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Thread: Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

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    Default Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

    Hi all, I would like to ask if anybody can exaplain me record from the 10 OTU training (Whitleys):

    Number of Nigh landing - 39 Conv., 8 Op.

    My only idea so far is the first number would be landings on concrete runway while the second is from the grass...
    Or maybe the first number is with empty aircraft while the second one with full operational load?

    Any ideas will be much appreciated

    TIA

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

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    Default Re: Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

    Hi Pavel,
    Thats an interesting one! But if it is "conv" then concrete doesn't really fit. Conventional perhaps? And would a bomber crew practice landing with the weight of a full bomb load....would they not jettison if they had to return before the target...?
    Sorry, no answers, just ideas.
    Good luck!
    Clint
    www.thejobtobedone.com

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    Default Re: Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

    Thanks Clint!

    From Wiki:
    A conventional take-off and landing (CTOL),[1] also known as horizontal take-off and landing (HTOL) is the process whereby conventional fixed-wing aircraft (such as passenger aircraft) take off and land, involving the use of runways.[2]

    So it might fit with my first idea...

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

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    Default Re: Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

    I don't know what time period you are talking about, but 10 OTU did carry out some operational flying.
    So could it be 39 Conversion, ie training (sorties), 8 Operational (sorties)?

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    Default Re: Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

    Hi Pavel,

    Guesswork, but it might be 39 conversion landings (ie circuits and bumps) converting to the Whitley from whatever the pilot had flown at EFTS/SFTS. The 'Op' could be the 'Op' of Operational Training Unit - ie the operational syllabus that was the OTU's raison d'etre.

    Cheers,

    Richard

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    Default Re: Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

    Like the others I would assume conv to be conversion from trainers or other types to Whitley and Op to be operations. A date would be very useful

    The OTUs participated in a series of raids on German targets between 30 May and 16 September 1942. They also sent Whitleys on leaflet raids, mostly to France, until 24 May 1944.

    10 OTU did anti submarine patrols from 12 August 1942 to 19 July 1943, as of 4 February 1943, 10 OTU and its attached "Special Flight", held some 104 aircraft, the Special flight had some 33 Whitleys, a useful addition to the 278 medium range ASW aircraft Coastal Command had on 1 January. All up 1,848 sorties, 1,529 completed patrol, 54 attacks, 275 depth charges dropped, 38 aircraft missing, 13 write offs, 18 crew killed, 168 missing

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    Default Re: Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

    Quote Originally Posted by GSinclair View Post
    Like the others I would assume conv to be conversion from trainers or other types to Whitley and Op to be operations.
    Hi, to clarify my earlier post, the distinction I intended to draw is between flights for type conversion (likely to have more landings involved because of time spent on circuits and bumps) and the OTU syllabus proper of training flights for learning operational procedures. The latter isn’t meant to imply an operational flight over enemy territory. The majority of crews would only undertake one ‘Op’, usually a Nickel trip. Crews were roped in for other Ops when the need arose, but this seems to have been primarily 1941 (before Harris stamped diversions in support of maritime ops) and 1942 when crews were thrown into the thousand bomber raids. The later Bullseye support to main force ops was carefully planned so that they didn’t qualify as an op, which seems a bit stingy for some of the longer ones!

    Richard

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    Default Re: Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

    Quote Originally Posted by CZ_RAF View Post
    Hi all, I would like to ask if anybody can exaplain me record from the 10 OTU training (Whitleys):

    Number of Nigh landing - 39 Conv., 8 Op.

    My only idea so far is the first number would be landings on concrete runway while the second is from the grass...
    Or maybe the first number is with empty aircraft while the second one with full operational load?

    Any ideas will be much appreciated

    TIA

    Pavel
    Pavel

    I think the date of this entry is key to understanding it. 10 O.T.U. operated an operational detachment out of RAF St Eval where crews were sent once they had completed the O.T.U. syllabus and before they were signed off and sent to an operational Bomber Command Squadron. I have evidence of a number of crews being sent to St Eval to carry out anti-submarine patrols before being sent to 78 Squadron. One veteran who I interviewed (sadly no longer with us) was a prolific writer keeping diaries all through his service and his time as a POW, which I now have. He mentions in some detail his time at 10 OTU and the '6 ops' they had to complete over the Bay of Biscay before being classed as qualified and sent on to an operational Squadron.

    To put it into context here are a couple of entries: "Sunday 7th February 1943. Got off the ground at last today....had quite a good though uneventful trip over the Atlantic." the next entry states "Tuesday 9th February 1943 Went out at 9.08am on first operational flight. This was an anti-submarine patrol or sweep. We were on the inside patrol, nearer the Bay of Biscay than were the other Whitleys. We got well out at sea, out of sight of land, when our engines cut out. Jack quickly put the nose down, and they picked up again ok, apart from that little incident nothing at all happened. Trip lasted 91/2 hours. I took over control of the aircraft for the first time today. Certainly takes some handling."

    He completes 6 operations between 9th February and 1st March 1943. On the 2nd March he packs up his stuff and goes on leave at 1800 hours. He has two weeks leave before joining 78 Squadron on 15th March 1943.

    Regards
    Daz
    Last edited by 78SqnHistory; 6th December 2023 at 20:05.

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    Default Re: Record about OTU training - Conv. x Op. Night Landing

    Hi all, thank you for your comments - my chap was with the 10 OTU June-August 1943.
    And I agree with the idea: 39 Conversion = training flights, 8 Operational flights.

    TIA

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

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