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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 30th Sep 2016, 09:28
  #9421 (permalink)  
 
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Whilst I was at Labuan, Borneo during Confrontation in 1966 FEAF Air Commander came out to visit the station. We all stood to attention as he came into the crew room and he removed his hat.

Off came the crown, the peak with the scrambled egg but still wrapped around his head was the leather internal headband.

The heat and the sweat had finally rotted way the stitching.
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Old 30th Sep 2016, 11:49
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Magic ...
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Old 30th Sep 2016, 13:02
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As a technical aside, my 9-yo iMac died last night, probably as a punishment for looking at EasyJet fares (I'm BA Gold ). This morning I purchased a new 27" iMac, but I can't get it to restore all my files from the back-up Time Machine. I am whimpering helplessly at my local Apple Store, in the hope they can recover a mass of data, including domestic and company accounts, from either the Time Machine or the old iMac.

I have sympathy with Danny42C, as I struggle to see what I'm doing on my iPad j

Last edited by MPN11; 30th Sep 2016 at 13:14. Reason: Typos ... you see!
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Old 30th Sep 2016, 14:42
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jetslut,
...Once more, my apologies for hijacking the thread...
Now now, jetslut, you know better than that. This Thread is intended to be "Hijacked" - as you put it - it is its lifeblood.

No apology needed. Hope you get a line on your Ivor.

Danny42C.

Last edited by Danny42C; 30th Sep 2016 at 14:44. Reason: Spacing
 
Old 30th Sep 2016, 14:54
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Ricktye (#9420),

But when you knew, with absolute certainty, that the Japs would, when they found you, string you up alive and use you for bayonet practice........?

Moot point.

Danny.
 
Old 30th Sep 2016, 15:56
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jetslut

You may have done this already, but if not, put each squadron number on your search engine and see what comes up.

There certainly seems to be a 158 Sqn Association. Good luck.
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Old 3rd Oct 2016, 08:32
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BB:-
They had a con flab and came back and said 'Ok, we'll have to leave the Indian soldier'.
I wonder if the Indian soldier had been a part of the con flab? Being completely outranked it would probably have made little difference of course. Interestingly if they had all been indulgence passengers with Transport Command and one seat short, it would have been the Wing Commander who was left behind. The thinking was that the highest rank (or dependent thereof) would have the greater resources to pay the costs of delay and/or alternative means of transportation. That doesn't apply in this situation of course, but the con flab decision does leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth. Over to JD to resolve...
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Old 3rd Oct 2016, 08:50
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BTW.

Saw this in my free 'AVWEBFLASH' e-mailed news sheet this morning.

"One of the world's last surviving Battle of Britain vets, John Hart, of Naramata, British Columbia, Canada, went flying to celebrate his 100th birthday. Dave Watson, of Yellow Thunder Formation Aerobatics, took him up in his Harvard, the Canadian version of the T-6"

Now the video with it shows John looking quite sprightly, pity neither he nor perhaps a friend is on this forum.

mike hallam
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Old 3rd Oct 2016, 10:51
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Flt Lt John Dunbar DFC (RIP) Five into four won't go

Taken from two tapes

We were trained not to leave anybody to the japs. There was nothing brave or clever about it. I was just about to start the engine when I saw the look on his face. . I just got out of the plane and said Stay there and I'll try to get back for you give me two hours go and hide in the jungle and make sure you are near.

We took off, all of us, we only just made it, the clearing was so tight. My aircraft was the ever reliable KJ 400. Another twenty yards or less and I don't think any of us would have made it. We were helped that by the fact that our passengers all weighed a hundred pounds or less, emaciated bodies and not much else.

The flight back was fairly uneventful, and talking to the other chaps afterwards, quiet. This was the reverse of when we took the odd bod behind the lines. Going out they would be quiet but coming back they were full of question about how things were going with the war. When we landed those chaps they were quiet and just hopped out of the plane and disappeared.

I can't even remember if I got out of the plane when we got back, but just said 'fill her up' and went back as fast as I could and landed after completing a circle of the strip. I did have an idea I was running out of time. I wasn't sure I would be able to land . The circle before landing was very low and at very high speed. I could see the Indian soldier rushing out of the trees and waving. I landed, he flew open the back seat ( BB the L5 had two side by side seats and what might be termed a jump seat behind for a small person the back of the seat folded down )

It is very interesting talking about it now. Nottage and the others were more thrilled by my getting the Indian soldier out than coming out themselves. Everyone knew what fate awaited him.

It was witnessed after we left, that the japs were so furious that they had lost these bods . They knew what was going on, they had been alerted by the first time and don't forget, it takes time to go through the jungle. 136 Force told the story afterwards about how the japs came onto the strip just literally minutes after we left, and in their rage they went and got hold the local elder of the native village and beheaded him in the middle of the strip as a example.



To be continued.
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Old 3rd Oct 2016, 11:26
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Burma

My father having served in Burma in the RAF during the war, I have found the descriptions of day-to-day life by Danny fascinating. (I've mentioned this before about n thousand posts ago...) BB's posts too are illuminating.

As mentioned previously, my father was an engineer officer, "on gliders" - about all I knew. I found, however, the other month, his RAF "CV". November and December 1944 were spent "Proceeding to India Command", and come January 1945 he was "FO O/C No 30 Glider Servicing Echelon." (Where he remained until October 1945.)

But what gliders can he have been servicing? Who was using gliders in Burma in 1945? The Chindits used some gliders, both to get in and to evacuate casualties, but otherwise I haven't found much evidence of glider use in the Far East. If you've never heard of glider snatching, have a watch of this video:



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgu5yh0HkgY

But the Chindits weren't doing anything in 1945. It was unpleasant enough that he never really mentioned anything other than a few funny stories, so he must have been doing something. Gliders sitting there don't take much servicing, surely. And they're not the sort of thing you practise with; casualty rates would be too high. And there was a war on too; inefficient as the forces could be with manpower they wouldn't have had dozens of men sitting around doing nothing for *that* long, would they?

I've just acquired a copy of RS Sansome's "The Bamboo Workshop, The History of the RAF Repair and Salvage Units India/Burma 1941-46." Which is useful for local colour, but I'm not expecting to find the "glider" word in there. Truly the forgotten corner of the forgotten war!
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Old 3rd Oct 2016, 14:38
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Gliders in Buram

Thank you Reader 123 for that glider pick-up clip, it brought back many memories of my training at Ibsley in this esoteric art (previously described somewhere way back in this thread).

As for gliders in Burma there certainly were rumours of their possible use for the forthcoming invasion of Malaya, but where they were kept remains a total mystery - to me, anyway. Had this invasion actually taken place most of the airborne effort would surely have been mounted from Mingaladon, but never once during my time there from late August '45 until several months after the war's end were any gliders seen to be seen - so where were they, or was it all just rumour?

harrym
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Old 3rd Oct 2016, 16:51
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mike hallam (#9429),

Let's hear it for the old fella ! Life in old dogs yet ! Wondered if he might have trained on the Harvard himself (our version of the North American AT-6A, on which I trained: the principal difference being that the AT-6A was armed (one forward-firing Browning 0.300. in top RH corner of front panel), but the Harvard was not (at least, none of those I flew later).

But as he would've trained before the Empire Air Training Scheme got under way, it couldn't have been a Harvard (then) but will have flown one afterwards. Did they let him "have a go" ? (I do hope so). How did he get on ?
...Now the video with it shows John looking quite sprightly, pity neither he nor perhaps a friend is on this forum...
Video (any hope of a link ?) And Canada is full of our members - extract digit and do something about it, chaps !

(Young [pushin'95] Danny)
 
Old 3rd Oct 2016, 17:23
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BB,

So John went back and got the man out after all! Damned brave ! is all I can say. The hornets' nest had already been aroused, the odds were that he was going back to almost certain destruction - and yet he couldn't leave the Indian soldier to his fate.

I hope that John's C.O. told him he was a bloody fool - and then put him up for a DFC..! Such stories are remembered long in India. Suddenly brings to mind a similar tale in which a Dak snatched out some wounded Gurkhas just ahead of an advancing Jap column. Was there a film made "Three miles East of Kalewa" - or have I dreamt it all ?

Must Google. Pity about the headman ("Bo" ?)

Danny.
 
Old 3rd Oct 2016, 17:42
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Reader 123,

Know nowt about glider operation. But:
...I've just acquired a copy of RS Sansome's "The Bamboo Workshop, The History of the RAF Repair and Salvage Units India/Burma 1941-46."...
There was a RSU (No. unknown) a mile or so SW of Manbur (Arakan). On the morning of 24.2.44. a certain Danny dumped a load of Vengeance scrap on their doorstep - at least the last bit (with Danny and crewman in it) reached the doorstep, the rest of it was strewn out in bits over a half- mile of jungle from the North.

Any mention ?

Danny.
 
Old 3rd Oct 2016, 18:32
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Please try this U-tube link for the 100 year old pilot mentioned above.
mike hallam.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FS401_BXMtk
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Old 3rd Oct 2016, 19:46
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Danny:-
So John went back and got the man out after all! Damned brave !
Indeed, my thoughts exactly, Danny.

BB:-
Nottage and the others were more thrilled by my getting the Indian soldier out than coming out themselves. Everyone knew what fate awaited him.
Thrilled and hugely relieved I should think! They would have been somewhat guilt ridden I imagine if it had not gone well, particularly if JD had not made it back either. No doubt the correct decision had been made, and JD was tasked to bring out the four only, after all. It would have been rather difficult to explain the loss of a Wg Cdr Squadron Commander if he had applied my "Highest rank stays behind" policy! A tricky situation sorted out by a very courageous action. As you say, Danny, worthy of official recognition.

Hope all things technical and sight-wise now operating A OK, Danny. Good to see you in full flow again.
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Old 3rd Oct 2016, 20:28
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mikehallam,

Lovely ! Thanks for the link, what a well preserved old boy - and what a story !I hope that everybody who saw it stayed with the following youtube item, too: "The Last Aircraft to be built at Filton" - a rebuild of a Spitfire IX. Magic !

Never flew the Mk. IX - reckoned to be the best of the Merlin Spits - but had a few hundred hours on the Mk. XVI - the exact same thing, but with the General Motors "Packard Merlin" replacing the Rolls-Royce. Couldn't tell the difference.

At Valley, 20 Sqdn, 1950-51. Happy days !

Danny.
 
Old 3rd Oct 2016, 20:41
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Chugalug,

Deeply touched by your concern for me. Yes, sight (so long as I select suitable specs from choice of three) back to normal. Otherwise, firing on all cylinders (pro tem).

Danny.
 
Old 3rd Oct 2016, 22:29
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Originally Posted by Reader123
My father having served in Burma in the RAF during the war, I have found the descriptions of day-to-day life by Danny fascinating. (I've mentioned this before about n thousand posts ago...) BB's posts too are illuminating.

As mentioned previously, my father was an engineer officer, "on gliders" - about all I knew. I found, however, the other month, his RAF "CV". November and December 1944 were spent "Proceeding to India Command", and come January 1945 he was "FO O/C No 30 Glider Servicing Echelon." (Where he remained until October 1945.)

But what gliders can he have been servicing? Who was using gliders in Burma in 1945? The Chindits used some gliders, both to get in and to evacuate casualties, but otherwise I haven't found much evidence of glider use in the Far East. If you've never heard of glider snatching, have a watch of this video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dgu5yh0HkgY

But the Chindits weren't doing anything in 1945. It was unpleasant enough that he never really mentioned anything other than a few funny stories, so he must have been doing something. Gliders sitting there don't take much servicing, surely. And they're not the sort of thing you practise with; casualty rates would be too high. And there was a war on too; inefficient as the forces could be with manpower they wouldn't have had dozens of men sitting around doing nothing for *that* long, would they?

I've just acquired a copy of RS Sansome's "The Bamboo Workshop, The History of the RAF Repair and Salvage Units India/Burma 1941-46." Which is useful for local colour, but I'm not expecting to find the "glider" word in there. Truly the forgotten corner of the forgotten war!
No specific mention of gliders but who knows - perhaps they were part of this enormous armada that was to be used if the 2 atomic bombs failed. (I posted a link to this about 18 months ago)
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Old 3rd Oct 2016, 23:05
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It would have been rather difficult to explain the loss of a Wg Cdr Squadron Commander if he had applied my "Highest rank stays behind" policy! - Danny

What an incredible tale, with a suitably happy ending for nearly all concerned. Sorry about the headman.

Interestingly enough, and although not strictly comparable, the Submarine Service policy was always virtually the same as Danny's in sunken submarine scenarios- survivors exit the submarine in reverse seniority order.....

Jack
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