Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 12

Thread: RAF (Marine Craft) personnel serving with OTUs

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default RAF (Marine Craft) personnel serving with OTUs

    One of the men commemorated on my school war memorial is Flt Lt Frederick Warren Fisher, who died of natural causes (illness) in his early 40s in 1943.

    He is listed in the Air Force List as being Marine Craft Branch and his record of service shows him with the following postings:

    Station Loughborough 18 Oct 1940
    13 OTU 8 Dec 1940
    25 OTU 25 Feb 1941
    School of Admin 17 Jun 1942
    28 OTU 1 Feb 43
    Died on Active Service 13 May 1943

    He died in Loughborough hospital, which makes sense as Wymeswold (where 28 OTU were stationed) is only a couple of miles away. I haven't yet managed to look at any station/unit records.

    When I saw him as being "Marine Craft Branch" I thought he might have been manning a motor launch or similar, but Loughborough's about as far from the coast as you can get and as his postings all seem to be OTUs, would anyone be able to tell me what his likely job was?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Cornwall
    Posts
    2,761
    Thanks
    63
    Thanked 13 Times in 12 Posts

    Default RAF (Marine Craft) personnel serving with OTUs

    Hello,

    I have no idea except could he have had something to do with Dinghy maintenance or training as the airman seems only to have been with OTU's.

    Someone would have to check the Dinghies and fit them into place on the a/c.
    Also to see that they were not damaged on return.
    The training of aircrew in the skills of seamanship when in the event the dinghy was put into use.

    Was this all seen to by any airman or a specialised airman from the Maritime Service ?

    Alex

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks, Alex.

    I was thinking the same, but I'm sure someone, somewhere, must know if this was a usual occurrence and exactly what his duties would have been.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,038
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default

    Willy,
    What kind of OTUs are we talking about - were they Coastal Command ones for instance? As your man is an officer he would not be undertaking trade work such as maintenance of equipment, as this was the job of tradesmen (airmen and NCOs). I would guess that his duties would be to give specialised lectures to new crews on various aspects of marine lore, etc, which would be important to crews on operations, particularly in emergencies I imagine.
    David D

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    28 OTU was a Bomber Command unit, equipped with Stirling, Wellingtons, Lncaster and Halifax. It wasn't Coastal Command. Loughborough is, of course, nowhere near the sea!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,038
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default

    Willy,
    Silly me! Of course you did provide a list of the OTUs in your first post; 25 and 28 were obviously bomber OTUs. Still, my original comments are still valid, as you can give lectures on seamanship or survival at sea anywhere, although practical lessons have to be given at some stage. I understand that swimming pools or small lakes were often used for dinghy practice (and probably still are) when the unit in question was not actually near to a handy beach or a bay, but sooner or later the trainees would have to try it in the sea, even if it was a real ditching. I beleive the hardest thing to do even in practice was to flip upright an overturned dinghy.
    David D

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Hornsea, East Yorkshire, UK
    Posts
    3,871
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 38 Times in 37 Posts

    Default

    I attended an SAR course at Mount Batten back in 1979 and it was there that selected personnel where trained as Combat Survival Instructors and it was their role to ensure that all personnel on the squadron knew what to do in the event of coming down in the sea.

    I agree that it may have fallen to members of the Marine Branch to carry out this role at OTUs during WW2.

    You are correct David attempting right a nine-man dinghy is not easy.

    Malcolm

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Posts
    41
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default Righting an MS9 Dinghy

    The way to right an MS9 dinghy is to get at the heavy side (where the gas bottle is). Rotate the dinghy so that the other side is upwind. Apply as much umph as you can and the wind will help flip it over. You might actually be under it at that stage but don't let go, 'cause it could be a long swim!!

    Memories of the sea survival course at Mountbatten were mixed for me. I enjoyed the training and the fun of bobbing about on the briny but unfortunately, a Master Pilot on my course died in the water as the result of a heart attack.

    I came close to having to use the acquired skills one dark and stormy night off the coast of Borneo but that's another story.

    Apologies for the Thread 'drift'.

    Old Rotor

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Christchurch, New Zealand
    Posts
    1,038
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Default

    Old Rotor,
    Never apologize for contributing relevant personal experinces which can enlighten the rest of us with little or no experience of such things, we love them!
    David D

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    21
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 0 Times in 0 Posts

    Default

    Thanks, all!

    I'll certainly go along with the theory that he was lecturing in survival skills etc. It seems very plausible. This makes me wonder if my man was RAF in WW1, or between the wars.

    I should have guessed what the role was, really, as I managed to blag my way on to a Combat Survival course at Mount Batten in the early 80s. I was on a course of Tornado aircrew, so we bobbed around in the one-man inflatables rather than huge nine-seaters. Not quite so difficult to right.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •