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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 8th Nov 2017, 16:00
  #11521 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by oxenos View Post
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.
The UK had, of course, considerable experience in 'Foreign Relations" through the days of Empire [good or ill]. In the nicest possible way, the USA was, and indeed largely is, totally ignorant in that field.

Isolationism and Engagement are uneasy bed-fellows.
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 16:24
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"Buster".....

......some of you may remember my talking about a 94 yr old ex-RAF pilot who I thought would be a good fit in here if he could be enticed in here to read some of this wonderful thread.
I found a former course mate from South Cerney and ex Shack driver living in the same village as my brother-in-law who was also part of the plan and arrangements were put together.
When approached, Buster said that it was all too far away in time and he would prefer NOT to go back that far into his life. (I think he may have expressed hiself more robustly).
Ho hum - it was worth a try and I still would like to spend an evening in his company.

The Ancient Mariner
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Old 8th Nov 2017, 19:42
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Sad, Rossian, but we must respect the individual's choice.


I, on the other hand, have little to hide, as many young ladies will attest.
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 09:14
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I have posted before about a Polish Nav on 48 Sqn Hastings at Changi, but his story warrants a brief reprise given present posts.

Together with much else of the Polish Army after the fall of Poland, Victor Fontes (a Polish Cavalry Officer) went south east to the Black Sea port of Constanta (a remarkable feat in itself), embarked there in a British ship for Gibraltar, transhipped for Western France to fight the Wehrmacht that had laid waste to his homeland, but arrived there only for the fall of that country. He fled south to the Pyrenees with the aid of the brave guides described to us by sidevalve, was arrested and then escaped from the Franco regime, made it back to Gibraltar where he joined the RAF for training as a Bomber Pilot (there being a lack of vacancies for Cavalry Officers!).

He survived that very dangerous occupation and remained with the post war RAF, together with so many other Poles he knew that a return to the now Communist regime back home could mean certain death. He later remustered as a nav because of the surplus of pilots.

A larger than life character in every way and still challenged by his adopted tongue, Vic was a survivor in every way and an inspiration for a then still callow co-pilot.
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 14:14
  #11525 (permalink)  
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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.
Mrs B lived in the "protected village" of Pokok Assam near Taiping, which was in a Hot Zone of Perak until the age of ten. She had no idea they were surrounded by Communist Terrorists or that fighting was going on all around them. Her Grandfather owned a rubber smallholding in Ayer Kuning that was the scene of a two hour gun battle between the CTs and a Malaysian Police Field Unit, but knew nothing about it until I pointed it out in a book about the Malayan Emergency. I doubt if there any 1960s Vietnamese children who were unaware of the Vietnam War.
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 16:03
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My dad had flown out to KL in '55, my mother, myself and younger brother arrived at Singapore by ship in January '56. I was 7 yrs and about 6weeks old.

We must not have had enough green shield stamps to move immediately onto the Camp, which for me was a Godsend because my dad had rented a beautiful bungalow and large garden on the outskirts of KL. One end of the garden abutted heavily forested land and there were banana plants in the garden.

Primary school, which as I previously described, was on Batu Cantonment Army Camp. School hours were from early A.M. until mid-day.

Every morning an Army truck complete with a couple of young soldiers in the back to lift us into and out of this vehicle would collect me and others and transport us to school and at mid-day bring us back.

I recall little of my time at the school, other than that one day my dad flew a Single Pin in and parked it in front of the school.

But I always knew that there were terrorists at play but I guess we never strayed out of the 'white areas' as those parts of Malaya where the terrorists did not operate, were known.

We drove to a number of the coastal towns and beaches and in '56 up to Frasers' Hill for a holiday, in a convoy as I recall. On these trips we passed through many check-points in the Nash Airflight. My dad always placed his SD Cap on the rear parcel shelf. He said it got us through much quicker. Not sure if he had a revolver in the glove compartment. It would not have surprised me if he did.

Our next door neighbour was a serving Army officer. He had two teenage sons at boarding school in the UK. His hobby was collecting butterflies which he kept in beautiful wooden and glass cases. He once took me into the jungle with him in search of exotic butterflies.

Last edited by roving; 9th Nov 2017 at 17:10. Reason: added detail
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Old 9th Nov 2017, 17:32
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RIP Dick Gordon. In 1969 he flew to the moon.

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Old 9th Nov 2017, 18:40
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Originally Posted by roving View Post
...
Our next door neighbour was a serving Army officer. He had two teenage sons at boarding school in the UK. His hobby was collecting butterflies which he kept in beautiful wooden and glass cases. He once took me into the jungle with him in search of exotic butterflies.
I did modest amount of butterfly collecting in Singapore too. A couple of boxed frames brought home as gifts to my parents. Bought some box-framed scary beetles as well, but they were less popular!.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 08:19
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On Sunday, Remembrance Day, the Nation and the Commonwealth pay tribute to the many who have died in wars.

In his book "Broken Wings" James J Halley records that between the end of WWII and
the end of 1999, there have been over 6,000 accidents to RAF aircraft which have resulted in aircraft being removed from service. In a significant number of them aircrew and passengers died.

These accidents were in the main not caused by enemy action but in some instances caused or contributed to by design and maintenance failures. coupled with a lack of navigational aids and support, particularly in overseas operations.

This was no more evident than in Malaya during the 12 years of the Emergency when a number of aircrew and air despatchers were lost on supply operations over the jungle. In the case of Valetta aircraft of 48 (based in Changi) and 110 (based in KL) Squadrons, it was a recurrent problem. It was not just the RAF, a RNZA Bristol Freighter based in Changi, flown by the Sqn OC, crashed in bad weather in 1956, with 8 lost.

I will be thinking of the Service I attended as an 9 year old boy, at K.L. in 1957 for the three SNCO aircrew of 110 Sqn, one of whom was aged just 21, who died when a Valetta crashed into the jungle, not as a result of navigational or flying error, but an oversped engine.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 09:29
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It's the 10th of the month: Mess bill!!!
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 11:01
  #11531 (permalink)  
 
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It's the 10th of the month: Mess bill!!!
I left the R.A.F. 37 years ago on Sunday and still the sight of the 10th on a calendar triggers exactly that thought. Obviously I am not the only one.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 11:49
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Originally Posted by oxenos View Post
I left the R.A.F. 37 years ago on Sunday
12 November 1980?

At almost exactly a year before my dad retired from flying with Marshalls at Shawbury and from VR T flying, just ahead of his 65th birthday. That is quite a long time ago.

You will have witnessed many changes in the Service since then.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 12:26
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12 November 1980?
Yes, but I was a mere 38 years old
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 12:54
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16 years service or age 38 commission?
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 13:58
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"Today is the 10th" notices in the mess. Well known Lincolnshire fighter base, me newly minted but ageing OC Accounts and fighter pilots reluctant to meet the deadline despite all sorts of threats. But with the advantage of a budgie on my jumper I did a deal with the squadron commanders - at cop on 10th I gave them a list of non-payers. They were promptly removed from the flying programme, and were restored when I notified receipt of the relevant cheque. Worked a dream.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 17:39
  #11536 (permalink)  
 
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16 years service or age 38 commission?
Cranwell just before I was 18, so on the General List. Chose to leave at 38 having done just over 20 years total.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 18:13
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Originally Posted by oxenos View Post
Cranwell just before I was 18, so on the General List. Chose to leave at 38 having done just over 20 years total.
I guess that there would have been a demand in the civilian world for Cranwell educated Royal Air Force aircrew of your age.

add

I never really understood my father preferring to fly single engine military aircraft throughout his career rather than move into civilian aviation. He once said he preferred aircraft with either one or four engines.

Last edited by roving; 10th Nov 2017 at 18:19. Reason: added
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 19:34
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Roving
I understand your father's preference very well. He was quite right - twin prop. aircraft of the era (WW2 and post -war piston prop twins were lethal when things went wrong. Safety was never a consideration in the design of these machines, (Apart from the DC-3). Danny (and his generation) just accepted this as normal even tho' the test pilots at Boscombe, and elsewhere had described cockpit layouts of the time as "ergonomic slums". At this time of remembrance it is fitting that the the post-war carnage in the R.A.F. is also remembered.

Ian BB

Last edited by Ian Burgess-Barber; 10th Nov 2017 at 19:58. Reason: Respect for the DC 3
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 20:32
  #11539 (permalink)  
 
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post -war piston prop twins were lethal
So were jets. The Gloster Meteor wasn't called the 'Meatbox' for nothing. I remember a familiarisation flight where we were flying at about 500 ft. over solid status with a couple of thousand feet underneath it.

"Carry out a low level circuit but leave the airbrakes out."

So I did to the book apart from the airbrakes.

We were almost vertical as we went through the stratus.
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Old 10th Nov 2017, 21:01
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FED (#11451),

There is a Thread way back on this Forum about Meteor accident statistics in the '50-'51 period. They make sobering reading.

Danny.
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