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Thread: Flt/Engr Training at Rootes factory?

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    Default Flt/Engr Training at Rootes factory?

    Can anyone tell me what the following notation on the service record of a flight engineer means:

    ATT to Messrs (?) Rootes Sec: 2 Oct 1943 to 9 Oct 1943

    I know Rootes was an a/c manufacturer. So was he attached to them for a week's of technical training at the factory?

    This was during a stint at No. 4 S of TT a few weeks prior to leaving for 1659 CU.
    David

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    David, try searching the Forum archives for Rootes. This sounds familiar.

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    I passed your question to Phil Butler, asking for his comments. Phil is the acknowledged specialist on Speke Airport (Liverpool) which was Rootes' main factory. He says that during 1943 there seems to have been some training of RAF personnel on Halifaxes at Rootes. A photo exists of Hali LK929, minus its engine cowlings, outside the factory with various 'erks' looking at it. Phil is inclined to think that they are trainee flight engineers. The photo was taken around April 43.

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    Thanks Bill, I had a search of the old forum and there are several references to Rootes and Speke but nothing about a training course.

    Thanks Dave (and Phil), I think I have seen that photo in a book somewhere, it's a staged shot of quite a few people, neatly dressed, pretending to service an a/c.

    I guessed that the notation I have started with the salutation "Messers" and here is a reference that might confirm it from Flight April 13, 1939:

    "Sir Kingsley Wood...spent a busy day at Liverpool on Monday of last week.... In the afternoon the Air Minister visited the Rootes aircraft shadow factory at Speke, where he was received by Mr. W. E. Rootes and Mr. R.C. Rootes, the chairman and deputy chairman...of Rootes Securities Ltd.

    So the notation "Messrs Rootes Sec." looks like it is their firm at Speke. Makes sense but it would be nice to find confirmation. Anyone have any idea where this might be in the RAF Archives?
    David

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    'Messrs Rootes Sec' definitely refers to Messrs Rootes Securites Ltd. Their main shadow factory was at Speke, for Blenheim and then Halifax production. Their subsidiary factory was at Blythe Bridge on the edge of Meir, the pre-war Stoke-on-Trent Airport. This produced only Blenheims and then Beaufighters, the single runway being a bit short for Halis.

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    Dave, can you or Phil tell me where I can see a copy of the photo you mentioned? I think I remember seeing it in one of the Halifax books. I have a new interest in that photo based on what I know about my man's history.

    His father was Wing Commander W.G. Attewell, MBE, who had an administrative job at RCAF headquarters. I am now wondering if his father pulled some strings to get him to be part of public relations activities at Speke that week or whether it was he was just there as part of the regular training for flight engineers.
    David

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    David, Phil has been looking for this photo but hasn't found it yet! I'll pass on your query about your man and his dad.

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    Thanks Phil, I will try to find it at this end too. I remember seeing it in a book but I can't recall if it was mine or one I borrowed from the library.
    David

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