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mstowe

RAF (A&S), puzzled over jacket sleeve with naval badge

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mstowe
Posted (edited)

I am puzzling over a photo that I have of two officer pilots at an Ontario flight training school, about 1918, and their jackets have the naval style round albatross sleeve badge. It's confusing, what kind of pilot officer would wear a sleeve like that?

If a pilot was in the RAF A&S (land and seaplanes), is it possible that they would wear a naval style sleeve badge like that?

(excuse me if I don't have the terminology correct for sleeves)

 

Edited by mstowe

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madgarry

Could be Royal naval air service

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mstowe

Right. They seem out of context at this camp, so was curious about A&S branch.

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charlie962

Recent threads on formation of RAF in April 1918 have noted that former RFC members continued to wear their old  RFC uniforms for some considerable time afterwards. I presume the same would be true for ex RNAS ?

 

Charlie

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michaeldr
Posted (edited)

I'm not a uniforms expert by any means, but the point raised is interesting nevertheless. 
 After scratching around the web for a while, I see that Observers and Navigators: And Other Non-Pilot Aircrew in the RFC, RNAS and RAF by Wg Cdr C.G. Jefford, provides some useful info in footnote 14 on page 106 [found via Google books]

AMWO 99 of 17 April 1918 allowed the continued use of RNAS badges until the introduction of new RAF ones, and allowed the then current uniforms to also continue to be worn

A change was eventually made in October 1918 [AMWO 1140] when only either army or RAF 'blue' uniforms were allowed in public. However, on base older (presumably including RNAS) uniforms could still be worn as working dress

1st January 1919: no further army style uniforms purchased

The now familiar RAF blue/grey was introduced 1st October 1919

Returning to 1918 – there's a photograph here http://www.207squadron.rafinfo.org.uk/ww1/1918.htm of 207 Squadron RAF dated 29th August 1918 which displays the varied range of uniforms allowed at that time

Edited by michaeldr

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scottmarchand

Sounds like the new 1918 pattern RAF Khaki uniform. It had sleeve eagles (not albatros) similar to the old RNAS sleeve type but with crowns over top like the later RAF officers side cap badge. The lowest ranking officer cadets, Pilot Officers,  would only have the eagles an no rank lace until promoted. here is one to a Flight Lt. http://www.airministrymilitaria.com/viewitem.php?id=139

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Jon_B
Posted (edited)

This photo of 210 Squadron at Gosport in 1920 shows a wide range of uniforms still in use - RFC, RNAS - as well as the RAF khaki and blue.

 

Jon

 

 

210 Sqn low res.jpg

Edited by Jon_B

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Kimberley John Lindsay

Dear Jon,

Fifty-six quite different personalities!

A super photograph, showing the reluctance - perhaps due to expense - to shift from the well-tried RNAS/RFC uniforms to those of the new RAF. 

The RAF (Observer?) officer, standing, second from right with ribbon up, looks like W. A. R. Pepper, but I may be mistaken.

Kindest regards,

Kim. 

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Robin Garrett

It was always said of my old regiment that if two officers appeared dressed the same, the junior would go and change. Your photo takes that to extremes!

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pete-c

1920, and still one dyed in the wool RFC man in a maternity jacket!

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rolt968

Somewhere many years ago I read about the wide range of uniforms which were seen in the wardroom of HMS Vindictive (aircraft carrier) in the Baltic in 1919. Presumably at least RN, RNAS, RFC, versions of RAF, possibly RNAS and RFC badged RAF.

RM

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Jon_B
Posted (edited)

All,

 

I've had a query regarding the date of 1920 that I attributed to the photo, based on the relatively few war service ribbons being worn on uniforms of men who presumably saw war service, and whether the photo is actually closer to the end of the war, prior to medal rolls being completed. Fair point.

 

It is from my great-grandfather's collection, then Chief Gunner TF Britton DSC, RN, standing top row third from the right. It is undated, with just 'Gosport' and a few names on the back. He was attached to the RAF at Gosport between April 1919 and February 1922, as a torpedo instructor. The RAF torpedo development squadron at Gosport was 186 Sqn from April 1919 to February 1920, when it was disbanded and reformed there as 210 Sqn, in the same role.

 

The squadron leader sitting in the front row with the dog under his seat is CWH Pulford. He was squadron commander of 210 Sqn from February 1920, but also deputy commander of 186 Sqn from April 1919. So it is possible that this is 186 Sqn in 1919, and the squadron leader sitting on Pulford's right (unidentified) is the squadron commander. The photo has 'Squadron Leader Pulford' written clearly on the back, which suggested to me that he was squadron commander when this was taken, but I accept that this is speculation.

 

TF Britton and the other naval officer have white cap covers, which were worn between May and September.

 

So, it could be summer 1919 or summer 1920. Regardless, and with reference to the OP, it still shows that the wearing of pre-RAF uniforms continued post-1918.

 

Jon

 

 

Edited by Jon_B

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mstowe

Great info, thanks. So the new RAF jacket had the eagle/crown on the sleeve. I also googled and did find a few first pattern uniforms with the eagle. So this tells me that the officers I was originally confused about because of their sleeves, could simply be regular 1918 RAF officers, and not necessarily former RNAS officers.

I confirmed that with my own photos of my great uncle, he joined RAF early 1918, and he has eagle/crown on both of the jackets. I never noticed that before. One jacket has no breast wings, no chevrons but does have the sleeve eagle/crown. I can't perfectly tell the color but I think it is dark blue. That could be after the war. The other jacket is earlier and has everything.   

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Rob B

Here is a picture of my grandfather Fl Lt RG Spence DFC ex RNAS and his Observer who looks to be ex RFC somewhere in the Aegean in late 1918. 

Fl Lt RG Spence DFC.JPG

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mstowe

I've become aware of the 1918 RAF buttons. I noticed that my great uncle mentioned above had buttons with the rope around then, which would signal RNAS, but there is nothing to indicate naval in his record. So, with the sleeve albatross becoming part of the new RAF uniform, what about buttons? I have seen 1918 jackets both with and without rope buttons. Can I assume anyone with ropes was naval? (post Apr 1918)

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Andrew Upton
17 minutes ago, mstowe said:

I've become aware of the 1918 RAF buttons. I noticed that my great uncle mentioned above had buttons with the rope around then, which would signal RNAS, but there is nothing to indicate naval in his record. So, with the sleeve albatross becoming part of the new RAF uniform, what about buttons? I have seen 1918 jackets both with and without rope buttons. Can I assume anyone with ropes was naval? (post Apr 1918)

 

The original pattern of RAF button which came into use on April 1st 1918 was identical to the RNAS, so showed the bird surmounted by a crown, and the whole surrounded by the rope edge. Within a few months the rope edge was eliminated, and they had changed to the basic style that is still in use today.

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mstowe
7 minutes ago, Andrew Upton said:

 

The original pattern of RAF button which came into use on April 1st 1918 was identical to the RNAS, so showed the bird surmounted by a crown, and the whole surrounded by the rope edge. Within a few months the rope edge was eliminated, and they had changed to the basic style that is still in use today.

 

Great, that clears things up. Thanks.

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Uncle George

Here's an interesting RAF uniform, as worn by one Captain H.R. Oldfield. " ... In April, 1918, he reigned his commission in the Volunteers on appointment as 2nd Lieutenant in R.A.F..."

 

https://archive.org/stream/nationalguarding00fost#page/292

 

image.jpg

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mstowe
7 minutes ago, Uncle George said:

Here's an interesting RAF uniform, as worn by one Captain H.R. Oldfield. " ... In April, 1918, he reigned his commission in the Volunteers on appointment as 2nd Lieutenant in R.A.F..."

 

https://archive.org/stream/nationalguarding00fost#page/292

 

image.jpg

 

Interesting shirt, very sharp. A pic of one of my guys shows an ascot scarf instead of a shirt with a pin through it. Very smart. Does Oldfield have ropes on his buttons?

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