Author Topic: RAF service record 1918-1936 - help appreciated for identifying aircraft flown  (Read 315 times)

Offline SteveKNS

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I've attached an extract from the first page of my cousin George Cecil Rhodes' RAF service record and I'm hoping that someone can shed some light on the aircraft that he flew. He transferred from the RNAS in 1918 - his flying record started in 1921 and ended in 1936 when he retired.

The record states that he flew "Avro B.F. DH9A Snipe (ACR27) Atlas (ACR31) Wapiti (ACR32) Siskin Hart (ACR33) Bulldog (ACR35)".  There also seems to be a "to" (or maybe an ampersand) between "B.F." and "DH9A" - if it's "to" then I don't know what that means.

I also don't know what the "ACR" codes mean so would appreciate some help with that too.

This is my first attempt at identifying the aircraft listed:-

Avro (unnamed, but possibly  the 504) - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Avro_504

Bristol Fighter - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_F.2_Fighter

DeHavilland DH9 - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Airco_DH.9

Sopwith Snipe (ACR 27) - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_Snipe

Armstrong Whitworth Atlas (ACR 31) - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armstrong_Whitworth_Atlas

Westland Wapiti (ACR 32) - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Westland_Wapiti

Armstrong Whitworth Siskin - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armstrong_Whitworth_Siskin

Hawker Hart (ACR 33) - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hawker_Hart

Sopwith Bulldog (ACR 25) - see: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sopwith_Bulldog


Any suggestions/corrections much appreciated.

Steve
Rhodes, Laycock, Dennant, Maturin, Denson, Johnston

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Online PalmTree1

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Re: RAF service record 1918-1936 - help appreciated for identifying aircraft flown
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 01 May 19 15:23 BST (UK) »
Hello Steve,

I would go with your first thoughts except for the Bulldog which I suggest could well be the Bristol Bulldog https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Bulldog

As to ACR and the numbers I have no real ideas except that ACR might simply be shorthand for AirCRaft...

Regards,
Paul
Palmers of Pilton, Ramsey, and Derbyshire - Berrills of Bozeat and Wellingborough -  Byles of Suffolk and Northants - Norris of Farnham - Morehens, Hills, Carters of Northants -  Smarts, Pettits, Woodings of Bozeat

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Offline SteveKNS

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Re: RAF service record 1918-1936 - help appreciated for identifying aircraft flown
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 01 May 19 15:36 BST (UK) »
Thanks Paul - much appreciate the suggestion.
Rhodes, Laycock, Dennant, Maturin, Denson, Johnston

Offline stevej60

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Re: RAF service record 1918-1936 - help appreciated for identifying aircraft flown
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 01 May 19 15:38 BST (UK) »
Definitely Bristol bulldog Steve,that's a fantastic list of aircraft he flew from the WW1 types right
through to the Hart and Bulldog which were among the last biplane's the RAF flew frontline up to the
start of the war(the Gladiator actually was still in front line use in the early war year's) I wonder what he would have made of the Spitfire and Hurricane fighter's entering service as he retired?
Bland(Chester-le-street) Round(Dudley/Durham)Kirton(Gateshead)
Smith(Gateshead)Littleton(Sacriston)
Wayman(Cambs&Newcastle)Green(Lincs)Smith(bucks)
Watson(Gilling west & Gateshead)

Offline SteveKNS

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Re: RAF service record 1918-1936 - help appreciated for identifying aircraft flown
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 01 May 19 15:50 BST (UK) »
Thanks for the confirmation, Steve. George was a very interesting character and I regret not meeting him - he died when I was only a few years old. He was a motor designer/engineer by trade and worked for Henry Royce and Frederick Lanchester before joining the RNVR in WW1. He then transferred to the RNAS where he worked on aircraft engines as well as the Lanchester and Rolls Royce armoured cars.

He transferred to the RAF in 1918 and learned to fly in 1921; he started as a flight lieutenant and was promoted to squadron leader in 1928. He retired in 1936 but came out of retirement in 1940/41 to work as chief engineer in the ATA at RAF Sealand near Chester. His ATA records seem to have been lost, unfortunately.
Rhodes, Laycock, Dennant, Maturin, Denson, Johnston

Offline stevej60

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Re: RAF service record 1918-1936 - help appreciated for identifying aircraft flown
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 01 May 19 16:12 BST (UK) »
Certainly an interesting career Steve,I  had wondered due to his experience whether he was re-called
for service during WW2.
Bland(Chester-le-street) Round(Dudley/Durham)Kirton(Gateshead)
Smith(Gateshead)Littleton(Sacriston)
Wayman(Cambs&Newcastle)Green(Lincs)Smith(bucks)
Watson(Gilling west & Gateshead)

Offline barryd

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Re: RAF service record 1918-1936 - help appreciated for identifying aircraft flown
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 01 May 19 17:11 BST (UK) »
Flying those aircraft (some good some not so good) for so long it is remarkable that he survived for his retirement.

Offline SteveKNS

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Re: RAF service record 1918-1936 - help appreciated for identifying aircraft flown
« Reply #7 on: Wednesday 01 May 19 17:15 BST (UK) »
He certainly seems to have been a pretty indestructible type - I have several reports of wrestling injuries, explosions in workshops, and motor car/bike accidents. And he lived until he was 82 years old...
Rhodes, Laycock, Dennant, Maturin, Denson, Johnston

Online PalmTree1

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Re: RAF service record 1918-1936 - help appreciated for identifying aircraft flown
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 01 May 19 17:43 BST (UK) »
Agree with the comments from stevej60 and barryd. Very interesting career.

I wonder if you have tried contacting the Maidenhead Heritage Centre that houses the ATA Museum to see if they have anything on his WWII activities http://maidenheadheritage.org.uk/contact-the-ata-museum/

There are references to his RAF service in the London Gazette and Flight Global archives if you have not seen them but they probably do not add anything more that you already have from his MOD record.

Paul
Palmers of Pilton, Ramsey, and Derbyshire - Berrills of Bozeat and Wellingborough -  Byles of Suffolk and Northants - Norris of Farnham - Morehens, Hills, Carters of Northants -  Smarts, Pettits, Woodings of Bozeat