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Old 6th Jun 2008, 19:12
  #14 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2008
Age: 96
Posts: 401
Harrogate To Moncton New Brunswick

Before I start, if any one is expecting thrilling tales such as "there I was upside down, and nothing on the clock but the makers name" then this will not interest you . But if you are interested in what happened to me that's fine.

O.K so we have now arrived at Heaton Park plenty of classes and drill and P.T (now P.E). We are now getting somewhere, we can drill for fifteen minutes without a word of command and going through the complete drill book, also march for miles at 140 to the minute, the army marched at 120 with the exception of the Durham light infantry.

After a month we pack our worldly posessions into kit bag, side pack, and big pack, but minus, gas mask;gas cape, and gloves and take the train to Liverpool.
As we board the ship over the Tannoy we hear Frank Sinatra singing his latest song Nice and easy does it.
The captain then announces that he is ordered to maintain a minimum of twenty nine knots until we reach Halifax , so that Uboats can't catch us , and that if anyone falls overboard, all they can do is throw us a life belt( some comedian said "don't worry he will pick you up on the way back"). There were about eight thousand of us on board including German P.O.Ws, nurses, wounded Americans, and us. We were all allocated duties eight hours off, and four on, mine being to stand on the stern with a .303 S.M.L.E . I never found out why. The holds were scaffolded out to form bunks with about three feet (sorry we didn't have metres then) headroom, which were occupied night and day in shifts. We were really enjoying the cruise until we reached the Atlantic, when a storm blew up. Steaming at twenty nine knots into a gale was quite exciting, with the waves going over the bridge and even sailors being sea sick. I was later offered a commission in the fleet air arm but refused as I never wanted to go to sea again.

After four and half days we landed at Halifax and took the train to R.A.F Moncton, New Brunswick. More classes and drill. After a month we left for The Darr School of Aeronautics .Ponca City , Oklahoma.
Will describe the seven day train journey, and the flying training in my next contribution.
Sorry to be so long winded but, think I am bit annoyed that a certain gentleman received the coveted wings in four months, and forty hours flying. I had to do forty hours "under the hood on the Link trainer"

Last edited by cliffnemo; 19th Jun 2008 at 15:58.
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