Results 1 to 6 of 6

Thread: Post War Rank Reductions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Posts
    4,675
    Thanks
    131
    Thanked 121 Times in 112 Posts

    Default Post War Rank Reductions

    Hello All,
    Now I appreciate that post-war there is likely to be a reduction in the requirement for military personnel and the ranks of those remaining after the major demobilisations. I had never seen it in print so blatantly until I saw this (copied from the LG):-

    METEOROLOGICAL BRANCH. The undermentioned relinquishes the war substantive rank of Wing Commander, ist Nov. 1947: Squadron Leader (substantive) C. W. G. DAKING (132294). The undermentioned relinquish the temporary rank of Squadron Leader, ist Nov. 1947: Flight Lieutenants (substantive) (war substantive Squadron Leaders). C. P. DRAKE (140001). A. H. GORDON (139104). Flight Lieutenants (substantive). O. M. ASHFORD (142627). R. H. CLEMENTS (142629). L. P. SMITH (140692). S. E. VIRGO (140650).

    I knew several of these guys. Was this sort of thing commonplace throughout the military post-WW2 or have I hit upon a rare example?
    Interested in any comments.
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    642
    Thanks
    8
    Thanked 33 Times in 30 Posts

    Default Re: Post War Rank Reductions

    It was widespread Peter, I followed the careers of a number of war substantive ranked officers and no matter their service rendered so many dropped two ranks and I think I even saw some drop 3 ranks (possibly some held Acting ranks). A number of officers DSO DFC remained in the RAF postwar with lower ranks and transferring to Admin or Control or similar and many took some time to regain their wartime ranks if they ever did.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,915
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 59 Times in 54 Posts

    Default Re: Post War Rank Reductions

    Peter,

    These were all very experienced meteorologists when they were caught up in the blanket mobilisation of Met Office forecasters in 1943. Drake, for instance was the Deputy Command Met Officer at HQ Bomber Command throughout the war; Daking was the Bomber Command Met Officer during the early 1950s, whilst Virgo held the post between 1958 and 1969. Virgo was my boss when I joined the Met Office in 1960 and was the of the nicest men I have ever met. Apologies, I diverge. I'm 99% sure all these men were demobilised in 1947 although probably remaining in the Reserve.

    Brian

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,253
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 28 Times in 28 Posts

    Default Re: Post War Rank Reductions

    Meteorological officers were in an excellent position to transfer to civil aviation at the end of WW2, as were aircrew to an extent (but rather few openings for air gunners and the like.) However Civil aviation was about to undergo its greatest boom ever, with the availability of all the new technology partially or completely proved during the war, and designers racing to design the new civil aircraft required. The war of course had provided quite a large number of new airfields at strategic locations, so there were bound to be a goodly number of openings with the rapidly expanding airlines. The automatic loss of wartime ranks was well announced at the time I think, something similar followed WW1.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Wiltshire
    Posts
    2,915
    Thanks
    7
    Thanked 59 Times in 54 Posts

    Default Re: Post War Rank Reductions

    That came rather later, David. Post-war meteorological support for UK civil and military aviation was provided by the Met Office, something that continued to be the case for a number of years. I recall, but without checking, that it was during the mid-late 1960s that private firms began to test the water - if memory serves correctly they first started in the Middle East, prompted in part by the Met Office being unable to meet the demand because of gradually reducing staff numbers.

    So far as new technology is concerned it wasn't until 1959 that the Met Office received its first computer, a Ferranti Mercury known as Meteor.

    Between 1963 and 1966 I was a very junior member of the branch which produced the monthly forecasts, and we used Meteor for some of our charts. Very slow and cumbersome, data being input using 5-hole punched tape that was forever snapping - which caused more than a little panic as we had to repair the tape and get every run complete within a strict time-frame. It certainly wasn't sophisticated enough to provide support for aviation.

    Brian
    Last edited by Lyffe; 4th June 2023 at 22:16.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    RMAS
    Posts
    1,007
    Thanks
    18
    Thanked 37 Times in 36 Posts

    Default Re: Post War Rank Reductions

    I can't speak for the Met chaps, but my wife's great uncle made Temp Wing Commander (Sqn CO, DFC, etc) during the war, but was forced to relinquish his rank and revert to the substantive rank of Sqn Ldr in Nov 1947. He was also forced to move to the Secretarial Branch in 1949. He never made it back to Wing Commander before he retired in 1966. He was very bitter about it apparently.

Posting Permissions

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