Air of Authority - A History of RAF Organisation


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RAF Trade Groups


The tables below show the various trades in each Trade Group giving a comparison of how trades changed, were added or became obsolete from 1919 to 1944.

 

Group I

1919 1938 1942 1944
      Airfield Controller
      Architectural Draughtsman
Blacksmith To Group II    
  Blacksmith & Welder Blacksmith & Welder Blacksmith & Welder
      Carpenter I
Carpenter (boat builder)     Carpenter (boat builder)
Carpenter (motor body builder)      
Carpenter (propeller maker)      
Camera Repairer      
Carpenter (rigger)      
      Civil Engineering Assistant
      Clerk of Works
      Compass Adjuster
Coppersmith To Group II    
  Coppersmith & Sheet Metal Worker Coppersmith & Sheet Metal Worker Coppersmith & Sheet Metal Worker
Draughtsman Draughtsman Draughtsman Draughtsman
      Draughtsman (mechanical)
  Duty Pilot Duty Pilot  
Electrician (compass setter & repairer)      
  Electrician Grade I Electrician Grade I Electrician Grade I
      Electrician Works Grade I
  Engine Driver (fitter) Engine Driver (fitter)  
Fitter (aero engine) Fitter (aero engine) Fitter (aero engine)  
      Fitter (armourer)
  Fitter (armourer, bombs) Fitter (armourer, bombs) Fitter (armourer, bombs)
  Fitter (armourer, guns) Fitter (armourer, guns) Fitter (armourer, guns)
      Fitter (armourer, torpedo)
Fitter (constructional)      
Fitter (driver, petrol)      
Fitter (driver, steam)      
Fitter (general)     Fitter (general)
Fitter (jig & tool maker)      
  Fitter (marine) Fitter (marine) Fitter (marine)
Fitter (MT) Fitter MT Fitter MT Fitter MT
Fitter (millwright)      
      Fitter (stationary engine)
  Fitter (torpedo) Fitter (torpedo)  
  Fitter I Fitter I Fitter I
  Fitter II (Airframe) Fitter II (Airframe) Fitter II (Airframe)
  Fitter II (Engine) Fitter II (Engine) Fitter II (Engine)
      High Speed Telegraphist
  Instrument Maker Instrument Maker Instrument Maker & Repairer
Instrument Maker & Camera Repairer      
  Instrument Repairer Grade I Instrument Repairer Grade I  
  Link Trainer Instructor Link Trainer Instructor Link Trainer Instructor
  Link Trainer Instructor (visual) Link Trainer Instructor (visual)  
  Machine Tool Setter & Operator Machine Tool Setter & Operator Machine Tool Setter & Operator
  Metal Rigger Metal Rigger  
  Metal Worker Metal Worker  
Motor Boat Coxswain      
Moulder     Moulder
       
Pattern Maker     Pattern Maker
      Radar Mechanic
      Radar Mechanic A
      Radar Mechanic B
      Radar Mechanic F
      Radar Mechanic G
      Radar Mechanic R
  Radio Mechanic Radio Mechanic  
Turner      
Wireless Mechanic Wireless Mechanic Wireless Mechanic Wireless Mechanic
Wireless Operator      
  Wireless and Electrical Mechanic Wireless and Electrical Mechanic Wireless and Electrical Mechanic
  Wireless Operator Mechanic Wireless Operator Mechanic Wireless Operator Mechanic

      

Group II

1919 1938 1942 1944
Acetylene Welder Acetylene Welder Acetylene Welder Acetylene Welder
      Aerial Erector
  Armoured Car Crew Armoured Car Crew Armoured Car Crew
      Armourer
      Armourer (bomb disposal)
  Armourer (bombs) Armourer (bombs) Armourer (bombs)
  Armourer (guns) Armourer (guns) Armourer (guns)
      Armourer (Torpedo)
Balloon Basket Maker      
  Balloon Operator Balloon Operator Balloon Operator
       
  Blacksmith Blacksmith Blacksmith
  Bricklayer Bricklayer Bricklayer
Camera Repairer      
      Camouflage Supervisor
Carpenter Carpenter Carpenter Carpenter
      Driller
Electrician      
Coach Painter Coach Painter    
  Coppersmith Coppersmith Coppersmith
  Electrician Grade II Electrician Grade II Electrician Grade II
  Electrician (wireman) Electrician (wireman)  
  Flight Mechanic (airframe) Flight Mechanic (airframe) Flight Mechanic (airframe)
  Flight Mechanic (engine) Flight Mechanic (engine) Flight Mechanic (engine)
      Foreman of Trades
  Grinder Grinder Grinder
      Hydrogen Worker (also Group III)
Instrument Repairer      
  Instrument Repairer Grade II Instrument Repairer Grade II Instrument Repairer Grade II
      Interpreter (technical)
Kite Balloon Telephonist      
Machinist      
Magneto Repairer      
      Mechanic (stationary engine)
  Mechanic, Mechanical Transport Mechanic, Mechanical Transport Mechanic, Mechanical Transport
  Meteorologist  (civilianized) Meteorologist  (civilianized) Meteorologist  (civilianized)
  Miller Miller Miller
Packer      
  Pattern Maker (architectural) Pattern Maker (architectural) Pattern Maker (architectural)
Photographer Photographer Photographer Photographer
      Plant Operator
  Plumber Plumber Plumber
      Quarryman
      Radar Operator
  Radio Operator Radio Operator Radio Operator
      Radio Telephony Operator II
      Radio Telephony Operator D/F II
Rigger (aeroplane)      
Rigger (airship)      
      Safety Equipment Operator/Worker?
  Sheet Metal Worker Sheet Metal Worker Sheet Metal Worker
  Steel Erector Steel Erector Steel Erector
Tinsmith & Sheet Metal Worker      
Turner Turner Turner Turner
  Wireless Operator Wireless Operator Wireless Operator

Group III

1919 1938 1942 1944
Assistant Armourer      
  Balloon Fabric Worker Balloon Fabric Worker  
  Balloon Rigger Balloon Rigger  
  Balloon Rigger/Fabric Worker Balloon Rigger/Fabric Worker  
Blacksmith's Striker      
Butcher      
Caterer      
  Concreter Concreter Concreter
Cook     Cook
Cook and Butcher Cook and Butcher Cook and Butcher  
Coppersmith's Mate      
Deckhand      
  Drainlayer Drainlayer Drainlayer
Driver (motor boat)      
Driver (petrol)      
Driver (steam)      
Driver (winch and fitter)      
  Driver, Winch (balloon) Driver, Winch (balloon)  
      Embarkation Assistant
Fabric Worker Fabric Worker Fabric Worker Fabric Worker
Hospital Orderly      
Hydrogen Worker Hydrogen Worker Hydrogen Worker Hydrogen Worker (also Group II)
Labourer      
  Motor Boat Crew Motor Boat Crew Motor Boat Crew
Motor Cyclist      
Musician To Group V    
  PAC Operator PAC Operator PAC Operator
  Parachute Repairer Parachute Repairer Parachute Repairer
Packer's Mate      
      Safety Equipment Assistant
Seaplane Wader      
Shoemaker Shoemaker Shoemaker Shoe Repairer
Stoker      
Tailor Tailor Tailor Tailor
Telephone Operator      
      Telephonist
Upholsterer      
Vulcaniser      

Group IV

1919 1938 1942 1944
  Clerk, accounting Clerk, accounting Clerk, accounting
Clerk (general)      
  Clerk, General Duties Clerk, General Duties Clerk, General Duties
      Clerk, General Duties, Maps
      Clerk, General Duties, Personal Services
      Clerk, General Duties, Postal
      Clerk, General Duties, Provisions
      Clerk, General Duties, Computor
  Clerk, equipment and accounting Clerk, equipment and accounting Clerk, equipment and accounting
Clerk (pay)      
  Clerk, pay and accounting Clerk, pay and accounting Clerk, pay and accounting
Clerk, Shorthand Typist      
      Clerk, signals
  Clerk, Special Duties Clerk, Special Duties Clerk, Special Duties
Clerk (stores)      
  Equipment Assistant Equipment Assistant  
Meteorologist to Group II    
  Radio Telephony Operator Radio Telephony Operator Radio Telephony Operator (IV)
      Radio Telephony Operator D/F IV
  Teleprinter Operator Teleprinter Operator Teleprinter Operator

Group V

1919 1938 1942 1944
  Aircrafthand, General Duties Aircrafthand, General Duties Aircrafthand, General Duties
Aircrafthand (aerial gunner)      
Aircrafthand (batman)      
Aircrafthand (general duties)      
Aircrafthand (gunnery instructor)      
Aircrafthand (PT Instructor)      
  Aircrafthand  (under trade training) Aircrafthand  (under trade training) Aircrafthand  (under trade training)
  Armament Assistant ? Armament Assistant
  Barber Barber Barber
  Batman Batman Batman
      C W Fighter
  Driver MT Driver MT Driver MT
      Fire Fighter
      Flying Control Assistant
  Ground Gunner Ground Gunner  
  Ground Observer Ground Observer Ground Observer
  Groundsman Groundsman Groundsman
      Gunner
  Machine-gun Instructor Machine-gun Instructor  
  Maintenance Assistant Maintenance Assistant Maintenance Assistant
  Messing duties Messing duties  
  Motor Cyclist Motor Cyclist Motor Cyclist
  Musician Musician Musician
      Packer
  Parachute Packer Parachute Packer  
  Physical Training Instructor Physical Training Instructor Physical Training Instructor
  Pigeon Keeper Pigeon Keeper  
      RAF Police
  Service Police Service Police  
      Station Police
  Telephone Operator Telephone Operator  
  Torpedoman Torpedoman  
      Vulcaniser
      Works hand

Medical Group

1938 1942 1944
    Chiropodist
Dental Clerk Orderly Dental Clerk Orderly Dental Clerk Orderly
Dental Mechanic Dental Mechanic Dental Mechanic
    Dental Hygienist
Dental Orderly under training Dental Orderly under training Dental Orderly under training
Dispenser Dispenser Dispenser
Laboratory Assistant Laboratory Assistant Laboratory Assistant
Masseur Masseur Masseur
Medical Orderly under training Medical Orderly under training Medical Orderly under training
Mental Nursing Orderly Mental Nursing Orderly Mental Nursing Orderly
Nursing Orderly Nursing Orderly Nursing Orderly (including Clerk Medical)
Operating Room Assistant Operating Room Assistant Operating Room Assistant
    Optician Orderly?
Radiographer Radiographer Radiographer
Sanitary Assistant Sanitary Assistant Sanitary Assistant
Special Treatment Orderly Special Treatment Orderly Special Treatment Orderly
Trained Nurse Trained Nurse Trained Nurse

Aircrew

1938 1942
Air Gunner Air Gunner
Air Observer Air Observer
Airman Pilot Airman Pilot
Radio Operator (air) Radio Operator (air)
Wireless Operator (air) Wireless Operator (air)

The 1944 list was assembled from at least two sources but those shown below do not appear in both and some seem to be old trades that should have been superseded by 1944, where a Group is mentioned it is shown brackets.  Some of these are shown in earlier lists and may have been obsolete or replaced by newer trades in 1944.

1944
Air Bombing Instructor (I) Machinist (II)
Aircraft Finisher Mess Steward
Air Gunnery Instructor Metal Rigger (I)
Architectural Assistant Metal Worker (I)
Balloon Fabric Worker Navigation Instructor (I)
Balloon Parachute Handler Optician Orderly
Balloon Rigger Fabric Worker Orderly
Bomber Plotter Pigeon Keeper
Carpenter (rigger) (I) PT & CW Instructor (V)
Charging Board Operator Radio Telephony Operator, Balloons
Cine Projectionist Recruiter
Clerk, Codes & Cypher Rigger (aeroplane) (II)
Coach-painter &painter Rigger Balloon
Draughtsman (Cartographer) Rigger (airship) (II)
Driver Winch Sparking Plug Tester (II)
Drogue Packer Torpedoman (V)
Dynamo & Switch Board Operator Tinsmith (II)
Electrician Works Tinsmith & Sheet Metal Worker (II)
Engineer (I) Tracer
Fitter II (I) Upholsterer
Foreman General WAAF Police
Hairdresser Waitress
Instrument Mechanic Wireless Operator, D/F
Interpreter Wireless Operator, Slip Reader
Interpreter (V) Workshop-hand

Sources: -

AMO A364/1932

AMO A195/1934

AHB Monograph - 'Manning Plans and Policy'

 

This page was last updated on 26/05/17 using FrontPage 2003

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