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Thread: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

  1. #21
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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    Hi

    1. Would he have learned to fly at ITW Cambridge? - No. I think there is an error on his records here, he was classified as LAC from 22 Dec 1940, which would be the classification needed to attend 2 ITW so if he joined 2 ITW on that date, he only spent about 8 weeks there not 16.

    2. Would he have learned to fly while at 51 Group Pool ? Again, 4½ months is a long period. - No, 51 Group Pool was a holding unit, awaiting his next posting, during which time he would have been on leave or attached to other units such as No 9 EFTS for grading (flying assessment) I've seen people at 51 Group Pool longer than 4½ months, but perhaps he was assessed as suitable and given some training there.

    4. Joined the RAFVR and taught to fly, free, weekends ? - whilst maybe not a pre-war VR pilot, he would have been enlisted in the VR after 3 Sep 1939 as all new recruits were.

    Malcolm

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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    Malcom,
    re your last post, I have to disagree that there is an error on the service history, that cannot be possible, then the rest of the service history would be wrong and not make sense. The service history says he was at 2ITW from 2/11/41 to 26//2/41, approximately 16 weeks, then I beleive it is so. Whats the point of getting a service history if we are not to believe it ?


    It seems ITW's, at least certain ones for u/t pilots, DID indeed conduct Elementary Flying Training. 2 ITW at Cambridge appears to be one of them. Cambridge University Air Squadron/became 22 EFTS, were attached/associated to 2 ITW and flying was part of the syllabus there. The following sheet from the CUAS orb illustrates those points.

    https://www.flickr.com/gp/188345812@N07/60rj71


    Again, 51 Group Pool, DID indeed also conduct Elementary Flying Training. Check out this (very interesting) 'Ken Fenton's War', and half way down, check the photos of the men in Sidcot Flying suits at 4 ITW, (!), and just below the photos, the passage regarding 51 Group Pool, part of which states:


    "51 Group Pool was formed in February 1939 as part of the expanding training effort of the RAF, 51 Group of Flying Training Command was already responsible for a number of Elementary Flying Training Schools and Air Navigation Schools. This Group Pool also performed some of the initial flying training, borrowing Tiger Moths from EFTS’s attached to various aircraft production units."

    https://kenfentonswar.com/raf-training/


    This obviously does not apply to all training throughout the war, as it varied so much according to the needs of the RAF at whichever stage of the war, At this stage, for this group, my pilot, I beleive that initial flying grading was conducted at 2 ITW Cambridge. It is inconceivable the ITW for u/t pilots had a EFTS attached to it and would not conduct grading and initial flying training. I am supposing, that a trainee u/t pilot, going through 2 ITW for 16 odd weeks, would have been graded, gone through full elementary stage, and more, gone on to 51 Group Pool for another 4½ months, and further been trained to Elementary Instructor level, given wings, and attached to 9 EFTS for Instuctor duties. Makes perfect sense to me.

    When TNA reopens, I will look more into the 22 EFTS orbs and the training syllabus of 2 ITW.
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    Hi

    It is possible I suppose that he could have undertaken some flying training at both 2 ITW and 51 Group Pool, but it wasn't usual.

    However, to claim errors are not possible on service records in incorrect. I have come across numerous errors on these sheets over the years, they are simply an index sheet for the actual records that were once contained in them and might not have been entered until weeks or months after the actual posting had occurred by an airman who was unfamiliar with unit titles. The original POR sent to the Record Office could have been in error in the first place, a posting may have been changed in the period between the original posting notification and receipt at the Record Office, the clerk completing the entry may have entered something from a different line of the POR or a POR may have been lost in transit to the Record Office and therefore never entered at all. At the end of the day they were compiled by human beings who were not infallible.

    Malcolm

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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    Anyway, thanks for the input Malcom. I think I am I little wiser than before about this. I need to see the appendix to the 2 ITW orb, that supposedly mentions the syllabus. In the absence of hard evidence such as Charalambous' logbook, there is always going some uncertainty and speculation.
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    Andrew

    It is a shame that you haven't got the mustering section of the service record, as this may have answered your questions. Do you happen to have the "Miscellaneous" Section from the front of the record (as this sometimes holds useful snippets)

    Re: ITW syllabus ..... the following provides a list of subjects: Mathematics, Navigation, Drill (Foot), Drill (Rifle), Physical Training and Organised Games, Signals, Anti-Gas, Armament, Law / Discipline / Administration / Organisation, Hygiene / Sanitation, Recognition of Aircraft, General Studies, Visual Link Trainer.

    I recognise that this doesn't solve the mystery regarding his flying training, but it gives you the details regarding the ground training he received .... so hope that helps
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    Hi Pete, and thanks for the interest. The mustering section doesn't really show anything but here it is for you to see:




    Re the syllabus, there is a reference on the ITW orb about the 'new' syllabus just introduced in October '40, and I just wanted to see if any references to actual flying in the syllabus.

    Incidentally, always interested in contact with family members of the other crew members mentioned at the beginning.
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    This link is not the Mustering section, which is on the other side of the form between the list of postings and the annual proficiency ratings

    However, I notice that all the personal detail has been redacted, which I assume is due to your request for the records being a FOI request without the consent of the next-of-kin. If that is the case then the musterings should also have been redacted, which is standard practice unless you request otherwise when requesting the records.

    Malcolm

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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    Malcolm

    Thanks for the feedback; I had noted that the mustering section had been redacted, hence my point that its was a shame that it wasn't available. I was hoping that in the absence of this section, the miscellaneous section (as per flickr page) might have provided a snippet or two, but sadly, not the case .... so still not able to help the enquirer get to the bottom of this matter
    Main areas of research:

    - CA Butler and the loss of Lancaster ME334 (http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/ )
    - Aircrew Training (Basic / Trade / Operational / Continuation / Conversion)
    - The History of No. 35 Squadron (1916 - 1982) (https://35squadron.wordpress.com/)

    [Always looking for copies of original documents / photographs etc relating to these subjects]

  9. #29
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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    Sorry Pete and Malcom, I'm getting the form definitions mixed up, that was form 543 I posted wasn't it ? The mustering form was posted on post #14, but as Malcom has correctly noted, the section Pete refered to is redacted.
    here it is again:



    However though, I didn't pay attention to until now, silly me, on form 543, at the very top, 'pilot 13/8/41', ???? Do you think that is when he was awarded his wings ? What else would 'pilot 13/8/41' mean ? That would be consistant with the 'possible' training of ITW, 51 Group Pool, and then 4 weeks at 9 EFTS, awarded wings, and continuing as instructor. What do you think ?
    Andrew

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    Default Re: Elementary Flying Training pre Enlistment

    Hi

    Looking at his promotions, at first I couldn't work out the 'ASU' to which he was promoted in June before being promoted to T/Sgt in July, but I think this is probably Acting Sergeant (Unpaid). However promotion to Temporary Sergeant was usually made at the same time as the award of the flying badge so a date in July for T/Sgt and in August for qualifying as Pilot seems odd again.

    Having said that, I must admit it does look more likely that he was given flying training during his Initial Training phase, perhaps he was naturally talented, what we today call a 'Creamy' (Creamed off the top as an instructor).

    This would mean he remained at No 9 EFTS instructing until he was demoted following the Court Martial, sent to Air Crew Disposal Wing, who posted him to 3 (P) AFU for ground duties and after being returned to flying duties he was posted to RAF College FTS for refresher training.

    Malcolm
    Last edited by malcolm_raf; 31st May 2020 at 08:46.

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