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Thread: Duty of Squadron Flight Engineer

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    Default Duty of Squadron Flight Engineer

    Hello,
    What was exactly the duty in Bomber Command of the Squadron Flight Engineer ? Did he had also a regard on the engineer ground crews ??
    In one logbook of a Flight Engineer I found that during his time in a squadron he went to a "two weeks "course in a Sea Rescuew Unit at Black Pool, what he could have learn there ??

    Thank you for your comments .

    Alain

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    Each bomber squadron had senior specialits who filled the roles of 'leaders' in those specialisms eg Navigation Leader, Engineer Leader etc. Their task was to ensure that the specialists on the squadron were adequately trained in their basic skills and any other new equipment or techniques which were introduced. They would ensure that new crews were of a suitable standard and they would help new crews settle down to squadron life and understand how things worked on a squadron. They would be involved in setting out special instructions prior to an attack and carrying out specialist briefings prior to the attack.

    They were not necessarily 'line' crew, although they could be. If not line crew they would only fly occasionally on operations and hence their stay at a squadron would be longer than most line crews who survived. There was a danger that these leaders would form a scratch crew occasionally and if they were lost, a great deal of experience and knowledge was lost with them.

    To answer your specific points. An Engineer Leader would not have responsibility for the ground engineering tradesmen/women - that was the task of the squadron engineering officer/warrant officer but there would be a close relationship between the air and ground crew at all levels. As to a sea rescue unit at Blackpool - the man probably went there to learn sea survival techniques to be used in the event of a ditching at sea. Without knowing the details it is difficult to be precise. By that, I mean - if it was 1942 it might be prior to a squadron being transferred to Coastal Command for a spell eg 405 Sqn.

    Colin Cummings

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    Thank Colin, that give me a better understanding of the duty of a Squadron Flight Engineer.
    For his course at Blackpool in a Sea rescue unit, it was in October 1943, when he was with 619 Squadron .
    Perhaps he was in charge too of the Dinckhy drill in the squadron ....

    Alain

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