The initial intake of the 78th Entry was Three hundred & six personnel of whom one hundred & fifty original members eventually passed out on 31st July 1957. Of the one hundred & fifty-six lost to us, some were “down entried”, others ceased training. Of the latter, most were released into the adult Air Force as Leading Aircraftsmen & Senior Aircraftsmen. Of these, almost all continued in the R.A.F. and enjoyed similar careers to those of their friends who were fortunate (lucky!) enough to complete the three years training.
Whilst this attrition seems excessive, our numbers were reinforced in some small degree by forty-five apprentices who were “down entried” to us. Thus the actual number on our Passing-Out Parade was One hundred & ninety-five. It should be noted that completion of the Apprentice training is not the criteria for joining either the RAFHAAA or The 78th Entry Association; all our former members are very welcome.
The majority of us graduating on 31st July 1957 attained the rank of Junior Technician. Three gained cadetships;
Reg Hallam to RAF College Cranwell, Jim Maude and Theo Proctor to RAF Technical College Henlow. Six graduated as substantive Corporals and eight would qualify for accelerated promotion to Corporal Technician after twelve months adult service.
This however gives rise to some anomalies as, according to lists received, one hundred and eighty seven apprentices were placed in order of merit, of these eighteen were ex 76th and 77th entries. Three 78th members who passed out as J/Ts but not with the full trade category were not given a place in the order of merit. A further five ex 76th and ex 77th entry were not placed in the order of merit but passed out as J/Ts. This totals the one hundred and ninety five who graduated but it does mean that one hundred and seventy two 78th members graduated of whom one hundred and sixty nine were given a place in the order of merit.
Where amendments are required or omissions have been made, please provide us with information to correct the error. This can be sent to the Webmaster or to any of the other committee members.
Our Passing-Out Order of Merit Table has been included both as an aide-memoire and as a source of information.
On joining in 1954 all the 78th entry were billeted in No. Three wing. During our training all entries were split up and spread throughout all the three apprentice wings at Halton. A list of all those who graduated has been compiled by squadron within each wing.