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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 27th Apr 2009, 11:38
  #681 (permalink)  
regle
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Nufc 1892

Come on !, you must have had some terrific experiences during that time. I don't think that it would be thread stretching too much to tell us about some of them. If you have already done so then please forgive me and tell me which threads ! Only five days to go ! What do you plan on doing? It will make a huge difference to your life. Lots of luck, Regle
Sorry, I thought that it was five days but , luckily, I re-read it and realise that it is years. You still have time to redirect your life. Sorry for the error, Reg.
 
Old 27th Apr 2009, 11:56
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Fortunately Reg it is 5 Years to go, not 5 days! As for experiences, I have nothing that could begin to compare to what has gone before on this thread and others.

And what will I do when I finally, and reluctantly hand in my uniform? Well, I have told my good lady that standing at the entrance to B & Q greeting customers for a couple of afternoons a week when there is no Cricket to watch is a long held ambition of mine - alas she seems to have greater plans!

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Old 27th Apr 2009, 16:58
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Retraining will be required; at B&Q they let you have the last one...
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Old 28th Apr 2009, 17:02
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Advice Please

You may remember at the beginning of this thread I told how three of us Hardie, Bill and I, became inseparable friends, whilst at Darr School. I have now come across a letter Hardie wrote to me in 1986 , I wondered if it would be of interest, and would be legible, so append below the first page. The letter does describe briefly on four pages his wartime career.
Would some one let me know if it is legible , and of interest. If it is I will scan the remaining pages.



On my windows/ vista/conputer clicking control plus does increase the print size.

1986 AND HARDIE WON'T LET ME FORGER THAT GROUND LOOP.


In the past I have typed the word Halibag, then deleted it as I thought it would not be recognised. But now as Reg has used it , I realise it was not a figment of my imagination.

I have had a nice email from Tow1709 re a Typhoon pilot, named Peter Bret and he says he will join in the fun, and in conjunction with the Peter , will try to post some interesting articles.
See WW2 Hawker Typhoon pilot memoirs

Regle, any comments on 'Rice Paper' ?
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Old 28th Apr 2009, 18:12
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Cliff...please scan the rest of the letter!! You have a considerable audience out here who value everything you can give us...I check this thread every day, and I'm sure many others do too.
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Old 28th Apr 2009, 19:24
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Reply to Cliff

Hear hear. I too and am sure others want to see the other pages, Cliff.
You have lost me with "rice paper" . Have I missed something ? Reg
 
Old 29th Apr 2009, 11:01
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Old Comrades

Thanks for the advice, Molemot. Will start scanning. Will first try to produce the newspaper article that after forty years or so, connected the three of us together.

Regle, not to worry about the rice paper. Talking to a friend it just flashed across my mind, and asked him if he could remember any thing about it. I could remembered it was edible, and could be written on. He seemed to think a crew member was given a piece with the 'letters of the day' (colours?) written on it, and in an emergency ate it. Another figment of my imagination ? Perhaps some one else will remember.
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Old 29th Apr 2009, 13:50
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Upside down with no harness

Cliff; at last you've tempted me to reply when you scanned that letter. The long arm of coincidence stretches out again.

My dad trained at 2BFTS, War Eagle Field, Lancaster, California on Stearman, Vultee Vibrator and Harvard.

One fine day, in the climb to exercise altitude in a Harvard, he decided to pass the time with a slow roll. The canopy was half open and he found himself inverted with his shoulders on its leading edge and his head in the slipstream. He couldn't reach the controls and had to kick the stick over until it rolled drunkenly upright. He had a parachute, of course, but was too scared of explaining himself (and the loss of an a/c) to the CFI to contemplate using it. I suppose the Harvard would have recovered itself over 6,000', but it made him sweat a bit.

Keep it all coming Cliff and Regle, the reason I have a PPL today is because I was brought up on little snippets, which you are bringing together beautifully.
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Old 29th Apr 2009, 15:10
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Competition Time!

I finally just scanned in 11 more pictures into Reg's Photobucket account, Reg wanted me to post this picture.

The question is "what is the aircraft in the lower middle panel"?


Reg has not told me what the prize is yet but I hope it's alcoholic?

Last edited by andyl999; 29th Apr 2009 at 15:10. Reason: quotes
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Old 29th Apr 2009, 16:07
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Question Andy199's quiz

Hesitating, hesitating, hesitating ...
I'll go for a Buckmaster ....
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Old 29th Apr 2009, 16:16
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Could be a Bristol Brigand, judging by the tailplane. Just a thought
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Old 29th Apr 2009, 16:34
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More tales of India

The "Bread and Butter" route in India was Bombay -Calcutta and Air India possessed the sole right to this route. The line concessions were renewed yearly by the Directorate of General Aviation (DGA) in Delhi. JRD, as Mr Tata was always known ,phoned me one evening to tell me that I was to take him to Delhi next day for the annual meeting for the renewal of the routes. I asked him if we were night stopping and he told me that we would be returning the same day . When we were going out to the plane I was surprised to see a large number of suitcases being loaded on to it. I said to JRD "I thought that we were only staying the day". He put his arm around my shoulders and gently said "You really don't know India do you, Reg ? " The suitcases were full of rupees and the one with the most suitcases came back with the best routes. We came back with "Bombay-Calcutta " intact.
I was sitting in the old DC3 one early morning , waiting to check the Captain on the Calcutta route when into the aircraft came JRD and politely requested the passengers to disembark. All 21, a full load, did so without demur. He then breezed into the cockpit and said "We're off to Poona to the races. You've just got time to get your Wives to come as Hostesses" and off we went to Poona.
Another time I was assigned to take the assassin of Mahatma Ghandhi to Delhi for his trial. I was not to appear in any photographs. The First Officer, duly promoted, was the one who appeared in the "Times of India".
The stewardesses in India were always from very good families, generally very beautiful, but with few exceptions, not very worldly. As in all airlines, new stewardesses were the subject of intensive leg pulling. One gag was for the First Officer to hide amongst the baggage which, on the Dakota, was always stowed behind the cockpit adjacent to a small cargo door on the left side near the nose. After take-off the Captain would call the poor girl to the cockpit and ask her to send the First Officer up. When she said that she could'nt find the F.O. in the back the Captain would tell her in no uncertain terms that it was her job to make sure that all the crew was aboard as well as the passengers and that now he would have to fly all the seven and a half hours to Calcutta by himself and that it was her fault.... At the destination the First Officer would quickly go out through the small luggage door, run round to the main door as the stewardess was opening it, collapse into her arms saying "It was a long run but I made it."
On another occasion the stewardess would come into the cockpit to take the two empty plastic coffee cups from the pilots. Unlike modern pressurised aircraft, the DC3's side windows could be and frequently were opened. Once as she leant across the Captain to open the window to throw the cups out, he knocked her hand away and shouted "Don't ever do that. Can't you see that the other window is open ? If you had opened my window there would have been a terrible vacuum and we would all have been sucked out of the cockpit " Later on, the Captain put the aircraft on "George" as the automatic pilot is affectionately called,
opened both the windows, pressed the stewardess call button then he and the First Officer, hid amongst the bags in the baggage just behind the cockpit. The poor girl came up to find an empty cockpit, both windows open and the aircraft flying serenely along on it's own . Hysterics were usually the outcome of that one.
Another favourite was the "Toilet Flush". Remember this was India were only "Untouchables" cleaned toilets. On her first flight the Captain would ask a new stewardess if she had been briefed on flushing the toilet. Absolutely horrified" she would answer "No" The Captain would point to a large lever across from the side of his seat. "Whenever a passenger comes out of the toilet, you must come up here and pump this lever twenty times to flush the toilet " he would gravely tell her and the unlucky girl would come up every ten minutes or so , blushing furiously, hiding her face and pump away at what was the hydraulic lever, used to boost the system and used for emergencies.
To end this I will tell you that quite a few years later, my eldest daughter, Linda, became a Stewardess with the late lamented British Caledonian. I was still flying and warned her of all the tricks that were liable to be played upon her but was not prepared for what actually happened. Her first flight was a night stop in Edinburgh, They duly arrived quite late and she went up to her allotted room and was very pleased to find that it was a very nice one. She was very tired and went straight to bed. She was woken a bit later by the phone and it was the Captain.. "I am so sorry to disturb you but they seem to have given you my room " he started to say when she interrupted him "My Father is an Airline Pilot and he warned me of this sort of thing "She said and slammed the phone down. Next morning when the crew met for breakfast the Captain went up to her " I trust that you had a good night's sleep " he said " I'd like to meet your Father ". In actual fact we did meet at Entebbe and had a good laugh about it. Reg.
 
Old 29th Apr 2009, 16:38
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Jig Peter

Vous avez raison; mon ami. C'est un Buckmaster ! Regle
 
Old 29th Apr 2009, 16:45
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Hardie , Bill, And Cliff.

I thought I would start with a newspaper cutting that enabled Hardie, Bill and me to contact each other. However I cannot find the original article, so have had to scan a scan. The results are not very satisfactory, but can be enlarged . If I find the original I will reproduce it. The scan is from an album I created for my granddaughter, and included my complete history.

After the article appeared in the Hull Daily Mail, many people rang me , and John (ex aircraft apprentice) rang Bill Davies in Cardiff and gave him my telephone number. Bill rang me and gave me Hardie's address . After this I sent Hardie an audio tape that amongst other things explained what had happened to me. Unfortunately Hardie died shortly after I received his letter. I met Bill and his wife on two occasions, but last Christmas was sorry to be informed he had died in 2008.

The rest of the letter next.
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Old 29th Apr 2009, 16:49
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Talking He who hesitateateates isn't always lost ...

Wotta little spotter I woz in my yoof, Regle !!! I nearly went for a Brigand, but couldn't see the glasshouse it had, and rejected the Albemarle because of the tailwheel ...
(Just showing off [again] )
Merci mon ami !!! Bonne continuation tous et toutes ...

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Old 29th Apr 2009, 18:11
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Another great day of interactive posts. I also nearly went for the Brigand but didn't look "warlike" enough and brain cells too slow to recall the Buckmaster name before, so beaten to it! I think Bristol went the twin fin route due to problems with a single rudder coping with the more powerful engines. Mossies and Hornets etc seemed to manage, so I wonder what the precise reason to switch to twin rudders might have been. Otherwise, there is still a distinct family resemblance back to the Blenheim.

Sorry to hear of your fellow students demise, that's why we get concerned that stories like these don't get lost! Somehow you have an uncanny knack of making what, from others, could be mundane come alive and enthralling. I wish I had your ability of expression! Keep on keeping on!!

Have we lost all other WW2 aircrew such as Navigators, W/Op and gunners?
Come on, there must be some left who could be coaxed into adding their reminiscences? Please.....????
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 02:38
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Cliff, As far as I know,rice Paper is still available.
My earliest memories are of exotic golden brown disc-shaped comestibles with a piece of almond in the centre and a halo of white paper upon which they rested........ Displayed with the other exotic cakes,in the glass case in the local bakers.
the day came when i was actually treated to one of these delicious confections which, I was informed , was a Macaroon...a very exotic name, and scent to match (perhaps I connected it with "Cameroons" in my subconcious).....well, the taste lived up to the looks and smell,but the crispy base was stuck firmly to the paper.

I took a lot of convincing that it was actually edible,but hesitantly put a piece on my tongue -and of course it dissolved The base was soon just a warm memory!

* reminds self to see if local baker still has them! *

What a treat, this week , with more fascinating stories of bygone days,- I can almost transport myself there,such are your descriptions.

What with inverted flying sans harness, and "ragging" the poor ,innocent indian girls.....you men certainly lived to the full.

Keep it up ,please!.....oh, yes, the letter scan is A1 even through my milk-bottle Bin's.
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 08:33
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Unstoppable Merlins - and empty oxygen bottles

Hi - I am a recent joiner who last night discovered, and read through, all thirty five pages of this thread since Cliff started it way back. I only have a PPL but have looked with interest at the Lanc (natch - and other wartime machines) for years. It has been fascinating to read your experiences, Cliff, and those of others (Regle - some fascinating stuff!), and to find out what really happened in the air as opposed to what the book said should happen.

Re. the unstoppable Merlin, it is of passing interest that at Lancaster Finishing School one of the drills practiced after engine start was for the pilot to explicitly tell the wireless operator to set the ground/flight switch to flight. Interesting to know what might prevent a WO from doing so at a time of low workload for him; and might he not have alerted the pilot if the pilot forgot to tell him?

Re. the empty emergency O2 bottle mentioned at one point, again LFS placed the responsibility for checking the supply in these (10 minutes min) firmly on the pilot and FE as they made their way up the fuselage on their way to the cockpit. They were also to check escape hatches closed, fire axes in position, emergency air pressure, hydraulic accumulator slack oil pressure, cat put out etc. etc.

So, looks like someone tried to cover every eventuality, but then Burns once mumbled something about mice and men...

So, thanks again to you Lanc crew - your memories are indeed a treasure!

Best regards,

Dave
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Old 30th Apr 2009, 09:28
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Reg has asked me to post these pictures for him to comment on



You have to say what a beautiful airliner, now we have to get on Ryanair 737's and those &^%^&%* stewardesses!


Must be an Indian Breathalyser test?






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Old 30th Apr 2009, 10:12
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The last pic is I believe the interior of a Farman Goliath..?
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