Peter Frederick Searle, k.i.a. 21 Jan 1944, Lancaster LM387

Discussion in 'Service Records' started by malcwayland, Sep 21, 2022.

  1. malcwayland

    malcwayland Active Member

    As part of my continuing research into the above 101 Squadron Lancaster, (in collaboration with another researcher), I have now received his (redacted) service record. I'm OK with it all apart from the section from 6.8.42 to 18.4.43.

    I can see he attended No2 Radio School (Which was at Yatesbury, Wilts.) from 10.3.43 until 19.5.43 when he joined 7 AGS (Air Gunners School) at Stormy Down, but between those dates he seems also to have been detached on 6.8.42 to somewhere that looks like somewhere Sts?Ford? (RAF Ford?) on 6.8.42; to Biggin Hill on 2.12.42 ; and to Redhill on 18.4.43. As these were primarily fighter stations, would this have been to learn what tactics our fighters were using when intercepting enemy aircraft?

    Can anyone shed any light on this, or offer a better interpretation of the record, please?

    Attached Files:

  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    HH in reason is Headquarters Holding - this is usually a posting either just after qualified or just before space on a course opens up. The unit listed is responsible for his pay, training, equipment etc but he is not posted to the unit strength - he remains as part of the Command HQ manpower reserve.

    The unit is expected to use his skills if trade trained, if not then its an unskilled admin use.

    Comparing dates in the mustering section will give a clue as if he was used as a ground signals before being retrained as aircrew or if he was recoursed.

    malcwayland likes this.
  3. malcwayland

    malcwayland Active Member

    Thanks for that Ross, and thanks again to previous postings on the forum I'd managed to figure the meaning of HH. Sadly, the 5 lines on the 'Mustering' section on the record have been redacted... One wonders why, unless it reflected badly on his character?

    As an afterthought, do you know if the record shows he was actually recruited at Oxford, or was it a centre where recruit paperwork from all over the area was generated, managed and stored? Seems a long way for a barely 18 year old (If that) Alconbury lad to go to sign up.
  4. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    Oxford would have been where he attended, undertook board selection and medical.

    I think some quite broad lines were drawn across the country to define which CRC looked after where - more to balance load on the board than to reduce distance for attendance.

    If this is a recent service record from disclosures eg 2018 to date then it fell into the blanket Data Protection redaction which assumed the subject was still alive.

    If you request "informal review of mustering with view to publication" with a service record application then it would be looked at on an individual basis and usually ,for a death over 25 years ago, you would get the trades/dates but not the Character section.

    malcwayland likes this.
  5. malcwayland

    malcwayland Active Member

    Bother... You certainly live and learn... Wish I'd contacted you before submitting the application... To be honest, my main interest in getting the SR was to confirm my belief that Peter met up with (most of) the rest of his crew at 28 OTU, which it does. (I have obtained the full SR's of his Canadian Pilot (Perry) and navigator, (Dowler) from Ottawa and they are very exhaustive in their detail, and they both started at 28 OTU on the same date as Peter.)

    And OK on the Oxford Board issue - another useful detail to add to my research findings. Thank you.


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