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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 8th Jul 2009, 16:20
  #921 (permalink)  
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Changing I.S.P

Have been rather busy lately with a few time cosuming items. Not least of all preparing to change from B.T to Sky plus broadband This necessitates purchasing an H.D ready T.V etc. The main reason I tell you this is that things could go wrong resulting in my being off line for a day or two. So fingers crossed.

Regle
especially as the odd trip to Le Touqet, Le Zoute etc. enabled you to bring back the odd steak or
Did you have any thing to do with the 'Flying Box Car' Lympe / Le Touqet. Circa 1950 I loaded my 500cc Manx Norton and bivvy (tent) I think at Lympe, and hopped across the Channel. My idea of a bachelor night out before my wedding.
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Old 8th Jul 2009, 19:54
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Good luck with all that Cliff! And hurry back mate.
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Old 8th Jul 2009, 21:33
  #923 (permalink)  
regle
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Reply to Cliff re Lympne

No Cliff, but I have landed there with Proctors and things around that time. I used the Car Ferry between Ostend and Southend but the noise from the engines of the bulbous nose, converted DC4 (I think ) was horrendous. Silver City ran Bristol Freighters which were a little bit better (but not much ). Reg
 
Old 8th Jul 2009, 21:44
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That predeliction for amusement didn't leave the single cylinder two stroke with the Boing Ting. My Yamaha 175 fired in 'backwards' when I was a proud 18 year old - who looked an utter twit outside his local when he reversed off scene. And fell off.
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Old 8th Jul 2009, 21:54
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I must have been 7,8 and 9 years old when we, as a family, used the Carvair once and the Bristols twice. Seemed like first class to me at the time.

Dad (ex - Royces) took us on motoring holidays around Europe whilst he sold Elliot Autopilots to the various Embassies.

Thereafter he went back to Royces as chief eng on the RB211.
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Old 8th Jul 2009, 22:12
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When you say "used the bulbous nose DC4" (Carvair) I assume you don't mean as a pilot, but a passenger. You must have flown over my house which was under the approach path just before you cross the A127 from the south!! And now we have this cosy cyber chat!! What a small world it can become!!
From the ground I can tell you that the Bristol Freighters were much much noisier, they were so slooooow you could hear them from miles away. At least the Carvair was faster and didn't affect the TV picture so much. The faster the picture rolled, the closer the aircraft was, so you could time it to perfection to go into the street or garden and wave as the plane skimmed the roof! There were still Vikings about, Doves, Herons occasionally a Rapide, as well as DC4'a and-6's. The came the Viscount, Elizabethan and Friendship.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 10:02
  #927 (permalink)  
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Broadband Change.

CHANGING BROADBAND SUPPLIER
Jobza Guddun

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Good luck with all that Cliff! And hurry back mate.
Thanks JOB . but have to wait five days for my M.A.C number from B.T . There's progress for you.

--------------------------------------------------------------
REGLE Silver City strikes a chord. When I arrived at Lympe the crew had just winched up the loading ramp. When they saw me speeding towards them, the crew
immediately lowered the ramp, two of them jumped out , pushed me and the Norton up the ramp , and we were airborne in seconds. I had left Beverley at nine A.M , and had my bivvy up, and cooking dinner on the beach at Dunkirk by five P.M. Was hoping you would reply that you had been the Skipper.

Hoping to have no interruptions today, when I hope to knock something together on R.A.F Bottesford.
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 12:24
  #928 (permalink)  
regle
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Cliff

I don't know whether you are making a "Freudian slip" in "Lymping" but I am pretty sure that it is Lympne, No I never rose to the dizzy heights of Silver City. They were on the Air Lift and the Ostend -Southend Carvair was a very useful and free (to Sabena personnel) trip to England and back. It was a very much used, albeit noisy and shaky "perk". and much regretted when it stopped. Reg
 
Old 9th Jul 2009, 13:53
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I had one trip in a RNZAF Bristol Frightener in Singapore in the late sixties.

Never again!
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Old 9th Jul 2009, 15:57
  #930 (permalink)  
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Bottesford

After ‘crewing up at Langar we were transported to Bottesford Heavy Con,together with our kit which then included an extra kit bag containing flying clothing. This included battle dress blouse and trousers, a Smith and Wesson .38 revolver, Acme whistle, flying helmet with earphones,,
, oxygen mask and goggles, Irvin sheep skin jacket, flying boots,, one pair silk inner gloves, one pair black cloth twenty four volt electrically heated gloves one pair of leather gauntlet gloves
oxygen mask with microphone, I can’t remember whether my white Abb wool sea boot stockings were ‘issue’ or knitted by my mother.


Transport at that time comprised of either Q.L Bedford three ton 4x4 troop carriers or Ford W.O.T1 crew buses. However sometimes three ton wagons with a canvas ‘tilt’ over the body were used.


R.A.F Bottesford was a heavy conversion unit, Nr 1668 operating Lancaster Mk 1 & Mk 111 Lancasster aircraft. Situated approximately half way between Nottingham and Grantham. Sorry can’t remember much about the airfield , only the pubs.. The most memorable being Ye Ode Trip to Jerusalem,, cut into the rock just below Nottingham Castle and reputed to be the oldest pub in England. Also another large modern pub comes to mind, situated on one of the boulevards. It had a very large singing room complete with piano, The room was packed with servicemen , only pints of bitter were speedily served by waitresses carrying two trays, , one on top of the other , with each containing six pints of beer. Cash on delivery.. Seems strange now that one of our greatest pleasures was, a few
pints of ale singing at the top of our voices, around a piano, We must have been mad, particularly as some of the songs were ridiculous E.G they’re shifting grandads grave to build a sewer, they’re shifting it regardless of expense, they’re shifting his remains to make way for ten inch drains, just to please the posher residents. etc. I’m ashamed, and we even whistled at times. Good job things have improved since then.

I fully expected that on my first day, I would be up in the air and gaining practical experience and was amazed that according to my log book my next lesson was in the Link trainer, ‘under the hood, However a day later we had our introduction to the Lancaster with the pilot being listed as a F/S Munt, so presumably our pilot F/S Bowden was second dickie and we practised fighter affiliation for 1.20 hrs. This was followed two days later with P/O Browne on a cross country flight Base-Selsey Bill-Pt Barfleur--St Lo - Tours - Base. and cor blimey two days link trainer again. If nowt else I certainly now know how to fly a Link trainer in any weather. Introduction to the aircraft and air experience followed our own skipper as pilot. (2.40 hrs). Another trip straight and level 1.50 hrs , taxying and further effect of controls., another one hour link,, 45 mins medium level turns and stalling. fighter affiliation 45 mins, fighter affiliation another 45 mins,. 2 hours high level bombing practice.

On the 10 of April 1945T we had a navigation exercise Bottesford via a triangular route finishing over the Scilly Isles, a beautiful day with George the auto pilot doing most of the work. Every one bored stiff and dozing most of the time ,With the exception of the navigator Paddy of course , who was spot on course the whole trip.

A mug of strong tea is required but before that I will post a scan for TOW1709,
it may help (or confuse) him, on how to use Photobucket and post photos


Paste in PPRuNe. to see if pic will appear click Preview Post.
Sorry TOW if it is unclear but it may help Cliff.

Last edited by cliffnemo; 10th Jul 2009 at 09:28. Reason: To change date from 44 to 45
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Old 10th Jul 2009, 02:17
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Urban myth?

Re Bristol Frighterners... someone who was there might like to share with us the story of the RNZAF crew who "locked themselves out" of the flight deck on day around Singapore back in the 60s.

Short version: good looking female pax on board, and one by one while s-l-o-w-l-y progressing enroute, the crew found an excuse to 'go downstairs' until the co-pilot was left alone at the controls. After a very long time alone, and unable to raise anyone from down below, he too joined them, and, unthinking, did as you usually did, closed the hatch. Thanks to the ever present vibration, the seat (nav's? radio man's?) that slid over the hatch did so while he was away and rather liberal use of the crash axe was involved in getting back up onto the flight deck.
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Old 11th Jul 2009, 12:15
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Just to refer back to Cliffs post #904 regarding the bombing of Hull, it is a little known fact that it was so heavily bombed.
I've just been reading up on some sites and here is an extract from one:-
(courtesy of North-East Diary 1939-1945 by Roy Ripley & Brian Pears NE Diary 1939-45; Background Information - Sections 23 to 26
HULL
Had 815 alerts and spent over 1,000 hours under alerts. 1,200 people were killed, 3,000 were injured and received treatment. 152,000 people were rendered temporarily homeless and provided for. 250 domestic shelters and 120 communal shelters were destroyed, from which more than 800 people were rescued alive. By the end of hostilities, approximately 6,000 of the 93,000 homes in Hull had escaped bomb damage (see later paragraph), from the three main attacks in March and May 1941 plus many smaller raids favoured by the Germans for the easy approach across the North Sea. Altogether Hull weathered 70 large and small night attacks from piloted aircraft compared with Southampton (49), Bristol (51), and London (251) plus 101 by day.

A study by a group of Hull citizens reported that 26 reception Centres dealt with 1,773 admissions after the first but smaller (78 plane) raid in March 1941. By the evening of the 16th March 1941, two days before the much larger (378 plane) blitz, 3,294 persons were seeking help of some sort, 2,216 of them for rehousing. The very heavy raid of March 18th 1941 when nearly 400 bombers in an aerial bombardment lasting from 21.15 to 04.00 the following morning, stepped up the pressure on the Reception Centres even more. The 7th / 8th May double raid shook the populace once again and raids across the North Sea continued into July 1941. when the rest of the country was practically at peace again. An observer in autumn of 1941 described Hull as 'the only town to have been heavily raided since the German attack on Russia'.

In September, 1939, Hull had 92,660 houses of varying sizes and values, but all capable of accommodating families. In the course of the war:- 1,472 were totally destroyed, 2,882 so badly damaged that demolition may be necessary, 3,789 needed repairs beyond the scope of first aid, 11,589 were seriously damaged, but patched up, 66,983 were slightly damaged, a total of 86,715.

These figures show that only 5,945 houses escaped damage in any form. Some of the 86,715 were struck more than once, in some instances twice and thrice, so that altogether 146,915 individual damages were sustained.

So, that's less than 6,000 homes undamaged out of 93,000. And then we have all the handwringing over Dresden? Puts things into perspective I think.
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Old 13th Jul 2009, 07:22
  #933 (permalink)  
 
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Flying kit and Bristol Freighters

Hi Cliff,

Fascinated to read of your trip to HCU with the amount of kit you had to cope with. It prompted a question: somewhere along the way, bomber crews must have been issued with their personal flying kit, which they hung on to 'permanently'. I just wondered when that might have been - do you recall?

And did your kit also contain the famous white rollneck woolly jumper?!

Also intrigued by your carting around the revolver. I seem to have heard a number of different things about aircrew and pistols. One version has it that pistols were only drawn from the squadron armoury immediately prior to an operation (if the qualifying aircrew actually wanted to be bothered with one) and the other is that pistols were issued for longer periods; but if so, how long?

Most interested in you experiences on that one.

(I was told a tale by an infantry officer that he lost his cleaning rod, so he indented for the usual 'pistol, 380, rod, cleaning'. Must have been a trainee in the armoury that day as a new pistol arrived in the post...)

I too had a flight in a Bristol Freighter from Limp-Knee; when I was nine, and it switched me on to flying. (But I enjoyed the trip in an Anson much more a few years later...the tail shook so much I thought it would fall off.)

Cheers,

Dave
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Old 13th Jul 2009, 22:04
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Goosequill and guns

I operated on 105 Squadron (Mosquito's) and 51 Sqdn. Halifaxes from 1942 until the end of January 1944 and I never saw an aircrew member of either Sqdn with a pistol.. I was never asked whether I wanted one and I cannot recall the subject ever coming up. I, personally was issued with my Bomber Command clothing in dribs and drabs. They were quite often short of many items. I never had and certainly would not have worn the famous white roll top jumper but it was very popular, particularly with the air gunners. I can recall being issued with a Sidcot suit when I was at ITW and being photographed in it . It was handed in before we were allowed to go on leave before we were sent to the U.S . as the first of the Arnold scheme British Cadets. When I got back and was operating on Mossies I was issued with an Irving Jacket but rarely wore it as we never operated above fifty feet and it used to get very warm in that tiny cockpit. I didn't even wear flying boots on Mossies and that saved my life when we crashed on the return from a low level Op. on Leeuwarden German aerodrome. My foot went throught the wooden fuselage and I couldn't free it and my Observer stepped out through the non existent nose which had been shot away together with the Instrument Panel and took my very ordinary boot off where it was sticking out of the fuselage. Later on we were issued with better flying boots which were made so that the top could be cut away leaving a less noticeable pair of shoes for you to try and evade being taken P.O.W.
I am pretty sure that not one man in a thousand ever wore or asked for a gun as there would have been many, many unsavoury incidents amongst celebrating crews and jealous boy friends etc. not to mention friendly fire amongst our Allies on drunken nights out and I cannot recall any such incidents.
I should be very interested to know if there is anyone who can tell me if it was not as I found it.
 
Old 13th Jul 2009, 22:34
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Regle and pistols and mayhem

Hi Regle,

Thanks very much for your personal experiences on that one. I think you might be right about the possibility of problems if they were always to hand. There is a famous case of a jealous soldier seeing his girlfriend with another man in a pub, so he returned to his unit and came back to the pub with - a BREN gun. He did kill them (short bursts at well-defined targets, of course) and in due course swung for it.

An infantry officer who served in Cairo told me that when they went onto town for a booze-up they always took their pistols. And come the time to return to camp they either to leave the bar to get back to camp in time; or they could stay in the bar if there happened to be a 'disturbance' in town. Naturally, just before they were due to go back to camp one of them would go into a side alley and fire a few shots in the air. Good for another hour at least...

Yes, I guess it must have been warm at 50 feet AGL in a Mossie - especially over enemy airfields! Looking at the seating arrangements it looks as though you might have had your right elbow in the nav's lap a lot of the time. I did read once that for some Mossie pilots it was difficult to get their legs in the right position for the rudder pedals, and that as a result one 'cheek' took most of their weight for the trip. Did you ever have such a 'numbing' experience?

I believe you could also tell the approximate length of service by the airman's Irvin jacket. At the outbreak of war, the jacket panels were made up of nice big, regular pieces of sheepskin, but by the end they were allegedly coming off the line as a formation of off-cuts.

Cheers,

Dave
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Old 14th Jul 2009, 10:31
  #936 (permalink)  
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Thanks Icare for the extracts I hadn’t seen them before. It certainly was heavily bombed. The Ack Ack guns fired repeatedly all night, with shrapnel falling like rain.. In the May blitz the guns had to be re barreled frequently.

A pic of ‘HOME’ after it had been ‘tidied up’



Just thinking Regle, you must have flown up and down the Humber from Snaith a few times, did it look an easy target. I saw the Humber one moonlit night (bombers moon ?) the confluence of the Humber and the River Hull shone like a mirror in the shape of an inverted T providing a perfect aiming point..
Coupled with the fact that the mouth of the Humber estuary is shaped like a funnel I would think German pilots wouldn’t need Pathfinders.. Would think it was a perfect place to jettinson bombs on aborted mission on Leeds, Manchester, and Liverpool.

Will answer Goosequil tomorrow. And. Regle, I certainly had a Smith and Wesson 38 will try to find my issue book and report back next post.
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Old 14th Jul 2009, 11:15
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Smith & Wesson

Sorry Reg , but despite all the mistakes I have made the page below shows I was issued Jan/45 with a pistol/revolver (six entries down) and I didn,t shoot any one with it, honest your honour. With regard to the white sweater, I do not remember being issued with a white sweater, aircrew. Perhaps they were issue for rear gunners, when they removed the perspex from the rear turret for better vision?
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Old 14th Jul 2009, 18:09
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Hull and Halifax

Yes, Cliff we saw a lot of the Humber and what you say is absolutely true. You didn't need a beam as Hull was perfectly placed to be targeted especially if there was anything of a moon. Just like Liverpool (You really pick your places to live, Cliff ) although the conglomeration of towns surrounding gave it a bit more chance of being missed than Hull.
Apropos the white sweater don't you remember that the taking out of the perspex panel was strictly forbidden....? I think that it was the slab of armour plating that was the main obstruction. My mid upper gunner's life was saved because I made him put the panel back after he had removed it one night and a cannon shell struck it from a ME110 that was attacking us . He was not so lucky afterwards as he was the only member of my crew not to survive the war , foolishly volunteering to stay on Ops when the crew had been screened and being shot down over Berlin one month later.
I remember seeing that you had received a gun when I read your post and was going to ask you about it because it seemed strange to me even then. Did you ever fire it ? All the best, Reg.
 
Old 14th Jul 2009, 21:09
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I never had and certainly would not have worn the famous white roll top jumper but it was very popular, particularly with the air gunners

Reg - I suspect that the famous "white roll top jumper" was almost certainly derived from the equally famous "submarine jersey" (aka "submarine sweater"), dating from WWI or even earlier, recalling a well known Punch cartoon displaying one. I appreciate that it might not have been your garment of choice but they used to be very popular too with the ladies, who would wear them as a (very) short dress, sometimes resorting to stretching them if they were initially too short for their liking!

With very best wishes and hope you are keeping well

Jack

PS I'm pretty sure that the RAF Marine Branch will have worn them too
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Old 14th Jul 2009, 21:28
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Still teaching Instruments to the Navy

By the way , I was looking through my Log Books and I saw that I took a Rapide to Yeadon via Coventry on August 18th. 1951 and the passenger was a Mr. Lumb. So that was the name of the courteous gentleman with the lovely old Daimler and the Chauffeur. I wonder whether anyone has ever heard of him ?
Still teaching the Fleet Air Arm how to fly on Instruments at Rochester; One day in February 1952 I was driving in to work when I saw my Flight Commander, Peter Harrison, flagging me down on the other side of the road. " Go back home, pack a few things,; you've got to go to Corsica " he said . Short Bros. at that time were making a small amphibian called the Sealand and one of them, on a delivery flight had gone U/S with engine trouble and had landed in Ajaccio, Corsica. It was piloted by Don Tanton, their Chief Company Pilot. I had met him briefly but our paths were to cross many times in the years to come.
Apart from the odd trip across the channel to Le Touqet, Deauville, Knokke-Le Zoute etc. I had never made a long distance flight from England in Civil Aviation. This was truly a big break from the mundane task of teaching good instrument flying to, mainly Lt/Cdrs but the odd Admiral popped up now and then ,so picking up a Wireless Operator, a Mechanic for the Sealand and loads of spare parts for the engine we cleared Customs at Croydon and set off on our first leg to Lyons. We did not have the equipment for night flying so I decided to spend the night there. Our aircraft was one of the training flight Oxfords and it performed faultlessly throughout the entire trip.
At Lyons one of the Air Traffic controllers, who spoke English , gave us a lift in to the city and took us to a small but cosy Restaurant that also had rooms to let. We were made very welcome as ex-RAF flyers were extrenely popular in France. After cleaning up we came down for our evening meal which was better than anything we had tasted for years.
Lyons prided itself as being the Gastronomic centre of France and I would heartily endorse that claim. The Patron, a small swarthy man with jet black hair, came over and joined us and with my halting schoolboy French and his few words of English we had a good conversation going helped by the numerous large Cognacs that kept appearing and which the Patron insisted were on the House. When he heard that we were going to Ajaccio next morning he actually burst in to tears. "Me, Ajaccio" he repeated , thumping his chest and pointing to himself. It turned out that he had left Ajaccio as a small boy about twenty years before and had never been back although he had large members of his family still there. The Cognacs must have done their work on me very well because I found myself saying "Viens avec nous , demain "...Come with us tomorrow.! There was absolutely no reason why not. There was plenty of room aboard. The only thing was that we didn't know how long the engine repairs were going to take so we couldn't give him a return date. His Wife, dressed in the typical black bombazine and perched upon her seat where she could see everything that was going on had been watching us with ever growing disapproval. Monsieur Orsi, for that was his name, sensed this and made us understand that we should sleep and see what we thought tomorrow. He had obviously a good knowledge of what a few large Cognacs could do to a person !
We came down, with sore heads, to a gigantic breakfast. Mr.Orsi had been to the market around five o'clock in the morning to buy fresh eggs and bacon as he knew this was the favoured Brirish breakfast but four eggs each with mushrooms,tomatoes to top the beautiful slices of best ham was one of the best breakfasts that I can remember. After we washed the breakfast down with , not the best coffee that I have tasted, I told him that he could come, subject to him signing a disclaimer relieving Shorts of all responsibility. As he signed this his Wife burst into tears and embraced him as though she would never see him again which was probably what was going through her mind.

Last edited by regle; 15th Jul 2009 at 08:47. Reason: correction
 

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