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No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas

No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: sussexresearch
Time Stamp:
21:42:35 30 June 2004
Post:
I have obtained by accident Vols. 1-4 of the year books for above entitled Detached Flight. They are unfortunately not dated.

These are basically photographs of all the Students who passed through the flying school which was run by the RAF but staffed by USAAF and American civilians.

One VERY noteable ex-student was Flight Sergeant A.L. Aaron V.C. D.F.M. of Steve Smith's research Squadron, No.218.

Two Questions.

1 Does anyone need a photcopy of any of the students, if so then e-mail me at sussexresearch AT lycos.co.uk. with as much info as poss. and I'll do my best.

2 There appears to have been 6 volumes so does anyone have an inkling of an idea where to look for vols. 5&6

TIA

Phil



RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: errol.martyn@xtra.co.nz (Guest)
Time Stamp:
00:03:06 01 July 2004
Post:
Phil,

I would be interested to learn if any of the photos depict an RAFVR airman named Te Roki ROBIESON. He was in North America as a member of the 'Arnold Scheme' c.Jun 41-Jan 42.

These volumes are a rare and valuable find as RAF records of service appear not to identify the particular schools to which airmen were posted under the Arnold or Towers schemes. Usually one finds just vague references to 'Arnold' or 'Towers' and little else.

Perhaps the names listed in the volumes could be posted under the Research Materials section of this board, if not too great in number?

Errol


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: Harry Jamieson (Guest)
Time Stamp:
17:16:53 01 July 2004
Post:
Phil and Errol,

Phil, I will email you later to-day.

Errol, the data I have has Teraki (sic) Robieson as a trainee on the Arnold scheme in class 42A, the 'A' indicating that he was due to qualify in January 1942. He is said to have lost his life on 8 July 1942.

The BFTS scheme was distinct from the Arnold and Towers schemes, being administered largely by the RAF while the two latter were in the main controlled by the US Army and the US Navy respectively.

Harry.


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: Tony Broadhurst (Guest)
Time Stamp:
21:30:13 01 July 2004
Post:
Phil,

You have found a most useful resource in the four Volumes of "Detached Flight". I have made copies from a loaned Vol.III some years ago.

I spent several days in May at the National Archives photographing the BFTS records and recall there were four or more volumes of "Detached Flight" bound in the #1 BFTS ORB Appendices. Regretably as it happens I decided to postpone to copying these until a future expedition and did not note which volumes were present.

To amplify Harry's comments on the difference between the BFTS scheme and the Arnold Scheme:

BFTS was adminsistered by the RAF and despite the use of USAAF Primary, Basic and single engine Advanced Trainers the syllabus was almost identical to that used in BCATP Elementary and Service Flying Training Schools. Except for a small echelon of RAF (and later AAF staff) the schools were operated by a civilian contractor. Most of the bills were paid from Lend-Lease Funding. As these were RAF schools there are the usual, if incomplete, Operations Record Books. Some contain reasonably complete lists of each course of students, though little is recorded from 1941 and 1942.

The Arnold scheme was administered by the USAAF and the RAF Cadets passed through the Army's Primary, Basic and Advanced Schools. The syllabus, tradition, discipline, bullshit, etc., were pure US Army (except where the British cadets could corrupt it!). One cock-up and you were on the train back to Moncton, N.B.

Cameras were not permitted and thus you rarely find an Arnold veteran with many mementoes of his stay in the USA. As there was no permanent RAF staff there was no one to write up the ORB.

What little I have managed to find about the Arnold Scheme Schools has come from diverse USAAF aicraft and accident microfilms, RAF Form 1180s and the CWGC web site.

"Wings over Georgia" by Jack Currie DFC gives an interesting insight from the point of view of one of the RAF Arnold Students.

The Chairman of the #3 BFTS Association was telling me last Sunday that, so far, he has found it impossible to persuade either Hendon or Duxford to mount some kind of tribute to the BFTS and similar US schemes. In view of the number of pilots and other aircrew these schemes provided this seems to me rather short sighted.

Tony Broadhurst


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: errol.martyn@xtra.co.nz (Guest)
Time Stamp:
23:06:56 01 July 2004
Post:
Harry/Tony,

Thanks for that clarification regarding the BFTS, Arnold and Towers schemes. I had actually read about this earlier, in Jefford's magisterial 'Observers and Navigators, but memory had since blurred the distinctions in my mind.

Harry, for your info the copy of Sgt Te Roki Robieson's RAF Form 200 ('Statement of the Services of') that I have records (in typical 'Arnold' fashion) his postings as follows:

Blackpool (enlisted) 16.8.40

Calshot 7.9.40

IRW 11.10.40

4ITW 19.10.40

Arnold - %7Bi.e. no date recorded%7D

promoted Sgt 4.1.42 %7Bi.e. Wings/Graduation date%7D

PTC 30.5.41

UK 9.2.42

3PRC 10.2.42

17SFTS %7Bsic - 17(P)AFU%7D

55OTU 19.5.42

Robieson, a New Zealander in the RAFVR, was accidentally killed in a mid-air collision on 8 Jul 42 while flying a 55OTU Hurricane, 15 days before his 20th birthday.

Should you have any further info about Class 42A (when did it commence and where?) I would be pleased to learn of it.

Errol


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: Harry Jamieson (Guest)
Time Stamp:
09:00:26 02 July 2004
Post:
Errol,

re Class SE (South East) 42A, I do not have the locations at which Robieson trained. Initially, he would have gone to Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama for the equivalent of an ITW course, notwithstanding that he had already done one in the UK, this being partially an 'introduction to the US Army, its customs and history'.

The next stage, Primary flying training, probably on Stearman aircraft, could have been carried out at Tuscaloosa, Alabama; Albany, Georgia; Arcadia, Florida; Lakeland, Florida; Camden, S. Carolina or Americus, Georgia.

Basic flying training, on the Vultee BT13 'Vibrator', at Macon, Georgia or Montgomery, Alabama.

Advanced, on the AT6A at Selma, Alabama or Dothan in the same state, or on the Cessna AT17 'Crane' or the Curtis AT9, if destined to fly 'twins', at Albany or Valdosta, both in Georgia.

42A was the first Arnold course and 43B was the last, finishing in February (hence the B, the second month) 1943.

Harry.


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: Rene Romainville (Guest)
Time Stamp:
09:47:10 02 July 2004
Post:
Hello,

Class 42E USAAF

Primary school USAAF, Darr Aero Tech, Albany, Georgia

Nov 41 - Jan 42

Basic School USAF, Gunter Field, Montgomery, Alabama

Jan 42 - Mar 42

Advance School USAF, Craig Field, Selma , Alabama

Mar 42 - May 42

Regards

Ren


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: errol.martyn@xtra.co.nz (Guest)
Time Stamp:
11:31:12 02 July 2004
Post:
Harry,

Many thanks for your additional remarks. If nothing else they at least reduce the potential number of US States he could have been training in from 50 odd down to five!

Errol


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: Tony Broadhurst (Guest)
Time Stamp:
21:10:47 02 July 2004
Post:
Errol,

I hope this helps. Much of the following has been copied from my incomplete files.

Arnold Scheme courses began around June 9th, 1941 with 42A.

The following are civil contract AAF Primary schools where RAF Arnold scheme courses were undertaken:

Alabama Institute of Aeronautics, Inc., Van de Graaf Field, Tuscaloosa, AL

Embry-Riddle Co., Carlstrom Field, Arcadia, FL.

Darr Aero Tech., Inc., Albany Municipal Airport, Albany, GA.

Georgia Aero Tech., Bush Field, Agusta, GA.

Graham Aviation Co., Souther Field, Americus, GA.

Lodwick School of Aeronautics, Lakeland Municipal Airport, Lakeland, FL.

Southern Aviation School, Woodward Field, Camden, SC.

The Boeing Stearman was the standard equipment at the above.

Two AAF Basic Pilot Schools where courses of RAF pilots received training:

Gunter Field, Montgomery, AL.

Cochran Field, Macon, GA.

Both employed mainly Vultee BT-13A

The following are AAF Advanced Pilot Schools where courses of RAF pilots received training:

Napier Field, Dothan, Alabama.

Maxwell Fld., Montgomery, Alabama.

Craig Field, Selma, Alabama.

Moody Field, near Valdosta, GA.

Eglin Fld, near Pensacola, FL.

Turner Field, Albany, GA

Napier Fld., Maxwell Fld., Craig Field and Turner Fld all had AT-6As assigned to them.

Moody Field had the twin engine types, AT-9, AT-17 and I think AT-10s.

Believe Eglin was just used for Gunnery Courses, but I may be wrong.

The above may not be complete, but these are what I have seen so far from USAAF records.

From what I have read I do not think the first intakes went through the introductory course at Maxwell Field. This seems to have been added with benefit of experience, such was the difference between RAF and US Army etiquette. The RAF boys had to be taught how, when and what to salute, how to march and to eat the Army way! Hazing and honor system were rather alien to our way of thinking.

Incidentally, starting from July 1943 - as the Arnold Scheme was coming to an end - Maxwell Field, Van de Graaf Field and and later Turner Field began to train French Pilots mainly from N.Africa.

I had hoped No.31 Personnel Depot ORBs might record the first output from the Arnold Scheme. Several groups passed through Moncton on their way back to the UK during February 1942, but it is not clear where they came from.

Returning to the original subject, the British Flying Training Schools. The first also opened in June 1941 but some continued in operation until August/September 1945.

Hope this is of some use, Tony


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: sussexresearch
Time Stamp:
21:39:04 02 July 2004
Post:
[font size="1" color="#FF0000"]LAST EDITED ON 02-Jul-04 AT 09:40 PM (GMT)[/font][p]Hi Tony

I didn't realise until I opened my e-mails tonight, just what a gem I've seem to have found.

A bit more info about the books.

All photos of students are head and shoulders and are shown individually not groups.

Vols. 1 & 2 are ALL RAF pilots,shown in flying kit a total in those two volumes of some 400 students printed at 8 to a page. Most of the students are ranked LAC but there are some Corporals, sergeants and Flight Sergeants.

Vols. 3 & 4 are mostly RAF students but there are 104 students from the USAAF intermingled with the RAF. All RAF students are listed as Cadets but some are in 'normal' RAF uniform and are displaying stripes. There are also all of the American Staff members, including secretaries and link flight training personnel, photgraphed, most of theses are groups rather than individuals. I suspect the final count for RAF students to be around 800, so any mass postings of names would be a little impractical, but I'm more than willing to look for any RAF or USAAF pilots.

Incidentally the survival rate of the 32 that I've looked on the CWGC for to date seems to be LESS than 50%


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: errol.martyn@xtra.co.nz (Guest)
Time Stamp:
23:02:58 02 July 2004
Post:
Tony,

Thanks very much for that additonal background info. It all helps towards seeing the whole picture.

Phil,

If you would care to send me photocopies of the pages I would happily type up the names for posting on this board. I'm a touch typist so 800 odd names would not take very long to be dealt to.

Errol


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: Tony Broadhurst (Guest)
Time Stamp:
23:55:31 02 July 2004
Post:
Phil,

Just a quick addition, re; the US students at BFTS. I trying to get myself into gear to go to Old Warden on Sunday to meet some more 3 BFTS types.

The first US cadets joined the British 3 BFTS intakes around November 12 1942, Course Number 13. Paradoxically, the BT-13s were replaced with additional AT-6As the day before. The last 3 BFTS Course to include US cadets was No.19 which graduated in the Spring of 1944. Among those on the last mixed course was Halverson, famous as the "Candy Bomber" during the Berlin Air Lift.

From memory, the above start and finish dates, etc are much the same at No.1 and the other BFTS.

Tony


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: Harry Jamieson (Guest)
Time Stamp:
17:03:53 07 July 2004
Post:
Phil,

'Detached Flight' Vols. 1 and 11 are in the Terrell Heritage Society and on microfilm roll A2281 at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Vols. 111 - V1 are held in Terrell Public Library.

Although published throughout the lifetime of the School, these 6 vols. did not cover every course.

Harry.


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: Harry Jamieson (Guest)
Time Stamp:
21:01:37 07 July 2004
Post:
Phil,

Photos, with names, of each course (nos 1-27), taken at its commencement, are in the Terrell Public Library. Cadets who joined after commencement do not, of course, appear. Those include 12-15 who joined course 10 from Sweetwater after its

demise, 20 who joined when 6BFTS Ponca City closed in April 1944 and several who were eliminated from the Arnold Scheme but given another chance.

Believed to number between 2,180 and 2,200 in total.

The above was gleaned from 'The Royal Air Force in Texas' by Killebrew.

Harry


RE: No 1 B.F.T.S. Terrell Texas
Author: Harry Jamieson (Guest)
Time Stamp:
16:18:17 08 July 2004
Post:
Users may be interested in how my interest in BFTSs came about.

While on a work-associated course in Kent around 1982 I met a Cyril Baxter who had been on 18 Course at 3 BFTS Miami Oklahoma 1943/44. When he learned of my obsessive interest in all matters flying 1939-45 he (I think a Londoner) uttered "You're obviously a Scotsman. One of your fellow-countrymen and I shared an instructor on the first part of the course and after we came back to the UK I lost touch with him altogether. Perhaps he got the chop. Dave Dinnie was his name". I immediately advised him that Dave was very much alive and lived but a few miles from me. When I got home I contacted Dave, gave him Cyril's address and they have been in regular contact since and are now both members of the 3BFTS Association which certainly Dave and perhaps Cyril too didn't know the existence of.

Cyril had shown me a photo' that he had always carried around with him of he and Dave leaning up against the fuselage of a Cornell [which 3BFTS used rather than Stearmans (or should that be Stearmen?)].

Cyril went on to fly Ansons as a staff pilot at Navigation School at Jurby while Dave joined the ranks of surplus pilots after doing pre-AFU at Perth and Carlisle. After a spell on ground duties he managed to get back into the air by completing a Flight Engineer course, ending up as a Pilot/FE on 166 sq at Kirmington in the spring of 1945 but too late to see any action.

If any of you possess 'Maximum Effort - One Group at War' by Patrick Otter, Manor Publications Ltd 1990, Dave features in a 166 sq group photo' on p 70/71 of that publication, 2nd row from the front, 5th from the right.

Dave went on to become a respected head-master locally and Cyril an accountant in Kent. I, since 1982, have passionately embraced BFTSs in my studies.

Harry.