Jump to content

Recommended Posts

Peter - a lovely badge with attractive enamelling. Was there a reason you have put it under Canada ?

What period does it date from. During WW2 Canada had special units to ferry aircraft across to Britain -

however, the group I have has Canadian insignia. Mervyn

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...
  • 1 month later...
  • 7 months later...

Notice the Astral crown atop the design, which signifies that this badge is NOT an official RAF badge, and the organisation it represents if is not strictly speaking an official military service.. I only know this because I have a relationship with the RNZAF Museum at Wigram (also known as the Ir Force Museum of NZ), which uses the Astral Crown, and it controlled by a civilian Trust Board rather than the Ministry of Defence, although there are RNZAF officers (including retired officers) military as appointments. I believe the Naval crown is used for similar purposes.

David D

Link to post
Share on other sites

The badge - and it is a badge, not a sweetheart -belonged to my late father-in-law, Herbert Lawson Blakely. In 1939, he was a Radio Officer on the British tramp steamer Pensilva, having gone to the UK for work, and was torpedoed a half day out from England on a trip back from China. He returned to Canada and joined ATFERO, the Atlantic Ferry Organization.

Posted to an emergency air strip in northern Ontario in early 1940 he met and wooed the daughter of his landlady. They married and honeymooned en route to Montreal, from which he flew many trips, some as far as India. He also acted as RO on a seaplane taking one of the lesser 'Royals' on a bond tour of the West Indies. He resigned from Ferry Command, which by that time had become part of the RAF Transport Command, in the spring of 1945. The fact that he was able to resign - when he figured the jug had gone enough times to the well - suggests, as David suggests - that he was a civilian employee rather than a servicemen, but there was no problem getting his medal allotment many years before Canada's far too long delayed recognition of its Merchant Marine vetereans.

I also have his medals - '39-'45 Star, Atlantic Star and War Medal, a number of his uniforms, an 'ATFERO' lapel pin, an RAF Transport Command half wing and a merchant marine uniform and cap. One of these days I'll get them all photographed and post them. I have also just acquired a copy of Ocean Bridge: The History of RAF Ferry Command. One thing I've recently discovered: prior to WWII there had been less than 500 attempts to fly across the Atlantic, of which half were successful and I know from Lawson's anecdotes that the losses were pretty grim. His personal copy of a book on Radio Officers contains 3 pages of names listed as 'Silent Keys'. Presumably all the trades experienced the same attrition.

Lawson's flight jacket bears a badge which looks like this example at the Smithsonian, except that the bullion is silver, not gold. http://airandspace.si.edu/collections/artifact.cfm?id=A19711782000

H

Peter

Edited by peter monahan
Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 1 month later...

Sorry I'm a little late posting this set. He was in the Canadian Airforce - ferrying aircraft to the UK. You will note the

absence of the 39/45 Star as he didn't qualify on this route.

.......................................................................http://gmic.co.uk/uploads/monthly_04_2013/post-6209-0-86242800-1367244085.jpgclick.....................

Link to post
Share on other sites

Lawson Blakely, my father-in-law, earned the 1939-45 and Atlantic Stars plus the Canadian Voluntary Service Medal [CVSM]. His framed group includes a lapel pin [i think] for the Atlantic Ferry Organization or ATFERO, the very earliest group to ferry planes across the Atlantic, his half wing as a Radio Operator and a full size enamelled Ferry Command cap badge. I persuaded him to apply for the medlas in the early 1980s and had the two Stars engraved with his name on the reveres before i mounted them. On his widows death, last June, the family decided that I would become the keeper of the medals and several of his uniforms, which I consider a great honour.

Edited by peter monahan
Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Blog Comments

    • I like my tea strong enough for my spoon to stand up in. My father got me into it. When my father was at RAF Dum Dum 1943-47 most of his fellow officers drank ice cold drinks to mitigate  the heat, his Sikh batman warned him against it and said that strong hot tea would cool him down, most certainly did. So years later in the UK when everybody else was drinking iced drinks on a baking day the wood family was inbibing copious quantities of hot strong brews of Assam's finest. P
    • Hi ccj, Thanks for your comments. Funny how, for me at least, coffee has become a habit more than a conscience choice. It's the old, "Well if you having one (coffee) pour me as well". When I get together with my son-in-law, a former Brit, it's tea all the way. Thanks again. Regards Brian  
    • I live and grew up in the south (USA) and the drink of choice 7 days a week was cold sweet tea. I was unaware Lipton was British because that’s what most southern use for brewing tea. When I joined the army I learned most people in the north and western parts of the USA drank unsweetened tea and that was perplexing to my young brain. Now days I can’t stand sweet iced tea but it’s still the most common drink in the south, but, you can get unsweetened ice tea in the south. Im familiar with ho
    • I drink tea every day (Chinese tea), I used to buy Sri Lankan black tea at the fair before, it was great! I have been reluctant to drink them all. . The tea I’m talking about is just brewing water, not adding other substancesI
    • Thanks for your reply Patrick, just in case some might not know what the Belgian WW1 Medal you were referencing looks like I have included one here. I understand that the small crown on the ribbon denoted the recipient was a volunteer.  
×
×
  • Create New...