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Old 3rd Jul 2008, 05:29   #121 (permalink)
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The Link Trainer part of our course, some 25 years after Cliff, consisted mainly of waiting until the so-called instructor (usually another course mate) either fell asleep or got too engrossed in his comic book to notice, and then attempting to 'walk' the 'crab' off the edge of the table, which could be a spectcularly noisy affair.

I can still hear the wheeze of the pneumatics as the beast manoeuvred and recall that first wobble 'n' wheeze as the locks were released.

Ansett was still using them for DME homing training etc into the 80's.
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Old 3rd Jul 2008, 12:57   #122 (permalink)
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Used to do ILS approached in the Link with my hands behind my head, by leaning...!
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Old 4th Jul 2008, 02:21   #123 (permalink)
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Flying Training in the 40's

I trained at 1 BFTS, Terrell, Texas from October 1943 to June 44. Stearman for 70 hours. We couldnt speak to our instructor. He would talk to us, then look in the mirror and we would nod that we understood. Then the AT6 or Harvard for 130 hours. We had 20% American cadets on our courses. They took the RAF Wings exam and were presented with RAF and also US Army Wings. Unfortunately when the Army lost most of their Glider Pilots at Arnhem, those of us in the pool at Harrogate, (waiting for Spitfires or Mustangs!!) were asked to volunteer to be seconded to the Glider Pilot Regiment. Some did, so we were read the Riot Act and told that if we didn't volunteer we would never fly again. So we did. We joined the Glider Pilot Regiment, were taught to fly the Hotspur and Horsa or Hamilcar and became the RAF Element, Glider Pilot Regiment. The Glider Pilots, veterans of Sicily, D-Day, and Arnhem, taught us to be infantrymen and to be able to be able to help the troops we took into battle. A lot of us took part in the Rhine Crossing and we lost a lot of our mates. I was on emberkation leave for the Far East when THE BOMB was dropped.
After demob I rejoined and ended up in Coastal Command and I am sure that my GPR training helped me get my commission.
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Old 4th Jul 2008, 15:40   #124 (permalink)
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Terrel Texas

Hi Bravolima.
Very pleased to receive your contribution.
Why don't you join me and take some of the blame ( only joking .The blame I mean ) Think you must have reached Harrogate after me , they offered me a commission as a pilot in the fleet air arm, which I refused, but more about Harrogate later if this blog runs that long. My oppo at R,A,F Wunstorf had been a glider pilot on the Arnhem trip and came back on a stretcher. he got a wound stripe though.

Thanks for the info on coms in a PT17, shows us Limeys were more advanced than the Americans, with our Gosport tube.

Wonder if any one is interested in the fact that there was an air provost branch bloke at Harrogate who's only job was to log low flying aircraft As soon as any one got away from Harrogate their sole object was to dive bomb the Majestic with toilet rolls and what are now known as condoms (partially inflated) Rumor had it thaat a Spit knocked off a chimney pot.

Sorry folks for the diversion, but am waiting for some Ponca excersise books I gave to my Grandson. with some memorabilia. That's if he hasn't swapped them for an I-pod.

Atten ------shun. I want three volunteers , you, you, and you.
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Old 5th Jul 2008, 11:02   #125 (permalink)
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Spies Watching.

I will have to be careful in the future. Just found this on my daughters face book page.

"It's been a bit of an eye opener for me as I've heard the sanitized versions of his stories over the years but I think he's forgetting that Bill and I are reading these threads!!!! Be warned Dad."

Remember -Even the walls have ears.-
- Be like dad , keep mum. (Official war time advice)
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Old 5th Jul 2008, 11:20   #126 (permalink)
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Please don't feel inhibited by the wains listening. This thread has made me feel the way I did when I was young and my Uncle would try to impress on my Dad what it was like when the R.A.F. had a very important job to do. His stories always got better the more he forgot that the youngsters were listening too ...
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Old 6th Jul 2008, 16:16   #127 (permalink)
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Exercise books

I have to apologize to my grandson, for suggesting he might have swapped my R.A.F exercise books for an i-pod.
He has just brought them back. I thought I would reproduce the first two pages and explain how we we attended lectures during the day, entered the the days work in our books, in the billets in the evening. After this we would test each other to ensure we had memorized it correctly.
Page one and two are very elementary.but still required a lot of memorizing It became more difficult as we went along, and this particular book consisted of 160 pages , all hand written.

From my notes I am reminded that the Tiger Moth (DH 82 A) had to have the prop swung by hand , but on the PT 17 we had to put a handle in the side of the engine cowling turn it until we heard a loud whine. This meant a flywheel was spinning fast we then we pulled out a clutch lever, this rotated the engine which usually started up straight away. This was called an inertia starter.

The rest of the book covers all the items I have previously mentioned, and I can now refer to it as I ramble on. There are pages on Visual signals used by airfield controllers. Pyrotechnics, Entering the beam on a Q.D.M , . Theory of bombing plus, plus, ad infinitum. All to be memorized for future exams.
Will describe our flying exercises next.

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Old 6th Jul 2008, 23:24   #128 (permalink)
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Yet more fascinating stuff, Cliff. BTW, I used to have neat handwriting like that but not any more. Semper in excretia sumus solim profundum variat...
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Old 7th Jul 2008, 00:32   #129 (permalink)
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There was at least one other way, at least in the RCAF. My uncle entered with a direct commission in the late 30s. He applied for pilot training but was refused as he had a minor visual defect. He rose to SqL in the supply branch. Later the powers that be lowered the bar and he qualified but was refused on the ground that he was too valuable in the supply branch. He then took 2 weeks leave and returned with a PPL. He was then accepted for training but had to accept a reduction in rank to PPO (Provisional Pilot Officer). He later flew a tour in 6 Group and came back to Canada with a DSO, Croix de Guerre, with Palm etc.etc. He retired as a WingCo.

After an excellent landing you can use the airplane again!
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Old 7th Jul 2008, 11:05   #130 (permalink)
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To Exscrbbler.
Even I am amazed at the "neat handwriting " My hand writing was terrible before the war , and after In fact " The moving finger having writ moved on, nor all thy piety or wit could decipher half a word". In fact even I could not decipher my own writing sometimes . On reflection. I think it does show both you and me, how seriously we dealt with the whole matter. After all , I bought the loose leaf book, out of my four shillings and sixpence per day. I also see I have stuck calico rings both sides of each page. Small points, but good indicators of our mood at that time.

Semper in excreta (i) was mainly used by the intelligentsia , us lesser mortals used the expression "up the creek without a paddle"

To Flash 2001.
Nice to hear from Canada.
A terrific achievement .
Ground crew often hit this glass ceiling, when they applied for aircrew training, on the grounds they could not be replaced. Particularly in the case of Halton Brats, although a lot of them did become aircrew after being refused numerous times. The reply was we can always replace aircrew but not aircraft apprentices.

Let go the painter Jack, I'm in the dinghy.
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Old 7th Jul 2008, 12:33   #131 (permalink)
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***** taurorum animas conturbit

Always chuck in some Latin; bullsh*t baffles brains, I always find...

***** taurorum animas conturbit.
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Old 8th Jul 2008, 17:44   #132 (permalink)
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First Week At 6 B.f.t.s

Now I have my log book and classroom notes to hand my memory is refreshed to some degree. I was evidently instructed by Mr Dux on familiarization , taxying ,medium turns, climbing and gliding, straight and level,stalling, and over shoot procedure. This was all carried out over the 101 ranch. To us youngsters it was , a perfect life, spoiled only that we knew we could be eliminated (washed out) at any time, and it really did bother us all the time we were there.
Also three hours instrument flying on the link trainer, under the hood as we called it

Each day we spent a half day in the classrooms. My notes show we were taught starting procedures for the P.T 17, and stopping, the engine. How to prolong engine life, and after instruction on the lubrication system we had to draw a diagram of the complete system. We also learned and memorized all the lamp signals for take off and landing, as there were no radios in the P.T17s. For instance, the aircraft letter was flashed in green to indicate permission to land, intermittent red meant total refusal to land and many more , such as signals by night plus torch signals by ground staff.

The evenings were spent swotting up our notes ,with an occasional swim in the camp pool to cool off.

Last edited by cliffnemo; 9th Jul 2008 at 10:30.
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Old 8th Jul 2008, 19:52   #133 (permalink)
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Sorry Mr Moderator for size of pic . Will watch it in future.
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 06:16   #134 (permalink)
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No problem! It fits the page perfectly.

Carry on sir!
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 09:05   #135 (permalink)
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I remember my instructor telling me, in 1950 when he was quite old (about 30 perhaps) to "tickle Mary Pickford for forty glorious hours". Trim set for take off, throttle friction nut tight, mixture rich, pitch fully fine, fuel sufficient, gills set, gyros errect and synchronised, hood (open in Harvard), harness tight, hydrulics OK. With small alterations it fits most aircraft. But who/what is Mary Pickford?
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Old 9th Jul 2008, 09:17   #136 (permalink)
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Mary Pickford - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Known as "America's Sweetheart," "Little Mary" and "The girl with the curls," she was one of the first Canadian pioneers in early Hollywood and one of film's greatest pioneers. Her influence in the development of film acting was enormous. Because her international fame was triggered by moving images, she is a watershed figure in the history of modern celebrity."

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Old 9th Jul 2008, 17:32   #137 (permalink)
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Dinghy, Dynghy, Prepare For Ditching.

Dinghy, dinghy, prepare for ditching, fifty fifty, brace , brace.
Sorry this does not seem to have any thing to do with Ponca it was hundreds of miles from the sea. But when I reread my contributions, my mind begins to wander (as usual . Mrs Cliffnemo)
Looking at the picture of the swimming pool, I thought everyone of those cadets could swim. That was because at I.T.W , although most could swim, we were told every one would have to be able to swim and be capable of life saving by the end of the course, or else. Weekly visits to Torquay baths became the norm.

This took me back to dinghy practice in Torquay harbour, and how many things I had left out of this blog. So here goes.

Dinghy practice took place in the harbour, regardless of weather. We dressed in Sidcot flying suits, flying boots, helmet, goggles, gloves and Mae West life jacket.
An inflated nine man survival raft was then thrown in and turned upside down. We were then instructed to jump in (high tide). Any one who hesitated was "assisted by our flight sergeant Then we were told how to turn it the right way up. One cadet was instructed to act as if he was unconscious, not very difficult for any of us. He just floated around in his Mae West. One cadet climbed in to pull and another remained outside to push the unconscious one up into the dinghy. We were then instructed in the use of all the equipment in the dinghy< flares, paddles . drogue, etc.

The R.A.F nine man survival dinghy was a marvelous and efficient piece of equipment. When it was inflated by compressed air bottle, not only were the two big rubber rings inflated but the floor, and top also., leaving only the doors to be inflated by mouth.

We were told that with the doors closed even in freezing temperatures , body heat would warm the interior.(soaking wet we were not convinced.)

Was this the dinghy known as the Lindhome dinghy,? Any one know.?

I don't have a wartime photograph of a dinghy, but below should appear a nine man R.A.F surplus dinghy I bought just after the war. I bought a small fishing boat in Maryport, had to sail it down to Liverpool, and was not too happy about about it's seaworthiness , so inflated it and lashed it on deck.

Do right and fear no man. Don't write and fear no woman. ( I must be mad)

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Old 11th Jul 2008, 09:04   #138 (permalink)
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Happy Ninetieth Birthday To The R.a.f.
Wishing You All A Safe Fly Past, And Good Health To Her Majesty.
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Old 11th Jul 2008, 12:53   #139 (permalink)
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The war

I am the chap that contacted you Not George but Paddy. I did go the same route as you but ended up in Miami Oklahoma not Florida. Our stories are of course similar except that I transferred into the Fleet Air Arm when the war in Europe ended and rejoined the RAF after the war ended completely
I will post some of my memories if they are of interest... To look up my Swan Song in the RAF GO Google...Flt.Lt C Grogan. Meantime

The perils of night flying

At this time I was an instructor giving primary flying instruction to mainly Fleet Air Arm students at RAF Syerston in Nottinghamshire.
Although not part of the conspiracy myself, I learned later just what happened! The wife of one of the instructors had expressed a desire to see the airfield and the married quarter site, from an aircraft, by night. The plan was to take advantage of the fact, that during night flying circuit and landing tuition, it was quite common for an instructor to halt the aircraft at the end of one particular runway whilst he or his student nipped out to spend a penny against a nearby wartime shelter.
The plan was that the wife would wait by this shelter, suitable dressed in flying gear including helmet and her husband, having colluded with his student, would send him out to clear the way for the wife to take his place. Then, having carried out one circuit, the exchange was to be reversed and success achieved?????
Would that all plans were successful.
What happened in fact was, another instructor carried out the act allowing his student to go spend a penny and the student having arrived at the shelter was surprised to find another ‘student’ waiting! He went straight into the palaver of searching through layers of flying clothing for a cold willy whilst remarking on the chill of the night in the vernacular of the crew room... Needless to say the wife remained silent.
She did however get to see the sights!
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Old 11th Jul 2008, 16:09   #140 (permalink)
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I have just found a site showing how long it took to qualify for wings starting training in 1940. I appears one Archie started at I.T.W. in 1940, and was operational within fourteen months on Whitleys. If you would like to know how the time taken for me to qualify compares with earlier training methods then you could log on to.
Archie - A Pilot in RAF Bomber Command - Pilot Training
then click on training.
Or you could try googling - Archie a pilot in the R.A.F.
I believe training time was even shorter in 1939, does any one know? Think there will be very FEW around now.
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