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James Joseph Hanley Service Record


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I hope I am not overdoing it with this post!! Any information about this service record would be appreciated. What I am looking for is at end of post.

I have the RFC/RAF service record for James Joseph Hanley. He served from 13th January 1917 to 7th May 1919. He was awarded the British War and Victory Medals for his service in France from 3rd September 1917 to 13th January 1917. The note on his service record says Rec 19th September1921 and DESP 20th September 1921. Page 133 Book 7.


Stamped on his medal is his service number and rank. Air Mechanic second class 2 AM 54504.

He was employed as a Telegraphist in the GPO in Dublin before enlisting. And his trade classification in the RFC was Wireless Operator.

Listed under Movements Unit to which 1 A.D.

Unit from which 1 A D. Unit to which Home For Desp Estat Auth Z11 Date of effect 7th May 1919 144983

Listed under Promotions

Enlisted 3/AM 13th January 1917

Apptd 2/AM 15th March 1917

Trans: R.A.F. AM.3 1st April 1918

Duration of Period of Engagement DW

Transfer to R.A.F. G reserve 4th May 1919 a3/56605

Medical Board

a3/56605 a

A note dated

18th February 1919: P.V.O Adm 57 Gen H in the field fith 679/2

While the service record contains a lot of new information I would appreciate if someone could help with the interpretation. I would like information on all the references in bold. What do they mean?

I presume that REC means 'received' and D W means 'duration of war'.

I understand that 1 A D refers in the First Air Depot. Where was this located? Is it possible to find out where he was stationed in France?

Why would he have been demoted to Air Mechanic Third Class when he transferred to the R.A.F. 1st April 1918?



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A few answers for you:


Medals were posted to recipients several years after the end of the war. 'REC' is the date that the issue of medals was recorded in his service record, 'DESP' is the date that the medals were actually despatched.

1 A D

The aerodrome at St Omer was effectively the staging post for all squadrons that were sent out to the Western Front. It was given the name of No 1 Aircraft Depot in December 1915 (No 2 being at Candas). No 1 A D remained at St Omer until April 1918, when it moved to Guines (the Stores section going to Desvres).




Duration of War. When enlisting, mechanics were given the choice of signing up for 4 years plus 4 years on reserve or until the end of hostilities


After his medical examination at the time of enlisting, he would have been assigned a medical grade - from A1 to D3. 'A' stood for "Able to march, see to shoot, hear well and stand active service conditions." The '3' subcategory stood for "Returned Expeditionary Force men, ready except for physical condition."



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