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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 22nd Sep 2013, 19:19
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Thanks ! Bing Maps did the trick. 9 Bembridge Drive duly identified, recognisably the place (by Bird's eye view) although neighbourhood much changed.

Reply delayed because PPRuNe incommunicado for a while - Data link broken, so it seems.

Might get next Post away tonight, if pull finger out !

Old 22nd Sep 2013, 20:27
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I think the explanation you youngsters offered to enquirers might have derived from a rather ungalant reference to the supposed BMI of the Aeroflot hosties !
When I was involved in the Gorbachev / Thatcher meeting at Brize, I was one of the 'assistants' for the first Aeroflot Il62 crew. The 40 passengers, all KGB in matching raincoats, trooped off to the 'Gateway' for a luxury lunch.... We then provided NOTAMs etc. for the crew and chatted whilst waiting for the KGB chaps to finish lunch. The senior Russian stewardess asked if we'd like coffee; initially she had rather a stern 'Rosa Klebb' expression, but when we thanked her for the kind offer, she became more of a prep school matron or favourite great aunt, broke into a happy smile and arranged for the coffee to be brought to us. Whereupon half a dozen gorgeous giggly stewardesses appeared with (very good) coffee and sinfully rich Russian choccy.

So no, Aeroflot hosties aren't all built like Siberian tractor mechanics!

One requirement of the Yanks was that each aircraft had to have an American navigator on board in order to enter US airspace. 'Our' navigator (a lady) duly arrived and we heard much happy laughter from the flight deck. "What's the issue - surely you've had women in your air force since the Great Patriotic War?", I asked Aeroflot Yuri, my Russian interpreter. "Da - we do. But not many look like her!", he answered. It was true that the US navigator was rather a honey - maybe deliberately chosen to put the Russians at ease?

The Gorbachev / Thatcher visit was truly a fascinating day.

Last edited by BEagle; 22nd Sep 2013 at 20:32.
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Old 22nd Sep 2013, 22:48
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Danny lands a Cushy Job.

After Strubby, Thorney Island was - well - "cushy". For a start, ATC were in one of the new "Gaydon" towers. No longer any need to climb a wet and slippery outside staircase up to Local in a draughty, leaky pigeon loft. Now you were in warm, air conditioned, triple-glazed luxury with a fantastic view through the eight window sections.

A separate console carried all the controls for airfield lighting. You had a repeat CR/DF panel, so that the place could, at a pinch, be run single-handed. If you wanted to go outside (say to fire a Verey cartridge or take an accurate bearing with a hand bearing compass), a little side door at the head of the stairs let you out onto the flat roof.

A floor down housed the big Approach room, SATCO's office and the r/t monitors. Below that,the ground floor housed Met, the little cubby-hole with a bunk for the night Radar man, a small workshop for the radar/radio mechs, somewhere for tea-making (vital), and the Usual Offices.

I've left the best to the last. Away on the far side of the airfield, sited to work runway 19, sat the GCA (a CPN-4, a radar which I had never seen before, and about which I knew absolutely nothing). For all its eight (or more ?) wheels, it never moved an inch (nor did any other CPN-4 AFAIK). Theoretically, it was mobile in the sense that it could be hauled from one airfield to another, but you would need a very powerful tug (it was not a prime mover). A runway change was quite out of the question, so that was one worry less.

So, before pontificating on this equipment from a position of total ignorance, I thought I should arm myself with some useful facts; our good friend Google turned up trumps with:


Short range airfield surveillance radar, part of AN MPN-11A Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) system manufactured by Gilfillan. Self-contained ..."

(and if you read that, you'll know more than I remember - it seems that CPN-4 forms part of the MPN-11 system, and we have MPN-11 on board to assist with any arcane questions).

Starting from the Tower, getting across to the Truck was quite interesting. The hamlet of East Thorney lay to the east of the airfield, and so the public road, which ran down the west side from Emsworth, crossed the airfield. The first set of traffic lights were just off the side of the Tower, then the road crossed the West taxiway, two runways, past the access track to the GCA and over the East Taxiway through the other lights to the camp and beyond. The lights were of course controlled by Local and it was amusing to watch the stream of cars, trucks, cyclists and double-deckers going through while a Varsity, both its Hercules smoking at tickover, waited patiently for the lights to change.

After Strubby, which had roughly as many movements per day as Heathrow (then), Thorney was a haven of peace and tranquillity. I would say that it was not nearly as busy as Manby. IIRC, the only users were the No.2 (?) Air Navigation School, with the Varsities and a few Meteor NF 11s for the high-speed exercises, and a detachment of 22 Sqdn with two "Whirwinds"(?) for SAR duty along the south coast. Other than that, we had the occasional visitor and transits and that was all.

As all the School flying was done by 'old hairy' Staff pilots, who instinctively knew their positions within ten miles anywhere at any time in the UK, Approach was not overburdened with work, and I don't remember doing any Talkdowns in my 18 months there, but suppose I must have done some.

To say that the CPN-4 was luxury in comparison with the Bendix was an understatement. The seats were little armchairs; no need for a Director or Tracker any more, for in front of me were two big tubes, one over the other, the PPI on top, going out to 60 miles, and the PAR, (out to 10) below, with both centreline (above) and glidepath (below) presented electronically on the same PAR tube. No more perspex cursors !

The tubes were amber-lit, much easier on the eyes, and we had Moving Target Indicator. This crafty gubbins compares the return time of each pulse with the one before, and rejects all which coincide. You can have this in or out as you please, mostly people just set it far enough out to wipe out close ground returns (up to 3-5 miles). There was a trick: circuit traffic is at times moving in a circle around you, its distance from you does not change, so nor do the pulse return times, MTI will not show the blip.

I am indebted to MPN-11 for the information that there were three identical consoles in a line down the Truck, for I can remember I always took the one nearest the door, but only vaguely recall how many more there were.

Now that is quite enough for the moment, so more about it next time.

Goodnight again,

Danny 42C.

Some people have all the luck.
Old 24th Sep 2013, 17:46
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Danny has to call "Mayday" on a Wing and a Wheel.

Most of the time at Thorney we were blessed with very fine weather, and the "Winged Wheel" could really come into its own. I reckoned my commute as 14 miles door to door, and it was all pretty level. Around 45 minutes was enough to do it comfortably.

I think it must have been in the spring of '59. It was a pearl of a morning as I set off about 0700 and buzzed up the quiet lanes of Hayling and over the Langstone bridge which connected it to the mainland. I exchanged a cheery wave with the toll box keeper, who knew me well enough by sight (and had been alerted by the approaching sound as of an angry wasp). In those days there was a small toll (only a few pence IIRC) on traffic going onto the Island, but anyone in uniform was exempt, and I suppose the island residents had some sort of a Pass.

On the far side was Havant; I turned East on what I now see is the A.23, the coast road, and opened throttle wide to get up to my 20 mph cruising speed - (acceleration was hardly jack-rabbit with only about 40cc to play with). Having wound it up to that point, I throttled back a bit to take things easier. Or rather, I moved the throttle lever (not a twist grip - but on top of handlebar left ) back a bit.

And that was all that happened, except that the Bowden cable bowed out slightly. The little throttle block in the tiny Amal carb had jammed at the top of its travel. Frantic waggling failed to clear it, so the W/Wheel now had the bit firmly between its teeth, and quickly got up to 25 mph, which was Vne.

This had never happened to me before. There was no ignition switch, so the first, obvious thing to do was to clamp the brakes on hard and kill the engine. There was the usual "pull-up" thing on the front wheel of my old-style bike (lever on RH) and the W/Wheel's internally-expanding device in the back, actuated by back-pedalling. These together produced a lot of noise, but little effect - speed reduced to 24, but no more. No salvation by that method; persistence would only add burnt-out brakes to my woes.

Now I'd some serious thinking to do. The A.23 was a straight stretch of some three miles, then when you reached Emsworth, there was a considerable dip, then a fairly steep RH climbing turn out of it into the village. This would be quite busy with early-morning traffic; something had to be done before I got that far, or it would be messy. I reckoned I had 4-5 minutes at most.

Option 1: Fall off. Even at 24 mph this would result in GBH for me (no helmets then), and a Cat.5 bike.

Option 2: Hold clutch out (lever under LH handlebar), brake to standstill, hop off keeping clutch clenched, try and do something about it before engine overspeeded to destruction - with added risk of losing grip on clutch and bike taking off like a kangaroo (and there was light traffic about). Cat.5 bike (probably) again

Option 3: Keep RH on bars, lean back supine on saddle and try to get left hand underneath the flat tank (on back carrier), feel under it for fuel pipe, run up it till the slide on-off tap and cut fuel supply. Extreme caution would be needed so as to not to lose fingertips in whirling extra-strong spokes, or touch plug (car 14mm, taller than the pot, no insulation on connector tip). And I would be at full stretch backward, not too easy to maintain S&L on bike.

I tried Option 3. It took ages, my cap fell off (the least of my worries) but thankfully I managed it. The motor died about half a mile short of Emsworth. It had, in the words of the great Iron Duke after Waterloo: "Been a damned close-run thing". It was the work of a moment to put it on its stand, whip the top of the Amal off, pull the slide out, clean it off (and inside the barrel), put all back, test for Full and Free Movement, fuel 'on', fire-up and backtrack for my Cap, S.D.

Against all expectation, Mr.Bates's finest was on the roadside half a mile astern, had not been pinched or run-over, and was generally in good nick (only six years old, anyway). The incumbent was still shaving in the Tower when I came in, so he didn't mind my being a few minutes late.

Good-day, gentlefolk.


"Mind my bike" (might be a limited audience for that).
Old 24th Sep 2013, 18:50
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Norman Tebbit would be proud of you, Danny!

On the hat front, far be it for me to disillusion you, but have a look at Post 23 at

No place here for me to tell the story of my one and only visit to Thorney Island, which resulted in a week in the Royal Naval Hospital Haslar of blessed memory.

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Old 24th Sep 2013, 20:42
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Union Jack,


Well, of course there's place to hear your (however harrowing) story of your
ill-starred visit to Thorney Island ! Bring it on !

I may reciprocate shortly with a tale of my Trip in a Submarine, but must first complete the rounds of Thorney.

Sad about Bates. Is nothing sacred ?

Old 25th Sep 2013, 20:16
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Union Jack,

Lets be having your tale then mate, Thorney has some good memories for many ex Herk folk, but yours sounds of "interest". Fire away a full broadside if you please !!!!

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Old 25th Sep 2013, 22:01
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Oo err! I've gone a bit shy, not least since it might blow my cover ..... I'll think about it.

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Old 26th Sep 2013, 16:17
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Mention of Il62s and Russian crews makes me recall the time in Borneo, when, as a Duty Engineer, I asked a visiting RAF VC10 Captain, in that special way we Englishmen use for addressing foreigners, what services he required. When he replied, I complimented him on his English and of course he fell right into the baited trap by telling me that he was English. "Oh, I thought you were Russians". He was not amused (the Flight Engineer enjoyed the joke though)
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Old 26th Sep 2013, 21:24
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Danny has a Life of Ease.

Strolling across the grass towards the CPN-4 Truck, you were greeted with the sound of - silence ! Or near silence, anyway. The original two-trailer set had, I was told, an Allison engine-driven generator, but the RAF couldn't afford it, so this was taken out; instead they tapped into the airfield mains power and put in a rotary converter to turn this into US current suitable for the equipment. This converter produced only a low and soothing hum. Vertical and horizontal sweeps of the PAR were electronic and noiseless. The Search antenna on top (15 rpm) was quiet, too. All in all, this was a restful environment.

Beside the working trailers, there was a small rest caravan, but for the life of me I can't remember a single thing about it. It is a curious thing that, although I can recall almost every detail of my first radar (MPN-1), the memory of the finer points of my later ones (two CPN-4s, an ACR7D and a MPN-11 PAR (in effect, a CPN-4 which had come in out of the cold) escape me.

As the CPN-4 was a fixture, it seemed that one of the mechs, a keen gardener, had taken the opportunity to dig out a small kitchen garden at the rear of the site; this bore a plaintive little notice with the plea: "Do not strain your greens on our cabbage patch". None of the truck radars had sanitary arrangements of any sort, and with the inordinate quantity of tea consumed, it was standard procedure, on occasion, to dodge behind (but well clear) of the truck onto the grass.

I don't think I had a Search Director at all, although of course we had F/Sgts as Local Controllers, and many of these would have had Director experience on the MPN-1s. The whole idea seemed to be to run GCA as a one-man operation. This is fine in low-intensity (and it would be hard to imagine any lower than Thorney), but it was a Master Airfield. ATC was still haunted by the memory of the "West Raynham" tragedy two years before (a botched, panicky multiple diversion ending in the loss of (IIRC) six Hunters and one pilot).

There was no reason in principle why a similar scenario should not develop again at Thorney one day, and how would we cope if we were on the receiving end ? The CPN-4 idea seemed to be that you would put another operator in seat 2, and yet another in seat 3, and Approach would sequence the rest, giving No.4 aircraft to seat 1 as No.1 a/c touched down, and so on. There was only one flaw in that arrangement - we only had one operator ! And it would require 3 discrete GCA frequencies, and coordinating three talkdowns (after all, you've only one runway) tricky indeed.

If you could find an ex-Director F/S, then he could have seat 2, he would take the PPI tube, I would keep the PAR one, we would operate as in days of yore. However, it seemed that Thorney had simply not thought about it at all, on the good old principle that "it'll never happen". Fortunately, it never did (at least in my time).

On arrival, (and I'm afraid all the names have gone now), SATCO greeted me warmly enough, but rather disconcerted me by telling me that he was immediately handing me over to a Flt/Lt "X" for instruction in my duties. This raised my hackles at once. I had known these 'leading man' arrangements before. "But only one Boss !", I barked back at him. It was essential to get the chain of command right from the start. "Not a lot of little Bosses !" To his credit, he saw the point immediately, and when I later met 'X', he turned out to be entirely helpful and reasonable: and we got on very well from then on.

The funny thing about Thorney was that we seemed to be never there. This showed in a simple way, Mrs D. never needed to be without the car all day, for I was always at home half of two of the four days in a watch cycle, and all day off on the other two. The only onerous bit was the full night's duty every fourth night, and weekends you could forget about. And I cannot imagine a single night when I didn't get a full night's sleep in, before returning home to a leisurely breakcast in the morning sun on our balcony, with sometimes the Queen Mary or Queen Elisabeth, en route to New York, sliding down the Solent before our eyes.

And there was sun. We would never forget the neverending summer of 1959: it would prove to be the Summer of the Century, just as '62/'63 was to be remembered as the Winter of the Century. I remember spotting a "Letter to the Editor" in some page of a Gardening Section of a paper. The writer had a small espalier peach, from which he normally gathered 15-20 fruit each year. This he would remember as "The Year of the Hundred Peaches".

Goodnight again,


All right for some,
Old 29th Sep 2013, 00:06
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Danny's wife causes a Flutter in the Dovecots.

There was one occasion on which old 'Mickey' was in demand. For once it was raining, or threatening to rain: the Winged Wheel was out of the question for the morning radar watch. Mrs D. wanted to go to town that morning: we arranged that we would go out to Thorney together, drop me off at the Truck, she would carry on back into Havant or Southsea and return to Thorney to pick me up at 1300. Shouldn't be a problem.

Running in past the lights, I gave the most precise navigational instructions: "You must pass the first small turning on the right, then the next two large turnings, then look out for another very small opening on the right, with a path leading to that big red-and-white thing - that's where I work. Don't forget: it's one small, two large, then a tiny narrow one - that's the one. Got it ?" She assured me that she had, turned, and off she went.

It was a normal morning in the Truck (with next to nothing happening); when you've seen one seagull blip on the tube, you've seen 'em all. As the clock got round to 1230, I thought it a good idea to make the Local Controller privy to our arrangement. He'd seen 'Mickey' often enough, could spot it coming through, and keep an eye on it.

It seems she didn't want to be late for me, so set off shortly after twelve. It would be around 1240, my relief had just come in. The handover didn't take long and we were just finishing.

The Local Squawk Box shrilled: "Get your bloody wife off the runway !!"

I grabbed cap and coat and shot out. She'd turned one corner too soon, and was now wandering around on 19, roughly abeam the Truck (she'd served in the WRNS). She could see it all right and was looking for the access track that wasn't there (it was round the corner). She didn't at first see her demented husband galloping across the 75 yards of wet grass, waving his arms and hollering, until I was running alongside the car, banging on the roof.

Happily reunited, we retired in good order. No harm done.

Short one tonight. Will make up for it with the next instalment,


Seek and ye shall find.
Old 29th Sep 2013, 10:30
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Wonderful story, Danny. It seems that wifely unauthorised runway incursions were by no means unknown at Thorney, witness yours and Frosty's. It reminds me of a local incident when a railway line was blocked by a car because the driver was instructed by her in car navigation to, "at the level crossing turn left", so she did

I have a bit of a "thing" about railway level crossings and the annual cost in serious accidents that they incur. I guess that airfield level crossings are similarly a problem. The solution would appear to be tunnels (a la LHR) or diversions (a la the A23 at LGW). The TI solution (reinforcing the traffic lights with barriers) didn't really do the trick as if the lights weren't activated then likely the barriers weren't anyway. They also had quite a high toll in windscreens as they slammed down without fear or favour.

BTW LGW has once again raised the threat of a new parallel runway, in which case the Mole River will lose its way if diverted yet again, never mind motorists on the A23.

Your idle salad days in the late 50s are about to be rudely interrupted, I'm afraid. Those dreadful truckies of 242 OCU are on their way; so noisy, so demanding. Thank goodness at least that their night flying will not be tolerated by the local retired Admirals!

Last edited by Chugalug2; 29th Sep 2013 at 10:35.
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Old 29th Sep 2013, 15:53
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It would seem that we got out of Thorney just in time (for I was short-toured and away in early '60), and so our idyll on the Hampshire Riviera was not ended by those big, noisy, dangerous things of yours ! (Let's hear it for the Admirals). Interesting too, that the A23 went as far as LGW, for it was also the coast road where I had my duel with death on the runaway bike !

'Tis all too true that motor vehicles and aircraft do not mix at all well (or MVs with one another come to that, as a horror story - coming shortly - will attest). As you say, complete separation is the answer, but apt to be expensive. I am sorry about the Mole River (that surely must be the one where the immortal "Ratty", Mole and their friends live), but I suppose it'll have to take its chance in the scheme of things.

All forms of barrier fail in the face of the old adage: "There is no such thing as a foolproof system - you only breed a new kind of fool".

Old 29th Sep 2013, 16:32
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I remember that level crossing incident as I was on duty in the police control on the shift after it happening.

Didn't get a handover from the previous controller but a comment of "You should read serial 1234, stupid female driver, the road and line still closed".

That said I saw a newspaper that showed a similar incident in Hampshire. I still have to wonder how the driver managed to get as far as she did when you see how the car ended up.

Pensioner takes wrong turn at level crossing and drive 50 yards along TRAIN TRACK | Mail Online
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Old 29th Sep 2013, 18:25
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"West Thorney!"

It seems West Thorney is correct.
Now part of Southbourne Benefice, St Nicholas was originally in the Parish of West Thorney to distinguish it from East Thorney in Selsey, now almost entirely lost in the sea.
St Nicholas, West Thorney / Thorney Island - West Sussex | Diocese of Chichester
Remember the Church predates the R.A.F. by over 800 years.
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Old 29th Sep 2013, 19:38
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again a possible diversion but!!

Am involved with a F/book page re 31/34 Sqd SAAF, a photo just posted of a possible Belgian (Congo) pilot attached to 31

In response had this link posted re Belgians training/joining SAAF

BAF South Africa on Vimeo

PZU - Out of Africa (Retired)
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 09:36
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Danny, the oldest reference that I have to hand is the AA Illustrated Road Book of England and Wales, Fourth edition pub 1966. It shows the coast road twixt Hayling and Emsworth as the A27, as it remains to this day, similarly as does the London to Brighton A23. Reluctant as I am to suggest such a thing, has the memory perhaps very untypically played up this time?

Pom Pax, you are absolutely right, Sir. The same tome clearly identifies the "settlement" on the east side of Thorney Island as West Thorney. I can only claim in mitigation that it was never referred to as "East" or "West" Thorney within RAF Thorney Island, but merely as the Officers Mess, Sailing Club, Church, or whatever. In calling it "East Thorney" I was of course referring to its geographical location rather than its given name. There, that's me off the hook now, isn't it?... Isn't it?
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Old 30th Sep 2013, 15:36
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Chugalug and Pom Pax.

Touché ! In sackcloth and ashes - again ! Consulting my last two Road Atlases (one AA 2000 and a Philips 2004), I find that you are absolutely right, and I entirely wrong. (Anno Domini strikes once more, I fear).

Old 30th Sep 2013, 22:19
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Danny tells of a Close Encounter of the Too Close Kind.

The next runway incursion was rather more serious, but at least we'd nothing to do with it. There was this Junior Technician - name forgotten. He was a keen motorcyclist - nothing strange about that. Much of his spare time was spent tinkering with his beloved bike, spending hours making adjustments to the manufacturer's settings in the tenuous hope of screwing a few more rpm out of the thing.

He was a methodical young man, and had realised that, if he were to make any headway at all, it was necessary to test each individual change before proceeding with the next, otherwise he'd never know where he was. So a "standard" test track would be needed, but of course these are few and far between and none on offer locally......unless ?

Because, right under his nose, was this 1750 yard strip of concrete, dead straight and smooth and not used all that much as far he could see. It would be absolutely ideal - and free. The wish is father to the thought. Of course he knew that he would never get official permission for this, but possibly he could find another way to dispense with that...?

It would obviously have to be done under cover of darkness. As observant as he was methodical, he'd noticed that, in the quiet hours of the night when there was no (air) traffic, the Tower reduced the brilliance of the runway and approach lights to the minimum (Stud 5, IIRC) to lessen the electricity bill for the hard-pressed taxpayer. Conversely, when something was expected in, or going out, the wick would be turned up to Stud 4 or even 3 in good time. He could not be taken by surprise.

He chose a coal-black night. He would wear his kit of black leathers (helmets were not yet compulsory). The bike would, of course, be black as most things on the road were in those days, and of course with no lights. He should be invisible for all practical purposes. But not inaudible; here he took a calculated risk. He had heard about the triple-glazed, sound-proofed Tower, and with no air movements the Local Controller and any Assistants up there would probably be (shall we say) somnolent. Fire and Ambulance crews would be well bedded down.

And in any case revellers coming back to camp late through the Deeps from the bright lights of the mainland would often have a "burn up" down the lonely road: a bike wound up to the "blue note" was a common enough noise. And we all know how difficult it is to judge the direction of sound when you cannot see the source. The only remaining hazard was the road crossing. Of course the lights were simply left on green all night when there was no air movement, but headlamp beams would be visible 200 yards and more from either side of the runway.

Yet, then as now, there are always some who are convinced that they are in some way saving money by running on sidelights alone. And one such was abroad that night. It was an airman in an old pre-war "Perpendicular Gothic" Ford 8 ('Y' model). In those days "sidelights" were tiny coffee-cup sized parabolic things, stuck on the front wings, with a 5W bulb inside and "dim as a Toc-H lamp" (even when the glass was clean, and these were filthy). He was coming back from Emsworth and would soon be in his nice warm bunk. His car would be completely invisible from the side.

I'm told that the impact raised a bang comparable to the explosion of a 500lb bomb. The Ford took the blow on the back end. It spun the car round 180, but it didn't go over. Aghast, the shaking driver got out, thinking that he'd been struck by an aircraft and fully expecting to see bits and pieces of debris and casualties all over the place. But all was dark and silent as before. Scouting round he came across the back end of a bike lying some 30 feet away (the front just crunched-up scrap). It was clearly a write-off, as was his car, for the back wheel and axle had been pushed about a foot out of alignment. And the tank had sprung a leak, there was a pool of petrol forming underneath.

Suddenly remembering that he was on 3Party/F/T, he patted his pockets desperately in search of a match, but in vain (in any case, the Insurers would only have paid out market value - £10 top whack - but even that would be better than nothing).

Then from the darkness towards the sea came sounds of loud lamentation. At the same time, Local Control and Crash Crews had been jerked into wakefulness by the bang. Crash 1 had moved out and switched on its two searchlights. Almost the first sweep illuminated the sad scene.

The J/T had travelled several hundred feet along the runway, touching down on quite a low trajectory, and the friction had torn off the lower half of his leathers and removed a considerable amount of skin. He was bleeding like a stuck pig: it would be a long time before he could sit down in comfort, and he was being quite vocal about it. At the other end he had one or two broken bones and some spinal injury. The ambulance was on the spot at once, loaded him aboard, and plugged-in a good dose of morphia to quieten him down. It was clearly far more than a SSQ job; they whisked him straight off to hospital on the mainland. Crash crew dragged the wreckage off onto the grass to await collection by a scrap merchant, swept the area clean and all went back to their bunks. Job done ?....Well no, not quite.

The local constabulary got wind of this, and bristled. The accident had taken place on a public road, persons had been injured and property damaged. The Road Traffic Acts required that it should have been reported to them, and we had not done so. To this the RAF retorted with equal vigour that it was on a RAF airfield runway, and you can't get more "military" than that; therefore it was their business alone. At one stage it looked like "pistols for two and a coffin for one" for the Chief Constable and Station Commander, but somehow ruffled feathers were smoothed, and it didn't quite come to that. A number of tickets were purchased for the forthcoming Police Ball.

And all this is supposed to have happened before I came, and I cannot vouch for a single word of it.

Goodnight, all.


Things that go Bump in the Night.
Old 1st Oct 2013, 07:32
  #4380 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
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all this is supposed to have happened before I came, and I cannot vouch for a single word of it.
Sounds rather like those gabbled radio commercials that, having beguiled you with the sunny uplands within reach if one simply accepts the financial product that is being offered, hastily reminds you that your home is at risk if it rains instead.
Vouch away, Danny, for you are adding daily to the rich tapestry that is the real history of the RAF. Forget the deliberations in the corridors of power, it was life at Station level that was the reality and where the soul of the Service resided.
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