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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 11th Apr 2018, 09:28
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All these images of Union Castle vessels has made me jump forward in my narrative to bring you this image of my dad's homeward journey VJ Day At Sea aboard Athlone Castle. I still don't know if he had passed out of his course at this stage or was still a cadet. How that squares with him navigating in Avro Yorks on the Far East Mail run before demob I don't know. Can anyone throw any light on this?


Obviously printed on board as on the back is a wine, spirit and tobacco price list!


And I've at last found out how to downgrade the scan resolution on my multi-function device. More Sprog soon.

Last edited by Tr.9er; 11th Apr 2018 at 09:33. Reason: 2nd image added
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 12:21
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Virginia Various probably describes South African cigarettes. They rocketed from 1/8 for a box of 50 in 1945 to 2/6 in 1957.

Anyway that's what I paid.
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 13:04
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Originally Posted by Fareastdriver
Virginia Various probably describes South African cigarettes. They rocketed from 1/8 for a box of 50 in 1945 to 2/6 in 1957.

Anyway that's what I paid.
In 1957 I was paying 7/6 for 200 proper British cigarettes.
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 13:33
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 13:35
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 13:37
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 13:39
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For Union Jack Did it look like this during your recent visit?
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 13:54
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 13:56
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 13:57
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 15:42
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Originally Posted by Tr.9er
For Union Jack Did it look like this during your recent visit?
Some more fascinating info here, thank you, TR.9er. Although the town has obviously expanded considerable over the years, some of the scenes certainly seem familiar, and the site of the bridge in Church Street is amazingly unchanged, apart from an added form of causeway for vehicles!

Grateful thanks too to Warmtoast for the splendid photographs of the beautiful Union Castle boats - the weekly mail ships sailing as regular as clockwork at 4 pm on Thursdays from both Southampton and Cape Town!

Jack
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 16:14
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TEN YEARS ago this wonderful thread was started by former Lancaster bomber pilot Cliff Leach and soon became the most popular on Prune. Ten years later the thread contains almost 12,000 posts and has had more than three million viewings. In 2012 we welcomed yet another new poster in Danny42C, who soon won everyone's heart with his combination of Hibernian wit, wry humour, and generosity, with hundreds logging on daily to read his latest offering.

After training in Florida and OTU in England Danny was posted to India expecting to fly the graceful Spitfire on which he had trained. But instead of that dainty ballerina of the skies he was horrified to be given a lumbering elephant in the form of the Vultee Vengeance dive-bomber. Danny and the Vengeance would be partners for the next four years, fighting in Burma to support the 'Forgotten Army' in battles which were as ferocious and as important as many being fought in Europe.

As he had acquired his first computer at the age of 90, at times the travails of Danny and his laptop became almost as tense as his account of his first dive-bombing sortie. It has been a real pleasure and a privilege to work with Danny, now in his 97th year, in collating his hundreds of posts into In with a Vengeance, an e-book in which his affection for India and its people shines out as well as his patriotism.

Here are the tales of the terrifying crash which almost cost him his life, how Danny lost an elephant and had Indian bureaucracy chase him for months, the screaming practice dive from two miles above Madras airfield that terrified the populace, the gas warfare trials with mustard gas sprays, the threat of court-martial rather than burn the cantankerous steed for which he had developed a grudging affection, and even a wartime romance amid the scandalised society of Bangalore.

In with a Vengeance is intended for Danny's family and friends, not for general release. If Brevet readers would like a copy, send your email address to me, Geriaviator, as a PM. Edited to add: please give me a week or two, replies coming already, easier to send out in batches.

Last edited by Geriaviator; 11th Apr 2018 at 17:09. Reason: Give me a week or two ...
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 16:57
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Geriaviator, that’s a wonderful gesture. Cracking cover photo too.

BZ to you, sir.
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 17:44
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What wonderful news, Geriaviator and what a marvellous joint venture by you and Himself - BZ indeed, and a cracking title to boot.

Jack
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Old 11th Apr 2018, 18:19
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Bl00dy fantastic. BZ to both of you
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 15:26
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Geriaviator, I can only add to the above: A super idea, these stories have to be passed on. I know of too many people who, unfortunately, have not done that.

Thank you Danny42C and Geriaviator,

Goe4
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 17:35
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Geriaviator, this is surely this thread's finest hour. I say this is in full knowledge of the illustrious band of brothers that have told the story of gaining an RAF Pilots Brevet in WWII, starting with Cliff very nearly a full 10 years ago. We have all been captivated and ever informed since, as each in turn gave witness to those very dangerous years. But then we came to Danny, or rather he to us, and his incredibly detailed memory combined with an irreverent and mischievous sense of humour gave us the real sense of determination that was required as a mere pawn being directed by their Airships to the many corners of the Earth. That you have encapsulated all that and so much more is a tribute to you both and I commend this book to one and all, a fitting commemoration of the best ever thread and all who have posted on it.
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Old 15th Apr 2018, 19:48
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Originally Posted by Chugalug2
Sir Archibald's name pops up in many wartime stories. Sunderland W4026 crashed into Eagle's Rock, Caithness, on 25/08/1942. All 15 on board had supposedly perished as matched with the SOB, including the King's youngest brother, Prince George the Duke of Kent, an RAF Air Commodore on the staff of the RAF Inspector General.
When working at CSOS Brora, Sutherland in the 1970s one of the visiting telephone engineers had an MBE which he received for establishing a telephone line between the crash site and the nearest telephone exchange thus allowing Buckingham Palace to get first-hand reports from those on the scene.
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 08:51
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ricardian, an interesting reminder of the days when the telegram was the default medium for communicating news, both good and bad. Royalty could go one better of course, but the loss of Prince George must have been a hard knock for his brother, the King.

Interestingly. Prince George's name cropped up previously when Hess parachuted into Scotland. An ATS driver recalled that night when she and fellow drivers waited at the Duke of Hamilton's home Dungavel, south of Glasgow for the VIP's they had driven there. Amongst those VIP's waiting by the airstrip in the grounds was "the Duke". "Surely the Duke of Hamilton was on duty that night at RAF Turnhouse (he was an Air Commodore and in charge of the Air Defence of Scotland)?", she was asked in an interview years later. "No not that duke, the Duke of Kent!", was her reply. The airstrip lights were seen to illuminate for some 15 minutes (this during a wartime blackout!), and thereafter the said VIPs rapidly left. About that time Hess bailed out of his Me110, apparently having been unable to locate the airstrip lights.

Another piece of the puzzle here:-

Duke of Hamilton
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Old 16th Apr 2018, 18:52
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Another WWII bomber pilot passes away.

Telegraph Obituaries
16 APRIL 2018 • 5:30PM
Wing Commander Henry Cobb, who has died aged 95, flew Wellington bombers on night attacks and shadowing operations against enemy coastal naval forces; he was awarded the DSO and the DFC.

Already a veteran of 30 bombing operations over North-west Europe and North Africa, Cobb was appointed to the newly formed No 524 Squadron in April 1944. The squadron flew specially modified Wellington bombers from an airfield in Devon. Its role was to attack enemy E-boats (heavily armed fast patrol boats) and fly anti-submarine patrols off the north French coast at night. It also shadowed and illuminated enemy coastal shipping for Beaufighter strike aircraft to attack with rockets.

During the build up to D-Day in June, it was important to prevent U-boats entering the western end of the English Channel and to attack E-boats that could pose a significant threat to the Allied landings in Normandy. On May 16 Cobb spent four hours shadowing and attacking a force of E-boats. On July 6 he attacked another nine and continued shadowing them to provide reports for follow-on attacks.

With Allied forces well established in Normandy, the squadron moved to Norfolk. On August 9 Cobb illuminated a force of E-boats for Beaufighters. The boats were close inshore and, hindered by low cloud, Cobb had to make several runs across the mouth of the Seine at Le Havre to provide directions, enabling the Beaufighters to make a successful attack. Two nights later, one of the two engines of his Wellington failed while flying at low level, but he managed to gain just enough height to reach the coast and make a crash landing.

On August 17 he was operating off the Dutch coast when he made another attack, this time against five E-boats. He continued to shadow them for an hour and provide accurate reports for other forces to engage the enemy. He won an immediate DFC. In September he carried out a successful attack on merchant shipping in the Wilhelmshaven anchorage. He encountered heavy anti-aircraft fire but dropped his bombs, leaving a large ship on fire.

Throughout the winter of 1944-45 he attacked more shipping and, at the end of the war, he was awarded an immediate DSO. The citation stated: “His record of courage and flying skill have earned him an outstanding reputation, and he sets a magnificent example.”

Henry James Cobb was born on May 31 1922 at Chelmsford and educated at Worthing High School. He was just 18 when he enlisted in the RAF and trained as a pilot.

In September 1941 he joined No 458 Squadron to fly Wellingtons. He took part on raids against Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Aachen. In February 1942 the squadron left for the Middle East and Cobb and his crew ferried one of the aircraft to Egypt. He bombed Tobruk on five occasions before moving to Malta, where he flew torpedo strikes and mine-laying operations off the Italian coast. After completing 30 war sorties he returned to Britain and began a series of specialist anti-shipping courses before joining No 524 Squadron.

After the war he flew Liberator transport aircraft before converting to the Lancaster to fly maritime patrol sorties, first with Coastal Command and then with No 38 Squadron in Malta as a flight commander for two years.

In 1952 he attended the Empire Test Pilots’ School at Farnborough and at the end of the year-long course he remained there with the Armament and Guided Weapons Flight, when he flew the early jet fighters and bombers. For his work as a test pilot he was awarded the AFC.

During his time as a staff officer in Malaya in 1958 Cobb was involved in the formation of the Malayan Air Force.

He returned to the UK in October 1959 and spent the next six years as a test pilot, first with the RAF Handling Squadron at Boscombe Down and then at Farnborough in the Department of Human Engineering, where he tested pressure suits and helmets for the V-Bombers and other high-flying aircraft.

He took voluntary retirement from the RAF in December 1967 and moved to Aden as deputy of the embryonic South Arabian Air Force. This proved to be a difficult time for Cobb and his wife who, after a few months, found themselves confined to their house before they were able to leave.

In the early 1970s he served with the Sultan of Oman’s Air Force. Later he learnt to fly helicopters and for a number of years worked as a crop-spraying pilot in the UK, Africa and the US.

He retired to South Africa before moving to the Charente region of France. Keen on watching nature and reading, he enjoyed his whisky and red wine.

Henry Cobb married Rosamund in 1953. She and their two daughters survive him.

Henry Cobb, born May 31 1922, died March 22 2018
Wing Commander Henry Cobb ? obituary
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