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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 Sep 2014, 07:57
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The Mu Meter, produced by ML Aviation at White Waltham. I was sent to go and be introduced to this machine. It proved to be very accurate, even showing the different braking action on either side of the runway and the touchdown area compared with the rest of the runway. The amount of paper scrolls it produced was a problem though, try putting that lot in a file!
ML towed the demo model behind a Jaguar XKn "It's accurate up to 120mph" said the man, "No ****ing chance!" said the MTO at our unit in response to a particularly obsequious request to swap 'Rover'.
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Old 5th Sep 2014, 15:59
  #6142 (permalink)  
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Smudge,

Ah, yes - but Bloggs did not qualify as a member of the TWMR. He was generally regarded as being no more ornamental than your average erk, but much less useful. He could be called upon at any time to perform any menial duties which required mere brawn and numbers: any brainwork involved would be the province of the TWMR (ie the QFIs and just about everbody else). He suffered these indignities in the hope of joining the TWMR himself one day.

Even so: "The Gentlemen must draw with the Mariners" (Drake). When your back's against the wall (airfield six feet under snow) we all had to muck-in; although come to think of it, I never saw a Station Commander do much other than come out to have a look at us, say "Jolly Good Show, Chaps - Carry On !" and climb back into his warm car......D.

FantomZorbin,

Nowadays you'd have the full fury of the Environment Police down on your luckless head ! Apparently the excess of nitrates in the watercourses had all sorts of unwanted results, it stimulated noxious waterweed into rampant growth which choked them, fish died and there was an outcry from the angling fraternity, innocent farmers were blamed for putting too much nitrogenous fertiliser on their land, there was a right to-do, and no mistake ! Meanwhile there's you, shovelling the stuff on your runway by the ton, and butter wouldn't melt in your mouth !

Your: "...the amount of paper scrolls was a problem..." There's always the Circular Filing Cabinet ! Anyway, today it's probably all on a SD card - whatever they are. An XT at 120 ? Not on an icy runway, I hope.....D.

Cheers, both. Danny.
 
Old 6th Sep 2014, 23:56
  #6143 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Danny finds his Future Taking Shape.

It is time to bring up to date the progress of my bread-and-butter post-Retirement plans. You may recall that in late '70, I'd been interested in the possibility of a second "Career" (??) in HM Customs & Excise, via a possible (but unlikely) success in a National Competitive Examination to be held throughout the United Kingdom in the spring of '71.

The due date came, and I was summoned to present myself (for the written parts of the Exam), at a large Hall (name forgotten) in York. It was quite close to the route from Bootham Bar to the top of Lendal (the scene of my triumphal journey through York in my Isetta eight years before).

No difficulty in finding the place, and Thirsk-York is no problem. There were about 200 of us assembled, and my impression of my fellows was: "a Hangdog lot". I think that the examination was over two or three days, and I'm a bit hazy over the papers, but there was certainly a (relatively easy) Maths, an English which gave me no difficulty (the usual long text passages which you had to edit for errors in spelling, grammar and syntax), an essay of some sort to write, and something which I immediately recognised as what a Staff College Paper (never having been there), might be like.

I was invited to imagine that I was the Deputy Director of Education for Loamshire, tasked with organising the transport and accommodation for a large number of delegates to some Conference or other. Several ways of approaching the problem were outlined, it was required of me to choose the one which would be most efficient (and therefore economical), and then justify my choice. I have no recollection of any details now, but it filled a thoughtful three hours on a warm afternoon. I noticed that by half way through the time, quite a large number had "thrown in the towel" and walked out. I was quietly (but not over) confident - for it had been a long time since I'd been at school !

Again a few months before the results were announced.

Abou ben Adem's name did not "lead all the rest", but he came in at a creditable No. 129 in order of merit out of a field of 7700 odd. The old eye had not lost its cunning, nor the old hand its skill, it seemed. I'd always been a member of the "examination-passing Classes" (or a miserable little swot, depending on which way you looked at it). I would certainly be going forward for interview, but it was by no means "in the bag" yet. Decision time for me was still twenty months ahead, no need to burn my RAF boats for quite some time to come.

Two or three months later, my interview took place somewhere in Leeds. From later knowledge of C&E, I would guess my three examiners would be a Surveyor and two Senior Officers (Customs ranks roughly comparable to a W/Cdr and two S/Ldrs). It was clear from the outset that they were much more interested in my earlier Civil Service history than in the details of my RAF "career". Three years from '38 and two post-war as an established Clerical Officer in the old Ministry of Labour and National Service, followed by a year as a Junior Executive Officer (a rank which no longer exists) in National Insurance, and had held a Commission in War and Peace Service - I must have seemed an ideal candidate for their requirements.

"But you do appreciate, Mr.D., that if appointed, you will be on probation for four years before entering the field for promotion. And even then, as you will be aged 54, and the retiring age for Senior Officers is '62, your prospects are not all that good ?" Yes, I quite understood that (in fact, it made very little difference to us, I would reach the top of my C&E payscale in '79; together with my RAF pension, this would give us an income some 20% higher than my RAF pay in '72 (assuming equal Inflation increases).

There were some random questions, mainly fom one of the S/0s who seemed to have a background in betting duty. Which bets would a bookie try to keep "off the books" - winners or losers (from the punter's angle) ? Obviously the losers. What did I know about the operation of Purchase Tax ? (VAT was to replace it). What would I do if a disgruntled "client" thumped me ? Thump him back, of course ! (Right Answer ? - no idea). They were intrigued by my skating experiences. Was there a rink in Leeds ? (Yes, the "Silver Blades").

"Thank you, Mr D., you'll hear from us in due course". (I was quite pleased with the way my interview had gone - it was now just a matter of time).

In which to put in my last few Posts on this Thread, before I "divested myself of my tunic" for the last time.

Goodnight, chaps,

Danny42C.


All's Well that Ends Well !

Last edited by Danny42C; 7th Sep 2014 at 00:11. Reason: Spacing
 
Old 7th Sep 2014, 12:34
  #6144 (permalink)  
 
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Gaining a Customs Officer's Brevet long after WW2

Your richly varied career rolls ever onward, Danny42C ... never a dull moment, eh?

Looking forward to the next thrilling instalment, which hopefully includes tips of the trade that we can then use to our advantage!!

As an aside (on Customs) we arrived at Dulles Airport on Friday, having completed our US Customs Declaration (CBP Form 6059B) on the aircraft. This was presented, along with our Passports, at Immigration, where the Form was duly read and stamped. Then, having reclaimed our bags, we joined another line/queue ... where a Customs operative duly took the Form, grunted and waved us onward. I assume this helps reduce unemployment in the USA? Although possibly it ensures we don't substitute a different Form after Immigration but before leaving the Terminal. But even so, I always wonder what this double process is actually intended to achieve.
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Old 7th Sep 2014, 15:40
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No, no, say it isn't so!

Danny

"In which to put in my last few Posts on this Thread, before I "divested myself of my tunic" for the last time".

I don't like the sound of this at all...... or have I got the wrong end of the stick?

Ian BB
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Old 7th Sep 2014, 16:11
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IBB,

Like you, I'm hoping that Danny is referring to divesting his No 1 SD tunic, rather than ending his posts on this thread. Because, whatever he has done between leaving the service until now is relevant to following the history from back in the early 40s. Obviously, none of us would ask of our "senior man" anything he does not want to voluntarily pen, but I for one, as an ex serviceman have always had an interest in how others fared, post service. Impressions of life as a "civvy", the reality of not having that organisation behind you. I'm sure the long suffering moderators can see the link and would welcome more input from "Mr D".

Diutius est iter itineris Danny (apologies for the scrofulous Latin)

Smudge
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Old 8th Sep 2014, 01:20
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Say it ain't so.

MPN-11,

I'm afraid I was not in a uniformed branch of Customs (when I would have appeared as as a pale imitation of a Lieutenant RN), so cannot throw any more light on the foibles of the US Customs than the average layman.

Offhand, I would say that you were perfectly correct in assuming it was a strategem to create Job Opportunities where there were no Jobs. This I saw in its most blatant form as the "Indian Rope Trick" (Two men, one spade and a piece of rope: No.1 digs in and rests from his labour. No.2 has the rope tied to the bottom of the spade handle, he heaves out the spoil, No.1 takes over, and so on).

And if you think that is a Tall Story, you should take a look at the Administration of the NHS, and weep (if you are a taxpayer of this fair Land, that is), as I assume you to be....D.

Ian BB,

It is mainly so, as I have to tell you. All good things must come to an end, and my story is no exception. I have always intended to bring it to a close when I took the Light Blue off for the final time, and shall not extend it into any chronolgical tale of my time as a (generally feared and treated with suspicion) VATman. In any case, Mr Alf Wight (aka James Herriot), who treated our "Sally" for her odd doggy ailment in his surgery in Churchgate (Thirsk), had the cumudgeonly but lovable Dales Farmer business pretty well sewn up; a retired Schools Inspector (name forgotten) had followed up with the Dales Village Schools angle; I do not wish to tag along with "A VATMan in the North York Moors Pubs" - that would be just too much !

Yet I hope our Moderators will permit me the status of an Emeritus "Old Man in the Corner", who may butt in from time to time on this Thread (or its successor in title, for Old Soldiers Simply Fade Away, and most have already done so). And: "Dum Spiro, Scribo" is a good motto. So you may not have heard the last of Danny42C and whatever non-PC bee buzzes most loudly in his bonnet at any one time.....D.

Smudge,

I take your point, and it is a good one, but what happens to any serviceman when his days are numbered is governed by as many variables as was his (particularly wartime, if old enough) career in Post (ie 99% Luck !) Be content with this: Danny cannot complain of the way things turned out for us; for some they may have been better; for many, worse. There are no signposts.

"Diutius est....", had me on the ropes, for my first guess was based on the similarity to "Duty", but that is barking up the wrong tree. I reckon "It's been a long, long road, we've travelled" might be nearer the mark - correct translation, please !

I'm rather surprised that no one has "twigged" the "divesting...tunic" connection. Many moons ago Chugalug and I puzzled over the exact wording of the famous example (in the Manual of Air Force Law) of Insubordination. In this, our hero:

"... Cast down his rifle, and divesting himself of his tunic said: "I'll serve no more - do with me what you will", or words to that effect....." (and any Serviceman can supply suitable words !) As I remarked at the time: "They did things with Style in those days".

All of you, be of good heart: there's still 18 months of Leeming and a few shots left in the locker yet.....D.

Getting late, Goodnight to you all, God bless, Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 8th Sep 2014 at 11:42. Reason: Spacing (and Spelling !)
 
Old 8th Sep 2014, 05:14
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Danny42C - The retired school inspector is Gervais Phinn
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Old 8th Sep 2014, 07:26
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Danny,
It is with concern that I note your intention to cease your regular (and indeed eagerly anticipated) posts to coincide with your last day in light blue.
If anyone has the right to choose when to end their reminiscences on this forum, it is undoubtedly yourself. But like many here, I feel this would be a regrettable decision.
Please forgive this observation, for it is not meant to be disrespectful in any way.

This thread has a formal start, but no stipulated point of cessation. I put forward the view that your adult life in its entirety is a direct result of you gaining your RAF pilots wings in WWII. Therefore, my thoughts are, we are due far more than 18 months worth before you can finally write DCO.

If you feel I have overstepped the mark, I shall present myself to the guardroom immediately.

Camlobe
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Old 8th Sep 2014, 07:28
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you should take a look at the Administation of the NHS, and weep
Alas, so very, very true!! FZjr became involved with NHS admin. (GP area) on being made redundant from the RAF: indolent, self-serving, gash, care-less, arrogant, ignorant are the printable comments he makes regarding the lack of organisation and unwillingness to recognise the 'real world'!
I could go on but I'm perilously close to 'thread drift'!

[Rant OFF]

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Old 8th Sep 2014, 08:17
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Danny,

Diutius est iter itineris, roughly means "Its a long road". Once again, apologies for my Latin. You should see my English sometimes

Smudge
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Old 8th Sep 2014, 08:49
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Danny:-
"They did things with Style in those days".
I have been trying to think of an appropriate summary for the detailed and revealing posts with which you have captivated everyone, now that you have revealed to us that your story is coming to a conclusion.

As usual you have preempted me, Danny, for nothing else could say it better. Your amazing feats of memory, whether it be to describe items of kit issued you over three quarters of a century ago, or questions asked of you more recently at interview (well over a third of a century since), your ability to express those recollections in such lucid and entertaining ways, your patience with those such as I requiring you to dot i's and cross t's that you answer as though they be the most pertinent and incisive points possible, all that is style. Style in abundance!

Thank you for it all and the more yet to come. As they say in show business, you will be a hard act to follow. We have prematurely anticipated the end of this thread before, so I for one shall not do so now, but I do hope that even now someone else is preparing to don the mantle of writer in residence when you shed it for the distinguished and revered one of scribus emeritus (you'll put me right on that one I hope!).
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Old 8th Sep 2014, 10:02
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Hold the Eulogy!

Danny

"All of you, be of good heart: there's still 18 months of Leeming and a few shots left in the locker yet.....D".

Phew! The deadline is not as close as one might have feared!

So Danny, 'Vesti la giubba' ('On with the motley').

Ian BB
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Old 8th Sep 2014, 21:33
  #6154 (permalink)  
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ricardian,

Thanks ! My daughter has bought me one of his books, But I have Put It Somewhere and Now I Cannot Find It (happens quite a lot these days).....D

camlobe,

Overstep as much as you like (if you do so as diffidently and as courteously as you've done). We are not thin-skinned here. And if you're marched in front of me in my capacity as your Subordinate Commander, I shall dismiss the charge without hearing evidence, you'll march-out without a (any more) stain(s) on your Conduct Sheet !

As to the matter in hand: I still consider that, for we dwindling few who gained our Brevets in WWII and for the many who did so after it, it is quite acceptable that we hear their extended tales in their later Service lives until the end.

Beyond this, if they remained in the aviation business (particularly aircrew), well and good (who would wish to exclude Captain "regle" DFC of SABENA (RIP) and his hijacking at Tel Aviv ?)

But further than that, it seems to me questionable - where would you draw the line ? (here I am uncomfortably conscious of treading on our Moderator's toes - for it is their decision, and theirs alone: they've been very kind to us: it would be churlish to trade on their good nature by usurping their authority.

I take your point, but what really changed countless lives, (and sadly, shortened many of them), was war itself. How it did it varied from person to person. "We each had to fight the war we were given" is profoundly true - you didn't choose your war - it chose you. Everbody's life was upended to some extent, (Man, woman and child, Forces and civilians). No one has a claim to be heard on the sole ground that this happened to him, or that....D.

Fantom Zorbin,

"Administation", Oh, woe ! (and my C.S. Exam English paper required me to edit someone else's spelling !) Bad case of "Quis custodiet ?", I fear. (Has been corrected, of course) But then, did not even Homer nod ?

I have no idea of how the NHS conducts its affairs on a National scale, but in my neck of the woods, my experience as a patient has been uniformly excellent (on the clinical side, that is - apart from hospital food, and no one has ever been able to get a handle on that, and never will). Of course mistakes are, and will be made, for that is the inescapable human condition.

But from what I reliably hear, when it comes to the "business suit" level(90k pa and up), the Lunatics are running the Asylum. The Administrative Tail is wagging the Operational Dog (not really unknown to us, that, is it ?). There seems to be no clear Chain of Command, no Organisational Tree; Directors, Deputy Directors, Assistant Directors, Deputy Directors and their Assistants proliferate - the list is endless. All contradicting and countermanding each other in a sort of mad kaleidescope. To paraphase Dr.Johnson and the Bear: "The wonder is not that the NHS functions badly and uneconomically, but that it functions at all". The Trust is millions in debt. But hey, the taxpayer's always there to pick up the tab, isn't he ?

Rant away, my boy. Nothing will happen, but you'll feel the better for it.....D.

Smudge,

Nothing wrong with your Latin - it's just that I'm a bit (well, a lot) rusty....D.

Chugalug,

You're much too kind, Sir, showering all these compliments on my grizzled head ! (particularly when referring to my memory). For memory plays tricks: you may relate, in good faith, every detail of some event, only to find, perhaps decades later, incontrovertible evidence that it simply couldn't have happened in the way you describe (or even at all). Conversely, the: "Carlstrom Syndrome", where all memory of some sight or event long past been totally wiped away; so that even the sight of a compelling photograh or document of that same event cannot convince you that it ever occurred.

For that reason I again put on record a disclaimer from long ago on this Thread: Nobody should consider or quote me as an Authority for anything I may have written.

A hard act to follow ? The churchyards are full of "irreplacable" people - but life goes on somehow without them !

Senex Emeritus in angulo cum aquas acerbas Liffeyarum. (might be better) .....D.


Ian BB,

It's not over till it's over ! (No flight is ever over till the chocks are under the wheels). Who knows, the best may yet be to come (?)....D.

(This has grown, like Topsey, to excessive length).

Salutations to you all, Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 11th Sep 2014 at 18:32. Reason: Spelling !
 
Old 9th Sep 2014, 08:15
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Danny,
You encapsulate perfectly what FZjr is enduring!!
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Old 10th Sep 2014, 21:05
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Danny misses his Chance to become a (minor) Celebrity (Part I)

It was almost lunchtime and "slack water" in ATC. The pangs of hunger had driven all our flyboys over to the Mess (I was feeling a bit peckish myself), and there was "nothing on the board" to trouble Approach. All was quiet and peaceful. Too peaceful by half, I thought, as I felt the old itch between my shoulder-blades that warns of the arrow that's coming.

Surely enough, a phone trilled. It was the Emergency Service. It seemed that a lone US "Voodoo" in our area had suddenly developed a massive fuel leak, the pilot could almost see his fuel gauges moving down. He had to be got on the ground ASAP (or even sooner) before all went quiet in the engineroom and they had to bang-out. I do not know the Voodoo, but suppose he'd flamed one out. We were the nearest suitable airfield, he was only thirty miles away, they'd pointed him in our direction, would we kindly take him off their hands ?

Action Stations ! We were now all using the ARC-52, so: "put him over to our Approach", I said. He duly complied, and we exchanged salutations and I told him (callsign forgotten) what we had to offer. Tony H. on Approach had him on CA/DF at once, his heading was good and he should be in clear sight of Leeming in a few moments. We didn't need Radar, for the important question now was not "how far ?" but "how long ?"

I confirmed to Emergency that we had their man, alerted Local, they brought crash vehicles to instant readiness (for anything could happen). Our chap was quite high (15,000 ft, IIRC) and was wisely hanging onto every inch, until he was pretty well on top of us and could risk coming down. "Field in sight, 12 o'clock !"......"Over to Local on 290.2" (now why do I remember that, when I can't remember any other UHF frequency apart from 243.0 ?). Job done ! It was "in the bag" now (barring accidents).

Tony laid his headset on the desk: "Can I go up and see him come in ? " I'd been intending to do that myself (if the worst happened, the more good witnesses for the BoI, the better). On the face of it, there was absolutely no reason why he should not. We could both go up; Radar (Approach qualified, of course) could easily look after the shop on his own. But somewhere in the depths of my brain a little red light flickered (I've never known why). "You stay where you are !", I growled, rather curtly. Tony looked surprised and a bit hurt (so was I at my reaction).

No more than thirty seconds later he was back with us. They'd lost the airfield ! Five tenths blue and unlimited vis, and they'd lost the airfield ! "Where the Hell has he gone ?", I demanded of Local: "Didn't you keep an eye on him ?" ... "He was wide and high downwind for 34, went behind a bit of cloud, then he just sort of disappeared" was the unhappy reply.

Meanwhile the Voodoo was thrashing about all the over the place, they weren't far away, so our CA/DF trace was leaping about like a fish in a creel. Radar couldn't help Tony much: even with MTI out to 20 miles, the whole Vale of York was crawling with Bloggs all the time in those days, all going in different directions at different heights, and nobody looking out of the window much (hence the popular civil designation: "Death Valley").

His fuel needles were on zero now, every second counted. We couldn'd dare send him back to 243 or spend any time on identification turns. Somehow Tony lassoed him and brought him back a second time. This time he stuck to the circuit like glue - but all of us in Approach froze like statues in our positions. What next ?

A few moments later came the Happy Ending. His fuel gauges were underreading (no bad thing), the tyres were on the tarmac; they were safe - he even had enough left to come round the taxiway and onto the Servicing Platform before shutting down.

Tony and I looked at each other wordlessly, thinking of what might have happened if !'d said "yes" two minutes before, and we'd started out as soon as we'd passed him to local the first time. We'd have been half-way up the stairs and been caught flat-footed when he went adrift.

Radar would jump across into Tony's position as soon as he learned what had happened - but how long might that take ? Tony's headset was on the desk, I don't think we had a monitor on Approach. Radar would possibly not hear the Voodoo calling again until he put a monitor on frequency; as he'd nothing on his plate (as he'd think), he'd see no need to hurry.

It would not until we strolled into Local and met the horrified gaze of the Controller that we'd all realise that the Voodoo was swanning around under nobody's control. Of course Tony (or I) woud jump onto the slave D/F console at once - but it was possible that the pilot, unable to raise us on Approach, had by then come back over on Local, who'd send him back to Approach ....... And all the time the vital seconds which we were wasting would be ticking away. The result might well have been an avoidable disaster for which we would have been wholly to blame.

Now of course all this was pure supposition, it didn't happen, did it, because I'd said "No", and that was the correct answer. So that's all right then ?

Well, perhaps not quite. The tale has a twist in it - (the Title hints of it). Part II follows in a day or so.

Goodnight, all.

Danny42C.


Great Oaks from little Acorns grow.

Last edited by Danny42C; 10th Sep 2014 at 21:56. Reason: EDIT. Spacing.
 
Old 10th Sep 2014, 21:36
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Another gripping episode Danny42C, can't wait for part 2
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Old 10th Sep 2014, 23:02
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Dear Danny,

Just as an aside, I see from the left log-in place of this forum that your age hasn't changed from '92'.
Does that mean you've found a way of stopping the clock and if so will you eventually start getting younger ?
Certainly your writing style suggests nit's that of a youthful fellow !

Regards,

mike hallam.
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Old 11th Sep 2014, 08:58
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Mike, m' dear chap,

Your ".....eventually you'll start getting younger....." If only !

Doesn't work like that, I fear.

Watch this space. The PPRuNe computer never sleeps. Next November 10th is my natal day (only marred in years gone by as I'd have to get my cheque book out that morning).

Thanks for the compliment, but would have you know that I take exception to your "nit's" # (some time since the old regular "nit inspection" in schools). Now the little blighters would have not much to hang on to !

Why are some people coy about their ages on PPRuNe ? It's so helpful for the rest of us to be able to put them in the "time frame" of our RAF memories.

Cheers,Danny (aet 92 at last count)

(Note #) No use correcting it now - I've copied it and put it away safe somewhere so it can be Brought Out and Used in Evidence if necessary ! ....D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 11th Sep 2014 at 09:03. Reason: Addition
 
Old 13th Sep 2014, 23:40
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Danny misses his chance to become a (minor) Celebrity

A little later, I went for lunch (I must have been a "day worker" as Supervisor). Of course, I first joined the curious crowd that now surrounded the Voodoo on the line. I'd never seen one "in the metal" before (I don't suppose many of our people had), and inspected it closely. I was shocked at the rough standard of finish (much inferior to all the other USAF aircraft I'd ever seen): it had an almost "agricultural" appearance. For all that, it was a powerful, ugly brute and (so Wiki tells me) had more than enough performance to keep up with the crowd.

A USAF Servicing Party flew in from somewhere in E. Anglia later in the afternoon, found and fixed the leak, the Voodoo was refuelled; our grateful guests departed with mutual assurances of goodwill.

It was the favourite subject of conversation at lunch in the Mess; then I strolled back to the Tower, where now the afternoon watch had taken over. Of course the incident had been related in great detail during the handover, and Tony must have voiced relief at our having escaped very possible disaster because I'd called it right when he'd asked to leave his position to see the last act in the drama. The oncoming watch were debating the lessons to be learned: the consensus being: "The thing works best when everbody sticks to his seat and does his own job". (I would not quarrel with that !)

SATCO had by now joined the "jam session" (for our Bloggses had not come back from lunch, or were still being briefed before launching into the afternoon mass assault on ATC). IIRC, SATCO had been out of the Tower before the incident, and gone back to his MQ for lunch, so he was all agog for the gory details of what had happened (and, more importantly, might have happened). And I found myself in the unusual role of the Blue Eyed Boy (for the moment, anyway).

At close of play that day I went off for a couple of weeks (leave ?), was very busy about our own future arrangements and forgot all about it. Meanwhile "Down in the Forest, Something Stirred".

Many of us remember how the much loved "Tee Emm" of wartime was reincarnated as the "Air Clues" of peace (but W/Cdr Spry is immortal). Editorial Policy had changed in one respect. "Tee Emm" carried a monthly citation for "The Most Highly Derogatory Order of the Irremovable Digit" as the wooden spoon for the most stupid flying mistake of the month.

Now, it seemed, the carrot was deemed preferable to the stick (on the basis that you got a better result from a pat on the head than from a kick up the backside).

Accordingly, in "Air Clues", there was now a monthly "Good Show" instead. It must have been "lean pickings" on the flying side that month, for W/Cdr Spry was obliged to cast his net wider - even as far as ATC. And so it was that our rescue of the Voodoo was held up for the admiration of the multitude. Accompanied, of course, by a mugshot of the recipient(s). An offical "Air Clues" photographer turned up to do the honours. Three of the four protagonists were on hand for the line up. The fourth had swanned off on leave (and you don't want to bother a chap when he's on leave, now do you ?) SATCO was on hand to fill the gap, anyway.

And so when the real hero of the moment turned up a week or so later, and the new "Air Clues" of the month hit the newsstands, I found (to my justified indignation) that "Hamlet" had been staged without the Prince, as it were. To my indignant expostulations: "What's your yelp ?", they said, "There's no money in it, anyway. What would you have us do - drag you back from leave just for the photograph ?).

I nursed a sense of grievance for quite some time.

Goodnight, friends,

Danny42C.


There's no justice !

PS: Tony H was a professional standard draughtsman (might even have been his profession pre-RAF), and later presented me with an excellent line drawing of a VV, which I may reproduce on Post some day if I can (a) find it and (b) learn how to to scan and paste it. (Don't hold your breath).

What follows is rather murky, put together from unguarded snatches of conversations half overheard and odd mutterings, all of it hearsay, may be entirely false and is certainly libellous. And I do not stand by a single word of it. So for what it is worth:

He'd started as a Bloggs, must have gone a long way, for it seems that he was Third Man in a Shackelton somewhere around the North Cape one stormy night. Captain and Second Dicky had gone for their humble repast, leaving Tony to mind the store (Bad Idea). What he did, or what happened, I know not, but Skipper got back just in the nick of time to save them all from a watery grave. Clearly, Tony would be expensive as a member of the TWMR.

But a perfect candidate for ATC , and so it was ordained. (Sorry, Tony, if this should ever come to your ears, for it is a poor recompense for your generosity, but it is so long ago that I hoped you would not mind)....D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 13th Sep 2014 at 23:42. Reason: Addition.
 

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