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Thread: Simple or basic RAF air navigation manual

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Default Simple or basic RAF air navigation manual

    Hello Gents
    I have been reading that during WWII a senior airman who got lost received as a gift a sort of basic air navigation manual.
    I wonder what the book could have been, there was AP1234 & AP 1456, The Manual of Air Navigation in two volumes, and there was Complete Air Navigator by D C T Bennett, but was there any simpler book or notes available?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Hornsea, East Yorkshire, UK
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post


    Hi Franek

    Don Clark has sent me the following: -

    An airman who got lost and "received as a gift a sort of basic air
    navigation manual" sounds like an occasion for robust war-time RAF
    humour. So quite possibly the "manual" may have been a collection of one or more of the navigation articles in Tee Emm, the humorous Training
    Memoranda pamphlet issued monthly to the RAF from April 1941 to March 1946.

    On Navigation particularly, gems such as these come to mind:
    Never Too Old To Learn (May 41)
    P/O Prune Pulls Out A Plum (Jul 41)
    There were a good many more on Navigation alone.

    Each TM issue covered a range of practical flying topics, using humour
    to make practical points about practices both good and bad, often
    featuring the amiable but hapless Pilot Officer Percy Prune in making
    the object or lesson clear.

    For those who may not know, a prune at that time was not only a
    necessary item of poor war-time diet: a Prune was also a clot, a
    dunderhead, a blunderer, a dummkopf. Hence "prunery": any act or acts
    of monumental stupidity. So, Podporucznik Glupkow, if you will.

    Thanks perhaps to the tender ministrations of Tee Emm, despite all his
    blunderings Percy Prune himself survived the war, a Pilot Officer to
    the end. Meanwhile, late in the war he had married his Service
    sweetheart Waff Winsum. Good show, what!

    Facsimile bound copies of TM in 2 Vols do appear in the 2nd hand trade
    from time to time for prices from 40 to 80 dollars and up. Single
    issues around $20. See
    Also to be seen in major Libraries, where Inter Library Loan may be
    possible (British Library, RAF Museum, IWM Library eg). A quick check
    for rumoured digital copies now on line found at least this


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Reading, Berkshire, UK
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts


    And was not "Tee Emm" succeeded by "Air Clues"? Your hapless Plt Off Prune replaced by the imperious Wg Cdr Spry?

    It was once said that the pinnacle of one's career (at whatever rank level!) was to have 'appeared' in Air Clues as an example of what to do (or NOT do!!) in any set of circumstances!
    I still use some of the phrases stolen from articles in Air Clues.

    Forumites will forgive me if I example!
    Two articles were written in successive issues of Air Clues by a chap who had been posted from a Beverley Sqn to a Hercules Sqn.
    In the first, entitled "Goodbye The Beverley" he wrote "No longer will this Gothic structure be seen bumbling its way across Salisbury Plain gently shedding pieces of hot ironmongery in its wake!*".
    And in the following article, entitled "Hello The Hercules" he wrote "There were four Engineering Officers all clustered round a single drop of oil on the freight-bay floor and feverishly thumbing through Makers Manuals. We used to get more oil than that in a cup of coffee in the Beverley!".

    Happy days!!
    Peter Davies

    * PS The Beverley was, in its later days, prone to shattering of the exhaust collector rings of its Bristol radial engines! Thus the "hot ironmongery"!!
    Last edited by Resmoroh; 9th December 2018 at 17:03. Reason: Additions
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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