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 Post subject: WW2 era service numbers - RAAF
PostPosted: Mon Feb 02, 2015 7:56 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:54 pm
Posts: 92
Served in: 4th/19th PWLH
Hi all, happy new year!

My great uncle served the RAAF through WW2, and for many years beyond and rose to the rank of Warrant Officer. Sadly, he recently passed aged 90 (good innings!) and my mother now has all his service records. His service number is listed as A31741 on many documents, though on some it is listed as A31741 (5665), and on another one we've found it is noted as A31741 (56655)..

The form that lists it as A31741 (56655) also states this at the bottom in fine print: "when on active service overseas the authority to be quoted will be the serial number of the B.S.P.O's Casualty Form"

My question for you all is: What does the bracketed numbers following the service number represent?

From my experience in the Army I know that a service number follows you everywhere, but I never had any additional numbers with mine, and I'd never heard of this practice..

We've contacted RAAF ADF records at the DoD, but they seemed to have no idea, so any info you guys may be able to offer will be much appreciated!


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 Post subject: Re: WW2 era service numbers - RAAF
PostPosted: Tue Feb 03, 2015 1:07 pm 
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 5:52 pm
Posts: 511
Location: ACT
Served in: RNSWR
Hi AxlOz.

I checked the National Archives web site, but sadly your great uncle's record is not available digitally. I had two uncles who served in the RAAF during WW2. On uncle J's record his number is four digits with a handwritten notation "ATC" above it. I take this to be his Air Training Corps (= cadets) number. The service number is typewritten above it. I checked a few other WW2 RAAF records but couldn't find another example like my uncle's double number.

Was your great uncle in the ATC before the RAAF? If so, the four digit number may be his ATC number, which would imply the five digit number is a typo (the extra 5).

Try the National Archives and the Australian War Memorial Research Centre.

Edit: Ok, scrub the ATC idea. Entering my uncle's ATC number on the nominal roll search
http://www.ww2roll.gov.au/ServiceNumberSearch.aspx
doesn't find him, but 5665 does find your great uncle, plus another airman. A31741 finds just your great uncle and 56655 doesn't find anyone, so is definitely a typo.

Cheers.


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 Post subject: Re: WW2 era service numbers - RAAF
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 9:34 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:54 pm
Posts: 92
Served in: 4th/19th PWLH
Many thanks for your input Midway!

My Mum and I have been asking some older friends similar questions and the consensus is that the 5665 was an older service number, likely assigned to him when he first enlisted for WW2 service. As you'll likely know, after WW2 many service men and women were discharged as there was essentially no more work left for such a large fighting force. He then re-enlisted in the early 1950's and this is where he was likely assigned the A31741 service number, which stayed with him for the remainder of his career.

I think you're right about the typo - the extra 5 finds no hits on any RAAF personnel.

Thanks again for your help mate!


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 Post subject: Re: WW2 era service numbers - RAAF
PostPosted: Fri Feb 06, 2015 10:09 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2008 1:54 pm
Posts: 92
Served in: 4th/19th PWLH
So I've just clicked on 'view an explanation of the service records' link and it shows this statement:

Quote:
In selecting the information to be displayed on the website, the Department was aware that some Defence Force members had multiple periods of service. The Nominal Roll aims to show a separate entry for each continuous period of service within the one armed service so that breaks in service are clear. However, particularly for Army veterans, the way the individual's service dossier was managed during, and after, the War made this a difficult task. In some individual cases, each period of service was filed on its own dossier with its unique service number. In other cases, the periods of service had been amalgamated into one service dossier and stored under the one service number. This service number is usually the number for the latter period of service. The Department will, on a case by case basis, review an individual's dossier/s and amend the details displayed on the Nominal Roll.

The service number under which the paper service record is stored is displayed first. Any other known service numbers relevant to this period of service are displayed in brackets.


So we were on the right track! A31741 was his service number for the latter part of his service, and 5665 was for the early part - being WW2 service.

It doesn't explain the typo at all, but if it is just a typo then nothing can explain it - and I think this is the case.


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