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Thread: W/O Norman Sinclair Davidson, 78 (RAF) Squadron

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    Default W/O Norman Sinclair Davidson, 78 (RAF) Squadron

    I am attempting to decipher entries in a air bomber's log book. Any information anyone can provide me on the following abbreviations would be appreciated:

    No.4 B&G School in Fingal, ON: WSD/ HLG/ LLG/ SPLASH/ BEAM

    No.5 AOS School in Winnipeg, MB (ship recognition course): S.R./ B.A.

    In January of 1944 he appears at No.1658 HCU in Ricall (near York), England flying Halifax four engine aircraft. Was this part of the 102 Squadron as that also appears in enteries for Jan of 1944 as well.

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    Default

    Hi
    B & G = bombing and gunnery school
    AOS = Air Observers School
    HCU = Heavy Conversion Unit
    102 Sqn did use Halifax's but at Pocklington ,so did 78 at Breighton.The references to Ship Recognition suggest that ,at least in training,he may have been earmarked for a Coastal Command Sqn although both 78 and 102 were Bomber Sqns
    I believe the various refs from the B&G School refer to types of training target for both Bombing and Gunnery
    Regards
    Dick
    Last edited by Dick; 2nd December 2007 at 20:23.

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    Default Abbreviations

    Splash Firing Exercises were airborne affairs, firing at a target in a lake.

    Beam Firing Exercises were again airborne, the gunnery student manning either manual guns (early Fairey Battles) or a turret (Battles with turrets, Bolingrbrokes which were Canadian-built Blenheims). The student was firing at a target on the beam - i.e. a drogue being towed by a tug flying a parallel course.

    SR I assume to be Ship Recognition, although I am surprised that this would be done in an aerial setting as opposed to a classroom setting.

    BA I assume to be bomb aiming exercises, although on reconsideration I think it odd that such would figure prominently at an AOS where the emphasis was on navigation.
    Last edited by HughAHalliday; 2nd December 2007 at 20:50. Reason: Afterthoughts

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    Default Training afterthoughts

    By way of illustrating a navigator's training process, I put to you the courses taken by F/O Noel Gibbons (No.418 Squadron, DFC, killed in action 22 October 1944). This included the following:

    Enlisted in Vancouver, 2 October 1941. Posted on enlistment to No.3 Manning Depot, Edmonton. To No.4 ITS, Edmonton, 28 October 1941.

    To No.2 AOS, Edmonton, 20 December 1941. At No.2 AOS he flew in Ansons (31.20 day as first navigator, 36.10 day as second navigator, 2.30 night as first navigator and 8.20 at night as second navigator). He was first in a class of 29 and was described as "Best in class. Seems to have natural ability". Courses were DR Plotting (141/150), DR Written (180/200), Compasses and Instruments (123/150), Signals (100/100), Maps and Charts (96/100), Meteorology (79/100), Photography (75/100), and Reconnaissance (90/100).

    To No.8 BGS, Lethbridge, 29 March 1942. At No.8 BGS he was in Fairey Battles (18.05 day bombing, 7.45 night bombing, 12.05 day gunnery). Average bombing error was 170 yards; average error on best exercise was 92 yards; dropped 62 bombs (high level) and 17 bombs (low level). "Average ability as Bomb Aimer." He was deemed "weak in gunnery", scored 0.5 in beam test, 2.81 % in Beam Relative Speed Test, 2.66 % in Under Tail Test. He fired a total of 1,755 rounds air-to-air. Placed first in a class of 27 and described as "Sets an excellent example as class leader both in appearance and applying self to work. Conscientious, above average ability. Definite leadership qualities."

    To No.1 ANS, Rivers, 10 May 1942 - At No.1 ANS he flew Ansons (8.15 day as first navigator, 7.45 day as second navigator, 3.35 night as first navigator, 9.45 night at second navigator). Ground training stressed Astro Navigation Plotting (114/150) and Astro Navigation Written (100/100). Placed 3rd in a class of 24.

    Disembarked in United Kingdom, 11 November 1942. To No.1 Signal School, 22 December 1942. At No.1 Signal School, 26 December 1942 to 31 March 1943. Tested in Morse and Visual Signals (required 18 words per minute in Morse and Syko Speed, actually achieved 22 words per minute; needed and achieved eight words per minute in Aldis Lamp). He spent five hours in Dominie aircraft (2.30 on W/T sets in air) and 9.15 hours in Proctor aircraft (all on W/T sets in the air). Ground School courses and results were as follows: Technical (Theory), 105/150; Signals Organisation, 104/150; Out-Station Procedure, 114/150; Set Manipulation, 186/250; D/F Loop Manipulation, 92/150; Daily Inspections and Fault Finding, 105/150. Air Results were listed as follows: Air Operating, 252/300; Frequency Changing, 288/300; D/F Loop Manipulation, 148/200; D/F Procedure. 85/100; Log Keeping, 86/100.

    To No.51 OTU, 3 March 1943 - no notes taken

    To No.60 OTU, 26 May 1943. On completion of instructing at No.60 OTU, he noted he had flown 190 hours in Ansons, 50 hours in Blenheims, 215 non-operational hours in Mosquitos, and in requesting postings he listed No.418 Squadron first, Pathfinders second and Bomber Command generally, third.

    To No.418 Squadron, 14 June 1943.

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