Pilot Training in Rhodesia in WW2

Discussion in 'The War In The Air' started by philllip jones, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. philllip jones

    philllip jones Junior Member

    I am Hoping that some one can assist me with any information relating to WARTIME PILOT TRAINING IN RHODESIA during WW2,

    any information that may be forthcoming would be most helpful ,

    lOCATIONS , unit name no etc , Dates that the School were in service Pupil Intake etc anything .

    also does anyone KNOW IF RECORDS exist such as ORB'S OR UNIT/STN ORB's for these training units

    TIA Phill Jones
     
  2. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    Hi Phill - I sincerely hope you get lucky in your quest, because I have been struggling for a while with getting info on losses while undergoing training in Rhodesia.

    I just read a recent article in a RAAF association magazine concerning aircrew training in Rhodesia and I have to confess that it didn't seem to have a lot of info in it. However, it did refer to a book concerning the activities there so I might dig out the title and see if it is possible to track down a copy.

    In the meantime here are a couple of RAAF losses with what I know so far, including unit location etc. If it helps at all, I can extrapolate other such losses to get locations and designations of other schools.




    ELLIS, William Donald Revell (Sergeant) 400789 RAAF

    Flying accident

    Estesfarm, Mazoe - near Salisbury, Rhodesia

    12-Aug-41

    20SFTS Cranborne, Salisbury - Harvard aircraft. Casualty not found on AWM pdf. (NAA pers file digitized with NFI , casualty file not digitised). Harare (Pioneer) Cemetery




    BUNDARA, Noel Lewis John (Sergeant) 9239 RAAF

    Mid air collision between two aircraft

    Heany Aerodrome, South Rhodesia

    29-May-42

    23SFTS Heany, Bulawayo - Oxford aircraft. AWM pdf info - Sgt Bundara was killed in a mid air collision between two aircraft at Heany drome, Rhodesia. (NAA pers file not digitised, casualty file digitized with NFI). Bulawayo (Athlone) Cemetery
     
  3. philllip jones

    philllip jones Junior Member

    Hi Phill - I sincerely hope you get lucky in your quest, because I have been struggling for a while with getting info on losses while undergoing training in Rhodesia.

    I just read a recent article in a RAAF association magazine concerning aircrew training in Rhodesia and I have to confess that it didn't seem to have a lot of info in it. However, it did refer to a book concerning the activities there so I might dig out the title and see if it is possible to track down a copy.

    In the meantime here are a couple of RAAF losses with what I know so far, including unit location etc. If it helps at all, I can extrapolate other such losses to get locations and designations of other schools.




    ELLIS, William Donald Revell (Sergeant) 400789 RAAF

    Flying accident

    Estesfarm, Mazoe - near Salisbury, Rhodesia

    12-Aug-41

    20SFTS Cranborne, Salisbury - Harvard aircraft. Casualty not found on AWM pdf. (NAA pers file digitized with NFI , casualty file not digitised). Harare (Pioneer) Cemetery




    BUNDARA, Noel Lewis John (Sergeant) 9239 RAAF

    Mid air collision between two aircraft

    Heany Aerodrome, South Rhodesia

    29-May-42

    23SFTS Heany, Bulawayo - Oxford aircraft. AWM pdf info - Sgt Bundara was killed in a mid air collision between two aircraft at Heany drome, Rhodesia. (NAA pers file not digitised, casualty file digitized with NFI). Bulawayo (Athlone) Cemetery


    Hi Dave , many thanks for answering my call , for ages now i have been compiling data on the British Fighter OTU'S , contained within this data i include , Accidents fatal or non fatal and Pilot bio's , MASSIVE Undertaking

    which i shall probably never finish but i feel the whole OTU story has been somewhat neglected , so i keep going with it , The Reason for my thread is two fold really , i am now starting to uncover names of MAINLY RAF who were trained Initally in Rhodesia then attended OTU when they came back to the UK ,

    So i wonder if ORB'S etc are avialable for such Flying Schools ?

    i have a list of the various schools within Rhodesia which i have picked up of the web with Location , unit no's and when formed etc and what each school was responsible for which i can send you if you wish but you may have this already , My main hope is that unit records exist so i can place a said pupil in a said school and for what period to go into the said pilots Bio ,

    So any names you may have /accidents etc i would welcome as i am sure Pupil Pilots from other countrys after Initial training may have attended OTU In the UK ?, again my thanks , hope to hear from you

    bw phill
     
  4. spidge

    spidge RAAF RESEARCHER

    Hi Phill,

    Following on from Dave, there were 20 Aussie RAAF buried in Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and killed while with these "schools" and buried in Bulawayo, Gweru and Harare cemeteries.

    20 SFTS Cranborne
    21 SFTS
    22 SFTS Thornbill
    23 SFTS

    26 EFTS Guinea Fowl
    27 EFTS

    Cheers

    Geoff
     
  5. Wills

    Wills Very Senior Member

    Derek 'Blaster' Bates, who has died aged 83, was a demolition expert, stunt rider and raconteur. At 6ft 4ins, he bore a striking resemblance to John Wayne, and lived his life as close to the screen adventures of the film star as he could.
    Born in Cheshire, Bates served an apprenticeship at Rolls-Royce in Crewe. This was interrupted by the second world war, during which he joined the RAF, completing his training at Guinea Fowl school, in what was then Rhodesia. He saw active service flying Halifax bombers, and at the end of the war took an opportunity with the RAF to specialise in bomb disposal. This stimulated an interest in the use of explosives and demolition which led to a career spanning 40 years



    See Blaster Bates on the Jokes thread
     
  6. DaveB

    DaveB Very Senior Member

    FWIW - I had a look at CWGC for other casualties to tie in with this RAAF one:

    23SFTS Heany, Bulawayo - Oxford aircraft. AWM pdf info - Sgt Bundara was killed in a mid air collision between two aircraft at Heany drome, Rhodesia. (NAA pers file not digitised, casualty file digitized with NFI). Bulawayo (Athlone) Cemetery


    expanded with:

    Bulawayo (Athlone) Cemetery - other burials that day: Sergeant WRAY, John Kenneth 1451028 RAF / Flight Lieutenant STOKES, Richard William 42027 RAF (Richard William Stokes, of Acton, London, joined the RAF on a short service commission in February 1939. He was posted to the newly-reformed 264 Squadron (254SQN ?) at Sutton Bridge on November 6th 1939 and served with it throughout the Battle of Britain.

    He was posted away on November 15th 1940.

    In 1942 Stokes was a flying instructor at 23 SFTS, Southern Rhodesia. He was killed on May 29th, aged 21, circumstances unknown. However Sgt. JK Wray of the same unit was killed on the same day, it may be that he was a pupil of Stokes and both were lost in the same aircraft or that two aircraft were involved in a collision.
     
  7. Jon Horley

    Jon Horley Member

    There might be some archival stuff available through the British Embassy in Harare. The Ambassador is Deborah Bronnert, and their web is UK in Zimbabwe - although no email address, there are phone numbers and they're only an hour or so ahead of our time, I think. Might be worth a punt.
     
  8. Jedburgh22

    Jedburgh22 Very Senior Member

    This training was carried out under the Empire Air Training Scheme - there are files on it at TNA Kew, the airfield at Heany later became the site of Llewellin Barracks the Rhodesian Army's Basic Training Centre.
     
  9. Harry Ree

    Harry Ree Very Senior Member

    As Steven has said,Rhodesia was an element of the EATS and was designated the Rhodesia Air Training Group and provided training for RAF pupils and Rhodesians who were to be trained for RAF service.Its structure was based on the system in Canada.

    Surpringly or is it,South Africa came into the scheme late and were motivated to get involved when it was realised that South Africa could be threatened by the Axis.

    The role of these flying schools was to train future pilots,observers/navigators and air bombers for roles in the Commonweath air forces but it has to be stressed that those volunteers from Nazi overrun countries were also included.It was a case of those with the appropriate aptitude and had met accepted medical standards were processed for flying duties.
     
  10. philllip jones

    philllip jones Junior Member

    Thank you to all who answered my Thread , this will get me started

    phill jones
     
  11. davidbfpo

    davidbfpo Well-Known Member

    This thread somehow was found this week whilst browsing the site and I have now found via the BSAP History Group (Rhodesia's police force till 1980) a copy - available online - of an article (Starts pg 16; with 13 pgs) in 'Rhodesiana', a history journal (1956 to 1980) entitled 'The Rhodesian Air Training Group 1940-1945' by Sir Charles Meredith.

    The Editor adds:
    The author, Sir Charles Meredith, soon became the Officer Commanding. I note one appendix lists the locations of the facilities / stations involved. This may be duplicated by this: List of British Commonwealth Air Training Plan facilities in Southern Rhodesia - Wikipedia

    See as a starter for the author: Charles Warburton Meredith - Wikipedia

    Link: http://www.rhodesia.nl/rhodesiana/volume28.pdf
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019

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