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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 27th Jun 2012, 21:56
  #2701 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2008
Location: East Sussex
Posts: 448
Courtesy of Geoffs Search Engine searching the CWGC database, looks like there were three deaths...

Poignant date.....
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Old 28th Jun 2012, 00:23
  #2702 (permalink)  
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More Thoughts on the Camden Vengeance.

(May be of particular interest to inter alia: mmich, Chugalug, Kookabat, dogle and Three Wire. Greetings !)

Our faithful readership will recall (perhaps with some exasperation) the way in which this museum piece hogged almost all the page 132 of this thread, and now are well content that no more need be said about it. However, Chugalug (in #2641 p.133) incautiously said "we await Danny's verdict" - so that lets me in again! Danny has been giving it some thought, and now concludes as follows:

During the discussion with savimosh01 over the strange case of Reg Duncan's mistakenly reported death, I dug out my old copy of Peter Smith's "Vengeance" to find Red McInnis's account of it. But before putting it away, I recalled that, at the very end, the book has a drawing of a VV cockpit. Years ago, when I first looked at this, it was so different from any VV cockpit I knew, that I immediately thought "must be a Mk. IV", and lost interest in it.

Now I recognise it at once - it is an exact drawing of the Camden cockpit -down to the second "ball" in the D.I. (why?), the weird off-centre jury-rigged gunsight ring and the clearly original-fit projector for a reflector sight, which shines up through a hole in the bottom of the panel.

Came the dawn! If it looks like a duck, waddles like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck. Why needed I to invent a tortuous explanation (my #2638 p.132) to account for a Mk. IV canopy c/w .50 gun on a Mk. 1 ? The thing is a Mk. IV.

My reading of the story is this: they had the history and paperwork for Mk. I EZ999. That poor old thing (after years of being knocked about as an instructional specimen at technical schools and the like) was past repair. But they found this decent Mk. IV. Somewhere along the line, its D.I. had got nicked - the one they found to fit the space had a ball in, which is why there are two of them now. (Chugalug, remember the Daniels "Stearman panel"?) Our aircraft was (and is) an early Mk. IV with a four-gun wing; all VVs look alike, spray it up, paint on EZ999 - et voilą ! - a Mk. 1.

I do not for one moment censure the Museum Directors. I congratulate them. I am only too glad that one (of whatever ilk) still exists, I can look at it, and it takes me back in a way no photo can. This lives , their detailed photos are wondeful. Who cares if it's not a Mk. 1? Nobody now.

Kookabat, if you're ever up that way again, ask if the engine number matches the paperwork. If it does, I'd be very surprised. Don't try to run it, tell 'em - every so often, just take plugs out, spray teaspoonful of penetrating oil in each pot, and "walk" prop. It's built to last for ever !

Goodnight, all,


Last edited by Danny42C; 20th Jul 2015 at 18:10. Reason: Fix spacing and tidy up.
Old 28th Jun 2012, 00:36
  #2703 (permalink)  
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Thank you, Kevin, for the sad information that there was a third man killed. I ought to have remembered that. But so many things were going on at that time - we left Khumbirgram a day or two later.

Perhaps a stray bomb did carry over to "B" Flight half a mile away on the other side? - we wouldn't know straight away.


Old 28th Jun 2012, 12:21
  #2704 (permalink)  
Join Date: May 2003
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Don't try to run it, tell 'em - every so often, just take plugs out, spray teaspoonful of penetrating oil in each pot, and "walk" prop.
Excellent advice Danny. I may have some contacts up my sleeve who can get in touch with those who run the trust that now looks after the (closed) Museum - I'll flick them an email and see what I can find out.

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Old 28th Jun 2012, 14:44
  #2705 (permalink)  
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Chugalug, remember the Daniels "Stearman panel"?
I do indeed Danny, I also remember the withering disdain with which it was received! Thus my deferring the Camden VV identity to you, without making any excited noises about it being the very last Mk1, even when it was rolled out from the factory with that "new aircraft aroma"! It seems it wasn't because it was a Mk4, though it no doubt had the same aroma!
The description of the attack on K is vivid and enthralling. One can sense the pandemonium, grieve of course for the victims, and as ever marvel at the ruggedness of the VV. What other contest between plane and tree would result in the plane being unscathed and the tree a write off? Were no other aircraft damaged by the bombing? If so that was remarkably lucky, not withstanding Wing's quick thinking to scramble all but the bombed up aircraft and the calculated risk that entailed.
Was not the bleached white concrete of K a bit of an enticement to attack? It seems that all the varied and imaginative camouflage of the early war years in the UK was forgotten, or was "paint camouflage runways/dispersals for the use of" in short supply in India? Probably so, as I remember the hurried application of shadow camouflage to the Twin Pins at Kuching at the outset of "Confrontation". Only emulsion paint could be had but the result would not have shamed an Airfix model until it rained, which of course it was apt to do with monotonous regularity!
Taphappy, could I join other posters here in welcoming you to the thread and begging you please to start your story? As Danny will no doubt attest, the big thing is to simply start at the beginning and the rest just follows. I can promise you the most rapt readership enjoyed by any writer. Any problems with the posting will be easily resolved with advice from both readers or writers, so just pinch your nose, close your eyes, and take the plunge. The water's lovely!
Finally on a more sombre note, I'm sure that today the thoughts of all here were for our lost comrades who shared with us their memories of training for their wings in order to fly with Bomber Command. The Memorial, for which they and their fellow veterans had to wait so patiently, was today at last unveiled by HM the Queen and dedicated to the 55573 BC aircrew lost in WWII.
We Shall Remember Them!
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Old 28th Jun 2012, 16:09
  #2706 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2012
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Many thanks to all who have welcomed me to the forum. Sorry for not following up my original post but have been having some technical problems which I hope to iron out soon.
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Old 28th Jun 2012, 19:42
  #2707 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2012
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After being placed on deferred service the months seemed to pass very slowly but eventually the call up papers arrived in June 44 and I was instucted to report to ACRC at Scarborough.
I can remember arriving by train at Scarborough along with a gaggle of would be airmen and being met by a Sergeant who formed us into some kind of order and marched us off to the Prince of Wales which stood high up on South Bay and which was to be home for the next six weeks.
On arrival we were allocated rooms and I was given one on the 4th floor with lovely views over the North Sea. In it's previous existance as a hotel this would have been a single room but was now home to four diverse characters. There was a lift in the hotel which was out of bounds to cadets and I can tell you that charging up and down four flights 5 or 6 times a day was no fun, although it did do wonders for your figure.
The next day I was allocated to 49 flight which consisted of 2 officers, a F/Sgt PTI a Sgt and Corporal drill instructors plus 48 cadets.
The following few days were taken up medical exams, FFI tests and the usual inoculations,not forgetting dental exams, the RAF seemed to lay great store on healthy teeth and in fact paid for dental treatment whilst I was on deferred service.
I can attest that the RAF dentist at Scarborough was not the gentlest of persons and at the risk of being libellous could be termed as a butcher. He put me off dentists for many a year. Next was the clothing parade where we were all issued with the required clobber. It was like an assembly line which we recruits proceeded along one side of a counter whilst the guys on the other side eyed you and chucked various items of clothing at you. It was only by the grace of God if anything fiited..
We then got down to the business of looking like airmen by virtue of endless drilling around the streets of Scarborough and countless sessions of PT.In between these sessions we attended lectures on various subjects such as Air Force law, Hygiene,Theory of Flight etc.
After about 4 we weeks we were all marched down to the Spa Ballroom to undergo aptitude tests which would largely determine which aircrew trade you would be trained for.
Previous posts on this subject indicated that this stage was not reached until after ITW so there must have been some change later on
I don't remember much about these tests but mus have done OK as I was categorised as Nav/Wop.
Those selected for Pilot training were also given a fallback trade and whilst the rest of us were posted to ITW the would be pilots went to grading school before ITW and if they did'nt make the grade then carried on with the fallback trade.
Harry, I did manage to hold on to the lapel badge but over the course of time it has disappeared.
Enough for today
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Old 28th Jun 2012, 22:08
  #2708 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Wales
Posts: 147

Thank you for your posting.

You are right, training changed quite significantly throughout the war, especially after 1942 when the new aircrew categories were introduced.

It sounds like you were at 6 ACRC at Scarborough and presumably you stayed there for your ITW.

I am in the process of researching the daily bed inspections and the weekly kit inspections, so would love to hear any tales that you might have on those.

Anyway, it is great to have you on board; look forward to hearing more of your story


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Old 29th Jun 2012, 02:57
  #2709 (permalink)  
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Reply to Kookabat, Chugalug and Taphappy.


Thanks for your kind offer. I'll be very interested in anything you can find out, but don't devote too much time or effort to it - I think we have the story pretty well sorted out now. I'm quite happy with the VV we've got - whatever it is!




I wouldn't guarantee a VV trying to head-butt a stout English oak, but IIRC, this was a sort of banana-tree and very soft. We were the only Flight bombed-up at the time; all the others scrambed off all right bar two or three u/s (on 110 and 45) and they may have lost a tyre or two (the anti-personnel bombs could do no more than scar the concrete, the bits "fanned out" close to the ground, which I suppose was the intention).

Not only the tracks, but the whole runway was white concrete. It stuck out from the surrounding green hills like a sore thumb. You could see it (from height) twenty miles away! Who needs a navigator? Nobody really bothered with airfield camouflage; most of our strips were just scraped out of the paddy-fields and the bashas looked natural against the local background. Khumbirgram was a one-off.

As for the Bomber Command Memorial Service; I have taped it and am looking forward to seeing it. HEAR THIS, ALL OF YOU, THESE PEOPLE (LIKE REG, CLIFF - AND MANY OTHER POSTERS) WERE HEROES ! I, for one, will never forget them,




Congratulations on your "first solo"; (virtual) beer all round tonight! I am very interested in what you say about the introduction of aptitude tests later on in the war; in the early years it seemed as if the only three choices which the (1940) initial selection boards had to make were: "pilot - navigator - send the next chap in, please! " I certainly never had any kind of aptitude test. There was a general belief that a "scrubbed" pilot would automatically be retrained as a potential Navigator. Until after ITW we were "u/t Pilot/Air Observer" (that way, the ITW wouldn't go to waste if we were "chopped" as pilots).

The pilot Grading Schools were obviously a good idea; there is a minority of good chaps who will never make pilots (in a military war time frame); it is no kindness to send them to an EFTS and have to find it out there (as was our experience in the "Arnold" Primary Schools). There must have been an enormous, expensive wastage in travel and administation man-hours, even through nearly all were retrained.

The endless, driils, PT, parades, classrooms are a memory we all share - it was, and will be ever thus.

What's well begun is half done. "Good show", Taphappy, - keep it up!

With thanks all round to all three,


Danny (not Harry, I'm afraid, Tap!)

Last edited by Danny42C; 20th Jul 2015 at 18:19. Reason: Spacing and tidy up.
Old 29th Jun 2012, 22:07
  #2710 (permalink)  
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Danny loses an Elephant.

(I thought you'd better have the second half of the air raid story before you forgot the first).

There were no bomb craters worthy of the name. The Jap had used a lot of small (50lb) anti-personnel bombs. They did the same in their night raids on Calcutta, and this puzzled us. They didn't use large bombs. I suppose one reason might be that ten 50lb bombs can easily be manhandled, but one 500lb can't, and they were short of lifting gear, but had plenty of labour.

(On second thoughts now, maybe there was some sense in it. You only need big bombs to bring down proper buildings or destroy something solid. Against people and aircraft well spaced out in the open, with no protection from above ("soft targets"), ten small bombs give you a much wider "spread", and a better chance of hitting something or somebody, than one big one. And to be sure of a chap in a slit trench, you need almost to put the bomb in beside him, and then a 50 will do just as well as a 500).

Our aircraft looked all right at first glance, but several of the tyres had been shot out by low flying fragments (the strike was "off" !) Other than that, one had been terminally damaged by a piece of bomb casing which had cut an engine bearer (beyond our capacity to repair). On its way to do its worst, the fragment had punched through the artwork on an engine panel. Poor "Butch" (a Disney "Silly Symphony" cartoon dog with Stetson and cowboy "chaps") had got it straight through the eye.

Two other losses were significant. The Flight 30-cwt truck, our only transport, was blazing merrily, we couldn't save it. This was serious. Until we could get another "gharry", we should have to walk between our Messes and the Flights. This was no hardship in the cool mornings, walking down the path through the tea gardens, but a bit of a pain climbing up again at the end of a long, hot day.

The other loss was a valuable item of Government property. I've said that new concrete tracks were being laid. Before you pour concrete, you have to put in hardcore and ram it down. They had no steamrollers, but a Works and Bricks elephant made a very good substitute. Jumbo "marked time" ponderously, helping himself to any edible vegetation within trunk reach. His "mahout" (keeper) moved him a few feet from time to time as the job required.

All was calm and content. Jumbo much preferred this to hauling heavy logs in the forest, and his mahout had nothing to do except smoke his malodorous "bidi" (this was the local "roll-your-own"; the filling was a matter of conjecture: obviously vegetable in origin, but "processed" by some animal - camel seemed the most likely).

By the way, it might interest you to know that there's a standard elephant "language" of commands, just as with sheepdogs. If you learn it, so that you can "drive" one trained elephant, then you can "drive" any other. The mahout backed up his orders with an "ankh", a very unpleasant looking iron rod some two feet long, curved at the end, with a nasty spike at the tip (there is no point - no pun intended - in whacking an elephant with a stick). It sounds barbarous, but I suppose it was no worse than the rowels on a spur.........(just thought you'd like to know!)

Then the air raid warning came. The mahout ran for it, leaving Jumbo to his own devices. In all fairness, there wasn't much he could do (imagine digging a slit trench to hold an elephant, and then persuading him into it). The bombs came down and Jumbo vanished. We found no bloodstains and concluded that he had been stung by a piece of hot shrapnel. Whatever had hit him did not impede his locomotion. He was seen by "B" Flight (untouched by the raid on the far side of the runway), galloping along it with trunk, ears and tail outstretched, and roaring with indignation. He went trumpeting off the end into the hills and was never seen again. A tracker party found no body and assumed that he had decided to give civilisation a miss. And who could blame him?

But that wan't the end of it. This was no common or garden elephant. He was Government property, registered and on inventory. His loss must be investigated; there was an endless Court of Enquiry in which we were involved as witnesses. Indian bureaucracy is a wondrous thing. It rather seemed that they regarded the loss of their precious elephant as our fault, and thought that the RAF should pay for it. What became of it in the end, I do not know, for shortly afterwards Stew and I, with three other crews, were posted to "beef-up" No. 8 Sqdn, IAF. They had recently been equipped with the Vengeance, and were somewhere back over on the other side of the Bay.

But before I leave K and the delicious, all pervading scent of tea which would stay long in my memory, here are two little vignettes to lighten what has been a sombre tale so far. "Topper" had got hold of a miniature dachshund (or at least, I think it was "Topper"), Over at "B" Flight (why would he be there - was he acting C.O.? ), among the trees, he had this dog with him. Jumbo had occasion to visit the Flight, to pull a tree down to make more room, or something like that.

The tiny dog took exception to this, and valiantly tried to defend his master's property by barking and nipping at this monster's toes. Jumbo looked indulgently down on the angry little animal, and gently shooed him away with his trunk, although he could have stamped him flat in a moment, or used his trunk as Tiger Woods uses a driver - and the dog wouldn't have touched down for 200 yards or so. We marvelled at his forebearance - truly the patience of an elephant!. Of course he was a great favoutite of all,

And for a day or two during our time there, the bread ration was "off"; we had to make do with ship's biscuits (same as the ones Dr. Pete Latcham had found for us on the first morning at Chittagong). Now it so happened that our tables in the (ex-planter's bungalow) Mess were graced with spotless linen cloths. The woven-in embroidery was of a Grecian rectangular design. Now you select a rectangle about 2 in square, and whack a biscuit down on it. Out came those weevils which hadn't been holding tight.

With luck you'd get three or four in the square. Now we could run a "sweep". You each put up a rupee ("chip"), and picked your weevil. First weevil to reach a boundary was the winner, his patron got the lot. You selected your weevil, it was no use picking the one nearest an edge , for he might well start to march away from it. You had to keep a sharp eye on him to maintain your ownership. Luckily they didn't move very fast; it was considered unsporting to "steer" your beast with a matchstick. (The biscuit was eaten after dunking to soften; the extra bit of protein was all to the good - the weevils ate nothing but biscuit - "man ist was man isst", - after all !)

We packed our kit, said our farewells and set out on the return trip - 500 miles back to where we'd started from a month ago. But not by air! 110 were cross enough at having been robbed of their crews, they weren't going to deliver them to the robbers as well! Our new Squadron made no attempt to come and collect us (in fact, they weren't making much of a attempt to do anything). So it was back on the train again. This would be quite an odyssey.

Next time I'll tell you about the kit we wore on ops.

That's all, folks, Goodnight,


It's no good, mate, you'll have to buy another.
Old 30th Jun 2012, 06:41
  #2711 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 78
Posts: 4,386
Taphappy, and so the saga begins! Congratulations on going solo, hopefully these pages will witness many more such flights, each one another leg of a cross country flight through time. We have learned long ago that each one is unique, both in style and in content, and so it has proved from your very first words. No one can accuse the war time Royal Air Force of doing things "because that is the way we have always done them". There was it seems continual modification, no doubt driven by the course of "Events, dear boy, events!".
Air Force Law lectures though were always an essential ingredient. I remember the selection of example infringements itemised in MAFL of its various sections, chosen I suspect with a wry sense of humour. "The accused, whom I now recognise, then threw down his rifle and said, 'I shall no longer serve you', or words to that effect".
It also brought out the concept of the illegal order. The very idea that an order should not be obeyed, rather that it was your duty not to do so but to report it to higher authority instead, seemed fanciful. I certainly never had occasion to exercise this bit of RAF Law while I "got some time in", but as with so many other experiences others have related otherwise in this very forum.

Danny, so the mighty VV was indeed brought to heel. Its Achilles heel seems to have been its pneumatic tyres. It comes almost as a shock that such a vulnerability to this Dreadnought of the Skies had not been foreseen. I wonder if the good folk at Vultee had ever considered fitting solid rubber tyres instead?
Yer avin a larf, aintcher? Well possibly, possibly.
Ah, service inventories and inquiries into the losses thereof! It must have been some challenge explaining the loss of a "Pachyderm, tamping down for the use of". What was the stores ref? What was its serial number? I would have thought that the mahout was the one on the spot, rather than the RAF. How long would it take him to pay back the cost of this essential bit of heavy plant via stoppages of pay? Perhaps he might have done better to adopt the example of his steed and follow it into oblivion!
The weevils in your biscuits were not only a valuable source of extra protein but of entertainment and possible profit as well it seems. How lucky for you! Indigenous wild life has always lent itself to such uses. The beetles resident in the atap roof of what constituted the Kuching Mess could be brought falling out of it by the synchronised stamping of many feet in time with Bert Kaempfert's African Safari. Something to do with the resonant harmonic frequency, or possibly that it was the only LP in the Mess!

Thank you both, for we now have a duet to inform us of those dangerous years. We are truly blessed!

Last edited by Chugalug2; 30th Jun 2012 at 07:04.
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Old 30th Jun 2012, 22:36
  #2712 (permalink)  
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Yes, I am delighted to have a "second dickey" to help carry the load (and keep his Captain on the right lines!). I shall pass on to him the Wisdom of the Ancients that I have received from you (and others sadly no longer with us) - (ancient only in the sense of PPRuNe seniority, of course!)

I am not sure about solid rubber tyres on a VV. With some of my "arrivals", I think the struts might have come up through the wings ! As regards Jumbo, I don't think it would be much use chasing the mahout for the money - even if you could find him. What luck Government had in getting the cash out of the RAF, I don't know. Trained elephants were pricey items. One thing was sure - we had to get another one soon, as the job had to go on.

Ah, the MAFL - I remember it well. My remembrance of the classic case ran:....... casting down his rifle, he divested himself of his tunic, saying: "I'll serve no more - do with me what you will" (or words to that effect).......... They had style in those days, didn't they ?

And the hours we had to spend mugging up the Rules of Evidence when tasked with prosecuting/defending some naughty airman ! I never had a problem with an illegal order, but had to argue with Higher Authority over one which may well have been legal, but was extremely stupid (but that is a tale for another day).

I would think your atap roofs were much the same as ours - grass or palm leaf thatch. They kept the rain out all right, but you had to have a care when disturbing the fauna up there. A few beetles were all right (never knew they were music lovers), but when a thing with a body a foot long and as thick as a hosepipe and a million legs came down......! Let sleeping beetles lie !

Taphappy - baton over to you !

Goodnight, both,

Old 2nd Jul 2012, 08:23
  #2713 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 169
Hey men have a look at this http://www.pprune.org/military-aircr...190-pilot.html and get him to post on here.
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Old 2nd Jul 2012, 17:20
  #2714 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
FW190 Pilot Thread


Well spotted, sir! Let's not let this one get away! (but it's Msylla's choice if he wants to stay on his own thread, and we'll respect it). Thanks (I'm sure) from all our readers ! Will Post to him ASAP.


Last edited by Danny42C; 2nd Jul 2012 at 17:21. Reason: Get Title right !
Old 2nd Jul 2012, 20:52
  #2715 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: U.K.
Posts: 236
Hi Danny,

Just letting you know how much I'm enjoying this thread, (and looking forward to more from Taphappy, too).

I was down at The National Archives last week and just had time for a quick look at AP2024A, Volume I, which is the AP for the Vengeance I.

Like so many of the documents at Kew, it is very tightly bound and the rules do not allow you to loosen them in order to gain better access to the contents.

Nevertheless, I managed to take a few snaps and thought they may help revive old memories?

Hope these work, it's been ages since I tried to post a photo on this Forum. Hope I've kept within the rules, too.

I have larger copies if you want them. Let me know and I'll find a way of getting them to you.

Keep up the good work!
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Old 2nd Jul 2012, 23:48
  #2716 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Vultee Vengeances.

682al, Greetings

Many thanks for your research and the photos - they're among the best I've seen of this particular cockpit.

For it's our old pal again, the Camden aircraft, the aircraft cockpit sketched in Peter Scott's "Vengeance"; this is not a Mk. I, II, or III and never was !

I flew 400 hrs in these airframe numbers: AN, AP, EZ, FB and FD series over a period of over two years (FB and FD are Mk. IIIs). The cockpits in all the first three marks are practically identical; this is utterly different. It must be a Mk. IV. (We would have done better to call it a different name, as the US did - an A-35 to distinguish it from their A-31).

None of the earlier marks had a P8 compass, our ringsight was a fixed thing planted centrally, we had no reflector sight, there was certainly no cockpit heater - I could go on and on. And there is the curious business of the extra ball. First: I stand to be corrected, has anyone ever seen two balls on an instrument panel? Why? - if there's one bit of kit which cannot go u/s, it's the ball in the needle-and-ball instrument. Why on earth duplicate it?

The AP's text matches the panel, that part's correct enough. But it ain't a Vengeance Mk. I. How that mistake got into an official publication, I don't know and cannot guess. (And why would an AP be needed for a Mk. I, anyway, when the RAF (and RN) only used Mk. IVs for their target tugs?

I stand by my opinion in Post #2890. But thanks all the same for all the trouble you've taken over this.

"Curiouser and curiouser", said Alice,


Old 3rd Jul 2012, 06:56
  #2717 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 78
Posts: 4,386
Danny, you've changed me into an aviation anorak! The moment I saw those pictures, I thought Camden! The neat rows of switches, the abundantly festooned instrument panel, even the TA-12 SW Transmitter!
It is only a matter of time before I shall be able to empty a bar in a mere matter of seconds having begun with, "Of course, the Vultee Vengeance Mk1s and Mk4s in WWII RAF service were entirely different aircraft....." Is there some cure for this affliction? An exorcism perhaps? Can all this be wiped from my mind? Or is it too late, and I am doomed for ever more to foraging for arcane facts and figures about the VV? Help me, please!
BTW, your MAFL quotation was word perfect I'm sure, for it chimed so well with half forgotten memories. Style indeed, I am greatly indebted to you M'Lud!

Nervous, well done for finding your 190 man. Please try to get him to retrace his Luftwaffe recruitment and training days here, just as his RAF counterparts have done. It was always Cliff's wish that we could get such stories as his told here, but despite great effort his quest was in vain. Time is now of the essence, as Danny has emphasised many times. If these stories are not told now then they may never be.

Over to you, Tap, the floor is yours!
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Old 3rd Jul 2012, 10:22
  #2718 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: U.K.
Posts: 236
Hi Danny,

Dayum, what a shame that the photos don't match the aeroplanes you flew!

The AP is quite definitely titled Vengeance I, so I didn't give much thought to the previous discussion of the Camden example, I just assumed I'd hit "pay dirt".

It was a spur of the moment decision to look at the AP. The Archives were quiet, documents were arriving quite quickly after placing an order and I had half an hour to kill before heading off home after five days in there.

If I'd re-read the Camden discussion before setting off, my curiosity might have been aroused and I might have spent longer thumbing through the pages to search for clues as to why there is this discrepancy.

Oh well, maybe something else will turn up!
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Old 3rd Jul 2012, 19:10
  #2719 (permalink)  
Posts: n/a
Two Balls for the Price of One.


I'm afraid you're right; we've turned into a couple of right old bores!

One last question which must have an answer, was there ever a double-ball rig like this on one pilot's panel? (I don't mean the one for each of two pilots in the bigger things). Speak now, or forever hold your peace!

If no one can think of one, then we've got a firm ident on the Camden panel every time it shows its face from now on..




I'm truly sorry to have rained on your parade, but the thing is a Mk. IV, and the A.P.s Dept. has screwed up. But thank you for your efforts, all the same (I'm green with envy, reading the captions to the pics and seeing all the goodies they put in which I never had).


Old 3rd Jul 2012, 19:21
  #2720 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Glasgow
Age: 95
Posts: 72

My apologies for getting your name wrong. I have given myself a slap on the wrist and put it down to a senior moment which occur all too often these days.Incidentally I liked your interpretation of Taphappy. All will be revealed.
I don't recall the bed inspection happening on a daily basis but when it did happen it followed the procedure which happened in all the services,well perhaps not the Navy.
The mattress was in three pieces commonly known as biscuits and each morning they had to be stacked at the head of the bed with the blankets folded and wrapped round the biscuits to form a square. As U/T aircrew we were pampered and issued with sheets which were I think stuffed between the blankets and sheets.
The kit inspection involved laying out all your official pieces of kit in a specified order on the bed tough on you if there were any articles missing.
I don't recall any of these pieces of bull being carried out much if at all after ITW>
Your comments on AF Law are interesting and sometimes such laws gave rise to humorous situations.
Later on in my RAF service, I was playing snooker one evening in the Sergeants Mess with my friend Dick when at about 2330 the doors were flung open and a very irate Warrant Officer who sounded as though he had been propping up the bar all night entered and in no uncertain terms ordered us to stop playing forthwith,put out the lights and close the door. Dick being of a bit of a bolshie told the WO "to put the bloody lights out himself".At this the WO charged Dick with disobeying an order from and swearing at a senior officer. He then cited me as a witness.
The next morning we were in front of the CO with the usual " caps off, left right, left right. Anyhow the WO on the charge sheet had accused Dick of telling him to put the f------ lights out himself. Following a discussion on which swear word had been used and such words being bandied to and fro across the desk I put my tuppence worth in and pointed out that the WO had not specified who was to put the lights out and I in fact had done so.Between the doubt as to which swear word had been used and the lack of clarity in the order the result was case dismissed and I could see the CO having a quiet chuckle to himself. Exit one very unhappy WO.
This guy was a long service man who had probably spent years in getting to the Sergeants Mess and took a dim view of these young aircrew types cluttering up the mess.
How much time was wasted on such trivialities???

However I digress so had better get back on my road to a flying brevet.
Having completed ACRC where we were paid the princely sum of 3 bob per day my three room mates and I were posted.one to Pilot Grading School,two to Air Gunner ITW and me along with many other prospective Navigators and Bomb Aimers to ITW at Bridgenorth in Shropshire
Our journey there was by train and took about 10 hours changing at various points on route. On arrival at Bridgenorth Rail Station we were met by the usual friendly!!! sergeant and then had to march uphill with full kit to the camp. As I recall it wa a fair hike and I get tired just thinking about it so will continue this anon.
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