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Thread: HQ (u) 224 group

  1. #1
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    Default HQ (u) 224 group

    Hello,

    I have recently got my grandfathers war records for the RAF. He was a temporary Sargent ground crew, I have been trying to read what has been sent to me. At one stage he is working with 615 squadron in January 1943 and then seems to get sent to HQ (u) 224 group. Does anyone know if this would be the main airfield for the 224 group? would this be Chittagong?

    Many thanks for your time and help
    Thanks
    Conrad

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    Default Re: HQ (u) 224 group

    It would seem that it was...a number of squadrons operated out of there. T

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    Default Re: HQ (u) 224 group

    As you might expect, given the difficulties in India, Burma, and etc of the early 1942 period and later, 1944 eg.
    So 224 Group had a quite varied history in the Combined Burma India (CBI) theatre - 224 Group HQ was certainly at Chittagong from July 1944.

    Back in July 1943, however, just 2 Squadrons were based there: both Hurricane units.
    As time passed and threats/priorities changed, a great many Squadrons were based at Chittagong for various periods.
    You might like to visit member Malcom Barrass' fine Air of Authority site, www.rafweb.org, which has much to offer both passing browsers and registered members.

    For example, you'll find a potted history of No 615 (County of Surrey) Squadron RAuxAF here:
    http://www.rafweb.org/Squadrons/Sqn611-620.htm
    and here
    http://www.rafweb.org/Squadrons/Sqn%...SqnMark615.htm
    and here
    http://www.rafweb.org/Squadrons/COs/...0-1435.htm#175

    These pages are in the free part of the site, a very useful source.
    To access deeper details, you need to register and pay a modest subscription to log in to the members area:
    see http://www.rafweb.org/Members%20Pages/Register_Me.htm.
    Then you'd be able to see eg a listing of some 615 Sqn personnel etc (not down to Sgt level), and of 224 Group movements in some detail.

    UK National Archives, in response to the COVID pandemic, made digitised images of all Squadron Operations Record Books free to view.
    These are all held in the AIR 27 Class and can be see either as watermarked copies or, on registering your email address, free to download from the same page.

    I suggest that mentions of any one individual groundcrew NCO are likely to be few indeed in any Operations Record Book: posting in or out possibly, or some other special event: injury & hospitalisation eg.
    Further, Squadron records are as prone to omission, loss and error as any other war-time record.

    However, here as an example are some sets for 615 Squadron from 1943 that will tell you what they were doing and where:
    AIR 27/2123 54 etc parts https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...e/r/h/D8416917
    Among these, the Summary of Events (Form 540) give an overview by day/month, the Records Of Events (Form 541) listing operations by day by a/craft & crew etc.
    AIR 27/2125 Appendices https://discovery.nationalarchives.g...ils/r/C2504765

    There will also be a set of Operations Record Books kept for 224 Group but these, in AIR 29, have not been digitised and would require personal visit to access. Mentions of individual NCOs unlikely, unless the Group filed Personnel Occurence Reports in their Appendices -

    Of course wikipedia has some potted history of 615 Sqn and 224 Group.

    Though many many war-time Sqn and other Assns have wound up in recent years, Frank Haslam still keeps his RAFRA (RAF Register of Associations online,
    here http://www.associations.rafinfo.org.uk/squadron.htm
    that for 615 Sqn Assn was last listed as of 2004...and none listed for 224 Group.

    Perhaps you'll forgive me pointing out that your grandfather's rank in the RAF was Sergeant, not "Sargent". the complexities of Temp and other variations in Rank are another issue!
    Some other member, Ross/RAFCommands eg, may assist with the (u) signifier. And other members may be able to suggest other avenues for research.
    Last edited by Don Clark; 24th October 2023 at 03:53.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: HQ (u) 224 group

    Hi Conrad

    HQ (u) = HQ (Unit) meaning he was on the strength of the Group HQ, probably whilst awaiting a posting to another unit within the Group.

    Temporary is different to Acting, an acting rank was given whilst the airman was carrying out specific duties and could be relinquished at any time, whilst a temporary rank once made remained 'substantive' until war-time 'temporary' establishments were abolished after the war.

    Malcolm

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    Default Re: HQ (u) 224 group

    I see Conrad's post is dated 10 Aug 2022 and that he's not logged into the Board since Aug 11 that year, from his profile.

    He did however list an email address, if anyone wished to contact him direct.
    Toujours propos

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    Default Re: HQ (u) 224 group

    With respect to the word Temporary (as in malcolm's post above), this generally indicated wartime rank only, as opposed to Peacetime, and pretty well ALL personnel serving in wartime (or times of other declared emergencies) were often serving under quite different rules from "normal" peacetime conditions, including continuous service, introduction of longer working hours as required, and cancelleation of most of the normal peacetime privileges. This also would include changes in rank structures and designations, including accelerated promotions in certain cases (particualrly in the flying trades), and much use of "Acting" rank. Officers were all transferred to Wartime seniority commissions, and Territorials (Auxiliary personnel) were orderd to serve under conditions of continuous service. Generally everybody would be designated as "Temporary", in rank and conditions of service, and when the war (or any other emergency) was declared as "over", there would be a reversion to peacetime "normal" rank or classification, with most perssonel having to drop in rank to fit the new peacetime establishment, and more permanent (and hopefully predictable) conditions of service, including rank or classification would be introduced. This tiny essay is a very crude and inadequate introduction to this interesting topic, but a browse through a peacetime and a wartime KR&ACI (King's Regulation & Air Council Instructions), or even a copy of one of the prewar or wartime RAF Pocket Books (AP 957 I think) might be useful.

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