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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 Feb 2014, 11:29
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Danny:-
a little (Austrian or German) girl of four or five came over from one of the nearby tables and shyly presented Iris with a little bouquet of wild flowers for Mary. We thanked her, and signalled our thanks to her parents. It was a charming gesture we've always remembered.
Here, if there were ever a need, is justification of Danny's peregrination through his varied life and career. We have all, I'm sure, had little experiences like this that touched us and stayed with us for ever.

In a thread that concerns the preparation of both individuals, and entire countries, for that most brutal and savage habit of mankind, the state of war, this little girl and her parents reminds us of its corollary, the kindness of strangers.

Thank you Danny for reminding us of the goodness of individuals, even those who would have been enemies in past conflict.
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Old 9th Feb 2014, 17:25
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Geriaviator,

I remember the case. I think they identified the wreck by the serial numbers of components on one of the battered Merlins which had appeared as well. The BSAA aircraft was "Star something or other", IIRC.

EDIT: Idiot ! "Star Dust", of course ! (Senior Moment, what else ?)...D.

The old problem of the "stuffed cloud" again ! Truly: "if you'd end up safe and sound/Don't fly through cloud to reach the ground" - but in that terrain, they'd no option...D.

Chugalug,

Too true - there have been many heartwarming episodes in wars (perhaps the most famous being the soccer match across the lines at Christmas 1914), to remind us that there are still: "Good deeds in a naughty world"....D.

Cheers, Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 10th Feb 2014 at 00:06. Reason: Add Text.
 
Old 10th Feb 2014, 22:05
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Danny,

From a more modern perspective, I well remember the Arab man who took time out to show me how to wear the traditional dress I had just bought correctly. The French foreign legion bloke at Sarejevo, who went halves on a Ham roll when I was trying to fix No 2 "donk" which decided it did not want to start. I believe that many British servicemen saw a "different" side to the people nominated by our political leaders as "non friendly"! Your post shows it's not a new phenomena.

Smudge
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 07:07
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I say that's a very large Douglas Protractor that chap is using in MPN11's pic post at #5125
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 18:53
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Ref the VV performance. I have a copy of Putams "Aircraft of the RAF since 1918". It also quotes the 1200 range.

I wonder if this could have been a ferry range quote rather than any combat radius?
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Old 11th Feb 2014, 23:35
  #5146 (permalink)  
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Smudge,

Your:
"different" side to the people nominated by our political leaders as "non friendly"! Your post shows it's not a new phenomena".

I'll not repeat all Kipling's words on this, but there is "no sense in 'ating those/'oom you are paid to kill" at the end of the day, after all. And then there are people (the ones we fought for centuries on the NW Frontier), who became the "goodies" as Muhajadeen and now are the "baddies" as the Taliban.

What goes around, comes around !....D.


Coffman Starter,

Pity he'd have to steam it off the map ! (Reminds one of the old zebra joke)....D.

clicker,

Puts me on my mettle now ! I said (in #5123): "Not only CAoWW2 seem to be in a deep fog over the A-35B. To refresh my memory, I Googled it up and found such a mishmash of contradictory information (on specifications and performance figures) that I gave up in despair".

Will now fall back on memory and the only authority I have to hand ("Vengeance" by Peter C. Smith (1986) - published by Airlife Publishing Ltd (ISBN 0 906393 65 5) - from whom I may quote (hope this will be regarded as a sufficient acknowledgement for any text "lifted")

This may take some time. "Stand by one !" Cheers, all. Danny.
 
Old 12th Feb 2014, 07:56
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Vengeance Range. A rummage in the bookshelf also gave some variable answers.

Putnam's Aircraft of the RAF since 1918 (Thetford) 1,200 as already stated.
Putnam's US Military ac since 1908 (Swanborough & Bowers) gives, for the A-35B, 2,300 st. miles
Salamander's Encyclopaedia of Combat ac (Gunston) says "Typical 600 miles".

Opinion is clearly divided on the subject, but think I'll stick with Danny42C as the most reliable source!
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Old 13th Feb 2014, 21:04
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Vultee Vengeance Range.

MPN11,

He who relies on me for the "gen" is on a broken reed ! The position is: I flew 300-odd hours in the A-31 (Vengeance Mks I-III). I've never even seen a A-35 (Mk IV), and know no more about them other than what I've read.

The A-35 never got out to India at all; all the work in Burma was done by A-31s (VV Mks I-II); the first VV Mk.III (FB series) does not appear in my log until 10th July '44 and by then all VV ops had ended out there. The Mk.IIIs continued doing odd jobs in '44-'45-'46.

A number of Mk.IVs found their way to Britain, but (AFAIK) all were converted to TTs. The RAAF got Is and IIs and used them operationally, but I don't think the IVs they got at the end did much. Btw, the last Mk IV (A-35) came off the production line in Nashville in June'44 (P.C.S.)

So, all I know is this: we had six (groups of) main tanks in our wings, and a 20-gallon "trap tank" in the centre section. There were six switches for the main tanks, and (I think) one for the trap tank. In all, we were told, we had 220 US gallons (183 Imp). Cruise burned 60 Galls/hr, so we had 3 hrs endurance at, say, 160 mph - 480 miles max. That was how it was.

Now the plot thickens. I quote from the P.C.S. "Vengeance", p.12:

"....the fuel system was radical and comprised two tanks of 100 gallon capacity on each side of the wing adjacent to the fuselage, one of which was the reserve tank. outboard of these on each side were 55 gallon capacity tanks in the inner panels inbound from the break and, beyond them in the outer panels, 45 gallon tanks, giving a total capacity of 400 US gallons..."

But what Mark is he talking about ? Almost certainly, the IV. The descriptive part of his book is liberally furnished with photos and drawings - but they are nearly all A-35. He has a pic, captioned: "....Loading the wing guns in a Northrop V-72 (the original design, ie a Mk.I) at Hawthorne..." The armourer is clearly loading a (fabric) belt of .50s - it's an A-35 (Mk.IV) !

So how is all this relevant ? As far as "Combat" is concerned - forget about the Mk.IV. It doesn't count. The P.C.S. description of wing tankage above (Mk.IV ?) relates to the same general pattern as our Mks I-III. But it's the same wing - how can you push double the volume of fuel into it ? (There was nowhere else internally to put fuel, if you put it in the rear fuselage the C.of G. would go beyond recall; there were never any drop tanks.

I've looked up my log (all I-IIIs). No single trip exceeds 2.40, except one to Tintha (3.10) is annotated as: "landed Palel to refuel". That clinches it: our range must have been 4-500 miles max.

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 13th Feb 2014, 21:17
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Just a slight divergence

I should probably have posted this on the "a good military read" thread, but I'm not inclined to list any books. I've spent quite a while recently reading books based during or after WW2. My current one relates to a chap who is flying from Khormakser in Hunters in the 60s. One common thread across everything I have read seems to be the willingness of people to do their bit for our country when there is a real threat. I'm damn sure that here are still many who join the RAF for such reasons, I suspect it is becoming a career step primarily in modern times. However, my musing led me to think mainly of the era 40 - 90s and the "frailty" or otherwise of aircraft through the ages. Having followed this thread from inception, I would suggest that many a contributor has suggested the weaknesses of our aircraft, but few have seen many advantages. I suppose the Lancaster may have been an exception, but then, after the Manchester I reckon a big sigh of relief came along with its introduction. For my own part I was lucky enough to actually do some structural work on both the Spitfire and the Lancaster, and was surprised at the delicacy of structures, driven I suppose by wartime shortages of material, as compared to the C130 which I am mainly familiar with, which was certainly more robustly engineered, but threw up many structural challenges.

Perhaps there are people, either aircrew or maintenance people, who can give us some insight into "confidence" in structures and engineering aircraft that crew such as Danny may well have flown since the early forties. As I said, maybe a divergence from the "Gaining a Brevet" theme, but could surely provide some interesting anecdotal engineering input that would support why the guys who did gain that Brevet had our respect then and now.

Smudge
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Old 14th Feb 2014, 00:49
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Catchup, and how Camlobe didn't gain a pilots brevet in the Cold War

I haven't been on here for over a month, and what a month I have missed. OMQ's, snow chains, Catalina's, Ludwig II's bed, skiing holidays, how NOT to connect an appliance, ATC, fuel consumption, etc, etc. this most wonderful thread has it all, and it is all totally fascinating. Well, it is to me, so there.

When I last posted my diatribe here, we had been introduced to one of Rolls Royce's success stories, the Dart turboprop, and how we started to get to know it well. I mentioned this was one of my bucket list items. Perhaps I better explain myself.

As a young boy around six years of age, camlobe was taken to an air show for the first time. Three things made an impression.
1. All jets are the same. Like bad lovers, they are all noise and quick as a flash.
2. An empty C130 doing a RATO/JATO. Lots of smoke and it was off the ground in the blink of an eye and climbing steeply.
3. A Lancaster doing its thing. The most beautiful sound one can hear propelling a strikingly unique shape around the sky gracefully.
The interest was kindled. Many books followed, often three ongoing at the same time (nowadays it is around five ongoing), films, documentaries and museums. As long as it was about aircraft, I was interested. The Airfix, Revel and Frog kits followed. Let's face it, I was hooked. I had decided from a young age that I wanted to join the Royal Air Force. I wanted to know how metal could be made to fly. I wanted to know how fabric could hold together in a dive. I wanted to know how that beautiful sound I heard at six years of age was created. I yearned for knowledge. But it had to the the Royal Air Force. I had firmly made my mind up about that. Only the best, the original, nothing else would do.

Problem was, I was in my mother country, Canada. (There you go, Danny). It wasn't going to happen.

In 1969, we came to the UK to meet my mothers family. It was better than any films or pictures. London left an impression: The steep wooden escalators in the Underground; black cabs that turned on a six-pence; bright red double-decker buses; Piccadilly Circus; Evening Standard vans with doors jammed open; Guinies, Pounds, Half Crown, Ten Bob notes, Shillings, Ha'penny, Farthing, Changing of the Guard, Tower Bridge, etc, etc. I was fortunate enough to to the tourist bit. When we got out of the city, the countryside was a shock. Here were small and oddly shaped fields, stone walls, sheep, and the view changed every half an hour. It was a shock to this prairie boy. Meeting my mothers family was wonderful. I suddenly gained loads of cousins (my mother had six brothers and two sisters).

When we were returning to Canada, I felt a selfish regret that we couldn't stay. And my dream of joining the RAF faded.

My father, a para-qualified Light Infantry Officer retired at minimum age (45), and went back to university as a mature student where he gained his second degree. Prior to joining up, he was a qualified chemist (not the pharmacy kind). He had decided to follow in his fathers footsteps and on retirement turn to teaching. Unfortunately, there was a glut of teachers in Canada at the time. So my mother suggested the UK. I was asked if I would mind moving to the UK to live.

Didn't have to chew on that one for long.

To get to the UK, we needed to short haul from Vancouver Island to Vancouver, and the task fell to a Vickers Viscount. Sat at a window seat (they were nice, big windows on Viscount's) I overlooked the port inboard engine. This long, sleek and highly polished unit had an internationally recognisable badge placed to be seen from the windows. The double 'R's of Rolls Royce. I looked at this shining and smooth power unit and told myself that one day I would find out how it worked. That engine was a Dart.

Fast forward a few years, and due to unrelated circumstances, we have the OIC of the 'local' CIO (30 miles away) around for dinner. As we ate at a table Paul and Linda McCartney were familiar with, I was enthralled by this mans reminiscences. About a year or so later, I had decided the time had come. I dropped out of the second year of sixth form, and elected to bypass university. I asked my father to accompany me to the CIO. Mildly surprised, he agreed. The same Flt Lt was in post, and he made my father and I most welcome. It was 1977. After a good catch-up and reasonable coffee and biscuits, he got down to business. He knew me (we had met only the once), he knew my family (ditto), my educational qualifications were more than good enough (minimum requirement of five 'O' Levels including Maths, English, and a Science subject, none of the limp-wristed, airy-fairy Arts subjects) and I exceeded these, healthy, spotlessly clean record. Oh, he talked me up well.

"So you want to be a pilot. No problem. We are recruiting right now, so there will be no delay, what, what did you say?"

I said, I want to join the RAF. I didn't say I want to be a pilot.

Silence...

"Well, what were you thinking of doing?"

I would like to learn how aeroengines work.

"Oh, that's all right then. We train you up completely on them as part of your pilots training".

No, I don't think you understand what I mean. I want to learn down to the last detail how aeroengines work. I would like to be an aircraft engine fitter.

For the next 20 minutes, the Flt Lt and my father tried their hardest to try and persuade me to change my mind. To no avail.

I take it I can always choose to learn to fly once I am already serving?

"Yes, yes, but it would be much easier for you to join as a pilot before you become too old to be selectable".

I'll take my chances on that.

"Well, you will have to wait nine months before the next slot is available for engine fitter training. But you can join up right now to be a pilot. Right now."

Thank you, but I'll wait that nine months. I've waited many years for this.

The aptitude tests I sat were strangely far more intense than the tests my fellow engine fitter trainees sat. Maybe the OIC CIO was being as prepared as possible in case I changed my mind. I didn't.

To this day, I have never regretted this decision, and although I am certain my father was disappointed, he never said so to me.

Camlobe
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Old 14th Feb 2014, 07:16
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Wow! What a tour de force camlobe! The single mindedness of the young is indeed a wondrous thing, which I'm sure that many here recall. I can certainly relate to your determination, to the extent that having been told by Daedalus House, "Thanks, but no thanks, but do try again next year", I did and then managed to get accepted.


In my case of course it was the reverse of yours, for I wanted to be a pilot and only a pilot. I had rehearsed my reaction if offered Navigator instead, and decided to call their bluff (if bluff it be) and politely decline. As it happened it didn't arise, but again that single mindedness is apparent...or was it simply bloody mindedness?


Smuj, the engs will know best of course, but was the relative structural weakness in the 40's that you mention a reflection of the power/weight ratio? Was the development of the jet engine the means of increasing the first so that more structure could be added to the second? Even the late WW2 fighters seemed to be more rugged than the earlier ones, especially the ones with large radial engines. Merely an impression, and I bow as ever to the experts...
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Old 14th Feb 2014, 14:00
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Chugalug and Smudge,

Re: Flimsy Structures in WW2 a/c.

I imagine they found it economical to build them just strong enough to last their anticipated life - which might not be very long in some cases ! I remember being told that the Spitfire life was reckoned to be six months on average.

Consequently they didn't have to worry about corrosion problems - if they hadn't been shot down, some Prune would've pranged 'em long before the rot set in. The days of a/c lasting as long as battleships (and being older than their pilots) were well in the future.....D.

camlobe,

I second Chuglug's complimentary remarks ! Yet it is not always good policy to ask for (still less insist on getting) what you want from the RAF. They have a nasty, vicious sense of humour in their make-up ! (as the next [last] tranche of my GK days will illustrate - if I ever manage to finish it)....D.

Cheers, all. Danny.

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Old 14th Feb 2014, 19:56
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camlobe ... You were lucky to have such a fixed vocation.

Mine, from the age of 12 (IIRC) was to be "an Hoooficer in the RAF". After several juvenile years pin-balling from pillar to post, wasting time and failing things and really getting nowhere, suddenly I were one. The actual career path wasn't as focussed as yours, it was somewhat more broad-brush. And the numerous rejections and failures are a short book on their own.

However, eventually it all fell into place. All my past was simply history. I was where I had always wanted to be (OK, not a pilot, but other humans also exist) ... and I eventually had a very happy and successful career.
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Old 15th Feb 2014, 01:41
  #5154 (permalink)  
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Danny and Family end their tour in RAF(G).

There were of course many other excursions. The Mosel valley is not far from GK and once we spent a pleasant weekend at a little hotel there close to the river. We went to the Leave Centre at Winterberg for a few days, but I'm not sure at what time of year, for it was very quiet, the snows had almost gone (probably late spring) and there was hardly anyone else in the place, but we enjoyed our walks in the nearby woods. (This was one of Hitler's "Strength through Joy" holiday centres; curiously I can find very little information on this aspect of its history).

And one "Martinmas" (November 1st) we went down to Seefeld (Austria) to check-out a little Alpine chalet we'd seen advertised as a holiday let. Now this must have been '61, and the only possible reason we can think of for going down there would be to book it for our skiing trip (which eventually would be as a package tour). Or possibly for the summer of '62 ? Whichever, when we saw the place, it didn't come up to the advertised standard (and certainly not to our expectations !): we turned it down and gave up the idea.

But still we had to find a hotel in Seefeld for the night we spent down there. The only place open had no heating on, it was absolutely freezing. We spent the whole night in our room, huddled under a pile of blankets, with Mary sandwiched between us to keep warm. And we still remember the wiener schnitzel the old grandmother (who seemed to be running the place) cooked up for us.

Normally we'd do the journeys GK - Austria or back in one hop, but once, in fairly warm weather, we overnighted in Heidelberg (which cannot have been far off the direct route). We were charmed by the beautiful old red sandstone town, the Castle above, the bridge towers over the Neckar, and above all the romantic "Student Prince" feel of the place - for it was really an operetta set come to life.

Back at GK, life continued as normal into summer. Throughout our time there we'd made frequent shopping visits to Holland, always crossing at the same point, so the border guards there got to know us quite well. Particularly they spotted Mary (calling her: "die kleine prinzessin") - and indeed she was a picture.

We'd bought a toy plastic "car seat" (sort of miniature high-chair top). This was furnished with a toy steering wheel, a column "shift" and (battery) horn button (which was soon worn out !). The whole device had loops over the passenger seat back: strapped into it by her harness, Mary was high enough to see out easily and beamed at her admirers.

Of course, there was absolutely no protection. But in those days we didn't think of things like that. Compulsory seat belts and anchored child seats were far in the future (although the 403 had front lap straps, few used them - but we did as I knew their value all too well).

We should be going back to UK in the autumn. An official letter arrived, over the signature of someone who assured me that he remained "My Obedient Servant" (when clearly he was nothing of the kind: the boot was on the other foot). I was informed that RAF(G) had taken cognisance of the fact that my tour was coming to an end, and politely wished to know what my preferences were for my next posting.

After I came to, (with Mrs D. anxiously applying the smelling salts), my first thought was that I'd been transported into the past (like Dr. Who) and that it was really April 1st. Finally convinced that this was not the case, it dawned on me that this had to be a hoax. Someone must be taking the Mickey out of me ! I examined the letter minutely, but by every indication it appeared to be genuine. Why not take it at face value ?, we thought. What could we lose ? I replied that I would be happy to go anywhere they liked, and into any Command - save one: Please Not Flying Training Command again ! (I prefer the quiet life).

You just know what's going to happen, don't you ? (P2 cannot be accused of not having a sense of humour). Linton-on-Ouse, that's what ! Oh, well, they must not be grudged their little joke.

The last weeks sped by. I dug out the packs of crate slats and screws for the Twin-Tub and the pram, the RAF supplied folding plywood containers for our belongings (which had mysteriously doubled in volume in just one tour). The car had to be re-registered in the UK, I got a London registration (was this compulsory ?) - 87 EXT - (why didn't I hang on to that: would've been worth a bit today). This alloy plate would be screwed on top of the plastic "LP 97 B" and the Paris temporary registation - the car's third (and final) brush with officialdom.

I've earlier recounted my unsuccessful attempt to blow up my MQ, and how the boiler door hung on precariously until an hour before the Marching Out, then collapsed. I think that was the only thing we were "done" for. We left, the car loaded to the gunwales. We were booked Boulogne-Dover on the afternoon ferry. The Belgian pavé was ready and waiting for us: the middle pipe and back box fell off just before Brussels.

Fortunately, an Àgence Peugeot was Prochain, and did a rush job. What we paid them, and in what currency, I can't remember. We'd started with time in hand, but now it was tight. In Boulogne, desperation lent fluency to my tongue: "Voudrais-vous m'indiquer la Gare Maritime, M'sieu, s.v.p ?", I begged a surprised Frenchman on the curb after screeching to a stop beside him.

Luckily, he understood and simply pointed. We were the last car over the ramp: as we rolled onto the car deck I could see it (in the mirror) lifting behind us.It was a British Rail ferry; now we were effectively back on British soil. At Dover, I still remember admiring the skill with which the ship was stopped at the harbour mouth, then turned in its own length to go astern into the berth. H.M. Customs eagerly surveyed their next tranche of victims. We looked worth investigating.

But I had all the paperwork for the car ready: we were in the clear there. Yet honour must be satisfied; he had to find something to justify his existence. Our "Slant-o-matic" sewing machine and Mrs D.'s watch would do. Comparing the receipt for the watch with the "0.586" (or whatever) on the back of the case, he looked at us quizzically (I think he thought we'd been "done"). Mrs D. remembers a bill of £17 for both, which was hard enough in all conscience.

We were about "all-in" now. We found a nice little B&B in Dover and called it a night.

Goodnight, all.

Danny42C.


All's well that ends well !

Last edited by Danny42C; 15th Feb 2014 at 01:50. Reason: Spacing. And Spelling !
 
Old 16th Feb 2014, 12:35
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What could we lose ?
Danny I'm sure that you've realised since that the only way that you could have avoided FTC was to ask for it! Were you not raised on the stories of Br'er Rabbit? He begged not to be thrown into the Briar Patch simply to ensure that would be the case, and from which he could then make his escape. If you'd read those stories to Mary, perhaps she could have best advised you?
Just making the Ferry home I can empathise with, for having made the wrong turning off the Lille bypass, I lost so much time in driving to the end of that spur and retracing my steps again, that I barely had time to shop at the Calais Duty Free and fill the rear of my brand new VW Polo (that I was importing from W Berlin).
The filling up with crates of wine was an essential part of the whole complex financial construct, so naturally could not be avoided. The result was that, like you, I was last aboard my booked Hovercraft, and as they secured the car so the doors closed behind it. Next stop Dover Customs and the demand for much Gelt (not for the wine, but for the car).

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Old 16th Feb 2014, 19:05
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Like Chuglug and Danny I remember well the return to the UK from JHQ Rheindahlen in July 1975.

Having vacated our Moenchengladbach quarter we went on leave down to Italy for a week or two and on our return stayed a night at Rheindahlen's families transit mess. Next day we loaded the car with everything we could and drove to Ostend for the overnight Belgian ferry to Dover. Arriving early at Dover we went through the usual (unusual?) customs formalities, but in our case we obviously got a customs officer who had a thing about personnel returning to the UK with BFG registered cars.
Having said we had nothing to declare that we shouldn't have, he was in no mood to believe us and having examined our receipt for the Volvo that we'd purchased 13-months previously thus making it eligible for import to the UK without paying tax, he wanted to examine everything else in the car to see whether we were carrying contraband or whatever - were we carrying more than the allowed amounts of spirits and wine, cigarettes etc. or were we potential smugglers?
So this so-and-so of a customs officer was determined to check everything and everything had to be taken out of the car for his examination - HiFi, camera, bike, watches etc. etc. and this when we had two young kids to deal with too. I had all my receipts to hand and eventually he let us go - but it was a most unsettling experience and wondered was this the normal HMC method of dealing with BFG personnel returning to the UK?

Photo below shows how loaded we were shortly before our departure from Rheindahlen - we even had a bike on the top of the roof-rack!



I did earlier, after hearing Danny's adventure on buying his car in France, mention I'd do a piece on how one did it at JHQ - so watch his space!

As a PS. This is how the main entrance to JHQ looked in 1974. May bring back a few memories to those who served there.
My abiding memory of the place was that it was the most confusing "rabbit-warren" of a building I've ever entered, after a month or two I think I'd cracked the layout and could navigate around the place without getting lost, but occasionally I'd get caught out and find myself in a corridor full of Belgians or Dutch who wanted to know what I was doing there! Getting out from their enclave was simply a matter of finding the word "uitgang" - Dutch for Way Out!




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Old 16th Feb 2014, 19:42
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Chugalug,

How right you are ! I really ought to have known much better. I should, as you say, "lain low and said nuthin' ", like wise Brer Rabbit. But I suppose that I must have hoped that once, just once, the RAF might have not been "speaking with forked tongue". Ah, well.

Your: "and as they secured the car". Did a couple of brawny deckhands "bounce" it into its slot, as they did ours ? And the Hovercraft - wouldn't they have been useful in the floods today ? (Admittedly, everyone around would have got very wet, but then they were wet to start with, and it's no worse than standing at the curb when a car goes past in the rain).

Hope you got your money's worth out of the Polo, including monstrous impost of HM Treasury. You might like to know that seized smuggled wines and spirits are poured down the drain, seized tobacco is burned in an incinerator (the "Queen's Pipe"). What a shame !

Danny.

PS. I served out my last thirteen years as an Officer of Customs & Excise (but in VAT), so was never one of your tormentors.....D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 16th Feb 2014 at 23:52. Reason: Correction.
 
Old 16th Feb 2014, 19:48
  #5158 (permalink)  
 
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Photo below shows how loaded we were shortly before our departure from Rheindahlen

I trust that the self-levelling suspension kicked in once the engine was running, and have checked that you were just about legal under German child labour laws, viz
" ....provided the work of the child is “light,” which is defined as not involving uncomfortable postures or dangers from animals or machinery that a child may not assess accurately or may not have experience in averting. Those below the age of thirteen may not be required to lift objects repeatedly that weigh more than 7.5 kilograms or to lift objects occasionally that weigh more than 10 kilograms."!

Jack

PS No kitchen sink?
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Old 16th Feb 2014, 21:29
  #5159 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Warmtoast,

I think it was the normal attitude displayed by HMCE to returning Forces from BAOR. The reasoning might have been: these people have been out there for two-three years, quite long enough to suss-out all the most attractive items to make savings on if Import Duty (and VAT) could be avoided. Human nature being what it is........!

Once saw a very good German cartoon about this. The Grenzpolitzei had virtually dissembled their poor victim's car; the bits were spread out all over the tarmac - but had found nothing.

"Alles in Ordnung", they'd said, "Weiterfahren !" (Carry on !), left him to it and turned to the next car. (You see, the Germans do have a sense of humour !)

Your first picture tells a story which we can all relate to. How many times have we packed our cars until the back was down on the bump-springs ? I reckon you've got an Angle of Attack on there which should get you airborne if you could get it to go fast enough.

Danny.
 
Old 16th Feb 2014, 22:44
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Union Jack

and have checked that you were just about legal under German child labour laws
...we were going to send young son up the chimney with a sweep's brush, but had second thoughts and decided that sending him out cleaning cars would provide a greater reward for the family income - and don't forget son was covered by the "Status of Forces" agreement so German law didn't apply!
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