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Thread: Was he a passenger or a navigator?

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    Default Was he a passenger or a navigator?

    On the service record of navigator P/O Angus Lloyd Kippen, RCAF, it says he was attached to Ferry Command in Dorval, Quebec A[ir] T[ransport] from No. 31 OTU (Debert, Nova Scotia) between 21 Oct 1941 and 21 Nov when he is then listed as SOS to 3 PRC.

    My question is, did he fly over instead of sailing and, if so, was he passenger or did he help ferry an aircraft across as I have read that some crew did? If he was a passenger, what a/c were they flying as transports in 1941?
    David

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    Hi David,

    I suppose there were very rarely passengers in FC planes delivered to the UK in this early stage.
    So I suppose he flew as a navigator of Hudson, Liberator, maybe Ventura?

    On the other hand he can work only on the ground in Dorval..

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

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    Hi David
    Just as with the UK unit, OADU, it was quite common for a/c to be ferried by any crew that was available particularly that early in the war. As Pavel says the choice of a/c would depend on the circumstances at the time. The USA was not in the war until Dec '41 and up to their entry it was common for a/c like the Hudson etc to be towed across the US/Canada border and to be re-erected in Canada and flown from there via Iceland. I am not so certain about Liberators.Depending upon the assesment of his abilities he could have been the Nav or a passenger. 3 PRC where he ended up was at Uxbridge and was the unit for incoming Empire Trained aircrew, according to Ray Sturtivant's book on Training and Support Units.
    Regards
    Dick

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    Thanks Pavel and Dick,

    This is what I was thinking, having read Ocean Bridge, but my only thought was that, since navigation was so crucial to those long flights over the ocean, would they have used a newly graduated navigator, albeit an officer, to guide them across. I suppose, as you say, at that early stage of the war, he was as well trained as anybody.

    I am assuming his one month stay in Dorval was just to get him ready to ferry an a/c across.
    Last edited by dfuller52; 31st August 2009 at 10:36.
    David

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    David;

    I remember reading somewhere that the North Atlantic ferry crews were generally well experienced, either civil pilots with a lot of hours or military pilots who had completed at least one tour. Many served with Ferry Command or its forerunners for a long tour. One-shot ferry crews from the Canadian OTUs were most often "retreads", who had gone to the OTU for conversion to a different aircraft type after completing a tour. Also, I think they generally went as a complete crew, ferrying the aircraft type they had just trained on at the OTU.

    Of course, there could always be exceptions to these generalities. Your man could have flown across as a second navigator with an experienced crew, or he may have just been in the right place at the right time when a navigator of any experience was needed.

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    Thanks Bill. Maybe he was sent along as part of his training. If he was earmarked for a coastal command squadron (he went to 407), then a trip across the ocean would have been very instructive.
    David

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