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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 25th Nov 2015, 23:03
  #7701 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Days of Yore.

Geriaviator,

A fine figure of a man, your Dad. He and I would be much the same age. Those button-up collars must have been awfully scratchy in summer !

(you speaking the words of Jack Stafford [RIP] ):

Then smiling at me the squadron leader said “You'll be OK, son”. I silently lifted my eyes to heaven and thanked the Lord.
So "with one bound, Jack was free !"

Proving once again that: "A Lie is an abomination unto the Lord, but a help in a time of trouble". Well do I remember those early days when our friends were being chopped right, left and centre and we all lived with that Sword of Damocles scratching our scalps. (My Primary Course in US lost 40% - he would go for flying training in NZ, and do we know what was his chop rate there ?)

----------

Walter,

It was sparsely furnished of course
You had furniture (what was the world coming to ? - we had bare boards in the Annexe, and get on with it !)

Yes, those little town Tea Rooms in Newquay were our lifelines, but tea would be 2d and (supposed) coffee 3d, and a bun likewise, so with two bob a day (less stoppages) you had to be careful. And the walk there and back (sorry, march !) was fraught with danger, for there would be prowling W.O.s and discip NCOs to pull you up for something (under Secn. 40, they could have you for just breathing !)

Can't remember the PTI's name, but he did a good job - I was never so fit (at the end) than ever before or since in my life. Do you remember those 100 stone steps from cliff top to beach ? At the start, we slowly puffed up, blowing like grampuses (grampi ?) and red in the face - but at the end we doubled-up like mountain goats, and could have yodelled while doing so had it been permitted.

What I can't remember is how many were there of us on the ITW Course - any idea ?

Danny.

PS:
Hasenfus was commissioned
How on earth ? With his expressed German sympathies, and a name (literally "Harefoot", but with the connotation "coward" ?)

----------

John,

Not so much of the "old codgers", young sir, if you please ! When past the "four score years and ten", we are released from the conventions and can sip our Horlicks at any hour of the day or night we choose (subject always to the veto of Mrs D, I hasten to say !)

The Top o' the Mornin' to ye all,

Danny.


EDIT:

Chugalug (crept in under the wire),

As ever ready with a kind word of encouragement, thank you, Sir.

Yes, there is life in old dogs yet, and occasionally it comes to the surface !

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 25th Nov 2015 at 23:11. Reason: Addn.
 
Old 26th Nov 2015, 07:33
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Our seniors continue to amaze me, busy with their erudite posts long after this youngster is asleep Gentlemen, we salute you!
Stanwell in Oz asked about the Primary Glider ratio: between eight and 16 to one. The ATC machines were copies of the pre-war German glider which trained the Luftwaffe and were built by Elliotts of Newbury from 1947. Fascinating article in Wiki at
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliotts_Primary_EoN
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 09:03
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Geriaviator,
Thanks very much for that.
I've never actually seen a Primary Glider in the flesh but my guess would have been around the ten to twelve mark.

Thanks also to both you and Walter for taking the time and trouble to post those most valuable recollections.


p.s. It should go without saying, but thank you Danny for your co-ordination and inspiration.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 10:48
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Trebarwith Hotel

Danny if you wish to repeat your Summer vacation, there are double rooms with sea view available July 2016 for 150 pounds, room only per night.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 16:03
  #7705 (permalink)  
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Geriaviator and Stanwell,

8-16:1 seems on the low side for any glider. I've read somewhere that the old "rule of three" still applies, even with modern wide-bodied jets (three air miles run per 1,000 ft lost at flight idle). Even with statute miles that's almost 16:1, with nautical 18:1.

May well be that I don't know what I'm talking about - someone will put me right !


Pom Pax,

Thanks, but I don't think I'll bother !

Danny.
 
Old 26th Nov 2015, 16:39
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Danny,
I started off on a contraption with a ratio of 7:1.
It didn't matter. As long as one got one's arce off the ground, one was above everybody else, we thought.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 18:37
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IIRC the Hunter 1:1 procedure was based on 1 mile per 1,000 ft [clean].

Much mental calculation for the ATCO, of course, especially when they were coming in at a tangent.

As I noted elsewhere previously, a Mirage IIIO on a flame-out passed abeam the Tower downwind at around 14,000
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 18:59
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My Dad, now 95, ex-Lanc pilot, class 42A of Arnold Scheme along with Reg Levy, and full tour of ops from Woodhall Spa with 619 Squadron... would also agree that he is 'nothing special'. When I first learned, as a youngster, that he had the DFC I asked him what he had done to get it. His answer was 'I don't really know'! His entire crew was decorated which was apparently fairly unusual. He is the only surviving member now. He spent a year at University before joining up but one of the things he always says about his time in Bomber Command is that there was a complete mixture of people and everyone got along so well even though backgrounds were so diverse. He shared his first room with the Headboy of Eton and the Headboy of Harrow, but he himself was the son of a postmaster from the Shetland Isles and his operational crew consisted of Australians and a Canadian. I guess the culture was that there was nothing special about anyone!
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 19:33
  #7709 (permalink)  
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One-in-One Procedure.

MPN11,

Sorry to differ slightly, Sir, but.....(Google - Facebook):


Royal Naval Air Traffic Control published a note.
19 October 2010 at 06:52 ·

ATC History - The One-in-One Recovery

The One-in-One recovery was a flame-out procedure that suited the Hawker Hunter. if a pilot was unlucky enough to have an engine failure he would be given a vector and instructed to 'convert excess speed to height and pass height with all transmissions'.

When the pilot's range (or track distance to be more precise) in miles equalled his height in thousands of feet (i.e. 8nms at 8,000') the pilot was instructed to lower his undercarriage, which would then increase his rate of descent to 1000'/nm - or 'one-in-one'.
Perhaps a VV would manage one-in-one "clean" !

Danny.
 
Old 26th Nov 2015, 20:16
  #7710 (permalink)  
 
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Following on from the safe outcome of the Speedbird 9 all 4 engines failure in 1982, having encountered volcanic ash, we were taught a similar no-engines visual circuit and landing per the Hunters in the BAC-111 simulator.

The overhead key was 8000' and 220 kts. If you could make that we were shown that you could continue downwind, reducing speed and height while running some flap until you were short finals. Then and only then you dropped the gear and flared for a "Shuttle" landing.

I never had to try it in anger, I'm glad to say, but given that the sim never really simulated the actual aircraft that well, it gave you a sense of confidence that if you could do it in the sim, you sure as hell could do it for real!
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 21:52
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Just dropping a note after a solid day's reading to thank one and all for the great contributions. It's amazing that after running so long our great thread is now being recharged with the great recollections from Walter and from Jack Stafford (RIP) along with the insightful remembrances, questions and answers that accompany them.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 22:12
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ISTR Llanbedr could give us a 1:1 in the Gnat
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 23:25
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Danny42C

"Sparsely furnished" is certainly correct to describe a RAF iron-framed bed with springs, the standard timber locker and a small rug. You reminded me of the 4 Yorkshiremen story that was popular many years ago. "Floorboards in the annex? Aaaaah! i'd 'ave given me soul for them. An 'ole in the ground was what I 'ad for a bed" etc. etc. Next Yorkie, "Wot...'ole in the ground? I 'ad to sleep in a pond!" and so on.

As for the German refugee bloke Hasenfus who Ross and I shared for an excruciating couple of weeks before we dislodged him, well he was unbelievable. I still marvel at the memory of his boastful tales of how good things were in Berlin. He was also around at our SFTS on Oxfords, and to see him passing out on Wings Day 23 December 1941 as a Pilot Officer horrified me.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 23:41
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Stanwell

Thanks for your comment. I'm just beginning to get used to it, after prompts, nudges and encouraging remarks from my wonderful son John. I see I've already posted 18 times. When I can't sleep I might as well get up and be entertained by the PPrune addicts with so much interesting knowledge.
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Old 26th Nov 2015, 23:51
  #7715 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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It never rains but it pours !

Sandisondaughter,

First let me welcome you back, (after a five-year plus absence !), into the Good Fellowship of this Best of Threads in the Best of Forums in PPRuNe ! And now first of all, you've hit the nail square on the head with

I guess the culture was that there was nothing special about anyone!
That's what I've been saying here for a long time. Our generation were just ordinary folk who happened to find ourselves in the firing line in '39/'45. There was a job to be done, and nobody else in sight to do it, so we simply got on with it. Luckily, when endurance and heroism were called for, there was plenty of it on offer.

Now if you've been following this Thread recently, you'll have seen that, contrary to all expectations, there has been a sudden new crop of nonagenarians in town, some happily still with us and others speaking through their sons or others, either directly or by means of their logbooks, notes and diaries, etc. left to us. Can I urge you to persuade your Dad to join our happy band ?

We'd all welcome him (and I could relinquish the onerous burden of being the Oldest Inhabitant ?) and enjoy his many stories. For us, remember, the clock is ticking !

As you see from my callsign, I was in the third tranche of entrants into the Arnold Scheme, and so would just have missed 42A. First question, what did your Dad think of the 'Hazing ? And if he was at Carlstrom, what was the true story of the legendary 'Riot' there ?

Awaiting expectantly,

Danny42C.
 
Old 27th Nov 2015, 01:09
  #7716 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Is there a Sherlock Holmes in the House ?

There is a side story lurking about here which is in danger of sliding under the carpet. I will let (excerpts) of Posts speak for themselves:
-----------------------------

14th Nov 2015, 12:07

#7637
pulse1

I am using this thread to try and motivate my neighbour to tell us his story. He is very reluctant.

He was a Beaufighter observer and was shot down in the Med. He was captured and taken to an Italian prison camp where he remained until Italy surrendered. Although they were ordered to stay in the camp he escaped and tried to make his way to Switzerland but was captured by the Germans and taken to POW camp in East Germany. When the Russians "liberated" them he witnessed some awful sights as soldiers raped women who had come into the camp seeking protection. It was this that made him realise that this was "real war" and made him reluctant to talk about it.

I particularly want to record his story as a record of how ordinary people, a Durham miner in his case, trained and operated as aircrew, and then went on to totally different lives. In his case he became a schoolteacher in Dorset. It probably wont be long before we lose his story for good.
-----------------------------
15th Nov 2015, 06:17

#7640

Danny42C

pulse1,

Your #7639: ".... He is very reluctant...". This is a very common experience: there has to be an underlying reason and it might be worth while to explore it. Perhaps your neighbour is not 'on line' (few of us nonagarians are), have you tried to tempt him by reading him some of our 'back numbers' ? (that's the way they got me in). And many more than I must have been struck by the coincidences with John Eacott's father's story. He couldn't possibly be a "Bob", by any chance ?
-------------------------------
15th Nov 2015, 08:50

#7641

Geriaviator

Pulse1,

Please do try to coax/help your neighbour's story. I have a book by a former Beau observer and I would have been terrified to have been stuck under that dome halfway back, never mind the glasshouse effect under Med sun.......
-------------------------------------------------------
15th Nov 2015, 09:33

#7642
pulse1

have you tried to tempt him by reading him some of our 'back numbers' ? (that's the way they got me in)
I do have an accomplice who is much closer to him than I am and we are making sure that he at least reads the posts from John Eacott
----------------------------------------------------
22nd Nov 2015, 00:32

#7659

Danny42C

Matters arising from......

pulse1 (your #7644),

Best of luck with your attempts to lure your old-timer out of his lair, perhaps he could be encouraged by the wealth of new contributors which has just cropped-up !
---------------------------------------------------
22nd Nov 2015, 12:17

#7663

FantomZorbin

Danny 42C

Apologies for the delay. Re: your #7642. It was indeed a 'Bob' that I barely saw a glimpse of! It was in the early '60s. I intended to write to my MP but he wasn't even born then (DOB probably yesterday!!)
----------------------------------------------
23rd Nov 2015, 00:06

#7667

Danny42C

Walter603 (your #7662)


You (and others) must surely have noticed the extraordinary points of resemblence between FantomZorbin's "Bob"'s (#7665) story and your own ?
---------------------------------------------


Then the trail has gone cold. Walter, was your Navigator by any chance called "Bob" when you got your ducking in the Aegean ? (no, that's too much of a coincidence to ask for).

EDIT: Idiot ! - the answer's in p.382 #7632. It WAS a "Bob". But not your Bob ?

pulse1,

Any luck yet ? Anybody else add anything to this tantalising snippet of a story ?

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 27th Nov 2015 at 05:38. Reason: ADDN.
 
Old 27th Nov 2015, 04:23
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On Monday 9th December 1940, I reported for duty at RAF Cardington, a receiving centre near the city of Bedford. I was sent to the airmen's mess for my tea on arrival. Some airmen already present asked me what I had joined for. When I told them I was going to be a pilot, they burst out laughing! 18 years old, then only five feet four inches tall and baby-faced, I had the last laugh!

A week of inoculations, form-filling, uniform issues, and a bit of "square-bashing", and we were off to the recruit training centre at Bridgenorth, Shropshire, where we were to spend the next five weeks becoming trained airmen. It was a time for learning discipline the hard way; not quite in the Guards tradition, but certainly a hardening, healthy way of life in which I revelled.

The weather itself was "hardening". Lots of snow and bitterly cold winds over the Christmas period of 1940 and into 1941, and there was a mild epidemic of influenza among the airmen, but it didn't stop the general enthusiasm of the younger men, especially those destined to go on to flying training in due course.

By mid-January we had completed our training. My special ‘buddies' were three men quite a lot older than me, and I think they had taken it upon themselves to act as my guardians, in view of my youthful appearance! Roy Whitney, Ray Kent and “Tommy” Tomkinson, all married.

Roy Whitney went to Canada for EFTS and stayed there as an Instructor. Ray Kent was serious, a loving man to his wife of only a few years. He was an architectural designer, and I don't think he had any children. As a pilot he was killed in action. "Tommy" Tomkinson was a very large man, almost fat, and a joy to have around. He had a wonderful sense of humour. He failed his early flying training, being unable to judge his height from the ground when coming in to land, and he was quickly "grounded" and sent to a suitable mustering for the duration of the war.
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Old 27th Nov 2015, 04:58
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Danny, we haven't yet finished with these strange coincidences. My Beau navigator was called Bob. However it was a nickname that he preferred to his real name, William Bernard Pritchard. (Ahhhh...sounds of deflation again).
Bob was a P/O (Pilot Officer, as in P/O Prune). I was a Flight Sergeant when shot down, but lucky bugger, I had been put up for a Commission and it was back-dated to 27 October 1943, and I didn't find out until I'd been a PoW 10 months later.

Last edited by Walter603; 27th Nov 2015 at 05:01. Reason: mis-typing
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Old 27th Nov 2015, 06:38
  #7719 (permalink)  
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Lacrimae Rerum.

Walter,

and we were off to the recruit training centre at Bridgenorth, Shropshire, where we were to spend the next five weeks becoming trained airmen
Another reason why it might have been better to opt fot "Deferred Service". I dodged all that, did my two weeks at Reception Centre at Babbacombe and went straight to ITW at Newquay.

I was a Flight Sergeant when shot down, but lucky bugger, I had been put up for a Commission and it was back-dated to 27 October 1943, and I didn't find out until I'd been a PoW 10 months later.
And then you'd be credited with the arrears as a P/O (or did you go straight to F/O ?), and debited with your pay over the period as a Sgt and F/Sgt. Did you finish out of pocket ?

When I was commissioned in India, the Raj (not UK) paid officers' pay, so I got the whole lump in rupees (at almost double the UK pay rate) without any deduction.

It took the RAF nearly two years to claw its money back, but at date of Commission I was two weeks overdue for my 'crown', but it hadn't come through and I hadn't been paid for it. But accounts insisted that I had, and docked me accordingly. Ah, well.

There's no justice !

Danny.
 
Old 27th Nov 2015, 08:20
  #7720 (permalink)  
 
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Danny42C and all ATCOs and Hunter Drivers here present ... my apologies for getting the 1:1 wrong.

Indeed it was the mental arithmetic of working out the track miles/height before reaching the magical spot where the Hunter would drop the gear [and flaps?] and descend at 1:1

Did we [the ATCOs] then say "10 miles, ten thousand, wheels wheels go"? It's a faint memory, but rather unusual for ATC to tell the pilot what to do with his aircraft in such specific terms.
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