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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 14th Mar 2018, 13:14
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The Australian markings denote it is a Wirraway. The Australians needed a fighting aeroplane in a hurry when the Japanese started moving south. The only thing that they could manufacture was the Texan trainer so they rehashed it as a two seat fighter.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 07:45
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Danny, both developed from the NA-16, then the design diverged.

"The CAC Wirraway (an Aboriginal word meaning "challenge") was a training and general purpose military aircraft manufactured in Australia by the Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation (CAC) between 1939 and 1946. It was an Australian development of the North American NA-16 training aircraft. The Wirraway has been credited as being the foundation of Australian aircraft manufacturing.[1]

Role Trainer/general purpose
Manufacturer Commonwealth Aircraft Corporation
First flight 1937 (see Development)
Introduction 1939
Retired 1959
Primary users Royal Australian Air Force
Royal Australian Navy
Produced 1939–1946
Number built 755
Developed from North American NA-16
Developed into CAC Boomerang"


After the war the Wirraway was developed into the "Ceres" agricultural aircraft.

The Texan originated from the North American NA-16 prototype (first flown on April 1, 1935) which, modified as the NA-26, was submitted as an entry for a USAAC "Basic Combat" aircraft competition in March 1937. The first model went into production and 180 were supplied to the USAAC as the BC-1 and 400 to the RAF as the Harvard I.

Fareastdriver. Very much a stop-gap fighter developed because we had little else at home. Most of our kit was in various sandpits or Singapore. One (currently in the Australian War memorial) is credited with a Zero kill. It was successful as a trainer and Army co-operation aircraft. (Forward Air Control in today's terms).

I was interested in how the photo showed up the subtle differences in the same design.

Last edited by seafury45; 15th Mar 2018 at 08:03.
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Old 15th Mar 2018, 11:28
  #11903 (permalink)  
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I first flew it in training in the UsAAC as the North American AT-6A, and later flew Harvards (Canadian Car & Foundry built) from time to time in the UK. The main difference was that the AT-6A had a .300 Browning in the RH side of the nose (the cocking handle stuck out from the upper right corner of the panel).

Extensively used an advanced s/e trainer by all the Air Forces, it was a tricky little beast with a savage wing drop at stall and liked to ground-loop on the slightest provocation. Used as a "lead-in" to the viceless Spitfire: some wags said that the Spit was a good lead-in to the Harvard!

Old 15th Mar 2018, 12:38
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As Danny says! I have only (so far!) ground-looped 2 aircraft; Chipmunk when I had 15 hrs total and T6 when I had about 11,000 hrs!

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Old 15th Mar 2018, 16:45
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Apparently on the Harvard when the rear set was empty an inexperienced sole student would wind on too much elevator trim on approach. Were he to overshoot then the nose would pitch up and the aircraft would stall and spin in.

Some were lucky and be pulled out of the cockpit upside down on the grass.
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Old 19th Mar 2018, 11:29
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Bob Frost

To the best of my knowledge there are three surviving members of RAF Bomber Command who were shot down and evaded successfully via the Comet Line.
One of them is Bob Frost, a Wellington rear gunner (here's a Google translation of his Comet file).

I've just heard that Bob (born in 1923) is not that well and he has been admitted to the Ami Lodge rehabilitation home. He has lost the use of his legs and left hand. He is being assessed by the local medical services and will be moved to a permanent nursing home (yet to be chosen) in the next couple of weeks.
That said, it's reported that Bob is in his usual good spirits and quite philosophical about what lies ahead.
In the meantime, I'm sure Bob would appreciate any card or letter you might like to send. Better still if you are able to visit - the hours are from 1400 to 1900. Bob's address for the time being is:-
Ami Lodge
70 London Road
Deal, Kent
CT14 9TF

Tel 01304 239175

If you are able to drop in on Bob, I’m sure he’d be delighted to see you. He’s been a stalwart member of Comet, attending reunions etc, until very recently.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 17:12
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2
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:-
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!

Latest update:
Dear Friends,

There has not been much to report over the last month, but photos are now appearing of the first facing bricks being laid at the Biggin Hill Memorial Museum building. At the planning stage there was considerable play made that these would be 'special hand-made' bricks and presumably at a Memorial to fallen RAF airmen, they would be of UK manufacture. But no, they are an imported machine-made brick, nothing special, manufactured by the Austro-German company Weinerburger AG.

The company's product name for the brick being used is 'Marziale' and it is claimed to be buff coloured, but appears when laid to be almost white, and having a textured finish will inevitably become green with algae! It doesn't even appear to be the mixed colour of bricks I understood the few members of the public who bothered to attend the 'brick selection day' in August 2017 chose and which featured in the architect's subsequent visualisations!

The Weinerberger company was started in Austria in the 1800s and was nearly bombed out of existence by the American Airforce and RAF Bomber Command during the final years of the 2nd World War. They re-established themselves after the war and in the 1980s created facilities in Germany and since then have spread throughout Europe, buying up other manufacturers on the way, and now claim to be the largest brick manufacturer in the world. Quoting from the company's own history: 'In 2001 there was a group wide restructuring with the focus on Germany'.

This thoughtless choice of bricks is seen particularly by the generation who experienced the war as disrespectful. Do we not have UK manufacturers who should be supported and supplying the bricks at this most sensitive of sites? It is further evidence, as if it were needed, of Bromley Council, its BHMM Trust and their Architect's total lack of empathy with the St George's RAF Chapel of Remembrance and its heritage. The impression was created that these bricks were supposedly hand crafted by an independent manufacturer, which couldn't be further from the truth.

Please keep telling your friends of our campaign, by forwarding the link below. We still need signatures.


Thank you all! Rita email: [email protected]
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 17:56
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Desecration is the act of depriving something of its sacred character, or the disrespectful, contemptuous, or destructive treatment of that which is held to be sacred or holy by a group or individual.
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Old 20th Mar 2018, 18:22
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Most brick products fade or can become discoloured, stained with soot or algae etc unless specialised treatment of a glazed finish.
I have no knowledge of all that has occurred, but Wienerburger DO have UK factories, so whatever bricks are chosen they may actually be produced in the UK - at least I expect Wienerburger, irrespective of their Head Office location, to be aware of the sensitivity about a WW2 RAF Memorial.
Was the reasoning behind the "hand made bricks" approach so that donors could "Buy a Brick" and have some message inscribed on it?

I'm not trying to score points or belittle the efforts involved, but asking questions that could resolve the potential problem points.

and Good Luck with progress towards the Memorial.
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Old 24th Mar 2018, 22:24
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Here's an interesting museum
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 09:26
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Visited the Radar museum two years ago. Excellent displays of the control systems as they improved. The old RAF Neatshead control room is the centre piece, they even left the lights on! Also there is a room remembering RAF Coltishall. Excellent.
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 16:07
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Apparently my old office in SHQ is open to the public
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Old 25th Mar 2018, 19:16
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One of my old offices, Vampire T11, WZ 590 is open at Duxford.
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Old 1st Apr 2018, 09:02
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I see from a PM that there is interest in my dads papers and images of his navigation training in South Africa that I listed a few pages ago.
As tomorrow is a day of relaxation Ill have a go at uploading some of them to see how you like them.
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 10:48
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One for Danny

RAF 100 commemoration at the former RAF Thornaby
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 16:11
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As you may remember from my post #11869 on page 594, my dad, Norman Frank Hibbert was born in August 1924, left Hackney Downs School on 17th July 1940 not quite 16 years old and went to work for Anglo American Oil Co. Ltd at Esso House. There he received his RAF welcome letter from The Secretary of State for Air dated 3rd December and post marked 4th December 1942. Here it is with the envelope.

It looks the same as the one posted earlier in the thread, including the phrase "Arrangements will be made to help you with your studies, and you will be told about these in due course.".

EDIT: Oh dear that image is too small, how do I make it bigger? Uploaded to "My albums" accepting default settings. 2nd attempt better. Is that ok for everyone else now?

Last edited by Tr.9er; 2nd Apr 2018 at 16:33. Reason: Image size!
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 16:30
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Here he is 7th from left on 3rd row from front. All have white patches on their forage caps. Anyone know where this was taken? Probably UK from the architecture.
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 16:36
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Now we have a sequence of three images that look like they were taken in South Africa to me.
He's middle row 3rd from left here.

And here he is front row far left

And here back row far right, looking rather casual

Last edited by Tr.9er; 2nd Apr 2018 at 16:39. Reason: Adding more images
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 17:29
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Tr.9e, many thanks for the excellent group pics that include your Dad, and his welcoming letter from Sir Archibald Sinclair, the SoS for Air.

Incidentally, a Southern Railway Bulleid Light Pacific locomotive of the Battle of Britain Classis named Sir Archibald Sinclair is located at the Bluebell Railway and is presently being overhauled (end of Bluebell Railway plug!).

The posted image is too small for my poor eyes to read per se, but by right clicking on it and selecting Save As, I saved it to My Pictures, opened it, and selected the magnification icon. That made it readable for me. Less of a letter and more of a notice, but I guess that was as personal as could be expected at the time given the numbers involved.

Interesting that the importance of waiting patiently for one's turn to be called forward is down to filling vacancies in the schools which were being expanded greatly. It doesn't mention of course the wastage of ops and training that had to be made good before any further operational expansion was possible, but I'm sure that those waiting patiently in the slips had an inkling that was so.
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Old 2nd Apr 2018, 17:53
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Chugalug and Tr.9e,

Not generally known that Sir Archibald Sinclair had a son, F/O Robin Sinclair, a PR Mosquito pilot in Calcutta at the time (summer 1944) when Mossies were falling to pieces in midair.

I would think that the investigations were pressed ahead with all possible speed!

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