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Thread: Too many pilots by 1943?

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    Default Too many pilots by 1943?

    In answering a question on another thread, Ross mentions that there did come a point where it was determined there were too many pilots in the training scheme for RAF purposes. Does anyone have more specifics on when this was decided and how it affected those already in training?

    My father used to say this was the reason he was diverted into other training - a belief he held for 50 years until receiving his file from Ottawa and discovering he had been washed out. (His often-told story about bouncing a Cornell off the runway during landing from 60 feet instead of six should also have been a clue....)

    He was only just 18 at the time, so I suppose his age might have been a factor too.
    David

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    Default KH159 John Johnson

    David
    Did you see my reply re KH159 & John Johnson ? Now on page 3
    Anne

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    Yes, I did. Thanks. Being "siblings" from of the same batch of Liberators, did they go overseas at the same time? Were 104 and 31 Sqns together at any time? All off topic here but didn't want to resurrect the old thread - perhaps a new one is in order?
    David

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    David,

    As early as December 1943 it was apparent that there was then, or soon would be, a surplus of pilots graduating from BCATP schools. On 5th December Air Minister Power announced a "broad program of changes" to aircrew training that would place a new emphasis on bomber crews (other than pilots) and less on fighter pilots.

    On 19 April 1944 Power announced in Parlaiment that the BCATP had produced a surplus of pilots. One of the reasons for the surplus was that casualty rates among pilots had been much lower than expected, another was the reduction in German air activity over the U.K. Those currently under training as pilots would in most cases continue on to graduation, and the future reduced pilot trainee intakes were expected to meet the requirement into 1946.

    (From the Toronto Globe & Mail archives)
    Last edited by Ken MacLean; 9th February 2009 at 19:30.

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    My namesake, Max Venton, qualified as a pilot in 1943 in Rhodesia, however when he returned to Blighty he re-trained as a flight engineer at St Athan simply because he was surplus to requirements as a pilot. His grave in the Reichswald War Cemetery (see my website www.galgos.co.uk ) shows him still classed as a pilot.
    Regards
    Max Williams
    Max Williams
    www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
    the story of Lancaster ME453

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    That's great Ken, thanks for the reference, and so quickly!

    I think my Dad's instructor was being kind anyway, and on his file it says he would make a good air gunner, although Dad always said he was given a choice of switching to Flt Engr. or a W/Op but he chose gunner as he thought it was a quicker way to get to Europe.
    David

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