When did this 7 Sqn. man volunteer?

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jjrc1991
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When did this 7 Sqn. man volunteer?

Post by jjrc1991 »

Hi,

I'm hoping someone will be able to shed some light on some research I have been working on. P/O William Dalgliesh, RAFVR, was killed in March 1941 whilst flying with 7 Sqn. What I'm trying to find out is anything to do with the details of his volunteering for military service. His service number was 87044. He was already a qualified pilot when he volunteered with the RAFVR and joined his first operational squadron (at least I'm assuming this was his first operational squadron as I have found nothing to the contrary) in December 1940.
Can anyone tell me if the service number equates to a specific date or at least a specific period of time. Would he have volunteered and then gone back to his civilian life whilst awaiting his call-up or simply 'jumped' straight into service life?
Any help and assistance would be really appreciated.
Regards

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ME453
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Re: When did this 7 Sqn. man volunteer?

Post by ME453 »

Good morning Mr. ?,

The block of numbers 84401 to 87400 was allocated to civilians joining the RFC in June/July 1917 though this was for "other ranks". Dalgliesh's number of 87044 was obviously an officers' one and allocated on an individual basis which makes it trickier to trace. But a search on the London Gazette shows his number on joining was 903490 which means he enrolled at Uxbridge in September 1939. He received his commission on 19th October 1940 "for the duration of hostilities".
Max
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Dedicated to the crew of Lancaster ME453 467 squadron

jjrc1991
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Re: When did this 7 Sqn. man volunteer?

Post by jjrc1991 »

Thanks Max,

I really appreciate the info. Would you have any idea if someone like Dalgliesh would have volunteered and then waited for his call up 'proper' at which point he received his commission?

Regards

Jeff

jjrc1991
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Re: When did this 7 Sqn. man volunteer?

Post by jjrc1991 »

Hi Max,

Forget my last. I've just checked the London Gazette - clearly he was already an LAC when he received his commission so I'm assuming he was already serving?

Jeff

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Re: When did this 7 Sqn. man volunteer?

Post by ME453 »

Yes you're right in that assumption Jeff, he would have enlisted as an AC2 then risen to the dizzy heights of LAC, but on all training courses the students are assessed and those few that show particular promise and achieve good marks are commissioned as they become operational. I must admit I missed the heading in the LG this morning that he was listed as an LAC when commissioned so this must have been whilst or at the end of training. Most of course come out of training as sergeants, the minimum aircrew rank for most of the war though I believe at the start things were often different for various "trades".
Max
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jjrc1991
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Re: When did this 7 Sqn. man volunteer?

Post by jjrc1991 »

Hi Max,

I always believed that the minimum rank for all aircrew was sergeant however I'm in the process of reading 'Enemy Coast Ahead' by Guy Gibson and apparently this wasn't the case in the early months of the war. He talks about one particular Hampden crew he flew with in 1939/40 in which the gunners were aircraftsmen! I'm not sure when the rules changed?

Jeff

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Re: When did this 7 Sqn. man volunteer?

Post by ME453 »

Yes Jeff, it was recognised fairly early on that aircrew needed a minimum rank reflecting their status, that being sergeant as we all know but not at the beginning of the war.
Max
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Dedicated to the crew of Lancaster ME453 467 squadron

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