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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 28th Jan 2017, 09:12
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Flt Lt John Dunbar R.I.P. Five into four won't go

Taken from three tapes

BB John continued to fly after leaving the air force. As it is not relevant to the thread I have sumarised the details:

Out of work, John applied for a job with Hunting Air Travel flying Dakotas. It did not last long – redundancy along with a number of other aircrew. Joining Airwork John flew a DH Rapide in the middle east, on one occasion being offered money to drop a bomb on TelAvive! There is an excellent photo of the Rapide on it's nose after landing during a sandstorm outside Baghdad. Reg – G-AGOP.
Returning to the UK John joined Flight Refueling in time to take part in the Berlin Airlift, flying as a co-pilot on Lancastrians taking fuel into the city. He was promoted to Captain in June 1949. Operating from Wunstorf and Hamburg, John made 104 return flights. Flying throughout the airlift, he was conscious of sitting on the end of a 3,000 gal petrol tank with a take off weight 1,000lb above normal landing weight.He mentioned that they were used for target practice by Migs and when landing at Tegal at night it was not unknown for the Russions to shine searchlights at them.
John then left aviation and joined a steel company where he eventually becamea general manager and director before retiring in 1983. Over the years he always said that people would not believe you if you told them what conditions were like in Burma, they would not believe you or think you were shooting a line, which is why so many kept quiet.
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 11:28
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BB , sincere thanks for telling us JD's RAF story. TBH nothing is outside the scope of this thread, and certainly not the Berlin Airlift! If you felt inclined, his civil aviation career would be as fascinating reading about as his Service one. I only speak for myself of course, and quite understand if enough is enough from your point of view. In which case, many thanks again!

To survive those suicidal daylight attacks against the 1940 westward advance of the Wehrmacht was an achievement in itself. Everything else that followed was sheer bonus in my view. To be still around these days having told the tale, but to be now blissfully free of the darkest memories of those distant days is perhaps a merciful release...
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 13:39
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Danny42C
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Box Brownie and Chugalug,
...If you felt inclined, his civil aviation career would be as fascinating reading about as his Service one...
Amen to that ! (and [I venture to guess] so would say all of us !) Please let us have it - if it's not too much trouble).

As Chugalug has noted: "All's grist that comes to this mill" (this Thread is a very Broad Church ! - thanks to the loose rein the Moderators hold us on).

(BB pp JD) said that people would not believe you if you told them what conditions were like in Burma, they would not believe you or think you were shooting a line, which is why so many kept quiet.
Harks back to Kipling's old time-ex soldier:

"The things that was that I 'ave seen,
In barrick, camp - an' action, too.
I tells 'em over to meself,
And sometimes wonders if they're true,
For they was odd, most awful odd !"


In my case, things were quite civilised: I lived in a standard "basha" on my (air-transportable) "charpoy", ate three meals a day (even if they were all bully beef, powdered potato, eggs, "soya links", curried something [don't ask] and rice). Bearer to bring cuppa chae in morning..... Utter luxury in comparison with the PBI in the rain and mud of monsoon Burma.

I suspect that John's living conditions "behind the lines" would be more like the Army.

Danny.
 
Old 28th Jan 2017, 15:07
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I dropped out of English Literature and never had a liking for poetry, but odd things happen after half a dozen decades and belatedly I have come to the verse of John Pudney. Of course there is an aviation connection, for he was an RAF intelligence officer at St Eval in 1941 when he produced his short book entitled Dispersal Point.
Pudney would certainly have seen many three-man crews leave on ops, and he remembered them in this poem Security which describes the stripping away of all identity before departure. The sting comes in the last line.

Empty your pockets, Tom, Dick and Harry,
Strip your identity, leave it behind.
Lawyer, garage-hand, grocer, don't tarry
With your own country, with your own kind.
Leave all your letters, suburb and township,
Green fen and grocery, slipway and bay,
Hot spring and prairie, smoke-stack and coal-tip,
Leave in our keeping while you are away.
Tom, Dick and Harry, plain names and numbers,
Pilot, Observer and Gunner depart.
Their personal litter only encumbers
Somebody's head; somebody's heart.
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Old 28th Jan 2017, 15:58
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Geriaviator,

Yes - I'd quite forgotten. Your last act was to empty your pockets of all personal items, cash, wallets, keys, etc - everything except your watch. The I.O. would seal it in an envelope in your presence and write your name on it. You collected it at debriefing when (if) you got back.

Figuratively speaking, you must go naked into battle.

Danny.
 
Old 28th Jan 2017, 17:42
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John Pudney also wrote "For Johnny"...which formed part of the film "The Way to the Stars"....

Do not despair
For Johnny-head-in-air;
He sleeps as sound
As Johnny underground.
Fetch out no shroud
For Johnny-in-the-cloud;
And keep your tears
For him in after years.

Better by far
For Johnny-the-bright-star,
To keep your head,
And see his children fed.

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Old 28th Jan 2017, 18:56
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John Pudney was quite prolific; he also wrote 'A Pride of Unicorns', the biography of the Atcherley brothers, which I am currently reading and enjoying.
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 18:53
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Danny 42C

Just to let you know Danny 42C won't be putting in any posts in the near future, as he was admitted to hospital this morning.

Hopefully, he will be back posting as soon as possible.

Regards, Danny's Daughter
 
Old 29th Jan 2017, 19:04
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Bu66er ... thanks for letting us know.

I'm sure you know that we are all entranced by his inputs, and wit/wisdom.

Please give him our corporate best wishes. He's an icon.
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 19:10
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The same thoughts from me.
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 22:16
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Danny's Daughter - please give him the best wishes of us all
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Old 29th Jan 2017, 22:23
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Danny's Daughter, thank you for telling us. Danny has become a PPRuNe legend, and we wait anxiously for his return to our fold. I can but reiterate MPN11's best wishes. His virtual crew room armchair awaits him!
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 07:15
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Best wishes Danny, I hope you get better soon. I am sure all your friends in the crew room wish you well too.
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 07:38
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Trust you'll be back in fine fettle soon Danny ... I suppose it's down to us to do the washing up in the tea bar in the interim!
All the very best Danny, FZ
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 08:11
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Very best wishes Danny - get well soon.
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 14:16
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Thank you for keeping us informed, Danny's Daughter ... I know that nobody could have done more for him in recent months and he greatly appreciated your loving care. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and your family.
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 15:40
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Get well soon Danny. Good people are scarce. You encouraged me with my story, as you have so encouraged others.
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 19:35
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Danny's Daughter - thanks for passing on the information. Get well soon Danny!
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Old 30th Jan 2017, 22:32
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Get well soon Danny.
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Old 1st Feb 2017, 11:42
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The mist hung over the airfield, muffling sound and vision and stifling any prospect of flying. The Crewroom was quiet too: only the creaking of the stove’s chimney and the soft ‘splat’ of playing cards disturbed the silence.

The Crewroom door swung open, admitting the cold damp air and one of the members.
“Any news on The Skipper yet?”, he enquired.
“No, nothing, but if there is any you’ll see The Thread light up again.”
“Ah, OK, just checking.” he said, heading for the kettle to put on another brew. “Bloody dull without him, isn’t it.”

Last edited by MPN11; 1st Feb 2017 at 19:29. Reason: too many creaks ;)
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