Mother's WAAF service

Discussion in 'The Women of WW2' started by J Fox, Dec 3, 2019.

  1. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Misleading....... there was no uniform which carried single a stripe to indicate rank in the Royal Air Force or WAAF

    RAF Regiment classification and ranks were as the Royal Air Force.

    Ranks below Corporal in all elements of the service were deemed to be "classifications"

    WAAF all classifications and ranks from Aircraftswoman 1 to Warrant Officer were as airman ranks.

    However commissioned aircraftswomen had different rank designations from the equivalent rank of Pilot Officer up to the highest equivalent rank of Air Commodore and are shown as follows:

    RAF ............................................ WAAF
    Pilot Officer ............................... Assistant Section Officer
    Flying Officer ............................ Section Officer
    Flight Lieutenant......................... Flight Officer
    Squadron Leader .........................Squadron Officer
    Wing Commander ....................... Wing Officer
    Group Captain ..............................Group Officer
    Air Commodore.............................Air Commandant.

    There was no WAAF rank above Air Commandant,ie occupying the four Air ranks which had "Marshal of the Royal Air Force" as the highest rank.
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  2. Red Goblin

    Red Goblin Senior Member

    There's an unillustrated RAF equivalence table here:
    Women's Auxiliary Air Force (Wikipedia) Ranks
    The only illustrated version I could find, with apologies to Adam for its source, was actually for the RAF so just think LACW for LAC &c ...
    ... with said propeller in lieu of a single chevron as a 'stripe' of sorts.

    I've also attached a suitably-cropped photo of my my mum and her pal as LACWs. WAAF_LACWs.jpg
  3. Robert-w

    Robert-w Banned

    Well the RAF seem to think differently with regard to the RAF regiment
    RAF Ranks | Royal Air Force
  4. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Don't shift the goal posts,you were referring to the era under discussion when you stated "The RAF Regiment did have a single stripe so possibly so may the balloon girls"

    Now produce the evidence that the RAF Regiment had a Lance Corporal rank in the era being discussed.

    The RAF have introduced many changes since the war and these were outside of the discussion you promoted.
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  5. timuk

    timuk Well-Known Member

    Harry will correct me if I'm wrong but I think the rank of Lance Corporal in the RAF Regiment was only introduced in 2010,so not the period we are talking about.

    Edit: Harry's on the ball and beat me to it.
  6. James Harvey

    James Harvey Senior Member

    In 1918 the raf was formed they used a hybrid of RN ranks and Army Ranks

    the rank leading aircraftman/ woman, is derived from leading seaman which was a equivalent rank of lance corporal

    this tank system was in place until after ww2 when other ranks structures took place.

    there was no lance corporal in the RAF or WAAF during ww2.
  7. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    Regarding the formation of the Royal AIr Force on 1 April 1918 which originated from the air elements that were developed from the 1912 Flying Corps Naval and Military Wings,namely the RNAS (RN element) and the RFC (Army element),there was a state of flux regarding the adoption of uniform and rank for the new service.It wasn't until about August 1920 when the options were finalised... uniforms were always subject to change,the army legacy of puttees being terminated when they were withdrawn from about 1936.(Had an old friend who always remarked, get some time in,I was in when we wore puttees.)

    Consequently there was a mixture of ex RNAS and RFC rank designations together with the new force wearing a mixture of ex RNAS and RFC uniforms and this was instructed by AFM (Air Force Memorandum) No 2 in March 1918 which stipulated that these uniforms would continued to be worn for the duration of the war.

    RAF Classifications were subject to change from time to time as an organisation adapts itself to ever changing's interesting.The classification of SAC is not shown in Post #22 which is of wartime but appears to have other insignia that can be debated...cannot recognise two grades of WO,probably RCAF. Insignia relating to AAF and RAFVR were short lived and discarded by AM instruction. Aircraftsman had no insignia apart from the shoulder eagle but covered two classifications,namely AC2,the classification on induction and subject to reclassification,if not achieved, classification could remain at AC2 throughout service. AC1 classification achieved on reclassification from AC2 usually by graduating from a structured course or from "on the job" training. Halton trained apprentices could expected to graduate as LACs.

    The RAF introduced the classification of SAC in 1950 as the highest classification (above LAC.) There is now an additional classification of SAC (Technician) to distinguish it from other trades which prior to that were on the same pay and certainly not as skilled as airmen engaged in trades such as wireless,radar,engines,airframes,armourers,
    instruments and the like.

    Certainly a bone of discontent that the technical trades had to pass a high level of aptitude before they could be enrolled on what were extensive courses.....then found themselves on the same pay as what would have been the old lower trade structure roles.

    However no matter what changes were made to "classification",command responsibility and authority has been confined to the rank of Corporal and above.The introduction of the Lance Corporal rank in the RAF Regiment reflects the rank's primary role of combat.

    LAC insignia, never described as anything but a prop.An SAC insignia always described as a three blade prop.
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