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Thread: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

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    Default AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    Hello All,
    Another little puzzle.
    According to AIR 81/757 619074 AC2 R J Jones was on board 226 Sqn Fairy Battle I K9176 when it crash-landed at Chagny, France, on 23 May 1940. I have to assume (from his rank) he was the Air Gunner. He became POW. He was at Stalag Luft L1 at Barth Vogelsang, POW #13105.
    If you search FMP for 619074 you will get five lists. On each one of those lists his rank is given as Warrant Officer. Was this data copied from the Camp records at the time of his release (which was 5 years after his incarceration!)? I am aware that most non-Commissioned aircrew were given NCO rank during WW2, and that where any future promotion might have been on a time basis their UK records could/would/might have been updated. But how did these changes get to the POW camp? I doubt if there were PORs at the end of any Camp SRO???
    And if you can answer that then you must be able to find his Forenames! He might have Enlisted in the latter half of 1938? There are a lot of ĎR J Jonesí in FREEBMD for 1920, and the problem, in AIR 78, is immense. Can anybody help?
    TIA
    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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    Default Re: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    Hi Peter,

    Iíve seen many Aussie promoted after being captured, but I donít think any as a NCO were promoted to an Officer as a POW, which would have them sent to a Oflag, but Iím happy to be corrected this.

    John.

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    Resmoroh (30th March 2021)

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    Default Re: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    Hi Peter,

    It seems that your man is Ronald James Jones, per WO 416/202/30

    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ls/r/C17007077

    Hope this helps,

    Jeff

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    Default Re: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    Jeff,
    Mni tks for those Forenames. Does look like the right bloke.
    But WO 416/202/30 throws up yet more problems. It gives his DoC as 27 May 1940, and his rank as Sgt.
    AIR 81/757 gives the crash date as 23 May 1940. CWGC has DoD (NKG) for Sgt Alexander Livingston (Pilot?) as 22 May 1940. DoC for Sgt Annan (Nav/WOP?) as 20 May 1940. So if Sgt Annan was captured 20 May 1940, was our man evading – or on the run – for a week? And how come he takes off as an AC2, but walks away from the crash as a Sgt?
    It don’t compute! Now I have no axe to grind one way or another (except logic/reasoned-argument), but what I (and others) am now entering into the ETO POW s/sheet may form the basis of somebody’s future research. I would just like to get it as accurate as possible!
    Tks yr help!
    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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    Default Re: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    Hi Peter,

    Yes, I also noticed that, but short of consulting the AIR 81 file and liberation questionnaires (WO 344/167/1 (Jones), WO 344/8/1 (Annan)) themselves, it's hard to say. AVSN has them as bailing out, so it is plausible that Annan may have gone straight 'in the bag' and Jones evaded for some days.
    226 Sqn ORB at AIR 27/1406/8 gives
    Sgt Annan - Pilot
    Sgt Livingston - AG
    AC Jones - WO (Note: Not AC2, just to add to the confusion!)
    (Image 6)
    https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...mageViewerLink
    The date is rather unclear from the ORB, I make it the night of 21/22 May 40.

    Assuming the DoB in WO 416/202/30 is correct, there is Ronald J Jones, born March quarter 1918, MMS Vekins
    https://www.freebmd.org.uk/cgi/infor...5278480&scan=1

    Best I can do from here!

    Jeff

    Edit: Ding! Like that, a dim bulb has lit up. Is there any chance that somehow, his trade (WO, i.e. Wireless Operator), has become confused with the rank (WO, i.e. Warrant Officer?)
    Last edited by RecklessRat; 30th March 2021 at 12:04.

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    Default Re: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    Hello All,
    Mojmir has just emailed me with a bit of the ORB confirming Jones WAS the WOP on this mission. So if he was the WOP then he must have passed the WOP's course well enough to be aircrew? So the "AC Jones" on the ORB should, possibly, have been "LAC Jones"? - i.e. a typo? Or, did the 226 Sqn Scribe routinely label all AC2/AC1/LAC as 'AC'?
    That just leaves the dates all over the place! But they might just be failing memories from 5 yrs in the cage?
    And, just in case you all think we have got this one cracked, there are lots more!!! LOL!!!
    Good fun here?
    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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    Default Re: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    57 Squadron operating Blenheims in France in 1940 regularly identified its Aircraftmen 2nd and 1st class simply as AC in the F541's and associated personnel listings, they always distinguished an LAC however.
    Just in case it helps
    PeteS

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    Resmoroh (30th March 2021)

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    Default Re: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    A coincidental date - here is an excerpt from an RAF Historical Society Journal - written by Wg Cdr Jefford

    https://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/documen...Journal-50.pdf


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    Default Re: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    Quote Originally Posted by John Williams View Post
    Hi Peter,

    Iíve seen many Aussie promoted after being captured, but I donít think any as a NCO were promoted to an Officer as a POW, which would have them sent to a Oflag, but Iím happy to be corrected this.

    John.
    Hi John,

    415285 F/Sgt Peter Angus Thomson of Moora WA, the pilot of Lancaster LL828 (No. 622 Sqn), was captured on ops to Stuttgart. He wasn't aware he had been commissioned so was sent to Stalag Luft VII, Bankau, an NCO camp as Camp Leader. Thomson stayed with the camp and did the march to Stalag IIIA Luckenwalde.

    Photograph of Thomson and other POWs: https://sites.google.com/site/wardia...oomey/addendum

    Cheers,

    Dave

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    Default Re: AC2 To W/O Promotion Whilst POW - Help Please

    Hi Dave,

    Thanks for the information, I looked him up in a book called ĎWinglessí by Tom Roberts which lists all Aussie POWs. His was a good story after being attack by both Flak and a night fighter, he bailed out and sprained his ankle. He received help from the local French people, but was arrested when the farmhouse was raided and as he was in civilian clothes was accused of being a spy. He was sent to Gestapo HQ in the Avenue Foch in Paris, where Iím sure he was given a difficult time in the hands of the Gestapo. After two weeks he was then sent to Dulag Luft at Frankfurt, then on Bankau.

    Cheers,

    John.

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