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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 1st Mar 2016, 09:42
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Danny

Thank you for your kind words of support.

Re memoirs - some 30 years ago we moved to Bourton, a village in north Dorset and frequented the local pub. I used to exchange pleasantries with an 'old boy' who always used the same bar stool every Saturday and Sunday lunchtime.

The publican had started encouraging people to bring in surplus headgear and stick them on the ceiling of the bar. About 3 years after I had moved there I took in my old RAF forage cap and while fixing it to the ceiling the 'old boy' said, 'I should have brought mine in'. I told him I had been a Herc' nav' and he told me that he had been a pilot.

It took me the best part of 10 years to glean what he had done, I guess he didn't want to be heard 'shooting a line'.

Douglas had been a Halton brat in the early '30s and was one of those very few airmen to be selected for pilot training. As a Sgt Pilot he was posted to Fairy Battles and after war was declared was part of the BEF sent to France. In the spring of 1940 while Douglas was home on leave the Blitzkrieg started and most of his mates were wiped out.

In 1990 I watched on TV Sir Christopher Foxley Norris lead the 300 or so B of B survivors out of Buck House for the 50th anniversary celebrations. I asked Douglas the next day had he seen it and he replied, 'Yes I saw old Chris'. 'You knew him then', I replied. 'Yes, we were on the same squadron in '44'. I dragged out of him that they were on a Beaufighter squadron that was part of Max Aitken's wing at Banff. Their role was anti-shipping strikes.

After finding out that post war when Douglas was on the Central Fighter Establishment, he received a call from his desk officer to the effect that he had a 'career' posting for him, 'That sounds good, what career posting is that?' says Douglas, 'Korea, you're going to fly with the USAF on Sabres', came the reply, I pleaded with Douglas to write his memoirs as he had such a story to tell. He flatly refused. 'I can't be bothered with that old boy, and who would want to read them?. Such a shame.

Douglas eventually made Grp Cpt and retired from the RAF in 1971. I think his last job was OC the Area ATC unit at Bukit Gombak ( think the place is right ) in Singapore.

He didn't even tell his wife when he was diagnosed with terminal cancer - his death came as a complete surprise to her!

He was part of a group of old retired officers who met for lunch every so often at the pub - one or two of those had also stories to tell!
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Old 1st Mar 2016, 10:20
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@ Brian 48nav ... what a shame! Some very interesting tales disappeared down the drain there. And what an 'interesting' career Douglas had!

Not that we will be able easily to verify, but there were 2 relevant Units in Singapore at that time:
  • Bukit Gombak was the Air Defence radar unit, and would almost certainly have had a gp capt OC.
  • Paya Lebar [then the main airport] was also the home of Singapore Radar, a joint Civil/Military Area ATC outfit, and would have had a wg cdr OC RAF element at best.
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Old 1st Mar 2016, 18:59
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“I see you’re due for a manual letdown”. John said with a grin. “You should be used to it, spending all that time flying the Anson.”
Flying an aircraft which was designed before powered controls were invented was slightly different from flying an aircraft which needed them to do its job. However, the requirement was to land it without any power once every three months and the tick had to be put up. Twenty degrees was the maximum angle of bank allowed in manual so as I turned the aircraft onto the letdown heading I strained against the resistance to apply some bank. The aircraft grudgingly reacted; five, seven, ten degrees and I heaved the other way so that it would stop at twenty. More grunting and groaning as I levelled it out. With the forces involved it would be impossible to land it at this speed but things got a lot better below 150 knots. At the descent point just closing the throttles and deploying the airbrakes would position the aircraft into a 250 knot descent without touching the controls.

Once below 190 knots the flaps were lowered to twenty degrees with another few degrees of tailplane incidence to compensate. At this speed the aircraft was still very heavy and spongy but the grunts and groans had slackened to mere verbal abuse. 5,400rpm on the engines covered everything on the Valiant so as the gear went down it settled at 145 knots. And as I collected the ILS glideslope I called for forty degrees flap and it responded by going straight into a 600ft/min descent. Just before touchdown I called for the power to be taken off and John throttled back the engines, the first time they had been touched since levelling out. Below 130knots the aircraft was very manageable so there was no difficulty in landing it.

After shutdown we climbed into the crew bus and went back to operations to tidy up the paperwork. The food was better in operations than the officer’s mess. It was explained to me that ration truck went round the station in the order of sergeants, airman’s, operations and the officer’s messes, so all the junk was given to the officers. In my relatively short time in the Air Force I could believe it.

The next day was spent tidying up the various minor details. As far as the LOA was concerned nothing had changed but the NCOs and airmen were getting their hotel bill paid in toto. That’s democracy for you. The navigators were already in operations with smoking whiz-wheels sorting out the final headings and times. When they came back we had a full meteorological and navigation brief for the entire route. The weather was fine with no jet streams to interfere so it looked as everything would be fairly straightforward. The short pilot’s brief merely instructed us to do a water-methanol takeoff to prove the system.

We all went into operations to get our flying kit and I did the takeoff calculations. With full fuel, by the time you had deducted the taxiing allowance you were at 175,00lbs, which was the Maximum All Up Weight. I did not know how much we had in the way of spares in the bomb bay pannier and I didn’t want to. 143 knots was the unstick speed at that weight so the only things to work out were the acceleration, safety and stop speeds which varied with temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind and runway length available. There was a welter of ‘see you laters’ as the lead tanker crew got into their bus. As there was still half-an-hour or so to go before we went I stacked up in the canteen.

Eventually the bewitching hour came and all fifteen of us climbed into crew buses. Our three aircraft were leaving at the same time and to be kept informed of what was going on all the aircraft intercoms were plugged into Telebrief, a system where anybody from C in C Bomber Command to station ops could talk directly to an aircraft. This time we also had Chief Technician Donohue who was the aircraft’s crew chief. We had just about got up to the planned engine start time when were we told to wait as there had been a problem. One of the Javelins had burst a tyre taxiing out and the whole show was being delayed whilst they were changing a wheel on the holding point. Even though the lead tanker was now burning up fuel at Spurn Head it still only needed three tankers to take four Javelins to Cyprus. We, as No 4, were there as insurance owing to the nature of the job so we had loads of spare fuel. The delay was only thirty minutes or so, so we started up and taxiied out.

It never ceases to amaze me how aircraft survive the abuse that they get both on the ground and in the air. Watching the first one turn onto the runway the tandem mainwheels were twisting the entire undercarriage leg as they tried to follow different radiuses of turn. When he had his engines up to full power everything that wasn’t bolted together was shaking. The entire tailplane, flaps and wingtips were just a blur. He released the brakes and the roar grew louder as the water- meth went in and he rolled off down the runway. Getting airborne was going to take nearly 7,000ft of a 9,000ft runway and it looked it. As he rotated into the air two enormous white vortices poured off the wings as they grappled for lift, a pause and the undercarriage legs slowly canted out into the wings. The initial rate of climb was pathetic, it did not really get going until the flaps were up at about 200 knots but it was, however, better than the Victor Mk1 that had to clean up to get some ground separation. We moved forward as the second aircraft lined up. There was a slight crosswind so he waited until all the ensuring vapour and associated turbulence had moved aside and then off he went. I ran through the speeds again as we lined up..

John called for 8,000 rpm. So I advanced the throttles and I monitored the revs and JPTs as they went up. The haze had cleared so he released the brakes and we ambled forward. After eight seconds I switched on the water-meth. All four swung smoothly up to 8,300 and the aircraft started to show a lot more interest. Once it got over the initial inertia it actually accelerated quite well. I was waiting for the acceleration check line with one eye on the engines. The acceleration marker swept under the nose and I called ‘Up Three’.

We were getting a move on now and so was the end of the runway. Just below 120 knots John started to pull back on the control column to get the nosewheel rising and as it passed 140 another gentle pull made sure the wheels unstuck and we were on our way. He called for the undercarriage and I pressed the up button to start them moving. Flap was delayed until the water-meth ran out as one sink was enough without arranging for them both to be together. A drop in the noise as the engines backed off to 8,000 and with that he called for the flaps to come up. When the flaps had cleared and the speed was up to 200 knots I pulled the engines back to 7,800, we turned right and went for the 250-knot climb speed. The after take off checks were read by the AEO and after they were complete I looked over at everything to see how the aircraft was getting on. As we climbed up above the cloud we could see our compatriots ahead so we followed them to the Norfolk coast. As we passed 25,000 ft we changed over to the Trimmingham GCI radar unit who vectored us onto the lead tanker.

The Royal Air Force has a long tradition of female fighter controllers so she put us about four miles to the east of them and turned us in when we still appeared to be miles away. But as we were approaching each other at something like sixteen miles a minute by the time we had reversed our direction we were slotted in nicely about half a mile on their port side. Number three Javelin was just pulling out; he moved over and let the fourth go in. There was a big conversation between the navigators on the chat frequency and it transpired that we would not be taking any fuel this time because our share had been used up whilst the tanker had been waiting for the fighters.

The two Valiant tanker squadrons were continuously doing mutual training between their own aircraft not only to keep them in practice for serving other aircraft but also for occasions like this. The pilots were in top form so they collected their 7500lbs of fuel each in about five minutes. With us not having to load up we were now nicely in a Vic formation so the Javelins positioned themselves in pairs either side of us. The first tanker now started to descend back to Honington to refuel and carry on independently to Cyprus. It was going to be a long day for them.

The French coast was now coming up and we changed height slightly to fit in with the metric system of flight levels. There was not a lot to do until we reached the Mediterranean so to pass the time I practised close formation with the leader. Having just come out of a period in my life when I was used to having the leader’s wingtip on my lap I was good at it. There was nothing written down as far as positioning was concerned so I had to make it up as I went along. I lined up on the elevator hinge and moved in so that his pitot head was on the cockpit DV (direct vision) window and judging by comments like ‘would you like a cup of tea’ from their rear crew this was close enough. We were passing over a layer of cirro-stratus and looking back at our shadows it suggested that this was as good as any. I could also see that the Javelins on my port side had joined in and were tucked in as close as they could. We did not have any interference from the French Air Force, any NATO aircraft was fair game at that time; so this kept us occupied until the South of France came up.

It was now time for the second refuelling bracket. We changed formation to a wide loose Vic and the Javelins huddled behind the lead tanker. The first Javelin engaged, tucked itself in and started refuelling. A couple of minutes later it had topped up with 6,500lbs.of fuel. His No 2 followed suit and the other pair were done by our other tanker. We now had to offload surplus fuel from our No 1 to refuel the others to Cyprus.

We moved in behind the tanker and we were cleared in. John filled his right hand with throttles and manoeuvred behind the drogue. The flying technique was to use the tanker as the sole reference; as long as that is right the probe will look after itself. He lined himself up with the port side of the bomb bay and by putting the top of the drogue on the visual bomb-aiming blister it gave him the right angle. About an inch on the throttles started bringing us in. The drogue was giving us a closing speed reference and he got it right at about five knots. The probe hit at one third out from the valve and the drogue immediately shimmied itself over and engaged the valves. He kept the power still going forward and climbing to keep the same picture of the aircraft and the roar of four Avons in front of us was getting louder as we closed in. I could see the drum rotating as it took up the hose and with a flash the green flow lights came on. The hose twitches and shudders before this point but when it is full of pressurised fuel it tightens and becomes more stable.

Inching back the throttles to hold position and keeping our eye on the drum, which would tell us if we were moving in or sliding out. It was not long in coming out as we put on weight; We was now putting in more power than the initial join up and the aircraft was getting more sluggish. It took another couple of minutes to receive what he could give us and then there was quick flash of the red lights so we backed off slowly and disconnected. During refuelling the co-pilot monitors the tanks to make sure the aircraft remains in C of G limits by switching tanks on and off. A quick scan of the fuel gauges, everything seemed to be in the right place.

The lead tanker left us for his refuel at Luqa and we gathered up our Javelins and proceeded for the next refuel south of Crete,
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 01:19
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Any old iron ?

Fareastdriver (your #8264),

Wow ! I'd always thought of you as a rotary king, and revelled in your stories of the Chinese oilrigs. Now it seems you had a previous incarnation as a "Valiantdriver" as well ! The only thing I remember about them was being told (at Shawbury, I think) that when they went out of service the engines and electronics were stripped out, and the hulks (which had cost millions to build) went for scrap at only £75 apiece. Don't know if it's true.

Those were the days when we counted the turbine revs. I remember when the Derwents in the Meteor peaked at 10,700 and the Goblins in the Vampire at 9,500 (?), and we had a three-pointer clock to keep an eye on (just like the three-needle altimeter of evil memory). Then sanity returned, and they brought in the percentage gauges - but that was after my time.

Now Sod's Law dictates that, if a thing can go wrong, it will - and that must apply to Valiants as well. So chill our blood with tales of incidents that still wake you up screaming ! No slacking, now.

In pleasurable anticipation,

Danny.
 
Old 2nd Mar 2016, 01:51
  #8265 (permalink)  
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There's no money in it !

Jack, your,
...So that's what they're not called....
I write my Posts for my own pleasure (and, I hope, for the entertainment of all PPRuNers), but the idea of writing a book does not appeal at all.

Did not Johnson say: "No one but a blockhead wrote for anything other than money" - and, as I believe, the market for war memoirs dried up a long time ago. There is, IMHO, no fortune to be made that way.

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 2nd Mar 2016, 10:07
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Then sanity returned, and they brought in the percentage gauges
Not necessarily. It depends on what the customer wants.

The Puma (S330) had percentages for the engines but the Super Puma had a choice of percent or RPM. The ones I flew had RPM for the engines. Full power; around 24,000 as a ball park figure.

The Goblin was 10,500/710 for 15 minutes and a little birdie tells me the Meteor was 14,750/680.
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 10:08
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I write my Posts for my own pleasure (and, I hope, for the entertainment of all PPRuNers), but the idea of writing a book does not appeal at all. - Danny

Well said, Sir, and if I may be so bold as to quote Samuel Johnson back at you, "I should as soon think of contradicting a Bishop", before quoting Ben Jonson in respect of the undoubted pleasure and entertainment that you unfailingly do give to others, namely,

"While I confess thy writings to be such,
As neither man, nor muse, can praise too much."

Salaams

Jack
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 10:36
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A worthy tribute . . . . a worthy sentiment.


( At the same time he 'measures not with words the immeasurable . . .nor sinks the string of thought into the fathomless.' (Anon) )
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 18:29
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"He writes real good, too!"

by a nameless ex-USAF navigator
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Old 2nd Mar 2016, 22:52
  #8270 (permalink)  
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Fareastdriver,

Little birdie and I seem to be in agreement on Meteor. Goblin figure seems a bit high (that whacking great centrifugal compressor), but can't be bothered to dig up PNs (Jever Steam Laundry ?)

Would have thought that the percentage clock would be more popular, but chacun à son goût , I suppose.
Danny,

PS: Jack, Fantome and GlobalNav...... Shucks ! - you're making me blush !
Bashful




Sorry I can't size it - but a better likeness than my old 1250 !......D.
 
Old 3rd Mar 2016, 07:53
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Old Comrades

Apologies for the delay in posting, fellow nostalgics. Frozen shoulder, facial surgery and one or two other minor health problems that bother nonagenarians have held me up for some days. Now I’m back in shape, so here goes.

Christmas 1942 passed, and eventually we received orders to go to Idku, an aerodrome about 30 miles east of Alexandria, in the delta of the Nile. Here we were inducted into 272 Squadron, Royal Air Force, at the beginning of January 1943. Training began in earnest, and we were quickly transformed into day Beaufighter crews. Our Radar Observers had to work hard to convert themselves into Navigators, in the true sense of the word. Flying was done by dead reckoning and map reading. No more assistance and "vectoring" from ground station radar.

The pilots had to familiarise themselves with desert warfare and with convoy escort procedures, because our prime role would be escorting large and small convoys up and down the Mediterranean, to besieged Malta, past Gibraltar, and back to Alexandria. Meanwhile, 603 (City of Edinburgh) Squadron arrived at Idku, from Malta, where it had been working hard to defend the island from the savage attacks of German and Italian Air Forces. The Squadron was converted from Spitfires to Beaufighters, and we were the new air crews. Soon, we flew off into the Desert, in close support of the Eighth Army now victoriously chasing Rommel westwards as hard as possible.

Jim, Walter and Len in Egypt
Not a crew - just pals




After operating from various “forward” bases on the fast chase westwards, we established ourselves at Misurata Marina, in Libya, about 100 miles east of Tripoli. Our Squadron's “tent city” sprang up on the eastern end of the airfield, which was little more than a flattened portion of desert, south of the Italian-built town of Misurata, on the Mediterranean coast, and birth-place in 1942 of Muanmar Gaddafi, later to become dictator of Libya. . Here we were to remain for the remainder of 1943 as a Coastal Command Squadron.

We were now in 201 Group of Coastal Command of the Royal Air Force. In the tradition built up from the inauguration of the Empire Air Training Scheme in April 1940, we had a wonderful mix of men from Britain, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Rhodesia etc, all seconded to the RAF for the duration, working together perfectly in the mutual desire to defeat the enemy axis. Our Commanding Officer, Hugh Chater, even came from South Africa!

We were kept very busy on convoy escorts, mainly to and from the besieged island of Malta. Troop ships and supply ships sailed backwards and forwards along the Mediterranean Sea, and were liable to air attack at any time from the German forward bases before they were finally driven from North Africa, and from German and Italian air forces in Italy, Sicily, and the outlying bases such as on Corsica and Sardinia.

Our escort duties were quite arduous, involving many hours flying low over the sea, to and from the convoys which had to be "pinpointed" and found quickly by skilful navigation over thousands of square miles of ocean. Once in position, we flew round and round, round and round, continually scanning the skies for attacking enemy aircraft, and keeping at a respectful distance from our seaborne charges.

Getting too close, in the estimation of the Royal Navy, even when we had been circling for several hours, was sure to invite a sharp barrage from the anti-aircraft guns of one or more escort ships. Mind you, we could always understand why the Navy gunners were so trigger-happy. Losses of shipping, from submarines and from air attacks on the Malta run totalled hundreds of thousands of tons in dozens of sunken ships.

Occasionally, we had a respite from the convoy duties, flying at wave-top height across the Mediterranean to keep below the enemy radar defences, and attacking shipping, airfields and supply dumps in Greece, Crete and the Dodecanese Islands.

These trips were also very arduous. It took about two-and-a-half hours to fly across the "Med" to the target. Attack usually took no more than about 3 or 4 minutes, then there was the return journey to be accomplished. One of the hazards was the fact that spray from the waves created a salt coating under the wings and fuselage, and aircraft had to be regularly cleaned to get rid of the corrosive substance. Another was the fact that it was very difficult to judge one's height over the sea. Two hundred feet and 20 feet looked very much alike in the featureless seascape.

It was necessary to set the altimeter meticulously before takeoff, and descending very, very carefully to the top of the waves, usually about 20 feet above the sea. At this height, flying the Beaufighter was still hard work, from the habit of the aircraft "hunting", that is, behaving like a ridden horse in rising up and down continuously, necessitating constant opposing pressure by the pilot on the control column to counteract the movements. This effect was called "longitudinal instability", and was partly cured by fitting dihedral tail planes to the aircraft. It was not unknown for pilots to strike the wave-tops - in fact we lost two in our Squadron from these dreadful accidents. The aircraft were gone in the blink of an eye!

Walter on his first camel ride the Sphinx.
The wallet was held to encourage the use of the camel!


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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 09:32
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Welcome back Walter! Blimey you looked so young, did your teachers know you'd bunked-off from school!

We had a nav' on 48, ( Hercs at Changi 67/8 ) who had been in Egypt at the same time, on Wellingtons based at Mersa Matruh. If he was off for a kip he had a wonderful expression, " I'm going for some Egyptian P T" - it always made me laugh.

Danny

I think you have already written your book - it is here on this best of threads. When you miss the occasional day posting it just doesn't seem quite right. Long may you keep it up.
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 09:50
  #8273 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Brian 48nav
Welcome back Walter! Blimey you looked so young, did your teachers know you'd bunked-off from school!

We had a nav' on 48, ( Hercs at Changi 67/8 ) who had been in Egypt at the same time, on Wellingtons based at Mersa Matruh. If he was off for a kip he had a wonderful expression, " I'm going for some Egyptian P T" - it always made me laugh.
Dad was young: just 20 years old!

Egyptian PT was a common expression in the RN, along with 'studying the deckhead rivets'.

I'll try to co-ordinate with Dad for a series of photos that I have scanned from his contact prints (remember them?) which is all he has left of his time in the desert. Everything was lost when he finally got home, even his logbook
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Old 3rd Mar 2016, 21:47
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Thanks for your kind welcome back, Brian and Danny. "It's the smile in your eyes that makes me warm".
Yes, I remember using Egyptian PT to describe a quick snooze.
Son John did a good job on my images - thanks mate! Looking forward to posting some more.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 00:09
  #8275 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Old Comrades.

Walter,

You seem to have been "in the wars !" - congratulations on your recovery, and welcome back ! Just a few points arising from your exciting story (if I may):
...Not a crew - just pals...
And fine figures of young men, too !
...Flying was done by dead reckoning and map reading. No more assistance and "vectoring" from ground station radar...
Same in India/Burma - join the club !
...Our Commanding Officer, Hugh Chater, even came from South Africa!...
In Burma, we had a Wing Commander Chater (OC, 168 Wing). Now from Peter C. Smith's "Vengance !":
...Hugh Seaton, a young Canadian [said]......."Our Group Commander, Group Captain Chater, RAF, seemed particularly partial to our rather small, rather wild contingent of Canadians... we called Group Captain Chater 'The War Lord of the Arakan' "...
This would be the Wing Commander Chater who, by a clever bit of legerdemain, fiddled the inventory in such a way that he had a Harvard for his personal use (which did not exist any more as far as the RAF was concerned). Nice work if you can get it ! (Luckily, we had no careers to worry about in those days - and just as well)....
...Occasionally, we had a respite from the convoy duties, flying at wave-top height across the Mediterranean to keep below the enemy radar defences, and attacking shipping, airfields and supply dumps in Greece, Crete and the Dodecanese Islands...
Not my idea of a respite ! (except in the sense of "A change is as good as a rest" ?)
...Walter on his first camel ride the Sphinx...
Now why does that old poem come back to me ? (you know, the one which ends: "...and the Sphinx's inscrutable smile ?)...

You appear to have a one-legged camel. Wasn't it rather unstable ?

It's said that there are no wild camels - and no tame ones either ! You take your life in your hands, or so I'm told, when you mount one. Never did so myself (they had plenty of camels in the NW Frontier of India) - nor elephants either.
...The wallet was held to encourage the use of the camel!...
Not a good idea to wave your wallet about in the Levant or any point East ! More than likely to encourage the use of a blunt instrument - you'd awake with a sore head but no wallet.

What was the thing on the side of the camel's face - a Tax Disc ?

Wonderful stories, Walter, just what we need here, More, please

Cheers, Danny.

PS: John,
...'Egyptian PT' was a common expression in the RN, along with 'studying the deckhead rivets'...
Both common in the RAF, too, I heard the second as "counting the deckhead rivets". In India we also had "charping" (derived fron "charpoy", the ubiquitous native bed).

Your Dad is an ornament to this Thread. Keep his nose to the grindstone ! Tragic about the logbook, though - it makes it hard to set out a time frame.

D.

Last edited by Danny42C; 4th Mar 2016 at 01:33. Reason: Get the "Sphinx" wording right !
 
Old 4th Mar 2016, 05:01
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My Dad used to say "closely examining the inside of his eyelids". No idea if it was from the Army or just a "Dad-ism". National Service, not wartime.
With spectacular forward planning on the part of my grandparents, Dad was 18 in January '46.
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 07:58
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Danny42C
Re: #8265

I seem to recollect that Sod's Law states that Murphy was an optimist!


... headset, chinagraph (ATC equivalent of 'hat, coat' etc)

Last edited by FantomZorbin; 4th Mar 2016 at 13:15. Reason: Typo
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 11:49
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My Uncle Sid used to say he was "Just watching the barges go by..."
Now, sixty years later, I can look out of my window and do exactly that!!
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Old 4th Mar 2016, 17:08
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Uncle Sid may have been influenced by the old Ford motorcar ad . . . 'Watching all the Fords go by'. This clip is from 1956 but the slogan definitely predates that. Henry's PR men may well have come up with it back in the day's of another catchy little song that included 'get out and get under...'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UFJyRzRtNE

Another interesting thing about Henry was his extraordinary memory for the names of his employees. His biographer said he knew the first names of the first thousand men he employed . .. and their wives.
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Old 5th Mar 2016, 00:14
  #8280 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Birds of a Feather.

FantomZorbin (your #8278),
..."I seem to recollect that Sod's Law states that Murphy was an optimist!"...
For the sake of interest, I Googled up "Sod's Law" - and was inundated with replies ! It would seem that everone and his dog has his own interpretation of that infamous duo (Sod and Murphy). A clear case of "Quot homines, tot sententiae", if ever there was one.

IMHO, Murphy's Law is really just a particular application of Sod's, in that it states that if it is possible to assemble two components the wrong way round, the someone will certainly do so (the classic case being aileron cables, with the result that you push to the left - and the right wing goes down !). The subsequent flight tends to be "nasty, short, poor and brutish !" (to echo a phrase). The best known example of Sod's law in action is that your dropped buttered toast always falls marmalade side down on the carpet (but no human input is involved).

Now we have started the hare of all hares running, I fear (for what PPRuNer would fail to rise to this bait ?)

"Headset - Chinagraph" ? Forgive me - I did not realise that you and I were fellow sufferers as intrepid (?) aviators "put out to grass", as it were, in ATC when our glory days (such as they were) were over (flying pay, too !)...

Sod rules !

Danny.
 

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