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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 9th Jan 2018, 10:23
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quick look at Google. Looks to my totally untrained eye that there are 2 x 1000lb on the front of the trolley and 2 x 500lb (painted)
Attached Images
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 12:23
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Thanks for the photo of different bombs.
Is it me, or is the caption reversed for the two bombs on the extreme left?
The 2,000 lb looks a lot smaller in diameter than the 1,000 lb above it....

While I'm asking - were the German explosives weight for weight more powerful than ours? During the Blitz their medium bombers seemed to inflict more damage "per bomb" than what seems the equivalent in Germany.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 13:46
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The first episode in the series focuses on the outbreak of the Blitz in September 1940.

The first bombs used against Blitz Street, a row of terraced houses specially built on a remote military base and subjected to a frightening range of large-scale bombs and incendiaries similar to those dropped by the Luftwaffe - are the SC50 (25kg of TNT), the most common bomb dropped on the first day of bombing in London, and the SC500 bombs, which contained 250kg of TNT.

The programme features emotional eye witness testimonies, giving a fantastic insight into day-to-day life on the home front and the immense psychological damage caused by the bombardment.
Copyright Channel4 BBC

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Old 9th Jan 2018, 15:35
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In one of the programmes there is a WW2 photo of six burned out appliances My Dad was, or had been, the driver of one of them. As a kid I saw the photo at home but after Dad died I guess my Mother destroyed that and other photos
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 16:17
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Octane and Megan (#11739 and 740),

Fixer not needed: gave laptop a severe talking to, and pulled the battery to teach it to mind its manners - should work for a while !

The black colour is a mystery, all our bombs and fins were yellow. Both the pics are wartime, would be Mk.Is or IIs. 2x500 and 2x250 was the standard load for a VV. These 500s have their trunnion bands fitted ready for loading (the trunnions engage in a fork in the bay, which swings out and throws ths bomb clear of the prop disc in a vertical dive).

The fuses would normally be fitted at this stage, but I cannot be sure (poor definition and poor old eyes) that the nose fuses are in. At least, there is no sign of fusing link wires, but perhaps the RAAF armourers fitted them only at the last stage, in the bay. Bad practice IMHO, with the the fusing links (highly visible) locking the fuse cap, you know the fuse is "safe".

Which RAAF Squadron was "GR" ?

Old 9th Jan 2018, 19:46
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Originally Posted by Icare9
While I'm asking - were the German explosives weight for weight more powerful than ours? During the Blitz their medium bombers seemed to inflict more damage "per bomb" than what seems the equivalent in Germany.
What I know about explosives could be written on the back of a postage stamp in letters about a foot high but I'm sure I read somewhere in the dim and distant past that that was indeed the case earlier during the war.
Again from memory, it was because German explosives contained aluminium, presumably as a powder, and ours didn't. Finally somebody important said 'Why not?' and our explosives were changed.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 21:04
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Which RAAF Squadron was "GR" ?
That would be 24 Squadron, Danny.
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Old 9th Jan 2018, 22:54
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Hi Danny,

nothing wrong with your eyes! You saw more detail than I did, perhaps I need to upgrade my spectacles? Did you notice the lower engine cowling appears to be painted white? So I was wrong re foliage, must be a RAAF machine then I suppose.

A question if I may (yet another one!), upon bomb release, you would have been flat out pulling up, avoiding terrain and ground fire I imagine but was your "back seater" (Stewie?) able to get a good look at where the bombs landed? i.e. Did you know if you got the buggers, pardon the language..



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Old 10th Jan 2018, 11:49
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I've just heard that Gordon Mellor, one of the few surviving Comet evaders, passed away last night.
Gordon was a Halifax navigator and his aircraft (W1216) was shot down near Turnhout by a German fighter during the night of 5/6 October 1942. He was picked up by Comet on 12th October.
Two weeks later (!) he crossed the Pyrenees at night, waded through the Bidassoa river that marked the Franco-Spanish frontier, left Gib in a DC-3 and arrived at Portreath on 1st November.
He finally published his story in 2016 - "ETA: A Bomber Command Navigator Shot Down and on the Run" - available from the usual suspects.
Gordon was one of the leading lights in the campaign for a memorial to those of Bomber Command who fell and I understand that at one moment, he stood to lose his house.
A great man - self-effacing, eternally modest and one of nature's gentlemen from that greatest of generations.
RIP Gordon.

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Old 10th Jan 2018, 15:21
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roving (#11744),

Thank you for "Blitz Street". I had experience of the Liverpool 'blitz' in the few months when I was on "Deferred Service" (ie, waiting for the RAF to get me a place in flying training): had it not been for the generosity of General "Hap" Arnold USAAC, who formulated the Scheme which bears his name, offering pilot training places in his US schools to us, I might've been waiting for years - such was the number who volunteered for the RAF in the immediate aftermath of the Battle of Britain (and Churchill's deathless tribute to the 'Few').

We were living in Maghull (about eight miles north of the city centre) so did not get any bombs (AFAIK), but at nights the shrapnel from the AA defences often rattled down on our house roofs like hail. Working in the city, I pedalled in on my bike; one morning half way in, I passed a "Road House" (pub); they had just laid out a beautiful bowling green in front, a 100 kg bomb had excavated the exact centre and most of the carefully levelled green .....

Closer in, there were much grimmer sights, survivors and bodies were being recovered from the shattered, smoking remains of what once were streets of houses. The Blitz did me, in a strange way, a good turn. Liverpool has a very large Irish population, most would be R.C.s. The first need of a bombed-out family (assuming they'd survived unharmed in their "Anderson Shelter" in the back garden) is somewhere to live.

The Archbishop had ordered the clergy of his diocese to scour their parishes for any they could find. Finding some is half the battle: you need transport to get the families and what small items they could salvage, to their new place. Our Curate, a family friend in Maghull had an Austin Ten. As the "ferry" work would leave him no time for his parish duties, Father Ramsbottom hit on the idea of recruiting me (a very willing volunteer) as a driver. He gave me a week's instruction (evenings and weekends) as soon as I reached 18, I passed the Test at the end of the week, and soon got plenty of blackout driving practice: he was free to get on with his Church work.

I think my having a driving licence (not common in a working class lad in 1940) may have swung the balance at my Selection Board.

Old 10th Jan 2018, 15:29
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Cooda Shooda (#11748),

Thanks - I believe 12 and 24 were the only two operational VV RAAF Squadrons in New Guinea.

Old 10th Jan 2018, 16:16
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Octane (#11749),

No, had not noticed the white. I think all the aircraft would be in the usual brown and green (very effective) jungle camouflage on top, duck-egg blue below.

Yes, "Stew" Mobsby had been facing backward during the dive, but by the time I'd got the thing out into a shallow dive to the tree tops, all he would see would be a small cloud of dust and smoke (assuming I was the leader). The other five would only see bigger and better clouds. Six (if he were watching on top) might see my bomb flash on target before he rolled over, and could report on accuracy. Black smoke was a good sign, showed you'd hit a petroleum product, or rubber - clearly war supplies going up north to the Jap armies round Imphal.

In training, we used small 11½ lb smoke bombs so it was easy to spot what you'd done. There would be, (not too close to target) two range observers, 90° apart, with some sort of theodolites, to plot results.

Ask away - that's what we're here for !

Old 10th Jan 2018, 17:40
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PPRuNe Social > Jet Blast
Reload this Page > Well this is different..... Real pilots and if you like Spits

Worth a look !

Old 11th Jan 2018, 05:58
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There is the Obituary in today's Telegraph of 95 year old Flight Lieutenant Edward E Stocker DSO DFC CEng, MIMech E.

Ted Stocker, flight engineer ? obituary

A WWII Bomber Command Lancaster Flt Eng. who flew 102 operations with the heavy bomber force over occupied Europe. He was the only flight engineer to be awarded the D.S.O.


Acting Flight Lieutenant Edward Ernest STOCKER,
D.F.C. (50954), R.A.F., 582 Sqn.
This officer continues to display a high degree
of skill and courage in air operations. He has
participated in a hundred sorties, most of which
have been against targets in Germany. His skilful
and resolute work has been largely responsible for
the many successes obtained. His example has
been of a high order.

BBC - WW2 People's War - No.8 PFF Group - Mr. Edward 'Ted' Stocker DSO

Flight Lieutenant Edward E Stocker DSO DFC CEng, MIMech E
Served as a Flight Engineer and flew a massive 108 operations as Flight Engineer on Lancasters of No 35 Pathfinder Squadron. He ended up on No 582 Sqn having been previously on No’s 7 and 35 Squadrons both Pathfinders and before that with No’s 102 and 35 Squadrons in No.4 Group.

He started out in Evanton in Scotland on an Air Gunners Course because when they started there as there were no training courses for Flight Engineers.

'You had to have an engine fitter’s qualification first. Then you learnt to be an Air Gunner, God knows why but we did. There were twelve of us on the course, 10 are dead, one’s blind and there’s me. So as I say, it’s survival that was the name of the game. You stayed alive you got the gongs!'

The last Operation they did was Operation Manna dropping the food for the Dutch in Rotterdam. They did some of those from Little Staughton. And then they started bringing home the Prisoners of War. He had done one to France bringing home Prisoners of War just before the 6th of May 1945. The 5th he doesn't remember doing anything but on the 8th which was the day actually when they were calling it VE Day No 582 Sqn provided one of Master Bomber aircraft because their Master Bomber aircraft had better radio equipment than the others.
He had a serviceable motorbike and he put that in the back of a Lancaster and they went to Lübeck on the 8th of May and sat on the end of the runway acting as air traffic control all through the day while Bomber Command was sending planes picking up POWs and flying them back.

'We were the first in, in the morning and when the last Lancaster left in the evening they stopped acting as Air Traffic Control, picked up their quota of POWs and they flew back. Not to Little Staughton, they had to take them somewhere else so they took them there and by the time they had done that it was dark. They then had the privilege of flying back over England on the evening of VE Day when all the bonfires were lit and all over the country there were all these bonfires, it was a magnificent sight!

He didn’t actually get a drink because his log book says that we didn’t land until the morning of the 9th which was probably sometime after midnight. He was doing Squadron Ops Officer at the time and he went down to the Ops Room to find out what was on the next day and what we were required to provide. Everybody had left to Cambridge! London! No Squadron Commander, no Station Commander! He recalls there were a couple of Flight Commanders of ours.
Early on the morning of the 9th he tried to rustle up a few crews to go over the next day to bring some more POWs back. But he did get a drink sometime early on the morning of the 9th as the girls in the telephone exchange found a bottle of gin that had something left in the bottom. He had a very tiny tot of gin on the morning of the 9th. That was his VE Day!”
Pathfinder's War: An Extraordinary Tale of Surviving Over 100 Bomber Operations Against All Odds Hardcover – August 19, 2009
by Ted Stocker (Author),‎ Sean Feast

Last edited by roving; 11th Jan 2018 at 06:28. Reason: added detail
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 06:04
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I believe 12 and 24 were the only two operational VV RAAF Squadrons in New Guinea
History of the Vengeance in Australia Danny.


The following would seem to suggest the all over dark paint was a green.


Last edited by megan; 11th Jan 2018 at 06:19.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 08:28
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Originally Posted by Danny42C
roving (#11744),

Thank you for "Blitz Street". I had experience of the Liverpool 'blitz' in the few months when I was on "Deferred Service"


Do you have any contemporises at your current location?

If you do, you may like to swap stories.

As you can imagine, Steel Works are an easy target at night, and Teesside was lined with them during WWII.

You could also ask about the night 'Binns got hit'! My dad was driver in the AFS, based at Dormanstown, and his proud claim is that he had the 1st appliance on the Binns fire. Before any of the Middlesbrough appliances.

The claimed speed that he achieved along the Trunk Road, increased with thr telling.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 08:35
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megan (#11756),

Thanks for the steer ! Never knew that this Wiki ("Vengeance in Australian Service") even existed (where had I been all my life ?) What a massive piece of research !

Will read through line by line and comment in due course (don't hold your breath !)

Old 11th Jan 2018, 11:52
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42 C

Danny you mention your correction to the upper age limit for Arnold Scheme as being 23. My Father was born Nov 1912 so was 28 when he started at Darr Sep 1941. Re the 251 eliminations on 42A due to flying deficiency, the Kew document remarks that 80 were given more training, 57 in BFTS, and 23 in Air Corps School of South East Air Corps Training. 75% graduated.
Other comments were that the course finished two weeks ahead of schedule, and that ground training was not good due to shortage of equipment. Another document dated 20 Oct 41 by AVM McKean US Air Liaison Mission, Ottawa states that the Course could be reduced to 24 weeks but must do 200 hours flying. Original requirement was 240. Next time I go to Kew I could photo parts of the file and pm them to you & Ian want.
My Father returned to UK found himself on an Instructors Course at 12 P AFU at Grantham June 42 on Oxfords. He instructs on DH82 at Cambridge 22 EFTS until Mar 43, then Oxfords 11 P AFU, then Blenheims at Woodvale until Nov 44. He then goes to 1655 MTU 7 is posted to 162 Squadron at Bourn Jan 45. Survives his 30 visits to Germany, the last one being 2 May to Kiel which I believe was the last ops by Bomber Command. 162 then moves to RAF Blackbushe and operates the ADLS service. He ends after taking part in the Battle of Britain flypast in Sept 46 and starts commercial flying in Malta on Consuls the civilian version of the Oxford.
I have his logbooks and RAF record. Also Vol 5 0f the Raf magazine published by the UK Cadets, Darr-Aero-Tech, Albany, GA. Nov 1941. Contains about 80 photos of the students with short biographies & instructors plus various poems such as Flying Instructors Lament, The Boys at Darr, The Ghost of a Solo. I also have hidden somewhere a similar magazine that records a Rugby Match played by the cadets.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 13:27
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Mention is made above of the Pathfinders. I had the privilege, as OC Admin at Wyton, of being one of the organisers of the Pathfinders 50th Anniversary reunion weekend at the Station. Wholly unforgettable. One of the attendees was Ulric Cross, at that time High Commissioner for Trinidad and Tobago and the most senior and most decorated wartime aircrew from the Caribbean, a man I shall never forget. Also met Ly Bennett, also unforgettable. then got a bear hug from Wg Cdr Bill Simpson, who had come from NZ, and had been my OC Ops Wg at Watton in the 60s. What a weekend.
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Old 11th Jan 2018, 16:05
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Dsrsia, your 2nd post.

Thanks for coming back to us - your precis has only whet our appetites for more details from the logbooks of course!
So your father flew Mossies. as a Pathfinder on No. 162 Squadron and survived 30 ops. - great stuff. I wonder if he found this more, or less, hazardous than his two and a half years instructing in the tired and often obsolete machines that the training units had to put up with - to say nothing of the surprises that the students could provide.

My Godfather was a Pathfinder Nav. on Lancs. and flew on 17 ops. with No. 83 Squadron (P.F.F.) between 28 Oct. 44 and 25 April 45. He had previously done 13 Main Force ops. 12 June-11 Aug 44 with No. 44 (Rhodesia) Squadron.

As I said, do please, when you have a minute, relate some of the logbook entries for our readership - for they are real history that must not be allowed to fade into obscurity.

Ian BB
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