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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 17th May 2018, 12:56
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Danny42C
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Octane (#12940),

Michael,

Yes, by 1942 I'd got my "tin wings", and I was back in UK. But the pic needs a bit of interpreting. Clearly annotated by a US clerk, the studes are called "Mr" (the correct mode of address for an Aviation Cadet in a USAAC Flight School), although they are actually RAF LACS.

"Cary" (in the white flying overall) will be the instructor. But six studes to one instructor seems an awful lot. Four was the usual number - and on average, around a half would be "washed-out" in the first two weeks, anyway.

All we wore during the whole six months "Arnold" Course were these flying overalls (our blues having been left behind in Canada), and on my Wings parade in March, 1942, my silver wings (in the form of a brooch) was pinned on them. We were very rarely off camp, but all I then had to wear was the Thirty-bob-Tailors light grey suit they gave me in Blackpool. Coming in to the States in September, 1941, I had to be a "civilian", you see - as the US was still "neutral" ! But in the BFTS, ISTR that they were kitted out in US tropical shirts and slacks, worn with Caps (FS) and white flash.

So "Cary" was on $70 pw. $300 pm. At US$4.08/£ (fixed rate) that was £74 a month - £900 pa, a dream salary in UK. Good money in the States, too, an Aviation Cadet was on only $200. Probably they paid him at the rate they paid their 2/Lieut Instructors, $300 a month at a guess. Us ? - a dollar a day !

Hard to translate into present day figures, but a rough figure for wage inflation ratio over the period would be 150:1. Say £135,000 pa. for "Cary" - Good going!

Never could remember where the pitot head was on a Stearman. What is that funny little thing on the strut showing just above the prop tip ?... Anybody?

Dennis (aka Danny42C)
 
Old 17th May 2018, 12:57
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FED (#12941),

US inflation 1942 to 2018. 1437.1%
Are you sure the decimal point is in the right place ?

Danny.
 
Old 17th May 2018, 13:37
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"What is that funny little thing on the strut showing just above the prop tip ?... Anybody?"

Danny, could that be part of a fuel line? It seems the 2 fuel lines, one either side from the tank up top (46 Gallons apparently) were secured to the struts on their way to the engine...

The aircraft pictured is #51, did you record such info in your logbook in 1941?

Edit: Having a quick look on the 'net reveals several Stearmans with the pitot tube mounted on the outermost strut on the port side. Ring any bells?
Seems like the going rate for an airworthy example today is around US$90,000 compared to the new price of US$11000 in WW2...

Last edited by Octane; 17th May 2018 at 13:55.
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Old 17th May 2018, 13:52
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Octane (#12044),

Nope - recorded no Stearman numbers at Primary. Started doing it on the BT-13s at Basic.

So where was the Pitot Head on a Stearman anyway ? Our Instructors had an ASI in front, so there must have been one somewhere, but the stude in the back had to fly without. Suppose I should know, but I don't.

Danny.
 
Old 17th May 2018, 14:37
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Here you go Danny, half way up the vertical strut port side...

Copyright to "Trade-a-Plane"
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Old 17th May 2018, 16:05
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US inflation 1942 to 2018. 1437.1% Are you sure the decimal point is in the right place ?
That's what the website say so maybe the Yanks use different figures.

Inflation Calculator | Find US Dollar's Value from 1913-2018

I cannot see them earning $1.5 million.
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Old 17th May 2018, 18:45
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Octane (#12046),

So that's where it was ! Never remember any cover on it. I don't suppose we did much of a walk-around anyway. Lovely pic of a fine old aeroplane !

Danny.
 
Old 18th May 2018, 03:21
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It does look rather beautiful doesn't it. Imagining a young Danny clambering into one brings a tear to the eye to be honest.
What colour scheme were your aircraft Danny?

Last edited by Octane; 18th May 2018 at 05:50.
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Old 18th May 2018, 14:39
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Stumbling around looking for something else, came across (Page 117 #2335) <Army Air Corps Cadet, Pilots and Instructors: WWII Flight Training>, (Link Posted by Chugalug 18/2/12). Worth a read,

It would seem that the civilian instructors at Carlstrom were in an outfit called
...The CPTP (Civilian Pilot Training Program) and a large network of civilian flight schools under contract to the US Air Corps, as well as conducting training in its own schools...
This seems to have had its own "wings": my Bob Greer would presumably have been a member. After Pearl Harbor, they were commissioned as reserve officers in the USAAC. I suppose they would be 1st or 2nd "Lootenants": it is entirely reasonable that their pay as former civilians would be much the same as a starting 1/Lt.

And how much would that be? Here I must admit that a lot of my cherished beliefs have been Googled and Wiki'ed into the bin. Item: an Aviation Cadet
did not get the $200 pm I spoke of. He got only $75 pm ($50 + $25 Flight Pay), which is only twice as much as ours at dollar a day.

(Question: how would he have been able to "save enough out of his [six] months pay for a substantional deposit on a new automible ?")

Item: a starter 1/Lt got $166 + 50% = $249.

[Auth: Google <rates of pay usaaf officers in 1941>, select:
<U.S. Army WWII Pay Scale - Forums At The Military Horse
https://www.militaryhorse.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=9760>]

Which is not the $300 I assumed - but he was doing all right all the same !

There must be some of these "on frequency" still alive, who could give us the 'gen' - Please ?

~~~~~~~~~~~

FED (#12047),

I reckon it should be 143.71%, which is not far from my rough 150:1 for UK.

~~~~~~~~~~~

Octane (#12049),

Ours had a natty blue fuselage, yellow wings and a blue and striped tail. The young Danny could hop in better then than he could now (you'd need a hoist, I'm afraid !)

~~~~~~~~~~~

Danny.
 
Old 18th May 2018, 15:02
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The Stearman, PT17s which we had at Terrell ( 1 BFTS ) were numbered and we logged the numbers in our log books, likewise the “Harvard” or AT6a. Our pay October to June 1943/4 was 25 dollars every fortnight. I was never aware of the pay of the Instructors, nor even the Aviation Cadets on our course 18/19 (mumps, back a course!). Happy days!
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Old 18th May 2018, 16:04
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I reckon it should be 143.71%, which is not far from my rough 150:1 for UK.
There must be a Doctor of Mathematics on this thread but my understanding is that 100% is the same again so 100% inflation means double the original. 143.7% would give a result that is 1.437 times the original.

1437.1% is 14.37 times the original which is closer but not the same as the on line calculator.

However the calculations I am using are inflation figures. Wages have outstripped inflation considerably over the last seventy odd years.

That's from a successful O level Maths graduate.

My head hurts; I think I need a drink.

Last edited by Fareastdriver; 18th May 2018 at 16:31.
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Old 18th May 2018, 16:07
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Bit like this one Danny? A better view of the Pitot tube on this photo..

Again, thanks to Trade-A-Plane
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Old 18th May 2018, 17:24
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Originally Posted by Ormeside28
The Stearman, PT17s which we had at Terrell ( 1 BFTS ) were numbered and we logged the numbers in our log books, likewise the “Harvard” or AT6a. Our pay October to June 1943/4 was 25 dollars every fortnight. I was never aware of the pay of the Instructors, nor even the Aviation Cadets on our course 18/19 (mumps, back a course!). Happy days!
My dad's head, but not his legs, as he prepared for his first solo at Terrell.
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Old 18th May 2018, 17:26
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FED (#12052),
That's from a successful O level Maths graduate.,
A successful HSC ("A" level in today's money), with Pure Mathematics as a Principal Subject, having formerly paid no heed to mundane matters like percentages, has reconsidered, now admits that 1437.1% is correct, and crawls back under his flat stone ......

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Octane (#12053),

Yup, that's my baby. À propos of nothing at all: has anything been heard of our "Bird in a Biplane" lately ? And when is the film due for release ?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Danny.
 
Old 18th May 2018, 18:09
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Originally Posted by roving
My dad's head, but not his legs, as he prepared for his first solo at Terrell.
Lucky! I doubt many here got a ‘First Solo’ photo ... it was usually ‘Instructor gets out, secures straps, and a few parting words of advice”

.... unless, of course, taken after surviving First Solo landing!

A lovely bit of memorabilia, though, and I’m sure much treasured.
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Old 18th May 2018, 19:10
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Ormeside (#12051),

Arf a mo ! How come the BFTS at Terrill were paying you $25 a fortnight (rate of $650 pa in '43), while only the year before we Arnold Boys had to make do with $365 pa (no, it wasn't a Leap Year.).
Suppose you needed the extra cash to cut a swathe through the gentle maidens of Terrill, while the USAAC were always in some God-forsaken spot out in the sticks, and starved of feminine companionship.

One Law for the Rich !
 
Old 18th May 2018, 19:44
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But, Danny42C, there was a war going on. That was no time to start cavilling about pay rates.

BTW, I trust your numerous Pensions now compensate??
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Old 18th May 2018, 23:32
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Poor Danny! Not only were you way out in the sticks, but you suffered demerits and senior course syndrome. Our American Aviation Cadets. ( 20 % ) on our course at Terrell couldn’t believe their luck to be on a “grown up “ station where the senior courses were friendly, we didn’t suffer “demerits mister”, and we did solo low level cross countries. Most of our instructors were very experienced pilots who treated us fairly. It is interesting that we oldies can remember way back, but have to think carefully what/where happened yesterday! Thank you for your story Danny, and y’all take care.
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Old 19th May 2018, 14:54
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I came across another Arnold file at the PRO Kew reporting on Course 42A and the initial days at Cochran Field, Macon. The course arrived 5 days before start date so Day one was devoted to drill a.m & p.m. Very hot conditions so between drills allowed to fall out & change kit BUT no showers available until 2100hrs. Upper class was required to haze newcomers and initiate them into the Cadet rules. Indeed the report states that the Officers encouraged the Upper Class to haze effectively and remarks that in the past the Upper Class had been exempt from flying for up to one week to ensure max hazeing. Example of Cadet rules were ' Sit on only 3 inches of the form at meals. No talking. Looking nowhere except at the plate. Confined to rooms when not on duty.'
Quote This method of dealing with the British Students drove them to the point of exasperation. Report concludes that the situation was not helped by no flying taking place and the absence of an RAF liaison Officer at Macon. It was felt that a tactful word from him to the Officers may have resulted in a less antagonistic attitude to the Students view of their initiation into Basic School. Last comment was hazeing at the School has now been abolished.
Another report on Dothan states that there was only one Nav Instructor for 150 pupils. The RAF Officer writes 27 Oct 1941 that '' In a recent visit to various Army Schools I have gained the impression from the Students that the only worry is the prospect of elimination and as regards that very little can be done as the Training Authorities refuse to alter their standards in anyway. Elimination has now dropped progressively otherwise I find that the Students are not unduly troubled by the by the strict discipline and this is because the present intake have been put fully in the picture before they came over. ''
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Old 19th May 2018, 18:06
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Hazing in the "Arnold" Schools.

Dsrsia (#12060),

This is from my Post on "Hazing" (Page 114, #2275 this Thread):

This is the tale I was told, at Carlstrom Field (Florida): Our first British class of 42A met this treatment from 41L - or whatever. There was no particular animus against the British, they would have treated their own chaps just the same. Needless to say, a freeborn Briton would not put up with this; they set upon their tormentors in a body, prevailed and flung them and all their possessions into the camp swimming pool.

Now the authorities could hardly send the whole lot back to Canada - it would provoke a diplomatic incident - so the situation was accepted, "hazing" was suspended, and 42A followed 41L through all three Schools in peace (I don't know about harmony).

Can anyone please shed any more light on this (which presumably must have gone on at other USAAC bases ?) Thanks in anticipation.
No wiser now. Any corroboration ?

Last edited by Danny42C; 19th May 2018 at 18:07. Reason: Quotation Mark error.
 

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