MEAF

No. 3 PTS India 1941-1947

https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/airlanding-school-new-delhi-raf

AIRLANDING SCHOOL NEW DELHI (RAF)

On 1st October 1941 Air Headquarters authorised the formation of an Air Landing School at Willingdon Airport New Delhi, to train the newly formed 50th Indian Parachute Brigade.
The School, later called No 3 Parachute Training School trained parachutists and glider-borne troops as well as conducting experiments on their specialised equipments. The only aircraft available were five Valentias, obsolete and unsuitable for parachuting. Training for the 50th Indian Parachute Brigade, which was also set up in October, began in earnest.
Courses lasted 14 days for 30 parachutists per course until April 1943 when it doubled to 60. There was a shortage of aircraft, parachute instructors and parachutes. The first instructors arrived from Ringway with 14 static parachute assemblies or ‘Statichutes’ in their personal baggage and set up their primitive equipment in two aircraft hangars.
The first Commanding Officer was Wing Commander JHD Chapple, who was replaced by the nominated commander Wing Commander Benito in March 1942. The staff consisted of eight RAF officers, five army officers, four RAF fabric workers from Ringway, who also acted as Parachute Jump Instructors (PJIs) and a number of Ringway trained army NCOs.
In October 1942 overcrowding at Willingdon air base necessitated a change of the school’s location to Chaklala, near Rawlpindi in the Punjab.

(PARADATA)

 PJIs Willingdon 1941
APJIS 1941.jp ssg
Ken Fritchley, Stephen Smith, Raye Schofield, Allen Harden, Len Shepherd, Peter Sales. See also below
1941 INSTRUCTORS ss
See preceding photograph
CHAKLALA 1942
PUNJABI ss enh
A Punjabi Mohammedan

 

COURSES PARADE ENH ss
Courses parade Chaklala undated

 

TRAINING HANGAR
Training hangar – not much change…

 

PLF LINE ss
Landing trainers

 

PLF IND ss
PLF – note counterweight

 

SUMMER DRESS ss
Summer dress

 

VALENTIA.jENH sspg
Original jumpship Vickers Valentia loaned from Quantas. Later superseded by C47 Dakota.

https://www.paradata.org.uk/media/1715

VALENTIA 2
Valentia airborne

 

VALENTIA UNKNOWN LOCATION
On the deck, location unknown

 

VALENTIA EMPLANEenh ss2
Valentia Chaklala emplane. Carried 10 troops, DIY aperture exits, Whitley aircraft drills.

 

FEB 1945 ENGINE FAILURE
Feb 1943 Engine failure on air experience takeoff

 

Screen Shot 2020-03-08 at 11.35.12
See above

 

INSTRUCTORS 1943ss
Instructors 1943. Smith, Schofield (rear).OC PTS  Sqn. Ldr. Bill Brereton, Quinn, Clark, Roy, White, Henry checking

 

INST 1943 ss2
Rear: Quinn, Clark, White, Warren, Wright,Whiting. Kneeling: Walsh, Yexley, Henry, Young, Price. Rennie (front). 1943.

 

CLARK FATAL ENH ss
R.I.P. Nobby Clark 1943

 

FUNERA LENH ss
Undated, not attributed. Maybe as above

 

APERTURE DRILLS ss
Valentia aperture exit training

 

HRD ss
Harness Release and Dragging
DFC ss
Draw and Fit Chutes

 

DAK 1942 ENH ss
Dakota Chaklala 1942
COURSE AND INSTRUCTORS AUG 1945 ENH ss
Course Chaklala  August 1945

 

STAFF GARLANDS NOV 1945 ENH ss
Course Number148 November 1945. Instructors with garlands: Smith, Stanley, Rhoden, Calvert, Ryder

 

TURBANS 1945ss
1945 – Instructors kneeling Bill Jones and Andy Young
FRENCH ENH ss2
French Artillerie Coloniale. PJI Wilf Finbow. Undated

 

INSTR GROUP ENH ss
Standing: Wilf Finbow, Young, Tommy Jones, Frankie Maddock. Front row: Ron Mason, F.S. Scully, George Taylor, “Ging” Gooding. Undated

 

AIRFIELD BRIEF UNDATED ENH ss
Pre-jump brief undated

 

CHAK 1945 AIR EX EMPLANE
Emplane for air experience Chaklala 1945

 

DAK UNDATED enh ss
C47 Dakota training drop undated
DAK FORMATION ENH ss
Dakota formation undated

 

STAFF:DAK 1946 ENH ss
Staff group 1946
INSTRUCTORS HALIFAX MAY 1946 ENH ss
Instructor stick Halifax IXA jumpship May 1946. Flt. Lts. Achappa, Gopalan; Sgts. Smith,Clifton, Knight, Rodwell, Rust, Clarke, Lowry
SOCCER SS
No. 3 PTS Soccer team 1946. Busty Alderman third left back row. See inscription below
Screen Shot 2020-03-14 at 12.09.54
Inscription

 

Operation Dracula 1 May 1945

https://codenames.info/operation/dracula-ii/

https://www.paradata.org.uk/article/elephant-point

DRACULA NARRATIVE
(CODENAMES)
DRACULA AIR:AIR ss enh
C47 dropping, Operation Dracula

 

DRACULA EXITS ss enh
Exits Operation Dracula

 

DRACULA AIR:GROUND ss enh
Tawhai assault DZ

 

EP ENH ss
Elephant Point assault

 

EP 2x FATAL ss enh
Enemy casualties Elephant Point

 

CHAK TRANSIT ss.enhjpg
Sgt. Ben Cass logbook extract, posted to Chaklala October 1944. Courtesy Bernard Cass.

TITLE INSERT BREVET
“Brevet” 2014 (Bibliography)

BEN BREVET RESIZED ss
Ben Cass brevet award December 1945. Note old PJI badge above chevrons. Photo courtesy Irene Cass

ZEFF BREVET enh ss
Flt. Lt. Monty Zeff brevet award by AOC- in- C. See below

BREVETS 15 DEC 1945 CHAKLALA (1).jpg enh
Contemporary Press cutting

MOUNTBATTEN ENH ss NODATE
Lord Louis Mountbatten inspection Chaklala undated

Screen Shot 2020-03-12 at 16.03.11

FEB ENH ss2
Instructors dinner Rawalpindi 11 Feb 1947

 

STAFF 47 ENH ss
No. 3 PTS Staff July 1947

TRAIN ENH ss MARCH 1946 RAWLPINDI STATION
Rawalpindi station March 1946. En route to Bombay for U.K. repat.

No. 4 Middle East Training School RAF KABRIT 1942

https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/no-4-middle-east-training-school

The unit was designated No. 4 METS by the SAS who had formed a training detachment there; the first PJIs arrived from Ringway early in 1942. They were F.S Jim Averis and Sgts Markwell, Welch and MacGregor (nicknamed ‘The Toffs’ by the SAS). These were followed in December by Gerry Turnbull, Jack Gascoigne, Len Munden and Norman Davey. In January 1943 they were further augmented by Sgts. Robbie Robertson, Vic Kent, George Eccles, Bluey Lambirth, ‘Wullie’ Hamilton, Lofty Bowerbanks and Alf Card.

(History of Middle East Parachute Training by F.S. Alf Card)

RAF KABRIT 1942ss
RAF Kabrit on the Bitter Lakes

 

FIRST 4 ss2
First PJIs at Kabrit. Sgt.Ian  MacGregor, F.S.’Ginger’ Averis, Sgt.’Natch’ Markwell, Sgt Ken Welch. Photo courtesy ‘Ginger’ Averis
+45 ss
Photo courtesy ‘Ginger’ Averis
‘Natch’ Markwell Operational Sortie
AVERIS EXTRACT (1)
Courtesy ‘Natch’ Markwell
Information Instruction
INFO TROOPS ss
Information instruction for all ranks
Kabrit Course programme

COURSE PROGRAMME enh ss

GING GREEN enh ss
APJI Sgt “Ginger” Green, Kabrit October 1942
YOUNG AND MCGREGOR ss
APJI Sgts Sean Young and Ian McGregor Kabrit 1942. Sgt McGregor was later decorated with the Military Cross

 

No. 4 Parachute Training School RAF RAMAT DAVID 1943

https://www.paradata.org.uk/media/2510

The school moved to Palestine in January 1943 and, although it was in effect No. 2 PTS, for some reason retained the original No. 4 designation.

HUDSON RD enh ss
Ramat David. The local Bey shaking hands with instructor stick, see inscription below. Aircraft Lockheed Hudson. Photo courtesy Gerry Turnbull
INSCRIPTION ss
Inscription

 

INSTRUCTORS KABRIT ss2
Instructors kitted up: Rear: Sgts. Baverbank, Hamilton, McGregor, Averis. Front: Robertson, Eccles, Seddon, Kent

 

PJIs RAMAT DAVID enh ss
Staff on Ramat David DZ
Screen Shot 2019-05-27 at 17.48.18
School Warrant Officer Gerry Turnbull

No. 4 Parachute Training School Gioia del Colle Italy 1944

In June 1944, following  Brigadier Hackett’s 4th Parachute Brigade redeployment from the North African theatre, No 4 PTS was relocated to Gioia Del Colle, south of Bari on the Italian Adriatic coast.

GDC SNOW ENH ss
Sgt. Gascoigne, Fg.Off. Anderson, Sqn.Ldr. Murphy, W.O. Turnbull
GDC 2 ss.enh
Unidentified, Sgt. Turner, Sgt. Duncan, WO Turnbull centre

No. 2 Parachute Training School RAF AQIR 1946

https://www.paradata.org.uk/unit/parachute-and-air-training-school-raf-aqir

In 1946 the final move was made to RAF Aqir (now the Tel Nof Airbase), firstly under the command of Flt. Lt. Todhunter, followed by Flt.Lt. John Saxby and subsequently Sqn.Ldr. Bernard Stannard. The School was now known officially as No. 2 PTS.

NOTICE BOARD ss2
Flt. Lt. Todhunter

John Saxby recalls (see also SKYDIVERS):

“- it seems a long time ago when Stannard and I tried out a free fall from 10,000 feet at Aqir in Palestine in 1947 using wrist watches.  I was about to hand over command of No 2 PTS and proceed on demobilisation and it seemed a jolly end to my RAF career.  Group Captain Geoffrey Wood was the Station Commander and took a bit of persuading. Before I left Stannard and I took a Dakota up to 10,000 feet over the station, Aqir – bloody cold – to let them all see what a drop looked like.  Our usual DZ was Yibna some miles away.  At 1000 feet as I remember the school instructors did a demonstration jump with Statichutes as usual, and at 10,000 feet Stannard and I baled out wearing standard Pilot Type parachutes. I spent a lot of the previous night trying to be sure that my maths was right – 120mph = feet per second ??? = how long dare I wait ???   We used our wrist watches to time the drop before pulling the release.  Knowing no better I adopted the standard exit position and reached TV in that position – surprised to feel myself ‘standing’ in the air with the wind whistling past but no feeling of falling – how naive we were.  But then I began to tumble and was sick, remembering to keep my boots out of the way!  Finally I saw Stannard’s parachute deploy and decided to rely on his maths and deployed my own”.

(Brevet p.10)

JOHN SAXBY
Flt. Lt. John Saxby
PTS Staff Aqir 1946
STAFF ss
RAF personnel front row: F.S. Peters second left, Flt.Lt. Todhunter, Flt. Lt. Saxby,  Sqn. Ldr. Stannard, F.S. Spencer, F.S. Wright
HALIFAX AIR ss2
Halifax aperture exits Yibna DZ undated. Photo courtesy Gerry Turnbull
HALIFAX GROUND:AIR ss
Ground to air
YIBNEH DZ ss
Yibna DZ

 

X TYPE ss
X type Yibna. Photo courtesy John Saxby
YIBNEH DZ 1946ss
DZ 1946
CONNOR AND HAWLEY ss
Glider pilot Captain Jack Connor and Captain John Hawley on the Yibna DZ. Photo courtesy John Saxby
JEEP ENH ss
DZ Jeep and PTS staff
GROUND TRAINING ss
Troops in Ground Training area. Photo courtesy John Saxby
FLIGHT TRAINERS ss
Flight trainers

 

SAXBY ss 2
Instructors outside OC’s office, F.S. Eddie Spencer in battledress. Photo courtesy John Saxby

 

WOOD ss 2
Station Commander Gp. Capt. Geoffrey Wood. Major Paddy Dobbyn on his right
STOCKWELL ss
GOC 6th Airborne Division General Hugh Stockwell
PETERS et al ss3
Flt.Lt. Francis, F.S. Peters, Sgt Topping, General Stockwell, Sgt. Eccles, F.S. Jock Wright

 

GEN BARKER WITH STANNARD ENH ss
General Evelyn Barker, GOC British Forces in Palestine with OC 2 PTS Sqn.Ldr. Bernard Stannard 1946

 

STAFF RESIZE 17.22.42
Staff descent pre-emplane
C COURSE ss
C Course 11 August 1946. Photo courtesy John Saxby
E Course ss
E Course 25 August 1946
STAFF AND REFRESHER ss2
Refresher course 1946. Flt.Lt. Todhunter centre
REFRESHER INSCRIPTION ss
Inscription
LAST DESC ss
Final Staff descent 19 December 1947
METS/PTS PEREGRINATIONS 1942-1946

2 PTS LOCATIONS