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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 24th Dec 2017, 22:02
  #11681 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Lost, but often Indonesia
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P-38 Lightning

Dear all,

I stumbled across this wartime training video for the P-38 Lockheed Lightning. I thought it may be of interest. It is 40 minutes long but has a very "interesting" (Betty Grable?) intro and I found it fascinating... Couldn't find a similar video for the Vengeance Danny. Either Vultee didn't get around to it or maybe they thought it was was straight forward enough to fly so it wasn't warranted?! Just hopping in it and "giving it a go" obviously worked out ok for Danny et al....

I have to confess I, perhaps naively, didn't realize what complicated bits of kit WW2 era aircraft were. Puts into perspective the enormous challenges young pilots were faced with going into combat with only a few hours time on type. They would have still been coming to terms with how to operate the aircraft capably let alone face hostile aircraft doing their best to shoot them down...


I do have a few questions (Danny, I have you in mind!);

1. Why do the Americans refer to the aircraft as a ship?!
2. Why is the airspeed in mph rather than knots? Seems an odd thing to do..

I'd like to wish a safe Merry Christmas and New Year to Danny and all the wonderful contributors on this fascinating thread.

Cheers

Michael

Last edited by Octane; 25th Dec 2017 at 07:40.
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Old 25th Dec 2017, 07:43
  #11682 (permalink)  
 
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Can I wish all the contributors and readers of this wonderful thread a very merry Christmas and best wishes for a happy and healthy New Year.

John
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Old 25th Dec 2017, 21:34
  #11683 (permalink)  
 
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Angel Seasons Greetings

A Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy to all who contribute to and read this wonderful thread May your God be with you.
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Old 25th Dec 2017, 21:39
  #11684 (permalink)  
 
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Angel Seasons Greetings

Should have read.
A Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year to all who contribute to and read this wonderful thread.
May your God be with you.
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Old 26th Dec 2017, 15:49
  #11685 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Octane (#11683),

Michael,

Thank you for the video. Betty Grable (that brings a gleam to my rheumy old eye !) A princess of the silver screen in WWII, her legs were reputedly insured for a million dollars by the film studio. She was renowned more for her very short, tight pants, which were cut as high on the hip as the Hays Code (the US equivalent of the "British Board of Film Censors") would allow. Not much of an actress, but Hell - who cared ?

It was the RAF practice in the Far East for the ridiculously baggy issue KD shorts to be rolled up or shortened by the wearer (for ease of movement and coolness, you understand) as far as decency permitted (as no underpants ever worn). They were universally known as "Betty Grable" shorts.

You couldn't find anything similar for the VV. Not surprising - there is nothing ! Nobody at home ever heard of them and the only useful youtube is by "Vlad" (Page 129, #2561 here), which Chugalug brought to our notice, and on which I've commented on a following Post.

Your queries:

1. "Why do the Americans refer to the aircraft as a ship?" ...... And a car as an automobile ?
Because they do, that's why !

2. "Why is the airspeed in mph rather than knots? Seems an odd thing to do ?" .....
As far as I can remember, all our ASIs were calibrated in mph up to the time they chucked me out in 1946. All our maps were measured in multiples of statute miles (eg 1:1,000,000). This helped poor benighted pilots to do their own DR nav.

Clever navs could do the conversion, or prick off the map distance with dividers, then straddle the latitude scale at the side of the map (a minute of latitude is one nautical mile) to read off distance.

When I came back in 1949, we were all using knots, a knot is one nautical mile per hour, which made life easier for navs. Pilots could like it or lump it. So it has been ever since.

That's all, folks. Happy New Year to you and yours , Michael, and to all our readers !

Danny.
 
Old 26th Dec 2017, 18:55
  #11686 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Biggin Hill chapel - latest (26 Dec 2017)

Latest email, received today.

Season's Greetings to all my Biggin Hill RAF Chapel and anti BHMM scheme friends,
Over the last few weeks there has been contradictory nonsense from Bromley Council and their BHMM Trust. In FAQ's on the BHMM website, it describes the Chapel having been 'FREED' of its Vestry Annexe, this at a cost of 25,000 under Repairs and Conservation! While three weeks ago the new Leader of the Council, Cllr Colin Smith, was reported in our local newspaper as stating that it was 'a shame that the Vestry was demolished'. The demolition occurring weeks after his appointment with plenty of time to reconsider. The belief is that it had dawned on him that the Local Council Elections are only a few months away in the Spring and this was a cynical attempt to save face against the prospect of many lost votes.
To view six of the many letters to the editor on the issue please click here and hit 'letters' on the top bar of the website: Help nine-year-old Ben from Orpington fight his brain cancer | Home | Bromley Borough News Cllr Colin Smith's email address for your own personal comments on his statements remains: [email protected]
As for the Chapel itself this Christmas, it looks cold and forlorn - no Carol Service this year (and perhaps never again?) Little can be seen from the road because of the site screening, in any case like most 'locals', I avert my eyes while passing, whereas in the past one would always glance across in respect and pride.
The three Secretaries of State have been 'passing the buck' between themselves over the matter. However the Local Government Ombudsman has yet to conclude his investigations into the Planning Application, so it is still very important to get more signatories to the Petition to back up our case.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitio...of-remembrance

Please continue to spread the word and forward this email far and wide, or tell people just to search: Protect Biggin Hill RAF Chapel. Wishing you all a very happy New Year and some belated success for our campaign in 2018.
Kindest regards, Rita. email: [email protected]
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Old 27th Dec 2017, 02:08
  #11687 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
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Greetings Danny,

Thanks for answering my questions (we still don't know why our American friends call them ships! Did they do that in your time training in the US?), I'm glad you enjoyed the film. The Betty Grable bit was close to soft porn I thought, fairly outrageous for the time I think...

After watching the P-38 training film do you reckon you could hop in one and take it for a spin?!

If people are interested in watching these bits of history, I'm happy to have a look around and post a different one every now and then...

Cheers

Michael
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Old 27th Dec 2017, 14:59
  #11688 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Co. Down
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Posts: 543


Readers of this wonderful thread may recall that a couple of years ago I posted the memoirs of Flt Lt Jack Stafford, DFC, RNZAF, after reading his obituary in the Rotorua Daily Post. I rediscovered the transcription over the hol and re-read it from end to end. His story ranks alongside the very best of aviation writing, I think particularly of Geoffrey Wellum and First Light, and I'm sure you will enjoy his memoirs even more as one document.

Please drop me a PM with your email address and I shall mail it to you.
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Old 27th Dec 2017, 19:13
  #11689 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
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Jerryh99 (#9945) - page 498

Jerry,

Thank you for the 110 Squadron photo taken at Kalyan 15/9/1944. Crews on the Takoradi detachment left Kalyan on July 8 and August 8. This detachment took "all the new Vengeances [Mark IV] and the rest of the Squadron made do with the old aircraft and a brace of Airspeed Oxfords." [Source: Bell, Flight Lieutenant Elwyn D. "The Story of No. 110 (Hyderabad) Squadron Royal Air Force".] My father, F/Lt Kenneth Mosher, was one of the July 8 group, led by S/Ldr L.F. Penny.

F/Lt Wardrop was Australian.

Do you have anything on William "Bill" Cook, 110 (H) Squadron, Navigator, may have been at Yelahanka?

RE: The album also has a photo taken during a mountain climb - survival training? Looks like it was pretty arduous, some of the men look distinctly "browned off."

From the ORB
21/9/1944 - 1 flight only to-day Oxford MK I - 2 1/2 hours. A good form of exercise was organized for all aircrews (Officers and N.C.O.s) after 10 days of lectures and flying under the concentrated training programme. The mountain near KALYAN was scaled and the MUSLIM MOSQUE two-thirds of the way up was visited. Cooks went with the party providing picnic lunch and tea.

Sara
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Last edited by savimosh01; 27th Dec 2017 at 19:21. Reason: Added pg. no. for post #9945.
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Old 27th Dec 2017, 19:55
  #11690 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Octane (#11689),

..."we still don't know why our American friends call them ships! Did they do that in your time training in the US?"...
Ships of the air, I suppose. Yes, in training in 1942, we would speak of "a four-ship formation" And in the RAF, too, in Burma we had a safety poster: a wrecked aircraft with the caption:

"Landings should only finish the trip -
Not damage you, and cripple the ship !"

..."The Betty Grable bit was close to soft porn I thought, fairly outrageous for the time I think"..
. Not at all, even as far back as our distant youth, we'd given up putting frillies on table legs! No one would take offence at that - par for the course, and a favourite pin-up, was our Betty.

Scabrous story: we had in Burma a USAAC Colonel glider pilot Jackie Coogan (child film star - "The Kid", with Charlie Chaplin). Had married (inter alia) Betty: he was supposed to have greeted strangers with "Shake the hand which held the c##k that f####d Betty Grable.".

..."After watching the P-38 training film do you reckon you could hop in one and take it for a spin?!"...
I sure as hell wouldn't try any asymmetric stuff- what a carry-on! In extremis, I would have a go (on two) - it's supposed to be like riding a bike - you never forget. I do like the little u/c and flap indicator, we had he same thing on our VVs (for u/c only, takes the place of our "Three Greens") and we had a retractible tailwheel, too (on of all aitcraft the one which needed it least).

If you haven't looked up the Vlad YouTube (Page 129, #2561 here) it's well worth a visit - the only known film clip of VVs in the air.

Cheers, Danny.
 
Old 27th Dec 2017, 20:38
  #11691 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: UK
Posts: 4,875
I sure as hell wouldn't try any asymmetric stuff- what a carry-on!
Interestingly the P38's engines in the video were 'handed' the wrong way for asymmetric flight. Take the port engine, it rotated clockwise viewed from the front so it would require left rudder to counteract the torque, the same as a Provost T1.
This would mean that if the starboard engine failed rudder would be needed to control both torque and asymmetric yaw; in spades.

The De Havilland Hornet has them the right way as it was also designed for carrier use so the engine torque would help you to control the swing.

Somewhere I read that they changed the P38's direction of propeller rotation in later marks, certainly Googling the photos suggest so.
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Old 27th Dec 2017, 20:48
  #11692 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Lost, but often Indonesia
Posts: 608
Short film 8 Sqn IAF VV's in action

Hi Danny,

Just found this film, probably you have seen it before. Features take offs, landings, arming the aircraft, monkey mascot (belonged to the CO, Ira Sutherland apparently..) and other stuff. Has captions identifying various crew etc


Cheers

Michael

Last edited by Octane; 28th Dec 2017 at 03:26.
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Old 28th Dec 2017, 10:26
  #11693 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
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Age: 77
Posts: 811
Originally Posted by ricardian View Post
Latest email, received today.

Season's Greetings to all my Biggin Hill RAF Chapel and anti BHMM scheme friends,
Over the last few weeks there has been contradictory nonsense from Bromley Council and their BHMM Trust. In FAQ's on the BHMM website, it describes the Chapel having been 'FREED' of its Vestry Annexe, this at a cost of 25,000 under Repairs and Conservation! While three weeks ago the new Leader of the Council, Cllr Colin Smith, was reported in our local newspaper as stating that it was 'a shame that the Vestry was demolished'. The demolition occurring weeks after his appointment with plenty of time to reconsider. The belief is that it had dawned on him that the Local Council Elections are only a few months away in the Spring and this was a cynical attempt to save face against the prospect of many lost votes.
To view six of the many letters to the editor on the issue please click here and hit 'letters' on the top bar of the website: Help nine-year-old Ben from Orpington fight his brain cancer | Home | Bromley Borough News Cllr Colin Smith's email address for your own personal comments on his statements remains: [email protected]
As for the Chapel itself this Christmas, it looks cold and forlorn - no Carol Service this year (and perhaps never again?) Little can be seen from the road because of the site screening, in any case like most 'locals', I avert my eyes while passing, whereas in the past one would always glance across in respect and pride.
The three Secretaries of State have been 'passing the buck' between themselves over the matter. However the Local Government Ombudsman has yet to conclude his investigations into the Planning Application, so it is still very important to get more signatories to the Petition to back up our case.
https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitio...of-remembrance
Please continue to spread the word and forward this email far and wide, or tell people just to search: Protect Biggin Hill RAF Chapel. Wishing you all a very happy New Year and some belated success for our campaign in 2018.
Kindest regards, Rita. email: [email protected]
Letters to the local newspaper show that there is considerable outrage at the demolition
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Old 28th Dec 2017, 11:02
  #11694 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: West Sussex
Age: 78
Posts: 4,314
I too am in receipt of emails from the Redoubtable Rita. Her latest missive being in the way of a correction to the one you quote:-

Dear Friends,
I have been 'ticked off' by readers of the Bromley Borough News who have rightly corrected me that the Leader of the Council, Cllr Colin Smith, didn't just say it was 'a shame' that the Vestry was demolished, in fact he said it was a 'GREAT SHAME', whilst being the one person who could have called a halt to the destruction!
Please read the letters to the editor prompted by this disingenuous statement by clicking here and then going to 'letters' on the top bar of website: Bromley PC is dismissed following inappropriate online chat with a minor | Home | Bromley Borough News
Kindest regards,
Rita.
The sheer hubris of this Council is unbelievable. Perhaps they just want shot of the job? They are certainly going the right way about it!
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Old 28th Dec 2017, 19:03
  #11695 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2009
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Behind the Telegraph paywall is the Obituary of Group Captain John Watson ("Johnnie") Foster DFC, AFC, who died Monday October 30th 2017 at the age of 95.

His DFC citation reads

Flight Lieutenant John Watson FOSTER (134757),
R.A.F.V.R., 65 Sqn.
This officer has completed a large number of
sorties during which he has led the squadron on
many occasions. He has invariably displayed a
"high degree of skill and courage and has contributed
materially to the successes obtained. He
has proved a most valuable member of the
squadron/
A fighter pilot with credited victories, he flew Spitfires and later Mustangs in France and Germany. He rose from a VR Sgt in 1942 to S/L O.C 65 Sqn in March 1945. Post war he stayed in the Royal Air Force and was granted a permanent commission and was promoted back to the rank of S/L in 1951. He was promoted to Group Captain in 1967. He retired in 1975.

A French language website records:

Johnny Foster was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on August 1, 1922. He studied at Campbell College and spent two years at the Faculty of Medicine before joining RAFVR in August 1940. He began training at 5 EFTS of Stoke-on-Trent and 32 SFTS of Moose Jaw, Canada, qualifying as a pilot with the rank of Sgt. He completed his operational training at Hawarden's OTU 57 before being posted to Squadron 19 in April 1942. Promoted to the rank of F/L on September 18, 1942, he completed his first tour of operations in December 1943 and became a flight instructor. OTU 57 from January to August 1944. In August, he was reassigned to Squadron 19 but the following month was transferred to Squadron 65, a unit in which he later became Flight Commander. He took command of the Squadron in March 1945 and received the DFC whose announcement appeared on May 11, 1945.

He continued to serve in the RAF after the war and remained with Squadron 65 until September 1946. He then joined the British occupation forces in Japan from November 1946 to August 1948. Back in Britain, he served on different bases and became leader of the acrobatic team flying Meteors and was awarded the AFC. On September 5, 1950, he took command of Squadron 257, equipped with Meteors. He then occupied various staff positions, in Great Britain and abroad, in Egypt, in Cyprus and participated in Suez operations in 1956. From 1958, he worked at the Air Ministry in various Staff positions. He left the RAF in 1975 in the rank of Group Captain.
FOSTER John Watson

Last edited by roving; 28th Dec 2017 at 19:08. Reason: correction
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Old 28th Dec 2017, 23:58
  #11696 (permalink)  
 
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the P38's engines in the video were 'handed' the wrong way for asymmetric flight
All for good reason Fareastdriver, would you expect the famed Kelly Johnson the designer (SR-71) to do anything else?

The prototype had the props rotating in the opposite direction to the production aircraft shown in the video. Wind tunnel work that followed showed it to be the very worse direction of rotation, as the trim change with variations of power were at a maximum. So it was changed to the direction as in the video, the aim of reducing the pitching moment with power changes was to make the aircraft a more stable gun platform.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 09:53
  #11697 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
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I stand corrected; maybe I should have read up Wiki first.
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Old 29th Dec 2017, 18:48
  #11698 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Octane (#11694),

..."the only known film clip of VVs in the air"... Me and my big mouth ! Yes, I have seen this clip you put up, and I commented on it to spme length, as I recall. Now will do battle with stupid "Search this Thread", to see if I can give you the Post reference.

Found it (#9854) - here is a copy to save you the trouble:

"To anyone who's interested:

Idly roaming around on Key Publishing Co., came across this Link put in by "jagan" (who is well knowh to us from BHARAT RAKSHAK):

<https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8RqlK1d1_k>

This is a string of YouTubes, the first showing the IAF and their VVs (I loved the shot of the little capuchin monkey vainly trying to get up the u/c leg to get up on the wing [pilots used the same way - right foot on wheel, left in the "stirrup", quick scramble, and you're on top], and later (the monkey, that is) gambolling all over the aircraft.

Third youtube is a history of the Vultee aircraft by Pat Macha (?): there's only a bit about the VVs from 25.00 to 27.20 (out of a whole hour !), but plenty about the BT-13, but let's just say that opinions vary about that aircraft !"

Further comment: the "capuchin" is (I think) a macaque, and in addition, note:

1. The bombs going into the bay have no nose fuses (practice
dummies ? - never seen one myself - this is, I think, OTU).
2. Bananas free for the picking !
3. Box-of-six was was normal tactical formation. Tail-down "sit" in air
well illustrated.
4. Gunner lucky not to get bitten !
5. Taxying a/c with dive brakes out - hope he put 'em in before he
took off - could've been messy otherwise !
6. Dive (of sorts) Good pic of Dive brakes opening. Was the bridge the
target ?
7. Always complaints about long T/O run.

Of course, the best bit of video about the VV is still the well known "Vlad" compendium of shots...

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 29th Dec 2017 at 18:53. Reason: Tidy Up
 
Old 29th Dec 2017, 20:21
  #11699 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Lost, but often Indonesia
Posts: 608
I did think the T/O run seemed rather long. Obviously the dry season with all the dust. What was it like in the wet season Danny? Did you have the the luxury of PSP (pierced steel planking)?
Note: PSP is often seen to this day throughout the Philippines, used as garden fencing. Must be fairly thick gauge steel to last this long...
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Old 30th Dec 2017, 12:21
  #11700 (permalink)  
Danny42C
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Octane (#11701),

We didn't operate in the Monsoon (couldn't - you need 10,000 ft of clear air below you to dive-bomb accurately with a VV - the dog must see the rabbit). We pulled out from our dirt strips as soon as the rains were imminent, back to paved airfields further West, and sat it out except for admin and training flights. There were only a few PSP strips, I used them once or twice and was horrified at the row made when we rolled over the stuff.

Danny.

Last edited by Danny42C; 30th Dec 2017 at 12:24. Reason: ADDN.
 

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