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Remembered Today:

R.A.F. service record abbreviation: 4 A S of A G ?


Marian2
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An American pilot who was, according to his casualty form, sent on May 26, 1918, to No. 2 A.S.D.,  was, according to his RAF service record,  transferred on June 17, 1918, to what looks like 4 A S of A G (?)  Hospital.  Can someone tell me what the initials stand for?  Possibly (?) the info has been entered incorrectly and he was going from 4 A S of A G to Hospital.

 

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Thanks!

---Marian 

 

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I'd say it translates as from No 4 (Auxiliary) School of Aerial Gunnery to Hospital.  However, I believe that the school was based at Marske-by-the-Sea (north Yorkshire) which means being taken to hospital at Étaples somewhat unlikely.  As you say, the 4 A S of A G entry might be in error.

 

Graeme

 

 

 

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I also thought perhaps Marske.  But it's pretty clear that he was stationed in France; there's a photo of him at Rang-du-Fliers in June 1918.  Is there a gunnery school that might fit the 4 A S of A G near No. 2 A.S.D.?  

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No 4 (Auxiliary) School of Aerial Gunnery was disbanded at Marske on 6 May 1918.

 

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Yes, No 4 (Auxiliary) School of Aerial Gunnery was disbanded at Marske on 6 May 1918, devolving into No 2 Fighting School, which had been formed on 29 May, having previously been No 2 School of Aerial Fighting & Gunnery.

 

I have a thought niggling at the back of my mind that there was a gunnery range adjacent to one of the ASDs, maybe Berck, which isn't too distant from Étaples.

 

Graeme

 

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I found this earlier thread:  https://www.greatwarforum.org/topic/216644-fighter-pilot-training/  about a gunnery range at Rang-du-Fliers:  

 

It includes a post by Mick Davis remarking that "I'm not sure that the title Gunnery School should be used; as far as I'm aware, the only Schools of Aerial Gunnery were in the UK - there had been Aerial Musketry Ranges in France, at Bercke and Cormont. Elements of 2 ASD were at Verton and nearby Bercke-sur-Mer by summer 1918 and that unit's Pilots Pool Range is what I suspect the photos are showing."

 

I'm wondering now whether my man had been at Marske at one point (maybe April 1918) and that was simply the last "data point" the person filling out the RAF service record had.  

 

---Marian 

 

 

 

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Could the first line be read separately from the second? e.g.

 

  • Unit: No. 4(A) School of Aerial Gunnery. Incoming Authority Confirming: Census.
  • Unit: Hospital, 17.06.1918. No.51 General Hospital Étaples. Incoming Authority Confirming: FH279, 21.06.1918.
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They are separate entries, but as it stands, the chronology doesn't hold up, the School of Aerial Gunnery, located in the UK, was disbanded on 6 May and re-named No 2 Fighting School on 29 May, before he apparently went from there to hospital in Étaples.  It could be that he was assigned to another post after attending No 4 (A) School of Aerial Gunnery, but that this detail has been omitted from his record or that this entry should have been entered on the record of another officer with a similar name, or is simply incorrect. 

 

I'm almost certain that I'm remembering Berck-Plage as the site of the gunnery range, which would tie in with him having been at 2 ASD then sent to hospital on 17 June.

 

Graeme

 

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Cheers Mike, that's the one, Berck-Plage/Berck-sur-Mer being just a few miles west of Rang-du-Fliers and about eight miles south of Étaples. 

 

Now we just need to figure out why the record suggests he went from No 4 (A) School of Aerial Gunnery, which was in Yorkshire, to a hospital in western France!

 

Graeme

 

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In 1917, RNAS squadrons might send active service pilots with their aircraft to Berck if the CO considered they needed to brush up on their gunnery. I wonder if Berck was considered a satellite of Frieston? And might it still have been a satellite of Marske in RAF days?

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