a single "g" would be gunner, which is a rare badge, i`ve not seen one before.
the ground gunner qualification is the more common badge.
(even though its just as rare).
it was just to seperate the aircrew qualified "airgunners" and the non aircrew hispano gunners, that defended the airfields aswell. bofors guns were at the time crewed by royal artillery troops.
I know that during the war there were two flights of the RAF Regiment who were parachute trained. Both served abroad (can't recall off the top of my head where, or the flight numbers) and photographs show the members wearing theatre made wings, with one flight having them on the right sleeve and the other wearing theirs on the right breast.
Thing is, I would imagine that after returning to the UK, and blue SD, they would have worn standard British Army pattern jump wings (instead of theatre made), and probably both on the right sleeve as was the common place. But were the wings on a navy blue backing or blue/grey?
I have seen wings in the standard pattern but on both colour backings. Haven't yet been able to find an answer.
Chris Kanca (Premier Login AOC553) Forum Owner 126.96.36.199
Ground Gunners vs AG
January 20 2006, 8:53 PM
My understanding was the "G" patch was worn only by ground gunners -- i.e. the "G" patch preceded the later "GG" patch. Air gunners, insofar as I'm aware, wore either the brass winged bullet or the AG halfwing. Barring either of those described, they wore nothing (aircrew).
According to papers at the National Archives, there was formed a unit called the 'Aerodrome Defence Corps' in 1940 (other sources state that 'an' aerodrome defence corps was raised and called RAF Regiment from the start). As the RAF Regiment was officially formed on February 1st 1942 it can safely be assumed that the defence of aerodromes was given to a unit under the ADC name.
The single 'G' sleeve badge was introduced in 1940 under Air Ministry Order A371/40 for gunners of the ADC on aerodrome defence. The order states that it was to be worn 9 inches below the shoulder seam on the right sleeve only. Stores reference for this badge was 22H/430. Later the double 'GG' badge was introduced, and worn as far as I know on the lower cuff (as per an Army trade badge). With the single 'G' being introduced in 1940, two years before the RAF Regt was officially formed I had it down as preceeding the double 'G' which was worn by RAF Regiment members.
After reading Matts piece it did trigger something I read recently in that the RAF Regiment employed former air gunners as instructors and ground gunners at the start. I thought they might have worn the single 'G'.
As for Para wings, there were two flights of the Regiment as noted before wearing theatre made wings. At least one served in the far east if not both. The RAF Levies were not really anything to do with the RAF Regiment. They were native Assyrian troops under overall command of British Officers from the RAF Regiment. A parachute unit was formed but they wore standard British Army pattern wings on khaki army uniform.
If anyone can tell me how to upload photos to the site I shall post a photo of the said badges. I can only ever load one photo at a time on this site, it won't let me load any more!!!!!
Chris Kanca (Premier Login AOC553) Forum Owner 188.8.131.52
RAF Regt Paras
January 21 2006, 12:26 PM
Found this earlier:
In November 1942, a Regimental Centre was established at Secunderabad, where the first Field Squadrons and AA Flights for Service in Burma were formed. The training of these units was also carried out initially by Army NCOs, and the assault course at Secunderabad gained the reputation for being the most exacting in the Far East. The squadrons formed in India were joined by others which came out from UK, and by the end of the war the RAF Regiment in Air Com≠mand South-East Asia comprised 10 Wing HQs, 18 Field Squadrons, 12 AA Squadrons and 3 Armoured Car Squadrons. The Field Squadrons included No 2810, which was the Regimentís first Parachute Squadron.
the above via: http://www.burmastar.org.uk/regiment.htm
2810 Sqdn -- formed Pocklington, 1941 -- LAA May, 1943. ACSEA OCtober 1944. Malaysia 1945. Disbanded Changi, April 1947
nice pictures, very odd badge.
confuse you even more "gunner" is a royal artillery nickname/ qualification, r.a.f had their own artillery troops equipped with 6pdr and 25pdr field guns.
maybe the single "g" badge is for that branch/ section.
para wings- r.a.f didn`t have a blue r.a.f parachute qualification badge till the very late fourties/fifties, wartime the two squadrons para trained wore army para wings.either on the upper sleeve or over the chest pocket.
same with marksman badges and other weapons quali badges, they are army ones too.
though the signallers badge is specifically regt and not standard r.a.f.
As mentioned, the single 'G' badge was officially introduced before the RAF Regiment existed, so as far as I know it was for RAF troops on aerodrome defence. Do you have firm evidence that the double 'GG' was worn RAF Regiment (say photos) or was that maybe pre Regiment also?
Have you seen the wartime film 'RAF Regiment' made in 1943? It is a superb film about the Regiment, its roles, training etc, about 20 minutes long, and using actual troops not actors. It shows the 25pdr and 6pdr gunners in it as fully fledged members of the RAF Regiment. Another interesting point is that is has several minutes of the Regiment wearing denims on training, beach landings etc, and the only insignia they are wearing are rank badges, no titles.
About 20 years ago a dealer was holding a badge for me, although I lost it as it was a bit too much for my pocket money at the time. It was an Army style trade badge 'BG' for Bren Gunner, but in blue. I can only think RAF Regiment would have worn it, although its the only one I have ever seen.
As for Para wings, I have seen a number of photos of the Para trained Squadrons, who wear theatre made wings. These follow the same lines as the standard Army style, but are quite different, being somewhat larger and often curving downwards. Although they were wearing tropical dress/'jungle greens', my question concerns what they would have worn once they returned to the UK on the blue service dress (such as when the Regiment famously took the guard outside Buckingham Palace). Did they use the theatre made wings, which would have been fairly irregular, or did they use the standard British design Parachute wing, but on a blue background? I would guess they would have been required to wear the standard design (that had been adopted for all British parachute trained troops outside the unique SAS wings) but can't see them on a khaki backing, and probably on the upper right sleeve regardless of how they had been worn 'in action'.
The SAS designed their own wings, and were allowed to wear them on the upper left breast after three operations behind enemy lines (my uncle got his!). Although they were allowed to keep their design, later members were told to wear theirs on the upper right arm only, which is where they remain to this day. The other exception was SOE who wore theirs on the left breast as well.
trying to scan in some photos from my various regt books with little success, i can scan them but not somehow put the on the forum!?! will email them to you.
first the ground gunner was definately a pre-regt (b.o.b ) qualification for all r.a.f l.a.a gunners. some regt troops still wore them on their battledress uniforms (to show that they were old hands).
i wear the "double g" badge on my sergeant`s regt b/d and service dress uniforms.
also on my b.o.b r.a.f corporal`s service dress uniform.(he is also bren qualified with an army brengunner`s badge).
which from speaking to veterans is 100%correct.
para wings- regt guarded buckingham palace in april 1943, before the two para squadrons were formed for airborne special duties-( parachuting onto enemy airfields to capture and hold till releaved) they were used in the far east theatre first.
but on their service dress would wear their wings or non divisonal "light bulbs", depending on their c/o. most of the pictures of them , they are wearing k/d`s or j/g uniforms and all seem to be late war 1944/45 etc.
i wear "falling rock`s" army parawings on both my warrant officer`s uniforms , as i had specific permission to do so.(from an ex- 2 sqn para) not to be confused with 2 para!!!
That is great stuff and very interesting. So you think both the single and double 'G' badges are pre Regiment? Out of interest where do you wear your 'GG'? I always assumed it was a cuff badge before reading the official order for it (at least the single 'G') to be worn on the upper arm.
So the RAF Regt. wore Army 'BG' badges on khaki? Would they have worn any other Army trade badges such as the 'LG' (Lewis Gunner)? As mentioned I did see some years ago a blue 'BG' but sadly never picked it up and have never seen another since.
As for Para wings, I got my own as a member of 3 Para. The lightbulb, for those not in the know, was the small parachute badge without wings and should be worn on the lower right cuff. Officially this is for parachute trained personnel who are not in a Parachute unit, although most wear the full wings. In theory for example, a member of the RAF who is parachute trained but not Regiment should wear the lightbulb. A similar trained member if in the Regiment (therefore an airborne unit) should wear the full wings.
Do you have specific details on the signallers badge Matt, as far as I know its worn on the lower left cuff.
glad to help, keeping the regt in the public eye,
ground gunner`s are definately pre-42, there are plenty of photos of battle of britain servicemen manning lewis guns and hispano cannons for l.a.a duties.
so there would be an army l.g quali badge for that one!!!
most regt weapons qualification badges are army, you have to remember that these soldiers in the early days of the regt came from guards and royal marines backgrounds.
the r.a.f only seem to make air related quali badges, it wasn`t till 1947 that they made marksman badges( on one of my uniforms i have army marksman badges for sniper),
so i presume (as i`ve never seen one) that the white on blue background brengunners badge is a fifties one , as wartime it would be white on black.(if they had made one).
on my regt denims i have an A.F.V qiali badge for regt armoured car crew.
my "GG" badge is worn on the right sleeve lower cuff on the uniforms jackets.(qualification arm).
the signallers badge "crossed flags" based on the similar army badge is a trade badge and is worn on the left sleeve cuff( trade arm ).
it is different to the r.a.f. "lighning bolt" badge which is worn on both sleeves just above the rank.
which seperates these elite combat troops from the standard r.a.f troops!!!
para wings seem to be worn on the right breast , unless the photos have been reversed, during the processing!!!
Dave Parsons (Login dragon166) Forum Member 184.108.40.206
January 28 2006, 7:06 PM
I have been watching this thread with interest but feel that there are a few anomolies in the content of the last couple of posts.
The GG badge was pre regiment and was authorised for any airmen qualified as Ground Gunners, as has been said (introduced by A/761 of 1940). However it was not worn on the lower arm - this is an Army way of wearing the same. The GG badge was to be worn 9 inches below the headseam of the Right arm of Service Dress. It was made redundant by A/466 of 1942, when the RAF Regiment badges were introduced.
The RAF Regiment Signallers badge was introduced by A/207 of 1944 and was authorised to be worn on BOTH sleeves of the wartime Heavy Duty Dress (khaki) and was not allowed on greatcoats, tropical or blue uniforms. This changed sometime in the late 1940s/1950s as I remember RAF Regiment Drill instructors wearing it on the right arm only, below their stripes. It diasappeared in 1972.
The RAF Marksmans Badge was not introduced until 1949 and was authorised by A/570. The badge at that time being a slightly different pattern to that worn today (barrells were shorter above the crossover).
The parachute badge would undoubtedly have been the army version at that time but, as the RAF Regiment predominantly wore khaki then the army version would not look out of place. However, as with the above signallers badge, it is unlikely that it would have been allowed on blue uniforms. As for the position it was worn, this appears to depend on theatre. My Father-in-law was parachute trained in India and all his photos show the badge worn above the left breast pocket. Almost all the pictures I have seen of the European/Mediterrainian theatre shows the badge worn on the right arm. As for the light bulb, I agree this means parachute trained but not having served as an established para. This does not mean that only the RAF Regiment wear the winged badge. Anyone who has served in an established post as a para may wear the badge. This includes PTIs, ground radio tradesmen and even cooks if they have so served.
In relation to the picture of your Regiment uniform Matt, I have a question. Why the Observer Badge? In order to wear it your `subject' would have had to have qualified for it before September 1939. His services,as such,would have been much in demand in those days with him only being grounded for some extreme case - such as injury. It would therefore be unlikely that such a person would then be condidered for dervice in the Regiment. Just a thought!
As Dave stated, the parachute badge with wings is not restricted to the RAF Regiment, though I found that some Regt personnel actually resented my wearing them - sometimes quite forcefully! - especially those who were not qualified themselves.
I qualified on 20 May 69 while serving in a small team of telegraphists (1 sgt, 2 cpls, 6 airmen) who worked with 16 Parachute Brigade between 1965 and 1970. As part of Airborne Forces we had red berets - the Regt, not being Airborne Forces, didn't much like that either - though of course we weren't allowed to wear them with blue.
Our RAF parent unit's stores did not keep Wings in stock, so some of us were wearing khaki-backed Wings on blue uniforms. At that time RAF Wings (when available!) were on a blue-grey field, which changed to navy around 1972.
I must say that in 24 years I only saw one PJI wearing Wings (and he was ex-Territorial SAS), although qualified tradesmen - cooks, MT mechs, wireless mechs, clerks, etc - attached to 2 Sqn RAF Regt did.
I remember that in 1967 or thereabouts, 15 Sqn RAF Regt personnel in Singapore were wearing light bulbs one day and wings the next. It may be that there was a time when Regt personnel couldn't wear wings unless they were on 2 Sqn, though that is only speculation on my part.
Qualified members of RAF Parachute Rescue teams wear wings, and members of the Far East Air Force Mobile Air Operations Team did in the '60s and '70s.
The parachute badge with wings is the only badge which may be worn after transfer to another service, so if a man with a light bulb transferred from the RAF to the Army or RN he would no longer be able to wear it, but if he had Wings he would. (Matelots wear Para Wings on the left cuff.)
Incidentally, when I was training at RAF Cosford in 1963 I saw a Regiment cpl wearing a light bulb above the stripes on the right arm of his battledress blouse.
Thanks for the additional gen on the 'GG' badge. The AMOs for both the 'G' (A371/40) and 'GG' (A761/40), show that both were authorised in 1940 (and I assume both were abolished at the same time under (A/466 of 1942)), and were worn 9 inches below the right shoulder seam. But do you have anything stating the difference in qualification for the two Dave? Were both Light Anti-Aircraft? There must have been some distinction.
Glad to have the details of the signallers badge as previously all I had was the AMO details.
As for Para wings, its extremely interesting that these might possibly (like the signallers) not have been worn on blue SD.
I qualified as a fresh faced (?) 17 year old before serving several years in 3 PARA and then 10 PARA (TA). Officially, if parachute qualified (which pays extra!) but not permanently attached to a parachute unit you were supposed to wear the lightbulb, but few I have seen do. Most cling to the full wings if they have been awarded them!
On a totally different subject, but following on from the previous posting, many with me in the Regiment are still sickened to see anyone serving in the Airborne brigade outside the true airborne units wearing the maroon beret. I worked bloody hard for mine, but have seen ladies who are attached as clerks being given them as they are part of the Brigade!
I also have a question on your uniform photo too Matt. Have you much photo evidence of wings on battledress? All those I have seen, as you stated before are on J/G or K/D, as the units were generally in the Far East.
Dave Parsons (Login dragon166) Forum Member 220.127.116.11
January 29 2006, 9:30 AM
Sorry Alex but I do not know the difference. In a publication I have, dated 1940, only the single G is shown, with the designation of Gunner(Ground). As both badges were introduced in the same year I would speculate that the GG replaced the G version, rather than creating a second category. The title would then be Ground Gunner in the same way as Air Gunner for aircrew.
As for the wearing of parchute wings on battledress, there are a few photos of Iraq Levies wearing it on battldress - as per Matt's picture.
the pictures are very useful, i had already removed the observer halfwing off that jacket. as i was unhappy with it.old photo.
the para wings are spot on as i`ve seen that worn like that before.
the g.g badge as far as i know from speaking to veterans is in the right place for regt post 42. it has been called the "gate guardian" badge aswell!!!
i will however move the corporal`s "GG" badge to above the stripes as in "fred`s" photo. as thats the only one i`ve seen like that pre-regt. which ties in with my two other earlywar r.a.f service dress uniform jackets (airgunner and p.t.i/police )with the qualification/trade brass badges above the rank.
as that makes more sense to me.
i `m still looking for reference on the crossed flags, it only appears to be worn on the lower left cuff. on my photos.
anyway, just glad to see there is interest in the non flyboy stuff!!!!
i`m always ready and willing to learn!!!
I'm surprised to read that you were supposed to swap your Wings for a light bulb if you became non-operational.
Of course I don't know what years you are talking about, but in my day (qualified 20May69, course #705, RAF Abingdon) QRs for the RAF clearly indicated that Badge, Arm, Parachutist (with wings) was awarded in perpetuity. I think the QR(RAF) was #5001, but cannot be certain after all these years. I'd be surprised if the Army regulation was different though.
On one occasion, after returning to RAF duties, I had cause to refer to the QR(RAF) when a SNCO unlawfully ordered me to take my Wings down.
That is a very good question. I have stores references for many badges, and details of wear and introduction of some.
With regards the single 'G' I have noted (from original documents) "...introduced in 1940 under Air Ministry Order (AMO) A371/40. To be worn on the right sleeve only, 9 inches below the shoulder seam." Stores ref for the single 'G' badge was 22H/430.
My guess is that as it was worn by the Aerodrome Defence Corps (the forerunner to the RAF Regiment), only the blue version was made, as it was originally only worn in the UK and possibly France (or at least possibly intended for France). Also no mention is made of the red/tan version in the regs. By the time the RAF Regiment came along the 'G' and 'GG' had gone and the Regiment had their own badges in blue/blue and red/tan. (In the case of the ASR badge for example the regs about the badge specify it as being printed only and it gives stores numbers for both the blue/blue version and the red/tan version).
As for the rank badges, that is tricky as in effect it would have been worn in the same place as the LAC badge or stripes. I have only seen one photo of the 'GG' being worn and that was by a guy with no rank on the sleeve. Its possible or probable it was confined to certain ranks (for example gunners would have been AC or AC1 only therefore wearing the 'GG' without rank badges) which explains why no provision was made in the regulations about rank badges.
If of interest, the 'RAF Regiment' title was introduced in 1942 under AMO A466/42, while the signaller badge (circular, with two crossed flags over a lightening bolt) was introduced on March 9th 1944 under AMO A207/44.
Here is the badge placed 9" below the seam as Alex quoted from the AMO. This is just above the elbow on me, though on someone shorter it would probably appear on the elbow! Compare this with the photo showing a GG badge location as posted previously.
This message has been edited by __richard__ from IP address 18.104.22.168 on Apr 20, 2006 2:25 AM
Answering one of my previous questions we have this from a WW2 book about ranks and badges. The single 'G' must have had the designation 'Gunner (Ground)' which was later changed to Ground Gunner with a double 'GG' badge.
I would agree with Alex that the badge shown on the uniform is too low, espacially in comparison to the only photo we have seen of the badge being worn. I would also suggest that where rank badges were worn then the badge would be placed above such badges. It would follow the examples of the other `specialist' trade badges - PTI, Wirless Operator and Air Sea Rescue which were all worn above any Rank.
I found this picture in a book I have about the WAAF. It shows the 'GG' badge being worn on a uniform, on the right sleeve only. As previously mentioned, it is indeed above the LAC badge (you might need to copy the photo and rotate either it or your head!). An interesting point is that it appears the 'GG' is immediately above the LAC badge, without any gap, although this could just be due to the folds in the material.
I thought the same thing, as aside from anything else the only photos I have seen of the 'GG' badge being worn were both on blue SD. But as mentioned I can't find any reference to a single 'G' being worn by the army so...?