RAF airman, service record. LAC 1318182

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by Daveorac, Jul 31, 2018.

  1. Daveorac

    Daveorac New Member

    Hello, I'm new to the forum, I hope I have chose the correct section for my question.
    My Dad served in the RAF in WW2, as usual he didn't talk much about his service life. After he passed away in the late 90's I wrote to RAF Innsworth to get a copy of his service record and campaign medals. I received 2 medals the Defense Medal and the War Medal. Dads Name was William John Mark Newman 1318182, his records show his rank as being AC2 06/05/41 AC1 01/03/42 and LAC 01/09/45. His record shows he was posted to 31 -P-D Moncton in Canada, incidentally that is where he met my mother and got married. I have posted a photo of him in uniform, could somebody confirm if his uniform is for an LAC please? Does the insignia with two wings and three stripes mean he was aircrew at some time? The photo I think was taken in Ceylon, going by the headgear. He was posted ACSEA ( Air Command, South East Asia) 18/10/44
    Towards the end of his life Dad said he had flown in Wellington bomber's with a Czech squadron, I have been told an LAC could not not be aircrew. I have read in other posts that ground crew would sometimes fly unofficially or ,there were instances due to sickness etc,that an aircraft might be short of a gunner.Replacements were usually drawn from volunteer ground crews of the appropriate trade in an ad hoc arrangement.
    I have also posted clips from his service record. I'm hoping somebody may be able to explain it for me.
    Dad was quite a character, and very much liked by everyone he met, I think you will agree quite a handsome chap in uniform. IMG_1757.JPG IMG_1759.JPG IMG_1760.JPG IMG_1761.JPG
     
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  2. Daveorac

    Daveorac New Member

    Hello, I'm new to the forum, I hope I have chose the correct section for my question.
    My Dad served in the RAF in WW2, as usual he didn't talk much about his service life. After he passed away in the late 90's I wrote to RAF Innsworth to get a copy of his service record and campaign medals. I received 2 medals the Defense Medal and the War Medal. Dads Name was William John Mark Newman 1318182, his records show his rank as being AC2 06/05/41 AC1 01/03/42 and LAC 01/09/45. His record shows he was posted to 31 -P-D Moncton in Canada, incidentally that is where he met my mother and got married. I have posted a photo of him in uniform, could somebody confirm if his uniform is for an LAC please? Does the insignia with two wings and three stripes mean he was aircrew at some time? The photo I think was taken in Ceylon, going by the headgear. He was posted ACSEA ( Air Command, South East Asia) 18/10/44
    Towards the end of his life Dad said he had flown in Wellington bomber's with a Czech squadron, I have been told an LAC could not not be aircrew. I have read in other posts that ground crew would sometimes fly unofficially or ,there were instances due to sickness etc,that an aircraft might be short of a gunner.Replacements were usually drawn from volunteer ground crews of the appropriate trade in an ad hoc arrangement.
    I have also posted clips from his service record. I'm hoping somebody may be able to explain it for me.
    Dad was quite a character, and very much liked by everyone he met, I think you will agree quite a handsome chap in uniform. View attachment 226637 View attachment 226638 View attachment 226639 View attachment 226640
     
  3. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    No idea on how you added the attachments, but they won't open for me
     
  4. Daveorac

    Daveorac New Member

    That's odd, they are jpg. I used the "Upload a File" at the bottom of text box. I'll try adding them to this comment see if that works, a choice of Thumbnail or Full image ..
    I,ll try thumbnail instead of full image IMG_1757.JPG IMG_1759.JPG IMG_1760.JPG IMG_1761.JPG
     
  5. Blutto

    Blutto Plane Mad

    ACH/GD is a 'catchall' for any non-trade enlistment (Aircraft Handler/General Duties). With no indication in his records that he held any rank higher than LAC (Leading Aircraftman), I would suggest that the Sergeant's jacket was borrowed for the photo.
     
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  6. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    I would agree with the presumption of a posed Sergeant uniform photograph.

    Direct entries to the RAF for those destined for aircrew training or technical training were classified as ACH/GD.Taking those who entered for aircrew training and were successful in the training stage would progress to the final training stage with a classification of LAC and would carry the designation of LAC U/T Pilot,LAC U/T Observer or later when the former role was split into Navigator and Air Bomber,ie Bomb Aimer...LAC U/T Navigator,,,,LAC U/T Air Bomber,ie Bomb Aimer.After passing out of their course,graduates would be promoted to Sergeant,the minimum rank for aircrew from June 1940 or commissioned as Pilot Officers and be awarded their aircrew designation brevets.

    Canada, through the BCAT Plan (British Commonweath Air Training Plan) provided RAF training for Pilots,Observers and when the latter role was split.the Navigator and Air Bomber.The RCAF provided the training structure and manning of the scheme so it is not normal that RAF low ranking groundcrew would be posted to the BCAT Plan scheme.

    (It is recorded that Canada trained about 132.000 aircrew including about 73.000 who were trained for RCAF service.)

    On the evidence It would appear that William Newman may have been in Canada for aircrew training as evident from the Moncton posting,a well known RCAF training base and did not complete his course.However there is not an entry to indicate any flying training with a designation as an aircrew cadet. He then would retain his previous trade as a ACH/GD for the duration of his service rising the the classification of LAC much later in his service.It's difficult to accept that a RAF ACH/GD airman would be at Moncton other than for aircrew training

    His mustering record shows him as a FCA from 1944....Flying Control Assistant...a posting to what looks like RAF Khormaksar in Aden is shown.
     
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2018
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  7. Daveorac

    Daveorac New Member

    Thank-you Blutto for your reply. The thought had crossed my mind that he may have posed in a borrowed jacket, as it's unbuttoned. What do you make of the hat, would that have been standard issue?
    Thank-you Harry also for your detailed reply. Interesting to know the meaning of ACH/GD and I had not been able to decipher the word Khormaksar.
    There is also a photo in his album of Candy Leave Hostel and the golf course in Ceylon. Which must have been taken on that posting. I will attach them as they may be of interest.
    IMG_1768.JPG IMG_1769.JPG
     

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