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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 7th Aug 2016, 09:42
  #9081 (permalink)  
 
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Good morning, gentlemen. I was indeed referring to the Royal Air Force Personnel Management Centre at innsworth, as I suspect you all knew anyway. However, the topic deviation on to "Mess Bills, prompt payment of" is, of course, typical of this Thread ... and indeed has already generated an interesting anecdote [#9078].

My only "Mess Bill Interview" was at OCTU, where my Flt Cdr called me in to his office to enquire if I had 'private means', as he was slightly concerned about the sum involved. I assured him I was not concerned, and ran up an even larger bill the following month. And thus began a long career of indebtedness, exacerbated by spending my initial Officer's Outfitting Allowance on a better car.

Curiously, during many years as either Mess Secretary or PMC [the other PMC], I can't recall any instances of individuals missing the deadline of the 10th.
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 10:19
  #9082 (permalink)  
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Well, Mistakes will Happen (hedgehog said when he climbed off the scrubbing-brush).

PZU (#9081),
...Out Nov'50 to Airwork at Usworth but also RAuxAF (608 Sqd) till Dec '53...
I was at Thornaby as Adj of 3608 Fighter Control Unit Sept '51 to Nov '54. Of course, 608 was based there (also 2608 [Regt] Squadron). So we were there at the same time !

608 (Sqn Ldrs Robinson and George Martin) let me fly their Vampires on non-Auxiliary days (Wen-Fri), and the Station Harvard and Tiger Moth Harvard anytime.

Were you, by any chance, in the Tower that claggy Sunday when John Newboult (Adj) asked me to airtest a Vampire for them, and I put up a fearful "Black" by doing a roller at MSG, having mistaken it for Thornaby ? (Thornaby was bringing me in off a QGH on the SW Safety Lane, so I was heading 040/045), couldn't see a damn thing apart from a field or two directly below, (I imagine the idea was for me to come straight in on the 04).

Anyway my track ran over MSG (six miles out), I piped up "Field in Sight, over to Local". Thornaby Local gave me joining instructions, cleared me downwind and finals (although he'd never seen me - wouldn't expect to in the murk - and I was over the piano keys at MSG (which had a 04 - 05?) before it dawned on me that "Sum Ting Wong", I hit the throttle and got the hell out of it, but only after trundling along a quarter-mile of runway.

Name mud; bollocked by Boss Martin; "Three extra (Auxiliary) weekends SDO", said Station Commander (Malcolm Sewell - nice chap) next morning. Ah, well.

You will remember F/O "Mike" Beavis (their Training Officer). Finished as ACM Sir Michael Beavis, Air Member for something or another. One day landed a Vampire as his No.2 - not everybody can say he landed as a future ACM's wingman !

Happy Days,

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 7th Aug 2016 at 10:22. Reason: How on earth did that get in ?
 
Old 7th Aug 2016, 11:02
  #9083 (permalink)  
 
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MPN11, I had actually checked Innsworth in Wiki. It has traded under many guises (indeed Wiki now sends you to the Imjin Barracks page) since the days of the RAF Record Office, but of a PMC is there none. There is though a Personnel Management Agency, is that what you meant, or was there yet a variation on the variation? Wiki merely states, with admirable understatement, that:-

Many other changes have taken place at Innsworth over recent years
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Imjin_Barracks

As to Mess Bills, a friend of mine was up before the Boss, not for not paying his Mess Bill but for the size of it, most of which was his bar bill. Let's say that it was 35-6s-7d for example (which was a goodly amount then, but would hardly cover a round now, I guess).
Boss, "Your bar bill is rather excessive".
Chummy, "I'm afraid I don't agree, Sir".
Boss, "Then what would you say was a reasonable amount for a bar bill?"
Chummy, "35-6s-7d, Sir"
Chum then ordered to get out and, like Danny, invited to look after the Station for some successive nights.
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 11:31
  #9084 (permalink)  
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MPN11 (#9082),
...I was indeed referring to the Royal Air Force Personnel Management Centre at innsworth, as I suspect you all knew anyway...
This one didn't ! Were they up and running in 1962 ? If so have bone to pick.

Enjoyable tour in RAF(G) coming to an end. Missive from them (or somebody performing their function): what were my preferences for my UK Posting ? Recovered slowly, with anxious wife applying smelling salts.

Suspected hoax, inspected document with magnifying glass, seemed kosher. Wrote back impassioned plea: "I'll go anywhere you like, any Command - but please not a Flying Training Command Pilot Training Station !"

Of course they were "havin' a larf", weren't they ? - I got Linton-on-Ouse.

Perhaps it was their revenge for 1954, when I'd "shopped" them for having posted me (subject to a medical height restriction of 10,000 ft) for a refresher on Meteor 7s (unpressurised) up to 30,000 plus, a couple of times a day - Weston Zoyland knew nothing about the restriction).

Decided not to tell them, completed Course without difficulty - (F.414 says I am a "proficient" Meteor pilot), trotted round to CMB with (I thought) an unanswerable case for having restriction lifted.

Nice old doctor dressed as Air Commodore wouldn't play, but looked thunderous when I told him about cock-up. Hope he gave them Hell !

Danny.
 
Old 7th Aug 2016, 11:33
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1. "PTC was formed in 1994 bringing together the responsibilities of the former RAF Personnel Management Centre and the training functions of RAF Support Command. " ... I believe it ended up as the Tri-Service PMA in Glasgow, but that was after my time. My collection of F5756 (Posting Instruction - Officers) shows RAF PMC in existence 1973: most earlier PIs are few, and sadly not kept. The oldest is dated 1969, raised by PA5b [the ATC poster's desk] but doesn't actually say what they were called then!

2. 1966 - GCA Course Mess Bill 54/12/6, Payslip 52/10/0. I still have the former somewhere here, in all it's blue carbon-copy glory, but the latter has sadly become separated and lost.

Last edited by MPN11; 7th Aug 2016 at 11:46.
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 11:41
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Danny, re your experience at MSG, I arrived as a new QFI there ( 202 AFS ) in September 1952 flying Meteor F4 and T7. Neasham/Croft, some seven miles south west was a relief landing ground, the main runway of which was roughly aligned with MSG. In those days it was common practice for fighter pilots to always take off and land on the left side of the runway unless of course the aircraft in front had already used it, when it then alternated left/right. Shortly before my arrival an incident occurred when two aircraft at Neasham passed each other on the runway going in opposite directions doing "roller landings". It seems that one of them had thought it was MSG where they were using a reciprocal runway. Fortunately they had both adhered to the "land on the left" dictum. From then on it was decreed that no matter what the wind was the two airfield's active runways would always be in the same direction (24/06 ?) to reduce the risk of a calamity.
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 11:58
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Ah, found a bit more ... BBC - Gloucestershire - History - Salute to the end of an RAF era

The book charts the rapid development of Innsworth during the war years, the formation of the RAF Record and Pay Office, RAF Barnwood, the RAF Personnel Management Centre and the computer era, the formation of Headquarters Personnel & Training Command and the partial modernisation of the station in 1993-94.

After that came the formation of the Personnel Management Agency and the Armed Forces Pay & Administration Agency.
You may recall that Officers were managed at RAF Barnwood ... a sub-site of Innsworth, a couple of miles to the south in charming collection of black wooden huts on a small rise by the A40/A417 Ring Road.
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 12:20
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pulse1 (#9074),

Just realised that you have said a very profound thing:
...as he wouldn't be where he was today without him...
That must be true of thousands of us of the wartime generation. Our lives were changed beyond recognition by our war service.

I was destined for a humdrum life, slowly climbing the promotion ladder of the Civil Service, till retirement at age 60, with a half pay pension. Brought up in the "hungry thirties", anyone with a regular "job for life" - and a Pension - was widely envied. There were over two million unemployed (out of a much smaller workforce than today) until the war.

My five years on "another planet" (as I like to think of it) turned my thoughts in quite another direction. The third in a line of (up to me) regular NCOs, who would not have dreamed of (or even wanted) a Commission (not for working-class lads in those days), I fear a frosty reception from my forbears when I put my nose in (only by invitation, you understand) to the Heavenly Sergeant's Mess (if there be such a thing). For I would have Let the Side Down !

And my story can be multiplied many times.

Danny.
 
Old 7th Aug 2016, 12:40
  #9089 (permalink)  
 
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Danny42C ... so one 'benefit' from WW2 was, at least, the breaking-down of class barriers, affording greater opportunities to those who would otherwise have been excluded.
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 12:49
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RAF Personnel and Training Command came to an end on 1 April 2007 when it collocated and merged with Strike Command at RAF High Wycombe, forming 'Air Command' ... for me, an engineer, who was running the team providing 'information services' to the station and HQ at the time I wish that a name with a little more 'meaning' had been chosen!

GB
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 13:00
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RAF Personnel and Training Commnd came to an end on 1 April 2007 when it collocated and merged with HQ Strike Command at RAF High Wycombe, forming 'Air Command'. I was running the team providing 'information services' to the HQ and Station at the time and I wish that their 'lordships' ... or should that be 'airships' ... had chosen something a little less 'inane' and something with a little more meaning and historical value and consistent across the three armed forces who were all 'downsizing' and 'rebranding' at the time. It reminds me a little about the RN's long time criticism that they had traditions and we had 'habits' or something to that effect!
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 13:05
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MPN, good spot with that link. RAF Innsworth had indeed changed identity enormously throughout its life, yet its central purpose remained unchanged to the end, to enable the stretch and might of UK Airpower to be applied to its maximum worldwide. You just have to consider the stories of our WWII contributors to get a hint of what that entailed. Hundreds of thousands were distributed around the world, RAF peak strength far exceeding a million, and all to be kept check of, moving from depot to depot, to training establishments, to operational squadrons, usually via long and dangerous sea voyages. No computers then, all done by manual means. No doubt some got misplaced (on a Hollerith card that had slipped under the machine?), many were its dissatisfied customers (Danny amongst them evidently), but without it all would have been nought, and all done from the generic creosoted wooden huts that bloomed on most camps behind the resplendent mock Georgian architecture that fronted proceedings. Hopefully somebody somewhere is preserving at least some examples of those huts, together with their lino flooring brown for the buffing of, and stoves coke for the feeding of.
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 19:05
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Chugalug (#9093),
and all to be kept check of, moving from depot to depot, to training establishments, to operational squadrons, usually via long and dangerous sea voyages. No computers then, all done by manual means...
Around the end of National Service, there was a NS Records clerk who saw how this system could be profitably be exploited.

He created (on paper) a whole platoon of non-existent NS airmen. These then had all the things happen to them that happen to normal recruits - including being paid ! Needless to say their "pay" ended up in the pocket of our ingenious rascal.

Knowing the date of his own release, he was careful to arrange that all his creations were discharged ahead of him, so that there should be no "unfinished business" when he left the RAF. Would have got away with it, too, had not a perfectly innocuous question been raised, after he left, by some hospital that had treated a patient that Never Was.

The whole thing blew open, and he did time in Durance Vile. Don't remember how long.

Another successful ploy was dreamed up by another NS airman. Posted to his final Station from training, he took care to book in on all sections - except at his workplace (so he did no work, as they were unaware of his existence). Lived the life of Riley, ate his grub, drew his pay, observed Station Routine so as not to become conspicuous. Got away with it for quite some time until somebody noticed the figures didn't add up. Then he was for he High Jump !

They don't make 'em like that any more (or do they ?)

Danny.
 
Old 7th Aug 2016, 19:39
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Ah yes, Danny, the lovable rascals of yesteryear! There was a Hastings captain at Changi (before my time) who had an import/export business on the side twixt Christmas Island and Australia. The export from CI was for written off outboard motors in particular (I guess Nuffield Trust ones contributed by that charity for R&R purposes). Having paid someone something for them he flew them to Brisbane at the end of his detachment on the way back home. At Brisbane a Holden station wagon backed up to the aircraft on arrival and goods were exchanged for cash.

At Singapore some inkling of the goings on result in the itinerary being switched to Sydney instead of Brisbane. Little matter, for same Holden car meets arrival of same man, but this time it is noted buy authority. Result, much feeling of collar, Court Martial convened, our man gets dishonourable discharge. Where does he go for his new civilian life? Why, Australia of course, where foresight has ensured a profitable investment in property and a thus future home...
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 20:11
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In Singapore I was once asked by a visiting officer to go and buy some Oriental rugs from a particular shop, to ship home with our domestic goods (was nearly tourex), to be later collected in UK for a significant (for a Fg Off) cash sum. Somehow, despite the assurance 'he' would pay any Customs Duty, I was a complete coward.

"Too good to be true" rang in my ears, loudly.
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 20:34
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Article in "Fly Past" on Vengeance operations in Burma and New Guinea in WWII.

Any objections ?

There will be a number of Posts relating to an exegesis of the seven page article about WWII Far East Vengeance operations in "Fly Past" magazine (September number). As these will be of interest only to those who have the magazine copy, I have in mind opening a Thread on that subject alone. This will collate all our inputs and may form a useful archive, instead of being scattered on this Thread (which is roaring away now, just like old days !) like plums in duff. Will leave first "taster"on this Thread.

If "nem con" after Monday 20.00 hrs, will do just that.

Danny.
 
Old 7th Aug 2016, 20:44
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It would save me hunting back four or five pages looking for the non-existant photograph you were talking about.
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Old 7th Aug 2016, 22:50
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Fareastdriver,

The picture in question is top left on Page 28 of the September number of "Fly Past".

I seen to have got a hare running with my Post #9053 of 4th August on Page 453 of this Thread. My apologies for any confusion caused.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 7th Aug 2016 at 22:53. Reason: Remove unnecessary text.
 
Old 10th Aug 2016, 08:39
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ALL the talk of what kind of a war did you have? brought to mind the title Jimmy Edwards chose for his war memoire - SIX OF THE BEST.
After six years he was out on the street without a job wondering how on earth did I get away with it?
He then went to the Windmill Theatre, I think it was, to work with the crew that staged The Mouse That Roared.

(As not everyone is likely to know, 'The Professor' was a Dakota skipper in Transport Command. )

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Old 10th Aug 2016, 09:28
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And with a well-deserved DFC ... Flt/Lt James Edwards DFC
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