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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 9th Jun 2013, 23:38
  #3881 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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BEagle,

Thank you, thank you ! Yes, that's it. Will play for hours with this, although any recognitions must now be suspect. Sadly, John Newboult (the Adj I knew) and Mike Beavis (Training Officer) had left before this cartoon was sketched in 1953 (?) And later Doc Groves was replaced as M.O. by Flt.Lt. Ian Stewart (and we had a Station M.O. as well, F/O Hamlett IIRC).

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 9th Jun 2013 at 23:45. Reason: Additional Material.
 
Old 10th Jun 2013, 07:59
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Danny,
the RAF legal 'system' could be used to advantage if you knew how.
One of the members of the WRAF had been told that her ATC aptitude scores had been lost and she would have to start all over again. As the annual AOC inspection was not far away I helped her draft a submission to see the august gentleman in question. Despite pressure at every level to have her withdraw the application we persisted. Now as everyone knows if you finally do get to see the great man it means that the underlings have failed and this is not good for their careers. In this case her scores magically came to light a few weeks later !
In a similar vein on of my airman's application for a commission was lost between Lyneham and OASC . As the application 'window' had now closed he would have to wait another year ! This time we went down the Section 181 of the Air Force Act route, Redress of Grievance. Admin at Lyneham produced their log showing that they had forwarded the application and the resulting confirmation from OASC. Quelle surpise, in this case an exception could be made ! And yes he was successful. Like you Danny I had reached my service ceiling of Spec Aircrew S/L, so no career to worry about.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 08:51
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Danny,

Ubehaglig is Norwegian, my missus is a Norsk damer, and it means "Nasty" - a nickname donated to me during initial training I hope because Nasty Nastase was contemporaneous rather than being apt, it stuck throughout my 35 years.

Cheers

Last edited by Ubehagligpolitiker; 10th Jun 2013 at 08:54.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 10:33
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As a brand-new corporal posted to the Air Ministry commcen in 1964 my first job was to escort an SAC under "close arrest" to his court martial (he was drawing married allowance but living in quarters with a woman who was not his wife). I was rather surprised to be told to meet the SAC at Charing Cross underground station and deliver him to the court martial. I stood on the platform waiting, then an elderly SAC came up to me, introduced himself and we both walked to the building (location long forgotten) where I handed him over to a RAF policeman at the door. Very weird!
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 12:14
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I remember 1971 RAF Colerne as a recently ex Brat Jnr Tech. I had a little Honda 90 for whizzing home at weekends. The Tax disc had dropped off and it's not being displayed was spotted by a Plod one morning. I had already applied for a duplicate, and was waiting to receive it. I was charged with riding my motorbike, untaxed. It was remanded from my Flight Commander to the Sqn Ldr. I stated that I had applied for the dupe etc. He very kindly allowed a further week for the certificate to arrive. The following week I was fined 5, the dupe had not arrived. It did the day after my fine though ! I asked, but was told I could not have my money back. And a fiver was a lot of money in those days.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 19:06
  #3886 (permalink)  
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Apologies to others for keeping on with 608

Danny, just found a Poor print of some 608 types, believe it is from Summer Camp in Malta? 52 or more probably '53

Scan 31 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

pzu - Out of Africa (Retired)

Last edited by pzu; 10th Jun 2013 at 19:07.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 19:16
  #3887 (permalink)  
 
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PZU

So, as I remember its Cisk or Hop Leaf, at least that was the choice in beer in the 70s. Went there with 56 Squadron (her Majesties premier Lightning Squadron) from Cyprus 1974. A great time was had by all.

Smudge

Last edited by smujsmith; 10th Jun 2013 at 19:17.
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Old 10th Jun 2013, 21:58
  #3888 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Bits & Bobs.

ancientaviator62,

Yes, there's nothing like a bit of quiet blackmail to hurry the system along, is there ? As soon as you start making a nuisance of yourself and look like trouble for them, they cave in and do the job they should've done in the first place (it's always the squeaky wheel that gets the grease !)

And what a blessed relief it must be, never to have to fear a 1369 or the "Feast of the Passover" again...........D


behagligpolitiker ,

You learn something every day ! The words do seem to have a common root in both languages. Now that I come to think of it (and still unable to get my hands on a dictionary), I think "unbehaglich" has a "spooky" or "uncanny" connotation. Not too far from "nasty". Someone will put me right.....D.


ricardian,

This brings to mind the practice (mentioned some time ago) of mounting Guards when there is absolutely nothing to guard. So long as the letter of the Regulations is observed, it doesn't matter how ridiculous the result is....D.


smujsmith,

That was a bit hard ! Was it a RAFP who grabbed you, or PC Plod ? I don't see how this can constitute a Service offence. In 1951, I was once "done" for "Leaving a Motor Vehicle on a Public Road during the Hours of Darkness without Showing Lights", and it only cost me 5/- at the Magistrates' Court.

5 fine - horrendous ! - and you couldn't get your money back. Pity you didn't know about ancientaviator's Section 181 (Redress of Grievance) above (is it too late now ?) How about petitioning the Crown for a free Pardon (how does one set about that ?)......D.

All interesting stuff,

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 10th Jun 2013, 22:40
  #3889 (permalink)  
 
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Danny,

in German: unbehaglich =awkward, uneasy etc.

Norwegian is a Germanic language - Norwegians, Danes and Swedes can understand each others' languages. Nobody understands Finnish which appears to originate from somewhere in the Urals, at least it's described as a uralic language.
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Old 11th Jun 2013, 17:32
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Danny42C
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pzu,

Thanks ! Can't remember any 608 faces. Could they be their groundcrew ? (I wouldn't normally see much of them, but their pilots would be in the Thornaby Mess all the time. I'm a bit puzzled by the "uniform" leisure kit (and some ties !) Would this be some kind of formal night rig for Malta ?

Apologies ? Forget it ! (the more, the merrier). All's grist that comes to this mill......D.


ubehagligpolitiker,

Somewhere I once read that Finnish has a strange resemblance to (could it be) Maltese. Or was it Catalonian ? Or Turkish ? Something like that - some language that it has no business to resemble........D.

Cheers to you both, Danny.
 
Old 11th Jun 2013, 17:50
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Danny42C
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Danny comes to the Beginning of the End at Thornaby.

My time at Thornaby was coming to an end. My replacement came in (can't remember his name), and I wished him the best of luck (the whole Auxiliary set up was to close down in the next 2-3 years, so I suppose he would be the last Adjutant). My faithful Technical Expert, Bob Schroder, stayed behind with him.

My posting was to 12 FTS, Weston Zoyland, at the end of October. I cannot recall when my last visit to CMB had been, but the position had not changed (A2G1) from my first visit (after RAF Hospital, Wroughton) two years before. The height restriction of 10,000 ft still remained in force; I was as far away as ever from my LCPC in GD(P). But surely, there must be some reappraisal before I went down to Weston ? It was a Meteor FTS, I would be back on oxygen and going up to 30,000 in an unpressurised T7 (up at 10,000 ft/min and down at 8,000). How would they square that circle? I decided to wait and see.

Meanwhile all the coventions had to be honoured. I would leave the Mess with the customary small memento of my three years' membership. We didn't have Antique Shops in those days (at least so far North of Watford), but in a junk shop in Stockton I spied a little cut-glass and silver ink-stand (the inkpot tops and pen were silver, but the tray only EPNS). Fountain pens had been in use for almost half-a century; the present-day passion for old things was yet to come; nobody wanted an ink-stand. It was ridiculously cheap, even with engraving it wouldn't have cost me a fiver. It would add a little dignity to the small table in the hall with the In/Out Books. I presented it to the PMC (name forgotten - do we still do this sort of thing these days - and how about Cards ?).

In return, the Officers of 3608 FCU gave me an EPNS presentation tankard: it looks fine with a jar of flowers in it. The troops presented me with a travel clock. I said my "goodbyes" all round.

My kit and I crammed into the Bond in the last week of October. I did the journey to Somerset in two stages, overnighting in Tamworth. When I booked-in at Weston, I fully expected to be pulled in by the M.O. and given some explanation of how they were going to play it. But none came. I reported to my Training Squadron and was introduced to my instructor (F/O Wyard). Still no mention of my medical category. I kept my mouth shut and waited. Two or three days went by, I started flying, and slowly realised that they simply did not know anything at all about it.

I thought about this. It might be better all round if they remained in blissful ignorance. As I expected, the flying was not causing me the slightest difficulty. If I completed the Course and passed, I should have a very strong card to play next time round at CMB. As to how this ridiculous state of affairs had come about, I can only guess that the man who recorded medical categories worked at the far end of the corridor (in A.M.) from the chap who dished out the Refresher Courses, and they never spoke to one another. Mind you, there were examples galore of the RAF's Right hand not knowing what its Left was doing - indeed some disaffected persons suggested that, most of the time, its Right hand didn't know what its Right was doing ! But ours not to reason why ! Better to lie low (like Brer Rabbit) and say nuthin'.

That's all for the moment,

Danny42C


It'll all sort itself out in the end.

Last edited by Danny42C; 11th Jun 2013 at 17:54. Reason: Correction.
 
Old 11th Jun 2013, 20:51
  #3892 (permalink)  
 
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Wink

According to one of my golfing partners who is Swedish, Finnish has it's origins in Hungarian.

Honest Injun! That's what he said, after several Cruzcampos.
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Old 12th Jun 2013, 01:50
  #3893 (permalink)  
pzu
 
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608 again

Danny - I'm only 65 and my memory is rather sievelike!!!, just found a book on my shelf about 608, wonder if you've seen it

It's available on that S American river and they even have a Kindle version

The Kipper Patrol by Louise Wilkinson - ISBN 978-1-905809-45-5

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Old 12th Jun 2013, 16:30
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pzu,

Thanks for the information ! But from the title I assume that it treats of the wartime days when Thornaby was mainly engaged in anti-submarine work over the North Sea with Ansons and Hudsons, and this was long before my time.

I don't think any of the post-war auxiliaries I knew stemmed from that source (as they were all s/e pilots)' and the pre-war fighter 608 auxiliaries seem to have started the war with Spitfires, Ansons and Hudsons. This cutting (from "Thornaby Aerodrome Wartime Memories" (ISBN 0 9517229 1 3) may be of interest:

"But the real tasks of 608 Sqdn were to locate surface mines which were subsequently destroyed by minesweepers of the Royal Navy, the sighting of U-boats or ships suspected of aiding the enemy, and searching for small boats carrying refugees and escapees in addition to guarding North Sea convoys. This searching of vast expanses of sea, often without reward, was nicknamed the 'kipper patrol'."

Danny.
 
Old 12th Jun 2013, 20:04
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On the subject of medical categories:
When I joined the RAF in 1959 I failed the colour vision test and thus could not become an Apprentice Ground Wireless Fitter at Halton. However, I could train as a Boy Entrant Telegraphist at Cosford. I duly passed out in 1961 and after tours at Driffield, Sharjah, MOD AIR, Akrotiri and 38 Group (Tangmere) I found myself posted to 604 Forward Air Control Unit which was part of 24 (Air Portable) Brigade at Crownhill Fort, Plymouth. I could not drive so was eventually sent off to RAF St Athan's driving school. It was only when I got my F1629 that I noticed that despite my medical records showing "Colour blind" it said "Colour perception - safe". As I was not going to be driving on many airfields I decided to keep quiet about it!
Incidentally, I was taken seriously ill whilst at 604 FAC (recurrence of childhood asthma) and was treated by the Royal Navy at HMS Drake. The result of this was that, as far as i know, I was the only member of the RAF who was officially "P7 - unfit for seagoing duty".
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Old 12th Jun 2013, 22:40
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Hi Danny,

I came across this whilst looking around at FCU's. it's a copy of part of a debate, from Hansard, held during 1957. Looks like your mob were spared at that time.

Fighter Control and Radar Reporting Units (Disbandment)

HC Deb 13 November 1957 vol 577 cc56-7W 56W
92. Wing Commander Bullus asked the Secretary of State for Air whether he is aware of the prevailing uncertainty among Royal Air Force Auxiliary personnel about the future of the remaining Auxiliary units; and whether he will make a statement.
Mr. Ward Yes. As I explained to the House earlier this year, the Control and Reporting System is in process of being re-equipped and reorganised. This process is producing economies both in units and in establishments, and for that reason we were unable to justify at the beginning of this year the retention of more than twenty-one of the original total of thirty Fighter Control and Radar Reporting Units.
In the nature of things, there can never be complete certainty about the long-term requirement for these Auxiliary units, and it is now clear that there is no longer any requirement to justify the retention of three of these twenty-one units. We have, in consequence, no option but to disband them. The future of a further five units is in doubt, but, so far as we can foresee, we shall have a continuing requirement for the remaining thirteen. Particulars of the units falling into each category are appended.

I should like to express our sincere thanks to the public-spirited men and women of the three units which are to be disbanded. The date of disbandment will be the 1st February, 1958, but all training will cease forthwith. Bounties will be paid on the same basis as for the earlier disbandment, i.e. personnel who transfer to the R.Aux.A.F. Reserve as an alternative to discharge will be paid bounty apportioned to the date of disbandment and, in addition, one year's bounty, or proportionate bounty to the end of their current engagement if it ceases in the year.

I would like to make a special appeal to the personnel of the units at Brighton. Bristol, Stockton-on-Tees, Edinburgh and Glasgow, the future of which is in doubt, 57W to continue to give their voluntary service. They can rest assured that their units will not be disbanded unless changes in our operational requirements made this inevitable.

Following are the units in each category:

Fighter Control Units being retained.

No. 3500 (County of Kent) F.C.U. Margate.

No. 3502 (City of Belfast) F.C.U. Edenmore.

No. 3505 (East Riding) F.C.U. Sutton-on-Hull.

No. 3506 (County of Northampton) F.C.U. Peterborough.

No. 3508 (County of Northumberland) F.C.U. Long Benton.

No. 3511 (City of Dundee) F.C.U. Dundee.

No. 3604 (County of Middlesex) F.C.U. London.

No. 3609 (West Riding) F.C.U. Yeadon.

No. 3612 (County of Aberdeen) F.C.U. Dyce.

No. 3617 (County of Hampshire) F.C.U. Bournemouth.

No. 3618 (County of Sussex) F.C.U. Eastbourne.

No. 3619 (County of Suffolk) F.C.U. Ipswich.

No. 3620 (County of Norfolk) F.C.U. Norwich.

Fighter Control Units and Radar Reporting Unit whose future is at present in doubt.

No. 3507 (County of Somerset) F.C.U. Bristol.

No. 3602 (City of Glasgow) F.C.U. Glasgow.

No. 3608 (North Riding) F.C.U. Stockton-on-Tees.

No. 3603 (City of Edinburgh) F.C.U. Edinburgh.

No. 3701 (County of Sussex) R.R.U. Brighton.

Fighter Control Units to be disbanded.

No. 3611 (West Lancashire) F.C.U. Liverpool.

No. 3613 (City of Manchester) F.C.U. Manchester.

No. 3621 (North Lancashire) F.C.U. Blackpool.

By heck though, didn't we have some Oggies and reservists. Those were the days.

Smudge

Last edited by smujsmith; 12th Jun 2013 at 22:41.
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Old 13th Jun 2013, 16:29
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The End of the Auxiliaries.

Smudge,

Very interesting, thanks. It would seem that we were "in doubt" even at the time of the Question, but of course it made no difference in the end. The whole lot was "chopped" in '58.

As for the flying squadrons, the plain fact was that the nation could not afford to re-equip them with the Hunter. The pilots were game to carry on, but they were getting old now, and there weren't enough ex-NS ones to fill the gaps.

"The Control and Reporting System is in process of being re-equipped and reorganised. This process is producing economies both in units and in establishments." In other words, cut to the bone !

Nothing changes,

Danny.
 
Old 13th Jun 2013, 18:42
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Danny,

It seems to me that the RAF you served in at that time, was being given the same treatment that our modern forces are. My simple (it has to be I'm a simple bloke) analysis would suggest that politicians always take advantage of conflict reduction to accomplish force reduction. and always with the guarantee of modernising, upgrading or more efficient cause that our elected representatives use in their always hubristic attitude to anything they have a genuine lack of knowledge on. I doubt, as now, anyone would have stood against the tide of promises of future benefits from such cuts, but, history shows us we had some close calls along the way.

Perhaps the wrong thread to mention it but we live now in an age where many warn about threats to our country. Even our government raises concerns about defending ourselves from radical Islamists etc, and yet, at the same time our economy dictates cutting the very people that can do anything about it. Unlike the 1930s I see no, modern, Winston on the horizon (let alone in the currently elected bunch) who have the vision to cut through the bull. Perhaps your generation may have had similar thoughts.

Best regards Danny

Nil illegitimi carborundum (as they say) !

Smudge
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Old 13th Jun 2013, 19:09
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Danny42C
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The End of the Auxiliaries.

Smudge,

Too true ! Many a time now I look back 75 years, and think: "I've been here before" !

I think we've squeezed the pips out of this.

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 13th Jun 2013, 19:49
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Danny your description of the Leaving of Thornaby brings back long forgotten memories, of calling cards (I still have the rump enders, in their buff coloured cardboard box, along with the engraved copper plate ready to run off another gross if I should enter a space time continuum and start all over again), of the correct way to "PPC" as well as to arrive at a new Mess.

I've no idea if the "Customs of the Service" have been updated (do you now simply email the entire mess membership, or "Blog" them?). Even in the 60's it all struck me as somewhat archaic, like living out a PG Wodehouse plot. The first thing I had to purchase before even reporting for my first day's service was a "pork-pie" hat. That was in order that it could be doffed to all Ladies and to all Officers when one was in civvies. Moral; stay indoors unless wearing sports gear!

The Pewter Tankard was still the standard Record of Service as you moved from unit to unit. I got a rather fancy one on my last full day in Singapore. It had a glass bottom to it (so that you could check that it didn't contain a recruiting Sergeant's shilling before swigging from it). The inevitable happened later when, tired and emotional from it all, I dropped it and broke the glass. In a panic I went down to Changi Village (which could out-Harrod Harrods!) and they arranged to replace it by next morning with an identical one, fully badged and inscribed as the original, for a small consideration. I have it, and its sisters, still.
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