No. 22 PTC records circa 1943

Discussion in 'Searching for Someone & Military Genealogy' started by Gliffy, Dec 19, 2021.

  1. Gliffy

    Gliffy Member


    I'm trying to track my grandfathers movements within the RAF. Knowing his final squadron in 1945 I've managed to track his transfers from AIR 27 ORBs between previous squadrons & theatres back to when he arrived at a squadron in North Africa from "No. 22 PTC (Personnel Transit Centre)" in April 1943. Unfortunately the family "records" are questionable (his children were raised to not ask about the war due to personal losses), but a comment in a "concise" summary by a relative suggests he was posted overseas Dec 1942. So whilst 4 months to get from UK to an operational squadron in North Africa seems believable, I'd like to try keep following the document track back as far as I can. To this end I'd appreciate your help or advice; as I see it the core questions for continuing this search is:
    1. Is there anyway to find out postings in/out of No. 22 PTC during the war? Unfortunately from what I can see on the National Archives nothing has been digitised of No. 22 PTC. Short of making a mission to the National Archives in London to roll the dice on the records (assuming they recorded all transiting personnel) and there any suggestions/advice for finding info on transit centres?

    2. Alternatively is there a route I could follow to track him using his serial number (I assume this is the number next to his name for his commissioning listed in the London Gazette)

    3. Based on more trustworthy anecdotal information, he was in basic RAF training in Torquay in early 1941 before shipping to America for pilot training, eventually returning to UK for transition training to British planes. Any advice on how I can start to pick up threads on any of this titbits of information? e.g. which Torquay establishment would be involved?

    4. What are reasonable durations for events and what durations were normal for these training/travelling periods? E.g. basic training = x months, RAF pilot training in USA = y months, transition from US aircraft training to Hurricanes = z months, 2.5yrs from basic training to operations flying = far too long, operations likely prior to transfer via 22 PTC

    Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated; thanks!
  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Going about it the hard way - the only precise info on his postings are in his Record of Service - if you use the new online method you will get these in between 4 to 6 weeks or quicker.

    Personnel Transit Centre and Personnel Despatch Centre ORBs tend to record establishment posts in detail but for the bread and butter of movements lump all into draft - eg draft x comprising of y airmen, w nco and z commissioned formed on f date. ...draft x departed.

    The precise date of posting overseas or to home will be the one where the command changes eg NEAC, MAC, ACSEA, ME or UK.

    Typically 1 year from enrolment to operational flying - 7 to 9 months overseas then 2 to 3 months PAFU/OTU/HCU/LFS in the UK depending or war year or final type to be flown operationally. Same duration for fighter OTU to Ops.

    Gazette entry for commission P/O should have two numbers one is his OR service number the other is his Commissioned personal number.
    After P/O entry all subsequent gazette entries are listed as Commissioned only.

    RAF Torquay was used as Initial Training Wing before flying training commenced.

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  3. jonheyworth

    jonheyworth Senior Member

    Ross is dead right . His name will not be in the ORB for 22PTC . Don’t waste time and money on a trip to Kew to view it
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  4. Gliffy

    Gliffy Member

    Thank you for your speedy responses, much appreciated. I will try the online method you recommended to help.

    RAFCommands : To confirm I understand I've interpreted your statement correctly Ross, am I correct in understanding that it would take approximately 9+3+3 months (9 months overseas, 3 months OTU for type training, then 3 months from OTU to Ops)? Suggesting that there is potentially a missing Ops period from my current search.
  5. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Basically yes but I noticed you said he was on Hurricane so just one period of 2 to 3 months at OTU for those destined to be single engine fighters.

    The actual times depend on weather for the UK flying portions but there was a quite tightly controlled sequence

    Volunteer or called up - medical and interview at CRC then 1 to 2 days at RC.

    Sent back to civi life to await place on instruction course (anytime from 1 to 6 months) in the 1942 era.

    Return to RC for 2 weeks induction, attestation, kitting etc - at this point his OR service number was issued as part of block allocated to RC (1942 era)

    ITW for around 1 month all ground subject training - during which time a couple of tiger moth flights are done at nearby EFTS to confirm ability to be trained/absence of air sickness

    14 day leave for overseas draft. at end form up for PRC/PTC and then move to ports and passage (check the passenger manifest/immigration as sometimes small groups proceeded independent.

    Move from overseas PRC

    Then EFTS then SFTS (typically 6 to 7 months)

    Return to PDC, ports, UK PRC about a month

    Leave 7 to 14 day then posting to OTU - typically 2 to 3 months depends on UK weather and type being trained on.

    Without service record impossible to say if his training was extended due to illness, weather or if posting to Headquarters Holding/Operational Unit before you pick him up.

    Last edited: Dec 19, 2021
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  6. Gliffy

    Gliffy Member

    Thanks Ross, much appreciated :)

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