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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 12th Feb 2010, 09:48
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regle

To Reg and Javelinboy.
Thanks for the information about the book.
Sneum and Pedersen could say nothing in 1941, but The Telegraph had a colour supplement some years ago,which I still have, giving a 3 or 4 page story of the building and the flight. Sneum's exploits as a secret agent, before and after the flight, were also amazing.
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Old 12th Feb 2010, 10:01
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REGLE

After seeing two Oxfords fall out of the sky.
We were very young and innocent in those days!
On the first day of flying,- a fatal crash, - we probably felt must be normal!
The instructor did not blink an eyelid and made no reference to it during the flight. One of my pals was within fifty yards and he held one of the pilots in his arms as the lad died. Ivan's tunic was covered with blood and he got a
rocket
from the Flight Commander for approaching the crash. He got another from stores when he applied for a new tunic!
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Old 12th Feb 2010, 11:54
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Ainsdale beach.

SPEKE2ME.

Ah Ainsdale beach.
Below a photo of my beach buggy on Ainsdale beach, taken about two years ago. Roll on the summer. (Yes I know, but there is a pic of and aircraft on it)

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Old 12th Feb 2010, 12:57
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The Arnold Scheme

Hi there,
I've been researching my late fathers service record and it appears he was part of the Arnold Scheme in class 42B. He then went on active service in India. His name was Allan Gent.
He left me with a number of photographs taken at Camden and Macon (I think), and in particular at Camden where he named 4 good friends of his as David Horlsey, Peter Nash, Ron Pearson, and George Lock.
If anybody has information on these pilots, then please put them in touch with me as I have some photographs they may be interested in.
Also, in anybody knew Allan either in the USA or in India, please let me have any information you have.
I also have a booklet called 'Cochran Control' which was produced for each class, but the copy I have is for Class 42A, and it shows photographs of all cadets. If anybody is interested, let me know.
Many Thanks.
Andrew Gent
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Old 12th Feb 2010, 13:48
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AG25

Don't want to be too morbid but I did a search at CWGC and all four names shown as killed in action. Could of course be different people to the ones you mention but with same names.
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Old 12th Feb 2010, 22:24
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Pilot training in WW2

There were 44 NCOs on the course, but 8 Army Officers, all 2nd Lieutenants, joined us and mixed in very easily; though one or two "disappeared" before we finished. When pupils failed to live up to standards they left the course the same day and, very often, we had no prior warning to say good-bye. I had five hours dual, then a 20 minute Check from the Flight Commander who sent me Solo. The Oxford was a delight to fly and I enjoyed every minute. All landings had to be on 3 points and I never saw aircraft wheeled in on the two main wheels until after the war, - except Liberators.
The autumn and winter weather were the main hindrance to flying, with frequent mists rolling up from the Bristol Channel. The instructors saved low flying exercises for these days. If flying was impossible the instructors passed paper and pencils round and collected a shilling from each pupil. Then one would say, "Draw a map of the local flying area within, say, twenty, thirty or more miles from Lyneham." After 15 minutes the papers were marked by the instructors, giving points for all distinguishing landmarks in the area. We received our papers back, showing our marks and their criticisms, and the pupil with the best mark won the kitty. When flying dual at any time the instructor would ask, "What course and distance to base?" It was an awful 'black' to be lost.
Our Oxfords still had no radios, and communication was by Gosport tube. In formation flying we used the old hand signals devised during WW1.
Without instructors at our sides pupils flew closer than the specified distance and some got too close. One pupil chewed No 1's wing tip off and also lost his starboard airscrew. Both managed to land safely and got away with it as an "accident." A lot of flying was done under the hood and we had a relief landing strip at Wroughton where we practised blind landings. The instructor gave directions to line up at 1,000 feet and said when the aircraft was above what might have been the Outer Marker. Then he called "Green, Yellow or Red," on the descent, until "Inner Marker", then "Land or Overshoot." There was a 60 foot delay on the Oxford's altimeter which gave the height to close the throttles and round out to land.
One morning in the armament room, when we were stripping and assembling Brownings, an airman opened the door and announced the King was in the building. The Sergeant Instructor did not have time to decide whether it was fact or a joke when the King arrived, surrounded by his entourage. I was at the front bench and the King asked if I had started flying. Before I could answer, Air Commodore Critchley stepped in and told him we were at the second stage of training. King George nodded and said, "Enjoying it? A great sensation, isn't it?" Then they were gone. All the overseas instructors were presented to the King, and Wheaton was like a dog with two tails. fredjhh
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Old 13th Feb 2010, 09:10
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It's feeling like Saturday mornings at the cinema waiting to see what the next episode will bring - another "cliff" hangar medivac???!!!
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Old 13th Feb 2010, 12:05
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regle

Thank you to Reg and JAVELINBOY. I have ordered from Amazon "The Flight of the Hornet Moth," - new, in paperback at 99 pence. Cheaper than an 8 miles drive each way to the Library and parking charges! fredjhh:
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Old 13th Feb 2010, 12:21
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Thanks Gypsy, I didn't know there was a database like the CWGC. I looked also, and sadly, 2 of the guys were indeed casualties of the war in 1943. However, Ronald C Pearson and W. Peter Nash were not. Any knowledge of these 2 survivors would be nice. Thanks.
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Old 13th Feb 2010, 14:36
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A25G, I was in the class of 42a at Cochran Field , Macon. Ga. and should be one of the pilots who were photographed. Look in your PM. Regle
 
Old 13th Feb 2010, 17:09
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RAF Pilot training in the UK

George Cooke was an elderly pupil (approaching thirty), married and with a young daughter. He was a real countryman and a joy to be with on a country walk for his knowlege of birds, animals and plants. George arrived at the camp gates one day in a civilian car, from which he descended with his open parachute draped over his arm. He said he had flown into a bird which had broken his windscreen and thrown his Oxford into a spin. Oxfords were said to be un-recoverable from a spin, -at least, that is what pupils were told. Probably they took far too long to recover from the heights at which they were generally flown.
George described how he had managed to get out of his seat with great difficulty and claw his way to the rear door. He described, very graphically, the tremendous G forces he had to fight to reach the door, (later we found Oxfords fitted with a rope on the port side from the cockpit to the door.) He had managed to jettison the door and jump.
Later, an irate farmer appeared at the camp asking for compensation for one cow killed by the crashing 'plane. From the height at which George had been flying there was some doubt about the flock of birds, and one theory was that he had stalled the Oxford and that the fire extinguisher had fallen off its bracket and ejected foam all over the cock-pit. George had mistaken the foam for feathers, which he said had filled the cock-pit. The instructors presented George with a "Bill".


To:- L.A.C. George Cooke.
Statement of Account.

To One Parachute Ripcord Handle 2s..
To one COW (dead) £ 40.. 0 .. 0
To One Oxford A/c (lost) £3,000.. 0 .. 0
Total £3,040..2s..6d

Will L.A.C. Cooke pay cash, or have it deducted from his pay?
Signed....................................S/Ldr. Accounts.
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Old 13th Feb 2010, 17:18
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Sorry about The Statement of Account.
It was neatly and centrally arranged but was printed squeezed up the left! fredjhh.
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Old 15th Feb 2010, 23:32
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Some more Sabena in more peaceful days

In 1960, six years after joining Sabena, I was a Convair and DC 6 Captain flying their European Sector which included the Near Middle East..
I was very happy and we moved in to a larger House. We had a lovely big Garden so large that the Landlord built four houses on the end of it and still left us an orchard and a large garden. He and his Wife told us that they had , several times, hidden Allied airmen in the attic. His many stories were thrilling and I felt very humble at the courage they had shown as they had faced torture and certain execution if they were caught. They had both been absent working each day and had to warn the hidden airmen not to flush the toilet whilst they were away in case they were heard by passers by who would know that the house should have been empty.
We had some very happy years there but eventually we took the plunge and bought ten "Ares" (About a quarter of an acre) of land in nearby Wezembeek and commissioned the housebuilding dept. of the big Department Store "A l'Innovation " to build us a nice big detached house .
Wezembeek was a rural commune about twenty minutes from the aerodrome and our new address was Ave de la Maison Communale. Literally "Town Hall St." One of our British friends remarked that it was not a very preposessing address and I, jokingly, remarked that I was going to have it changed. No longer than two weeks passed when I got a letter from the local authorities to tell us that "due to local demand" the name of the street was going to be changed to "Ave des Violettes ". Jimmy Bourne, my friend was very impressed and made some sort of remark of "coming up smelling of violets ".

The plot at the rear of where the house was to stand sloped down to the back and also across the width so I got one of the Belgian Pilots who ran a small building business as a sideline and had a bulldozer to come along and level it out for me. The only day that he could arrange to do this was a Sunday and we had just finished the whole plot when along came the local Gendarme in response to some angry neighbours who accused me of ruining their Sunday siesta. We settled amicably with a few beers and the promise of a crate or two for the neighbours. Hardly an auspicious start but worse was to follow. The Department Store "Innovation" , whose builders were constructing our new home suffered one of the worst fires in Belgian history, and was virtually gutted with a horrendous loss of life. Sometimes the only clue to a victim's identity was the discovery of an unclaimed car parked in the centre of the city. Many tourists shopping in the store were killed and the first idea of their identity would be when enquiries were received from anxious relatives in other countries who had not received news of them for some weeks. All records of contractors, clients, proposed timetables,estimates, payments etc, were lost and it speaks volumes for the determination and organisation of the Company that we only suffered a very small delay in the completion of our house.

We moved early December 1967 and the day could not have been worse. It was bitterly cold and the driveway to our old house was covered with black ice. Although the new house was only a few minutes away the removal men would not start work until I had warmed them with a few brandies. To complicate matters I had arranged to take most of the family with me on a wonderful trip to Nairobi and Johannesburg staying a week in each city, long enough for safari and sightseeing tours.

Sabena had chartered a Sabena Boeing 707 to a German Tour Company who required the crew to stay with the aircraft for the whole of the charter which embraced Xmas so I arranged tickets for the whole family, except for Peter who was married by now and could not get away from his work. Sabena was a wonderful company in that respect and there was never a problem to arrange tickets for family. Unfortunately the family had to leave first as I had to meet up with the tour in Nairobi after taking an aeroplane to Jo'burg so they set off leaving me in the empty new house and we all met up in Nairobi where we hired two mini-buses to transport us and the whole crew all around the Kenyan and Tanzanian National Reserve

That is enough for today and I see that I have missed my transition from propellors to jets so will have more to tell you when I come back from Nairobi !
 
Old 16th Feb 2010, 09:24
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Footprints in history

Blimey Reg! Is there any part of 20th Century history you DIDN'T have a hand in? Even building a house links to a catastrophic world headline!
We haven't yet heard about your visit to Dallas when you stood on a small hill next to some chap who told you he was shooting pigeons!!
What about those 4 young Scousers you met in Hamburg and bought a meal for?

Seriously, it's the matter of fact way, explaining about cars being left and tourist families making enquiries that gave clues to some of the identities that brings a depth to the account that we just don't get from news headlines.... another interesting post. It really is good to see so many people now participating, helping bring the events of those times back to life.

Now waiting for getting a JET pilots wings!! Converting from props to the 707, that should be interesting. All the best!
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Old 16th Feb 2010, 14:03
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I did'nt meet those 4 young scousers in Hamburg although there were plenty of very interesting people all around the place , especially a certain Reeperbahn when I was there on the Berlin Air lift in 1949. I never met them but went to the same school as Paul and John, the Liverpool Institute, many years before them.
I don't know what it is but things seem to happen to me that tie up with some international and national occurrence or personage and seems to have followed me all my life. I don't actively seek it out but I seem to be in the right spot (or the wrong spot) at the right time. I am happy that these threads are being of interest to you all and have increased my circle of friends enormously since I started . It seems incredible that I have only been "Computerwise" since just over a year ago and have my beloved family , especially my daughter, Feeka, to thank for wearing me down as I steadily refused to learn until I was over eightysix. I can thoroughly recommend it as a therapic approach to old age. Reg
 
Old 16th Feb 2010, 15:01
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Luftwaffe e-mail

As usual ''Flying by the seat of my pants', or is it a case of 'fools rush in where angels fear to tread'. In other words I have just sent six emails to J.G wartime pilots ( M.E 109 ?) , whose email addresses were sent to me by a gentleman in Germany. The emails contained the letter , in German, previously posted here.

The recipients (I hope) are from JG1 / 2/3/ 51/ 52/ 54/ units. and , I think ex M.E 109 pilots.

JG =
# Jagdgeschwader 1 (World War II), a unit of the Luftwaffe in World War II; also known as Jagdgeschwader 1
Fingers crossed , or knock on wood.

I any of the above mentioned J.G pilots have logged on since receiving the email we would be very pleased to hear from you, if it is only 'Hallo'



Yes REG, I agree with you entirely . I feel as if I among friends, and doing something that is appreciated. With regards to computers I am also glad that I learned to operate a computer, but in my case I became interested sometime ago and spent a year (seven hours per week)on an A.S level followed by another year on an A level course. But now that we have Windows it is much easier, and much of the knowledge gained is of no use.
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Old 16th Feb 2010, 22:36
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Regle

Reg.
You mention the Liverpool Institute.
Did you ever meet Don McClelland?
He may have been a year or two senior to you, but he was my great friend in training until we parted after OTU. Mac flew on 78 Squadron, finishing his tour in March 1943. He instructed at Rufforth for the next 18 months, then did a second tour on Mosquitos. After the war he flew with the Air Experience Flights of the ATC at Hatfield. He also served in the Auxiliary No 1 Maritime Squadron, finishing as Wing Commander. In civilian life he worked as a Lloyds Underwriter in Air Insurance. Fredjhh
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Old 16th Feb 2010, 22:48
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Rufforth, yes I went through Rufforth in May 1943 when I was trained on Halifaxes and met my crew as I had been on Mossies before that. I cannot recall meeting Don McCall but I was not yet commissioned at that time . I was great friends with F/O Jeff Raymond, my Instructor and also Sqdn. Ldr. Renaut, my D Flight Commander. Can't say that I remember Don from the "Innie" either but it was a big school. All the best , Regle
 
Old 17th Feb 2010, 01:22
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Ainsdale Beach

Now come on Cliff - a beach buggy - at 87 years old?

Seriously though, should I even be surprised in this unique thread?

Not only are the main contributors in fairly elder years, but the recollections they share are detailed and most enjoyable. Not to mention the total lucidity and lovely prose of the posts. Oh and the apparent mastery of computers/internet in order to deliver them.

Despite all the years, your capabilities still abound. But then again, RAF pilots in WW2 were never just 'ordinary Joes', as your posts admirably demonstrate.

I'm afraid you 'old farts' are making some of us 'young farts' feel quite humbled

And bloody good on you. As someone else posted, it's almost like waiting for the next installment at the cinema. I'm sure many readers of this thread will agree.

It's all appreciated, keep it coming
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Old 17th Feb 2010, 20:47
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Pilot training in UK, WW2

Cross country exercises were done solo, then in pairs with one pupil as the navigator. He had a Bigsworth board on his knees to hold his chart, and a Dalton Computer, plus the usual Douglas Protractor, pencils, ruler and dividers. Very awkward keeping track of these items, as well as the plot on the chart. The route had about four turning points and the chief difficulty, as navigator, was to see your pilot stuck to the settings you gave him.
I was usually paired with my pal Ivan H....d, later to be recommended for a Victoria Cross on Bomber Command, (he received an Immediate CGM). Flying straight and level bored Ivan, who much preferred to fly above clouds and practice “landings” on the cloud tops. The following day we changed roles and flew a different route.
There were always clouds and, as most flying was above them, it could be rather hairy getting down at times. The ATA Pilots were prohibited from flying above clouds. We saw a great deal of these men and women of the ATA who collected and delivered Spitfires, Hurricanes and Wellingtons, to and from a unit at Lyneham, which “tropicalised” aircraft. Our favourite ATA pilot was a slim, dark haired Polish girl who avoided the muddy airfield, preferring to land and take off Spitfires on the perimeter track. Her “English’ became non-existent when the Flying Controller tried to explain that she should not do that.
One day, doing my stint as Duty Pilot in the Watch Office, an ATA officer landed a Wellington and reported in. The AC2 clerk booking him in said, “What name , Sir?”
“Mollison.” “What initial, Sir?” “J. J for Jim.”
The name of the famous record breaking pilot meant nothing to the Erk.
Mollison asked for transport to the Officers’ Mess and he was very indignant when I told him that Station Standing Orders were, “No Transport.”
Bombing training was based on the Mk IX bombsight using a white painted Camera Obscura in one corner of the dispersals. As there was no intercom, the pilot doing the bomb aiming lay down in the nose of the Oxford and guided the pilot by raising his legs. Left leg in the air meant. “Left,left.” Right leg raised was “Right.” Both legs raised meant meant “Steady.”
He clapped his ankles and dropped them for “Bombs gone.” We couldn’t work out a signal for, “Back a bit!”
The “Bombs” were Sashalite photo-flash bulbs in the 16 small bomb carriers under the wings. As each bulb was fired the bright flash was plotted on the table of the Camera Obscura. After allowing for height and wind vectors the accuracy of the bombing could be assessed. We dropped eight bombs then had to land to change over. The Oxford had too tight a cock-pit to change over in flight.
Occasional enemy intruders were still a hazard, even in day time flying. The only advice we were given was to get as low as possible and land if attacked. Low flying killed two Polish pupils on the senior course when they hit electricity cables, and two pilots on our course took the chimney of a cottage but landed safely. One night all pupils were roused from the huts and organised into search parties to look for an aircraft which had crashed on take off. Trudging over fields, ditches and hedges using our paraffin lanterns on a dismal November night was a hopeless task, only enlivened by a WAAF officer in her dressing gown, wanting to know the names of the airmen wandering round the WAAF billets at 2-00am. The search was called off and, at first light, an Oxford took off and spotted the wreckage with the instructor and pupil dead inside. fredjhh
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