Results 1 to 8 of 8

Thread: Did "2nd Dickie" flights count as operational flights for a tour?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Posts
    41
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Did "2nd Dickie" flights count as operational flights for a tour?

    Hi All

    The title says it all. I'm trying to learn if flights as a 2nd dickie counted towards a pilots total operational flights for a tour?

    Also, as a second question, I believe that only completed flights counted towards the operational total. If a crew had to return due to mechanical issues etc, that flight did not count towards the operational total. Is this correct?

    Thanks in advance.

    David

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Location
    SW Wiltshire
    Posts
    223
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi David - the Second Dickie trip counted, which threw up the problem of the rest of the crew being an op behind. I've not seen contemporary guidance for early returns but ditching bombs in designated jettison areas in the North Sea didn't count, but attacking targets of opportunity did (eg a flak battery on the Dutch coast if not able to continue to Berlin). I suspect decisions would be made on a case-by-case basis.

    Richard

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    552
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Default

    From my own research I would echo Richard's post, 2nd Dickie ops did count provided that the crew made it 'OET' Over Enemy Territory, if they then had to return for some reason e.g. mechanical failure the trip still counted. They didn't have to drop their bombs for the operation to count, in the same way that in later years if the Master Bomber called off the attack due to too much smoke in the target area etc, the trip still counted.

    Daz

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    1,115
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    This Thread throws up an interesting situation regarding crew cohesion.

    The pilot - and I understand - occasionally a navigator, would do one and maybe two sorties and this threw up the mismatch between individual crew members.

    Given - say - a seven man crew on a tour of thirty operations, how often did the whole crew get through without any sort of substitution? I know of pilots who would do the extra trips at the end and of crews 'screened' before the official conclusion but with sickness, shortages in crews rostered etc and injuries/wounds was there a significant number of changes. As an example, Gibson's crew on the dams raid all died subsequently in several different losses in the months which followed. Although drifting slightly, there were also scratch crews - sometimes comprised of executives and people taking other people's crew on operations.

    Colin Cummings

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,604
    Thanks
    34
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Hi,

    From my own research on 218 (Gold Coast) and 623 Squadron 2nd Dickie operations did count towards the final magical 30 mark. However, I have a number of crews who were "screened" from op's and posted off to HCU or OTU having completed a tour of 23, 25, 26 operations. I have found no official explanation to their postings, other than my own conclusion that it was to keep up morale. At the time the loss rates were terrible.

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    1,115
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Yes, screening a crew was in the gift of a stn cdr and might be a way of resting a crew who had had some pretty terrible experiences, over and above the norm. It might be used if a couple of guys were injured/sick near the end of the normal tour and rather than make the rest press on with replacements, the CO would call it a day.

    It is also well known that more sympathetic medics might recommend a halt to the CO. A book called: "The Sky Belongs To Them" is the story of Wing Commander (Dr) Roland Wingfield DFC, AFC is a remarkable account of a doctor who flew on operations as part of his medical research. It is sad to record that he died post war at a very early age.

    I realise that we cannot set our own standards against the social mores of a bygone era but things like the 'hollow square' and the ritual humiliation of people who went LMF seem dreadfully harsh when seen from a comfortable armchair 75 years on.

    Colin Cummings

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    1,604
    Thanks
    34
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Colin,

    I brought a copy of the book "The Sky Belongs To Them" the story of Wing Commander (Dr) Roland Wingfield DFC, AFC for a few bob, it arrived this morning. Spent an enjoyable day in he garden in the sun reading it. what a remarkable man!. Thanks for he heads-up.

    Steve
    No.218 (Gold Coast) Squadron Association Historian
    No.623 squadron Research

    ~~IN TIME ~~

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northamptonshire
    Posts
    1,115
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 2 Times in 2 Posts

    Default

    Drifting slightly further but sticking with Wingfield.

    The MOD medics and their training is all concentrated at Whittington Barracks near Lichfield. The site was redeveloped at the cost of several shillings and was reopened by the Duchess of Cornwall.

    The project team was wanting to name many of the buildings after significant medical people in the three services and inevitably, this included the great and good. I suggested two names: one RN and one RAF. The first was Lt Rose a national service naval doctor who lost his life when he entered a submarine at Portland after an explosion and the second was Wingfield. I was disappointed that neither name was selected.

    Colin Cummings

Posting Permissions

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