Author Topic: Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?  (Read 298 times)

Offline christyb

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Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?
« on: Tuesday 29 September 20 22:44 BST (UK) »
My uncle Donald Robert Pike (Don) enlisted in the RAF in March 1940 at No 2 Recruitment Centre, Cardington.
His service number was MILITIA 958402 and after basic training became a Telephone Operator and was posted with 961 Sqn (21 Air Defence Coastal Command and UK), Dover - Barrage Balloons on 28 August 1940. 
He was recommended for Air Gunner training in 1941 and was selected in August 1942 attending the Aircrew Receiving Centre in Regents Park, London in November of that year.  He attended 14 Initial Training Wing in Bridlington in January 1943 and joined the North African Air Forces (231 Wing) in December 1943.
He was discharged in February 1946. Below are the details taken from his service record:
 
Date of Enlistment 27/03/1940 Service Commences 27/03/1940
Trade A.C.H. General Duties 27/03/1940
Employments (mustering)  A.C.H. Telephone Operator 29/08/1940 Telephonist 29/01/1942
Last Employment (Telephonist) Group III  15/04/1943
Rank;Trade  AC2; ACH/TO 31/12/1940
LAC; ACH/TO     31/12/1941
LAC; Telephonist  31/12/1944
LAC; Telephonist  1945

I always thought, through family stories, that he was a rear gunner on Wellington bombers, however as I understand it rear gunners were usually sergeants or above. Don didnít achieve a rank above LAC so would this mean he did not complete his aircrew training and remained a telephone operator? 

Offline q98

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Re: Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 29 September 20 23:59 BST (UK) »
The minimum rank for Airman (ie. not a Commissioned Officer) Aircrew is Sergeant.
q98
32.04'.04"S 115.48'.30"E
Hamilton, Kennedy, Lovell, McCreadie, Murray, Workman - Ayrshire, Scotland
Lovell - Texas, USA
McCreadie - Dunedin, NZ
Boyle - Eire
McCreadie, Wills, Wyatt - Queensland
Tait/Tate - Toronto, Canada
Workman, McEwan - OFS, South Africa

Offline Michael J

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Re: Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 30 September 20 10:17 BST (UK) »
The minimum rank for Airman (ie. not a Commissioned Officer) Aircrew is Sergeant.

Not so, the air gunners on the Fairy Battles in 1940 were LAC's.

Michael.


Offline q98

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Re: Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 30 September 20 10:23 BST (UK) »
I stand corrected.
q98
32.04'.04"S 115.48'.30"E
Hamilton, Kennedy, Lovell, McCreadie, Murray, Workman - Ayrshire, Scotland
Lovell - Texas, USA
McCreadie - Dunedin, NZ
Boyle - Eire
McCreadie, Wills, Wyatt - Queensland
Tait/Tate - Toronto, Canada
Workman, McEwan - OFS, South Africa

Offline Michael J

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Re: Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 30 September 20 10:44 BST (UK) »
Q98, not really corrected & sorry, I should have clarified, as I believe the minimum rank for PILOT was Sergeant.  ;D

Michael.

Offline q98

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Re: Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 30 September 20 10:49 BST (UK) »
Concur. 
q98
32.04'.04"S 115.48'.30"E
Hamilton, Kennedy, Lovell, McCreadie, Murray, Workman - Ayrshire, Scotland
Lovell - Texas, USA
McCreadie - Dunedin, NZ
Boyle - Eire
McCreadie, Wills, Wyatt - Queensland
Tait/Tate - Toronto, Canada
Workman, McEwan - OFS, South Africa

Offline Spikey68

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Re: Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 01 October 20 16:47 BST (UK) »
The minimum rank for Airman (ie. not a Commissioned Officer) Aircrew is Sergeant.

Not so, the air gunners on the Fairy Battles in 1940 were LAC's.

Michael.

Prior to 27 May 1940, aircrew could and were of LAC rank. On that date the RAF ordered that the minimum rank for aircrew should be Sergeant (mainly because they got better treatment as POWs). In the first few months of the war many airgunners were groundcrew who volunteered for aircrew duties on a mission to mission basis, and paid "flying pay" of an extra 1 shilling a 6d. As needs, skills and activity increased, all aircrew roles became specialist trades. A telegraphist, if mustered for aircrew, would probably have been trained as a Wireless Operator, rather than an airgunner.


Online Ian Nelson

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Re: Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 01 October 20 19:45 BST (UK) »
my late uncle Alan Lewis Tubby, of Kirkby Fleetham near Northallerton, Yorkshire was a Tail Gunner flying out of Macrihanish during WW2 looking for submarines off the west coast of Ireland and Scotland.   From vague memory he flew in Fairey Swordfish but was not an Officer, I don't think he was a Sergeant either, but it's too late to ask him, or his young brother John Lewis Tubby (ex-Military Police) as he recently died in February 2020.
Norfolk, Nelsons of Gt Ryburgh, Gooch, Howman, Ainger, Couzens, Batrick (Norfolk & Dorset), Tubby ( also of Yorkshire) Cathcarts of Ireland, Lancashire & Isle of Wight) Dickinsons of Morecambe and Lancaster. Proctor & Threlfall of Westmoreland and Lancs, Wilson of Poulton-le-Sands. Mitchells of Isle of Wight. Hair of Ayrshire, Williamson of Tradeston, Glasgow. Nelsons in Australia with Haywards Heath connections.

Offline christyb

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Re: Could LAC Donald Pike have been a rear gunner?
« Reply #8 on: Friday 02 October 20 23:37 BST (UK) »
Thank you all for your information.
I omitted from my original post that on Donald's service record he was at RAF Keevil (no dates) but I assume sometime in 1943 as in June 1943 he was at RAF Cleave. Would these be for specific training?