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Thread: Query on Arnold Scheme Class List

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    Default Query on Arnold Scheme Class List

    Hello,

    My name is Dr. Eunice Marumudi Nath and I am working in the Dept. of Endocrinology & Metabolism at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.

    My father, Marumudi Francis Ambrose, had served with RAF Calibration Flight in 1943 and RAF 212 Squadron in 1944. He had joined on 1st November 1942 and was discharged from the Indian Air Force as Warrant Officer in 1966.

    My father once told me that he had undergone training at Alabama but I don't know in which Class of the Arnold Scheme he was. I would be grateful for help to find out in which Class he was.

    Thanking you and looking forward to your positive replies,

    With regards,

    Eunice

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    Hi Eunice, I've been trying to find the same answers (see thread http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...-Flying-School). From what little I know, it seems unlikely that your father trained under the Arnold Scheme as the last class started 8 July 1942, well before your father enlisted in November 1942. There may have been other training in Alabama after Arnold finished.

    Are you able to request your father's service record? This will give you all the details of his postings including all training. More information is at http://www.raf.mod.uk/community/supp...icerecords.cfm.

    If you are interested in the Arnold Scheme I strongly recommend The Arnold Scheme: British Pilots, the American South, and the Allies' Daring Plan by Gilbert Sumter Guinn. It has an incredible amount of detail.

    Good luck in your search,
    Tim

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    Can I offer some additional advice?

    Do you have your father's logbook and something called the RAF Form 856 "Certificate of Service". Also, do you have his medals. I note that 212 Sqn were flying the Catalina in 1944 from, inter alia, Redhills Lake. These medals are often a valuable aid to determining when and where one served. Furthermore do you have any photographs which your father might have taken or been in, as this might help as well. The writing on the back often tells more than the photograph itself.

    The timescales you quote are interesting for somebody who joined in November 1942. Can you tell me where he served with the 'Calibration Flight' or 'Calibration Unit' as there were two separate units in the UK.

    Colin Cummings

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oldduffer View Post
    Can I offer some additional advice?

    Do you have your father's logbook and something called the RAF Form 856 "Certificate of Service". Also, do you have his medals. I note that 212 Sqn were flying the Catalina in 1944 from, inter alia, Redhills Lake. These medals are often a valuable aid to determining when and where one served. Furthermore do you have any photographs which your father might have taken or been in, as this might help as well. The writing on the back often tells more than the photograph itself.

    The timescales you quote are interesting for somebody who joined in November 1942. Can you tell me where he served with the 'Calibration Flight' or 'Calibration Unit' as there were two separate units in the UK.

    Colin Cummings
    Dear Sir,

    Thank you very much for your message.

    Sadly, I do not have my father's logbook or Form 856. However, I do have his medals. One of them has the image of a lion on one side with 1939-1945 inscribed and on the other the face of King George VI. The medal ribbon has the colours of the Union Jack.

    I have a photo of my father dated 1944. There is no writing on the back but the words "Post Card" are printed with space for an address on one half and some space to write a letter on the other.

    In my father's Certificate of Discharge, under the section titled "War Service rendered showing theatres of operations with dates", the following were given:
    1) RAF C & M Party, Vizag - 1943
    2) RAF Calibration Flight - 1943 & 212 Squadron 1944

    Looking forward to your reply,

    With best regards,

    Eunice

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    Hi Eunice, firstly my commiserations that your father's service record has been destroyed. It's very frustrating but it's also possible to piece together a service record from other sources, particularly the squadron ORBs at The National Archives (as Hugh suggested in the other thread).

    Unfortunately I can't help very much with US training as I've focussed on the Arnold Scheme but I did come across a list of the RAF training schemes in the US in 1941. This is before your father's training but some schools were probably still going in 1942/43:
    • The Refreshers course: for the training of US citizens
    • The American Airways Navigation course at Miami
    • The BFTSs: none in Alabama
    • The Arnold
    • The Towers Scheme


    Link here

    The same page lists the BFTS schools, .

    The Towers Scheme seems to have been for RAF training for Coastal Command, and was based in Pensacola, Florida. It's not the right place but it does fit in with 212 Squadron flying Catalinas. Cadets at Pensacola were trained to fly Catalinas among others aircraft.

    Unfortunately none of the schemes except Arnold seem to have had a school in Alabama.

    Sorry it's not much help. But the best way to find a lead is often to just start trying various combinations of search terms in Google. For example a quick search on "catalina pensacola 212 squadron" turned up the very distinguished Richard Gordon Wakeford who trained at Pensacola and was with 212 Squadron.

    By the way, the medal you described is the War Medal 1939-45.

    Good luck,
    Tim

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Homewood View Post
    Hi Eunice, firstly my commiserations that your father's service record has been destroyed. It's very frustrating but it's also possible to piece together a service record from other sources, particularly the squadron ORBs at The National Archives (as Hugh suggested in the other thread).

    Unfortunately I can't help very much with US training as I've focussed on the Arnold Scheme but I did come across a list of the RAF training schemes in the US in 1941. This is before your father's training but some schools were probably still going in 1942/43:
    • The Refreshers course: for the training of US citizens
    • The American Airways Navigation course at Miami
    • The BFTSs: none in Alabama
    • The Arnold
    • The Towers Scheme


    Link here

    The same page lists the BFTS schools, .

    The Towers Scheme seems to have been for RAF training for Coastal Command, and was based in Pensacola, Florida. It's not the right place but it does fit in with 212 Squadron flying Catalinas. Cadets at Pensacola were trained to fly Catalinas among others aircraft.

    Unfortunately none of the schemes except Arnold seem to have had a school in Alabama.

    Sorry it's not much help. But the best way to find a lead is often to just start trying various combinations of search terms in Google. For example a quick search on "catalina pensacola 212 squadron" turned up the very distinguished Richard Gordon Wakeford who trained at Pensacola and was with 212 Squadron.

    By the way, the medal you described is the War Medal 1939-45.

    Good luck,
    Tim

    Hi Tim,

    Thank you very much for your kind message.

    Your suggestion regarding the "Towers Scheme" is really helpful because I realize that the photograph taken of my father (with the words "Alabama" written on the back) was of him in plain clothes and not in uniform. So it's quite possible that he, alongwith others, may have just visited Gunter Air Field even though the Arnold Scheme had wound up because it may have still been quite famous during late 1942 and also 1943 and 1944. Unfortunately there is no date on the photograph to tell me the exact year.


    Would you be aware of any database of persons who underwent training under the Towers Scheme ?

    Best regards,

    Eunice

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Homewood View Post
    Hi Eunice, I've been trying to find the same answers (see thread http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/sho...-Flying-School). From what little I know, it seems unlikely that your father trained under the Arnold Scheme as the last class started 8 July 1942, well before your father enlisted in November 1942. There may have been other training in Alabama after Arnold finished.

    Are you able to request your father's service record? This will give you all the details of his postings including all training. More information is at http://www.raf.mod.uk/community/supp...icerecords.cfm.

    If you are interested in the Arnold Scheme I strongly recommend The Arnold Scheme: British Pilots, the American South, and the Allies' Daring Plan by Gilbert Sumter Guinn. It has an incredible amount of detail.

    Good luck in your search,
    Tim
    Hi Tim,

    Thank you very much for your message.

    Unfortunately, I have been unable to obtain my father's service record. This is because I came to know that the records of all Royal Indian Air Force airmen who served during WWII were destroyed in the 1980s because of some policies.

    However, the book by G. S. Guinn is really good ! Would you be knowing of other training that took place in Alabama for RAF personnel after the Arnold Scheme wound up ?

    Looking forward to your reply,

    With best regards,

    Eunice

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    Good Afternoon,
    I came across this thread while looking for information on the Towers Scheme and may be able to help out with some information.

    My Grandfather trained as a RAF Pilot under the Towers Scheme between July 1942/March 1943. Pilots were posted from the UK to Canada (31 Personnel Depot) at Moncton. From here they were sent on to various training programs - THe Towers Scheme (USA), or the British Flying Training Schools (USA) or the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (Canada).

    In the case of my Grandfather, he was picked for the Towers scheme. Under the Towers Scheme, RAF and RN pilots undertook initial flying training at NAS Grosse Ile near Detroit on Piper Cubs and NS2 aircraft.

    After this they were sent to NAS Pensacola in Florida for Advanced Pilot Training on thre SNJ4 Harvard Aircraft. There were also Catalina variants here, but I think they were not used for this stage of the training. Because the training had a Naval Aviation Theme, many of the RAF pilots were sent to Coastal Command, however this was not a hard and fast rule. My Grandfather for instance was sent to Bomber Command.

    I have a number of photos of my Grandfather and his mates in uniform in Flomaton Alabama, however my research suggests that these photos are really only "tourist" photos. It seems that Flomaton is just a very small town and was an intermediate waypoint where the train from Detrpoit met the train to Pensacola. Is it possible that the photo of your father in Alabama is something similar?

    If you have found any further information regarding the Towers Scheme, I would love to hear about it.

    Kind Regards
    N

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    Quote Originally Posted by Navig8er View Post
    Good Afternoon,
    I came across this thread while looking for information on the Towers Scheme and may be able to help out with some information.

    My Grandfather trained as a RAF Pilot under the Towers Scheme between July 1942/March 1943. Pilots were posted from the UK to Canada (31 Personnel Depot) at Moncton. From here they were sent on to various training programs - THe Towers Scheme (USA), or the British Flying Training Schools (USA) or the British Commonwealth Air Training Program (Canada).

    In the case of my Grandfather, he was picked for the Towers scheme. Under the Towers Scheme, RAF and RN pilots undertook initial flying training at NAS Grosse Ile near Detroit on Piper Cubs and NS2 aircraft.

    After this they were sent to NAS Pensacola in Florida for Advanced Pilot Training on thre SNJ4 Harvard Aircraft. There were also Catalina variants here, but I think they were not used for this stage of the training. Because the training had a Naval Aviation Theme, many of the RAF pilots were sent to Coastal Command, however this was not a hard and fast rule. My Grandfather for instance was sent to Bomber Command.

    I have a number of photos of my Grandfather and his mates in uniform in Flomaton Alabama, however my research suggests that these photos are really only "tourist" photos. It seems that Flomaton is just a very small town and was an intermediate waypoint where the train from Detrpoit met the train to Pensacola. Is it possible that the photo of your father in Alabama is something similar?

    If you have found any further information regarding the Towers Scheme, I would love to hear about it.

    Kind Regards
    N

    Dear Navig8er,

    Thank for your message with vast description of your grandfather. So good that you kept all the memories.

    I have found one weblink related to Tower's Scheme given below:

    http://nasgi.net/towers_scheme.htm

    Unfortunately I could not locate none of father's Alabama photos. However, one is there on the internet. I am giving the weblink:

    http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/IAF/Ga...-Chaklala.html

    Warm Regards,

    Eunice

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    Hi Eunice,

    My uncle, Don Atkins, was trained as an RAF pilot on the Towers Scheme in the USA from July 1942, in the same month as Navig8er's grandfather it seems (arriving at Moncton mid-July with Draft 4496); he ended up flying Stirlings and Halifaxes in 624 and 148 Special Duties squadrons instead of in Coastal Command.

    I don't have any more information about the training in the States myself I'm afraid, but there's a book available written in 1994 by another graduate of the scheme, Bernard Young ("Pensacola Pilot", Persimmon Publications). It's something of an anecdotal diary-cum-scrap-book, and contains many details about the training; I got a copy on Amazon a while ago.

    You might have a Google for the online reminiscences of Bill Leckie, also a 148 (SD) Squadron pilot trained on the Towers Scheme - I can't locate it myself at the moment, annoyingly, but I seem to remember there being an account of his time in the USA on the web somewhere. Might be wrong, though; apologies if so. There's an account of RAF and FAA personnel undergoing training at Pensacola relatively early in the war here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ww2peop...a5276351.shtml

    Good luck in your research; there seems to be so little information available about this particular flying training scheme, I'm sure anything you discover would be of interest.

    Cheers, Pat

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