17 afu raf ww2

Discussion in 'Australian' started by Bomb Disposal58, Jun 4, 2010.

  1. Bomb Disposal58

    Bomb Disposal58 Junior Member

    I am trying to get some information on this unit as my Great Uncle was killed while serving with this unit in WW2 he was a trainee pilot with the RAAF. Any assistance would be greatfully acknowledged. Sorry the unit is 17 AFU RAF....not ARU as in the subject title... [edit: amended]

    Also does anyone have a lead in to accessing RAAF Personnel Records for WW2?

    Many thanks...
  2. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Hello and welcome to the forum. It maybe worth your while posting your great uncles name too for the 'Air Experts'.

  3. KevinBattle

    KevinBattle Senior Member

    As requested:
    Australian War Memorial - Biographical databases should give you a good start point.

    I would hazard a guess that the unit was No. 17 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit.
    See: A brief history of RAF Bodney

    Bodney was a grass-covered airfield without the usual concrete runways and opened in early 1940 as a 2 Group satellite station for nearby Watton. Several Watton-based squadrons were dispersed here and included Nos 21, 82 and 105 Squadrons with Blenheim IV medium bombers, 61 Squadron with Handley Page Hampden medium bombers and 90 Squadron with the new Boeing B-17 Fortress Mk.1 heavy bomber.

    From January 1941 the Miles Master trainers of No.17 (Pilots) Advanced Flying Unit used Bodney as a satellite landing ground while based at Watton. On 14th March 1942, 21 Squadron was reformed at Bodney with Blenheim IV's that were coded YH. Soon Lockheed Venturas began to replace them with the last Blenheims leaving in July. The same month a few North American Mitchells arrived for 21 Squadron, two of them being FL169 and FL179 and both being Mk.I's. This type remained with the squadron for a month before they left for West Raynham. In October 21 Squadron left for Methwold and by the following spring the Master trainers of 17 (P)A.F.U. had left for Calveley. I would guess that your great uncle was probably at Claveley, but until we know his Name, we won't be able to find much more fore you...
  4. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

    As has already been suggested, could you please post your Great Uncles name? It would be a good help

  5. Peter Clare

    Peter Clare Very Senior Member

    This is just a wild guess

    Decided the 'wild guess' was too wild so I deleted it....:)

  6. Smudger Jnr

    Smudger Jnr Our Man in Berlin

    Hello and welcome to the forum.

  7. spidge


  8. Bomb Disposal58

    Bomb Disposal58 Junior Member

    Dear All,

    Many thanks for your contributions. My Uncle's name was: 408537 SGT Robert Richard Falkinder Swords died 21 January 1943...
  9. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Hi BD58 - we know a bit about your uncle, but not that much. Using the instructions I placed below this, we know he died on the 21st of January 1943 whilst flying a Miles Master aircraft, tail number DL800. The other member of the crew was FAHEY, MICHAEL PAUL – (Sergeant); Service Number – R/132574 RCAF. (Details confirmed by CWGC - both men buried in same cemetery). By the looks of it Fahey was an American in the RCAF.


    First, go to the ww2roll (World War Two Nominal Roll) site and use his service number to look at his basic service details (and to print out a neat looking certificate). Then go to the NAA (National Archives of Australia) site and use his service number (Record Search / Search as Guest) to see if his files are available in digital form for reading , if not then apply to have it done (it costs less than $20).


    There are two files for SGT Swords, a personnel file and a casualty file - neither of which has been digitized yet.
  10. Bomb Disposal58

    Bomb Disposal58 Junior Member

    That's the man Robert Richard Falkiner Swords...slip of the 'D' key, many thanks anything else would be greatly appreciated...thanks fellas...Totally unrelated to this but may be of interest to someone, I have a photo of a grave of LT E.M. Morton, AANS who was killed while on R&R in Eritrea in WW2. We used to gather at the Commonwealth War cemetery there each Anzac day....from my time in the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea...would this be of interest to the forum?
  11. spidge


    Hi Bomb Disposal,

    All photos will be of interest to someone, so place away.

    And here is one for you just in case you do not have it.

    Whittlesford (SS Mary and  Andrew) Churchyard Swords_RRF.jpg



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