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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 May 2018, 16:02
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Wow, FED, never knew that existed. An ex-Arnold pilot? Or was that the RCAF production line?

And just 19-yo ...I just shivered when I read that.
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Old 4th May 2018, 17:51
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Born in Shanghai of an American father and British mother. Enlisted in the RCAF in 1940.
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Old 4th May 2018, 18:54
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... and when I was 19, I dread to think. Enjoying the Swinging Sixties, getting copious leg-over, pratting around on 2 wheels, enjoying the benefits of the Air Training Corps and getting a haircut before heading to BRNC. Dear God, my generation was exceptionally lucky.
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Old 4th May 2018, 18:58
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roving (#12018),

Thank you for a most informative link. Having put in a Post on this very subject (Inflation) many moons ago, under the title "Economics for Tiny Tots", I tried to recover it through "Search this Thread" without success (there's a surprise!) As so often, Google saved the day and I found it on Page 27 of the Archive. When time allows, will compare this Inflation Table with the ones I used.

But that is not the point of this Post. Roaming around in the Archive (as one does), I came across a subject which our long-term readers will remember well. I cannot do better than to reproduce it here:

..........


"Danny42C
1st Dec 2014, 00:07

As this Thread has been running for 6 years, has generated 6,500+ Posts spread over 327 Pages and is still going strong, it occurred to me that some of our more recently joined contributors may not have had the time or the stamina to work through all the "back numbers".

This would be a pity, for many of them are well worth digging out, and I thought I would point the way to one of the most exciting and "cliff-hangering" of them all. This is regle's (RIP) account of the Tel Aviv hijack (42 years back this last May), when he wasa 707 Captain with SABENA.

I thought to list pages and Post numbers. From memory, I'm sure the whole story was brilliantly written out in great detail by Reg from beginning to end, but now it seeems that the most dramatic part (the end) has been taken down. No matter: here is the "steer"to what is still on Thread:

30th May 2010, p.89 #1776 Flight to Hell Aviv

1st Jun 2010, p.90 #1786 The time has come...

"And there I must leave you again until the next instalment"

3rd Jun 2010, p.90 #1790 More...

4th Jun 2010, p.90 #1796 Into the Lion's den.

5th Jun 2010, p.90 #1798 A new day dawns...

6th Jun 2010, p.91 #1801 Enough is as good as a feast.....

and:

"I am going to disappoint a lot of people but I have come to the conclusion that it is better to leave you all "cliff hanging" as it were. so there will be no more on the events of nearly forty years ago from me. It left an indelible scar upon my life and the life of my family and I pay homage to the people of all faiths who suffered . Please understand. Regle"

Reg died on 1st August 2010.

Wiki has the whole story (Sabena Flight 571), but, as I recollect, it was (originally) much more completely and better told by Reg himself on this Thread, where he carried on Posting (at the time) after #1801 until the successful end of the affair (marred only by the later death of one passenger wounded in the firefight). (And, IIRC, Reg flew the aircraft back to Brussels the next day !)

He was (rightly) fêted for his coolness and acumen throughout; he was honoured by the Belgian King; the story was told in the media around the world, exciting admiration and respect on all sides.

Why these his final Posts were taken down (presumably by him) is a mystery to me, but of course "we understand", Reg, and we must not pry or speculate now or ever. So, from one old Arnold Scheme Aviation Kay-Det to another: Cheers, Reg !

Requiescas in Pace.

Danny.
Warmtoast
1st Dec 2014, 17:55
Danny42C


Why these his final Posts were taken down (presumably by him) is a mystery to me

I assume something about them must have upset him. I posted some UK press cuttings about the event and he asked me to remove them, which I did (Page 91 Posts #1806 and #1807 refer)

Meanwhile your post prompted me to explore further and was surprised to learn that a young (Lieutenant at the time) Benjamin Netanyahu participated in the rescue and was wounded.

Two years ago there was a conference held in Israel to mark the 40th anniversary of the Sabena rescue mission. As reported in the Jerusalem Post at the time:

.........


"On May 8, 1972, four Palestinian terrorists from Black September boarded Sabena Flight 571 from Vienna to Tel Aviv. Twenty minutes after taking off from a scheduled stop, the hijackers took control of the flight and instructed the captain to continue as planned to Israel’s Lod Airport (now Ben Gurion International Airport). Less than 24 hours later, Israeli commandos, among them today’s most prominent Israeli leaders, launched a daring operation to rescue the flight’s passengers and retake the plane.

Soon after realizing the gravity of the situation, English-born Captain Reginald Levy radioed ahead to Israel to notify authorities of the terrorist plot flying towards them at hundreds of miles per hour. Then-defense minister Moshe Dayan immediately began organizing a response, a perhaps far-fetched plan to rescue the passengers.

In initial contacts, the hijackers made their demands: They would free the passengers and crew in exchange for the release of over 300 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.

After nightfall, hours after the plane had parked near Lod Airport’s lone terminal, Israeli forces carefully snuck under the plane to deflate its tires and disable its hydraulic systems. In an attempt to calm the terrorists after they discovered the plane had been disabled, Captain Levy kept them occupied through the night with constant chatter, discussing “everything under the sun … from navigation to sex,” he later recalled.

In the morning, the hijackers sent the plane’s captain to show the Israelis that they indeed possessed adequate explosives to destroy the plane. Levy, realizing that the only hope for him and the passengers (one of whom was his wife) lay in the hands of the Israelis, provided them with detailed about the hijackers’ whereabouts and the layout of the plane.

Armed with a better understanding of what they were up against, 16 commandos from the elite Sayeret Matkal unit disguised themselves as airplane mechanics. The team was commanded by current Defense Minister Ehud Barak. Other members of the team included current Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, former MK and Mossad chief Danny Yatom and former MK Uzi Dayan. The commandos approached the plane and pretended to examine the equipment on its underbelly.

Having successfully reached the plane without raising suspicion, the commandos quickly removed the Boeing 707’s emergency exit doors and immediately engaged the terrorists. “It was over quickly, in seconds,” former Sayeret Matkal soldier Eliezer Sacks recently recalled to The Jerusalem Post. Hours after being freed from the hijacked jetliner, one passenger told Channel 1, “We saw what appeared to be an ElAl crew approaching, within one minute [they] broke into plane. Within two minutes it was all over.”

Another passenger described the firefight, saying that first shots fired by the commandos hit one of the female hijackers in the rear of the plane who was gripping a hand grenade. The man, excitedly recalling the events to Channel 1, said he immediately grabbed the grenade and held the spoon down to stop it from exploding.
Two of the terrorists were killed in the raid and two others, females, were captured. One passenger was killed in the firefight and six passengers were wounded. Netanyahu was also shot during the operation, reportedly by friendly fire.

In a touching close to the story, 35 years after the Sabena crew and passengers were rescued, one of the commandos who took part in the raid returned Sabina Captain Reginald Levy’s captain hat to his daughter, Linda Lipschitz, then an editorial assistant at The Jerusalem Post. Levy, who remained in contact with Ehud Barak and President Shimon Peres for the remainder of his life, passed away last year at the age of 88.

Along with the Entebbe Operation four years later, the rescue of Sabena Flight 571 remains one of the most daring Sayeret Matkal operations known to the public. The operation has been studied and greatly praised by security forces the world over for its efficiency and success. Steve Linde contributed to this report

Full details here together with two links to YouTube videos of the rescue:
This Week in History: Israeli commandos retake Flight 571 (http://www.jpost.com/Features/In-Thespotlight/This-Week-in-History-Israeli-commandos-retake-Flight-571)"...

..........


Subsequently, I learned that Reg's Posts had been collated into a posthumous excellent book: "Night Flak and HiJack" published by his family. Clearly the Posts relating to the incident had (quite understandably) been taken down to protect book sales. I have the "Kindle" version, and it is an excellent read. It is available from the Brazilian River.

I would assume that it has dropped out of the "best-seller" list over the years, and I hope this my mention of it may reawaken interest in it.

Rather "a big helping", but "when the Lord made Time, He made plenty of it".

Danny.
 
Old 4th May 2018, 19:29
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A love letter on a vinyl record recorded in India, October 1945. Can you help find Rick Wilkinson of Salisbury?

Last edited by ricardian; 4th May 2018 at 19:43.
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Old 6th May 2018, 17:20
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Re Danny's piece about Reg Levy above.
Reg's obituary together with a photograph of the man himself appeared in the Guardian here:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/20...-levy-obituary
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Old 6th May 2018, 18:14
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He truly had nine lives, four of which are recorded in the Guardian Obituary.

In November 1942, having been injured by anti-aircraft fire over northern Holland, he flew the damaged aircraft back, on one engine. The remaining engine failed over East Anglia, the bomber crashed into a wood, and yet Levy and his navigator survived.
His plane was hit – while raiding Mannheim – by a Luftwaffe nightfighter
over Hanover, a bomb from another aircraft plunged through his Halifax, without detonating over Hanover
On his (50th ) birthday (on 8th May 1972), he was flying a Boeing 707, with Dora and 89 other passengers, from Brussels to Lod airport, near Tel Aviv, via Vienna. Twenty minutes after takeoff from the Austrian capital, and at 30,000ft, Levy's career collided with the Israel-Palestine conflict. Two men asserting membership of the Palestinian Black September Organisation (BSO) broke into the cockpit with pistols and a grenade, while their comrades, two women with plastic explosives, remained in the cabin.
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Old 6th May 2018, 18:20
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Talking of hijacking, I very nearly got caught up in one in 1970. BOAC flight 775 from Bahrain on 9th September 1970. The hijackers flew it, and another 2 if I remember correctly, into some airfield in Jordan, took everyone off, then blew up all the Aircraft.

Long story. I should have been onboard, but we were delayed by engine trouble. Only time I've been happy to be delayed!
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Old 7th May 2018, 09:40
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Edited extracts from an article in today's Guardian, written by  Michael Morpurgo, the author of the book (which became a movie) 'War Horse', in which he explains why he has written and published a new book 'In the Mouth of the Wolf'. (Yes I know there is a thread for 'books', but this is about WWII).

https://www.theguardian.com/books/20...not-for-brexit

My uncles have fascinated and inspired me since I was a child. In my family, their lives are legendary. All my writing life I had wanted to tell their story. Writing it was my way of trying to remember them, of acknowledging my debt to them, and all the millions of “mouthless dead” of two wars. They had fought for peace. ...

The two brothers, though very different – Francis, tall, confident and charismatic, Pieter, smaller, tentative and fragile – were close. They came from a Christian socialist family, their father, Emile, was a Belgian poet and free thinker, later art critic, philosopher and professor of Belgian studies at London University. Their mother, Tita, was an actor, a devoted Christian, a formidable and highly principled woman. There were four equally formidable sisters, my mother among them. It was a house of music, theatre and books, of heated discussion and strong opinions. Holidays were often spent walking in the Ardennes, which the family loved.

Francis, a socialist and pacifist, went to Cambridge and became a teacher. Pieter went to Rada in London and was starting out on a promising career as an actor when war broke out in September 1939. He joined up almost at once. Francis, following his convictions, became a conscientious objector, and was sent to work as a shepherd on a Lincolnshire farm. The Germans were soon invading Belgium, through the family’s beloved Ardennes, and marching into France, towards the Channel. Invasion was threatening.

In 1941, Pieter, now a sergeant observer in the RAF, was killed when his plane crashed in St Eval in Cornwall. The family were devastated. Francis, still shepherding but now a husband and father, decided he could no longer stand by while others were fighting for his family’s survival, and for the beliefs and freedoms that were so precious to him.

He confided his dilemma to Harry Rée, his great friend, fellow teacher and pacifist, who, unbeknown to Francis, had already joined the Special Operations Executive, SOE. Francis spoke fluent French. Harry said that could be useful, and that he would put him in touch with someone in London. Francis walked into an interview in an upstairs room in Baker Street a shepherd, and came out an officer in the SOE.

After months of gruelling training, during which he could say nothing to his wife, Nan, or his friends and family, Francis found himself in German occupied France. In Paris, he realised at once that fellow agents there were compromised. Within days more than 60 were rounded up and shot. Francis by this time had made his way south, where he found himself organising and supplying resistance fighters, the Maquis, across a swath of southern France, an army that in the end numbered more than 10,000 men and women, comprising communists, socialists and Gaullists, from all walks of life, all determined to rid their country of the invader.

So this pacifist uncle was now a secret agent, fighting the enemy, living in constant danger of capture and death. But he proved to be an agent who had all the right instincts. Trust, he knew, was everything. He had seen others’ mistakes. He picked his few friends with great care. He was courageous, and scrupulous about security, never sleeping more than two nights in one place. He inspired and gave great loyalty.

The Germans put a huge price on his head, but he was never betrayed. He managed to outwit both the Gestapo and their counterparts in the dreaded French Milice, and survived these perilous years through his skill and bravery, but also through the love and courage of his comrades. He returned after the liberation of France to his family, and to his life as a headteacher, and a principal of teacher-training colleges in England and in Botswana.

When Francis was an old man, I visited him in Le Pouget, the village in south-east France where he came to live in his latter years, to be closer to his family and his old friends from the resistance. Only if pressed would he speak of his war years. Two weeks before he died, the villagers gave him a 90th birthday party. The children sang, the mayor made a speech. He was a legend there, too, not only in his family.
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Old 7th May 2018, 10:19
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One here for Danny42C ... now you can see what was inside the ops Bunker (3m50s onwards)!

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Old 7th May 2018, 10:34
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I always remember a post by regle who when on Mosquitos decided it would be a better career move after the war to have 4 Engine experience so he asked to go on 4 engine bombers whilst all around him bomber aircrew were dropping like flies.
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Old 7th May 2018, 10:37
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Old 7th May 2018, 13:07
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Roving - lot of dust in the air today, but thanks.
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Old 7th May 2018, 19:32
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MPN11 (#12031),

Thank you for pointing me to this clip. I shall always look back with affection on the three years I spent with the Auxiliaries at Thornaby (en passant finding me a wife, tho' not of their number).

The essential point of the R.Aux.A.F Fighter Control Units was that they formed an instantly available, fully trained Reserve for the Rotor Defence system. We reckoned to get our (mostly) girl Plotters and Operators, and ex-war Fighter Controllers in, on the bus, and "down the hole" in three hours, although this was never put to the test, because of the enormous disruption it would cause to local schools, shops and offices concerned. Fighter Command would get another Vampire squadron (608) at the same time.

An amusing quirk: although a supermarket checkout girl with three months' WRAuxAF service could have a Special Security Pass to go down our "hole" (RAF Seaton Snook), I (their Adj) was denied such a Pass, because as an admin-wallah I had "No need to know". Same went for the Station Commander !

Of course, in the event of a Warsaw Pact strike in Europe, the RAF's existing Reservists (and, I suppose, all who'd served in the trades involved in WWII) would be called in. But they would need to be rounded up, medically checked, kitted out and refresher trained); all this takes time during which our people would "hold the fort" with the drastically reduced number of RAF Regulars.

I think it would have been "All right on the Night", but mercifully we never had to find out. They were disbanded in 1957. Had Peace broken out - I wonder.

Danny.
 
Old 8th May 2018, 07:29
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Thanks Ricardian - nice sequence of a 56 Sqn scramble
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Old 11th May 2018, 10:15
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I might have made a 'find'

I was reliving my Valiant Years On Youtube at:
when I found at approx 39:17, there is an interview with Sqn Ldr 'Tiff' O'Connor, he mentions that he flew the Vengance and there is footage!

Danny, Did you know him?
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Old 11th May 2018, 12:34
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ian16th (#12037),

Thanks for the video - v.interesting, too. No, the name O'Connor does not ring a bell, but there were four RAF VV Squadrons, and one IAF with a half-RAF component. The VV footage is well known IAF stock, probably produced back at the OCU in Peshawar, for no one in the forward areas would be allowed a camera, still less a home cine (for security reasons).

My guess is that Sqn Ldr O'Connor came out towards the end, when the Mossies were introduced to replace the VVs (which had all been [prematurely IMHO] pulled out of the line on the onset of the '44 Monsoon), and were lying around all over the place and doing odd jobs till the bitter end, when all were scrapped.

Danny.
 
Old 11th May 2018, 18:05
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Looking back at the earlier YouTube material, I found it interesting that aircraft were happily operating from ‘grass parking’. Something small/light like a Vampire of Meteor I could understand, but that ‘stream taxy’ off the grass by Canberras was an eye-opener.
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Old 17th May 2018, 06:22
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One for you Danny..

I found this photo trawling through the internet. I hope it hasn't been posted before? It may be a little after your time, 1942?

On the back of the photo is written:

British cadets and their instructor, Carlstrom Field, Arcadia region, Florida


L-R: Thompson, Hurst, Instructor Caroll Stoeckel, Osborn, Crayer and Parkinson.
Also notes the Instructor was paid $70 per week. Seems a lot of dosh for those days?!

Best wishes

Michael
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Old 17th May 2018, 08:01
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Seems a lot of dosh for those days?!
A bit of research.

$70/week..$3,640/annum

US inflation 1942 to 2018. 1437.1%

$3,640 is now $55,950

In 1942 $3,640 @ US$4/£1 would be £910/annum

In 2018 $55,950 @ US$1.35/£1 is £41,350/annum

A reasonable going rate for an instructor.
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