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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 15th Apr 2015, 22:33
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Danny42C
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Warmtoast,

(Your #6898) Thanks for pointing me to the two links you posted. In both cases it illustrates how two wartime careers can start side by side, then suddenly and arbitralily take off in widely different directions. After a long time examining the first with a magnifyng glass, I comment as follows:

EDIT: Here is Warmtoast''s pic (can't copy it any bigger no matter what I do):




RAF cadets of Class 42D parade through Lakeland, Florida, USA, on Armistice Remembrance Sunday 11 November 1941

(Must have had a band in front - they're ALL IN STEP !)


The Lakeland Parade has me, frankly, baffled. The first question being: "What was that parade for, anyway ?" The obvious answer would be "to show the flag", and to cement relations with the townsfolk, most of whom had never seen a Britisher in their lives. But I've never heard of such a thing in any of the other "Arnold" schools (although there were town parades in the BFTS, but their LACs/(pretend Aviation Cadets) would spend the whole six months in one spot, so making friendy relations with the locals much easier to grow than in the "Arnold" case, where we would be moved from one State to the next every eight weeks. (Lakeland and Carlstrom were the only two "Arnold" Primary Schools in Florida, both near the W.coast, Lakeland being some 60 miles N. of us). And the fact that Lakeland has a population of 100,000, whereas Arcadia (Carlstrom Field) only 7,600 (current figures, but I don't suppose the ratio would have changed all that much in the time since) might have had something to do with. I was only a Course ahead (42C), and don't remenber going into Arcadia even once (as there was no transport, and we were 15 miles out in the prairie).

Next thing, how was it that they had RAF uniforms ? All ours had been taken off us in Toronto: we came down to Florida in just the "Civvie" suits we had been given in Blackpool (to support the pathetic attempt to pass us off as "civilians", and so put a fig-leaf over the gross breach of US neutrality - this is a month before Pearl Harbor). All the time I was on their (three) Flight Schools, I wore nothing but flying overalls: they pinned my (Air Corps) silver wings on them at the end.

The whole of one new Course (about 120) would be on that parade, (about the same strength as my 42C Course at Carlstrom) - but they would finish only some 70-80 strong. And who is leading the Parade ? There shouldn't be any RAF officers there, (we only sent out LACs and one or two NCOs [u/t Pilots or Navs] on the Arnold Scheme). Perhaps a US officer (tactfully clipped out of the picture). What about the two at the head of the column ? And what on earth is that chap nearest the camera carrying ? Bagpipes ? And some of them with raincoats (?) over their L. arms (?) The whole thing bristles with questions, perhaps we have on Thread someone who was there and can answer them.

The second story starts just like mine in so many ways: entry as a u/t Pilot, ITW in UK, trained at an "Arnold" school (just five weeks behind me), wings - no Commission for either of us - back to UK, Bournemouth and then Masters, fighter OTU (Hurricanes for him, Spitfires for me). But then he gets into action in N.Africa with the Hurricane he trained on; they sent me out to India (where there were no Spitfires then); I was railroaded onto a thing of which few people had heard at the time, and no one remembers now (Vultee Vengeance). He was unlucky in his quest for a Commission, I got mine for the asking (I suspect only because the Boss was in such a huff over his several Dominion Sgt-Pilots, who were getting theirs [whether they wanted or not] planted on him without so much as a "by your leave"). Luck of the draw !

Then he winds up as a Ferry Pilot on the Burma front and seems to have seen a lot of the country. I hoped that he might have ferried a few VVs, and given me his opinion, but it seems that he was only taken back to base in one as a passenger.

Cheers, Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 16th Apr 2015 at 15:42. Reason: Typo. Add Pic and Text.
 
Old 16th Apr 2015, 08:51
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UV Room

Whilst continuing my research on WWII aircrew training / medicals I came across an article (and a photo somewhere ... but I can't find it now!?) which said that aircrew were encouraged to visit the UV Room on a regular basis.

Can our esteemed veterans advise on whether this was standard "day to day" practice?

Regards

Pete
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Old 16th Apr 2015, 15:59
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Danny42C
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Pete,

This esteemed veteran had never heard of ultra-violet (which I assume we're talking about) in the RAF during WWII... UV rooms ? - new one on me !

Our cockpit "spot" lights (useless) were dull red, IIRC. (Could they have been infra-red ? - don't think the RAF had heard about that, either).

I remember that, in the MPN11 GCAs in the '60s, we had UV hand lights: if your shirt had been washed in "Daz" (?), your cuffs glowed a treat !

Always ready to oblige,

Danny.
 
Old 16th Apr 2015, 16:53
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UV Room

Danny

Thanks for the response; very much appreciated as always.

The information I have is from an operational training unit leaflet which was given to new arrivals. It reads:

"Unless you are feeling one hundred percent fit you cannot fully benefit from the course. A very short period of UVT (Ultra Violet Treatment) every day will help a great deal. Any spare ten minutes you have, go to the Flight Sergeant i/c Discipline, Training Wing Headquarters and draw goggles. The UVT room is just opposite and the F/Sgt. will advise you as to the correct procedure"

The photograph I saw shows airmen (possibly a crew) standing in a semi-circle with goggles on ... I will have to try and track it down again.

Regards

Pete
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Old 16th Apr 2015, 17:45
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Pete,

".......go to the Flight Sergeant i/c Discipline, Training Wing Headquarters...."

(A most unwise move in most circumstances ! - "Ah, just in time my lad - we want four people to move the NAAFI piano !")

As for the tanning salons, Now they telling us ! Perhaps I blinked and missed the leaflet. But then, I did time on the Edmunds Trainer, but now couldn't for the life of me remember what it was ! This UV business sounds more like a Bomber Command thing, on my (Spitfire) OTU we did no night flying.

"Insufficient Knowledge" !

Danny.

PS: (Not in the category of Left Handed Screwdrivers and Striped Paint, I hope !)

Last edited by Danny42C; 16th Apr 2015 at 17:50. Reason: Second Thought (PS)
 
Old 16th Apr 2015, 18:01
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UV Room

Danny

The content of the document all seems genuine and forms part of a 14 OTU summary held at TNA.

I have now found the photo, which is in a 1942 Flying Magazine [Special RAF Edition], but I am not able to attach it .... and no amount of reading the forum instructions has helped me in this quest!

By the way, I can provide some detail on the Edmunds (Edmondes) Trainer if you would like your memory jogged.

Regards

Pete
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Old 16th Apr 2015, 18:13
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but I am not able to attach it
Scan it. That puts it into your computer. Your may, depending on Windows fit , have to drag it from My Scans to My Pictures.

From then on it's easy. Photobucket, or whatever you use and its there.
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Old 16th Apr 2015, 18:15
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UVs and nylon bras.

Ohhhh, Nurse, pass me the pills.
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Old 16th Apr 2015, 19:31
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Attachments

I was trying to add the image as an attachment but it says that I am not permitted to do that and the forum does not allow for an album to be added to my profile.

I don't use photobucket (or the like) so that rules out using the html attachment option.

........ oh the joys of being technically illiterate!

Regards

Pete
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Old 16th Apr 2015, 20:06
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Danny42C
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Pete,

Thanks for the kind offer, but when I first put this my lapse of memory on this Thread, someone had the "gen" on the "Edmunds Trainer". Seems it was an attempt to teach deflection shooting in a Link Trainer by aiming at a model aircraft, pushed across in front of you on a sort of handcart at a distance at which the model would represent a range of 250yds.

Trouble was, the handcart bit worked, butI don't think the inventor could ever have "flown" a Link. You pressed the rudder a little, nothing happened. You pressed a bit harder - it flew round like a whirling Dervish ! (good fun, but how did we ever win the war ?) Small world: three years later I worked with a Wg. Cdr. Edmondes at Cannanore, seems that "Edmondes" had been corrupted into "Edmonds", then "Edmunds" - he was our man (but I didn't know that at the time).

Now look at Page 345 #6891 on this Thread. The gauntlet I cast down at the end has never been picked up. You are a researcher par excellence. This picture has been published many times - but never an explanation of the wire hoop.

What is it, please ?

Hopeful, Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 17th Apr 2015 at 00:57. Reason: Typo
 
Old 16th Apr 2015, 21:02
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Danny

Re. your comments about the parade at Lakeland details of which I posted in my #6898, here is some clarification about the composition of the parade, the dress rules, that it was an Armistice Day parade and the bagpiper also gets a mention.

It comes from page 251 of “The Arnold Scheme: British Pilots, the American South, and the Allies” by Gilbert Sumter Guinn.
Here: http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=m...gpipes&f=false

….travelled eastward and southward to Lakeland, from the Lakeland Railway station, they were transported by truck to the huge barracks at the flying school. There, they were assigned three men to a room. Williams had been appointed cadet sergeant at Maxwell Field and his responsibility was essentially disciplinary. Since it would normally have been cold and wet at home in Britain, it took some time for the men to become accustomed to mild weather and daily sunshine.
Their training commenced immediately, and Williams found himself attending ground school in the morning and flying in the afternoons, alternating about weekly. Of course, there was special flying kit, and issue leather jackets were worn with blue uniform trousers for ground school classes. However, since the United States entered the war in December, and U.S. Army regulations had required a changeover to winter uniforms by 1 November, members of Class SE-42-E wore RAF uniforms both on and off station after that date. The classes at Lakeland were also permitted to march to British-style drill. On 11 November, the entire RAF student body at the Lakeland school formed up into two groups for an Armistice Day Parade through downtown Lakeland. The first group of fifty-four men was led by Duncan MacKinnon of SE-42-D, a Scottish cadet playing the bagpipes, and a second echelon of thirty-five men followed. Behind them were American ex-servicemen of 1917-18.
As his dual flying training continued, Williams recalled the “great shock” when, after landing at the auxiliary field near Plant City, his civilian instructor, C. D. Oakley, stepped out of the front cockpit onto the wing of the Stearman, reached back to connect the front seat belts and then climbed down from Stearman No. 28 and sent him solo, to that time, Williams had received only four and a half hours of dual flying instruction, but he soloed successfully. Now his flying instruction really began. During weekends, if there were no demerits to walk off on the ramp during Saturday afternoon, Williams and others usually walked downtown, had a snack or glass of beer and surveyed the town and its environs.
On Sundays, most of them attended church in town. At the Methodist church, Williams and several friends found that they enjoyed the friendly atmosphere and the people. Usually, they were invited to Sunday lunch and/or dinner and were driven about the town and countryside. From his perspective, “Southern hospitality was beyond our comprehension.” During these travels, the British cadets found a genuine friendly welcome everywhere they went….
WT

Last edited by Warmtoast; 16th Apr 2015 at 21:21.
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 02:17
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Danny42C
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Warmtoast,

Thanks for the steer to Dr.Guinn's description of the Lakeland Armistice Day parade. I have relied on him for a lot of the statistics on total number of "Arnold" students and what happened to them, but had not come across this particular article.

What he says about uniforms surprises me. At Carlstrom my "special flying kit" amounted to a plain khaki overall plus cloth helmet and goggles. Leather flying jackets ? - you must be joking ! (why would you need them in warm Florida, anyway ?). So 42D at Lakeland had their RAF blues, they must have been a special case, for we certainly didn't have ours. And our USAAC officers wore lightweight summer uniforms all the time (perhaps they hadn't heard of the Army Regulations - or just ignored them).

And we had to march to US drill: (Hup-two-three-four .... To the rear March !) At Advanced School (Craig Field, Selma, Ala) we did US arms drill as well, with old Springfield rifles. Never could get the hang of "Changing shoulders on the March" (there is no magazine sticking out below as on the SMLE, so you carry the Springfield right way up on one shoulder or the other, to order). ♫ "You're in the Army Now/You're not behind a plow !" ♫

So our chap soloed after 4 hours dual (presumably on a PT-17). Didn't he do well ! (8 hours was the norm). Perhaps he'd had some TM hours in UK before coming out.

My dates as 42C started 30.8.41., left 3.11.41. at Carlstrom (66 days), I would think all the Arnold schools would start about the same time; 35 days later 42D would have joined us around 4.10.41., 35 days after that 42E about 8.11.41. The Armistice Day parade on 11.11.41. would consist of 42D plus the newly arrived 42E.

Whaddya mean: "at weekends" and "on Sundays" ? Don't you know there's a war on ? At Carlstrom weekends had gone out of the window !

♫ Off we went, into the Wide Blue Yonder ! ♫

Cheers, Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 17th Apr 2015 at 02:23. Reason: Addn.
 
Old 17th Apr 2015, 08:33
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I remember that, in the MPN11 GCAs in the '60s, we had UV hand lights
Danny
Oooh yes! I remember it well ... the lights glowed without being plugged in as there were so many electron thingies flying around inside the cabin!!

When the AR1 radar was being installed at Finningley we were lent one of the trucks from Sleap to tide us over. The first thing that happened was Chiefy from GRSF demanding our screwdrivers so that we didn't upset his delicate settings with our 'tweaks'!!

P.S. Do you remember the trick Cat Board question "When is a GCA truck IMC"?
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 11:07
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Morning, FZ!!

1. Well, the MPN11 buttons and switches were marked up with luminous paint, when glowed brightly when the UV wand was waved over them. That's why we [at Strubby] wore dosimeter tags, changed monthly at SMC to ensure we were still capable of breeding!

2. Most GRSFs confiscated screwdrivers, I believe, but the Strubby crew were obviously trusted to keep theirs ... No such imposition in my time! Happy hours of twiddling to get the perfect settings on the radar!

3. The Cat Board had many trick questions, but that's a new one on me. I would hazard a guess that the weather minima made it unsafe to stay in the truck ... which assumes an [unmonitored] ILS was available. I await the answer from Danny
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 11:50
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Afternoon, MPN11!


The dosimeter tags!! Our SATCO was banned from going anywhere near the radar for a while as he had been keeping the tag in his drawer next to a luminous alarm clock!! Much hilarity!!


You are correct re: the GCA IMC question ... the answer (of which I can't remember the exact details) was printed on the inside of the front cover of the En-Route Supplement! Really sneaky that one!


On one occasion we were instructed to evacuate the truck (fortunately the wx was BLU) as there was diesel fuel lapping over the door sill of the power trailer! The reflection of the arcing in the inverter/rectifier?? off the fuel was quite impressive!
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 16:09
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The Spitfire with the ring on the tail.

Danny

The Spitfire in the video is K9795 and was the 9th production Mk 1 with 19 Squadron. The ring on the tail is a "rudder horn balance guard". But what is it guarding against? Well, apparently, some of the earliest production a/c were fitted with spin recovery parachutes (don't know where they were installed) and the "guard" was there to stop the parachute lines from jamming between the rudder horn and the top of the vertical fin!

YLSNED

Ian B-B

Last edited by Ian Burgess-Barber; 17th Apr 2015 at 16:48.
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 17:30
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Interesting article (with photographs) about the enormous armada that would have been launched if the two A-bombs had failed in 1945
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Old 17th Apr 2015, 17:41
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Ian B-B,

Have you any firm authority for "apparently" ? (only reason I ask is because I suggested exactly that on this Thread many moons ago, and it may be that you saw it and had forgotten.......!).

It is a plausible explanation, though. Probably we will never know for certain.

Thanks anyway, Danny.
 
Old 17th Apr 2015, 17:57
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Fantom Zorbin and MPN11,

No, Danny had not heard of it, either ! But VMC or IMC, any GCA operator or Caravan Corporal on a Pilot FTS was in peril of his life all the time regardless. I suppose we were better off as we couldn't see what was coming across the grass!

I worked MPN11s at Thorney Island, Geilenkirchen and Leeming. Never saw a Dosimeter at any of them. The only advice we were ever given was: "Don't hang about in front of the "hot" side of the truck when it's running !"

I think the original Allisons in the Power Truck were replaced by Rotary Converters to convert our 230V 50 cycle mains supply to the 120V 60 cycle that the MPN-11 liked. The Geilenkirchen solution was to power the truck from a Bachem (?) mobile diesel generator outside. As I believe these were air-cooled, they made a deafening row.

Danny.
 
Old 17th Apr 2015, 18:12
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Sources for Courses

Danny

Just Google - "Spitfire spin recovery parachutes" - enough evidence recorded there methinks

Respectfully

Ian B-B
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