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Marian2

RAF service record: can you help decipher?

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Marian2

Can anyone interpret this section of an RAF service record?  I can read

 

M[edical] B[oard] 21.3.18 Unfit G[eneral?] S[ervice?] 2 [?] months.  Fit H[ome?] S[ervice?]

P.U. for further ??? in flying P.U. P.O 21.3.18.

 

Can someone do a better job?  I can't read the word following "further" at all.  What is "P.U. P.O"? (assuming I've got the letters right.)

58deb7fe782b2_RAFservicerecordtobedeciphered.JPG.6387403c50291f173fdf4056c1b02897.JPG

 

Thanks!

--Marian 

 

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

further instr. (Instruction) in flying?

Maybe?

 

 

PU - Passed Unfit ?

Edited by Dai Bach y Sowldiwr

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quemerford

Permanently Unfit for further instruction in flying. His WO339 file or casualty record will generally explain reasons for being unfit.

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Marian2

Thank you:  both suggestions make sense. 

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Marian2

The man in question was an American, a member of the "second Oxford detachment."  

 

This is my first introduction to WO 339 records, but I'm guessing they won't have been kept for Americans--?.  

 

Thank you both for the quick help.  

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Dai Bach y Sowldiwr
9 minutes ago, quemerford said:

Permanently Unfit

 

Yes, that makes more sense than my suggestion.

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Errol Martyn

PUPO possibly means Permanently Unfit [as] Pilot [or] Observer?

 

Errol

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quemerford
8 hours ago, Marian2 said:

The man in question was an American, a member of the "second Oxford detachment."  

 

This is my first introduction to WO 339 records, but I'm guessing they won't have been kept for Americans--?.  

 

Thank you both for the quick help.  

 

Not necessarily: though not all airmen have a WO339 file, if he served with the RAF/RFC then he may well have one, irrespective of nationality. Certainly worth a look for sure.

 

Also I'd contact the RAF Museum to see if they have his Casualty Form: often some useful info on these (these are not the Casualty Cards posted on the RAFM Vault, and rather contrary to their name, they don't just relate to "casualties" in the modern sense); also they may have his Medical Card (Form 6495).

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Marian2

Again, thanks for the help.  

 

I searched for a WO 339 file at the National Archives, but no dice.  However, I am grateful to have this resource pointed out!

 

Have written the RAF Museum inquiring about a Casualty Form.  

 

"as Pilot or Observer" certainly makes sense.  ...  Must have been awfully disappointing!

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Frank_East

The record is dated 21 March 1918,ie, before the formation of the RAF on 1 April 1918. Assuming an airman continued in service with the RAF, his RFC service record would be held by RAF Records.

 

If an airman served with the RFC and not the RAF,his records were kept by the British Army and apparently can be found on Ancestry....WO 363 (Service Record);  WO 364 (Pension Records);

 

WO 372 (Medal Index Card) records are held by the National Archives.

 

As outlined by National Archives....http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/help-with-your-research/research-guides/airman-royal-flying-corps/

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Errol Martyn

" Assuming an airman continued in service with the RAF, his RFC service record would be held by RAF Records."

 

One may still sometimes find WO339 files for those who transferred from RFC to RAF. It seems to depend upon whether or not there was ongoing correspondence after transfer to the RAF. Anyway, it's always worth checking for a WO339 for an RAF ex RFC man just in case.

 

Errol

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quemerford

As I mentioned, the RAF Museum may hold his Casualty Form (I see you've written to them), but to clarify, these forms are not the set of basic detail cards listed in the RAFM Vault. More detailed data on aircraft incidents can be found in a number of TNA accident/casualty files, though sadly not all accidents or incidents are covered by these. And in my experience (and as Errol mentions above) it's always worth looking for your man's WO339 file, because they can be a trove of information and often contain detail that I imagine would not always be covered by these files - birth certificates, photos etc.

 

I think the key is to not restrict your search to internet-based sources, which are often very basic in comparison to what is available with some legwork. Depends what you're looking for and how detailed you want to be I guess.

Edited by quemerford

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Marian2

The RAF Museum London kindly forwarded to me a copy of the pilot's "Medical Card," which lists his "disability" as "nervous strain."  

 

If anyone is still following this thread and can provide any context for the diagnosis "nervous strain," I'd be grateful.  I've seen the recent thread on "pilots and observers who lost their nerve," and perhaps that's relevant, but "nervous strain" might well cover a broader spectrum of issues.  Any parallel cases?  Medical text information?  

 

Thanks!

--Marian 

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quemerford

Marian,

 

Glad you pursued the Hendon route: often overlooked but equally often bears fruit.

 

"Nervous strain" was a common term, as was "neurasthenia": I have seen both quoted many times. I suggest that "depression", "stress" and "PTSD" would be used nowadays. In most/all cases for RFC flyers, the two former terms would seem to be convenient markers to describe mental health issues at a time when they were not really understood or accepted.

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Marian2

Thanks; that makes sense.  Unless a diary or letters turn up, the details in this case will remain obscure.  

 

best,

--Marian 

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