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Royal New Zealand Air Force



When it was decided to reduce the educational requirements for aircrew recruits, it was clear that a system of pre-entry training would be necessary to bring those who had not had sufficient secondary education up to a standard high enough to enable them to cope page 48 with aircrew training. In October 1939 Mr Edward Caradus,1 Senior Inspector of Secondary Schools, was appointed Director of Educational Services to the RNZAF in the honorary rank of Wing Commander. He prepared a scheme of educational training which covered elementary navigation, mathematics, elementary science, and some service subjects.

Prospective aircrew trainees who did not appear to measure up to educational requirements were obliged to complete the course after being accepted by the selection committee and before being called up for service training. At first those who already had sufficient educational qualifications did not have to do the pre-entry course. After a few weeks, however, it was found that men who were nominally up to standard were at a disadvantage on entering their service training in comparison with those who had done the pre-entry course. It was therefore decided that all except those with very high qualifications should take the course.

In towns where there were twenty or more applicants, instruction was given in evening classes, in most cases in secondary schools or technical colleges. Where there were not sufficient numbers to warrant the formation of a class, and also for men living in the country, correspondence courses were conducted from Air Department.

1 Wg Cdr E. Caradus, OBE; Wellington; born Auckland, 6 Dec 1885; civil servant; Director of Educational Services, RNZAF, 1939–45.