RCAF/RAF Acronyms, Abbreviations & Slang

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Navigators/Radar Operators
Other Aircrew
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Misc. Miscellaneous

1/e Single Engined - 2/e, 3/e, 4/e etc.
1TAF First Tactical Air Force
2TAF Second Tactical Air Force
A/A or AA Anti-Aircraft fire or Aircraft Apprentice
AAEE Aircraft & Armament Experimental Establishment (Boscombe Down)
AAF Auxiliary Air Force
AASF Advanced Air Striking Force
ABC unit Automatic Boost Control
AC Aircraftsman or Air Command
A/C Air Commodore
a/c Aircraft
AC1 or A/C 1 Aircraftman First Class
AC2 or A/C 2 Aircraftman Second Class
Ace A pilot who has destroyed a total of 5 or more planes in aerial combat
ACHGD Aircrafthand, General Duties
ACHQ Air Command Headquarters or Area Combined Headquarters
ACIs Air Council Instructions
Ack-Ack Anti-Aircraft fire
ACM or A.C.M. Air Chief Marshal
Actuals Maps with current weather data for flight planning
ACU Aircrew Conditioning Unit
ADGB Air Defence of Great Britain
adm. Admitted or Administration
Advance Routing Prior notice to combat units regarding ATA flights
AEA Air Efficiency Award
AEM Air Engine Mechanic
AFC Air Force Cross
AFHQ Air Force Headquarters
AFM Air Force Medal    or   Air Frame Mechanic
AFRO Air Force Routine Orders
AFS Advanced Flying School
AFU Advanced Flying Unit
A/G or AG Air Gunner
AGGTS Air Gunner Ground Training School
AGL Above Ground Level
AGS Air Gunnery School
AGTS Aircrew Graduate Training School
AHU Administrative & Holding Unit
AHQ Air Headquarters
AI Airborne Interception
AID Aeronautical Inspection District
Airfield Commandos RAF / RCAF ground crew trained to defend their base against hostile ground troops
Airframe The main structure of an aircraft
Air Op / AOP Air Observation Post, light aircraft flown by an Army officer to provide info for ranging field guns
Albemarle Armstrong-Whitworth twin-engined A/C
Aldis Lamp Light with shuner for signaling in Morse code
Alligator/Gator Slang for Navigator (limited use)
ALO Army Liason Officer
Altimeter Instrument giving an aircraft's altitude based on air pressure &/or ground-reflected radio signals
A/M or AM Air Marshall
AMD Auxiliary Manning Depot
AMES Air Ministry Experimental Station
Ammo Ammunition
AMO Air Ministry Order
AMWD Air Ministry Works Directorate
Angels Altitude; to "gain angels"; 1 Angel = 1000 feet
ANS Air Navigation School
Anson Avro Anson - principal twin-engined training aircraft used in Canada
AOC Air Officer Commanding
AOC-in-C Air Officer Commanding-in-Chief
AOS Air Observer School
AP Air Publication    or    Armor Piercing
APE Address Prior to Enlistment
Apron The tarmac around a hangar
Ar. Arado
ARB Aircrew Re-selection Board- Body responsible for approving requests to remuster
ARC Appraisal and Refresher Course
Arm B Armourer Bombs
Arm G Armourer Guns
Arming Wires Safety devices to ensure that bombs did not detonate prematurely after release
Army Co-Op Air Force units assigned to help the army with photo-reconnaissance & ground attack work
Arrival An aircraft landing of barely adequate standard
ASL Above Sea Level
Astro (observation) Navigation using stars & a sextant
Astro Hatch Dome / opening in fuselage roof for Astro observation
ALG Advanced Landing Ground
ASO Assistant Section Officer
ASR Air Sea Rescue
ASV Air-Surface Vessel
ASW Anti-Submarine Warfare
ATA Air Transport Auxiliary. A unit made up primarily of over-age male pilots & women that ferries a/c, usually from factories to squadrons.
ATC Air Traffic Control; also, Air Training Corps
Auster British Taylorcraft Auster - single-engined, high-wing light aircraft used for artillery observation
auth. Authorized, Authority, Authenticated etc.
Auto-lean/rich Automatic air/fuel mixture control
Avenger Grumman Avenger, U.S. heavy s/e torpedo bomber
AVG American Volunteer Group (the Flying Tigers)
A/V/M or AVM Air Vice Marshall
AW Air Woman
AWL or AWOL Absent Without Leave
B As in "B12". British temporary airfield or base
B/A or BA Bomb Aimer
Bail out (Bale) To abandon an aircraft, usually by parachute
Balloon Barrage Groups of spaced out non-rigid balloons dangling cables, tethered around possible targets such as cities to obstruct enemy aircraft
Balls to the Wall Throttle lever[s] full forward (toward the firewall). Maximum throttle
Balls Up Sleeping. Not doing your job. Caught unaware
Bank To turn involving raising of one wing
Bandit Enemy aircraft
Barometric Altimeter Height gauge operating on air pressure
BAS Beam Approach System
BAT Blind (or Beam) Approach Training
Bat Boy / Man Officer's servant or personal assistant / Go-fer
Battle Fairey Battle, RAF s/e light bomber
Battle Dress Combat, non-dress uniform with short jacket worn by RCAF, RAF & Army
Battle of Britain Struggle for air supremacy over England won by the RAF in Sept.-Oct. 1940, stopping a German invasion
Battle of France First meeting of the RAF & Luftwaffe as the BEF retreated across France to Dunkirk
BCATP British Commonwealth Air Training Plan
BD Bomb Disposal
Beam Approach System Means of making a landing approach on an airfield using radio signals
Beat up To attack a target continuously or, to put on a low-flying display
Beau Short for
Beaufighter Bristol Beaufighter, much improved 2/e heavy Fighter improvement of Beaufort
Beaufort Bristol Beaufort, twin-engined torpedo bomber
Beehive Bomber formation closely escorted by fighters
BEF British Expeditionary Force
BEM British Empire Medal
Benders Knees
Bending an elbow Drinking
Bf or BF Bayerische Flugzeugwerke (Bavarian Aircraft Works) as in Bf-109. Designs after 1938 were designated Me for Messerschmitt *. Despite that technicality, pilots from both sides said Me109 not Bf109 during WW2
BGS or B&GS Bombing & Gunnery School
BGFU or B&GFU Bombing & Gunnery Flying Unit
Bible-Puncher Padre or Chaplain
Billy Can A mess tin that an Aircraftsman can cook in if need be
Bind Both noun and verb to indicate some thing/one boring, depressing; monotonous; one who constantly complains - a binder; or "in a bind"
Black Error of judgment; "'put up a black"
Black out To lose consciousness due to centrifugal force / or / a condition that requires all lights to be off such as a city hiding from bombers
Blackouts WAAF issue knickers (panties); winter, navy blue (see Twilights)
Blanket Drill Sleep; alt 'Horizontal Drill'
Bleeding Flaps Gradual raising of landing flaps
Blenheim Bristol Blenheim, RAF 2/e light bomber
Blind Flying Flying using instruments only
Blip An object on a radar screen
Blower Supercharger on aircraft engine
Blowing the wheels down Emergency method of lowering the wheels using compressed air
Blood Wagon Ambulance
BOAC British Overseas Airways Corporation
BoB Battle of Britain
Bob / Bobbing Modern = "brown-noser" / "brown-nosing"
Bod Short for body. A real person as opposed to just being a name on a list
Bogey An unidentified aircraft / suspected (e/a)
Bomber Command Part of the RAF/RCAF responsible for heavy strategic bombing a/c & operations
Boner A mistake; to "pull a boner" is to make a mistake
Boob Mistake or error
Boost Amount of power given to engine by throttle setting / manifold pressure [superchargers]
Boston Douglas A-20 "Boston" (RAF service) 2/e bomber; Called a "Havok" in USAAC service
Bought it Killed or missing
Bouncing bombs Drum-shaped bomb designed by Barnes Wallis to skip across the water and destroy dams
Bound Complained
Bowser A refueling truck
BPD Base Personnel Depot
BR Bomber Reconnaissance Squadron
Brassed off Angry
Bren Gun Portable Machine gun used by the British
Brock's Benefit Heavy AA fire [for Brock's fireworks manufacturer]
Browned off Lesser degree of angry
Brown-Ring Twitch Being nervous or scared is to get a case of "the brown-ring twitch"
Brat Short for 'Trenchard Brat' an ex-aircraft apprentice or boy entrant
Briefing Instructions given to pilots before a sortie
Brolly Parachute
Brown Job Any member of the Army (see 'Pongo')
BSL Below Sea Level
BSU Bombing Survey Unit
Buck Shake and shudder
Buckshee Extra or free
Buster To move engine throttle rapidly to maximum power
Bumf / Bumph All paperwork; from 'bum-fodder'
Buzz bomb German V-1 rocket bomb
Bv or BV Blohm & Voss
C-47 Douglas "Dakota" (RAF) 2/e transport plane
Called "Skytrain" in USAAC service
Camera Obscura A room with a camera in the ceiling used for simulated bombing practice
CAN/RAF Canadian in the RAF
Canteen Cowboy Airman who sees himself as a ladies man; also 'NAAFI Romeo'
Can To "carry the can" is to take responsibility/blame
CANT Cantieri Aeronautici e Navali Triestini - An Italian a/c company
Captain The person in charge of an a/c in the air (not a rank but almost always the pilot)
Carabiniari Italian policeman
Carb Short for carburetor
Carb Heat (Carb heater) heat directed to the carburetor to prevent ice from forming
Carbureto A device for mixing fuel & air before it enters the combustion chamber of an engine
CAS Chief of Air Staff
Cat / Catalina Consolidated PBY Catalina; 2/e "flying boat"
CAVU Ceiling and Visibility Unlimited
CB Confined to Barracks = Punishment
CBE Award - Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
CC Confined to Camp; punishment like CB
CD Canadian Defense Medal
CEF Canadian Expeditionary Force
CFC Central Ferry Command; The body reponsible for overall assignment of ATA pilots
CFB Canadian Forces Base
CFI Chief Flying Instructor
CFS Central Flying School or Canadian Forces Station
CGM Conspicuous Gallantry Medal
CGS Central Gunnery School
Chairborne Any desk-bound job or duty
Cheese-cutter Airman's prewar peaked hat (slanged a "c_nt cap" in the US Army)
Cheesed Angry; Cheesed-Off
Cheetah 7 cylinder radial engine made by Armstrong Siddeley
Chief / Chiefy Flight Sergeant (in charge of ground crew & their a/c) or Wing Commander (in charge Wing)
Chocks Triangular blocks set in front of wheels to prevent unwanted rolling of aircraft
Chute Short for Parachute
CI Chief Instructor
Cine-gun film Gun camera film or footage
Circuit A 'circular' pattern followed by aircraft around an airfield prior to landing. 1 time around = 1 circuit
Circus Fighter escorted, short range, bombing attack
CIU Clinical Investigation Unit
Civvy Street Civilian life
Clapped Out Worn out. Tired. Beat
CLK Clerk
Clock Often refers to airspeed indicator
Close the hangar Stop talking shop   (or Close the hangar doors)
Clot Fool; idiot; "thick" or dumbass
Clouds 5/10 - meaning half the sky is covered with clouds
Clueless Ignorant, dumb  (word is now common in the U.S.)
CMU Construction & Maintenance Unit
C/O or CO Commanding Officer. There can be only one on site
Collector Exhaust ring on a radial engine (collector ring)
Colonials Derogatory name for British subjects not born in UK (ie RAF airmen from Commonwealth countries)
Colour of the day Colored flares (chosen daily) used to identify friendly aircraft
Come home Wheels retracted into position
COMM Communications Squadron
Commando Curtiss C-46 Commando transport aircraft
Commission A warrant giving someone officer rank.
Compass deviation A variance in compass reading usually caused by metal in the aircraft
Coned When your plane is caught in searchlights
Confetti Machine gun ammo
Contour chasing Low flying
Controller Same as today's air traffic controller
Cookie 4000 lb bomb (originally. They got significantly larger as the war went on)
Coop The "glass" around the pilot
Copped Got, acquired
Corkscrew Sharp turning to avoid being shot down
Corsair Vought F4-U single-engine, single-seat fighter
COTC Canadian Officers Training Corps
CPA Canadian Pacific Airlines
Cpl Corporal
CR Celestino Rosatelli, a plane designer for Fiat
Crabbing Limping home with a damaged plane
Crate Airplane
CSO Chief Section Officer
CTO, CTechO Chief Technical Officer
CTS Composite Training School
CTTB Central Trade Test Board
CU Conversion Unit
CVSM Canadian Volunteer Service Medal
CWR Charge/Weight Ratio (% of explosive in total bomb weight)
D Destroyed
d damaged
D or d Died
DA Delayed Action bomb
dam Damaged
Datum Pre-assigned map point
Day Ranger Mission type to Seek & destroy enemy fighters, using Mosquito [usually] aircraft
DC Depth Charge
DCO or D.C.O. Duty Carried Out
DCM Distinguished Conduct Medal
D-Day The Allied invasion of Normandy June 6 1944
Dead stick Without engine power. As in "dead stick landing"
Dear-John An "end of relationship" letter from a spouse
Deck The ground
Devil-dodger Padre or Chaplain
D/F Direction Finding - to locate aircraft (or home)
DFC or D.F.C. Award - Distinguished Flying Cross  (for officers)
DFM or D.F.M. Award - Distinguished Flying Medal (for enlisted men)
DH de Havilland
DHC de Havilland Canada
Dirt Lots of AA fire
Dim Not smart, dull, dense, dumb; "take a dim view" or dim-wit
Dis Discharged
Dispersal An area in which aircraft are dispersed as a precaution against enemy air attack
Ditch To land on/in water; from 'In the Ditch' (the English Channel)
Diver Code name for V-1 rocket
Diversionary sweep An operation in which a smaller formation of aircraft flies over an area other than that attacked by the main force in order to divert the enemy’s fighter defences
DNCO Duty not carried out
DND Department of National Defense (Canada)
Do Doings; Same as Op; Mission; Sortie or even party
Do Dornier - German airplane maker
Dog Anything with poor performance; slow; no good
Dogfight Aerial combat, usually between fighers
Doodlebug German V-1 rocket bomb
DOT Department of Transportation
DOW Died Of Wounds
Dressing Down "A dressing down" – to get yelled at; chewed out
Drill What to do; the right way of doing it; "you know the drill"
Drink The Sea or other body of water
DRO Daily Routine Order(s)
Drogue Target towed by aircraft for air firing training and practice
Drome Airfield - short for Airodrome or airdrome
DSC or D.S.C. Award - Distinguished Service Cross
DSO or D.S.O. Award - Distinguished Service Order
Dual Flying with instructor or student
Duff No good; False or inaccurate information as in "it was Duff Gen"
Dust bin Retractable under-turret
Dust-up Heated action
DZ Drop Zone
EA or e/a Enemy Aircraft
EAC Eastern Air Command
EATP Empire Air Training Plan
ED Equipment Depot  or  Efficiency Decoration
EFTS Elementary Flying Training School
EO Engineering Officer or Education Officer
Erk Airman below Corporal but used generically for ground personnel
esc Escaped
ETA Estimated Time of Arrival
ETPS Empire Test Pilot School
emb. Embarked
EV Escort Vessel
Evasive action Maneuvers made to lose an attacker
EVT Educational Vocation Training
F Fighter
FAA Fleet Air Arm
F/E, FE, Flt.Eng. Flight Engineer
FEAF Far East Air Force
FC or F/C Flight Commander
FFL French Foreign Legion
Fi. Fieseler
FIDO Fog Investigation Dispersal Operation
FIS Flying Instructor School
Fish-head Navy personnel
Fishpond Airborne radar warning bombers
Fix Your current position ("get a fix on me")
Fizzer Disciplinary charge; ie 'put on a fizzer'
F/L or FL Flight Lieutenant    or   Flying List
Flak Anti-aircraft fire
Flamer Aircraft or vehicle on fire
Flap Panic, alarm, disturbance, excitement
Flat out Full speed - as fast as possible
Flight Less than a squadron - usually 2 to 6 aircraft
FLS Fighter Leader School
FLT Short for Flight / or maybe Flight Lieutenant
F/O or FO Flying Officer
Form Information
Form 540 Squadron diary
Fort B-17 Flying Fortress
Fruit Salad Decorations, referring to medal ribbons
F/S or FS Flight Sergeant; also F/Sgt, FSgt. etc.
FTR Failed to Return
FTS Flying Training School
FTU Flying Traing Unit
FUBAR Fucked Up Beyond All Recognition
Fucked by the Fickle Finger of Fate Not good. Got screwed over. Long version - Fucked by the Fickle Finger of Fate, dashed by the deadly digits of destiny, screwed, blued & tattooed, all in one go
Fucking The Dog Doing nothing. Wasting time. Taking a break
Fuck like a mink Either has lots of sex or does it well
Fuselage The body of any aircraft
Fw. or FW Focke-Wulf - German airplane maker
FW Fighter Wing
GAF or G.A.F. German Air Force AKA the Luftwaffe
Gaggle A group of enemy aircraft
Gardening Mine laying by aircraft
Gash Spare, surplus, extra
GC George Cross
G/C or GC Group Captain
GCA Ground Controlled Approach
GCI Ground Controlled Intercept
GD General Duties
Gee British radio navigation system
Gen Information; as in "getting the gen"
George Aircraft auto pilot
Gestapo Feared German "Geheime Staatspolizei;" or basically, German State Police
Gestapo Slang word for Allied Military Police
Get some in Addressed to those with less service time
Gib Gibraltar
GIS Ground Instructor School
Glasshouse Penal detention center
GM George Medal
Golden Eagle Day Payday; 'The golden eagle lays today'
Goon Mindless oaf, from characters in contemporary Popeye strip cartoon. Later used by Allied prisoners of war for their German guards
Gone for a Burton Dead or killed. Derived from either Burton Beer or the Burton suits airmen received when they left the Air Force
Gong Medal or decoration award
Got his Crown Promoted to Flight Sergeant
GP General Purpose (type of bomb, of CWR 40% or less)
Grand Slam 22,000 lb bomb
Gravy Gasoline, fuel, petrol
Greenhouse Cockpit cover
Griff Information; similar to "Gen"
Group A grouping of a number of squadrons or wings
Groupie Group Captain
GRS General Reconnaissance School
GTS Glider Training School
H2S Airborne radar navigation & target ID aid
Hack An aircraft not on strength but reserved for personal or squadron use
Hacked-off Angry
Had it Finished; washed up; done for
Hat-trick Scoring 3 "kills" in one mission [a hockey term]
Hang-up A bomb that failed to release
Happy Valley Ruhr Valley
HC High Capacity (type of bomb, or CWR 80% or more)
HCU Heavy Conversion Unit; where one learns to fly four-engined aircraft
He Heinkel - German airplane maker
HE High Explosive
HE Home Establishment
Hedge-hog Shipboard ASW weapon
Hightail Move away at high speed
Hip Flask Service Revolver
HMCS His Majesty's Canadian Ship
HMS His Majesty's Ship
HMT His Majesty's Transport (Ship)
Homework Girlfriend; as in "a piece of homework"
Horizontal Refreshment Sleep
Horizontal PT Sex
Hs Henschel - German airplane maker
HSL High Speed Launch
HQ Headquarters
House Traps Submarines
HWE Home War Establishment
Huff-Duff High frequency radio direction finding equipment
Hun Any German fighting man or machine
Hurri-bomber A Hurricane equipped to carry bombs
IAS Indicated Air Speed
I/C In Charge
ID or I.D. Identification
IFF Identify Friend or Foe
IFR Instrument Flight Rules
IFS Instrument Flying School
In Dock In sick quarters or hospital
Intercom Intercommunication system within/between aircraft
I/O, IO or I.O. Intelligence Officer or "Spy"
Irons Knife, fork & spoon issued to all non-coms
ITS Initial Training School
ITW Initial Training Wing
Jankers Disciplinary punishment of parades in full kit
Jerry A German
JG Jagdgeschwader (German fighter wing)
Jink Jerky evasive action
Joe the unfortunate. "Average Joe"
Joy Action / Satisfaction / Enemy Aircraft; "did you find any 'joy'"?
Ju Junkers - German airplane maker
Jug Republic P-47 Thunderbolt
Jug Guardroom cell or detention room
K or k Killed
Kampfgeschwader Luftwaffe bomber formation comprising approximately 96 aircraft. There is no R.A.F. equivalent.
KCB Award - Knight Commander of the Most Honorable Order of the Bath
KG Kampfgeschwader (German bomber wing)
KIA Killed In Action
KIFA Killed In a Flying Accident
Kill Destruction of an enemy plane (or other object)
Kipper Control Coastal Command aircraft convoying fishing boats
Kipper Fleet Coastal Command
Kit All of your issued gear used in your occupation
Kite Airplane
Kraut German
Kriegie Term used by air force POWs to describe themselves. Short for "Kriegsgefangener" (German for POW)
KRs King's Regulations
LAC Leading Aircraftman
LAW Leading Aircraftwoman
LDV Local Defence Volunteer
Leigh-Light 24-inch airborne search light
Let down To lose height or altitude gradually
LFS Lancaster Finishing School
LG London Gazette
LG Landing Ground
Line or Line-shoot Boastful exaggeration. Bullshitting, etc. "shooting a line" or "Line-shooting"
Line astern One aircraft lined up behind another
Line Book Written, witnessed record of 'lines shot' by members of mess or unit. "Put that one in the line book"
LL-RP Low Level Rocket Projectile [Typhoon Ammo ;^)
LMF Lack of Moral Fiber. Branded a "chicken"
Loco Locomotive
Long-Distance Gong Slang for the LS&GCM- see below
LS&GCM The Long Service & Good Conduct Medal (LS&GCM) awarded to non­commissioned personnel (mainly) after 18 completed years of satisfactory RAF service
Luftwaffe German Air Force
LWOP Leave Without Pay
LWP Leave With Pay
Mach. Machinist
MAD Nagnetic Anomaly Detection
Mae West Life-preserver jacket worn by flying personnel. Named after an American actress known for her "chest"
MAFL Manual of Air Force Law
M and V Meat and Vegetable — standard meal fare
Master Bomber The pilot in charge of a bombing raid
MAP Ministry of Aircraft Production
Mayday The universal distress call
Me Messerschmitt - German airplane maker
Mein Kempf Leaflets to be dropped in enemy territory
MBE Award - Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
MC Macchi Castoldi - Italian Aircraft Manufacturer
MC Medium Capacity (type of bomb, CWR of 60% approx)
MD Manning Depot
Me. Messerschmitt
m/e Multi Engined
Meat Wagon Ambulance
Met Meteorological service
MET Motorized Enemy Transport
MFDF Medium Frequency Direction Finding
mg Machine Gun
MIA Missing In Action
Mickey Mouse Automatic bomb lever
MiD Award - Mention in Despatches (or Dispatches)
Mission Same as Op; Sortie; Do
ML Motor Launch
MM Motor Mechanic
MM Military Medal
M/O or MO Medical Officer
Mod Modification
MoH Medal of Honor
Monica Airborne tail-warning radar
Mothers Meeting Any conference or meeting of senior officers
Movies Action/combat - as "Go to the movies" is to go into action
MP Military Police
MT Originally, Mechanical Transport; later, Motorized Transport. Also "MT section"
MTB Motor Torpedo Boat
MT Section Part of a unit tasked with transportation
MU Maintenance Unit, (storage and repair depot)
m/u Mid upper gunner / turret
MV Motor Vessel
NAAFI Navy, Army & Air Force Institute
Nacelle Engine cowling
Naffy Navy, Army and Air Force Institute canteen and recreation building
Nav Navigator
NCO Non-commissioned Officer
NETD Non-Effective Transit Depot
N/E Unit Non-Effective Unit
N/F Night Fighter
Nickle Propaganda leaflet
Noball V-1 launch site
Non-com Non-commissioned Officer
NORAD North American Air Defense Command
NRC National Research Council
NWAC North West Air Command
OBE Award - Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire
Oboe Blind bombing & target marking system controlled from ground radar stations
O/C or OC Officer Commanding. An OC might be a senior officer commanding a Wing or Squadron, but might equally apply to a very junior officer given specific 'secondary duties.' Not the same as CO.
OCTU Officer Cadet Training Unit
OLC Oak Leaf Clusters
Old Man The Commanding Officer
Old Sort A Veteran or experienced soldier
Oleo Shock-absorbing aircraft landing gear
On Strength There and doing your job; part of a crew / unit
On the Clock On the airspeed indicator
On the Hooks On a disciplinary charge; in trouble
Op Short for operation - see below
Operation Whatever it is that you are sent out to accomplish, or do. A mission
Oppo Pal, friend, mate; from "opposite number"
Ops Operations
Ops room Operations Room where you gather and disseminate information
Orbit To fly in circles
Orderly Dog Duty appropriate to rank (Orderly Officer/ Sergeant/ Corporal)
ORORB Other ranks Operations Record Book
OTG On The Ground
OTS Operational Training Squadron
OTU Operational Training Unit
Packed/pack up Died; shut down; quit working
Panic Bowler Standard issue steel helmet
Paper Factory Air Ministry, London
Paraffin Pete Flying Control officer (from using goose-neck flares at night)
Passion-Killers WAAF issue knickers (panties); winter, navy blue (see "Blackouts")
PDC Pilot Disposal Center
Peel Off To break away from a flying formation
Penguin Any non-flying person - could also be called a 'Kiwi' - Not to be confused with a New Zealander
Peri-track Tarmac roadway for aircraft and vehicles around perimeter of airfield runways area
Perspex A clear acrylic used to make canopies for planes
PFF or P.F.F. Path Finder Force (No 8 Group, Bomber Command)
Piece of Cake Easy to do; as in "this will be a piece of cake"
Pit Bed
Pitot head A tube mounted externally on aircraft to give airspeed
PL or P/L Privilege Leave
Plonk Generic 'surname' for lowest airman [AC2 and AC1]
Plumber Originally any member of armament trades, but extended later to most ground technical tradesmen
PMRAFNS       Princess Mary's Royal Air Force Nursing Service
P/O or PO Pilot Officer
PAF or P.A.F. Polish Air Force
Pongo Any officer in the Army
Poontang Pussy. Female. "Get some poontang" - have sex
Poor Man's Piano Beans or a meal with beans - referring to farting
Popsie Female, usually young and attractive
POW / PsOW Prisoner Of War & Prisoners Of War (plural)
PR Photographic Reconnaissance (PRU or PR Unit)
Prang Crash, wreck. Used as noun and verb
PRC Personnel Reception Center
PRO Public Relations Officer
prob Short for Probably Destroyed
Prop Propeller
Props Propeller cloth badge worn by LACs on tunic sleeve
ProTem / PT Pro tempore - for the time being
PRU Photo Reconnaissance Unit
Prune RAF legendary pilot, Pilot Officer Percy Prune, who served as supreme example of what not to do; applied to any unthinking air crew member flaunting the rules.
P/T or PT Physical Training
Pte Private - rank
PTI Physical Training Instructor
PTU Port Transit Unit
Pvt Private - rank
Pukka Old inter-Service term; true, correct, dependable (ie "Pukka Gen")
QCA Queen Charlotte Airlines
Queen Bee Senior WAAF officer on any station or unit
RAAF Royal Australian Air Force
RAE Royal Aircraft Establishment (Farnborough)
RAF Royal Air Force
RAFO Reserve of Air Force Officers
RAFVR Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve
Ramrod Fighter escorted daylight bombing attack
Ranger Seek & Destroy enemy fighters in the air and OTG
RC Recruiting (or Release or Reselection) Center
RCAF Royal Canadian Air Force
RCMP Royal Canadian Mounted Police
RCN Royal Canadian Navy
RCNVR RCN Volunteer Reserve
RD Repair Depot
Recce Armed reconnaisance
Remuster To change trades (change jobs in the military)
RDF Radio Direction Finding (radar)
Recce A reconnaissance flight
RFC Royal Flying Corps (1912-18 only)
Rhubarb Small-scale low-level fighter attack in search of targets of opportunity
Rings Cloth badges of rank worn on lower sleeves of all officers tunics
RN Royal Navy
RNAS Royal Naval Air Service (1914-18 only)
RNS Radio & Navigation School
RNZAF Royal New Zealand Air Force
R/O or RO Radar Operator or Radar Observer
Robomb German V-1 flying bomb
Rock Ape Any member of an RAF Regiment
Rocket Severe reprimand from higher authority
Rodeo A fighter sweep over enemy territory
Roller Skate Tank
Ropey Slacker, careless, unreliable, bad
ROTC Reserve Officers Training Corps
RP Rocket Projectile (airborne armament)
RSU Repair and Salvage Unit
RT or R/T Radio Telephone/Transmitter (communication system)
RU Radar (or Radio) Unit
R/V or RV Rendezvous
SAA Small Arms Ammunition
SAAF South African Air Force
SADO Senior Air Defense Officer
SAO Senior Administrations Officer
SAC Strategic Air Command
SAP Semi-Armor Piercing (bombs / SAA / RP etc)
Sapper Loosely, a small-arms style "combat engineer"
SASO Senior Administration Staff Officer
SBA Standard Beam Approach
SBC Small Bomb Container
Scramble Emergency take-off at fastest possible speed
Scrambled Eggs Gold oak leaves on hats of officers, G/C & up
Scraper Thinner center 'ring' of Squadron Leaders badges of rank
Scrub Cancel, forget it, eliminate or destroy
S/C or SC Set Course
SCW Spanish Civil War
s/e Single Engined
SFTS Service Flying Training School
Sgt Sergeant
Sgt.P. or S/P Sergeant Pilot
sh Shared
SHAEF Supreme Headquarters Allied Expeditionary Force
Show A mission or action encountered on a mission
SHQ Station Headquarters
Skew-ell Squadron Leader (SQL)
Skipper The pilot of a bomber or multi-manned aircraft
SL or S/L Squadron Leader; also Sqd.Ldr. etc.
Slip Stream Air stream created behind spinning propeller
SLTW Special Leave Travel Warrent
SM or S.M. Savoia-Marchetti - Italian airplane maker
SNAFU Situation Normal All Fucked Up
SNCO Senior Non-commissioned Officer
Snoop Military Policeman
Snowdrop Military Policeman  (in USAAF use)
S/O or SO Section Officer
SOC Struck off Charge
SOE Special Operations Executive
Sortie Same as Op; Mission; Do
SOS Struck Off Strength
S/P or SP Sergeant Pilot; also Sgt.Plt. etc
SP Service Police
Sparks / Sparky Wireless tradesman, from cloth badge worn on right tunic sleeve
Spawny Lucky
Spinner Propellor boss or extreme nose; most-forward part of plane before the prop
Spit / Spitter Supermarine Spitfire
Sprog Recruit, anyone fresh to his trade or category
Spy Slang word for Intelligence Officers
Sq/O Squadron Officer
Square-bashing All forms of drill training on the station square (the tarmac area on all prewar stations intended for parades etc.)
Squarehead German soldier
Squirt Machine gun or cannon burst
SR Special Reserve
SSQ / SQ Station Sick Quarters
Stand down No operations. Cancelled.
Stationmaster Officer in overall command of an RAF station
Sten gun British light machine gun
Stick A bunch of bombs released together
Stiffener A binder, moaner, grumbler, boring, a 'drag' , a downer; not what you want
Stooge Assistant, Go-fer, 'Joe Soap'; To fly around aimlessly; do nothing
Strafe To attack ground targets with cannon/machine guns
Strawberry Immediate message of congratulations from Army HQ
Strike Attack on enemy shipping
Strip Reprimand from superior, usually 'to tear him off a strip'
SU Staging Unit
Summerfelt Matting British system of wire netting laid on ground to create runway
Swede Anyone from rural / rustic origins, or with 'country' dialect; yokel
Sweeny Hair-cut to Service standards; from Sweeny Todd, the 'demon barber'
Sweep An offensive operation by a fighter formation to clear the air of hostile aircraft over a particular sector of enemy territory.
SWO Station Warrant Officer
TAC Tactical Air Command
Tac R Tactical Reconnaissance
TAF Tactical Air Force
Tallboy 12,000 lb bomb
Tallyho Signal given by leader to attack
Tannoy The loudspeaker address system
Taped Solved
Tapes NCOs cloth chevrons of rank worn on tunic sleeves
Tate & Lyle Warrant Officers badges of rank; resembled well-known golden syrup manufacturer's trademark
TCA Trans-Canada Air Lines
TD Temporary Duty
t/e Twin (or Two) Engined
Thornaby bag Air-sea rescue equipment, consisting of a buoyant canvas bag containing supplies, dropped to survivors adrift in dinghies.
Through the gate To open the throttle fully for maximum power
TI Target Indicator
Tit Starter button (engine) or gun button (trigger)
Tit in a tight crack In a bad position. Like being "between a rock & a hard place"
Tit Time Starting of the engines
Tiffy Hawker Typhoon
Tin fish Torpedo
T/O or TO Take Off
Top line Ready to go. Prepared
TOS Taken On Strength
Trade As in bogeys; Blips on the radar screen that could turn into "Joy" / or anything to destroyed
TTS Technical Training School
Twilights Lightweight issue WAAF knickers of lighter blue shade
Type Person, General classification, "a bad / good 'type'"
Tyro The new guy; Sprog (inexperienced man on a unit)
u/i Unidentified
Undercarriage Aircraft landing gear
unIDd Unidentified
unk Unknown
Upstairs The sky
U/S or u/s Unserviceable
USAAF United States Army Air Force (later the USAF)
USN United States Navy
USS United States Ship
UofT University of Toronto
VC Victoria Cross
Vector To direct an a/c in the air to a specific target
VE-Day Victory in Europe Day, May 8, 1945
Vegetables Air-dropped mines; "planting vegetables"
VJ-Day Victory in Japan Day, Aug. 14, 1945
View Opinion
Vic Arrow-head (V) formation of three aircraft or more
V-l Fieseler Fi. 103 flying bomb  (Vergeltungswaffe 1)
V-2 A-4 artillery rocket (Vergeltungswaffe 2 or reprisal-weapon 2)
w/ With
WAAF Women's Auxiliary Air Force
WAC Western Air Command
Wad Cake or bun
WAG Wireless Air Gunner  ( same as WOAG )
Wailing Winnie Air Raid Siren
W/C or WC Wing Commander  ( Winco )
WD Women's Division
Weaver A fighter aircraft which zig-zags above & behind another a/c or formation to guard against attack.
Wehrmacht German Army
w.e.f. With Effect From
Whirlibomber Whirlwind fighter equipped to carry bombs.
Whole Nine Yards USAAF 50 caliber ammo belts were nine yards long. When you had fired all your ammo, it was said that you gave him "the whole nine yards"
WIA Wounded In Action
Winco / Wingco Wing Commander
Window Aluminum strips dropped to confuse German radar
Wing Made up of flying squadrons (between 2 & 4)
Wizard Great, very good, excellent, first-class, amazing
W/Mech Wireless Mechanic
W/O or WO Wireless Operator  also W/Op etc.
WO1 & WO2 Warrant Officer  (1st & 2nd Class)
WOAG Wireless Operator / Air Gunner
WOP or W.Op Wireless Operator
WOP/AG Wireless Operator / Air Gunner
Works & Bricks Air Ministry Works Directorate; also 'Wonders and Blunders'
Write-off Destroyed. Not worth fixing.
WS Wireless School
W/T Wireless Telegraphy or Wireless Transmitter
Wuffs Gun noises
"Y" Depot Overseas Transit Depot
ZG Zerstörergeschwader (German twin-engine fighter wing)
Zombie Canadian Draftee. Few did make it overseas but originally they were only required to serve at home. These usually disgruntled "soldiers" were called the "Zombie Squad"

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