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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 20th Mar 2015, 18:21
  #6841 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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petet,

The only things I distinctly remember were the Isihara plates for colour blindness, and the usual test cards. No doubt it's far more sophisticated today.

My ear chap just walked over to the far corner of the room and whispered "Can you hear this ?"

The real killer was "Blowing up the Mercury" (but I suppose you know all about that already).

Danny.
 
Old 20th Mar 2015, 20:26
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Non service story

A friend was diagnosed as colour blind by his school. His mother who was rather senior in the nursing profession could not believe her son was anything less than perfect, so she arranges a retest with a top Harley Street specialist.
At the test after John has read a few cards his mother interrupts and tells him to stop playing the fool and give the correct answers. To which the specialist replies "Madame your son is answering truthfully, he is seeing exactly same answers as I am. The problem is you who is not colour blind whilst he and I are."
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 22:47
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Eye Tests

Thanks for the feedback on this subject. I will add the information to my listing.

I am intrigued by one of the Air Gunner tests which is described as "Turret" (which I am guessing meant that the eye test was repeated using a perspex screen .... but that is just a guess).

I am also keen to understand how the conditions were set for the Night Vision tests.

A minor subject in the great scheme of things but my enquiring mind is getting the better of me on this one.

Regards (and thanks again)

Pete
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Old 20th Mar 2015, 23:56
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Petet,

Stab in the dark: could the AGs "Turret Test" have had anything to do with "tunnel vision"?

Can't see how Perspex would be relevant (provided all the oil and bugs had been polished off).

Danny.
 
Old 21st Mar 2015, 01:58
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Exclamation Eye Tests

My Dad managed to pass the vision test/s and commenced flight training, however he then failed in training *was assessed as lack of Depth perception and poor night vision!!!

He was then remustered as an Air Gunner and passed

I've often wondered on the logic of the above decisions - in theory a pilot with poor night vision could hold on till daylight, whereas an Air Gunner (on Night Bombers) has no choice!!!!

In my own case, as a youngster I developed a 'squint' which was operated on - as Dad was RAF then post war a civilian ATCO my dream was to FLY, but with above history there was obviously some doubt

However our Family Optician was an RAF trained guy who assured us that I should pass so in 1965 I presented myself at Biggin Hill and fully expected to sail through the Medical - sadly the RAF optician had other ideas

I was selected for either a SSC in the Regt or to continue schooling and go for Engineering

Rejected the Regt and returned home to go off the rails!!!!

PZU - Out of Africa (Retired)
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 09:40
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Eye Tests

Thanks again for the feedback.

PZU: At the time, the minimum "Night Visual Capacity" for a pilot was 13, whilst an Air Gunner was 8, which may help explain your father's experience.

Danny: The test results are handwritten on the front of some service records so you may be correct as Turret and Tunnel look very similar when written.

It was the "turret" notation that prompted me to try to find a list of the eye tests carried out.

Regards

Pete
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 17:12
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Cat's eyes.

pzu,

Your: ".....in theory a pilot with poor night vision could hold on till daylight, whereas an Air Gunner (on Night Bombers) has no choice!!!!....."

One of the more desperate ideas which (I believe) was tried during the war was to train pilots ab initio to fly only by night, on the logical ground that that was what they'd always be doing operationally, anyway.

I suppose they set up a "pilot" Trial, but the scheme was dropped !

Danny.
 
Old 21st Mar 2015, 18:34
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Angel Eye Tests

Petet;
Like Danny I can remember the colour vision tests using the books he has mentioned but I also have a vague recollection of sitting in a chair with a restraint on my collar to prevent me leaning forward to view and identify illuminated. images on a rotating screen.This in a darkened room.
Remember that this took place in 1943 so my memory may not be all that accurate.
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 19:30
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Gaining An R.A.F. pilots Brevet In WW11

Yes Taphappy, first day at Lords in Nov 1942 sitting in a darkened room with little chain on collar and looking at silhouettes on a kind of tower. Result put in log book, so that must have been issued on that day. Managed 31 out of 32. Very pretty WAAF M.O. (They were all pretty then though, weren't they?) said, "night fighters for you!" A long time ago!,
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Old 21st Mar 2015, 20:51
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Eye Tests

Thanks again for the feedback.

Perhaps the answer to my question can be found in the log book (I am sure I remember seeing a listing somewhere, so maybe that is where I saw it).

If anyone has theirs to hand ......... !

UPDATE: I have looked at a couple of log books and they are both stamped "Night Vision Test" with results /32 shown; one has 9/32, the other 29/32, so Ormeside28 is the best so far!. Unfortunately, they don't show what other eye tests were carried out so I am back to the drawing board on that aspect of my research.

I have established that the night vision test consisted of two tests, one for light sensitivity and one for form perception (which is the one where letters and familiar forms such as stylised ships and aircraft silhouettes were displayed at various luminance levels). The article concludes "the score was simply the number of correct recognitions out of a possible 32".

The article also mentions the rotating hexagonal box which enabled 6 recruits to be tested at the same time (as noted by our veterans)

Regards

Pete

Last edited by Petet; 22nd Mar 2015 at 18:15. Reason: Additional Information
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Old 23rd Mar 2015, 11:43
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Danny:
Interesting that you had been to the CNE is Toronto in July 1941 and it as yet hadn,t taken on the role of No 1 Manning Depot at that time, so Dad,s arrival in January 1942 would have made him one of the earlier inductees to the Horse Palace. One thing that stood out in his memory ( aside from the lingering reminders of the previous tenants) was the sleeping arrangments-they were all in a large room together. I can,t recall where, if it were online, or in a book I read, but I remember a picture taken showing maybe 30 or 40 beds (perhaps even more) lined up in 3 or 4 rows, with about 4 or 5 feet of space around the sides and headboard and footboard. After lights out some joker would yell "Anyone from (insert town or province here) is a sissy!, and someone else would rise to the bait. The beds would be cleared and scores settled-at least till some other insomniac would repeat the process. After a week or so they either learned to get along as a team, or were simply too tired at the end of the day.
As far as being washed out of Pilot,s training, it may seem harsh, but it was because Dad did not follow his training by changing his selection of fields part way down. He wound up in a position where he could not reach the newly picked field, or once he realized that, get back to his originally selected field
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Old 24th Mar 2015, 03:56
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jeffb,

I can't remember how we were accommodated at the Canadian National Exhibition in '41, but Wiki says it is held (now) from mid-August till Labour Day (September). If that were the case then, that would account for the animals being there at the same time as I was (my log shows "RCAF Toronto 16-30.8.41.").

By January '42, the exhibition grounds would have been empty, so I suppose the "large rooms" your Dad speaks of had plenty of space to provide "dormitories" for 30-40 airmen.

For "packing them in tight", you could hardly improve on the arrangements I (as a Sgt/Pilot) found on the "Stirling Castle" en route Liverpool-Bahia-Durban-Bombay (8 wks in Oct/Dec'42).

They had rows of seven tier wooden bunks in the (former) 1st Class Dining Room, set out just like supermarket aisles: one of which bunks was the only personal space you, and your "Wanted on Voyage" kit had to live in.

Luxury it was not, but I had a top bunk (about three foot clearance from the ceiling) and so (as I have previously recounted), I could step on every other face each time up or down, whereas no one stood on mine (some people have all the luck !) I suppose the Dining Room must have had fans (in peace it would have been on the Southhampton-Capetown run - and no air-conditioning then), but there were none near me. For safety, I suppose the "aisles" would have been arranged under the fans to avoid decapitations and to stir the air around a bit.

As regards forced landings, we were more fortunate on the West side of Florida. Although I never had a real one (there), we got a practice one nearly every dual trip in the Stearmans; but there were miles of level grassland in every direction, so the only hazard was fence wire.

Our instructors never pulled one on us over the Everglades, for there baling out would be the only option, and even then you'd have to take your chance with the 'gators and watersnakes (seems there are six venemous kinds of these in the US, and four of them are in south Florida).

Danny.
 
Old 27th Mar 2015, 23:50
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Colour Vision

The current thinking on is to be found at Colour Vision | Association of Optometrists, although one can't help wondering if the list of establishments concerned is up to date.

So far as straightforward visual acuity at night is concerned, my definition of a good lookout has always been one who can see and report a light before the Officer of the Watch sees it.

Trust all well at Danny Mansions.

Jack
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 02:31
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Danny42C
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Union Jack,

All I remember about Marine Lights came (as a boy of 14) from an old retired RN Signaller about '36, and that was: "Green to Green, Red to Red, Perfect Safety, Go ahead" (is that right still?)

Danny Mansions and occupants jogging along nicely; thank you for asking !

Danny.
 
Old 28th Mar 2015, 10:15
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Originally Posted by Danny42C
All I remember about Marine Lights came (as a boy of 14) from an old retired RN Signaller about '36, and that was: "Green to Green, Red to Red, Perfect Safety, Go ahead" (is that right still?)
Yes, still valid, along with "If both lights you see ahead, starboard helm and show your Red".
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 12:19
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aah, happy sailing days. Got caught out with the Ile de Re bridge tough, on the way into La Rochelle. The Biscay Pilot said one arch was lit, red and green lights according to the normal lateral system, but it getting dark, tired, and we could see two "reds", so very confused. Turned out there was one arch lit for "inbound" and the arch to the left (as we were looking) lit for "outbound". Funny thing was the latest edition of the Pilot had been updated by friends from our Club!
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 13:46
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"If two lights you see in front....


FULL AHEAD and ram the !"
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 15:29
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Danny42C
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Lux Fiat !

Not being too keen on this waterborne stuff (if the Good Lord had wished us to go to sea, He'd have given us scales and gills - and also look what water does to your boots !), I hasten to add two caveats:

Do not be troubled by the steady red from the caravan when at marshalling point one dark night - it's just the beacon on top of the van !

In the blackout, do not orbit a steady red Pundit on the ground, waiting for it to flash an ident - it's your port wingtip nav light !

(Both true stories, one culled from "Tee Emm", the other my own experience)

Danny.
 
Old 28th Mar 2015, 16:15
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"Green to Green, Red to Red, Perfect Safety, Go ahead" (is that right still?)

That's certainly how it should be, although sometimes the alternative prevails, namely:

"Red to Red, and Green, Perfect Madness, Go between".....

Danny Mansions and occupants jogging along nicely; thank you for asking!

Long may that so continue.

Jack
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Old 28th Mar 2015, 16:20
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Funny thing was the latest edition of the Pilot had been updated by friends from our Club! - Wander00

Which brought a smile to the face of my elderly friend, Ben R, with whom I had lunch on Thursday.

Jack
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