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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 13th Jun 2016, 08:43
  #8701 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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MPN11 (my #8697),

I must apologise for my careless confusing of your 'RAC' results with the common-or-garden Controller's Course. But the adage concerning "old dogs and new tricks" applies equally, I'm sure you would agree.

Danny.
 
Old 13th Jun 2016, 08:48
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A/POs still outrank the lowly Midshipman! - John

Not sure about that ! Always thought they were level-pegging. Authority? Union Jack might have a word? - Danny

Well, John, possibly in age - but as Dylan Hartley said to Jack Nowell in a certain stadium in Brisbane on Saturday, "Nice try!"

No big whoop, and I wasn't originally going to respond prior to your fly and Danny's prompt, but whilst I would tend to go along with Danny, I believe that, certainly in NATO parlance, a Midshipman is an OF-1 and an Acting Pilot Officer is an OF(D).

Jack
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 09:01
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ancientaviator62 (#8698),

'Fraid not (don't buy any more books now, as they have spilled out of bookcases onto carpet, in spite of periodic clear-outs to charity shops !)

Danny.
 
Old 13th Jun 2016, 09:05
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Danny,
like you I no longer buy books. I borrow mine from our local library.
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 09:09
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Jack (#8704),
...in NATO parlance, a Midshipman is an OF-1 and an Acting Pilot Officer is an OF(D)...
"OF(D)"?.....At a guess: "Neither flesh, fowl nor good red herring" (in other words a "Non-Person ?)

Looks as if we're out-gunned !

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 13th Jun 2016 at 09:21. Reason: Addn.
 
Old 13th Jun 2016, 09:18
  #8706 (permalink)  
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ancientaviator,

Once upon a time we had a library. Now it's a Nursery School. (Council had economy drive, libraries first casualty, posh people (???) in posh areas can afford to buy their own !

Danny.
 
Old 13th Jun 2016, 09:25
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An Acting Pilot Officer is a commissioned rank, whereas a Midshipman is not.
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 09:43
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An Acting Pilot Officer is a commissioned rank, whereas a Midshipman is not.
Well ... this letter here in front of me, from the Admiralty dated 28 August 1963, says ...
I am commanded by My Lords Commissioners of the Admiralty to inform you that you have been granted a commission on the Supplementary List of the Royal Navy ....

You have been appointed to the Britannia Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, as a Naval Air Cadet with seniority of 17th September, 1963, the date of your entry into the Royal Navy. ...
So if a Naval Air Cadet is commissioned, then a Midshipman certainly is!

MPN11
RN and RAF (Retired)
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 10:31
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If you thought that you were commissioned whilst a Naval Cadet because of that letter, then I fear that you have long been under a false assumption. A Cadet is an officer under training, as is a Midshipman, and only at the end of the training is a commission granted by the Lord High Admiral, Queen Elizabeth II. My commission was granted as a Sub Lieutenant and I wager that yours was, too.

I understand that in more recent years the grey area of Midshipman and commissions has been changed and they now receive a commission, but going back in time it was a warrant rank and then became 'undetermined'. At the time of the photo that I was referring to, and my time in the rank, Midshipman was NOT a commissioned officer but an officer under training.
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 10:48
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Fair call, John, and I fully accept the 'under training' aspect. But I understood one's commission was 'confirmed' on completion of training, rather than 'awarded'. Thus I was [according to my letter] 'granted' a commission wef 17 Sep 63, but that it was [if you will] probationary until 'confirmed' on completion of some pre-determined stage of training. But wasn't there also something about age too? That you couldn't be a Subbie until you were 21? Or is that an old bloke's dithering?

In respect of the a/plt off, I agree it is a different fish. I was commissioned into the RAF on Graduation Day, after completing OCTU but before starting professional training. The 'acting' bit would only be deleted on successful completion of professional training. In that context, as a wg cdr I used to sit on Reselection Boards for officers who had failed their professional training. It was made quite clear that they were already commissioned, and thus had the required officer qualities, and they could not easily be cast aside ... a different role had to be found for them somewhere.
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 11:10
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What's the date on your commission? That will be when you were commissioned.

Yes, on graduation from BRNC on the Supplementary List one was a Midshipman until the age of 21. So if you were over 21 you would be an Acting Sub Lieutenant with the added seniority and pay for the rest of your time, obviously unfair but that's the way it was. The likes of Jerry Grayson, joining at 17, would reach frontline as a Mid and eventually have more experience than their seniors who came through later but started training at a much later age.
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 11:27
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What's the date on your commission?
Ah, there's the rub. If 17 Sep 63 is not accepted, then despite having a PPL, I admit I did not do terribly well during Flying Grading. I was subsequently offered transfer from HSP* to Seaman Branch, but didn't fancy driving ships for a living and thus resigned my 'whatever' The loss of 13/3 a day was quickly compensated for in Air Traffic Control [Civ, then Mil].

So your exemplar young Jerry, on a front line squadron, under the age of 21 ... he was not commissioned, as he was only a Mid?
(I tease, of course)


* Due to eyesight, only flying career option available anywhere.
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 11:33
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Clouds of Orange Blossom

Now back at the ranch.......(or "revenons nos moutons", as they say)...

MPN11 (#8682 revisited),

I think perhaps our divergent opinions on your Points 1. and 2. may stem from our different experiences. Would it be fair to say that your people in Area Radar tended to be older, more responsible, more experienced and more married than mine in the AFS at Leeming ?

Surely they didn't take them straight off the Joint Course at Shawbury onto Area Radar, still "wet behind the ears" ? (I do hope not - otherwise memo to self and Mrs D. : "Go by train and boat from now on !") *

Now consider things at Leeming. I think we never had more than four WRAF Controllers at any one time - all spinsters in the "full bloom of youth". They are outnumbered more than 15:1 by a constantly renewed population of young gentlemen (the student pilots), who are (a) of the same age as they; (b) of the same standard of education (and this is important); (c) (let's not be mealy-mouthed about this), of the same class as they; (d) perfect physical specimens (A1G1, anyway); and (e) bachelors (almost to a man). If their taste was for something slightly older, and more experienced, then there were still plenty of young, single QFIs to pick from. All these are cooped up in the same Mess.

Wouln't you expect ("Consequences" ?). As I put it: "Even Holy Mother Church wouldn't put a Monastery and a Nunnery under the same roof - and expect nothing to happen !"

And so our WRAF came and (inevitably) swiftly went. ("You can't stop the Sun from shining") Stands to reason.

Note *:
BBC 2 2100-2200 last night "City in the Sky". Thought of putting in a "Heads Up", as it sounded as if they might devote it solely to Area Radar, but they only put in a few graphics and a reference to our old friend Separation Standards, the rest on other subjects. So glad I did not. (Repeated same Channel at 140005 if anyone interested, good serial).

PS: Changing tack completely, Strubby may have been a haven of peace and tranquility in your day, but in mine ('55-'58), it had more movements per diem than (then) Heathrow. We had all the AFS Meteors plus Empire Flying College Canberras, Lincolns and the odd Hunter. And if you think young Bloggses are hard work, try some old ones ! Controllers came off Watch like "wet rags". SATCO had to watch which one would "crack" first from Battle Fatigue, and give him a week's "rest cure" at Manby.

When I was posted to Thorney Island, I thought I'd died and gone to Heaven.

Danny.
 
Old 13th Jun 2016, 12:50
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Hello again, Danny

Whilst most Area students would have had a tour or two under their belt, there were certainly a few [a very few] who went straight into Area ... I'm looking at Course photos from the late 60s where there were quite a few plt offs. The manning requirement for the expanding Area world would have demanded that the better 'young ones' went there asap. (I was stuck at Tengah, on my 2nd tour, so had to wait until 1970 before being vacuumed up!). However ...
Area Radar tended to be older, more responsible, more experienced and more married
Well, professionally you are undoubtedly right. Certainly at ERD there was a high percentage of 'sensible adults' amid the ~50 controllers. There was also a substantial core of young [some single, some not] Fg Offs/Flt Lts who were perfectly capable to tearing up the Mess and the Patch with the best - and all the ATCOs were male, apart from Anne H****n. Watton Happy Hour was never for the faint-hearted
Hmmm ... 2 fellow Fg Offs from my first time there ended up as AOC MATO, as did one of my COs. But then it was the Premier ATCRU

Strubby in your day was indeed famous/notorious for intensity. By 1965 it had metamorphosed completely into the 'Manby Satellite' era. We had ~8 Varsities [School of Refresher Flying] and a similar number of Canberras, I guess. Manby was now, apart from the College of Air Warfare, just another whining swarm of JPs [again, Refreshers]. But, as noted earlier, Strubby received loads of Practice Div traffic, and Manby JPs used us [quite rightly] for PFLs and the like to escape from their busy circuit to augment the blunderings of the Varsities in the circuit. So not exactly 'all same speed/direction' that you get at a Jet FTS. And, inevitably, both our fleets of aircraft used to get in each others way as could be expected when the airfields were only 4.5 nm apart. So "Mixed Traffic" was the norm ... Varsity QGH from FL50, Jet QGH from FL180, IIRC. And half the Varsities were VHF only, and the jets were UHF, so 2 wiggly-traces on the DF at once, and a single earpiece and a handset for comms, and trying to remember which was which! I think we were deemed "Medium Intensity/High Complexity" when it came to the posting plot.
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 16:42
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MPN11 (revisiting your #8713),
... despite having a PPL, I admit I did not do terribly well during Flying Grading...
This statement, though factually correct, needs to be heavily qualified. You may remember, some years ago, it was the subject of a Post of mine in which I declared that, IMHO, the Navy had treated you very shabbily indeed.

I have been seeking to trace that Post, to tell the true story again, and remove any false impression created by your modest statement above. "Search This Thread" - broken reed as usual. Good old Google got a lead on it - but only to refer me to a page on the "Archive". So I know it's in there somewhere, but as the Archive Page is about the size of the Bible, it's "a needle in a haystack" job. Nevertheless rolled up sleeves and started.

To save me more drudgery, can you (or anybody else) refer me to that Page/Post No. (on this Thread?) Better yet, if it is found, you Edit your #8713 with a cut/paste of my remarks.

Now, you know how it is, when you're vainly looking for something, you often find something else instead you were looking for before. So it is here. A timely reminder that, although old dogs can learn new tricks, some old dogs are better at it than others (there's a lot of this, so settle back)

My Post to MPN11 19.6.14:
_____________________

"As the Courses came in, we laid on a Welcome Party early the second
evening, so that the Instructors and their new students could get acquainted before formal lessons began. These were held in the Instructors' Common Room on the first floor of the Main building, and modest alcoholic and non-alcoholic refreshments were laid on.

I particularly remember one such occasion - it must have been in the early years (no exact date) before the influx of new, young entrants had started. Instructors and nearly all the students were still both of the "old" ex-war generation: there were frequent cries of joyful recognition as another pair of old comrades were happily reunited, perhaps for the first time in twenty years.

I'm not sure, but I think that each Instructor was allotted two or three students, to monitor them at least for the first week or two until they'd settled in. In this instance, I got two (names long forgotten) Master Aircrew, a Czech pilot and a British signaller (former Wop/AG), and they could not have been more unlike in appearance. Naturally we were all out of uniform: ranks being of no consequence here.

The Czech's history was a familiar one. In the pre-war Czecho-Slovakian Air Force, he'd got out ahead of the German invasion and across to France. Hardly had he settled there when France collapsed and he'd managed to get away a second time (by devious means) across the Channel to the UK. There the RAF was glad of every pilot they could get their hands on; he flew with the Czech Squadrons, and RAF Transport Command, throughout the war years.

Post-war, he stayed here (like many of his compatriots and the Poles, well knowing the likely reception they'd get from the new Communist Governments), naturalised, married and stayed in the RAF till retirement. A remarkable thing was that he'd managed to continue in one flying appointment after another, never doing a ground tour (I suppose there wasn't much they could do with him); his last job being with the Hastings Met flights out of Aldergrove before he came to us.

I gathered that he'd not exactly "volunteered" for ATC: he struck me as a little, wizened, prematurely "old" man, seemed taciturn and uncommunicative in the extreme, and by no means happy with his posting to Shawbury. "We're going to have trouble here", I mused.

The other (Master Signaller) was the complete reverse. Sleek, assured and confident in a well-cut blue pinstripe, he was the very image of a successful businessman. He was happy with his transfer to the Branch (I don't know what he'd been doing before), and was keen to get started and "make a go of it". In other words, an ideal candidate. "This one'll be no problem", was my immediate assessment.

To cut a long story short, what we got was the exact opposite of our expectations. The seemingly "bolshie" Czech turned out, in fact, to be "as bright as a button". You only had to tell him a thing once, and he'd got it. Quick thinking and resourceful, he romped through the "Mock" exercises in the face of all we could throw at him. (Of course his long and varied flying experience in war and peace could not but help enormously in this respect; we began to see why the RAF had kept him on the flight deck for so long - he was simply too valuable a man there to lose). Needless to say, he completed the Course successfully, breezed through the Final Exam and was on his way (where to, I know not, but some SATCO must have thanked his lucky stars).

It was the other way round with my Master Sig. It wasn't that he was lazy or uncooperative: he was clearly trying his hardest, building up a huge swathe of notes and spending hours swotting them up. His trouble was that (there is no other way of putting it): he was "thick as two planks". He was a Slow Learner, but we helped all we could, and I'm happy to recall that he scraped through at the end by sheer determination. I hope they shoehorned him into some quiet, low intensity place where he might do very well".

I learned my lesson from that - never judge by appearances !

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 13th Jun 2016 at 16:46. Reason: Put in Quote Box
 
Old 13th Jun 2016, 17:32
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Danny42C ... I guess you mean this post >>> http://www.pprune.org/8198399-post4732.html

< T8191 takes a small bow for his PPRuNe search skills>
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 17:39
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This statement, though factually correct, needs to be heavily qualified. You may remember, some years ago, it was the subject of a Post of mine in which I declared that, IMHO, the Navy had treated you very shabbily indeed.

Danny - Do you mean Page 237 (in my scheme of numbering) your Post #4736 in relation to MPN11's Post #4732?

Jack

Last edited by Union Jack; 13th Jun 2016 at 17:40. Reason: The man himself has beaten me to it!
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 17:48
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BZ, Union Jack ... if a wee bit slower


(I really should start a Thread about "Gaining an ATCO's Certificate of Competency post-WW2" )
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 17:58
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BZ, Union Jack ... if a wee bit slower - MPN11

Why thank you, Sir - I plead guilty to being "Absent from Place of Duty" whilst pouring my current next-of-kin a glass of Newcastle Red (aka Chateauneuf du Pape) on her return from lunch with the bridge coven, and a strong G and T for myself on return from golf.

Jack
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Old 13th Jun 2016, 18:16
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Thoroughly forgiven, UJ ... good to see your time is being usefully employed


SH1T ... 320 posts on this thread for me, and I were never a proper pilot
Still, it's good to talk, and at least Danny42C and I have some things in common.
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