Help with terms RAF

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by Sam Shaw, May 15, 2024.

  1. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member

    Hi. New here.
    Researching family history.
    My Grandfather entered the RAF as a Gunner U/T in 1941 before going on to be a ACH/GD. I now know this means Aircraft Hand/General Duties.
    What does U/T mean? Untrained?
    RAF Volunteer Reserve 1492332
    Aircraftman 2nd Class
    No2 Squadron. B.150-Histedt, Germany
    Died Brain Haemorrhage17th September 1945 ,Buried Nottingham South Cemetery.

    The 150 were "equipped with the Avro Lancaster heavy bomber. It soon moved to RAF Hemswell, flying 827 operational sorties and dropping 3,827 tons of bombs while losing eight aircraft and 40 aircrew. It was involved in Operation Manna to drop food supplies to starving Dutch civilians at the end of the War in Europe, and after the end of hostilities, was used to repatriate POWs from Europe back to the United Kingdom. It was disbanded again on 7 November 1945."

    These are the details of my Grandfather, Francis Pykett. My mother was conceived when he was home on leave. No one knows the reason he died other than it was a bleed and he went blind before he died. My mother never met him. My Grandma remarried. Her new husband was jealous and got rid of all photos of Francis. My mother never saw this picture until about 10 years ago. Families, eh? But, so many families devastated by WW2 and Hitler and his Nazi party.

    I'd really like to know what he actually did and possibly how he died?

  2. Wg Cdr Luddite

    Wg Cdr Luddite Well-Known Member

    B150/Hustedt is an RAF airfield in Germany. No 2 Squadron was equipped with Spitfires Mk XIV at this time.
    Sam Shaw likes this.
  3. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member

    Thanks for the reply.

    That's interesting. I vaguely remember family members talking about him and Spitfires. The research I've done points to bombers..but I'm a complete amateur! I guess he was groundcrew? I do wonder how he died. I'm guessing it was some sort of head trauma.
  4. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member

    I put 2+2 together and made 14. I thought it was 2 Squadron 150 unit...oh, poo. Thanks!
  5. Wg Cdr Luddite

    Wg Cdr Luddite Well-Known Member

    No worries. I forgot to mention that 2 Sqn were at B150 in late 1945.
    Also I think that u/t means under training.
    Sam Shaw likes this.
  6. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member

    Is there any way of getting hold of medical records from the time?

    Thanks again.
  7. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member

  8. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Sam Shaw likes this.
  9. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member

    I have but it is redacted
  10. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member


    Attached Files:

  11. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member


    Attached Files:

  12. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    Sorry but am I missing something?

    This man appears to have been discharged from RAF in 1942?

    If that’s correct he died as a civilian 1945 and as he has a CWGC grave his death was related to his service. A civilian death certificate will have been issued.

    Doesn't appear to be any connection to B150 Histedt, Germany?
    Last edited: May 15, 2024
  13. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member

    He has an RAF burial gravestone.

    I believe he was discharged on medical reasons.
  14. Tullybrone

    Tullybrone Senior Member

    It’s a Commonwealth War Graves Commission Headstone.

    In your opening post you said you wanted to know how he died. As I said above he died as a civilian so there will be a death certificate giving a cause of death. You need to apply for it.
    Sam Shaw likes this.
  15. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    AC2 Pykett would have joined the RAF as a ACH/GD which was normal. This category would be destined for trade training or for aircrew training. Those who were not select for training as above would remain in the GD category whose role would be that of menial tasks. AC2 Pykett was selected for a Gunner U/T (Under Training)

    Aircrew trainees having passed their designated aircrew designation would pass out as Sergeants unless they passed out commissioned.

    It look to me that AC2 Pykett failed to pass his Gunners course probably due to illness and was remustered back to ACH/GD before being discharged.

    He qualifies for a CWGC headstone as he died within the qualifying period of 3 September 1939-31 December 1947 and was medically discharged during this period.

    The reference to a German airfield and No 150 Squadron (based at Hemswell from November 1944) is a red herring.
    Sam Shaw likes this.
  16. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    This is his death certificate.

    Used a new service at the GRO "Request Digital Image" - full automated service for £2.50 with instant (3min return at 07.40 am) delivery.

    Cause of death appears more in line with his work as a coal hewer than from RAF service 3 years before.

    Harry Ree, Owen, Peter Clare and 2 others like this.
  17. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member

    Oh my goodness!

    Can I send you payment for this?

    This is amazing! Thank-you so much!
  18. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    You are welcome.

    Saw the service had been extended to death certificates into the 1950s and your post reminded me I wanted to try with a request to see how it responded.

    Can report that it works well and pleased to add the result to this thread foc.

    Peter Clare and Sam Shaw like this.
  19. Sam Shaw

    Sam Shaw Member

    People on here restore my faith in humanity.

    These responses clear up a 70 odd year mystery!

    Thank-you so much to everyone!!
    Tullybrone and Owen like this.
  20. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Looking at the causes of death of Francis Pykett which are not fully distinct, I think it is highly unlikely that the causes stem from his previous occupation at a colliery coalface.

    Missing is the usual main underlying cause of death of coalface workers from occupational working conditions, that being the lung diseases of pneumoconiosis or silicosis, the latter being the medical term used mostly in the era being debated.

    Having being assessed as A1 for the RAF in the very early 1950s followed by an aircrew medical, the latter was a very comprehensive medical examination and I cannot see Francis Pykett passing an aircrew medical if he had a background of an occupational disease. Respiratory testing should have revealed any deficiency in lung performance.

    From that I would conclude that Francis Pykett contracted ill health during his RAF service which resulted him being assessed as unfit to continue his aircrew training and unfit for any category of RAF service.
    Sam Shaw likes this.

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