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

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

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

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

Old 24th May 2016, 14:03
  #8601 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 75
Posts: 5,269
but but but ... I don't have any sort of brevet, so why would I want to join in? Oh, wait ...
MPN11 is online now  
Old 24th May 2016, 17:21
  #8602 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: AndyCappLand
Age: 98
Posts: 7,646
No, Taphappy, I want to leave the existing name as it is, but the new guys 'n gals to have their own playground - if they wish (always subject to our Moderators). One of them can call it whatever he/she likes, my suggestion was just one idea. Who'll open the bowling ?

Fear Not, MPN11, the old "Pilot's Brevet in WWII" will live as long as it has contributors; it has been a Broad Church ever since the beginning and this our old virtual Crewroom in Cyberspace is open to all of Good Will with something relevant to add or a comment to make, or a question to ask.

Danny.
Danny42C is offline  
Old 24th May 2016, 18:19
  #8603 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: eastcoastoz
Age: 72
Posts: 1,703
Seems that just recently had not been a good week for your old play-things in Arizona, Danny.

Firstly, that Tracey Whatsaname tried acrobatics (not aerobatics) in the Stearman PT-17 at Winslow.
The poor thing's a bit of a mess - probably a write-off.
It'll take a good rigger, and others, a good while to get that one flying again, I'd think.

Then, the other day, an American Airlines pilot went in (double fatality) in an AT-6 at Falcon Field, Mesa, former home of 4BFTS.
(EFATO?)
Sad.

Last edited by Stanwell; 24th May 2016 at 18:33.
Stanwell is offline  
Old 24th May 2016, 20:35
  #8604 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: AndyCappLand
Age: 98
Posts: 7,646
Stanwell,

Yes, she (they?) made a right hoo-hah of it this time. Could've happened to anyone, I suppose. But when I think what Amy Johnson did when I was a small boy, I feel distinctly underwhelmed by Miss TCT.

But can you tell me what it had (had) in front ? I know it isn't the Continental 220hp 7-pot radial fixed-pitch which was the standard fit in our PT-17s. Could it be a Wasp Junior (with a 2-speed prop) lifted off an old BT-13 ?

The AT-6A did not suffer fools gladly. IIRC, we had three fatalities with them on our course at Advanced School, Selma. It was said that the Spitfire made a good lead-in to it in its Harvard guise !

Danny.
Danny42C is offline  
Old 24th May 2016, 21:11
  #8605 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: eastcoastoz
Age: 72
Posts: 1,703
None of her published material seems to say what it is - but, just going from a photo, it does appear to be a Wasp Junior with two-speed prop.
Stanwell is offline  
Old 24th May 2016, 22:32
  #8606 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: AndyCappLand
Age: 98
Posts: 7,646
Stanwell,
..."The Spirit of Artemis then started to sink which was not a great scenario"..
Couldn't have been in coarse pitch ? - no, perish the thought !

Danny.
Danny42C is offline  
Old 25th May 2016, 06:18
  #8607 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Age: 97
Posts: 100
Old comrades

We continued our sorties into enemy territory, and on 9th November 1943, we escorted Beaufighters from a sister squadron, No. 252, who were armed with torpedoes, into the Aegean Sea area, once more. Some long way north of Crete, we met a convoy of small armed vessels (gunboats, corvettes) escorting some supply ships and barges. Overhead were two Arado 196 seaplanes doing their escort duty. Arados were versatile armoured aircraft, suitable for fighter escort and for rescue work. We swept in from sea level, and while the 252 Squadron aircraft attacked the shipping with their torpedoes, we took care of the escort.

I saw an Arado diving down on me, from above and straight ahead, guns firing, and instinctively, I rose up to meet him. With my four cannons and six machine guns all firing, the poor chap hadn't much chance. I think it was a case of who was to be the chicken, as we flew straight towards each other. He pulled back the stick, and cleared the top of my aircraft, but then immediately dived down on to the water, where he crashlanded. Another pilot told me afterwards that he had seen the observer's body, hanging over the side of the aircraft, as he was attempting to get out. The pilot was also killed.

I immediately flew off after the second Arado, which turned tail and fled. I fired several times at it, and saw smoke pouring from it, with pieces flying off the wings and fuselage before I left it, heading down towards the sea. Little did I know that my "scrap" with the Huns would prove to be my Nemesis!
Walter603 is offline  
Old 26th May 2016, 02:16
  #8608 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Australia
Age: 97
Posts: 100
Old comrades

When we arrived back at Base, my beloved "Z" for Zombie was damaged somewhat. Among other things, an aileron wire had been severed, clean shot through, and I hadn't full wing control. The following day, when we went out on our next raid, I was given a brand new aircraft, just delivered to the Squadron and there hadn't been time even to paint the aircraft identification letters on the fuselage.

We flew out in the same general direction of Cos, Leros and Scarpanto, (now called Karpathos) looking for enemy shipping. Suddenly, a full flight of us was attacked by half-a-dozen ME 109Fs. Not in true British style, but obeying standing orders explicitly, we turned tail and fled - Beaufighters were really no good against single-engined ME 109s. We were no match for that kind of aggression. Alas and alack, I discovered that the brand-new aircraft I had taken out, was alarmingly slow. Whilst the rest of the flight drew rapidly ahead of me, I dropped back just as rapidly (obviously) and became a true "tail-arse Charlie". I banged desperately on the throttles, hoping to get past some imaginary stoppage and put about 50 knots extra airspeed on the cow, but destiny loomed.

The ME's took it in turn to sit on my tail, and use me for target practice. At 20 feet over the wave tops, I jinked and jinked. "Tell me when they're lining up, Bob", I called to my observer, who was cursing in the back seat, and firing vainly with his Vickers 'pop-gun' when the occasion presented itself. He dutifully told me when the time came. Meanwhile, I flew straight and level at best top speed. As soon as the next attack came, I jinked and jinked once more. (Violent movements of the aircraft controls produced uneven flight and spoiled the enemy chances of getting straight shots).

What seemed like an age passed. I think it was all of ten minutes. A couple of the enemy planes ran out of ammo. Eventually, thick smoke filled the cockpit. I saw flames licking over the whole of the starboard wing. I throttled back on that side, feathered the airscrew, found the fire extinguisher button, and pressed hard. It made no difference. We flew on, and still continued burning.

Eyes smarting, unable to see ahead properly, I gave the observer the emergency message, "Dinghy, dinghy, prepare for ditching." I throttled back the port engine, and pancaked on the sea, which was fortunately reasonably calm.

The “Beau” was reputed to float for only five seconds. We had had lots of "dry runs" in the hangar, and in the desert, practising that urgent exit from the cockpit, onto the port wing, pulling the toggle to release the dinghy, and hopping over the side of the wing into the yellow lifesaver. True to life's experience, this one didn't work quite the same.

No sooner had we stopped our forward motion on the water, than the kite stuck down its nose, and plunged deep beneath the waves. I threw back the top of the canopy, and attempted to rise from my seat. Horror! I couldn't move. I tried again. It grew dark around me, so swift was our descent into Neptune's grave. I tried a third time. O Foolish Youth! I remembered this time to pull the pin from my seat strap. Out I popped like a cork from a champagne bottle. Quickly the light returned, and my head broke the surface of the sea.

Bob wasn't far off, and neither was the dinghy. The only good luck that day was that we had obtained an advance model Beaufighter, with an automatically ejecting dinghy. There the luck stopped. The bloody thing was upside down, and only partly inflated. Every attempt to turn it right way up met with failure. It collapsed upon itself, time and time again. We couldn't get at the inflating pump, naturally, until we were able to right it. I think it took about 45 minutes, and by that time poor old Bob (he was 28, and 'granddad' to me) was thoroughly exhausted.

Eventually, we were in it. We were both stained bright yellow from the sea-dye marker, which had also operated automatically, and we sat uncomfortably in several inches of water. The sea-dye, by the way, was a pack of concentrated colouring, tied to the dinghy by a piece of cord, and designed to leave a bright trail of yellow dye in the water, that could be seen from the air by potential rescuers. It was 1500 hours when we were shot down, and the next 18 hours were very miserable. The torn-off starboard wing floated for a long time, about a hundred yards away, and we lost sight of it when it got dark.
Walter603 is offline  
Old 26th May 2016, 09:45
  #8609 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Wide Brown Land
Age: 35
Posts: 516
Wow, Walter.

Just wow.

kookabat is offline  
Old 26th May 2016, 12:16
  #8610 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Dublin
Posts: 85
It certainly feels as if we are all in that cold wet dinghy together.

Gripping story Walter, keep it coming and thank you for sharing.

Fionn
Fionn101 is offline  
Old 26th May 2016, 12:54
  #8611 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Age: 71
Posts: 4,113
Originally Posted by Walter603 View Post
When we arrived back at Base, my beloved "Z" for Zombie was damaged somewhat.
And is this photo close enough Dad? X X-ray, maybe even a 603 kite, complete with inflated dinghy alongside the port wing! Dad also omitted to mention that his other bit of 'luck' was that the automatic dinghy was in the port engine nacelle and the starboard engine was the one that caught fire after being hit by the Me109s

Plus another in the dust of the desert, 252 Sqn at Magrun, Libya.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
X Xray.jpg (192.4 KB, 146 views)
File Type: jpg
4759612397_b7a62f3a5d_o.jpg (299.9 KB, 79 views)
John Eacott is offline  
Old 26th May 2016, 16:55
  #8612 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: AndyCappLand
Age: 98
Posts: 7,646
Walter,

There's plenty of life in old Threads yet ! And now we're all agog to learn how you were rescued - for obviously you must've been - or there would have been no story (and no Walter and Bob !). Seem to remember that the official acknowledgement to "Dinghy, Dinghy !" was "Splash, Splash !" (?)

Never was keen on flying over water - think it better left to the matelots and seagulls - and my only experience of dinghies was in drills with the one-man "K" Dinghy (much easier to turn over !) in a heated swimming pool.

Surprised about the seat pin - were they still using the old Sutton Harness in the Beau as late as that?

Been off line for a while (infirmities of age) but back now (I hope !) Looking forward eagerly to your Part II.

and

John,

Nice pics - and as you say - your Dad was lucky the dinghy was in the left (right !) nacelle !

Cheers both, Danny.
Danny42C is offline  
Old 27th May 2016, 18:59
  #8613 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Washington.
Age: 69
Posts: 491
@Danny42C
"We old-timers just have to accept the fact that we've had our day. It was a good day, but now it's nearly over."

Danny, if you guys hadn't done so well with the war you were given, we, who followed, wouldn't have had our day. SALUTE and happy Memorial Day to all who had a day!
GlobalNav is offline  
Old 27th May 2016, 20:26
  #8614 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Often in Jersey, but mainly in the past.
Age: 75
Posts: 5,269
Well said, GlobalNav .... and we're sorry we didn't get to DC for Memorial Day this year.

But, for all of us [yes, even the young ones] the sand still keeps running through that bloody hour-glass, and there's nothing we can do to stop it. And I suspect we have all [in smaller ways than some] added a bit of value to the world at large. It's Danny's generation that "had so many opportunities to do so much for so many in innumerable different ways"
MPN11 is online now  
Old 27th May 2016, 20:41
  #8615 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Washington.
Age: 69
Posts: 491
"It's Danny's generation that "had so many opportunities to do so much for so many in innumerable different ways"

Yes, and inspired many of us who followed. It's a privilege to have been able to serve alongside others, as well. Many are serving even now.
GlobalNav is offline  
Old 29th May 2016, 18:51
  #8616 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Canada
Posts: 29
Originally Posted by Danny42C View Post
Savimosh01

Thanks for the information concerning the "missing month" in my memoirs from March '43. Yes, Bob Harvey rings a bell, but I cannot connect it to a face. It would seem that the short detachment to Dohazari was primarily for publicity purposes (at a time when the VV squadrons were badly in need of it).

All the people named are well remembered by me. F/Sgt George Davies was the chap who had to bale out with his crewman from a one-legged Vengeance (come to think of it, I cannot think of another bale-out on 110 from a VV).

Danny42C
Reg Duncan told me that on Jan. 2, 1944 Sgt P.J. Charman's Vengeance had engine trouble. He ordered P/O Skelton to bail out, then went down with the plane. On May 8, 1944 Rodney Topley was running low on fuel and ordered Dave Cummin to bail out. Dave's son George shared the ordeal of his Dad's return to base. My father almost bailed out. His pilot was shouting, "Pump her, pump, pump!" In reference to the backup pump. Dad thought he said, "Jump, jump!"
savimosh01 is offline  
Old 29th May 2016, 21:47
  #8617 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: AndyCappLand
Age: 98
Posts: 7,646
Savimosh01 (your #8618),
...On May 8, 1944 Rodney Topley was running low on fuel and ordered Dave Cummin to bail out. Dave's son George shared the ordeal of his Dad's return to base. "My father almost bailed out. His pilot was shouting, "Pump her, pump, pump!" In reference to the backup pump. Dad thought he said, "Jump, jump!"...
Flt Lt Topley was "A" Flight Commander of 110 Squadron (and acting CO for some time until Sqn Ldr Penny took over in November '43, shortly before I was posted across to 8 Sqdn (IAF). Dave Cummin I don't remember, probably on "B" Flight and may have been posted in after I left.

Surprised that they were still getting fuel feed problems as late as May '44 (the very end), as I thought that had been fixed the year before. My Post p.130 #2591 tells the tale.

Cheers, Danny.

PS: What's happened to Post #8619 ? EDIT 301111 - Fixed !: this is now #8619.

Last edited by Danny42C; 30th May 2016 at 11:24. Reason: Add PS. and query gap in Post numbers.
Danny42C is offline  
Old 31st May 2016, 21:14
  #8618 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: May 2016
Location: North Wales
Posts: 115
Originally Posted by Walter603 View Post
I throttled back the port engine, and pancaked on the sea, which was fortunately reasonably calm.


No sooner had we stopped our forward motion on the water, than the kite stuck down its nose, and plunged deep beneath the waves. I threw back the top of the canopy, and attempted to rise from my seat. Horror! I couldn't move. I tried again. It grew dark around me, so swift was our descent into Neptune's grave.
Amazing tale, Walter603. As I read it I was gripping my seat, dry-mouthed and heart pumping! It must be an extract from your book?! I'm no pilot, but have seen a bit of wartime training footage where the correct procedure for ditching was being put across to pilots. As I recall, half-flap was critical, rather than the instinctive full flap, or you'd go nose-in and flip or cartwheel. Waves were seriously bad news.. if they were (linear) large swells, it was important to ditch parallel to them, along their length, not into them. You must have done an excellent job of your ditch, in that you were both conscious and uninjured. What an incredible adventure. Utterly scary and then euphoric, I guess.

Last edited by NigG; 1st Jun 2016 at 10:35.
NigG is offline  
Old 31st May 2016, 21:52
  #8619 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: AndyCappLand
Age: 98
Posts: 7,646
NigG,

Amen to that ! But I'm starting to worry a bit. Walter has been bobbing about with Bob in a cold and wet Mediterranean for five days now, and no word. Hope he's all right - but then son John would tell us if it were not so.

Don't think a VV was ever ditched. The consensus was that it would do so badly because of its shape, and probably dive straight down. Better to bale out and trust to parachute and dinghy. Arthur must have mulled over this possibility a lot, for 84 did many anti-submarine sweeps from around Madras, Ceylon and various places, whereas the other squadrons operated only over land AFAIK.

Danny.
Danny42C is offline  
Old 31st May 2016, 23:27
  #8620 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Gold Coast, Australia
Age: 71
Posts: 4,113
Dad is bumbling around darkest Norfolk at the moment, visiting the Old Dart. No doubt there'll be another instalment soon
John Eacott is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us Archive Advertising Cookie Policy Privacy Statement Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.