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Thread: Met Unit, Rhodesia

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    Default Met Unit, Rhodesia

    I am about to transcribe two AFC citations and wish to determine the exact title of the unit involved.

    KIDD, George Willis, F/O (NZ 417068, Royal New Zealand Air Force) - No.1562 Meteorological Flight, Station Waterloo, Rhodesian Air Training Group - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1945. Public Record Office Air 2/8771 (courtesy of Steve Brew) has citation drafted when he had flown 338 hours in 313 sorties.

    RUTHERFORD, Gordon Menzies, F/O (179999, RAFVR*) - No.156 Meteorological Flight, Station Waterloo, Rhodesian Air Training Group - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1945. Public Record Office Air 2/8771 (courtesy of Steve Brew) has citation drafted when he had flown 331 hours in 295s sorties.

    So - No.156 Met Flight or No.1562 Met Flight ?

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    Default No. 1562 Met Flight

    G'day Hugh

    Verbatim from Royal Air Force Flying Training and Support Units.

    No. 1562 Meteorological Flight
    Formed 3.2.43 at WATERLOO, Sierra Leone in No. 297 Wing with 2 + 1 Gladiators; 6.44 re-equipped Hurricanes; Late 1945 personnel went home to reform 17.12.45 at LANGHAM in Coastal Command with 4 Spitfire XI; Disbanded 11.2.46
    Aircraft - Gladiator II (N5622); Hurricane IIc; Spitfire XI

    Cheers...Chris

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    Default Met Unit, Rhodesia

    Thanks for that. Interesting that awards for this Sierra Leone unit were processed through the Rhodesian Air Training Group rather than West Africa Air Forces.

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    Default Met. Hurricane

    My father was a flying instructor in the RATG from 1943 to '45. In February of '45 his logbook and diary shows that he flew a Hurricane, which I remember him saying belonged to a Met. flight. He said it was clapped out but he managed to coax it to 20,000ft!
    Unfortunately there are no other clues about which unit the Hurricane belonged to..could it have been 1562?
    Regards
    Max

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    Default

    Hello, All,
    Unfortunately Lyffe (OC RafCommands Met Section) is off-line at the moment (re-equipping). He is writing an article on Met Flights in general, and will - no doubt - be pleased to receive this additional info. He will also - no doubt - respond when he's got all his new "Noughts & Ones" under control!
    As a general rule, though, these single-crewed a/c (Gladiator, Spitfire, Hurricane, etc) were flown by Pilots who were taught to take reading of Temperature and Humidity as they climbed up through the atmosphere (THUM). They also noted cloud and wind data. In the case of Mossies (PAMPA flights, etc) the Pilot flew the a/c and the Nav did the Nav bit AND did met observations. There are variations of this rule - particularly in the Middle, and Far, East(s). It was easier to teach aircrew to do simple met obs than it was to teach meteorologists to fly aeroplanes!!!!
    The Meteorological Air Observers (MAO) on the Met Recce Sqns were however (almost without exception) qualified meteorologists who had volunteered for aircrew duties. I don't know of many MAOs who could W/Op, but most MAOs could be 2nd Nav, fire a set of Brownings, and be Galley Slave (as time and operational/weather conditions allowed! - been there, done it, in Shacks). The Halifax was not as spacious as a Sunderland, and neither did it have the space to accommodate the football-team crews of the Sunderland. Nevertheless Sunderlands spent many thousands of hours flogging round The Oggin (etc), and in the same RAF Command as Met Recce - it's always been a source of some mystery why they didn't take an MAO along with them to make detailed met obs. Could practically have doubled the amount of basic observational data on the charts of the forecasters at Dunstable.
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 25th July 2008 at 15:05. Reason: Numerous typos!!

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    Default Met unit, citations

    The entries, now transcribed, appear below; texts are almost identical for the two:

    KIDD, George Willis, F/O (NZ 417068, Royal New Zealand Air Force) - No.1562 Meteorological Flight, Station Waterloo, Sierra Leone - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1945. Public Record Office Air 2/8771 (courtesy of Steve Brew) has citation drafted when he had flown 338 hours in 313 sorties.

    "Flying Officer Kidd has been employed for almost a year as a meteorological pilot at this station. He has carried out his work in the most conscientious manner and has never failed to perform the climb whatever the weather. During the rainy season he showed extreme courage and exceptional devotion to duty on numerous occasions by taking off at first light in visibility of less than 200 yards. The meteorological information obtained by the pilots of this Flight has been of the greatest assistance to the Senior Meteorological Officer and Air Headquarters."

    RUTHERFORD, Gordon Menzies, F/O (179999, RAFVR*) - No.1562 Meteorological Flight, Station Waterloo, Sierra Leone - Air Force Cross - awarded as per London Gazette dated 14 June 1945. Public Record Office Air 2/8771 (courtesy of Steve Brew) has citation drafted when he was a Pilot Officer and when he had flown 331 hours in 295s sorties.

    "Pilot Officer Rutherford has been employed for nearly a year as a meteorological pilot at this station. He has carried out his work in the most conscientious manner, and has never failed to perform the climb whatever the weather. During the rainy season he showed extreme courage and exceptional devotion to duty on numerous occasions by taking off at first light in visibility of less than 200 yards. The meteorological information obtained by the pilots of this Flight has been of the greatest assistance to the Senior Meteorological Officer and Air Headquarters."

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