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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 5th Nov 2017, 12:01
  #11501 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Ian Burgess-Barber View Post
The contribution made by the Polish and and Czech pilots should never be forgotten, especially for their sterling performance in the BOB. My father's primary instructor at 3 EFTS in June 1942 was a F/O Meretinsky. I have never been able to learn anything about him - would love to know his story.

Ian BB
Are you sure it wasn't one of the three Imeretinsky brothers, George, Michael and Constantiine? Russian/Georgian Royal Princes who all served in the Royal Air Force , and one of whom, Prince Michael, won the AFC.

extracts from wiki

George was educated at Lancing College. In 1916 he was granted an honorary commission in the 1st Battalion, Grenadier Guards, at the request of the Russian Dowager Empress Maria Feodorovna. Holding the rank of lieutenant he was wounded in the Battle of the Somme in 1917, and served with the regiment until 1920. Later he was an officer in the Royal Air Force, a Cresta champion, and was well known in Bentley racing circles, being a correspondent to various motoring journals. He married first in 1925 Avril Joy Mullens, divorced 1932, and secondly in 1933 Margeret Venetia Nancy Strong. His two younger brothers, Mikheil and Constantine were also educated at Lancing, and joined the Royal Flying Corps.[4]
Prince George died in Cheltenham on 24 March 1972.

Michael Imeretinsky was born to a Georgian father, "Serene Prince" George Imeretinsky (1872–1932), and a Russian mother, Lidya Nikolayevna Klimova (1880–1956), in St. Petersburg. He descended from the royal dynasty of the western Georgian kingdom of Imereti, which had been conquered by the Russian Empire in 1810. Like his elder brother, George, Michael Imeretinsky received his early education at the Lancing College in the United Kingdom and enlisted in the Royal Flying Corps as a sub-lieutenant in 1918. He fought in both World War I and World War II, serving as a squadron commander of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve on the latter occasion. He was decorated with the Air Force Cross.[1] After his retirement from the military, Imeretinsky lived in the United Kingdom and France. He devoted himself to agriculture, being—as his obituary put it—"a prominent member of the Soil Association and a well-known horticulturist in France."[2] In 1975, he died, aged 75, in Nice, being the last direct male descendant of the kings of Imereti
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 12:16
  #11502 (permalink)  
 
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thegypsy (#11501),

As a single-seater at the time, I've always believed that we were never able to train enough pilots to provide two pilots for things like Wellingtons. In the early contempory semi-official film "Target for Tonight", only one pilot is shown in "F for Freddie". Same for Lancasters and Halifaxes in Bomber Command later in the war. The USAAC trained enough to provide co-pilots for everything that had twin seats in front.

But we have stacks of multi ex-pilots on board here who can give us the real 'gen'.

Danny,
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 12:35
  #11503 (permalink)  
 
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AFC award

Flight Lieutenant Prince Michael IMERETINSKY
(78190), Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...upplement/2648

Pit. Oils, (prob.) to be confirmed in their appts.
and to be Fig. Offs. (war subs.): —

23rd Nov. 1941.' (Seny. iAth Nov. 1941).

Prince M. IMERETINSKY (78190)

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...5387/page/7188

Last edited by roving; 5th Nov 2017 at 13:26. Reason: added detail
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 13:23
  #11504 (permalink)  
 
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A remarkable bounty of AFCs (and indeed AFMs) in that list! There must be some interesting tales involved.

I assume the AFM (next page) awarded to an LAC involved a pilot under training?
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 15:01
  #11505 (permalink)  
 
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Been AWOL for 4 weeks+, with a u/s DSL line. Had a lot of catching up to do.

Nice to see the dear old Bev getting a good write up! At Istres/Orange they were our daily bread & butter traffic.

Our worst nightmare was a Bev full of Pongo's going u/s overnight, and having to find accomodation for them all.

Danny, Your local pubs should be doing good business tonight
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 15:02
  #11506 (permalink)  
 
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WanderOO

Sincere thanks for your efforts, but Mr roving has cracked the mystery!

roving

I have the PILOT'S FLYING LOG SHEET (SUBSTITUTE FOR FORM 414) No. 3 E.F.T.S. June 1942 before me and I now, with a magnifying glass, can see that the name squashed into the column for PILOT OR 1st PILOT is F/O IMERETINSKY. All these years I had read the I as a part of the first stroke of the letter M - note to self - visit optician soonmost! This kind of thing does happen with logs hand-written by those who are no longer with us - petet on this great thread has been brilliant at deciphering mysterious squiggles for us from WW 2 forms.
So, my late father had a White Russian Prince teach him up to solo - what a turn-up for the book!
Mr roving I owe you a drink for making me look more closely at this yellowing 75 year old piece of stationary. Thank you Sir.

Ian BB
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 16:20
  #11507 (permalink)  
 
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Ha, ha. That initial "I" makes all the difference. Glad he is found
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 17:16
  #11508 (permalink)  
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Danny: Further to your #11504, I believe it was the introduction of the Air Bomber category circa mid-1942 that permitted the change to single-pilot operation in Bomber Command. There's lots about the progressive change in aircrew categories during the war in Jeff Jefford's "Observers and Navigators" and that's the picture that emerges in the 10 Squadron (Halifax) ORBs of that time. Possibly of interest - when the Squadron switched to Dakotas after VE Day and went out to India, the crews included the Air Bombers as 2nd Pilots for a couple of months until a group of pilots, until then on gliders, became available to take over.
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Old 5th Nov 2017, 20:39
  #11509 (permalink)  
 
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sidevalve I do not know if you have seen the Obituary of Yvonne Burney mee Baseden, who died on 28 October 2017 aged 95. This from wiki

She was born in Rue Violet, Paris. Baseden's father was a World War I pilot in the Royal Flying Corps. He crash-landed in France at the home of the Comte de Vibraye, where he was invited by the Comtesse to have dinner. Whilst at the dinner, he met and fell in love with the daughter of the Comte and Comtesse. The couple went on to marry and lived in France following the end of the War.
The family travelled and lived around Europe, so as a result Baseden was educated at schools in England, France, Poland, Italy and Spain and in addition to being bilingual (English and French), she also spoke a basic level of many other languages. In 1937, the family moved to London, where they settled in Tottenham. Baseden was uninterested in school and left school aged 16 to work apple picking in Bedfordshire. In 1939, before the outbreak of war, she moved to Southampton, where she worked as a bilingual shorthand typist in an engineering firm.

On 4 September 1940 (aged 18), Baseden joined the Women's Auxiliary Air Force (WAAF) as a General Duties Clerk (Service No 4189). She was commissioned in 1941 (later promoted to the rank of Section Officer) and worked in the RAF Intelligence branch, where she assisted in the interrogation of captured airmen and submarine crews. It was through this work that she came to the attention of the Special Operations Executive (SOE), which she joined on 24 May 1943.

One of the youngest SOE women to be dropped by parachute, aged 22[1], Baseden left from RAF Tempsford airbase near Sandy on the night of 18/19 March 1944. Her field name was "Odette". She was parachuted into France with Gonzague Saint Geniès, a French organizer (field name: "Lucien"). They were dropped into South West France, close to the village of Gabarret. The local resistance were working for George Starr's network named "Wheelwright". They hid them for a few days, then she made her own way across France, her wireless equipment travelling separately, to Jura in Eastern France, where she worked for four months as the wireless operator to the Scholar circuit.[2] Her cover story was that she was "Mademoiselle Yvonne Bernier", a shorthand typist and secretary.
Following the largest daylight air drop of the war to that date, during a routine search by the Gestapo on 26 June 1944, she was trapped in a cheese factory with seven colleagues from the network. Her organiser took a suicide pill immediately, as he was known to the Gestapo. Baseden was found, arrested and taken away for local questioning. At the end of that month, she was moved to the Gestapo Headquarters in Dijon and kept in solitary confinement.
On 25 August 1944, she was transferred to a prison in Saarbrücken and then to Ravensbrück concentration camp on 4 September of the same year. While at Ravensbrück, she became ill and was put in the camp hospital, nursed by, among others, Mary Lindell, where she remained until the liberation of the camp. She was one of 50 women released from Ravensbrück to the Swedish Red Cross.
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 02:17
  #11510 (permalink)  
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A RAAF Kittyhawk pilot

Not sure if any of this threads followers will have seen this recent posting by ‘Centaurus’

http://www.pprune.org/pacific-genera...awk-pilot.html

In the linked document there is even mention of an RAAF ‘ Vengeance’

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Old 6th Nov 2017, 10:40
  #11511 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by roving View Post
sidevalve I do not know if you have seen the Obituary of Yvonne Burney nee Baseden, who died on 28 October 2017 aged 95. This from wiki
Thanks roving - a friend in the UK was kind enough to forward that obit to me.
The world of Tempsford, Lysanders & 161 Sqn is another fascinating area.
To pick just one example from the flying side, that the pilots were able to find their way deep into a darkened France and find the right field, land and then return (in a single engined ac) is testament to their exceptional airmanship.
I have a copy of Hugh Verity's "We landed by moonlight" somewhere in the house.
I happened to bump into a Brit down here whose father was a SOE radio operator for Section F.. He was lucky not to have been caught.
These were brave people.

Last edited by sidevalve; 6th Nov 2017 at 11:12.
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 15:32
  #11512 (permalink)  
 
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One of the Trustees at the Yacht Club where I was Secretary was the late Air Vice-Marshal Sir Alan Boxer. At his funeral a large part of the eulogy recounted his exploits at Tempsford. I was so glad that I had secured the services of a trumpeter from the Central Band and the attendance of 2 Air Officers to see him off properly
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 18:01
  #11513 (permalink)  
pzu
 
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Possibly a worthy topic for this thread

BBC One - Women at War !00 tomorrow Tuesday November 7th at 0915hrs

BBC Radio 5 live Presenter Nicky Campbell learns about his mother’s role as a Radar Operator in the Women's Auxiliary Air Force in World War II

Apologies can't get the link thread right

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Old 6th Nov 2017, 18:20
  #11514 (permalink)  
 
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Wander00, glad his service gave Sir Alan Boxer a proper send off, and well done for arranging it. The Assistant Commandant of the RAFC was Sir Lewis Hodges when I was there. A good and inspiring man who played a mean set of drums! He was CO of 161 Squadron at Tempsford 1943-44. One of his passengers was one Francoise Mitterrand, who in 1988 conferred on him the title of Grand Officier of the Légion d'Honneur (he was already a Commandeur of it).
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Old 6th Nov 2017, 19:40
  #11515 (permalink)  
 
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Sad that "Odette"'s departure didn't seem to attract any Media attention. RIP, you brave** lady. thanks, roving .. a bit of Google says so much more about an extraordinary lady.

As for pzu's link .. thanks for that. An insightful read of a good career!
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Old 7th Nov 2017, 09:46
  #11516 (permalink)  
 
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Chug - thanks for reminder - it was Sir Lewis Hodges who gave Alan Boxer's eulogy!
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 14:12
  #11517 (permalink)  
 
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1 SQUADRON - Fighter, Hawker Hurricane Mk I
AASF - 67 (Fighter) Wing (N° 1, N° 17, N° 73, N° 501, N° 242 Sqdns)

By the outbreak of the Second World War the Squadron had worked up sufficiently to deploy to France as part of 67 Wing of the Advanced Air Striking Force. In October 1939 it flew over enemy territory for the first time and on the 30th of that month claimed its first victory, a Dornier DO17. Further occasional combat took place and the successes mounted.

However, the situation developed significantly in April 1940, and 10th May was the date on which No 1 (Fighter) Squadron became fully operation in every sense of the word. Fighting was intense and a week later the Squadron was bombed out of its base at Berry-au-Bac; then began a series of retreats ending finally in a return to the UK. The Squadron was back at Tangmere by 23rd June and operational the following month.

As German forces advanced on Paris, following the conclusion of the Dunkirk evacuation, the position of the French became ever more critical. On 14 June the squadron moved to Boos, on the Seine, covering evacuations from this port. Three days later it flew south into Brittany on similar duties. From here the remaining pilots flew home to England on 18 June, the ground crews coming out by sea.

What, then, had 1 Squadron achieved during this period of hectic operations and disastrous retreat in the battle for France?

Between 10 and 19 May at least 86 more victories had been claimed, at a cost of 17 Hurricanes, but with only two pilots killed and two seriously wounded. From then until the evacuation to England not a single further loss of either aircraft or pilot was suffered, although claims for 16 more opposing aircraft were submitted, to bring the total since the outbreak of war to at least 125 (17 of which remained unconfirmed).

Total losses in combat since September 1939 amounted to 22 aircraft crashed or force-landed, two pilots killed, one missing and two wounded. By the end of June 1940, ten Distinguished Flying Crosses (DFCs) had been awarded to officers of the squadron, and three Distinguished Flying Medals (DFMs) had been received by NCO pilots.

During the last days (France, June 1940) the airfield at Nantes was crowded with a strange assortment of machines as civil and communication aircraft were pressed into service to aid the evacuation. There were similar scenes at other points. Many men also left from the western ports where the German air attacks on the transports were heavy. Fighter patrols gave what protection they could and were able to drive off many attacks, but one disaster occurred at St. Nazaire on 17 June when the liner Lancastria was dive-bombed and sunk and upwards of 3000 perished. A British pilot from No.1 Squadron reported the destruction of the bomber which hit the ship. The fighter pilots were, in fact, the last to leave, with the enemy vanguard almost within striking distance. On completion of the final evacuation at Cherbourg, the last Hurricane to fly over the town and harbour was, appropriately enough, piloted by Air Vice-Marshal Park.

23/05/1940:

;b]F/L F*.E. Warcup[/b], F/O D.S. Thorn and F/S A.V. Clowes share in the destruction of a He111. Time and location unknown.

14/06/1940: Shipping escort patrol, St. Nazaire, F

Sgt A.V. Clowes is credited with a He111 destroyed. Time unknown.

Type: Hurricane Mk 1
Serial number: ?, JX-?
Operation: Shipping escort patrol
Lost: 14/06/1940
Flight Lieutenant F*. Warcup baled out and captured. Aircraft a write-off.

* Should read "P".

Philip Edmund Warcup was a POW initially in Stalag Luft I and subsequently in Stalag Luft III until the end of the War.

---

Born in 1915 the son of an oil executive living on the Wirral, Warcup was at grammar school when his father died when he was aged 15. He left school and became a Halton Apprentice on completion of which he went to Cranwell.

At Cranwell he excelled at sport, as one would expect for a tall, well built young man, representing the College in both football and cricket.

He trained to fly Spitfires and became a flight commander and led the aerobatic team of 54 Sqn, before being posted to France to bolster up the air cover during the embarkation of British armed forces and others from France.

Upon being repatriated he was immediately moved up the promotions list to Temp Wing Commander. He had not of course flown for 5 years and filled a number of staff roles.

In July 1954 he was promoted to the rank of Group Captain.

In 1957 he was appointed staish at RAF K.L.

At the end of that tour, he spent a year on the Imperial Defence Course at the completion of which he was promoted to Air Commodore and posted as Assistant Commandant at RAF Staff College, Bracknell.

In the early 1960's the USA were anxious to learn all they could as to why the UK had won against the communists in Malaysia whilst the USA was losing against the communists in Vietnam. In January 1963 Warcup chaired a symposium held in the USA of senior military personnel from the UK, Australia and USA.

This the link to the paper which was produced.

https://www.rand.org/content/dam/ran...005/RM3651.pdf

Philip Warcup was a very effective and popular station commander in KL, he was clearly marked out to move much higher up the flag pole.

But guess what -- before the end of 1963 he had retired. I think I know why, but I will not post about it.

Why do I post about him?

I explain tomorrow. (It is just a pity I do not have the colour slides uploaded to my computer.)
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 14:21
  #11518 (permalink)  
 
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The evacuation via Nantes and St Nazaire area, from which I believe almost as many men were recovered as from Dunkirk, is less well known. A few years back I was laying a wreath on the Op CHARIOT memorial at St Nazaire on behalf of the family of Lt Cdr "Sam" Beatty VC, Captain of HMS Campbeltown, when I was stopped by a very elderly but elegant French woman , who asked what I was doing. She then told me that not only had she as a 14 year old watched the CHARIOT raid, she had also seen Lancastria bombed and sunk. Drove home very quietly
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 15:11
  #11519 (permalink)  
 
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There was a press D Notice about the sinking of Lancastria. The Government was concerned about the effect on public moral of so many lost on one ship. There is speculation that as many as 7000 may have been aboard, most of whom were lost. After Dunkirk the German bombers targeted ships evacuating from the Channel Ports further down the coast.

I think I read that Warcup, who was shot down three days before it was sunk by a gunner on a bomber.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 16:44
  #11520 (permalink)  
 
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In the early 1960's the USA were anxious to learn all they could as to why the UK had won against the communists in Malaysia whilst the USA was losing against the communists in Vietnam. In January 1963 Warcup chaired a symposium held in the USA of senior military personnel from the UK, Australia and USA.
Interesting to see that a Colonel Clutterbuck was also on the panel. Read a book by him years ago on the Malayan "Emergency". He emphasised the importance of keeping the local villagers on side with the hearts and minds campaign, a point which was lost on the Americans in Vietnam.
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