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  #1  
Old 08-10-09, 01:35 PM
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Default Fleet Air Arm (FAA) branch

The Admiralty had determined that, in the post-war world, Canada would have her own aircraft carriers. Both HMS Puncher and HMS Nabob(both ex USN) came into service in 1944 & were commanded by an RCN Captain & crewed by RCN ratings to establish a knowledge base for the future carriers assigned to Canada.

During WWII Canada had no formal naval air training program. FAA recruits signed on in Canada as member of the RCNVR & after completing basic training here, were sent to FAA bases in UK to qualify as FAA ratings. Many of the Canadian FAA recruits had prior training in civilian life as Aero mechanics, Fitters, Riggers, Airframe technicians, Air Electrical technicians etc; trades that were required in the FAA. These civilian trained men were promoted to Petty Officer status after undergoing conversion training in UK.
My uncle was an example of one of these ratings, he had prior qualifications as both an Automobile engine & Aero engine mechanic & was a qualified pilot. These were the specialized air ratings that were assigned to crew the two wartime carriers.


Illustrated below are examples of Skilled Air Mechanic rate badges, the letters below the logo indicating which specialization the rating belonged to - ie:
No letter unclassified, undergoing training
A - Airframes
E - Engines
F - Fitters
L - Electrical
O - Ordnance
R - Rigger

The star above indicated the rating was a Leading rate, the Crown a Petty Officer, Chief PO. They were in use from 1939 to approx 1949.
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File Type: jpg Air Mech s prop letters.jpg (39.1 KB, 33 views)
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  #2  
Old 08-10-09, 01:37 PM
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The 4 bladed air propellor rate badges were in use from 1940-48.

They indicated the rating was an Aircraft Mechanician.

Letter designation was the same as Air mechanics, but these rates, to the best of my knowledge, did not have the crown above.
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Last edited by RCN; 08-10-09 at 01:43 PM.
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  #3  
Old 08-10-09, 01:54 PM
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Default FAA Branch Rating Pilot & Naval Aircrewman

The rate of Rating Pilot was unique to the FAA.
A wartime rate, these were FAA ratings who had successfully qualified as pilots, & were usually POs & CPOs. Some were Naval Aircrewmen or Mechanics that had subsequently qualified as pilots.
Their badge was the wings similar to those of FAA Pilot Officers but embroidered in red & gold & blue thread .

Ratings serving as Aircrewman also wore a distinctive rate badge embroidered in red, gold & blue thread, similar to the Pilot badge but with upswept wings. These were also wartime badges but continued into the post war period.

Illustrated below are the rate badges for Rating Pilot & Naval Aircrewman.

Bryan
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Old 08-10-09, 07:01 PM
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After the war a new rate structure was established for RN FAA ratings in 1948-49 & all FAA ratings were reclassified for the post war navy. This brought about a whole new set of FAA rate designations & badges.

Some Canadian FAA ratings were affected by this changeover, & thus may have worn the new rate badges for a brief period. The RCN was also at this time fame undergoing a major reorganization & insignia change as well.

Now we find the new rates of Aircraft Handler, Safety Equipment technician, & Meteorologist.

A few of these are illustrated below.
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  #5  
Old 07-02-11, 12:37 AM
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Thanks for this very informative thread Bryan and sorry to open up a thread like this but, I am interested as to the badges worn by Rating Observers and specifics of the above brevets.

Rating observers, did all rates wear a badge, from what I've seen similar to the aircrewmen but with crown above and a thicker 0 around the anchor? Or did junior rates, below PO not wear a crown above the anchor?

Aircrewmen, likewise, did senior rate's badges add a crown above the anchor or did all wear the same badge without crown?
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Old 07-02-11, 04:59 PM
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Thats OK Troutbridge, however I cannot answer with any degree of accuracy as I am not really knowledgable on FAA badges. I know the RCN rate badges well but the FAA at that
"changeover" period I go by the May book "Insignia of the British Armed Forces", which I think now long OOP.

He says:

"CPO PILOTS wear a flying badge similar to Officers , {these I have illustrated above}
and AIRCREWMAN wear a badge very like that of OBSERVERS; Aircrewman {this badge has the crown above} & Aircrewman(U) {I am thinking U designated Unqualified or Unclassified??}, which has no crown above."

So I am assuming Leading rates wore the no crown badge & CPO & PO's wore the crown above badge as they achieved the higher qualification.

Italics are mine


I have seen the thicker O around the central anchor & I think this is a manufacture's or tailor's varient.

The Officer's Observer wing definitely had a thicker silver O surrounding the anchor & had the Crown above.

Bryan
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  #7  
Old 31-01-16, 02:50 PM
laurence strong laurence strong is offline
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Here is the Officers Observer badge

Cheers
Larry
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