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Thread: Battle School at RAF Dalton

  1. #1
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    Default Battle School at RAF Dalton

    Hi all,

    I am looking for any information about this school - what an airman can learn there?.
    One RCAF pilto was sent there between training in OTU and CU in March 1944.

    TIA

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

  2. #2
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Pavel

    The Battle Schools in 4 and 6 Groups were a sort of mini commando course where, amongst other things, aircrew took part in escape and evasion exercises designed to toughen them up should they fall into enemy territory/hands

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    The RCAF copied this idea from the UK, and established at least two aircrew "toughening up" schools in Canada in early 1945: No. 1 Aircrew Conditioning Unit at Centralia and No. 2 ACU at Brandon. Both used base facilities recently emptied by the downsizing of the BCATP. From newspaper reports in the time, they were specifically teaching jungle survival skills for aircrews destined for the Far East. No. 1 ACU seems to have had a few Ansons and Harvards on strength, probably to keep the aircrews current. They reported over 100 hours flying in each of July and August 1945. Both units had shut down by October 1945.

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    thanks for info Eddie and Bill.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

  5. #5
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Pavel

    This from the ORB for Driffield (Dec '43)

    The courses being held at No. 4 Group Aircrew Cooperation School are designed to give each member of our aircrew a working knowledge of the duties of other members of the crew thus ensuring closer cooperation. Courses will follow on at the end of the 18 day Battle courses and will be of 12 days duration. The whole of the training (Battle and Technical) remaining under the control of the OC Battle School.

    And from notes I have written by an Australian Pilot

    We were attached to some kind of army training unit to be instructed by NCO's to undergo a Battle Course for a couple of weeks. At the commencement of the course the NCO in charge advised that all rank was to be disregarded during this training. The weather was extremely cold with snow and ice in abundance as we ran miles round the countryside. We climbed over high brick walls and back again, over barricades by ropes, jumped gret ditches full of icy water and mud, crawled on our bellies under low bridges through strems which were at freezing point, scaled rope ladders, ran across fallen trees made slippery by ice, fixed bayonets and charged at straw dummies while screaming like banshees and then ran the couple of miles to camp.

    This happened daily for the duration of the course.

    Another part of the logic of such a course was that they may have to hold airfields while landings were taking place and assist in the securing of airfields and might become involved in glider towing details.

    All in all a nice break from flying!!!!

    Again this was Driffield but I don't suppose Dalton was any different for the 6 Group lads at Dalton

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    Eddie, I love it!
    Having done, as part of just one of my 38 Group Training Exercises, at the very same Driffield, in the depths of winter, very much the same sort of exertions, I feel, very deeply, for yr Oz pilot. And then, whilst in the grip of these of these Physical Training fiends, one was expected to carry out one's primary task AT THE SAME TIME. The only saving grace on my experiences was that I was not being shot at with REAL LIVE AMMUNITION (either from the the air, or ground).
    There was, at my time, no runway lighting at Driffield. The last Argosy off (at the end of an exercise and in the dark - and we'd had to let the tyres down on a LWB Landrover to get the damned thing into the Whistling Tit!) said "Position the Met Landrover at the take-off end of the runway. Put the headlights on. When I flash my landing lights - get to hell off the end of the runway!!". Thus were tactical take-offs acheived!!!!!!!!!!!
    However, all these stories (and thousands more like them) are not to try to prove that we (and others) were supermen. But when, however, we (and other Units) were asked to really DO THE BIZZ (in the Falklands, and elsewhere) all this training paid dividends.
    As someone's 'Sign Off' quotes (or near enough) "Precision Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance"
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 9th July 2008 at 16:03.

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    Thanks for interesting info chaps.

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

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    Default Battle Schools

    Eddie. perhaps you may be able to answer, was Wombleton used as a Battle School after the War ? If so what aircraft were used there ?

    regards Rich

  9. #9
    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi Rich

    After the war Wombleton reverted to RAF control and was used by the RAF Regiment as a Battle School for several years. My guess (and thats all it is) is that they didn't have any aircraft as that would have required all the infrastructure that implies.

    Cheers

    Eddie

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