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National Service Pilots

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National Service Pilots

Old 14th Oct 2019, 11:04
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Originally Posted by Pom Pax View Post
BEACH NEWS Journal of Waterbeach Community Association Autumn 2011 No.228.

I saw the scene a day or two later.
I as at School in Waterbeach and during the weekdays I used to go up to the A10 and watch all the aeroplanes that Waterbeach had to offer. We used to lie directly under the approach which was probably where Mr
Tebbit ended up when he failed to take off. Imagine this : I watched a bunch of Venoms of 253sqn joining overhead then coming in to land across the A10 and the aeroplanes were passing over us about 30 to 40 ft ish. Then I went home for my tea (32 AMQ if any of you knew Waterbeach - now Park Crescent) followed very quickly by my dad still in his flying overalls and he was on a mission. He knocked ten shades of S--T out of me - and I never ever went back to the undershoot by the A10. In later years he told me he recognized me
as he was about to flare in his Venom. QED.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 20:13
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Further to my earlier post:
We have a (late) friend who trained on the Percival Prentice, then Harvards and went on to fly Meteors.
His logbook shows that he was at 1 FTS, Moreton-in-Marsh from February 1954 to January 1955, where he flew Prentices and Harvards, then a week later he went to 211 FTS, Worksop, to fly the Meteor T7 and F8. After receiving his wings in August 1955 he was posted to 22 Sqn at Thorney Island, where he seems to have cadged a few flights in Whirlwinds, Chipmunks and Varsities before leaving the RAF in October at the end of his National Service.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 11:05
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Canada & NATO training.

For background reading In 1956 a fair proportion of pilots and all navigators passing out of No 1 Initial Training School at Kirton in Lindsay were continuing their training in Canada, With the winding down of the program in Canada the last navigators to take part past out of 1 ITS in March 1957 and pilots in May. I was as part of that May course and was p*ssed off by having missed the nav cut off by 8 weeks.
Now all cadets passing out of 1 ITS became Acting Pilot Officers so travel to Canada was 1st class on Cunard. However on arrival in Canada they lost their exalted status and were treated as cadets in common with all the other NATO students. As such they were billeted in groups of 8 with no two students having a common 1st language. On successfully completing their Canadian training R.A.F. students (now again APOs again though having been paid as such all the time) had further training to operate under European conditions. For the navs this course was 12 weeks.
My school mate traveled Liverpool Halifax and returned New York Southampton on the Mauritania to be at 2 ANS Thorney Island at the same time as me.
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 18:08
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Good evening to you all,
The information you have provided so far has been very helpful; however I have some more questions for you....
After a meeting with Lord Tebbit he gave me an overview of his flying career commencing in 1949; however there are some areas of his N.S RAF training that I need help on ie he was posted to Wittering for ground school and there he became an Officer Cadet and wore a blanco-ed belt and cap band. Can any one tell me more about Wittering and its training programme?
From Wittering he went to No 8 FTS @ South Cerney (which according JW411 was Basic Training Depot) where he flew the Percival Prentice aircraft. How long would that have taken?
Re Forum member INNOMINATE; would it be possible to obtain copies of your (late friends) Log Book as I'm unlikely to see Lord Tebbit before the end of the year and when I do I want to be in a stronger position information wise than what I am now......
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Old 18th Oct 2019, 22:37
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RogerB - I will try, but it might take a few weeks.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 10:52
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Originally Posted by pr00ne View Post
The Aircrew Selection Centre was at RAF Hornchurch until 1962, when it was merged with the Officer Selection Centre at RAF Uxbridge, and relocated to RAF Biggin Hill, that had been vacated by the Auxiliary squadrons, as the OASC. ITS moved from Kirton in Lindsey to South Cerney in 1957, was rebadged as the Aircrew Officer Training School and later had the Primary Flying Squadron with Chipmunks added before the whole lot relocated to RAF Church Fenton in 1968.
Scraping the old grey cells, ISTR I did:
1961 - Hornchurch, Test In Advance for Cranwell [deemed unsuitable]
1962 - Biggin Hill, Flying Scholarship [passed, gained PPL].
1963 - Biggin Hill, Flying Aptitude tests, then to Gosport for RN Aircrew Selection [passed, failed flying grading at BRNC]
1964 - Biggin Hill, OASC [passed, became GD(G) ATC].

It was on the latter visit to OASC when, in the Candidates' Bar, the Barman looked at me at said, "Hello, Sir - back again?". My fellow candidates in earshot paled slightly.
At the Interview stage of that visit, they had a rather thick file on the desk. The lead interviewer said, "Ah, Mr MPN11, I see you've been here before."
It all got easier with practice [and persistence].
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 11:34
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Originally Posted by teeteringhead View Post
He was - flew Meteors; as did Freddy Forsyth (and just about everybody in those days I think)
William Woolard, he of Tomorrow's World and Top Gear fame, was I believe a national service pilot, though I stand to be corrected. His Wikipedia page said he was born in 1939, yet he gave an 'eyewitness' account of a meatbox crash in 1952 on 207 AFS at Full Sutton, that would have made him about 13! It's either badly written or his birthday is wrong.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 12:43
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There is a member of Johannesburg RAFA who was a NS pilot, flew Halifax's out of Gibraltar, in the late 40's.
I'm not in touch, as I moved away, but might be able to arrange an intermediary.
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Old 19th Oct 2019, 16:32
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Tebbit

RogerRB,
Beware Norman Tebbit's recollections. His autobiography, Upwardly Mobile, said his first Meteor OCU was at Middleton St George, but interviewed recently he said it was at Driffield (before finishing conversion at Stradishall).
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Old 13th Jan 2020, 17:33
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After a long period of personal hiatus I have restarted the article about Norman Tebbit using his book using Chapter 2 of his book 'Upwardly Mobile'. According to the book he is now on his way to 36 P
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