RAF discharges 1945-46
Records from No 1 release embarkation centre of the RAF May 1945- March 1946.
A collection of very useful records from one of the primary release embarkation centres of the RAF in the Central Mediterranean area, detailing men’s transfer from their last unit to discharge and homeward route or to another active unit between the end of the war and March 1946.
first names (initials only),
age & service group,
present unit and
transfer to unit or discharge class.
The A&SG (age & service group) codes determined whether air personnel were retained in service for specific skills that were needed or discharged and when they were discharged –based on how many years they had served and their present age.
Useful primarily to pin down a person to a location and date and to where that person went and on what date, it also officially verifies their rank and very importantly, what their trade/skillset was employed as by the RAF.
Their release took place under one of two schemes:
Class B - where men who had a skill that was useful in civilian life (doctors, carpenters, electricians, etc) could ask for their own release
Class A - under the Governments own scheme where men were allocated a Release Group Number and released in turn under that number.
Which scheme the men in AIR 29_1112 were released under is shown in Incident Details.
For those released in Class A (who were the vast majority) the number they were given was based on their age and the month their service began and set out in a published table in the handbook 'For Your Guidance
and Release and Resettlement'
In general the lower a man's Release Group Number the earlier he would be demobilised. This however varied for the RAF who also grouped the men in their Ground-crew by trade. The most highly skilled men were
in Group 1 - down to Group 5.
This could also vary, especially towards the end of the war, where some highly skilled men were asked/ordered to perform other roles to help with the decommissioning, hence some men have two different ranks and
two different trade groupings. We have recorded both of these in Rank 2 and then Remarks 3 although which is their main role and which is secondary is not clear from the source.
Thus because of these Trade Groupings and requirements of decommissioning, men in the same Trade Group and same Age and Service Group were released at various times. Exactly which groups were to be
released at what time is set down in the various Air Ministry and M.E.D.M.E. HQ signals as noted in Remarks 1.
Original source TNA Reference:
Please be aware that due to the way we collate, and cross reference our databases, some records will contain more information than that listed above.
Original Source: National Archives reference AIR 29