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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 8th Jan 2010, 15:48
  #1441 (permalink)  
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Matthew 7:7 - good news!


PS Please may I have the early copies of Playboy ......
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Old 8th Jan 2010, 16:04
  #1442 (permalink)  
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Seek and ye will find

Perhaps. ! Mine are the much sought after braille version. Makes them much more interesting ..said he feelingly ! Regle
Old 11th Jan 2010, 10:35
  #1443 (permalink)  

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Playing the blooming ukelele?

Is there no end to the man's talent?!
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 13:41
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Angel. You probably find the harp easier ! Regle
Old 11th Jan 2010, 17:19
  #1445 (permalink)  
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.... perhaps he can tell us how he got HIS wings!!
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Old 11th Jan 2010, 21:45
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I can attest to the condition of Reg's study having just visited him this Christmas!

More interestingly I was Reg's audience for his first public performance on his ukulele, I did survive and yes Reg has done a remarkable job learning this instrument, however George Formby can rest in his grave safely at least for awhile :0)

As I say to Reg when he complains about having to learn computer skills " if you can land a 747 then..........................................."

Happy late new Year to you all
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Old 12th Jan 2010, 12:11
  #1447 (permalink)  
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Who needs enemies when he has ,,,

friends like you, Andy !? If it wasn't for Lynn ......! I am going to make a huge effort to tear myslf away from my "uke" and start regaling you all with some of the more pleasant sides of the life in Sabena.
In the Fifties the pre EU British Colony in Brussels was quite small but a very good social life was available. There was a thriving Cricket Club which had the honour of being dubbed the Brussels Royal Cricket Club due to a cricket match having been played by the Guards Brigades before the Battle of Waterloo in the lovely park in the centre of the City, the Bois de la Cambre. I love my cricket and was very active in the Club and eventually became the Chairman for a short time. The Children's Sports Day was always a great day out and the Duke and Duchess of Kent presented the prizes when they were in Brussels to celebrate the 150th. Anniversary of the Battle. Royalty was visiting Brussels fairly regularly and we had a long chat with Lord Snowdon when he and Princess Margaret were present at one of the events. Our conversation was cut short by the Princess who pulled him away, very abruptly and said "Come Dear, my throat is very bad". Many years later Dora and I were coming back from Johannesburg as passengers and had the pleasure of meeting Peter Townsend who was one of the other two First Class passengers. I had great discussions with him throughout the night with the Battle of Britain as the main subject and we were both struck with his charm and his courtesy.. the very epitome of the English Gentleman.
Without doubt the big occasion of the Sixties was the State vsit by Her Majesty the Queen accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh. We were invited to a reception at the Canadian Embassy and Dora met the Queen and I met Prince Philip. He spotted my medals and said "I see that you were flying." "I still am, Sir. " I replied. "Oh, where do you fly to ?" he asked. "New York and the Belgian Congo " I replied giving the two main routes. "Oh, from the sublime to the ridiculous. " he said then hastily put his hand to his mouth and moved on to the next chap "And what are you doing here ?" he fired at the poor man ,who was very nervous and obviously thought that the Duke was accusing him of gatecrashing. "I'm with the Playing Fields Association " he stammered out. "Oh , what do they do ? " asked the Duke. The chap was speechless and the Duke moved on. After he was out of earshot the poor man told me that the Duke was the Chairman or President of the Association and that he dare'nt tell him. He probably thought that the Tower of London would await him in London when he returned.
That evening we were privileged to attend the Ballet at the Opera House which King Baudouin and Queen Fabiola had specially arranged to be produced by Bejart for the Royal Occasion. We were wonderfully seated in the Circle and had a magnificent view of the glittering assembly of Kings, Queens, Princes and Princesses together with Heads of State and Ambassadors from over one hundred countries all in their regalia and resplendent in full dress and uniforms. The jewellery on display must have been worth many millions and it was a truly memorable occasion. Sadly the ballet did not live up to the occasion and the efforts of the dancers were negated by the futuristic theme which had been chosen with nondescript costumes and stark shapeless scenery...Bejart at his worst.
I had already met King Baudouin when I had flown him from Nice to Brussels. He was very quiet but charming. He questioned me , in perfect English, on flying with Sabena and eventually remarked "I don't think that I should like your job. It is very responsible." I couldn't help myself and answered " With respect, Sire, I would not change it for yours." He burst out laughing and agreed with me.
I had flown the present King many times when he was Prince Albert. I took him to Rome when he announced his engagement to the lovely Iralian Princess Paola. On the return flight I had the very highly respected Cardinal Siri as a passenger. I also had a team of Italian sharpshooters , complete with their rifles on the way to a big event in Moscow. When they heard that the Cardinal was on board they asked if he would bless their rifles to which he agreed, It must have been a sight for the other passengers to remember to see them lining up in the aisle whilst the Cardinal gravely blessed their rifles.

Last edited by regle; 12th Jan 2010 at 15:14.
Old 12th Jan 2010, 14:12
  #1448 (permalink)  
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..... the Duke and Duchess of Kent presented the prizes when they were in Brussels to celebrate the 50th. Anniversary of the Battle.

Crikey, Regle! Have you been lying about your age? Another great chapter in your wonderful saga and you are clearly a highflyer in more ways than one!

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Old 12th Jan 2010, 15:19
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Union Jack Standard Procedure ?

My ukelele finger missed the "1" in front of the "50". I vaguely remember telling the Iron Duke, "Don't worry, the Prussians will never let you down"and sure enough they arrived led by Errol Flynn. regle.
Old 12th Jan 2010, 15:59
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....... sounds more of a Cardinal Sin to me..... he he
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Old 15th Jan 2010, 10:18
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Come on Cliff, Reg & Co. More please or some of us will be develop withdrawal symptoms!
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Old 15th Jan 2010, 17:48
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Spartacan..are you sitting comfortably ?

Then I'll begin...where I left off which was having a "blowback" which is the term that my beloved Wife used to describe my wanderings down memory lane..."Dad's having a blowback" she would say, usually in a warning tone of voice so that the family could get out of earshot.

I resumed a boyhood hobby and began carrying an Autograph book with me on Flights. Amongst the personalities was Charlie Chaplin as he was booking in at London and I took him to Brussels for the onward flight to Geneva. He was very smartly dressed and very quiet. For sheer style Sir Malcolm Sargent was the best dressed man I have ever met. His nickname of "Flash Harry" was unkind but rather apt as I met him when I was standing next to him at the toilets in Zurich or Geneva. Nobody had told me that he had been on board and he asked me if I had been the pilot who had brought him from London. I didn't have my Autograph book handy so he signed for me on a piece of paper that just happened to be nearby. I took the great Negro singer, Paul Robeson to Moscow and he signed my book with his name in Russian Cyrillic. His career had come to a complete halt in the States where he was ostracised . Ironically his views were caused mainly because of his treatment as a black person by so many persons of the McCarthy period that was in it's hey day .
The Aga Khan was my passenger to Kinshasa where , as a Head of the Moslem religion, he was inaugurating the site for an Hotel to be exclusively for Moslem guests. To my knowledge it was never built as another of my passengers, Moshe Tshombe, appeared on the scene and the country was plunged into bloodshed.
On one of my trips to New York I went to Jack Dempsey's restaurant just off Times Square. The great Heavyweight champion sat, every day in a window seat and personally welcomed all and sundry. He was most courteous and hearing my accent, recalled Tommy Farr as being one of the finest boxers he had known.
I renewed my boyhood acquaintance with Gracie Fields when I took her to her second home in Naples. She was as down to earth as usual and had the crew in fits of laughter with some of her tales. She finished the flight by singing "Sally" to all the passengers. Another very nice person was Richard Todd, the actor, fresh from his characterisation of Guy Gibson in "The Dambusters" . He stayed in the cockpit for most of the flight and was an aviation fanatic despite his very distinguished wartime Army career which included his playing the part of a Sergeant to an Officer in "The Longest Day" which was based on Richard's own part in the Normandy landings.
Without doubt one of the most interesting passengers was Mr.Dolby of the Dolby system which eliminated all background noise to sound recordings. He was fascinating to listen to and told me that when he invented his system he could not believe that no one had thought of it before as it was so simple. He said that the hardest decision of his life was to turn down the two million dollar offer from Sony to purchase his patent outright. At that time he was young, married with young children and heavily in debt but he told me that his Father had been an inventor who had never made any money out of his inventions and he was determined that he would not make the same mistake of selling his patents cheaply. He also told me that none of his employees were tied down to times of "clocking in " at the offices. They
could all come and go as and when they pleased and he had never had a trade dispute in his life with any of them.
Stirling Moss was, as you would expect, in a hurry and was only concerned as to whether the plane would land on time...It did.
In those days of piston engined aircraft you had time and the passengers were few enough, to go back during the longer flights and talk to them. In the later days of 707's, DC10's and 747's it was more like stepping out on to a stage and being confronted with row after row of anxious faces all willing you back into the cockpit where you belonged. Apart from the physical impossibility of speaking to everybody it was unwise to leave the cockpit of a very large jet aircraft to one pilot. Emergencies were few and far between but when they happened they happened quickly and two pilots were vital at these times.
I think that I shall retire to the kitchen and make myself a cup of tea. I am now the proud possessor of a lovely little two cup teapot which my Mentor (Sometimes with the prefix "Tor") Andy has kindly sent me together with all the instructions for fitting a new sound bar which I have successfully carried out. He always says to me "If you can land a 747 you can do this that and the other etc. ". So far he is correct but I have had a lot of the "this and that" but none of the "other".! Still some more to come later..Regle
Old 16th Jan 2010, 01:38
  #1453 (permalink)  
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I reckon I can follow that trail of dropped names all the way to Reg's front door!!!

Emergencies were few and far between but when they happened they happened quickly and two pilots were vital at these times.
This suggests there are a few more 'war' stories to come??
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Old 16th Jan 2010, 13:32
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I make no apologies for dropping names. I found more pleasure from meeting people that I had never dreamed of meeting , some of them boyhood heroes, than dropping bombs. Another side of meeting them was to make me realise that they were, after all , ordinary human beings with good and bad sides to them and they woke me up to the fact that I was as capable as they were in my own sphere of activity. Meeting with certain types boosted my own self confidence. In other words the old Yorkshire adage, in the times when you could use the word "queer," often came to mind "All folks are queer save thee and me and even thee's a bit queer ." Regle.
Old 16th Jan 2010, 14:14
  #1455 (permalink)  
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A Hard Act To Follow.


Thanks Spartacan but how do you follow Johnfair. Angels, Wiley, Peter Brett, et al , with tales of how I became an A.C 1 equipment assistant, passing the R.A.F heavy goods test etc ? However I will carry on, on a ’suck it and see basis’.
I must say however it has been very pleasant being able to sit back and read the recent contributions, and I'm sure it has given Reg more time to practice 'When I'm cleaning windows, on his ukelele.
So ‘wilco’ Spartican.

Both Reg and I have made numerous attempts to contact our Luftwaffe counterparts , but with no success so far. Any ideas ?
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Old 16th Jan 2010, 22:16
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Cliff, I have a friend who is in the German diplomatic service. He's attempting to put me in touch with some German ex-service organisations, so hopefully, we might get to hear from one or two ex-Luftwaffe people in the not too distant future. (We may, however, be in need of a translator if that comes to pass. Is there anyone out there willing to offer his or her services?)


I've also been in touch with Dudley Marrows, the captain of Peter Jenson's Sunderland when they sank U461 and when they were shot down by the Ju88s in the Bay of Biscay. He's never put pen to paper, but says (to quote him):

I intend to write three books.
1/ on action,
2/ "pre pill pilots (or aircrew)! (not sure of the significance of 'pre pill' - Wiley.)[
3/ on the absolutely wonderful phase our 'blue orchid' uniforms gave us overseas - especially before the Yanks came in! (Now that sounds like it would be an interesting tale, if perhaps possibly bringing a few blushes to the brows of some Canadian and British Great Grandmothers!)

Want a secretary/typist though.
I passed Dudley a copy of Peter's story. His comments follow.

Essentially, Peter's coverage is very good. From a captain/pilot's point of view, I could embellish/enlarge it.

Ask Peter why he did not cover the blockade runner flight - one which, to me, was the most successful and stressful - 12 hours or so of stress.

We were 'deep in it' when Churchill made a statement along the lines: "...if we do not get another large convoy through with food and ammunition, we are finished."

Refer our blockade runner episode - reverse the players and it might give some indication of what a blow the loss of those two ships was to the Germans.
If there's a PPruner out there who lives anywhere near Mildura and who'd be interested in sticking a microphone under Dudley's nose, please PM me and I'll contact Dudley to see if he'd be willing to tell his tale(s). (I must stress here that I have not yet approached him with that suggestion.)

I believe it would be a worthwhile project. I'd hate to see all those experiences lost to history when that generation leaves us.

Last edited by Wiley; 18th Jan 2010 at 01:28. Reason: Correction (thank you regle)
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Old 16th Jan 2010, 22:25
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The U-boat crews have their own association and, through that, the survivors of one of the U-boats sunk by my Dad's old ship are in touch with the members of his ship's association.

This is a link to the German Fighter Pilots Association and this is a link to the Association of German Armed Forces Aviators. Perhaps they can put you in touch with some?
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Old 17th Jan 2010, 01:28
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I hope that I am wrong but I thought Dudley had passed on recently.

Please correct me if I am wrong.


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Old 17th Jan 2010, 10:03
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pre pill willy..sorry ,wiley

The pill. Ahem.! The greatest fear of women before the pill was to have a baby out of wedlock. It is absolutely impossible to describe the shame that an unwed Mother bore in those medieval times of pre pill. This had an obvious bearing ..an unfortunate simile...to the promiscuity of the pre pill generation. The pill in one fell swoop wiped out that dread and so..... I leave you to work out the rest. your Agony Aunt , Regle. By the way, should'nt that uniform be Blue Orchid, not Orchard ?
Old 17th Jan 2010, 10:31
  #1460 (permalink)  
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Ich bin ein Ex-RAF-Piot und mein Deutsch schreiben ist sehr schlecht.

Sorry folks, just an experiment in translating English to German using Google translation, then copying and pasting. It seems to work so will start ,burning the midnight oil'

Will endevour to contact
This is a link to the German Fighter Pilots Association and this is a link to the Association of German Armed Forces Aviators. Perhaps they can put you in touch with some?
Or any offers from some one who is 'educated'

Silly me, thinking I was an unter offizier flugzoid furher and brings back memories of some one singing 'Du bist mien leibher, mine klienes fleiger, du bist meing leilbher unter offizier. Or summat.
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