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  #16  
Old 20-05-24, 03:48 PM
royston royston is offline
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Many thanks gentlemen. This has been an interesting thread the subject of which I knew nothing. I did notice that Lt Bowyer is shown in RN uniform, with RNVR lacing, in one photograph and in the next in the new RAF uniform.
Bearing in mind that the RAF came into being on 01 April 1918 (April Fools Day!) it may appear that the ACC transferred to the RAF on that date. But again there was a lot happening between 01 April 1918 and 11 November 1918 who is to know.
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  #17  
Old 21-05-24, 06:10 AM
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mike_vee mike_vee is offline
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His service card (see post #7) is confusing ?

27-3-18 A.C.C Boulogne
Quote:
On 27 March 1918, he was posted overseas to RNAS Boulogne France and its satellite station at Marquise returning to UK on 24 January 1919.
27-3-18 West Drayton
Would West Drayton be his RAF 'home base' as opposed to an RNAS station ?
Quote:
West Drayton RAF station was operating in 1918 as an RAF Air Construction Corps (A.C.C.) depot and was located in the Stockley area of the Yiewsley Urban District. Before the creation of the RAF on 1 April 1918, buildings at Stockley were occupied by the Royal Naval Air Service (R.N.A.S.).
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  #18  
Old 21-05-24, 03:37 PM
RAY WALKLING RAY WALKLING is offline
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Good point that man!! I think the last two entries read together mean: 27 Mar 1918 - Posted from West Drayton to AAC Boulogne. Interestingly no mention is made of the RNAS in any of the foregoing appointments and of course West Drayton became RAF on 1 April 1918. The defence rests!!!
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  #19  
Old 12-06-24, 03:20 PM
Antrim82 Antrim82 is offline
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The Navy list appears to have some answers as Temp Lt Bowyer RNVR first appears in July 1917 in the RNVR section (519l, 526xx) then in Jan 1918 in the RNAS section (606) along with number of other temporary Lts and Sub Lts of similar seniority. Presumably all were taken on at the same time for similar duties associated with the RNAS but there is no mention of the ACC directly.

There is however no evidence for any form of Naval distinctive badge for the ACC prior to the formation of the RAF, and certainly no authority for a surveyor such as Temp Lt Bowyer to adopt either the RNAS cap badge or flying grade distinctions even if working in support of the RNAS on construction of their bases. It is however possible he would have been eligible to wear the winged A badge instituted in November 1917 introduced specifically for non-graded RNVR officers employed in support of the RNAS.

The term Graded referred to the fact that all Flight ranks (Pilots/Navigators) used in the RNAS were in fact grades initially assigned based on Flying and any specialist aviation experience on entry to the RNAS and then progressed through as their flying experience, seniority and responsibilities increased. These as far as possible were aligned with the normal officer’s rank system used in the rest of the Navy but the regulations did produce some interesting issues when applied to the rank distinctions actually worn and the ranks which could be achieved.

First all serving officers in the RN, RNR and RNVR transferring to the RNAS for Flying duties were allocated graded ranks, but retained their existing uniform, rank lace and seniority, simply adding the eagle or winged O above the curl or topmost braid. These officers had two seniorities displayed in the Navy List. That of their substantive rank in the Navy and the second their graded rank in the RNAS which could differ. They would then wear the number of rings and half rings appropriate to the higher of their substantive or graded rank.

Officers entering direct from Civilian Life initially as fully qualified pilots and later as 18-23 year Probationary Flight/Observer Officers only had a graded rank seniority. These officers received little or no general naval training and as a result were expressly forbidden from commanding any ship or unit outside of the RNAS without specific Admiralty approval. These were the only Officers to wear the distinctive RNAS Eagle cap badge and other uniform distinctions.

Another issue for these officers is that it would normally have taken 8 years as a Lieutenant before achieving the rank of Lt Commander and the RNAS was in existence for only 6 years. It was therefore impossible for any direct entry Flt Lt to achieve the necessary service to rise to the rank of Squadron Commander with 8 or more years’ service (The Lt Cdr equivalent). This meant the ceiling for most was the Squadron Commander under 8 years service with the Lt stripes. A few direct entry individuals did rise to the Rank of Wing Commander (5 are listed in April 1918) but these in general were aviation pioneers employed in specialist jobs rather than on general flying duties.

For these reasons throughout the war the higher ranks of the RNAS were provided by Regular and Reserve Naval Officers who would not be wearing the Eagle cap badge.

The photographs accompanying Lt Bowyers story are excellent in clearly showing the mix of uniform distinctions worn by Flying and Non-Flying personnel in the RNAS in the latter part of the War.

What happened with regard to uniform when the RNAS passed into the Royal Airforce I don’t really know . One for the RAF forum, I think. My understanding is that all personnel, flying, maintenance and support personnel irrespective of their Branch associated with RNAS units were passed en-bloc directly to the new force, adopting the new uniforms as supplies permitted.

For reference Uniform regulations for the Royal Navy including the last set of specific instructions for the RNAS can be found in the Navy List. April 1918 (2311).

Hope this is of help in making sense of the mix of uniforms seen in the pictures.

Last edited by Antrim82; 17-06-24 at 06:51 PM. Reason: Correcting typos
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  #20  
Old 16-06-24, 10:07 PM
RAY WALKLING RAY WALKLING is offline
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Don't know much about the Navy List, found Jan 1918 section (916) but can't see bowyers name
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  #21  
Old 17-06-24, 06:52 PM
Antrim82 Antrim82 is offline
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Apologies for a typo in the original post which I have now corrected.

To summarise in the January and April 1918 editions Bowyer’s name appears twice.

First in a new section added under the Royal Naval Air Service, after the standard lists of Officers and Warrant Officer Pilots and Observers, for OFFICERS HOLDING TEMPORARY COMMISSIONS IN THE ROYAL NAVAL VOLUNTEER. RESERVE, SERVING IN THE ROYAL NAVAL AIR SERVICE. Bowyers name appears on page 606

Second on page 1605 in the alphabetical list of Officers of the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve with his Division shown as AS which translates as ‘attached to the Royal Naval Air Service’.

So clearly shown as being attached to the RNAS but separate from the Pilots and Observers in that service.

Hope this is of help
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  #22  
Old 18-06-24, 09:41 PM
RAY WALKLING RAY WALKLING is offline
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Thanks Antrim82
Back to my original question "Was the ACC part of the RN or the RNAS"? After much to-ing and fro-ing in the forum I really wasn't fully convinced that they were part of the RNAS. However your last post has convinced me, your quote, which I have found and viewed says it all "SERVING IN THE ROYAL NAVAL AIR SERVICE", not attached on loan or service with!!!
Interestingly as far as I can see none of Lt Bowyers documents actually mention the RNAS, (although RNAS Stations are mentioned by name), other than a note in the margin RNVR att RNAS
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