Fish head pilots and observers!!!

Just read the following article, 1940s :oops: :oops: Pilots and Observers had their wings,above the loop on their rings, not all aircrew were recognised to belong to the Air Branch. Since many were General Service officers , in effect sailors who flew, rather than fliers who went to sea. :roll: :roll: :roll: :wink: Those in the air branch, had a capital "A "within the loop of their ring


War Hero
Book Reviewer
Scouse, aviation was always a sub-specialisation option for Executive (from 1956 Seaman) officers. It was from this pool that officers might progress (through salt horse excutive officer appointments as Jimmy and'or Commander) to Command, first of a small ship and later perhaps to a carrier; and ultimately this path would have produced most of those who reached Flag rank with flying experience and some idea of what the FAA was for - in spite of so much talent having been bled off in 1918. Notoriously HMS Glorious was lost because her CO (in his day an exceptionally brave submariner who had swum ashore in the Marmora and blown up a Turkish railway line single-handed) simply didn't understand what his Air Group was for. The ones with A in the curl were I think short service FAA-only officers although I suspect some survivors may have transferred to a permanent career. Most during the war would have been RNVR ('There's a f-up on the Flight Deck and the Wavy Navy done it') and I think at least one progressed to a Sqn command. In this connection the early carrier losses - Courageous, Glorious etc - and the generally high chop rate took out an awful lot of GL pilots and observers. Later specimens of the short-service type were recruited with O-levels only & known to the rest of us as 'Avcads'. For what it's worth some GL aircrew cross-qualified in Gunnery so as to sort out the poor'unscientific aiming of the FAA which scattered the ordnance a bit too widely. Some of this 'PG' work was later superseded by the AWIs, but in the sixties GL (not SD) Gunnery Officers had an additional element on their course to equip them in an Air Weapons sense for G of a carrier, with a bit of jolly banging about in elderly Vampires to give them the general idea. For those techincally interested there is a set oif course notes for this in the Whaley museum.

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