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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 29th Aug 2017, 11:57
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Originally Posted by Ian Burgess-Barber

That would be right, and I know that he was at Hanson High School Bradford.
The death of a John Lydall, whose date of birth was 18 November 1919, was registered in Bradford in 1983.

Perhaps there was a house clearance and the log book (which would not have been considered as a valuable archive back then) ended up in a flea market.
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 12:36
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My father was posted to Habbaniya Iraq in 1946 on a promotion tour as acting wing commander P1 and discovered a stack of files of pending court martials on the floor next to the desk which reached as high as the desk top.

He was toured out at 208 Sqn at the end of 1945 -- he was then flight commander of 'B' flight, having flown 230 hours in Italy and Palestine. The limit for fighter and fighter recon squadrons was then 200 hours. So he was due a rest from operational flying.

Given the sums invested in his training the RAF wanted to keep him so sent him on a Staff Course which ended in December 1945.

Habbaniya, which was like a holiday resort. was so hot in the middle of the day that most retired to the mess or wherever for a couple of hours R&R.

My father made use of a Griffin powered Spitfire on the pretext of checking the weather.

At the end of that six month tour, the AOC sent for him and said that he was forming a Mosquito squadron. My father commented that the glue melts in the Middle East -- which was a widely held view -- and the AOC replied that they were 'trying new glue'.

He wanted to stay in the service but not for another long tour in the Middle East, having been overseas for much of the previous four years, especially given he would have been stripped down in rank and pay, and he left joining 613 Sqn AAF.

Korea brought it all back to life and he rejoined.
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Old 29th Aug 2017, 16:53
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J.E. Lydall Log Book No.2

This log book starts on Dec. 5th 1940 when Lydall was with No.267 Comm Sqdn. based at Heliopolis. He had just over 600 hours brought forward. He leaves this unit 6 months later, 9th June 1941, having flown some 330 hours in a variety of aircraft as follows.
As 1st. Pilot

Miles Magister
Percival Vega Gull
Percival Proctor
Westland Lysander
Long Nose Bristol Blenheim Mk. 4
Avro Anson
Percival Q6...........(YLSNED I had never heard of this A/C before. He reports that on at least 6 flights he experienced "Tail Flutter" mainly on landing but sometime on T/Off) One to avoid methinks!

As 2nd Pilot

Lockheed 14 (Pax General Wilson & Staff)
Lockheed Lodestar (To Crete and Athens)
Savioa March- SM 79 (captured 3 Donk machine used as a taxi for return from ferry flights).

He names some of his more notable Pax, for example:

Admiral Sir Andrew Cunningham (C in C Med).
Rear Admiral Baillie-Grohman
General Sir Archibald Wavell
General Catroux
Brigadier Kisch
Brigadier Maxwell

The majority of these flights were within Egypt or Libya sometimes to places with no name, just a number eg. LG 21, LG 91, LG 57, LG 103, LG 75, LG60, LG 05. (I presume that LG means Landing Ground). The main problems he records are of dust storms and u/s items on the aircraft involved, which were mainly outdated marks from the UK theatre.

His shooting war was soon to start - he was posted to No. 113 Bomber Squadron (Blenheims) on June 15th 1941.

Ian BB

Last edited by Ian Burgess-Barber; 29th Aug 2017 at 21:04.
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Old 1st Sep 2017, 16:51
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J.E. Lydall Log Book No.2

Lydall joins No.113 Squadron June 16th 1941 and stays with them until Nov. 6th 1941. During this 5 month period he flies 230 hours in total, almost all of them on 'Long Nose' Blenheims, with 6 or so hours spent on side trips in Magister, Lysander, Hurricane, and after ten minutes dual takes his first solo (3 circuits) in a Beaufort (of which, more later). He logs just over 120 of the 230 total hours as Operational Hours accumulated in 26 Operations. The Squadron had no permanent base but operated from Ma'aten Bagush, or one of it's satellites, in the western desert. By the end of Aug. I note that he signs his log J. E. Lydall. F/O O.C 'A"Flight, but by the end of Sept. and Oct. he signs as J. E. Lydall S/Ldr Commanding 'A' Flight.

Some excerpts from his entries for this period :

June 17 Blenheim V6136 OP. No. 2. Flight bombing attack on concentration of enemy tanks In region of SIDI OMAR. Self No. 2. Heavy AA fire encountered. Did 2 runs over target (photos taken). Later that day returned (OP.No. 3). same target. Self No. 3. Dropped 2 250 lb bombs + 1 container 40 lb bombs. Hits scored among tanks. (1 run).

June 18 Blenheim T1821 OP. No. 4. Machine gun attack on MERHILI aerodrome. I flight Vic formation. Self No. 2. Rear gun jammed shortly after taking off.

July 6 Blenheim V6136 OP. No. 8. Night bombing attack on DERNA aerodrome, (single A/C). 1st. run target obscured by cloud. 2nd. run dropped bombs on aerodrome. Intense AA fire over large area.

July 8-9 Blenheim V5870 OP. No. 9. Night bombing attack (single A/C) on DERNA, MARTUBA, TIMIMI and GAZALA N. aerodromes. One 250 lb bomb on each. Visibility poor. On instruments for 4.15 hours.

Aug 9-10 Blenheim V5941 OP. No. 12. Night raid on GAZALA aerodrome. Dropped 4 250lb bombs. Visibility very poor. Much low cloud. Shot at by TOBRUK AA guns.

Aug 10 Blenheim V5641 Flew Air Chief Marshal Sir E Ludlow-Hewitt & G/Capt Venn from BAGUSH SAT. to BARANI MAIN and return.

Sept 3 Blenheim Z5907 OP. No. 16. Ground strafing attack on BARCC road. Unable to complete attack because chased off road by 3 Me. 110s.

Sept 11 Blenheim T3919 SORTIE No. 3. Standing night fighter patrol from FUKA MAIN to SIDI HANEISH. Intercepted and shot down one SAVOIA SM79. Enemy A/C caught fire after 3 bursts and crashed in flames near FUKA. Enemy's return fire set floor of own A/C on fire. This was stamped out by observer who was wounded in both feet.

Oct 25 Blenheim T2243 OP. No. 26. Machine gun attack on M.T. on road between ACEDAGIA and EL AGHEILA. Destroyed 6 10-ton lorries & killed numerous personnel. A/C was hit in port motor by fire from the ground & oil tank holed. Approaching JARABUB port motor seized and airscrew sheared off. Pumped u/c and flaps down manually and landed safely on JARABUB old aerodrome.

Oct 25 Beaufort L9875 One circuit with Sgt Harvey .10. FIRST SOLO ON TYPE 3 landings .30

Oct 27 Beaufort W6518 Ferrying Beaufort back to its Squadron. This A/C had had hydraulic trouble and I flew it with u/c locked down. On approaching Alexandria stb. motor started to surge. Boost pressure varying from -4 to +3.5. Altered course to AMIRIYA to make emergency landing. During left hand turn near AMIRIYA port motor burst into flames & cut. With port motor dead and stb. surging A/C was uncontrollable and turned over on her back & went down in steep left hand spiral dive. Position of throttle lever and c/s control had no effect on stb. motor so was forced to switch off. A/C became controllable with both motors dead so pulled out of dive at 300 feet and landed safely cross wind on southern edge of AMIRIYA aerodrome. Fire on port motor went out when motor was switched off.

Lydall was returned pax to his unit in another Beaufort later that day.

He was posted to No. 272 Beaufighter Squadron on Nov.26 1941.

IanBB
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 08:38
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Ludlow-Hewitt was appointed Inspector-General of the RAF on 4 Apr 1940.

George Venn was appointed SASO, HQ No 203 Group on 9 Dec 1940: it was a (Maintenance) Group which was formed on 17 August 1940 from HQ RAF Sudan.

Beaufort W6518 was one of two Beauforts shot down by flak on 23 June 1942 whilst in service with 39 Sqn. off the coast of Punta Silo when attacking shipping.

add

In February & March 1942, Lydall was the C.O. of 272 Squadron.

I look forward to learning all about that.

Last edited by roving; 2nd Sep 2017 at 09:03.
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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 15:55
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A little light relief:

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Old 2nd Sep 2017, 16:23
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Originally Posted by ricardian
A little light relief:
Many a true word said in jest. At one point in WWII maintenance failures on, I think, the Tempest were killing more pilots than enemy action.
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 08:55
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I have heard a whisper that 'they' are endeavouring to get a Tempest into flying condition. Has anyone got an update on this?
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 10:31
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Originally Posted by FantomZorbin
I have heard a whisper that 'they' are endeavouring to get a Tempest into flying condition. Has anyone got an update on this?
Which engine? Napier Sabre or a Bristol Centurus ?
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 10:49
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Hawker Typhoon and Tempest restorations - 2016

Hi all,
After listening to the Wings Over New Zealand Show interview with members of the Typhoon Legacy team, I got thinking as to what projects are out there for both Typhoon and Tempest. I have the following, all to fly/airworthy condition:

Typhoon JP843 - Typhoon Legacy Co, Comox BC, Canada
Typhoon IB RB396 - Project RB396, UK

Tempest II LA607 - N607LA, Kermit Weeks, Polk City Fl, USA. Not flown for some time but included as the rego is current
Tempest II MW376 - KF Aerospace, Kelowna BC, Canada
Tempest II MW401 - G-PEST, Anglia Aircraft Restorations, UK. Stored?
Tempest II MW404 - Chris Miller, Tx, USA
Tempest II MW758 - Tempest Two, ??
Tempest II MW763 - G-TEMT, Anglia Aircraft Restorations, UK
Tempest II MW801 - Nelson Ezell, Breckenridge Tx, USA

Tempest V EJ693 - N7027E, Kermit Weeks, Polk City Fl, USA
Tempest V JN768 - G-TMPV, Richard Grace, UK

From a thread on Key Publishing
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 14:52
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It's a Typhoon with a Napier engine....
Hawker Typhoon RB396 Restoration
Being restored to flight; they have a seviceable engine.
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 16:41
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J.E. Lydall Log Book No.2

Lydall joins No. 272 Beaufighter Squadron on Nov. 26 1941 and stays with them until Mar.28 1942. In that 4 months he flies 151 hours of which 104 are Operational. As roving says previously, he was the S/Ldr Commanding No. 272 for the last 2 months (Feb/March). Prior to that he was O/C 'A" Flight for Dec. '41 & Jan. '42. They flew initially from Edcu, but then mainly from L.G. 10.

The following log entries show that his 1st. week with this unit was somewhat trying!

Nov 26 Beaufighter T4702 F/LT Bxxxxxt. Self Passenger for instruction. A/C hit obstruction on take off & damaged u/c. One wheel down, one up. A/C was crash landed. No-one hurt.

Nov 27 Beaufighter T3308 W/CMDR Yaxley. Self Passenger for instruction. 2 landings. Con. rod broke in stb. motor on second approach. A/C landed OK.
Nov 27 Beaufighter T3314 Ist solo on type. 2 landings.

Nov 28 Beaufighter T3314 Cannon firing test. All four cannons failed to fire. Port motor very rough at high revs in fine pitch. Auto u/c lever jammed. Excessive vibration at high speed. Spectacles on c/c out of alignment. Petrol consumption excessive. A/C very slow.

Nov 29 Beaufighter T3314 Cannon firing test. Stb.Outer failed to fire. Excessive vibration on stb. motor at high engine speed. Excessive fuel consumption.

Dec 2 Beaufighter T4700 (SORTIE 4) OP. No. 27 Ground strafing attack on BARCE aerodrome. Destroyed 2 B.R. 20s on the aerodrome. Intense and accurate light AA fire. 3 A/C took part. One shot down on the aerodrome by AA fire. Heavy rain + low cloud on both outward and return journey. Return journey on instruments practically all the time. Picked up Barrani - Matruh road at 50 feet. Landed base with 15 mins. petrol left, 5 mins. before dark. Vis. base 300 yards.

For the rest of December and first half of January '42, their operations (mainly strafing tanks and M.T.) are frustrated by miserable weather and a plethora of unserviceability issues. The desert environment takes its toll as the sand and grit gets into machines and equipment alike.

More excerpts from the January & February log (Lydall now commands 'A Flight).

Jan 15 Beaufighter T4876 (SORTIE No 40) Fleet escort on Alexandria bound convoy. (1 M.V. + 4 Destroyers) off BENGHAZI. Convoy attacked by an Me. 110. Chased and overhauled him about 100 miles out at sea. Had 10 minute dogfight but was unable to bring him down. Me. 110 much more manoeuvrable also able to bring intense return fire from rear gun. Broke off attack due to shortage of petrol and landed BERCA with 12 gallons left.

Jan 18 Beaufighter T4876 (SORTIE No 42) Fleet escort on MALTA bound convoy. Low cloud and heavy rain with clear patches. Fleet shadowed continually by Ju. 88. Was brought on to 88 by vectors from fleet. Saw and attacked Ju. three times, but on every occasion disappeared into thick cloud before I could press home attack at at short range. All firing was at long range and was unable to bring him down. Fleet opened up on one occasion and had to take violent evasive action to avoid being shot down by fleet AA. Returned Base.

Jan 21 Beaufighter T4832 Lydall flies (non-operational) a representative from The Bristol Aeroplane Co., a Mr Hillier, from L.G. 10 to EL ADEM. Then to GAMBUT and return to L.G.10. He notes that the Dust Haze goes up to 6000'.

Feb 6 ME. 108 (TAIFUN) Captured German A/C. Ist Solo on Type.(.25).

Feb 13 Beaufighter T4876 (SORTIE No 47) Fighter escort on convoy of 2 Merchant Vessels, 1 Cruiser + 3 Destroyers. Convoy dive-bombed by Ju. 88. E/A much higher than self when chase started. Ju. 88 was rapidly approaching cloud cover so was forced to open fire at long range. Gave 5 bursts at long range but E/A disappeared into cloud and no results were observed.

As of Feb 21 Lydall begins to log Test Flights or Collection Flights for 53 R.S.U. (Repair & Service/Salvage Unit). in between further Convoy Escort Sorties. There were 5 such flights for 53 R.S.U. in the last week of Feb. in Hurricanes, Kittyhawk & Tomahawk (Curtiss P-40, not the PA-38 Tomahawks that I flew). He records that most of these flights revealed snags, some resulting in emergency landings. So his log is not only signed by himself as O/C No.272 Squadron but his Test Flying is certified correct by the O/C of 53 R.S.U. 12 more of these Test Flights are logged in the first 2 weeks of March.

Lydall flies his final Sortie on March 20 (SORTIE No 55) Fleet Escort on a Malta bound convoy - uneventful. This brings the Operational hours in his log to 224.15 and his grand total to 1318 hours.

There are no more entries in the log for over 3 months until he records "Posted to Parachute Training School. Ringway (Now Manchester International Airport) July 5 1942.

His Record of Service page says - Return UK from M.E. (Ship) Leave etc. 28.3.42 - 4.7.42.

Ian BB
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 20:23
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Danny.....

..... please check your PMs.

The Ancient Mariner
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Old 3rd Sep 2017, 22:09
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Ian.

the a/c they had to fly in the early part of the war in the Middle and Far East demonstrate all too clearly just how ill prepared Britain was for the war, a war many including Churchill, had been predicting for years.

Bad enough that the a'c were not fit for purpose, but they were poorly maintained too.
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 17:17
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J.E. Lydall Log Book No.2

Conclusion

Lydall first flies at the Parachute Training School Ringway in the Cheshire countryside on July 6 1942. In the next 8 months until this 2nd Log Book ends on Feb 28 1943 he flies 197 hours. The majority of these being flown in A. W. Whitley Mk. 5s, (80 hrs), D.H. Rapides, (51.15 Hrs) and A.W. Whitley MKs. 2 & 3 (40.40 hrs). The other 20-odd hours being flown in a random selection of whatever was lying around the aerodrome at the time. Bristol Bombay, Anson, H.P. Harrow, Lysander, Miles Mentor, Tiger, & Leopard Moths, plus a .40 P.2 trip in a Lancaster.
Parachute drops are short trips (15-20 mins) and on occasion he logs 12-14 such flights in a day, so while 197 hours in 8 months does not seem a lot of flying it does entail an awful lot of t/offs and a hopefully a matching number of landings.
One thing that stands out in his time with this unit is the reliability of these obsolete A/C compared to the catalogue of woes that he experienced in his Operational Squadrons. He records only 3 snags in the 8 months (2 minor problems just requiring adjustment and 1 engine shutdown on a Whitley, broken crankshaft).

What happened to Lydall after this Log Book ended 28 Feb '43 (1515.10 Total Time), I do not know. I hope that my precis of what kind of war he was given has done him justice and enlightened some of us to 'What it was like' back in the day. All this from a Log Book found on a stall at a junk fair by my old mum.

If, (long shot now) any relation of S/LDR Lydall does ever see this and wishes to claim it, I will, of course, oblige - meantime it will sit on the bookshelf alongside the WW2 Log Books of my father, step-father and godfather.

Ian BB
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Old 4th Sep 2017, 17:44
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Many thanks for sharing the contents of the log book.

Anticipating today's disclosures about Ringway this website provides an explanation for the many short flights and maybe the trip in a Lysander.

No 1 PTS

https://www.airbornehistorycanada.co...2-to-1945.html

The Parachute Training School had persuaded Lord Egerton, who was also an early aviator, and owner of Tatton Park, just some 5 miles south of Rinway, to allow parachute training drops from Whitley a/c. This involved clearing an area of woodland. 92,000 jumps had been made, almost all over Tatton Park.

Not only were army paratroopers trained there, but, in secrecy, Special Operations Executive (SOF) agents.

edited by adding:

1. With your pedigree I can see why you acquired a PPL and your interest and expertise in transcribing the log.

2. One of my younger brothers, who passed away earlier this year, served with 1 Para and with the Pathfinder' Coy, so this part of the story was of particular interest.

Last edited by roving; 4th Sep 2017 at 19:07.
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 08:24
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Ian,
the 'low' hours whilst training paratroopers chimes with me. When I was an airdrop instructor on the C130K a lot of trips were straight to the DZ for the drop or a short LLXC before dropping. Lots of log book entries for not many hours flown but a lot of prep !
Thank you for the posts they have been very interesting.
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Old 5th Sep 2017, 10:19
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J.E. Lydall Log Book No.2

Postscript

Thanks to roving and to ancientaviator62 for your interest and kind words.

Looking again at the 'Aircraft Flown' page (33 Types), apart from all the ones I have written of in these posts there are all his pre-war types to wonder at.

Hawker Hart
Hawker Audax
Hawker Hind
Gypsy Moth
Vickers Valentia
Vickers Vincent

and YLSNED
Short Scion Junior (2 Pobjoy Niagara Motors) - no really!
Short Scion Senior (4 Pobjoy Niagara Motors) - you couldn't make it up!

Ian BB
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 09:30
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I am always fascinated by log book entries. Quite often the single line entry hides a great deal more. My log books have entries that instantly bring back memories and some that I think 'what did we do that for ?'
As regarding a/c serviceability maintaining a/c away from a main base (especially in the desert and the far east) in war time is a far more challenging task than doing it back at a base in the UK. The pressures to get the a/c out, the lack of spares and the conditions under which the groundcrew had to work are often greatly underestimated. Perhaps Danny can comment on this aspect .

Last edited by ancientaviator62; 6th Sep 2017 at 09:30. Reason: spelling
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Old 6th Sep 2017, 21:39
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ancientaviator62 (#11220).

Not sure I can usefully comment on this. I only know that our chaps out there worked their butts off to keep our aircraft servicable, monsoon rain or blazing hot (always out in the open under flimsy shelter or no shelter - no hangars. All hours of the day or night, no one was counting.

I take my cap off to them - they were the salt of the earth !

Danny.
 

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