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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 18th Sep 2008, 18:17
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Fascinating. Is that Wills Woodbine smoke I see in the foreground?
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Old 19th Sep 2008, 10:17
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Andy, You don’ need permission from me, If the moderator accepts it, and it is about W.W 2, then “publish and be damned”.

Yes it is better to use Word , initially. Save every paragraph, then copy/paste. Think you will have found that the U.R.L appears on your screen and that your picture does not appear. Have to click on preview to see pic. Encourage Reg all you can, a second opinion is always a good thing, and will help to correct my many mistakes. Bear in mind though he would be at least a year ahead of me.

Would it help if Reg saved his contribution in word, and then you copied it to C.D, or memory stick , copied it, took it home to your computer, and then submitted it ? You could also load his photos ? maybe.

Brakedwell, They must have been Woodbines (2d for 10 ???). If they were Sweet Caporal, they would have all collapsed.


GONE FISHING.
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Old 19th Sep 2008, 14:45
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Woodbines !

I don't think that Woodbines were allowed in the Navy. After all they are the "Senior Service" . Actually that photo showed us all watching the traditional Ship's Concert and must have been later on as the first part of the voyage was very dramatic.
We sailed around the 22nd. of May and, to the ship's crew's amazement , had the Battleship HMS Rodney and four destroyers as escort, and no other ship in the Convoy. The size of the convoy was amazing but the cargo was precious. All the machinery for setting up the U.S.A.'s training of British pilots under the "Arnold scheme", after it's founder General "Hap" Arnold, was on board and we, numbering around five hundred, were the forerunners of this scheme which would, eventually, train 6,000 pilots for the RAF. One of the very interesting passengers that we met was Richard Hillary, the terribly disfigured fighter pilot who was one of the heroes of the Battle of Britain. He took great interest in us and we listened, fascinated, to his accounts of the "Dog fighting" and tales of that battle. He was one of the first patients of the famous Dr. Archibald McIndoe, at the Hospital at East Grinstead who had done so much for the terrible cases such as Richard Hillary, but we had some very mixed feeling, as we listened to him , as to our very near future.
We were about two or three days out when we were dismayed to see that the Rodney and three of the Destroyers were leaving us and as one left, it signalled us. Most of us were pretty good at Aldis by now and easily read the signal which read "Bismarck out. Knows your position, make full speed. Good luck." Full speed on the "Britannic" was around 28 knots and the Atlantic was no mill pond. There were some of us, especially those of us in the crowded quarters of the bow and stern who would not have complained if the "Bismarck" had caught up with us. Then we heard of the dreadful loss of the "Hood" with only a handful of survivors and the terrific news that our escort, the Rodney" had finished off the "Bismarck" after she had been crippled by the gallant old "Stringbags" as the Fairey Swordfish, torpedo carrying, biplanes were fondly named. We docked at Halifax, Nova Scotia, after eight days at sea and marched, gladly off the ship, straight on to a waiting train , complete with "Cowcatchers" just like the movies. We were to stay on that train for two days and finally pulled in around midnight at the end of May 1941 to a platform which displayed the huge sign "Manning Pool. Toronto". .........Enough for today.

Last edited by regle; 19th Sep 2008 at 15:44.
 
Old 19th Sep 2008, 15:52
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I have just done a "Nemo" (sorry Cliff)

And managed to delete the photopgraph so here it is along with some new ones. (Reg what do you want me to do about the photographs of you and the "Georgia Peaches)?


Now we start the train journey



Just so the Germans in the USA did not know what was happening!



Not to be tried on British Rail




As these are Reg's pictures, only he can explain what is going on (like what was the flag being waved?)

Here is a picture of all class 42A in Toronto, from here they split up and took a train to various Arnold Schools, Reg went to Albany GA, incidentally so did my Uncle, hence Reg and I meeting.








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Old 19th Sep 2008, 16:01
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One more thing

There will be a prize for anyone that can spot Reg in the above picture.

Cliff, I have to do things remorely with Reg as I live Nr Bournemouth and he lives "Near The End of the World" in Kent.

I forgot to add a photograph of my Late Uncle Vernon who was with Reg in Albany on the same course (isn't that remarkable?) well at least Primary training, before he was "washed out" re-appeared in No1 BFTS Texas, he was shot down and killed in North Africa on 30th March 1943. Having flown Spitfires operationally from about July 1942, so he beat the odds lasting 9 months! He was 20 yrs old.

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Old 23rd Sep 2008, 18:09
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Toronto....

Sorry,Cliff, for the absence but I have, and am still having, trouble with this pernicious plaything. I will do my best...
We disembarked wearily from the train on which we had spent long hours and were confronted by the huge figure of a man with the rank of F/Sgt.R.C.A.F. "Get fell in, you horrible lot." he screamed. "Back to the Bull.... " we thought. We formed into a sweating,humid,weary,grey flanneled blob of humanityand were told "Forward 'H'arch ." We marched forward into a large hall where tables were groaning with all the foods that we had forgotten existed. Steaks, chops, eggs, hamburgers, bacon, butter...Everything was there and all served by the welcoming, smiling, friendly and pretty faces of scores of ladies of Toronto who were there to make us welcome. The F/Sgt's face broke into a thousand cracks and wrinkles which was the nearest he could get to a smile. From then on, as we were the first large numbers of RAF who had come to Toronto since the outbreak of war, we were virtually given the freedom of the lovely City. We were issued with RAF Uniform for our stay and the sight of that uniform was sufficient to open the doors of Cinemas, Restaraunts, Drug Stores (Where I sampled my very first "Banana Split ), Pubs, Cafes. It was impossible to pay for anything.
One day, a friend and I decided to hitchhike to Niagra Falls. A car pulled up, the driver, a middleaged man asked where we wanted to go and,on learning, told us to get in. He returned home where his wife and two very pretty daughters made up a huge picnic and we all drove the very long distance to Niagara to see the wonderful Falls.
Another terrific evening was when we were all invited to a dance where the great Louis "Satchmo" Armstrong was playing. . No one danced but we all stood in the front of the orchestra and swayed and cheered and applauded. Just like the movies ! It all had to end, of course and after two marvellous weeks ,it was back to those horrible grey suits and we "entrained" for the long journey to our destination, Albany, Georgia, The USA.........to be continued, soon I hope, and I do hope that you will forgive any errors of dates etc. but it was nearly seventy years ago and I , foolishly, never kept a diary.
 
Old 24th Sep 2008, 09:58
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Reg Don't worry about it, take it easy, but keep em coming when you can. How about a bit of encouragement for Reg, folks?

Has Chugalug asked you for permission to copy your contributions for use by Bomber Command M<useum ? I hope so.

Just half way through my next contribution.
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 10:54
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The answer is not yet, Cliff. I was going to let him get into his stride before hand, but at the pace you guys set it is a job to keep up with you!. So PM on its way Reg. As an explanation to others I am involved with "Bomber Command Heritage", a group that amongst other things wishes to archive, for research purposes, aural and written evidence of the survivors such as Cliff and Reg of the Bomber Offensive 1939-45. The "other things" include the preservation of RAF Bicester, a pre-war ADGB bomber base and later home to 13 OTU of Bomber Command. It has miraculously survived intact with its grass airfield and in its wartime condition. It is hoped that it can become the site of a National Bomber Command Heritage Centre and the National Bomber Command Memorial, but hopefully more of that to come on another thread eventually.
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 14:36
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Reg

Chug.............

I'm not sure if Reg knows about PM's You might want to email him as I know that he would want to share his experiences for future reading.

Reg has written a book (that is not published) I have read it and it's marvelous even though I'm a fighter addict! He also has quite a remarkable intact photo collection which is quite rare nowadays.

Does anyone know an ex-RAF pilot that doesn't have a good story? :0) I don't.

One thing though, shouldn't this Thread be in the Historic section of the forum?
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 14:52
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Thanks for that andy. I don't wish to hassle and especially not to distract Reg from posting here so will leave it at that for the moment. As regards the appropriate forum for his story, can I only say with all my heart that it is here! Phil, Reg and their colleagues were Military Aircrew, and it is on this forum that they can inter-relate with other Military Aircrew both ex- and serving. With all due respect to the History and Nostalgia Forum, the incidence of such posters there is much lower. The Bomber Command Memorial thread, though now a sticky, has languished there since being moved from here for similar reasons. All this of course is for our esteemed Mods to direct and we must respect their decisions, but I for one fully support them in having this thread based right here!
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 15:01
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Can't agree more Chugalug.
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 16:36
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Bicester and the reference by Chugalug.

As you might have read ,my first RAF posting was to Bicester and I took to the air for the very first time from it's grass field. It is there that ,a bit like Admiral Joseph Porter from "HMS Pinafore", I polished up the lavatries (sic) so carefully that soon I was the leader of the.. no not the Queen's Navee, but I didn't do too badly. Bicester was 13 OTU with Blenheim 1's (Short nose) and 1V's (Long nose) and I have very fond memories of Ramsey, the lovely little village with , I think, The Red Lion, our favourite watering place. It also has an excellent Golf Course nearby and is where I used to play with the 51 Sqdn. Association against the serving 51 Sqdn team in the happier days when I could walk a golf course which, alas, is beyond me now. Those were the days, my friend....Reg
 
Old 24th Sep 2008, 16:46
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Regle

There isn't a village called ''Ramsey''. the nearest village with a Red lion (still ) is Stratton Audley.

It is close to the station.

Thanks for the stories, does give me a flavour of my grandfathers time back then and much appreciated for that
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 16:47
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By the way, I forgot to tell you that the first picture was us aboard the "Britannic" watching the ship's concert, the next one is the train and the tall figure standing on the step was Alec O........ , a great chap and graduated, with me in 1/42 but was killed in action 08/42. He was from saffron Walden. That is me in the flying helmet topee and dreadful grey suit touching the floral flag. Finally, standing on the cowcatcher, second from the right is Ted N.... whom I met later when he was a Captain in BEA. I think that is JIm A.... standing next to his left. Reg
 
Old 24th Sep 2008, 16:53
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Reg, glad that my mention of Bicester brought the memories flooding back. With your intimate knowledge of the loos there you might be interested in this thread:
http://www.pprune.org/military-aircr...-bicester.html
The Tech Site is fenced off and boarded up, but substantially the same as when you were there. It is the hope that it may be saved as is, restored, and then dedicated to telling the story of Bomber Command and the Bomber Offensive, ie your story, Phil's, and some 120,000 other aircrew. Can't say you'll find too many posts concerned with the ablutions at RAF Bicester, but feel free to add to the sum of human knowledge on that by adding to the thread! Seriously, great that you remember 13 OTU and its Blenheims. Hardly a sinecure posting though as some 8,000 of BC's aircrew died in training alone.
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Old 24th Sep 2008, 17:25
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Senior moment

You are quite right, Tyre. I had confused Bicester with 17 OTU at Upwood, close to Ramsey, and that is where I flew Blenheims and played Golf. See what happens when you don't keep a diary (and grow old). By the way ,Cliff, my memoirs are already with an Air Commodore, who is also a member of the Heritage and I, gladly, gave him permission to give them to the Museum. Thank your correspondent for the very nice thought.
 
Old 25th Sep 2008, 10:34
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Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here.

REG , more photos please, you must have plenty of photographs of interest.

Before I start , I suggest you obtain a print out of all, or just your contributions. Just click on thread tools, second orange line down, then click on printable version . You will save on paper and ink, using this method, and I am sure your relatives would appreciate a copy.
ANDY, I think your Uncle , in the photograph is wearing American helmet and goggles,, so must have been at an Arnold flying school when the pic was taken. Amazing we could smile in those days, and whistle the latest tune as we walked along.

I have received a very nice P.M from an aviator who wishes to remain anonymous , who’s father was the pilot of a Stirling , K.I.A in 1943. He also sent a very interesting book of verse written by his father whilst still flying. Hope to append one below.

My last effort described the 100 M.P.H gun sight, so will try and stick to flying training, for a while. In December, we had a “check ride” with the chief instructor, and a two thousand mile navigation "exam" Two cadets in each aircraft, taking turns in navigating, and flying, Before taking off my instructor asked me to watch the other student carefully, as my instructor didn’t have much confidence in him telling me to “ put him right” if necessary. ( but more about that later) On take off I felt I was flying in the wrong direction, so checked my compass for deviation. This was easy, as I have said before, all the roads ran N.S.E or West. I found the compass was way out. As I had haddd previous lessons in deviation and the deviascope in civvy street I knew how to adjust compasses , but adjustment would have ;been difficult while flying, and frowned upon by the management, so I decided to make a deviation table. I flew North and then South, noting the two amounts of deviation, and ditto East and West, then made a deviation table on my knee pad. I must have been somewhere near as we hit Waco O.K.. A few of us arrived at the same time and stacked up waiting for permission to land on the Army Air Corp field . When we were given permission to land, my oppo was piloting , and unfortunately decided to land down wind. On the base leg I was wondering what to do, after my past decision never to interfere with another pilot ( see ground loop , with Hardy) a loud voice screamed in our earphones. “all American airplanes clear the field, there’s a bunch of God damn limeys landing every which way”. In their mess that night we were royally entertained, but the banter never ceased. With the benefit of hindsight (which is a very exact science ) I realized I should have warned him, but he had signed the form 700 ?.. I would think the telephone lines to Ponca were red hot, but we heard nothing further.

On our next leg, It may have been to Corpus Christie, can’t remember but it was an airfield on the Gulf of Mexico quite a few A.T 6s landed about the same time It was dark but the airfield was lit up like Piccadilly Circus , the airfield controller instructed the first pilot landing (we were all landing without wing landing lights) to switch on his wing landing lights, which he did. We had never landed before using landing lights ,and for some reason this created problems for us. The first pilot had to adopt the over shoot procedure ,as did the second and third. We eventually called the tower and asked for all lights to be extinguished, except the runway lights. After some argument lights were extinguished, and we all landed safely, they thought we were all mad. (no comments please) I can remember seeing the twin towns of Dallas and Fort Worth.,and think we may also have landed at Albuquerque, but nothing else. We returned to Ponca O.K , with no one getting lost, no prangs, in fact nothing to laugh at all.
Below is a poem written by the aforementioned Stirling bomber pilot, written shortly before he was K.I.A. I cannot make this bigger despite scanning numerous times. Max size in scanner, max size in Picasa. max size in Photobucket, then on transfer to PPRuNe we have a small pic.(Clifford must try harder).
On my computer (M.S Vista) I can increase print size by punching Control and plus sign repeatedly . Note reference to goose necks in Night Take-off. They were sometimes referred to as paraffin flares, and resembled an Aladins lamp. Will study Photobucket further when I have recovered.


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Old 25th Sep 2008, 11:11
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Photos

Cliff, the photos of Reg are posted by me because I took some (shaky) shots from my camera on a visit to Reg, next time I visit Reg I will see if we can scan them.

Reg says that I can post them, even the ones of the "Georgia Peaches"! So as Reg adds to his story I will post more pictures.

The picture of my Uncle was in PeeTee magazine the cadets magazine at Darr Aero in Albany, the magazine came out after successful passing of Primary training. Somehow after that Vernon "washed out" along with over 40% of that class. So you were right it is USA gear.

Reg carried on to another field and in those early days continued to Basic and advanced training. However unlike BFTS's they moved each time, so the early classes were really pioneers.



If I remember correctly Reg was one of the 1st three cadets to solo, in celebration of that one of my favourite pictures of Reg in a PT17:-


Also Reg seems to be the official photographer, what a job?


I think that the above was taken in an RAF "watering hole" maybe Reg can advise us?

Now 1st 3 solos, REg is there somewhere


More to come but I have to work now.

Andy
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Old 25th Sep 2008, 15:53
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Georgia Peaches

The Georgia Peaches were at Radium Springs, a nearby swimming pool and more. As well as being the magnet for all the would be pilots and the lovely peaches, it had the coldest water that I can ever remember anywhere in the world, no doubt, done deliberately to cool our ardour !
The three first solo's were l. to r. Wally H......, my roomate and best friend, Alec, 'Ossie O......., From Saffron Walden and ,then, myself.
I am off to Belgium for some treatment in hospital (Old age Waterworks) and don't know when I shall be back so, till then....keep them coming. I enjoy the obvious camaderie of this forum. Reg.
 
Old 25th Sep 2008, 16:24
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Good luck regle, and enjoy flirting with the nurses!
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