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Thread: WW2 Pilot Training of RAF Crew in USA

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    Default WW2 Pilot Training of RAF Crew in USA

    Hi,
    I have the service records for my Great Uncle Flt/Lt C E HILL Killed 23/11/43 piloting Lancaster KM-W DV329 of 44 Sqn. His Records state he was trained in the USA. It looks like at a place called ARNALD or ARNOLD SCH, but the nest line says Canada 31PD?

    Does anyone know if the RAF Trained pilots at such an air base?

    Cheers

    Fred

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    PS it then says something like Lamwell field or Marwell filed 31PD - Any Ideas?

    Thanks Fred

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    Yes they trained aircrew on the Arnold Scheme but it was the name for the enterprise rather than an aerodrome.

    http://www.arnold-scheme.org/The%20Arnold%20Register.htm

    As to 31PD this is the reference to a holding unit No.31 PDC (Personnel Despatch Centre) which was based in Canada.

    I'm guessing that the records you have show

    1. Assigned on paper to the Arnold Scheme (possibly sent to Maxwell Field)
    2. Posted in person to No.31 PDC at Monkton

    Other entries should show if your man actually travelled to the US or if he was retained in Canada for training.

    Regards
    Ross
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    Default RE: One Possibility

    Dear All,

    The pilot in my great-uncle's crew was trained in the US at the British Flying Training School in, ironically enough, a place called Lancaster, California. This location might be one possibility.

    Regards,
    Richard

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    Ross,

    Brilliant. That makes sense. Amazed he trained in the USA. Going on the dates he arrived at Canada at 31PD on 2/12/41 nad was arrived at MAXWELL FEILD (USA) on 18/12/41.
    Looks like he then returned to 31PD on the 28/04/42 and had a validation flight on the 2/6/42 in the UK.

    Fantastic result. Well chuffed.

    Does anyone have any idea what Class/Entry he would have been in for that date 18/12/41, a long shot but worth a try?

    Cheers all
    Fred

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    War Eagle Field located in Lancaster California - began training RAF cadets July 1941. Lancaster is in the Mojave Desert near Edwards Airforce Base where the shuttle landed in its early days. Here is a youtube link with old footage
    http://www.airboyd.tv/2012/04/22/raf-pilots-at-war-eagle-field-lancaster-ca-1941/

    Arnold Scheme was mainly in the southwest (numerous airfields in Florida, Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Oklahoma and possibly more) not sure if the Lancaster training was officially part of the Arnold Scheme vs a similar scheme.

    I have some interest in this because my uncle's skipper was trained under the Arnold Scheme at Albany Georgia - I have spoken to one other pilot trained at Albany - training was pretty intense I beleive the washout rate higher than BCATP - when they returned to the UK for AFT(P) they often had more hours than their instructors!

    A book I have not read "The Arnold Scheme: British Pilots, The American South and The Allies Daring Plan By Gilbert S. Guinn" - part of it is online
    http://books.google.com/books?id=m6IA84_UHsQC&pg=PA518&lpg=PA518&dq=%22arn old+scheme%22+raf+lancaster+california&source=bl&o ts=COjgoTA8hJ&sig=ILqXa_GmBT2ciyqhHNQnqFKGhpQ&hl=e n&sa=X&ei=OHbKUI6gIcfc2AWb94HoAw&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v =onepage&q=%22arnold%20scheme%22%20raf%20lancaster %20california&f=false

    Immediately post Pearl Harbor new RAF classes stopped to ramp up American cadet pilot training.

    Cheers
    Rodger
    Last edited by rmventuri; 14th December 2012 at 01:31. Reason: clarity
    In remembrance of the crew of Halifax HR732
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    Default USA Training

    Class 42-G was from 18 Dec '41, with acclimatization classes at Maxwell Field.
    31PD was at Monkton in Canada, from where the students were (normally) taken by train to their allocated FTS in the USA.
    I have the 'Arnold' book if you have specific queries.

    Arrabest

    Alan F


    Quote Originally Posted by bigf View Post
    Ross,

    Brilliant. That makes sense. Amazed he trained in the USA. Going on the dates he arrived at Canada at 31PD on 2/12/41 nad was arrived at MAXWELL FEILD (USA) on 18/12/41.
    Looks like he then returned to 31PD on the 28/04/42 and had a validation flight on the 2/6/42 in the UK.

    Fantastic result. Well chuffed.

    Does anyone have any idea what Class/Entry he would have been in for that date 18/12/41, a long shot but worth a try?

    Cheers all
    Fred

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    Hi Alan

    Thanks for this information. Looks like he was in Class 42G then.
    I know its a long shot, but does the book make any mention of him at all in class/entry lists etc or are there any class/entry photos?
    He was then AC or LAC Charles Ellison Hill.

    Cheers Fred

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    Default US British training

    Class 42G had Acclimatization Classes at Maxwell Field Alabama from 18 dec 41 to 17 Jan 42 (746 in intake).

    They then split up with 123 sent to the Alabama Institute of Aeronautics, Tuscaloosa, 101 to Souther Field, Georgia, 173 to Darr Aerotech, Albany, Georgia, 118 to Lakeland School of Aeronautics, Lakeland, Florida, 224 to Carlstrom Field, Arcadia, Florida.

    From these schools they were sent on to Basic Flying Schools - 205 to Gunter Field, Alabama, 286 to Macon Field, Georgia.

    300 were then posted to Advanced Flying Schools; 95 to Craig Field, Selma, Georgia, 123 to Dothan Field, Alabama, 89 to Turner Field, Georgia and 105 to Moody Field, Georgia.

    Hope this helps. The book quoted is very good.

    "The Arnold Scheme: British Pilots, The American South and The Allies Daring Plan By Gilbert S. Guinn" - part of it is online
    http://books.google.com/books?id=m6IA84_UHsQC&pg=PA518&lpg=PA518&dq=%22arn old+scheme%22+raf+lancaster+california&source=bl&o ts=COjgoTA8hJ&sig=ILqXa_GmBT2ciyqhHNQnqFKGhpQ&hl=e n&sa=X&ei=OHbKUI6gIcfc2AWb94HoAw&ved=0CDQQ6AEwAQ#v =onepage&q=%22arnold%20scheme%22%20raf%20lancaster %20california&f=false

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    Thanks Tom,

    Unfortunaltey his RAF records only show him at Maxwell Field then back to 31PD in Canada. So I have no idea where he went to after his acclimatization classes etc beofre returning to 31PD. I will have to look into to it to try and find out where he went etc.

    Thanks again to all of you, you have all been a tremendous help,

    Fred

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