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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 29th Aug 2013, 17:32
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Danny and the "Winged Wheel" and a Canberra.

Unless you were living in an OMQ on a Station, there was always a mobility problem - for your wife. Very few plutocrats were able to run two cars, so if you took the family vehicle on duty with you, she was left stuck at home. So one of the first things to be arranged was some very cheap and simple transport for yourself. If (as was the case at Strubby) you only had a five-mile commute, then (given dry weather) the humble pushbike was a possibility - or cadge a lift in someone else's car.

The next stage up was a moped, but before then, in the early fifties, a number of small bicycle auxiliary power units came onto the market. Most of these were to fit in place of the back or front carrier, to drive the wheel through a roller clamped down on the tyre. The popular "Cyclemaster", roller driven on the rear wheel, was one such. The rear tyre had to be pumped up really hard, and the tyre wear was enormous.

On the other hand, the road tax was very small (or nil?), although it had to be registered as a vehicle, insured, and they would run for ever on a gallon of two-stoke mixture. BSA made big motorbikes and entered this market with a much better idea - the "Winged Wheel". As ever, Google has some fine pictures and all the description you need.

BSA sold a complete new outfit (special heavy-duty bike with sprung forks, comfortable saddle and beefed-up brakes, W/Wheel fitted) for 25. But I thought I could do better than that. Before e-Bay ruled the market, we had "Exchange & Mart". There was one on offer (just the Wheel, not the bike, plus tank plus front/rear lights), "mint" for 12/15/-. I bought it. (Google shows a complete nice one for sale now at - wait for it - 1100 !)

Now I wanted a bike to go with it. That cost 15/-, it had seen better days. One look at the wheels - scrap !. A new 26x1 in wheel+tyre cost me another 1. The frame needed a good sandpapering, derusting and a dollop of some BRG paint I had lying about. With that dry, I assembled the Wheel into it, and sallied forth. It went fine. I reckoned 25 mph max, 15-20 cruise. But the old bike saddle was excruciating at those speeds, I had to replace it with a moped type at another 2-3. The 'bargain' was not as good as it first appeared.

But our transport problem was solved. One breezy morning I was on GCA duty. It was a "bracing" (ie petrifying wind - from Ulan Bator with love behind me); we would be on 09, the truck would be at the NE corner of the field, I could save the last mile off my journey (and avoid the jam at the camp gates) by using a short cut in the back way (gap in hedge). That brought me out quite close to the truck.

On the runway, abeam the GCA, lay a sad sight: a beautiful pale blue Canberra ("Aries" IV or V), with the wheels part down. I joined the small group of onlookers. What had happened ? At first sight it looked clear enough - u/c collapse on landing. But there was only one long thin central scar down the runway from the fuselage, but none from the outer u/c doors where they lay on the tarmac. So either they had collapsed at the moment the aircraft had come to rest, or the pilot had simply landed wheels-up and selected "down" after he stopped - in the vain hope, perhaps, of blaming the Canberra.

The Empire Flying College (curiously, references to it as it was at that time now always use the name "RAF Flying College" - are we ashamed of the Empire ?) was very cagey about this incident. It was jacked-up, put on its wheels and towed away, seemingly undamaged. This was one of the "special" Canberras kept at Manby which had "swept the board" of World Distance and Altitude Records. It seemed that it had come into Strubby for a GCA late the night before, after a very long trial run for, or actual attempt on, another Record. The affair was swept under the carpet.

There were Extenuating Circumstances: The pilot (rumoured to be a VSO) was utterly exhausted at the end of his very long flight. These things happen. Could have been anyone of us, after all. (I cannot find any report on this incident in Google, others may have more luck - or more skill in the search than I - I can't be more precise about the date than to say that '57-'58 should cover it).

We would have had more sympathy for the pilot had he not (as was widely believed) tried to pray in aid an allegation that Talkdown had not given him the mandatory "Check you have three greens for landing" at the three-mile point. Talkdown had been my friend "Vin" Harvey, but I am sure that no Talkdown could possibly have missed this: we must have said it hundreds of times. But the accusation still stuck; henceforth our procedure was changed: as three miles was coming up we would open the squawk-box to Local for a few seconds so that we should have a good witness that the words had been said.

And then there was another incident, a few days later. At the very last moment of the day, they decided to send a Meteor over to Manby for Intermediate Inspection. They grabbed a F/Sgt instructor. The thing had just come in from a sortie and had not been refuelled, but they reckoned there was enough to take it the cock-stride to Manby. He rushed off: of course there
wasn't, one flamed out half way, the other on long finals. He finished up in the undershoot.

They court-martialled him (it must have been after 'Gus' Walker left for 1 Gp., for he'd never have stood for it), and broke him down to Sergeant. Everybody was furious. Comparison of the two cases left a nasty taste in the mouth for a long time.

Some more interesting Truck moves next time.

Goodnight, all.


There's one law for the Rich, and another for the Poor.

Last edited by Danny42C; 29th Aug 2013 at 17:39. Reason: Error.
Old 30th Aug 2013, 14:53
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Danny, Mon Vieux, you have clicked a synapse.

We single Strubby ATCOs lived in the Mess(es) at Manby. There was, of course, a luxury blue coach provided by MT which ran between the Hallowed Halls of the CAW and that obscure (not so little) RLG at Strubby. But what use was that to a shift-working ATCO?

Basically, we worked split-shifts. Morning/evening on Day 1, afternoon on Day 2, rinse and repeat. Let's say 0700-1230 and 1800-whenever ... Remember that was Flying Training Command, and I'll come back to that aspect. A few controllers worked "days" 0900-1700, to augment for peak traffic, although that was a rarity ... Except in GCA.

Now it's all very well having a Crew Coach turn up at Strubby at 07-whatever ready to start the day. But ATC has to carry out runway inspections, get the GCA truck set up, attend/contribute to the morning briefing, etc etc. so last-minute.Strubby doesn't work. We have to be there earlier. Then comes lunchtime ... Usual manning for the Truck was one on morning, one on afternoon and one on days. So the morning finished at 1300, the afternoon started at 1200, which gave the day-worker a chance to grab lunch at the feeder on the old Domestic site. Ahhh ... But wait!!! When does the coach go? 1230, IIRC, and the next one is at 1500. So the morning shift controller is marooned until then, and yet may be required back at work at 1800.

Or not ... Because this was FTC. Night flying was, strangely, conducted in the dark. This meant, in Summer, that it didn't start until 2130+ and often, if the programme was a bit behind, didn't finish until dawn's early light around 0500. Than back to Manby, to grab a few hours' sleep, before being back on watch at 1200. At this point I should note that the Mess lay under the downwind leg of Manby, so the whine of the constant thrust, variable noise, JPs ensured fitful slumber. And then off to work again ... For 1200.

At this point in this interjection, you may have noticed a lack of detail called "meal times". Essentially, the GCA shifts and MT times precluded eating. Early breakfast - possible. Lunch - forget it. Dinner - ahhh, often too late starting, got to go to work.

The only solution to having a vaguely human existence, as an ATCO, was to have independent transport. Then, with luck, you could get to the Mess for a meal, or get to work having had one ... Most of the time.

I was luckier than Danny ... My uniform allowance on commissioning had been squandered on 115 of Hillman Minx. I was mobile. I was still paying tailors some 4 years down the line, but at least I got to eat as a GCA controller at Strubby.
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Old 30th Aug 2013, 22:48
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I have been off line a lot over the past few days (broadband giving no end of grief), just got back after PPRuNe-less 48 hrs. I'm full of sympathy for you - life seems to have been so complicated at Strubby in your time. Now I come to think of it, I don't think we had any bachelor ATCOs when I was there. Of course, we were all old men then !

Here is another short AOC Inspection snippet which may amuse, while I am cooking up more solid fare.


There is another AOCs Inspection story for which I accept no responsibility whatever,as it was told to Mrs D. by one of her pals at Strubby. I do not even know the Station involved.

However, it seems that, as the fatal day neared, they did a bit of research and found that it was the AOC's birthday. Would it not be a splendid idea if they were to bake a cake in honour of the event ? Then when he retired to the Mess for elevenses after the rigours of the Parade, he could enjoy this cake with his coffee instead of the customary dry biscuits. And just look at the brownie points that could accrue to the Station thereby ! (after all, you can hardly write-down a place after it has been so gracious to you, now can you ?).

The Mess Sgt Cook was (unusually) skilled in the arts of cake baking and decorating. And this was as well, as they had decided to embellish the cake surface with their guest's full title, honours and awards. And these were legion, as he had had a long and distinguished career (there were some who muttered "too long" - but we may safely ignore these disaffected individuals). This was duly accomplished: it did look good. Now all that was needed was to convey it to the anteroom on the morning.

What exactly happened I do not know. The cake suffered little damage, but what there was was vital. Most of the letters, figures and full stops had been scuffed off the top. There was barely time to whip up a fresh batch of icing sugar, and certainly no time for it to set. What is quick-setting, white and smooth, and easily moulded ? As with many problems, when you define it in exact detail, the answer presents itself. They looked on the shelf and found a box of "Polyfiller".......

I believe that the repairs were entirely convincing (in appearance). How "Polyfiller" would taste I do not know and do not intend to try. The affected pieces must have been kept well away from the official visitors. Perhaps some junior officers were let into the secret and invited (?), for the good of the Station to crunch, lie back and think of England.

Old 31st Aug 2013, 03:56
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Many thanks for your note on Keyforums and also your answers to my queries. I decided I will turn up here and get the gen directly!

In the meantime to commemorate your time with 8 Squadron IAF, I thought I would post some photos here! Hope you will find some of your friends in them!

Best regards


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Old 31st Aug 2013, 09:04
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Manby to Strubby Forced Landing


The coincidences continue! Not only were we at Linton together but I think I met your Flight Sergeant at St Mawgan.
I had finished all the exercises and tests on the JP at Syerston without having completed the required 160 hours so my instructor, a Master Pilot, said we had to go on a long land away of my choosing, except it was to St Mawgan of his choosing. He blamed me for letting down on St Eval, but that has already been reported on an earlier post. On arrival on 2 Jan 1964 we went into one of the Shackleton squadrons to meet his old mates. He became incandescent when he discovered one them had been commissioned as a Flying Officer despite having run out of fuel between Manby and Strubby in a Meteor. This chap apparently pulled off a text book forced landing and there was no damage to the aircraft. He got a Good Show after the obligatory bollocking. I might add that my instructor had been on three commissioning courses at Jurby but had been failed on all of them for drinking so he did not sit on the moral high ground.
I think it too much of a coincidence that there were two similar incidents and it most likely was the same chap.


Last edited by ACW418; 31st Aug 2013 at 09:05.
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Old 31st Aug 2013, 09:59
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Excellent Jagan. Thanks for posting. Your second photo brings new meaning to the term "uniform". Haha hahaha
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Old 31st Aug 2013, 23:54
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Welcome into our noble fellowship ! (I liken it to a virtual crewroom in cyberspace, in which all are welcome with their contributions about military (and civil) aviation ancient and modern, and are free to question and comment thereon, only provided no harsh word is said).

I am particularly glad to welcome you from that land of maharajahs, king cobras, elephants and storytellers where I misspent nearly four years of my (very) distant youth - and of course we've met before (on Key Publishing Forums) - any chance of getting any more ? - and a WWII survivor would be marvellous !

And thank you for the three evocative pics, which I shall call A,B,& C in order of appearance, and on which a word or two may be of interest. Until next time, then,

Cheers ! Danny.

Photo 'A',

Sqdn/Ldr Prasad, of course ! and crewman (unknown)....(puzzle): Why is he wearing what looks like a Sidcot suit ? Bengal/Assam/Arakan much too hot, could be OTU at Peshawar (gets very cold in winter up on the Frontier). If so, why is VV so muddy ?....Note prominent "stirrup" on oleo leg, which pilots used for quick scramble up onto wing over to cockpit.....We never "masked" the gun ports (front guns never used anyway).

Photo 'B',

No prize for spotting Boss: Sqn Ldr. Ira K.Sutherland DFC RNZAF - every bit as tough as he looks ! Think it may be Flt.Lt. Dugdale (Flt. Commander) at his R. hand. Don't remember other chap......Why are the aircrew wearing side arms for photograph ?.....What is that hat, looks like a WW1 tin hat painted white ?.....Note how massive the VV was !

I am not on this, and do not remember it. It will have been taken after 24.2.44., when I was carted off after the crash.

Photo 'C',

Same again. Again, the "Sidcop" suit and fur (?) collar (what on earth for ?) No prizes for spotting "Chiefy" in front. Reckon he could keep "Good Order and Air Force Discipline !"

As Yamagata Ken says, hardly Savile Row !.....D.
Old 1st Sep 2013, 00:49
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Injustice Righted.


Truly, a bit too much of a coincidence ! The story your M/P retold to you does sound a bit odd, though.

The chap ran out of fuel between Strubby and Manby, (only 7 miles) and he force-landed it without damage ? Would you try it with a Meteor wheels down in some cabbage patch when you don't know what's underneath ? Nor would I ! And, wheels-up, he must have done some damage, if only minor.

And a "Good Show !" Did your M/P say he'd actually seen it in "Air Clues", or was it just as the chap told it ? It looks as if he'd been gilding the lily a bit.

I prefer the story we heard at the time. In that, the last engine failed on long finals to Manby, he put it down u/c up in the approach lights only a short distance from the threshold.

Given that, and the Court Martial, would the rest of the story hold water ? I reckon it very well could. '64 is 8 years after our incident. A year's penance to build up the seniority to get his crown back, wait another year and he's still got plenty of time to get put up for his Commission. And with everyone in the Command feeling sorry for what had been done to him, he'd be a shoo-in.

Old 1st Sep 2013, 01:58
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why was he wearing a sidcot suit in the tropical heat?
in the tropics and australia it can get very hot on the ground. aviation at altitudes over 10,000ft can have the aircraft in sub zero temperatures for hours. the sidcot suit is appropriate in the cold.

in WW2 in the defence of Darwin australians were eventually supplied spitfires.
many pilots died in those spitfires because of the cold at altitude.
the propeller units were setup on the assumption of tropical heat. the pilots found that at altitude in the cold the propellers would lock into full fine and if the merlin didnt destruct from overspeed the jap guy behind would end your days with an easy shot.
australian mechanics came to the realisation that the oil in the prop hub was thickening in the cold and was unable to make the return to the engine. as the hub pressurised the blades went to full fine.
solution they came up with was to drill out the return galleries in the prop to allow flow of the cold oil. once that was sorted out the japs got a much harder time of it.
from personal experience a ground temp on the nullabor of 45C will be at 0C up at 9,500ft. the difference can cause props to come loose.
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Old 1st Sep 2013, 03:16
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Dear Danny,

Let me dig up what more I have..

And thanks for your thoughts on the photos..

Photo 'A',

The gunner in the photo is apparently Plt Offr Jagjit Singh . I think we can see him in Photo 'B' - the only Sikh with the turban.,

Photos B and C were certainly taken after 27.3.44 - because Sqn Ldr Sutherland took over command on that date!.. they may have been taken in quick succession - as I can see Tinhat man and Sidcot man in both photos apparently looking like they were taken moments apart.

I got these photos and the others i am posting below ten years ago when I visited late Gp Capt Philips. I only had a crummy digitial camera and the result was these poor copies...

Others from that visit

8 Squadron group - said to be immediately after formation - thus no RAF/Commonwealth officers other than Indians in this picture. You can make out the CO Prasad, Flight Commander Chopra, Plt Offr Jagjit Singh and J S Dhillon..

Ground crew - photo had inscription "Some of my boys"

Now this is photo of Gp Capt CGI Philips. I kick myself for the poor quality reproduction. But the Vengeance that he was standing by - he said was his with an emblem of a lightning weilded by a hand/fist.. and the sorties marked as bombs..

and finally a better photo of him - when the sqn converted to Spit VIIIs..

Also one more story about 8 Squadron..
Dodging a Vultee Vengeance in India about Ettinger.. you heard or seen it I hope!

And Canadian historian Hugh Halliday's interest in 8 Sqn RIAF!
No.8 Squadron, IAF
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Old 1st Sep 2013, 20:16
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It's cold in them thar hills !

dubbleyew eight,

Yes, of course, ambient temperature drops off at 1.6C/1,000ft, so at 12,000 (and there was no point in taking a VV any higher), 30C on the ground (a fair winter daytime temperature in East Bengal and the old N.E. Frontier Province) would be 11C. Considering that most of our 'ops' were short-range, and the VV (in formation with a bomb load) was no 'homesick angel', our problem was to get up to 12, never mind stay long enough to feel cold.

I never wore anything other than bush jacket and slacks (admittedly with a lot of top-hamper), and never had a Sidcot suit (other than the one issued at ITW and handed in before coming out).

My guess would be that the Sidcots would be old stock hoarded at Peshawar from the good old days, when they cruised over the hills in the open-cockpit Wapitis and Harts, "Subduing the Tribes" (with a marked lack of success, seeing that we're still at it).

How the poor devils, who presumably were issued with the things at OTU in 'Pesh', managed to survive when they climbed (fur collar and all) into a red-hot cockpit on the ground, is beyond me.

Your Spitfire chaps in Darwin seem to have been a valiant lot. Staying up there till they froze to death ! Now that is really "above and beyond the call of duty", and no mistake ! Our engineers may wish to comment on the engine problems. Me, I just had a few hundred hours flying the things, so will butt-out. But could the stories just possibly have had sone XXXX input ?

Cheers, Danny
Old 1st Sep 2013, 20:41
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Just a quick reply, for you've laid such a feast before me (including links) that it will take me days to formulate an adequate response. Meanwhile, if you really want to see the VV in action, look up the marvellous "You Tube" offering put in by Chugalug on #2549 p.128 of this Thread.

EDIT: Just checked: it's still there...D.

To the best of my knowledge, this is the only decent video of the VVs off the ground.

Cheers, Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 1st Sep 2013 at 23:44. Reason: Add Text/
Old 2nd Sep 2013, 19:34
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Danny Exposes Himself to Ridicule.

In my whole three years there I can recall only two weeks' "rest cure" at Manby, and only those because something memorable happened to me each time. Generally I can flatter myself that I had built up quite a reputation for my smooth and mellifluous talkdowns, apart from one malcontent, who said I sent one of his studes to sleep (or at least that was the impression gained from the said stude's flying).

And the results of my Approach work were no worse than average. There had been no (air traffic) disasters which could be laid at my door. And how can you go wrong at Manby, with about twenty movements a day ? With difficulty, it seemed, but it could be managed, if you put your back into it.

The first day I was sitting in a state of perfect peace and bucolic serenity. I had one airborne, the Chief Instructor, who was doing something or other with the (only) Hunter F6. He asked me for a steer. This was a bit below the belt, I thought. He must know that there was no CR/DF (or anything else) at Manby. Still, there was the old manual D/F to fall back on. I roused the operator and started the procedure. C.I. makes his long transmission and awaits result. A few seconds later the Op passes me the figure.

Now, looking back and racking my brains, I don't think I'd ever done a single manual D/F (outside the Link), and I don't remember their being taught me at Shawbury (CR/DF being all the rage). I'd simply forgotten that a D/F op always gives a QTE; it is for the Controller to convert it into QDM. So C.I. gets a QTE to steer. As he knew very well where he was (I think he only called to make sure I was still alert), I got a furious reaction. What was the matter with my D/F ? - What was my D/F Op doing ? - He'd given a reciprocal ! - I'd damn' well better do something about it at once ! - Wake the man up !

I could not let the poor erk carry the can. "My fault entirely, Sir", I said, and gave him the correct figure. This frank avowal of guilt seemed to mollify the C.I. Greatly to my surprise, I heard no more about it. It had been inexcusable; on the desk in front of my eyes was a circle with the QDM/QTE conversion every ten degrees, but I thought it was from QDM to QTE (as on a CR/DF).

My second gaffe some time later was really not my fault, but it was to go down in Manby legend. There was nothing on the board (ATC Nirvana !). R/T monitor pipes up: "M-ABCD on 117.9 for you, sir". What followed I will never forget.

Verbatim: "M-CD, Manby Approach, pass your message"...."Manby, CD approaching from the North at 2,000 ft, range 20 miles, request landing instructions"...."CD, 11 left, (QFE), circuit clear, call joining"....

(Manby is Prior Permission Only, we have had no advice of this visitor, but that is not my business: I cannot turn him away - but he must answer for it when he gets down)...."CD, what is the purpose of your visit ?" .... "To drop off a horse" .... "Say again" ...."Horse"...."Spell it !"...."H-O-R-S E" ....."What is your aircraft type ?"...."Anson".

My brain reeled. Reason tottered on her throne. You clutch desperately at straws. "Perhaps it's a very small horse", I consoled myself, "might a Shetland pony go in all right ?" (In my defence, I must add that only a mere dozen years before I'd seen Dak-loads of mules go off, and wished the pilots the best of British).

Now the final bitter twist in the story: Manby had an Equitation Club. My equally stupefied Assistant grabbed the Station phone book: "It's S/Ldr (x) i/c, sir"...."Ring him, tell him he's got a horse coming in in about ten minutes". S/Ldr (x) gets dragged out of Important Conference, not well pleased, organises groom and whistles up horsebox to the Tower. Anson comes in, parks, groom advances with horse-tackle at the ready. Crew see horsebox arrive alongside Tower.

Out of Anson comes a wooden hobby-horse. It appears that this was an adjunct to one of the silly games that are played at Dining-in nights. Station (x) had borrowed it from Manby for some occasion, and were now returning it. Pilots roll about Anson in mirth when they realise that they've not only fooled the Controller, but the College as well. (This will keep them in free beer for yonks). Even with door closed, Anson rocks on its oleos for some time before crew sufficiently composed to ask for taxy clearance.

Danny is Buffoon du jour. Joke is all round Manby within the hour, round Strubby by nightfall and all round Lincolnshire by weekend. Back at Strubby my Bendix crew shakes heads sorrowfully. First the HT door, then the stuck Matador, now this. Always said the poor chap must have been out in the tropic sun far too long.

Next time two more disasters, but neither of my doing.

Evenin' all,


Well,you can't win 'em all.
Old 2nd Sep 2013, 21:18
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Danny, damn you, Sir! You've just set me into choking on me damn whisky, don't you know! Bravo for telling a tale that, no doubt rife at the time, I'd not heard before.

Bravo especially for telling it against yourself. A different era, a different RAF, when one could commandeer an aircraft for a mere jape!

"I spell H-O-R-S-E, horse, message ends, over". The best japes were always those that stuck punctiliously to correct procedure.

You have surpassed yourself, Danny. Follow that, as they say in show business.
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Old 3rd Sep 2013, 02:27
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Danny, Yes I saw the amazing video of 8 Squadron Vengeances that Chugalug posted. Footage of Vengeances in themselves are rare. and Indian associated Vengeances are pure gold to a guy like me.

A friend of mine actually located the catalog entry for the video in the IWM Collections Catalog online. There is no doubt that it was from 8 Squadron. Though the catalog entry says that part of it may have been filmed at mambur at around February 44.
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Old 3rd Sep 2013, 08:36
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Danny "I can recall only two weeks' "rest cure" at Manby,"

From that I imply that your ATC Certificate of Competence (RAF F5994) was endorsed for both Manby and Strubby? Were you examined by the LEO in both Towers? Or didn't they take that aspect too seriously back then?

Certainly by 1965, Manby was a nasty little hornets' nest of JPs, and operated completely different radar equipment to Strubby (which substituted complexity for intensity). No "rest cure" at Manby then! And controlling endorsements were definitely by Unit and control position - only in exceptional circumstances could the Examining Board authorise "transfer of endorsements". When I went from SATCO/LEO Waddington to SATCO/LEO Stanley, that required a personal visit and briefing from a Board Examiner although curiously I was only endorsed as LEO Stanley, not for any control positions: I assume that was regarded as a catch-all endorsement.
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Old 3rd Sep 2013, 17:28
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Sorry about your malt - have another one on me !.... You've not heard of that one at the time ? - you'd be 14 years of age, by my calculation ! Tis true: "the past is a different country; they do things differently there" .

Follow that ?...I think I can....will try....D.


I'm a bit puzzled, I must have another good look, but I can't find one shot which shows wing bomb racks fitted (there is at least one showing a 4x11lb practice bomb rack on the R wing, whereas on 110 we always fitted them on the L).

Any 'in action' VV would have racks fitted all the time (as each could reckon to be bombed-up at least once a day). Possibly 8 Sqdn, but doubt it. Still think most came from OTU at Peshawar. In February '44 the Sqdn was certainly in the Arakan. Don't think I was ever at Mambur, though.

All sorts of things jar. Why are they wearing webbing belts and pistols without a shoulder strap ? It's awkward, looks untidy and must be very uncomfortable. And those Sidcot suits - don't remember ever seeing them !

Too long ago !.....D.


Ah, that beautiful pale blue and gold thing lurking somewhere at the back of the bookcase. But way back in '56 we didn't have any, nor any LEOs, nor anything of that sort. You came, fresh from Shawbury. "You're a Controller, aren't you ?.....Read Station Flying Orders and sign.... There's your seat....Get on with it !"

I'm sure they can't have come in before I got to Leeming in '67. Never remember being examined by anybody. Think they must have given me a full house of endorsements honoris causa ....D.

Cheers to you all,

Old 3rd Sep 2013, 18:19
  #4258 (permalink)  
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Dear Danny42C

Unlicensed!!! How could you??? EEEEKKKK!!!!!

Tatty claims to have been controlling in 59, although 'controlling' was more like 'helping' back then, I suspect!! Certainly my F5993 is stamped/signed in 1965 (# 1908) so they must have started "certifying" you old aircrew guys at some stage in the 60s.
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Old 4th Sep 2013, 03:03
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Actually I may be mistaken. It could be an amalgamation of two films - both taken from different times - of No.8 Squadron.

Here is the first description


Object description
Indian Air Force Vultee Vengeance divebombers being serviced before taking off for operations in dusty conditions at Joari and Mamur (Mamura) airfields, India.

Full description
Crew of aircraft EZ977 boarding and the rear gunner demonstrates the flexible mounting of his twin machine guns. Other aircrew are amused by the antics of a pet monkey. During air-to-air footage one aircraft makes a (possibly mock) divebombing attack.
EZ977 was the identifiable aircraft in the video - though there was no shot of a pet monkey . This clip was from March 44 and I incorrectly thought it mentioned Mambur.. Mamura seems to be the correct location

The second clip details are here


Object description
Scenes Vengeance divebombers of 8 Squadron Indian Air Force in action.

Full description
Exterior shot of a building, presumably the briefing room, with pilots leaving. Crew boarding a Vengeance. Pilot hands his parachute to a member of his ground crew before climbing aboard. Camera on wing of aircraft showing four Vengeances in line. Upward shot looking to pilot. Propellors spinning, ground crew pulls chocks away. Return to previous shot, aircraft rolls forward with starboard wing passing over camera. Aircraft taxis towards camera. Vengeances on runway. Aircraft take off. Various air-to-air shots of formations of aircraft up to six strong. Aircraft making divebombing attack with dive brakes open. A cloud of smoke with impacts. Vengeances overhead and passing over camera. More air-to-air and ground-to-air footage. Twelve Vengeances perform formation flyby before receding into the distance.
This one is from December 1944, and by which time the Squadron was withdrawn from frontline and even requipping with the Spitfire.. so most of the grizzled veterans from the war time may have left the unit by this point.
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Old 4th Sep 2013, 17:06
  #4260 (permalink)  
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Old aircrew guy


Sorry I'm a bit slow with the reply, but I went in search of my F5994: this developed into an archaecological dig which has only today borne fruit. Needless to say this pointed up huge gaps in my memory, and a need to revise some dates given in my stories as follows:

(a) It's blue and silver, of course - not gold ! (When would the RAF ever run to gold ?)
(b) It seems that the dates for my GCA Course (#91) at Shawbury were 14.1./8.3.57, and not Oct/Nov'56, as stated (mixed up with the Vulcan/LHR incident on 1.10.56. ?)
(c) My F5994 (#513) was issued on 1.1.62. at Geilenkirchen; this was presumably the date of the introduction of the scheme.
(d) There are 17 entries in all: Fentiger on 17.9.68.and 27.3.69. All the other names mean nothing to me now, and (not Alex ! - another) S/L Hindley on 12.3.68. (What was the name of the SATCO at Leeming after Fentiger ?)
(e) To cap it all, it seems I thought so little of this precious document that I left it behind at the end, a F/L Tom Davison (Dep SATCO) sent it on to me in May,'73.

It seems that I'd accumulated: "TWR/AC&APP ....RADAPA&TC ...SPEC/ISTR ...SUP(T) ....AR1/PAR, and variations thereof (never LEO, must have thought I was too kind at heart). So you see, I seem to have been qualified after all, but had quite forgotten! (Put smelling salts away).


Last edited by Danny42C; 4th Sep 2013 at 20:38. Reason: Spelling.

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