Help with handwriting on RAF service record

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Shelley Vaisey, May 7, 2022.

  1. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member


    Aircraftsman 2nd Class awarded on enrollment
    Aicraftsman 1st class awarded unknown date

    Airchargehand/Radar Operator on entry (eg Trade Group V - least pay, least skill ACH but intended to be trained in Radar Operator Skills)
    re-trade as Radar Operator on completing training (at finish of course RAF Yatesbury)

    Attested form filled in No.2 Recruit Centre, Cardington then sent back to civi life with lapel badge until space on training opens up
    Return to No.2 RC - sign attestation, service number assigned, kitting, medicals, confirmation of suitability for trade selection, shown how to move in a military manner etc
    Radio School posting probably what was to be shortly renamed No.2 Radio School RAF Yatesbury 5/11/40
    9 Radio School formerly 2 Radio School, Yatesbury (UK) | The National Archives
    At this unit he is now officially transferred to the RAF Home establishment strength - Reason H
    Passes out qualified from Yatesbury 21/23 Nov
    Posted to No.5 Bombing and Gunnery School on Isle of Man - Headquarters Holding - Reason HH - so not on establishment strength of unit.
    5 Bombing and Gunnery School, Jurby, Isle of Man; later became 5 Air Observer School... | The National Archives
    This was an accommodation unit providing pay, messing etc for the local AMES - Air Ministry Experimental Station - Radar Unit. So he would have been doing this trade at the AMES station but living at Jurby.
    Ruins Barracks RAF "Scarlett" - Scarlett -
    British Radar Station "Scarlett" - Scarlett -
    10/1/41 paper transfer from RAF Home Establishment to RAF Field Establishment - specifically Far East Command. This was the day his paperwork moved/not specifically him
    He would then have done medical/embarkation leave/rekitting/jabs/ move to typically Liverpool and embarked on troop transport ship to Far East (Singapore)
    11/3/41 having arrived or just about to arrive at Singapore was assigned to Radar Station - again an admin paper unit.
    Most likely he was already paperwork transferred to No.511 AMES and was officially posted to the establishment of this unit when it arrived at Singapore.
    511 Air Ministry Experimental Station (AMES). Formed in the UK and arrived in Singapore... | The National Archives
    Unit moves into Malaya 4/10/41 and estabished at RAF Butterworth
    BUTTERWORTH | The National Archives
    I cannot read the next entry - but as with all his local records from this point it will have been confused by the fighting retreat to Singapore and probably ad hoc RAF formations.
    Finally attached to RIMU Jan 42 before capture. Admin grouping into 1 Depot for paperwork collation.

    106 Personnel Reception Centre at RAF Cosford - special unit set up in vicinity of RAF Hospital to care for the returning far east pow to deal with medical and mental problems, malnutrition etc before being released from service
    106 Personnel Reception Centre, formed at Cosford March 1945 and disbanded August 1945... | The National Archives

    finally 104 Personnel despatch centre at RAF Hedensford for release
    104 Personnel Despatch Centre, Hednesford (PDC UK) | The National Archives

    Last edited: May 8, 2022
    4jonboy, Son of LAC and davidbfpo like this.
  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    The important thing to know about RAF Butterworth in Oct/Nov/Dec 1941 is that it had just been newly constructed and like most of the RAF assets in Malaya was being stocked ready to accept it's flying compliment.

    The pre japanese invasion plan was to address the limitations of Singapore air defence by placing a strong dispersed air asset in distributed aerodromes in Malaya.

    RAF needs for the Battle of Britain then the Desert war had delayed to despatch of more modern types to replace the early Mk Blenheim/Vildebeest and Buffalo in use.

    To prevent congestion on Singapore Island the construction and war equipment stocking of the new aerodromes was to take place before arrival of the new fighters.

    The Japanese invasion struck when these aerodromes were stocked but lacking the air defences giving a materials bonus to the attacking forces if not destroyed/disabled.

    Locally to me in the UK we have the grave of an American ATA pilot who died on 7th Dec 1941 when his Hawker Hurricane crashed on it's ferry flight to Liverpool to be loaded onto the sea transport for Singapore. If the japanese attack was a few months later the aerodromes and Malaya would have had their planned air defences in depth.

    4jonboy likes this.
  3. Amazing,

    Thanks so much Ross.

  4. Son of LAC

    Son of LAC Active Member

    The very faint entry above 106 Personnel Reception Centre at RAF Cosford is W.C.A.D Uxbridge - War Casualty Accounts Department. Does this suggest that at some stage he might have been believed killed?
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2022
  5. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Yes - eventually

    He was part of the commandeered train withdrawal from Butterworth, arrived back at Singapore to be lumped together with other displaced Radar bods, loaded their own gear into the ships at the port to be withdrawn to Java.

    Arrived just as the Japan attacked Java, Moved by foot to the evacuation port but captured after a week or so after Java surrender.

    WACD as he was missing then presumed dead but eventually was named as PoW on Burma Railway.

    Since these posts I've gone a bit more indepth to this service record as it struck an interest chord with me

  6. Vaisey-Ashford-Stanley

    This is what I eventually put together with all the help from this forum and the FEPOW group

    your update is fascinating Ross thanks.
    4jonboy likes this.

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