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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 13th Feb 2012, 21:48
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I have the very latest edition of Microsoft Office and if I can be of ANY assistance then please do not hesitate to contact me via pm. If you want to e-mail me just a short file of 'starwriter' I will see if I can convert it into a format that notepad or word pad can understand.

I am definitely NOT a computah wizard but I do have the time to make a mess of anything
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Old 13th Feb 2012, 22:52
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Danny, if it's of any consolation a long and erudite post of mine (on the Bomber Boys thread) got "PPRuNed" the other day. I should have known better, but it happens to us all and when you least expect it.
Just try out a sentence as Far East Driver described. Wordpad should be OK I think, it simply allows you to assemble the script without the PPRuNe time bomb gobbling it up.
When you are ready, hold the "Left click button" down and outline the script by moving over it. Then select the right click one and, from the menu that opens, select copy. The script is now held effectively in the mouse.
Go to PPRuNe, sign in, select reply and, when the post panel opens, left click to activate the flashing scriber, then right click, select paste, and by the wonders of Microsoft your sentence appears! Once you have the hang of it of course you can paste in an entire post!
Please know that every detail that you recount of this period of training in the USA will be of immense interest to us all. So often this would be glossed over as "n weeks spent at A, followed by a further m weeks at B". Cliff set the ball rolling, and others have followed, but each one of you brings new aspects to the story, varied experiences, a different outlook. It's rather like drinking fine wine, to be savoured slowly and with relish and certainly not to be gulped down!
Right, my glass has been recharged and I'm anticipating the pleasure that awaits us. The floor is, as always, yours Sir!
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Old 13th Feb 2012, 22:59
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glojo (#2309)

Thanks a lot, John.

But I'm such an ignoramus at this game that I have to decline all offers of help from everybody at this stage. As an experiment, I've taped a small piece of card over the touchpad of my laptop (just one side, so I can fold it back!). As I have a touchscreen, I can compose just using that (and it feels like my "Starwriter" now). As the danger of my fat paw inadvertently brushing the touchpad is now removed, I may have found a temporary "fix". At least, it's not happened since! We'll see.

Goodnight, all,

Old 13th Feb 2012, 23:36
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Thanks for the kind words and the serious advice. But I'm past praying for! All of you, please leave me in my swinish state of Invincible Ignorance! - I can't be helped!

But I'm very grateful to you all for trying



Last edited by Danny42C; 11th Mar 2012 at 00:16.
Old 15th Feb 2012, 14:05
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Danny, whatever works for you works for us! We're just grateful that your words end up on our screens. Just don't post in Q code though, I beg you! I had an instructor once who spoke in Q code, "QSY for the QFE, request the QDM, and then carry out a QGH". I needed an interpreter!
Edited to add a youtube link to take you back to the period you are describing. Sorry, you have to left click on it, so may have to lift that little bit of card

Last edited by Chugalug2; 15th Feb 2012 at 14:41. Reason: Added link to "Amapola"
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 20:35
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Chugalug (your #2313) - Marvellous! (I'm right back at the jukebox again!) Thanks a lot!

Re the Q code, ever heard of QOF? This would be sent by a c/w operator when he didn't think much of his respondent's key technique - (Use Other Foot!)

Bit more reminiscence tonight, as you're all such good boys.


Last edited by Danny42C; 25th Feb 2012 at 21:34.
Old 15th Feb 2012, 23:05
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Danny42C's Tale

Where were we (#2306)? Ah yes, getting ready to move down to the States.

Our B.F.T.S.s could be opened as units under RAF command, as we had become Allies after Pearl Harbor, but with American aircraft and civilian instructors, and with RAF Officers and NCOs for disciplinary purposes. They taught the RAF flying training syllabus, I believe. This was a third shorter (in flying hours) than the American one. * Our former places in the US Army flying schools immediately became extra training capacity for them; General Arnold was rewarded for his foresight and generosity.

You may have seen newsreel footage of the time showing RAF aircrew training in the States wearing US-style light khaki with RAF forage caps and white flashes. This has caused some confusion, as it seems to contradict the "civilian clothes" story. Of course these show only these later B.F.T.Ss, obviously there would be no film evidence of the US breach of neutrality involved in allowing us in before we became allies. Stictly speaking, that was Hitler's doing: he took the decision out of US hands by declaring war on them as soon as the Japanese set the ball rolling

Note *

What is my authority for this statement? Only this: a very good little book (probably long out of print) called "The thin blue line". It was written by a Robert Graves (I, Claudius ?), publisher unknown. It was very popular in the early days of the war; it told of the flying training experiences of a small group of friends. It stated that they had to do 60 hours at EFTS and the same at SFTS to get their wings. Graves was a well respected author, his book would have been well researched. Of course, the syllabus could have been lengthened later, but I don't think it ever reached the 200 hours we did in the USAAC Arnold Scheme.

Since then, I've poked about in Wikipedia, and not found a definitive answer, the average seems around 140, but over a wide spread. I stand to be shot down here, there will be many people out there who can put me right.

Another puzzle, on some Wiki entries it states that the B.F.T.S. Scheme was agreed with the US, and put into effect, months before Pearl Harbor. How can this possibly be? You can't have a uniformed military unit from one of the combatants in a War operating in your territory, and pretend to be neutral! Your duty in International Law is to intern them (as Eire, Sweden and Switzerland did to any of our chaps who landed there during the War). Enlighten me, please.

Carlstrom Field, Arcadia, Florida.

"Off we go - into the wide, blue yon - der
Flying high - into the Sun"

(Song of the United States Army Air Corps)

I broke off my story in Toronto, parading in the Fort York Armoury and dodging farm machinery at the Exposition. We marvelled at the quality and quantity of our food compared with wartime Britain. I don't think we had much time to explore the city. We had to get our new civilian clothes pressed and ready for the next stage of our journey, and that took some doing after weeks at the bottom of a kitbag. I managed to "lose" my beret.

An untidy gaggle of mock-civilians boarded a train for the States. It must have been a "special" of some kind, as there were no civilians on board and I do not recall any changes en route to Florida. But you need a load of some 3-400 to justify a "Special", and there was nowhere near that number going to Arcadia - perhaps no more than 50. Perhaps a coach or coaches was dropped off the end of the train at stages along the way, and coupled on to a train going to each individual destination. As we were going to the most southern point, we'd stay hitched up all the time.

It was to be a long haul, right down the country from top to bottom. We crossed the border at Detroit, and settled down to train life. This was vastly different from the spartan Canadian Pacific rolling stock. We were now treated as Aviation "Kay-dets" in the USAAC, but sadly not paid as such. We just got the dollar equivalent of our LAC pay - 5/6 a day. It must have worked out at about a dollar a day (about one-seventh of an American cadet's pay) * but as there was next to nothing to spend it on, that didn't matter.

We travelled in style, the night sleepers had the curtained berths with central gangway familiar in many a Hollywood film of the time, complete with smiling black conductor. The day coaches were comfortable, and the meals excellent. Things were looking up. It was late summer, and heated up quickly as we rolled South. I don't remember how long the journey took, but it must have been at least two or three days. At last we came, clanking and clanging, to a halt in Arcadia, a small town half way down on the Gulf side of Florida.

Note *

I believe they were paid $200 per month. Of this (a little booklet I found advised), they were expected to save enough for "a substantial down payment on an automobile" at the end of their (six month) Course. A basic Ford V8 or Chevrolet "sedan" then cost about $600. A convertible, a necessity in the Southern states in the days before air-conditioning, about $100 more . So they'd have to save about a sixth of their pay each month for a one-third deposit for the car which they must have as a Second Lieutenant.

It was September, and I remember the blow of heat hitting us as we climbed down from the train. They don't run to platforms out there, and it's quite a way to fall. Loaded into coaches, we went out a few miles to the Embry-Riddle School of Aviation at Carlstrom Field - now, I believe, ennobled as the Embry-Riddle University of Aviation, but then a recently opened civil flying school which had been taken over by the Army. The only Army presence was a lieutenant as C.O. and a couple of second lieutenants (these were purely "Admin". There must have been some US NCOs, too, for we were marched about and someone must have been giving the orders. All the rest of our instructors were civilian. Naturally there were no RAF Officers or NCOs, for obvious reasons.

Carlstrom must have been some past hero of military aviation, all their airbases were named in this way. His Field was just that, a square mile of grass. The Army must have put a good deal of money into the place, for the accommodation was luxurious. The barrack blocks were two storied affairs, with verandahs. Each room had ample space, polished wood floors, two double tier bunks, and its own white tiled bathroom. I was never in such a palace in all my service life - and never would be again.

The camp had an open air swimming pool, and countless Coca-cola machines. These did roaring trade, for the local water, freely available from squirt-up fountains, was faintly brackish. The Mess Hall was every bit as good as the accomodation, and we had the novel experience of being waited on by (black of course) staff. We were way down below the Mason-Dixon line, and segregation was the rule.

All this came at a price. Generally thought to be easy-going on their overseas assignments, American discipline was Prussian at home. As Aviation cadets, there was a whiff of West Point about our treatment. We did not have cleaners for our rooms. We had to keep them spotless. The rumour was that the Officer of the Day wore white gloves on his rounds to see if there was any dust on the light bulbs.

The beds had to be made down to a fixed pattern. The sheets had to be turned down exactly six inches, and the blanket folded exactly 45 degrees at the foot. Every square inch of the bathroom had to glitter. This was not too bad when there four of you to share the chores, but when it dropped down to one (as in my case) you had to dash about a bit.

Naturally, we were marched about all over the place. ("Hup - two - three - four"). Everything had to be done in a "mili-tary manner". We learned American foot drill, thankfully forgotten except : "To the rear, March!", a comical (to us) equivalent of our "About Turn!". The most extreme example came at mealtimes. We had to march in to our alloted places, stand at attention behind our chairs until the order "Seats", and then sit at attention until the order "Parade Rest!" ("Stand Easy"). Only then could we start to talk and eat.

Enough to be going along with. You may like to know that PPRune has only caught me out once tonight (out of half a dozen "slices") and then I only lost a few words. Keep your fingers crossed - we may have sorted it!


Take a brace, Mister! (Stand to Attention!)

Last edited by Danny42C; 26th Feb 2012 at 23:53.
Old 15th Feb 2012, 23:37
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Always thought that QRM (Queenie Roger Mike in old money) was a good one to know:

"I am being interfered with"
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Old 16th Feb 2012, 10:59
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Danny, I think I would have been the recipient of QOF for many of my efforts throughout my life, and I'm not thinking of my W/T efforts!
Your comments on the niceties of the US neutral status of pre 7/12/41 are well made, for they were indeed a very real preoccupation. The well respected Jack Huntington, co-pilot trainer extraordinaire (I have the honour to have been one of his "apprentices"), started his war time career as a transport pilot himself, delivering Lockheed Hudsons across the North Atlantic in that period. He explained that they could not be handed over within the USA then, as that would have been interpreted as assisting a belligerent power. Instead, US pilots delivered them to an airfield adjacent to the Canadian frontier. Teams of horses were then hitched to them so that they could be drawn across the border. Then and only then could the transfer be effected. The actual ferry flights to the UK were a saga in themselves, but that is another story....
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Old 16th Feb 2012, 15:10
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Chugalug (#2317)

Yes, there were all sorts of legal problems buzzing about in this. Although we didn't bother our heads about it at the time, it was clear that any barrack-room lawyer could make hay with our situation. On enlistment, we'd taken an Oath to serve our King and his heirs and successors, and to obey all orders of the Officers and NCOs set over us. But who set this lot over us ? - it was no part of our contract! But they had this hold on us: they could send us back to Canada if there were any insubordination. That was more than enough to make us behave (an American cadet would simply be sacked if he didn't toe the line). We were so grateful for the chance to learn to fly, that we never even thought about our anomalous position. Besides, this was an era of discipline and deference, when all authority was accepted without question. The Class of 42C settled down to the job.

Pour out a nice single malt - I'll have to make do with a "Fortisip" - more story coming.

Old 16th Feb 2012, 15:48
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Exclamation Danny gets to Primary School at Carlstrom Field.

We put our chalk-striped suits away, and wore plain overalls all day. Effectively we were confined to camp all the time, there being nowhere to go and no means of transport to get us there. We did have one weekend off in our two months there; six of us managed to hire an old Plymouth (bottom level Chrysler) and took off for West Palm Beach. I don't think anyone even asked about driving licences. What stays in my memory is a petrol stop somewhere in the sticks. It was only a hand-cranked pump outside a shack, and "gas" was 8c (four old pence) a gallon!

We had neither the inclination or the money for the high life, we booked in some scruffy motel at the back of town and spent our time swimming, sightseeing and stuffing ourselves with hot dogs and ice cream. Then the long lonely haul back across Florida. I think that was the only time I was off the camp, except from one weekend when our flying instructor took us out to his home in Sarasota for the day - and looked after us royally! We gazed in hopeless envy at his brand-new Mercury (upmarket Ford) convertible. You got a lot of car for your money out there in those days.

Minor infractions of the rules earned "demerits", and when a sufficient total had been reached, you had to expunge them by "walking the ramp". This punishment drill involved having to march up and down a beat - the "ramp" -outside the Admin. Office (where they could keep an eye on you) for the allotted period. You had to keep up this palace guard routine for this time. Half an hour under the Florida sun was enough to convince most people of the error of their ways. Needless to say, a Goody-two-shoes like me took care to keep his nose clean.

The only formal duty imposed on us was to attend the daily flag-raising ceremony. This was at dawn, it was still quite dark. The flagpole and surrounding recently planted palm trees were braced with guy wires. These caused some hilarity; the Officer of the Day sometimes garotting himself or tripping over these invisible hazards. Then it was back for breakfast (plenty of maple syrup and waffles as well as your ham-and-eggs). And then ground school or Flight Line.

They issued each of us with a little, amusing booklet of helpful tips and advice
for our flying training (oh, why didn't I hang on to mine - and also to the wonderfully funny "Tee Emms" - RAF training magazines - we had during the War?) * Many an octo/nonagenarian would love to read once more of the misdeeds of Pilot Officer Prune, navigator Flying Officer Fix, signaller Sgt Backtune, disreputable dog "Binder", Air Commodore Byplane-Ffixpitch and all the rest of that glorious crew - surely stationed at Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh or somewhere very like it.

From memory, two bits of doggerel I remember from the Carlstrom booklet:

Neither wind direction, sock nor Tee,
Cut any ice with Philbert Magee.
At last a crash made him change his mind -
You can't use a field you've left behind!


Otis McKay, still twenty feet high,
Sat stalling it in without batting an eye
Or using his throttle to help him on down.
The Flight Surgeon says he'll recover, the clown!

(Can't remember any more, except this bit of homespun advice to get you to relax in the air - "wiggle your piggies!")

Note *
Commercially produced photograpic facsimilies of the complete series are available on CDrom - I've got one since my words above - try Google.

And then we met our instructors, four students to each. I drew Bob Greer, a softly-spoken, unflappable young man from South Carolina. He cannot have been more than five years older than we were. A pilot always remembers his first flying instructor, the one who sent him "solo", in memory he will be the best pilot there ever was. Learning to fly is hard, and Bob was kind and patient.

We buckled on our chutes and waddled over to our Stearman. Boeing had taken over Stearman years before, but the name stuck. A very strong two-seat biplane (open cockpits) was hauled along by a 220hp Continental radial engine. It was bigger, heavier and more powerful than its contemporary, our Tiger Moth. Like the Tiger, the thing flies to this day and looks as if it might go on for ever. Many Stearmans went into civil life after the war, converted into crop sprayers, where agility and toughness are "musts". And they seem to be the aircraft of choice for "wing-walkers" - a waste of time if ever I saw one.

Bob took the front cockpit with me in the back. There was no intercom, a system of hand signals was used and obviously the pupil had to see them. Bob could also throttle back and shout at me. It worked quite well. His cockpit had a useful fitting which mine lacked - an airspeed indicator (ASI).

Now any pilot of a later generation is sitting bolt upright in frank disbelief. Pull the other one - it's got bells on! How on earth can you fly without an ASI? Well, you can and we did. Or, to be precise, I did - for my first sixty hours. What you've never had, you never miss. The trick lay in flying "Attitude".

The cylinder heads of the engine could be seen around the nose. On take off, you got the tail up, waited until the aircraft felt "light", and lifted it until the horizon came level with the top pair of rockerboxes. The Stearman would float off. Holding it in that position for half a minute (take-off climb), you raised it until the next pair of "pots" lined up on the horizon (normal climb). From there, we flew round the sky happy as sandboys. If the wires started to scream, you were going too fast (if a wing came off, much too fast - only joking!) If the wires fell quiet, and the stick felt a bit sloppy, you were too slow (if you fell out of the sky, much too slow). Back at the field, you throttled back, put the top of the nose on the horizon, and it would glide nicely.

It was classic "flying by the seat of your pants", and in this simple aircraft, it worked like a charm. I am sorry to admit that it was possible, when solo to cheat. If you raised your seat to the maximum, then stretched up over the windscreen, you could just see the ASI in the front seat. But you'd only do this in aerobatics, for example to see if you had enough speed for a loop.

On arrival, we were issued with a name card holder for our overalls, and a set of coloured printed name cards . Blue for a "lower class" man, red for an "upper" (or was it the other way round?) As in most flying schools, this referred to the two parts of the Course, senior or junior. Ominously, there was also a white name card in your set. This was a badge of shame for the dreaded "washout".


You had a good home, and you left, left, left, left.............(Get those arms up!)

Last edited by Danny42C; 22nd Feb 2012 at 21:33.
Old 17th Feb 2012, 09:03
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I can relate to your premise that you can fly by sound and feel alone without an ASI. My Supercub could easily be flown in this manner as I suspect could some other light a/c. Looking forward to the next instalment.
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Old 17th Feb 2012, 15:30
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Danny42C 15.02.12

Training in England in 1941 the EFTs course was nominally 50 hours over six weeks, and the SFTS course 80 hours over ten weeks. I think the SFTS had been upgraded from 65 hours, and I did meet pilots who had started operations on Welingtons and Whitleys with a total of 110 hours in their log books. Winter courses sometimes took longer because of very bad weather.

TEE EMM. I have the bound set of TEE EMM in two boxes. I think they were published after the war and my set came from a friend in Australia.

Our Tiger Moths at Fairoaks had ASIs but many also carried a spring indictor on the port wing brace, - fairly accurate, and some aircraft had a length of strong tape as a wind gauge.
My training "log" start at about page 75 and It seems to be the only one about training in the UK. We have had nothing about training in South Africa. I seem to remember a pilot telling me of their airfield in Rhodesia and the problems of "taking -off" at 5,000 feet.
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Old 18th Feb 2012, 19:21
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I've been doing a bit more digging - which I should have done before - and re-read some of the earlier Posts:

(my #2272 P114, expressing disbelief that a USAAC cadet would go to a BFTS after Pearl Harbor) See Bravolima80 (#123 P7) - says 20% of his BFTS course were USAAC Cadets at Terrell in 10/43 - 7/44. Also says course length at BFTS 200 hrs - same as the Arnold schools. Fredjhh (#2321 P117) says normal 50+80 (130) in 1941.

(my #2319 P116), referring back to Reg (RIP) (#326 P17), he says no ALT in PT17 (?). Cliff (#117 P6) says it had Compass, ALT, ASI ?, T&B.

What was in a PT17? Can't remember.

You flew the thing for 60 hours, and you can't remember? I'm afraid so.

For a start, were there any wheel brakes? Or was it like the Tiger, which came to rest by means of a) friction, b) wind resistance, c) grass resistance, d) airman resistance on a wingtip (if you were lucky), e) airmen on both wing tips (if you were very lucky), or f) any solid object in the way (if you were unlucky) - and everything was more solid than a Tiger.

My line manager in Civil Service pre-war had been a Captain in the RFC, flying Camels. He told a tale (couldn't have been a porky, could it?) about one ingenious lad who worked out that his aircraft (type unspecified) would slow quicker if he refitted the tailskid back to front. How did he get off the ground? (Bert didn't say). He landed; his idea worked - but only for the rear end, which parted company from the front half, in which he went into the side of a hangar.

Next question, did the BT-13 have wheelbrakes? I know the AT-6 did!

As far as the PT-17 panel is concerned, there must have been twin ignition switches, an RPM, an ALT (a circuit full of trainees is lethal enough when they're all more or less at the same height; the mind boggles at the idea of them being up and down all over the place). There was certainly no ASI. There were no gyro instruments. I think there was a T&B (needle and ball). I don't think there was a panel compass (and there certainly was no other kind). We didn't do any navigation, anyway. The fuel gauge was a narrow glass (plastic?) tube projecting below the tank in the mid upper wing section. The tank had a float in it, attached to the bottom was a sort of knitting needle going down into the tube. The little knob on the end gave you a rough idea of how much was left. I can't remember a fuel tap at all; an oil pressure gauge might have been useful, but I can't remember one.

There was a map case down the side, but it wasn't for maps. It was a holder for Air Force Form 1, which in spite of its impressive name, was only the equivalent of our Travelling 700. Making sure that this was fastened was a "vital action" before aerobatics!

What sort of seat harness was there? Can't be sure, but it certaily wasn't a "Sutton" harness (RAF) pattern. Think it was some kind of four-point, though. No radio. No intercom of any kind: hand signals plus shouting. Worked well.

As Reg (#127 P7) said, there was a "hand wound" inertia starter, which he said "We" had to wind. We ? - who was in the cockpit ? I can still recall the look of exasperated contempt on the face of a mechanic who'd just sweated his guts out winding it, only for the ham-fisted student fail to "catch" the engine - and he had to do it all over again!

I throw it open, anyone add anything I've missed? - or got wrong?


Last edited by Danny42C; 18th Feb 2012 at 22:12.
Old 18th Feb 2012, 20:53
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Danny, wrt your suggestion that there must have been a US Aviator called Carlstrom, after which your basic training field was named, Wikki as ever has the word:
Carlstrom Field - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
and a further link to this:
Abandoned & Little-Known Airfields: Florida, Ft. Myers area
as to the instrumentation of the PT-17, I have drawn a blank for the moment, but I suspect others more capable than I can download a pic of the instrument panel at least, and most probably a link to the Pilots Notes. Does anyone know where Avialogs has ended up, as they used to provide such things? Wikki I'm afraid omits both, but does say that only 18 of the 3519 delivered were fitted for blind flying:
Boeing-Stearman Model 75 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the absence of anything more authoritative, here is a site dedicated to the USAAC Cadets, and includes a photo of a restored PT17 instrument panel, that includes ASI, Directional Giro, Turn & Slip Indicator, Altimeter, as well as engine RPM, oil temp and press, fuel gauge and a clock. Not sure what date it represents, nor indeed if it's correct anyway. Maybe it was the de-luxe top of the range option?
Army Air Corps Cadet, Pilots and Instructors: WWII Flight Training

Last edited by Chugalug2; 19th Feb 2012 at 00:58. Reason: link to PT-17 instrument panel
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Old 19th Feb 2012, 17:31
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Thank you. chaps!

To fredhjj (#2321)
Yes, there seems to have been a very wide spread of total hours to Wings, depending on where and when you were trained, and by whom. The Arnold Scheme people seem to have worked to a fixed figure of 200 hours.

You're a lucky man to have a full set of Tee Emm. What comes across to me is the unspoken assumption that runs from the very beginning - we were going to win, no matter how long it took. I was there, and it was like that. It reminds me of Queen Victoria: "We are not interested in the possibilities of defeat. They do not exist".

Yes, I remember seeing the little spring flap on the wing strut on some Tiggies.
It was a simple idea (and there was no pitot tube to forget to take the cover off), but I would think they were hard to read in the air.

To Chugalug (#2323)
The links you found are very interesting. But five hangars at Carlstrom? I can't recall any! What use would I have been as a Boy Scout? It's not as if a hangar is hard to see!

The Daniel Collection is useful, until you come to the picture purporting to show a reconstruction of a PT-17 panel. I could write a book!

a) Panel Compass? Possibly, but can't remember one. We certainly never needed one.

b) An ASI redlined at 235mph! We had no ASI. And the wings would have come off at little more than half that speed. This has come off another aircraft.

c) Needle & Ball? Yes.

d) Altimeter? Yes.

e) RPM? Yes - but surely not showing up to 4500! This has come off something else, like b).

f) Clock? Possibly, can't remember. Don't think so.

g) Triple gauge? Certainly not - this has come off something bigger and far more sophisticated. For a start, what use would a fuel pressure gauge be in a gravity fed system? It's a total stranger here.

To summarise: the panel may well have come out of a PT-17, but the contents are a very mixed bag indeed. They may have been sold to Mr Daniel as the instruments which went into a PT-17 panel, and he has captioned his photo as such, but I'm afraid he's been "had".

Thanks again for steering me on to these links.

Might do a bit more of my story soon. But where are all the others? They were trained in the UK, Canada, Rhodesia, and all sorts of little places. Come out from the woodwork - you haven't much time left!


Last edited by Danny42C; 19th Feb 2012 at 18:22.
Old 20th Feb 2012, 00:31
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Cliff (your #232 p12) - way, way, back!

Quote (or words to the effect):

"There were US cadets on our (BFTS) Course to compare training methods".

Seems to be the answer to my #2272 P114, wraps it up nicely!

Cheers, Danny
Old 20th Feb 2012, 12:49
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Danny, you have the devastating authority of an Antiques Roadshow expert disillusioning the proud owner of an objet d'art! So other than the T&S and Altimeter my prized fully instrumented panel is basically a fake? Oh, the embarrassment and the shame of it all! I suppose to be fair to Mr Daniel, he did say that all the Flight Instruments are genuinely of WWII vintage, rather than genuinely out of PT-17's. Sort of a "They're all the right instruments, Sunshine, though not necessarily in the right place!". At least if it appears on ebay we will be forewarned.
The Florida Airfield site is indeed interesting. So many of the satellite fields were just that it would seem, simply fields and long since slipped back into obscurity by later agriculture or Mother Nature. Some of the larger Air Stations though form the basis of modern Regional Airports, with aprons that still reveal the star shaped paved runway patterns that were often laid. Sort of mini Heathrows!
Do any of the Carlstrom related fields prompt memories within you? Would you have logged them if you had done your circuits there rather than at Carlstrom, or did you merely log the activity carried out? My own Log Book I see merely does the latter, though much of my basic training was carried out at Barkston Heath rather than at its parent, RAFC Cranwell. A security thing perhaps?

Last edited by Chugalug2; 20th Feb 2012 at 13:59.
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Old 20th Feb 2012, 12:52
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U.S Army Air Corp 'Kaydets'

And to prove it a pic of my oppo Hardie Albrecht , second generation German, from Atkins. Iowa. On graduation he became a 'loo tenant'. He delivered all types of aircraft, including Flying Fortresses all over the world.

Some one previously said the white flash indicated the wearer was a potential officer At the time of this photograph it indicated ' P.N.B U/T (previously Pilot U/T ). Most graduating as Sergeants.

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Old 20th Feb 2012, 17:54
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Chugalug (#2326)

The very last thing I am is an authority on anything! As you will remember, we were mostly young and stupid in those days, and tended to believe anything we were told without question. And my recollections represent this.

The gaps in my memory are frightening. For example, until I saw the pics on the link, I had no recollection of the circular plan of Carlstrom. Worse, they brought nothing back to me, and I must have flown over the place a hundred times. And the same with the hangars.

There was a "Relief Landing Ground", but I can't remember a name. It wasn't far from Carlstrom, but I can't remember in what direction. There we did our C&Bs and I did my first solo. There were half a dozen "fields" around, some with names and some without, on the map on the link. My log is no help, I just see Ex(ercise) 19B or some such, which now tells me nothing. Curiously, there was a second Dorr Field, it seems.
EDIT: Wrong! It was the Darr field I must have been thinking about. (Sorry, Cliff)

Cliff (#2327)

No authority for the "potential officer", either. But I, too, originally believed that it was just "trainee aircrew" (and that was the general understanding): but something fairly official must have come out to make me change my mind. And the "white" bit does add some weight to that. Again, there must be
somebody out there who knows the right answer. Let's hear from you.

What a nostalgic pic that was! There you were, both of you, full of the joy of youth (pity it's wasted on the young!). Those were the days, my friend!

This Thread is in danger of turning into a small comfy club - where are all the rest of you? Anyone at home?

Cheers to all,


Last edited by Danny42C; 20th Feb 2012 at 23:35.

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