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Letters in the Curl.


Lantern Swinger
Many of you may know there is a bit of a debate going on about the RNR keeping the R in the curl of their stripes. I was just wondering when did the FAA stop having an A in theirs? Any Ideas?

I had always assumed it was only RNVR aircrew that had the A in their wavy stripes but I have just seen a 1950s photo of the then LtCdr "Winkle" Brown with an A in his straight lace curl.

Thanks DI
From the RN site:

RN Crap Website said:
Waved distinction stripes for R.N.V.R. officers were discontinued in April, 1951, in favour of the usual straight (R.N.) stripes with the letter R inside the curl (A for Air Branch officers); this letter is not worn when R.N.V.R. officers are mobilised for service. Temporary R.N.V.R. officers have the curl of their uppermost stripe made of waved narrow lace (i.e. the old pattern R.N.V.R. curl) and do not have any letter inside the curl.

According to this New Zealand naval article, this was discontinued in 1953 when the Fleet Air Arm was re-established after WW2.

So the answer appears to be that the "A" was only in straight lace from 1951 (when the King gave the RNR and RNVR straight lace on uniform) to 1953 (when the "Air Branch" was renamed and reconstituted). Does this help?
Thanks for that. I had read the above article on the RN Website and was a bit concerned about its accuracy. I am not sure when he transfered from the RNVR to RN. Incedentally the photo in question is in the new edition of Winkle's book. Republished with new bits that he had to leave out of the original. I must get on and read it. It probably has the answer!
Right, Just to update. The R has now gone. Well mine has. Saw a bunch of Forwards last week end at the Falklands 25 Service in Worcester. The Ratings had all ditched the flash but the OIC still had his. Lets see what happens on Sunday.

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