Letter of Welcome



Letter of Welcome


A standard letter sent to Terry Ford welcoming him into the RAF.



Temporal Coverage




One typewritten sheet and envelope


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[post mark]
1585520 AC2. Ford, Terrence, A.,
26, Coronation Avenue,
[page break]
[RAF Crest]
27th September, 1941.
[underlined] THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR AIR. [/underlined]
You are now an airman and it gives me great pleasure to welcome you into the Royal Air Force.
To have been selected for air crew training is a great distinction. The Royal Air Force demands a high standard of physical fitness and alertness from its flying crews. Relatively few attain that standard, and I congratulate you on passing the stringent tests.
You are, of course, impatient to begin your flying training at once, and the question you ask is “When do I start?” You may rest assured that you will be called up as soon as you are required – and in your turn. While waiting you may carry on with your present job, and equip yourself for your Air Force career by studying subjects which will help you.
The date on which you enter your flying training is decided by various factors – including the requirements of the Service, your age, date of attestation and so on. Once your order on the list is determined you may be sure that you will not be overlooked when your turn comes.
Arrangements will be made to help you in your studies, and you will be told about these in due course. Be sure you make good use of these opportunities. They are important to you.
I feel, however, you will expect me to tell you why it is necessary that you who are so eager should wait at all.
The royal Air Force is a highly organized Service. In the first line are trained and experienced crews whose stirring deeds and indomitable courage daily provoke the admiration of the world. Behind these men, ready to give them immediate support, are the newly-trained crews fresh from the schools. In your turn you and other accepted candidates stand ready to fill the schools. Without you, time might be lost at a critical moment in filling up the training facilities left vacant by those who have joined the ranks of the first line combatants, and the vital flow of reinforcements would be broken. Vacancies may also be caused by increased training requirements, for the schools are being rapidly expanded. For these reasons we must have a reserve of selected candidates like you on whom to call.
I hope this explanation will help you to understand. The waiting period should not be considered as so much waste of time. There is much you can do. you are exceptionally fit now, or would not have been chosen. See that you keep fit. Work hard but live temperately. Learn all you can in your spare time about those things you must know if you are to be efficient at your flying job. The more academic knowledge you acquire before you begin your training in the Royal Air Force the easier it will be later on to absorb the specialized Service knowledge.
In wishing you success in the Service of your choice I would like to add this: The Honour of the Royal Air Force is in your hands. Our Country’s safety and the final overthrow of the powers of evil now arrayed against us depend upon you and your comrades. You will be given the best aircraft and armament that the factories of Britain and America can produce. Equip yourself with knowledge of how to use them.
Good luck!
[underlined] Archibald Sinclair [/underlined]



Great Britain. The secretary of state for air, “Letter of Welcome,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed July 24, 2024, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/23933.

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