Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

RAF Seletar - 1950s

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

RAF Seletar - 1950s

Old 6th Sep 2016, 15:59
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Surrey
Posts: 2
I was at RAF Seletar between 1956 - 1959 - my father was a Squadron Leader at the base.

Fond memories of being there.

A Peter Biggadike has a web site with some great pictures of the base and Singapore between 1957 - 1959.

If you type-in "RAF Seletar" from your search engine and look out for the site: users.waitrose.com
The Matron is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2016, 21:18
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Yorkshire
Age: 68
Posts: 194
I lived in Singapore at Seletar from 1966 to 1970, as a teenager, before I joined the RAF. At that time we had 2 Whirlwind Sqns, 1 Belvedere, 1 Beverley, Twin and Single Pioneers, AAC Beavers and later Andovers. I belonged to No2 Overseas ATC squadron and flew in many of these types at Seletar and Changi. I attended Changi Grammar School.
Great times and happy memories.
MACH2NUMBER is offline  
Old 6th Sep 2016, 21:21
  #23 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Yorkshire
Age: 68
Posts: 194
Screwball,
On Amazon you can find a book called Seletar. It is a very comprehensive history of the base and of the RAF in the Far-East.
MACH2NUMBER is offline  
Old 3rd May 2021, 18:37
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Around and about
Posts: 6
Thread reboot...

I was the original poster who started this thread. My grandfather passed away recently and I've had the opportunity to review his case of RAF paperwork - and what hidden insights it provides.

Earlier posters were correct - he enlisted at RAF Cardington in January 1949. His pay book suggests he was on HMT Eastern Prince for a month travelling from RAF Hereford to Koggala, before moving to Seletar in December 1949. In December 1950, he was transferred to Iwakuni where he was in the Far East Flying Boat Wing - before popping to London to line the Coronation Route and then returning to RAF Seletar the next month.

I have dozens of photos of Seletar and Iwakuni, although I doubt they offer any new insights given the existing high quality archives.

The sad part of my history trail is that the detailed paperwork dries up in August 1953 when he went to NCO training school at RAF Hereford. All I really know is that he was a Chief Tech in 1966 and was promoted to WO in January 1971 before leaving in 1975.

A couple of questions:

Why did the accounts and pay clerk trade have a Chief Tech rank?

Any ideas how and why he may have received an "Air Officer Commanding in Chief Costal Command Commendation"?

Once again, thank you for the insights into my grandfather's early years.
MadJackMcMad is offline  
Old 4th May 2021, 06:01
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Northamptonshire
Posts: 1,325
He was a Chief Tech because of the 1946 Trade Structure, which introduced, inter alia, the dreadful aircrew ranks of IV, III, II, I plus a P, N, G to denote trade.
The structure also split ground staff into two groups: a technical bunch and a admin/general service bunch - the techs were J/T, Cpl Tech, Senior Tech, Chief Tech and Master Tech.

In 1951, it was changed again (mainly for aircrew) but people in the ground trades did not revert to the original rank styles until 1964 when it all changed again, so I went from Aircraftman 2nd Class to acting pilot officer overnight (pay didn't change much though!)

Old Duffer
Old-Duffer is offline  
Old 4th May 2021, 06:55
  #26 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: sussex
Posts: 1,690
I remember the bonkers fiddling with the rank structure. I went from Cpl Tech to Cpl when it all changed again. The visible difference was that the 'Tech' trades wore their 'stripes' upside down. When I was commissioned I had to hand in my airman's greatcoat. There was much confusion and mirth in stores as it still had the Cpl tech tapes on it.
ancientaviator62 is online now  
Old 4th May 2021, 09:19
  #27 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,135
One of my embarrassments was the 1964 pay structure. I hadn't paid much attention to it when it was published and one day in 1964 this smart young chap was walking around the squadron and on his arm was a four bladed propellor. The only experience I had had with four bladed propellors was with the Air Training Corps so I congratulated him on his smart new ATC rig.
The somebody told me he was a Junior Technician.
Fareastdriver is offline  
Old 4th May 2021, 10:19
  #28 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 19,392
Originally Posted by MadJackMcMad View Post
Thread reboot...

I was the original poster who started this thread. My grandfather passed away recently and I've had the opportunity to review his case of RAF paperwork - and what hidden insights it provides.

Earlier posters were correct - he enlisted at RAF Cardington in January 1949. His pay book suggests he was on HMT Eastern Prince for a month travelling from RAF Hereford to Koggala, before moving to Seletar in December 1949. In December 1950, he was transferred to Iwakuni where he was in the Far East Flying Boat Wing - before popping to London to line the Coronation Route and then returning to RAF Seletar the next month.

I have dozens of photos of Seletar and Iwakuni, although I doubt they offer any new insights given the existing high quality archives.

The sad part of my history trail is that the detailed paperwork dries up in August 1953 when he went to NCO training school at RAF Hereford. All I really know is that he was a Chief Tech in 1966 and was promoted to WO in January 1971 before leaving in 1975.

A couple of questions:

Why did the accounts and pay clerk trade have a Chief Tech rank?

Any ideas how and why he may have received an "Air Officer Commanding in Chief Costal Command Commendation"?

Once again, thank you for the insights into my grandfather's early years.
You can get his records to fill in some of the later missing blanks

https://www.gov.uk/get-copy-military-service-records
NutLoose is offline  
Old 4th May 2021, 12:25
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: sussex
Posts: 1,690
Fareastdriver,
my recollection is at odds with yours as even when the rank badges changed the J/T still retained the single inverted stripe and this was not changed to the four blade prop till later. Although this is thread drift can any clear up these differing recollections ?
ancientaviator62 is online now  
Old 4th May 2021, 13:11
  #30 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Under a recently defunct flight path.
Age: 74
Posts: 1,212
Originally Posted by ancientaviator62 View Post
Fareastdriver,
my recollection is at odds with yours as even when the rank badges changed the J/T still retained the single inverted stripe and this was not changed to the four blade prop till later. Although this is thread drift can any clear up these differing recollections ?
Didn't the change to four-bladed prop take place when stripes reverted to normal orientation? In early '67 whilst at Seletar I was lucky enough to be able to take (and pass) a Direct Fitters Board thus making the jump from SAC AMechA to J/T ATechA but for the life of me cannot remember whether I then sewed on a stripe or a prop badge. Hmm, on reflection that may be partly because any actual sewing would have likely been carried out by one of the tailors in Jalan Kayu (sp?) village.
Lyneham Lad is offline  
Old 4th May 2021, 13:50
  #31 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 5,135
ancientaviator62. It may well have been later. I remember that he was in blues and I went overseas in 1965 and did not return until 1967.

From Wiki for what it's worth.

Junior technicians are qualified to work alone and supervise untrained airmen working within their area of responsibility. The rank was introduced in 1950 as part of a new grading system for technicians, wearing a single point up chevron. In 1964, when the grading system was abolished, JTs were retained, their badge changing to a four-bladed propeller
Fareastdriver is offline  
Old 5th May 2021, 08:30
  #32 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: sussex
Posts: 1,690
Fareastdriver,
I think you are correct. But I have spoken to a pal who passed out from his fitter's course just after the change and he is adamant that he wore the single upside down stripe !
I think the answer may be that many of these 'wunder schemes' are introduced before the correct kit is available and thus many continue with the old. He tells me that some wore the upside down stripe for a long time until they were ordered to change..We always regarded it as a sign of our superiority in the ground trades !
ancientaviator62 is online now  
Old 5th May 2021, 09:02
  #33 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Hanging off the end of a thread
Posts: 19,392
Originally Posted by ancientaviator62 View Post
Fareastdriver,
I think you are correct. But I have spoken to a pal who passed out from his fitter's course just after the change and he is adamant that he wore the single upside down stripe !
I think the answer may be that many of these 'wunder schemes' are introduced before the correct kit is available and thus many continue with the old. He tells me that some wore the upside down stripe for a long time until they were ordered to change..We always regarded it as a sign of our superiority in the ground trades !

My dear chap, you are not looking at it through RAF Eyes... The RAF having spent a considerable sum of pennies to have their uniforms altered pre course completion were hardly likely to have the tailor then unpick and discard the old badges and replace them again for another amount of pennies and waste a perfectly acceptable unused badge, so they decided to return the uniforms with the new old badges fitted and then replace them at a later date down the line after having got some use out of them...

When at Swinditz we were issued with the new No2 and Thunderbird Jackets, at Saints on my course the WRAF members that turned up had been issued with Hairy Mary's, both were issued at the same time, but obviously the WRAF still had the old uniforms to issue, so did..
NutLoose is offline  
Old 5th May 2021, 12:33
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: sussex
Posts: 1,690
NutLoose,
about sums it up !
ancientaviator62 is online now  
Old 5th May 2021, 15:19
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: east ESSEX
Posts: 3,871
Gaius Petronius..AD69.,or thereabouts....allegedly..!!
sycamore is offline  
Old 5th May 2021, 15:53
  #36 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Scotland
Age: 71
Posts: 95
Ref post 29. Does this link help?

https://www.rafweb.org/Ranks-Uniform/Ranks6A.htm

Thread drift – I was at Seletar 69-71. That was during the year when the Military pay review gave the Forces a decent pay rise. It was so large that our betters thought us Singlies would p*** it all up against a wall, so the increase for us would be spread over two years. Scalies would get the full amount immediately. Us Singlies were a little bit miffed so we had to commiserate together in the Malcolm Club over the odd pint or two of Tiger.
morton is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.