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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 12th Dec 2016, 12:08
  #9821 (permalink)  
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There is what appears to be a Perspex panel immediately to the rear of the radiator outlet.
Have a look at .. IPMSStockholm.org .. Magazine .. Fairey Battle in detail .. the last photo on that page.

The same series of photos shows the bomb bays (two in each wing).
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 12:29
  #9822 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Danny42C View Post
"Fixed" ? How on earth could he aim it ? The Vickers K gun on a flexible mounting much bettter idea.
Quite. But maybe the RAF wasn't quite so silly - don't believe everything you read in Wikipedia... The fixed Browning was in the starboard wing and under the pilot's control; the gunner had a K with which he could do what he fancied. (According to several sources on the 'net which of course are no more reliable than Wikipedia, but at least they make sense.)
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 15:37
  #9823 (permalink)  
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The sliding panel for the bombsight was under the pilot's seat, the obs/nav crawling forward through the fuselage to take aim. The Battle canopy was normally kept open because it was so difficult to release, and when the bomb-aiming panel was opened a 200mph wind blasted upwards through the fuselage and made aiming impossible. This had terrible repercussions for Rupert and his crew, as we shall see shortly. Fairey could have used two canopies as in the contemporary Vickers Wellesley but they chose one extended canopy with solid decking between pilot and crew. I knew this only from seeing a Battle at the long-closed Strathallen Aviation Museum about 1980.

On the subject of crew accommodation Danny mentioned the Hampden 'flying suitcase' with all four crew seated together in the forward fuselage which was only 3ft wide. Apparently the Luftwaffe assessed captured aircraft and concluded the Hampden was the best because its crew were close together like Dornier 17 and Ju88. They did not rate the Blenheim, Whitley, and Wellington. Eventually the Hampden was withdrawn, a major factor being crew fatigue in such a small space.
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 18:06
  #9824 (permalink)  
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I don't know the reason for the crew locations in the Battle but it would seem logical that it's to put them behind the wing for keeping a lookout.
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 19:09
  #9825 (permalink)  
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Slight thread drift and random questions that popped into my head.
How was CG affected by fuel burn, bomb dropping, and crew movement in various WW II aircraft? Did any require special care in managing CG?
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Old 12th Dec 2016, 19:49
  #9826 (permalink)  
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Geriaviator #9825
It is hard to believe that crews went into battle with such equipment, but use use what you have I suppose.
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Old 13th Dec 2016, 08:51
  #9827 (permalink)  
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Seafury45 #9828 It's astonishing we had anybody left alive by the end of 1940.

In 1938 the Navy ordered the carrier HMS Implacable, which was limited to 23,000 tonnes, thanks to the Washington Treaty. Needless to say the Italians and Japanese had long since abandoned their commitment to the treaty. etc. etc. etc. She was commissioned in 1944 (albeit rather over-weight) so even by then we were still hobbled. (According to Wikipedia anyway.)

But then it was an obsolete naval plane that enabled the Bismark to be sunk.


Last edited by Reader123; 13th Dec 2016 at 09:31.
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Old 13th Dec 2016, 09:43
  #9828 (permalink)  
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And the same obsolete naval plane crippled the Italian Fleet at Taranto.


"There is many a good tune played on an old fiddle"
Old 13th Dec 2016, 13:42
  #9829 (permalink)  
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and it outlived its successor!
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Old 13th Dec 2016, 14:16
  #9830 (permalink)  
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try this link-
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 02:19
  #9831 (permalink)  
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Apologies for the intrusion, this item from Facebook would appear to be appropriate to this group. William Fredrick Chapman had prewar RAF VR number 754772, on commissioning he became number 159320. Danny42C may even know him!

My wife's friend has contacted the RAF to see if they can send someone down to a family funeral for a veteran and they have declined. Would there be anyone able to attend as there is no military presence what so ever and this guys family are very upset. Details below. Thank you for your time.
William Fredrick Chapman
The two main Squadrons he was in on operational flights were 75(NZ) and 57. He was a VR enterant to th RAF before the war no 754772 and became a Sgnt pilot at the outbrake of war. He did not take his commision until after his ops by which time he was ranked Warrent Officer first class. Once he took his commision his no was 159320 and he was finally discharged as a F/Lt in May 1946 when he was in Air Traffic Control and worked in the Ministery of Air Traffic Control.
The venue for the funeral is Bournemouth Crem Strounden Avenue, Charminster, Bournemouth, Dorset, BH8 9HX, on the 21.12.16 at 1400hrs.
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 04:16
  #9832 (permalink)  
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How sad. I can do nothing right now, as I'm abroad, but could a note to the RAF ATC Element at Swanwick be an option?
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 10:56
  #9833 (permalink)  
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The memoirs of Sqn Ldr Rupert Parkhouse, recorded in 1995 – Part 10. The first post in this series is #9775 on page 489 of this thread.

Rupert recalls that “when we arrived I thought the old hands were rather subdued”. They had good reason: this is Battle P2332 PH-F of 12 Sqn, shot down by flak while attacking the Maastricht bridges on May 12 1940, the raid on which two crewmen won VCs. The pilot, Flying Officer Norman Thomas, and his two-man crew survived and spent the rest of the war in captivity, ending up like Rupert in Stalag Luft 3. All the attacking aircraft were shot down.

WE JOINED 12 Sqn just as the news came through of the two VCs for Flying Officer Garland and his observer Sgt Tom Gray, who were killed on May 12 while attacking a bridge over the Albert Canal in Belgium. Pilot Officer Davy was the only pilot survivor. His Battle was set on fire, his observer and gunner baled out, and he managed to fly the aircraft back after the fire went out. One other pilot shot down became a POW, he was Pilot Officer Digger McIntosh and I later met him in the prison camp.

When we arrived on that Saturday I thought the old hands were rather subdued. We were billeted with an emaciated old widow and Brian Moss and I shared a double bed with an enormous feather mattress but not the widow, I hasten to add.

Next day we were stood down so we aircrew took some bread and tins of pilchards and sat in the sun on the side of a river, and on the Monday I was interviewed by Wing Commander Thackeray in his caravan parked in the farmyard. I can't remember what he said but he seemed a little bit shattered, as I suppose all the old hands were, by what had happened. Then I went to see Sqn Ldr Lowe, the OC Flying, and my flight commander, a chap called Drinkwater who was wearing a Cambridge Blue tie which I thought a little unusual. He took me to the crew room, which was the dining room of a rather fly-blown estaminet in the village. It had a telephone connecting us with the ops room and the flights.

Next morning I went down to the dispersal points and was surprised when a rather wizened flight sergeant wearing WW1 medals and RFC wings came up and asked me if I would air-test a Battle for him. Well, I was dying to get back in the air again so I walked to the machine with my parachute and was amazed when he came along with a flying helmet and jumped into the back, a remarkable show of confidence in this greenhorn pilot.

I had never flown a Battle with bombs on before, and I guessed that its takeoff run would be longer, so I taxied to the far end of the field, opened up and cleared the far hedge with height to spare and climbed to 5000ft, where I tried one or two manoeuvres including a half-hearted stall turn. I hadn't made any allowance for the extra 1000lb weight of the bombs and I was amazed when the aircraft flicked over onto its back. I recovered quite quickly, took the aircraft back in to land, misjudged the approach and had to come in with an awful lot of engine on. What the poor flight sergeant in the back thought of all this I was to find out later. Anyway we landed with a thump, the brakes were good and we stopped before the line of aircraft at the other end of the field.

I got out and signed the authorisation book in the flight commander's tent where I couldn't help overhearing the flight sergeant in the maintenance tent alongside. He was expostulating about 'That bloody Pilot Officer Parkhouse, I'm never going to fly with that bugger again!' and frankly I didn't blame him because the ammunition pan for the Vickers machine-gun had come off and hit him on the head.
NEXT POST: Rupert goes to war at last. All he has to do is to find the Germans ...

Last edited by Geriaviator; 14th Dec 2016 at 11:52. Reason: Adding trailer
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 13:14
  #9834 (permalink)  
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Sorry, name doesn't ring a bell, have not been on the squadrons mentioned. Commissioned some time after me (I was 156***).

I think it was the Ministry of Civil Aviation. Hope someone can rally round (nearest RAF Association?)

Old 14th Dec 2016, 20:06
  #9835 (permalink)  
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A bit of nostalgia, one of those excellent Aeroplane drawings by J H Clark showing the Fairey Battle. It tells us that the internal bomb stowage was not in a bomb bay but in four bomb compartments set in the wings, one per bomb. It also shows the Bomb Sighting Sliding Panel in the Well below the pilot where the Nav lay prone for aiming.

Geriaviator, thank you for this continuing tale of Rupert Parkhouse. He gives some idea of the terrible losses that were sustained in those obsolescent Battles, and the effects it had on the survivors. Keep it coming please.
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Old 14th Dec 2016, 20:36
  #9836 (permalink)  
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Thanks ! - all is now made plain. Were there any other cases of bombs carried internally in the wings ? Externally, they surely would not incur much more drag (at "Battle" speeds) ? And the inside wing space could be used for fuel.

Always thought it a well proportioned, graceful aircraft.

Old 15th Dec 2016, 09:49
  #9837 (permalink)  
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Both the Short Stirling and the HP Halifax had wing bomb bays, must have been others.
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Old 15th Dec 2016, 10:01
  #9838 (permalink)  
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I believe the IL-2 also had internal bays for small bombs in the wing roots.
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Old 15th Dec 2016, 10:30
  #9839 (permalink)  
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Early Ansons
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Old 15th Dec 2016, 10:50
  #9840 (permalink)  
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Using his Course Setting Bomb Sight designed in 1916, a Battle bomber takes aim through sliding window in the belly. Sadly few of them reached this stage before they were shot down by flak and fighters.
Thanks Chugalug, plenty more posts to come, Rupert's story will keep us reading until next year.

Last edited by Geriaviator; 15th Dec 2016 at 16:04. Reason: Add sight description
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