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#4495763 - 11/02/19 08:42 PM Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC?  
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DukeIronHand Offline
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High over the Front
I have always heard figures (usually from the pilots themselves in first person accounts) but never anything “official” that I recall. What was the directive from RFC HQ regarding rotation back to England for other duties? Was it set in stone?
1) From the pilots themselves I hear a figure of approx. 6 months - maybe 7 sometimes.
2) How long was the pilot away from the front? Read (unofficially again) 2-6 months.
3) It would appear a pilot rarely (if ever?) returned to his original Squadron?

And, as long as we’re on the subject so I can simulate it in the game (and rotation if I live that long), what was the policy regarding a leave period from the Squadron? Believe it was normally 7-10 days? Again any RFC directive? Or was it a informal policy?

#4495782 - 11/02/19 10:37 PM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Duke, a very good question. I will be looking forward to Lou’s answer soon.


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BOC Member since....I can't remember!
#4495791 - 11/02/19 11:07 PM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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.

Well then I'll jump in. smile2

I have never come across any official guidelines regarding lengths of pilot tours, and have seen mention made in some sources that none likely existed during WWI. Generally, an RFC/RNAS pilot could expect to serve a minimum of three months at the front before getting his first leave, which could be from 7 to 14 days, (more often than not on the short end of this span). After six months it was fairly typical for the pilot to then have an extended leave of a month or more. Again, this is only generally speaking, and there are numerous examples of pilots going far longer between breaks, sometimes upwards of ten months. Once they were rotated back to HE they could be there for anywhere from a few weeks to many months, and on some occasions they were never sent back to the front. As to returning a pilot to his old squadron, while it was not official policy as far as I know, it was the general practice not to. I do recall reading that if a pilot was captured and held for an extended period before he managed to escape back to the friendly side, it was policy not to return him to his old squadron.

One thing that was noticed by British HQ was a statistical increase in the number of pilots being killed shortly after returning to the front after extended leaves, presumably because they had lost their "edge" while away from the fighting. This may have been one of the reasons the Brass Hats were hesitant to give pilots leaves of more than a few days. Of course it's far more likely it was due to the constant shortage of qualified combat pilots.

.


#4495797 - 11/03/19 12:42 AM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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High over the Front
Nice one MFair. I was going to preface my question with “Hey Lou...”
And, on that, thanks Lou.
Interesting there was no (apparently) set policy. The “6 months at the Front” thing seems pretty standard in several pilot accounts so perhaps it was “unofficially official” or at least some kind of general guideline.
And formal Leave (not the “Nice job today - take two days in Paris”) seems quite sketchy or, perhaps more properly, never clearly explained. Heard at least one mention that the “2 days” thing from the Squadron CO was a nice motivator, very welcome, and the pilots like it as it “kept their leave intact.”

#4495824 - 11/03/19 12:07 PM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Great info Lou, what is HE by the way? Is it Home Establishment?

#4495826 - 11/03/19 12:28 PM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Usually in WOFF when surviving long enough you will be granted 2 days leave every couple missions. At least you have a button to ask for it, but it can also get denied. You can then ask a day later again etc. When flying longer without leave you have the option to ask for 5 days.

Rotation or HE etc. probably also depends on the exhaustion or how good one is, like with Albert Ball. One very successful pilot can get ordered back home to get him out of danger like the tried with Richthofen, Dallas etc.. Often they become instructors. That also explains the lack of hours of pupils before the first solo, because one war exhausted instructor who survived so much and for so long, doesn't want to get killed by a hamfisted novie wannabe pilot.

Ingame I simulate rotation in an out for couple month by transferring to a HD unit or by simply jumping forward several months, and then transferring to another squadron or maybe even the same.

#4495828 - 11/03/19 12:58 PM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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I think the Germans (which they apparently carried in some form to WW2) had no “6 months and back” rotation going.
Not to say some didn’t transfer to the rear eventually but it comes across as a much more of a “Victory or Death” thing for them but they were much more liberal with leave periods.
For MvR the High Command definitely didn’t want him dead and he took quite a bit of leave it seems though sometimes mixed with business or PR.

#4495908 - 11/04/19 04:02 AM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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I seem to recall that when circumstances allowed it, the RFC tried to give pilots a day off active duty each week, but that the RNAS did not.

#4495951 - 11/04/19 03:08 PM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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On the RFC side, another ticket to HE often occurred when a unit re-equiipped ie went from Strutters to Camels, Fees to Bristol Fighters, Martinsydes to DH4s etc. And it was fairly rare for anyone to be out for more than a year; generally that was the max before a ticket to HE (though of course, few lasted that long)
Cheers,
shredward


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#4499366 - 12/06/19 09:22 PM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: Creaghorn]  
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Originally Posted by Creaghorn
Usually in WOFF when surviving long enough you will be granted 2 days leave every couple missions. At least you have a button to ask for it, but it can also get denied. You can then ask a day later again etc. When flying longer without leave you have the option to ask for 5 days.

Rotation or HE etc. probably also depends on the exhaustion or how good one is, like with Albert Ball. One very successful pilot can get ordered back home to get him out of danger like the tried with Richthofen, Dallas etc.. Often they become instructors. That also explains the lack of hours of pupils before the first solo, because one war exhausted instructor who survived so much and for so long, doesn't want to get killed by a hamfisted novie wannabe pilot.

Ingame I simulate rotation in an out for couple month by transferring to a HD unit or by simply jumping forward several months, and then transferring to another squadron or maybe even the same.


Hello all

I'm just getting back into this game after a while away from it... got the latest Platinum edition and all patched up. Just keeps getting better and better. The game oozes immersion throughout and I'm quite hooked. I'm having a blast flying early BE2c's in 1915 and actually managing to survive for longer than I used to! So I've started thinking about simulating this kind of rotation to different squadrons with periods of leave etc... I'm interested in what Creaghorn suggests here in transferring to an HD squadron for a while but I can't see how to do it. When I go to the intel screen and select the transfer button. It only gives me a choice of picking squadrons in Flanders, the Marne, Alsace and Verdun. I can't see how to select a squadron in England. Is it possible to do this and if so, how? Perhaps it only becomes available later in the war?

Many thanks,
Stu.

#4499374 - 12/06/19 10:54 PM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Hello Stu,

Welcome back to the WOFF skies. As you are already discovering PE is yet another upgrade gem to our favorite WWI combat flight sim. As for transferring to Home Establishment, unfortunately the only way to currently do that is to start your pilot anew in your HD Squadron of choice, basically acting as HQ and giving yourself a transfer back to Blighty. Then, when you've decided your man has spent enough time protecting the home front you can advance the previous incarnation of your pilot ahead and either leave him in his current outfit in France or transfer him to a new one. Fingers crossed someday this will all be incorporated into a future WOFF upgrade.

Cheers Stu, and watch your six!

Lou


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Three RFC Brass Hats were strolling down a street in London. Two walked into a bar, the third one ducked.
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#4499380 - 12/07/19 12:00 AM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: RAF_Louvert]  
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stufer Offline
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Hi Lou

Thanks very much for your reply. A ha so we have to fudge it a little to make it work. That's no problem for me. I like your suggestion as that will at least give me the right feel for the campaign and inject a much needed slow period into it when things get faster paced at the front. Yes, hopefully one day that can be incorporated into the campaign so we can move back and forth... if we survive that long!

On a separate note, I'd just like to say thank you for the terrific maps you produced! I'm using them in my current campaign with 8 Sqn RFC in mid 1915. Got them on my laptop and can edit them with waypoints and targets etc... Makes the missions a much more immersive experience.

Cheers
Stu

#4504210 - 01/19/20 05:35 AM Re: Pilot rest/rotation in the RFC? [Re: DukeIronHand]  
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Hello everyone...I'm not sure if RAF_Louvert is referring to JJJ65's Pilot Log Editor (findable at the mod website), but if you follow the instructions provided by Robert Wiggins you can transfer your stats and such to your new British HE squadron. The instructions deal with changing countries, however, one can do the same thing transferring from a front Brit squadron to Home Establishment (and I presume back again if wanted). I bet you could even switch allegiances, and now wouldn't that be a "Report From the Front"!!!

Regards,

Jeff


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