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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 Dec 2017, 09:20
  #11621 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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John,

So sorry - may he rest in peace. Will be at his Memorial Service in spirit.

Danny.
 
Old 5th Dec 2017, 09:44
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Sad news, John. My condolences to you and family.

I would raise a glass on Friday, but I'm not supposed to drink alcohol with my present medication ... so water will have to suffice.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 11:01
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Our sympathies to the Eacott family on the passing of Walter603, whose Beaufighter experiences kept us enthralled for many weeks. Few pilots can have survived a ditching in this notoriously tricky aircraft; I am sure we are all thankful that he did, and was able to enjoy such a long and happy life with his family. It was a privilege to have "met" him on this great thread.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 11:03
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John

My condolences to you and your family.

We not only share the same age, but can both proud that our respective fathers served as Royal Air Force pilots in the Middle East/Med during WWII. There are other post war baby boomers who post here too who are also sons of WWII aircrew.

I know that your father was a POW for three years and on being being repatriated at the end of the War discovered that your grandmother had been killed by a V1 (or was it V2) rocket.

The suffering borne with such fortitude and the bravery in the face of the enemy not just for the duration of a short campaign, but over a period of years, marks out that generation who served in WWII, and their parents, as truly remarkable.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 11:11
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Ian & Danny thanks you for your best wishes, however I am still a teenager at heart living in denial about the passing of the years.

Perhaps Danny if I could stay at the crease long enough to get a decent score as you have so remarkably achieved, I might celebrate these anniversaries.
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 14:09
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John

Sincere condolences to you and yours. As Geriaviator says above, it was indeed a privilege for all of us to read his story here.

Best Wishes
Ian BB
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Old 5th Dec 2017, 23:31
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The one really sad aspect of this thread is that the participants in Round 2 are preparing for that final takeoff all too soon and too many.....
It is a corollary of this thread that what they (and the countless thousands who would have had as good or better yarns) did that we are in awe of and honour.
That they did talk of those times (and so eloquently) ensures that they and their comrades live on.
Were we still on holiday at Main Ridge we would have been there at the Uniting Church and wish Dad "God Speed"and a few beers in the bar in the sky.
I hope the RAAF see this thread and may arrange a "Farewell" training exercise of their own.....
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 19:02
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John Eacott:-
Just a note to let you know that Dad died last Thursday, the Memorial Service will be this coming Friday 8th December in Mt Martha on the Mornington Peninsular.
My sincere condolences on the loss of your father. As Walter603 he brought direct testimony of the dangers and challenges of being a WWII pilot to this thread that is dedicated to his ilk. Most importantly he reminded us of the tremendous debt owed by my country and the liberated nations of Europe, and the Middle and Far East, to the Dominions and Colonies of the British Empire. Politics move on, but Remembrance is forever.

Rest in Peace, Sir.
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Old 6th Dec 2017, 21:55
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So. sorry to hear the sad news, John and please accept my condolences. I really enjoyed my exchange of PMs with your father, and can only applaud the sentiments so eloquently and meaningfully expressed by Chugalug.

Jack
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 08:39
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Thanks for all the good wishes, there will be a wee dram or two tomorrow in his memory.

Anyone wanting a full copy of his pre war and wartime story, download here: http://www.eacott.com.au/gallery/d/8...er+WW2_doc.pdf
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Old 7th Dec 2017, 12:20
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Originally Posted by John Eacott
Thanks for all the good wishes, there will be a wee dram or two tomorrow in his memory.

Anyone wanting a full copy of his pre war and wartime story, download here: http://www.eacott.com.au/gallery/d/8...er+WW2_doc.pdf
Which I have just spent a very enjoyable two hours reading. Amazing that your dad swapped lives with a British soldier to try and escape. I wonder whether the soldier enjoyed life as a commissioned RAF Officer POW after your promotion was Gazetted or did that all unravel?
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 09:49
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Thread's having a breather by the look of it Danny,

Regarding your 'preferred' a/c - the Spitfire, and reflecting back to my Pilot learning days in 1970 at Shoreham, to see one fly by was a rare & thrilling noise event.

Nowadays those of us in the Goodwood area, or in my case holidaying on the western tip of the Isle of Wight, are regularly treated to their fly bys.
The Goodwood based Spitfires, doubtless supported by funds contributed by deep pocketed pax punters have brought them more actively back into our skies.

Who knows, when Brexit is finally in place we'll need them on stand-by once more, so don't hang up your helmet yet Danny.

Happy Christmas,

mike hallam
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 13:38
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Danny42C
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Mike (#11633),

Yes, it is true that this, "our" Thread, and IMHO the Prince of All Threads in the Forum, has its somnolent periods - but that holds true for the aged in general ! So far, it has always awakened refreshed after its "naps", and long may this continue.

Looked up the Goodwood Spitfires, seems they are all the Mk.IX (T)s: never having flown in one (and no desire to), can't help feeling that a lot of the Spitfire handling must have been lost with the added weight and aft movement of the CoG caused by the second cockpit (yes, I know the front has been moved forward 19 [?] in to compensate, but even so .... and what have they done with the fuel tanks ?)

So, even if it were physically possible (which it ain't), would not pay an arm + leg to the operators for a ride in a thing which looks like a Spitfire, but doesn't feel like one. But the "Merlin Song" will be as sweet as ever. As an engineer, you'll know that the "snarl" comes from the shock waves of the supersonic gases from the open exhausts.

Some six years ago I wrote this paean of praise here (in 1942 I finished my OTU on Mks I and II at Hawarden):

..."My three summer months with the Spitfires came to an end. I count myself lucky to have had the chance to fly them, and even more to have flown the earliest (and therefore lightest) Marks of that incomparable aircraft. They were not as fast, or could not fly so high, or were not so heavily armed as later Marks, but they were nicer. The "Spit" was simply the most enjoyable aircraft to fly of all time. In memory I liken it to riding (or rather freewheeling) a bike in three dimensions. You just had to think about going round a corner, and round you went!

In later years I would put in around 140 hours on the Mk XVI (which was basically a Mk IX with the US "Packard" Merlin, and no worse for that), and another dozen on the Mks XIV and XXII. These last two I disliked, but no doubt, with more time, I may have learned to love. The Spitfire remained in Squadron service at least till 1951. But:-"They never could recapture / That first fine careless rapture"...

'Fraid my helmet (old style leather), handed in at Weston Zoyland 1954, is no more - but my "Bates" Cap SD still hangs around the house - the womenfolk haven't the heart to chuck it out!

All the Compliments of the Season to you and yours,

Danny.
 
Old 13th Dec 2017, 15:09
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Olympia 463
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@Danny42C
Merlins came in many flavours - Derby, Hillington, Halewood, and the Packards. In my time as a graduate apprentice at Hillington we were still repairing them and developing them. I designed and tested roller rocker gear to get over the camshaft wear problem which limited the overhaul life. Never went into production though - too late. Just for fun, one day we decided to see if the supercharger off a Packard would fit one of our UK engines. Two dowels located it, and wonder of wonders we offered up the supercharger to the engine and the dowels went perfectly into the holes. Mind you I think R-R sent a complete set of jigs and fixtures to the USA to be used as templates.

When production ceased, the Americans shipped hundreds of engines to Hillington which sat in their packing cases in the car park. The bosses decided to scrap the engines but sell off the empty cases (made a good garden shed). One of my colleagues bought one (ten bob if I remember rightly) but when he opened it there was a Packard Merlin still inside! - red faces all round. Wonder what that would be worth today.
 
Old 13th Dec 2017, 15:48
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My favourite Merlin story relates to wartime outsourcing, when Ford was asked to produce the engines at Dagenham. RR is said to have been rather condescending when Ford came back with queries on dimensions and tolerances which they said were not tight enough for Ford production methods. If they produced 10,000 spare parts, as they often did, each one had to fit every car that left the production line as perfectly as the original.

Ford went on to produce 20,000 Merlin engines, and not one failed its acceptance tests.
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 16:30
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Olympia 463

In 1950 when my dad was flying with an Aux Air Squadron based at Ringway, it converted from Spitfires to Vampires. Some months later this Civil Servant asked for directions to the hangar medivac where the Spitfires were being stored. My dad walked him over. Once inside he looked at my dad wistfully and said I have to scrap all of these.

I wonder what they would have been worth if they had been preserved.
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Old 13th Dec 2017, 17:04
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roving,

I think the going rate for an airworthy Spitfire is around million. Mind you, a hangar-full would flood the market !

I believe, at war's end, they were going for 75 or less each. Why didn't I buy a couple with my gratuity ?

Danny.
 
Old 13th Dec 2017, 19:23
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Olympia 463
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Geriaviator

It wasn't at Dagenham that Ford built Merlins (nor was it Halewood - my mistake). The shadow factory was specially built in Manchester. The Manchester men came to Derby and said they could only work to closer tolerances than R-R. R-R then said they would need to redraw all the relevant parts themselves and this they duly did! Manchester engines were made at the rate of 400 per week (!) with a total production of 30,428 No engines were ever made at Dagenham. For more detail see Peter Pugh's monumental Magic of a Name Vol1 page 227.
 
Old 14th Dec 2017, 10:40
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Geriaviator and Olympia: You may have solved a question that has lurked in the back of my mind for many years!
My first wife's father had worked as a draughtsman for Rolls Royce and said he "worked on the Merlin". I first knew them in Southend, when her dad was now employed at Ford's Dagenham plant. I'd always wondered how he came to move from RR to Ford's and I think I now have a valid explanation.
Too late for F-i-L as some young drunk driver did for him in '76...
Proves you do learn something new every day!
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Old 14th Dec 2017, 12:11
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Olympia 463
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Icare9

And you may have also cleared up where the redesign work was done! Hillington did not do main stream engine design, and I don't suppose Manchester did either. So the DO work must have been done at Dagenham where your father worked. The experimental shop in Hillington had a very small drawing office (where I did my roller rocker scheme) but any major work other than jigs and fixtures was done at Derby. The work I did at Hillington got me transferred to Derby in 1956 as an aircraft engine designer on the Conway. A month before I was due to be called up! I got permanent deferment out of that,and I had three happy years on the Conway.

I didn't want to be deferred, but I didn't have an option to refuse. I had applied to join GUAS in my first year at Uni but there were more takers than slots. I did pass all the tests and medicals however, and they gave me a chit which would have got me straight into a three year commission in the GD. I did learn to fly later as a glider pilot, and became an instructor. The RAF's loss maybe? Maybe I got more flying though - 2200 sorties and 1000+hrs in 22 different types. I doubt the RAF could have provided that.

Last edited by Olympia 463; 14th Dec 2017 at 13:37.
 

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