Army WO3s and RAF WO1s

rampant

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#81
Master Aircrew did not begin life as NCOs. As the rank - and it is a rank, not a name - was part of the short-lived Aircrew rank system after the war, AMO A492/1946 stated that aircrew were not NCOs in the traditional sense - this was because the aim was to create an all-inclusive aircrew cadre which recognised that to attract volunteers in peacetime, there needed to be some status for non-commissioned aircrew. During the war, that had meant the creation of 'instant Sergeants' who an array of senior officers held were splendid aviating sorts, but utterly hopeless as NCOs because they had no experience and hadn't - because of little things like bombing Germany - had the chance to go on the requisite courses that 'proper' NCOs did.

Thus the Air Ministry, drawing upon some thinking/work by Sir John Slessor and Sir Sholto Douglas before him, came up with the plan that a separate aircrew cadre would be created. The non-commissioned aircrew (not non-commissioned officers) would muster separately on parade and have an entirely separate messing system. In essence, the RAF of the post-war era would have three tiers to it:

1. Officers (permanent career sorts)
2. Aircrew
3. NCOs and ORs.

The Americans might have called category 2 'Warrant Officers'... (and we could have had several Arrse threads on whether they ought to be saluted or not [for those who've been here long enough to recall that one...]). We didn't, of course, because a Warrant Officer is something different.

Thus, under the scheme, we had the following new ranks
Master Aircrew
Aircrew I
Aircrew II
Aircrew IIII
Aircrew IV
Aircrew Cadet

The actual rank would depend upon the role of the aircrew - thus an aircraft like a Lincoln could have had Master Aircrew Biggles, Signaller II Marconi, Navigator IV Da Gama, Gunner III Vickers, Engineer I Brunel, Gunner II Lewis and Gunner IV Browning as its crew members.

The plan didn't work and was abolished. Aircrew IV-II became the rank of Sergeant Aircrew; Aircrew I became Flt Sgt Aircrew. Master Aircrew was retained as a rank.

AMO A492/1946, as well as stating that the Aircrew rank holders were not NCOs, recognised that it was necessary to have some equivalence with non-commissioned ranks for the purposes of pensions, allowances, etc. Thus MAcr was equivalent to a Warrant Officer; Aircrew I was a Flight Sgt, Aircrew II a Sergeant and Aircrew III and IV a Corporal.

This led the inimitable Basil Embry (his fellow VSOs were more than aware that he'd killed his guards with his bare hands before escaping from captivity in 1940 and going on to win a DFC as a 2* for his gallantry on operations, and thus regarded him...warily) complaining that the Air Force was offering would-be pilots the same pay as a bricklayer for rather more risk. Many of the senior officers thought it was a mad idea - but the reason was to avoid adopting the Canadian answer, which was to commission all aircrew.

The above system was so unpopular - Tedder, as CAS, asked the crew of a Hastings he was travelling on to observe Operation Plainfare what they thought of their new rank badges and was told 'they make bloody good jam jar labels. Sir' which rather confirmed his views on the matter.

By 1949 it was clear that the plan to reduce the officer:aircrew [remember, not NCOs] ratio was as rubbish as Embry and others had said it would be, and the Air Force Board threw its hands up, said 'sod it' and decided to commission all pilots and navigators.

However.... although the NCO rank badges and names returned - with Aircrew IV and III becoming equivalent to Sergeants - Master Aircrew survived as a separate rank. It did not revert to the old wartime rank of Warrant Officer. This doesn't mean that it hasn't become an NCO rank, but it wasn't simply a renaming of the WO rank for aircrew, since it originated from the 1946 scheme and was thus a new rank; it then survived the demise of the scheme in 1950, when the Sec of State for Air told parliament that the RAF had been aware for 'some time' that the scheme 'had not worked as well as had been hoped'.

(The above is a summary of the work of Wg Cdr Jeff Jefford in various locations - the RAF Historical Society Journal and his book on Observers and Navigators. Also a spot of work on my part involving, Flight editions from 1946, 1949 and 1950, a bit of Hansard and a bit of engagement with the original AMOs some years ago with some rather unclear hints as to where I found them).

By the by, there may be a complication with the WO1/WO2 argument in that there is one source, apparently drawing upon the archival records, which seems to suggest that the RAF didn't actually create the rank of WO1 in 1933 (instead having Warrant Officer and Warrant Officer, 2nd Class), hinting that the rank of WO1 has been assumed ever since, but didn't actually exist.... I'm rather sceptical as it's single source (at present) and would thus want to check that against the AMOs - so don't take that as gospel, merely as another possible bit of confusion to add to the proceedings.
For those newer members and our elder Alzheimers suffers a wee trip down memory lane

The Original WO Thread

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...d-possibly-want-to-know-about-warrants.19081/

Which was a bugger to find tbh because there's a ton of later threads on the same frigging topic. Still, nice to see some old names and Avatars, incl. @Auld-Yin progenitor
 
#82
@John G I think your initial point is hoop, your ability in English comprehension sadly lacking, your ability to argue a cohesive thread similarly dull and your tendency to hover towards irrelevance and semantics is swollen like a bothersome prostate.

I think at the same time as WO2s were abolished in the RAF, WO1s were similarly abolished and a new distinct rank of WO was introduced, with WO1s transferring to the new rank.

Let's disregard 'unofficial' histories. I'd love you to source your 'official' history so we can see the provenance.

Also, the place where I understand all such changes to dress etc can be found, is Air Ministry Orders. They usually settle arguments such as 'is the cap badge an eagle or an albatross?'. If you're not quoting and sourcing AMOs I'll continue to be doubtful - do so and that may clinch what you are saying. They're in the National Archive but not downloadable, good luck providing a decent provenance.
Feel free to think what you like, as well as imagine what you like since that's all your 'thoughts' are based on.
That said, I concede your slavish adherence to what you refer to as 'official and unofficial histories' coupled with your tendency to misinterpret, could lead to the conclusion you are suggesting - that WO1s still exist and are just referred to as WOs for simplified reasons.
I'm not "suggesting" it - I'm saying that that's exactly what all readily available sources say, although "they could all be wrong, of course, as obviously could I for believing them all ......". It's unfortunate if you find that all a bit "dull" and you'll "continue to be doubtful", but I really don't give a sh1t unless you can back up your imaginings.
Let's disregard 'unofficial' histories.
Maybe you've forgotten, but you were the one who introduced Wiki as a source here!
 
#83
Master Aircrew did not begin life as NCOs. As the rank - and it is a rank, not a name - was part of the short-lived Aircrew rank system after the war, AMO A492/1946 stated that aircrew were not NCOs in the traditional sense - this was because the aim was to create an all-inclusive aircrew cadre which recognised that to attract volunteers in peacetime, there needed to be some status for non-commissioned aircrew. During the war, that had meant the creation of 'instant Sergeants' who an array of senior officers held were splendid aviating sorts, but utterly hopeless as NCOs because they had no experience and hadn't - because of little things like bombing Germany - had the chance to go on the requisite courses that 'proper' NCOs did.

Thus the Air Ministry, drawing upon some thinking/work by Sir John Slessor and Sir Sholto Douglas before him, came up with the plan that a separate aircrew cadre would be created. The non-commissioned aircrew (not non-commissioned officers) would muster separately on parade and have an entirely separate messing system. In essence, the RAF of the post-war era would have three tiers to it:

1. Officers (permanent career sorts)
2. Aircrew
3. NCOs and ORs.

The Americans might have called category 2 'Warrant Officers'... (and we could have had several Arrse threads on whether they ought to be saluted or not [for those who've been here long enough to recall that one...]). We didn't, of course, because a Warrant Officer is something different.

Thus, under the scheme, we had the following new ranks
Master Aircrew
Aircrew I
Aircrew II
Aircrew IIII
Aircrew IV
Aircrew Cadet

The actual rank would depend upon the role of the aircrew - thus an aircraft like a Lincoln could have had Master Aircrew Biggles, Signaller II Marconi, Navigator IV Da Gama, Gunner III Vickers, Engineer I Brunel, Gunner II Lewis and Gunner IV Browning as its crew members.

The plan didn't work and was abolished. Aircrew IV-II became the rank of Sergeant Aircrew; Aircrew I became Flt Sgt Aircrew. Master Aircrew was retained as a rank.

AMO A492/1946, as well as stating that the Aircrew rank holders were not NCOs, recognised that it was necessary to have some equivalence with non-commissioned ranks for the purposes of pensions, allowances, etc. Thus MAcr was equivalent to a Warrant Officer; Aircrew I was a Flight Sgt, Aircrew II a Sergeant and Aircrew III and IV a Corporal.

This led the inimitable Basil Embry (his fellow VSOs were more than aware that he'd killed his guards with his bare hands before escaping from captivity in 1940 and going on to win a DFC as a 2* for his gallantry on operations, and thus regarded him...warily) complaining that the Air Force was offering would-be pilots the same pay as a bricklayer for rather more risk. Many of the senior officers thought it was a mad idea - but the reason was to avoid adopting the Canadian answer, which was to commission all aircrew.

The above system was so unpopular - Tedder, as CAS, asked the crew of a Hastings he was travelling on to observe Operation Plainfare what they thought of their new rank badges and was told 'they make bloody good jam jar labels. Sir' which rather confirmed his views on the matter.

By 1949 it was clear that the plan to reduce the officer:aircrew [remember, not NCOs] ratio was as rubbish as Embry and others had said it would be, and the Air Force Board threw its hands up, said 'sod it' and decided to commission all pilots and navigators.

However.... although the NCO rank badges and names returned - with Aircrew IV and III becoming equivalent to Sergeants - Master Aircrew survived as a separate rank. It did not revert to the old wartime rank of Warrant Officer. This doesn't mean that it hasn't become an NCO rank, but it wasn't simply a renaming of the WO rank for aircrew, since it originated from the 1946 scheme and was thus a new rank; it then survived the demise of the scheme in 1950, when the Sec of State for Air told parliament that the RAF had been aware for 'some time' that the scheme 'had not worked as well as had been hoped'.

(The above is a summary of the work of Wg Cdr Jeff Jefford in various locations - the RAF Historical Society Journal and his book on Observers and Navigators. Also a spot of work on my part involving, Flight editions from 1946, 1949 and 1950, a bit of Hansard and a bit of engagement with the original AMOs some years ago with some rather unclear hints as to where I found them).

By the by, there may be a complication with the WO1/WO2 argument in that there is one source, apparently drawing upon the archival records, which seems to suggest that the RAF didn't actually create the rank of WO1 in 1933 (instead having Warrant Officer and Warrant Officer, 2nd Class), hinting that the rank of WO1 has been assumed ever since, but didn't actually exist.... I'm rather sceptical as it's single source (at present) and would thus want to check that against the AMOs - so don't take that as gospel, merely as another possible bit of confusion to add to the proceedings.
Thanks for all that - very informative.
During the war, that had meant the creation of 'instant Sergeants' who an array of senior officers held were splendid aviating sorts, but utterly hopeless as NCOs because they had no experience and hadn't - because of little things like bombing Germany - had the chance to go on the requisite courses that 'proper' NCOs did.
I'd suggest that going on the requisite courses doesn't necessarily make anyone any less "utterly hopeless" - just better qualified!

I can't help wondering why that "utterly hopeless" designation wasn't also applied to the 'instant officers', who proved to be anything but, as their non-flying training for most of the war took only 8 weeks.
Thus MAcr was equivalent to a Warrant Officer;
I'm guessing here, but were they not also given a Warrant?
 

Auld-Yin

ADC
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Book Reviewer
Reviews Editor
#84
For those newer members and our elder Alzheimers suffers a wee trip down memory lane

The Original WO Thread

https://www.arrse.co.uk/community/t...d-possibly-want-to-know-about-warrants.19081/

Which was a bugger to find tbh because there's a ton of later threads on the same frigging topic. Still, nice to see some old names and Avatars, incl. @Auld-Yin progenitor
What a lovely blast-from-the-past with some of the great Arrsers of old who no longer grace these pages, more's the pity.

I note that for some unexplained reason I did not take part in that excellent debate, even under my original username, which is quite surprising. I will put it down to having to actually work for a living in those days.
 
#85
...but I really don't give a sh1t unless you can back up your imaginings...
After you old boy. I asked you to reference and source from whence your interpretation came. I also acknowledged maybe you would be right, and would concede the point, when you met it with a credible source we could look at for ourselves.

You chose not to do so and send a wall of sound at me. Student of Trump are you?

Find us the relevant Air Ministry Order.

As to wikipedia, I quoted it wrt the introduction date of NATO standard rank grades. I have not commented on its suitability as a source for the point in question.

So reference or immolate yourself.
 
#86
After you old boy. I asked you to reference and source from whence your interpretation came. I also acknowledged maybe you would be right, and would concede the point, when you met it with a credible source we could look at for ourselves.

You chose not to do so and send a wall of sound at me. Student of Trump are you?

Find us the relevant Air Ministry Order.

As to wikipedia, I quoted it wrt the introduction date of NATO standard rank grades. I have not commented on its suitability as a source for the point in question.

So reference or immolate yourself.
Is it just me or has our resident Oracle spent 5 pages thrashing around answering a question that no-one, except himself, had asked?
 
#88
After you old boy. I asked you to reference and source from whence your interpretation came. I also acknowledged maybe you would be right, and would concede the point, when you met it with a credible source we could look at for ourselves.
As did I in the opening post. I'm still waiting.
Find us the relevant Air Ministry Order.
They're no more downloadable now than they were one page ago, as you pointed out yourself. Asking for something that you've already said isn't available isn't particularly constructive.
As to wikipedia, I quoted it wrt the introduction date of NATO standard rank grades. I have not commented on its suitability as a source for the point in question.
So ... it's fine when you introduce Wiki as a source for your point, but no longer credible when someone else does so when the only source you'll accept is one you've already said isn't available. I see ....
 
#89
Is it just me or has our resident Oracle spent 5 pages thrashing around answering a question that no-one, except himself, had asked?
It wasn't in answer to a question, and I'd suggest most answers to questions are given ... well ... in the same thread where the question's asked.

I started the thread because @Alamo had used the subject of RAF WO's in another thread to distract from a display of his ignorance of his own service, equalled only by @Danny_D's stupidity, which had already dragged out for a dozen pages as I've already explained:

"Maybe I should point out that the reason I started this thread, and the one on Ranks, was because @Alamo (RAF) had claimed that "at least we only have one name for each rank" and that "no branch, trade or unit of the RAF has different names or badges for its ranks. Am I right, yes or no?", and the consequent ensuing debate had already been dragged to over a dozen pages despite his readily admitting that "We only have two ranks that are different but equivalent to WO", "I don't disagree that Master Aircrew and RAF WO are equivalent in status, but they are different ranks ", "I have made it very clear throughout that WO and MACrew are the RAF equivalents of WO1 in the Army", "they have equivalent status as ranks", "They are different, but equivalent, ranks at the same grade", etc, etc.

Not to mention there being at least two different versions of the badge for a 'Warrant Officer', which is only one rank even by his definition!"


Five pages of puerile pedantry (including my own contribution) here, even allowing for the occasional informative and interesting post from @Archimedes and @History_Man , amongst others, is five less pages of de-railment in another thread.




.
 
#90
By the by, there may be a complication with the WO1/WO2 argument in that there is one source, apparently drawing upon the archival records, which seems to suggest that the RAF didn't actually create the rank of WO1 in 1933 (instead having Warrant Officer and Warrant Officer, 2nd Class), hinting that the rank of WO1 has been assumed ever since, but didn't actually exist.... I'm rather sceptical as it's single source (at present) and would thus want to check that against the AMOs - so don't take that as gospel, merely as another possible bit of confusion to add to the proceedings.
If correct, and I share your scepticism, I wonder if that means that the assumption that RAF WOs have WO1 status could be incorrect ...
 
#91
Rumour has it the OP is still sneaking up on British soldiers demanding they salute him, only to be told to f*ck off for the 5,737th time.
 
#93
A mere trifle compared to the biggest RAF anomaly. With the exception of the Commandant of the Corps, who was a RAF Air Commodore, Royal Observer Corps officers were warranted and not commissioned. This despite having to pass the Vicars and Tarts course at Cranwell, and having identical uniforms to RAF officers (apart from different coloured rank slides).
From memory the ROC were civvies and employed by the Home Office.
 
#95
It wasn't in answer to a question, and I'd suggest most answers to questions are given ... well ... in the same thread where the question's asked.

I started the thread because @Alamo had used the subject of RAF WO's in another thread to distract from a display of his ignorance of his own service, equalled only by @Danny_D's stupidity, which had already dragged out for a dozen pages as I've already explained:

"Maybe I should point out that the reason I started this thread, and the one on Ranks, was because @Alamo (RAF) had claimed that "at least we only have one name for each rank" and that "no branch, trade or unit of the RAF has different names or badges for its ranks. Am I right, yes or no?", and the consequent ensuing debate had already been dragged to over a dozen pages despite his readily admitting that "We only have two ranks that are different but equivalent to WO", "I don't disagree that Master Aircrew and RAF WO are equivalent in status, but they are different ranks ", "I have made it very clear throughout that WO and MACrew are the RAF equivalents of WO1 in the Army", "they have equivalent status as ranks", "They are different, but equivalent, ranks at the same grade", etc, etc.

Not to mention there being at least two different versions of the badge for a 'Warrant Officer', which is only one rank even by his definition!"

Five pages of puerile pedantry (including my own contribution) here, even allowing for the occasional informative and interesting post from @Archimedes and @History_Man , amongst others, is five less pages of de-railment in another thread.




.
You’re now lying to yourself. You didn’t claim RAF WOs had equivalent status to RM/ army WO1. You claimed that RAF had WO1s as a rank. Myself @Alamo and @Vladimir_Ilyich_Crab, all of whom have served (recently) in joint or air units, were quick to correct you.

You could have graciously admitted a simple error. Instead you persist to drag up antiquated, irrelevant and complex reasons why in your mind you’re correct.

I will say again to be clear. The RAF doesn’t have WO1s. It has WOs which has nato status of OR9 making it equivalent in status to WO1.
 
#96
Rumour has it the OP is still sneaking up on British soldiers demanding they salute him, only to be told to f*ck off for the 5,737th time.
Yes. And he still uses Major (Retd) on all personal correspondence.

(Or to give him full title: Major, A/Lt Col, L/Col (Retd))
 
#97
You’re now lying to yourself. You didn’t claim RAF WOs had equivalent status to RM/ army WO1.

You could have graciously admitted a simple error. Instead you persist to drag up antiquated, irrelevant and complex reasons why in your mind you’re correct.

I will say again to be clear. The RAF doesn’t have WO1s. It has WOs which has nato status of OR9 making it equivalent in status to WO1.
As usual, Danny, you lie like a cheap NAAFI watch. Not "to yourself", as you probably believe what you're saying, but to anyone reading your tripe.

It's beyond sad - it's pathetic.
Myself @Alamo and @Vladimir_Ilyich_Crab, all of whom have served (recently) in joint or air units, were quick to correct you.
The debate, if that's the right word, started with post #2,775 on page 139 with @Alamo's claim that "at least we only have one name for each rank". It took a turn for the worst when, amongst other things, he went on to demand answers to questions about things I'd never said, including, bizarrely "Furthermore, referring to the original point, no branch, trade or unit of the RAF has different names or badges for its ranks. Am I right, yes or no?" to which the answer can only be 'no, you're wrong'.

I won't bother listing @Alamo's supposed claims about Army ranks based on his recent service in a joint unit, but suffice to say it's not very accurate.

You decided to get involved nearly one hundred posts later asking "My bold - really - since when did the RAF have WO1s? Bell end. Again." to which I could only reply with the factually correct "since 1933".

I'd hardly describe one hundred posts later as "quick".

@V_I_C? Well, he certainly wasn't "quick" despite your claim. He hasn't made any posts in that thread at all!

Why you'd lie about something as simple as that is just beyond me.
You claimed that RAF had WO1s as a rank.
So you keep on saying, even 'quoting' me saying so, even though you took something I'd said in one post (#2,853), edited it, then did a cut 'n' paste to edit it into a to a totally different post I'd made (#3,024), giving the latter as the original ... and you did it twice! So much for "lying"!

The post of mine which you edited and put into another post was replying to a specific point which was quoted in the original. Namely that "it's replying to the claim that the RAF's two WO1 ranks are "different ranks" when they're not - they're both WO1s, of identical status (depending on seniority) hence the reply "They're both WO1s. Their rank is WO1." Nothing, even remotely, to do with what you're talking about" which was that there was a "WO1 Biggles" and that it was RAF "nomenclature" which I'd been consistently clear there wasn't. It was talking about "status" not "nomenclature" which was unavoidably obvious in the original post, which I can only guess was the reason why you'd cut'n'pasted it into a different post entirely. Twice.

Editing someone's post and cut'n'pasting it into another is "lying", @Danny.

Saying someone was "quick to correct" me in another thread when they haven't even posted in it is "lying".
 
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#98
As usual, Danny, you lie like a cheap NAAFI watch. Not "to yourself", as you probably believe what you're saying, but to anyone reading your tripe.

It's beyond sad - it's pathetic.
The debate, if that's the right word, started with post #2,775 on page 139 with @Alamo's claim that "at least we only have one name for each rank". It took a turn for the worst when, amongst other things, he went on to demand answers to questions about things I'd never said, including, bizarrely "Furthermore, referring to the original point, no branch, trade or unit of the RAF has different names or badges for its ranks. Am I right, yes or no?" to which the answer can only be 'no, you're wrong'.

I won't bother listing @Alamo's supposed claims about Army ranks based on his recent service in a joint unit, but suffice to say it's not very accurate.

You decided to get involved nearly one hundred posts later asking "My bold - really - since when did the RAF have WO1s? Bell end. Again." to which I could only reply with the factually correct "since 1933".

I'd hardly describe one hundred posts later as "quick".

@V_I_C? Well, he certainly wasn't "quick" despite your claim. He hasn't made any posts in that thread at all!

Why you'd lie about something as simple as that is just beyond me.
So you keep on saying, even 'quoting' me saying so, even though you took something I'd said in one post (#2,853), edited it, then did a cut 'n' paste to edit it into a to a totally different post I'd made (#3,024), giving the latter as the original ... and you did it twice! So much for "lying"!

The post of mine which you edited and put into another post was replying to a specific point which was quoted in the original. Namely that "it's replying to the claim that the RAF's two WO1 ranks are "different ranks" when they're not - they're both WO1s, of identical status (depending on seniority) hence the reply "They're both WO1s. Their rank is WO1." Nothing, even remotely, to do with what you're talking about" which was that there was a "WO1 Biggles" and that it was RAF "nomenclature" which I'd been consistently clear there wasn't. It was talking about "status" not "nomenclature" which was unavoidably obvious in the original post, which I can only guess was the reason why you'd cut'n'pasted it into a different post entirely. Twice.

Editing someone's post and cut'n'pasting it into another is "lying", @Danny.

Saying someone was "quick to correct" me in another thread when they haven't even posted in it is "lying".
You do realise no one reads your posts?
 
#99
I will say again to be clear. The RAF doesn’t have WO1s. It has WOs which has nato status of OR9 making it equivalent in status to WO1.
Well, @Danny, you can say it as many times as you want but I think I'll take the RAF's view of things rather than yours, "antiquated" and "complex" though it may be.

Yet again, I'm not suggesting they have a rank called a 'WO1' as they don't.

As I explained at length and in very specific detail in post #2,896, QRs for the RAF (which even @V_I_Crab should accept as definitive) explains the difference between 'rank' and ' rank title' in Chapter 4, pages 4-5 and 4-6, particularly at para 125.

Table A of Chapter 4 then shows 'Warrant Officer' and 'Master Aircrew' in the RAF column, in the row opposite 'Warrant Officer Class 1' in the column for British rank headed 'Military'. Not a "nato status of OR9 making it equivalent in status to WO1" row, but the British Military row. Things may have changed, but the last time I looked the RAF were still part of the British Military.

That's the latest amendment from the latest version, sponsored by 'RAF Employment Policy', and as stated in Para 1 (1) of Chapter 1 "These regulations apply throughout the Royal Air Force at home and abroad."

You may think QRs for the RAF are "antiquated, irrelevant and complex", even wrong, but if so I suggest you contact RAF Sec and ask them to tell RAF Employment Policy to change Queen's Regs for the RAF rather than bleat about it.
 
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