Looking for more details re RAF pilot

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by nifty, Mar 16, 2012.

  1. nifty

    nifty Junior Member

    (or units he served at)

    Ramsay Marsh, known as Randy.
    My late mother told me that he was a Flight Lieutenant the only documentary evidence that I have found indicates that at one time he was an LAC pilot, perhaps under training, and later a Sgt. Pilot.

    I am posting this in the hope somebody will recognise a unit, troopship the pattern of service or a person and be able to provide more information either to this thread or to myself via PM
    I have only made initial enquiries about lodging a formal application to RAF Records for his file as my progress has been hindered by what can perhaps be best described in a single phrase 'as lack of communication. I will lodge the application when I'm in a position to do so but I am not sure of what it may reveal. I hope that much interesting information could be revealed to me by living people who might direct me to what has already been written about the units my father and his wartime comrades served at.

    Earlier this year I was able to meet the last woman that my father was married to. I learnt much of his past that I would not have otherwise known and uncovered information that holds the possibility of potential leads in me finding out more about him. At the same time, I met a half-brother that I was scarcely aware I had. He was able to show me many papers such the Pilots Log Book and other documents that our father had left to him after he died at just over the age of 60 in 1985.
    From these notes I was able to take some possibly relevant details which I hope to enlarge upon while I am waiting for his official service records.

    The log indicates that he served at the following units at the dates given.
    Transcript follows. Note. Spelling possibly incorrect.

    UNIT From To
    1 (Edit) Aircrew Reception Centre London 19 4 43 to 18 5 43
    1 ((Edit)Initial Training Wing, Babacombe 19 5 43 to 30 8 43 Descrition of Ó William C. Wood 1997. http://www.3bktj.co.uk/wood3.htm
    18 EFTS Fairoaks 3 0 8 43 1 10 43
    1 (Edit) Personnel Despatch Centre, Manchester 15 10 43 11 11 43
    31 PD Moncton Can. 21 11 43 31 1 44

    I wonder if Ramsey ever knew of the unfortuate airmen involved in the incidents etailed below. It seems that it is impossible to know. Although Moncton was huge, according to his log he was there at the time.

    'Dec. 4, 1943: Instructor [Flying Officer] Joseph [Kenneth] McMorris [J/23760)] of [Lewvan,] Saskatchewan and student pilot [LAC] John [Kenneth] Murphy (R/194169] of Montreal are reported missing and presumed dead after their plane [Harvard FE995] fails to return to base. It is presumed the plane crashed in remote woodlands or in the water. [The aircraft wreckage was found 31 May 1946 in some timberland one and one half miles off a road near the village of Anderson].

    * Dec. 8, 1943: Instructor [Pilot Officer John Lawton] Thornton [(J/27200) from Toronto, ON] and student pilot [LAC C.H.} Hyndman [GB431208] are killed when a Harvard [FH120] crashes 275 yards south of base runways while making final approach for landing.

    * Dec. 29, 1943: Harvard [FS859] training plane with the body of pilot [LAC] Francis Cyril Dalton [(R/190229)] of Newcastle is found by a ground search party about five miles from Barachois. Cause of crash is undetermined. Dalton, 19, was out for a solo flight after returning home from Christmas leave at his parents home in Newcastle.

    32(Edit) Elementary Flying Training Schools Bowden ACTA 1 3 44 to 17 5 44
    5 Service Flying Training Schools, Brantford 26 5 44 18 7 44
    31 SFTS Kingston 19 7 44 2 9 44
    14 SFTS Kingston 2 9 44 26 9 44
    9 SFTS Centralia 28 9 44 2 3 45
    31 PD Moncton NB 14 3 45 21 3 45
    Pannal ASH Harrogate 1 4 45 8 5 45
    HMS “Macaw” 8 5 45 17 5 45
    Harrogate 18 5 45 6 7 45
    24 EFTS Sealand 6 7 45 31 7 45 RAF SEALAND
    “AFU” Cerney 31 7 45 14 8 45 BBC - WW2 People's War - Bomber Pilot Training in the UK 1943/44 by Leslie Landells
    Charmy Down 14 8 45 19 11 45 RAF Charmy Down - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia RAF Charmy Down Airfield - YouTube
    Sth Cerney 28 11 45 11 12 45
    Snaith Yorkshire 11 12 45 16 2 46
    Syerston Notts. 16 2 46 6 4 46
    PDC North Weald 16 8 46 16 8 46
    Mauripur 21 8 46 28 8 46
    Palah 76 Squadron 28 8 46 8 9 46
    HQ 229 Group 8 9 46 22 10 46
    Worli Bombay 26 10 46 7 11 46
    Burton wood potted 21 11 46 22 11 46 RAF Burtonwood
    Warton 10 Camp 1 1 47 2 1 47
    Warton 8 Site 8 1 47 10 1 47

    I will add links to relavent parts of this post that I think may be appropriate as I discover them

    In the next column on he same page of the record there is a unit stamp of the
    Senior Medical Officer of HMS Macaw Dated 15 May 1945.
    Handwritten legend inside stamp Med. Cat. AIB

    On the next page is a list of aircraft Flown and their engines

    De Havilland Tiger Moth 1Gypsey Major
    Fairchild Cornell 1Ranger
    Avro Anson 6 LMB Jacobs
    North American 1 Pratt & Whitney
    Havard Wasp
    Airspeed Oxford 2 Cheetah x
    Douglas Dakota 2 Pratt & Whitney
    Avro York 4 Rolls Royce Merlins
    Vickers Wellington 2 Hercules
    Baltimore Twin Wasps
    Lancaster 4 Merlins
    Beaufighter 2 Hercules

    Certified that LAC Marsh R. K. has satisfactorily completed 5 hours of instrument flying and is considered sufficiently competent in I.F. to fly solo at night
    Signed Flying Instructor J. Mc Lands Sgt.

    32 EFTS Bowden
    British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
    BCATP Station Bowden
    Total number of link hours 1400
    Certified correct
    Signed M (?) W Willaom (?)

    (Officers whose signature is in the logbook).
    F or G Flower(s)? F/o OC B flight 2 Squadron
    Keith Andrews F/Lt (?) Asst. CFI
    W/O Annear
    W/O Rice
    F/O Bacon
    F/O Froome
    F/O Clee

    Empress of Scotland Bombay Liverpool 7 11 46 to 21 11 46 (Possibly last voyage?) http://www.angelfire.com/pe2/pjs1/war_voyages.xls
    Queen Elisabeth New York Scotland
    Mauritania Liverpool Halifax

    En Route to The East August 1946
    Captain Moore London to Castell Benito RAF Castel Benito - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    Castill Bento to Cairo
    Cairo to Basara
    Basara to Karachi
    Commander Burton Karachi to Delhi


    Keith Andrews F/Lt (?) Asst. CFI
    F or G Flower(s)? F/o OC B flight 2 Squadron
    Senior Medical Officer of HMS Macaw May 1945.
    L W Whitham P/o for O/C A fight
    Flight Sgt. Vahl
    P/o Bains
    F/o Stephens
    Keith Andrews F/Lt (?) Asst. CFI
    Flying Instructor J. Mc Lands Sgt.
    M (?) W Willaom (? Instructor?)

    (Within the pages of the logbook are some of the names of various people that I assume were his personal comrades)

    Jack Brooks of Ontario Canada
    Scott J. (?) Babin of Bockhurst, New Brunswick
    Billy Clark of John Street Georgetown
    Roger Caslin Cabine ?? of Henville ? (Lenville) Street Montreal
    Gordon Bell of Bathurst Street Toronto Canada
    Brian Keith of Concession Street Hamdilton Ontario Canada.
    Frank House of Hamilton Canada
    Abe Grosh of Norwood Manitoba
    Joe Biddle of Toronto
    Mike Novick of Sault Ste Marie Ontario
    Allan Suttcliffe of Halifax

    in addition to these at British adresses:

    Peter Shaw. Wandsworth, London.
    Ron Shrieve ,Elmsthorp Leicestershire
    J W Rogers Rogess ? Montrose Scotland
    Jerry Purvis Whitburn Co.Durham
    A. Hutchinson ,Portabello Scotland
    R. Skinner Belvedere Kent
    Russ Moule Barking Essex
    Honk/Hank (?) Taylor New Malden Surry

    I have left out certain details of the addresses in the interest of confidentiality but would be very grateful if either those persons concerned (or their relations) who might by some very slim chance hear of this post, or, anybody who has any information about the purpose of the units and ships listed either contact me via PM or post any relevant information that they care to.

    Yours NM
  2. Oldman

    Oldman Very Senior Member

    The Pannal Ash Harrogate part he was most probably in what was the old Police Training College just off Yew Tree Lane, it is still there although i have not been past for some time.
    He may have been waiting to go to a unit or a course
  3. PeteT

    PeteT Senior Member

    The first line of his postings relates to Aircrew Reception Centre (ACRC) which was based at RAF Regents Park in London. The second line should be ITW (Initial Training Wing) at Babbacombe.

    This was a typical training route for RAF Personnel with ACRC being where recruits received their kit, inoculations and medicals etc and ITW where they underwent their ground training.

    All crew (other than flight engineers) would then go off to Elementary Flying Training Schools (EFTS) and then on to Service Flying Training Schools (SFTS) to learn their trades. These schools were spread across the Commonwealth, hence his postings to Canada etc.

    Recruits were held at Personnel Despatch Centres (PDC) to await their overseas postings (I think the one in Manchester was Heaton Park)

    I have more information on the first two elements if you are interested.

    Hope this is a start point for you.
  4. nifty

    nifty Junior Member

    Thank you very much for that info Oldman & PeteT. It is just the kind of thing that I was hoping for. It helps immensely to get more of a handle on the subject and it is far easier to get some idea what life was like for people in a similar position to my father

    PeteT, your offer of more information is very difficult for me to resist, even though the chances of it being directly relevant may be slim, one never knows what further clues may lie within it until one has assessed it, and so, yes I am interested in your kind offer.

    edit I have since found this which has many common treads
    The training of a bomber pilot 1943 by John Chatterton
    here: http://www.rafmuseum.org.uk/research/documents/Journal%2011%20-%20Sir%20Frank%20Cooper%20on%20Air%20Force%20Policy%20in%20the%201950s%20&%201960s.pdf

    edit and here British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
  5. nifty

    nifty Junior Member

    Since I last posted on this forum, the focus of my research has shifted somewhat to say the least.

    I have long since gained Ramsay Marsh's Service Record which has not yet revealed much that was not indicated by the notes is his flying logbook. Although it did verify that Next of Kin was living at Cippenham near Slough in either 1942 when he first applied to join the RAF at 'Oxford' or/and(?) 1947 when he left. Can anybody tell me more about recruitment at Oxford ?

    The service record also has another feature which I am curious to know more about and wondered if any readers of this post may know something about it the fact that is RAF Service Record has been rubber stamped 'Photographic Duties Only'. Bearing in mind his stated movements previously stated, could anybody give some possible meaning to this. Ie Why and what photographic duties might be?

    Thanks for reading

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