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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 26th Oct 2016, 14:41
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and it seems anyone whew flew Aunty Betty's Fun Jet can remember the check list for hydraulic failure and going into "manual"
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 17:10
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At Mepal, clear to join deadside and call downwind. Pre-joining checks please Co. Oh, and better check the R/W state...

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Old 26th Oct 2016, 18:27
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Check Lists?????????? What a load of Weenies.

Kick the tyres, light the fires and if there was a load of noise coming out of the back and you could talk to somebody you were OFF!!!!

It was useful if you arranged all the switches and levers in a pleasant eye catching arrangement.

As this thread is slowing down if anybody wants it I can bore you with my Borneo stories.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 26th Oct 2016 at 19:06.
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 19:41
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Happy B'day to Mr Chugalug2 (and to Hilary Clinton and Irish Poet Trevor Joyce) - Scorpios to the core!
Hope you all enjoy the day.

Ian BB
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 20:13
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Fareastdriver,

Bore us, please.
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 20:23
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Thanks, FED.
".. all the switches and levers in a pleasant, eye catching arrangement."
Made my morning, that one.


Danny,
As Donald Sutherland's character said in 'Kelly's Heroes'...
"Cut with the negative vibes, Moriarty".
Another look at that movie is guaranteed to cheer you up - it got me giggling again.
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Old 26th Oct 2016, 20:53
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It's a fair cop IBB, you've got me banged to rights and no mistake. Many thanks indeed, though your list together with the heir apparent rather confirms Mrs C's oft made comments about b***** Scorpios!
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 07:26
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Another Scorpio wishing y'all Good Morning.

And thanks, Chugalug2 ... "Booster pumps ON"

Last edited by MPN11; 27th Oct 2016 at 08:07.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 08:12
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Chug'

Best not to try landing now, only 300 Yards left of 23'.

AD'.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 08:57
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ad:-
Best not to try landing now, only 300 Yards left of 23'.
Ah, just as well we checked then. OK, we'll carry out an overshoot from Oakington and divert to Wyton. At least its runway should be open, better just check that though, I suppose...
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 10:03
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Chug;good idea but you'll find Wyton Runway covered in white crosses. (and full of Pongos') Best go to EGSC and wince at the landing fees.

A.D.
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 11:13
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FED (#9604),

Scorpios of the World, Unite ! We have nothing to lose but our stings ! (for years after I came back, always knocked out my bedroom slippers before putting them on - you never know what might be nestling inside the toe).
My reply to zetec was more of an addition to the P.N.s for a VV than the P.N.s themselves (did we have any P.N.s - or were we just writing them as we went along ? Can''t remember).
...Kick the tyres, light the fires and if there was a load of noise coming out of the back and you could talk to somebody you were OFF!!!!...
Plus: "We'll brief in tne air - last man airborne buys the coffee when we get back !"
...It was useful if you arranged all the switches and levers in a pleasant eye catching arrangement...
More useful still if you knew what they were all for !
...As this thread is slowing down if anybody wants it I can bore you with my Borneo stories...
We'll hold you to that !

Happy Days,

Danny.
 
Old 27th Oct 2016, 11:45
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Pilot Officer Paul Albert Levy - Arnold Scheme course 42G?

Hello everyone.

Like many before me have said, this really is the most amazing thread for interested in US-trained RAF aircrew.

I have recently embarked on the research of my late father's second cousin, Paul Albert Levy (b. 10 Feb 1923).

LAC Paul A Levy was gazetted to be a 'Pilot Officer on probation' from 5th August 1942. However, scarcely a year later the Lancaster (W5008) he was flying crashed during 57 Squadron's raid on Nuremberg on 27/28 August 1943.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet, I have recently been contacted by a woman whose mother befriended Paul during his pilot training at Maxwell Field, which can only mean that he was trained under the Arnold Scheme. She has number of letters written by Paul that are helping to provide a picture of his movements in 1942/43.

In a letter written in Sep. 1942, he wrote that he was stationed in Moncton (No. 31 PD presumably) and "living a life of complete boredom, awaiting our fate."

By Nov. 1942, he wrote to her from a 'receiving centre' in Yorkshire (No. 7 PRC at Harrogate would be my guess).

I'm trying to determine which course Paul attended and am wondering how that ties in with his commission date.

At this website, (Jims Posting's - Jcproctor.co.uk) the movements and postings of James Kenneth Ives are reported in detail. Jim Ives graduated from course 42G on 5th August 1942; the date that Paul was promoted to P/O. Is that just coincidental, or can I conclude that Paul also graduated from course 42G?

Nicola Bate (arnold-scheme.org) has of course told me that very few graduates gained a commission unless they stayed on to instruct for a year. However, we know that the first class 42A graduated little over 6 months earlier on 3 Jan 1942.

The other perplexing aspect of this story is how he came to meet and befriend the teenager with whom he later corresponded. The girl was apparently at a boarding school in Birmingam, Alabama - not exactly round the corner from Montgomery.

Any thoughts?

Justin
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 15:28
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Justini, welcome. This is Danny, Danny meet Justini. He has a question or two...

ad:-
you'll find Wyton Runway covered in white crosses. (and full of Pongos')
Damn, this is becoming tiresome. Better avoid putting landing fees on the imprest though, how about we head off to Cottesmore? Bound to be open for business,... aren't they?
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Old 27th Oct 2016, 17:24
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Justin (#9614),

Let me, as (one of the) Grand Old Men of this incomparable Thread, one of the oldest and deservedly most popular on Military Aviation Forum, welcome you aboard ! As you can see from my Callsign, I too went over to start on the Arnold Scheme in September, 1941, and graduated as a Sgt-Pilot in March 1942.

My story here begins on Page 114, Post 2462, and you can wade through it, but p.119, #2373, might be of more interest as relates to the said Birmingham (ALA).

As to your questions,
...can I conclude that Paul also graduated from course 42G?...
Well, 42C graduated March '42, 42D April, 42E May, 42F June, 42 G July, 42H August - so you're in the right ballpark.
...Nicola Bate (arnold-scheme.org) has of course told me that very few graduates gained a commission unless they stayed on to instruct for a year...
True, these would be employed in the Six British Flying Training Schools which the US had built for us in the Southern States. These were RAF commanded and administered, flying instruction at first by US civilians, to be replaced by RAF "creamies" from the Arnold output.
...The other perplexing aspect of this story is how he came to meet and befriend the teenager with whom he later corresponded. The girl was apparently at a boarding school in Birmingham, Alabama - not exactly round the corner from Montgomery...
Birmingham to Montgomery is 93 miles by road: the young lady would cetainly have a car, and that distance is peanuts to an American girl. ("School" probably means "College").

My guess would be that she lived in Montgomery anyway, came home at weekends, and she (or most likely, her mother) had put her name down as a Pen Friend, seeking to get in touch with these glamourous young Brits who were now, of course, their Gallant Allies since Pearl Harbor. Sadly I (at nearby Gunter Field) had no such luck. (C'Úst la vie !)

Moncton was the Transit Camp where you waited for the boat home.

In Harrogate he would have been billeted in the requisitioned "Majestic" Hotlel.

Which'll do to be going on with.

Anything you can put in here about Paul would interest us,

Danny42C.
 
Old 27th Oct 2016, 20:34
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The panic of Confrontation was effectively over. Sukarno had tried a few tricks; a few incursions into Borneo and the Malayan Peninsular but they were short lived and ineffective. It was now a holding exercise and an excellent training ground for the British Army in Jungle operations.

Labuan is a small island of the coast just north of Brunei. The civil airfield had been taken over by the military and the old wooden terminal building and hotel was now the Officers Mess. There lived the senior officers plus a lot of fixed wing detachments, ie Javelins, Beverleys and the Valletta transports so helicopter pilots were regarded as not fit to live there. To this end we were banished to the Membedai, which was the Shell Brunei oil company’s leave and recreation centre down by a small beach. Fully air conditioned in brick built accommodation at two to room with a palatial terraced bar and lounge.



I was the new boy on the block as most of the others had been there since it started. They had been on exercise in Libya when the squadron was assigned to the Far East and they were not given time to go home to Germany to pack. They went straight on an aircraft carrier and through the Suez Canal to Labuan.

The beach entertainment was watching the canoe project. This was an attempt by the squadron officers to replicate a dugout canoe of the type in common use in the interior. A suitable tree trunk had been washed up and they had set about it for some weeks hollowing in out in the approved fashion. Came the launch and our heroes embarked; followed by it capsizing. Eventually there were two choices; either put so many in it that it grounded or it turned over. It looked the part but unfortunately there were not the millenniums of experience that the Ibans had for building canoes.

The squadron was tucked away on the other side of the airfield so as not to interfere with the HQ staff’s lunch. There were two long wooden buildings, separated by a canopy which was the hangar medivac. The Royal Navy had a Wessex flight based onshore at a place called Bario and their HQ, together with a solitary Leonides driven Whirlwind occupied one half. 230 Sqn occupied the other half with not more than four aircraft available or undergoing 2nd line servicing. The entire dispersal was perforated steel matting with a boundary of coiled barbed wire. Transport was the so-called Helistart Landrovers. These were Landrovers with an extra battery in series so they had twenty four volts available to a cable installed that had the standard NATO aircraft electrical plug. An added refinement was a platform with a small access ladder at the rear mounted on above the tilt which acted as a servicing platform for the upper reaches of a Whirlwind.

There aircrew were a mixture of grizzled veterans, actually they were only about thirty of so but they looked that after a few years on Dragonflys and Sycamores, one or two still on their first tour and a couple were among the last sergeant pilots to be trained by the RAF. One of the first things I learned to use was the squadron blowpipe. This came fully equipped with local darts; long spicky things with a fat bit at the back and an unrecognisable stain on the pointy end. The barrel, a hollowed out tube of a vine similar to bamboo was about four feet long and was horrendously accurate. Once one had learned the technique of pressuring the cheeks before blowing scoring 180 on a dartboard at ten paces was child’s play.

However, I wasn’t there to play darts so I had various briefings, some still covered by the Official Secrets Act.

To be continued………….

PS I may be posting a few pictures that I took when I was there. Unfortunately I made the mistake of using AGFA film; 'It's German, it must be good', and they deteriorated tremendously after a couple of years.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 27th Oct 2016 at 21:15.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 12:17
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Hello Danny,

It is a privilege to be corresponding with a chap who experienced the horror (and comradery) of war first hand.

I will endeavour to 'wade' through your story, as I am certain it mirrored Paul's experience.

Following a very lively exchange of emails yesterday evening, I have gathered a few more facts about Paul and his 'friend' Beth.

After the death of her mother in 1936, Beth and her father had moved to Birmingham. Her father's job (electrical engineer) meant he was working away from home more and more, so Beth was enrolled in the Misses Howard School for Girls in Birmingham.

She and Paul met at a party. That party, as you suggested, was probably organised by the school to meet the 'Galllant Allies'.

In his later letters, Paul reminisced about taking the 5am bus from Montgomery to Birmingham.

Anyway, getting back to serious business of flight training. The photo below on the left was taken at Pensacola Beach, FL on 6th Sep. 1942. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Paul is sporting an RAF cap and Pilot Officer's shoulder insignia. I can also just about make out the top of a badge on his left breast. Although maybe I'm imagining it.

Do you recall the appearance of your American wings? Were they standard issue?

Am I correct in thinking, that you didn't get your RAF wings until you got to Moncton?

The other photo was posted from Albany on 23 June 1942. He had written the caption 'All set for a high altitude flight'.

Justin
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1942 06 23 Paul at Albany 1.jpg (667.1 KB, 74 views)

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Old 28th Oct 2016, 17:13
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looks like Plt Off braid to me (having zoomed in), and an RAF Officer's SD hat from a poor tailot ... should have gone to Bates

The wings seem metallic, rather than cloth, and I would have expected the tip of the Crown to be more obvious.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 17:58
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I agree that the badge appears to be metallic. However, I think it may have been the US Army Air Force wings, so there would have been no crown.

I believe that the pilots from the Arnold Scheme did not get their RAF wings until they reached No. 31 PDC in Moncton.
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Old 28th Oct 2016, 20:14
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Justin (#9618),
...Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe Paul is sporting an RAF cap and Pilot Officer's shoulder insignia. I can also just about make out the top of a badge on his left breast. Although maybe I'm imagining it...
Well spotted - it's very hard to see. It and the cap and braid would almost certainly be sourced from RCAF in Canada.
...Do you recall the appearance of your American wings? Were they standard issue?...
Yes, reputably made in "dollar silver". Google for a picture of Army Air Corps pilot's wings (still got 'em, they're in the form of a brooch). We (March, '42) had no RAF uniform, a Colonel Haddon pinned mine on my scruffy flight overalls.
...Am I correct in thinking, that you didn't get your RAF wings until you got to Moncton?...
Yes - we travelled up from Alabama wearing (in my case) the chalk-striped grey suit in which I'd travelled down the previous September (the US was still supposed to be "neutral", so we had to pretend to be "civilians").
...The other photo was posted from Albany on 23 June 1942. He had written the caption 'All set for a high altitude flight'...
The American oxygen mask included a rebreathing rubber bag. That is what this comedian has blown up. Anyone who can remember the dentists of that era will remember the idea.

G'night !

Danny.
 

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