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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 22nd Nov 2017, 12:04
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Ormeside28;

By happy coincidence the respective parents of two of my close school chums had summer retreats on the Island of Anglesey. One just down the road from Valley at Rhosneigr, overlooking the beach, the other in Moelfre close to the famous lifeboat station. I enjoyed many happy sojourns there. I watched the 1966 World Cup final in the Kinmel Arms in Moelfre. A regular at that inn was Richard Evans, the twice decorated coxswain of the RNLI.

Richard Evans - Telegraph

Wonderful times.
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Old 22nd Nov 2017, 18:20
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Ormeside28 (#11581),

My action-packed 18 months sojourn in Valley March '50 - Sept '51 starts here on Page 168, #3357. Three good stories are ;"The Beauty Competition"; "The Lead Soldier Man" and the trip to St.Athan to "pick up spares" (two three-tonner brake drums) in a Spitfire cockpit !) But "Search this Thread" is particularly mulish tonight, can't give Post refs.

And then there was Ann in Bangor ..... (three years before I met my late wife, I hasten to add !)

Danny.
 
Old 22nd Nov 2017, 20:09
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My only experience of Valley was a wonderful week of rough shooting with my departed mate Jim Gilchrist. Up hill and down dale: pigeons, pheasants, partridge, bunnies and on the beach late in the day for the incoming geese/ducks. His wife made the most wonderful mixed-game casserole!!
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Old 23rd Nov 2017, 00:44
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Paddy stands up to deliver his Best man speech and starts by wishing Mick and Colleen a happy honeymoon in Wales...
Mick hisses across to Paddy "We're not going to Wales"...
"Oh" says Paddy "but you told us all at the building site you we're going to Bangor for two weeks"......
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 09:44
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The BBC provided a feast last night.

1. Winkle Brown's story was re-shown.

2. The re-showing of the story of the Amiens prison raid led by G/C Pickard followed.

Pickard, apart from appearing in a starring role in the 1941 documentary film "Target For Tonight', was OC of the Lysander Squadron responsible for dropping off and picking-up SoE agents into France and others.

Lewis Hodges flew with that squadron and when Peter Vaughan-Fowler pre-deceased him in 1994, he wrote his obituary published in the Independent.

Obituary: Gp Capt Peter Vaughan-Fowler | The Independent

These young pilots flying at night, aided only by map and compass, into enemy occupied France landing in and taking off from small fields, really were not only skilled but the bravest of the brave.
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 09:50
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Sir Lewis Hodges also gave the Eulogy at Air Vice-Marshal Sir Alan Boxer's funeral. Eye opening, hair tingling....
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 11:07
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I can believe it. These Tempsford "taxi drivers' were all remarkable. Clearly their shared experiences ensured that they remained a close knit community.



Pickard and pilots of 161 Special Duty Squadron: left to right Jim McCairns, Hugh Verity, P. Charles Pickard, Peter Vaughan-Fowler and Frank Rymills, 1943

Of those in this photograph, two -- Pickford and McCairns both died in Mossies. Pickard on the prison raid in 1944 and McCairns flying with the Aux A F in 1948.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_McCairns

Frank Rymils later flew in Malaya in the Emergency.

On one trip Rymills picked up an RAF air crew sergeant who had been shot down over France on his return from a raid on the Ruhr. Baling out, the sergeant had landed virtually at the feet of an SOE agent's wife who was waiting for Rymills. On his arrival, Rymills invited the sergeant to jump in. The airman simply could not believe this stroke of good fortune. After returning to base, Rymills had to walk him to the main gate where a large sign announced: Royal Air Force, Tangmere. Only then was the sergeant convinced.
http://users.tpg.com.au/berniezz/raf..._squadrons.htm

https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/...Bunny.htm?c=aw

Hugh Verity wrote the book: "We landed by moonlight".

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hugh_Verity

Last edited by roving; 24th Nov 2017 at 11:42. Reason: added detail
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 14:09
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The Times obituary for Micheline Dumon.. aka "Michou"..
I've been privileged to meet 3 inspirational people in my life: Douglas Bader, Margaret Thatcher and "Michou".
She stood no more than 5 feet tall - yet she had courage enough for ten men and some to spare.
RIP "Michou".

For those unable to access The Times, here's her obituary:

Micheline Dumon
Wartime Resistance agent who was awarded the George Medal after helping hundreds of Allied servicemen escape down the Comet Line
Micheline Dumon looked across the restaurant table at her Resistance comrade as he outlined his plans for the “Comet Line”, the network that repatriated stranded Allied servicemen. She knew him as Pierre Boulain, and there were several more noms de guerre, but she suddenly realised that she knew his true identity. He was Jacques Desoubrie, a double agent working for the Gestapo.
She was careful not to let him know that she had recognised him, and in any case she had to leave to escort two servicemen south to the Pyrenees. She was at a safe house in Bayonne near the Spanish border a short while later with another stalwart of the Comet Line, Elvire de Greef — code name “Tante Go” — when she heard that there had been more of the arrests and killings that had so badly hampered their work.
“I am going back to Paris,” she told De Greef. “There is a traitor in the line and I am going to find out who it is.”
Her way of confirming the traitor’s identity was typically direct. The Americans had bombed the railway, and when she phoned her contacts to say that she would be late arriving, a strange voice answered. She had been expecting to hear the voice of her friend and comrade, a dentist named Martine.
Realising that Martine must have been one of those arrested, Dumon went straight to the notorious Fresnes prison on the outskirts of Paris and stood outside the women’s wing, shouting: “Martine! Martine!” Eventually there came a shout. It was the dentist. “Who betrayed you?” asked Dumon. “It was Pierre! Pierre Boulain!” Martine yelled back. As Dumon had feared, Desoubrie had been hard at work.
She told other Comet Line agents, who refused to believe that Boulain could be the traitor, so she decided to follow him to make sure. However, as she tailed him through the city he spotted her. The hunter became the hunted as Desoubrie gave chase. She walked quickly to the nearest station and slipped aboard a train. She was safe — for a while.
Dumon hurried down to Bayonne and warned De Greef that the Line was compromised, saving her comrade’s life and preserving the southern network intact. However, Dumon was compromised, and the Allies wanted her in London. After much debate De Greef persuaded her to cross the Pyrenees for the last time. For Dumon, known as “Michou” and code-named “Lily” , the war was over.
She was 5ft tall, spoke in a soft, childish voice and looked no more than 15
She had personally escorted at least 150 airmen to safety in Spain, and the Comet Line and similar operations were able to get about 5,000 servicemen back to Britain. There were more than 1,000 Comet Line agents in all. The average time between joining up and being arrested was said to be three months. Their exploits inspired the Seventies TV series Secret Army.
Desoubrie fled to Germany, but was eventually executed in 1949, having been denounced by a former lover.
Only 5ft tall, but with a sturdy frame, Dumon “spoke in a soft, childish voice”, according to Airey Neave, an army officer working for British intelligence who debriefed her in London and later wrote a book about the Comet Line. “Her face was round and artless. She looked no more than 15, an advantage that she used to the full.” By then Dumon was 23.
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 14:17
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Her US Intelligence file was a testament to her resourcefulness. At least 50 times, the file records, she “outwitted the German agents by suddenly enacting a tender, tearful love scene in a streetcar or on a station platform with some airman she had only known for an hour or two. Encountering such a scene, the embarrassed German agent would pass on and ask no questions.”
The Gestapo worked out her identity, but still she evaded capture. On one occasion, her file notes, “she suddenly became suspicious of an aviator she had gone to pick up. To test him before revealing herself, she used the latest slang she had learnt from other aviators . . . his bewilderment in the face of the slang word convinced her that she was dealing with a German agent.”
She was lucky to escape capture, she said, but as George Watt, the author of The Comet Connection: Escape from Hitler’s Europe, observed, she “added to her luck with cleverness, cool-headedness, self-discipline and total dedication”. She was, in fact, arrested on one occasion, but was held for only two days. “The commandant thought I was too young [to be Dumon], so he let me go before the Gestapo came to take me.”
The “Réseau Comète”, or Comet Line, had been set up in 1941 by Andrée de Jongh, a young woman whose heroine was Edith Cavell, the nurse shot for helping Allied soldiers escape from Belgium during the First World War. Comet Line agents combed the country looking for airmen who had been shot down or forced to land. They would be taken from one safe house to another to stay one step ahead of the Gestapo.
The whole Dumon family became involved in the operation. Micheline and her younger sister had been raised in the Belgian Congo, where their father, Eugene, was a doctor. The family had returned to Belgium so Micheline could train as a nurse.
Eugene agreed to hide two airmen, and from then on the girls’ mother, Françoise, as well as Micheline’s sister, Andrée, whose code name was “Nadine”, became involved. “Nadine” smuggled more than 20 airmen out of Belgium, but in August 1942 she and her parents were betrayed and arrested.
The Gestapo thought they had the whole family, but by a stroke of luck Micheline was not included on their ration-stamp list and was not at home when the German agents called. She asked for permission to write to and visit her parents. “These are not your parents,” she was told. “We arrested the entire family.”
Undaunted, she offered her services to De Jongh. She helped photographers putting together false documents, organised safe houses and ferried food and clothing between them.
She went around Brussels on her bicycle, delivering messages, doling out money to the owners of safe houses and checking on the progress of operations, all the while looking and acting like a 15-year-old.
The Comet Line suffered repeated infiltrations and in January 1943 De Jongh was arrested. Dumon stepped up. Four months later two German spies posing as US pilots penetrated the organisation and there were more arrests. “It was too dangerous for me to remain in my nursing job,” Dumon recalled. “I went underground and worked full-time for the airmen.”
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 14:17
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When she got to London in 1944 she was debriefed and earmarked to join the “Retrievers”, a unit working to repatriate airmen left behind. As the Allies were advancing towards Berlin, her services were not needed.
A paratrooper, Pierre Ugeux, had been designated as her “minder”. They fell in love and later married, settling in Avignon in the south of France. The couple had three children: Guy, who went on to work in the car industry, Nicole and Brigitte. They also had an adopted son called Stefan, who predeceased them.
Pierre, who died in 2009, became an important figure in Belgium’s power industries. He also rose to become the head of CSI, the forerunner of the FIA as the governing body of Formula One motor racing in the Seventies. The couple would often stand lunch for the then impoverished team owner Bernie Ecclestone.
According to Pamela Pearch, a friend of Dumon, the former Resistance leader was just settling down to watch a motor race when she last spoke to her in October.
As for Dumon’s family, her mother was released after 13 months, but her father died in Silesia towards the end of the war. Her sister, Andrée, was freed in poor health, but had survived the Ravensbrück and Mauthausen concentration camps.
Micheline settled into married life and became an active fundraiser for the families of Comet Line agents who had died during the war. She was also a member of the RAF Escaping Society, and with her sister opened an extension to its museum in East Kirkby, Lincolnshire, in 1996.
Britain awarded her the George Medal. She also received the Golden Medal of Freedom from the US.
Interviewed late in her life, she still had a “straight-backed dignity — hair, greying; face, youthful . . . she talked of the most traumatic experiences in a soft, gentle voice”.
Aline Micheline Dumon, Resistance agent, was born on May 20, 1921. She died of undisclosed causes on November 16, 2017, aged 96
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 15:14
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That there are such people......
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 18:42
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The couple would often stand lunch for the then impoverished team owner Bernie Ecclestone.
In other circumstances, I'd make a barbed remark, but....

RIP Michou, there's plenty of friends up there to stand lunch (and a few drinks) for you...

I'm almost ashamed to say it, but I can only just recall "Secret Army" but the terror and life under the Nazis came across from what I remember.
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Old 24th Nov 2017, 20:52
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Thank you sidevalve for so comprehensively telling us of Michou. We rightly celebrate our homegrown wartime heroes but this young girl's deeds must surely match those of any other. Standing outside a Nazi prison yelling a name until she is answered and then demanding the name of the betrayer, what was she thinking of? Certainly not of herself but rather of her colleagues and their aircrew charges. As Wander00 rightly comments, even by the standards of the wartime generation; such a sense of duty, such cold courage, such people indeed!

RIP Madame, you are an example to us all that tyranny must always be faced up to and never ever appeased.
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Old 25th Nov 2017, 08:41
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I turned up this interview with George Duffee (previously mentioned here) recorded for the Imperial War Museum. During it - at 13:30 - he talks about making contact with the Comet Line and "Michou".

Michou's life was recalled last night on BBC World Service - at 17:36..

Last edited by PPRuNeUser0139; 25th Nov 2017 at 09:08.
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Old 25th Nov 2017, 11:37
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Originally Posted by Danny42C
roving, Ian Burgess-Barker, DFCP, Chugalug and MPN11,
Thank you all, Gentlemen, for your felicitations on one more click on my taximeter ! I'm not sure I'm the Oldest Inhabitant here, and in any case: "there is no such thing as an old person - only a person who has lived long" (I think my file card has dropped down the back of some celestial filing cabinet).
I shall sip my permitted can of Guinness tonight fortified by your good wishes !
Cheers, Danny.
Belated birthday greetings to you, sir.
Inside every pensioner is a teenager wondering what the hell happened!
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Old 27th Nov 2017, 20:35
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The Telegraph has posted the Obituary of AVM David Emmerson. Yet no-one who served with him has commented about his passing on pprune.

Air Force Cross
Wing Commander David EMMERSON 4230086, Royal Air
Force.
Wing Commander Emmerson commands No 206 Squadron
based at Royal Air Force Kinloss. Between 21st April 1982 and
6th June 1982, he was detached to Ascension Island to command
a force of Nimrod aircraft deployed in support of Operation CORPORATE.
On arrival at Ascension, Wing Commander Emmerson
found little in the way of a support organisation. However, during
his period in command the detachment doubled in size, an air-to-air
refuelling capability was introduced for Nimrod aircraft to
operate both within the Total Exclusion Zone and close to the
Argentinian coast, and new weapons including air-to-air missiles
were received into service. Throughout the period of expansion
Wing Commander Emmerson displayed exceptional zeal and
patience over long hours of abnormally demanding duties. He not
only prepared his crews for operations close to the Argentinian
coast and within range of fighter aircraft, but also displayed exceptional
leadership and a great sense of courage by captaining each
sortie which broke new ground as new equipments, capabilities
and techniques were introduced. He never tasked a crew to fly
an operation which he himself had not already flown and he displayed
outstanding leadership and skill in completing each mission
successfully regardless of the potential risks to his aircraft and
crew. In the course of ten operational sorties Wing Commander
Emmerson was captain of the Nimrod which supported the first
Vulcan attack on Port Stanley Airfield on 1st May. He led the first
crew to operate within air defence radar and fighter range of the
Argentinian bases of Puerto Belgrano and Commodore Rivadavia.
The latter sortie was conducted in daylight in an environment
of a. considerable risk to aircraft and crew. Another of his operational
sorties was to provide surface surveillance in support of
Task Groups overnight on 20th/21st May to cover the amphibious
landings on East Falkland involving a flight of 19 hours and 7200
nautical miles. Throughout the period of the Falkland campaign,
Wing Commander Emmerson displayed courage and coolness
which were a magnificent example to others. While proving himself
an outstanding leader of his crews through personal example, unselfish
determination and skill he ensured the achievement of the
military aims of his Commander in the employment of the Nimrod.
https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...12855/data.pdf
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Old 30th Nov 2017, 15:15
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Slight thread drift but interestingly, the previous London Gazette page shows the citations for the awards to W/Cdr Squire, S/Ldr Pook and others for their bravery during the campaign to recover the Falklands.

https://www.thegazette.co.uk/London/...12854/data.pdf
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Old 30th Nov 2017, 15:41
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Both Pete Squire and Jerry Pook were an entry behind me at the Towers - they were both 89A, along with Russ Pengelly ( sadly lost test flying Tornado). It was an outstanding Entry/Squadron, producing ISTR four or five 3 star officers or above from the 12 cadets in 89A. "Black" Robertson was one of them. I think my Entry produced a handful of gp capts and an air commodore out of the 48 in the Entry
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Old 30th Nov 2017, 16:00
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89A
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Old 1st Dec 2017, 09:35
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Roving - that takes me back. A great bunch of guys
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