Does anyone know which aircrew trade is represented by the letters "LM" in a wreath (i.e. where the N, AG, or B would go) and a single wing? With my knowledge of the RAF I assume it stands for Licensed Malingerer?
All of the above have now been replaced by a new Weapons System Officer/Operator (WSO/WSOp) brevet. This is a single wing brevet with'RAF' surmounted by a crown. However, most of the above continue to wear their original brevets. There are of course many other brevets from the past which are now no longer issued (eg AG (Air Gunner), M (Air Met Observer), O (Observer) etc).
Additionally, there are 2 other brevets to be found only on AWACS:
Why Mr Veg, fie upon you for suggesting just such a thang! (Flutters fan, bats eyelids)
Nope, simply further evidence that enforced inactivity not only screws up your body but fecks with your mind too! As for us being bezzers, well naturally I would let you sleep with my sister but obviously equally if you looked at me crosswise I would have to screw your face open with a broken bottle. It's not me, it's the law...
In addition to the brevets mentioned by M2 above, there is also the Parachute Jump Instructor brevet. Although they wear a brevet, PJIs are not really aircrew, so their 'wing' is more akin to other RAF trade qualification badges, which include Flight Nursing Attendant (my avatar is the mess dress version),
this hideous thing:
Flight Nurse/Flight Nursing Officer
The Flight Medical Officer badge:
Worn by RAF MOs who are qualified both as military pilots and in aviation medicine; unsurprisingly these are rarely seen.
Lastly, there is the Air Steward badge, awarded only to ugly girls who can demonstrate an ability to a) look deeply unattractive in a flying suit, even to men who have not seen a woman for 6 months, and b) not smile for up to 8 hours at a time.
A chap up the road from me was an AG with 100RAAF inWW2, he told me that the 'O' brevet was known as the 'Flying Arrseole' His own branch badge before the brevet being known as the 'Flying Bullet' an exclusive club with sadly fewer members each year.
The Observer brevet did indeed go by that nickname.
Observers typically used to navigate, act as bomb aimers and conduct a variety of other jobs in RAF aircraft. The Observer brevet was replaced in early 1941 ish when the introduction of 4-engined types such as the Stirling and increasing navigation, EW and defensive systems demanded greater specialisation in aircrew roles. Accordingly, the 'O' brevet was replaced by seperate Air Bomber (aka Bomb aimer, 'B' brevet), Air Navigator (N) and Air Engineer (E) roles. Like the WSO brevet of today however, many Observers continued to wear their original brevets rather than the 'N' to which they were entitled.
The 'flying bullet' was the sleeve badge awarded to grounds-tradesmen who volunteered to act as part time air gunners on aircraft up to around 1940 for a few extra shillings a day. These guys were often of airmen rank and include LAC L R Reynolds. Reynolds died on 12 May 1940 together with his pilot, Fg Off Donald Garland and Observer Sgt Thomas Gray in a Fairly Battle shot down whilst attacking the Albert Bridges in Holland in the face of ferocious flak defences. Both Garland and Grey were awarded posthumous VCs. In an appalling example of rank prejudice, Reynolds received nothing. The winged bullet was subsequently replaced by the Air Gunner (AG) brevet. Very, very few winged bullet wearers of the early wars (most of whom were subsequently promoted to Sgt and awarded the AG brevet) survived the war.
Sadly, I don't seem to be able to insert images at the moment otherwise I'd attach pics of both the O brevet and the winged bullet.
VB, TVM! Don't know why my machine won't let me add images anymore on ARRSE.
The RO brevet was a brief scheme to increase the numbers of rear seaters for the Javelin fighter in the late 50s-early 60s. Instead of doing the full nav course, selected NCOs were given radar and radio trg and stuck in the back to pick the rest up 'on the job'! Surprisingly, the concept worked well and most were subsequently absorbed into the nav branch.
We Observers used to get a lot of gentle teasing from the pilots about our single wing. We retaliated by pointing out that whereas they (the pilots ) Needed a pair of wings to fly, we could fly with one wing.