PFF – Unique Conditions of Service

Path Finder Force Certificate
signed by Donald Bennett
McEgan was an outstanding airman, and was awarded the PFF badge even though he had not completed his tour
(Julian Rice)
  • 45 operation tour without a break – Main Force flew two tours, the first of 30 ops, the second of 20 ops (these tours were broken up by a posting to a non-operational unit such as a Heavy Conversion Unit, or HCU)
  • Pathfinder badge awarded on a temporary basis after 6 operations
  • Pathfinder badge awarded permanently after the completion of a tour, or in exceptional circumstances such as an outstanding airman going missing on operations. A certificate was issued, signed by Bennett. 
  • One step up in acting rank, for example a Pilot Officer would become a temporary Flying Officer – pay was increased accordingly

Note: By 1943, all operational aircrew in Bomber Command had at least Non-Commissioned Officer rank (NCO). RAF ranks for aircrew were:

Flight Sergeant
Warrant Officer

Pilot Officer
Flying Officer
Flight Lieutenant
Squadron Leader
Wing Commander
Group Captain



LOVE, FELLOWSHIP, AND LOSS: RAF Bomber Command Aircrew, Their Families, and Their Friends