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Examples Evan Dall Mackie (NZ41520) joined the service in 1941 and was the 520th recruit of the year. John Rutherford Clark Kilian (NZ1043) joined the service pre-war. Reginald Jack Hyde (NZ2440) has a number which signifies the transfer of an officer from one service (the RAF) to another (the RNZAF). The Poles Because a substantial number of the pilots dealt with herein were of Polish nationality and had, perhaps to a greater degree than any of the other nationalities who served with or alongside the RAF, already seen action and achieved early victories with their own air force, some brief detail of the circumstances in which they entered and served within that air force are now described.

Since they were conscripted into the RAFVR, the term ‘Volunteer Reserve’ became something of a misnomer from that point. It should be noted that not every number in a block was actually issued. Further, while regular RAF NCOs retained their original service numbers, no matter how often they changed trades or duties, reservists did change numbers when transferring from one scheme to another. For instance, Class ‘F’ of the RAF Reserve of Pilots transferring to the RAFVR in 1937–38 relinquished numbers in the 700000 range for RAFVR numbers in the 740000–759999 block.

59 Operational Training Unit Formed at Turnhouse, Edinburgh, in December 1940, the unit moved its Hurricanes to Crosby-on-Eden in February 1941. In August 1942 a move to Milfield was made, where from March 1943 the unit specialised in training pilots for Typhoon squadrons. On 18 May 1943 the pilots of 31 Course formed 559 Squadron as a Typhoon conversion unit, moving to Brunton. 59 OTU was disbanded in January 1944 to form the nucleus of the new Fighter Leaders’ School, but was reformed in February 1945 at Acklington as a half unit, again with Typhoons, operating for three months before once again being disbanded.

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