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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 8th May 2009, 09:46
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Happy birthday Reg may you have many more!
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Old 8th May 2009, 12:47
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Happy Birthday Reg, and thanks for all your contributions
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Old 8th May 2009, 16:08
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Off Thread ?

Hi Icare.
Thanks for your concern, but am fine, the thread is progressing well, with plenty of posts which gives me time to prepare my Beetle for M.O.T next Tuesday, followed by M.O.T for my Beach Buggy later.

You just keep going until some one complains, why should they, it's 'all grist that comes to this mill'

P.S the saying is "Can you hear me mother".

Night Bomber is available at
Night Bombers [VHS] [1981]: Brian Johnson, David Savile: Amazon.co.uk: Video .
Or google night bomber video
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Old 8th May 2009, 22:36
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Happy Birthday!

Just time to get my best wishes in Reg before the day is gone. Thank you for all your posts. The amazing recall that you, Cliff and Peter possess implies that Lesley Welsh (sp?) was not so unique after all! More please.
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Old 9th May 2009, 03:01
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Reg Happy birthday from a newbie to this forum. My Dad and his twin were also born in '22. You vets are all heros in my book. Look forward to more discussion.

Rodger

Last edited by rmventuri; 9th May 2009 at 09:47.
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Old 9th May 2009, 10:04
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regle
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Thank you, everybody

I was completely overwhelmed at the kindness and thoughtfulness of all your Birthday greetings and realise now what a wonderful comradeship this Forum has fostered. I had a lovely day and was treated to the joy of having all my four children with me ,they having come from as far as Jerusalem and Belgium to surprise me. The day before, Andy and his lovely wife , Lynne, took me up to Old Buckenham where I had the delight of clambering in to the cockpit of my first aeroplane. A gleaming, pristine Stearman PT 17 which ,I was told, belonged to Martin Shaw, who could not be with the "Arnold" reunion because of pressing work obligations. I felt so at home ,immediately, in that cockpit and would have cheerfully taken off if the engine had been switched on but I had to be content to witness some lovely aerobatics from the Stearman Pilots that were young enough to get in the aeroplane without a step ladder.
I was further surprised by having three of my Grandchildren with me over the two days and then to, come back to the Forum and find all those wonderful greetings, has made me a very happy and thankful person.


Thank you, everybody, and long may this "esprit de corps" reign amongst us all. A very grateful Reg.
 
Old 9th May 2009, 11:52
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Andy, that's just brilliant and I think that was as perfect a birthday treat as Reg deserves.
As far as tracing what happened to Halifax HR732, I wonder if we could approach this from another direction.

1) We know how many aircraft were lost on that raid.

2) We know which were Lancs and which were Hally's. It seems that all bar 2 aircraft and crew have been located, so leaves just 1 Hally and 1 Lanc unaccounted for.

3) Some of the crew of the other 51 Sqdn Halifax HR782 which took off just after HR732 and therefore might have been close together in the bomber stream, saw a bomber hit twice by flak and explode.

4) Assuming that a Lanc flew at a higher altitude, then this other bomber would have crashed further back up the bomber stream than them, and they were shot down north of Frankfurt near the Belgian border. I'm sure that if a gunner said an aircraft was hit twice by flak, he would know the difference between that and a nightfighter attack.

5) Had it crashed outside of Germany, I'm sure the locals would have provided information, and any personal effects would have been returned earlier than 3 years after the War.

6) The pilots ring was returned from either Germany or the US. That also indicates the crash site was in Germany, as either it was returned by a German (who would have to have other personal effects to have been able to return it) or "traded" to a US serviceman (again with sufficient info to return it).

7) Sometimes crew parachuted out so not all would be killed (5 getting out of HR782 for example) and even if killed, their bodies would in most cases carry enough to identify them, therefore for no records of the crew to have been found so far indicates that they never got out. It probably also explains why no nightfighter claimed them, as we have no combat report or location to help.

8) The Pilots wedding ring was returned, so they must have crashed on land, not in the North Sea.

So, with all this, can someone help in producing a plot where all the bombers lost that night crashed and which ones are identified, leaving just those untraced (should just be 2!). Whilst all the crew would initially be buried nearby, there may be records in the CWGC about post war concentration of graves of unidentified airmen. I knew a WO2 who was involved in reburials, so where possible the identity of exhumed remains were checked. In the case of this crew, that was not possible for any of the 7 bodies. That may be because any identifying personal effects had already been retrieved and subsequently lost.

My gut feeling is that there is a force acting here since Dougs twin brother died to identify the remains of him and his crew.

If so, then there was a higher purpose in Cliff starting this thread 11 months ago. All it needs is for Rodger to say that the 5th June was an significant date for his father and I'll cue the spooky music...
Edited as lost count!
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Old 10th May 2009, 19:28
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Icare9,
You have sprung into action to a far greater degree than I would have ever imagined. Thank you for taking your time, which looks substantial, to dig in and analyze the clues as well as reach out to your other contacts. It is clear "many hands make light work". The Canadian library and archives lists the archival reference and vol numbers for Canadian service men/women who died (at least 20 years ago) while serving. Doug's file was listed as "Yet to be processed". Right. Its only been 65 years. I checked two other RCAF vets KIA in '41 and '43 (friends of Doug's) and their files were complete. I was able to contact one of the librarians who was a bit puzzled so I feared the file had been lost. To make a long story short she did some research and claims the file is actually complete so I have ordered it (about two weeks ago). Typically if takes 30 days but can take up to six months. Would the RAF file on Doug be the same? Given the difficulty in getting these types of files out of the UK I'm not sure it even makes sense to try if the files are the same. However if anyone has knowledge that the RAF records may be different then I will go after that as well. The next of kin may be a problem as Doug still has an older brother (90 years old - served in the Navy) and younger sister so I may need their permission? The great nephew of HR732 crew member William Hamilton is a lawyer in Scotland - he is already attempting to get Wullie's file.

Icare9, I will send you more information about the ring via PM as that is probably getting too off thread.

When I spoke to Howard Bondett who witnessed a bomber being shot down I assumed it was too much of a long shot that what he witnessed HR732. Now that we know only two a/c were lost without trace - the other being a Lanc and the 3 minute lag between takeoffs I will be calling up Howard again to find out everything he can remember.

June 5th has no significance I am aware of - I'll check with my mother

Regards
Rodger
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Old 10th May 2009, 20:00
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Private messages

Rodger, you have private message. If you can't access, please email me: [EMAIL="[email protected]"][email protected][/EMAILl
There are many great people that are offering help, and I think you'd like to read their info.
It's not taking us further yet, but it shows what a wonderful community the military and aviation buffs really are. Puts the bad news on TV in perspective.
Nothing to do with nations, just one person helping another. If I can be part of that chain, it goes a very small way to repaying the debt we younger generations owe to those of your uncle and thousands like him who gave up their chance of sharing it with us...........
The Canadian archives are actually recommended as the MREU records were usually copied for Commonwealth service folk. The MREU records here are either missing or inaccessible, so you probably have a greater chance of success than over here.
It really needs a way in to German archives, Luftwaffe, flak batteries and even local newspapers where the destruction of an English terror bomber would probably be recorded.
On the 4th December HR782 fell near Weiler (not Weyer) not far from Boppard near Mainz. They noted a bomber hit TWICE by flak and explode. The only other aircraft I could plot in the vicinity was LW313 which crashed on a bridge at Bad Munster am Stein. That MAY have been the aircraft seen by HR782 but perhaps we can unearth the times that these 2 crashed. LW313 is a bit South of HR782 and was shot down by a nightfighter, not mid air explosion, but I don't know if HR782 had then turned North and been near enough to see it go down. If the time and location prove incompatible, then HR732 would likely be East of Weiler at the time of the explosion..... just where though is the snag!! I doubt it was a great distance away but we'd need to ask a man what happened 65 and change years ago, and whether ahead, abeam or behind them..... It might even be the same flak battery, getting HR732 first then HR782...... What was the effective height of flak and why were they in range?
Aircrew must know the difference between a fighter attack and flak, especially two hits, and I'd expect there to be some return fire from the bomber if a fighter attacked with tracer rounds going both ways.
Well, I'm afraid I've laid a great deal on your shoulders to take the attack to the Archives!! I assume you are also keeping the crew relatives informed?
Sounds like a job for the entire clan Milliken!!
Fantastic to hear of yet another older brother. Yes I'm sure you'd need to have him authorise the search...... What about his parents, don't tell me their still going!!!
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Old 12th May 2009, 11:45
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Happy Birthday Reg!

Then & Now



Smile looks the same? We had to take the keys away in case he flew off



2009 1941
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Old 13th May 2009, 06:05
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Snaith

Reg,
One of the historians at sqdn 51 would like you to contact them so they can keep you informed abound events and reunions. His email is [email protected] at website index

Regards,
Rodger
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Old 13th May 2009, 06:16
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Kevin,
Ok will look forward to what I receive from the Candaian archives. Doug's parents both lived into their late 90's. Yes there is much to do for the Milliken clan.

Can you tell me if it is difficult to get a copy of the Snaith operations log for an entire year from the UK National Archives?

Regards,
Rodger
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Old 13th May 2009, 07:11
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Snaith Operations Log

Rodger:
I'm sorry, but I don't know. I'm not an archivist or historian and am just an interested amateur doing what I can to help move this to what I feel will be a successful conclusion in identifying where HR732 crashed and what became of the crew.

I'd suggest you ask the 51 Sqdn historians if they can help, or there is a website here: WThe Wartime Memories Project - RAF Snaith that may be able to help move this forward. There is a poster on PPRuNe by the nom de plume of exscribbler who seems to have an interest in Snaith, might be worth a long shot, if he doesn't reply directly to this.

I'd have to throw your appeal to anyone else participating in this thread as to whether these records still exist or if they can be accessed.

Can anyone help Rodger get these records?
I responded before checking all the websites where have asked for help on this.
One helpful response gives this website which I hope will help towards what you want.
The National Archives | The Catalogue | Research Guides
Thanks to Andy H at feldgrau.net
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Old 13th May 2009, 16:02
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Heaton Park

Heaton Park A.C.D.C has been mentioned a few times on this thread , and last mentioned by Peter so as I recently came across the original booklet that was issued on arrival, thought I would scan one or two pages. It contains the usual C/Os welcome , what do we do here ? Places out of bounds. Lights out time (22.30) etc.











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Old 13th May 2009, 16:16
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A Bit More

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Old 13th May 2009, 17:40
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. . . and you won't have time to get a drink on your way to the station or give a parting kiss to some of the numerous blonde jobs you'll find waiting for you at the station . . .
Love it! Just imagine an offical pamphlet with that kind of politically incorrect comment these days. I was born forty years too late.
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Old 13th May 2009, 20:33
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51 Sqdn.Rodger

Many thaks to you and Neil . I am a longstanding member of the very active and well run 51 Sqdn. Association so am always "au courant" but thanks all the same. Unfortunately the spirit is willing but the flesh is ever decreasingly weak. Regle
 
Old 13th May 2009, 20:57
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Question for regle

I know your fantastic story hasn't reached there yet but I wondered if I could ask you a quick question about Tarrant Rushton.

Shortly after I joined FRL in 1966, I started to learn to fly in a DH82 at Old Sarum. I needed a flying helmet with a working mic and earphones so went up to Tarrant to see what I could scrounge from the Safety Section.

I was shown a cardboard box full of old helmets and told to help myself. Expecting that the best I would do was to find one of the blue cloth helmets I was delighted to find a really good leather one. 40 years later I still have this helmet and it has two names of previous owners written in it. The names are J Kent and M J Baker. I wondered if these names mean anything to you.

I am really looking forward to your story about the Tarrant days.
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Old 14th May 2009, 07:51
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cliffnemo,
wonderful publication, how different it all was then. Is it possible for you to continue your Pilot/F/E story. I have a relative who trained as an F/E just in time for the Berlin Airlift and he says that your training seems identical to his. Due to a burglary and fire years ago he does not have any notes or even his log books so I print off your stories for him. Please keep it up, if possible.
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Old 14th May 2009, 13:44
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pulse 1 and ancient aviator and all.

I am sorry but the names in thr helmet don't ring any bells. Those helmets were very, very good and I wore mine during all my ops.
Berlin Airlift days coming up after India and I will try and get down to it. In the meantime anyyone interested in Tarrant Rushton and Flight Refuelling should try and get hold of this book entitled "In Cobham's Company" Sixty years of Flight Refuelling Limited. By Colin Cruddas, ISBN No.0 95244880 7 It is a fine book and very well illustrated. Sir Alan Cobham was a famous pre-war Aviation pioneer and founder of Flight Refuelling Ltd. now Cobhams.Thank you again everyone for the great greetings. Regle
 

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