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AF Illuminated Drogues

AF Illuminated Drogues
Author: Keith Wilkinson (Guest)
Time Stamp:
09:58:18 07 July 2001
Post:
I know what drogues are - and how they were towed by aircraft for air-gunnery training - but can anyone explain the purpose of "an experimental A.F Illuminated Drogue"?

According to my late father's Flying Log Book, one was being used at 78 OTU, Ein Shemer, in February 1945. Wellington flown by F/O Walton.


RE: AF Illuminated Drogues
Author: Chris Charland (Guest)
Time Stamp:
18:26:38 07 July 2001
Post:
Hi Keith

If I had to guess, I'd say it was means of giving Wellington gunners night firing experience at aerial targets. I'm somewhat confused as to why a Coastal Command O.T.U. would be involved in such an endeavour. The Palestine-based No.78 O.T.U.'s role, was to train general reconnaissance crews on Vickers Wellington aircraft equipped with the Leigh Light and A.S.V. (Air-to-Surface Vessel) radar. This target might have been towed by one of the unit's Boulton-Paul Defiant Mk.II's.

Cheers...Chris


AF.....
Author: Keith Wilkinson (Guest)
Time Stamp:
22:05:23 07 July 2001
Post:
Yes, I suppose that's possible. I am still puzzled by the abbreviation "A.F".

The purpose of 78 OTU then seems largely to have been to train aircrews, close to the end of the war, in loop shad, nick homings, single engine flying, and so on.


RE: AF.....
Author: Chris Charland (Guest)
Time Stamp:
23:29:53 07 July 2001
Post:
Hi Keith

Did you want a very brief outline of the unit.

Cheers...Chris


78 OTU
Author: Keith Wilkinson (Guest)
Time Stamp:
09:19:59 08 July 2001
Post:
Yes please. Your knowledge on such matters is always worth tapping in to!


RE: 78 OTU
Author: Chris Charland (Guest)
Time Stamp:
01:32:28 09 July 2001
Post:

Hi Keith

No.78 Operational Training Unit was formed on the 1st of February 1944 at Ein Shemer, Palestine. A nucleus of personnel from No.3 (Coastal) O.T.U. at R.A.F. Station Haverfordwest, Pembrokeshire arrived at Ein Shemer on the 2nd of January 1944. No.3 (C) O.T.U. was disbanded two days later (the 4th of January). A second contingent from the former No.3 (C) O.T.U. arrived on the 6th of February, 1944. Flying training commenced on the 14th of February 1944, with the Vickers Wellington (40 plus) and Avro Anson Mk.I (14) being the principle aircraft.

The versions of the Vickers Wellington used at No.78 O.T.U. included: Mk.III, Mk.VIII, Mk.X, Mk.XII, Mk.XIII and Mk.XIV

Support aircraft included the Boulton Paul Defiant Mk.II, Hawker Hurricane Mk.II, Fairchild Argus Mk.III, Douglas Dakota Mk.III and Westland Lysander Mk.III.

Aircraft serving with No.78 Operational Training Unit did not carry a unit code. They were identified by individual numbers.

Cheers...Chris