Philip Hopgood's Second World War Biography

BHopgoodPMHopgoodPDv1.pdf

Title

Philip Hopgood's Second World War Biography

Description

The detailed biography begins with government measures at the start of National Service. Philip Hopgood volunteered and enlisted at Padgate, Warrington. He was classified as medically Grade 1. Initial training was at RAF Regent's Park (Lord's Cricket Ground) London, then Babbacombe, Torquay. There are details of his kit and daily routine. Philip was then transferred to RAF Shellingford to train on Tiger Moths, followed by training in Canada. On returning to UK he was posted to RAF St Athan for technical training as a flight engineer. After this Philip went to RAF Woolfox Lodge for conversion to heavy aircraft. Peter Hopgood describes his father's role on a flight. Each transfer is detailed with dates until Philip's service ended in February 1947.

Publisher

IBCC Digital Archive

Contributor

Claire Monk

Rights

This content is available under a CC BY-NC 4.0 International license (Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0). It has been published ‘as is’ and may contain inaccuracies or culturally inappropriate references that do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the University of Lincoln or the International Bomber Command Centre. For more information, visit https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/ and https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/legal.

Format

49 page document, with text and images

Language

Identifier

BHopgoodPMHopgoodPDv1

Temporal Coverage

Transcription

[inserted] Airmen Aircrew Market Harborough[/inserted]
[underlined] Dad’s (PDH) RAF/RCAF flying service in WW11 [/underlined]
[1) Background [/underlined]
With the threat of war looming in 1939, the British Government was keen to ensure that the country was in a state of readiness.
Utilising emergency powers, it introduced a series of voluntary and mandatory schemes aimed at ensuring that there were sufficient resources available for: the armed forces; civil defence; vital industries; and essential services.

These schemes provided a background to Dad’s story, and so are summarised below.

Voluntary National Service

In January 1939, a forty-eight page “National Service” pamphlet was issued which was described as “a guide to the ways in which the people of this country may give service”.

Its aim was to encourage men and women to volunteer for some form of service in the armed forces or in civilian services such as: nursing and first aid; air raid precautions; women’s auxiliary; police; and fire service.

[National Service Pamphlet]

The “National Service pamphlet (Issued in January 1939)

[Page Break]

A message in the pamphlet from the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain read “The desire of all of us is to live at peace with our neighbours, but to secure peace we must be strong. The country needs your service and you are anxious to play your part. This guide will point the way. I ask you to read it carefully and decide how you can best help”

Schedule of Reserved Occupations

In conjunction with the pamphlet, the government published a provisional [underlined] “Schedule of Reserved Occupations” [/underlined] which identified occupations where age restrictions would be applied to anyone that volunteered for any form of full time “national service.”

The aim was to limit the number of volunteers so that appropriate resources could be retained in key industries and services.

The provisional list was published in the Times on 25th January 1939.

[Extract from The Times]
An extract from the Times Listing – Anyone on or over the age in brackets was “reserved in their occupation”

[Page Break]

The National Service (Armed Forces Act 1939

On the 3rd September 1939, the government introduced the [/underlined] National Service (Armed Forces) Act. [/underlined]. This superseded the Military Training Act (1939) and stated that male subjects, between the ages of 18 and 41 years, were liable to be called up for service in the armed forces of the Crown.

The Ministry of Labour and National Service immediately set up a mandatory registration procedure for men in this age range.
They issued posters and notices in the press and in the BBC stating that men with specific dates of birth had to registers at their local Ministry of Labour and National Service office (Employment Exchange) on a given date.

The first registration session, which was held on 21st October 1939, requires all men born between 2nd October 1917 and 1st October 1919 to register (excluding those that had previously registered under the Military Training Act).

This process was repeated on an irregular basis throughout the war.

Registration for National Service (April 1940)

Throughout April 1940, posters and notices in the national press and o the BBC stated that men born between 1st January 1913 and 31st December 1913 were required to register for National Service on 27th April 1940.

[Page Break]

[Requirement to Register Extract]

An adapted extract based on a post-war “Requirement to Register” Poster

Our story starts just before 25th January 1942 when Dad, who was born on 18th November 1924, then 17 yrs and 2 months, was recommends for training as Pilot/Observer – entry on his for 543 was F1271. Mo. ACSB, this would have been by attending a two-day assessment at an Aviation Candidates Selection Board (ACSB) and shortly after that, he volunteered to register for National Service.

Dad would have attended his local Employment Exchange at around that date, where a clerk recorded his personal details including age, address, occupation and current employer; he was issued with a Certificate of RegistrationNS2.)

[National Service Acts, certificate of Registration Card]

An example of a Certificate of Registration [NS2] (Post 1941)

[Page Break]

2) Volunteering from service (For Dad, some time before 25th January 1942)

Dad was always keen on aeroplane, had been in the ATC, had a (flying) Proficiency Certificate Part 1., and was keen to join the Royal Air Force. On the 21st Feb 1942, he had a medical assessment by a medical board, which he passed Grade 1. He was enlisted on 24th February 1942 at Padgate 3RC, and was put on Reserve.

Normally 18 was the first time volunteers wold have been accepted. He would have been in upper 6th form at the time taking his matriculation, after which he had hoped to go to university to study chemistry.

During the time on Reserve, Dad would have finished his matriculation, and then went to work as a Clerk, for the ministry of supply in the Liver building after leaving school, whilst awaiting his posting. He would have seen and heard the damage caused by the Liverpool Blitz air raids by the Luftwaffe between 1940 and 1942. In fact there were tales from his Mum and Dad, of incendiary bombs dropped near his home at 45 Mapledale Road, in the allotments opposite the end of the road.

Dads service number was 1673132, which from
[underlined]http://www.rafcommands.com/forum/showthread.php?-RAF-RAF-OR-Service Numbers[/underlined] showed that service numbers 1670001 to 1692488 were recruited at Padgate, Warrington, between Liverpool and Manachester.
1649901 to 1650000 Apr 1 Dutch
1650001 to 1670000 Nov 1941 Penarth
1670001 to 1692488 Nov 1941 Padgate
1692489 to 1692500 Nov 1941 Dutch
1692501 to 1700000 Jun 1942 Padgate

[underlined] 3) AIR 29/497 No. 3 Recruit Centre, (3 RC) Padgate 1939 Apr.- 1950 Feb [/underlined]
Padgate Camp, Warrington, was a national training centre for the RAF recruits No. 3 RAF Depot Padgate opened in April 1939 (before Britain was officially at war.) Its role was to provide basic training to raw recruits to the Royal Air Force. By 1943 the camp’s weekly intake was 1,500 as the RAF stepped up its bombing campaign on Germany.

[Page Break]

Dad was given deferred entry, as I have seen an RFVR (RAF Volunteer Regiment) silver badge somewhere, (but can’t find it at the moment) this was worn in the lapel to show that people of age weren’t shrinking their call up and weren’t a conscientious objector. He would only have been able to sign up from age 18 i.e 18-11-1942, but was still at school. I think because of the fact he had been in the ATC, he was accepted for early volunteering on January/February 1942. Once he had finished matriculation, he went to work for the Ministry of Supply where he worked as a clerk in the Liver Building, Liverpool. Deferred entry for Dad was possibly due to the fact that there may not have been room to train him at the time, or that they didn’t need pilots at this stage of the war which had been raging for 3 years already.

When he was called to Padgate (near Manchester) to appear before the Selection Board. He would have taken the Oath, and enlisted as an Aircraftman, Second Class (AS2 or “erk”) – the lowest form of life in the RAF – “u/t” (under training) as a Pilot or Observer (at their options). To seal this bargain, he would have been given the “King’s Shilling” (a day’s pay), (actually it was a “florin” – two bob – inflation had already set in!)

He was officially in; a full member of the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve.
Dad signed on the dotted line and took the Oath. Now the RAF had to decide what to so with him. Flying schools were often full up for months ahead. He would have had a choice: come in right away for ground duties as an “erk” (ACH/GD – Ground Duties – i.e. dogsbody) until your flying course comes up. Or go home and wait; we’ll call you when we’re ready for you. This was really a waiting list, and as he was still as school, he would continue on to matriculation. Once he had finished that he took a job at the Ministry of Supply, which suited him much better as he only wanted to be a pilot. He would have been given a little silvery RAFVR lapel badge to show that he had volunteered, in case there was a question of cowardice.

Following his medical he was classified as Grade 1 (one) and the information was recorded on his Grade Card (NS55). He would have been interviewed by a recruiting officer from the RAF before returning home to await further instructions.

[Page Break]

[Grade Card]
An example of a Medical Grade Card [NS55] (1944)

As directed, on 25th January 1942, he packed a small suitcase, his civilian respirator and the requisite paperwork and travelled to Padgate on the 24th February 1942

Over the next couple of days he undertook a series of tests which assessed his aptitude for the six aircrew categories, namely pilot, navigator, bomb aimer, air0gunner, wireless operator and flight engineer.

The standard suite of tests included: essay writing; elementary maths; general intelligence; coordination; and fitness.

On the second day he would have been interviews by an Aviation Candidate Selection Board (ACSB), and at the end of the process, the board recommended him “for training as a pilot”.

[Page Break]

Dad was sent before the Attestation Officer where, after formally signing his [underlined] Notice Paper [/underlined] (Form 2168), he was asked to swear allegiance to his King and Country:

[Notice Paper]

[RAFVR Pin]

Having completed his assessment, Dad was enlisted in the RAF “for the duration of the present emergence” (d.p.e) and placed “on reserve” which was standard RAF procedure at the time); once again, he returned home to await further instruction.

He was given a silver RAFVR lapel badge to shoe that he was “on reserve” but they use of these badges was being phased out during 1943.

He would have received a [underlined] letter [/underlined] from the Secretary of State for Air, which welcomed him into the RAF and advised him that he would be called up as soon as he was required; he now had to patiently await that call up.

[underlined] 4) Air Crew Reception Centre, (ACRC) London 29-3-1943 to 24-4- 1943 for 4 weeks: aged 18 years 4 month and 11 days. [/underlined]

Reporting for service at No1 Aircrew Reception Centre, RAF Regent’s Park (August 1943)

Dad’s call up notice finally arrived with instructions to report for service at No. 1 Aircrew Reception/Receiving Centre (ACRC), at RAF Regent’s Park, on 29th March 1943.

[Page Break]

The notice stated “you will be taken on strength from the date you report for duty and will also be issued with uniforms etc as soon as possible thereafter. You should therefore bring with you the minimum of personal requirements”.

He packed his small suitcase, said farewell to his family and made his way to the ACRC assembly point, which was at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

RAF receiving wing (No 1 Aircrew Reception Centre), London for the issue of his kit and inoculations. Here he was given the rank of AC2. That night the first in his RAF service, he may have slept under the Members Pavilion at Lords cricket ground! They were here receiving initial training for 4 weeks.

The weekly intake was separated into “flights” of sixty men, each under the command of a NDC; each flight was identified by a flight letter and intake number (eg A Flight, 130 intake).

RAF Regent’s Park would be Dad’s home for the next four weeks and he was marched from the cricket ground to start the training process.

[Photographs]
Roll call and start of Training Process
[Photographs © IWM CH 10987/CH 10988]
RAF Regent’s Park
RAF Regent’s Park consisted of an area in north-west London, which has been requisitioned by the Air Ministry for the purpose of accommodating and providing training facilities for up to 5,100 recruits.

[Page Break]

[Photograph]

An aerial view of “RAF Regent’s Park” (1945)

Each recruit had a “bed space” comprising either an iron framed, wore mesh bed or the equivalent space on a carpeted floor in a “dormitory” room in one of the many blocks of requisitioned flats in the St John’s Woods area.

Local Offices, shops and garages were used as communal areas for kitting out, eating and training. Local amenities, such as parts of Lord’s Cricket Ground and the canteen at Regent’s Park Zoo, were also utilised.

[Photographs]
Billets and Bed Spaces
[Photographs © IWM CH 10989/CH 10990]

[Page Break]

Training and Assessment

During the first two weeks of training, Dad was registered, given a haircut, had dental checks, was inoculated against diphtheria, typhoid and smallpox and has a “very personal” examination to ensure that he was “free from inspection”. He was issued with his identity documents and tags : [underlined] RAF Identity Card (Form 1250) [/underlined]

[Royal Air Force Identity Card]

[Page Break]


• [underlined] Airman’s Service and Pay Book (Form 64 Parts I and II) [/underlined]
• 2 Identity discs (with cord)

[Pay book and discs]

He was also kitted out with his basic equipment and service dress uniform which consisted of:

Basic Equipment:

• “Irons” (Knife, Fork and Spoon)
• Enamel Mug
• Towels
• Bedding (3 mattress “biscuits”, blankets, pillow)
• Greatcoat
• Woollen Gloves
• Jersey
• Steel Helmet (“Brodie”)
• Respirator
• Anti-Gas Cape (ground sheet)
• Kitbag (with D rind and padlock)
• Holdall (for small kit)
• Webbing Kit (including mess tin and water bottle)?
• Housewive (“Hussif”) [needles, thread, darning wool, buttons]
• Brushes (Blacking, Brass, Clothes, Hair, Polishing, Shaving)
• Buttonstick
• Clasp Knife
• Physical Training Kit (Canvas Shoes, Shorts, Vests)

Service Dress (“Best Blues”) uniform:

[Page Break]

• Jacket
• Trousers
• Field Service Cap (with badge)
• White Cap insert (to denote aircrew under training)
• Shirts (with collars)
• Tie
• Boots (with laces)
• Socks
• Drawers (pants)
• Vests

The quantity of each item that was issued to each recruit was detailed in the [underlined] Scale of Issue. [/underlined]

He was instructed to mark each item of kit with his service number; he now has the arduous task of ensuring all item were kept spotlessly clean and that they were precisely laid out for both the daily bed inspection and the weekly kit inspection. Air Diagram 1385 showed how the kit should be laid out for these [underlined] inspections. [/underlined]

[Air Diagram 1385]
Air Diagram 1385
[Courtesy of RAF Museum, London]

[Page Break]

Any lost or missing kit had to be recorded on a [underlined] Kit Deficiency Form [/underlined] (Form 1383)
The diagram also showed the recruits how to wear the various pieces of equipment with the “Best Blues” uniform.
Over the next four weeks, Service No. 1673122, Hopgood PD, faced a rigorous daily routine of fatigues, inspections, swimming, training drills, lectures (RAF Law, Administration and Organisation/Mathematics/Signals/ Use of Weapons0 and aptitude tests.

[Photographs]
Inspection and Drill
[Photographs © IWM CH7519/CH7522]

Rank and Trade
Dad entered the RAF in the rank of Aircraftman Second Class (Grade A) and in the trade of U/T Pilot, although his service records shows that he was a LAC on the 31st November 1942.

His pay would have between around 3/- per day (plus 6d per day war pay) which he collected (minus any allowances) at the fortnightly pay parade.

Completion of Course

On 24th April 1943, Dad successfully completed this stage of his training and he was posted to No.1 Initial Training Wing (ITW) at RAF Babbacombe.

Someone else’s story:- (“having been set on deferred service, I returned to the Bank, until May 20, 1944 when I was called to active service and reported to No3 Aircrew Reception Centre at St. John’s Wood. This was actually a block of luxury flats at Regents Park (Viceroy Court) not far from the Zoo and which

[Page Break]

we pass on the bus each time that we go to the Zoo. From here we were all kitted out, given more tests at Lords cricket ground and put through swimming tests (at the swimming baths near Whiteley’s before being sent off to further training in our various categories, Pilot, Navigator, Bob Aimer, Gunner, Wireless Operator etc. I had volunteered as a Pilot but was obliges to change to “PNB” scheme [Pilot, Navigator, Bomb Aimer] as this was compulsory – the alternative would have been t be released and conscripted into the Army – not my wish.
It was on my birthday, June 13th 1944 when I was nineteen that we all watched the first of the Flying Bombs or “buzz-bombs” (so called because of the noise they made) pass over whilst being shot at by the Anti-Aircraft guns. It was a hot summer and we were sleeping on double bunks in what had been the living room of one of the lovely flats with a veranda looking out over Regents Park. I had actually put my “biscuits” [mattresses in three square sections] on the veranda to sleep and before night fell we heard the characteristic drone of a V1 and saw it flying low over London and headed North over the Zoo. We all through that it was an enemy aircraft which had been shot down as the guns were firing at it and we saw it nose down and disappear before a clout of black smoke rose up behind the trees. We cheered, but learnt later that is was really a pilotless aircraft, loaded with explosives, which had fallen North of us.
I passed various tests as a Pilot and was pleased and proud to have achieved this, as it was not easy to do because the surplus or aircrew meant that standards had been raised. One particular test was to sit in front of a machine in the Long Room at Lords Cricket Ground, which had a joystick and a cathode ray tube in front of you; a spot of light moved at random across the screen and the task was to keep it centred by using the joystick. At very primitive device by today’s standards but new in those times.
We had out inoculations, at [I think] the White House, near Regent’s Park and for the first time I had to line up with shirt off and arm akimbo awaiting the needle. I found that the apprehension was enough to make me feel quite faint and one or two men did pass out!”)

http://rafgen.iconosites.com/000_vsg_user_files/site_uploaded/3140/training%20-%20%20ph-mkd.pdf

[Page Break]

[underlined] 5#1 ITW, Babbacombe, Cornwall, 24-4-1943 to 30-7-1943 [/underlined]
(“ I remember a long, crowded train journey from Liverpool down to Torquay. Somewhere in the Midlands we passed an airfield close to the line. Tiger Moths were buzzing around it, obviously it was an RAF elementary Flying School. It was exciting to think that I’d be there – or somewhere like it – before I was much older (for fortunately the RAF has chosen “pilot” option for me).!)

“per Ardua ad Astra” – Ardua first! Everybody knows what Service Reception Centres were like: they’ve been lampooned on film and TV often enough. We were bawled at, marched about all over the place from dawn to lights-out, kitted out (some of it fitted) and inoculated against everything known to medical science.

The sleeping arrangements left a bit to be desired! Straw paillasses on the bare boards of a stripped –out Babbacome boarding house ! What most of my intake – never been away from mummy in their lives- thought, I can’t imagine. Their wails met the old sardonic RAF response: “Serves you right, shouldn’t have joined if you can’t take a joke!

Babbacome was an ITW (initial Training Wing). Fist [sic] step in becoming aircrew. Accommodation usually seaside hotels. Square bashing, initial courses with exams to pass before going on to EFTD or technical course

Torquay’s[sic] provided hotel buildings for the [underlined] RAF [/underlined] to train aircrew. In addition to the previously mentioned RAF Hospital at the Palace Hotel, No 1 ITW (Initial Training Wing) was formed at [underlined] Babbacome[/underlined] in June 1940. Headquarters were at the Norcliffe Hotel, the Sefton, Oswalds, Trecarn, Foxlands and Palermo Hotels being used for sleeping, etc. Postings were made from Babbacome to Elementary Flying Training Schools (including overseas in Canada and [underlined] Southern Rhodesia [/underlined] where they became pilots, observers, W/T operators and wireless operators/air gunners.

He was posted to No 1 Initial Training Wing (ITW), which specialised in basic service training of pilots. Other ITW’s specialised in training the other aircrew categories, namely Flight Engineer, Navigator, Bomber and Wireless Operator, Air Gunner (WOP/AG)

As a consequence of a reorganisation on 14th September 1943, the training wing was redesignated as No 3 Initial Training Wing.

RAF Torquay

[Page Break]

Much like RAF Regent’s Park, RAF Torquay was an area in Devon which had been requisitioned by the Air Ministry for the purpose of providing large scale accommodation and training facilities.

Dad was allocated the usual “bed space” in a room in one of the hotels that had been allocated to 1 ITW (believed to be the Park Hall, Regina, Dorchester and Devonshire Hotels and smaller hotels in Beacon Terrace.

As trainee aircrew, he was now [provided with sheets and pillow cases for his bed, along with the standard “mattress biscuits”, blankets and pillow.

[Photographs]
Billets and Physical Training
[Photographs © IMW CH1970/CH10992]

Training and Assessment
The six week training programme at the ITW was designed to improved discipline, physical fitness and mental alertness and provide a sound basic knowledge of the Royal Air Force.

The approach was explained in the pamphlet “YOU are going to be a PILOT”

Dad was issued with his War Serve (“Battledress”) uniform, which consisted of tunic, trousers. This could be worn in place of the “Best Blues” jacket and trousers whilst “working on station” (“Best Blues” had to be worn on parade, at formal occasions and whenever the trainee was “off station”).

The “Initial Training Wing Syllabus” and the supporting “Aircrew Lecture Notes” show that recruits were taught:

[Page Break]

• anti-gas
• aircraft recognition
• armament
• drill and physical training
• engines
• hygiene and sanitation
• law and discipline, administration and organisation
• mathematics
• meteorology
• navigation
• principles of flight
• signals

[Lecture notes]

Flying Clothing, along with a second kitbag, was issued later in the course for use in some of the training exercises. It consisted of:

• helmet, with oxygen and communication mask
• goggles
• flying suit (one piece or separate jacket and trousers)
• leather gauntlets
• gloves (silk, wool, chamois)
• socks
• boots
• Mae-West (life jacket)
• emergency whistle
• parachute harness

All flying kit issued was recorded on the [underlined] Flying Clothing Card (Form 667B) [/underlined]

Fatigues, inspections, physical training, lectures and assessments continued to form part of the daily routine, which was timetabled as follows:

[Station Routine]

Swimming and [underlined] dinghy practice [/underlined] were actively encourages to ensure that trainees were prepared for emergency ditching in the sea.

[Page Break]

[Photographs]

Drill and Anti-Gas Training
[Photographs © IWM CH1973/CH1801]

Rank and Trade

Dad’s rank should have been that of AC2, U/T Pilot during this stage of his training, but his service record shows LAC, possibly because he had been in the ATC. His service record shows “Ex member of ATC Prof Cert Part 1 Rec. for commission”

Completion of Course

Trainees were assessed through the course and examination has to be undertaken and passed prior to further posting.

[Page Break]

[Examination Paper 125]

An examination paper

Anyone who “failed” the course was either provided with additional training or was posted to other roles (e.g. ground staff)

From the first intake of 579 recruits in July 1940, almost a further 27,000 airmen were trained there before the Wing left Babbacombe.

Subjects studies:

RAF history, structure and law;
hygiene (including “infectious diseases”);
theory of flight;
basic navigation (using maps, charts and astronomy);
aircraft recognition;

[Page Break]

armaments;
meteorology;
mathematics;
morse code (using keys and light).

instructions on polishing boots

precision drill. Think we had one hour a day drill , and one hour a day P.T. at I.T.W Torquay. During the drill sessions we had to learn precision drill, which meant we had to go through the every move in the drill ‘book’ with only an initial command. This lasted fifteen minutes. and [sic] we were told it was very impressive to watch.
Clay pigeon shooting at Babacombe. Five mile cross country runs. 20 mile march from Bovey Tracy ? to Widecombe on the moor and back. Dinghy drill in Torquay harbour.

After two months “Square bashing” and further flight related training etc. he was posted with the rank of LAC to 3 Elementary Flying Training School (EFTS) RAF Shellingford , near Aston Sandford, the overflow airfield for Watchfield at Shrivenham.

[underlined] 6) FLYING TRAINING STARTS! [/underlined]

[underlined] RAF#3 EFTS, Shellingford, 30-7-1943 to 2-9-1943[/underlined]
[underlined]http://www.abct.org.uk/airfields/shellingford [/underlined]
[underlined] http://www.stanford-in-the-vale.co.uk/history¬_ww2.shtml [/underlined]
[underlined] http://em.m.wikipeadia.org/wiki/RAF_Shellingford [/underlined]

In his time here Dad got his hands on Tiger Moths and ran up some hours in flight, as shown in his Flight log. (He recorded it on a single log sheet, the, stuck it into the front of his RCAF pilots flying log book, and then entered the hours in the RCAF log after 1651 conversion unit a late date) From the 4th to the 25th August inclusive he completed 12.05 hrs dual flying in Tiger Moths (T6773, T6456, T6593, T6564, T5377 and T7129) in 23 outings, taking exercises 1 to 14, a Flight Commanders test, and a C.F. 1’s test, always as 2nd pilot/pupil with F/S Perry, F/L Wenman, F/O Ingles and F/O Page

[underlined] 7) RAF ACDC Manchester, 18-9-1943 to 31-10-1943 [/underlined]
After [deleted] ITW[/deleted] [inserted] #3 EFTS [/inserted] Dad went to ACDC (Aircrew Dispersal Centre) at Heaton Park, Manchester where I arrived on 18th September 1943. This was a camp where aircrew were held between courses and postings. It was in rainy Manchester, in the middle of a Park and was not at all comfortable – he would have been in Nissen Huts again.

[Page Break]

These Nissen huts were made of half circles of Corrugated Galvanised Iron about twenty-five feet wide and which accommodated some thirty men. Heated only by a coal stove n the centre they were bitterly cold in the winter but I suppose that they did provide easily erected shelter for troops.

e.g. Aircrew Despatch Centre, Heaton Park,
Manchester
Remustered as U/T Pilot (2) as a result of my performance at ITW. Only two out of every five recruits were selected for pilot training and probably half of these were allocated to fighter training so was to consider himself fortunate to have passed the recruiting board, passed the ITW training and finally been selected for pilot training. I guess that Dad had some time on leave before being posted to Canada, as he had to pass through Liverpool anyway!

[underlined] 8) OFF TO CANADA [/underlined]

[underlined] HMT W43, 31-10-1943 to 8-11-1943 [/underlined]

This was either His Majesty’s Troopship, or Hired Military Transport. It usually took about 5 days to sail to the US/Canada and usually landed at Halifax Nova Scotia

[underlined] 9) RAF 31 PD, Moncton New Brunswick, 10-11-1943 to 11-1-1944 [/underlined]

Dad arrived in Halifax on 10th November 1943 at the start of a Canadian maritime winter. They caught a train destined for 31 TAF Personnel Depot (PD) at Moncton, New Brunswick. (Called Piccadilly 31 PD in Dad’s photo’s) There is also a photo of Dad with some other recruits, Harry Hoyle, Geoff Bell, and Doug Kelsall with the A. Freedman & Son factory behind them at St. Jon N.B. in 1943

[underlined] 10) RCAF #6 Elementary Flying School, Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Canada, 15-1-1944 to 25-3-1944 [/underlined] [inserted] Tiger Moth & Cornell [/inserted]

From Moncton near the Canadian Eastern seaboard, Dad took a train to get Prince Albert in Saskatchewan. There is a photo in his album of the type of train they took, and also photos of the trip ‘Charging through Maine’ alongside Lake Superior, where whey were travelling through snow, and with views of icy lakes and rivers. One was taken at Quebec across the frozen St Lawrence River.

Dad was on course 98 at Prince Albert, and their course photo was taken in front of a Tiger Moth in front of a hanger. There were 24 trainee pilots in the photo with four sergeants, ‘Chiefy Nicol, and Len Gilhome, Cliff Hoe, Ron Harrison and a flat capped George Whitlam in the middle of them

Dad learned to fly in Tiger Moths here, taking his pilot role in Tiger Moth 4293 on the 26th January 1944, exercise 15. First solo probably on 2nd Feb in Tiger Moth 5010 exercises 10 to 13 inc. total flying time in Prince Albert was 33.25 hrs dual; 38.30 hrs as pilot; 4.30 hrs dual night flying; and 0.30 hrs night

[Page Break]

Flying as pilot. Last flight here was on 17th Feb 1944. (Night visual acuity was assessed as A17.)

There was quite a lot of time spent on a Link Trainer, nicknamed the ‘Blue Box’ – a flight simulator.

[Photograph]

Fairchild PT 19 ‘Cornells’ were also flown here, but are not listed on Dad’s log, so I suspect that they were taken up in them to show them how to so a particular duty, before letting them loose on the Tiger Moths, which had open cockpits, and it would have been more difficult to communicate.

[Photograph]
[inserted] See Canadian Training Schools [/inserted]

[Page Break]

[underlined]http://en.wikipedia.org.wiki/List_of_British _Commonwealth_Air_Training_Plan_facilities_in_Canda [/underlined]
[underlined] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Albert_(glass_Field) _Airport[/underlined]

There appears to have been a time of R&R in Senlac between 26th March and 7th April before moving on to the next posting.

[underlined] 11)RCAF #4 Service Flying Training School, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada, 8-4-1944 to 30-10-1944 [/underlined]

This further training was on Crane twin engines aeroplanes, where he first flew in one on the 9th May 1944, and went solo on 17th May 1944.

[Photograph]

He then went on to fly Avro Ansons on 29th June 1944

[Photograph]

[Page Break]

Summary of flying and assessments on an R.95A, at #4 SFTS, Saskatoon, Canada on 27th October 1944 showed dual flying time total of 157.55; pilot hours of 120.20; and 20.55 hrs as a passenger, and assessments:
As A.T.E pilots – average;
As pilot-navigator/navigator – average;
In bombing – High average;
In air gunnery – N/A;
Signed by A.L. Anderson T/D for the C.O No 4 SFTS
No points of flying or airmanship were listed as needing to be watched.

[underlined] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saskatoon[/underlined]
[underlined] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RCAF_Station_Saskatoon [/underlined]

[underlined] 12) RAF 31PD Moncton NB, 3-11-1944 to 24-11-1944 [/underlined]

Mustering for return trip/possibly some R&R or this might have been the time that relates to Dad’s photos from when he was sight seeing in New York

[underlined] 13) RAF MNT L54, 24-11-1944 to 6-12-1944 [/underlined]
Back across the Atlantic from Halifax, Nova Scotia, November 1944, boarded HMT Andes, five days sailing to Liverpool.

[underlined] 14) RAF Harrogate, 6-12-1944 to 10-1-1945 [/underlined]
No 7 Personnel Reception Centre (PRC) formed here in March 1942 and used the Cecil, Majestic , Majestic , Queen and Spa Hotels before disbanding in July 1943 . (1945?)
After the RAF/MOD vacated the site it was purchased by ICI who established a research department there.
R29/479 No. 7 Personnel Reception Centre, Harrogate, (Later Market Harborough) 1942 Mar.-1946 Sept.

There were 1,408 staff here at the end of WWII. The site was also used by the Post Office. By 1956 the Air Ministry has just 787 staff in the area, now relocated to the Crown Hotel and Harlow Manor.

[Page Break]

[Photograph]

I note that there was also a 26 Signals Group station at RAF Harrogate.

[underlined] http://wtp2.appspot.com/wheresthepath.htm?lat=53.97756820070049&Ion1.5412374411947671&gz=17&oz+9&gt=1[/underlined]

[underlined] 15) No. 4 SofTT, RAF St.Athan, Nr Cardiff, S.Wales, 10-1-1945 to 16-3-1945[/underlined]

Their standing quickly improved over the next year or so and as the war progressed it was recognised that FE’s didn’t all need to be fully qualifies fitters or riggers. As a result, direct entry civilian were accepted in mid-1943. By this time there was a big demand for them, as there were now far more heavy bombers & other 4-engined aircraft in service and of course, crews lost in action had to be replaced. No 4 School of Technical Training (No 4 S of TT) at RAF St Athan was the hub for FE Training, with entrants going through courses of varying lengths, according to their expertise on joining. Flying training time was very sparse and from mid-1943 onwards it was quite normal for them to qualify for their [inserted] FE [/inserted] flying badges without ever having flown in an aircraft!
[underlined]http://flighteng.org/news/115-royal-air-force-another-significant-milestone [/underlined]

[Page Break]

[underlined] http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/flight-engineer-training/[/underlined]

Posting to 4 School of Technical Training, RAF St Athan (Jan. 1945)

Dad was posted to 4 School of Technical Training (4 SoTT) at RAF St Athan in readiness for his 24 week “trade” course which started on 10th January 1945.

The school had been set up by the Air Ministry in 1942 to provide specialist training for the flight engineers needed for four-engined heavy bombers and flying boats.

It is understood that the intake was split into groups of eight to ten men, based on surnames.

RAF St Athan
No. 4 School of Technical Training was based in the East Camp at RAF St. Athan, in Glamorgan.

The camp included:

• 20 Bellman hangers and 4 brick0built workshops (used as training facilities)
• a large equipment store
• a large amenities building with swimming pool, gym, cinema and chapels
• living quarters (for up to 4,000) instructors and trainees)

It is understood that the camp also included a parachute training facility, a tethered airframe (where engines could be run at full throttle) and a decompression chamber (to enable trainees to experience the loss of oxygen at altitude); it has not been possible at this stage to establish where these were housed.

[Page Break]

[Photograph]

Annotated aerial view of East Camp at RAF St Athan 919450
Based on an original Crown Copyright photograph: Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Wales.

The standard “bed space” was in one of the hundreds of wooden accommodation huts which were laid out in lines. Each hut accommodated up to 16 trainees and included latrines and showers, along with a small room for the billet’s NCO.

[Photograph]

[Page Break]

Training and Assessment

The aim of the 24 week technical course was to ensure that flight engineers could carry out their specified duties on the ground and in the air.

The preliminary phase of the course was:
• Preliminary Airframes (1 week)
• Preliminary Engines (2 weeks)
• Carburettors and Magnetos (2 weeks)
• Electric and Instruments (1 week)
• Radial Engines /In-Line Engines (2 weeks)
• Hydraulics 91 week)
• Propellers (1 week)

After a week’s leave, trainees continued with the intermediate phase of the course which incorporated:
• Merlin Engines (2 weeks)
• Typical Airframes (1 week)
• Typical Hydraulics (1 week)
• Propellers/Instruments/Electrics (1 week)
• Aerodrome Procedures 92 weeks)

The following are some of the original notes and diagrams from a former

[Training Notes]

Training Notes [Courtesy of the late Clifford Leach]

[Page Break]

After a further weeks leave, the trainees progressed to the final phase of the course which provided specific training o the aircraft and engines that they would be assigned to as they progressed into operational squadrons.

This phase consisted of:

• Airframes (2 weeks)
• Electrics/Instruments (1 week)
• Fuel Logs/Fuel Systems (1 week)
• Engines (1 week)
• Engine Handling (1 week)

Salvaged cockpits were used to provide a simulated flight environment to enable trainees to practice pre-flight checks, take off procedures, “flying for economy” and landing procedures. In addition, a tethered airframe enabled the trainees to run engines up to full throttle, although the constant noise caused severe problem and St Athan became one of the early pioneers of “flight simulators”.

Trainees were also required to continue with their fitness programme, practice emergency drills and maintain their skills in subjects such as morse, navigation and armaments.

[Photographs]
Flight Engineer Training
[Photographs © IWM CH12466/CH 112467]

As part of this section of the course, Dad was probably required to spend a week at an aircraft manufacturers ("Makers “Course") to gain a better understanding of how the aircraft was constructed.


[Page Break]

On 1st April 1944 he was sent to “Rootes Securities Ltd”, probably at their “Shadow Factory” at Speke Airport, where they manufactured the Handley Page Halifax.

[Photograph]

[Courtesy of the Handley Page Association Collection]

Rank and Trade

Dad continued in the rank of two stripes on arm. It is believed that this promotion was upon completion of the first part of the training course and that his pay was increased to 5/- a day (plus 6d a day war pay).

Completion of Course

Dad completed his course and undertook a series of written and oral examinations, which he passed with a mark of 62.7%.

At his passing out parade on X, he would have been (?) promoted to Sergeant, the minimum rank for aircrew, with salary of 10/- a day (plus 6d a day war pay).

After intensive training, Dad was qualified in the trade of flight engineer as well as pilot; the next stage was to apply his knowledge and skills in flight.

[Page Break]

[Flight Engineers Course Exam]

[underlined] 16) RAF 1651 Conversion Unit, Woolfox Lodge, Rutland, 23-3-1945 to 12-6-1945[/underlined]
[underlined]http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Woolfox_Lodge [/underlined]
[underlined]http://wcnhistory.org.uk/sqn1651.html [/underlined]
Similar to:- [underlined] http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/operational-training/ [/underlined]

Having completed his technical training, Dad was posted to Woolfox Lodge in Rutland on 23rd March 1945 to convert his flying and Flight Engineer training from twin engine light planes to train as part of a seven man crew on a four-engined heavy bomber.

These airfields had the standard [underlined] Bomber Command layout[/underlined]

It had three Heavy Conversion Units (HCU’s) which were responsible for teaching crews how to fly the four-engined heavy bombers:
• 1652 HCU, based at RAF Marston Moor
• 1663 HCU, based at RAF Rufforth
• 1658 HCU, based at RAF Riccall

“Crewing Up”

The heavy bombers needed a crew of seven; pilot, flight engineer, navigator, wireless operator, bomb aimer, mid-upper gunner and rear gunner.

Each member of the aircrew has been taught their trade at specialist schools, either in the UK or overseas. Having completed their basic training, five of the

[Page Break]

trades, (pilot, navigator, wireless operator, bomb aimer and one of the air gunners) “crewed up” at an Operational Training Unit (OUT) and trained as a five man crew on two-engined medium bombers. [inserted] Wellingtons [/inserted]

Once they were competent, the five man crew would transfer to a Heavy Conversion Unit, where they would be joined by a flight engineer and an additional gunner (for the mid-upper turret position) to form a seven man crew for the heavy bombers.

[underlined] Flying Log Book [/underlined]
Some of the early Flight engineers who trained during this period confirm that they would not have had any flying experience up to this point, although he may have spent a small amount of time at St Athan on a [underlined]”link trainer [/underlined](flight simulator)

The log, which had to be countersigned by the commanding officer, provided a record of:

• The date
• The aircraft used
• The pilot
• The duty performed on the flight
• The purpose of the flight
• The flying time (split day/night)

[Log Book]

An extract from a Flying Log Book
[Courtesy of Paul Herod]

[Page Break]

Training and Assessment
The four to six week Heavy Conversion course consisted of group instruction, along with approximately 40 hours of flying, probably in a Handley Page Halifax.

Experienced instructors, normally crew who had completed their operational tours, would fly “dual” with the crew and them the crew would repeat the exercise “solo”.

The [underlined] HCU Training Schedule, [/underlined] included the following training exercises:

• Familiarisation
• Circuits and landings
• Bombings
• Fighter affiliation
• Cross-country

With the help of instructors, FEng was able to out into practice all the things that he had been taught in the classrooms at RAF St Athan.

FEng’s first job was to work with the pilots to check outside the aircraft.

[Page Break]

The [underlined] external checks [/underlined] included ensuring:

• That there was no visible damage, in particular to the working parts and leading edges of the airframe
• That the tyres were in good order
• That there were no coolant or oil leaks

It is understood that once these checks were complete, the pilot signed Form 700 to confirm the handover of the aircraft from the ground crew.

FEng then clambered into the aircraft, with his parachute and “emergency repair” tool bag (spanners, pliers, wire, string etc) in his hands.

His next job was to carry to the [underlined] internal checks [/underlined] including ensuring:

• That the oxygen supply was functioning
• That the internal latches were all secure
• That the fire extinguishers, axes etc were properly stowed

Having completed the internal checks he settles at his station, which on the Handley Page Halifax was behind the pilot; he would then vary out the pre-flight checks in conjunction with the pilot and ground crew.

Information regarding some of the checks and the fuel loads, pressures etc was recorded in the [underlined] four page flight engineer log [/underlined].

[Page Break]

[Flight log sheet]

The first page of the flight engineer’s log
[Courtesy of RAF Museum, London]

[Page Break]

[Photograph]

[inserted] synchronised Props - V Practice [/inserted]
[inserted] Sequence [/inserted]

One by one, the four engines were started up and the FEng monitored the instrument readings on the flight engineer panel. When all four were warmed up, the pilot checked with the crew to ensure they were all happy with the equipment and that their oxygen and intercom systems were working. [inserted] Aldis lamp [/inserted]
He then taxied onto the perimeter track (“perimeter track”) and awaited the signal for take off.

FEng would either be sitting or standing beside the pilot, ready to assist him with the throttles, undercarriage and flaps; between them they ensured that they fully laden heavy bomber got off the ground and climbed to its allotted cruising height. [inserted] Assemble over? eg Reading [/inserted]

Having reached cruising height, he ensured that the aircraft maintained its optimum cruising speed, utilising the minimum amount of fuel (“flying for economy”). He also synchronised the propellers to minimise engine vibration and noise.

[Page Break ]

Throughout the flight, he monitored the fuel consumption, engine revs, oil pressure, coolant temperatures etc and logged them “at every change of flight or engine conditions and at thirty minute intervals”.

He monitored the amount of fuel in each of the wing tanks and used the fuel cocks to ensure that is was evenly distributed across the tanks; this ensured that if one leaked or was hit by enemy flak, there was sufficient fuel in the other tanks to keep the aircraft in flight.

The Perspex astrodome above his head enabled him to ensure that they were clear of other aircraft (and to monitor for enemy aircraft during operational sorties).

Having competed their assigned exercise or sortie, the Flight Engineer assisted the pilot with the landing, shutdown and post-flight checks.

Any issues were reported to the ground crew using the Form 700 and the four page flight engineer log was handed in for review and signature.

[Form 700]

An example of a Form 700 (date unknown)

Completion of Course

Having successfully completed their HCU training, the crew members were deemed competent enough for operational duty

Other interesting info on Lancs here:-
[underlined]http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/operational-service/ [/underlined]

[Page Break]

You’ll understand I’m sure that the residents were rather transient and many did not stay long. It was very sad to see the adjutant emptying the lockers of those who would never return.

The huts at most site were of the wood and asbestos variety like those now used for battery chickens [Laing Huts]. They were “heated” by a stove (red-hot in the middle of freezing in the corners). They were nevertheless far better than nissen huts. Each held out 16 or so aircrew and when newly arrived you were assigned a bed in one of the artic corners (as well as the usual routine). As the losses mounted one graduated to beds nearer the centre, until you had a bed with your feet towards the stove (very cosy).

[photograph]

An example of a wood and asbestos Laing Hut

Training and Assessment

It is understood that training consisted of ground training followed by three daytime exercises and one nighttime exercise aimed at improving their target marking techniques. Total flying time was about 16 hours.

Exercises mimicked typical operational sorties, with the crew required to fly long distance, accurately mark a target and return to base within a very tight time schedule.

[Page Break]

[Photograph]

The Avro Lancaster

The crew positions on the Lancaster differed to those on the Halifax:

[Photograph]

(Pilot) sat on the port side on a raised section of the floor.
(Flight Engineer) sat next to the pilot, on s fold down seat, which was hinged to enable the bomb aimer to access his compartment in the nose of the aircraft. His position enabled him to observe and access the instruments on the pilot’s panel as well as those on the engineer’s panel, which was attached to the fuselage behind the seat.

(Navigate) sat behind the pilot/flight engineers, facing the port side, with the navigational equipment and a large chart table on front of him.

[Page Break]

(Wireless Operator) sat facing forwards, with his radio equipment mounted on the left hand end of the navigator’s chart table.

(Bomb Aimer) was stationed in the nose of the aircraft.

(Mid-Upper Gunner) was stationed in the dome shaped mid-upper turret which provided a 360 degree view over the top of the aircraft.

(Rear Gunner) was stationed in the rear turret.

[Photograph]

A Lancaster aircrew, showing pilot and flight engineer forward of the navigator and wireless operator

Operational Life

For Cecil and the hundreds of office staff, ground staff and aircrew at RAF Graveley, daily life was a mixture of training, recreation and operational sorties.

Aircrew were permitted six days leave every six weeks.

[underlined] 17) 7PRC Harrogate, 27-6-1945 to 17-7-1945 [/underlined]

7 Personnel Reception Centre (Harrogate, Yorkshire)
August, September, October 1943
[Page Break]

(The Majestic Hotel was host of hundreds of RAF non-commissioned Pilots, who with no immediate knowledge of their future roles in the RAF, were held there at what was known as No. 7 Personnel Reception Centre)

I have a Harrogate Public Library General Ticket which has the number 51751 and the date of expiry of 10th July 1947 for Sgt. PD Hopgood, Majestic Hotel and service number 1673132 on it.

[underlined] 18) RAF ACNCOS Locking, 17-7-1945 to 14-8-1945 [/underlined]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RAF_Locking

RAF Locking was opened as a training unit in 1937 [3] The Technical Site of RAF Locking, as distinct from the airfield about a mile away and called [underlined] RAF Weton-Super-Mare, [/underlined] was the home of the RAF’s No.1 Radio School

[underlined]http://www.britainfromabove.org.uk/image/eaw002963[/underlined]

War ended 8-5-1945 VE day; and 15-8-1945 – VJ day)

[underlined]19)7PRC Harrogate, 15-8-1945 to 28-8-1945 [/underlined]

Back to the Personnel reception Centre to see where next!

[underlined]20) RAF Cottesmore, Rutland, 23-8-1945 to 8-9-1945[/underlined]
[underlined] http://en.wikipeadia.org/wiki/RAF_Cottesmore[/underlined]
[underlined] http://virualglobetrotting.com/map/raf-cottesmore/view/?service+0[/underlined]

[underlined] 20) 7PRC Harrogate, 8-9-1945 to 19-10-1945[/underlined]
Back to the Personnel Reception Centre to see where next!

[underlined]21 29EFT Clyffe Pypard, nr. Royal Wotton Bassett, Wilts., 19-10-1945 to 19-2-1946 [/underlined]

Flying Tiger Moths around, and on one occasion ran out of fuel and landed in a farmers field! Oops!
[underlined]http://www.abct.org.uk/airfields/clyffe-pypard[/underlined]

[underlined] http://history.wiltshire.gov.uk/community/getcom.php?id=63[/underlined]
[underlined] http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clyffe_Pypard [/underlined]

[Page Break]

YPRC 50 Grp Pool

[underlined]22) 21(P) AFU Wheaton Aston, nr Stafford, Staffs, 19-2-1946 to 9-3-1946 [/underlined]

‘Pilots Advanced Flying Unit’

21(P) AFU Wheaton Aston 28 January 1944 Seighford 26 January 1945

[underlined]http://www.abct.org.uk/airfields/wheaton-aston[/underlined]
[underlined]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TbLfmvtlzE&feature=related[/underlined]

Here are a few of this former station, this is a former PAFU unit (Shawbury Oxfords main users)
not much left, but here’s a few of the tower

[Photograph]
[Photograph]

[Page Break]

[Photograph]
[photograph]

[underlined] 23) 7PRC Market Harborough, Leics, 9-3-1946 to 19-3-1946[/underlined]

Actually at Husbands Bosworth airfield 5 miles [deleted]SEE[/deleted] [inserted]WSCO [/inserted] from Market Harborough

[underlined]http://wikimapia.org/24398523/Former-RAF-Husbands-Bosworth[/underlined]
[underlined]http://www.husbandsboswoth.info/index.php?=com_content&task=view&id=15&Itemid=46[/underlined]

[underlined] 24) ACAC Catterick, 19-3-1946 to 22-3-1946[/underlined]
Air Crew Allocation Centre – At end of war in 1945 the station became an air crew allocation centre Air Crew Allocation Centre [sic] where airman were sent for a month whilst final postings were found for them where they would be most valued.

[Page Break]

In January 1945, the station transferred to RAF Flying Training Command, to become Aircrew Allocation Centre during February, Being close to the training areas around Catterick Garrison,

RAF station finally closed on 1 July 1944.
[underlined]http://airfieldresearchgroup.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/05/RAF-catterick.pdf [/underlined]

[underlined] 25) 4 ACHU Cranage, 22-3-1946 to 10-4-1946[/underlined]
AIRCREW HOLDING UNITS AIR 29/508 No. 4 Cranage 1945-1946 July

Between Knutsford and Sandbach near M6, near village of Byley

[underlined]http://www.abct.org.uk/airfields/cranage-byley[/underlined]

[underlined]26) 1GTS, Croughton, 10-4-1946 to 25-4-1946[/underlined]

No 1 [underlined]Glider Training School /underlined] (No1 GTS) – this is on the A43 near Brackley.
You can see the big early warning globes from the road.

[underlined] 27) 4S of AT Kirkham, Lancashire, 25-4-1946 to 11-6-1946[/underlined]

Midway between Blackpool and Preston.

School or Airframe (?) Training – was a demob centre to Dec 1945, then trained boy entrants to 1957

..my demob centre at Kirkham in Lancashire, September 1946.
[underlined]http://en.wikipeadia.org/wiki/RAF_Kirkam#History[/underlined]

[underlined]28) 251 MU Bristol, 11-6-1946 to 14-8-1946[/underlined]

A SHORT HISTORY OF No.11 BALLOON CENTRE AT PUCKLECHURCH 1939 TO 1945 AND R.A.F.STATION PUCKLECHURCH 1945 TO 1959
John Penny
A Brief Chronology
09/08/1939 – Opened as No11 Balloon Centre.
22/04/1945 – Became a sub site of No.7 Maintenance Unit, Quedgeley nr Gloucester for storage.

[Page Break]

19/0701945 – Became No251. Maintenance Unit (Mechanical Storage).
on July 19th 1945 the site was re-designated No251. M.U. a Mechanical Storage Unit dealing with motor vehicles. No.251 M.U. continued as a M.T. Store until December 31st 1946 when all its operations were taken over by No.7 M.U. at Quedgeley. The station was now turned into an instructional facility, and on February 25th 1947 was re-named No.22 Reserve Centre, officially transferring to 62 (Southern) Group, Reserve Command, which also controlled the nearby Filton airfield.

On August 1st 1945 No 251. MU became fully self-accounting, and work went ahead to build up the formation as a Mechanical Storage Unit under the command of Squadron Leader F.H.Farthing. They were ready to accept their first vehicles on August 22nd, and by the end if the month had 9 officers (including 2 WAAF’s) and 243 ‘other ranks’ (including 34 WAAF’s) on their strength. No 251 MU continued as a MT Store until December 31st 1946 when all it operations were taken over by No7. MU at Quedgeley


[underlined] 29) 30 MU Sealand, 14-8-1946 to 20-2-1947[/underlined]

http://www.ronaldv.nl/abandoned/airfield/gb/wales/clwyd.html

Sealand, near Chester on the Wirral Peninsula, 20 KN IMMEDIAELY South of Liverpool

No. 30 M.U. (Maintenance Unit) R.A.F. Sealand near Chester. The next day after doing the rounds of the different departments, and being taken on the strength, we were assigned to one of the hangers carrying out major servicing on Wellington twin engine bombers

[underlined] 30) 101 PDC Warton 20-2-1947 to 21-2-1947 – End of service.[/underlined]

101 PDC (:-101 Personnel Despatch Centre), RAF Warton (being “demobbed”), Lancashire

Warton Aerodrome ([underlined]ICAO: [/underlined]EGNO) is located near to [underlined] Warton[/underlined] village on [underlined]the Flyde[/underlined] on [underlined]Lancashire, [/underlined] England. The aerodrome is 6.9m (11km; 6.9mi) west of [underlined]Preston, Lancashire, [/underlined] UK.

Warton Aerodrome (IATA: N/A, ICAO:EGNO) is located near to Warton village on the Flyde peninsula in Lancashire, England. The aerodrome is six nautical miles (11.1km) west of Preston, Lancashire, UK.
In 1940 new runways were built at Warton so that it could act as a “satellite” afraid for the RAF Coastal Command station at Squires Gate airfield in Blackpool

[underlined] http://www.airfieldinformationexchange.org/community/showthread.php?3707-RAF_Freckleton_Lytham-(Warton) [/underlined]

[Page Break]

List of websites from which taken:
[underlined]http://www.pprune.org/archieve/index.php/t-329990-p-10.html[/underlined]
[underlined]http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com[/underlined]

[underlined]31) References[/underlined]

[underlined]http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/acknowledgements[/underlined]
Acknowledgements
Copyright©
Wherever possible the information on this site has been obtained from original documents held by the author or supplied by contributors.
I have attributes all copyright material as far as I am able; however if there is any material on this site which infringes your copyright, please contact me using the contact form and I will be happy to correctly attribute it or remove the item.
Acknowledgements
Special thanks go to the following individuals/organisation that have provided their time and/or resources for this project:
The families of crew members GB Thomas and R Neale (Sue Dobson, Garrie Ferguson and Ray Neale)
Uwe Benkel, Christian Koenig and his team in Bonn
The family of Eric Hargreaves (102 Squadron)
The many contributors on the RAFCommands, WW2Talk, Lancaster-Achieve, AIX and PPRuNE forums, especially:
Paul Herod
Stan Instone (419 Squadron)
Peter Leeves (35 Squadron)
The late Clifford Leach
Alan Wells
Malcom Barrass
Sources:
RAF Flying Training and Support Units since 1912; Ray Sturtivant Observes and Navigators; CG Jefford
The Bomber Command Diaries; Martin Middlebrook and Chris Everitt
Manpower, History of the Second World War; H M D Parker
ABC of the RAF
Aircraft Q failed to return
Dedicated to CA Butler and the crew of Lancaster ME334 (TL-Q)
BACKGROUND ENLISTING TRAINING OPERATIONS COMMEMORATION RESEARCH
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS CONTACT
Acknowledgements | Aircraft Q failed to return
[underlined] http://rafww2butler.wordpress.com/acknowledgements[/underlined]
RAF St Athan: A history 1938-1988 by S J Bond
Bomber Intelligence; W E Jones
The Royal Air Force 1939-1945; Andrew Cormack

[Page Break]

The Bomber Command Handbook 1939-1945; Jonathon Falconer
Haynes Avro Lancaster Owners Workshop Manual; Jarrod Cotter/Paul Blackah
Aircraft Cutaways; Bill Gunston
The National Achieve
Flight Magazine
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The RAF Museum
The Royal Air Force Air Historical Branch

The Handley Page Association

Citation

Peter Andrew Hopgood, “Philip Hopgood's Second World War Biography,” IBCC Digital Archive, accessed October 30, 2020, https://ibccdigitalarchive.lincoln.ac.uk/omeka/collections/document/22112.

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