Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Aircrew Forums > Military Aviation
Reload this Page >

Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

Military Aviation A forum for the professionals who fly military hardware. Also for the backroom boys and girls who support the flying and maintain the equipment, and without whom nothing would ever leave the ground. All armies, navies and air forces of the world equally welcome here.

Gaining An R.A.F Pilots Brevet In WW II

Old 6th Dec 2015, 00:38
  #7801 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Geriaviator

I guess "comfortable" wasn't a good word to use in the Tiger Moth context. I meant it in the sense of ease of flying, not how your bum felt on the seat, nor the draughty bits on a cold day. Yes, I will get around to the Beaufighter story. I've been urged not to rush it; some readers apparently want it stretched out.
I like your description of what happens to untended timber wings. Glad I didn't know it when I was flying at Stokes' Meir airfield.
Walter603 is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2015, 03:04
  #7802 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Walter,

Please take your time ! (when the Good Lord made time, He made plenty of it). The Beaufighter will come along in its proper place in the story, in due course.

I'm sure neither Geriaviator nor anyone else wants you to "rush your fences."

As for foreign objects in wings, I recall a Fox Moth, which had been laid up for the war years, was found to be harbouring a colony of rats in a wing - but mushroom farming is a new one on me !

Danny.
 
Old 6th Dec 2015, 04:47
  #7803 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Old Comrades

There came a few more days leave, then it was off again to "Service Flying Training" on 30th August. I went to 6 S.F.T.S. at Little Rissington, Gloucestershire, famous as the home of the Royal Air Force Central Flying School. Our training continued on Airspeed Oxfords, that were twin-engined, single wing aircraft with quite large fuselages, capable of carrying several passengers (except there were no passenger seats fitted). My instructor at this school was Flying Officer Foxall (called "Foxy", of course).

We did most of our training from another satellite airfield at Windrush. The training consisted of many cross-country flights, elementary bombing runs over a special monitoring device in a corner of the airfield, and other exercises to improve our general airmanship. Classroom work consisted of engineering, principles of flight, airmanship, navigation, etc. On this course I clocked up about another 100 flying hours, and finished by being awarded the "Badge of Honour" for being the most proficient pupil on the course of about 40 students.

A day worth mentioning at Windrush quite early on this Course was when we were all sprawling about the flight hut, studying, reading, smoking mostly on the floor because there were only half a dozen chairs provided, when a fresh-faced young Pilot Officer (admin type!) cae bounding in. Speaking about some event strange to most of us, he tore strips off us, and said that as “the culprits” had not owned up, we were all to be punished with 100 lines each.

There was an astonished silence for one or two seconds. Then a concerted bellow from all pupils. The noise nearly lifted the hut’s roof. Short ending to the incident. A Flight Lieutenant appeared half an hour later and quietly cancelled the punishment.

If anyone wants to be enlightened on how to relieve oneself in an Airspeed Oxford on a long cross-country solo, when the unreachable urine bag is hanging on the other side of the cockpit, send me a money order and I’ll give you a few laughs. No pictures, unfortunately.

The December weeks before Christmas were our time of great excitement. We had the "Wings" written exams to be taken and passed, as well as the flying tests, before we could put up those coveted golden wings (brevets) on our left breasts. Eventually, the great day came - 23rd December 1941.

The results were posted up on the notice board. Our best tunics had been lovingly prepared weeks before. Some lucky ones were selected for commissioned rank. The majority of us were promoted to the rank of Sergeant-Pilot. In spite of the very cold day no one found it necessary to put on a greatcoat. We strode around waiting for the final parade, with Wings blazing from our chests, and sergeants' stripes gleaming on our arms. What a Day!

Last edited by Walter603; 6th Dec 2015 at 04:56. Reason: Heading incomplete
Walter603 is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2015, 08:02
  #7804 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Old Comrades.

Walter,
..... at Little Rissington, Gloucestershire, famous as the home of the Royal Air Force Central Flying School.....
Colloquially known as "Hell-on-the-hill", I'm told.
....Our training continued on Airspeed Oxfords, that were twin-engined, single wing aircraft with quite large fuselages.....
A pre-war design, it was still being used at Dalcross as late as 1954 (next step the Meteor !) The idea was that you could train a whole crew at once. Tee Emm tells a good tale of a crewman who was in dire straits with your problem. He opened the door for the purpose - and fell out ! Luckily he was wearing his parachute..
....a special monitoring device in a corner of the airfield...
Could this be the "camera obscura" we puzzled over long ago on this Thread ?
...before we could put up those coveted golden wings (brevets) on our left breasts...
'Fraid memory is playing you tricks, Walter. Wings were always "drab silk" (until 1950, and that short-lived horror of a New Pattern No.1 jacket. And Mess kits, of course).
...What a Day!...
You beat me to it by three months (mine was on 3rd March 1942).

Could you have a more perfect illustration of how this Thread is supposed to work?

Danny.
 
Old 6th Dec 2015, 09:48
  #7805 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 82
Posts: 4,768
Received 245 Likes on 76 Posts
Danny:-
....a special monitoring device in a corner of the airfield... Could this be the "camera obscura" we puzzled over long ago on this Thread ?
Indeed, Danny, my thoughts as well. That installation was of course set in the roof of the SHQ at pre-war Bicester. With it the assessment of practice bomb aiming on the marked a/f aiming point was possible with the release of the "bomb" (usually a Tate & Lyle syrup tin!), enabled by observing it on the projected obscura image, the release point showing up by means of the chemical contents of said tin. That was then compared to the DS solution, given the w/v stated, and the result awaited the crew back at the OTU. Perhaps technology had moved on at Windrush by then, Walter?

The now derelict structures that survive at many of these training locations have more meaning when they are identified for what they were, be it turret trainers, dome trainers, link trainer buildings, etc. They all played their part in this global effort to train aircrew for World War II.
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2015, 16:36
  #7806 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
Age: 83
Posts: 847
Received 253 Likes on 81 Posts


Great stuff, Walter! Did you go straight onto Oxford from the Magister, or had you some instruction on Harvard before tackling the twin? Can you remember if the Oxford had a propeller pitch knob even though it had fixed pitch props (just to get pilots used to the drills)?

Here's a photo, courtesy RuthAS, of a preserved OxBox in wartime training livery. This machine can now be seen suspended from the roof at IWM Duxford. I have read that the Oxford had its quirks, and that someone said the Wellington was an excellent trainer for the transition to Oxford

Last edited by Geriaviator; 7th Dec 2015 at 16:59. Reason: Pic resized; Geriaviator now in doghouse at rear of hangar
Geriaviator is offline  
Old 6th Dec 2015, 19:13
  #7807 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Help !

We've got elephantiasis of the screen again - can any of you IT wizards fix ?

Danny.
 
Old 6th Dec 2015, 20:09
  #7808 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Geriaviator,

Lovely pic of a sturdy old aircraft ! Two items puzzle me: what is the thing on the wingtip aft of the nav light ? And it looks as if the exhaust stub has a shroud round it (obviously a heater of some sort), but the outlet looks as if it is going into the wing root - presumably ducted from there into the cabin ?

As for the Wellington - Oxford transition, we said the same for the Spitfire > Harvard !. I am not sold on the dummy control idea (I never met it). Sufficient to the day is the evil thereof !

Danny.
 
Old 6th Dec 2015, 22:19
  #7809 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
Age: 83
Posts: 847
Received 253 Likes on 81 Posts
When I blow up the original it seems to be a wingtip handhold or picket point, Danny. Maybe it was to help swing pupils into their park slot? As to the 'cabin heater' shroud over the exhaust, your 'iron men' would not need such luxuries but the carburettor certainly would. My money's on the carb heat for that mighty 375hp Armstrong Siddeley Cheetah radial. I always thought the cowlings looked too big for the rest of the Oxford even though it's 65 yrs since I last saw one flying (Binbrook, 1951)
Geriaviator is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2015, 00:20
  #7810 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Geriaviator,

There is a matter which Jack Stafford raises, which touched a chord with me, and I would think, with many others old enough to remember the War (the underlining is mine, but it is the crux of it):
...But I could hardly believe the gulf that had opened between me and most of the people with whom I had been so close only 12 months earlier.
My single-minded devotion to the Air Force was beyond them; they could not understand my experiences in the air. At first I was keen to discuss my flying in great detail, but I could not get through to them. Our lives had taken very different paths, and nothing was the same. I found it very hard to accept that their interests were still centred on the weather, the stock,
the fragile old fence on the back boundary, who would be at the dance on Saturday night, and so on.
Christ! Didn't they realise what an exciting world it was? If I spoke about life in the Air Force people would listen politely but before long their disinterest became obvious and they would remember that the ewes had to be shifted in the top paddock or business had to be done in town...
This is very true, and it held good even after the war, and I believe it is at the bottom of the very common: "Why Dad/Grandad didn't ever want to talk about his time in the war". It was almost as if we had been living on separate planets in those years.

Danny.
 
Old 7th Dec 2015, 02:50
  #7811 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Age: 76
Posts: 4,381
Received 25 Likes on 15 Posts
Danny,

The Oxford wingtip is not so much an object as a hole: as mentioned already, for ground handling.

Dad, I'm sure, was referring to his metaphorical 'wings of gold', since I carried a set of his RAF wings in my wallet for many a year. To supplement my (real) wings of gold, worn on my left sleeve
John Eacott is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2015, 03:45
  #7812 (permalink)  
Danny42C
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
John (Jnr).

Of course ! You were in the True Blue !

Problem solved !

Danny.
 
Old 7th Dec 2015, 04:03
  #7813 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Posts: 100
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Dannh 42C, Chugalug & Geriaviator

Camera obscura is correct for the training item I remember on the airfield corner.
I went straight from the Magister to the Oxford. Never saw a Harvard in my training.
You're quite right about the brevet Danny. It was drab and I even have one still, that I cut from my old RAF jacket. However I always fancied my wings were golden - it added to the magic. Nevertheless, when I joined the RAAF I was given permission to wear Aussie wings. I have 4 sets, and three of them are golden! One for daytime, one summer mess kit, one winter mess kit. No.4 is a metal brooch, silver coloured, for pinning to Khaki shirt or jacket in tropical area.
Walter603 is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2015, 08:01
  #7814 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 82
Posts: 4,768
Received 245 Likes on 76 Posts
Splendid pic. Geriaviator. The Oxford is in some distinguished company, a Sycamore alongside, and is that a York behind that? Certainly overlooking the brood with an air of maternal care is the unmistakeable nose of a Hastings. Do you know the venue and the occasion?

Walter, thank you for the confirmation of the camera obscura. Did you ever use that facility? If so can you remember any details of what was entailed in doing so, especially from the point of view of the airborne elements of the system?
Chugalug2 is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2015, 10:22
  #7815 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
Age: 83
Posts: 847
Received 253 Likes on 81 Posts
Danny,
Perceptive as always, I think you have solved a long-standing mystery for me. My generation is fortunate we have not had to go to war (at least, those of us not in the Services) and I have wondered sometimes why some veterans should talk (and write) about their experiences while others stay silent. Maybe some becomes institutionalised, so to speak, and can shrug off the experience like a bad dream; others find it much more difficult. I'm so grateful that I never had to find the answers for myself.


Chugalug,
I thought you would recognise that noble nose! The picture was taken at the Staverton air museum in 1971, but you can still see Oxford V3388 suspended from the roof of the Imperial War Museum at Duxford AirSpace | Imperial War Museums
Geriaviator is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2015, 10:33
  #7816 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: sussex
Posts: 1,853
Received 23 Likes on 16 Posts
Geriaviator,
as the picture was taken at Staverton then the 'noble nose' must be that of TG 528 which also now resides at the IWM Duxford.
ancientaviator62 is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2015, 11:52
  #7817 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
Age: 83
Posts: 847
Received 253 Likes on 81 Posts
It will be dogfight, dogfight and dogfight – that's all that matters
Post no. 8 from the memoirs of Tempest pilot Flt Lt Jack Stafford, DFC, RNZAF

We reached England in January 1943, and were taken to Peterborough for advanced training on the Miles Master under our browned-off instructors. It was tedious, slow and boring, but after a riotous week's leave we were on the train from London to 55 Operational Training Unit at Annan near Carlisle – and ahead waited the mighty Hawker Hurricane, dated now but proven in battle. Rugged and reliable, it had been the frontline aircraft in the Battle of France and the Battle of Britain. How many Luftwaffe aircraft fell in combat to this aircraft? In the Battle of Britain, many more than fell to the much-vaunted Spitfire.

The air north of London was clear, and the visibility improved by at least 50 miles. I felt elated, excited and impatient to arrive. At last I would feel like a fighter pilot. I would be in a single-seater. Wow, maybe an aircraft I would fly had been in battle, maybe a famous ace had roared around in it, perhaps even Douglas Bader?

The train stopped and an RAF truck was waiting to take us to our OTU at Annan on the shores of the Solway Firth. We had a meal in the Mess, and liked it. We lived in nissen huts a mile or so from the airfield and rode there on pushbikes. In a matter of days we would have our first solo in a single-seater!

Our flight commander was a Welshman called Gus Davies, and we were assembled in the dispersal to meet him. He was tall, athletic and dark, with a small 'Clark Gable' moustache, and on his right breast was the small silver Maltese Cross given to those who defended the beleaguered island. Calm and confident, he looked around smiling at us all. How I admired him and longed for the experiences that he had survived.

“I'm Gus Davies, just call me Gus. In my hand I'm holding the manual of instruction you are supposed to receive from us here in A Flight. It's a book of bull**** dreamed up by those who have never fired a gun in anger.” He paused. “I'm going to teach you how to live high in the dangerous skies where you will meet the Hun. You won't learn that by spending hours practising precautionary landings. As soon as you can fly this aircraft with confidence it will be dogfight, dogfight and dogfight – that's all that matters”.

Days passed; my first solo was well behind me and I was starting to dogfight with the other pilots on my course. Gus flew with us, always watching. His great friend and fellow instructor, a Rhodesian called Scottie, was also always in the air, never missing a trick. Quiet words of encouragement and gentle helpful hints were all we received at this stage. I was totally sure they wanted me to pass and make it to a squadron, and my confidence soared.
Geriaviator is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2015, 12:04
  #7818 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: West Sussex, England
Posts: 487
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Danny,

Re cockpit drills, and dummy prop controls etc.

I've been flying since starting at Bankstown, Sydney in 1969 & completed a UK PPL at Shoreham Sussex.
We a PAYG civvies were taught to remember the nmenomics TTMFFFGGHH , FREDA and BUMPFFH.

I have them still on my kneepad & have never stopped using them, as deviation from any one might, for my feeble thought processes, lead to neglecting another.

But in fact I've never piloted other than fixed u/c let alone a mighty twin. So in my Rans S6 with 80 roaring h.p., which boasts no hand brake to release or folding u/c to check "Down & Locked", I still release an imaginary lever, bang the floor and point to the gauges to prevent preflight & landing checks merely becoming a thoughtless chant.

It amuses my inner self to continue doing all of them, as at my age (78) I'll never get a bigger a/c, but like to do it if only for old times sake.

mike hallam
mikehallam is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2015, 14:49
  #7819 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: South of the M4
Posts: 1,641
Received 17 Likes on 8 Posts
Danny re your post #7808 & Geriaviator

"Help !
We've got elephantiasis of the screen again - can any of you IT wizards fix ?
Danny"
It's Geriaviator's photo of the Oxford that's the problem, at 1200 x 462 pixels its above pPRuNe's recommended attachment sizes.
PPRuNe's recommended sizes are given here:

http://www.pprune.org/spectators-bal...your-pics.html

We had the same problem in this thread earlier (Page 263, Post#5252) and as said at the time to cure this problem.
Right-click a photo and then click on properties shows the size of the photo. As stated in the link above the recommended max size is 850 x 850 pixels, recent photos posted in this thread are way over the recommended size. e.g. there is one sized 1536 x 2048 pixels and others at 1200 x 797 pixels. This causes the page to expand to accommodate the photo resulting in text running way over to the right of the page.
Warmtoast is offline  
Old 7th Dec 2015, 16:26
  #7820 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: BATH
Posts: 375
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Geriaviator. Thread drift I know, but I do not recall ever hearing of a silver cross badge on uniforms for defenders of Malta. Can you enlighten us?
John Purdey is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.