15th Nov 2011, 11:43
In March 1951, Plt Off Michael Warrington from No.6 FTS, Ternhill, and Officer Cadet Kenneth Harvey from No.7 FTS, Cottesmore, were posted to No.203 AFS at Driffield to take part in an experimental training course with the Vampire trainer prototype. Both pilots completed the course on 30 March 1951 and were, presumably, posted back to their training units?
Does anyone know these two officers, or have have details of why they were chosen to take part in the trials?
Thank you in advance.
I was a member of 45 Course at Tern Hill which graduiated in May 1951. I believe Harvey was on 49 Course which graduated six or eight weeks later from Tern Hill. I did not know him personally but we knew of the experiment which was, so we were told, to assess the suitability of the T11 for training in lieu of the Harvard or Baliol phase of the wings course. I seem to remember that he started on the Harvard but completed the course on the Baliol and had been considered an "Average" student when he was selected for the experiment. But it is a long time ago and I am not even sure I have spelled Baliol correctly (Balliol ?) and couldn't swear it was Harvey and not the other chap, at Tern Hill.
I do know that up to the time 45 graduated we were all officer cadets. Some time later students were APOs. Until then most passed out as sergeants with perhaps two or three being commissioned but about two weeks before our wings I was called for an interview with the Station Commander. He asked how I got on on the recent escape and evasion exercise and I told him that I reached the rendezvous. Then, with several others we were told to see the man from Gieves in the mess and get kitted out. So in the event about half of 45 course were commissioned. It seems that the bar had been lowered in anticipation of courses made up of acting pilot officers. For a short while our rank had been officially "officer cadet pilot four". On other courses there were the odd commissioned officer e.g. Fg Off Tammy Syme who had been the PFO and Fg Off Pete Bairsto the RAF Regiment Officer.