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Thread: Flying Training Units, Coventry and Norfolk

  1. #1
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    Default Flying Training Units, Coventry and Norfolk

    There's likely no easy answer to this query, but here goes...

    I am having trouble allocating a man to his flying training units following his arrival in the UK from Canada. Sgt. S. Bruce Adams (R.133839) attended 17 EFTS at Stanley from 8 May 42, 4 EFTS at Windsor Mills from 5 Jun 42, 14 SFTS at Alymer from 1 Aug 42, and was awarded his pilot badge and promoted to Sgt Plt on 30 Nov 42. He was posted to Y Depot at Halifax on 4 Dec 42 and embarked from there to the UK on 24 Dec 42. This much is clear. However, the next definite date is Adams' posting to 41 Sqn on 8 Oct 43, a full nine months later, which leaves a gap a tad long for normal OTU/AFU training.

    Letters from Adams from this period point to him initially attending an AFU or OTU near Coventry, flying Tiger Moths in early March 1943, then an AFU or OTU flying Hurricanes and Spitfires in April 1943, followed by a seven-week course at an OTU, flying Masters, which commenced in Norfolk and then moved to North Wales to complete, from May-June 1943. He is next reporting having completed his OTU training on 12 September 1943, awaiting his first operational posting, having 350 flying hours under his belt, of which 62 were on Spits.

    Just to confuse matters, there is a photo of him in a Spit with the lettering 'JZ' which is 57 OTU. His logbook no longer exists and his postings during this time are unknown to his family.

    So, I guess my questions are:

    1. Which OTU/AFU flying Tiger Moths was located near Coventry in March 1943?

    2. Which OTU/AFU flying Masters was located in Norfolk and may have moved to North Wales in May-June 1943? (I can see that 57 OTU had moved to Eshott NBL by this time, and see no evidence of an OTU ever having been located in Norfolk, but was there an AFU in the county?)

    3. The 'JZ' lettering indicates he must have attended 57 OTU, which, based on the timings and locations given in letters, can only fit into the period ending in September 1943, but I would have thought that having already attended at least one OTU and an AFU, a posting to another would have been as staff, but Adams states he finished his OTU training this month.

    He was promoted to Flt. Sgt. in May 1943, and commissioned Plt. Off. (J.85677) at the end of November 1943.

    Any thoughts or suggestions would be most appreciated.

    Thanks
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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    Hi Steve:

    Not too genned up on training units in Norfolk or Suffolk, but research into a number of Master crashes in Norfolk during 1942 by my colleague VG established that 17 (P) AFU were formed at Watton on 19 January 1942 and operated from there and Bodney until moving to Calveley, near Wrexham on 3 May 1943.

    Hope this helps.

    Regards,

    BC

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    Could have been Ansty, which was very close to Coventry. 9 EFTS was there and he might have done some refresher flying on reaching UK. 17 (P) AFU was at Calveley in Cheshire. Wrexham town is about 20 road miles away over the Welsh border, with RAF Wrexham, Calveley's RLG, being slightly nearer.

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    Thanks Gents
    That's a good start
    Regards
    Steve
    41 (F) Squadron RAF at War and Peace, April 1916-March 1946
    http://brew.clients.ch/41sqnraf.htm

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