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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 31st May 2016, 22:27
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Dad is bumbling around darkest Norfolk at the moment, visiting the Old Dart. No doubt there'll be another instalment soon
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Old 31st May 2016, 23:38
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Hi John,

The 2nd Beaufighter (engines running) appears to have unusual nose armament. Looks like a single monster cannon.. Any idea?

Cheers

Octane
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Old 1st Jun 2016, 04:38
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Yes, I'd noticed that mod when I'd seen that photo previously. It had me scratching my head.
There's definitely not enough room in that part of the nose of a Beau for anything like a cannon.
Hopefully, Walter or John will be able to help with one of 'life's little mysteries'.
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Old 1st Jun 2016, 05:41
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Hi Stanwell,
The Beau at the top of the Wikipedia page has the same feature....
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Old 1st Jun 2016, 06:13
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Yes, so I see.
I'd also asked a mate who's a bit of a Beau buff (his old man was with 30 Sqn, RAAF) and it's a mystery to him, too.
You see, if you take the nose cone off, you're looking at the rudder pedals.
The Oz nose-mounted camera (if fitted) was behind a flush Perspex panel.
I guess we'll have to await Walter's return.
.

Last edited by Stanwell; 1st Jun 2016 at 06:25.
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Old 1st Jun 2016, 08:22
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Best guess? Camera mount. There are a few images around with varying nose mods









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Old 1st Jun 2016, 08:34
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Thanks, John.
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Old 1st Jun 2016, 13:28
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This is a pretty good doco on the Beau. Lots of gun camera footage and interviews (1hr 28min).

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Old 1st Jun 2016, 15:44
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Originally Posted by Danny42C
Savimosh01 (your #8618),

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.
I have a 110 Squadron photo taken at Quetta July 1942. There is a P/O Cummin(s). Could be someone with the same last name of course. I also have a photo of 'B' Flight taken sometime after my father joined the squadron in late 1943 where he is standing beside Dave Cummin. Rodney Topley flew the majority of his sorties with Tom Payne prior to flying a number with Dave Cummin. About his father running low on fuel, John Topley told me his father wrote in his log book about diverting to and landing at Silchar with an "eggcup of petrol" to spare.
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Old 1st Jun 2016, 21:22
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savimosh01,

Flew with a Sgt Payne (Tom?) on 10 January, 26 April, 6 and 8 May '43 (all training sorties).
...John Topley told me his father wrote in his log book about diverting to and landing at Silchar with an "eggcup of petrol" to spare...
Bit of a puzzle here. Diverting from where ? Silchar is Khumbirgram and 110 were based there then:
...Silchar Airport, Kumbhirgram - Wikimapia
Silchar Airport, Kumbhirgram Silchar Airport is a Civil Enclave within the Indian Air Force Station/Base at Kumbhirgram...
Don't think there was an airstrip at Silchar town (12-14 mi). It was our railhead.

Danny.
 
Old 2nd Jun 2016, 03:53
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Hi Danny,

I wish I had found Tom Payne before he passed away in 2007.

The British built an alternative airfield at Silchar in 1944. From Dave Cummin's son George Cummin - Cummin floats over never-ending glistening green jungle when he hears the plane's engine sputter to life again, while at the same time wondering who his potential welcoming committee will be - Nagas or Japanese. After touching down, he trudges a mile or two in the stifling heat before meeting some Nagas who take him to their village where curious tribes-people have a good look over him, but no one speaks English. For the first and last time, Cummin draws his hand gun, firing into the air in order to inspire the Nagas to escort him to a road. Waiting by the side of the road, a truck finally comes into view, but Cummin cannot be sure if it is driven by the British or Japanese. He is much relieved to be taken to Silchar and reunited with Topley. Cummin's log book shows them flying back to base at 10.10 the next day, but Cummin's ordeal is not over. They are greeted by fellow Squadron members who howl with laughter at Cummin's misfortune.

Sara

Remember Me: No. 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron Royal Air Force
Welcome!
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Old 3rd Jun 2016, 17:15
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Apologies if this has already been posted, but I couldn't find it with a search of the thread.

I came across this article in the Canadian "Legion" magazine https://legionmagazine.com/en/2014/0...gotten-flyers/ and pics

A Vultee Vengeance dive-bombs targets near a railway bridge in Burma

Photo Imperial War Museum
and Canadian members relaxing in the 110 Sqn Officers Mess

Photo Canadian War Museum
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Old 3rd Jun 2016, 19:06
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Those dive brakes are pretty impressive.
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Old 3rd Jun 2016, 20:13
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savimosh01 (your #8632),
...The British built an alternative airfield at Silchar in 1944...
Accept this without hesitation (after my time, I left in November, 1943).
...to take him [Dave Cummin] to their village where curious tribes-people have a good look over him, but no one speaks English. For the first and last time, Cummin draws his hand gun, firing into the air in order to inspire the Nagas to escort him to a road...
Not necessary. The Naga villagers were favourable to the British (and he should have known that). In any case, in his side pack he would have leaflets (Chugalug has produced a copy of a leaflet we all carried on 'ops'- see "Pilot's Brevet" p.150 #2994). These told the recipients who we were and what to do with us. (and more on this in ibid p.137 #2726 ).
...[Cummin] floats over never-ending glistening green jungle when he hears the plane's engine sputter to life again...
Topley cannot have had a fuel pump failure (as he would think he had - when he called "Pump"). But the engine would not then have "sputtered into life" without the wobble-pump working, he was now the only one to do it, he needs three hands, he hasn't got them. He could have kept flying "like a one-armed paper-hanger", but a normal, powered landing would be out of the question. But he got it down at Silchar (what was wrong with Khumbirgram, I wonder). There would have been one possibility. Fly it into a position from which he could do a "dead-stick" landing without power and let the engine die. Glide landings were discouraged, because of the way a VV would "mush" into the ground at round-out, but if you put on another 15-20mph over the fence, it would wheel-in well enough (stopping at the far end might be problematic !)

Danny.
 
Old 3rd Jun 2016, 21:21
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topgas (#8633),
Thank you for the link. Followed it up, and found:
...FO Anthony J. Davies of Lloydminster............. His luck ran out Dec. 17, 1943, when he was returning to Kumbhirgram airfield from a mission He probably did not know that a 250-pound bomb had “hung up” on the port wing. As he landed the bomb fell off. It exploded, wrecking the aircraft and instantly killing Davies along with his RAF gunner...
We already knew it was not Reg Duncan, now we know who it was (I was not there at the time).

More on this tomorrow. Danny.
 
Old 3rd Jun 2016, 22:27
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topgas and John Eacott

John...excellent photo of the Beau... I found myself reaching for my Mae West! Topgas... sensational pic of the Vengeance in an attacking dive.. it makes me dizzy just to look at it! Thanks both!
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 12:34
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John Eacott (#8627),
...Best guess? Camera mount. There are a few images around with varying nose mods...
Looks like Dumbo after a trunkotomy !

Now congratulations on a beautiful album of photographs ! To quote a Poster long ago: "That is one horny aeroplane !"
.....................................

topgas (#8633),

Two nice and very interesting pictures - thank you !
...A Vultee Vengeance dive-bombs targets near a railway bridge in Burma...
This is intriguing in several respects. He seems to be near vertical (though photographs can be deceptive) with dive brakes out. If he's come down from high, with 300 on the clock, then he's going to die in about 2-3 seconds, for he's far too low for pull-out.

As we have a photograph, he must have started fairly low (and slow !). His aim is clearly well off to (his) right of the bridge, so what does he intend doing ? Swing wide round left on pull-out after his leader (?), who is having a go at the bridge from what I judge to be the East. His shadow (?) on the river bank shows about 45. Most targets round there would be about
20 N, so in midwinter at noon that would be about right.

In the link you give, the picture is captioned "A Vultee Vengeance dive-bombs targets near a railway bridge in Burma". Near a bridge ? Why not the bridge itself (it appears intact) ? One reason might be we hoped to occupy the ground quite soon, and wanted to keep the use of the bridge (it would be a forlorn hope, the Jap engineers would surely blow it).

No bombs have gone down yet - no white puffs in sight.

............................................

Fareastdriver (#8634),
...Those dive brakes are pretty impressive...
Always worked fine - provided you had hydraulic fluid ! They could be hand-pumped in or out, so if the pressure failed, you could pump closed. No fluid - you were up creek without paddle. Might be able to maintain level flight at full bore with them out (never tried it !), but landing would be hairy (and you'd have no undercarriage either). Best abandon ship.

Subsidiary use: back rests/grab handles for ground crew taking rides on wing between dispersals.

.............................................

(Back to topgas)

Second picture:

No recollection of this (can't have been around at the time) What was the gift ? and what is the significance of "No.6" ? (Any idea of place or date?)

Faces vaguely familiar, but - so many faces, so long ago ! None of them is "Red" McInnis, and I don't see Reg Duncan there, either.

Cheers, all,

Danny.
 
Old 4th Jun 2016, 20:24
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You'll see a few 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron photos in my album. Includes Reg Duncan, Rodney Topley and Dave Cummin.

http://www.pprune.org/members/306557...0-sqn-raf.html

Last edited by savimosh01; 4th Jun 2016 at 23:44.
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 20:37
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Topgas
Your post 8633

Thanks very much for the article by Hugh Halliday and the excellent photographs. Funny, the same day you posted them, the daughter of a 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron WAG, Eric P. Baldwin, sent me the first photo. Some years ago I emailed Hugh Halliday who replied with info on the Squadron along with names of some of the Canadian aircrew.

Re: Your post

F/O Anthony John Davies, RCAF, age 26, from Lloydminster, Saskatchewan
F/O John David Ernest Robertson, age 23, from Lee, London

Source: F/Sgt Reg Duncan, RCAF, from Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Pilot, 110 Squadron
Source: Bob Harvey from England (still living, age 98)

Twelve Vengeances of 110 Squadron attack targets at Teinkayu on the afternoon of Dec. 17, 1943. The CO flies in front and Reg Duncan, because of his experience, leads the formation, flying the worst possible position, which is very difficult. "You were just like a seagull flying backwards. When you go into the formation the CO waggles his wings and you just throttle back and the other guys throttle back and you all move back together. You are flying very close."

Tony Davies, Reg's wingman, goes into a dive and gets a bomb hung up on his wing. Reg's navigator, Bob Harvey, signals under radio silence to Davies letting him know about the bomb. Reg then signals to Davies to break off from the formation. Davies breaks off, goes into a dive, hauls back, and climbs out of the dive, trying to shake the bomb loose. No luck. He tries once more, again without success. Davies gives Reg the okay and rejoins the formation, putting the bomb release in his cockpit on 'safe'.

On return to base, eight dive-bombers come into land. After what happens next, the remaining four are diverted to Silchar and Sylhet. In that type of situation Reg said, "As soon as you land, you give it hell and go down to the far end of the runway to let the rest of the boys get in." When Reg touches down and starts his cockpit drill, he hears his navigator say, "My God, Reg." Reg looks up and sees a pile of black smoke and thinks the Japanese have followed them in. No, it is Tony Davies and his navigator, Jackie Robertson. "We scooped them up and buried them the next day."

Last edited by savimosh01; 4th Jun 2016 at 21:18.
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Old 4th Jun 2016, 20:46
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Danny,
Re topgas's second picture...
While we're waiting for the full answers to your questions, perhaps I could shed a little light on two of them:

What was the gift?
The gift from the Nizam was a complete squadron of Airco DH.9As.
They entered service with 110 Sqn around June 1918.

What is the significance of "No 6" ?
That inscription panel displayed in the frame would have been cut from 'Aircraft No 6' of that gift before it went to the boneyard.

Looking forward to topgas giving us the full story.
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