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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 5th Mar 2014, 20:24
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Danny,


As a temporary measure you could try adjusting the 'Zoom' factor. Click on the little 'cogwheel icon' on the top right of your screen. You can adjust Zoom by various fixed percentages or try the 'custom' label and 'pick your own'.


Have spent many weeks/months catching up on this wonderful episode of life, initially snooping as a guest and finally signing-on on 1st Jan 2014. I shall eventually give a potted history, but, just for the moment, a reference to your posts about VVs and 84 Squadron. I am pleased to say that Squadron Leader Arthur M Gill is still President of the 84 Squadron Association, although for health reasons has not attended reunions for a year or so.


Regards
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Old 5th Mar 2014, 22:59
  #5262 (permalink)  
 
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Ricardian

Sorry Warmtoast, was not aware of the size limitations for images
It would be helpful if you resized your pictures to PPRune's recommended max size of 850 x 850 pixels as mentioned above.
To do this reduce the size of the photos you plan to download/post on PPRune's thread. Then click the Edit button on your post and delete the oversized photos and finally insert correct size ones in their place.

This will reduce complaints and make reading the thread easy once again.
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Old 5th Mar 2014, 23:12
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Small is beautiful.

ValMORNA,

You might have been a younger version of me ! Like you, I found PPRuNe mid-2011, and watched carefully from a safe distance for six months before timidly sticking my oar in Jan 2012. Don't wait too long - it's later than you think !

I've seen cogwheels before somewhere on a Window, but can't find one here now. Of course I can use Ctrl + "-" to downsize everything from the 150% I'm normally comfortable with, to 100%, and everything fits nicely, but the letters are so tiny then (and my eyes so old !) that it's not practicable.

My log is countersigned by S/Ldr A.M.Gill for April 1943. This would have been at Madhaigang (in Bengal); I know 84 Sqn were there at the time, and he was their CO. I suppose 110 were short of a CO, so he did the honours. Give him my regards (no names, no pack drill). I was a Sgt/Pilot on "A" Flight (F/O R.C.Topley Flt Commander) then.

Cheers, Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 6th Mar 2014 at 21:32. Reason: Typo.
 
Old 6th Mar 2014, 19:33
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Resizing

Danny,


If you have no 'cogwheel', try Alt and X which will take you to 'Tools' where you can play with percentages.
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Old 6th Mar 2014, 21:42
  #5265 (permalink)  
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ValMORNA,

Tried it, nothing happened (but then I don't have Word - would that have something to do with it ?).

I am a rabbit at this game. Best wait for ricardian and Warmtoast to sort it out. I'll wait.

Danny.
 
Old 6th Mar 2014, 22:29
  #5266 (permalink)  
 
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I cannot resize the image because it is from a website over which I have no control. Sorry for all the hassle
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Old 7th Mar 2014, 10:17
  #5267 (permalink)  
 
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There you are, Ricardian



These photographs of a rusting trailer in a quarry in Malta were posted on Facebook recently




If you go back to your post and EDIT, the panel will show the origin of the pictures. Delete those little bits and the script will return to normal. As far as the caption for the picture of the radar set is concerned just refer it to post 5267.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 7th Mar 2014 at 13:02.
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Old 7th Mar 2014, 16:32
  #5268 (permalink)  
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Fareastdriver, Hallelujah ! Thanks ! Danny.
 
Old 7th Mar 2014, 23:21
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Danny the Pyrophile.

The first thing was to see what I'd let myself in for. I met my Sergeant (oh, what was his name ? In '41 I remember Cpl Shepherd, in '43 F/Sgt Darling, in '45 Sgt Williams and in '51 Sgt Watt). From all of these I received much invaluable advice and the benefit of their long RAF experiences, for which I (as a junior officer) would be for ever grateful. So what has happened now to my memories of names (between '51 and '62 and onwards) that I cannot recall them ? (I know, of course: "Anno Domini" !)

No matter, my good Sergeant showed me around. First, we had a look at the hardware. The rescue vehicle was the standard LWB Landrover. Its task (with a crew of three [?]) is to reach the accident scene as fast as possible and get people out. It has powered metal-cutting saws, ladders and a huge searchlight to illuminate the scene, but only enough fire-fighting power (fire-retardent dry powder propelled through tubes by nitrogen and also CO² - "dry ice") to protect the rescuers in action. It is not a water-carrier (this would be too heavy, as it weighs two tons already). For foam production, it was dependent on the pride of the fleet.

This was our Alvis Mk.6 "Salamander" - the firefighting version of the "Saracen" armoured car. 6x6, all independently sprung and equally spaced with the front 4 steering, it was surprisingly agile on rough and uneven ground, and good for 60 mph on the road, for all its 13 tons. Powered by Rolls-Royce and with a crew of a Cpl plus five, it was a truly impressive piece of machinery. Curiously, our crews always referred to it as the "Mk.6", or "The Saracen", and it was quite some time before I learned the proper name.

It was a foam-maker par excellence. The huge foam monitor over the cab could put out 7,500 gallons of foam per minute from the 700 gallons of water and about 100 gallons of the foaming agent on board. IIRC, it could throw foam about 100 ft or more. Of course, it doesn't need a gallon of water to make 10 gallons of foam. The wily publican sees to it that his bar staff put out the ale with a nice "head" on it - thereby selling air at beer price. And the effect can best be seen in a flūte of champagne - the fizz vanishes in a moment or two, but the liquid level hardly rises.

There was a little-known use to which the foaming agent could be put. Although we called it "Saphonine", that was only a part (so it was said) of an unsavoury mixture with the effluents (blood and guts) draining from the runnels of abattoirs. Normally the agent is injected with the air into the water in the monitor only at the point of use, but it seems that a "pre-mix" can be prepared which only needs the compressed air.

This has a secondary purpose. If sprayed as it is (not foamed) over a recalcitrant mob, it has been found very effective in dispersing them, for anyone soaked in the stuff can give up social life for at least a week, as the stink will last that time (even after repeated baths) before dispersing.

(All this, you must understand, is as told to me by Old Fire Hands, and I cannot vouch for any of it). The effect is not detectable in foam, perhaps because the agent content is insignificant. In any event, I suppose it would not be allowed today, as there is probably a Human Right to Smell Nice which cannot be curtailed.

Supporting the "First Team" were the Standby vehicles. We had a Thornycroft foam-maker (but I'm not sure it had a monitor - I think the foam was pumped through hoses - and it had narrow bore rubber hose for smaller domestic fires. Finally, we had a "Fire Tender", which IIRC was primarily a water-carrier.

All the time the airfield was open for flying, the Landrover (Crash 1), Mark 6 (Crash 2) and Crash 3 (the ambulance) would be in position in the Fire Bay alongside or behind the ATC Tower. All Crash Vehicles are in R/T contact with each other and with Local Control in the Tower.

There is a great deal more to be said about this vital service, but I must leave that for another day; next time we'll give some thought to the problems of living "out in the sticks".

Goodnight, chaps.

Danny42C.


Frequently seen manuscript addition to "Action in the Event of Fire" Notices. After "If the Fire is too big for you to put out" - "find a smaller one !".
 
Old 9th Mar 2014, 15:39
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More than 60 years ago I was told that the foaming agent in the fire trucks contained urea extracted from animal blood, hence the awful smell a few days later. The stuff had a very high nitrogen content, so Warrant Officer Gilliland at Binbrook seized the time-expired cans to sprinkle upon his rose beds. The results were magnificent but nobody dared go close enough to smell the luxuriant blooms.

Of course such smelly occasions and their gruesome background were of great appeal to small boys, especially as we were told the blood came from the pigs which we saw being slaughtered behind John Cook's butcher shop in the village. So maybe this particular child was having his leg pulled.
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Old 9th Mar 2014, 15:55
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Geriaviator ...

I remember a rather humorous incident at RAF Manston where a rather over-weight MOD Plod tried to chase after a local tomato grower who was attempting to nick buckets of foam during the clear-up hose down. Apparently one of the constituents of the foam was sourced from ox blood ... which worked a treat on tomatoes ... that is until an additive was introduced to prolong the shelf life of the foam ... which was poisonous to tomatoes ...
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Old 9th Mar 2014, 17:06
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Search height

Having wasted much of Sunday following the Malay thread, I see search heights of 3, 5, 7 and 10 thousand feet being mentioned.
I recall being taught that 200 ft was ideal and 500 ft was the upper limit. I know that the object was a person or dinghy. But the current search is for floating debris like seat cushions so has the thinking changed in the past 50+ years?
I know that instructor believed an AVM's son should have been found if the search had been conducted at a lower level. Of course both he and his no 2 were ex Sunderlands. At the time they were still in service and I remember notes being shown for mooring said beasts.

Last edited by Pom Pax; 9th Mar 2014 at 17:13. Reason: add mooring.
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Old 9th Mar 2014, 18:58
  #5273 (permalink)  
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Red face What's that Smell ?

Geriaviator and Coffman Starter,

Thanks for the confirmation ! (I always had a suspicion that the "mob spraying" was a fairy tale).....D.

Pom Pax,

In the wrong shop, mate, I think !....D.

Cheers, all. Danny.
 
Old 9th Mar 2014, 19:08
  #5274 (permalink)  
 
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I have, on many occasions, seen Crash trucks deployed to various entry points to control 'exercise demonstrators' but that was, I suspect, in 'exercise water cannon mode' rather than expending expensive foam compounds

Pure reportage ... My normal DISTAFF role was to dismantle ATC, Base Ops and other key functions, instead of overseeing 'rabble control'. That's what RAF Regt DISTAFF are for.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 01:21
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Apologies

Sorry Danny,
Dragged a garbled reference out of the old grey matter should have Yahooed first. It wasn't son but twin brother Air Vice Marshal David Francis William Atcherley CB CBE DSO DFC (12 January 1904 – 8 June 1952).
I quote wiki :- "In June 1952, Atcherley was lost at sea, presumed dead whilst piloting a Meteor jet fighter PR Mk.10 ( from No. 13 Squadron). Taking off from RAF Fayid in Egypt at 8:00 am for a 40-minute flight to Nicosia in Cyprus, his aircraft never arrived at Nicosia, and no radio message was received. No trace of Atcherley or his aircraft was ever found despite an extensive air-sea search being carried out by RAF, Israeli, Turkish and USAF aircraft."
It was our instructors view that the search was carried out at too greater an altitude, whether or not this was an official view at the time I do not know but Sir Richard was AOC FTC at the time.

Last edited by Pom Pax; 10th Mar 2014 at 01:25. Reason: missing words....too early yet this morning no coffee.
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Old 10th Mar 2014, 12:57
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Pom Pax,

Never met David, but had an uncomforable few minutes (cap and gloves on !) in front of Richard ("Batchy"), AOC 12 Gp., in the year in which his brother was lost - hopefully before it happened, but cannot be sure now.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 10th Mar 2014 at 12:59. Reason: Typo.
 
Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:00
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Pom Pax

It was our instructors view that the search was carried out at too greater an altitude, whether or not this was an official view at the time I do not know
A couple of contemporary press reports, one showing the range of aircraft involved in the search. The piston-engine types would have the capability to search at low-level, but whether they did or not is another matter.


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Old 10th Mar 2014, 21:39
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I was involved in that particular search. Unable to say what height we flew at but feel that had there been any evidence of wreckage it would have been seen. Did Meteors float well?
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 20:55
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Why did I want to be Aircrew? In 1941 I watched the Battle of Britain being fought over our heads as I helped my Mother in the hop gardens of Arthur Guinness in Bodiam, Kent. We cheered when we saw a combatant fall, expecting that it was 'one of theirs'. Although we lived in East Sussex (I can honestly say that I spent the whole of the war in Battle) we commuted daily at the crack of dawn every autumn to augment the family income while protecting the livelihood of publicans throughout the country.
A contributory factor in my 'Wings' desire was an incident on 2nd February 1943. As I was diligently making my way to school three sneaky FW190s decided to wage war on Battle Abbey. One bomb exploded less than 100 yards behind me, demolishing a newsagents' shop, killing two. Another, way off to the right, messed up the cricket pitch. The central one landed in front of the Abbey gateway, shot through, startling the Canadian army sentry, and failed to explode. Extremely lucky, really, as there were two tons of explosives stored in the gateway. I was on the pavement opposite, just outside the Abbey Hotel public house where a good Samaritan picked me up and deposited me inside, despite me being under-age. My first, but not last visit.
If any further impetus was required it was the 'Doodlebug' campaign of 1944-45. Several of the missiles decided it was too much effort to fly to London so dropped in the local area, the closest being in a field at the bottom of our garden. Many windows in our and the neighbours' houses were broken which did Dad a good turn as, when they were re-glazed, he got the contract to do the repainting.
When hostilities ended I told Dad that a notice in a shop window in Hastings advertised flights in an Auster for 10/- from Lympne, including a taxi each way. The 'gofer' working for him was persuaded to go with me, so, off we went for a quick trip along the coast and back - I have no idea how long it lasted, but it was the REAL THING!
Eventually I joined the ATC (304 Squadron, Hastings) which further fanned the flames as we went on summer camps, flying in the Dominie (DH89 version), Dakota, Lincoln (a round trip to see Hastings from the air) and the B29 Washington. A bonus was the fact that we had an instructor who was RAFVR and occasionally flew Tiger Moths from Rochester and he took me along a couple of times. He was also into motor-cycling, racing at Brands Hatch when it was still a grass track.
Our morse instructor was very good but never explained what he did, as a civilian, in the war. I came to a conclusion during my later career - more anon.

I'm sorry this is not as interesting as some of our fellow aviator's exploits; hopefully things will improve next time.
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Old 12th Mar 2014, 21:06
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ValMORNA,

If I may be so bold, please don't worry about interesting, I think many will already think that you lived in "interesting times". I'm sure that Danny, the duty tea bar mechanic will be along to agree. I'm sure you have some very interesting stuff to tell us, and as you are now resident in gods country (Staffordshire) I declare an interest, I'm Staffordshire born and bred. Welcome on behalf of the "younger" followers of this thread, you will enjoy the banter and diversion.

Smudge
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