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Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

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Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

Old 28th Sep 2010, 11:44
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Saving to disk

Hi Herkman.

I purchased a two gig memory stick and saved this thread on the memory stick. You can buy them on Ebay for about eight £. Some have a lot more space than on a C.D or D.V.D.
Saving this way the stick can be transferred to any computer's U.S.B port and the contents read.Also if you scrap your computer, you will still have a record of this thread.

Think you should use show a pritable version in TOOLS above

Look for
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version

Ask the children , they know more about computers then we do .
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Old 28th Sep 2010, 12:48
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The conduct of our own forces during World War is a really touchy subject. On the one hand we have a duty to respect the memories of people who can no longer speak for themselves. On the other hand we have a duty not to be soft on the issue. Not least because we need to send out the right message to our own troops in combat.

My late Uncle served as a Captain in the Suffolk Regiment and saw action against the Nazis in continental Europe. One day he chanced upon a British Army Sergeant and Corporal who were about to lynch a captured Gestapo Officer. My Uncle intervened and ordered the men to stop. He was told in no uncertain terms that if he tried to stop the atrocity he would shot along with the Nazi. I asked my Uncle what he did next and he replied that he left them to it because he had absolutely no doubt that the men, who he described as very frightened and very angry, fully meant to carry out their threat.

In later life he was still angry about the atrocity - despite having had a simply foul time himself. His final comment to me was that it was the worst act of cowardice he every saw.

I know these are strong comments but I would not want PPRuNe to be seen as a forum which condones war crimes or other misdeeds.

My father, and all my other relatives who were caught up in the War, were in reality quite subdued about their experiences and generally talked little of them. One tended to hear things second or third hand. This was back in the 1970's when memories were still to raw. The difficult bit was how their friends died. The value of this thread is that, with the passage of time people are more frank about what happened to them and we can learn from that.

I say let the dead bury the dead with as much dignity as possible.
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Old 30th Sep 2010, 16:37
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OK, it's about a USN WWII pilot, not RAF, but try reading this without a bit of "dust" in the eyes ....

The Paper
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Old 30th Sep 2010, 20:01
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What a moving story! Ta very much.
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Old 30th Sep 2010, 20:50
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Quote:
The German pilot, realising escape was hopeless, turned his aircraft upside down and bailed out.

The Paras shot him on the way down.
Quote:
I was not popular with the Mayor either. Feeling hungry, I set up my ‘Tommy cooker’ on the Mayor’s large and beautiful dining table, and cooked my meal. The solid fuel made a large burn in the tabletop. Did I care? No way!
Quote:
We arrived at the house to hear a wounded horse screaming and were asked to put it out of its misery. An RAF NCO glider pilot obliged – and then shot all the other horses and cattle just to make sure!

None of us worried in the slightest.
Quote:
Before we moved off a very young German soldier, probably Hitler Youth, came down the earthen road. He was wearing only boots and trousers and had his hands in the air. One of the glider pilots yelled: “Effing Gerry!” and then shot him.
How many of these despicable incidents were ever investigated?

Desperate times and desperate measures.... or victors justice and it was ever thus....


Two ways of looking at it and never to detract from the fine deeds it brought out in many people.
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Old 1st Oct 2010, 09:19
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As an antidote to the more depressing reality of war, here is a story the late regle posted (page 41 post #818):

snopes.com: Charlie Brown
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 09:48
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Some more flying exploits from Peter Brett

In this extract, Peter has finished his tour with 183 Sqn, and has been posted to No 3 Tactical Experience Unit


No.3 Tactical Experience Unit was a conversion school for pilots arriving from OTU, having flown Hurricanes, to be converted to Typhoons and given some experience of dive bombing and rocket firing. It is coincidental that this unit was originally 55 OTU where I had done my original training on Hurricanes. It was re-equipped with Typhoons and finally arrived at Aston Down on 14th July 1944

Apart from occasionally leading a formation of four, doing practice target dives, my main flying was air tests and flying an Auster to and from the Oldbury R/P range. This range was a floating target in the Severn Estuary with a range hut for plotting the strikes on a promontory on the south bank of the river.

The floating target was in the centre of the estuary exactly where the new Severn Bridge now stands, and the range hut was where the Motorway services restaurant is now situated.

Two or three days per week I had to go out to the range and act as instructor to the new pilots; talking to them on the R/T, criticizing their performance and making suggestions. At first I used to drive a motorcycle the 45 or so miles to the range. Since I had never before driven anything except an aeroplane, I had to undergo a sort of driving test for the motorcycle. I practiced riding the 250 cc BSA around the perimeter track and thoroughly enjoyed it.

When I felt confident, I went along to the M.T. (Motor Transport) section and asked for a test. The M.T. Sergeant watched me ride around the yard changing gear and stopping and starting and then issued me with a full licence which entitled me to drive cars, motor cycles and lorries up to 10 tons!

Needless to say I took full advantage of this and subsequently practiced driving anything I could lay my hands on. The most frequent, and also the most unnerving, was driving the petrol bowser since the large tank had very few baffles and, after turning a corner you tended to weave from side to side as the petrol sloshed about in the tank. Although this license gave me an added dimension to my life I soon found that the journey from Stroud to the Oldbury range was a bit tedious.

After talking to the Wing Commander Flying I was allowed to use the station Auster for these trips, landing on the foreshore below the range hut. I would then be picked up by an airman driving a motorcycle and sidecar and taken up to the range hut. This worked out quite well except that it meant that one of the airmen from the range hut staff had to stand guard over the Auster whilst I was there to fend off the keen young local boys who wanted to climb all over it. I also had to fend off these same lads who wanted to get a flight.

I found flying the Auster a lot of fun. One thing I found out quite early was that the pitch trim had to be handled with care. The trim was effected by a lever moving in a quadrant down the left hand side of the pilot’s seat. This lever worked an absolutely flat piece of metal which acted as a sort of auxiliary tail plane. As you moved the lever towards the top it tilted the plate up at the rear and thus pushed the tail down and gave a 'nose up' trim effect. However, if you moved the lever too far, the flat plate would suddenly stall (depending on the airspeed at the time) and the trim would then equally suddenly reverse to 'nose down'. This had to be watched, especially on landing since lowering the flaps with another but larger lever on the right of the seat, caused a 'nose down' change of trim.

If you overcorrected on the trim lever, the resulting sudden extra 'nose down' trim occurred just at the wrong time and airspeed and resulted in a somewhat spectacular landing. Watching from outside it appeared that the pilot had suddenly decided he was too high, dived towards the ground, then realized he was too low and hauled back on the stick. If he was in luck, he managed a rather heavy three point landing. More likely, he hit wheels first and 'ballooned' violently into the air again, finishing up either going round again or thumping down on about the third bounce! Luckily I had found out about this peculiarity at a safe height in straight and level flight and therefore never had the embarrassment of performing this type of Auster landing!

On a couple of these trips I took F/Lts Cliff and Khin over to the range. Both these officers were Burmese and, after the war became the Commander and Second-in Command respectively of the Burmese Air force. At this time however they were just two more pilots 'on rest' and both enjoyed playing with the Auster.


More soon ==TOW

Last edited by tow1709; 2nd Oct 2010 at 15:06.
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Old 2nd Oct 2010, 14:48
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Hawker Typhoon pilot Peter Brett's story continues...

A few times I flew the station Hurricane out to the range and carried out my critical duties from this aircraft whilst cruising up and down the southern bank of the Severn. I usually stayed around for about 1½ hours and finished the time by doing a 'beat-up' of the range hut. I found a very effective manoeuvre was to dive down along the foreshore very low and the pull up violently at the bottom of the cliff where the range hut was situated. This resulted, depending on my angle of approach, in the range hut personnel being presented with either a side view or a plan view of a Hurricane shooting vertically into view about sixty feet in front of their windows!

On one occasion, from my log book it was on 23rd November 1944, I was asked to fly a Typhoon out to the range to see if the weather was good enough for practice bombing. The cloud base was about 1200 feet when I left Aston Down and gradually deteriorated as I approached the Severn where it was down to about 600 feet. I knew from the local meteorological reports that the cloud was much more broken further west, and since I did not fancy climbing up through the cloud until I was sure I was clear of any high ground I decided to follow the southern bank of the river westwards until I found broken cloud through which I would be able to climb without worry. With hindsight I realize that what I should have done was to head West down the middle of the Bristol Channel and climbed up over the water. However I followed the Southern bank of the river, flying very low, about 150 feet. Since I was watching the bank out of the port side and not my actual heading I was somewhat confused when more land started appearing to my starboard. A glance at the compass showed me my error. I was flying almost due South! I had been so busy concentrating on following the bank that I had turned up the mouth of the Avon river and was busy flying up the Avon gorge! A decision to climb up out of it was quickly discounted as I remembered that the Clifton suspension bridge was around somewhere. The cloud base was now below 200 feet and I was flying up what was virtually a tunnel formed by the cloud, the river, and the two sides of the gorge. I slowed down as much as possible but was still doing about 120 mph with 15 degrees of flap and in fine pitch. The Avon gorge is unfortunately not dead straight and it was quite nerve wracking trying to keep in the middle of the river and at the same time praying that the cloud base would not get any lower. After what seemed an eternity I saw ahead of me docks and buildings and realized that I had reached Bristol. Without more ado I slammed open to full throttle, upped the flaps and went into a steep climb on instruments.

Coming out of cloud at about 4000 feet I headed for Aston Down and very shortly found that the cloud was broken enough to descend safely and map read my way home. As soon as I arrived I went to the Wingco Flying and told him what had happened. After having a good laugh he told me not to worry and that, if he had any complaints, he would tell them that it was a special survey flight! I heard no more so I assumed that nobody had reported me. I have always been surprised at this since the Typhoon was quite a noisy aeroplane and to have one flying at less than 100 feet across a highly populated area like Bristol without anybody even bothering to complain was somewhat unusual.

Since all the instructors at Aston Down were 'on rest' there was a very relaxed atmosphere and any flying we did was fun. Most of us did 'beat up' approaches when returning to land at the airfield. (After having asked permission from flying control) which was seldom refused. I think the ground staff enjoyed the fun as much as the pilots and several times I was asked by ground staff members to 'beat up' specific places around the airfield so that they could tell their girlfriends, relatives etc. that they had arranged the surprise!

Whilst I was there, one of the pilots got married at Stroud parish church, and the rest of the instructors arranged a fly-past, low level of course, which was carefully timed with the aid of the mobile R/T van, to occur as they emerged from the church. The result was most spectacular and ear-shattering and also resulted in a cracked window in the church. The Vicar was somewhat upset but was mollified after being invited to lunch at the airfield where he was plied with beer and presented with a cheque for the church restoration fund. All twelve of us who took part in the fly-past contributed a fiver each and also 'took the hat round' to the rest of the station personnel. The final result was for well over 100 pounds which was no mean amount in those days and greatly exceeded the cost of replacing the cracked window.

Aston Down was also a base for the ATA (Air Transport Auxiliary) which was a semi-civilian organization which ferried aircraft around so that operational personnel were freed for combat duties. Most of the pilots were elderly, to us, being in their forties and fifties. However there were some younger ones who were female!

When any of us were going on leave we would always make a point of going to the ATA Flight Office to check if there were any flights scheduled which could help us on the way home. I was lucky in that I lived not too far from Northolt which was an Operational and Ferry station. I well remember on one occasion I was fortunate enough find an aircraft which was being ferried to Northolt on the morning that my leave was due to start.

I was told to report to the office at 0800 hours, where I was directed to climb into the Avro Lancaster 4-engined bomber which was parked outside. "Get into the navigators position and strap in, the pilot is just being briefed and will be along in a minute", the Ground Controller said. I dutifully did as I was told, after having had to find out from the ground crew how to get aboard and where the navigator's position was!

After waiting about five minutes I heard somebody clambering in and coming up the fuselage towards me. Turning round I found myself looking at a very attractive, petite brunette lady of about thirty. She was wearing ATA pilot's wings and carrying two things – a map and a set of Pilots Notes for the Lancaster. She gave me a dazzling smile, handed me the map and said, in a very attractive accent which I later found out was Polish, "You may as well have this. I don't think we will get lost as I am going to follow the railway all the way. By the way this is the first time I've flown a Lanc. so it will take me few minutes to get used to the cockpit layout"!! She then climbed up into the pilot’s seat and began a cockpit check referring now and then to the pilot's notes. I think the latter was partly for my benefit as, after starting the engines, she turned to look back at me, crossed her fingers and winked before commencing to taxi out.

The flight was quite uneventful, we did not get lost, and the landing at Northolt was as smooth as silk. I thanked her and congratulated her on the landing before leaving, and she rewarded me with another smile.

I cannot now remember her name but I was told later that she was a Polish Countess who had been flying aeroplanes since she was fifteen and probably had at least ten times as many flying hours as I did!

One other thing comes to mind regarding my stay at Aston Down. One day I was walking around the airfield, somewhat at a loose end for some reason, when I thought I would have a look at a hangar which I had not previously entered. It was deserted apart from one aircraft parked right at the back. I walked over to have a look at it. It had obviously been parked there for some long time since it was covered in dust and bird lime and no attempt had been made to keep it clean. It was a large single engined, single seater low wing monoplane which looked somehow familiar. It had a fixed undercarriage faired in by 'Spats' and a very thick wing section. It was enormous, even bigger than a Typhoon, and then it suddenly struck me that I seen it before.

I had previously seen it in 1939 or 1940 at Northolt when I was an Air Cadet! It had been parked then in a guarded hanger where we cadets were allowed a brief glimpse. It had then been newly gleaming and pristine. It was the prototype MB2 made by the Martin-Baker Aircraft Company in response to Ministry Specification 5/34. How it finally found its way to Aston Down and what happened to it afterwards I don't know, but it was certainly sad to see its neglected look after all those years.

During December the unit name was changed from 3 T.E.U. back to 55 O.T.U. for some reason. It must have been just at the end of December since I note that I had to alter 3 T.E.U. to 55 O.T.U. in my log book for the end of month totals.

At the end of December 1944 I had a couple of weeks leave, including Christmas, and was then posted back to 183 squadron for my second tour of operations.
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Old 6th Oct 2010, 16:22
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Still at Kirkham

The day before the equipment assistant exams took place none of us was apprehensive. The evening was not spent ‘mugging up’ No questioning each other as we did when before I.T.W or wings exams, when we would ask such questions as what is the max speed , and wing span of the M.E 109, height of cumulus nimbus clouds, or what is an orographic cloud. In fact no one was concerned, for what did it matter if we failed. Came the great day when results were announced, and yours truly became an A.C 1 equipment assistant.
There were very few who achieved L.A.C qualifications, which was not surprising, in fact I felt it was quite an achievement to move up a grade without trying. I should point out that L.A.C is not a rank but a trade classification, and was the highest trade classification obtainable in the R.A.F.

As Kirkham was only about 120 miles from my home in Anlaby, some weekends I would leave after classes at about 4 P.M Friday and return early Monday. No one missed me, or seemed to care, and I was never stopped by the S.Ps. It was a very quick journey as I taxed a 500cc ex T.T Rudge I had laid up at home, which was very fast. The only problem was obtaining petrol , as there was no supply of 100 octane at Kirkham, but one good friend at home seemed to have a surplus of petrol ration coupons , and kept me supplied. I would like to tell you about the A.T.S N.C.Os at Fulwood barracks Preston, but think I had better observe that wartime maxim ’Be like dad , keep mum’.

About this time my warrant came through, which entitled me to wear an officers barathea uniform, which I managed to purchase from a Hurricane pilot’s widow for a fiver (there was no uniform allowance for a W/O.)

Shortly after the exams we were informed where our new posting would take us to. In my case, with a few others, we were posted to R.A.F Diedelsdorf Germany. Travel warrants were issued to take us to King George dock Hull , where we were to embark on a trooper to Hamburg . In my case I was lucky that we were sailing from Hull , which enabled me to get the Rudge to Anlaby , where a relative took me the short distance to King George dock. As usual ’oppos’ took my kit bag on the train. On arrival at King George dock I was surprised to find the trooper was not moored in the dock but outside the dock wall in the Humber, and to do this they had towed into place some Mulberry harbour sections. I would imagine these had been built in Hull but not used for the D Day landings, and would possibly speed up the turn round of the ship, which was constantly crossing the North Sea fully loaded both ways. Again it was very rough, and again I vowed, come the end of the war I would never set foot on a ship again.



With regard to Johnfair’s statement that he did not rendezvous for a raid , I wonder if things changed during the last raids of the war as I clearly remember a summer evening, just before dark, we crossed the coast near Skegness. Vis was perfect, with hundreds of aircraft either side as far as I could see, and thought it was almost possible to jump from wing tip to wing tip as far South as the Wash. However I can’t remember rendezvousing

THE MULBERRY HARBOUR UNIT IN THE HUMBER OUTSIDE kING GEORGE DOCK.


Some time ago an airline pilot who is the son of a Stirling pilot sent me a boklet of very interesting poems. The poems were written just before he was K.I.A.. I have just re-read it and found this one, which I thought might amused you.


Last edited by cliffnemo; 6th Oct 2010 at 16:37. Reason: To add photos.
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Old 8th Oct 2010, 11:47
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In my search for other R.A.F trades I have made contact with a Lancaster air gunner at last, I am hoping he might contribute direct . I have sent him an U.R.L that should connect him directly to this page. If he does contribute, I am sure you will welcome him in the usual style. He is denonline and contributes to Lancaster Archive. If any one has any questions on Air to air, air to ground, or sea and post them on this thread, I am quite happy to chat with Den and publish his replies.

I have also contacted one 'erich' , a Luftwaffe historian who has replied as follows.
Cliff

send me a link to the forum/thread. I know of one pilot that may want to respond, real problem is that many of the German vets do not have computers or any English skills.

Erich ~
My lost cause ?
Den wrote to me as follows, and gave me premission to publish (imprimatur ?)
did my AGS at No 11 AGS Andreas Isle of Man, Our air to air firing was at drogues towed by Masters & Martinets.
We flew in Ansons fitted with a Bristol 175 turret. there were 3 pupils per exercise. 900 rounds were loaded, 300 for each of us.The tips had been dipped in red, yellow or green. The same procedure for air to ground firing.

At OTU with Wellingtons, we towed our own drogue that we deployed, where the drogue was badly damaged & whipping around, we carried a pair of shears to cut the cable as a precaution against the drogue cable jamming the tail controls, there had been previous accidents.

I cannot recall ever doing drogue shooting on the Lanc.squadrons. I am not aware of the official position but we practised our deflection shooting at sea with seagulls as our targets. Dennis
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Old 9th Oct 2010, 04:25
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Great stuff

I wish to complain about this thread, came across it 2 nights ago and kept me up until 6am both times and only up to page 60 (and still wanted to carry on reading!), my partner is wondering why I spending so much time on the computer (did explain to her, just hope she believes me this time!). It is fasinating stuff and very real (love the 'nuts and bolts' about evreyday life). Just hope my mind is as sharp as cliff and reg when I'm thier age (come to think of it, my mind isn't as sharp at my current age, oh well).
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Old 9th Oct 2010, 16:44
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Early Flight Engineers.

I hope you will excuse me Mr Moderator but we do need a laugh now and again, and it is abour flight engineers (of an earlier kind)

YouTube - Gladys Ingle of the 13 BLACK CATS changes planes in mid-air
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Old 13th Oct 2010, 15:06
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Air Gunner Info

This is a copy of Air Gunner 'denoline' S reply to me on another frorum, who I think prefers me to do the typing. He has given me his permission to copy.
---------------------------------------------------------------
FROM DENONLINE

Hi Cliff, you underestimate your records, "ONLY" 3 ops, the riskiest part of your first tour, not forgetting those hairy moments at HCU, especially if you did it with Stirlings, apparently a pilots favourite to fly except for the problems of having to take off & land . that ruddy undercarriage & oscilating twin tail wheels.

I can confirm that we used 100 octane in our a/c. Your norton must have enjoyed a higher speed, the penalty being the exhaust valve burn out causing much regrinding of them. I understand that the merlins had special valves I seem to recall them being refered to as sodium treated :!:

I hope that sufficient time has passed to avoid you getting your "collar felt" by the SP's . We had a "Hush hush" method of petrol supplies.
The AEC refuelling bowsers had petrol engines with two 50 gallon tanks. The bowsers appeared to like 10 octane :!: . Somehow or another a visit to the fuel dump with a "Jerry can" & calling back later, it mysteriously filled itself. Not that aircrew would ever get involved, "Oh yeah".

Some forum members may not be aware that aircrew & submariners were permitted to use their own transport. We were also given a suply of petrol coupons sufficient to cover our return mileage plus 100 miles for pleasure.
In addition,the Nuffield Foundation underwrote our vehicle insurance & road tax.We displayed a standard size tax disc. that just read "The Nuffield Foundation" Tax & insurance licence, bearing our name and a serial number.They had no expiry date.
The council kept a register of our details.

Subject to operational needs, we had 7 days leave every 6 weeks, for which a leave pass was issued. A visit to the council on these occasions, resulted in a £5 cash payment from Nuffield. I was very surprised some time later to learn how many aircrew were unaware of this. I learned of it at OTU.

During the war, all private motoring was banned, the exception being those engaged on "essential" war work necessitating extensive travel. When on leave if I used my transport wearing civvies it was about a 50-50 chance of being stopped.
I often had to explain that mysterious tax disc to a traffic cop.
-----------------------------------------------------------
FROM DENONLINE
FROM OTU as a crew of 6, WE WERE POSTED TO 1654 HCU where our F/eng joined the crew & experienced his first flight.
--------------------------------------------------------------
FROM DENONLINE.
From OTU flying Wimpeys we had, a crew of 6 our F/eng. joined us at 1654 HCU. Stirlings where he experienced his first flight.
------------------------------------------------------------------
I will Google the name denonline next to see if I can obtain any more 'gen'
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Old 13th Oct 2010, 16:46
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Pre flight check

I have just done a scan of preflight check ( Lancaster)for some one who P.Md me. As I thought there may be others who are interested, I have also copied on here.
Control + increases the size on my computer.

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Old 14th Oct 2010, 10:51
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cliff - you're a bloody star mate!
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Old 16th Oct 2010, 21:13
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I love those scribbled notes. There's something really personal about them. It really does evoke thoughts of a young guy learning the ropes on a new type. If you have any more of those then please do post them.

By the way, just how did the checklist in the Lancaster work? Was it challenge and response or did the whole crew work from memory?
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Old 20th Oct 2010, 17:23
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SPARTACAN
By the way, just how did the checklist in the Lancaster work? Was it challenge and response or did the whole crew work from memory?
We didn’t have a printed check list, unless the form 700 could be regarded as a check list, but this had few items on it. As I remember it, we only memorised it, not sure , and there are no copies of a check list amongst my memorabilia only appearing in my exercise books.
The scans below , scanned for the gentleman previously mentioned ,may be of interest., all of which were committed to memory. (Sorry will post tomorow have problem with photobucket)




Deidelsdorf.

Before we set off for Deidelsdorf , the old hands advised us not to take any money with us, and to open a post office account, and have our pay credited to this account by the R.A.F paymaster. We did not know how this would work, but did accept the advice .As my pay was then one pound per day, I looked forward to the day I was to be ‘demobbed’ when I could cash in . I also decided to take my Smith & Wesson .38 and ammunition with me as I fully expected opposition from the local citizens, and possible resistance groups. How wrong I was, we were all treated the same as tourists are treated to day, and the opinion of the ordinary folk was that they were sorry we had not joined them to fight the Russians, with the statement ‘Ruski nicht goot’ being frequently repeated. My opinion of the average German began to improve, and that there seemed to be very little difference between them and us. However I felt no remorse, as memories of my demolished home, etc were still fresh in my mind. As the man said “don’t worry about it, we are only doing to them what they have done to us”.

After arrival at Hamburg, we disembarked and took the train to Hanover, then three ton trucks to Diedelsdorf.. Diedelsdorf was a small airfield surrounded by Pine ? Trees and invisible from the roads around. The mess was superb with uncovered varnished pine roof trusses, and various poems written on the wall in a form of Gothic script. I can still remember parts of one Der Deutche infanterie, Spate und fruh, immer fertig etc. The first day , after lunch we went to the mess ( with no money) when the barman asked us what we wanted to drink we replied, nothing thanks we have no money. His reply amazed us for he said you don’t need any, just order what you want. We ordered, and he turned round and with a piece of chalk deducted the cost from a very large number on a blackboard, then took some Marks from a dustbin and put them in the till. Evidently airmen returning for demob threw all their surplus marks in the bin, which were then used for paying for drinks etc. Although these Marks were almost valueless in town they could be used for purchasing , soap, cigarettes, and whisky, in the mess, which then evidently were used as currency on the ‘black market’.
Many binoculars, watches, cameras, were bought using this method.
Another fiddle was to ‘buy’ a bar of soap each day in the mess , visit
Hanover in the evening, sell the soap to some one in the street for sufficient Marks to pay for an evening in the Hanover W/Os and Sergeants club. We then had enough money to have an excellent dinner accompanied by whatever drinks we wanted , and three wandering musicians playing the music of our choice. After this we still had enough Marks to purchase a bottle of whisky and visit a local pub, where we were very popular. The reason for this was that the German beer sold had no alcoholic content, this we fortified by the addition of whisky, and at the same time topped up the locals beer.
cliffnemo is offline  
Old 21st Oct 2010, 09:25
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Interesting that you say that official checklists were not generally used for pre flight checks and the like.

Would you say that pilots - aircrew generally perhaps - that learnt their trade during the war tended to not use official checklists when they were introduced - when was that anyway?
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Old 21st Oct 2010, 16:24
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Checklists

I cannot remember any printed checklists on Whitleys or Halifaxes. I usually started by the door and worked clockwise round the aircraft back to the door. Inside, we started with the tail plane and rudder locks being removed and stowed, then forward to the cockpit. On Halifaxes the engineer accompanied me, but I don't remember him having a check sheet. The rest of the crew called in when they were happy with their positions and had checked oxygen and intercom, etc. When airborne, I called for a crew check every fifteen minutes. No reply from the bomb-aimer, on one occasion, undoubtably saved his life, for his oxygen mask had frozen solid at 17,000 feet.
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Old 21st Oct 2010, 20:19
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I can remember my father and other squadron pilots laughing about the American system of having checklists; that was in 1949. I cannot remember anything like checklists when I went with him and one has to remember in those days there was a Pilot's Notes for the aircraft and another for the engines. Useful if your squadron had a mix of Merlin or Hercules engined Halifaxes.
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