Discussion in 'Service Records' started by mike leishman, Feb 18, 2021.

  1. mike leishman

    mike leishman New Member


    I have been trying to work out where my grandfather (LEISHMAN Robert 760982) was based and what/where the units were.

    He was a wireless operator in the RAFVR, about 40 years old, discharged as physically unfit (652(4) b, in 1941 and died in 1947. This may have been related to the reasons for his discharge which could have been 'emotional' (possibly now called PTSD). My aunt always said that he was 'one of the last' to leave Dunkirk.

    His service record just says 'wireless operator', (no mention of 'air gunner') Would that mean he was ground based?

    I've Googled the stations mentioned on his record. I'm not totally sure what his role in 60 Wing would have been and I'm having trouble with (as I read it) '21 AD . RP'

    Can anyone help decipher this part of his record and have an idea of where he might have been based/what his role could have been?

    Thanks in advance,


    2021-02-18 13.33.58.jpg 2021-02-18 14.30.49.jpg 2021-02-18 14.31.13.jpg
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  2. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

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  3. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    "This may have been related to the reasons for his discharge which could have been 'emotional' (possibly now called PTSD). My aunt always said that he was 'one of the last' to leave Dunkirk"

    Not Dunkirk but via Nantes/St. Nazaire as part of Operation Aerial. He could have been on or witnessed the Lancastria.

    Operation Aerial, the evacuation from north western France, 15-25 June 1940

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  4. Tricky Dicky

    Tricky Dicky Don'tre member

    Perhaps coincidence but one of those on the Roll of Honour for the Lancastria has the same surname - could he be a relative

    Roll of honour | Lancastria Archive
    Leishman Arthur (22) Pte 5 Base Supply Depot RASC S/137045*


    Robert could have been the Uncle of Arthur, whether he know he was onboard at the time - dont know - but I guess having seen what happened he would be told of the scenario when he returned - this is assuming they were related. Robert had a brother called James who had a son Arthur born in 1918 - so would be 22 years old in 1940
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2021
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  5. gmyles

    gmyles Senior Member


    60 Wing RAF was in France with BEF Air Component between 20 January 1940 31 May 1940 Fighter wings with Nos 85 and 87 Sqns

    G Company of 30 Wing RAF were in Greece in 1944-45 operating at Air Headquarters Greece. So maybe the G next to the 60 Wing means the same.

    G Company consisted of mainly linesmen, teletype ops, switchboard ops, wireless ops and cypher specialists.


    Last edited: Feb 19, 2021
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  6. mike leishman

    mike leishman New Member

    Thanks for the tip Tricky.
    I checked on CWGC but his parents' names don't match Robert's. Pity, as I have 'lost' a James somewhere! (not necessarily military). Robert's nephew, David, was on 58 Squadron N1461 that crashed during the Kiel raid in July 1940, which I've managed to get lots of information on. I'll see if I can build on what RAF Commands said. Thanks for your help.
  7. mike leishman

    mike leishman New Member


    Thanks so much for that. It didn't appear on any abbreviation lists and I was getting nowhere by Googling it, though funnily, if I Google it now it shows a similar reply you gave to someone last year! I've been reading up on 21 AD/Lancastria/Aerial. Very interesting. When we can move around the country again I'm hoping to access his medical records from the district asylum he spent time in, to see if there's anything there that helps tie things together.

    So, he would possibly have been at Lille/Seclin with 60 Wing (as part of 'logistics') then transferred to 21 Air Depot until Operation Aerial, then Oakington. In the 'Reason' column next to 'Unit' do F, Y, G, Ex BEF, B/FORM have any significance? I see Gus's suggestion of it being 'G Company'.


  8. RAFCommands

    RAFCommands Senior Member

    With only a few exceptions eg F, H, HHH, @, ex BEF etc the entry in the Reason column has no direct relationship with Reason for posting.

    RAF Records section monitored regular signals from each unit and in particular POR (Personnel Occurrance Report).

    The POR was usually attached to Standing Orders and recorded the myriad of items such as posted in, posted out, promotions, deaths, pay awards, punishment, changes in trade, permission to live out etc.

    Form 543a was an index wrapper to the entire file for an airman - inside the file were kept copies of relevant documents including the PORs - so as an easy finding aid the 543a gave date and document reference or the paragraph of the only document in the file of that date. Simple system look at 543a find the entry you want to know more on - documents are filed most recent on top - flick back to the date and go straight to the bit.

    After war the documents within a service file were periodically destroyed in line with Parliament Laws on retention until only Form 543a remained as it deemed that only this was needed for pension purposes.

    60 Wing was formed to provide fighter protection to the BEF with No.1, No.73, No.85 and No.87 Squadrons but it also had three mobile RDF units and a Wireless Intelligence Screen. No.607 and No.615 Squadrons joined wing on 13/12/39.

    On 20 Jan 1940 No.60 Wing flying units were re-designated No.14 Group and No.60 Wing disbanded for admin purposes.

    No.60 Wing reformed on the same day as No.60 (Fighter) Wing at the Seclin detachment to control No.85 and No.87 Squadron and an emergency refuelling unit.

    The are no movement dates in the clip you have posted to the move to No.21 AD but I suspect it was on the 20 Jan 1940 and he was possibly part of either the wireless screen or RDF units (less likely) as general communication duties. My reason for this would be shed of non flying units and due to the Wing being pulled back to Debden on 20 May and disbandment on 31st May all while he is shown in records as following the evacuation dates of No.21 AD.


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