Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Explanation of Gunnery Flight and crewing up

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2014
    Posts
    6
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Explanation of Gunnery Flight and crewing up

    I am researching a Lancaster crew from 460 Squadron and see the rear gunner left 1656 Conversion Unit for a short time to join 1481 (B) Flt - which I understand was a gunnery training flight- before returning to 1656. Could someone please explain what a gunnery training flight was and how it worked. Also, I was under the impression that an entire seven-man crew was put together at OTU stage but I have since seen reference to only five being assembled at the OTU and the engineer and second gunner being added at CU stage. Is this correct? It doesn't quite fit in with my research which shows both gunners of my crew were at the OTU together and left to go to the Heavy Conversion Unit along with the rest of the crew (other than perhaps the engineer) on the same day. Was it sometimes the case that both gunners would be crewed up at the OTU? Any assistance will be greatly appreciated. Mike

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    589
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Mike. My book http://www.colinpateman.com/books/glorious-in-solitude/ details the training and so on for Rear Gunners, it may answer a few of your questions. With heavy Bomber crews it was not uncommon for buddy air gunners to team up and join a single crew. You dont say what period we are looking at with your question was this early.
    Info: The Heavy Conversion Unit No.1657 equipped their Stirling Bomber Rear Gunners’ with compact 16 mm camera guns and student Air Gunners’ operated the camera in the same way as firing the browning machine guns; the cameras recording their ability in using the gyro gunsight. Fighter affiliation exercises were flown with RAF Spitfires acting as aggressive fighters engaged in various attacks whilst being filmed. The gunnery training was much improved by this development owing to the fact that no ammunition needed to be fired ....... This may help.
    Last edited by colinpateman; 21st January 2015 at 15:37. Reason: Add information

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    England
    Posts
    112
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hello Mike / Colin, hope this input is useful.

    I have a 1 Group air gunner who moved from 28 OTU. to 1481 Gunnery Flight, Binbrook.
    He has recorded in his logbook 7 training daytime flights in Wellingtons from 27th Sep to 3rd Oct 1943.
    The remarks are 'C.G.A. No.1, No.2, No.3' etc. Flight duration ranged from 1.00 hr to 1.50 hrs.
    [possibly related to Colin's mention of camera guns in his post above.]
    This attachment/posting is between 28 OTU and 1656 CU.

    I have another 1 Group gunner who has the following on his service record;
    1662 CU 5th Aug 43
    Binbrook 14 Aug 43 ('A' in a circle - meaning attached?)
    1662 CU no date
    Hemswell 5th Oct 43 (same on the service record of his pilot, nav and f/eng. Hemswell is preceded by 'AC.P.' or 'A.C.P.')
    1662 CU 10th Oct 43

    I don't know what the Hemswell attachment was for.

    Regards

    Mike
    Last edited by MikeW156; 25th January 2015 at 09:48. Reason: spelling, additional note.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2012
    Posts
    163
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    I'm not sure if this has any bearing on your inquiry:
    A bomber pilot told me that all trades were put in a large room with kegs of beer and orders to crew themselves up.
    Most of the time the men crewed up according to where they were from.
    Last edited by grounded; 24th January 2015 at 21:43. Reason: correct spelling

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •