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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 4th Feb 2018, 22:43
  #11801 (permalink)  
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gaining an raf pilots brevet in ww2

Originally Posted by Chugalug2 View Post
Thanks for the links PZU. What an interesting and varied career! Many different A/C types flown, from the Fieseler Storch to the B737. Interesting that he (and his crew?) attended two OTU's; No.34 at Pennfield Ridge, Nova Scotia, on Venturas, and No.13 at Finmere, near Bicester, on B25's. I wasn't aware before that British Commonwealth Air Training Plan crews attended OTUs in Canada, presumably then to potentially join operational squadrons directly.

Another remarkable man of a remarkable generation from a remarkable country. New Zealand, though a small country, proportionally made a greater contribution to WWII than any other Commonwealth country.
Not sure if it was an OTU but I think some pilots went from SFTS to further trainin in The Maritimes primarily to ferry over Mosquitos etc. to the UK
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Old 5th Feb 2018, 21:18
  #11802 (permalink)  
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Good point dfcp, perhaps it was to learn the Ventura in order to ferry them to the UK? Not sure if it was worth it though, as it was soon taken out of BC service in favour of Coastal Command, rather like its predecessor the Lockheed Hudson.

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Old 9th Feb 2018, 16:50
  #11803 (permalink)  
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A brave lady now aged 101
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Old 10th Feb 2018, 19:57
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Canada did have OTU,s as there was a need for operational squadrons to counter threats on both coasts. On the east coast, the Nazi U boats wreaked havoc, particularly in the Gulf of St Lawrence, and off the eastern seaboard. In fact ships were torpedoed just leaving Halifax harbour. The public also had a perceived notion the Germans has a secret long range bomber, (which never existed) and defenses were formed according.
The west coast was under attack by Japanese forces to a small but very worrying degree. Their submarines also patrolled the area, and in fact did shell a lighthouse at Estevan Point, Vancouver Island. While the damage incurred, was very minor, the uproar, like the Doolittle raid on Tokyo, was enormous.
The Japanese also had a very crude form of long range weapons, which turned out to be very ineffective but set the populace on edge. Basically incendiary bombs were fastened to balloons, launched from Japan, and after a set time drifting eastward, the bombs released. Thousands were launched, but few reached Canada, and even fewer anywhere near a populated region.
All of these did require the formation of some fighters squadrons, mostly using Hurricanes, and search and rescue and anti submarine operations, using a variety of aircraft.
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Old 10th Feb 2018, 20:21
  #11805 (permalink)  
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jeffb, I think perhaps I should have defined my terms more precisely. By OTU's I meant RAF ones in Canada , and possibly (though unlikely?) Bomber Command ones. Any that were intended solely for Canadian defence purposes, such as those you instance, would surely be RCAF ones? Of course, it is possible that all OTUs in Canada were RCAF ones, including those for training those pilots of any air force on aircraft intended for ferrying across the Atlantic. In that case of course I stand corrected.

Ah, Wikki as ever is the font of all knowledge:-

34 OTU was formed in April 1942 in the United Kingdom, the personnel then moved by ship to Yarmouth, Nova Scotia as part of No. 3 Training Command to train general reconnaissance crews. The first Avro Ansons arrived in May 1942. Disbanded in May 1944.[1]
Should have consulted it first. Presumably it remained under RAF Command. I see that it was not the only one to go a'sailing:-

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Old 11th Feb 2018, 01:57
  #11806 (permalink)  
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The public also had a perceived notion the Germans has a secret long range bomber, (which never existed) and defenses were formed according.
The Germans did have a programme to build a bomber capable of flying a round trip from Germany to bomb the USA. The Me 264 was built as a contender for the "Amerika Bomber" programme, but only three were built.


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Old 13th Feb 2018, 14:46
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For those that don’t follow ‘Other Forums’!!!

Just seen this on ‘another Forum’, especially like the IKEA comment!!!


PZU - Out of Africa (Retired)
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Old 13th Feb 2018, 18:55
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Angel Beginner

My briother (9 years old than me) did his training in what was then Rhodesia, and did a few Bomber command ops near the end of the war.
Then spent some time bringing released POWs back from Italy, about 6 at a time, not much comfiort in a Lancaster
Then joined a freight airline, and ended up with over 4000 hours in his book
I was called up for National Service in 1951, and put my name down for aiurcrew. Did reasonable well on Tiger Moths and Chipmunks, but did not pass off on Oxfords, ended up as a Navigator, getting my brevet a few weeks before the end of my two years
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 13:07
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Dsrsia, at first I misread your post as you said that your Father joined in Sept 41, then I realised it was 42C. My uncle (and REGLE Reg Levy my dearly departed friend) started in June 41 with 42A, my uncle was "washed out" and re-appeared in BFTS 1 got his wings and went "spitfireing".

What interests me is that you have found documents at Kew? I searched and failed. Could you possibly advise me of their location codes?

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Old 15th Feb 2018, 20:42
  #11810 (permalink)  
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RAF Sharjah 1943
Seventy-five years after fatal crash landing in Fujairah, British pilot is remembered by family and servicemen
The year I was born. And I served in the RAF at Sharjah 1963-64.
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Old 15th Feb 2018, 21:04
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Further to your post, a previous commemoration for Billy Donnelly:-

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Old 15th Feb 2018, 23:27
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Exnomad, it seems that you are owed a rather belated welcome to the thread. Belated because I see that you have posted here once before at least but no such welcome resulted, sorry about that.

Here we have that ideal situation whereby your brother ticked all the OP boxes for WWII pilot brevet and you, his younger brother, followed in his footsteps albeit as post war nav. Hopefully you can tell us his story and then yours, thus bridging that vital but often overlooked post war transition to the later RAF that most of us inhabited.

No doubt Danny will be along soon enough to do the honours re a reserved comfortable though shabby armchair next to the stove. So make yourself comfortable and settled. Tea, milk, any sugars? When you are ready then, we are all ears.

Oh, you can't dot enough i's and cross too many t's. It's all the 'by the ways' that are the most interesting. Over to you then, Sir.
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Old 16th Feb 2018, 12:50
  #11813 (permalink)  
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Exnomad and Chugalug (#11810 and #11813), from the Grand Old Man of "Pilot's Brevet" :-

Has Homer nodded ? Danny42C is covered in confusion from not having invited you into this our noble company in our cybercrewroom, so drag up a pew, put another shovelful of coke in the stove, here's your cuppa, after this it's 2d (3d for Camp Coffee) in the honesty jar (proper coins, mark you - not this toytown money), wash your own cup up !

Now let's have your brother's story, "warts and all", please.


jeffb (#11806),

A better idea (from the Jap point of view) might've been to release anthrax spores from the balloons.

Old 16th Feb 2018, 16:13
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Andy. The reference is Air 20/1388 British Flying Training Schools in the USA Arnold Scheme.
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Old 16th Feb 2018, 21:10
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Dsrsia described how his father went straight from training in the USA to an instructors course.

This is my dad's instructor's course photo - he is 4th from the left on the 2nd row. He was a Pilot Officer when he began and completed the course, that is within 6 months of being commissioned when he was awarded the brevet at the end of his course at 1 BFTS, Texas.

The idea, I think, was that newly qualified pilots would have more empathy with those undergoing training.

As I posted on another occasion he rebelled and pressed for a transfer to an operational Sqn flying Spitfires. It did not go down well at all, but in the end he got the posting he wanted.

One of the reasons he was so pushy about this, is that when, as a 22 year old, he went to Padgate at the beginning of the war, he was clutching his pilot's A Licence which he earned partially at his own expense on the Civil Air Guard Scheme. However he was told that the Royal Air Force did not need partially trained pilots, what they needed was trainee aircraft fitters. So on a lick and a promise that when flying training was available he would be on the list, he signed-up. In early 1942 he was still hard at it.

Then there was a rumour that some of the fitters were going to be posted to India. He knew it was a case of 'now or never' and made his case to a Senior Officer. He was tested on his flying ability and instead of travelling from Southampton to India, he travelled from Liverpool to Canada and from there to Texas. Some 4 years later when he was a war substantive SO and was able to ask questions, he gently enquired why he had had to wait so long for selection. "Put it down to the administrative chaos of the war" was the reply. But by then the Royal Air Force had made it up to him.
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Old 17th Feb 2018, 13:40
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roving (#11817),

Rings so many bells ! In order, therefore:

Don't know about prewar, but later the RAF didn't have a dedicated core of flying Instructors. Each generation of pilots had to train the next. Obviously the best pilots of each vintage were "Creamed off" for the job. In the States I think 527 of the RAF Cadets were so selected, to remain a further year on instructional duties before return to UK.

It makes sense: I don't buy the "empathy" bit, but they knew the "patter" off by heart - they'd had it drilled into them for six months, they could remember the sequence of their training exercises, they knew the pitfalls and what the dread of the "chop" felt like, they were accustomed to the routine of a flying school.

Did they whoop with joy at the prospect ? Most certainly NOT! In the first place, instructing a well meaning but a clumsy "Prune" (war) or "Bloggs" (peace) can be more dangerous than wartime operations: it can be a fine line between giving him time to recover from his own error before intervening - or taking over too late - so's he kills you both !

Of the time just after Pearl Harbor (I was half way through my training in the States), I said here something to this effect:

"Our instructors (US Army officers) were not happy bunnies. Creamed off from last year's Graduation Class, they now saw their former classmates going off overseas to fame, promotion and glory, while they were left behind chanting their patter: it might be All Over before they got there. In the event, of course, there was plenty of War for everyone, and too much for some".

I'm surprised your Dad had to apply to get off Instructing, I thought they were "joe'd" for a fixed period only, but there you go. Have we got a "Creamie" in the House ? (Was I ever a QFI ? - Good God, No!)

..."the Royal Air Force did not need partially trained pilots".., This seems to be true. They didn't want to have to winkle out all the bad habits you'd formed before starting to teach you how to fly properly. Previous flying experience was an actual disadvantage in selection, (we have a distinguished contributor on here who was shabbily treated [IMHO] by the Navy in this way - but "no names, no packdrill").

But suppose I'd had a few hour's training, using an ASI - and then been stuck in a Stearman and told to manage without one ? A scary prospect, don't you think? But then "what you've never had, you never miss", and we were quite happy, thought it was normal, and that all aircraft were flown like that (well, neither did the Wright Brothers have an ASI, and they made out all right).

Happy Days! - Danny.
Old 17th Feb 2018, 18:52
  #11817 (permalink)  
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I’m not teasing, Danny42C, but how long had you been doing ATC (post-flying) before being ‘creamed off’ as a Shawbury Instructor? I get the feeling it was a few years, though.

When I did my GCA course in 1966, I had a Direct Entry fg off instructor (later AOC MATO) who must have done at least one tour ... but then those transitional years threw up all sorts of anomolies. There was (akin to WW2, I guess) a huge demand for new bums on seats in ATC, as the innumerable ex-aircrew ATCOs from WW2 were coming to the end of their service.
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Old 18th Feb 2018, 12:51
  #11818 (permalink)  
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MPN11 (#11819),

You're right - I had two full tours in ATC (Strubby and RAFG) and two half-tours (Thorney Island and Linton) before they took pity on me and put me out to grass at Shawbury,

So the cream was a bit clotted by the time it got there!


On dit: " 'Em as can do - 'Em as can't Instruct"
Old 18th Feb 2018, 13:06
  #11819 (permalink)  
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Not clotted, Danny, but well-seasoned

You had a good cross-section of the game there!
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Old 18th Feb 2018, 13:34
  #11820 (permalink)  
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... and 'em as can't instruct examine!

... 'at, coat, etc!
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