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? Airforce

bewdley

master brummie
Gerald Joseph Heaney back of photo.JPG Gerald Joseph Heaney 1923-1999.JPG Hi this is a photo of my uncle Gerald Joseph Heaney (1923-1999). I remember being told he served in the air force during WW2 and wonder whether anyone can glean any info from his uniform or what's written on the back of the photo. Thanks.
 

Radiorails

master brummie
It is the uniform of an airman, but his rank is not apparent. Not officer rank at the time of the pic but he may well have been commissioned later on in his service.. He is improperly dressed by the way: the pocket is not buttoned up! ;)

The writing is not too easily read as much of it is upside down and I gave up hanging upside down by the feet years ago - got too giddy. However the 'mauvish' print seems to mention George St. and some of the writing - which may be an address mentions Henlow which still is an RAF base in Bedfordshire. It may well have been where he did his basic or trade training.

One or two pencilled names, Jumbo, Jun and Jul (maybe the months when he was there? show well.
I am sure others will come along with other additions for you.
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
image.jpeg I've rotated the image and darkened it a little to make it easier to read. Wondered if the top writing reads '(HE)ANEY' - your uncle's name? Then below that ..538 Room 22? Wonder if the ...538 refers to a date in May 1938 - perhaps when he started his training at Henlow.

Your uncle had a lovely smile! Viv.
 

Old Boy

master brummie
Hi Bewdley,

I can tell you that the lack of insignia on his left breast indicates that he was not air crew. If he had been in training for an air crew position he would have had a white brevet in his cap. His date of birth (1923) suggests that he probably joined in 1941 when he was 18 years of age.

Old Boy
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Think I read somewhere that around April 1939 there was a push on maintenance training at Henlow. Viv.
 

Old Boy

master brummie
Think I read somewhere that around April 1939 there was a push on maintenance training at Henlow. Viv.
Hi,

We must be careful not to confuse Henlow with Hendon which was a major RAF station and today houses an RAF museum.

Old Boy
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Yes of course. I was definitely referring to Henlow (RAF) running maintenance training in anticipation of WW2 needs. My dad was a flight engineer in WW2. iv.
 

bewdley

master brummie
View attachment 105036 I've rotated the image and darkened it a little to make it easier to read. Wondered if the top writing reads '(HE)ANEY' - your uncle's name? Then below that ..538 Room 22? Wonder if the ...538 refers to a date in May 1938 - perhaps when he started his training at Henlow.

Your uncle had a lovely smile! Viv.

Thanks for making it clearer Viv and yes he did have a lovely smile, just like my dad, his brother.
 
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