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Thread: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

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    Default F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    1. F/O Fraleigh received his Pilot Wings 19 Dec 1941 & then was shipped to England.

    2. Following is a very rough transcription of his posting record:
    8 Jan 42 – 3 PRG
    4 Feb 42 - Station El Amiriya
    13 Feb 42 – to ME (Middle East??) Comm
    14 Feb 42 – 4 P (??, can’t decipher record)
    11 Jun 42 – El Amiriya to 21 PTC (Personnel Transit Camp ??)
    1 Jul 42 – AHQ Egypt to 31 PTC
    7 Jul 42 – 21 PTC to PAP (Pilot & Aircrew Pool ??)
    20 Aug 42 – 2 PAP
    17 Sep – AHQ Iraq to 22 PTC
    3 Oct 42 – 22 PTC to 21 PTC
    14 Oct 21 – 21 PTC to Home Est

    3. When he returned to England, Fraleigh was posted to 55 OTU 2 March 43, completed his training 5 May 43 and was posted to Typhoons at 182 Sqn.

    4. I don’t have access to Fraleigh’s Flying Log Book so am missing a lot of details. But it seems like he wasn’t flying for the period when he was in the Middle East. And that he only trained when he returned to the Home Est (Establishment ??). So my questions:
    (1) It seems like he spent a lot of time in PTC’s. Was Fraleigh flying when he was in the Middle East?
    (2) If he wasn’t flying, why not? Shortage of airplanes, no need for pilots, shortage of quarters in England ????
    (3) Why would the RAF send Fraleigh to the Middle East only to have to him do 55 OTU when he returned to England?

    5. Any help would be appreciated.

    John Dean

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    Default Re: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    Seems that Middle East Command was at various times somewhat overwhelmed with excess aircrew, and I have seen many individual records of service similar to the one on this thread. Probably a combination of heavy aircraft losses in the rugged operating conditions of the Middle East, and generous numbers of aircrew being sent to theatre from UK in anticipation of heavy personnel losses in battles yet to be fought. These are just general comments. I think the over-supply situation of aircrew to the Middle East are covered to some extent in the WW2 RAF Narratives of the history of this theatre.
    David D

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    Default Re: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    John /(David)
    Around 6000 airframes were flown from W Africa to the M East in two to three years. This is 6000 pilots (and, in some cases, their crews!). The “Bus Service” returning these ferry crews to W Africa was not very extensive. So some crew positions might tend to ‘pile up’ in the M East?
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    Dave, Peter

    Thank you - very much - for this.

    Does this mean that Fraleigh did not fly for the 10 months he was in Africa?
    In his posting record for Jan 42 to Oct 42, there is no mention of posting to a specific squadron. So if there is no mention of a specific squadron, is that indication that he did not fly?

    John Dean

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    Default Re: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    John,
    Possibly not! But he might have taken any advantage of "air time" to keep his flying abilities up to date. Flying the Station/Sqn "hack" a few times round the circuit, do the odd "air test" for any nearby MU, do the "Post Run" to distant outstations, and (if he'd got a reasonably presentable uniform) fly the odd Senior Officer on Inspection/Liaison duties.
    Best I can do!
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Default Re: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    Peter

    Understood. Because Fraleigh hadn't done any OTU time before he went to Africa, would it be safe to say he probably wasn't flying combat operations in the ME/Africa?

    Thanks for this. Really appreciate your patience.

    John Dean

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    Default Re: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    Middle East v Far East
    From late Dec 1941 through Jan to early Feb 1942 the RAF in the Middle East was endeavouring to send air re-inforcements to Burma & Malaya and the Netherlands East Indies, against mounting Japanese attacks.
    While I don't have readily in mind details of the fighter Squadron situation, perhaps a parallel example may be of interest.

    Several of the Blenheim Squadrons already in the Middle East (45, 84, 113, 211 eg) were expanded in strength - in three cases doubled from 12 to 24 aircraft with personnel increased to match - and sent on to the Far East, leaving from late Dec 41 to end Jan 1942. Plus some Hudson units sent from UK , via ME.

    Gathering and sending on sufficient aircraft plus aircrew and ground personnel plus spares/equipment in 6 to 8 weeks,
    for such a distant ferry task, by air via India and Burma and by sea,
    and then replacing them in the ME theatre...
    The difficulties of all that at this point in the war can well be imagined.

    The three desperate weeks from 15 Feb to 8 March 42 (fall of Singapore, Sumatra, Java, Rangoon with heavy loss) eventually made for a somewhat simpler task: to reinforce India.

    OTU before Africa
    As an example, RAAF men newly posted to ME from mid to late 1941 might expect to spend period/s of waiting at Middle East Pool and other such holding units.
    Some of the RAAF men posted to the Middle East, on joining Blenheim operational Squadrons, were found to have no OTU course under their belts.
    Some of them did indeed go on ops, only then to find themselves posted to a Blenheim Ops course at a local training unit.

    Aircrew in the Middle East and in India had at times, up to late 1943, to cope with longish periods scratching about for flying duties before their posting in to an operational Squadron.


    The dates for F/O Fraleigh fit quite well against all that background.
    In the Middle East, by late 1942 the tide had turned for the better.
    In the Far East, it was to take rather longer.

    Don Clark
    Last edited by Don Clark; 28th April 2020 at 07:56. Reason: clarity, order, links removed as a site failure test
    Toujours à propos

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    Default Re: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    Don

    Thank you - very much - for this. I better understand what was happening with Fraleigh.

    One last question for anybody. On 28 Sep 43, a Miss Ann Conway wrote a letter to 183 Sqn looking for more info about Fraleigh. She wrote the letter from (as best I can read the writing) Keil, Southend, Campbeltown and after her signature wrote R.N.S.G. 6 A.R.N.N.G./R. I've Googled a number of combos, (Royal Navy Signals Corp, Royal Nursing Sisters Corps …….)

    Does anybody know what R.N.S.G. 6 A.R.N.N.G./R stands for?

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    Default Re: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    From what I can tell of F/O Fralegh’s Postings, Attachments & Temporary Duty Records, he was posted to 55 OTU 2 Mar 1943, attached to RAF Longtown (I don’t know if I’ve read that correctly), spent time at 15 OTU and was finally posted to 182 Sqn 18 May 1943.

    Fraleigh's 55 OTU course report indicates that he flew Masters & Hurricanes at 55 OTU. 15 OTU seems to have been a 6 Gp bomber training unit.

    Would Fraleigh have been posted to a 6 Gp trg unit as a holding pattern awaiting Typhoon trg?

    Did – in this case – F/O Fraleigh (a Typhoon pilot), learn to fight & fly Typhoons only when he arrived at 182 Sqn? Was this normal practice?

    Thank you for your patience & help.

    John Dean

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    Default Re: F/O Manley I Fraleigh (J9388), Canadian, 182 Sqn

    John. Just seen this one. 55 OTU's main base was Annan, Longtown was a satellite airfield. The OTUs were large and complex units with several 'squadrons internally, performing different aspects of the training syllabus. The last squadron of the course was what would now be known as a 'shadow squadron'. This had the role of a reserve squadron in case of invasion and was numbered by adding '5' to the front of the OTU number (ie in this case 555 Sqn).

    An attempt was being made to form a Typhoon OTU by replacing 59 OTU's Hurricanes with Typhoons (Between March and May 1943) but this foundered largely due to the shortage of serviceable Typhoons at that time. So when pilots were posted into Typhoon units type conversion and training was carried out 'in house'. The Typhoon squadrons had 2 or 3 Hurricanes on charge purely for initial training (sector recess, local procedures etc). It was usually several weeks before pilots were cleared for ops. Eventually the OTUs were renamed as Tactical Exercise Units with a syllabus to reflect the expected tactics and techniques required during and after the forthcoming invasion of Europe.

    At the end of the OTU course some pilots went direct to operational units but a large number went to second line units until vacancies in the operational units needed to be filled. Typically this would be to a bomber OTU to carry out what was known as 'fighter affiliation' - mock attacks on bombers to teach evasion tactics and gives gunners practice (presumably with cameras!). It proved to be invaluable additional experience for many fighter pilots

    If your library comes up with 2ndTAF Vol 4, there is a chapter on training in there.
    CT

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