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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 22nd Feb 2016, 08:20
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I've never held Haig-Thomas in any esteem ever since he bragged in the Winter 2009 edition of Prop Swing, the Shuttleworth Vintage Aircraft Society's magazine, as follows:
Finally more trouble from the engineers. One of them (regrettably I cannot remember which or he would be fired) hearing of my fines for parking on double yellow lines sold me, for 100, the previously promised disabled parking disc. It was wonderful - for a week I could park anywhere on the endless empty 'disabled only' parking areas. Then things went wrong. The Chairman of the Bench said it was the worst forgery he had ever seen - before handing out an absurdly large penalty.
Let me get this right - he couldn't remember with whom he'd conspired to obtain a forged disabled parking permit? And if he had, he would have dismissed him? On what grounds?

I have little sympathy for those inconsiderate people who park on double yellow lines, but those who abuse the disabled parking scheme are utterly despicable. So Haig-Thomas got caught and given an 'absurdly large' penalty? Perhaps he'd like to visit Headley Court and explain to the many injured servicemen how 'wonderful' it was for him to park in disabled-only spaces - and why the fine for getting caught was 'absurdly large'?

I most certainly won't be buying his book.

Last edited by BEagle; 22nd Feb 2016 at 11:49.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 10:37
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Damn! On the strength of other posters' comments I ordered the book from Amazon yesterday morning. I'll have to try and put Beagle's post out of my mind when I read the book.
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 14:49
  #8203 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Blue Badges.

BEagle, the:
...endless empty 'disabled only' parking areas...
If only this were true ! My little supermarket/filling station on the hill has just one disabled space right outside the store door. As a blue badge holder, I'm just able, with the aid of a stick, to get in from it and grab a trolley for balance before I keel over.

Many a time, I find this slot is occupied by a no-badge car "just for a few moments", although there are empty spaces no more than 20 paces away he/she could have used. I am firmly of your opinion - this inconsiderate behaviour is beneath contempt, and I'm happy to say that, when I was able-bodied, I never did it myself.

You do a service, highlighting this - thank you !

Danny.
 
Old 22nd Feb 2016, 16:03
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Danny (et al):

H-Ts book gives : The aircraft was very big with four huge Bristol Centaurus sleeve valve engines and it was a tail dragger

I could swear that all those spark plug changes I carried out on the Hastings were inserted into Bristol HERCULES engines - unless anybody knows something I don't!
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Old 22nd Feb 2016, 18:57
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A bit confused with Blackburn's block of flats.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 00:39
  #8206 (permalink)  
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Danny's last Operation (it come t' pieces in me 'and, Mum).

February 24th is a date I'll not forget in a hurry ! - for on this day 72 years ago I came within a whisker of the Pearly Gates. I told my tale here in three separate Posts some 3 years ago, but as many of our newer readers may not have read the originals, I've now edited and combined them into one story (and added an Epilogue). Even so, it's still much too long for a single Post, so I've split it into two parts. Here's Part I:

Today in '44, in the Arakan in Burma. "Stew" Mobsby and I took off on our 53rd sortie, flying No. 3 (wingman on the left of) the leader, Bill Boyd Berry. We were going some way down south (Donbaik ?), and the formation was climbing more slowly than usual, as we had plenty of time to get up to our bombing height. I think we took off from Ramu II, but cannot be sure - there were so many places, we were moving all the time and they all looked the same.

So quite soon after taking off we passed over the battle area (the Second Arakan campaign was reaching its climax) fairly low. Johnny Jap would take a pot at us, of course, but then he had a go every time we came back from a sortie and did no serious damage, although it was not unusual for aircraft to land back with small arms hits. On this occasion, I felt and heard nothing out of the ordinary, and neither did "Stew". Twenty minutes into the climb, I had a look round the instruments. Oil pressure was zero.

Engines don't run long without oil, and I didn't fancy life as a Japanese prisoner. I signalled BBB (drew my hand across my throat, and pointed to the engine - we kept R/T silence), and started back. I warned "Stew" to be ready to bale out; we were at 3,000 ft and could easily manage it. The next few minutes were nail-biting, but then we were back over friendly territory again.

I was thankful, but starting to have doubts. The engine was still running smoothly. What was more, neither oil nor cylinder head temperatures were rising. I began to think that all I had was a dud oil gauge. With every mile my suspicion grew. By the time base was in sight (there was nowhere closer to land), I'd convinced myself. My screen was clear of oil, so the prop can't be throwing it out. "Stew" said we weren't making smoke, so we can't be burning it through the engine. The two temperature needles hadn't shifted. It had to be the oil pressure gauge, and I felt a bit of a fool.

Even so, I might have put it down off a straight-in approach, but these were awkward and difficult in a Vengeance because of the very poor forward view at low speeds. So we normally flew circuits. As there seemed to be no hurry, I did so now. Bad mistake! Downwind, I dropped the wheels and started my checks. The engine seized.

It had shown no sign of distress. Now there was just dead silence and a stationary propeller blade staring at me. The Vengeance was a poor flying machine and no glider at all. It went down like a brick. It was doing just that from a thousand feet - too low to bale out and no time even to think of dumping bombs. I took a last look at the strip, but it would have been suicide to try to get in from where we were with no power.

Nothing for it but crash-land straight ahead. I yelled "Brace" at "Stew", lifted the wheels and cut the main switch, to stop the fuel pumps and isolate the battery to avoid sparks. I can only remember thinking "I must keep 150 on the clock to have any hope of rounding-out at the bottom". Then my mind goes blank.

A mile or so away was an RAF Repair and Salvage Unit. I would think that most of its trade was in salvage. They did not have to go far to collect mine. As far as they could see, I was making for their clearing, but sank into trees before I got there. I must have rounded-out all right, for the aircraft survived touchdown to go skidding through the open jungle. They told me that the tail unit came off first, then trees removed both wings. So far things may have been fairly tolerable inside, if a bit bumpy, for we were having a ride in a sort of high-speed bulldozer. Then the engine broke out.

Deprived of its battering-ram, the relatively light remaining structure hit something hard, broke apart just aft of the gunner's cockpit, and stopped abruptly in the shape of an inverted "V". The front fuselage and cockpits remained intact, the bombs stayed good as gold and the fuel did not go up. Thank God for the brick-built Vengeance! (anything else would have disintegrated and killed us!)

We'd had a lifetime's entitlement of luck in the last few seconds, but were in no position to appreciate it, both knocked out in the crash. My luck had stretched even further. I'd been wearing my "Ray-Bans" under my helmet, with my goggles pushed up on my head. When we hit the final obstacle, the cable retaining my shoulder harness snapped and I jack-knifed face first into the instrument panel. (The P-40 recently found in the Saraha has the "Needle & Ball" glass smashed. It's dead centre of the panel: it's the only broken instrument glass - (cf 682al's pic on #2709 p. 136) - every picture tells a story).

By rights, the glass lenses should have shattered into my eyes and blinded me. But, as far as we could make out, the goggles had taken the first impact, in the next millisecond the lenses must have jerked out of the frame and away from my eyes. The frame buckled, scooped the bridge off my nose and ploughed into my forehead and left cheek. And that was the total extent of my injuries !

"Stew" had been facing forward, braced head down on his navigation table. He broke a bone in his left wrist and got a bang on the nose, leaving him with an odd disability - he couldn't smell. This was no great loss out there and he got scant sympathy on that account, but it earned him a nice lttle lump sum from the War Pensions people later.

The RSU people ran over to pull us out; watchers at the base had seen us go down and sent the camp ambulance. I came to briefly as they were loading me on a stretcher, and remember the hot sun on my face. I couldn't see as my eyes were full of drying blood. "How's Stew?" - "He's all right". I looked a lot worse than I actually was, and that had an amusing sequel.

I came to fully in a Mobile Field Hospital at Cox's Bazar. They'd had mostly malaria and dysentery cases, and were quite chuffed at getting two proper "battle" casualties. "Stew" got a big cast on his arm and his nose shrank to normal size over the next few weeks. The enthusiastic medics sewed up my face and a surgeon made up a new bridge for my nose out of a patch from my thigh. Kept in place by a "saddle" of dental plastic, this wasn't perfect, but has done very well.

We were looked after quite efficiently by a staff of RAF nursing orderlies, fiercely dragooned by a P.M. RAF Nursing Service Matron for the three (I think) RAF wards. (The Army, of course, had the lion's share of the Field Hospital: it was an Army surgeon who did my job). We must have spent about a month there, then "threw away our crutches" ("Stew's" cast and my nose 'saddle'), and prepared to go off to Calcutta on convalescent leave.

(With me so far ? - Part II in a day or so)

Danny,
 
Old 24th Feb 2016, 18:10
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Danny, of course we're with you! Like fine wine, your stories improve with age. Please keep them coming.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 18:20
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Project Propeller? An Online Alternative?

I notice several suggestions to our senior veterans, including Danny, to attend this event. Like Danny, I am sure there are several who are physically hindered from traveling and so forth.

So I wonder, has any attempt been made to offer online "web presence" such as Webex, video conferencing or such? It seems like a headset, microphone and perhaps web camera in the hands of men like Danny could make this possible, if the meeting host could accommodate it.

After reading the posts by Danny and others on this forum, it would be a pleasure and honor to hear their voices and know that they could be part of such a gathering.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 19:46
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Danny,

Many congratulations on reaching 72 years since your "accident". I remember reading the original posts and re read it with all the respect it deserves. The 100th anniversary should be worth hanging around for Sir, put your best efforts in to that I say.

Best

Smudge
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 20:47
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Danny,


Indeed a fortuitous day for you, the 24th, as it is today for an ex-colleague of yours on the Vengeance, Sqdn Ldr A M Gill (Arthur) 84 Squadron, who celebrates his 100th birthday today. An excellent profile shown on BBC Midlands news this evening.
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 22:48
  #8211 (permalink)  
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Project Propeller ? An online alternative ?

Global Nav,

First, let me thank you (on behalf of all veterans) for the kind words said. As an Arnold School graduate (Class of 42C), I still recall the kindnesses shown to us by all Americans in those turbulent times - now a distant memory.

As a veritable babe-in-arms in IT affairs, I hesitate to put my oar in on a discussion of this basically very attractive idea. Essentially, as it seems to me, it would aim to create the "Virtual Crewroom in Cyperspace" of my imagination. But immediately difficulties crowd in. For a start, here in the UK, we work on a 11-13 hour time difference from our antipodean cousins: The W. Coast of the US has a 9 hr difference one way, Tokyo a 9hr the other from us. Even your Washington is 5 hrs behind us.

As for technical difficulties, Wiki points out:
...WebEx is not a free platform like WiZiQ or Moodle and fees are paid per "host" of a classroom or a meeting. Some organizations, however, have started to integrate WebEx with Moodle.[12][13]...
and
...Appearance consciousness: A second psychological problem with videoconferencing is being on camera, with the video stream possibly even being recorded. The burden of presenting an acceptable on-screen appearance is not present in audio-only communication. Early studies by Alphonse Chapanis found that the addition of video actually impaired communication, possibly because of the consciousness of being on camera.[22]..
and
...Signal latency: The information transport of digital signals in many steps need time. In a telecommunicated conversation, an increased latency (time lag) larger than about 150300 ms becomes noticeable and is soon observed as unnatural and distracting. Therefore, next to a stable large bandwidth, a small total round-trip time is another major technical requirement for the communication channel for interactive videoconferencing.[23]...
and
...The issue of eye-contact may be solved with advancing technology, and presumably the issue of appearance consciousness will fade as people become accustomed to videoconferencing...
But the most fundamental objection is a more visceral one. PPRuNe (IMHO) in general owes its enormous popularity, (and on this Forum and Thread in particular), from its policy of complete anonymity. Safe in our little burrows and hiding behind our "callsigns", we can chat on equal terms, irrespective of age or physical disabilty, our appearance, our circumstances, or our former rank and status (or lack of it !) And think of the possibility of unfortunate or rancorous words being spoken (for how could you moderate it ?)

I would vote to keep it the way it is - but it's an appealing idea all the same, Global Nav (thank you for it), and others may have different ideas. What do you say, chaps ?

Danny42C.
 
Old 24th Feb 2016, 23:45
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Re: Project Propeller -

Danny, as always, I respect both your wishes and your wisdom on the topic. So let us carry on without voices, names or faces. Eagerly awaiting Part II. 🍻
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Old 24th Feb 2016, 23:46
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Geriaviator (#8208),

Thanks ! Second Part tomorrow, DV.

As you see, your pic has taken "Caption Competition" by storm ! The Cheese puns are getting worse and worse, it's edam shame !

Danny.
 
Old 24th Feb 2016, 23:48
  #8214 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Smudge,

I'll do my best to reach the "ton" (or die trying !) A brother-in-law of mine has just left us, with 101 on the clock, so I live in hope.

Danny
 
Old 24th Feb 2016, 23:54
  #8215 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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ValMORNA (#8211),

Well done, Sir ! (there's hope for us all).

Squadron Leader Arthur Murland Gill was CO of 84 Sqdn; I don't remember our having much to do with them but he signed as CO of 110 in my log (Apl.'43), so they must have been with us at Madhaiganj then. There's a lot about him and some fine pics in Peter C. Smith's "Vengeance !".

Will try to get it on iplayer, but not much hope as we're on Tyne-Tees.

Danny.

EDIT: Success ! Never knew he went so far back (pre-war). Hope I look as well as he does if I ever make 100. First time I ever heard "Dive Bomber Pilot" being used in association with the RAF by the BBC.

Thanks, ValM. D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 25th Feb 2016 at 01:50. Reason: Addn.
 
Old 25th Feb 2016, 13:14
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Thank you ValMORNA, just caught the Midlands Today 24th February Edition on iPlayer (just being the operative word as it is due to be pulled in approx. 5 hours!). Arthur Gill fills the "and finally..." slot. As Danny says a remarkable man with a remarkable story (reminds me of someone ;-). I hope that Tyne and Tees will make a similar fuss on your centenary, Danny!

BBC One - Midlands Today, 24/02/2016

Danny, your "it must be the gauge" tale is a salutary one for all aviators and, as has been said already, improves greatly with the telling. I too keenly await the next instalment...

You have a very good point re anonymity on PPRuNe. All here are equal, though on this thread I suggest that some are rightly more equal than the rest of us!

Yes, there is some trolling on other threads, cyber bullying even at times, but on the whole we all share a passion for aviation and the story of how it has evolved over its relatively brief life-time. In other words the thread itself is the important consideration rather than those who might contribute to it (again with certain notable exceptions!). I for one feel more comfortable in that arrangement. It works well, so why fix it?
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Old 25th Feb 2016, 18:06
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Danny et al.

As this is thread dealing with history I have a suggestion.

When I was in China I wrote a book about a imagined pilot on Valiant tankers in the 1960s. The story was based on fact but was embellished by lots of 'whoopee' which was the standard, and hopefully still is, for young Air Force pilots at the time. I copied the book to several people I knew including some contributors to PPRuNe with zero reaction apart from Tankertrashnav who was a bit unreceptive to the rumpty tumty bits.

I can, should my audience, who have read my recollections of China, agree, post with the fiction removed so that it is a chronicle of active flight refueling from the tanker pilot's point of view.

I have the advantage through age., Inasmuch that most, if not all, of my compatriots of that time are dead. That being, a vast majority were ex WW II aircrew that were reaching the end of their careers and are not likely to object, in fact they would be grateful that whatever they did is being recognised.

What do you think; give it a go?
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Old 25th Feb 2016, 18:29
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I copied the book to several people I knew including some contributors to PPRuNe with zero reaction apart from Tankertrashnav who was a bit unreceptive to the rumpty tumty bits.
Thank goodness for the unreception, FED, otherwise you may well have caused younger pPruners to overboost with disastrous results Fortunately I was not affected as certain of my components no longer remember what such rumpty tumpty was all about.

But as one of your recipients of Shiksha I plead guilty, I could not work out the mysteries of hosting an e-book. I enjoyed it immensely and as a longtime reader of this great thread I am sure everyone else would enjoy it too. Please post the lot, how about a short chapter every couple of days?
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Old 25th Feb 2016, 19:35
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Here goes. For the Mods this will never be published.


It was a brilliant shot, I had to admit. John had broken the pack quite well leaving the cue ball almost against the baulk cushion with one red requiring a very fine cut and another blocking the black to the top right pocket. I had cut the red in with loads of back and side screw and had nudged the red clear of the black leaving me in the ideal position to pocket it and screw back into the pack. John tapped his cue on the floor in applause as I rammed the black against the pocket rail and split the pack wide open with at least five reds begging to be potted. This is going to be a good break, I thought, visions of a 147 appearing in my mind.

“Fareastdriver, Sir,” it was the hall steward, “telephone call for you.”
Bugger it. I thought, ‘I’m going to lose my rhythm now,’ I went into the hall and picked up the phone. It was my flight commander.
“How would you like to go to India?”
“India!” I gasped. “What an earth for?”
“You know this nonsense that the Chinese and Indians are having about their border region. They’re sending out a squadron of Javelins to show Commonwealth solidarity and we, and 214 Squadron, are going to tank them out. Davo Ward’s wife is supposed to pod next week and as you have not done an overseas trip yet I want to send you out there instead of him. There’s a brief after lunch, see you then.”

There was a click as the phone went down that suggested that I had no choice. I went back to the snooker room with thoughts of India running though my mind. I lined up for the planned red in the centre pocket and to my despair it brushed the corner and rolled to the centre of the table. John practically ran to the other side and started knocking up a score in multiples of eight. 104 came up and then he cleared all the colours. Damn it, I thought, they should have all been mine.
“Must have been a serious call for you to have missed that?” He surmised.
“They want me to go to India.”
“Oh yes, they were talking about that this morning.” John was 55 Squadron’s adjutant when he wasn’t playing snooker or flying so he went with his boss to the morning operations briefings.
“Apparently they have already sent out some people from Mareham, (214 Squadron’s base) to sort out the other end. As far as I know your squadron is going to Bombay and the Javelins are going to some place in the north.”

I went back to the hall and phoned up Operations. I was supposed to pick up a Victor crew with the Anson after they had ferried their aircraft down to Boscombe Down. Leaving at the same time as them usually meant that they would be ready to jump in as soon as I arrived. I spoke to the Warrant Officer who knew in what state and where all the aircraft were.
“There’s no hurry,” He replied to my query, “The Victor needs a nosewheel tyre change and won’t be ready ‘till about four; I’ve told your blokes at the station flight already.” The immediate problem solved I went into lunch.

At least something was happening in my Air Force career. I had joined the RAF in Rhodesia in 1960 with thoughts of hurling around the stratosphere in Hunters or Lightnings but at the end of flying training, I, with hordes of others had been sent off to the V Force as co-pilots. As usual there were too many and I had ended up on a Valiant tanker squadron as a surplus pilot. I had done all the training required but as I had not been allocated to a crew I filled in for the sick, lame and lazy. Fortunately there had been a requirement for somebody to fly the station’s communication Anson so that had kept me fairly sane whilst they looked for a slot for me. Apart from that many hours at the mess snooker tables had brought me up to a standard that many champions would envy. The days of flying around the world refuelling aircraft and looking after the needs of WRAF officers and nursing sisters who did not want to get a reputation on their own base had, hopefully, yet to come.

We didn’t have a briefing room on 90 Squadron. The hangar probably did when it was built in 1937 but then squadrons only had a couple of dozen aircrew and not twelve five man crews that a Valiant squadron had. Apart from the crew room which was never fully utilised all the rest were offices. The place was packed, a blackboard in one corner had five crew lists chalked on it and on the other side was a map of Europe and the Far East with a modified Javelins to Bahrain refuelling route. Dave was there, only to see what he was going to miss. His crew was a good bunch, the youngest on the squadron and we all got on well together. I had not done a lot of flying but I had breezed through my tanker conversion course without any trouble so they and I had no qualms about my performance. .

“Gentlemen please,” it was the boss so the place fell silent. “The station intelligence officer will brief you on the situation in India.”
Bill looked surprised. He had only prepared a military brief and he knew little more about the political situation than that he had already read in the morning paper.
“As you all know,” he started, we didn’t but not that it mattered. “The Chinese and Indian governments are in dispute over their border in the Himalayas. This has given rise to fisticuffs and now they are beating bigger drums. The Indian Air Force has no all-weather fighter capability so the government, as a sign of support, are detaching 23 Squadron to India until the dispute is settled.” Having bluffed his way through the political bit he then went on to describe the relative strengths of the opposing air forces.
“The Indians have a few Mig21s but it is predominately Hunters, Gnats, with a couple of dozen Canberras. The Chinese air force was almost all Mig17s with IL28s as their bombing force. In other words, if the weather is bad only the Javelins will be able to fly.”
Having summed up yet another one of the British Government’s futile gestures he handed us back to the boss.

The boss started with alarm. His idea of briefing the squadron was for everybody else to tell him what was going on. Delegation of responsibility was his forte. He passed the hot potato to my flight commander. Les was good, he was on top of everything. He explained that the whole exercise was a 214 Sqn show but because of the size and the urgency we were making up the numbers. It was immediately obvious why the boss wasn’t going. Relations between the two squadron commanders were somewhat less than cordial.

The five crews were selected because it was their turn to do an overseas detachment. Four crews would fly the first two days to Bahrain and the fifth crew would be pre-positioned to fly the No1 Tanker to Bombay. As it was a relatively short distance from Bahrain to Bombay the Javelins would be topped up with fuel just before the coast so that they could get cross the Indian sub-continent. We would remain at Bombay on the assumption that the dispute would be of short duration and then we would bring the Javelins back. Should it not be sorted in a week or so then we would return to the UK leaving 214 to bring them back in slow time. He looked around at the more elderly members of the squadron.
“There is no question,” he said firmly, “of the aircraft reverting to the bomber role and being used in operations.”
The wrinkled faces relaxed, going to war was the last thing they had in mind for their pre-retirement programme.
#
We had two days to plan. The first four Javelins were leaving tomorrow and the last four of the twelve would be taken out by us. The fact that it would be spread over three days was because of the time that it would take to generate tankers and fighters. 214 Sqn. were frantically rebuilding an aircraft on major servicing and 23 Sqn. were pulling out the two war reserve Javelins to make up enough serviceable aircraft. The fifth crew would be going out tomorrow in a Britannia with the ground party.

Ron, our Nav leader was next. He explained the route and how the refuelling brackets had been calculated for the Bahrain-Bombay leg. The route out to Bahrain was standard. It had been used before on a long range Javelin detachment so it was known to work. The procedure was that the Javelins would leave Leuchers and join up with the first tanker at Spurn Head. After they had been being topped up the other three tankers would join and then relieve No1 tanker of all his surplus fuel. No1 would return to Honington, refuel and fly independently to Akrotiri in Cyprus, the first night-stop. He would do the same thing next day out of Akrotiri which is why the crew would be relieved in Bahrain because of all the flying they had done. On crossing the Mediterranean coast No2 would tank up the four Javelins and proceed to Luqa in Malta, refuel and carry on to Cyprus. No3 and us, No4, would do a pair each just before they got out of range of Luqa, which would leave all of us with enough fuel to get to Akrotiri. The Valiant wasn’t designed to be a tanker. Even with a bomb-bay tank fitted it only could carry 78,000 lbs. of fuel and at 8,000 lbs./hr it used 40,000lbs just getting to Cyprus.

There then followed the usual clarifying of minor details.
“What’s the LOA (local overseas allowance) in India?” somebody asked.
Les shuffled through some yet unread signals.
“It’s nine rupees a day.”
Nick picked up last weeks Times and flicked through to the financial section. He looked at the exchange rates in horror.
“For Christ’s sake, it’s thirteen rupees to the pound. That makes it,” a fractional pause, “13s 10d.” An almighty wail went around the room.
Bill piped up. “They couldn’t have changed the rate since 1947 because that was what it was when I left India.”
The boss interjected. “I will sort this out this afternoon, if there is nothing further we had better get on with it.”
I looked at my watch, three-thirty. This was going to be difficult, doing the fuel planning and flying the Anson at the same time.
Davo came over. “I’ll do the planning for you; you had better do your flight.” We cleared it with the boss and I left them to it.

The Victor was ready on time but it was five o’clock before we got airborne. Fortunately I had enough fuel to return as the civilian refuelling crew at Boscombe had gone home. As Honington was a V Force station it had a twenty-four hour canteen in operations so I had dinner there when I got back. It was about nine when I went into the bar for a few beers.
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Old 25th Feb 2016, 20:10
  #8220 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
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Danny, your #8216 . . .


As a footnote, Arthur Gill is the President of 84 Squadron Association, of which I am a proud member.


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