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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 3rd Dec 2015, 23:08
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Danny42C
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Ubehagligpolitiker ,

Am standing by for the PM (nothing yet 040005). EDIT: Nor 040055. EDIT: Nor 040610

The war had destroyed the holiday trade for the resorts on the South and East Coasts of Britain, for the beaches were all mined, tank-trapped and barbed wire entangled. The proprietors of the hotels and boarding houses there were, I suppose, only too glad to have their places commandeered by the Government for Service accommodation. I wouldn't think they got paid much, but it was enough to stave off the bankruptcy which was the alternative.

Further North and West, in places like Southport, Blackpool, Rhyl and Morecombe, in the large hotels they re-housed Government Ministries evacuated from London. These stayed there long after the war, I was offered a post on promotion in the Ministry of Food in Rhyl as late as 1949, but turned it down to accept an offer of a SSC in the RAF.

Watergate Bay Hotel (rings no bells) would have been just one of hundreds of similar places.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 4th Dec 2015 at 05:12. Reason: Addn.
 
Old 4th Dec 2015, 09:32
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Re: Almost all went to USA/Canada for flying training.
Not so, Danny. Another keen memory has my Course standing outside Highbury Hotel, with Cpl Allway walking along the rows, little air force clerk following with paper lists in his hand. He touched each student on his way, saying to the clerk alternately, "Canada", "Rhodesia" "England". Anxious to see large parts of the world as early as possible, I stood with my fingers crossed, but I was one nominated to train at home. One big advantage was that I was posted to 219 Squadron 11 months after commencing ITW.
In later life with the RAAF I discovered that some Aussies were more than 2 years completing their training, due to the long travels from continent to continent.
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 09:34
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Probably digitalis, sent again
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 12:45
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The Watergate Bay Hotel was commandeered and became the Officers Mess for St. Mawgan.
It was later used for Officers married quarters. (My Sqn Cdr. lived in one in 64-65.) It was not released until 67.
The Admiralty were even worse. The grabbed a big hotel in the middle of Bath (The Empire) and kept it into the '90s
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 13:55
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A young man sails for the far side of the world
Post no. 7 from the memoirs of Tempest pilot Flt Lt Jack Stafford, DFC, RNZAF
Many days passed until we reported to the Air Department and were instructed to get our gear from the hotel and report back. We were loaded into a truck and taken out to Rongotai, where we were subjected to short lectures, prodded and poked at, and given some money. Then we climbed back into the truck which took us to the wharf and marched aboard the Shaw Saville Line's Akaroa, a passenger ship which ran between the UK, Australia and New Zealand via the Panama Canal. We were four to a cabin and very comfortable. The Prime Minister and the Minister of Defence visited to give short, unctuous and insincere speeches before scuttling quickly from the ship to the security of their homes.

The evening wore on, and we were all quiet. Some pilots wrote letters, hoping to get them ashore, while others played cards. I mostly sat in silence and thought. Strange sounds came to us from the upper deck as we sat around the lounge. Bells rang, voices with strong English accents gave orders, and the Akaroa quietly slipped away from the dock.

People playing cards stopped, we were all silent, each young man quietened by the importance of this moment in his life. Like assassins in the night we stole down the harbour. It was very dark, and no flicker of light betrayed us to the shore. A high, thin layer of cloud obscured the stars and the sound of movement along the ship's waterline seemed indistinct and muffled. It was solemn, brooding, yet strangely dignified.

I felt slightly insecure and apprehensive. I could not know that three long years would pass before I returned to this harbour, or that in a matter of months many of us would be dead. The graveyards of Europe would be the final resting place for a large proportion of my comrades. I shuddered as a bleakness crept over me. I was not prepared for the loneliness that chilled my heart.

Last edited by Geriaviator; 4th Dec 2015 at 14:31. Reason: Insert quotes
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 15:52
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The Admiralty were even worse. The grabbed a big hotel in the middle of Bath (The Empire) and kept it into the '90s - Oxenos

Depends on your definition of worse I suppose, but you can see at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Empire_Hotel,_Bath why the Engineer-in-Chief decided to move his department there in 1939, even though Pevsner was apparently not impressed.

Current local wisdom says that, if you move into one of the upmarket apartments, you will age overnight....

Jack
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 17:50
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If one is [briefly] talking about MoD properties, think of the plethora of buildings that, post-War, remained under the Defence banner for MANY decades.
Old War Office, Adastral, Northumberland, Kelvin, Lacon ... there were squillions of them!! And thats only from an RAF perspective!
Now think what that sort of office space would have cost if purchased post-War. No wonder the Services hung on to what they had [conveniently] acquired!!
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 18:53
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Metropole Hotel, various Air Int and MI, took an F3 crew there in 1990 for a brief on Kuwait etc, yes 1990 not 1991!
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 19:03
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Oops, forgot Metropole

The lt col in my office used to claim his bus fare every time he went to another building. I'm sure he spent more time collecting his 54p than he did being useful
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 19:03
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Just a little diversion gentlemen. The Watergate Bay hotel was the first "weekend away" that my future wife and myself enjoyed in the early 1970s. I'm quite surprised that it has connotations from WW2, it looked like a typical 1960s build when we went, not that we spent a lot of time studying the architecture.

Smudge
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 19:10
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Diversion, Smuj? On this Thread?

Anyway ... enough of MoD buildings [I certainly had enough of them after 4 tours in them] and back to ...

... Our wonderful reminiscences from our superb contributors from days of yore, when men were men and silk scarves were mandatory for good reasons []

This thread is better than almost any book I have ever read.
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 19:41
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MPN11,

If the intention was to ease the chafing round the neck caused by screwing it round to see who was creeping up on you, a silk stocking (preferably delicately perfumed !) was a better option.

Danny
 
Old 4th Dec 2015, 19:51
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Underwear fetishist!
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Old 4th Dec 2015, 22:20
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This discussion becoming rather overheated for old gents. I'm off to take my betablocker
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Old 5th Dec 2015, 00:46
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Geriaviator. I did enjoy flying the Magister. That's a good pic you've displayed. I did fly Tiger Moths after the war. They woudn't let me near a Beaufighter! I had about 200 hours in Tigers and I found them comfortable and reliable. Even better were the Canadian Chipmunks that came in time for me to praise them highly for their handling similarity with much larger aircraft. My reserve service was done at RAF Hornchurch, Essex.
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Old 5th Dec 2015, 01:33
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Jack Stafford (RIP) through the voice of Geriaviator,

Wonderful, poetic Post !
We were four to a cabin and very comfortable
.
Strangely enough, the same thing happened to me. On my first troopship (UK-Canada), four of us LACs were in a 2nd Class 4-bed cabin (not bad at all). Coming back Sgts, we were in hammocks on a mess-deck. Still a Sgt, I went out to India in a seven-tier bunk (I was on the top !). Coming home after 3½ years as an officer, we were partially better off with "Standee" berths (essentialy a two-tier tubular steel version of the standard barrack iron bed).

Our "Aorangi", I assume, would be part of the Shaw Saville fleet.

Danny.
 
Old 5th Dec 2015, 06:52
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Our "Aorangi", I assume, would be part of the Shaw Saville fleet.
Google suggests the Union Steamship Company, Danny:-


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Old 5th Dec 2015, 13:48
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Nautical types:
Jack Stafford's ship was the ss Akaroa, named after the town in New Zealand. She was built by Harland and Wolff in Belfast in 1914, weighed 15,000t, and was powered by triple expansion steam engines. She seems to have spent the war on the long NZ run, and was scrapped in 1954.

Walter:
You must be the only man to find the Tiger Moth “comfortable”! I remember flying mine one Boxing Day when it was -1C. It certainly blew away the cobwebs but next day the tip of my nose turned blue-white and felt as if it had been burned. The doctor joked it was probably frostbite, then his expression changed and he said yes, it really was frostbite. The skin peeled off and it was sore for a fortnight. Next time I wore a mask but I've often thought of the WW2 instructors enduring endless dual Xcountries in that draughty front cockpit. Please keep your stories coming, we look forward to your first encounter with the Beaufighter.

The Miles aircraft were incredible performers but I now realise why the Tiggy outnumbered the more advanced Maggie by about 8:1. The wooden structure of Miles aircraft was incredibly strong and light, comprising enclosed boxes which were impossible to inspect internally, together with laminated components, all held together with glue. A badly damaged Maggie wing might need to go back into the manufacturer's jig for re-assembly, leaving the machine jacked as the wing carried the u/c leg. Three of us could change a Tiggy lower wing in a morning: trestle under the opposing wing as the u/c was mounted to the fuselage, slacken and detach the control cables and wires, remove two wing root pins and two strut pins and lift it off. It was so easy to access the entire airframe and there were repair schemes for everything short of writeoff as over the years the poor TM was pranged in every possible way.

Sadly the casein glue used by Miles proved to be the nemesis of its excellent products. By the early 1960s there was a sheaf of Air Registration Board notices referring to the inspection of wooden structures. I enjoyed a few flights in the very likeable Messenger four-seater, said to have been designed as a STOL transport for General Montgomery. Then her C of A expired and we found many glue failures in the wing structures that had been keeping me aloft for the previous few hours When we cut into the ply skin we found mushrooms growing along the spar joints, and that lovely Messenger went for (very short-lived) fire practice.

The Stafford Memoirs:
I thought every pPruner would appreciate Jack's story, and just wait until you read his account of the day he realised that advanced training was no game. There are many of his beautifully written tales still to come. It's an honour to bring together these superb stories on this, the finest of threads.
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Old 5th Dec 2015, 19:03
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And so say All of Us !


Danny.
 
Old 5th Dec 2015, 19:27
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Danny42C
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MPN11,

Revisiting your #7792,
days of yore, when men were men
........which recalls "wooden aircraft and iron men !"

Danny.
 

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