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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 26th Dec 2015, 11:14
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Danny42C
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Chugalug,

This is an interesting one. I had scruples (but you had to shut them out of your mind), but of a different kind. When we were on our "bread and butter" task ("A.S.C." [Army Support Close] in my log), which meant digging-out dug-in Jap troops, then obviously that was all right.

But when you had to bomb the riverside buildings of some Burmese village, because Intelligence "knew" that the Japs were using them for daytime storage of war supplies (which would be moved North in barges during the night), then all depended on how firm was the "know". It might well be that I was killing innocent men, women and children, whose only misfortune it was to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time, for no purpose (and we have had recent cases of questionable "intelligence").

As I've said: "the innocent must suffer with the guilty". C'ést la guerre.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 27th Dec 2015 at 20:52. Reason: Typo.
 
Old 26th Dec 2015, 20:26
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Indeed Danny, and unless one has been in that position it is not appropriate to make sweeping judgements of those who have found themselves faced with such dilemmas. There is a tendency these days to make such judgements though, in particular of the RAF Bomber Command's night bombing offensive in WWII.

The one thing that we can be certain of is that we in turn will be censored by those in the future armed with smart weapons that are claimed to differentiate between the innocent and the guilty. Notwithstanding that, they in turn will be condemned, and so on...

The WWI generals are condemned for the terrible slaughter suffered under their leadership, while we celebrate the aerial combat in the air as being likened to a duel. Given that the idea was to get on the tail of your opponent, thus effectively shoot him in the back, I have always found that to be a dubious honour. The fact is that warfare has always been shaped by the prevailing technology, be it gunpowder, railways, automatic weapons, or aviation. It simply increases the scope to kill ever more people and no doubt once developed, the death star will be able to wipe out an entire planet.

So let us be united in the condemnation of war and realistic enough to accept that it will always be with us. It has shaped the human race through the generations, and will continue to do so when we boldly go where no man has gone before... what will not change is that the innocent (whoever they might be) will suffer along with the guilty (again, whoever they might be).
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Old 26th Dec 2015, 21:03
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Chug and Danny,
I'm glad you too recognise the sensitive man behind these memoirs. Jack Stafford's delightful writing combines vivid memories of youth with the maturity of the years. I am moved by his gradual darkening of tone reflecting the increasingly grim passage of the war. These young men came from the other side of the world to defend this country and so many did not return ...
More memoirs tomorrow, meantime best wishes to everyone.

Last edited by Geriaviator; 27th Dec 2015 at 08:41.
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Old 27th Dec 2015, 16:23
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The years roll back from an airfield built on history

Post no. 17 from the memoirs of Tempest pilot Flt Lt Jack Stafford, DFC, RNZAF

NEWCHURCH was right on the coast, well placed to greet the incoming V1s. It was little more than a few fields knocked together, and our two 1400yd grass runways were reinforced with pierced steel planking (PSP) to support the five-ton Tempests. There we lived under rather primitive conditions in tents that slept two, three or four pilots on cots with sleeping bags. Our officers' mess was a marquee and our water came from a well. There were no facilities for bathing at the airstrip and the lavatory was a trench in the ground some distance from the tent lines. It was summer and far from pleasant.

A system was quickly established enabling us to spend 24 hrs on duty at the airfield, followed by 24hrs off. This was great. The 24 hrs off were spent at Eastbourne, Hastings or Ashford, which was the closest. Mid-day would see those who came off duty leave in an assortment of decrepit old vehicles for the chosen city. Rick Tanner and I usually headed for Hastings where we were treated royally by the publican of the Railway Hotel. He was wonderful to us, good food, hospitality and always a bath. Bruce Lawless went with me on several occasions and ended up marrying the innkeeper’s lovely daughter. Together they made their home in England, which was a loss to New Zealand.

Newchurch was a place of great historic significance and had played many parts in English history. Numerous tales were told of the smugglers who frequented the area and it seemed that nothing much happened in early times without Newchurch being in some way affected. I heard that a local vicar was, in the distant past, a most infamous smuggler. Good for him! One morning I woke early to find a swirling ground fog lying mysteriously all around. I walked over the grass and gradually the camp and the tent lines came indistinctly into view through the dispersing mist. I stopped and stood in the silence, noting a lightening in the eastern sky, reflecting that we were not that far from Hastings and that infamous battle.

Possibly some of the English survivors of that disaster headed east attempting to escape the Norman conquerors? I had read that several of the Norman boats had come ashore by mistake at Dungeness where the occupants were savagely slaughtered by the English.
One thousand years have passed since those days yet the attitudes remain unaltered. The invader must pay for his temerity, and the defender must pay the price of defending his home and family.

Could this have been a resting-place for the Normans after the great battle? Did the retreating English or maybe the pursuing Normans camp here? Were their horses tethered in the fields where now our aircraft stand? Their tents could have occupied the same site where ours were now pitched. Technology so different, men so similar, driven by the same desires, the same fears, the same hopes, not knowing what the future would bring to any of us. Fighting to the death in a conflict whose political causes and ultimate aims were little understood by most of the participants.


The noise of clattering pots and pans came from the cookhouse. More light was coming from the east and the ghostly groundmist swirled and disappeared around me. A short flight for a fighter, away across the Channel, young men from many nations lay groaning and dying in the sands of Normandy, and in the surrounding countryside. Hundreds of miles away, in some cases thousands of miles away, families would soon be mourning the loss of their beloved sons.


A few shouted commands came from the airfield as the ground staff prepared for the day's flying and the crack of a starter cartridge followed by the ear-splitting roar from the mighty Napier Sabre ended my reverie. It was time to act not dream, for a few miles across the Channel, in the land of the Norman, German soldiers were readying the flying bombs to launch the offensive of the day. Soon I’d be mounting my steel charger in much the same way as perhaps the Normans and their English enemies had mounted their battle chargers in 1066, but I would meet the enemy in the skies, high above the ancient battlefields.


The steel runway planking was lifted at war's end and today no trace remains of RAF Newchurch except an information board.


Jack Stafford was promoted to warrant officer and commissioned in August. He flew many ground attack sorties and was involved with covering the airborne invasion to capture the Arnhem and Nijmegen Bridges before the squadron moved to the former Luftwaffe airfield at Volkel in the Netherlands. But not all sorties went according to plan ...

Last edited by Geriaviator; 31st Dec 2015 at 17:08.
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Old 27th Dec 2015, 18:39
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Danny42C
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Pongs of war.

Geriaviator,
... and the lavatory was a trench in the ground some distance from the tent lines. It was summer and far from pleasant...
So the Deep Trench Latrine was not restricted to Far Away Places with Queer Sounding Names, then ! (try one when it has been in use for a month or two and the noon temp. is 40°+)

That said, your man was a poet.

Danny.
 
Old 28th Dec 2015, 04:02
  #7986 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Who was the better doodlebug killer ?

Geriaviator,

For all Jack Stafford's commendable loyalty to his Tempest as being the V-1 killer par excellence, it must be said that others were in the field, too. I give you (all figures are from Wiki except where otherwise stated. My insertions are in []):

SPITFIRE XIV

Loaded weight: 7,923 lb
Rolls-Royce Griffon 65, supercharged V12 engine, 5-bladed Jablo-Rotol propeller
2,050 hp at 8,000 ft.......Maximum speed: 404 mph (@ 11,000 ft #) ......4x20mm cannon.

compares with:

TEMPEST

max. Take off Weight 13.540 lbs [nearly double that of the Spitfire]
Napier Sabre IIA 2180 hp.......Speed: 426 mph......4x20mm cannon.

(Note # above from) Supermarine Spitfire Mk.XIV
url=http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/weapons_spitfire_mkXIV.html]Supermarine Spitfire MK XIV[/url
...The superior performance lof the Mk XIV made it the ideal aircraft to deal with the menace of the V-1. No.91 Squadron, based at West Malling, ended up with the best record against the flying bomb, shooting down 184 with its Mk XIVs...
and:
(...the intended operational altitude [of the V1s] was originally set at 2,750 m (9,000 ft). However, repeated failures of a barometric fuel-pressure regulator led to it being changed in May 1944, halving the operational height [say 4,000 ft]...[Wiki]...)
Clearly the Meteor was the aircraft for the job, but:
...the Meteors, although fast enough to catch the V-1s, suffered frequent cannon failures, and accounted for only 13...[Wiki]...
I think we should give the Spitfire its due (although I must admit to bias !)

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 28th Dec 2015 at 23:06. Reason: Spell !
 
Old 28th Dec 2015, 23:00
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Danny:-
(although I must admit to bias !)
A bias shared with a good many including me, Danny. However, these high powered (whether by Napier or Bristol) Hawker descendants of the Hurricane were our ultimate piston engined UK fighters, cut off in their prime by the wheezy asthmatic spawns of Whittle, seemingly relying on the earth's curvature to get airborne.

The inauspicious operational debut of the Meteor against the V1s, or the vulnerability of the Me 262 to marauding Mustangs once its "bits" were dangling, didn't alter the fact that it was the end of the line for the prop fighters, with the Sea Fury allowed one last fling in the Korean War.

We all share delight in the unmistakeable sounds of Merlin powered fighters. We can even hear the mighty growl of the Centaurus still, but the Sabre? Gone forever I fear, except in rare audio recordings as here:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fo0Lv1S3RfQ




A video of the Tiffies going about their business here:-

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HYiBPy578UU



JENKINS, you alluded to two RAF a/f's perched on hilltops above a river but did not tell us where. Did you by chance mean Colerne and Charmy Down? I was based at the former in the late 60s and remember being there in the 50s and seeing a pyramid of Brigands patiently awaiting their end at the hands of the scrap merchants.

Last edited by Chugalug2; 29th Dec 2015 at 07:51. Reason: numbers, schmumbers
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Old 28th Dec 2015, 23:57
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Big Pistons Forever.


Chugalug
,

Agree (we have/had a callsign "Big Pistons Forever" on frequency, "Hear, Hear !", say I). But "the Old Order changeth, giving place to New"....

What did amuse me was this: the AA gunners were always saying that they could nail us 100% of the the time if only we'd just fly S&L at constant height. So now they were presented with exactly that.......oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear !......(until the Proximity Fuse came along, that is).

Thanks for the links. I always liked the idea of a sleeve valve; it was supposed to make a much quieter engine; didn't the old "sit up and beg" Daimlers, that King George (V) and Queen Mary drive about in *, used to have them ? (Did it make for a heavier engine ?)

Danny.

Note *: by repute, with a built-in potty in the back.

Last edited by Danny42C; 28th Dec 2015 at 23:58. Reason: Uninvte Text
 
Old 29th Dec 2015, 16:13
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Tempest v. Spitfire: top speed 426mph v 404 mph. The infernal V1 was catapulted to 350mph and increased to 400 mph as it burned off fuel. So only the Tempest could catch it in level flight. Danny also mentions the five-bladed Rotol propellor, which was apparently denied to the Tempest. Jack Stafford spent some months at de Havilland Hatfield helping to sort out the four-blade DH prop which struggled to cope with the Sabre output: 3000bhp at emergency power, Napier proving this with repeated six-hour runs at this figure. With the latest prop the Tempest would have been even faster, vide the five-blader on the Sea Fury.

The brilliant design of the H-24 Sabre engine fascinates every engineer and its story is full of dirty deeds. Rolls-Royce resented the Napier company from its car days and did its best to talk down the Sabre, which in 1940 was producing double the power of the Merlin. (RR did try to produce a complex X-24 engine. It was called the Vulture and fitted to the twin-engine Avro Manchester which became an outstanding success … after Avro dumped the Vulture and fitted four Merlins instead.) Had the effort and support given to the Merlin been given to the Sabre, who knows where it might have led? I have seen a Napier advert in a 1946 edition of Flight stating that a Sabre developing 5000bhp had been granted a civil certificate. But by then, we agree, it was clear that the jet was the way to go.

Tempest V1 destruction from Newchurch near Dover: 3 Sqn, 286 confirmed. 486 Sqn, 223. 56 Sqn, 70. Fighter Interception Unit on detachment, 85. From Westhampnett, 501 Sqn, 72. Could it be that Stafford was right, there was nothing to touch the Tempest as V1 destroyer?
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Old 29th Dec 2015, 17:05
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The Deep Trench Latrine ... ah, there was one at RAF Stanley on the airfield site, where the climate was perhaps more conducive to its use than the tropics.

Oh what fun we had in ATC Local, lobbing a well-timed bird-scaring cartridge in that direction [with deflection for wind, of course] to assist those suffering from 'dietary congestion'. We should have charged for the service!
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Old 29th Dec 2015, 17:30
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I can well remember being on a major exercise in El Adem in 1963 ("Triplex West"). We were all under canvas in the bundu on the west side of the airfield. Us aircrew had a 10-holer Deep Trench Latrine with a hessian screen about four feet tall in front which spared the airmen walking past on their way to work from having too much to laugh at.

I was sat there one morning and I noticed that some of the lads were starting to salute as they passed. Believe it or not, there was a Sqn Ldr sat on the end hole firing the morning gun with his SD hat on his head returning all offered salutes!

I had a suspicion before this event that he was a bit of a pillock and this removed all doubt.
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Old 29th Dec 2015, 22:58
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Danny, Chug and others,

Picking up on some exchanges in mid December regarding my Father's time in India with the USAAF, I did some further research and checking of his WWII momentos. I found no direct evidence of units and places that he served, I only have foggy recollections of his stories. Nevertheless, piecing things together, it appears to me that my father was associated with the 80th Fighter Group - he served in many of the same places, and some interactions with Philip Cochran.

I found his service jacket, complete with wings (aircrew) and ribbons. I also found a hand made knife with carved leather scabbard. The knife is double-sided with a sharp tip, reminds me of a bayonet used for thrusting rather than slicing. But I'm no expert on such things. Finally, I found a handmade steel bracelet, with chain link, that is engraved with Dad's name, the CBI shield and on the back is engraved "Ranikhet India 1944 Himalaya Mts." I suspect this is the place where he spent a few days on a pass. He had remarked it is a beautiful place, and when I Googled it, found it to be essentially a military rest camp, apparently associated with the Air Commandos. I thought maybe you remember such a place.

If I knew how to insert a few pictures I would, bu my descriptions may be enough.

Last edited by GlobalNav; 29th Dec 2015 at 23:08.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 01:51
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Victor Ludorum.

Geriaviator (your #7994),

It seems to be the old story of "Lies, Damned Lies - and Statistics" ! With no personal knowledge of the Tempest, and limited time on the Spit XIV, I am really in no position to judge, but it seems to me that the Tempest, with a level speed in the same ballpark as the Spit XIV, and 6% more powerful but 71% heavier than its rival, would be on pretty level terms with it on this job.
...The average speed of V-1s was 550 km/h (340 mph) and their average altitude was 1,000 m (3,300 ft) to 1,200 m (3,900 ft)...[Wiki]...
So both would have a considerable margin of level speed over the "doodlebug", but of course I would suppose that pilots would hold (say 2-3,000 ft) higher than their expected prey, and when they spotted it (or were vectored on to it), they would 'firewall' everything and dive onto it to catch and destroy it ASAP before it got near London. I don't think "level speed" would be relevant in the circumstances.

Wiki gives me:
.... In June 1944, however, the first German V-1 flying bombs were launched against London and the Tempest's excellent low-altitude performance made it one of the preferred tools for dealing with the small fast-flying unmanned missiles. 150 Wing was transferred back to the ADGB, where the Tempest squadrons racked up a considerable percentage of the total RAF kills over the flying bombs (638 of a total of 1,846 destroyed by aircraft).[33]...
It follows that 1208 were destroyed by other aircraft, we know that the Meteor had cannon troubles and only bagged a few. It seems that all sorts were pressed into service. Wiki gives us:
...The next most successful interceptors were the Mosquito (623 victories),[29] Spitfire XIV (303),[30] and Mustang (232). All other types combined added 158. Even though it was not fully operational, the jet-powered Gloster Meteor was rushed into service with No. 616 Squadron RAF to fight the V-1s. It had ample speed but its cannon were prone to jamming, and it shot down only 13 V-1s.[31]...
So it would seem that you "have the right of it" and the Tempest deserves its place as the No.1 airborne Doodlebug-killer !

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 30th Dec 2015, 02:34
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Danny42C
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The Pongs of War.

MPN11 (your #7995),
...The Deep Trench Latrine ... ah, there was one at RAF Stanley on the airfield site, where the climate was perhaps more conducive to its use than the tropics.......Oh what fun we had in ATC Local, lobbing a well-timed bird-scaring cartridge in that direction [with deflection for wind, of course] to assist those suffering from 'dietary congestion'. We should have charged for the service!...
and

JW411 (your #7996).
...I can well remember being on a major exercise in El Adem in 1963 ("Triplex West"). We were all under canvas in the bundu on the west side of the airfield. Us aircrew had a 10-holer Deep Trench Latrine with a hessian screen about four feet tall in front which spared the airmen walking past on their way to work from having too much to laugh at...
My Post p.153/#3047 ("Danny, some local History and the Deep Trench Latrine"..... Extra Title: "Danny and matters scatologigal: - The Deep Trench Latrine"), may add a little local colour (and perhaps a louder bang, MPN11 !)

Danny.
 
Old 30th Dec 2015, 09:16
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My late brother-in-law recounted the time when he was in Somalia during WW2 and the camp he was responsible for had a large deep-trench-latrine. The time came when they had to move on so the latrine had to go.


An enthusiastic RE officer decided that he would take charge of the operation. A trench was dug a few metres away and parallel from the lat. and several charges were placed in it with the objective to collapse the side of the trench thereby filling the hole - all this was SOP. However, the aforesaid Sapper had found that he had a lot more explosive to hand so decided to excavate a trench etc. on the other side of the lat., remember he was enthusiastic!


Time came to strike the camp ... now you know what happens when you squeeze a piece of wet soap, Newton's third takes effect. Suffice to say that there was a humungous eruption and a magnificent cloud of immense proportions with a rainbow-like corona powered sky-wards.


The outcome of the ensuing enquiry as to the effect of the subsequent deluge on the adjacent POW camp seems to be lost in the mists of time!!!
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 11:36
  #7996 (permalink)  
 
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Low-level Rhubarb to Munster turns into disaster
Post no. 18 from the memoirs of Tempest pilot Flt Lt Jack Stafford, DFC, RNZAF

THE DECISION to do a Rhubarb, a low-level show, was made in our mess at Volkel late the night before at a time when decisions like this should never be made, at a time when the confidence supplied by a few drinks overcomes discretion. Might pick up a Hun or two around Munster airfield? Sounds great!

The success of these shows depended to a large extent on the weather. To be effective we needed a low cloud base in which we could seek refuge if we got into trouble with enemy fighters, and yet good visibility to enable us to seek out and attack targets. Bill Williams, our well respected Flight Commander, was to lead, with Bev Hall, Ray Danzey, myself and Jim Sheddan. The weather forecast was perfect for such a trip, cloud base about 1,000 ft and 10/10.


The morning dawned cold and depressing. We had breakfast, climbed into our truck and headed for the dispersal and the briefing .The weather worsened but around midday we got a clearance to proceed and in a short time we were at the end of the runway. Jim developed an oil leak so we were one down. We took off but Ray became separated or had engine trouble and turned back while our three remaining aircraft forced on regardless.

We were well used to flying together, I had joined 486 on November 25, 1943 together with Ginger Eagleson. Bev and Bill had joined 486 together in January 44. Bill had already completed a tour of ops on Spitfires, part of it flying from Malta. Bev was straight from OTU.
Bill Williams was a man of average height, slim and fastidious. Gentlemanly and soft-spoken, it was always a pleasure to be with him. Married before leaving New Zealand, Bev had a baby son back home and frequently spoke of his child. Together we had been on leave in Edinburgh shortly before this flight. Over previous months, flying ops together, we had become close friends. Bev was tall and strongly built. He was dark and his thick black hair showed a tinge of premature grey. With faith in each other's ability we confidently flew on into the gloom of that German afternoon.

We had taken off at 14.40 hrs and the murk increased with each passing minute. Once into Germany the weather deteriorated badly, the cloud base lowered. Bill was leading on a compass course as at that height map reading was difficult to say the least. A couple of times we came suddenly onto targets and I found it impossible to line them up before overshooting, although I managed to get a few bursts into a couple of flak emplacements. This was a highlight as most of the gunners were playing soccer immediately in front of me as I came over a hedge and gave them a squirt.

Bev fired at a high-tension pylon, which exploded with a brilliant flame. I was very impressed at the fireworks display and kept an eye open for a similar target. Bill decided the weather was too dicey and decided to return to base. We turned 180 degrees and set course for Holland, flying at zero feet and rising for belts of trees as the cloud had come right down.

Shortly after turning I saw ahead of me a high tension cable and decided to emulate Bev's spectacular success. The pylon was in sight and I actually was firing up with my shells crashing all over it but it failed to explode. I persisted firing until suddenly I realised I had left it too late to avoid a collision. I wrenched back the stick and kicked the left rudder to dodge the pylon itself but with a sickening thump I struck the cable.
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 14:55
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GlobalNav:-
If I knew how to insert a few pictures I would, bu my descriptions may be enough.
The answer to this and other questions (why are we here, what is the meaning of life, are we alone?) can be found on the Computer/Internet Issues Forum sticky at:-

http://www.pprune.org/computer-inter...formation.html

Hopefully we can look forward to seeing those photographs that you mention? In the meantime here is a link to the July 1966 copy of ex-CBI Roundup, which mentions Ranikhet. No doubt other issues are available (not published in August or September though) :-

http://www.ex-cbi-roundup.com/documents/1966_july.pdf

In fact all issues and a biography are linked here:-

http://www.ex-cbi-roundup.com/documents/
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 15:49
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Thank you Chugalug, haha, (I was wondering why I felt "alone")

Fascinating links to the Ex-CBI site. I plan to spend some time looking those roundup newletters over. I know I have very little, perhaps too little, to go on in my search for which outfits my father served in. Nevertheless, I am repeatedly struck by how these men, you men, put up with all this and succeeded admirably in serving your country and all we hold dear. I am just proud to include my father in this fine group.

I will get a few photos up as soon as I decode the process.

Happy New Year to all!
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Old 30th Dec 2015, 17:19
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GlobalNav, much as I would love to share in the generic "You Men" that you mention, I am no more worthy than your good self to wear that mantle. Like you, my Dad served in WWII and I'm still trying to find out more about him. Sadly he never returned.

Thanks to the real "You Men" who post here, we can all vicariously experience the danger, hardship and separation that this War of the World inflicted upon millions. I can but echo your praise of their generation.

Geriaviator, continuing thanks for Jack Stafford's account of his war. You have now left us on tenterhooks, a la an episode of Flash Gordon at the Saturday morning film show for kids. Will the Merciless Ming have his dreadful way with Dale Arden, or will Flash rescue her from a fate worse than death? Watch the next episode showing at this theater (sic). I sincerely hope you aren't going away on New Year grant before posting that next episode!
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Old 31st Dec 2015, 03:53
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Far away Places with Queer Sounding Names.




Imphal and Kohima Campaign

GlobalNav (your #7997 and #8003),

Sorry if we left you feeling "alone" (particularly as your first plea was addressed to Chugalug and myself), but I was busy making sure the Spitfire (my all-time favourite) got its fair share of the honours in the "doodlebug" campaign. These things carried a ton of H.E.; some 9,500 were launched against (mainly) London and SE England; they were even more frightening than the later V-2s, as you could hear and see them coming. So long as the engine kept phut-phutting there was nothing to worry about, but when it shut off....(you had only 10 seconds before it dived in and exploded). ([...], my comments)

V-1 flying bomb
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia:
...2. Results..................................................... . 'Blitz' ......... V-1.

Structures damaged/destroyed ........................1,150,000.... 1,127,000
Casualties.................................................. .....92,566..........22,892
Rate casualties/bombs tons.................................1.6................1.6. ..
tAnother authority quotes:
...The toll of human suffering was appx. 6184 [almost all civilian] people killed by V1's and 17981 seriously injured and maimed...

Now as regards the CBI, your:
...I thought maybe you remember such a place...

There were many such places, as 6,000 ft AMSL was the minimum to qualify as a "Hill Station", the majority were in the southern foothills of the Himalayas. Ranighet is one of these in NE India; the closest I got to it was Dehra Dun (about 200 mi); it is very close to Naini Tal (and, like it, very popular in the hot months).

Very probably it would have been a R & R centre for the US Army, and I don't suppose your Father spent a lot of time there (unless he was very lucky), but rather he would be with Colonel Chennault (The Flying Tigers"), supporting General "Vinegar Joe" Stilwell and the US and Chinese Armies who were fighting far distant in North Burma to keep open the Burma and Ledo roads which were vital to maintain the Kuomintang in the war agaist Japan. He had British Chindits with him in his Command, one of whom was Brigadier John Masters ("Bhowani Junction", which was made into a film).

The British and Indian armies operated far to the south (see map above) and we had very little contact with (or knowledge of ) what was going on in the far North (and relationships were far from cordial, by all accounts). So, although I was out there 3˝ years, I can add little to your knowledge of your Father's daily life, other than hazard a guess that it would not be unlike ours. But fire away with any questions - you never know !

Cheers, Danny42C. [Pilot, USAAC, Arnold Scheme, 1941].

AND A HAPPY AND PROSPEROUS NEW YEAR TO ALL PPRUNE POSTERS AND READERS AND THEIR LOVED ONES !
 

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