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Thread: Whitley antics

  1. #1
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    Default Whitley antics

    I've just been forunate in being given the papers and letters of Flt Lt Robert Gerard Beuttell, a Met Air Observer, who died on 21 Jan 1945 when his Halifax ditched whilst on the homeward leg of a routine met reconnaissance sortie from Tiree.

    In September 1941 he was a Cpl in the Dishforth met office, and in a letter to his father describes a flight he made in a Whitley. I thought his account worth posting as shows another aspect of the normal seriousness of aircrew training and operations:

    "Had a wonderful flip the other day in the front turret of a Whitley, you get a wonderful view from there. Across the Pennines to the Isle of Man, up to Prestwick in Scotland and home, a 3.5 hour trip. I don't envy the AG his job, sitting in one position for hours on end, and next time I shall put on two pairs of undies, it was a bit draughty. It was a wonderful trip all the same, the high spot being when we "shot up" the beach at Prestwick. Of course it's strictly forbidden, but having experienced the thrill and irresistable amusement of it, I'd really have to forgive any culprit.

    Of course you are connected to all the crew the whole time by the intercommunication system, by which everybody speaks to everybody else. For the fun of coming along the shore at about 1000 ft, stuck right in the nose of the machine, then swooping to about 150 ftoff the sands, then soaring up again, with the wit and cross-chat of the crew thrown in, a switch-back just doesn't compare. Then round again, "We might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb. - Just one more", nose down, the sands streaking up to meet you, people gaping, scattering, ducking, - scooting along at about 50 ft, then pressed into your seat with the climb, almost aching with laughter, it was grand. Then the rather chilly trip home, though mostly in bright sunshine."


    The innocence of youth.

    Brian

  2. #2
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    Nice reminiscences of one of the few who survived such a madness and lack of discipline:-)

    Pavel
    Czechoslovak Airmen in the RAF 1940-1945
    http://cz-raf.webnode.cz

  3. #3
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    Great post Brian. Thanks for sharing that.
    Elliott Smock
    ++ 44 (0)7890 892147

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