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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 10th May 2017, 09:40
  #10601 (permalink)  
 
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and evacuated those citizens that chose to leave.
Some of them who asked to leave changed their minds at the last moment and went back home..............to find all their furniture carpets etc. had been nicked by the neighbours.
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Old 10th May 2017, 12:20
  #10602 (permalink)  
 
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I discovered a few years ago that I had a great-aunt living here during the Occupation. A cousin of mine sent me a couple of family letters written at the time, describing the rush to the Banks and the Harbour. Not exactly 'panic' but a definite sense of urgency, and some evidence of a lack of courtesy!
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Old 10th May 2017, 17:47
  #10603 (permalink)  
 
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I too had a great aunt living in Jersey throughout the war. We went to stay with her in 1948 when the effects of the occupation were still very obvious. E.g. the Germans had taken her front gate as scrap metal. It was quite recently I discovered that she had lost all her property rights because her papers were in the hands of her solicitor who was sent to a concentration camp and never came back.
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Old 11th May 2017, 02:18
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Re: Ken Ekins.

Originally Posted by Fantome View Post
Padhist's post #2244 -

One amusing incident I recall from the many of those days was...The night Sgt C……. put into action his plan to take his wife up in a Prentice to see the station by night. Now, at the end of the main runway there was an old wartime bunker and it was used frequently by students and instructors during long periods of circuits and landings, they used to nip out of the aircraft, having advised Air Traffic Control, that they were clear of the ‘Peri-track ‘ and have a leak!!...Well the plan was that Mrs. Carlisle would wait behind this bunker all kitted up in flying gear and at some stage Carlisle's student would nip out and she would take his place in the aircraft, do a couple of circuits and return to effect the exchange back.....Now the best laid plans----What in fact happened was that another aircraft stopped and it's student got out, came to the bunker and was happily having his leak when he realised he was not alone!!....However thinking the other GUY was another student he continued with his enjoyment and just entered into a conversation on how the cold affected his ability to find his willy beneath all his flying clothing....Needless to say Mrs. C……. never said a word. But she did eventually get her trip, and did enjoy the sights.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------


Reading this reminded me of a somewhat similar story.

There was in the RAAF in 1938 a young pilot, FLT LT Ken Ekins. He was attached to HMAS Sydney as pilot of the ship's Walrus (Seagull V in RAAF service). While in dock in Hobart the admiral of the fleet was piped aboard for a tour of inspection. As he walked up the companionway with the captain of the Sydney he could not help but see a fishing rod poking out of an open porthole. Almost apoplectic, the admiral demanded of the captain an explanation. I am sorry to say, sir, that on the other end of that fishing rod is Flight Lieutenant Ekins of the Royal Australian Air Force. He seems to have a poor attitude to naval discipline or orders. He said to one of my officers this morning, that he intended to catch the admiral a bucket of bream.


Ken Ekins, during that Hobart visit, attended a Bachelor and Spinster's ball. There he met his future wife, Eileen, a long time resident of the village of Richmond, Tasmania. After their marriage they lived for a while in married quarters on the RAAF base at Richmond, NSW. I had the story from Mrs Ekins that one night she made her way to a far corner of the aerodrome so as to wait for the Walrus with which Ken would take his bride for her first flight. This duly happened. She added to her story by saying, with a blush, that after they landed, taxied and shut down in the same spot, Ken became rather amorous. Mrs Ekins believed that their first child was conceived that night.

Both the Ekins are deceased, so if anyone queries the accuracy of this story,
I will have to say it's a FOAF (Friend of a Friend).

My daughter is presently 'going out' with a grandson of the Ekins. He had no idea about his grandfather's service in the RAAF.

Somewhere I have filed away a good photo of Ken taken in Sydney Harbour in 1938. He is sitting on the top wing of a Walrus as the Shagbat is being winched aboard a warship. I shall post it here when I find it.



1935: Seagull V , A2-2, arrives at Portsmouth for HMAS SYDNEY , seen waiting to receive it - (Photo RAN Historical).

I am the son of Ken Ekins. Would be interested in any photos of Ken with Walrus or Catalina.
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Old 11th May 2017, 12:11
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ekinsdc, welcome to PPRuNe, the Military Forum, and in particular this very select thread. I hope that the varied and informed knowledge and experience crammed into our cyberspace crew room can come up with some answers for you and maybe even pics of your father.

In the meantime the picture that you posted seems to raise more questions than answers itself. If A2-2 was flown and recovered to HMAS Sidney off Lee-on-Solent, what is it doing off it again in Portsmouth Harbour? The Seagull V itself seems to be perched rather precariously above the side of a ship (HMAS Australia?), or dangling from it, or what?

Please excuse the lack of Naval terminology, but we do have such expertise to hand who will no doubt severely take me to task. At least I didn't call them boats, though I suppose the aircraft is a flying one albeit amphibian. It appears to be anyway!

https://www.flickr.com/photos/[email protected]/5935474118/
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Old 11th May 2017, 18:15
  #10606 (permalink)  
 
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Possibly dangling from a dockyard crane, to then be floated and towed actoss to the ship? I'm not familiar with the territory.

Delivered by road (wings folded?) ... why not just fly in and pull up alongside? They were complicated times
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Old 12th May 2017, 17:31
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Can I jump in and ask this august band of brothers if I would have been able to see Sunderlands moored off Seleter between December 1959 to December 1961 when I was there as a sprog. My memory seems to say yes but I'm not so sure!

Also a steer towards an autobiography I've been reading by Tony Cunnane about life in the RAF from the 1950s onward which is superbly done. I hope it hasn't been mentioned before but if it has there may new joiners who will find it very interesting. It can be downloaded as a .mobi file for Kindle and is free ( but it's worth far more than that! )

The link to his web site is: Tony Cunnane's Autobiography

ps Download Kindle to your Computer to read if you can't transfer it to your Kindle reader

Last edited by Ddraig Goch; 12th May 2017 at 18:40.
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Old 12th May 2017, 18:59
  #10608 (permalink)  
 
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Sunderlands were based at Seletar in the fifties. The ramp where they were pulled onshore is visible on Google Earth on the N/E boundary.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 12th May 2017 at 19:50.
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Old 12th May 2017, 19:40
  #10609 (permalink)  
 
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It was on May 15th 1959 the last two Sunderlands took off from the Straits of Johore to conduct an around the island formation flight. Then, it was back to Seletar for the finale, a very low pass over that famous jetty, Papa, ML797 and Whiskey, PP198, and round for a final landing; although Sunderlands don’t actually land, they alight.
Seletar's Sunderlands - RAF Seletar - Singapore

How long after that they bobbed around on a buoy is a different question.
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Old 12th May 2017, 22:08
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Ddraig Goch

Re Seletar's Sunderlands and MPN11's comment that Papa ML797 and Whisky PP198 were the last two RAF Sunderland's. My photos of DP198 alighting at RAF China Bay in 1957 and ML797 moored at Gan in 1958, below.
Also my photos of the RAF Seletar Sunderland 'graveyard' taken in late 1957.














Last edited by Warmtoast; 12th Sep 2017 at 16:23.
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Old 12th May 2017, 22:39
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although Sunderlands don’t actually land, they alight.
I, too, had always thought that was the case. However I bought a facsimile copy of the R.A.F Pilots Notes for the Catalina, ( the non amphibious version - the R.A.F. operated very few of the amphibians) and they refer throughout to "landing" on water.
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Old 13th May 2017, 10:11
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When I was 8/9 years old I lived on the airfield at RAF Aldergrove. One of my pastimes with a friend was to crawl over the aircraft in the dump on the eastern side. Amongst the Lancasters, Halifaxs and Spitfires was a Sunderland. The floats were off and we were thinking of ways to convert them into boats but decided against it because it would have been too difficult to get them to Lough Neagh.

I can only think that this Sunderland must have landed at Aldergrove. Even if there was a flying boat base in the Lough it would have been impractical, if not impossible to get it to Aldlergrove there being small roads flanked by trees.

There was no apparent damage to it as far as I can remember so maybe it just got lost and used the BABS at Aldergrove just as it ran out of fuel.
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Old 13th May 2017, 10:38
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Perhaps it was one of those mentioned in Wikipedia?
During the Second World War, a number of severely damaged aircraft were deliberately landed on grass airfields ashore. In at least one case, an aircraft that made a grass landing was repaired to fly again.[9]
There appears to be one coming up on Google (search = "Sunderland landing on grass at RAF Aldergrove") but I'm not logging in/signing up to pinterest to find out!

But I did manage to read a photo caption "The masterly landing was made on the grass, without injury to the crew, piloted by Gordon Singleton. Although eventually recovered Sunderland T9114 never flew again." Annoyingly, it's not your aircraft! >>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ZfVEoZmt-c
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Old 13th May 2017, 10:49
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Thanks to all who responded for the information especially the link to the Seletar website.
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Old 13th May 2017, 13:29
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Warmtoast (#10602),

What a marvellous subject your last pic would make for "CapCom" ! (Sample):

"No, Hoskins - I told you that there are no wheels on these things !" ........

Lovely photos in lovely sunshine - we could do with a bit of that now here in the NE.

Danny.
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Old 13th May 2017, 13:51
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Things that might have been...............

In the fifties the RAF Chaplain Branch used to run summer camps, (boys only, this was the fifties) for sons of serving RAF personnel. I went to one at Calshot where we stayed in old wartime accommodation.

We would go on lots of visits to broaden our minds; Fawley refinery, Southampton Docks and Portsmouth to see how the Navy worked. Also included was a wander about the two Princess flying boats that were cocooned on the slipway. Two massive grey monsters waiting for some miracle to get going again.

It never came.
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Old 13th May 2017, 16:48
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On
Tech Log> A no automation Zero Zero Landing with finesse> Page 2 (#36), I recently told Centaurus (Page 1, #1):
... Yet the old "seat of the pants" method still has its uses. I did my first 60 hours on the "Arnold Scheme" with the US Army Air Corps in Florida. The ASIs had been taken out of our Stearman (back) cockpits. We were taught to fly by feel and Attitude alone. As most of us had never been off the ground in our young lives, we felt no pain. Did any other Air Forces do this ? Does the USAF do it now ? Never occurred to me to ask, will do so on "Pilot's Brevet" shortly...
All right, I'm asking now. If the USAF stopped, when did they stop and why ?

Danny.
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Old 15th May 2017, 11:39
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Danny, it seems that some schools went beyond removing/taping over the ASI:-

By 1943, there were 18 schools in the CFTC
using the PT-19 including two British Flying
Training Schools and the Women Air Force
Service Pilots training activity at Avenger Field in
Sweetwater, Texas. The instrument panel included
an air speed indicator, altimeter, clock, vertical
speed indicator, and turn and bank indicator,
though one former cadet that trained at Chickasha,
Okla., remembered that all instruments except the
oil pressure and cylinder temperature gauge were
taped over in order to learn to fly “by the seat of
one’s pants.”
This is from "USAAF Primary Trainers" :-

United States Army Air Forces Primary Trainers, 1939-1945 | Stephen Craft - Academia.edu
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Old 15th May 2017, 17:07
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Chugalug,

I think that would've been "Overkill" !

Thanks for the info - but could not raise the link (seems my systems are all out of date !) Have gone to the desperate measure of enrolling on gmail (under another name), no joy, and now so far out of my depth that I can go no further - will have to backtrack.

Could you quote me the answer to my question in a nutshell on here, please ? Or if is too long and detailed, copy the relevant parts onto an email to me, but only if it is not too much trouble.

I would like to know the answer !

Cheers, Danny.
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Old 15th May 2017, 22:50
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Danny, the piece I quoted from was mainly about the aircraft rather than the training syllabus. It was a single unnamed ex-student's recollection anyway, so hardly the final word I'd suggest. What the article does mention is the preference for the Stearman by many instructors as a basic trainer, rather than the more "slippery" Ryan and Fairchild monoplanes that many students preferred as being closer in design to the fighters that they hoped eventually to fly. So is it possible that the "seat of the pants" philosophy was coming from the civilian instructors who had flown bi-planes throughout their careers rather than an official USAAC requirement?

If the quote is only half right it would seem that being denied only the ASI meant that you got off relatively lightly, yet gained valuable insight into extracting a desired IAS from your attitude and an appropriate power setting as well as the ability to suspect the ASI if it didn't correlate accordingly. High performance WWII operational aircraft would not be very forgiving of such a routine, or perhaps even the advanced trainers. If the custom lingered on I doubt it outlasted the Stearmans, though they did continue on into the early post war years:-

The PT-19 has been wrongly described as
being THE primary trainer of WWII. It was the Stearman,
which also saw service during the early Cold War years and
helped to train some of the country’s future astronauts
None of which gives a definitive answer to your question. I'll keep up the search, and I invite others to do likewise.
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