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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 10th May 2014, 13:59
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Danny42C
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Ormeside28,

You're as welcome as the flowers in Spring ! Three of us now (harrym, you and I), to keep the 90-plus Banner aloft. Rushing off now to visit aged relative older even than I (if such a thing be possible). More when I get back tonight.

Cheers, Danny42C

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Old 10th May 2014, 18:28
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Hastings MK2 et seq.

ancientaviator62

It was not so much stability (never a Hastings problem as I recall), as the greatly increased tailplane span with its associated elevator surface area that made the MK2 and others such an improvement. The MK1 was extremely heavy and not over-responsive in pitch, and landing it was most definitely a two-handed job whereas the later marks, with their generously spring tab assisted elevators, made it into an almost completely different aircraft that was quite pleasant to fly - as much as a large 4-engined bird with the third wheel at the wrong end could ever be, that is.

Ah yes, the old Transport Command route to Changi & points east ........... memories are made of that!
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Old 10th May 2014, 19:17
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It is perhaps time to add further to my Dad's experiences at Terrell. So in his own woerds:-

Incident 3:- January 1943

Sometime in the latter weeks of January 1943 and only a few days after my check ride with Ed, we had a visit from Squadron Leader ‘One-Armed Mac’ James Maclachlan. He had been seconded to the USA to carry out a lecture tour, amongst other duties, to the various Flying Schools in the USA where British cadets were being trained. During his short tour in the USA he flew several US fighter aircraft and he arrived in Terrell flying his own US fighter - a Mohawk or Thunderbolt.

He was a pre-war RAF pilot but he was no ordinary fighter pilot for he had only one arm, having lost the other in combat due to a cannon shell in Malta in February 1941.

We were aware he was due to visit and saw him arrive and land. We were assembled in a lecture hall in Terrell and he arrived with the Commanding Officer. As I remember it, once the Commanding Officer had introduced Mac before he started his lecture, he asked for all the ladies present to withdraw - some female members of the Flying School had joined us all to listen to his lecture. Having withdrawn ‘Mac’ gave his talk on the life of a fighter pilot and, as his talk progressed, the language became more colourful - hence the reason he asked the ladies to withdraw.

Mac’s visit came a few days after we had received a berating from Van Lloyd, one of the CFI (Chief Flying Instructors) This was because there had been a series of minor landing accidents. His final words to us were something like ‘you Brits can’t fly and never will fly!’ You could almost feel the lads stiffen at these rather unfortunately chosen words - after all this was after the Battle of Britain!

The end of Mac’s lecture came and we finally assembled to see Mac take off after he had made a tour of the airfield. Now, and remembering he only had one arm, Mac took off and instead of disappearing into the blue he proceeded to ‘beat up’ the airfield with one of the finest flying exhibitions I have ever seen (and I have seen a few!) An anonymous voice from the group of cadets was heard to comment: ’You Brits can’t fly and never will fly - but we can with one arm!!’ It was a memorable end to an extraordinary day with a most extraordinary pilot. Sadly he died only a few months later in the summer of 1943.

-o0o-

And so to the final days in Terrell, some more advanced training and eventually the big day - Wings Day. This was the very special day we had all been working hard for. On the day itself, having badly sprained my ankle playing football, I was not able to take a full part in the parade and had to sit on a chair at the side of the parade ground before my name was called out to receive my Wings. So instead of gaining a university degree in medicine as I had first hoped, the RAF had been my university and my Wings my degree. Following the ceremony we were now allowed to wear our Wings on our tunics so you can imagine that we walked with great pride, especially when passing the newer cadets!! I’m afraid we did show off a little!

We were now making preparations to take our leave. Visits were made to those good people of Terrell and Dallas and some of the instructors had taken us on a night out in Dallas. I can vaguely remember the return journey to Terrell - what a night! We also found out that night that our instructors were, in fact, quite human!!

Flying for me was paused on 14 March l942 and it was almost 3 months before I sat in the cockpit of an aeroplane again. Now with Wings Day over there remained only one further assembly in a classroom. This was the day we were each allowed to see our documents, which when collected together would be placed in the hands of the most senior cadet. He would be wholly responsible for ensuring their safe delivery to the authorities in Canada. Each cadet was presented with his own document which, amongst other things, indicated the recommendations of the Terrell authorities as to our future training. As I somehow expected, my own future was further training on single engined fighters (Spitfires or Hurricanes). There was a footnote that I was not suitable for instructional duties. So where do you think I ended up? Yes, as a flying instructor on twins and singles, and after spending time teaching people to fly I joined the staff of an RAF Flying Instructors’ School teaching how to instruct!!

Now, no more flying, no more classroom, just the inevitable bureaucracy of getting the remainder of 12 Course ready to leave. Sadly I have no dates but sometime in early April 1943 we assembled at Terrell Station together with many of our friends from Terrell and, in some cases, cadets’ girlfriends! There waiting was the train with our special coach until the cry went out ‘all aboard’ - and, with a great deal of sadness on all sides, we clambered onto the coaches. With faces pressed on closed windows or out of open ones, whistles and horns blew and slowly the train started to move. Those of us who managed to get to an open window were able to watch Terrell station slowly disappear from sight.

I am sure many others like me spent a little time at that moment reflecting on the 7 amazing months we had spent in the Lone Star State;
1. as ‘rookies’ working hard to gain our Wings;
2. losing good friends in accidents and many who sadly did not make the grade;
3. of so many friends in Terrell and Dallas;
4. and of amazing experiences both in flying and social activities. Experiences which, but for the war, we would never have had.

We left all that behind, bound for home via Canada and an uncertain future. The train rallied on north, St. Louis, Chicago - where we stopped for a while and made a short tour of the city and, of course, ‘photo taking’ - crossing the border into Canada and back to Moncton. After a short stay we travelled from Moncton onwards to Halifax where we boarded the French liner ‘Pasteur’ which was to take us across the ‘pond’. Strong gales and wild seas made for an interesting crossing. Fortunately I was one of those lucky enough not to suffer from sea sickness. I well remember trying to cross the deck of the ‘Pasteur’ from port to starboard as she heaved and plunged! The weather calmed down a little before we reached the UK. We caught sight of land and the imposing Liver Building on the Liverpool waterfront and we were soon moored alongside a jetty. We disembarked and, yet again, boarded a waiting train - going where? I cannot remember how long the journey was but probably 3 hours or so, ending up eventually in Harrogate, Yorkshire - only a few miles from my home town of Leeds. Disembarking from the train we were billeted in a hotel in Harrogate near the Stray - a large open park of grass and trees which is as famous today as it was then in 1943. My youngest son and family live only 6 or so miles away from Harrogate today.

And so the journey from Terrell and the bright lights of Dallas ended in the gloom of ‘blackout’ wartime Britain with no lights allowed to be visible at night - proudly wearing my new Wings and to face the rest of whatever the war would throw at me.

He is looking into his logbooks to try and produce some more accurate details of his flying training plus gathering together the photos he has of his time at Terrell. I hope to post them soon.

HF
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Old 10th May 2014, 20:41
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Awesome, hummingfrog
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Old 10th May 2014, 21:08
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Hummingfrog,

Another superb post, and entirely authentic to the tradition of this thread. I'm sure that your dad has much more to tell, and, like Danny, we will not let him off the hook, after dangling his carrot. Only this thread offers 60/70s RAF life after a career started in the USA, with these latest posts of wartime life including that USA training experience. I'm sure, many of us find this thread compulsive reading. Please encourage more "log book consultation", there can never be too much, it also reads very nicely with Danny's current position in his story, which reflects the USA trained pilot in a Cold War situation. Smashing reading, thanks for sharing it with us, and please, "can we have some more"????

Smudge
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Old 11th May 2014, 07:28
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I too would like to say thank you to the Hummingfrogs, both senior and junior! As Smudge says, how striking it is that all these stories are both unique and yet generic at the same time. There was indeed great hospitality and kindness to those young men so many thousands of miles from home, at a time when many never strayed no more than tens, and yet there was also bureaucratic obstacle and downright Anglo-phobia as well. Their experiences in North America were no doubt reflected back in the UK with others from the New World who were forever to be labelled with the epitaph, 'Over sexed, over paid, and over here!'

These tensions were, and still are, par for the course between peoples with different customs, histories and traditions, especially when divided by the same language! Be it special or otherwise, it is a relationship that has stood the test of time. I suspect that it needs common foes and threats in order for it to work, and mercifully one might say we have never been spared those. Perhaps it is a good thing though that all is not sweetness and light, lest sentimentality replace pragmatism in this most pragmatic of all partnerships.

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Old 11th May 2014, 16:18
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link to log book


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Old 11th May 2014, 18:19
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Crossing the Pond

Great stuff, Hummingfrog! Interested to see your Dad returned to UK on the Pasteur, exactly a year before I did the same. I recall it as something of a tub rather past its best, and the experience of sleeping in a hammock that rubbed against its tightly-packed neighbours with the ship's movement, their occupants' feet almost in your face, did not compare well with the Queen Mary of fond memory. Even less pleasant was visiting the heads/bogs, where one's entry had to be carefully timed so as to avoid an unmentionable flood that washed to & fro across the deck as the ship rolled - and boy, could the Pasteur roll!
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Old 11th May 2014, 20:14
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Smujsmith and Ormeside,

Smudge, I really must rebuke you gently for your flattering attempts to make me "primus inter pares" on this our Best of Threads, but there's no "primus" here - only "pares"!

Ormeside,

Picking up from my #5601 earlier today: after over a year in which I slowly came to the sad conclusion that I might well be the last of that noble breed which is covered by this Thread title, and to which we have the honour to belong, it is a pleasant suprise indeed to be suddenly joined directly by not one, but two contemporaries (harrym and yourself). And also by a third, who is speaking with the voice of his son (Hummingfrog), and a fourth (Ian BB) who is relaying the writings of his late Father. .

Truly, "Welcome aboard", and may we hear a lot more from you. It's quite a coincidence that you and harrym are both ex-Halifax people, which immediately gives you a connection to Chugalug and many others who have recently come in with tales of the long Transport Command air routes in the days when we still had an Air Force.....D.

Ian Burgess-Barber,

I quote your #5600 yesterday (starting with my earlier question):
"Clearly this was for the purpose of comparison (of the finished article). So what were the findings ? To this question I have never been able to find an answer", and your reply:

"Back to Will Largent's "RAF Wings over Florida". After considering the various theories that have been voiced on the subject he concludes thus:

"The sole reason for the new approach (Blending the cadets) contained no elements of high drama. It was done merely to balance the Lend-Lease Act account between Great Britain and the United States". This observation is certainly correct. It would be an element of that "reverse Lend-Lease" (eg rent for wartime airbases and goods and services supplied to the US by the UK) which went into the "account" to offset the American input (although I think that there was never any intention - or any possibility ? - of actually "balancing" it). The whole thing recalls Churchill's scathing remark (when, IIRC, the Egyptian Government raised a similar claim) to the effect that: "He did not intend to pay for admission to the battlefield !"

But whatever the financial background, it was an obvious thing for the Army Air Corps to seize the opportunity to compare the finished product (produced for them by the BFTS in significently fewer Flying Hours and with a much smaller wastage - I quote from Hummingfrog regarding failure rates among the US trainees):

"1. As far as American students on courses went there were none on his course - No12 at Terrell - he thinks that there were a few on later courses but not in significant numbers". (And from your #5507):

"My late father graduated in May 1943 from 5BFTS Clewiston Florida on course no 12. This was the first course at Clewiston to have a blend of USAAF/RAF cadets (17 Americans with 83 RAF cadets). In total 125 USAAF cadets started at 5BFTS (16 of them washed-out on courses 12 - 18 finishing in June 1944 when the US faced a surplus of pilots"...... [13%] -whereas there was a comparable wastage rate of around 40% in the US Army Primary Schools !

Wouldn't you investigate that ? They simply must have done...D

Hummingfrog,

I quote from your #5603:

".. the RAF had been my university and my Wings my degree..." How true that was for so many people (myself included)!

"...Flying for me was paused on 14 March l942..." I think that must have been 1943 ? .

"....the imposing Liver Building on the Liverpool waterfront and we were soon moored alongside a jetty..."....That, Sir, I'll have you know, is "The Prince's [Albert] Landing Stage", and is one of the Seven Wonders of Liverpool. It is hinged to the bank, goes up and down with the tide so that ships may berth, and passengers embark and disembark, at all times. It even has a kind of Victorian "airbridge" to take you from ship lower deck across to Customs in the dry..... "jetty", forsooth !

"....Disembarking from the train we were billeted in a hotel in Harrogate near the Stray..." Almost certainly the "Majestic", where everybody did some time durig the war - but that is some way from the "Stray". (I tried to lift a pic from Google, but it wouldn't play)..."...D.

Cheers, everyone. Danny.
 
Old 11th May 2014, 21:47
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Danny,

Rebuke fully accepted "reus tamquam mandatum", or thereabouts. I do suggest though that in contributions to this remarkable thread, I am merely a "kibitzer" (a quick Google will explain) driven to occasionally offer enthusiasm for what I read.

Smudge
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Old 11th May 2014, 23:22
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Hi Danny

I will put those details to Dad. Ref Liverpool landing stage - I believe as a small boy I travelled via that stage on trips, with my grandfather, to Birkenhead and on the SS St Tudno to LLandudno. Many years later I also flew up and down the Mersey from Speke to the oil rigs in Liverpool bay.

It is a strange feeling knowing you have passed over the same ground as your parents travelled during WW2. I also used to land on the Drill Square in Londonderry where my mother , as a WREN, used to be based.

HF
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Old 12th May 2014, 00:34
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Smudge, "Roger Wilco" ? ...D.

Hummingfrog,

So you too remember the old "St.Tudno" (and its stablemate, the "St.Seriol"), which paddled furiously along the N.Wales coast from L'pool to Rhyl and LLandudno. I also (when in short pants !) have fond memories of those trips.

And they're right up Ormesides' street as well - do you both remember climbing up the Great Orme (the nearest thing to Everest for a small Scouse !) ?....D.

Cheers, both. Danny.
 
Old 12th May 2014, 16:00
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Danny says: "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy".

One of the most honoured institutions in the RAF is "Wednesday Afternoon Sports". This is something of a misnomer, as apart from the "muddied oafs and flannelled fools", who are always with us, this has always been considered as a welcome opportunity for restful relaxation of one kind or another. The "Batchelors of the Parish" might indulge in a spot of "Egyptian PT", and their married counterparts take up their duties as lawn mowers or supermarket trolley operators. And there was peace and content in the land.

But about this time a senior Staff Officer in the newly created MOD got a "Bee in his Bonnet". And, as Caesar pointed out: "He thinks too much. Such men are dangerous" . It seemed to him that the personnel of the RAF were, in general, less fit than was good for them, and Something should be Done About It.

Accordingly "Mens sana in corpore sano" became the order of the day, and "Air Clues" (or one of its predecessors) duly preached the Party Line; this publication ran a "Letters to the Editor" Section. Most of these were in support of the policy, but there was one stout-hearted heretic who wrote a letter which became justly famous throughout the RAF (and which some of our older members may yet remember).

This was the renowned "Ale and Dominoes" letter, in which our hero pointed out that nearly all the non-combatants on his squadron were rugby casualties, whereas he remained hale, hearty and fully operational without the need for any undue exertion, apart from his favourite pastimes of (you've guessed it): "Ale and Dominoes" ! (I assume that he'd been Passed Over so many times that he'd finally got the message and abandoned the fruitless struggle - but he'd earn lasting fame !)

All this is by way of setting the background for the main story. The Station Commander of Shawbury was a staunch adherent to whatever policy was in official favour at the time, and on looking about him on a Wednesday afternoon, he noted a marked lack of activity on his Station. To this a Stop should be Put. With pained surprise the Station learned on DROs that, on the next Wednesday, all Officers and School Students not on detail as taking part in an officially recognised Sport were to present themselves at the ATC Tower at 1345. At 1400 we would all Go for a Brisk Walk to the top of Grins Hill (about 700 ft, and a couple of miles away) and back.

At the time appointed, a disgrunled (not to say mutinous) mob assembled, and a giant crocodile set out, as I remember, round the taxiway to the left (although a map seems to show that to be the longer route - perhaps that was part of the plan). The G/C and his entourage were naturally at the head of the column; the lesser breeds strung out behind (I remember the scene was powerfully reminiscent of a painting of "Napoleon's Retreat from Moscow" which had much impressed me as a boy).

The perimeter wound round to the South, and ran not far from the hedge (on the other side of which was a narrow lane leading back to camp). Even in the dark days of war, RAF Stations were never 100% "stock-proof": there were always spots round the perimeter fence which might come in handy for any knowledgable airman who wished to depart and return without the tiresome necessity of going via the Guard Room. The possibilities were obvious.

With the devious skill of the Old Soldier (or Airman, which many of us were), we straggled to the back of the column, timed our escape bids so that the front party was unsighted by the bulk of the middle part round the curved track (the trick in the early days was usually worked going round a corner). I'd arranged with Mrs D. to have the car near the camp gate at 1430, so that we could go back to Shrewsbury together to pick up Mary from school.

I was told that the G/C and his loyal henchmen did in fact get to the top of Grins Hill, but with a sadly depleted following. So many deserters, in fact, that it was impracticable to identify and pursue them all for disciplinary action. The Grins Hill Walk was a one-off - there were to be no more. "Well," I suppose the G/C thought: "it was worth a try".

And peace descended on the land.

Good day, folks,

Danny42C.


Initiative is to be Encouraged, after all.

Last edited by Danny42C; 12th May 2014 at 16:29. Reason: Wrong Attribution. Complete quotation.
 
Old 12th May 2014, 16:06
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Gaining an RAF pilots brevet in WW2

harrym
Appreciate you comments oj sll things Canadian--including their trains!!!
My course at 23EFTS Yorkton Sask.was named "The last of the Many " when we graduated on Aug 31 1945.For reasons unknown we were the only course there allowed to continue after VJ Day Aug 15th.At that time Yorkton with Cornells and an SFTS in Calary with Harvards were all that had remained of pilot training.There were few if any RAF instructors or ground crew left.
On the navigator side I think only Summerside PEI, Gimli and Portage in Manitoba were still alive in Aug 45
We had followed the same Heaton, Liverpool, Halifax, Moncton route as many before us--at sea on the Athlone Castle on VE day.Around the same time I think some went to US schools via Camp Kilmer in NJ..
Recollection is that at that time the route to Montreal from Moncton went across the North part of Maine.
After graduation we were given travel warrants and told to be back in Moncton in 3 weeks.:
Many of us dropped off at Toronto and hitch hiked via Niagara to NYC and up the East Coast to New Brunswick.
After a few weeks in Moncton it was back to the UK on the Ile de France .
But there was no Harrogate hotels for us !----u/t, aircrew from all over were sent to Docking and Bircham Newton to be reclassified trained in a ground trade or elect to continue training providing they would "sign on" after graduation.I have only sketchy information on how this turned out.I know one pilotwho refused to sign on after getting his "wings" and commission and was demobbed in the normal fashion.But I understood that some navigators were refused their brevet when they reneged
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Old 12th May 2014, 16:12
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Gaining an RAF pilots brevet in WW2

harrym
Appreciate you comments oj sll things Canadian--including their trains!!!
My course at 23EFTS Yorkton Sask.was named "The last of the Many " when we graduated on Aug 31 1945.For reasons unknown we were the only course there allowed to continue after VJ Day Aug 15th.At that time Yorkton with Cornells and an SFTS in Calary with Harvards were all that had remained of pilot training.There were few if any RAF instructors or ground crew left.
On the navigator side I think only Summerside PEI, Gimli and Portage in Manitoba were still alive in Aug 45
We had followed the same Heaton, Liverpool, Halifax, Moncton route as many before us--at sea on the Athlone Castle on VE day.Around the same time I think some went to US schools via Camp Kilmer in NJ..
Recollection is that at that time the route to Montreal from Moncton went across the North part of Maine.
After graduation we were given travel warrants and told to be back in Moncton in 3 weeks.:
Many of us dropped off at Toronto and hitch hiked via Niagara to NYC and up the East Coast to New Brunswick.
After a few weeks in Moncton it was back to the UK on the Ile de France .
But there was no Harrogate hotels for us !----u/t, aircrew from all over were sent to Docking and Bircham Newton to be reclassified and trained in a ground trade or elect to continue training providing they would "sign on" after graduation.I have only sketchy information on how this turned out.I know one pilot who refused to sign on after getting his "wings" and commission and was demobbed in the normal fashion.But I understood that some navigators were refused their brevet when they reneged
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Old 12th May 2014, 17:12
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Ah, Danny42C ... that Stn Cdr again. Twunt!! Do forgive me, but ...

In the heady days of '65, some may recall that Officers of the WRNS were not actually subject to the Naval Discipline Act. Thus it was that a WRNS officer, walking about the Station between classrooms, was assailed by said charming Stn Cdr.
"You!! Why did not you not salute me?"
"Because, as WRNS, I only have to if I want to, Sir."
He was awful, but thankfully I never had 'close contact'.

Oh, and ...
Originally Posted by Danny42C
One of the most honoured institutions in the RAF is "Wednesday Afternoon Sports".
Yes, we had those at Manby/Strubby in 65 ... in theory. The theory (which was reasonable) was that Wednesday 'Sports Afternoons' would be compensated for by the occasional Saturday morning in lieu.

What actually happened was that the flying programme at both Units (School of Refresher Flying, at Manby and Strubby) inevitably slipped due to weather. So we usually worked Wednesday afternoons, and frequently Saturday morning as well, just to keep the ball rolling. In fact, as an ATC shift worker, if there was ever (was there ever?) a Wednesday afternoon off, you could guarantee it was when you were off watch anyway!

However ... we were allowed to wear Sports Jackets or Blazers in the Mess on Wednesday evening and Saturday evening, which compensated hugely. One felt so much better for that

it was much simpler at RAF Stanley in the 80s ... there were no days off, and you wore DPM all the time ... with a bow tie at Dining In Nights, says a former PMC
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Old 12th May 2014, 21:18
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1 BFTS Terrell Texas

Thank you Danny42C and smujsmith. Delighted to be in your company. I somehow managed to send the BFTS way of filling in log books there, but my script did not go. I will try again. Sadly no we do not have the ships in Llandudno any more.
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Old 12th May 2014, 21:46
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1 BFTS Terrell Texas.

November 1942 ACRC London,Jan 43 to June 8 itw Newquay, Grading Wolverhampton June 43, Heaton ParkJuly /August then Mauretania Liverpool to New York and on to Moncton. Lectures to prepare us for the "Deep South " etc. October 1943, train to Terrell.

The C.O. at Terrell was an R.A.F. Wing Commander. He was assisted by a Sqn Ldr Admin and a Flt.Lt Adjutant. Also a Flt Lt Assistant Q.F.I, a Flt Lt Navigation Officer and a F/o Gunnery Officer. There were 5 R.A.F. N.C.O's for signals armament accounts and a PTI. Also we had a Cadet Wing Commander assisted by 3 Cadet Sqn Ldrs and 6 Cadet Flt Lts.
There were three courses in October, 16,17 and 18. We replaced 15 . Each course was for 27weeks split up in to Primary for 9 weeks and Advanced for 18 with a weeks leave between primary and advanced.
We flew 70 hours on the PT17, Stearman, and 130 hours on the AT6a Harvard, but we didn't call it that. All "ships" of course.
The Army Air Corps had a Captain commanding, under our C.O., the ir detachment. They had two Captain Medical Officers a First Lieutenant who was responsible for the American Aviation Cadets on our courses.(Tho some of the Aviation Cadets wereCadet Sqn Ldrs and Cadet Flt Lts, no different. There were also7 U.S."blood wagon" men and 6 senior NCO's responsible for the civilian servicing of our aircraft. A Major Long and as Mr Lucky were the directors of the airfield and ran the civilian maintenance. The ground school instructors were, like the flying instructors, civilians with hon.commissions The met man had been a cartoonist with Walt Disney, so his diagrams were works of art.

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Old 12th May 2014, 22:06
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1 BFTS Terrell Texas.

Our quarters were very good, sitting side by side in the lavatories were a bit of a shock, but it was friendly! The food was excellent and everybody messed together, the Wingco queueing up like everybody else. The American Cadets told us horror stories of their "Pre Flight" but we soon got them using Chritian names and swinging their arms!
My first instructor on the Stearman was a real Southern Gentleman called Mr Barr and he had us, his four pupils , over to his house in Dallas to meet his family and to get to know us. Most of us were "adopted" by families in Terrell or Dallas and that lasted in my case for many years.
The Stearman had to be "wound up" to start and used the grass part of the airfield. It seemed a handful after the Tiger Moth, but was indeed a lovely aeroplane. We used a satellite about ten miles from Terrel called Boykin, so the call would be "off of Boykin.
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Old 12th May 2014, 22:38
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1 BFTS Terrell Texas.

The AT6 had a heel and toe plate under the rudder pedals, you pressed down with your heel to energise then frantically hand pump the wobble fuel pump and press your toe down to engage and hope it would start. Nobody ever stood by with a fire extinguisher or helped with marshalling, it really was solo! The AT6's also had a satellite airfield in the other direction callaed Tarver, again used to cut down on traffic at Terrell.

After nine weeks 16 Course went home, change of Cadet officers and we moved up a course and 19 arrived from Moncton. Another nine weeks and we were the senior course and that is when i got mumps on my birthday on a solo night cross country.
Two weeks in sick quarters with three other mumps then two weeks sick leav. Hitch hike to LA and then back to Terrell via Grand Canyon and Indian country! Recoursed to 19 and a new Instructor. Al Smith, a lovely man who was the instrument rating examiner, so I soon had that behind me. He taught me to contour fly. One day at the office, despatcher said today is your final check ride with Mr Van Lloyd! Tha aircraft landed the cadet ran into the office "Better get out there quick, the intercom doesnt work and he is in a foul mood. Mr briefed from the back cockpit, me standing on the wing. "Get in I will taxi out while you strap in you take off, at 2000 feet do steep turn left and right I will close the throttle, you will do a forced landing" Just going over a field boundary he shouts I have control, and he flew back and landed. I thought that I had failed , but No, all was well, and he shook hands and said "thats it" Then I really enjoyed the rest of the course without the worry of elimination. Back home via Moncton and the Nieuw Amsterdam. Then Harrogate and Spitfires - not so!

Montys attempt on the Arnhem Bridge failed, lots of Army Glider Pilots were lost so volunteers were called for at Harrogate. Few volunteers so we were told, if you dont volunteer you will never fly again - so we became voluntary conscripts. Do you want me to go on?
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