV squadrons, which despite their designation WERE RAF units except for general publicity purposes) to discriminate between members of various air forces (that is, NOT by nationalities as such) when compiling the monthy PORs (Personnel Occurrence Reports). PORs were further divided into "Officer" and "Other Airmen" series of course, in the time-honoured fashion. This can sometimes be noticed in ORBs of Article XV squadrons (and presume others which contained non-RAF personnel) by the non-RAF crew members, when mentioned in Form 541s having their service numbers quoted in full [if you are lucky!] or at leasdt an indication of this person's parent service, a privilege NOT extended to the run-of-the-mill RAF members (aplogies for this last expression!) Reason for the lumping together of all members of a given air force was that a copy of this POR could then be signalled to the HQ of that air force which could then update the service records of all its own own members. I presume this was an obligation included in the original EATS agreements.
    David D

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Brisbane
    Posts
    1,327
    Thanks
    22
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts

    Default

    Hi Hugh

    41 Squadron’s 185 World War I pilots (July 1916-December 1918) were made up of men mainly from Britain of course, but also from Ireland, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and the United States. However, I would have to do more work to give you the exact numbers.

    Of the ca. 200 pilots that served with the Squadron between 1 April 1923 (re-formation) and 2 September 1939, two were Irish, four Canadian, six New Zealanders, and the rest British by birth.

    In World War II, things were vastly different, and the Squadron’s 325 World War II pilots comprised of men from Britain (207), Australia (34), Austria (1), Belgium (2), Canada (25), Czechoslovakia (1), France (1), Éire (4), the Netherlands (6), New Zealand (21), Norway (1), Palestine (1), Poland (6), White Russia (1), Rhodesia (1), South Africa (5), Trinidad (3), Uruguay (1), the United States (3), and Zululand (1).

    Looked at in demographic groups, this indicates UK 207 (63.7%), Commonwealth 87 (26.7%), Europe (incl. Éire) 23 (7.1%), Americas (North & Central) 7 (2.2%) and Middle East 1 (0.3%).

    Hope this helps
    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2011
    Location
    Winnipeg Canada
    Posts
    59
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    There was an Icelander in the RAF.
    (IIRC) His father was Icelandic and
    his mother English.He survived the
    war, and post war was an airline
    pilot.
    I can't find the book that he wrote.
    Maybe I loaned it to................

    His shoulder titles/flashes said ICELAND!

    Robert

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Grantham, Lincs
    Posts
    565
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hello Hugh,

    Cannot offer such a comprehensive breakdown as Steve, but a sample for 94 sqdn in Greece Nov 1944 as follows,

    UK (16), Australian (2), Canadian (3), South African (3), New Zealand (1), Rhodesian (1) and Palestinian (1)

    Ian

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •