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Thread: 41 Base 4 GBS notation translation and location please

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    Default 41 Base 4 GBS notation translation and location please

    Hi all,

    Another one for those with a copy of Sturtivant. I cannot find any reference to what I assume should be No. 4 Bombing & Gunnery School in the UK (not Canada).

    Can anyone tell me what the reference to 41 Base means and where this was? He was attached here from No. 19 OTU.

    The date on the fellow's posting is 14 Mar 1944. He was there one week before heading off to 1658 Conversion Unit, which I note was at Riccall, Yorkshire.

    And he was a navigator, so why would they send him to a B&GS for a week?
    David

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    Hello,

    I'm away from my copy of the said book, but 'Base' is more like an administrative level, grouping together usually 2 or 3 stations from within a same Group. The first digit gives the Group, in your case No. 4 Group.

    B.S. stands for Battle School, the full name should be read as No. 4 Group Battle School. I've often found such postings in the syllabus of bomber crews, usually in the last stage before posting to an operational Squadron.

    Sorry I can't remember to which stations No. 41 Base is related to, but sure others will tell.

    Joss

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    Default 41 Base (Marston Moor, Rufforth, Riccall)

    Hi David,

    From the old forum:

    http://www.rafcommands.com/cgi-bin/dcforum/dcboard.cgi?az=show_thread&om=1620&forum=DCForumID 6&archive=yes

    Nice history which ties in with your 1944 dates here:

    http://www.yorkflyingclub.co.uk/history.htm

    Regards,

    Dave

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    Thanks Joss, Dave, perfect. One question remains though. 41 Base was comprised of three stations: Marston Moor, Rufforth and Riccall. Is it likely that he was actually at Riccall since he was headed for 1658 CU? Or is it possible that he was at either of the other two? Does anyone know which field was No. 1 of the base group?
    Last edited by dfuller52; 21st September 2009 at 10:43.
    David

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    Eddie Fell Guest

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    Hi David

    The Headquarters for 41 Base was at Marston Moor. As Joss indicates this was the Administrative centre for the 4 Group HCU's. When posted from the OTU's the crew usually went to th Battle School for a spell of airfield defence instruction and a romp round the moors! The School was at Driffield (43 Base just to add confusion) but did move to Acaster Malbis in 10/44 when it became 4 Group Aircrew School (and part of 7 Group when Marston Moor became 74 Base).
    It is quite normal in the Squadron ORB's at this time not to have the individual HCU identified (which presents a whole new challenge) just the reference to 41 Base.

    Cheers

    Eddie

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    Thanks Eddie. That's very helpful, especially since it's not the least bit intuitive.
    David

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    Hello,

    As pointed by Eddie, I've often found aircrews posted to No. 346 or 347 (French) Squadron at Elvington were coming from '41 Base'. I know that these crew converted on Halifax at Rufforth, but there's always a small possibility they spent a while in another station before arriving at Elvington.

    Joss

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    I'm interested in Eddie's comment about a romp around the moors. Is this the training I have read about in other threads where the crews trained on what to do when they crashed in enemy occupied territory?

    What exactly did they do?
    David

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    They were still doing the same sort of thing in the late 1950's and 60's. In those days it was known as an Escape & Evasion Exercise. You were let loose on the N Yorks Moors with very little. The local Army/Police Reservists, etc, (who hated it as much as we did!!) had to try and catch us. Later, and in order to stop certain malingerers from letting themselves be 'caught' early, it was decreed that the Early Captures would have to undergo RTI (Resistance To Interrogation) techniques. Could get very nasty! Bribery & Corruption not entirely unknown! Nobody told me on any of my Met courses that in order to be seen to be a part of a V-Bomber Station I should have to "volunteer"(!!!) to go and learn how to catch a rabbit/salmon, gut/skin, it and then barbeque it on the N Yorks Moors in 30cms of snow, a temp of -3C, and a windchill factor "off the clock"!!
    They (we!) really did that. I don't know how that translated into survival in a Russian winter - but somebody must have thought it worthwhile!!
    HTH
    Peter Davies
    Meteorology is a science; good meteorology is an art!
    We might not know - but we might know who does!

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    Hi All

    Just to add a little more, Bases were commanded by an Air Commodore and was introduced to improve the chain of command/communication as the number of stations in each group increased during 1943.

    Unless things have changed recently, trainee pilots at Linton on Ouse still undertake this training on the North Yorkshire Moors.

    Malcolm

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