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30th 7J7/7M7

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Data was current at 30th August 2012

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The following was compiled by the RAF Cranwell Association.
There may be errors or omissions.

In September 1934, 50 young hopefuls arrived at RAF Cranwell, initially known as the 7J Entry, and formed 2 Classes (7J1 and 7J2) to train as Wireless Operator Mechanics plus one Class (7J9) to train as Instrument Makers. Subsequently under a revised Entry Numbering System they were known as the 7M7 Entry (WOMs) and 7J7 Entry (IM). During their training they gained 1 from an earlier Entry, 2 were discharged, and 1 was re-classed to a later Entry. This left 48 to Pass Out in July 1937.

Bill Wilkinson advised that:
"We were the last of the small entries before the expansion. Reasonably good at all sports we were less evidently distinguished in our professional studies, as revealed at our graduation. No cadetships were awarded and there was only one LAC (Humphrey from an earlier entry). The rest of us made AC1 or AC2.
We all hankered after becoming pilots and this meant that we had to qualify to LAC under our own arrangements after we left Cranwell.
To achieve this we had to sit a paper and then to spend a week at West Drayton undergoing practical tests and a few of us did this. Unfortunately having qualified as LAC we became eligible for posting to the Fleet Air Arm, as some of us were to our chagrin. Although some of us had been recommended for pilot training, the RN would not release us to return to the RAF and when we did eventually get back during the war we were told to go away because it was easy to get pilots but there was a great shortage of Wireless Operator Mechanics. So we never fulfilled our ambitions apart from John Vanstone who later received pilot training under a short lived scheme whereby some were selected to become Engineer officers."


30th ENTRY ROLL CALL

NUMBER

SURNAME

INITS

KNOWN AS

CLASS

REMARKS

567235

Allan

J

James (Titch)

7M7 B

 

567239

Allen

P

Patrick

7J7

 

567017

Armstrong

W

Walter

7M7 A

 

567066

Armstrong

L

Laurence

7M7 B

Died While On Active Service serving in HMS Avenger on 15th November 1942. Listed on Panel 73 of Runnymede Memorial.

567166

Barnes

P C

Peter

7M7 B

Died circa 1948.

567046

Boon

E J

Ernest

7M7 A

 

567107

Booth

J R P B

James

7M7 B

Died, date not known.

567015

Breeze

R D

Robert

7M7 A

 

566989

Brickwood

R

Ron

7M7 A

MBE.  Died 7th December 2001.

567086

Cameron

L A

Leonard

7J7

 

567237

Campbell

J F

Jock

7J7

 

566964

Campbell

A

Alan

7J7

Died 27th February 1981.

566962

Chapman

C

Charlie

7J7

 

567058

Cordes

J A

John

7M7 B

 

567008

Curtis

A

 

7J7

Ceased Training.

567009

Davies

J E

John

7M7 A

 

566975

Dodds

W

Whitfield

7M7 A

 

567083

Edwards

C

Clifford

7M7 A

 

566973

Fazey

F

Frank

7M7 B

 

566987

Graham

G A

George

7M7 B

CEng MIET.  Died 29th August 2006.

567057

Haire

O

Oscar

7M7 B

Mentioned in Despatches.  Died While On Active Service with 77 Sqdn., on 12th April 1940. Listed on Panel 21 of Runnymede Memorial.

566995

Hill

H

Harry

7M7 B

 

567059

Hind

J

John

7M7 B

 

567001

Holliday

J W

Joseph

7M7 B

 

566936

Humphrey

R

Robert

7M7 A

Joined with 29th Entry.

567242

Hunter-Rowe

D H

 

7M7 B

 

567108

Kennedy

D C

David

7M7 B

Died 21st December 2004

566983

Knight

V B J

Victor

7M7 B

Died, date not known.

567002

Lawes

W F

Walter

7M7 A

Air Gunner.  Died While On Active Service with 13 Sqn on 16th May 1940 aged 21. Is buried in a joint grave with Pilot Officer T.H. Borg-Banks in the N.W. part of Vieux-Conde Communal Cemetery, France.

567078

Leddra

E

Edwin (Pompey)

7M7 A

Died, date not known.

566969

Lewis

R

Ralph (Taff)

7M7 A

Died, date not known.

566979

MacDonald

A

Angus

7M7 A

Japanese Prisoner of War.  Died While On Active Service on 12th June 1943.  Served with 39 Sqn.   Buried at Kanchanaburi.

566988

May

A

Alan

7M7 B

Died 13th December 2001.

567038

Mitchell

R J

Robert

7M7 B

 

567076

Moreman

T K

Trevor

7M7 A

Died, date not known.

566970

Parker

K

 

7J7

 

566991

Ridd

G B

George

7M7 A

 

567073

Rowbotham

PV

Paul

7M7 A

Died 1st August 1997.

566984

Scott

N A

Norman

7M7 A

Died 11th April 1939.

567149

Smith

C E H

Clarence

7M7 A

 

567007

Smitheman

G O

Oliver

7M7 B

Died 24th March 1996.

567039

Spells

H

Harry

7M7 B

 

567062

Thompson

A N

Alfred

7M7 B

 

567090

Trelford

A

Aston

7M7 B

Ceased Training.  Died 5th November 1991.

567080

Vanstone

D J

John (Slim)

7M7 A

Died 21st September 2008.

566976

Ware

S E

Titch

7J7

 

567189

Wilkinson

W

Bill

7M7 A

 

567026

Wilson

G

George

7J7

Died 14th June 1945.

567082

Wood

L A

Lewis

7J7

 

567238

Wynne

R

Ronald

7J7

 

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ENTRY REUNIONS

In the 1990's the 7M7/7J7's combined with the Halton 30th Entry for some 3 or 4 Reunions at the George Hotel in Solihull. Regrettably due to the problems in contacting Entry members, only 9 Cranwellians and their wives attended.

ENTRY PHOTOGRAPHS

Click on each photo to obtain an enlarged version.
Then close Window before proceeding.

The following photographs were provided by Bill Wilkinson

 

 

 

 

 

The 7J, subsequently renamed the 7M7 / 7J7 (30th) Entry

 

 

30 Entry 7J.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Class 7J1 - Wireless Operator Mechanics - Became 7M7A

 

 

30 Class 7J1.jpg

 

 

Back Row: Lewis, Smith, Brickwood, Vanstone, Wilkinson, Edwards, Davies, Humphrey, Breeze and Dodds
Front Row: Leddra, Rowbotham, Moreman, Scott, Macdonald, Armstrong (017), Boon, Ridd and Lawes

 

 

 

 

 

Class 7J2 - Wireless Operator Mechanics - Became 7M7B

 

 

30 Class 7J2.jpg

 

 

Back Row: Trelford, Mitchell, Spells, Smitheman, Thompson, Allan, Haire, Armstrong (066), Hunter-Rowe, and Hill.
Front Row: Cordes, Kennedy, Holliday, May, Booth, Hind, Fazey, Graham, and Barnes.
Not on Parade: Knight.

 

 

 

 

 

Class 7J9  - Instrument Makers - Became 7J7

 

 

30 Class 7J9.jpg

 

 

Back Row: Allen, Wood, Campbell A, and Campbell J
Front Row: Cameron, Wilson, Chapman, Ware and Wynne
Not on Parade: Curtis (CT'd) and Richards (FT'd 31st)

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