Missing aircrew salaries

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by PsyWar.Org, Jan 12, 2014.

  1. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Reading one of the RAF casualty packs today at the National Archives and was drawn to correspondence between the Air Ministry and next of kin of a missing pilot.

    The pilot went missing on the first next of the war and, in fact, was killed. Of course, it was a number of months before confirmation was received through the Red Cross that the pilot had died.

    The correspondence was begun by the pilot’s father-in-law concerned about the plight of his daughter, that is the pilot’s heavily pregnant wife.
    The pilot’s wife was distraught that he was missing and by not knowing what had happened to him. This was compounded by the fact that she was now not receiving any income. The father-in-law was struggling to provide financial assistance to his daughter and was requesting the RAF to do something to help.

    So presumably, certainly at this very early stage of the war, when aircrew went missing, their salary wasn’t drawn and ‘house-keeping’ not passed to their wives.

    If I read the correspondence correctly, it said missing aircrew would not be presumed dead until no word of their fate had been received for six months. At which point a widow would begin to receive a pension.

    Was any system introduced to provide financial provision for an airman’s next of kin in this period of being reported missing and either later being confirmed or presumed dead or being reported as being a Prisoner of War?

    Was it a case that the Air Ministry stopped paying aircrew if they were posted missing or was it the responsibility of an airman to make provision that in event of them being posted missing that their salary, or part of it, could be drawn by a designated next of kin?

    And what happened to an airman’s salary if he was a Prisoner of War?

  2. Bernard85

    Bernard85 WW2 Veteran WW2 Veteran

    good day psywar,org.m.today 12:10am.re:missing aircrew salaries.i have read your post with interest,and I understand the widows situation.i was not in the air force.but if I was on a ship that was lost,they docked your pay.no matter how long you could be adrift.they did not pay you,having been in that situation the widow's of ww2 have my sympathy.i was but a young fellow so it did not bother me,but it shows you what value the burrocrat's valued a service man or womans life.regards bernard85
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  3. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Hi Lee,

    Kings Regs and AC Instructions covers this.

    Where the person could not be communicated with eg officially declared missing (note the declared - Ross), PoW or Internee, then whole or part of pay may sent to wife or other dependent but this was at the discretion of the air council.

    Regarding the mans right to pay this was maintained during the period of his absence as a PoW unless a C of I finds that he was taken prisoner through neglect or misconduct on his own part.

    When he rejoined or was released no release of monies owed could take place until Authority decided that no C of I was applicable to his capture.

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  4. snailer

    snailer Country Member

    Hi Lee,

    A loosely related anecdote.

    Wally Lashbrook an ex 102 Squadron Flight Commander says in his memoirs that he suffered a 'pay anomaly' after being shot down in April '43. He was Acting Squadron Leader at the time and he continued to be paid as one until he evaded to British territory at Gibraltar nearly two months later. He was at this point demoted to his substantative rank of Flight Lieutenant and paid accordingly because he was 'no longer filling a Squadron Leader's vacancy'. This wasn't restored until August - after he had returned to flying duties following leave and subsequent posting to Empire Flying School .


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  5. PsyWar.Org

    PsyWar.Org Archive monkey

    Great contributions, thanks.

    And thanks Ross for the official details on aircrew pay when missing. Was the 'officially declared missing' the issue here, in that a certain time had to pass before a decision could be made?

    Also the "discretion of the air council" to release pay to a dependent, could the airman have any say in this procedure by documenting their wishes in case they were report missing or a prisoner of war?

    In this particular case the wife eventually did receive special dispensation from the RAF following intervention from her Member of Parliament. In any case soon afterwards it was established he had been killed on operations and she would receive a pension.

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