Military AircrewA forum for the professionals who fly the non-civilian hardware, and the backroom boys and girls without whom nothing would leave the ground. Army, Navy and Airforces of the World, all equally welcome here.
Thanks for your encouragement. To Jonathan 68 your grandfather was one of the REAL pilots, how I envy him.
To Sland yes I have no tales of digging my way out of Stalag whatsit, with my knife: fork ; mug, and spoon. or being chased by an ME 109, doing an Immelman and then waiting until I am only 200 yds behind (waiting to see the whites of their eyes) before opening fire. If only.
To Whiley , yes I know the feeling well, When I was waiting for demob I was stationed at R.A.F Burtonwood, saw fortresses being flown in, and then lifted by crane onto a big heap, but there was one consolation, plenty of souvenirs , nuff said (hope no one from the Air Ministry is logged in)
No I didn't go to Project Propeller , don't go far these days, been there.
However I did visit Elvington with the Liverpool branch of the aircrew association a great bunch of vets, to view the roll out of th finished (non flying) Halifax.I sometimes visit the Great Orme on a sunny day in my beach buggy.
Beach buggy ?????? Yes it reminds me of flying a tiger moth, or driving a Willy's Jeep , very nostalgic.
Hey Uncle Cliff, this is very cool. I want to know all about everything. We go on a trip to Eden Camp tomorrow and I have taken your photos in to school, everyone very impressed. I will read more later, now I have registered, I will put you in my favourites and come back later.
Just looking through my photos for suitable pics for Publication. Found this one. Hope to use others to illustrate my stay at Ponca City. Will try and obtain an optimum size in future. The board reads "Gulf Coast air force training center" On the left my oppo Hardy Albrecht from Atkins Iowa, and self at the camp gates. I am now in American summer issue, but still with "hats , field service, airmen for the use of" and black tie. More about Hardy later, and why we had American cadets on our course.
September 09 experimenting to see if picture can be replaced.
Last edited by cliffnemo; 31st Aug 2009 at 11:06.
Reason: EXPERIMENT TO SEE IF PICTURE CAN BE ADDED SEPT 09
I've just finished reading harrym's very well written account of his trip across the Atlantic and his training in Canada and have urged him to share it here with all PPRuNe readers, as an addendum to Cliff's entertaining reminisces.
Having done a similar course 25 years after Harry, much of what he went through was instantly recognisable to me, (although I have to admit that his description of the Canadian winter convinced me that I had it easy, enduring 'only' a Melbourne winter during mine [which was *** cold enough for me!!!]).
I suspect students currently on course in any military flying training school would find much they too would recognise in Harry's tale if he decides to share it with us all.
To Wiley Harrym is more than welcome. You seem to know enough about computers. Perhaps you, or one of his young relatives may know a way to scan his twenty pages. transfer to photobucket , or other host and print a readable copy on this link Think there are quite a lot of youngsters (any one below 65) who would like to know what it was like to live on stewed prunes, bully beef and cheese on toast: and when you had to fly at least half way across the North sea to qualify for a breakfast of egg and bacon. Seems to me that for some time the school syllabus has ignored recent history, but are now taking an interest. I suspect we have quite a few youngsters reading this, who now want to know. (see young George contribution above). So "get weaving" Wiley
With regard to cold in Canada, I aint got to that yet, but I can assure you that when we returned to Canada in mid winter we stripped put on our silk padded inner flying suits first and uniforms on top didn't take them off until we returned to god's country.
To Richatom. Sorry , didn't know him , we only had ground staff instructors at Moncton.
To J.A.F.O You naughty boy, what makes you think this has anything to do with a certain F/O ? so pass. next question. Does any one know if there are any computers in The Tower?
Joke, What's your number ? number? When I joined we didn't have numbers , every one new each other.
I hope to take a neighbour flying tomorrow. He trained with the RAF in Canada and got his wings just as the war against Hitler finished. He then trained on Liberators for the Far East and that war finished before he got there. All his attempts to fly after that were doomed by one thing or another, except for some UAS flying in Tiger Moths.
I hope that he is going to be able to get in and out of a Condor as, for once, the weather looks good.
He tells me that, during his training on Liberators, they were on a formation bombing mission near Seattle and were fired on by the Americans (nothing changes!). The leader, an ex Lancaster pilot with many missions over Germany, saw the AA guns in some sand dunes and dived down and dropped his bombs very close to them. The American high command apparently agreed that that was fair retribution for the stupidity of their AA gunners and no action was taken against him.
Hi X2, Don't know much about inter-services relationships, other than when in the pub, amongst sailors and soldiers, we all sang together songs such as "When this blinking war is over, oh I happy I will be" together . Think that one ended with "and we will tell the Squadron to stuff his 'Spitfire *********" Banter friendly rivalry , yes. Particularly with our American friends when we sang "We were flying Avro Lancasters at zero zero feet ,with no ammunition and a bloody big bomb" the last line being "flying flying fortresses at 30,000 ft with tons of ammunition and a teeny-weeny bomb"
However when I was at Battlestead Hill Norh of Burton on Trent we found they had black nights and white nights for the Americans. If they were allowed to go into town on the same night , there was trouble . After V.J day we ferried troops to and from Naples on Python leave, with a day off in Naples. We only had to be waiting to cross the road , with no thumbs up, and the first army 3 tonner or Jeep would stop , ask us where we wanted to go. They were the happiest group of men I have ever met. Understandable , as they had fought their way up to Naples, from N. Africa.
Don't know much about flying civvy aircraft. Think most of us where only too happy to be home., in a "Land fit for heroes to live in" as the politicians promised. After all I had been given £80, a trilby hat,an overcoat, and a demob suit. Plus a FREE railway warrant home. As far as I know we were only qualified to fly his Majesty's aircraft.
I did receive a few letters from the Air Ministry after demob, saying that if I had not settled in "civvy street" I could go back, and that i was still in the V.R. Don't remember ever receiving one saying I was no longer "in"
My first job in "civvy street paid £7 per week.This would be above a tradesman's wage. I would describe it as lower management. An ex R.A.F friend who before entry into the R.A.F was employed by Priestman Excavators Ltd, was re-emloyed as a representative at the same wage. £80 would equate to eleven weeks wages . Which would be near or similar to your calcuations.
This is thea P.T 17 Boeing Stearman trainer which I hope to tell you about soon, on which we flew one hundred hours on our primary course. It had a Lycoming radial engine, with inertia starter. 32' wingspan, production ended in 1945 after 10,000 had been built. Although I have said cameras were verboten in the R.A.F during the war, rules were more relaxed in the U.S.A, so I took this picture with a five bob ( 25P) camera. The instructor sat in the front cockpit and the cadet in the rear. A hood was pulled over the rear cockpit for blind flying , or instrument flying instruction. I can't remember what method the instructor used to communicate with the student. But if it was like the Tiger moth then it would be a simple . Speak into a funnel ? , long copper tube to the students earpieces and vice versa for the student. On the Tiger Moth it was known as a Gosport tube , and was primitive, but quite effective. The words tail dragger were not used at that time, could have been "three pointer" Usually as in three point landing.Will now consult my Canadian pilot's log book, and hope to describe some of my first lessons.soon.
------------------ We were , taught the rules we learned the rules and then we were tested on the rules , and tested again, ad infinitum, In the end a voice said sotto voce~ "Rules are made for the obedience of fools, and the guidance of wise men"
--------------- Hope I have got the picture the correct size. Still learning.