Heavy Conversion Unit schedules!

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ME453
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Heavy Conversion Unit schedules!

Post by ME453 » Sat Dec 07, 2013 6:06 pm

I always enjoy my visits (with Richard PAFG) to the National Archives, you never know quite what treasures you're going to unearth! Last Thursday's revelation was something that I really hadn't thought much about before and that is the complexity of cramming in the training for aircrew - the inexorable sausage machine. I looked at the period when "my" crew were at Swinderby (1660 HCU), which was also associated with nearby Wigsley and Winthorpe HCUs. I've posted a couple of pages which reflect the difficulties, trial and tribulations, call them what you will, in managing the flying programme on a daily basis.


Image

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The aircraft, Stirlings of course, are referenced by their HCU and code letter, e.g. 1660's R, sometimes with a line above. Various exercises are referred to, for instance Ex 13 is Cross Country High Level Bombing (XCHLB).

The handwriting isn't great but it's worth persevering in order to understand a typical night's flying programme at HCUs. The Base Commander by the way is W/Cdr Rollo Kingsford-Smith.
www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
Dedicated to the crew of Lancaster ME453 467 squadron

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K4KittyCrew
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Re: Heavy Conversion Unit schedules!

Post by K4KittyCrew » Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:10 am

Fantastic work, Max .................... many thanks for sharing this with us.
John
K for Kitty Crew - Winthorpe, 1661 HCU's - stirlingaircraftsoc.raf38group.org/
630 Squadron - East Kirkby
" There is nothing glorious about war with the exception of those who served us so valiantly"

MT606
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Re: Heavy Conversion Unit schedules!

Post by MT606 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 3:20 pm

so are these your hand written copies or photos (are they allowed now?) of the daily/monthly occurences? Would OTUs from earlier in the war have such things, or is it dependant on the watch keeper/admin cpls etc of particular units?
tar

m

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ME453
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Re: Heavy Conversion Unit schedules!

Post by ME453 » Sun Dec 08, 2013 5:56 pm

MT606 wrote:so are these your hand written copies or photos (are they allowed now?) of the daily/monthly occurences? Would OTUs from earlier in the war have such things, or is it dependant on the watch keeper/admin cpls etc of particular units?
tar

m
These are the original handwritten logs which were contained in fairly small (less than A4 but bigger than A5) "exercise books". Each position at the NA has a substantial camera stand, you simply attach the camera and snap away.
I don't know for certain but I would imagine the OTUs had the same sort of log, I intend to investigate ready for my next visit because the information these logs contain is invaluable. I've just printed off the pages for 1660, 1654 and 1661 HCUs for the period 7 November - 5 December ready for further scrutiny, I'm hoping to reconcile some of the events for 1660 HCU with the logbook of one of "my" crew members, that way I can establish a Stirling serial number with an aircraft letter. It's significant that all the "watch keepers" are of squadron leader rank or above, even Rollo Kingsford-Smith himself on occasions, reflecting the responsibility of the duty which included control of all three HCUs.
Max
www.ordinarycrew.co.uk
Dedicated to the crew of Lancaster ME453 467 squadron

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