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  #1  
Old 05-01-22, 11:27 AM
RAY WALKLING RAY WALKLING is offline
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Default BRITISH COMMONWEALTH AIR TRAINING PLAN -1939 to 1945

The book "Eagles Recalled" by Warren Carroll (1997), Chapter 16, pages 130/131 show photographs of a number of RAF single wing flying badges. Does anyone have photographs of any of these badges being worn?
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Old 05-01-22, 04:38 PM
Gaznav Gaznav is offline
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Those badges were never officially sanctioned. So whilst they may have been ‘knocked up’ in a North American tailors, and even dished out at some of the more distant flying schools, they would not have complied with King’s Orders or King’s Regulations. So any Station Warrant Officer (SWO) back on the Front Line would have shouted “Get ‘em ‘orf, Sir!” pretty sharpish!
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Old 06-01-22, 03:45 PM
RAY WALKLING RAY WALKLING is offline
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Default BCATP - RAF Flying Badges

Thank you for your reply. I did know that the badges mentioned were never approved by the Sovereign or authorised by the Air Ministry and that wearers on their return to Home Establishment would be required to remove them for the reasons you stated. Nevertheless Warren Carroll seems pretty certain after research in Canada that the RAF badges were worn out there. This is borne out by a personal conversation I had in 1977 with an ex RAF WW2 Equipment Assistant who served with the BCATP in Manitoba. He told me that due to equipment shortages from the UK all manner of unauthorised insignia (flying badges, nationality titles and trade badges) were to be seen on RAF uniforms of both trainees and permanent staff. For the record I have recently viewed a photograph of a RNZAF Flight Sergeant Air Bomber wearing the BCATP RNZAF Air Bomber half wing flying badge dated 1943 Edmonton)
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  #4  
Old 06-01-22, 05:52 PM
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What about this (possibly) unauthorised / unofficial headgear?
Here is my dad at the start of training at Prince Edward Island. An LAC having volunteered and recently transferred from the Royal Artillery and sent to Canada on the BCATP.

On the September 1941 course at 32 Air Navigation School, Charlottetown, PEI. Rear row, fourth from left.

In 1942 having qualified as an observer and promoted to Serjeant. Wearing the half-wing Observer badge.

Tim
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File Type: jpg DHW LAC PEI 1941.jpg (41.9 KB, 60 views)
File Type: jpg Course 32 ANS PEI September 1941.jpg (63.0 KB, 46 views)
File Type: jpg DHW Sgt Observer 1942.jpg (27.9 KB, 60 views)
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Last edited by grey_green_acorn; 08-01-22 at 02:59 PM.
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  #5  
Old 06-01-22, 08:35 PM
nbroadarrowz nbroadarrowz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by grey_green_acorn View Post
What about this (possibly) unauthorised / unofficial headgear?
Here is my dad at the start of training at Prince Edward Island. An LAC having volunteered and recently transferred from the Royal Artillery and sent to Canada on the BCATP.

September 1941 course at 32 Air Navigation School PEI.

In 1942 having qualified as an observer.

Tim
The cap in question is a Cap, Winter, Cloth pattern with a stores code of 22F/13. Canadian pattern and made clothing was issued in Canada to Empire Air Training Scheme personal. Officers could buy a fur cap (most likely beaver) and they wore the officers badge to the front. The caps were worn in Canada and had to returned to stores (except officers) and as such are hard to get.
Barry
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  #6  
Old 06-01-22, 09:12 PM
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Barry,
Thank you, I expect that Dad followed orders and returned his Cap, Winter to stores!

Tim
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  #7  
Old 07-01-22, 01:18 PM
Gaznav Gaznav is offline
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@RAY WALKING

Only the badges authorised in King’s Order 480 dated 27 Jul 42 were officially sanctioned for use. I have attached a copy of that King’s Order that details the flying badges authorised for use by RAF Aircrew.

Cheers, Gaz
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  #8  
Old 07-01-22, 01:54 PM
RAY WALKLING RAY WALKLING is offline
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Default BCAFP - Flying badges

For Gaznav
Thanks for the docs, greatly appreciated.
For nbroadarrowz
The War Illustrated Feb 14, 1941 shows picture of 6 RAF airmen trained in Canada returning home still wearing the RCAF winter forage caps
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Old 08-01-22, 02:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nbroadarrowz View Post
The cap in question is a Cap, Winter, Cloth pattern with a stores code of 22F/13. Canadian pattern and made clothing was issued in Canada to Empire Air Training Scheme personal. Officers could buy a fur cap (most likely beaver) and they wore the officers badge to the front. The caps were worn in Canada and had to returned to stores (except officers) and as such are hard to get.
Barry
The cloth winter caps were general issue to all RCAF personnel in winter, with khaki versions for the Army. They were also issued to foreign personnel on the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan in North America (Empire Air Training Scheme being the term used in Australia) with almost all (RAF, RCAF, RNZAF and others) being issued with the blue/grey version. However, a dark blue version was produced specifically for the Royal Australian Air Force, alongside heavyweight greatcoats, and held at No. 1 'A' Equipment Sub-Depot in Ottawa, to be issued as necessary. With no need for this clothing to be used back in Australia or in the UK where winters were deemed less harsh, the caps, greatcoats, overboots and gloves were to be returned to stores prior to embarkation, cleaned, repaired if needed, and reissued.

The winter caps were worn both with and without cap badges to the front panel, with stocks of RCAF, RAAF, RAF, RNZAF and Dutch Air Force badges being Canadian made too and held by the respective Headquarters Sub-Depots. As the blue/grey versions of the winter cap were common RCAF issue they are easily found these days on collector sites. The dark blue RAAF versions are exceptionally rare however and I only know of one survivor.

The Officers caps (Caps, Fur) were originally Otter fur, or to be specific, 'Canadian or Southern Otter' (1939) although within a year Muskrat was also permitted. Their construction was extremely specific, and were to measure 17 inches from the edge, over the top and down to the other bottom edge. They were to be lined in 'black quilted farmers satin', and those purchased after 1st December 1935 were to have the fur running from back to front! Later it was specified that Otter skin caps should have the fur running back to front, and Muskrat should be front to back!

An unusual photograph of Sergeant Hans Van Roosendaal of the Dutch Air Force wearing a Winter cap.
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  #10  
Old 02-02-22, 11:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAY WALKLING View Post
The book "Eagles Recalled" by Warren Carroll (1997), Chapter 16, pages 130/131 show photographs of a number of RAF single wing flying badges. Does anyone have photographs of any of these badges being worn?
My apologies Ray, I had meant to post this a few weeks ago.

Whilst I have no photos of the Canadian made 'RAF' wings being worn, I have an actual example. This was worn in India and I believe the UK by 1806275 Flight Sergeant John Lawrence, a wireless operator/air gunner with No. 62 Squadron on Dakota's. I am not certain where he got it as he originally wore an AG wing with 'fist and sparks' wireless operator badge. He had issued a standard RAF 'S' wing but it seems not to have been worn, but he did wear this Canadian made wing, converted to an 'S' later in the war after choosing to fly exclusively as a wireless op (signaller). I got his other wings, wireless ops badges and rank badges with this wing. Being Canadian made logic would suggest he got it at the start of his training, but WAGs generally did their training in the UK, so its likely he got it off a colleague and converted the central letter.
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  #11  
Old 05-02-22, 12:15 PM
RAY WALKLING RAY WALKLING is offline
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Default BCATP - Canadian made RAF Flying Badges

For Padre,
Many thinks for the sight of the modified "S" badge and it's details, what a pity there isn't a photograph of it being worn. I have recently viewed a private collection of BCATP photographs which included RNZAF and RAAF Aircrew Sgts wearing BCATP RNZAF AND RAAF WAG flying badges respectively, however I am still unable to find any photographic evidence of the BCATP RAF half wing badges being worn.
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  #12  
Old 05-02-22, 02:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RAY WALKLING View Post
For Padre,
Many thinks for the sight of the modified "S" badge and it's details, what a pity there isn't a photograph of it being worn. I have recently viewed a private collection of BCATP photographs which included RNZAF and RAAF Aircrew Sgts wearing BCATP RNZAF AND RAAF WAG flying badges respectively, however I am still unable to find any photographic evidence of the BCATP RAF half wing badges being worn.
I suspect that he wore it as he was outside the UK (Flying from India) and so wanted to show some additional sort of identification he was RAF (almost certainly not wearing any form of UK shoulder title). It may have been the same with the RNZAF and RAAF crews who were 'abroad' whilst training in Canada, and still so when operational from the UK, that they wanted another thing that identified RAAF or RNZAF, and a 'blind eye' was turned. It might also explain why no photos have come to light of RAF examples being worn, in that after leaving Canada they largely went back to the UK and so were 'home' and didn't need that added 'bling'.

Once RAF crews returned to the UK and completed their training, even if they then went to, say India, how many would make the effort to reattach a Canadian 'RAF' wing or attempt to find one to use, over the three or four British ones they were issued? Its likely that if any photos are to be found they will be of RAF bods in the Middle East or Far East, as there was no reason (or tolerance) for their use in the UK, and after being awarded wings in Canada they quickly left for the UK.

I have a few photos of RAF pilots who were awarded silver USAAF wings after completing their training, and some have them on the right with the RAF wing on the left, and others had a 'graduation' photo taken with them, but its clear the standard RAF issue was favoured (even in graduation photos).
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  #13  
Old 05-02-22, 03:31 PM
RAY WALKLING RAY WALKLING is offline
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Default BCATP - RAF Half Wing Flying badges

For Padre
All the photographs I have viewed of Commonwealth Aircrew (RAAF/RNZAF) wearing the BCATP half wing flying badges appear to be proud ex trainees who have recently graduated as aircrew. All are at Canadian locations and dated 1943, I therefore find it surprising in view of the known supply shortages of equipment from the UK at that time that no BCATP half wing badges have been seen on uniforms of RAF ex trainees whilst still in Canada. Your thoughts please
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  #14  
Old 05-02-22, 07:11 PM
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Ray

Canadian Air Force Routine Order A.28/41 of 10th January 1941 addresses the issue of R.A.A.F. clothing and badges, noting '...Pilot's, Air Observers, Air Gunners and Wireless Operators badges of R.A.A.F. pattern will be held at No. 1 'A' Equipment Sub-Depot, and are to be demanded by schools for R.A.A.F. trainees who are about to graduate....' It also notes demands are to be '...for actual requirements only.' A small stock of badges was also held at the Embarkation Depot as replacements for lost of damaged items, with the items obtained from the above Depot, scale of 4 badges per man. Arrangements for R.N.Z.A.F. personnel was the same.

With regards R.A.F. trainees, AFRO A.850 of 18th July 1941 notes that 'A stock of pilots badges is being supplied by the Air Ministry to No. 17 Equipment Unit and will be issued to R.A.F. schools on demand, as long as available. Issues of air observers badges, air gunners badges and subsequent issues of pilots badges, will be made from stocks at No. 17 Equipment Unit to R.A.F. schools on repayment.' It sounds like a large stock of standard British made RAF aircrew wings might have been supplied from Britain for the R.A.F., whereas R.A.A.F. and R.N.Z.A.F. had stocks produced in North America.

We know that companies like 'Patch King' of America and 'R. S. Bennett & Sons Ltd' of Toronto produced wings, titles and other badges in the Canadian style with the 'R.A.A.F.', 'R.N.Z.A.F.' and 'R.A.F.' underneath. Its possible that the R.A.A.F. and R.N.Z.A.F. were issued these, whereas the R.A.F. used British supplied items in British pattern, at least in the main, the 'R.A.F.' marked wings being something that were purchased privately. If so, how many might spend money on wings that would not be allowed to be worn once they returned to the UK?
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  #15  
Old 06-02-22, 02:46 PM
RAY WALKLING RAY WALKLING is offline
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Default BCATP - RAF half wing Flying Badges

For Padre
Many thanks for your references and associated thoughts, most helpful in my continued search for the RAF half wings being worn
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