HC Deb 14 July 1942 vol 381 cc1101-2W
Sir E. Cadogan

asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is now in a position to say what arrangements have been made to safeguard the position of non-commissioned officer aircrew personnel who have been wounded whilst engaged on operational flights, and have to be permanently withdrawn from further duties in the air in consequence?

Sir A. Sinclair

Yes, Sir. As far as possible such personnel are employed in trades for which their aircrew qualifications and experience render them specially suitable, e.g., link trainer instructor, duty pilot, navigation instructor. All these are Group I trades and the posts carry rank not lower than that of sergeant. Failing selection for one of these special trades, airmen with a basic R.A.F. trade are remustered to that trade and, if fully qualified technically, are granted the rank of sergeant therein or any higher rank which they would have attained had they not been selected for aircrew duties. If not fully qualified technically, they are given every chance, including the opportunity of attending courses, to attain the required standard and on doing so are granted the rank of sergeant in their basic trade. In the meantime, they retain the rank of sergeant, with pay at Group V rates, and are employed on duties appropriate to the standard of technical proficiency which they have attained. Aircrew personnel who have no basic trade, and are not selected for one of the special trades referred to above, are remustered to aircrafthand Group V in the rank of sergeant (unless they possess special qualifications which enable them to be absorbed at once into another R.A.F. trade) and are placed under training for any R.A.F. trade for which they have special qualifications or qualities. If they reach the necessary standard on completion of the normal course, they are re mustered to their new trade in the rank of sergeant. If they do not attain this standard they are employed on duties appropriate to the standard they have reached until they so qualify, but they retain the rank of sergeant and, except during employment at their trade, enjoy all the privileges and amenities associated with that rank.