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Royal Marines Non-Commissioned Officer Pilots Transferred to the Royal Navy
1939 to 1940

In 1938 AFO 459/38 called for Royal Marines non-commissioned officers to volunteer for pilot training.  Those successfully completing their pilot training were transferred to the Royal Navy as Petty Officer rating pilots.  Those pilots that are known of are:

BEESTON Derek

CHAPMAN Bertram

CROZER William

HEARD William

JAGGARD Robert

LYALL David

MAHONEY Timothy

PEACOCK Geoffrey

 
The following Corporals also volunteered in response to AFO 459/38 but did not complete flying training: A F Rawlings, Richards (initials not known), V H Smart and A H Yarde. 

AFO 459/38 was cancelled (along with four other AFOs) after a review and was incorporated into AFO 1221/39 (dated May 1939) titled: "Fleet Air Arm - Air Gunners, Observer's Mates and Rating Pilots - Re-organisation and Institution of a New Branch".   This revision also applied to the Royal Marines.However, after the start of World War 2, no more non-commissioned officers volunteered or, if they did, their requests were not approved.

In 1946 AFO 5968/46 introduced a dramatic re-organisation in the manning of Naval aircraft.  It stated that the majority of pilot's seats would, in the future, be filled by rating pilots.  It called for RN ratings and RM non-commissioned officers and marines to volunteer for flying training.  Incidentally, it also stated that the observer specialization would die out and, furthermore, the majority of rating pilots would be recruited direct from civil life.  It has proved impossible to determine whether any Royal Marines volunteered but certainly none qualified.  Also, it would seem that most of the significant policy changes contained in this AFO were very short lived.